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Interpretation of the Agreement of 25 March 1951 between the WHO and Egypt

Overview of the case

Having considered a possible transfer from Alexandria of the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the World Health Assembly in May 1980 submitted a request to the Court for an advisory opinion on the following questions :

“1. Are the negotiation and notice provisions of Section 37 of the Agreement of 25 March 1951 between the World Health Organization and Egypt applicable in the event that either party to the Agreement wishes to have the Regional Office transferred from the territory of Egypt ?

2. If so, what would be the legal responsibilities of both the World Health Organization and Egypt, with regard to the Regional Office in Alexandria, during the two-year period between notice and termination of the Agreement ?”

The Court expressed the opinion that, in the event of a transfer of the seat of the Regional Office to another country, the WHO and Egypt were under mutual obligation to consult together in good faith as to the conditions and modalities of the transfer, and to negotiate the various arrangements needed to effect the transfer with a minimum of prejudice to the work of the Organization and to the interests of Egypt. The party wishing to effect the transfer had a duty, despite the specific period of notice indicated in the 1951 Agreement, to give a reasonable period of notice to the other party, and during this period the legal responsibilities of the WHO and of Egypt would be to fulfil in good faith their mutual obligations as set out above.


This overview is provided for information only and in no way involves the responsibility of the Court.

Request for Advisory Opinion

Request for Advisory Opinion (including the dossier of documents transmitted to the Court pursuant to article 65, paragraph 2 of the Statute)

28 May 1980
Request for Advisory Opinion (including the dossier of documents transmitted to the Court pursuant to article 65, paragraph 2 of the Statute)
Available in:
English French

Written proceedings

Written Statements

15 July 1980
Available in:
English French

Oral proceedings

Verbatim record 1980

Oral Statements (including Annexes) - Minutes of the Public Sittings held at the Peace Palace, The Hague, on 21, 22 and 23 October, and on 20 December 1980, The President, Sir Humphrey Waldock, presiding
Available in:
Original Language

Other documents

Orders

Order of 6 June 1980

Fixing of time-limits: Written Statements
Available in:
English French Bilingual

Advisory opinions

Summaries of Advisory Opinions and Orders

Summary 1980/2

Summary of the Advisory Opinion of 20 December 1980
Available in:
English French

Press releases

Press release 1980/7

10 June 1980
The World Health Organization requests an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice
Available in:
English French

Press release 1980/11

16 October 1980
Interpretation of the Agreement of 25 March 1951 between the WHO and Egypt - Hearing to open at 10 a.m. on Tuesday 21 October 1980
Available in:
English French

Press release 1980/12

24 October 1980
Interpretation of the Agreement of 25 March 1951 between the WHO and Egypt - Closure of oral proceedings
Available in:
English French

Press release 1980/13

16 December 1980
Interpretation of the Agreement of 25 March 1951 between the WHO and Egypt - Advisory opinion to be delivered on Saturday 20 December
Available in:
English French

Press release 1980/14

20 December 1980
Interpretation of the Agreement of 25 March 1951 between the WHO and Egypt - Advisory opinion
Available in:
English French

Correspondence

Correspondence

21 May 1980
Correspondence
Available in:
English French