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Sixty-seventh session

Observer Status for the International Chamber of Commerce in the General Assembly (Agenda item 169)

Summary of work

Background

The item was included in the agenda at the request of France.

Consideration at the sixty-seventh session

The Sixth Committee considered the item at its 11th and 25th meetings, on 16 October and on 16 November 2012 (see A/C.6/67/SR.11 and 25).

Statements were made by the representatives of France, the Congo, Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Brazil and the Russian Federation.

At the 11th meeting, on 16 October 2012, the representative of France, on behalf of Finland, France, Monaco and Slovenia introduced a draft resolution entitled “Observer status for the International Chamber of Commerce in the General Assembly” (A/C.6/67/L.5). Under this draft resolution, the General Assembly would decide to invite the International Chamber of Commerce to participate in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly in the capacity of observer; and request the Secretary-General to take the necessary action to implement the resolution.

A point was made that the Committee should take into account the important role played by this organization in strengthening respect for international law and peaceful settlement of disputes.

Some delegations expressed their serious reservations about the ability of the International Chamber of Commerce to meet the criteria for the granting of observer status in the General Assembly established in the Assembly decision 49/426 of 9 December 1994 since, as they pointed out, it was not an intergovernmental organization. The need for the strict and consistent application of the criteria for the granting of observer status in the General Assembly established in the Assembly decision 49/426 was reemphasized. It was reiterated that non-governmental organizations should apply for the granting of consultative status in ECOSOC and that those organizations which had obtained such a status in ECOSOC should not be granted observer status in the General Assembly.

The need to submit the necessary supporting documentation of this organization for the Committee’s consideration was emphasized.

The representative of France expressed her readiness to conduct consultations on this issue with the interested delegations.

At the 25th meeting, on 16 November, the representative of France orally reported on the outcome of the informal consultations on this matter and, in order to allow more time for building consensus on this item, as well as for a possible amendment of the statute of the International Chamber of Commerce, proposed, on behalf of the sponsors of the draft resolution, that the Committee recommend to the General Assembly to defer a decision on the request for observer status for the International Chamber of Commerce in the General Assembly to its sixty-eighth session.

Action taken by the Sixth Committee

At the 25th meeting, on 16 November, the Committee adopted, without a vote, a draft decision under which the General Assembly would decide to defer a decision on the request for observer status for the International Chamber of Commerce in the General Assembly to the sixty-eighth session of the Assembly.

This agenda item was subsequently considered at the sixty-eighth session (2013).