Practice Relating to Nuclear Weapons
In 1996, during a debate in the First Committee of the UN General Assembly, Iceland stated:
The advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons is an important development in the area of international law. Unfortunately, the text contained in draft resolution A/C.1/51/L.37 does not give a balanced view of the nuanced pronouncement of the Court on this issue. The text makes no pretence of presenting the Court’s opinion in a fair and even-handed manner. Instead, it makes highly partial use of selected aspects of the opinion to further an arms control agenda that is nowhere to be found in the opinion itself. This includes an unhelpful attempt to subordinate bilateral nuclear disarmament negotiations, a primary responsibility of the nuclear-weapon States, to the Conference on Disarmament. Indeed, notwithstanding the well-meaning objective of the authors of the draft resolution to promote the worthy objective of nuclear disarmament, such a tendentious attempt to place the Court’s opinion in a context extraneous to the opinion itself can only diminish the value of the contribution the Court has made by rendering its opinion.