Remarks by Ambassador Ferit Hoxha, Permanent Representative of Albania to the UN, at the UN Security Council meeting on the Rule of Law

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January 12, 2023

Thank you, Mr. President, for convening this meeting on such an important topic and we welcome you in the chair.

I thank the Secretary General, the President of ICJ Judge Donoghue and Professor Akande for their valuable insights.

As of late, hardly any other subject would be timelier and worthier of our time here in the Council.

Mr. President,

Strengthening the rule of law, at national and international levels, remains a key goal of the world community to ensure peace and security.

Member States confirm it every September at the UNGA but also in other high-level meetings including here at the Security Council.

As we all know, developing an international order based upon the international rule of law is also a core objective of the UN Charter and rightly considered as the centrepiece of the modern international order.

The Rule of Law is not just a wish or one of those political commitments. It has continuously been codified in countless important and binding documents, including Security Council Resolutions. Our security and our prosperity depend on having and upholding agreed rules.

The last 7 decencies show that this is a deliberate and rational choice, guided by right rather than might, to live by the rule of law, and to not rule by force. We have decided to live by common rules because they have been adopted and agreed upon, by all and for all.

That is the basic, the unquestionable premise of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, and the independence of all States, without exception.

Mr. President,

All states, especially those who seek greater responsibility in world affairs, have a direct interest in the observance of the rule of law. It goes without saying that this also applies to permanent members of the Council who enjoy such a unique privilege which comes together with a special responsibility to demonstrate due diligence.

This is why the unprovoked Russian aggression against Ukraine is a flagrant aberration that embodies a complete repudiation of our common rules and the necessity to live by them.

Because it represents what we altogether have committed to leave behind, as a lesson learned from past mistakes which cannot be served as a cold meal in the menu of an imperial appetite, in the 21st Century. That is why, this aggression has been universally denounced and rejected.

We must continue to stand up collectively to abuses because it is our duty to cooperate and act in concert to safeguard international peace and security through multilateralism, instead of giving up to the fait accompli, to annexation of territory by force, to blatant crimes.

By tolerating transgressional behaviours, we run the risk of having them become guidelines for others to follow; we run the risk of empowering strongmen to overthrow the constitutional order, violate international law, threaten global peace, and deny elementary rights to their own citizens.

Persistent and flagrant violators of our common rules must not be condoned; they must be condemned.

Mr. President,

The rules of law and development are strongly interrelated and mutually reinforcing.

The rule of law supports growth and sustainability through rules and regulations, institutions that are citizen-centred and citizen-driven, that protect and enforce environmental rights. The rule of law promotes economic growth and sustainability; it contributes to a more inclusive and equitable development and by doing so helps fight poverty and inequality, by promoting social advancement.

Equally, when the rule of law is infringed upon; when rights and equality are not ensured for all, when laws discriminate against women and deprive them of their contribution, when corruption, bribery and segregation distort access to basic services, when the law is selectively enforced, when poor people are evicted from their land without the possibility of redress – that is when poverty deepens, inequality thrives and when conflicts erupt.

This is exactly why the rule of law is not an option: it is a must.

Mr. President,

By providing the certainty and predictability, the Rule of law ensures justice.

By upholding universal principles, the rule of law is key to promoting and protecting human rights in order to bridge the gap between human rights aspirations and human rights realities.

Human rights and security are intimately linked. Rights that are not properly observed remain mere words, worthless paper. While we strive to strengthen the existing normative framework, we must work hard and do everything in our power to ensure effective implementation of the law and accountability for serious breaches of international law, especially regarding war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Renewed resolve, continued commitment and concerted cooperation are all necessary for us to fight impunity with all our might, to restore faith in our solemn commitment to upholding the UN Charter and the international law and build a world where nations meet in peace and are not confronted with conflict and war.

I thank you.

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