Delegates Approve Requests by Digital Cooperation Organization, Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization for Observer Status in General Assembly
After taking action on requests for observer status in the General Assembly and considering the report “Diplomatic protection”, the Sixth Committee (Legal) took up the “Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization”, with speakers underlining the importance of that Committee and urging that discussions therein can proceed in a technical and legal fashion, free of politicization.
At the outset of the meeting, the Sixth Committee approved without a vote two draft resolutions on requests for observer status in the General Assembly for the Digital Cooperation Organization (document A/C.6/77/L.2) and for the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (document A/C.6/77/L.2), which would have the General Assembly invite the organizations to participate in its sessions and work in the capacity of observer. (For background, see Press Release GA/L/3663.)
The Sixth Committee had before it the “Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization” (document A/77/33).The Commission also took up the report of the Secretary-General on the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs and *Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council *(document A/77/303).
Gheorghe Leucă (Republic of Moldova), Chair of the Special Committee, reported that one chapter of the 2022 report which contains 13 paragraphs and is procedural in nature was adopted.While the Special Committee did not adopt the recommendations that were made during its 2022 session, he noted there was general agreement.He also spotlighted several proposals, including “Maintenance of international peace and security” and the annual thematic debate on the “Exchange of information on State practices regarding the use of judicial settlement”, among others.
Blanca Montejo, Senior Political Affairs Officer of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, gave an overview of the progress made in the preparation and publication of the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council. She reported that thetwenty-fourth Supplement was completed and posted on the website of the Council in October 2022. Adhering to the Secretary-General’s approach for “Data Strategy for Action by Everyone, Everywhere”, her team continued to expand the use of technology to present the practice of the Council in a visually engaging and accessible manner, she said.
Huw Llewellyn, Director of the Codification Division of the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs, detailed progress made in the research and drafting of Supplements 10, 11 and 12 of the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs. He welcomed assistance from the University of Ottawa and Korea University, while spotlighting that a volume from Supplement 9 was published in electronic format during the period under review, both in English and Spanish languages.
In the ensuing debate, speakers underlined the specific role of the Special Committee in maintaining peace and security, while also taking note that the substantive report was not adopted during the session.The delegates also debated when and how sanctions should be applied, spotlighting the importance of transparency and fair procedures, while denying arbitrariness and unilateralism.
The representative of Ukraine, also speaking for Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, pointed out that no substantive report was adopted by the Special Committee, despite vigorous efforts by most delegations.This was due to the Russian Federation’s abuse of the consensus-based practice against the backdrop of its war of aggression against Ukraine, unleashed on 24 February, he said.
The representative of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, said the fundamental principles of the Charter were violated by a permanent member of the Security Council when the war of aggression broke out.Thus, the Special Committee was unable to deliver on one of the key aspects of its mandate: the maintenance of international peace and security, as it failed to adopt a substantive report.
In this vein, the delegate of the United Kingdom highlighted the fact that the Special Committee was established as a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly to discuss and consider proposals to maintain international peace and security worldwide. “It is unfortunate that the Special Committee was unable to reach consensus in agreeing on its full annual report”, she stressed.
However, the Russian Federation’s representative expressed regret that the Special Committee fell hostage to politicization by certain Member States, noting that inclusion of non-consensus-based statements in the report made it impossible to adopt a substantive document.Turning to sanctions and their effects on global supply chains, he underscored the need to dedicate more attention to this issue.
Similarly, the representative of Eritrea said that the sanctions should be employed as a last resort and not based on unfounded charges or imposed without solid evidence. He also spotlighted the need for a clear and fair procedure for ending sanctions regimes.
The Republic of Korea’s delegate said that sanctions adopted by the Security Council remain an important tool for maintaining international peace and security.He thus welcomed the efforts to ensure transparency and due process with respect to the same.
Nonetheless, the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea stressed that political and military pressure against sovereign States is being openly ignored while measures to safeguard sovereignty are being denounced as threats to international peace and security. He urged the Special Committee to reject high-handedness, arbitrariness and unilateralism.
The Sixth Committee also took up the Secretary-Generals’ report on “Diplomatic protection” (document A/77/261), as the delegates debated whether draft articles on diplomatic protection represent a balanced text and should therefore be codified into a convention.
The representative of Portugal recalled the International Law Commission completed a set of 19 draft articles on diplomatic protection in 2006.“In our view, this is evidence that this topic was ripe and adequate for codification,” he said, voicing support for elaboration of a convention on the basis of the draft articles.
Belarus’s representative pointed out that the draft articles constitute a basis for a convention which should focus on international standards for the protection of States’ nationals. A universal international treaty with clear norms, based on consensus, would lower the “confrontational potential” in this sensitive area, he pointed out.
The delegate of Malaysia echoed that stance, stressing that the draft articles are essential in ensuring fair treatment of the nationals abroad and in permitting States to intervene on behalf of their nationals who have been subjected to violations of human rights.
The delegate of Algeria underscored that the draft articles on diplomatic protection and those on responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts should be aligned to develop and consolidate international law on international responsibility.However, he found it premature to commence negotiations on elaborating a convention due to a lack of consensus among Member States.
The representatives of Austria, Thailand, Singapore, Czech Republic, Finland and Mexico also introduced draft resolutions on:Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the work of its fifty-fifth session; Consideration of prevention of transboundary harm from hazardous activities and allocation of loss in the case of such harm; Consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives; and The rule of law at the national andinternational levels, respectively.
The representative of Iceland introduced the draft letter of the Chair of the Sixth Committee on the legal aspects of the report of the Secretary-General.
The representatives of Saudi Arabia and Bolivia spoke during consideration of requests for observer status.
Speaking on diplomatic protection were representatives of Australia (also for Canada and New Zealand), Singapore, Iran, United States, Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador, Russian Federation, Chile, Netherlands and Italy.
Also speaking on the report of the Special Committee were representatives of Iran (for the Non-Aligned Movement and in its national capacity), Venezuela (for the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations), United States, Mexico, Egypt, China, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, India, Qatar, Ethiopia, Oman, Bolivia, Azerbaijan, Morocco (for the African Group), Algeria and Nigeria.An observer for the State of Palestine also spoke.
The representatives of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea spoke in exercise of the right of reply.
The Sixth Committee will next meet at 10 a.m. on Monday, 7 November, to commence its consideration of the report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country.
Source: UN General Assembly