HomeGreeceFM N. Dendias’ address, via video recorded message, at the anniversary conference...

FM N. Dendias’ address, via video recorded message, at the anniversary conference of the Hellenic Society of International Law & International Relations on “Current Challenges in International Legal Order: Convergences and Divergences”(Athens, 03.06.2022)

Honourable participants,Dear colleagues,Ladies and gentlemen,It is a special honour to introduce this year’s anniversary conference of the Hellenic Society of International Law and International Relations.Especially in light of the current international situation which makes the theme of the conference extremely relevant.The international legal order and the principles on which it was founded are now being openly questioned; particularly following the Russian invasion, as well as provocative and illegal actions by other actors.In 1945, the founding states of the United Nations declared their determination to save future generations from the scourge of war.They made the commitment to create conditions for the respect of the obligations deriving from International Law.Since then, Greece has remained committed to the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter.It has made International Law the main pillar of its foreign policy.It supports the need for full compliance with International Law and actively participates in its promotion.Our country’s bid for re-election to the UN Security Council for the 2025-2026 term falls within this context; likewise, our candidacy for the Human Rights Council for the 2028-2030 term, as well as that for the Presidency of the United Nations General Assembly in 2035.Our country does not need to build legal structures to support its national positions.It supports them with its firm commitment to the fundamental rules of International Law such as, inter alia:•    the ‘pacta sunt servanda’ principle,•    the exercise of sovereign rights on the basis of universally accepted rules of the Law of the Sea •    the prohibition of the use or threat of force On the basis of these principles, our country is building alliances. From the United States to the Gulf and the Indo-Pacific, we are fortifying ourselves against revisionist attitudes and practices.This is equally true in the face of Turkey’s actions, which is unabashedly challenging every fundamental principle of International Law. On the contrary, our country, by adhering to these principles, is becoming a reliable international and regional partner.In the last year Greece has concluded two agreements that are particularly beneficial to its national interests:•    the Strategic Relationship Agreement with France and•    the recently entered into force Amendment to the Greece-US Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) Its geopolitical footprint has thus been greatly enhanced at a critical juncture for international peace and security.At the same time, Greece does not forget the needs and rights of the Greek Diaspora.In this context, the protection of Greeks abroad is a top priority.This is demonstrated by the recent efforts to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Mariupol and the Greeks living there; but also in Odessa where I recently went to deliver humanitarian aid.Essential components of our foreign policy-making are:•    the respect for human rights•    the respect for the international humanitarian law and•    the belief that international crimes must be punishedThis is evidenced by Greece’s decision to co-sign the referral of the Situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court. In fact, I had the opportunity to visit the Court recently, just as I visited the International Court of Justice in The Hague.The current complex situation emphasizes the importance of scholarly engagement in the study and promotion of International Law; particularly through the work of Societies that foster meaningful debate, such as the Hellenic Society of International Law and International Relations, which celebrates today its 40th anniversary.I welcome today’s event and wish you every success in your particularly important work.

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