Oman speaks about judicial independence, reform of United Nations
Oman-Regional, Politics, 10/3/2003
Following are excerpts from the Sultanate of Oman's address at the 58th regular session of the United Nations General Assembly given by Yousef bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs:
I would like to start my statement by casting some light on the actions of my country in the field of developing its important institutions, particularly in the judicial. It is out of our strong belief that a fair and just judiciary is a basic pillar of social and economic development. In our contemporary history, the Sultanate of Oman enabled the judiciary to become the most important means of establishing justice, issuing fair judgments, and removing injustices in society without the interference of executive authorities or any other branch. This has been endorsed by the constitutional system of State enacted by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, by virtue of decree No 101/96 which His Majesty issued on 6th November 1996.
His Majesty, may God protect him, also issued decree NO. 90/99 on 21st November 1999, enacting the law of judiciary, which grants the judiciary full independence. This law regulates the competence and functions of courts of various types and degrees. Moreover, the Supreme Court was established to be at the top of the judicial pyramid, with a competence to unify legal principles and insure the legality of judgments.
This was followed by a series of legislations that organize various judicial organs, including the establishment of the higher judicial council. Additionally, a draft has been prepared for a law on civil and trade procedures. All of this is indicative of His Majesty's interest in the welfare of the Omani people, so that citizens would know that they have rights and obligations. These rights are guaranteed through the right to go to court and are available to all people.
The onward march of the Omani consultative process has been a qualitative shift and an important transformation in its history. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said issued Royal instructions on October 2002 to expand the base of popular participation in the elections for the Omani Consultative Council by giving the right to vote to every citizen, male or female, who has reached the legal age of 21 to participate in the next election of the Council scheduled to be held on the fourth of this month (October), to select the 83 members of the consultation council for its fifth session (2004-2006).
Sultanate of Oman, like all countries of the region, have been following with interest and optimism the continued official contacts in various areas of conflict, hoping that the contacts and talks between the state of the United Arab Emirates and the Islamic Republic of Iran, concerning the islands belonging to the United Arab Emirates, would enable the two countries to reach an agreement on an effective mechanism to settle the disagreement between them, including taking the issue to the International Court of Justice.
In recent years, international policies have lead to the emergence of various types of terrorist acts. All of us must pause and deeply focus on this phenomenon that targets people's security and order. We believe it has become essential to study the causes behind this phenomenon. Although we fully support international efforts to combat terrorism with all means, we have to allocate part of the massive financial resources devoted to combat terrorism to help the least developed countries that may be fertile ground for terrorist organizations. Such endeavors would be capable to uproot the source of terrorism.
We believe that confronting terrorism requires a comprehensive and more positive international co-operation, instead of political polemics and exchange of accusations.
There is no doubt that the United Nations' efforts in the field of disarmament are leading nowhere. These efforts may become a cry in the wilderness that hears only its own echo, so long as member states of the United Nations, cannot count on an effective system of collective guarantees to safeguard their security. Without such a system private assessments of the level and quality of weapons needed would become a purely individual responsibility of every elite and every government. This would open the door wide for a vicious armament circle, and not for progress towards disarmament or the reduction of armaments.
we have to be ready to adopt the necessary visions for the development and restructuring the organs of the United Nations to enable the organization to reflect the facts of the political reality, for example, the expansion of the membership of the Security Council to be more fair and commensurate with the growth in the size of the International Community.
The aim is to have an organization that is that the effective centre of world politics and the supreme source of international legitimacy, away from selectivity in dealing with countries, so that it may be able to develop solutions to prevent wars and conflicts. Through enhanced early warning, preventive diplomacy, peaceful settlement of dispute, and the maintenance of peace. These means are less costly than to resort to methods of pressures and coercion.
The United Nations represents international legitimacy. It is the crucible that melts all regional and international efforts to realize the hopes and aspirations of peoples and confront the time's challenges to peace, security and development in all their aspects, to enhance relations and stability and spread the culture of peace and constructive dialogue among generations of the present and the future, away from the logic of the threat of force and creativity fear of the future.
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