16 October 2012
General Assembly
GA/L/3440

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

Sixty-seventh General Assembly

Sixth Committee

11th Meeting (AM)


Legal Committee Reviews Five Requests for Observer Status; Delegations

 

Concerned over ‘Growing Tendency’ in Submission Procedures

 


The Sixth Committee met this morning to take up five requests for observer status in the work of the General Assembly, of which two had been deferred from the Committee’s sixty-sixth session.


Speaking in support of the two deferrals, for the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States and the International Conference of Asian Political Parties, were the representatives of Kyrgyzstan and the Philippines respectively.  Both representatives called for further discussions, with the Philippines delegate stating that such discussions could help reach consensus towards preparation of a draft resolution on the request from the International Conference of Asian Political Parties.


Also speaking in support of the request from the International Conference of Asian Political Parties were the representatives of Cambodia, Republic of Korea, Pakistan and Japan.


The representative of Colombia presented the draft requesting observer status for the Andean Development Corporation.  Speaking in support of that request were the representatives of Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela.


The delegate of France introduced the draft requesting observer status for the International Chamber of Commerce in the Assembly.  Asking for further documentation, specifically for the statute of organization, was the representative of Congo.


The representative of Switzerland presented the draft requesting observer status for the European Organization for Nuclear Research and announced additional co-sponsors:  Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia.  Speaking in support of the draft was the representative of Brazil.


However, the representatives of Argentina, Venezuela and Russian Federation expressed reservations about requests from the International Conference of Asian Political Parties, the International Chamber of Commerce, and requests for observer status, in general.  They underscored that while non-governmental organizations could request consultative status in the Economic and Social Council, intergovernmental bodies could only request observer status in the Assembly.


Concerns were also expressed by delegations about a growing tendency of Member States submitting requests for observer status in the Assembly that should be submitted to the Council.  The Sixth Committee had to abide by the decisions of the General Assembly, specifically General Assembly resolution 49/426, which was the framework for considering such requests.


Voicing similar reservations were the representatives of Congo on the Conference and Cuba on the Chamber of Commerce.  Brazil’s delegate stressed that the Chamber of Commerce’s contributions to the norms of international law were relevant and made for a compelling argument that should be considered when analysing the “pro and contra” to the draft.


The Committee will meet again tomorrow, 17 October, at 3 p.m., to begin its debate on the scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction.


Background


The Sixth Committee (Legal) met today to consider five requests for observer status in the work of the General Assembly.


A draft resolution requesting observer status for the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States (document A/C.6/67/L.2) in the work of the Assembly is accompanied by a report to the Committee (document A/66/141) explaining that the international organization aims to promote comprehensive cooperation among its four founding member States (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey).  Cooperation among members of the Cooperation Council is based on solidarity stemming from the common history, identity and culture of Turkic-speaking peoples.  The Council serves as a regional instrument for enriching international cooperation in the Central Asian and Caucasian regions.


A draft resolution, to be released at a later date, requests observer status for the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in the work of the Assembly and comes with a report to the Committee (document A/66/198) describing the Conference as one that seeks to build bridges of political cooperation and to establish networks among mainstream political parties in Asia.  Launched in Manila in 2000 by 46 political parties in Asia, the Conference has encouraged exchanges and cooperation between political parties with various ideologies in Asia, promoted regional cooperation and created an environment for sustained peace and shared prosperity in the region.


Also before the Committee was a draft resolution requesting observer status for Andean Development Corporation (document A/C.6/67/L.4) in the work of the Assembly.  A related report to the Committee (document A/67/142) describes the financial agency as one that has become the main source of financing for infrastructure projects in South America and an important generator of regional knowledge.  The agency promotes sustainable development and regional integration by mobilizing resources for financial services in the public and private sectors of member countries.  Aiming to create an international presence in Latin America, the agency seeks to build a world community in its region characterized by multilateralism, the rule of law and international peace and solidarity.


A further draft resolution requests observer status for the International Chamber of Commerce (document A/C.6/67/L.5) in the work of the Assembly.  A related report to the Committee (document A/67/191) describes the organization as a world business organization that speaks on behalf of enterprises from all sectors in every region of the world.  Grouping together tens of thousands of member companies and associations from more than 120 countries, the Chamber of Commerce makes rules that govern the conduct of business across borders.  In its request for observer status, the organization states that because of its long history of authoritative involvement in international policymaking and its global reach, it is positioned to represent world business at the General Assembly.


Finally, the Committee was expected to take action on a draft resolution requesting observer status for the European Organization for Nuclear Research (document A/C.6/67/L.6) in the work of the Assembly.  A related report to the Committee (document A/67/192) describes the organization as a platform for collaboration among European States in nuclear research of a “pure scientific and fundamental character”.  The 20-member organization is a major particle physics research institution, focused on innovation, education and dialogue.  While the organization’s members were historically all European States, membership applications are now pending from several States outside of Europe.  In its request for observer status, the organization emphasizes that its work is complementary to that of the General Assembly, particularly in areas such as the dissemination and transfer of knowledge, education and capacity-building in developing countries.


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For information media • not an official record