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Italy committed to strenghten the Rule of Law through a true reform of the United Nations

NEW YORK, JANUARY 12 – The international community should continue to count on Italy in a collective effort to reinforce the rule of law in international relations, including through a reform of the United Nations, aimed at making the Organization – and this very body – more democratic, representative, accountable, transparent and effective”, the Italian Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Maurizio Massari, said today during a Security Council open debate on the promotion and the strenghtening of the Rule of Law in the maintenance of international peace and security.

The meeting was convened by the Mission of Japan, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council for the month of January, to mark ten years after the UN Heads of State and Government gathered at the New York Headquarters to reaffirm their “solemn commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, 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 (ROL) is all that stands between peace and stability, and a brutal struggle for power and resources”, he said, arguing that it protects the vulnerable; prevents discrimination; bolsters trust in institutions; supports inclusive economies and societies; and is the first line of defence against atrocity crimes.

The UN chief painted a grim picture of civilians around the world suffering from devastating conflicts, rising poverty, and surging hunger, warning that “we are at grave risk of the Rule of Lawlessness”. From illegally developing nuclear weapons to non-sanctioned use of force, “States continue to flout international law with impunity”, he continued. Guterres cited Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; unlawful killings of both Palestinians and Israelis; “gender-based apartheid” in Afghanistan; the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s unlawful nuclear weapons programme; violence and “severe human rights violations” in Myanmar; and “a deep institutional crisis” in Haiti.

“As these examples illustrate, adherence to the rule of law is more important than ever. All Member States have a responsibility to uphold it at every turn”, stated the top UN official.

Italy aligned itself to a statement delivered by the European Union as well as a statement delivered by Austria on behalf of the Group of Friends of the Rule of Law. More specifically, the Italian Ambassador pointed to Italy’s approach based on five areas of long-term commitments so that the 2013 solemn and unanimous pledge can be fulfilled.

Firstly, strict adherence to international legal obligations, whether deriving from treaties or from customary international law, must be mandatory for all. Secondly, breaches of international law committed by States, especially when related to peremptory norms, must bear consequences.

Thirdly, individuals responsible for gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law must be held accountable (In this vein, Italy remains convinced that a universal, independent and impartial judicial institution, such as the International Criminal Court, complementing the efforts of national authorities, is a key instrument to fighting impunity). Fourthly, disputes that are likely to endanger international peace and security must be settled peacefully in accordance with Article 33 of the UN Charter, resorting to international courts and tribunals and abiding by their judgments and decisions. Fifthly and finally, 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 realities of international relations. Italy continues to support the important work of the International Law Commission and of the Sixth Committee of the GA in this respect, including in important areas such as the law of State responsibility. (@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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