||<p>The UN General Assembly (GA) resolution relates to an Advisory Opinion issued by
the International Court of Justice (ICJ) concerning the British Indian Ocean Territory
(BIOT). Neither the ICJ Advisory Opinion nor the UN GA resolution are legally binding.
Mauritius has never held sovereignty over BIOT and we do not recognise its claim.
We have, however, made a long-standing commitment to cede sovereignty of the territory
to Mauritius when it is no longer required for defence purposes. The British Government
remains concerned that the referral to the ICJ contravened the principle that the
Court should not consider bilateral disputes without the consent of both States concerned.
It is notable in this context that in the UN GA, nearly 80 member states did not vote
in favour of the resolution. The Government has considered the content of the Opinion
carefully, however we do not share the Court’s approach. Any action in the UN GA that
seeks to cut across a bilateral dispute by specifying how or when a non-binding Advisory
Opinion might be implemented should be of concern to all Member States.</p>