Rule of Law Debate
Tomorrow (19 January) the Council will have an open debate on strengthening the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security. The Secretary-General will present his latest report (S/2011/634) on rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict situations, which was published in October 2011. The report focuses on transitional justice and provides an overview of ways in which the Council has approached this issue in the past. Wide participation is expected from the member states at large.
At press time Council members were still negotiating a draft presidential statement, drafted by South Africa. It seems that the main area of contention at this point revolves around language related to the section in the draft presidential statement on the International Criminal Court (ICC). Apparently some members are keen to tone down the ICC language while others prefer to keep, as a minimum, language used in the 2010 presidential statement (S/PRST/2010/11). However, the general sense appears to be that consensus will be reached by the end of today, allowing for the adoption of the presidential statement at tomorrow’s debate.
Overall, Council members are agreed that rule of law is relevant to the Council’s work and have been generally supportive of this open debate. There is also awareness that the Council should not be seen to be encroaching on the jurisdiction of other UN organs. Council members are conscious that the General Assembly will be paying attention to this issue in 2012 with a high-level event on the rule of law scheduled for the sidelines of the General Assembly in September. (A report to the General Assembly on the rule of law by the Secretary-General is expected in March 2012 in preparation for this event.)
For a more in-depth information on this issue please see Security Council Report’s 28 October Cross-Cutting Report on the Rule of Law.