The United Nations Security Council met on June 29, 2010, to debate the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law. From 11am until just after 5:30pm the fifteen member countries of the Security Council, along with nineteen other country representatives that requested to participate in the debate, discussed the forward progression of the rule of law. Following opening remarks by the President of the Security Council, the Deputy Secretary-General, and Under-Secretary-General, each member of the Security Council shared remarks. Following a lunch break representatives from all the countries that requested to participate in the debate as well as a representative from the European Union spoke too. For a full record of the debate click here for part one and part two.
In closing the debate, the President of the Security Council made a statement on behalf of the Council. In the statement he reaffirmed the Security Council’s commitment to the UN Charter and an international order based on the rule of law. He encouraged countries to settle their disputes using UN Charter Chapter VI peaceful means of resolution and to utilize regional and international courts and tribunals for disputes. In the statement, the Security Council acknowledged the important role of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in mediation and the important role international humanitarian law has in rule of law in conflict situations, recalling Security Council resolution 1894 (2009).
The Security Council also asked those parties involved in armed conflict to remember international laws established to protect women and children, displaced persons, humanitarian workers and other civilians not party to the conflict. Of course the Security Council also condemned impunity from the law especially concerning war crimes, genocide, crimes against humanity, or other serious violations of humanitarian law. It noted that the International Criminal Court and ad hoc tribunals have been crucial to promoting the rule of law. The statement also emphasized the importance of better targeted sanctions and the establishment of the Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group.
Within the next year, the Secretary-General will respond to this statement and provide a follow-up report of the progress and implementation of the recommendations in the 2004 Report of the Secretary-General.
Current members of the Security Council:
Mexico (President), Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, China, France, Gabon, Japan, Lebanon, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and United States of America.
Countries that requested to participate in the debate:
Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Australia, Botswana, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Guatemala, Italy, Liechtenstein, Norway, Peru, the Republic of Korea, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Switzerland.