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Sixty-fourth session

Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country (agenda item 164)

Summary of work

Background (source: A/64/100)

The Committee on Relations with the Host Country was established by the General Assembly at its twenty-sixth session, in 1971 (resolution 2819 (XXVI)). The Committee is currently composed of the following 19 Member States: Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, France, Honduras, Hungary, Iraq, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mali, Russian Federation, Senegal, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America.

At its sixty-third section, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendations and conclusions of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country contained in paragraph 51 of its report; requested the host country to consider removing the remaining travel restrictions imposed by it on staff of certain missions and staff members of the Secretariat of certain nationalities; and requested the Secretary-General to remain actively engaged in all aspects of the relations of the United Nations with the host country (resolution 63/130).

Consideration at the sixty-fourth session

The Sixth Committee considered the item at its 25th meeting, on 12 November 2009. The Vice-Chairperson of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country introduced the report of that Committee (A/64/26).

Statements were made by the representatives of Sweden (on behalf of the European Union; the Candidate Countries Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia, aligned themselves with the statement), Cuba, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, India, the Russian Federation and the United States of America.

Appreciation was expressed by some delegations for the continued efforts of the host country to accommodate the needs of the diplomatic community and the importance of fulfilling its obligations under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and the Headquarters Agreement was also stressed. Some delegations welcomed the decision of the host country to partly exempt the diplomats from secondary screening procedures and the efforts to ensure the timely issuance of visas. A view was expressed welcoming steps taken by the host country regarding the exemption from property taxes. However, some other delegations urged the host country to remove travel restrictions for staff of certain nationalities. The need to continue to address the outstanding issues concerning the selective treatment of diplomats in the airports, immigration, customs procedures and parking, to treat all missions on the basis of equality and norms of international law as well as to issue visas in a timely fashion was also stressed.

The United States confirmed its commitment to fulfil its obligations under international law and highlighted, in particular, that it continued to regard its efforts aimed at improving immigration procedures for diplomats at its airports and mitigating delays in visa issuance as ongoing and increasingly successful.
Action taken by the Sixth Committee

At the 25th meeting, on 12 November, the representative of Bulgaria, on behalf of Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire and Cyprus, introduced a draft resolution entitled “Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country” (A/C.6/64/L.13). At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.6/64/L.13 without a vote. Under this draft resolution, the General Assembly would, inter alia, request the host country to continue to solve, through negotiations, problems that might arise and to take all measures necessary to prevent any interference with the functioning of missions; to consider removing the remaining travel restrictions imposed by it on staff of certain missions and staff members of the Secretariat of certain nationalities, and would request the Committee on Relations with the Host Country to continue its work in conformity with General Assembly resolution 2819 (XXVI).

This agenda item was subsequently considered at the sixty-fifth session (2010)