United Nations

A/51/360


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

16 September 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                        A/51/360
                                                              

General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Item 23 of the provisional agenda*

*   A/51/150.


                COOPERATION BETWEEN THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE 
                  ASIAN-AFRICAN LEGAL CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE

                        Report of the Secretary-General


1.   The present report on cooperation between the United Nations and
the Asian- African Legal Consultative Committee (AALCC) is prepared
pursuant to paragraph 5 of General Assembly resolution 49/8 of
25 October 1994.

2.   In its resolution 35/2 of 13 October 1980, the General Assembly
had invited AALCC to participate in its sessions and its work in the
capacity of an observer.  Thereafter, the Permanent Observer Missions
of AALCC to the United Nations were established in New York and
Vienna.

3.   On the occasion of the commemoration of the twenty-fifth
anniversary of AALCC, the General Assembly, in its resolution 36/38 of
18 November 1981, requested the Secretary-General of the United
Nations to hold consultations with the Secretary-General of AALCC with
a view to further strengthening and widening the scope of cooperation
between the two organizations.  The item on cooperation between the
United Nations and AALCC had been considered by the Assembly annually
until its forty-first session and thereafter biennially, at its
forty-third, forty-fifth, forty-seventh and forty-ninth sessions.

4.   In its resolution 49/8, the General Assembly noted with
satisfaction the continuing efforts of AALCC towards strengthening the
role of the United Nations and its various organs, including the
International Court of Justice, through programmes and initiatives
undertaken by the Consultative Committee.  It also noted with
satisfaction the commendable progress achieved in enhancing
cooperation between the United Nations and AALCC in wider areas.  The
Assembly noted with appreciation the decision of AALCC to participate
actively in the programmes of the United Nations Decade of
International Law and programmes on environment and sustainable
development.  The Assembly decided to include the item entitled
"Cooperation between the United Nations and the Asian-African Legal
Consultative Committee" in the provisional agenda of its fifty-first
session.


                           A.  Cooperative framework

5.   Pursuant to the cooperative framework agreed upon by the two
organizations, consultations have routinely been conducted on matters
of common interest, in particular, regarding representation at
meetings and sessions, exchange of documentation and information and
the identification of areas where the supportive role of AALCC might
be most productive.  During the forty-ninth and fiftieth sessions of
the General Assembly, meetings were held between the Legal Counsel of
the United Nations and the Secretary-General of AALCC.

6.   AALCC has oriented its work programmes so as to accord priority to
matters that are of interest to the United Nations and to initiate
actions with a view to strengthening the role of the United Nations. 
The work programme of AALCC has assumed a role supportive of the work
of the United Nations.  The areas of cooperation, apart from the field
of international law, now cover matters in the economic, environmental
and humanitarian fields.

7.   On the occasion of the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary
of the United Nations, AALCC contributed a publication entitled
"AALCC's Cooperation with the United Nations", which set out
information about the activities of AALCC supportive of the United
Nations functions relating to the progressive development of
international law and its codification.


                B.  Representation at meetings and conferences

8.   During the period under review AALCC was represented at the United
Nations Congress on Public International Law held in March 1995. 
AALCC was also represented at the special meeting of the General
Assembly to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the United
Nations.  The Secretary-General of AALCC addressed that meeting on
24 October 1995.

9.   AALCC was also represented at meetings of the following United
Nations bodies:  the United Nations Conference on Straddling Fish
Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks; the Intergovernmental
Negotiating Committee for a Framework Convention on Climate Change;
the second session of the Conference of the Parties to the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; the Expert Group
Workshop on International Environmental Law Aiming at Sustainable
Development; and the Ninth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention
and Treatment of Offenders.

10.  Representatives of various United Nations bodies participated at
the thirty-forth and thirty-fifth sessions of AALCC, held respectively
at Doha in 1995 and Manila in 1996.

11.  Collaboration also continued between AALCC and the United Nations
Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).  AALCC was
represented at the twenty-eighth session of UNCITRAL and has prepared
notes and comments on the work of the twenty-eighth and twenty-ninth
sessions of UNCITRAL.


               C.  Strengthening the role of the United Nations;
                   United Nations Decade of International Law

12.  In 1985, AALCC prepared a study on "Strengthening the role of the
United Nations through rationalization of its functional modalities
with special reference to the General Assembly" (A/40/726 and Corr.1,
annex) providing an overall assessment of the functioning of the
United Nations, and subsequently, prepared a set of recommendations on
the improvement of the functioning of the General Assembly (A/41/437,
annex).  Since then, AALCC has continued to follow up on the
implementation of the relevant General Assembly resolutions relating
to this subject.

13.  Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 44/23 of 17 November 1989,
whereby the Assembly declared the period 1990-1999 as the United
Nations Decade of International Law, AALCC prepared a brief
identifying a number of issues involved and activities that might be
undertaken during the Decade.  At its twenty-ninth session, held in
March 1990, AALCC urged greater collaboration with the United Nations
in that regard.  Thereafter, a report on the role that AALCC could
play in the realization of the objectives of the Decade was submitted
to the Secretary-General of the United Nations (A/45/430, annex).

14.  In pursuance of the relevant General Assembly resolutions, AALCC
has, during the period under review, been invited to undertake
activities in the implementation of the programme for the third term
of the Decade and has provided information in that respect to the
Secretary-General of the United Nations for transmission to the
General Assembly.

15.  During the period under review the secretariat of AALCC organized,
within the framework of the Consultative Committee at its thirty-fifth
session, held in March 1996, a special meeting on the establishment of
an international criminal court, which furnished a forum for an
informal exchange of views on the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on the
Establishment of an International Criminal Court.  The proceedings of
the special meeting were transmitted to the Chairman of the
Preparatory Committee on the Establishment of an International
Criminal Court in March 1996.  AALCC was represented at the first and
second sessions of the Preparatory Committee and the AALCC secretariat
will report thereon at the thirty-sixth session of the Consultative
Committee, to be held at Tehran in 1997.

16.  Representatives of as many as 42 States Members of the United
Nations participated in a meeting of the legal advisers convened by
AALCC at United Nations Headquarters during the fiftieth session of
the General Assembly.  The President of the International Court of
Justice, the Chairman of the Sixth Committee, the Legal Counsel of the
United Nations and the Chairman of the International Law Commission
were among those who addressed that meeting.


         D.  Promoting wider use of the International Court of Justice

17.  AALCC continues its efforts in promoting wider use of the
International Court of Justice.  It may be recalled that AALCC had
prepared a study on the question of possible wider use of the Court,
in which attention was focused on the advantages to be obtained by
using the Court or its special chambers.  Following the 1992 United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development, AALCC prepared a
study on the enhanced utilization of the Court in matters relating to
the protection and preservation of the environment.

18.  AALCC organized in 1996 a regional seminar to commemorate the
fiftieth anniversary of the International Court of Justice and to
promote awareness of the work of the Court.

19.  AALCC continues to follow closely the work of the International
Court of Justice and attaches great significance to its work.  


               E.  Measures for the promotion of ratification and
                   implementation of the United Nations Convention
                   on the Law of the Sea

20.  AALCC has urged the full and effective participation of its member
States in the International Seabed Authority and has called upon
member States to give timely consideration to the need for adopting a
common policy and strategy for the interim period before the
commercial exploitation of the deep seabed minerals become feasible. 
In this regard, it urged member States to take an evolutionary
approach especially to the "initial function" of the Authority so as
to make the Authority useful to the international community in
general, and developing countries in particular, during this initial
period.


            F.  International Economic Cooperation for Development

21.  At its thirty-fourth session, AALCC urged its member States to
consider the UNCITRAL Model Law on Procurement of Goods, Construction
and Services as they reform or enact their legislation on procurement. 
The recommendation came in the wake of an International Seminar on
Globalization and Harmonization of Commercial and Arbitration Laws
organized by AALCC in collaboration with the technical support of
UNCITRAL, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the
World Bank, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization
(UNIDO) and the International Institute for the Unification of Private
Law (UNIDROIT).  AALCC has also urged its member States to consider
adopting, ratifying or acceding to other similar proposals prepared by
UNCITRAL.

22.  Under an AALCC scheme for settlement of disputes in economic and
commercial transaction, regional arbitration centres have been
established at Cairo, Kuala Lumpur and Lagos to assist in the
promotion and implementation of UNCITRAL arbitration rules.  Steps are
being taken to establish and make operational a similar centre at
Nairobi to serve the countries in eastern and southern Africa.  During
the period under review AALCC sponsored in conjunction with the World
Bank an International Conference on the Settlement of Energy,
Petroleum and Gas Disputes.  The Conference was organized by the AALCC
Regional Centre for International Commercial Arbitration at Cairo in
November 1995.


                           G.  Question of refugees

23.  AALCC has been actively engaged in the study of refugee law and
refugee problems and has, for that purpose, been working in close
cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR).  At its Manila session in March 1996, AALCC
decided to organize in 1996, with the financial and technical
assistance of UNHCR, a seminar to commemorate the thirtieth
anniversary of the principles concerning treatment of refugees adopted
by AALCC at Bangkok.

24.  AALCC has studied the concept of establishing a safety zone for
displaced persons in the country of origin and identified a set of
principles in this regard.  At its thirty-fifth session, AALCC
directed its secretariat to study further the concept of safety zones
and to analyse the role played in this respect by UNHCR.

25.  During the period under review, the AALCC secretariat undertook
the drafting of model legislation on the rights and duties of refugees
in the light of principles of international law and practice of States
in the region.


                    H.  Other issues currently before AALCC

26.  Following its consideration of the proposals made by the
Secretary-General of the United Nations in his report entitled "An
Agenda for Peace" (A/47/277), AALCC prepared notes and comments on the
legal issues concerning mine clearance, protection of personnel
engaged in peacemaking, peacekeeping and humanitarian activities.  At
its thirty-fourth session, AALCC considered a brief of documents on
the Convention on the Safety of the United Nations and Associated
Personnel.

27.  At its thirty-fifth session, AALCC considered a brief of documents
on the Legal Protection of Migrant Workers and urged its member States
to transmit their views to the AALCC secretariat as to how legal
protection of emigrant workers could be effectively implemented.


                       I.  Fortieth anniversary of AALCC

28.  AALCC was constituted in November 1956 and has established itself
as a major forum for international cooperation and its work programme
has accordingly been suitably attuned to meet the needs of an
expanding membership.  At its thirty-fifth session, the Consultative
Committee approved a proposal to commemorate its fortieth anniversary
by organizing a seminar relevant to the objectives of the United
Nations Decade of International Law.  In addition, the AALCC
secretariat has proposed to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of
AALCC by issuing a special publication.  To that end it has invited
eminent and distinguished scholars, officials of member States of
AALCC, other countries and international organizations to contribute
articles for the proposed collection of essays on international law. 
The proposed publication will contribute to the promotion of one of
the objectives of the Decade.


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Date last posted: 28 December 1999 17:35:10
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