75 UNGA: Statement by the delegation of the Republic of Cuba in the debate under item 74: "Report of the International Court of Justice". New York, November 2, 2020

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba endorses the statement made by the Republic of Azerbaijan, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, and in its national capacity deliverss the following statement.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba reiterates its commitment to the strict enforcement of international law and to the peaceful settlement of international disputes. While recognizing the work of the Court since its inception, we consider that its decisions and advisory opinions have been of special significance, not only for the cases submitted to its consideration, but also for the development of International Public Law. In this connection, the Republic of Cuba appreciates the submission of the Report of the International Court of Justice A/75/4, which covers the period from August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020.

Mr. Chairman,

The amount of cases brought before this forum, many of which are from the Latin American and Caribbean region, demonstrates the importance that the international community attaches to the peaceful settlement of disputes.

Cuba welcomes the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with Article 33.1 of the United Nations Charter and has declared the voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the Court.

Cuba regrets the existence of Court judgments without enforcement, in clear violation of Article 94 of the United Nations Charter, which establishes that each member of the United Nations undertakes to comply with the decision of the International Court of Justice in any litigation to which it is a party.

In this regard, we note with concern that the effectiveness and enforceability of the Court's judgments are diminished because some countries are unaware of judgments that are unfavorable to them.

The refusal of these countries to comply with the judgments pronounced and the hindrance of the mechanisms available to the United Nations to enforce the judgments, by using the privilege of the right of veto at the Security Council, shows the imperfection of the Court's mechanisms to enforce its decisions.

Cuba considers it useful for the Court to present a critical balance sheet in which its relationship with the bodies of the United Nations and especially with the Security Council is examined.    

Such situation shows the need to reform the United Nations system, in order to grant greater assurances to developing countries with regard to powerful nations, which also extends to the International Court of Justice.

Mr. Chairman,

All the work of the International Court of Justice plays a paramount role in strengthening the rule of law at the international level. Through its judgments and advisory opinions, the Court contributes to the clarification of international law.

Cuba wish to thank the Court for the publications made available to member States and for the online resources, which constitute valuable materials for the dissemination and study of Public International Law, primarily for developing countries, some of which are often deprived of information related to the progress of international law.

In the particular case of Cuba, due to the obsolete and absurd policy of economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America, despite the overwhelming rejection of the international community.

We reiterate once again that the Republic of Cuba has been a country with a vocation for peace and respect for international law and has always faithfully complied with its international obligations arising from the international treaties to which it is a party.

Mr. Chairman,

Many relevant cases have been dealt with by the International Court of Justice.

In this regard, Cuba attaches great importance to the advisory opinion issued unanimously on July 8, 1996 on the "legality of the threat or use of nuclear weapons.

Likewise, Cuba urges full respect for the advisory opinion of July 9 2004 on the topic: "Legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territory", and calls on all States to respect and ensure respect for the provisions of the Court on this important matter.

Finally, Cuba draws attention to the current relevance of the compliance with the advisory opinion issued by the Court on April 26, 1988 on the Applicability of the Obligation to Arbitrate under Section 21 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement, signed in 1947, in which the Court concludes that the United States as a party to the above-mentioned Headquarters Agreement of the Organization, is under an obligation, in accordance with section 21 of that Agreement to enter into arbitration for the settlement of disputes between itself and the United Nations, and recalls the central principle that international law prevails over domestic law.

Mr. Chairman,

Cuba also attaches great importance to the allocation of the necessary budgetary resources so that the International Court of Justice can adequately carry out its work in order to attain the solution through peaceful means, to the conflicts under its jurisdiction. Cuba calls for working towards ensuring that these resources reach the Court in a timely and appropriate manner.

In concluding, our delegation would like to underscore that the events that have taken place in recent years show in a convincing manner the significance of the International Court of Justice as an international jurisdictional body that settles, in accordance with international law, in a peaceful manner and in good faith, the disputes that have the greatest impact on the international community.

Thank you very much.