Reports of the Sixth Committee UNGA 45th plenary meeting of the 75th session

Mr. Solomon Korbieh
Repertoire of the Legal Committee
Ghana Permanent Mission to the United Nations
December 15, 2020, New York City

                                            

AS DEIVERED

 

I have the honour to present the reports of the Sixth Committee on its work during the seventy-fifth session of the General Assembly. The Assembly allocated to the Committee 29 substantive and 3 procedural agenda items.  With the exception of the item relating to the election of officers, all those agenda items fall under three of the headings corresponding to the priorities of the Organization, namely: “Promotion of justice and international law”; “Drug control, crime prevention and combating international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”; and “Organizational, administrative and other matters”.

I will introduce the reports of the Sixth Committee on the various items in the order in which they fall under those three headings.

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Mr. President,

Under the heading, “Promotion of justice and international law”, the Sixth Committee considered 14 agenda items and adopted 13 draft resolutions and 1 draft decision recommended to the General Assembly for adoption.

I first invite the Assembly to consider agenda item 77, “Criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on mission”. Document A/75/423 contains the report on agenda item 77, and the draft resolution recommended to the General Assembly for adoption is reproduced in paragraph 9 thereof. Under the draft resolution the Assembly would affirm and elaborate on the various measures aimed at ensuring the criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on mission and set out a variety of mechanisms intended to increase and enhance the information enabling Member States to address the topic.

 

The report on agenda item 78, Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the work of its fifty-third session, is contained in document A/75/424, and the draft resolution recommended to the General Assembly for adoption is reproduced in paragraph 7 thereof. Under the terms of the draft resolution, the Assembly would commend the Commission for the completion of the Legal Guide to Uniform Legal Instruments in the Area of International Commercial Contracts, and note with interest of the decisions taken by the Commission as regards its future work and the progress made by the Commission in its work in several areas.

 

The report on agenda item 79, United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law, is to be found in document A/75/425, and the draft resolution recommended by the Sixth Committee is reproduced in paragraph 7 thereof.  Under the terms of the draft resolution, the Assembly would, inter alia, authorize the Secretary-General to carry out the activities specified in his report under this item to be financed from provisions in the regular budget, and also authorize the Secretary-General to further expand these activities to be financed through voluntary contributions.

 

The report on agenda item 80, “Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its seventy-second session”, is contained in document A/75/426. Paragraph 7 of this document reproduces the draft resolution recommended to the General Assembly in connection with this agenda item. In light of the fact that the Assembly decided to postpone the seventy-second session of the International Law Commission to 2021, by the draft resolution at hand, the Assembly would take note once more of the report of the Commission at its seventy-first session, while deciding that the next session of the Commission shall be held at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 26 April to 4 June and from 5 July to 6 August 2021.

 

Document A/75/427 contains the report on agenda item 81, “Crimes against humanity”, and the draft resolution recommended to the General Assembly for adoption is reproduced in paragraph 7 thereof. Under the terms of the draft resolution, the Assembly would take note of the draft articles presented by the International Law Commission and decide to resume its consideration of the topic at its seventy-sixth session.

 

The report on agenda item 82, Expulsion of aliens”, is contained in document A/75/428. Under the terms of the draft resolution, which is reproduced in paragraph 6 of the report, the Assembly would decide to include the agenda item in the provisional agenda of its seventy-eighth session with a view to examining, inter alia, the question of the form that might be given to the articles or any other appropriate action.

 

The report on agenda item 83, “Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts”, is contained in document A/75/429, and the draft resolution recommended to the General Assembly for adoption is reproduced in paragraph 8 of the report. Under the terms of this draft resolution, the Assembly would, inter alia, reaffirm the necessity of making the implementation of international humanitarian law more effective, and support its further strengthening and development.

 

The report on agenda item 84, “Consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives”, is contained in document A/75/430, and the draft resolution recommended to the General Assembly for adoption is reproduced in paragraph 7 of the report. Under the terms of the draft resolution, the Assembly would, inter alia, strongly condemn acts of violence against diplomatic and consular missions and representatives, as well as against missions and representatives to international intergovernmental organizations and officials of such organizations, and urge States to strictly observe, implement and enforce, including during a period of armed conflict, all the applicable principles and rules of international law.

 

The report on agenda item 85, “Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization”, is contained in document A/75/431. The related draft resolution is reproduced in paragraph 10 thereof. Under the terms of the draft resolution, the Assembly would, inter alia, request the Special Committee to continue its consideration of the questions of the maintenance of international peace and security and to keep on its agenda the question of the peaceful settlement of disputes between States. Moreover, it would invite Member States to focus their comments during the thematic debate at the next session of the Special Committee on the subtopic “Exchange of information on State practices regarding the use of arbitration”.

 

The report on agenda item 86, “The rule of law at the national and international levels”, is contained in document A/75/432.  Under the terms of the draft resolution, which is reproduced in paragraph 8 of the report, the Assembly would, inter alia, reaffirm the imperative of upholding and promoting the rule of law at the international level in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, stress the importance of adherence to the rule of law at the national level, and invite Member States and the Secretary-General to suggest possible subtopics for future Sixth Committee debates, for inclusion in the forthcoming annual report, with a view to assisting the Sixth Committee in choosing future subtopics.

 

The report on agenda item 87, “The scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction”, is contained in document A/75/433. Under the terms of the draft resolution reproduced in paragraph 9 of the report, the Assembly would decide to continue its consideration of the item in plenary next year, while undertaking a thorough discussion of the subject in the context of a Working Group at the seventy-seventh session.

 

The Report on agenda item 88, “Responsibility of international organization”, is contained in document A/75/434, and the draft resolution is reproduced in paragraph 7 thereof. Under the terms of the draft resolution, the General Assembly would, inter alia, request the Secretary-General to update the compilation of decisions of international courts, tribunals and other bodies referring to the articles, and invite Governments and international organizations to submit information on their practice in this regard well in advance of its seventy-eighth session. The Assembly would also decide to include the item in the provisional agenda of its seventy-eighth session, with a view to examining, inter alia, the question of the form that might be given to the articles.

 

The report on agenda item 89, “Protection of persons in the event of disasters”, is contained in document A/75/435. The related recommended draft decision is reproduced in paragraph 7 thereof. Under the terms of the draft decision, the General Assembly would, on the recommendation of the Sixth Committee, decide to defer the consideration of the agenda item to the seventy-sixth session of the Assembly.

 

The report on agenda item 90, “Strengthening and promoting the international treaty framework” is to be found in document A/75/436, and the draft resolution is reproduced in paragraph 8 thereof. Under the terms of the draft resolution, the General Assembly would, inter alia, recall Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirm the importance of the registration and publication of treaties, as well as of their accessibility. In addition, the Assembly would encourage the Secretary-General to develop an online treaty registration system to facilitate submissions of treaties, as an additional option to the existing ways of submission, in consultation with and on the basis of feedback from Member States and within existing resources. The Assembly would also note that some Member States continue to consider that outstanding issues remain where the Regulations to give effect to Article 102 of the Charter may need further consideration or possible updating, and therefore, would defer consideration of proposals to amend the aforementioned Regulations to the seventy-sixth session of the Assembly.

 

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Mr. President,

I shall now turn to the second heading, “Drug control, crime prevention and combating international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”, under which the Sixth Committee considered agenda item 114, “Measures to eliminate international terrorism”. The relevant report is contained in document A/75/437, and the draft resolution recommended to the General Assembly for adoption is reproduced in paragraph 9 thereof. Under the terms of the draft resolution, the Assembly would, inter alia, decide to recommend that the Sixth Committee, at the seventy-sixth session, establish a working group with a view to finalizing the process on the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism as well as discussions on the item included in its agenda by Assembly resolution 54/110 concerning the question of convening a high-level conference under the auspices of the United Nations.

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Mr. President,

Under the third and final heading, “Organizational, administrative and other matters”, the Sixth Committee considered 14 substantive and 2 procedural items.

Agenda item 152, “Administration of justice at the United Nations”, was allocated to the Fifth and Sixth Committees. The views of the Sixth Committee on this item were transmitted to the Fifth Committee through a letter from the President of the General Assembly dated 20 November 2020 and are annexed to document A/C.5/75/16.

The report on agenda item 171, “Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country”, is contained in document A/75/439. Under the draft resolution recommended to the General  Assembly for adoption, which is reproduced in paragraph 8 of the report, the Assembly would, inter alia, strongly urge the host country to remove all remaining travel restrictions imposed by it on staff of certain missions and staff members of the Secretariat of certain nationalities, express serious concern regarding the non-issuance of entry visas to certain representatives of certain Member States and expect the prompt issuance by the host country of entry visas to all representatives of all Member States pursuant to the Headquarters Agreement.

Furthermore, the Sixth Committee considered twelve requests for observer status in the General Assembly.  It recommended that the Assembly grant observer status in the General Assembly to the Small Island Developing States Dock (SIDS DOCK), the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Institute, the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization, and the Global Dryland Alliance, under the respective agenda items 180, 181, 182 and 183. The reports on those requests are contained in documents A/75/448, A/75/449, A/75/450 and A/75/451, respectively. The relevant draft resolutions are reproduced in paragraphs 7 of documents A/75/449 and A/75/450, and in paragraph 8 of documents A/75/448 and A/75/451.

 

The Committee also recommended that the Assembly defer to the seventy-sixth session the taking of a decision on the requests for observer status in the General Assembly for the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States, the Eurasian Economic Union, the Community of Democracies, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Secretariat, the Global Environment Facility, the International Organization of Employers, the International Trade Union Confederation, and the Boao Forum for Asia, under the respective agenda items 172 to 179. The reports on those requests are contained in documents A/75/440 to A/75/447, respectively. The relevant draft decisions are reproduced in paragraph 7 of those reports.

Concerning the two procedural items, namely agenda item 126, “Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly”, and agenda item 142, “Programme planning”, the report under agenda item 126, containing the provisional programme of work of the Sixth Committee for the seventy-sixth session, is to be found in document A/75/453.  The draft decision, by which the Assembly would take note of the provisional programme of work, is reproduced in paragraph 6 of the report. The report on agenda item 142 is contained in document A/75/452, and no further action by the Assembly is recommended.

 

Mr. President,

The draft resolutions and the draft decisions relating to the agenda items under all three headings were adopted by the Sixth Committee without a vote, and it is my hope that the General Assembly will do the same.

Finally, I wish to inform the Assembly that there is no report regarding agenda item 5, “Election of the officers of the Main Committees”.  Consistent with previous practice, the election of the officers of the Sixth Committee for the seventy-sixth session will be taken up at a later stage in the course of the current session.

 

Mr. President,

In conclusion, allow me to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Chair of the Sixth Committee, Ambassador Milenko E. Skoknic of Chile, for his dedicated work and for his commendable leadership of the Committee, as well as the other members of the Bureau, Mr. Ghanshyam Bhandari of Nepal, Ms. Kristina Pelkiö of Czech Republic, and Ms. Sarah Weiss Ma’udi of Israel for their cooperation. I also wish to thank all the delegates and colleagues for their valuable contributions to the success of the session. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the Secretariat of the Sixth Committee, the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs, for its efficient and valuable support and for the competent and professional advice provided throughout the session.

I thank you, Mr. President.