NEW YORK, JANUARY 12 – “The international community can continue to count on Italy in a collective effort to strengthen the rule of law in international relations, including through a reform of the United Nations aimed at making the Organization – and the Council itself of Security – more democratic, representative, accountable, transparent and effective”, declared today the Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Maurizio Massari, during an open debate of the Council on the promotion and strengthening of Rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security.
The meeting was convened by the Japan Mission, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for January, to mark 10 years since United Nations heads of state and government met at headquarters in New York to reaffirm their “solemn commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, international law and justice, and to an international order based on the rule of law”. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened the session: “From the smallest village to the global stage, the Rule of Law is the only thing standing between peace and stability and a brutal struggle to power and resources,” he said, arguing that it protects the vulnerable, prevents discrimination, builds trust in institutions, supports inclusive economies and societies, and is the first line of defense against crimes of atrocities.
The UN chief painted a bleak picture of civilian populations around the world suffering from devastating conflicts, rising poverty and growing hunger, and warned that “we are at grave risk of a lawless state”. From the illegal development of nuclear weapons to the unauthorized use of force, “states continue to violate international law with impunity,” he continued, citing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the unlawful killings of Palestinians and Israelis, the ‘”gender apartheid” in Afghanistan, the illegal nuclear weapons program of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, violence and “gross human rights violations” in Myanmar and the “deep institutional crisis” in Haiti.
“As these examples demonstrate, adhering to the rule of law is more important than ever. All member states have a responsibility to support him at every opportunity,” the UN chief said.
Italy has aligned itself with a statement issued by the European Union and with a statement issued by Austria on behalf of the Group of Friends of the Rule of Law. More specifically, Ambassador Massari highlighted Italy’s approach based on five areas of long-term commitments, so that the solemn and unanimous commitment of 2013 can be respected.
In the first place, strict compliance with international legal obligations, whether arising from treaties or customary international law, must be mandatory for all. In second placeviolations of international law committed by states, especially if they relate to peremptory norms, must have consequences.
Thirdlyindividuals responsible for serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law must be held accountable for their actions (in this sense, Italy remains convinced that a universal, independent and impartial judicial institution, such as the International Criminal Court, which complements the efforts of national authorities, is a key tool to fight impunity). In fourth placedisputes which may endanger international peace and security must be resolved peacefully, in accordance with Article 33 of the Charter of the United Nations, by recourse to international courts and tribunals and by respecting their sentences and decisions. Fifth and final point, the codification and progressive development of international law must be pursued as a means to achieve legal certainty, good governance and to adapt the law to the ever-changing reality of international relations. Italy continues to support the important work of the International Law Commission and of Sixth Commission of the General Assembly in this sense, including in important areas such as the law of state liability. (@ONUItalia)
Massari (Italy), commitment to UN reform to strengthen the rule of law – UN Italy