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Kosovo: UN Asks World Court to Rule on Kosovo

(Oct. 14, 2008) On October 8, 2008, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted 77 to 6, with 74 abstentions, to refer the question of the legality of Kosovo's declaration of independence to the International Court of Justice (ICJ, also called the World Court). The resolution was put forward by Serbia. Kosovo had been administered by the U.N. since 1999, following the ethnic fighting in the former Yugoslavia, and declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008.

There were nearly two dozen speakers on the resolution, including Vuk Jeremić, Serbia's Foreign Minister. The resolution calls on the ICJ to provide a non-binding advisory opinion on the legality of the declaration of independence. Speaking at the U.N. in September, Serbia's President, Boris Tadić, called Kosovo's move “unilateral, illegal [and] illegitimate” and argued that as a result “the very nature of the international system has been called into question.” (UN World Court to Give Opinion on Legality of Kosovo's Independence, UN NEWS CENTRE, Oct. 8, 2009, available at