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Int’l Law Enshrines Sovereign Equality of States, Broader Consensus Key: Ambassador Tesfaye

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March 21/2022 /ENA/ Modern international law enshrines the sovereign equality of all states as its rules are and should always be built on the basis of a broader consensus, Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union Ambassador Tesfaye Yilma said.

Addressing the Twentieth Ordinary Session of the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL) which will be held from 21 March 2022 – 01 April 2022, Ambassador Tesfaye said modern international law and its rules should always be built on the basis of a broader consensus.

“Modern international law enshrines the sovereign equality of all states and consequently its rules are and should always be built on the basis of a broader consensus, reflecting the principal legal systems and cultures of the world,” he said.

In Africa, until the establishment of the African Union in 2002, the ‘African part’ of international law has been mostly engaged with restoring full sovereignty and territorial integrity of African states, which had been mutilated by colonialism without any regard to international law, Ambassador Tesfaye elaborated.

Even today, he added African States sometimes became sensitive towards foreign influence due to the nightmare experience of colonialism.

In Africa, in the past 60 years, the OAU and AU have adopted many legal instruments that take into consideration the aspiration of African nations and realization of the integration agenda through the Pan-African ideals of shared values, the ambassador noted.

To mention just one example among many, he said the OAU Refugee Convention not only provides the inspiration for a different regional instrument, but it also guided the operations of other relevant UN agencies in Africa.

The list of normative developments of African regional legal instruments and their contribution to international law is enormous.

Although the gap between law and practice or between legal and practical protection is often wide, he stated Africa has managed to develop consensus on various issues through the adopted regional instruments. These instruments have made a positive contribution to international law.

He noted that the African Union Commission on International Law as an advisory organ of the AU can play a significant role in developing new norms of international law.

Hence, he further stressed “I would like to conclude my remarks by stating international law is still a fundamental component of the international order. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that it remains so.”



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