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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08USUNNEWYORK793
2008-09-03 17:38:00
UNCLASSIFIED
USUN New York
Cable title:  

REQUEST FOR ICJ ADVISORY OPINION RE INDEPENDENCE

Tags:   ICTY  UNGA  ICJ 
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VZCZCXYZ0023
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0793/01 2471738
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 031738Z SEP 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4893
INFO RUEHBW/AMEMBASSY BELGRADE PRIORITY 0006
						UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000793 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ICTY UNGA ICJ
SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR ICJ ADVISORY OPINION RE INDEPENDENCE
OF KOSOVO

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000793

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ICTY UNGA ICJ
SUBJECT: REQUEST FOR ICJ ADVISORY OPINION RE INDEPENDENCE
OF KOSOVO


1. The Serbian Mission, August 15, submitted a request for a
new item on the agenda of the 63rd General Assembly in order
to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of
Justice concerning the unilateral declaration of independence
of Kosovo. The letter, and an explanatory memo, have now
been circulated as an official UN document (para 2). The
request will be considered by the UNGA's General Committee in
mid-September. The General Committee reports to the General
Assembly which must decide whether to confirm the Committee's
action on this issue. If the item is inscribed on the agenda
and allocated (as requested) directly to the Plenary of the
GA, a date will be scheduled for debate and a decision on the
request.


2. Begin Text:

REQUEST FOR THE INCLUSION OF A SUPPLEMENTARY ITEM IN THE
AGENDA OF THE 63rd SESSION

REQUEST FOR AN ADVISORY OPINION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT OF
JUSTICE ON WHETHER THE UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
OF KOSOVO IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL LAW.

15 August 2008

In accordance with rule 14 of the rules of procedure of
the General Assembly, I have the honour to request the
inclusion in the agenda of the sixty-third session of the
General Assembly, under heading F, "Promotion of justice and
international law", of a supplementary item entitled "Request
for an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice
on whether the unilateral declaration of independence of
Kosovo is in accordance with international law", with
subsequent consideration of the item directly at a plenary
meeting of the General Assembly.

In accordance with rule 20 of the rules of procedure of
the General Assembly, an explanatory memorandum is herewith
attached (see enclosure).

I should be grateful if you would have the text of the
present letter and its enclosure circulated as a document of
the General Assembly. (Signed) Vuk Jeremic

Explanatory memorandum

The Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of
Kosovo, a province of the Republic of Serbia under United
Nations administration, pursuant to United Nations Security
Council resolution 1244 (1999), unilaterally declared
independence on 17 February 2008.

Although an overwhelming majority of Member States have
not recognized Kosovo's independence, this act has caused a
number of controversies and divisions within the
international community.

The Republic of Serbia has continuously striven to
achieve a consensual solution to the Kosovo issue through
negotiations within the framework of the United Nations.

We hold that the most principled, sensible way to
overcome the potentially destabilizing consequences of
Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence is to
transfer the issue from the political to the juridical arena.
Aside from reducing the diplomatic tensions that have arisen
since the unilateral declaration of independence, such an
approach would contribute to strengthening the rule of law in
international relations. With this in mind, Serbia considers
that the United Nations General Assembly, in view of the
powers and functions conferred on it by the Charter of the
United Nations, in particular by Articles 10, 13 and 96, has
a crucial role to play in this regard.

The Republic of Serbia believes that an advisory
opinion of the principal judicial organ of the United
Nations-the International Court of Justice-would be
particularly appropriate in the specific case of determining
whether Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence is in
accordance with international law.

The international community considers the Court's
impartial advisory opinions to be the most authoritative
interpretations of the principles of the international legal
order. Member States share a deep commitment to the
safeguarding of these principles, yet some are uncertain as
to which arguments involving these principles they can rely
on in this particular case.

Many member States would benefit from the legal
guidance an advisory opinion of the International Court of
Justice would confer. It would enable them to make a more


thorough judgment on the issue.

Finally, an advisory opinion of the International Court
of Justice, rendered in a non-contestable, non-adversarial
manner, would go a long way towards calming tensions created
by Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, avoiding
further negative developments in the region and beyond and
facilitating efforts at reconciliation among all parties
involved.

By having recourse to the International Court of
Justice, the General Assembly would ensure that the Kosovo
issue becomes a symbol of renewed resolve concerning
adherence to the rule of law by the international community.
End text.
Khalilzad