Participation of Ambassador Dr. Hussein Hassouna, member of ECFA Board, in the United Nations International Law Commission’s last session for 2022
On September 25, 2022, Ambassador Dr. Hussein Hassouna, member of ECFA Board of Directors, and Egypt’s representative in the United Nations International Law Commission, participated in the last session of the Commission for 2022, during which he announced Egypt’s invitation to all members of the Commission to participate in the Climate Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh COP27 in November 2022, to contribute to reaching effective measures to address the effects of climate change, explaining that sea level rise and all legal aspects related to climate change will be presented before this important conference.
Ambassador Hassouna said that, in its last session, the Commission made significant achievements in the field of developing and codifying international law, as it reached the formulation of legal rules on important and contemporary international issues in preparation for submitting them to the United Nations General Assembly for approval, revealing that Egypt contributed with its vision in crystallizing those rules in line with the interests and aspirations of developing countries for establishing an international order based on the rule of law and international justice. He added that the Commission focused, during that session, on issues related to sea level rise as a result of climate change, as well as international cooperation in combating epidemics and protecting the environment in armed conflicts, peremptory globally-binding norms, immunity of state officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction, and international inheritance in terms of international responsibility.
He referred to the Commission’s assertion that sea level rise as a result of climate change, from the perspective of international law, is a global phenomenon that poses serious threats to all countries, and that the threat with regard to low-lying nations and small Island developing states is an existential threat, pointing to the Commission’s reliance on scientific evidence that the Sea level rise is a fact that has already been proven by science and has huge implications for a large number of countries.
He added that the Commission had proposed drafting a framework convention on issues related to sea level rise, which could be used as a foundation for further negotiations within the United Nations system along the lines of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification. With regard to the separation wall built by Israel, he noted that the Commission mentioned during its meetings the decisions of the International Court of Justice that refer to peremptory norms that Israel must adhere to, in addition to the fact that the construction of this separation wall in the occupied Palestinian territories is a violation of those rules, stressing the obligation to cooperate in order to put an end to violations and respect the Palestinian right to self-determination under the rules of international humanitarian law.
Moreover, Ambassador Hassouna indicated that the Commission also held a meeting with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on the issue of developing international humanitarian law to meet the challenges facing its application in contemporary international conflicts, in addition to organizing a training course for jurists belonging to thirty countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, with the aim of educating and qualifying them in the field of international law due to the importance of its application in international relations.
Ambassador Hassouna also proposed the idea of establishing an Arab association for international law, alike other regions such as the African Society of International Law and the European Society. The idea was met with approval by members of the International Law Commission from Arab countries, as well as by the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.