Remarks at a UN General Assembly Debate on a Report of the International Court of Justice

Richard Visek
Acting Legal Advisor of the Department of State
New York, New York
October 27, 2022


Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you, President Donoghue, for your informative report today and for your leadership as President of the Court.

We also would like to again express our condolences on the loss of Judge Antônio Augusto Cançado Trindade. Judge Trindade’s contributions and service to the International Court of Justice, and to international law more broadly, will be greatly missed.

During the reporting period, the International Court of Justice has addressed some of the most important questions in international law, ably managing a growing caseload even in the midst of a pandemic.

Looking to the Court’s future, it is thanks to the work of President Donoghue, the other judges of the Court and the Court’s staff, that the International Court of Justice continues to be rightly recognized as standing at the pinnacle of the international judicial system.

We are pleased to continue to recognize the Court’s contributions to the realization of the purposes and principles of the United Nations, in particular through the peaceful settlement of disputes. Those core principles are being especially tested in these times when the Russian Federation, a permanent member of the Security Council, is engaging in a war of aggression, in violation of another Member State’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence.

We note in this regard the case concerning Allegations of Genocide under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russia). The United States continues to call on the Russian Federation to comply with the Court’s March 16 order on provisional measures and suspend its military operations in and against Ukraine.

The Court has a vital role to play in the maintenance of international peace and security.

And again, we extend our appreciation to the Court and its staff for their service to the international community, promotion of the rule of law, and for continually stressing the need for all States to act in conformity with their obligations under international law, whether in times of peace or war.

We conclude by noting that there have only been five female judges elected to the International Court of Justice in the Court’s history. We hope that all UN Member States will work to address this disparity going forward.

Thank you, Mr. President.