News

Serbia Requests ICJ Opinion on Legality of Kosovo Independence

Multimedia

Audio

Serbia is seeking the International Court of Justice's (ICJ) opinion on the legality of Kosovo's independence and says it will abide by its decision. Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence from Serbia in February, but Belgrade has refused to recognize its sovereignty. From United Nation's headquarters in New York, VOA's Margaret Besheer has more.

Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said Friday that he has formally asked the U.N. General Assembly to support his government's request to ask the International Court of Justice to issue an advisory opinion on the legality of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence.

"Today I submitted this demand," he said. "The General Assembly is going to consider it this coming autumn. I hope that the majority of member states of the U.N. will support Serbia's request."

Serbia must go through the U.N. General Assembly, because only organs of the U.N. can ask the court for advisory opinions.

A simple majority of the General Assembly's 192 member states is required to approve the request for the court's opinion. The General Assembly would then make the request, not Serbia.

Jeremic said Serbia strongly believes Kosovo's declaration violated numerous international laws and mechanisms.
"Serbia has asked for the advisory opinion of the ICJ, because Serbia strongly believes international law was violated, that the Security Council Resolution 1244 was violated, that the U.N. Charter was violated, that the Helsinki Final Act was violated by Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence," he said.

The ICJ, which is based at The Hague, is the principle judicial organ of the United Nations. It settles legal disputes between states and gives advisory opinions on legal matters. Its judgments are legally binding, but its advisory opinions - what Serbia has asked for - are not.

However, Jeremic said his country would respect the court's decision.

"Since we are the party that is seeking the ICJ's opinion, we are saying we believe in the ICJ," he said. "We believe in international institutions. We are going to respect the ruling of international institutions."

If the court says Kosovo violated international law, it will strengthen Serbia's assertion that Kosovo's move to independence was illegal.

Serbia and its ally Russia, have not recognized Kosovo's independence. The United States and more than 40 other countries have. While independent, Kosovo is not yet a member of the United Nations.
 

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs