First of all allow me to congratulate you on assuming the Presidency of the Sixty- Seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly. I assure you of full cooperation of the Indian delegation in the conduct of the session.
We recall the wisdom of world leaders who, in the 2005 World Summit, recognized the need for universal adherence to and implementation of the rule of law at the national and international levels, following which, this topic remains on the agenda of the Sixth Committee (Legal) of the General Assembly since 2006.
The General Assembly decided, in resolution A/66/102 of 9 December 2011, to convene a High-Level Meeting on “The Rule of Law at the National and International Levels” on today the 24th of September 2012, and accordingly, we avail this opportunity to express views on this important subject.
We thank the Co-facilitators, Ambassador Luis Alfonso de Alba of Mexico and Ambassador Carsten Staur of Denmark for their efforts in the process of preparing the outcome document of the High-Level Meeting. We congratulate the Co-facilitators, member States, and other stakeholders, whose active involvement in negotiations led to the finalization of the outcome document. It reaffirms commitment of the international community towards the rule of law and adhering for that purpose to the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.
The document takes stock of the contemporary political, social and economic conditions and stresses upon the implementation of the rule of law related principles in order to achieve the objective of the maintenance of international peace and security, peaceful co-existence and development. The document stresses the importance of continuing efforts to reform the Security Council. We consider it essential to reform the Security Council at the earliest possible in order to make it broadly representative, efficient and transparent.
We thank the Secretary-General for his report (A/66/749) of 16 March 2012, prepared to help Member States in preparation for this high-level meeting. We also recognize the continued work of the Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group and the Rule of Law Unit in this endeavor.
We believe that the rule of law is essential for and central to all. We consider that the law making activity at the national level is exclusively the domain of the national legislature. The States, while enacting their laws, owe the responsibility to focus on the protection and welfare of their population and the economic, social and cultural conditions. India believes that advancement of the rule of law at the national level is an essential tool for the protection of democracy, economic growth, sustainable development, ensuring gender justice, eradication of poverty and hunger and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
We strongly believe in the peaceful handling of any conflict situation in accordance with the applicable legal principles by avoiding any unauthorized intervention in a State’s internal affairs.
We strongly condemn the acts of terrorism wherever, whenever and by whomever committed, which pose a great threat to international peace and security. We stress for collective action in fight against terrorism. We consider it important for the member states to effectively implement the international legal instruments to which they are a party.
Peaceful settlement of disputes is the key factor in the maintenance of international peace and security and in the promotion of the rule of law. In this regard, we recognize the role of the International court of Justice and other international tribunals. The theme of the general-debate of the current session i.e., the “adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means” becomes more appropriate in the wake of the high-level meeting on the rule of law. We also recognize the role of the International Law Commission, as the highest body, in the progressive development of international law and its codification.
Finally, India reiterates the call for strengthening the capacity of States, especially the developing and the least developed States, in order to enable them to carry out the rule of law related activities and to fulfill their obligations. The rule of law assistance needs to be in line with national priorities of the recipient countries in order to ensure proper utilization and the benefit thereof.
I thank you, Mr. President.