MACEDONIA FILES LEGAL PRECEEDINGS AGAINST GREECE AT INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE
The Republic of Macedonia has filed legal proceedings at the International Court of Justice in The Hague against Greece. Macedonia has filed an Application with the Registrar of the Court to bring Greece into compliance with its legal obligations under the Interim Accord of 13 September 1995, which binds the two countries., the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday in a press release.
Article 11 of the 1995 Accord obliges Greece not to object to Macedonia's application to join NATO. At the NATO Summit held in Bucharest in April 2008, however, Greece objected to extending NATO membership invitation to Macedonia, thus flagrantly violating its obligations under the Interim Accord.
Antonio Milososki, Foreign Minister and Macedonia's representative before ICJ, says that protection of Macedonian rights under the Interim Agreement is the only reason for filing the Application.
- We have given a lot of thought before initiating this case, but we see no other way for justice to be done and our rights to be protected. We hope this action might encourage Greece to bring its actions into compliance with its international legal obligations, and that it might also encourage our two countries to reach a final settlement on outstanding issues in the spirit of good-neighbourliness and cooperation envisaged by the Interim Accord, Milososki said.
He expressed belief that ICJ would help in settling this legal dispute, considering its just and prompt actions.
- We are not asking the Court to deal with other political issues, so that the dispute over the name is not the subject of our Application. We also want to stress that we remain strongly committed to all aspects of the Interim Accord, in particular to the process of negotiations with Greece, mediated by the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General, Milososki said.
The Application requests the International Court of Justice to adjudge and declare that (Greece), through its State organs and agents, has violated its obligations under Article 11, paragraph 1 of the Interim Accord; to order that (Greece) immediately take all necessary steps to comply with its obligations under Article 11, paragraph 1 of the Interim Accord, and to cease and desist from objecting in any way, whether directly or indirectly, to (Macedonia's) NATO membership and/or any other 'international, multilateral and regional organizations and institutions' of which (Greece) is a member, in circumstances where (Macedonia) is to be referred to in such organizations or institutions by the designation provided for in paragraph 2 of United Nations Security Council Resolution 817 (1993).
ICJ is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations.Established in 1945 by the UN Charter, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice.
The Court's workload is characterised by a wide range of judicial activity. Its main functions are to settle legal disputes submitted to it by member states and to give advisory opinions on legal questions submitted to it by duly authorized international organs, agencies and the UN General Assembly.