World Court Elects Its First Somali President

Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf has emerge the first Somali to lead the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, Netherlands.“I am humbled by this election. And I feel that it actually shows the trust placed in me by my colleagues. That’s why I’m extremely grateful to them,” he told newsmen.

“I hope that I will be able to meet their expectations and to perform the responsibilities entrusted to me in the best way possible  to show them that they have actually made the right choice in electing me as their president.”

The 15-member ICJ is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It issues final and binding rulings on disputes between states and advises the U.N. Yusuf, 69, a native of the Somali port town of Eyl, studied at Somali National University, the University of Florence and the University of Geneva. He will be the third African to lead the court.

“It is a very heavy responsibility. And, of course, the challenge is to ensure first of all that the credibility, the respect in which the court is held by the international community, is preserved,” he said.

“We always try to improve the methods of work of the court and to adapt our methods of the work to the needs of a changing world. So that is what I will try to do. And, of course, the third challenge is to keep the members of the court united and to ensure that judgments which can be respected by those to which they are addressed will be issued by the court, as has been its tradition for the past 72 years.”

World Court Elects Its First Somali President

Yusuf’s leadership will be tested immediately. Among his first cases is a dispute between the U.S. and Iran over the freezing of Iranian assets inside the U.S.

“We have 14 cases which are pending, and which, of course, concern all types of disputes between states,” he said, including disputes about environmental protection, boundaries and diplomatic immunity. “We have been extremely busy for the past 10 years as a court, which shows the increase in the growing trust that the international community has in the World Court, in our court. And we are extremely happy with that development.”

Another case that will be closely watched in East Africa is a maritime boundary dispute between Somalia and Kenya.

Yusuf revealed his nationality will not influence his work on the case. “My nationality does not matter. And, actually, it is the statute of the court which says that the judges to the World Court are elected irrespective of their nationality. So, my mission is to be impartial, to be objective and to apply the law. And for all cases, that’s what I do.”

News Reporter
Folakemi Awoyo is a former Journalist, T.V news and programme presenter base in Germany. Passionate about writing the communication specialist is set to quench your taste for unbiased news stories happening in Africa and around the globe. Folakemi believes that half truth imprisons, that is why Tatahfonewsarena is set to give its readers a diaspora breaking gossip news and celebrity gist experience that makes it possible to know something about everything. Folakemi is currently a communication specialist, life coach, with a B.sc in Mass Communication, MA Communication Management with an ongoing Ph.D degree. Nice To Meet You.

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