ONU – “Israel agrees to ‘humanitarian pause’ in war-torn Gaza Strip, UN envoy confirms”

After days of escalating violence and follow-on civilian suffering in the Gaza Strip, the United Nations special envoy for the Middle East confirmed today that Israel has agreed to a five hour humanitarian pause – set to begin tomorrow morning – and repeated his call on Hamas to respect the lull “in the interest of the people of Gaza.”

In a statement issued by his spokesperson in Jerusalem, Robert Serry UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process confirmed that the Government of Israel agreed the five hour humanitarian pause, which will start at tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., local time and end at 3:00 p.m.

“Mr. Serry appreciates this Israeli decision and repeats his call on Hamas and other factions to respect the humanitarian pause from their side, in the interest of the people of Gaza,” said the statement.

It goes on to say that Mr. Serry reiterates the importance of arriving at a durable ceasefire understanding, also addressing underlying issues in Gaza, as soon as possible. “The United Nations, together with other international actors, will continue to support efforts in this regard,” the statement concluded.

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This news comes as media reports suggest that Israel previously had agreed to a pause for several hours Tuesday after Egypt put forward a cease-fire proposal that subsequently collapsed.

Israeli-Palestinian violence has flared ago in the wake of the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank in late June and the subsequent kidnapping and killing of a Palestinian teenager from East Jerusalem earlier this month.

And with militants in Gaza stepping up rocket attacks against Israel, and Israeli airstrikes on the enclave intensifying, Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and a host of other senior UN officials, as well as the members of the Security Council, have repeatedly urged all actors to exercise maximum restraint and avoid further civilian casualties and overall destabilization.

Meanwhile, earlier today, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator reminded both Israelis and Palestinians of their obligations under international law to protect civilians and to distinguish between military and civilian targets, as she warned that innocent men, women and children continue to bear the brunt of the deadly violence that has engulfed the region.

Extremely concerned by the escalation of hostilities and its impact on civilians, Valerie Amos, in a statement issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which she heads, said that according to preliminary estimates, as of 15 July, 194 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli attacks, including 149 civilians.

Ms. Amos said that hundreds of homes have been directly targeted by Israeli airstrikes, many of which were allegedly the residences of members of armed groups. More than 1,300 families have been forced to seek shelter with relatives and neighbours. Nearly 80 schools have been damaged because of their proximity to targeted sites. In one incident, an Israeli airstrike killed 18 people in one house, including six children and three women.

Public services have been suspended and the water supply is at risk after two maintenance engineers were killed by an Israeli missile, she added.

“Armed groups are firing rockets from residential areas in Gaza towards populated areas in Israel, reportedly killing one civilian so far and putting at risk the lives of thousands more, both Israeli and Palestinian,” Ms Amos said, and underscored: “Sustained bombardment is terrifying for everyone but particularly for children, who will need psycho-social support long after the violence subsides.”

She went on to remind the parties to conflict that they have responsibilities under international humanitarian law, emphasizing that “they must take precautions to protect civilians and must distinguish between civilian and military targets.”

“This is the third major military confrontation in Gaza in six years, and civilians have borne the brunt each time. They are paying the price for a collective failure to break the cycle of violence and reach a lasting political solution,” declared Ms. Amos.

Fonte: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48284#.U8fX4fldVBs

ONU – “Level of human loss, destruction in Gaza ‘immense,’ says UN agency”

The level of human loss and destruction in Gaza as a result of the ongoing conflict with Israel has been “immense,” the United Nations agency tasked with assisting Palestinian refugees said today, noting that eight days of hostilities has claimed 174 lives and injured well over 1,100 people.

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“The numbers are increasing by the hour,” Sami Mshasha, from the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), told a news conference in Geneva.

“We also notice that a good number of those killed and injured are women and children, and that is a cause of concern for UNRWA,” he said, speaking by phone from Jerusalem.

Mr. Mshasha added that 560 homes were completely destroyed and thousands of other buildings damaged in Israeli airstrikes.

Since the latest hostilities began a week ago, senior UN officials and the Security Council have called on the parties to de-escalate the situation, restore calm, and reinstitute the November 2012 ceasefire that ended eight days of violence in Gaza and Israel.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Sunday, has expressed his full support for the Egyptian initiative for a cease-fire agreement.

“He is deeply worried that the fighting has not stopped, despite Israel’s readiness to accept the ceasefire proposal and the Palestinian Authority’s support,” UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters in New York.

“He calls on Hamas to cooperate with the Egyptian initiative, and urges all sides to build on this opening of a diplomatic channel. All parties must respect international humanitarian law.”

Mr. Haq added that the UN will in the meantime continue providing much-needed emergency humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

UNRWA said it is extremely worried that if the ceasefire being negotiated does not succeed, an Israeli ground offensive and military incursion into Gaza will take place, bringing more death and destruction.

“There is a high level of anticipation for the ceasefire to take effect today or tomorrow, and if it doesn’t, I am afraid that the civilians in Gaza will end up paying again the ultimate price,” said Mr. Mshasha.

Fonte: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48277#.U8ZvDPldVBs

ONU – “Ban says Israel’s construction of West Bank wall violates international law, fuels Mid-East tensions”

At a special meeting to mark the 10th anniversary of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) advisory ruling declaring illegal Israel’s construction of a separation wall in the West Bank, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today called for a halt to the current violence between Israelis and Palestinians, while also the need all Member States to comply with international law.

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In a statement to the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, delivered by Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. Ban urged all sides to abide by their international obligations, emphasizing that the wall and increased settlement activity were fuelling tensions.

“The implications of the wall go far beyond its legality,” he stated, pointing out that 10 years ago today, the ICJ in its Advisory Opinion on the “Legal Consequences of a Wall in the Occupied Territory” found that the Israeli construction of the Wall within the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, violated Israel’s obligation under international law.

On 09 July 2004, the Advisory Opinion called on Israel to cease the construction of the Wall, bring down the parts that had already been built, and halt the severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of Palestinians living in the West Bank. In addition, the Advisory Opinion pointed out that all States were not only under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall, but that States Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention had the additional obligation to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law.

“The wall severely restricts Palestinian movement and access throughout the West Bank, cuts off land and access to resources needed for Palestinian development, and continues to undermine agricultural and rural livelihoods throughout the West Bank,” Mr. Ban said.

The wall and increased settlement expansion have worsened the fragmentation of the Palestinian Territory, compounding the increasing isolation of East Jerusalem from the rest of the Territory, Mr. Ban continued. Israel’s Government, however, claims that the wall is a temporary security measure.

Since 2008, a UN office collecting data on the damage caused by the construction of the wall, has collected 42,600 claims and over 1.1 million supporting documents.

Also today, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released a new report which summarizes the continuing humanitarian impact of the barrier on Palestinian rural and urban communities. It notes that after a decade, 62 per cent of the wall has been constructed, including 200 kilometres since the ICJ Advisory Opinion.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Committee approved a statement by which it reaffirmed all aspects of the ICJ decision and reiterated the call by the Court on the UN General Assembly and the Security Council to consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from Israel’s construction of the wall and the associated regime.

By its statement, the Committee deeply regretted that the Security Council has “remained silent” on the critical matter of Israel’s construction of the Wall, and has failed in recent years to take action to condemn and bring a halt to Israel’s continuing violations of international law, especially those related to the illegal settlement expansion and the Wall.

Calling on the Security Council to act urgently and decisively to compel Israel to end its violations of international law, the Committee also stressed that more active steps from the international community, Governments, international organizations, parliamentarians and civil society, are required to salvage the two-State solution in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions, the Madrid principles and the Arab Peace Initiative, the Quartet Roadmap, and to assist the Palestinian people to realize their inalienable rights, justice, freedom and peace.

Fonte: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=48236#.U76hfPldVBs

CIJ – History of the Court

The creation of the Court represented the culmination of a long development of methods for the pacific settlement of international disputes, the origins of which can be traced back to classical times.

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Article 33 of the United Nations Charter lists the following methods for the pacific settlement of disputes between States: negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, and resort to regional agencies or arrangements; good offices should also be added to this list. Among these methods, certain involve appealing to third parties. For example, mediation places the parties to a dispute in a position in which they can themselves resolve their dispute thanks to the intervention of a third party. Arbitration goes further, in the sense that the dispute is submitted to the decision or award of an impartial third party, so that a binding settlement can be achieved. The same is true of judicial settlement (the method applied by the International Court of Justice), except that a court is subject to stricter rules than an arbitral tribunal, particularly in procedural matters.

Mediation and arbitration preceded judicial settlement in history. The former was known in ancient India and in the Islamic world, whilst numerous examples of the latter are to be found in ancient Greece, in China, among the Arabian tribes, in maritime customary law in medieval Europe and in Papal practice.

The Origins

The modern history of international arbitration is, however, generally recognized as dating from the so-called Jay Treaty of 1794 between the United States of America and Great Britain. This Treaty of Amity, Commerce and Navigation provided for the creation of three mixed commissions, composed of American and British nationals in equal numbers, whose task it would be to settle a number of outstanding questions between the two countries which it had not been possible to resolve by negotiation. Whilst it is true that these mixed commissions were not strictly speaking organs of third-party adjudication, they were intended to function to some extent as tribunals. They reawakened interest in the process of arbitration. Throughout the nineteenth century, the United States and the United Kingdom had recourse to them, as did other States in Europe and the Americas.

The Alabama Claims arbitration in 1872 between the United Kingdom and the United States marked the start of a second, and still more decisive, phase. Under the Treaty of Washington of 1871, the United States and the United Kingdom agreed to submit to arbitration claims by the former for alleged breaches of neutrality by the latter during the American Civil War. The two countries stated certain rules governing the duties of neutral governments that were to be applied by the tribunal, which they agreed should consist of five members, to be appointed respectively by the Heads of State of the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Italy and Switzerland, the last three States not being parties to the case. The arbitral tribunal’s award ordered the United Kingdom to pay compensation and it was duly complied with. The proceedings served as a demonstration of the effectiveness of arbitration in the settlement of a major dispute and it led during the latter years of the nineteenth century to developments in various directions, namely:

  • sharp growth in the practice of inserting in treaties clauses providing for recourse to arbitration in the event of a dispute between the parties;
  • the conclusion of general treaties of arbitration for the settlement of specified classes of inter-State disputes;
  • efforts to construct a general law of arbitration, so that countries wishing to have recourse to this means of settling disputes would not be obliged to agree each time on the procedure to be adopted, the composition of the tribunal, the rules to be followed and the factors to be taken into consideration in making the award;
  • proposals for the creation of a permanent international arbitral tribunal in order to obviate the need to set up a special ad hoc tribunal to decide each arbitrable dispute.

The Hague Peace Conferences and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)

The Hague Peace Conference of 1899, convened at the initiative of the Russian Czar Nicholas II, marked the beginning of a third phase in the modern history of international arbitration. The chief object of the Conference, in which — a remarkable innovation for the time — the smaller States of Europe, some Asian States and Mexico also participated, was to discuss peace and disarmament. It ended by adopting a Convention on the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, which dealt not only with arbitration but also with other methods of pacific settlement, such as good offices and mediation.

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With respect to arbitration, the 1899 Convention made provision for the creation of permanent machinery which would enable arbitral tribunals to be set up as desired and would facilitate their work. This institution, known as the Permanent Court of Arbitration, consisted in essence of a panel of jurists designated by each country acceding to the Convention — each such country being entitled to designate up to four — from among whom the members of each arbitral tribunal might be chosen. The Convention further created a permanent Bureau, located at The Hague, with functions corresponding to those of a court registry or a secretariat, and it laid down a set of rules of procedure to govern the conduct of arbitrations. It will be seen that the name “Permanent Court of Arbitration” is not a wholly accurate description of the machinery set up by the Convention, which represented only a method or device for facilitating the creation of arbitral tribunals as and when necessary. Nevertheless, the system so established was permanent and the Convention as it were “institutionalized” the law and practice of arbitration, placing it on a more definite and more generally accepted footing. The Permanent Court of Arbitration was established in 1900 and began operating in 1902.

A few years later, in 1907, a second Hague Peace Conference, to which the States of Central and South America were also invited, revised the Convention and improved the rules governing arbitral proceedings. Some participants would have preferred the Conference not to confine itself to improving the machinery created in 1899. The United States Secretary of State, Elihu Root, had instructed the United States delegation to work towards the creation of a permanent tribunal composed of judges who were judicial officers and nothing else, who had no other occupation, and who would devote their entire time to the trial and decision of international cases by judicial methods. “These judges”, wrote Secretary Root, “should be so selected from the different countries that the different systems of law and procedure and the principal languages shall be fairly represented”. The United States, the United Kingdom and Germany submitted a joint proposal for a permanent court, but the Conference was unable to reach agreement upon it. It became apparent in the course of the discussions that one of the major difficulties was that of finding an acceptable way of choosing the judges, none of the proposals made having managed to command general support. The Conference confined itself to recommending that States should adopt a draft convention for the creation of a court of arbitral justice as soon as agreement was reached “respecting the selection of the judges and the constitution of the court”. Although this court was never in fact to see the light of day, the draft convention that was to have given birth to it enshrined certain fundamental ideas that some years later were to serve as a source of inspiration for the drafting of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ).

Notwithstanding the fate of these proposals, the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which in 1913 took up residence in the Peace Palace that had been built for it thanks to a gift from Andrew Carnegie, has made a positive contribution to the development of international law. Among the classic cases that have been decided through recourse to its machinery, mention may be made of the Carthage and Manouba cases (1913) concerning the seizure of vessels, and of the Timor Frontiers (1914) and Sovereignty over the Island of Palmas (1928) cases. Whilst demonstrating that arbitral tribunals set up by recourse to standing machinery could decide disputes between States on a basis of law and justice and command respect for their impartiality, these cases threw into bold relief the shortcomings of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Tribunals of differing composition could hardly be expected to develop a consistent approach to international law to the same extent as a permanently constituted tribunal. Besides, there was the entirely voluntary character of the machinery. The fact that States were parties to the 1899 and 1907 Conventions did not oblige them to submit their disputes to arbitration nor, even if they were minded so to do, were they duty-bound to have recourse to the Permanent Court of Arbitration nor to follow the rules of procedure laid down in the Conventions.

The Permanent Court of Arbitration has recently sought to diversify the services that it can offer, alongside those contemplated by the Conventions. The International Bureau of the Permanent Court has inter alia acted as Registry in some important international arbitrations, including that between Eritrea and Yemen on questions of territorial sovereignty and maritime delimitation (1998 and 1999), that concerning the delimitation of the boundary between Eritrea and Ethiopia (2002), and that between Ireland and the United Kingdom under the 1992 Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR). Moreover, in 1993, the Permanent Court of Arbitration adopted new “Optional Rules for Arbitrating Disputes between Two Parties of Which Only One Is a State” and, in 2001, “Optional Rules for Arbitration of Disputes Relating to Natural Resources and/or the Environment”.

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For more information on the Permanent Court of Arbitration, please visit their website: www.pca-cpa.org.

The work of the two Hague Peace Conferences and the ideas they inspired in statesmen and jurists had some influence on the creation of the Central American Court of Justice, which operated from 1908 to 1918, as well as on the various plans and proposals submitted between 1911 and 1919 both by national and international bodies and by governments for the establishment of an international judicial tribunal, which culminated in the creation of the PCIJ within the framework of the new international system set up after the end of the First World War.

The Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ)

Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations gave the Council of the League responsibility for formulating plans for the establishment of a Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), such a court to be competent not only to hear and determine any dispute of an international character submitted to it by the parties to the dispute, but also to give an advisory opinion upon any dispute or question referred to it by the Council or by the Assembly. It remained for the League Council to take the necessary action to give effect to Article 14. At its second session early in 1920, the Council appointed an Advisory Committee of Jurists to submit a report on the establishment of the PCIJ. The committee sat in The Hague, under the chairmanship of Baron Descamps ( Belgium). In August 1920, a report containing a draft scheme was submitted to the Council, which, after examining it and making certain amendments, laid it before the First Assembly of the League of Nations, which opened at Geneva in November of that year. The Assembly instructed its Third Committee to examine the question of the Court’s constitution. In December 1920, after an exhaustive study by a subcommittee, the Committee submitted a revised draft to the Assembly, which unanimously adopted it. This was the Statute of the PCIJ.

The Assembly took the view that a vote alone would not be sufficient to establish the PCIJ and that each State represented in the Assembly would formally have to ratify the Statute. In a resolution of 13 December 1920, it called upon the Council to submit to the Members of the League of Nations a protocol adopting the Statute and decided that the Statute should come into force as soon as the protocol had been ratified by a majority of Member States. The protocol was opened for signature on 16 December. By the time of the next meeting of the Assembly, in September 1921, a majority of the Members of the League had signed and ratified the protocol. The Statute thus entered into force. It was to be revised only once, in 1929, the revised version coming into force in 1936. Among other things, the new Statute resolved the previously insurmountable problem of the election of the members of a permanent international tribunal by providing that the judges were to be elected concurrently but independently by the Council and the Assembly of the League, and that it should be borne in mind that those elected “should represent the main forms of civilization and the principal legal systems of the world”. Simple as this solution may now seem, in 1920 it was a considerable achievement to have devised it. The first elections were held on 14 September 1921. Following approaches by the Netherlands Government in the spring of 1919, it was decided that the PCIJ should have its permanent seat in the Peace Palace in The Hague, which it would share with the Permanent Court of Arbitration. It was accordingly in the Peace Palace that on 30 January 1922 the Court’s preliminary session devoted to the elaboration of the Court’s Rules opened, and it was there too that its inaugural sitting was held on 15 February 1922, with the Dutch jurist Bernard C. J.  Loder as President.

The PCIJ was thus a working reality. The great advance it represented in the history of international legal proceedings can be appreciated by considering the following:

  • unlike arbitral tribunals, the PCIJ was a permanently constituted body governed by its own Statute and Rules of Procedure, fixed beforehand and binding on parties having recourse to the Court;
  • it had a permanent Registry which, inter alia, served as a channel of communication with governments and international bodies;
  • its proceedings were largely public and provision was made for the publication in due course of the pleadings, of verbatim records of the sittings and of all documentary evidence submitted to it;
  • the permanent tribunal thus established was now able to set about gradually developing a constant practice and maintaining a certain continuity in its decisions, thereby enabling it to make a greater contribution to the development of international law;
  • in principle the PCIJ was accessible to all States for the judicial settlement of their international disputes and they were able to declare beforehand that for certain classes of legal disputes they recognized the Court’s jurisdiction as compulsory in relation to other States accepting the same obligation. This system of optional acceptance of the jurisdiction of the Court was the most that it was then possible to obtain;
  • the PCIJ was empowered to give advisory opinions upon any dispute or question referred to it by the League of Nations Council or Assembly;
  • the Court’s Statute specifically listed the sources of law it was to apply in deciding contentious cases and giving advisory opinions, without prejudice to the power of the Court to decide a case ex aequo et bono if the parties so agreed;
  • it was more representative of the international community and of the major legal systems of the world than any other international tribunal had ever been before it.

Although the Permanent Court of International Justice was brought into being through, and by, the League of Nations, it was nevertheless not a part of the League. There was a close association between the two bodies, which found expression inter alia in the fact that the League Council and Assembly periodically elected the Members of the Court and that both Council and Assembly were entitled to seek advisory opinions from the Court, but the latter never formed an integral part of the League, just as the Statute never formed part of the Covenant. In particular, a Member State of the League of Nations was not by this fact alone automatically a party to the Court’s Statute.

Between 1922 and 1940 the PCIJ dealt with 29 contentious cases between States and delivered 27 advisory opinions. At the same time several hundred treaties, conventions and declarations conferred jurisdiction upon it over specified classes of disputes. Any doubts that might thus have existed as to whether a permanent international judicial tribunal could function in a practical and effective manner were thus dispelled. The Court’s value to the international community was demonstrated in a number of different ways, in the first place by the development of a true judicial technique. This found expression in the Rules of Court, which the PCIJ originally drew up in 1922 and subsequently revised on three occasions, in 1926, 1931 and 1936. There was also the PCIJ’s Resolution concerning the Judicial Practice of the Court, adopted in 1931 and revised in 1936, which laid down the internal procedure to be applied during the Court’s deliberations on each case. In addition, whilst helping to resolve some serious international disputes, many of them consequences of the First World War, the decisions of the PCIJ at the same time often clarified previously unclear areas of international law or contributed to its development.

For more information on the Permanent Court of International Justice, please see the “PCIJ” pages on our website.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ)

The outbreak of war in September 1939 inevitably had serious consequences for the PCIJ, which had already for some years known a period of diminished activity. After its last public sitting on 4 December 1939, the Permanent Court of International Justice did not in fact deal with any judicial business and no further elections of judges were held. In 1940 the Court removed to Geneva, a single judge remaining at The Hague, together with a few Registry officials of Dutch nationality. It was inevitable that even under the stress of the war some thought should be given to the future of the Court, as well as to the creation of a new international political order.

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In 1942 the United States Secretary of State and the Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom declared themselves in favour of the establishment or re-establishment of an international court after the war, and the Inter-American Juridical Committee recommended the extension of the PCIJ’s jurisdiction. Early in 1943, the United Kingdom Government took the initiative of inviting a number of experts to London to constitute an informal Inter-Allied Committee to examine the matter. This Committee, under the chairmanship of Sir William Malkin ( United Kingdom), held 19 meetings, which were attended by jurists from 11 countries. In its report, which was published on 10 February 1944, it recommended:

  • that the Statute of any new international court should be based on that of the Permanent Court of International Justice;
  • that advisory jurisdiction should be retained in the case of the new Court;
  • that acceptance of the jurisdiction of the new Court should not be compulsory;
  • that the Court should have no jurisdiction to deal with essentially political matters.

Meanwhile, on 30 October 1943, following a conference between China, the USSR, the United Kingdom and the United States, a joint declaration was issued recognizing the necessity “of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization, based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all peace-loving States, and open to membership by all such States, large and small, for the maintenance of international peace and security”.

This declaration led to exchanges between the Four Powers at Dumbarton Oaks, resulting in the publication on 9 October 1944 of proposals for the establishment of a general international organization, to include an international court of justice. The next step was the convening of a meeting in Washington, in April 1945, of a committee of jurists representing 44 States. This Committee, under the chairmanship of G. H. Hackworth ( United States), was entrusted with the preparation of a draft Statute for the future international court of justice, for submission to the San Francisco Conference, which during the months of April to June 1945 was to draw up the United Nations Charter. The draft Statute prepared by the Committee was based on the Statute of the PCIJ and was thus not a completely fresh text. The Committee nevertheless felt constrained to leave a number of questions open which it felt should be decided by the Conference: should a new court be created? In what form should the court’s mission as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations be stated? Should the court’s jurisdiction be compulsory, and, if so, to what extent? How should the judges be elected? The final decisions on these points, and on the definitive form of the Statute, were taken at the San Francisco Conference, in which 50 States participated. The Conference decided against compulsory jurisdiction and in favour of the creation of an entirely new court, which would be a principal organ of the United Nations, on the same footing as the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council and the Secretariat, and with the Statute annexed to and forming part of the Charter. The chief reasons that led the Conference to decide to create a new court were the following:

  • as the court was to be the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, it was felt inappropriate for this role to be filled by the Permanent Court of International Justice, which had up until then been linked to the League of Nations, then on the point of dissolution;
  • the creation of a new court was more consistent with the provision in the Charter that all Member States of the United Nations would ipso factobe parties to the court’s Statute;
  • several States that were parties to the Statute of the PCIJ were not represented at the San Francisco Conference, and, conversely, several States represented at the Conference were not parties to the Statute;
  • there was a feeling in some quarters that the PCIJ formed part of an older order, in which European States had dominated the political and legal affairs of the international community, and that the creation of a new court would make it easier for States outside Europe to play a more influential role. This has in fact happened as the membership of the United Nations grew from 51 in 1945 to 192 in 2006.

The San Francisco Conference nevertheless showed some concern that all continuity with the past should not be broken, particularly as the Statute of the PCIJ had itself been drawn up on the basis of past experience, and it was felt better not to change something that had seemed to work well. The Charter therefore plainly stated that the Statute of the International Court of Justice was based upon that of the PCIJ. At the same time, the necessary steps were taken for a transfer of the jurisdiction of the PCIJ so far as was possible to the International Court of Justice. In any event, the decision to create a new court necessarily involved the dissolution of its predecessor.

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The PCIJ met for the last time in October 1945 when it was decided to take all appropriate measures to ensure the transfer of its archives and effects to the new International Court of Justice, which, like its predecessor, was to have its seat in the Peace Palace. The judges of the PCIJ all resigned on 31 January 1946, and the election of the first Members of the International Court of Justice took place on 6 February 1946, at the First Session of the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council. In April 1946, the PCIJ was formally dissolved, and the International Court of Justice, meeting for the first time, elected as its President Judge José Gustavo Guerrero ( El Salvador), the last President of the PCIJ. The Court appointed the members of its Registry (largely from among former officials of the PCIJ) and held an inaugural public sitting, on the 18th of that month. The first case was submitted in May 1947. It concerned incidents in the Corfu Channel and was brought by the United Kingdom against Albania.

Fonte: http://www.icj-cij.org/court/index.php?p1=1&p2=1

CIJ – “Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. United Kingdom)”

Fixing of time-limits for the filing of initial pleadings

THE HAGUE, 19 June 2014. The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, has fixed time-limits for the filing of the initial pleadings in the case of Obligations concerning Negotiations relating to Cessation of the Nuclear Arms Race and to Nuclear Disarmament (Marshall Islands v. United Kingdom).

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By an Order of 16 June 2014, the Court fixed 16 March 2015 and 16 December 2015 as respective time-limits for the filing of a Memorial by the Republic of the Marshall Islands and a Counter-Memorial by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Court made this Order taking account of the agreement of the Parties. The subsequent procedure has been reserved for further decision.

History of the proceedings 

The history of the proceedings can be found in Press Release No. 2014/18 of 25 April 2014, available on the Court’s website (www.icj-cij.org) under the heading “Press Room”/“Press Releases”.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations. It was established by the United Nations Charter in June 1945 and began its activities in April 1946. The seat of the Court is at the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). Of the six principal organs of the United Nations, it is the only one not located in New York. The Court has a twofold role: first, to settle, in accordance with international law, legal disputes submitted to it by
States (its judgments have binding force and are without appeal for the parties concerned); and, second, to give advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized United Nations organs and agencies of the system. The Court is composed of 15 judges elected for a nine-year term by the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations. Independent of the United Nations Secretariat, it is assisted by a Registry, its own international secretariat, whose activities are both judicial and diplomatic, as well as administrative. The official
languages of the Court are French and English. Also known as the “World Court”, it is the only court of a universal character with general jurisdiction.

The ICJ, a court open only to States for contentious proceedings, and to certain organs and institutions of the United Nations system for advisory proceedings, should not be confused with the other  mostly criminal  judicial institutions based in The Hague and adjacent areas, such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY, an ad hoc court created by the Security Council), the International Criminal Court (ICC, the first permanent international criminal court, established by treaty, which does not belong to the United Nations system), the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL, an independent judicial body composed of Lebanese and international judges, which is not a United Nations tribunal and does not form part of the Lebanese judicial system), or the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA, an independent institution which assists in the establishment of arbitral tribunals and facilitates their work, in accordance with the Hague Convention of 1899).

Fonte: CIJ – Press Release 

 

ONU – “Como funciona?”

Quando a ONU foi fundada, em 24 de outubro de 1945, ficou definido, na Carta da ONU que para seu melhor funcionamento seus membros, vindos de todos os cantos do planeta se comunicariam em seis idiomas oficiais: inglês, francês, espanhol, árabe, chinês e russo.

O orçamento regular da ONU para o biênio 2012/13 é de 5,152 bilhões de dólares e é financiado por todos os Estados-membros da Organização – dependendo da riqueza e do desenvolvimento de cada país.

De acordo com a Carta, a ONU, para que pudesse atender seus múltiplos mandatos, teria seis órgãos principais, a Assembleia Geral, o Conselho de Segurança, o Conselho Econômico e Social, o Conselho de Tutela, a Corte Internacional de Justiça e o Secretariado.

A Assembleia Geral

A Assembleia Geral da ONU é o principal órgão deliberativo da ONU. É lá que todos os Estados-Membros da Organização (193 países) se reúnem para discutir os assuntos que afetam a vida de todos os habitantes do planeta. Na Assembleia Geral, todos os países têm direito a um voto, ou seja, existe total igualdade entre todos seus membros.

Assuntos em pauta: paz e segurança, aprovação de novos membros, questões de orçamento, desarmamento, cooperação internacional em todas as áreas, direitos humanos, etc. As resoluções – votadas e aprovadas – da Assembleia Geral funcionam como recomendações e não são obrigatórias.

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As principais funções da Assembleia são:

  • Discutir e fazer recomendações sobre todos os assuntos em pauta na ONU;
  • Discutir questões ligadas a conflitos militares – com exceção daqueles na pauta do Conselho de Segurança;
  • Discutir formas e meios para melhorar as condições de vida das crianças, dos jovens e das mulheres;
  • Discutir assuntos ligados ao desenvolvimento sustentável,  meio ambiente e direitos humanos;
  • Decidir as contribuições dos Estados-Membros e como estas contribuições devem ser gastas;
  • Eleger os novos Secretários-Gerais da Organização.

O Conselho de Segurança

Conselho de Segurança é o órgão da ONU responsável pela paz e segurança internacionais. 

Ele é formado por 15 membros: cinco permanentes, que possuem o direito a veto – Estados Unidos, Rússia, Grã-Bretanha, França e China – e dez membros não-permanentes, eleitos pela Assembleia Geral por dois anos.

Este é o único órgão da ONU que tem poder decisório, isto é, todos os membros das Nações Unidas devem aceitar e cumprir as decisões do Conselho.

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Suas principais funções e atribuições são:

  • Manter a paz e a segurança internacional;
  • Determinar a criação, continuação e encerramento das Missões de Paz, de acordo com os Capítulos VI, VII e VIII da Carta;
  • Investigar toda situação que possa vir a se transformar em um conflito internacional;
  • Recomendar métodos de diálogo entre os países;
  • Elaborar planos de regulamentação de armamentos;
  • Determinar se existe uma ameaça para o paz;
  • Solicitar aos países que apliquem sanções econômicas e outras medidas para impedir ou deter alguma agressão;
  • Recomendar o ingresso de novos membros na ONU;
  • Recomendar para a Assembleia Geral a eleição de um novo Secretário-Geral.

O Conselho Econômico e Social

O Conselho Econômico e Social (ECOSOC) é o órgão coordenador do trabalho econômico e social da ONU, das Agências Especializadas e das demais instituições integrantes do Sistema das Nações Unidas.

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O Conselho formula recomendações e inicia atividades relacionadas com o desenvolvimento, comércio internacional, industrialização, recursos naturais, direitos humanos, condição da mulher, população, ciência e tecnologia, prevenção do crime, bem-estar social e muitas outras questões econômicas e sociais.

Entre suas principais funções destacam-se:

  • Coordenar o trabalho econômico e social da ONU e das instituições e organismos especializados do Sistema;
  • Colaborar com os programas da ONU;
  • Desenvolver pesquisas e relatórios sobre questões econômicas e sociais;
  • Promover o respeito aos direitos humanos e as liberdades fundamentais.

O Conselho de Tutela

Segundo a Carta, cabia ao Conselho de Tutela a supervisão da administração dos territórios sob regime de tutela internacional. As principais metas desse regime de tutela consistiam em promover o progresso dos habitantes dos territórios e desenvolver condições para a progressiva independência e estabelecimento de um governo próprio.

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Os objetivos do Conselho de Tutela foram tão amplamente atingidos que os territórios inicialmente sob esse regime – em sua maioria países da África – alcançaram, ao longo dos últimos anos, sua independência. Tanto assim que em 19 de novembro de 1994, o Conselho de Tutela suspendeu suas atividades, após quase meio século de luta em favor da autodeterminação dos povos. A decisão foi tomada após o encerramento do acordo de tutela sobre o território de Palau, no Pacífico. Palau, último território do mundo que ainda era tutelado pela ONU, tornou-se então um Estado soberano, membro das Nações Unidas.

A Corte Internacional de Justiça

A Corte Internacional de Justiça, com sede em Haia (Holanda), é o principal órgão judiciário das Nações Unidas. Todos os países que fazem parte do Estatuto da Corte – que é parte da Carta das Nações Unidas – podem recorrer a ela. Somente países, nunca indivíduos, podem pedir pareceres à Corte Internacional de Justiça.

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Além disso, a Assembleia Geral e o Conselho de Segurança podem solicitar à Corte pareceres sobre quaisquer questões jurídicas, assim como os outros órgãos das Nações Unidas.

A Corte Internacional de Justiça se compõe de quinze juízes chamados “membros” da Corte. São eleitos pela Assembleia Geral e pelo Conselho de Segurança em escrutínios separados.

O Secretariado

O Secretariado presta serviço a outros órgãos das Nações Unidas e administra os programas e políticas que elaboram. Seu chefe é o Secretário-Geral, que é nomeado pela Assembleia Geral, seguindo recomendação do Conselho de Segurança. Cerca de 16 mil pessoas trabalham para o Secretariado nos mais diversos lugares do mundo.

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Entre suas principais funções, destacam-se:

  • Administrar as forças de paz;
  • Analisar problemas econômicos e sociais;
  • Preparar relatórios sobre meio ambiente ou direitos humanos;
  • Sensibilizar a opinião pública internacional sobre o trabalho da ONU;
  • Organizar conferências internacionais;
  • Traduzir todos os documentos oficiais da ONU nas seis línguas oficiais da Organização.

Fonte: ONU – Brasil

A História dos direitos LGBT na ONU

Vídeo

Publicado em 26/04/2014
Você já se perguntou como foram os primeiros passos pró-direitos LGBT na ONU? Assista a essa história!

O Dia dos Direitos Humanos marcou em 2013 o 65º aniversário da adoção da Declaração Universal dos Direitos Humanos pela Assembleia Geral da ONU, em 1948. Assista a esse curto vídeo-infográfico para saber mais sobre o tema e o que tem acontecido em termos de direitos LGBT desde então.

(Os mapas no vídeo foram checados até 10 de dezembro de 2013).

Entrevista: Brasileiro no Sudão do Sul explica crise no país | ONU

Vídeo

Publicado em 21/02/2014
Amadeu Marto lidera missão de observadores militares no estado de Northern Bahr el Ghazal, noroeste do país. Ele conversou por telefone com o Centro de Informação da ONU para o Brasil para explicar como a crise está afetando os civis.
Mais informações: http://www.onu.org.br/especial/sudao-…