Un Headquarters Agreement Case

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As regards the first point, the Court`s decision was limited to saying that `the opposing positions of the United Nations and the United States show the existence of a dispute between the two parties to the headquarters agreement`. The Court did not draw up any explicit conclusions at the time when the dispute entered into question. Recognizing that it is possible to envision different data in a period of change and change in an evolving situation, I nevertheless find it hard to resist the impression that it is an excessive legal economy not to know which of these possible data is the most important. The finding of a dispute is not made in a vacuum; It is necessarily made after a dynamic evolution of events that flows over a given period of time has been verified and it is finally involved in a dispute at a given stage, regardless of how this can be calculated. It seems to me that the finding of this stage is an integral and inevitable part of the Court`s explanatory memorandum process with regard to what I consider to be the central (but not the only) issue of the case, namely whether or not there was a dispute at the time of the General Assembly`s request for an opinion. In addition, the identification of this phase provides a useful and perhaps necessary analytical criterion for distinguishing between communications and discussions that are part of the process that led to the formation of the dispute and those that seek to resolve the dispute after its constitution. To that end, the Court recalled that the existence of a dispute, that is to say, a disagreement on a question of law or a conflict of views or legal interests, is an objective finding and cannot depend on mere assertions or denials by the parties. In the present case, the Secretary-General considered that a dispute within the meaning of section 21 from the signing of the Anti-terrorism Act and in the absence of reasonable assurances that the law would not apply to the PLO observer mission, was a dispute; it had also formally challenged the consistency of the law with the headquarters agreement. The United States never explicitly objected to this view, but took action against the mission and indicated that it would be taken independently of its obligations under that agreement. This is because the dispute is only about the situation that will occur when and when the office of the PLO observer mission is finally closed. It is only with regard to this situation that it can be said that there is no dispute between the United Nations and the United States over the interpretation of the agreement, both having agreed that it would be violated in this case. However, the Secretary-General`s assertion covers an additional issue on which it is clear that both parties do not agree on the interpretation of the agreement. 46.

In the present case, the Secretary-General and the General Assembly of the United Nations have repeatedly recalled that the PLO was invited to `participate as an observer in the sessions and work of the General Assembly` (Resolution 3237 (XXIX)). . . .

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