Vienna, 29 June 2010 – „During conflict and war situations, the rights of the people are grossly violated – with fatal consequences, especially for civilians. When the international humanitarian law is ignored by conflict parties and civilians become unprotected game, when war criminals go unpunished, thus rendering lasting conciliation impossible, when there is no independent and fair jurisdiction, it then becomes clear how decisive compliance with the law is in order to ensure security and stability for the people“, said Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger in reference to today’s UN Security Council debate on the rule of law in New York.
„Especially because we cannot stress often enough the importance of the rule of law, Austria has been engaged in this area for years, assuming an internationally recognized, pioneering role. This was also acknowledged during today’s discussion in the Security Council“, Spindelegger continued.
Today, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a declaration on the rule of law, which Austria significantly contributed to drafting in close cooperation with Mexico, the country currently chairing the Council. „The protection of civilians, the fight against impunity, the importance of the International Criminal Court, and the improvement of legal protection when drawing up the UN terror list - all these Austrian proposals for strengthening the rule of law were included in the declaration“, stressed the Foreign Minister.
In preparation for its membership in the UN Security Council, Austria had since 2004 organized a series of panel events on the „UN Security Council and the Rule of Law“, and had drafted a report containing specific proposals . Appointing Austria to the chair of the Al-Qaeda/Taliban Committee was a sign of confidence in Austrian expertise in this area. An important success was achieved in this committee in December 2009 with the adoption of resolution 1904, which decisively improved the procedure for the listing of Al-Qaeda/Taliban suspects and appointed an ombudsperson for the first time. Moreover, Austria holds the chair in the UN Security Council working group on International Criminal Tribunals. As the chair of this working group, Austria will introduce two Security Council resolutions on extending the mandate of judges for the UN Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda.
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You can download the full report at: http://www.bmeia.gv.at/fileadmin/user_upload/bmeia/media/Vertretungsbehoerden/OV_New_York/FINAL_Report_-_The_UN_Security_Council_and_the_Rule_of_Law.pdf