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Sixty-fifth session

Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its
sixty-second session (Agenda item 79)

Summary of work

Background (source: A/65/100)

The International Law Commission was established by the General Assembly at its second session, in 1947, with a view to giving effect to Article 13, paragraph 1 a, of the Charter and with the objective of promoting the progressive development of international law and its codification (resolution 174 (II)).

The statute of the Commission, annexed to resolution 174 (II), was subsequently amended (resolutions 485 (V), 984 (X), 985 (X) and 36/39). The Commission consists of 34 members elected for a term of five years. The last election was held at the sixty-first session of the General Assembly (decision 61/411).

At its sixty-fourth session, the General Assembly recommended that the Commission continue its work on the topics in its current programme; expressed its appreciation to the Commission for the work accomplished at its sixty-first session, in particular the completion, on first reading, of the draft articles on the topic “Responsibility of international organizations”; drew the attention of Governments to the importance for the Commission of having their views on the various aspects of the topics on its agenda; invited Governments to provide information to the Commission regarding practice in respect of the topic “Expulsion of aliens”; drew the attention of Governments to the importance for the Commission of having their comments and observations by 1 January 2011 on the draft articles and commentaries on the topic “Responsibility of international organizations”; took note of the report of the Secretary-General on assistance to special rapporteurs of the International Law Commission and of paragraphs 240 to 242 of the report of the Commission; requested the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its sixty-fifth session options regarding additional support for the work of special rapporteurs; encouraged the continued practice of informal consultations in the form of discussions between the members of the Sixth Committee and the members of the Commission attending the sixty-fifth session of the Assembly; and recommended that the debate on the report of the International Law Commission at the sixty-fifth session of the Assembly commence on 25 October 2010 (resolution 64/114).

Consideration at the sixty-fifth session

The Sixth Committee considered agenda item 79 at its 19th to 26th and 28th meetings, from 25 to 29 October, and on 1 and 11 November 2010.

The Chairman of the International Law Commission at its sixty-second session introduced the report of the Commission in three parts: chapters I to IV and XIII (Part I) at the 19th meeting, on 25 October, chapter V (Part II) at the 21st meeting, on 27 October, chapters VI and VII (Part II continued) at the 22nd meeting, on 27 October, and chapters VIII, X, XI and XII (Part III) at its 25th meeting, on 29 October (see summary records of the Sixth Committee, A/C.6/65/SR.19, 21, 22 and 25).

Statements were made by the representatives of Statements were made by the representatives of Denmark (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Chile (on behalf of the Rio Group), El Salvador, Austria, Mexico, Slovakia, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Belarus, Egypt, Belgium, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Romania, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Thailand, United States of America, France, the Netherlands, Colombia, Japan, Republic of Korea, India., Poland, Cuba, South Africa, Spain, Malaysia, Singapore, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Hungary, Greece, Nigeria, Viet Nam, Norway, Argentina, Finland (on behalf of the Nordic countries), Switzerland, China, New Zealand, Belarus, Estonia, Thailand, Monaco, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Pakistan, Indonesia, Ghana, Chile, Israel, Sri Lanka and Brazil. Statements were also made the European Union (the Candidate countries Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia aligned themselves with the declaration); and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.The views of the representatives who spoke during the Committee’s consideration of the item are reflected in the relevant summary records (A/C.6/65/SR.19 to 26, and 28). A summary of the discussions on this agenda item may be found in the Topical summary of the discussion held in the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly, during its sixty-fifth session, prepared by the Secretariat (A/CN.4/638).

Action taken by the Sixth Committee

At the 28th meeting, on 11 November, the representative of New Zealand, on behalf of the bureau, introduced a draft resolution entitled “Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its sixty-second session” (A/C.6/65/L. 20). At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.6/65/L.20, without a vote. By the terms of the draft resolution, the General Assembly, inter alia, would express its appreciation to the International Law Commission for the work accomplished at its sixty-second session and invite it to give priority to its consideration of the topics “Immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction” and “The obligation to extradite or prosecute (aut dedere aut judicare)”.

This agenda item was subsequently considered at the sixty-sixth session (2011)