Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor says the world was in a dilemma because of Israel’s failure to implement the judgment of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) by stopping its military operations in Gaza and this is the reality confronting the global community.
The ICJ delivered its judgment almost two weeks ago where it ordered Israel to take provisional measures to stop the killing of Palestinians in Gaza.
Pandor said nothing has been done since that ruling in The Hague and the world has to put pressure on Tel Aviv and its allies.
She said thousands of Palestinians have been killed by Israel and the world cannot do anything to stop the killings, despite the court order.
United Nations (UN) member states must all respect the findings of the court. However, if nothing was done to implement the judgment, it points to the challenges in the global governance system and the need to reform the UN.
“It remains vital for us as member states to ensure that we respect and implement decisions of the court. I suppose what confronts us now is, what do we do if there is no implementation, and that is the question all nations must answer today because it is a body of the UN that has set out these provisional measures.
“It’s not the South African government or South Africa on its own. It is the ICJ and if its orders are not respected, what does this mean for every other government that commits atrocities against people? This is the big question that confronts us as the global community today,” said Pandor.
She said this was a serious dilemma that the world was confronted with.
When the ICJ made the ruling almost two weeks ago, that order should have been implemented immediately out of respect for the UN court and the court order itself, she said.
After World War II, the global community put together the Geneva Conventions to protect people against genocide.
If these international instruments and systems were not respected, there are a lot of questions that need to be asked.
“I think we are pointing to the dilemma that the global community has. What confronts the world is to marshal the ability to ensure the stipulations of the genocide are observed.
“This question is not for South Africa. I believe South Africa has done what it can and now the global community is the one that must answer the question: Do these conventions mean anything or do we now have a world in which there is open licence where you act as you will against any vulnerable group?” Pandor asked.
She said when she was attending the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Kampala, Uganda, last week, many countries expressed support for South Africa in the case.
There were also other countries who are willing to join the ICJ case against Israel as intervening parties.
However, she did not name the countries, saying they will be known during the next phase of the case.