ICJ Prez highlights UN’s role in safeguarding int’l rule of law

International Court of Justice (ICJ) President Abdulqawi Yusuf has highlighted the crucial role the UN has been playing in safeguarding the international rule of law, urging nations to respect the system of rules.

“For billions of people on this planet, reliance on the international rule of law, the application of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, the prohibition of the use of force among states, and the protection of human rights, has meant freedom, independence, progress and peace in the past 75 years,” Yusuf said on Monday while addressing a high-level meeting to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the UN.

“All of which is thanks to the establishment of the UN,” he added.

Yusuf said the existence of the international rule of law is vital for peace, progress and prosperity of all nations.

No state can provide security, prosperity and clean environment to its people without cooperating with other states and nor can all the problems of a nation be resolved at the national level, according to the ICJ chief.

Noting “international cooperation has to be based on a system of rules”, he urged states’ commitment to the system of rules.

“Unless this system of rules is respected by each state, the edifice of multilateral cooperation may collapse,” he said.

Yusuf pointed out that a web of rules inspired and based on the fundamental principles of the Charter of the UN and of international law are essential to make the interactions among the nations possible.

These rules “are designed and assented to by the States themselves” and “they are often based on mutual interests and common values”, said the ICJ President, adding that states’ obligations to respect the rules is key to “a more peaceful and stable world.”

“The increased reliance on the rule of law in international relations as opposed to arbitrary power and the settlement of disputes by peaceful means rather than by force are the greatest success stories of the UN,” he noted.

Moreover, Yusuf reiterated the ICJ’s role as a “guardian” of the rule of law at the international level.

“The International Court of Justice stands ready to continue its contribution, within the bounds of its Statute, to the protection and advancement of the international rule of law and to the peaceful settlement of disputes among nations,” he added.