2003 Statement


H.E. Mr. Yoshiyuki Motomura

Representative of Japan

On Agenda Item 13: Report of the International Court of Justice

31 October 2003

President of the General Assembly,
President of the International Court of Justice,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure and honour, on behalf of the Government of Japan, to address this eminent Assembly under the presidency of Mr. Julian Hunte. My delegation would like to thank President Shi Jiuyong for his in-depth report on the current situation of the International Court of Justice. The report gave us confidence that the new team of Judges, who began their work in February of this year, are addressing a variety of issues brought to the jurisdiction of the Court with considerable efficiency.

In the current state of international society, there is no question that the importance of the Court, with its long history, solid jurisprudence and the confidence states place in it, remains unchanged. Indeed, under the present circumstances, in which we continue to witness armed conflict and acts of terrorism, achieving the goal of establishing and maintaining the primacy of integrated international law is essential. The role of the Court, as the principal judicial organ of the United Nations, is crucial in this undertaking.

As a state which firmly believes in the rule of law and strongly upholds the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes, Japan appreciates the strenuous efforts and meticulous work of the Court. Japan fully supports the role of the Court in striving to make further contributions to strengthening the rule of law in international society and to resolving international crises.

It is important to note that there is an increasing number of cases appearing on the docket of the Court. The Court needs to make a concerted effort to establish a more efficient system of management, which would enable it to render a greater number of judgments without sacrificing the quality of its work. At the same time, the international community must consider the level of resources that must be made available to the Court so that it may fulfill its role as guardian of the rule of law. The Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), in its report on the budget for the biennium 2004-2005, proposed the conversion of five judicial clerkships from temporary to permanent status. My delegation believes that such a change will be a significant step towards the strengthening of the Court's capacity.

To conclude my statement, I would like to stress once again the willingness of Japan to contribute to the strengthening of the International Court of Justice, so that it will be well equipped for the invaluable role that it is to play in establishing the rule of law in international society for the 21st century.

Thank you.