The Rule of Law at the National and International levels

Statement by Mr. Yousef N. Zeidan, Legal Adviser, before the Sixth Committee, Agenda item 85: the rule of law at the national and international levels,

68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 11 October 2013

-As Delivered-

Mr. Chairman,

            At the outset, I wish to extend warmest congratulations to you and through you to the distinguished bureau on your election for this session. I would also like to assure you that my delegation stands ready to cooperate with you in order to succeed in our collective work.

             The State of Palestine aligns itself with the statement made by Iran on behalf of the NAM.

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US attempt to close the Mission

United Nations Headquaters

 

In late 1987, the United States was preparing to pass domestic legislation that would, among other things, call for the closing of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations in New York.  The international community, in particular UN Secretary-General, Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, stood firmly by the Mission and Ambassador Terzi, calling on the United States, as the Host Country, to uphold its treaty obligations under the 1947 Headquarters Agreement between the United States and the United Nations.  By virtue of resolution 3237 (XIXX) the PLO and its personnel were invitees of the United Nations and covered under the Agreement, therefore the United States was obligated to allow the entry and exit of PLO personnel in discharging their official duties at the United Nations in New York. The United States Congress did not head to the calls of the international community and eventually passed the domestic legislation and began proceedings in their federal courts against the Mission, attempting to close it down.  Thereafter, on 2 March 1988 the General Assembly requested an ICJ Advisory Opinion in resolution 42/229 B on the matter, which was rendered on 26 April 1988.  The Mission was never shut down due to the tremendous support of the international community and the reliance on international law, in particular the Headquarters Agreement.

Below you will find the relevant resolutions passed by the General Assembly, the related documents and Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice and Reports of the Secretary-General.

GA Resolutions and ICJ Advisory Opinion
Reports of the Secretary-General
Resolution 42/210 B of 17 December 1987

Called on Host Country to uphold Obligations under Headquarters Agreement
Report of the Secretary-General A/42/915
Resolutions 42/229 A+B of 2 March 1988

Request for the Advisory Opinion
Report of the Secretary-General A/42/915 add.1
Resolution 42/230 of 23 March 1988

Requested the Secretary-General to take preliminary measures to ensure the discharge of official functions of the PLO Mission, if neccessary.
Report of the Secretary-General A/42/915 add.2
Pleadings, Oral Arguments, Documents of the Request for an Advisory OpinonReport of the Secretary-General A/42/915 add.3
Unanimous ICJ Advisory Opinion rendered on 26 April 1988 Report of the Secretary-General A/42/915 add.4
Resolution 42/232 of 13 May 1988

Endorsement of the Advisory Opinion
Report of the Secretary-General A/42/915 add.5

ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

Israel's illegal Wall in the OPT

On 8 December 2003, the General Assembly of the United Nations in its tenth emergency special session adopted resolution ES-10/14, in which the Assembly requested the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to urgently render an advisory opinion on: “the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

On 19 December 2003, the ICJ issued an order, setting 30 January 2004 as the date for written statements to be submitted to the Court on the matter and setting 23 February 2004 as the date for the oral hearings. Below you will find the General Assembly resolutions regarding the Wall; Palestine’s Written and Oral Statement’s to the Court (Arabic and English); an Executive Summary of Palestine’s Statement; the Appendices and Annexes to Palestine’s Statement; and maps and photos regarding the Wall.

Below you will find relevant documents to the proceedings:

General Assembly Resolutions and ICJ Advisory Opinion
Submissions and Statements by Palestine to the ICJ
GA resolution ES-10/13 (21 October 2003Written Statement and Oral Pleadings of Palestine to the International Court of Justice regarding the “Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” -- English and Arabic
GA resolution ES-10/14 (8 December 2003)Appendices and Annexes
GA resolution ES-10/15 (20 July 2004)Executive Summary of Palestine's Written Statement -- English and Arabic
The Advisory Opinion rendered on 9 July 04 by the Intl. Court of Justice (ICJ) on the legal consequences of the construction of a Wall by Israel, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem -- English and Arabic
Resolution ES-10-17:Establishment of the United Nations Register of Damage caused by the Construction of the Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (24 January 2007