14 October 2011
General Assembly
GA/L/3416

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-sixth General Assembly

Sixth Committee

14th Meeting (AM)


Legal Committee Lauds Success of United Nations Efforts, Said to Be More Important


Than Ever to Promote Understanding of International Law

 


Delegates Deplore Threatened Cuts in Programme Budget, Stress

Urgent Need for New Sources of Funding, both Assessed and Voluntary


For more than four decades the United Nations had advanced the rule of law through its Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law, delegates told the Sixth Committee (Legal) today, as it discussed the Programme’s work.  A continued shortage of financial resources, however, might impede the Organization’s ability to continue the process in the future.


The Programme of Assistance was even more relevant now as the Organization put renewed emphasis on the promotion of the rule of law, in particular the rule of international law, said the representative of Kenya, speaking for the African Group.  Without the necessary financial and other resources, however, those goals could not be fulfilled.


As the complexity and scope of international law multiplied in recent times, moving into new fields such as international trade, environmental protection and human rights, it was necessary to expand the Programme’s work, said the representative of Ethiopia. She said the recent regional course held in Addis Ababa allowed African lawyers from developing and least developed countries to “grasp current developments” in international law, thus engendering cooperation among Member States.


Like many other delegates, the representative of Lebanon said the Audio-visual Library, the holding of regional seminars and the legal publications carried out by the Codification Division were of particular importance to the Programme’s mission and to the rule of law.  It was, therefore, important to find alternative ways of funding the Programme.


To continue those important activities, developed countries needed to increase their contributions, as developing countries had done, said the representative of Chile, speaking for the Rio Group.  The Secretary-General also needed to adopt a different approach, rather than making recommendations which had not been allocated funding under the regular United Nations budget.


Ireland’s delegate, calling attention to the measure that allowed for an increase in international law fellowships, noted that certain cost-saving measures had been adopted.  She pointed out that “many of us in this room” had developed skills and expertise through participation in the Programme.  It was for that reason that, as it had in the past, her country would continue to make “modest but consistent voluntary contributions” to the Programme.


The representative of Thailand which would co-host regional courses in international law next fall, said her country rendered assistance of all forms under the framework of South-South cooperation, including the transfer of “know-how” and best practices.  For effective implementation of the Programme, however, it was crucial that there be adequate provision of resources, both from the assessed and the voluntary contributions of all Member States.


The representative of Viet Nam spoke for the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).  Others speaking in their national capacity were New Zealand, Mexico, India, Argentina, Czech Republic, Israel, United States, Russian Federation, Malaysia, Japan, South Africa, Ukraine, Chile, Iran, Nigeria, Ghana, Italy, Eritrea and Republic of Korea.


The Committee meets again at 10 a.m. Monday next, 17 October, for discussions on the nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States.


Background


The Sixth Committee (Legal) met this morning to consider the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law (document A/66/505).


The report details the activities of the Office of Legal Affairs, including those of the Codification Division, the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, the International Trade Law Division, the Treaty Section, and the distribution of United Nations legal publications.  It also covers the activities of the United Nations Office at Geneva.  Several achievements in the past year are noted, including through restructuring logistics and budget and awarding of 19 fellowships for the Programme in The Hague in both 2010 and 2011, as compared with 12 fellowships in 2009.


The report states that for the first time in 10 years, the Codification Division held a regional course in Addis Ababa on international law for lawyers from countries in Africa.  Despite the lack of financial resources, the Division continued to explore options to revitalize and expand its important training activities, including identifying suitable locations for those courses to be held on a regular basis.


Regarding the United Nations Audio-visual Library of International Law, created in response to the increasing demand for international law training, the Division continued its work converting into “Flash” format all existing and forthcoming audio and video materials in the Audio-visual Library in order to meet the new technological requirements of the Department of Public Information.  As noted during the presentation of the pilot project for the Library in 2007 and repeatedly thereafter, that major undertaking continued to exceed the existing resources of the Codification Division, and the Library would only continue to develop if it received the necessary funding.  Four Member States made voluntary contributions to support the Library in response to the request of the Secretary-General to Member States in April this year – Austria ($7,270), Czech Republic ($938), Norway ($35,680) and Thailand ($3,000)


The report also states that the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea published four Law of the Sea Bulletins (Nos. 74 to 77) and two Law of the Sea Information Circulars (Nos. 33 to 34).  Some of the activities of the Treaty Section included the organization of two training seminars at Headquarters in 2010 on the registration of treaties and on the depositary practice of the Secretary-General.  Further, the Section submitted for publication, among others, 61 volumes of the United Nations Treaty Series; the United Nations Treaty Collection website was further upgraded to offer a broad range of search and retrieval tools.


An annex contains a listing of the Internet uniform resource locators, or web addresses, of sites maintained by the Office of Legal Affairs.


Statements


ALEJANDRA QUEZADA ( Chile), speaking for the Rio Group of countries, said that over the years her region had made significant contributions to the codification of international law.  In that regard, compliance with international law required knowledge and understanding of its substantive provisions, while its dissemination was vital to the principles and purposes of the United Nations and to achieving peaceful resolution of disputes.  The teaching, study and dissemination of international law were, therefore, of the greatest importance.  She called the Assistance Programme the “cornerstone” of that approach.


Turning to specific elements of the Programme of Assistance, she said the various fellowships and courses offered under the Programme had a clear “multiplier effect” and were of vast importance to the student community.  Member States should make contributions to ensure the sustenance of those resources, emphasizing that funding shortfalls hampered regional courses from being regularly organized.  Member States needed to “step up to the plate”, she said, and host those regional courses.  To further increase its strength, the Programme could join forces with relevant regional and subregional organizations.


Discussing the Audio-visual Library, she said it was particularly important to maintaining the 21 websites on international law, which included legal material of great use to researchers.  Member States should provide or increase resources to the Library, which had the potential to benefit millions of researchers from across the globe.  The Secretary-General had issued an urgent appeal for all Governments to join in that endeavour by making financial contributions and by disseminating international law to academic and other institutions.  Private bodies and individuals associated with the Programme could also contribute in financial resources and in kind.


As for various legal publications, she said legislative texts on United Nations conventions and summaries of rulings of the International Court of Justice in all official languages of the United Nations were particularly useful.  She said everything possible must be done to ensure that the collection was updated and disseminated as widely as possible in each country.  In its resolution last year, the General Assembly urged the Secretary-General to draft certain recommendations but did not allocate funding, with the view that the Programme would be funded through current and voluntary contributions. The Secretary-General should adopt a different solution.  In closing, she noted that although the contributions of developing countries had grown, developed countries needed to increase the number and volume of their contributions.


MACHARIA KAMAU (Kenya) speaking for the African Group, said the goal of the Programme of Assistance was “even more relevant now” as the Organization put renewed emphasis on the promotion of the rule of law, in particular the rule of international law.  However, those goals could not be fulfilled without the necessary financial and other resources.  He applauded, among others, the cost-cutting efforts of the Office of Legal Affairs to maintain fellowship numbers at The Hague Academy, as well as the regional course given, “after years of inaction”, at Addis Ababa in 2010, and the planning of a future one in 2012.


He said Member States were obligated under the principles of the Charter to promote and advance international law.  Therefore, it was essential to provide adequate resources under the regular budget to sustain the activities of the Programme, including the Audio-visual Library on International Law, as well as the Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Fellowship on the Law of the Sea.  Further, more resources should be made available for the publication of research papers and other materials on international law.  He urged Member States who were “able and willing to do so” to make voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund.  Concluding, he underscored that “respect and understanding of international law cannot be achieved only through political means”; teaching and dissemination were crucial components in that process.


PHAM VINH QUANG (Viet Nam), speaking for the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said that the Programme of Assistance was a “vital component” in the contribution to the progressive development of international law and the strengthening of the rule of law at national and international levels.  He heralded the Programme for providing platforms for the Organization and Member States to engage in matters of international law, through fellowship programmes, research assistance seminars and multi-media information development and access, to name a few.


The holding of regional courses, he said, was of great importance, and two of ASEAN’s Members had already hosted those courses, including Thailand in 1986 and 2005, and the Philippines in 1969.  Thailand was currently preparing to host the Regional Course in International Law for Asia to be held in Bangkok in 2012.  However, he recognized the “very real problems”, particularly in terms of funding, which impacted the implementation of activities of the Programme.  To that end, he called for voluntary contributions of Member States to the Programme of Assistance, and stressed the importance of efforts on a regional level toward the teaching, study, dissemination and wider appreciation of international law.


ALICE KING ( New Zealand) said that by increasing States’ knowledge of international law, the Programme of Assistance had the noble aim of strengthening international peace and security and promoting friendly relations and cooperation among States.  Noting with pleasure the revitalization of regional courses in international law, she said those courses provided an invaluable opportunity for young lawyers in foreign and justice ministries, the judiciary and law faculties of universities, to receive high-quality training by leading scholars.  New Zealand had made a contribution of NZD$10,000 to regional courses in the International Law Trust Fund.  She welcomed the willingness of Ethiopia, Thailand and Mexico to host regional courses in 2012 and 2013.  Such courses would be of significant benefit, both to young lawyers fortunate enough to attend, and to our collective efforts to promote understanding of, and respect for, international law.


JUAN MANUEL SÁNCHEZ ( Mexico) said he wished to praise what had been done to preserve materials on international negotiations, on expanding the Audio-visual Library of International Law, and the converting of audio-video materials to ensure their accessibility by modern technical means.  The Codification Division’s organizing of regional courses and the publishing of yearbooks and directories were also commendable.  The support and promotion of international law enriched understanding among nations by means of a better use of the law that regulated international interactions.  That was, he stressed, fundamental to strengthening the rule of law and helped relations between States.


Continuing, he expressed concern that “this important task” was jeopardized by the financial cuts to the Programme, as well as the reduced funding for fellowships.  He called for support to explore alternative measures to garner financial resources, and urged Member States to continue their contributions to the Programme, in particular for The Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Memorial Fellowship on the Law of the Sea.


YANIT HABTEMARIAM ( Ethiopia) said that as the “complexities of life” in recent times multiplied so did the scope of international law, which included rights and obligations of individuals, groups and international organizations, both private and public. Further, international law had moved into new fields, addressing issues of international trade, environmental protection and human rights for both developed and developing countries.  Thus, it was necessary to expand the teaching, study and dissemination of international law as well.


In that regard, she spoke of the recent regional course held in Addis Ababa last February where African lawyers, including lecturers from different African universities, diplomats, and government employees from various African countries were able to interact with lawyers, judges and professors.  Courses such as that gave opportunities to lawyers from developing and least developed countries to “grasp current developments” in international law, thus engendering cooperation among Member States.  Her country, she stated in conclusion, was pleased to be hosting the second Regional Course in International Law for the African Region to be held in 2012.


RATNA DE ( India) emphasized the importance of the Legal Programme of Assistance, stating that the establishment of sound international legal norms which governed international relations was dependent on better knowledge of international law.  That understanding and knowledge strengthened peace and security.  She welcomed the regional course given in Addis Ababa in February this year and the offers of Thailand and Mexico to host future regional courses.  Resource constraints continued to impact the activities of the Programme; the possibilities of meeting its financial requirements from the regular budget should be explored.  It served the interest of the international community to encourage the continuing and further strengthening of international law programmes and training courses around the world.


FERNANDA MILLICAY ( Argentina) said publications issued under the Programme along with the Audio-visual Library constituted a priceless resource for Member States.  Their use went beyond public officials or practising lawyers; they were also accessed by students and researchers.  The international law courses of the Programme were a tool for training which allowed participants to concentrate on topics of interest and current interest in her region.  The regional course, organized for the first time in 10 years for lawyers in Africa, was a welcome achievement.  She recalled that Argentina hosted the regional workshop for the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in 2008, convincing her country that such workshops promoted not only the peaceful settlement of disputes and the acceptance of the jurisdiction of the International Tribunal, but also the adherence of that branch to international law.


On the international law scholarship programme, she said that programme was of particular importance to those from developing countries.  The international law course of The Hague Academy and the Geneva International Law Seminar had a long-standing tradition of training international lawyers who performed duties in public service and academia; international lawyers from developing countries had been awarded financial assistance to participate in those courses.


Calling attention to the fact that the Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Fellowship was not awarded from 2007 to 2009 due to lack of resources in its Trust Fund, she said efforts should be made to keep the tradition of that annual award.  The Trust Fund recently received new contributions, including one from her country, resulting in the granting of the award to an Indonesian national this year.  She called for a presentation on the Fellowship in a formal committee meeting in the future.  More broadly, she also called on Member States to continue to support the Programme, as it was directly linked with promoting the rule of law.


In closing, she asked if the Executive Committee had explored “imaginative alternatives” so that resources of the Audio-visual Library could become more accessible in languages other than English and French without tapping into further financing from the United Nations.


Responding to that inquiry, VIRGINIA MORRIS, Principal Legal Officer of the Codification Division, said the question of multilingualism was one of money.  There was simply not enough to make all the resources available in multiple languages.  The Division did the best it could with the funds it had, but means were far from adequate.


PETR VÁLEK ( Czech Republic) stressed the close link between the activities of the Programme and the rule of law at the national and international levels; there could not be “universal compliance with international law without the dissemination of knowledge”.  In that regard, the Programme was at the core activity of the United Nations in its purpose and principles.  He called for the continuation of all of the Programme’s activities, in particular the Audio-visual Library and the expansion of regional courses.  In light of the continued need for voluntary contributions for the Programme’s activities, he suggested that using revenue generated by the sales of legal publications prepared by the Codification Division should be seriously considered. 


OHAD ZEMET ( Israel) said international law was the “cornerstone of peace and security” and a key component in facilitating relations between States.  Offering support to all efforts made in enhancing the activities of the Programme, he also commended the Codification Division and stressed the importance of regional seminars as a crucial aspect of disseminating international law education for scholars and officials across the globe.  Toward that end, he welcomed the Audio-visual Library as an educational tool, providing accessible information to scholars and students worldwide.  In conclusion, he said he trusted sufficient funding would be found in order to facilitate the “adequate functioning” of the Library and other related programmes.


MATTANEE KAEWPANYA ( Thailand) said her country strongly believed in the laudable objectives of the Programme of Assistance, in promoting better understanding of international law, as a means of strengthening international peace and security and promoting friendly relations and cooperation among Member States.  Thailand remained active in rendering assistance in all forms under the framework of South-South cooperation, including the transfer of “know-how” and best practices in international law.  That was why Thailand was co-hosting with the Codification Division the United Nations regional courses in international law in the fall of next year.


All those efforts, she added, bore testimony to Thailand’s continued commitment to the causes of international law, including its teaching, study, dissemination and wider appreciation.  Her country had proposed to host the annual session of the Asia-Africa Legal Consultative Organization in 2013.


For effective implementation of the Programme of Assistance, as mandated by the General Assembly, it was crucial that there be adequate provision of resources both from the assessed and the voluntary contributions, from all Member States.  Thailand noted that despite increasing demand for international law training, it had not been possible to provide fellowships or to organize regional courses on a regular basis owing to a lack of financial resources.


STEVEN HILL ( United States) said the Programme of Assistance continued to make a great contribution to educating students and practitioners throughout the world in international law.  Knowledge of international law was a key component to furthering the rule of law at the national and international levels.  He said a firm understanding of international law would give a new generation of lawyers, judges and diplomats a deeper understanding of the complex instruments that governed so many aspects of the interconnected world.  Thus, the Programme of Assistance was one of many important tools to strengthen the rule of law, person by person, country by country, region by region.


DIANA S. TARATUKHINA ( Russian Federation) said the efforts of the Codification Division, of the Office for Fellowships, of the body that organized regional workshops and of the Audio-visual Library were important and welcome.  The Audio-visual Library, in particular, was valued for its rich archived materials, and for the talks by leading experts in international law.  More effort must go into developing preparatory materials on different international treaties.  She said the future functioning of the Programme of Assistance through 2012‑2013 should be carried out under the recommendations contained in the Secretary-General’s report, and within the framework of current budget levels fortified by voluntary contributions


NUR JAZLAN BIN MOHAMAD ( Malaysia) lauded the convening of regional courses in Asia after a five-year gap and in Africa after a 10-year gap.  Such courses not only enhanced the understanding of participants of a broad range of international law subjects, but also encouraged greater interaction to share experiences and exchange views on legal matters within a regional context.  He said that while he was inspired by the efforts of the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs, he was concerned over the impending budget predicament of the Programme of Assistance.  Member States in a position should make voluntary contributions to ensure that Programme continued unhindered.


He said Malaysia was doing its part; it contributed $50,000 in 2010 to the Fellowship Fund of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), including courses on international law, and it would host various courses at its Permanent Mission in New York.  He supported increased funding for the Programme of Assistance, as well as the possible use of revenue from the sales of legal publications prepared by the Codification Division to offset insufficient funding from the regular budget.


TOMOKO KAKEE ( Japan) said that to enhance the rule of law at the national and international levels, the teaching, study, dissemination and wider appreciation of international law were essential.  Applauding the regional course that took place in Addis Ababa earlier this year, she noted that regional courses were also held in the Republic of Korea, where a Japanese professor participated, and the contribution of the host country was valuable.


Concerning the Audio-visual Library, she said that resource allowed users to watch historic events and to receive lectures of distinguished international lawyers from all over the world.  Japan had contributed to the Library.  It had also promoted the awareness and use of the Library by introducing it to international lawyers and professors in Japan through promotional videos.  Now, students and other people in Japan watched the lectures and videos of the Library wherever Internet access was available.  Other States should make efforts to contribute to, and to disseminate, the Library and international law.


THEUNIS KOTZÉ ( South Africa) stated the Programme remained a core element of the Organization, and was an important tool toward promoting the rule of law, both at national and international levels.  He was saddened that it had not been possible to organize regional courses on a more regular basis, because of a lack of financial resources and the lack of a Member State to serve as a host country in accordance to United Nations procedures.  In that regard, he said he commended Thailand for its hosting of the upcoming regional course in 2012, and Mexico for its interest in hosting a regional course in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2013.  He also noted The Hague Academy’s interest in expanding the Fellowship Programme to include those regional courses.  He urged Member States to make voluntary contributions in order to assist the Programme in its activities.


He said his delegation would watch with interest the consideration by the Codification Division of issuing a publication relating to the responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts, which would provide a consolidated compilation of decisions of international courts, tribunals and other bodies.  As for the Audio-visual Library, he said that it was a major contribution to the teaching and dissemination of international law, in particular for those in developing countries.


OLEKSANDR PAVLICHENKO ( Ukraine) called the Programme “a key tool within the framework of rule of law activities.”  It remained an important source of knowledge in international law, especially for developing countries and countries with emerging economies.  It contributed toward strengthening international peace and security and promoting friendly relations and cooperation among States.  He expressed appreciation for the efforts undertaken by the Office of Legal Affairs, particularly the Codification Division, to keep the Programme functioning despite a considerable lack of financial resources.  The Office of Legal Assistance had taken measures to achieve greater cost efficiencies with respect to the International Law Fellowship Programme, particularly by inviting contributions from universities and other institutions.


He welcomed both the first regional course held for lawyers from Africa during this decade, and the continuous expansion and improvement of the Audio-visual Library.  It was regrettable that the future of that project depended on voluntary contributions of Member States and the enthusiasm of individuals who provided their expertise and services.  He said he was equally concerned that lack of funding was a common problem for the Programme as a whole.  Member States must take necessary measures to ensure the future of the Programme and the regular budget of the Organization must support its activities.  A possible means of expanding its funding base might also be through revenues received from legal publications by the Codification Division.


NUALA NĺALA MHUIRCHEARTAIGH ( Ireland) heralded the innovation and use of modern technologies implemented in recent years by the Programme of Assistance.  Its methods were now among “the most impressive anywhere” in the international community.  That was especially so in the case of the Audio-visual Library, which brought to life international law through a unique combination of academic resources and multi-media historical archives; the Library contributed not only to a greater understanding of international law, but to the history and development of the Organization, and she welcomed its expansion.


She commended the cost-saving measures adopted that allowed for an increase of international law fellowships, pointing out that “many of us in this room” had developed skills and expertise through participation in the Programme.  It was for that reason that, as it had in the past, her country would continue to make “modest but consistent voluntary contributions” to the Programme and in particular to the Audio-visual Library, and she encouraged other States to do the same.


ALEJANDRA QUEZADA ( Chile) stressed that it was vital in the modern times to be familiar with international law.  She urged that Member States make voluntary contributions.  In that regard, her country each year made contributions to the Law of the Sea fellowships.  She also noted that as it had in past years, Chile would be hosting the regional course of The Hague Academy for Latin America, an important component in introducing international law to young people.


HOJJAT MOGHAVVEM ( Iran) said that, as a member of its advisory committee, he recognized the important contribution of the Programme over the past 46 years to the appreciation of international law, and to the strengthening of the rule of law and international relations.  He commended the Programme’s excellent use of modern communications technology and the Internet; the Audio-visual Library was a good example of that.  He encouraged the Codification Division to continue its work in the spirit of initiation, cooperation and outreach.


The regional courses in international law were of interest and of need to developing countries, he said.  Recommending that the next regional course be held in Thailand, he said such courses were an important mechanism for expanding international law and training lawyers in developing countries.  For the Programme to carry out its mission, resources from the United Nations regular budget as well voluntary contributions were required.


OBINNA C. ONOWU ( Nigeria) noted with satisfaction that for the first time in a decade a regional course in international law had been organized for lawyers in African countries.  It had been of immense benefit to countries on the African continent, including Nigeria.  The Programme was vital in helping States to enhance their capacity and expertise in important areas of human development.  Efforts made to make the Programme more efficient and to enable it to meet the needs of States were to be encouraged.


He said it was particularly appreciative of efforts made to preserve, digitize and disseminate audio-visual materials and legal publications of the Codification Division.  That contributed to the promotion of a better understanding of the role of the United Nations in the progressive development and codification of international law.


He said it was distressing that funding for the Programme had remained at an inadequate level, despite the growing need for training and capacity-building in many countries.  Member States should consider reinforcing the Programme’s funding, position and services.  One option to increase funding levels might be through the utilization of revenue generated from the sale of legal publications prepared by the Codification Division.


JANE GASU ( Ghana) said her country’s hopes had been elevated when, for the first time in 10 years, a regional training course for Africa was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in February, thanks to the Codification Division.  A total of 32 young lawyers from English-speaking African countries were trained on a range of subjects by renowned legal scholars.


Ghana was disturbed that, despite growing demand, it might not be possible to organize another course for next February without voluntary contributions.  She noted further that the Audio-visual Library had enough funding to keep it running for only three months; resources must be provided under the regular budget to maintain the Programme of Assistance, and to make it possible to publish hard copies of various publications, since many developing countries still lacked Internet access.  She also urged States to make voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund.


SALVATORE ZAPPALA ( Italy) praised the personal efforts of United Nations officials and staff for their work in the Programme of Assistance.  The Programme’s contribution to the greater goals of the United Nations was crucial; those goals “could not exist” without the proper teaching of the law.  Further, the Programme was even more important today than when it was first established.  It should be regarded as a core activity of the Organization and receive its share of funding.  He said the Codification Division should be praised for its cost-saving measures and its effort to find new methods of funding.


NEBIL SAID ( Eritrea) said the Programme of Assistance was an important opportunity to promote the rule of law, through its teaching and dissemination of information, particularly for lawyers in developing countries.  International law covered a variety of issues which became more complex and needed more expertise. In that regard, the Audio-visual Library was an essential and useful tool, which fostered a greater understanding of the crucial role of the United Nations in the field of international law.


He said Eritrean professionals had benefited from the Programme’s valuable training courses, as well as the Audio-visual Library.  The Programme should receive strong support from the United Nations regular budget, since voluntary contributions alone would not be sufficient to cover all needs.  He spoke in support of a sustainable financial mechanism for the Programme, which contributed to a significant effort to strengthen, expand and enhance international law.


ALI KARANOUH ( Lebanon) said the establishment of the Programme and its continuation for more than four decades were testimony to its importance.  He commended, in particular, the work of the Office of Legal Affairs, the Codification Division and the Audio-visual Library.  The Library was extremely valuable to lawyers, students, researchers, teachers, judges and diplomats.  Library users had quadrupled in recent years.  The holding of regional seminars in developing countries was also of great importance, making it possible for students to learn a series of subjects in international law.  Legal publications carried out by the Codification Division, in particular the international rulings and the documents of international law and advisory opinions and rulings of the International Court of Justice, were further successes of the Programme.


He called for expanding those elements through translation, courses and research.  In that regard, it was important to find alternative ways of funding the Programme.  He told the Committee that mankind all shared international law as “a common denominator”, a reminder of the importance of an international framework to ensure the independence of States and rule of law based on the principles of justice and equity and the protection of human rights.


KYUNG-HOON SUL ( Republic of Korea) urged that the effort to utilize electronic publication be continued, since it reduced the burden of using printed materials.  He also said that in order to meet the growing demand for international law dissemination, increased efforts be made in streamlining the work of the Programme to better utilize limited resources.  In that regard, the Audio-visual Library had been successful in providing high-quality, low-cost training programmes on a global scale through the Internet.


As part of his country’s commitment to the objectives of the Programme, he said, a regional training course, with 30 participants mostly from the Asia Pacific region, had been co-organized with the Office of Legal Affairs, in Seoul.  He pointed out that training programmes needed to be tailored to the specific needs of the target audience.  The diversity and complexity of regional circumstances must be taken into consideration before determining the methods and tools of dissemination efforts.


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For information media • not an official record