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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs