General Assembly Security Council

UNSC Open Debate on ‘the promotion and strengthening of the rule of law in the maintenance of international peace and security: the Rule of Law among Nations’

[12 January 2023; 1000 hrs]

Statement by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj

Permanent Representative of India to the UN


Mr. President,

At the outset, let me warmly congratulate Japan for its Presidency of the Security Council this month and for this excellent initiative. I also thank the Secretary-General, the President of the ICJ and Prof. Dapo Akande for their remarks earlier today.

Mr. President,

  1. As we have agreed today, Rule of Law is the foundational edifice of modern nation States. This foundation is underpinned by the UN Charter, where the principle of the sovereign equality of States is the basis for our collective actions. In the face of interconnected challenges that we face today, the UN represents our collective recognition that only cooperative and effective multilateralism can ensure peace and stability. While we firmly believe in the principles of multilateralism and peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with principles of international law, this can succeed only if the interaction between States is based on rules that aspire for greater collective welfare.
  1. In our view, a rules based international order is one that is free from coercion and based on respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, transparency, and peaceful resolution of disputes. In this regard, allow me to make three points which we believe are critical to ensure and strengthen the rule of law in the conduct of international relations:
  • One, peaceful settlement of disputes is a key factor. Rule of Law necessitates that countries respect each others’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, as they would expect their own sovereignty to be respected. Since the pacta sunt servanda [“agreements must be kept”] is a binding norm of the rule of law, it requires that countries must respect agreements signed with others, bilateral or multilateral, and do not take unilateral measures to undermine or nullify those very arrangements.

  • Two, the application of rule of law at the international level should protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States from aggression, including terrorism, and including cross border terrorism. States that use cross-border terror to serve narrow political purposes must be held accountable. This is only feasible when all countries stand together against common threats such as terrorism and do not engage in double standards for political expediency.

  • Three, strengthening the rule of law would also necessitate reforming international institutions of global governance, including those charged with the responsibility of maintenance of international peace and security. Debates on strengthening rule of law while holding on to anachronistic structures that lack representative legitimacy would serve little purpose in our endeavour to strengthen the rule of law.

  • Mr. President,

    1. The purpose and relevance of multilateral organizations is increasingly being put to question. We have a collective responsibility and obligation to enhance the credibility and legitimacy of the international order. Let us strive to achieve this, before it is too late.

    I thank you.