‘Rule of Law’ crucial to maintain sovereign choices: Ambassador Mitch Fifield

Australia expresses gratitude to Japan, and in particular to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, for organizing this crucial discussion. The foundation of the global rules-based system is the rule of law. It offers a crucial basis for a safe and secure world in which all people and nations can work together, engage in trade, and prosper. Where nations may thrive on the principles of justice, stability, and predictability,” said Mitch Fifield, Australia’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN.

And where small and medium-sized nations are allowed to keep their sovereign decisions, safeguarded by laws, he continued.

The UN Charter has fostered global stability and served as the cornerstone of international law for more than 75 years. Additionally, the International Court of Justice has been crucial in promoting the peaceful resolution of conflicts. However, there is a lot of pressure on the global judicial system.

International law, particularly the UN Charter, has been flagrantly violated by Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine. Russia has bent and abused core tenets of international law during the past year.

Including through its efforts to use the Genocide Convention to defend its war of aggression against Ukraine and to legitimize the so-called “referenda” in eastern and southern Ukraine by citing self-determination.

Australia has backed holding Russia accountable for its deeds through recognized legal channels, such as the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice.
And that’s why Australia keeps urging Russia to heed the International Court of Justice’s binding directive and withdraw its military soldiers from Ukraine right away.

We reiterate the resolution passed by the UN General Assembly on November 14, 2022, which acknowledged that Russia must make full amends for the harm it caused to Ukraine in accordance with international law of State responsibility.

Australia works to promote an open, secure, prosperous, and sovereign-respecting Indo-Pacific region where international law, rather than the balance of strength and size, governs disputes and where regional organisations like the Pacific Islands Forum and ASEAN are recognised for their authority and leadership.

Australia reiterates the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as the overarching legal framework that governs all activities that take place in oceans and seas.

It is the legal framework used to create all marine boundaries, safeguard our oceans, and uphold safety and security in the maritime realm.

We continue to believe that all maritime conflicts, including those in the South China Sea, should be settled amicably in accordance with international law, notably UNCLOS.
Australia wants to create solutions that advance our shared interests in the future—a society where the laws are clear, amicably negotiated, and consistently upheld.

In order to reinforce our commitment, I’m happy to announce that Australia will soon join the Group of Friends of the Rule of Law. I call on other nations to back this endeavor.

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