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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
by
 
HON.MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO
Member, Senate of the Republic of the Philippines
 

On

Agenda item no. 73 - REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
1 NOVEMBER 2007, NEW YORK

Mr. President,

It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the delegation of the Republic of the Philippines, to address the General Assembly on its consideration of the report (A/62/4) of the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

My delegation commends Judge Rosalyn Higgins, President of the International Court of Justice, for her dedicated stewardship of the World Court and for the comprehensive report she has just presented.

The growing number of treaties negotiated between and among States underlines the heightened need to regulate the complex web of international relations in our increasingly interdependent world. With that end in mind, in 2000 world leaders adopted the Millennium Declaration, in which, among other things, they resolved to “strengthen respect for the rule of law in international as in national affairs and to ensure compliance with the decisions of the International Court of Justice.”

My delegation notes with profound appreciation the efforts made by the World Court to make its decisions more transparent and widely accessible to the public through the effective use of the World Wide Web. We cannot overemphasize the value of having those decisions more widely known in strengthening the foundations for the effective implementation of the rule of law.

New and emerging subjects of specialization in international law demand thorough consideration in order to ensure that rights are not encumbered and that obligations are respected.

The report of President Higgins highlights the diversity of issues brought before the world Court. It underscores the evolution of the body of rights, privileges and obligations and reflects the modern-day intricacies of international law. [?]

The Philippines notes the structural flexibility of the world Court, demonstrated by its resort to chambers in considering specialized cases. We support the idea that such a mechanism may be useful in settling disputes involving specialized issues. For example, the Chamber for Environmental Matters is available for resolving issues involving environment-related disputes.

The Philippines reaffirms its support for the work of the International Court of Justice and the invaluable role it plays in promoting an international legal order founded on the primacy of the rule of law and the peaceful settlement of disputes. We subscribe to the premise that the application of the rule of law is ultimately enforced through the assumption of States of their duties and obligations with regard to treaties negotiated between and among them and their application of the doctrines of sovereign equality, democratic principles and generally accepted norms of international law in their relations with each another. The role and importance of the world Court in guaranteeing the peaceful resolution of international disputes could not be made more obvious.

The increased workload of the International Court of Justice should be seen as a positive expression not of the inability of States to settle disputes peacefully but of the increasing trust and confidence on the legal supremacy of the world Court in ensuring respect of the rule of law and its universal jurisdiction.

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