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Statement by Gert Auväärt, Legal Advisor of the Permanent Mission of Estonia to the United Nations at the 68th Session of the General Assembly under the agenda item 85: “The rule of law at the national and international level”

09.10.2013

Estonia aligns itself with the statement delivered earlier by the EU.

 

In addition I would like to make the following remarks:

 

Estonia welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 29 July 2013 on Strengthening and coordinating UN rule of law activities.  The report illustrates the progress towards unity and agreement on fundamental values.

 

We welcome that the report also reflects the important role of the International Criminal Court and emphasizes the necessity to cooperate with the Court.  Estonia calls upon all countries that have not yet done so to join the Rome Statute system and we likewise urge States Parties to join in the ratification of the Kampala amendments. Just a year ago, Estonia pledged to pursue ratification of the amendments by the end of 2013. I am glad to note that Estonia has lived up to this promise and 6 months ago the letter of ratification was submitted. Universality of international laws and adherence by all to the same principles are essential to improving the world in which we live. In this regard, countries must set an example of non-aggression, self-restraint, and respect for the rule of law.

 

We commend the continuing cooperation of the United Nations with the ICC, particularly in the provision of logistical support for field operations and submission of documents to the Prosecutor and defence counsel. Nevertheless, we should continue to improve this relationship to enhance the legitimacy and success of the Court. In this regard, States Parties and those that call upon referrals should ensure that adequate support and follow up is consistently provided to the ICC.

 

However States must also acknowledge that it is first and foremost their responsibility to develop national capacities to investigate and prosecute serious international crimes. States should cooperate in designing development programmes that focus on justice for these crimes. Justice is necessary for sustainable development and security in any post-conflict society. Impunity provides fertile ground for the recurrence of conflicts and breeds instability. Consistent prosecution, either domestically or internationally, is the most effective tool to combat international crimes.

 

In this regard, Estonia welcomes the report “A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies through Sustainable Development ” issued in May by the High Level Panel on the Post-2015. The report recognized that responsive institutions promoting the rule of law and access to justice are necessary for transformative shifts enabling development and to “build peace and effective, open and accountable institutions for all.” Estonia is of the opinion that the post-2015 development framework should address justice, equality and equity, good governance, democracy and we believe that the rule of law must be emphasized in the future sustainable development agenda.

 

The rule of law is a core principle of governance that ensures justice and fairness in which all persons including the State itself are accountable to laws that are equally enforced and independently adjudicated.  Adherence to the rule of law at home makes it more probable that we also follow the principle in our interactions abroad. At the international level, the rule of law accords predictability and legitimacy to the actions of States forming a fundamental framework for the conduct of relations between us.

 

 

Thank you for your attention!

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