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Philippines supports UN move to request the International Court of Justice for advisory opinion on climate change

Friday, December 9, 2022 - 14:00


Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo delivers a statement supporting the initiative for the United Nations General Assembly to request an advisory opinion on climate change. (Photo Credit: New York PM)


UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, 9 December 2022 – The Philippines, represented by Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo, Permanent Representative to the United Nations, welcomed the initiative for the United Nations General Assembly to request an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the rights of present and future generations to be protected from the consequences of climate change.

Ambassador Lagdameo expressed support for the initiative and concurred that climate change is indeed an ‘unprecedented challenge of civilizational proportions’ that required united effort led by the United Nations.

“Before this body, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that the first challenge of our continued survival as a global community is climate change,” Ambassador Lagdameo said.

Quoting the President, Ambassador Lagdameo stressed that, “The effects of climate change are uneven and reflect an historical injustice: Those who are least responsible suffer the most. This injustice must be corrected, and those who need to do more must act now.”

“We therefore welcome this draft resolution which stems from the initiative of young people from our part of the world as a concrete act to advance climate justice,” Ambassador Lagdameo said.

A core group of states, led by Vanuatu, presented the draft resolution for the Court to render its opinion on the obligations of States under international law to ensure the protection of the climate system and other parts of the environment for present and future generations. It also asks the Court on the legal consequences for States which have caused significant harm to the climate system and the environment to small island developing states and other vulnerable states and to peoples and individuals affected by the adverse effects of climate change.

According to Ambassador Lagdameo, the request for an advisory opinion from the Court is consistent with the spirit of the Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes, which marks its 40th year of adoption this year.  

“This initiative is a recognition of the rule of law as a means to settle disputes amicably, achieve peace, advance a rules-based and equitable international order, foster cooperation amongst friendly, responsible, law-abiding and civilized nations,’ he said. 

Advisory proceedings before the Court are only open to five organs of the United Nations and 16 specialized agencies of the United Nations family or affiliated organizations. The United Nations General Assembly and Security Council may request advisory opinions on “any legal question”. Advisory opinions of the International Court of Justice are not binding, unlike the Court’s judgments. Nevertheless, the Court's advisory opinions are associated with its authority and prestige. END