UN General Assembly Gets Underway

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News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Sept. 24, 2012: World leaders today called on all states to recommit to the rule of law as a fundamental factor in preventing war at a United Nations summit that stressed the universality of humanitarian law and the importance of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

“We reaffirm that human rights, the rule of law and democracy are interlinked and mutually reinforcing and that they belong to the universal and indivisible core values and principles of the United Nations,” stated the Outcome Document, adopted at Monday’s High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Rule of Law.

Heads of State and Government and ministers from nearly 80 nations are attending the meeting, which aims to highlight the essential link between the rule of law at the national and international levels and economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger.
“The wider body of international law developed at the United Nations gives the international community a basis to cooperate and peacefully resolve conflicts – and the means to ensure that there is no relapse of fighting,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared at the start of the meeting, held the day before the start of the 67th General Assembly’s General Debate session.

The UN chief called on Member States to commit to the equal application of the law at both the national and international levels without selectivity, uphold the highest standards of the rule of law in their decision-making, and accept the jurisdiction of the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal UN judicial organ set up in 1945 to settle legal disputes submitted by States.

States should also strengthen UN initiatives in the rule of law by training police and enhancing the judiciary in fragile and conflict-torn countries around the world, he said.

President Barack Obama will address the General Assembly on Tuesday, Sept. 25th.

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