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 the twenty-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 and international 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.
Request for Observer Status
The Sixth Committee took up a resolution on the request for observer status for the Digital Cooperation Organization in the General Assembly. (For background, see Press Release GAL/3663.)
Speaking before action, the representative of Saudi Arabia, thanking all delegations that co‑sponsored the draft resolution, said that granting observer status to the Digital Cooperation Organization supports its aim to fill the digital gap, counter all challenges facing this issue and achieve all its objectives in enhancing Sustainable Development Goals. Granting observer status also reflects the importance of digital cooperation among countries working on filling the respective gaps and promoting the digital transformation. She expressed assurance that the Digital Cooperation Organization will benefit from such cooperation with the United Nations, including through collaboration with public and private sectors in research and other international activities to exchange expertise and knowledge in this regard.
The Committee then approved, without a vote, the request for observer status for the Digital Cooperation Organization in the General Assembly (document A/C.6/77/L.2).
The Sixth Committee also approved, without a vote, a resolution concerning a request for observer status for the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization in the General Assembly (document A/C.6/77/L.3). (For background, see Press Release GA/L/3663.)
The representative of Bolivia, speaking after action, thanked the Committee for considering this resolution. The Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization works to preserve the Amazon, which is one of the most important regions on the planet. He therefore underlined the importance of this organization’s presence as an observer in the General Assembly.
Introductions of draft resolutions
The Sixth Committee then heard introductions to draft resolutions.
The representative of Austria introduced the draft resolution, “Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the work of its fifty‑fifth session” (A/C.6/77/L.7), saying that it was based on the resolution adopted in 2021 and incorporates the developments and recommendations set forth in the latest report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Detailing the major changes introduced to the operative paragraphs of the draft resolution, he expressed the view that the document represents consensus among delegations. He, thus, recommended that the Sixth Committee approve it without a vote.
The representative of Thailand, introducing the draft resolution, “United Nations Convention on the International Effects of Judicial Sales of Ships” (document A/C.6/77/L.8), said that the text was based on that which was adopted by UNCITRAL earlier this year. Through the resolution, the General Assembly would adopt such Convention; authorize a ceremony for the opening for signature of the Convention in Beijing in 2023; and recommend that the instrument be known as the “Beijing Convention on the Judicial Sale of Ships”. Noting that the draft resolution received broad support in informal consultations, she recommended that the Sixth Committee approve the resolution without a vote.
The representative of Singapore introduced the draft resolution, “Model Law on the Use and Cross‑border Recognition of Identity Management and Trust Services” (document A/C.6/77/L.9). He noted that, under its terms, the General Assembly would request the Secretary‑General to publish model law together with an explanatory note and disseminate it broadly to Governments and other interested bodies and recommend that all States give it favourable consideration when revising relevant legislation. The draft resolution received broad support during informal consultations, he added.
The representative of the Czech Republic introduced the draft resolution, “Consideration of prevention of transboundary harm from hazardous activities and allocation of loss in the case of such harm” (document A/C.6/77/L.11). The text is based on the 2019 General Assembly resolution a few updated paragraphs. Detailing the modifications taken in the draft in its preambular part and the operative paragraphs, he affirmed that the text received a wide support of delegations. He, thus, recommended the Committee to approve the draft resolution without a vote.
The representative of Finland introduced the draft resolution, “Consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives” (document A/C.6/77/L.6). The text is largely based on the resolution adopted in 2020 on this topic and includes the necessary technical updates. Noting that informal consultations were held on 20 October, she said that the text reflects consensus among delegations. She recommended that the Sixth Committee approve the resolution without a vote.
The representative of Mexico then introduced the draft resolution, “The rule of law at the national and international levels” (document A/C.6/77/L.10). He said that the Committee reached a text this year that includes new elements, in particular, noting the tenth anniversary of the High‑Level Declaration on the Rule of Law adopted by the General Assembly on 24 December, 2012. References to the Declaration were incorporated relating to the principles of international law and friendly relationships and cooperation between States. It further includes the sub‑item on the use of technology to advance access to justice for all.
The Sixth Committee then considered the draft letter, “United Nations common system” from the Chair of the Sixth Committee to the President of the General Assembly. (For background, see Press Release GAL/3661.)
PEDRO COMISSÁRIO AFONSO (Mozambique), Chair, said the purpose of the letter is to draw attention to the views of Sixth Committee delegates on the legal aspects of the report of the Secretary-General issued under the respective agenda item. The draft letter was circulated by e-mail for the attention of the delegations.
The representative of Iceland, introducing the draft letter, reported that, during the Sixth Committee’s consideration of the topic, a representative of the Department of Management Strategy, Planning and Compliance made a presentation and provided answers and clarifications. During informal and formal consultations, delegations exchanged views on the preliminary legal aspects of the Secretary-General’s report and the specific proposals contained therein.
She noted that the draft letter summarizes the preliminary views expressed by delegations during those consultations. Among their concerns, they noted the importance of preserving the cohesion and consistency of a single and unified United Nations common system. As well, a meaningful long-term solution was needed to address the divergence of jurisprudence of the two Tribunal systems. They also took note of the related proposals and the Secretary-General’s report towards facilitating the International Civil Service Commission’s submissions to the Tribunals.
“The draft letter reflects the outcome of negotiations and has received wide support from delegations,” she said, adding that once the draft letter is approved by the Sixth Committee by consensus, it will be brought to the attention of the Chair of the Fifth Committee through the President of the General Assembly.
Mr. AFONSO underscored that the respective letter will be brought to the attention of the Chair of the Fifth Committee and circulated as a General Assembly document. Further, the Sixth Committee authorized the Chair to sign the letter and forward it to the President of the General assembly by consensus, he said.
Ms. LIKOS (Australia), also speaking for Canada and New Zealand, welcomed the International Law Commission’s adoption of the draft articles on diplomatic protection and commentaries thereto. Diplomatic protection is a valuable tool for States to protect the rights of their nationals from violations of international law. Noting that the draft articles on diplomatic protection are closely bound to those on the responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts, she said that it is premature to commence negotiations on a convention based on the former in the absence of clear consensus on the elaboration of a convention based on the latter.
She went on to say that certain aspects of the draft articles on diplomatic protection go beyond germane international law, emphasizing that there is unlikely to be international consensus regarding whether such aspects should be made the subject of a convention. The draft articles provide useful guidance to States and international bodies, and are valuable in their current form, to the extent that they articulate important aspects of customary international law. As there is unlikely to be international consensus on certain aspects of the draft articles, she expressed concern that negotiating a convention at this time risks undermining their influence and value.
YONG-ERN NATHANIEL KHNG (Singapore) noted that, insofar as some aspects of the articles reflect State practice and are consistent with customary international law, the articles provide welcome clarity on the state of the law. That said, any legal framework on diplomatic protection must ultimately be constructed on the basis of international consensus and mutual understanding for it to have a solid foundation and endure the test of time. Acknowledging that several Member States continue to have reservations over adopting a convention based on the present articles, he said that there are also aspects of the articles that demonstrate progressive development of the law. These would be a useful reference point for States to continue dialogue on the topic. He also said he agreed with other delegations that this topic is closely linked to the topic of State responsibility for internationally wrongful acts. The commentaries on the articles on diplomatic protection also explicitly acknowledge this, he added.
MOHAMMAD SADEGH TALEBIZADEH SARDARI (Iran) said that any legal regime on diplomatic protection must strike a proper balance among the rights of individuals and the rights and discretionary powers of concerned States, as well as their national and international obligations. He expressed doubt that the current articles properly observe that balance. He also noted that a number of critical draft articles do not reflect customary international law. Rather, they represent the progressive development of international law, thus, “leading [States] away” from consensus. Turning to draft articles 7 and 8, he said that they have been formulated based on case law of regional tribunals or sui generis tribunals, which hardly reflects existing customary international law. He underscored that it would be difficult to define a criterion for establishing the predominance of one nationality over another. In this regard, he said that the draft articles function contrary to the constitutions of countries that do not recognize dual nationality or the legal effects arising from the secondary nationality of their citizens. “The attempt to exercise diplomatic protection by one State in the territory of another State, wherein the latter does not recognize dual nationality, would create uncertainty and ambiguity about that States’ obligations,” he said, adding that this might also lead to political arguments and difficulties in bilateral relations.
PAVEL EVSEENKO (Belarus) said that the International Law Commission’s draft articles on this topic are a suitable basis with which to draft a convention on diplomatic protection. Implementing diplomatic protection is a State’s sovereign right, allowing for effective protection of its nationals and legal entities abroad. A convention in this area should focus on international standards for the treatment of such nationals and entities. He stressed that such an instrument must clearly delineate the borders of diplomatic protection, with a view to prevent abuses and bad‑faith practices in this area, while also precluding interference in States’ internal affairs. Urging continued consideration of a draft convention on diplomatic protection, he suggested the formation of a working group or ad hoc committee towards this end. He added that concluding a universal international treaty with clear norms on diplomatic protection, based on consensus, would lower the “confrontational potential” in this sensitive area.
Ms. CHANDOO (United States) expressed concern that certain draft articles are inconsistent with well‑settled customary international law. For example, draft article 15 would require exhaustion of local remedies except where there is no “reasonably available” local remedy for effective redress, or the local remedies provide no “reasonable possibility” of such redress. She noted that her delegation has opposed this standard as too lenient; the customary international law standard only excuses the exhaustion requirement where the local remedy is “obviously futile” or “manifestly ineffective”. Other topics that do not necessarily reflect customary international law standards include continuous nationality, extinct corporations, the protection of shareholders and recommended practice. She maintained that any articles considered in a convention on diplomatic protection should reflect the well‑established customary international law on this subject. Moreover, negotiation of a convention could undermine the Commission’s substantial work to date by reopening topics on which States had agreed, raising the risk that a significant number of them might not ratify a convention.
NATALIA JIMÉNEZ ALEGRÍA (Mexico), noting that diplomatic protection is a tool against potentially arbitrary actions, encouraged States to re-engage efforts to draft an international convention based on the draft articles. She underscored the importance of the principle of agreement, with which the actions of the diplomatic protection do not constitute interference in the internal affairs of the State that committed internationally wrongful action. While this principle was not codified in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, it is contained in the comments to the draft articles on diplomatic relations and immunities. Thereby, this principle, which derives from the repeated practice of States, must be recognized as such and included in the convention when it is to be negotiated. Turning to draft article 7, she pointed out the lack of substance in the practice of States, which could lead to controversy. Thus, in a future convention, the general principle must be recognized, according to which a State may not exercise diplomatic protection on behalf of a national which also possesses a nationality of the State that committed the internationally wrongful act. Recognition of the predominant nationality must be regulated by lex specialis in the relations between States that so wish, she said.
VICTOR SILVEIRA BRAOIOS (Brazil) supported the elaboration of a convention based on the draft articles, as recommended by the Commission. Welcoming the draft articles — which reflect customary international law to a large extent — he said that references thereto by State practice and International Court of Justice case law demonstrate their “lingering relevance”. However, he noted that, even though 16 years have passed since the Commission concluded its work on this topic, the Sixth Committee’s engagement on this subject has remained limited. Against that backdrop, he stressed that multiple areas of international law would benefit from a convention on diplomatic protection. Such an instrument would foster legal clarity and predictability; enhance the rule of law; and contribute to the codification and progressive development of international law. The lack of progress on the draft articles undermines the authority and importance of the Commission’s contribution on the topic and may have a “de‑codification effect” in this long‑established area of international law, he added.
LIGIA LORENA FLORES SOTO (El Salvador) emphasized that, historically, the most frequent use of diplomatic protection occurred when there were no other effective means to ensure the recognition and reparation for harm caused to the nationals of another State. It is possible that the affected individuals can lodge international complaints for violations of their rights when they have been committed in another State or by a State official. However, diplomatic protection remains an important legal remedy for protection of persons whose rights have been violated in another State. She noted this has presented difficulties to some States, including inconsistencies and lack of agreement on how it should be exercised and its scope of application. She expressed concern that in the case of State responsibility and diplomatic protection, several years have passed since the International Law Commission presented for General Assembly consideration the draft articles recommending a convention. However, there has been no progress in this regard, and the draft articles should become an internationally binding instrument, she observed.
SERGIO AMARAL ALVES DE CARVALHO (Portugal) recalled that after the topic had been identified as suitable for codification and progressive development, 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 the elaboration of a convention on the basis of the draft articles. Recognizing the identifiable trend of allowing for greater autonomy and capacity to individuals and groups of individuals to assure the protection of their own rights, he underscored that diplomatic protection conducted by a State remains an “important remedy” and has an important function as a subsidiary, last resort mechanism for a State to protect the human rights of its nationals. Additionally, it is one of the pillars of the principle of sovereign equality of States, he said.
ANNA ANTONOVA (Russian Federation) said that the draft articles constitute a balanced text and make an important contribution to States’ ability to protect the personal and property rights of their nationals in cases of other States’ violations of international standards in this regard. States are responsible for harm dealt to foreign natural persons or legal entities as a result of any act or failure to act; diplomatic protection allows a State whose national has been harmed to obtain remedy for internationally wrongful acts. She noted that the draft articles hold that an individual must be a national of a State at the moment harm occurs or the claim is presented, which guarantees against abuse through attempts to find “convenient citizenship” for purposes of diplomatic protection. She also pointed out that the draft articles set out criteria for determining the State affiliation of a corporation, which prevents situations in which diplomatic protection is sought by several States at the same time for the same corporation. She added that the draft articles are an idea basis with which to draft an international treaty on this topic.
JOSE JUAN HERNANDEZ CHAVEZ (Chile), underlining the stance of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and his delegation, said that a convention would be a valuable exercise to deal with existing gaps in international law and would serve to promote legal certainty and predictability. However, a definition of State responsibility for internationally wrongful acts, which is still pending, should be prioritized over said convention. Draft article 8, which regulates the possibility of providing diplomatic protection for a stateless person, enables States to guarantee a high level of protection to particularly vulnerable individuals. He also noted that two topics stand out: to take into account, as far as possible, the opinion of the person subject to wrongful acts in terms of remedies and protection; and providing constitution to the person from the responsible State. These recommended practices should be considered by the States when it comes to protecting natural persons, including considering the practice of transferring any reparations. He observed that, in the event that States decide to debate the substance of the articles, they could reflect on how to differentiate the standard of diplomatic protection for natural persons, since human beings must be at the centre of State action.
Ms. ASMAN (Malaysia) reiterated her position that diplomatic protection shall remain within the sovereign prerogative and integral discretion of a State. In this regard, she aligned herself with the prevailing position under international law, as reflected in draft articles 2 and 3 on Diplomatic Protection, that there is no obligatory duty for a State to exercise diplomatic protection on behalf of its national who has been injured by an internationally wrongful act. She also said that the draft articles are essential in ensuring that nationals abroad be fairly treated, as well as in permitting States to intervene on behalf of their nationals who have been subjected to violations of human rights. Recognizing that diplomatic protection is closely connected to the agenda item on the responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts, she said that the deliberation on this agenda item should not continue until the latter will have been concluded.
WIETEKE ELISABETH CHRISTINA THEEUWEN (Netherlands) said that there is not a need to conclude a treaty on diplomatic protection, as the vast majority of the draft articles’ provisions reflect customary international law. She voiced her support for a joint procedure for the articles on State responsibility and those on diplomatic protection, which are intertwined to the extent that a separate treaty is not desirable. There are differences between them, however, and the fact that their fate should be joined does not imply that the same considerations apply to both. While the articles on State responsibility would benefit from further consideration of State practice, those on diplomatic protection ‑ which reflect customary international law ‑ would not. Adding that her delegation’s hesitance regarding a treaty on diplomatic protection does not stem from uncertainty as to the status of the relevant draft articles, she expressed hope that the same will continue to be relied on as a reflection of law in this area.
WALTER FERRARA (Italy) underlined that, under current international law, the right to exercise diplomatic protection exclusively belongs to the State, which can exercise it discretionally. He suggested the adoption of a soft law instrument that would incorporate the entire set of draft articles on diplomatic protection adopted by the International Law Commission. A non-binding General Assembly resolution might encourage States to apply the rules set forth in the draft articles, thereby reinforcing the legal value of the work conducted by the International Law Commission and stimulating further development of State practice on those aspects of diplomatic protection that are not yet recognized as customary international law. He further invited the Committee to consider including a chapter on future diplomatic protection regarding the implementation of State responsibility of any convention on that matter. Given the evolution of the relevant norms and their scope, diplomatic protection no longer applies only in response to violations of the norms on the treatment of aliens abroad but is one of the possible ways to obtain redress after any internationally wrongful conduct of a foreign State against natural or legal persons, including violations of fundamental human rights. These two proposals may be taken on board either in the alternative or the soft law instrument could prepare the ground for the future codification of diplomatic protection in a convention on the law of State responsibility.
MOHAMED FAIZ BOUCHEDOUB (Algeria) said that diplomatic protection based on the principle of equal sovereignty among States is an indispensable and fundamental tool that allows States to protect the rights of their nationals who have been harmed within the limits of its own national legal system due to a wrongful act attributed to another country. He pointed out that this is particularly relevant when countries resort to arresting foreign nationals, detaining them or issuing verdicts against them in an arbitrary measure to bring pressure on another country for political reasons. Turning to the close link between diplomatic protection and responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts, he called on the Commission to align the draft articles on the two issues to develop and consolidate international law on international responsibility. He pointed out that, despite the importance of codification of international law and the progressive development of its provisions, it is premature to commence negotiations on elaborating a convention based on the draft articles due to the lack of consensus among Member States.
Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations
GHEORGHE LEUCĂ (Republic of Moldova), Chair of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization, introduced the report of its 2022 session (document A/77/33). The Special Committee met in New York from 22 February to 2 March and adopted one chapter of its 2022 report which contains 13 paragraphs and is procedural in nature. Paragraphs 10 to 12 list all of the items and proposals under the Special Committee’s consideration, he noted before spotlighting several which included working papers on “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”, amongst others. The Special Committee also considered the preparation of the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs and the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council.
While the Special Committee did not adopt the recommendations that were made during its 2022 session, he noted there was general agreement. On the Repertory and the Repertoire, he said the Bureau recommends that the Sixth Committee retain its previous recommendations to the General Assembly as contained in operative paragraphs 12 to 18 of the Assembly resolution 76/115 with the addition of “further” at the beginning of operative paragraph 13. The Bureau further recommended the subtopic “Exchange of information on State practices regarding the resort to regional agencies or arrangements” as the theme of the annual debate, he said.
BLANCA MONTEJO, Senior Political Affairs Officer, Security Council Practices and Charter Research Branch 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. In line with the contemporary approach to drafting the Repertoire, her Branch focused on the simultaneous completion of the twenty-fourth Supplement and the preparation of the twenty-fifth Supplement, whereby the former was completed and posted on the website of the Council in October 2022. She also noted that the final versions of the Supplements covering the period from 1989 to 2019 are available in hard copy in English and online in all six official languages.
Complementing the work of the Branch on the Repertoire and in line with Secretary-General for “Data Strategy for Action by Everyone, Everywhere”, she reported that the team continued to expand the use of technology to present the practice of the Council in a visually engaging and accessible manner on the website. As a result, a new dataset on the evolving nature of “Arria-formula” meetings was published and the Field Missions Dashboard, which compiles and systematizes the mandates of peacekeeping operations and special political missions, has also been improved with a more user-friendly presentation.
Moreover, the datasets on the protection of civilians, children in armed conflict and women, peace and security have been expanded to cover Council decisions dating back to the inception of those items in 1999 and 2000, she continued. The latest annual edition, “Highlights of Security Council Practice” features new analysis of “Arria-formula” meetings, informal interactive dialogues and the emerging practice of joint thematic priorities and actions of Council Members on issues such as women, peace and security. Furthermore, the new monthly newsletter — United Nations Security Council in Review — has become a key resource for Council Members and the membership at large with real-time analysis of procedural and substantive trends in the Council.
However, she highlighted the importance of voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund in the progress made in the preparation of the Repertoire, the development of research tools and the maintenance of the website. The Trust Fund was critical in eliminating the ten-year backlog in the publication of the Repertoire and moving towards an annual contemporary publication. However, she noted with concern that the current level of funding in the Trust Fund will not allow the Branch to sustain this progress in 2023. “It is only through predictable and sustained budgetary support that the Branch can fully secure the contemporary approach to the Repertoire and meet the demands of Member States for more in-depth and up-to-date analysis and data on the latest developments in the Council,” she stressed.
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. Further, three consultants were recruited to draft four studies to be financed in 2022-2023 from the trust fund for the elimination of the backlog in the Repertory. He also welcomed assistance from the University of Ottawa and Korea University, additionally noting that a volume from Supplement 9 was published in electronic format during the period under review, both in English and Spanish.
He went on to report that, following the General Assembly’s appeal for States to consider sponsoring associate experts to work on the Repertory, two delegations — one from the Asia-Pacific region and one from the Latin American and Caribbean region — have requested information on such programme. He also called on delegations to contribute to the Repertory’s Trust Fund, welcoming contributions thereto by the Philippines and Ireland. He added an appeal to delegations to raise interest in academic institutions in their countries or regions for participation in the preparation of studies for the Repertory, underlining the importance of geographic diversity in this context.
MOHAMMAD GHORBANPOUR NAJAFABADI (Iran), speaking for the Non-Aligned Movement, reiterated his concern over the Security Council’s continued encroachment of the powers of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, as well as its attempt to set norms and establish definitions. The Special Committee should provide more information on the short‑ and long-term socioeconomic and humanitarian consequences of sanctions and its impacts on target States and third States, as well as the methodology to assess humanitarian implications, he urged. The Secretariat must develop the capacity to properly assess sanctions’ unintended effects on civilian populations. As a measure of last resort, targeted sanctions may only be used when there are threats to international peace and security and not as a preventive measure, he stressed. They must have clearly defined objectives based on tenable legal grounds, apply for a specific timeframe, articulate conditions demanded of a State or party and be lifted as soon as their goals have been achieved. Countries which have imposed unilateral sanctions must end them immediately, he said.
Turning to the annual thematic debates, he proposed incorporating a paragraph in the resolution which invites Member States in future sessions of the Special Committee to consider: good offices; procedures envisioned in the Charter and other international instruments; adaptation or combination of traditional means; exchange of information and communication; and Implementation and Compliance Committees. The input and materials collected by this process can help the Special Committee achieve concrete and results-oriented outcomes. He also expressed his concern over the reluctance of some States to engage meaningfully on the maintenance of peace and security and the peaceful settlement of disputes. As there must be genuine political will to advance the Special Committee’s long-standing issues, Member States must bring new and practical proposals to that body. He voiced additional concern over the backlog in preparing volume III of the Repertory and called on the Secretary-General to prioritize this matter.
SIMONA POPAN, representative of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, recalled that unlike in previous years, the Special Committee on the Charter concluded its work without the adoption of a substantive report. Therefore, noting that she was unable to comment on its 2022 session, she recalled that on 24 February the fundamental principles of the Charter were violated by a permanent member of the Security Council when the Russian Federation started its war of aggression against its sovereign neighbour, Ukraine. During the debate in the Special Committee that followed, many delegations condemned this unprovoked and unjustified aggression, whereas others disavowed the discussions as politicized. Yet, on the same day in March, when the Special Committee failed to reference the debate in its report, the General Assembly deplored in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, she said.
“We do not take pleasure in recalling those unfortunate events and we do not want to load the debate of today,” she stressed. However, it was regrettable that the Special Committee was unable to deliver on one of the key aspects of its mandate: the maintenance of international peace and security. In this regard, she encouraged the Special Committee to seriously reflect on its agenda and working methods, noting that “a number of proposals remain for years, if not decades, on its agenda without concrete progress”.
JHON GUERRA SANSONETTI (Venezuela), speaking for the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations and associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, noted the Charter is the code of conduct that has ruled international relations between States for the past 77 years, based on timeless principles, including sovereign equality of States, self-determination, non-interference in the internal affairs of States and refrainment from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State. Expressing concern at the current and growing threats against the Charter of the United Nations, he cited the growing resort to unilateralism, attacks on multilateralism, claims of non-existent exceptionalisms and attempts to ignore and even substitute its purposes and principles. Such practices contribute in no way to addressing complex, emerging and common challenges faced in these days by humanity, he emphasized. Instead, they contribute to an increase in uncertainty, instability and tensions around the world.
He went on to say that the Group is mindful that the Special Committee can play an active and constructive role in strengthening the role of the United Nations — with a view to enhancing its effectiveness and developing its full potential — a process that must be pursued on the basis of the principles and procedures envisaged in the Charter itself. Citing the unwillingness of certain Member States to engage in a meaningful debate for considering the valuable proposals that have long been before the Special Committee, he appealed for concrete demonstrations of their political will for effectively carrying out its mandate — in a manner that would allow a successful outcome as that of 1982 when approving the historic Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes.
MYKOLA PRYTULA (Ukraine), also speaking for Georgia and Moldova, pointed out that — unlike in previous years — no substantive report was adopted by the Special Committee, despite vigorous efforts by most delegations. The Russian Federation abused the consensus-based practice of report adoption against the backdrop of its war of aggression against Ukraine, which it unleashed the day after the Special Committee started its work in February. Since the beginning of the Russian Federation’s aggression in February 2014, Ukraine has done its utmost to solve the conflict by legal means, particularly through the International Court of Justice and ad hoc arbitration. However, eight years later, the Russian Federation not only ignored the Court’s 2017 order but started a new wave of full-scale military aggression against Ukraine and, more recently, ignored the Court’s March 2022 order. Further, its attempted illegal annexation of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine is a serious aggravation of its war of aggression and constitutes yet another violation of the Charter and international law.
What the world is witnessing in Ukraine today is a continuation of the aggressive policy started in Georgia in the early 1990s, which led to the full-scale military aggression against that country in 2008, he continued. The Russian Federation continues to exercise effective control over 20 per cent of Georgia’s territory and, parallel to its illegal military presence, Moscow is intensifying its efforts to annex both occupied Georgian regions. Decisive joint efforts are required by the international community — first and foremost by the United Nations — to ensure that the Russian Federation ceases its destructive actions against Georgia and the wider region. Stressing that Georgia is committed to using every peaceful means at its disposal to resolve the conflict, he also stated that the Republic of Moldova has been continuously using negotiations to settle State disputes since 1993. For 30 years, that country has requested a complete, unconditional withdrawal of Russian troops stationed in its territory. Against this backdrop, he underscored that the United Nations’ response to threats against international peace and security “is as vital as ever” for the people of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova.
KIM IN CHOL (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter, stressed that power is negating sovereignty equality. Political and military pressure against sovereign States and the unjustified intervention in their international affairs are being openly ignored. At the same time, measures to safeguard sovereignty and the rights to existence and development are being denounced as threats to international peace and security. He called on the Special Committee to reject high‑handedness, arbitrariness and unilateralism. Strengthening the Organization must include an immediate end to abuses of its name, he said before spotlighting the United States’ fabrication of the “United Nations Command” and its related Security Council resolution. Despite the General Assembly’s adoption in 1975 of a resolution calling for the Command’s dissolution, the United States continues to station troops in the Republic of Korea which engage in nuclear war exercises targeting his Government, he noted. This “United Nations Command” must be dismantled immediately, he demanded.
MOHAMMAD SADEGH TALEBIZADEH SARDARI (Iran), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, noted that international relations are threatened by the arbitrary interpretation of the principles and rules of international law, as certain States misuse the United Nations mechanisms in order to achieve their narrow political agenda. The attempts to politicize the Special Charter during its last session are an alarming development with the potential to endanger the legal nature of the work of the Sixth Committee as well as consensus-based decision-making. He reiterated support to the joint proposal of the Russian Federation and Belarus to seek the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice through the General Assembly on the legal consequences of the resort to the use of force without authorization by the Council, except in the exercise of the right of self-defence. He noted that while the imposition of sanctions under Chapter VII of the Charter has a paramount effect on the political life of countries as well as their peoples, such sanctions are introduced or lifted “completely dependent on the political will of a small number of Member States”. He, thus, called for pre-established standards or criteria for recognizing the relevant situations or cases while determining and imposing sanctions.
ELIZABETH MARYANNE GROSSO (United States) emphasized that targeted sanctions adopted by the Security Council in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations remain an important instrument for the maintenance of international peace and security. She voiced her support for future discussions to strengthen their implementation. While sanctions outside of United Nations auspices are not the focus of the Special Committee’s work, they are also legitimate means to achieve foreign policy, security and other important objectives. She welcomed new proposals that are practical, non‑political and do not duplicate efforts elsewhere in the United Nations. However, she urged Member States not to use the Special Committee as a forum for airing bilateral concerns or to pursue topics more appropriately raised in other fora, and to withdraw proposals that have languished on its agenda. She also expressed disappointment that a substantive report of deliberations could not be adopted due to one delegation’s demand to remove numerous statements made condemning the invasion of Ukraine as a violation of the Charter. While Member States often disagree on the difficult subjects raised, each divergent position should be indicated in the report. One party should not be permitted to demand that a position stated by a group of delegations, clearly within the scope of the Special Committee, be erased entirely as if it never happened, she emphasized.
KIM HYUNSOO (Republic of Korea), stating that sanctions adopted by the Security Council remain an important tool for maintaining international peace and security, welcomed ongoing efforts to ensure transparency and due process with respect to the same. The Special Committee had a meaningful discussion on the peaceful settlement of disputes, he recalled, adding that his delegation looks forward to a useful debate at the next session on the resort to regional agencies and arrangements in this regard. Underlining the need for the Special Committee to address issues on a priority basis, he also urged Member States to avoid using that forum to advance political propaganda, such as bilateral political concerns. Responding to the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he underscored that the Sixth Committee is not the appropriate forum in which to discuss the situation on the Korean Peninsula, especially when such discussion is based on distorted allegations.
PABLO ADRIÁN ARROCHA OLABUENAGA (Mexico), expressing regret that the Special Committee was unable to adopt the full report, spotlighted his country’s revised proposal. Since 2018, Mexico has requested space for a technical and legal discussion on the implications of Article 51 and its links with Article 2.4 of the Charter. The proposal would aim to analyse certain substantive and procedural aspects concerning the Security Council’s communications and create a repository which features various Member State positions on the operation, scope and limits of the right to defence. It would focus on recent practices and other situations which arise in the future concerning non-State actors, he said, while noting it would also analyse the methods by which the Council provides transparency in its receipt and dissemination of communications. This proposal does not duplicate other discussions in other fora, he emphasized, adding that his delegation will request the annexation of its proposal in the resolution as well as the inclusion of a reference to its presentation.
AHMED ABDELAZIZ AHMED ELGHARIB (Egypt), associating himself with Non-Aligned Movement and the statement to be delivered by the African Group, noted that his delegation has taken part in the activities of the Special Committee on the Charter ever since it was created. He spotlighted the pivotal role of the Special Committee in examining the proposals of Member States aimed at enhancing the role of the United Nations in preserving peace and security, and in reinforcing international law and relations among States. “The mandate of the Committee is a long-going mandate,” he said, highlighting its importance in critical times where international multilateral work faces diverse challenges. He reiterated appreciation of the discussion pertaining to the working methodologies of the Special Committee, underscoring the importance of enhancing its mandate to allow it to play its role in a better manner in the future. He also expressed hope for reaching consensus on the Special Committee’s report in the coming sessions.
GENG SHUANG (China), associating himself with the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations, expressed support for the work of the Special Committee, voicing hope it will make further efforts to uphold the Charter. On maintenance of international peace and security, the Special Committee conducted useful discussions on sanctions and prohibition of the use of force. He stressed that United Nations sanctions are a means to an end rather than end in and of itself. He urged the Council to take a prudent approach, predicated on exhaustion of all other peaceful means, while their impact on the general public and third countries should be minimized. He also voiced his opposition to additional sanctions that run counter to the Charter and undermine the effectiveness and authority of United Nations sanctions. Parties to a dispute should resolve it through peaceful means, he said, urging respect for the right of countries to independently choose the way to resolve their differences. Turning to judicial settlement, like other means involving intervention of a third party, he stressed it must abide by the principle of State consent. As well, the exercise of jurisdiction must be in strict compliance with treaty authorization or the agreement of the countries concerned, he added.
LIGIA LORENA FLORES SOTO (El Salvador) highlighted the important role played by the Special Committee, noting its review powers on proposals to maintain international peace and security, develop cooperation between States and promote international law. It also clarifies and interprets provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. She stressed, however, the need to reflect on its work and examine where it can best contribute without duplicating the efforts of other bodies examining similar questions. On that point, she emphasized that annual discussions thereon must continue from a technical and legal perspective, not a politicized one. She went on to spotlight the Special Committee’s contributions to the adoption of the Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes and to the preparation of the Handbook on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes Between States. These instruments develop the principle of free choice of means contemplated in Article 33(1) of the Charter of the United Nations, which provides States the right to freely choose the means to resolve international disputes, she added.
ESTELA MERCEDES NZE MANSOGO (Equatorial Guinea), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement, Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter and the statement to be delivered by the African Group, emphasized the urgent need to bolster the Organization’s role through reforms which preserve the legal framework of the Charter and establishes a balance between its main bodies and organs. She urged Member States to choose preventive diplomacy and avoid escalating disputes by using Article 33 of the Charter and referring to the International Court of Justice. For its part, the Special Committee must leave no stone unturned in encouraging States to prevent and resolve disputes peacefully, she said while underlining the importance of Member States’ will and determination. She then expressed her support for Ghana’s proposed working document on strengthening relationships and cooperation with regional arrangements and agencies for the peaceful settlement of disputes.
ASHISH SHARMA (India), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that targeted sanctions serve as an important tool for maintenance of peace and security. However, they should not be used as preventive or punitive measures. “They serve their purpose if they are issued when necessary and as a measure of last resort only after having tried all other options,” he stressed. The Security Council has previously deliberated on several proposals and the outcome of such deliberations has been instrumental in issuing targeting sanctions against individuals and entities. As a result, the incidents of unintentional harm to third States or their citizens have significantly reduced. However, lack of requests for assistance from States should not be considered as grounds to seize deliberations on this topic, he stressed. Underscoring the importance of discussing the implementation of Article 50 of the Charter so that third States are not adversely affected by sanctions, he encouraged the Secretariat to explore practical and effective measures to assist the affected third States. Recognizing that one of the cornerstones of the United Nations is the peaceful settlement of disputes, he reiterated India’s support of the retention of this approach.
Ms. ALDOH (Qatar) said resolving disputes through peaceful means is a pillar of the Charter of the United Nations. Qatar plays a fundamental role in mediation and diplomacy and has been a recognized mediator in a number of regional and international crises, helping achieve peace and security. Citing the Afghanistan peace process, she noted Doha was a centre for meetings between various parties to the conflict. The country remains at work with international partners on the reconciliation process and human rights and women’s rights and logistics for humanitarian assistance. She further noted the Doha-hosted Chadian peace talks for the transition phase in that country resulted in the August signing of the Doha Agreement for Peace in Chad.
Ms. GETACHEW (Ethiopia), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement and the statement to be delivered by the African Group, said that political and socioeconomic dynamics, recent developments and global crises call for a strong, effective United Nations. To that end, the Charter of the United Nations is the foundation of global cooperation and must be respected by all States. States taking exception from globally agreed instruments and applying double standards are an affront to the Charter. More so, the imposition of unilateral coercive measures has eroded trust in multilateralism. The Special Committee, therefore, must work to deconstruct these developments. She went on to highlight the importance of the pacific settlement of disputes, also emphasizing that States’ choices regarding dispute-resolution mechanisms must be respected and upheld. On the United Nations’ role in maintaining peace and security, she called for strong relationships between the United Nations and regional organizations, noting that the latter are best-placed to provide context-informed, sustained solutions to differences.
EVGENY A. SKACHKOV (Russian Federation) spotlighted the Special Committee’s consideration of a number of proposals, including his country’s initiative to update the Handbook on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes Between States; Mexico’s proposal on Article 51; and Iran’s initiative on preventing, removing, minimizing and redressing the adverse impacts of unilateral coercive measures. As sanctions have notable impacts on global supply chains, the populations of third States and vulnerable countries, the Special Committee should dedicate more attention to this issue, he stressed. It also should focus on legal consequences including liability for relevant States under international law on the damages caused by such measures. He also highlighted Syria’s timely proposal on privileges and immunities. The host country continues to create difficulties not only for some Member States but also for staff members of the Secretariat from those States, he noted. To normalize the work of delegations, the Special Committee should recommend practical steps which include arbitration procedures to ensure compliance. He then expressed regret that the Special Committee fell hostage to politicization by certain Member States during its last session. The inclusion of non-consensus-based statements in the report made it impossible to adopt a substantive document, he said while calling on those States to end their attempts to undermine that body’s work.
MOHAMMED ALI AHMED AL SHEHHI (Oman) recalled that his country was committed to continuing its constructive role in defending the Charter of the United Nations and international treaties. Oman is a reliable mediator for several issues in the Middle East, he pointed out, including on the issue of stabilizing the truce in Yemen to ensure security in the region. Reaffirming his support for Chapter VI of the Charter on the peaceful settlement of disputes, he cited the importance of practicing preventive diplomacy before resorting to coercive measures, in accordance with international law and through the Security Council.
The representative of Bolivia, associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement and the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations, declared that hers is a pacifist State, abiding by the principles of justice and international law established in the United Nations Charter. International treaties constitute the norms and foundations for coexistence between States. However, they can also be subject to changes and amendments in line with developments in international law. The Special Committee remains the relevant forum for amendments to the Charter, and it therefore must be open to debate on any proposal by Member States. Noting the Committee has adopted various crucial texts, including the Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes, she reaffirmed her delegation’s commitment to its activities in the interest of avoiding violence and unnecessary war in a world so in need of fraternity between peoples.
TOFIG MUSAYEV (Azerbaijan), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, highlighted the Special Committee’s role in the elaboration and adoption of the Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes, which celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year. He recalled his country’s experience of nearly thirty years of unlawful occupation of its territories; numerous war crimes committed against its people; destruction and devastation of thousands of its cities, towns and villages; and forcible displacement of its citizens, resulting from territorial claims and ethno-nationalist ideology. This history is an illustration and reminder of the need to do more to ensure respect for international law and prevent conflicts, he underscored. Looking forward to continued, useful thematic discussions concerning the peaceful settlement of disputes during future sessions of the Special Committee, he called on the same to conduct meaningful, constructive and result-oriented discussions to finalize the proposals before it.
AAHDE LAHMIRI (Morocco), speaking for the African Group and associating with the Non-Aligned Movement, encouraged the Special Committee to continue its in-depth consideration of the proposals on its agenda. Working methods and the tendency to allow ideologies battle to take precedent over legal analyses have prevented that body from exploring its full potential, she said. As such, the Special Committee should examine the necessary means to strengthen its role while ensuring respect for the mandates of other United Nations organs.
Turning to Ghana’s proposal, she expressed her support for the revised working paper on strengthening the relationship and cooperation with regional arrangements or agencies in the peaceful settlement of disputes. Preventive diplomacy has an important role in conflict prevention, the peaceful settlement of disputes and the promotion of a culture of peace, she stressed. States must resort to the peaceful means stated in Article 33 of the Charter. For its part, the Special Committee should continue to analyse all of the means envisaged within that Article. In encouraging delegations to revisit the peaceful settlement of disputes outlined in the Charter, she said she looked forward to the forthcoming discussion on the topic “Exchange of information on State practices regarding the use of arbitration”.
MOHAMED FAIZ BOUCHEDOUB (Algeria) highlighted the role of the Special Committee, voicing confidence that its discussions will contribute to the strengthening and restructuring of the United Nations — in particular, reform of the Security Council. He further called for refraining from politicizing the debates within the Special Committee, expressing hope that it will be able to adopt its annual report, as has been the case in previous years. He also urged the Codification Division to streamline the use of the six official languages without discrimination on the website of the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council. Expressing regret that the Division did not communicate enough with universities in Africa, he asked it to intensify its efforts in this regard.
The representative of Nigeria, associating herself with the African Group and Non-Aligned Movement, stressed that maintaining international peace and security is only possible in an environment that promotes the rights and responsibilities of all States in an equitable and just international community. She called on the Special Committee to continue consideration of all proposals pertaining to international peace and security in all their aspects, those already submitted or to come, in particular for cooperation with regional organizations. It should also consider ways and means of improving its working methods and use of resources. Welcoming the Special Committee proposal to establish a website dedicated to the peaceful settlement of disputes, she also spotlighted an advanced working paper by Ghana on strengthening the United Nations.
AMANUEL GIORGIO (Eritrea), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Group and the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations, underlined the importance of the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference. These principles — enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations — must be fully respected by all to ensure peace and security, socioeconomic progress and justice. He also highlighted that the balance of function and authority between and among different United Nations organs must be maintained, and that the General Assembly must remain the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations. The Security Council should employ sanctions as a last resort and ensure that they are not based on unfounded charges or imposed without solid evidence. As well, he stressed the need to avoid double standards and ensure a clear, fair procedure for ending sanctions regimes. More concerning, however, is States’ increasing use of unilateral coercive measures as a tool of aggressive foreign policy, he added.
MELINA LITO (United Kingdom) reminded the Sixth Committee that the Special Committee was established as a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly to discuss and consider proposals concerning the maintenance of international peace and security in all its aspects with a view to strengthen the role of the United Nations. The Special Committee must be consistent with the decisions of the General Assembly, especially on matters of peace and security which concern the most serious breaches of the Charter. As such, it is unfortunate that the Special Committee was unable to reach consensus in agreeing on its full annual report, she said.
LOUREEN O. A. SAYEJ, an observer for the State of Palestine, associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement, stressed the importance of the International Court of Justice, affirming that no multilateral order can exist without it as the cornerstone — the world’s court “excluding none of us”. Despite challenges, its decisions have proven its relevance to the peaceful settlement of disputes. Given its advisory capacity on legal questions, she called on the Security Council to make better use of it. She urged all States to accept the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction, and to defend and empower it. The Charter and the Court represent the greatest promise to make the world more just, peaceful and secure.
Right of Reply
The representative of the Republic of Korea, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, pointed out that the joint military exercises involving his country and the United States have been conducted annually for several decades. They are conducted in response to the clear, present military threat from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and are defensive in nature. Pyongyang’s ballistic missile launches are clear violations of multiple Security Council resolutions and, therefore, are against international law. They also constitute a serious, grave threat — not only to the Korean Peninsula, but also to the region and international community as a whole — and he urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to cease its military provocations and act in accordance with relevant Council resolutions.
The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in response, emphasized that the Republic of Korea is attempting to distract the international community from the dangerous situation on the Korean Peninsula. The aggravated situation and tensions thereon are attributable to joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States. Further, he rejected Council resolutions that flagrantly violate the sovereignty, right to development and existence of a State. Pyongyang’s national-defence capabilities are fully recognized under relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, and no one can dispute a sovereign State’s right to exercise self-defence. He urged the Republic of Korea to refrain from its “fratricidal confrontation policy” and immediately cease its joint military exercises with the United States.
The representative of the Republic of Korea, taking the floor for a second time, reminded the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s delegate that the Special Committee should not be the venue for unsubstantiated assertations concerning the United Nations Command and the overall situation in the Korean Peninsula. There is no doubt that the Command is officially recognized by the Security Council and that it contributes to peace and security. In pointing out that the General Assembly adopted two resolutions during its plenary meeting on the Korean issue, he described the reference to just one resolution as a gross misreading which runs counter to reality.
The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said he was referring specifically to the United Nations Command in the Republic of Korea. That country is distracting the Sixth Committee by raising a different topic, he stressed, before reiterating his earlier statement. Since the Special Committee is mandated to examine suggestions and proposals concerning international peace and security, it is the obvious and appropriate forum to address violations of the letter and spirit of the United Nations, he pointed out, adding that the resolution calling for the Command’s dissolution must be implemented without delay.