Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country
(Agenda item 166)
Summary of work
Background (source: A/68/100)
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, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Russian Federation, Senegal, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America.
At its sixty-seventh session, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendations and conclusions of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country contained in 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 67/100).
Consideration at the sixty-eighth session
The Sixth Committee considered the item at its 29th meeting, on 15 November 2013 (see A/C.6/68/SR.29). The Chair of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country introduced the report of that Committee (A/68/26).
Statements were made by the representatives of the European Union, the Sudan and the United States of America.
The recommendations of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country were endorsed and the host country was thanked for its efforts to accommodate the needs of the diplomatic community in various areas, including for the timely issuance of visas and obtaining suitable banking services necessary for the effective functioning of the missions. The importance of fulfilling its obligations, inter alia, under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and the Headquarters Agreement was also reiterated.
A statement was made that not issuing a visa to the President of one of the States required for his participation in the 68th session of the General Assembly was a violation of the Headquarters Agreement. The need to make sure that the obligations of the host country to grant visas under the Agreement are observed was stressed. Frustration over the lack of appropriate banking services for one of the Missions to the United Nations and hope that a speedy solution necessary for the effective functioning of the missions would be found were also expressed. The responsibilities of the Secretary-General and the President of the General Assembly to protect the rights of the Member States in the host country were highlighted.
The United States confirmed its commitment to fulfil its obligations under international law and to continue to work closely with the diplomatic community in resolving issues that might arise during the coming year.
Action taken by the Sixth Committee
At the 29th meeting, on 15 November, the representative of Cyprus, 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.6/68/L. 26). At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.6/68/L.26without a vote.
Also at the same meeting, the representative of Argentina made a statement in explanation of position after the adoption of the draft resolution (see A/C.6/68/SR.29).
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; note the concerns expressed by some delegations concerning the denial and delay of entry visas to representatives of Member States; note with concern the difficulties that continued to be experienced by some Permanent Missions to the United Nations in obtaining suitable banking services and welcome the continued efforts of the host country to facilitate the opening of bank accounts for those Permanent Missions; and request the Committee on Relations with the Host Country to continue its work in conformity with General Assembly resolution 2819 (XXVI).