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Security Council High Level Debate on Upholding the United Nations Charter

Monday, 13 January 2020

Statement by

H. E. Mr. Mohamed Siad Doualeh

Ambassador, Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Djibouti

 to the United Nations

Before the Security Council


Maintenance of international peace and security:

Upholding the UN Charter

Monday, 13 January 2020


Monsieur le Président,


De prime abord, Djibouti souhaite exprimer sa profonde gratitude à la distinguée du Viet Nam pour organiser ce débat ouvert sur une question d’importance critique pour le maintien de la paix et de la sécurité internationale.  Nous condamnons l’attaque terroriste d’une violence inouïe qui a causé la mort brutale de 89 soldats au Niger.


L’intensification du terrorisme et de la violence extrémiste ainsi que  les pertes innombrables en vies humaines qu’ils occasionnent est une source de préoccupation vive pour le continent africain.  Nous devons nous doter d’outils adéquats et développer une approche compréhensive afin de mettre hors d’état de nuire les auteurs de tels actes visant à répandre la terreur et à semer la mort.

Djibouti réitère ses félicitations aux nouveaux membres du Conseil de Sécurité et leur exprime ses vœux de succès.

Mr. President,

The 75th Anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Charter provides an opportune occasion to assess the effectiveness of the system of international law and international relations that the Charter put into place and to consider ways to further strengthen this vital institution which has done as much for ensuring international peace and security and for fostering economic and social development.  Reviewing Charter’s preamble, as well as its purposes and principles that are set out in Articles 1 and 2, one cannot help but be struck by how the concerns that motivated the Charter’s adoption remain salient today, over seven decades later.  In fact, many of the most urgent challenges currently facing the international community by their very nature can only be effectively addressed through the approach of collective action that is at the foundation of the UN system.

As we evaluate the United Nations capacity for meeting these global challenges, one is heartened by the central role that the United Nations has already played in advancing the courses of peace, development and self-determination.  Indeed, many of the most effective roles of resolving disputes are expressly contemplated by Article 33 of the Charter, which obligates parties to a dispute that is likely to endanger international peace and security to seek its solution by, among other means, negotiation, mediation, arbitration and judicial settlement.  Much of the international infrastructure for resolving such disputes is already in place.  For instance, the Charter’s creation of the International Court of Justice as the United Nation’s principal judicial organ provides for a permanent court to resolve legal disputes between states.  It is encouraging to see how frequently States have invoked its jurisdiction in recent years not just to resolve disputes concerning international boundaries, which have become increasingly important to address, particularly as the extension of maritime rights to 200 nautical miles or beyond can give rise to disputes over access to ocean-based resources, but those concerning such varied but important matters as transboundary pollution and human rights.  States should be encouraged to make as Djibouti has done – declarations under Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the ICJ, accepting the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction.  Where a state fails to comply with a judgement of the Court, the Security Council must not hesitate to act under Article 94 of the Charter to decide upon measures to give the judgement effect.

Mr. President,

When the Charter was adopted, most of the world’s peoples were subjected to colonial domination.  Africa particularly so -- That is no longer the case.  Much of the credit rightfully belongs to the Organization of African Unity and the United Nations.  The Charter refers to the determination of the peoples of the United Nations to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind”.  It is a matter of deep regret that the world has often failed to meet this objective.

Therefore, there is an urgent need to adapt the tools of the UN to current realities and emerging transnational threats --- We also need to collectively reflect on the decision making process in the Security Council – Continued divisions and conflicts of interpretation of the UN Charter has undermined its ability to respond effectively and decisively to emerging crises.  Djibouti joined the two initiatives that have been developed in response to the use of veto in mass atrocity situations:  the France/Mexico initiative on veto restraint and the ACT Code of Conduct. 

The United Nations system thus offers tools for addressing many of the world’s vexing problems – but to be effective, they must be utilized, which in turn requires a greater level of awareness of their availability and the possibilities they hold.  Djibouti urges the UN to engage in a concerted effort to provide these mechanisms through enhanced training and capacity building.

Mr. President,

Under the rules of the African Union, it is undisputable that Djibouti should be the sole African Group’s candidate for a seat at the UNSC for the period 2021-2022 at the elections to be held in June 2020.  If elected, Djibouti will tirelessly continue to uphold and promote the rules of the UN Charter.  Together, let us recommit to strengthening the rules-based international order.  Together, let us open the new decade, from 2020 to 2029, as the decade of the Rule of Law!

                                                                                               Thank you for your attention