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Statement by Mr. LIU Zhenmin, Director-General of Department of Treaty and Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, at the Plenary of the 60th Session of the UN General Assembly, on Item 74: Report of the International Court of Justice

2005/10/27

New York, 27 October 2005

Mr. Chairman,

It gives the Chinese delegation great pleasure to speak on the agenda item under discussion. First, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation to thank Judge. Shi Jiuyong, President of the International Court of Justice, for his report on the work of the ICJ.

Mr. Chairman, in the view of the Chinese delegation, settlement of international disputes by peaceful means including resort to the International Court of Justice constitutes an important avenue to the realization of the fundamental purpose of the United Nations, namely the maintenance of international peace and security. The International Court of Justice, one of the six main organs of the United Nations, is indispensable for the maintenance of international peace and security. At the same time the ICJ as the judiciary organ of the United Nations, by exercising its jurisdiction and issuing advisory opinions, plays a critical role in the clarification, affirmation, application, and development of the principles and rules of international law.

Mr. Chairman, the Chinese delegation is pleased to see that over the past 60 years the ICJ has disposed of more than 90 cases and handed down close to 100 decisions or judgments in cases covering determination of land and maritime boundaries, territorial sovereignty, the obligation not to use force, the obligation not to interfere in others’ domestic affairs, diplomatic relations, kidnapping, asylum, nationality, right of passage and economic rights. In addition, the ICJ has issued 25 advisory opinions on application for membership in the United Nations, operational costs of the UN, status of the territories of Southwest Africa (Namibia) and Western Sahara, application of United Nations headquarters agreements, the legality of the use or the threat of use of nuclear weapons and the legal consequences of the construction of separation walls in the occupied Palestinian territories. Through these judicial activities, the ICJ has facilitated the development of international law.

We have also noticed that the workload of the Court has significantly increased as it gains more and more recognition by and confidence of the international community. Consequently, the difficulties faced by the Court in its personnel and financial resources are becoming more prominent. We call upon the international community to pay closer attention to this question and do its best to ensure that the Court can function normally so that its role can be brought into full play. The Chinese delegation believes that the ICJ can benefit from the UN reform just as other organs of the UN system. A dynamic ICJ will surely be able to contribute significantly to a more peaceful world.

Mr. Chairman, the Chinese government is of the view that although peace and development are the themes of our times, international relations and the common development of the international community as a whole are susceptible to elements of instability and uncertainty that still remain and new challenges and threats that emerge from time to time. Friendship among peoples, harmony between man and nature and peaceful coexistence of states should all be governed and safeguarded by the rule of law. We are confident that the ICJ will continue to play an important role in the peaceful settlement of international disputes, the promotion of the rule of law at international levels and in building a harmonious community of nations. China will continue to support the work of the ICJ. It is our hope that the Court will make greater contribution to the maintenance of international peace and security, the promotion of friendly exchanges among countries and the development of international law.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 

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