Good neighbourliness is one of the most important aspirations of international law relating to harmonious interstate relations, if not ‘the oldest principle of international law’1 and one without which ‘there can be no orderly world community’.2 In fact, it is the first objective of the Charter of the United Nations (UN Charter), which refers to the determination of the UN peoples ‘to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours’.3 It is thus possible to classify this foundational aspiration as a ‘general principle’,4 accepted by all UN Member States.

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Developing out of the ideas of territorial sovereignty and equality of states in international law, good neighbourliness is among the key underpinnings of the peaceful coexistence between states: the key approach to states’ living together...

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