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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

UN General Assembly seeks ICJ ruling on Kosovo independence
Steve Czajkowski at 11:01 PM ET

[JURIST] The UN General Assembly [official website] voted [press release] Wednesday to ask the International Court of Justice (ICJ) [official website] for a non-binding advisory opinion on the legality of the unilaterally-proclaimed independence of Kosovo [JURIST news archive]. Seventy-seven member states voted for a resolution that was introduced by Serbia [JURIST report] last month, while six voted against and 74 abstained. The states voting against were the United States, Albania, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau. US representative Rosemary DiCarlo said the vote against was because the resolution will not enhance stability in the region, and the US is comfortable that its recognition of Kosovo as an independent country abides by international law. Currently some 50 UN member countries acknowledge Kosovo's independent status, including the US, Japan, and many EU nations. VOA has more. B92 has additional coverage.

Kosovo's constitution [text] went into effect this summer [JURIST report] despite Serbia's argument that the charter of the breakaway province is legally void. Serbia insists that Kosovo is in violation of the UN Charter and UN Security Council Resolution 1244 [PDF text], which reaffirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Serbian state. Earlier this month Serbian President Boris Tadic [official website] state that he has not ruled out partitioning parts of Kosovo [B92 report; JURIST report] should other options fail.

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