• Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

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    New York, 21 February 2018



    Mr. President,

    Mr. Secretary General,

    Ladies and Gentlemen,


    First of all, let me thank the State of Kuwait for convening today’s important debate and Mr. Secretary General for his valuable remarks.


    Mr. President,


    It is indisputable that Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations proclaim the most fundamental values for the international community of States. They describe both the goals that should be pursued and the essential rules that should be followed.


    I would like to reiterate that Poland has always been deeply committed to the fundamental ideas constituting the legal basis of the United Nations, beginning with the signing of the Declaration of the United Nations in 1942. Through over seventy years of our membership in the United Nations, Poland has been strongly committed to maintaining international peace and security. And this strong commitment continues until the present day – when Poland, as a non-permanent Member of the Security Council, makes efforts aimed at strengthening the Charter and enhancing trust in international law.


    Mr. President,


    Let me recall the sometimes underestimated principle contained in article 2 paragraph 2 of the Charter, which states:


    All Members, in order to ensure to all of them the rights and benefits resulting from membership, shall fulfill in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the present Charter. (end of quote)


    This principle should be considered as a Grundnorm – or in other words a fundamental norm – for UN Members. In fact, international law, as a horizontal system of cooperation, depends on the reliability and constancy of commitments undertaken by States. Two parts of this principle can be recognized, namely: (a) the fulfillment of the obligations assumed and (b) acting in good faith.


    With regard to the first part – the fulfillment of the obligations assumed – it has to be emphasized that respecting obligations by every State is a basic tenet of international legal relations. It ensures confidence and trust among States.


    As regards the second part, the principle of good faith obliges States to apply their international law duties in a reasonable way and in such a manner that their purpose can be achieved in a legal way. This principle works as a corrective factor and prevents the abuse of one’s rights. The respect for international law obligations in good faith indicates therefore that States must abstain from acts contrary to the purpose of their commitment and obligations.


    Let me stress that if a State acts without respect for the Principles of article 2, it impairs the significance of the Charter and, in consequence, the global peace architecture based on it.


    Mr. President,


    In this context it is indispensable, once again, to strengthen our call for peaceful settlement of international disputes. The date of today’s debate – 27 years since the liberation of the State of Kuwait, in which Poland was actively engaged, is a forceful reminder for the international community of States. Also today we can be faced with the threat to international peace and security which has one of the most egregious expressions – that is aggression of one state against the other.


    It has to be reiterated that the UN Security Council has proved to be a guardian of the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations. Thus, it is the Security Council that should be considered as an ultimate custodian of State’s territorial sovereignty, peaceful settlement of disputes between States, the prohibition of threat and the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all and without distinction. It is also the Security Council that can take significant initiatives and actions in this regard. One of the most prominent examples of the pivotal role of the Security Council as a guardian of maintenance of international peace and security was, in fact, the liberation of the State of Kuwait from the Iraqi occupation.


    Moreover, actions aimed at prosecution of alleged perpetrators of the most heinous international crimes by establishing the international criminal tribunals for Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and by referring cases to the International Criminal Court have also been of paramount importance. Equally, the Security Council’s resolutions aimed at combating international terrorism need to be recalled and appreciated here as well.


    Nonetheless, there are still flagrant violations of international law posing threats to international peace and security as well as to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as the illegal annexation of Crimea and support for separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine. In this vein, we are also deeply concerned about violations of international humanitarian law and the Convention on Chemical Weapons in Syria.


    As it was stated by the Secretary General:


    Peace is a tireless undertaking, to which all United Nations agencies and bodies must work, in accordance with their mandates and responsibilities. (end of quote)


    Thus, we pledge to engage actively in all efforts strengthening the role of the Security Council in the maintenance of international peace and security in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations Charter. We cannot forget that the Security Council is not only one of the guardians of the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations, but is also obliged under the Charter to act in accordance with them.

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