This afternoon, 11 November 2013, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, the Netherlands, announced its judgment on the Request by Cambodia for interpretation of the Judgment of 15 June 1962 in the case concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear, as follows:
1. Finds, unanimously, that it has jurisdiction under Article 60 of the Statute to entertain the Request for Interpretation of the 1962 Judgment presented by Cambodia, and that this Request is admissible;
2. Declares, unanimously, by way of interpretation, that the Judgment of 15 June 1962 decided that Cambodia has sovereignty over the whole territory of the promontory of Preah Vihear, as defined in paragraph 98 of the present judgment, and that, in consequence, Thailand was under an obligation to withdraw from that territory the Thai military or police forces, or other guards or keepers, that were stationed there.”
I would like to emphasize that paragraph 98 of the Judgment clearly defines the location of the promontory.
This is an important step forward with historical significance in the efforts made by the Royal Government of Cambodia to find peaceful resolution based on international law for the dispute between Cambodia and Thailand concerning the Temple of Preah Vihear and its vicinity. Particularly, the fact that the International Court of Justice used the 1/200.000 scale Annex 1 Map, which was submitted by Cambodia to the Court in 1962, as evidence for interpretation of its Judgment giving a clear direction to the parties for their subsequent implementation.
On this basis, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to reiterate and re-emphasize my statement to all compatriots on 7 November 2013 concerning the commitment of Cambodia to comply with the common position reached between myself, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, and Her Excellency Yingluck Shinawatra, the Prime Minister of Thailand, to the effect that “Regardless of the outcome of the Judgment of the International Court of Justice on 11 November 2013, the two countries must abide by the decision and maintain friendship between the two nations and people, as well as to preserve peace and stability along the border at any cost.” Moreover, I would like to reaffirm that the Royal Government of Cambodia will respect and implement this commitment in accordance with the spirit of the meeting between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two nations, Cambodia and Thailand on 28 October 2013, in Poipet, Banteay Meanchey Province, in which both parties agreed to further discuss within the existing competent mechanisms the implementation of the Judgment of the International Court of Justice. In this regard, the Governments of the two countries commit not to do anything to cause any tension between them and to prevent anyone from undertaking any act that may cause tension between the two countries. In the same vein, the two Governments will pay special attention to maintain and strengthen the friendly relationship and good cooperation between the two countries, as well as to avoid any act that may affect the movement of people on both sides of the border, commercial exchange, investment, transport and other areas of cooperation.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my most profound gratitude to the Late King Father Preah Borom Rattanak Koad Norodom Sihanouk who left behind a priceless historic legacy to the next generations as the basis for reference on which to settle further issues relating to the Temple of Preah Vihear, which was used by the International Court of Justice as grounds to reach its ruling. I would also like to express my most profound gratitude to His Majesty Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia, who always lends his full support to the Royal Government in its endeavors to protect the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
At the same time, I would like to express my high appreciation to the Government‘s task force led by His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong, whose members have sacrificed all their physical, intellectual and spiritual strength to actively carry out their job for more than two years for the sake of this noble and historic task.
My highest appreciation and most sincere gratitude also go to all armed forces who have recently sacrificed their lives and limbs for the good cause of protecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity along the border of Cambodia, both land and sea borders, and especially in the region of Preah Vihear.
I would also like to express my deep gratitude to the Cambodian people from all walks of life who have provided their material, financial and spiritual supports to the Royal Government in the implementation of its policy to protect the national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Along with this, I also express my special gratitude to all family’s members of the armed forces who have sacrificed their beloved spouses, children, grandchildren and other relatives for this noble cause. Besides, I would like to express my sincere thanks and high appreciation to the Cambodian News Channel (CNC) for sending its team to The Hague in the Netherlands to cover the reading of the Judgment of the International Court of Justice and to broadcast live for the attention of our compatriots and the public.
On this important occasion, I would like to once again appeal to all armed forces who are on duty to protect the border, to continue to exercise their utmost restraint, to keep stationing in their respective places and to avoid any provocative act that could lead to tension or any eventual clashes so that the two governments’ mechanisms would conduct their negotiation on the implementation of this International Court of Justice verdict. I would also like to appeal to venerable monks and compatriots to remain calm and to contribute to maintaining security and public order in the country as well as to further safeguarding and enhancing the spirit of friendly neighborliness, solidarity, friendship, harmony, and closer cooperation between the nations and people of Cambodia and Thailand for the immediate and long term interests of our two countries. Thank You.