Friday, May 22, 2009

International Court of Justice (ICJ) debate on Kosovo

May 15 2009

Venezuela just became the 37th country on Saturday to formally join the International Court of Justice (ICJ) debate on Kosovo. Like most Latin American countries, Venezuela has not recognized Kosovo. As Serbia’s news source B92 reports, the court say that the judges decided to accept Venezuela's opinion, even though the deadline for submitting the written statements had expired. Although the content of the statements remains confidential, based on the publicly expressed position of the participating states, most likely 22 countries will support the proclamation of independence, while 15 will stand against it.
So far the most extensive arguments against the secession were given by Serbia, Argentina, Spain, Russia, and Cyprus. They call on international law and say it does not allow for Kosovo to secede, while Cyprus adds a list of Europe's regions that, should the court decide to support ethnic Albanians' proclamation, can be expected to follow suit and announce similar separatist moves. Moscow further adds that not a single condition had been met to treat Kosovo as a "unique case".
The most serious arguments in favor of Kosovo's independence came from the United States and Britain, and the Kosovo Albanian government in Priština, represented by Britain's Michael Wood. The court also invited UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to send his statement. His statement consisting of three parts in which he reminds of the process that led to the ICJ case, explains the establishment of the UN mission in Kosovo, and writes about provisions of international law relevant to the case, without expressing his position in favor or against the Kosovo's independence. Those countries taking part in the debate have until July 17 2009 to comment on other countries' statements, once again, in written form.

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