|Statement by Mr. XU Hong at the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Agenda Item 76 Report of the International Court of Justice|
At the outset, please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to congratulate to His Excellency Judge Yusuf and Her Excellency Judge Xue Hanqin as the President and Vice President of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), and to thank President Yusuf for his report on the work of the ICJ, and thank all the judges and staff of ICJ for their hard work over the past year.
Established by the Charter of the United Nations, ICJ is the main judicial organ of the United Nations. It is also the most authoritative and influential international judicial institution in the world today. For more than 70 years since its inception, ICJ has performed judicial functions in accordance with the UN Charter and the Statute of the International Court of Justice, delivering more than 120 judgments and nearly 30 advisory opinions. These judicial activities have played an important role in the interpretation, application and development of the rules of international law, the peaceful settlement of international disputes and the maintenance of international peace and security.
The workload of ICJ has increased in recent years, especially in the past year, the number of cases dealt with by the court and requests for advisory opinion have gone up. This testifies to the increasing role of the court in the peaceful settlement of international disputes and the enhanced trust in and expectation of the international community for the court. The cases currently handled by the court and requests for advisory opinions are related to important issues in international law, such as territorial sovereignty, decolonization, immunities, human rights protection, unilateral sanctions, etc, many of which involve the principle of “State consent” when inter-state disputes are resolved by international judicial authorities. How the court handles these cases will bear directly on the interests of the country concerned or the important functions of the UN agencies, and will produce far-reaching implications for the development of the relevant rules of international law. Therefore, the court must act in strict accordance with the law and maintain its authority and reputation with actions.
For ICJ to perform its functions effectively, it should be equipped with sufficient resources as the guarantee. Especially when its workload is increasingly heavy, it is all the more necessary that the court have the resources commensurate with its needs. The China has taken note of the difficulties faced by the court in terms of personnel and funding, as President Yusuf mentioned in his report. As a permanent member of the Security Council, China will continue to support ICJ in obtaining the necessary guarantee and support within the framework of the United Nations.
China is committed to the peaceful settlement of international disputes as an important principle in international law. It has always been committed to resolving international disputes through negotiation and consultation, and resolutely opposes unilateral actions that aggravate differences and disputes. At present, international relations face the severe challenge of unilateralism. China will work more vigorously with the international community in safeguarding the international system with the UN at its core and defending international law with the UN Charter at its core. This naturally includes supporting ICJ in performing its judicial functions in accordance with the law. We sincerely hope that ICJ will make greater contributions to upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the promotion of the international rule of law.
Thank you, Mr. President.