Responsibility of States to Ensure Protection of Diplomatic Personnel, Premises Is Reviewed by Assembly’s Legal Committee
Responsibility of States to Ensure Protection of Diplomatic Personnel, Premises Is Reviewed by Assembly’s Legal Committee
|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-fifth General Assembly
13th & 14th Meetings (AM & PM)
Responsibility of States to Ensure Protection of Diplomatic Personnel,
Premises Is Reviewed by Assembly’s Legal Committee
Agenda Items on Geneva Protocols, Charter Strengthening Also Concluded
The Sixth Committee (Legal) today took up and completed its current consideration of two items, one relating to the safeguarding of diplomatic and consular premises and the other relating to the report of the Special Committee on the Charter. It also concluded current debate on the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions.
On measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and personnel, China’s delegate said receiving States had a special responsibility to take all appropriate steps to protect. The responsibility to prevent was stipulated in the relevant Geneva Convention protocols and required States to take proactive measures and enhance information exchange to forestall acts that would compromise the safety and security of premises or persons. That obligation should be incorporated into domestic legislation and States should be held accountable for failure to fulfil the obligation.
Norway’s representative noted for the Nordic Countries that the protection of international intergovernmental organizations had another legal basis. Yet their protection was equally crucial for them to fulfil their mandates.
Also speaking on that item were the representatives of Belgium for the European Union, Cuba, Malaysia and Qatar.
On the report of the Special Committee on the Charter and on Strengthening the Role of the Organization, Ghana’s representative said he would submit a working paper in the coming weeks on a proposal for the Special Committee to consider the question of strengthening cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations by elaborating clearer principles to strengthen the global regional partnership. Consultations and cooperation would be expanded through formalized agreements, and regional organizations would become involved in the work of the Security Council to ensure that regional organizations had the capacity to prevent armed conflicts, among others.
The elaboration of principles for such cooperation was important not only as a matter of policy and a reflection of the growing role of regional organizations in the United Nations, but was also significant from the perspective of legal certainty, South Africa’s delegate said. Acting on the proposal would give the Charter Committee an opportunity to make an impact in an area that was not controversial and would serve to improve the international community’s efficiency in restoring and maintaining international peace and security.
The delegate of the United States, however, said efficiency was crucial for the Special Committee’s work and it must be cautious about adding new items to its agenda. It should also not take up issues that would be duplicative or inconsistent with the roles of the principal organs as set forth in the Charter. The Special Committee was most useful when it efficiently considered proposals that were clear and realistic and which took into account the appropriate organs of the United Nations.
Efforts to strengthen the Organization and develop its full potential were beneficial, Iran’s representative said for the Non-Aligned Movement. Democratizing the principal organs was an important element in reform of the Organization, which should be carried out in accordance with the principles and procedures set out in the Charter. The Special Committee should examine the legal elements involved in the process, particularly the chapters relating to the functions and powers of the General Assembly.
The delegate of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea noted that no progress had been made in the enhancement of the role of the United Nations in the area of maintaining international peace and security. With regard to the situation on his peninsula, he said his Government had made a proposal to replace the currently standing Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty aimed at creating a breakthrough for peace and security in the region. He called on the United Nations to support the proposal and “dismantle the United Nations Command” that continued its presence there.
Introducing the Special Committee’s report was Carlos Sorreta of the Philippines, Chair of the 2010 session of the Special Committee on the Charter and on strengthening the Organization’s role. Vaklav Mikulka, Secretary of the Legal Committee and Director of the Codification Division, gave an update on the status of the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs. An update on the status of the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council was given by Gregor Boventer, Chief of the Security Council Practices and Charter Research Branch of the Security Council Affairs Division within the Department of Political Affairs.
In a procedural exchange, Iran’s representative asked for a clarification on continuing backlogs and on plans for addressing the situation. The Secretariat representatives said the backlogs were unfortunate and would be addressed as made possible through contributions to the Trust Fund and the provision by states of support services.
Also speaking on that item were the representatives of Belgium for the European Union, Chile, Egypt, Belarus, Libya, Zambia, China, Russian Federation, Cuba, Afghanistan, Malaysia, Venezuela, Iran and India.
The representatives of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea spoke in exercise of the Rights of Reply.
Finally today, in the conclusion of the current consideration of the Geneva Conventions protocols, the representative of Trinidad and Tobago called for streamlining the reporting process, perhaps with the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The observer of that organization confirmed the importance of the reporting process and said his organization was prepared to assist both the Secretariat and States.
Also speaking on that item were the representatives of Cuba, Switzerland, Malaysia, United States, Russian Federation, Australia, Syria, Colombia, Ghana, Israel, Azerbaijan, Malawi, Iran, Nigeria and Nicaragua.
The observer of the International Humanitarian Fact Finding Commission also spoke.
The Committee will meet again at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, 19 October, when the subject of State responsibility was expected to be taken up.
The Sixth Committee (Legal) met today to conclude its current consideration of the Status of the Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and also to take up two new items, one on the protections for diplomatic facilities and the other on the Report of the Special Committee on the Charter and related items. (For background on the Geneva Convention Protocols and diplomatic facilities, see Press Release A/L/3393 of 15 October.)
On the Charter, the Committee has before it the report of the Special Committee on the Charter and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization (document A/65/33), covering the procedures of the Special Committee’s sixty-fifth session (New York, 1-10 March). The report states that the question of assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions was considered in the context of maintaining international peace and security. Discussion centred on the usefulness of the discussion, since no States had applied for consideration of hardships due to the application of sanctions on other States. Other delegations maintained, however, that the discussion should be considered a priority since even targeted sanctions could adversely affect third States.
The report says the recommendation was made for the Special Committee to consider the findings of the ad hoc expert group convened in 1998. Also recommended was the possibility of establishing an assessment mechanism and the adoption of other practical measures to assist third States. Support was also expressed for a case-by-case approach to assessing possible unintended side effects of sanctions. Revised working papers on the matter were submitted by Libya, Cuba and the Russian Federation.
With regard to the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs and the Repertoire of Practice of the Security Council, the report states that the next Repertory supplement would cover a 10-year period (2000-2009) in order to highlight more significant trends. An update on the electronic availability of the Repertoire was also included, and an appeal was made for States to contribute to the Trust Fund, as well as to assist by sponsoring associate experts to help in preparation of the publication. The recommendations on the Repertory and Repertoire were forwarded to the Secretary-General, who made his own report on the situation.
Finally, with regard to the Special Committee’s working methods, the report states that delegations continued to consider questions related to the duration and frequency of the Committee’s sessions. They also expressed the need for efficiency and the avoidance of duplicating the work of other United Nations entities. Questions of procedural versus legal issues were raised, as was the question of whether all items on the Special Committee’s agenda should continue to be examined. Two new items for consideration by the Special Committee were proposed, one relating to the strengthening of the relationship between the United Nations and regional groups in post-conflict situations and in peacekeeping, and the other in relation to a mechanism for the study of the relationship between United Nations organs. It was decided that the question of taking up those new items would remain under review.
An annex contains the proposal by Venezuela for the development of a special mechanism to study the functional relationship of the Assembly and Economic and Social Council with that of the Security Council.
A report by the Secretary-General on updates of the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs and the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council (document A/65/214) is based on the Special Committee’s report. In respect to the Repertory, the report states that the Assembly may wish to note the current status of the publication, including progress on studies and in postings to the Internet in three languages. The Assembly may also wish to consider the Special Committee’s recommendations with regard to the internship programme and voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund while strongly encouraging States to make contributions to it.
With regard to the Repertoire, the report says the Assembly may wish to note progress in the update, in the implementation of efficiency-enhancing measures, and the postings to the Internet. The Assembly may also wish to call for contributions to the Trust Fund and to note the support of Germany and Norway by sponsoring associate experts to assist in preparing the publication.
Annex I of the report lists the Secretariat units bearing primary responsibility for preparing Repertory studies on individual Charter articles. Annex II is a chart of the Repertory practice and Annex III is a chart of the Repertoire status.
Finally before the Committee is a report by the Secretary-General on implementation of Charter provisions relating to assistance to third States affected by sanctions (document A/65/217). It states that operational changes are highlighted in view of the shift in focus from comprehensive economic sanctions to targeted sanctions in the Security Council. Also highlighted are recent developments within the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council in the area of assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions.
The report says no States approached any sanctions committees regarding special economic problems arising from the implementation of sanctions. In nearly every case in which assets were frozen as part of the application of sanctions, exceptions were also allowed for unfreezing assets for a variety of basic and extraordinary expenses such as tax payments and payments for reasonable professional fees. Through 90-day reports, the Sanctions Committee chair informed the Council that 40 notifications were submitted of the receipt of payment or the unfreezing of assets in connection with contracts signed prior to listing.
The report further states that the Special Committee met from 1-9 March and that its report contains a summary of the discussion on the matter. The Economic and Social Council considered the question on 21 July without taking action. The Secretariat continued to consider the strengthening of its monitoring and evaluation activities. In the absence of appeals to the Security Council for consideration of economic hardships due to the application of sanctions, little progress had occurred.
Statements on Geneva Convention Protocols
LESTER DELGADO SANCHEZ ( Cuba) reiterated his unrestricted commitment to International Humanitarian Law and especially the Geneva Conventions and the Protocols. He said nothing justified the violation of those rules, and as a question of principle he opposed the attempts by certain countries to reinterpret them. Ever more frequently, the civilian population became the victim and target of all kinds of abuse by armed forces involved in conflict. He spoke of “constant imperialistic aggressions” and permanent interference in the internal affairs of Third World countries, the plundering of their resources and the fostering of regional conflicts for economic and political benefits, as well as the systematic destruction of those peoples’ infrastructure, and the killing of innocent civilians and said these were the main causes of violations of international humanitarian laws.
He said it was unacceptable that such conflicts served as a pretext for certain States to violate legal precepts. Today, more than ever, the consolidation of a legal regime applicable to armed conflicts through its universal acceptance was essential; the United Nations was destined to reinforce the strictest respect for rules relative to the protection of civilians in armed conflicts. Cuba had gained experience in the promotion and teaching of humanitarian law; a studies centre had been established, sponsored by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Cuban Red Cross.
NICHOLAS STÜRCHLER ( Switzerland) said contemporary armed conflicts presented three major challenges. The first was in the area of humanitarian access. Securing and maintaining that access was increasingly difficult and to address the situation, Switzerland had developed a project exploring practical tools for how to improve humanitarian access in various armed conflict situation.
The growing importance of non-State actors was another challenge, he said. War was being privatized by both Governments and rebels. Since 2009, his country had conducted a study on the adherence of non-State armed groups to international norms and on analysis had found no fundamental difference between private military or security companies and other actors who were also bound by international humanitarian law. The Montreux Document on pertinent legal obligations had been adopted in 2008 and 35 States had expressed support for it to date. A code of conduct with global application had been drafted to members of the industry and would be signed on 9 November in Geneva.
Finally, he said the protection of civilians was increasingly challenging in modern armed conflicts. Battles were no longer fought on isolated battlefields but in areas civilians frequented. The applicability of traditional humanitarian law had come into question and it had been determined that implementation of existing provisions would provide the necessary protections. A national body to implement international humanitarian law had been established in 2009. The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission that had been granted observer status in the Assembly last year was a permanent body for the use of States to better implement humanitarian law.
SUZILAH MOHD ( Malaysia) acknowledged the significance of achieving universal adherence to the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions, but said that the true inroads against impunity for breaches of international humanitarian law could only be achieved if the international community stood firmly and acted decisively against all breaches without concern for creed or kind. This was amply demonstrated in the case of attacks by Israeli Defence Forces on 31 May 2010 on unarmed civilian vessels carrying humanitarian aid to a people under continuous occupation since 1948. The global condemnation produced immediate results in securing the release of all the passengers from the six vessels, the transportation of the humanitarian cargo of the vessels on to Gaza and the issuance of a more transparent revised list of prohibited items. She said the perseverance of the international community to seek accountability had seen the establishment of the Human Rights Council’s international fact-finding mission.
She said the laws of naval warfare, as practiced by States, incorporated the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, including necessity and proportionality. Passengers and crew of vessels were entitled to protections under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Courses of action in maintaining the blockade off the coast of Gaza needed to be examined for legality.
GREG NICKELS ( United States) said that the United States had a “moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct”. Thus, individuals retained under United States facilities must be treated humanely and the United States Government would continue to work toward this, strengthening the partnership between the United States armed forces and its civilian leaders in order to fulfil the tenets of the relevant articles, including, among others, those regarding torture.
He noted that although the United States had signed but had not ratified the Additional Protocols 1 and II, it was the case that Protocol I contained important provisions that had received historical bipartisan support regarding the fundamental guarantees for persons detained by opposing forces in international armed conflict. To this end, United States armed forces, when partnering with State parties in certain circumstances, implemented the provisions in accordance with the law or with United States practices. Furthermore, his country had taken concrete actions to further its commitment to the Geneva Convention including, among others, ensuring that all interrogation of detainees be conducted in accordance with humane treatment standards, and barring the admissibility of statements obtained through the use of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. He said he understood there was more work to do in this area and that the United States was committed to furthering the goals of the Conventions and working with its partners around the world.
DIANA TARATUKHINA ( Russian Federation) said the Human Rights Commission was undervalued; it could make useful contributions to numerous situations, including those in post-conflict conditions. Individual States bore the greatest responsibility for implementing international humanitarian law through their own legislation. Her country actively promoted humanitarian law and continually incorporated elements into legislation as new developments took place at the global level. In addition to legislation, humanitarian law was also taught to relevant groups, including to the armed forces. One course of “instructing the instructors” in humanitarian law had trained 57 candidates this year. Humanitarian law was also taught at the university level and had proved to be very popular.
JENNA DOSKY ( Australia) said that the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions played a crucial role in strengthening the existing body of international humanitarian law. They extended crucial protections to civilians in a broader range of conflicts and imposed constraints on the way in which military operations may be conducted, in order to prevent unnecessary suffering and mitigate the humanitarian impact of armed conflict. Australia was a strong and consistent supporter of the Geneva Conventions and Protocols, having welcomed the entry into force of the Third Protocol in 2008, which had established the “red crystal” as an additional protective emblem for humanitarian workers, free from any religious or political connotation, and had contributed to the universality of the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.
She said her country was a strong supporter of the objectives of the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which prohibited the use of cluster munitions and committed States parties to the clearance of those munitions and to providing assistance to victims and their communities. Australia was firmly committed to the aims and objectives of the International Criminal Court and considered ICRC to be the guardian of international humanitarian law.
MAZEN ADI ( Syria) stated that the universality of the Geneva Conventions was evident by its worldwide acceptance. However, while international humanitarian law had been developing over the years, the suffering of civilians had increased, as well. He noted that in Islamic law, it was forbidden to harm, among others, women, children, and the elderly, or act destructively toward the environment, while ensuring the humane treatment of prisoners. He urged that the international framework of humanitarian law achieved through such hard work not be belittled by selective utilization. He said that despite the efforts toward implementing universal principles, Israel had not been deterred from failing to fulfil these tenets, but instead continued to practice policies that targeted civilians, destroyed environments and supplanted original civilians with settlers from other parts of the world, while building a “racist separation wall” in occupied Palestinian land.
He referred to the Goldstone Report, which he said registered “damning evidence” of violations of international humanitarian law, and to more than 100 reports by United Nations fact-finding committees. He said that the Goldstone Report recommended that Member States party to the Geneva Conventions meet to discuss this, a recommendation agreed upon. However, such a meeting had not taken place and crimes by Israel and the violation of basic international humanitarian law continued.
He said the international inability to confront Israeli practices had led to its being granted immunity and that international humanitarian law seemed to apply to everyone but them. United Nations bodies must ensure that Israel comply with international humanitarian laws.
EDEN CHARLES ( Trinidad and Tobago) said his country had become a party to the Protocols on 20 July 2001. At the same time, a declaration had been made to accept the competence of the International Fact-Finding Commission, which had the potential of helping resolve disputes among States. More recently, steps had been taken for his country to ratify the Cluster Munitions Convention, which promoted adherence to international humanitarian law. The sixtieth anniversary commemoration of the Convention had demonstrated the importance of the instruments, which had been an important addition to the body of international humanitarian law. The principles enshrined had been supplemented and elaborated ever since, particularly by the recently established International Criminal Court. The decision to add new war crimes was welcome, as was the commitment to prosecute grave breaches of international humanitarian law.
However, he said the paucity of State responses in the Secretary-General’s report indicated that the information to be submitted should be streamlined. Perhaps a template could be developed to identify the most relevant information. The International Red Cross had provided assistance to States in the drafting of implementation procedures, by providing model legislation. States and the Secretariat should seek similar support to develop guidelines on reporting of compliance with international humanitarian law. Appropriate language should be included in this year’s resolution on the issue.
CLAUDIA BLUM ( Colombia) said her country was party to the Geneva Conventions and had acceded to Protocols I and II, implementing these provisions in its national legal framework. Colombia was also in the process of adopting Protocol III and was a State party to international policies that strengthened the Protocols, including being a State party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Within Colombia’s criminal code, she said, there were wide sections that addressed the protection of people by international humanitarian law. In 2009, a national plan of human rights education was launched, with pilot programmes and plans that included training and the incorporation of recommendations of the Human Rights Commission.
She said the Ministry of Defense implemented international humanitarian law which was binding for Colombia’s armed forces. Sanctions and measures had been applied in strict accordance with international humanitarian law, with instruction recognized by the ICRC, among others. A bill regarding reparation was being prepared before the country’s Congress to address the victims of violence at the hands of illegally armed troops.
EBENEZER APPREKU ( Ghana) said his country had become party to the Geneva Conventions in 1958, a year into its independence. A Geneva Conventions Act had been passed in January 2009 to incorporate the 1949 Convention and the 1977 Protocols as part of domestic law to create the legal framework for effective implementation of Convention provisions.
The Act was binding on “the Republic and every person”, he emphasized, and said the law provided jurisdiction over all persons who committed grave breaches. Those included wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including in biological experiments. The wilful causing of serious injury and extensive destruction were also included, as was the appropriation of property not justified by military necessity. The Act also provided for subsidiary legislation to be passed to make detailed regulations in areas such as the identification of persons and places to be protected, protection of both fundamental and procedural guarantees during armed conflict, prescription of military insignia and any other matters necessary for implementation of the Geneva Convention provisions.
ADY SCHONMANN ( Israel) stated that her country’s commitment to the rule of law and to upholding international law, including the Geneva Conventions, was reflected in its “careful legal scrutiny of military operations”, both before and during any engaged activities. Furthermore, her country had demonstrated its ability and willingness to conduct independent investigations into allegations of violations of the laws of war, as well as its cooperation with objective and impartial international bodies and the sharing of findings with the international community. Israel’s Supreme Court, she said, was receiving petitions filed by human rights groups and private citizens, as well as residents living outside the sovereign territory, and had in the past years heard petitions during active hostilities — “even halting military operations”. Educational training in humanitarian law was mandatory in military training and security services.
She commended the work of ICRC for its “exceptional work” in promoting compliance with international humanitarian laws. However, she stated, the Human Right Council had “betrayed its responsibilities and its founding principles” by ignoring certain violations of human rights and humanitarian law. Furthermore, she said, international fact-finding initiatives were often “politically motivated” and that did not allow for objective consideration of the situation in question. As an example, she said she would cite the Human Rights Council’s “Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Operation”. She expressed her regret that the professional forum of the Legal Committee had been utilized to promote a “political agenda which has nothing to do with the promotion of international law”, and in that context she would refrain from responding to allegations made against Israel. She urged that the Committee not become “an instrument of political warfare”, but maintain a dignified environment for the exchange of legal views and a platform for professional candid dialogue.
SAMIR SHARIFOV ( Azerbaijan) said his country’s interest in the protection of civilians derived from the experience of realizing the importance of protecting innocent people in situations of armed conflict, particularly the most vulnerable, which included women and children. In too many situations, the protections adopted by States in legislation were not matched by actions on the ground. Armed conflict was of particular concern in situations where there was a massive breach of humanitarian law, such as occurred during events that resulted in population displacements. The right of return for people who had been displaced was a basic principle of humanitarian law. It had been reaffirmed by both the General Assembly and the Security Council. There must be no impunity for violations of humanitarian law, particularly when human rights were violated to the level of constituting war crimes.
MIKE MWANYULA ( Malawi) said international humanitarian law was of great significance to his country and that the Geneva Conventions were “part and parcel” in the laws of Malawi. Furthermore, the Additional Protocols were also of great importance as they filled the “lacuna” of the Geneva Conventions. The dissemination of the Geneva Conventions provisions to military and civilians alike was a serious obligation and to that end, his country had integrated the whole corpus of international humanitarian law into the curriculum and training of its military personnel. His Government had established a National Authority on International Humanitarian Law which had the primary responsibility to coordinate and disseminate international humanitarian law on a national level.
He noted that “dissemination and integration is one thing and implementation and compliance is another”. To this end, the fundamental tenets of the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols were a critical component in the training of his country’s military personnel. Furthermore, knowledge of international humanitarian law was a “strict requirement” for the promotion for its officers and refresher courses for both military personnel and civilians were being conducted on a regular basis in trainings and seminars. Malawi had also established the Centre for Security Studies at Mzuzu University where international humanitarian law was a core subject in all levels of study. These, and other activities, reflected his country’s readiness to work with ICRC and the Red Cross Societies of different countries in the successful disseminating and implementation of international humanitarian law on national and international platforms.
ESHAGH AL HABIB ( Iran) said his country had experienced a costly war with untold consequences for the civilian population. The 1949 Conventions were among the key achievements of human civilization as an attempt to humanize war. They provided rules and norms for the protection of victims in armed conflict based on the key principle of distinguishing combatants and non-combatants. Sixty years later, implementation remained a challenge.
Accountability for grave breaches of the Conventions was essential for ensuring respect for the normative provisions of the Conventions, he said. Unfortunately, the most serious violations of humanitarian law continued to take place in his region. The inhumane blockade of Gaza continued to render pain and suffering on the innocent while there had been no follow-up to the findings of the Goldstone report. Those findings and related ones needed to be seriously considered.
He said his country had signed the optional protocol relating to the rights of children in armed conflict at the September Treaty event and it expended considerable effort in promoting, disseminating and publicizing humanitarian law, including among the military. The establishment in 1999 of the Iranian National Committee on Humanitarian Law had been a turning point in that regard, centred as it was in the Iranian Red Crescent Society.
INIOBONG UMANA ( Nigeria) said his country had ratified the Geneva Conventions and was a signatory on the Additional Protocols. As a participant in peacekeeping operations in the last 50 years, Nigeria’s efforts had been guided by all international humanitarian laws, integrating these tenets into the training policy of police and military forces. The guidelines of ICRC in field operations on behalf of the United Nations were also part of its policy and operations. Nigeria was a State party to the prohibitions on use of certain conventional weapons and the prohibition of stockpiling and production of anti-personnel mines.
Continuing, he observed that civilian populations in Africa had witnessed gross violations of the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols. His country was a signatory of the instruments relating to rights of the child and the involvement of children in armed conflicts. He offered his appreciation to ICRC for its extensive contribution to international humanitarian law. The negative impact of conflict on international security was evident. The Geneva Conventions were indispensable towards protecting the dignity of human life and he called on States to adhere to international humanitarian law, the Geneva Conventions and its Additional Protocols.
CLAUDIA LOZA ( Nicaragua) said her country had just become a party to the Additional Protocol III and was currently working on legislative reform to incorporate it. A new chapter entitled “Crimes against the International Order”, which included crimes defined by the Geneva Conventions, was being incorporated into the Penal Code. Nicaragua’s military also included these principles, as well as the theories of crimes in war, in its trainings. Furthermore, Nicaragua’s commitment to humanitarian law was evident in its de-mining efforts, which would help Central America to become free of land mines.
She observed that war had ceased to be confined to armies, and now had unethical practices in its characteristics. Military budgets were often bigger than social budgets. It was important that comprehensive disarmament not just apply to nuclear weapons, but to conventional weapons, as well. The only successful way to erase impunity would be the effective implementation of international humanitarian law, which would require the “courage to do away with double standards”. She recalled her previous statement on the rule of law and affirmed her belief in the peaceful settlement of disputes; however, selective implementation of the rule of law was evident in the fact that her country was still waiting for compensation of $50 billion dollars for loss of life and for damages.
ROBERT YOUNG, observer for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said his organization had conducted a two-year comprehensive internal study to identify areas of potential development in international humanitarian law, by assessing the humanitarian concerns arising out of today’s armed conflicts, in particular non-international ones. The study found that respect for the core rules of international humanitarian law would eradicate most current humanitarian concerns. On the ground, four areas were of particular concern: the protection of persons deprived of liberty; mechanism of control for respect of humanitarian law and reparations to victims of violations; protecting of the internally displaced; and protection of the environment.
In its work toward a better understanding of humanitarian law, ICRC had launched a new database in August on customary humanitarian law. It was also following up on its 2009 Interpretive Guidance on direct participation in hostilities, containing non-binding guidelines for interpreting provisions of humanitarian law regarding combatants and non-combatants. Follow-up was also continuing on the 2008 Montreux document relating to private military and security companies. Such matters would be discussed with States at the November 2011 International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies.
LEAH CAMPBELL, on behalf of Michael Bothe, President of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission, spoke for the first time since being granted observer status, stating that the Commission had been established as an independent and impartial body to investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian law. With 15 members elected by 71 States recognizing its obligatory competence, its aim was to promote the rule of law. In this capacity, she said, the Commission did not act as a public prosecutor.
She stated that fact-finding was an “indispensable ingredient in modern crisis management”, particularly in armed conflicts, and she recalled that the General Assembly had urged States to utilize its services. She noted that in some cases there had been more than one fact-finding mission assigned to the same situation with different, but overlapping mandates and findings. In these situations, both the mandates and the findings had been subject to controversy. In this regard, consistency and coherence could be strengthened if a treaty organ were to be created for this purpose, so that the Commission would be regularly engaged wherever there were allegations of violations of international humanitarian law.
Statements on Protection of Diplomatic Facilities
When the Committee met again in the afternoon, JEAN-CEDRIC JANSSENS DE BISTHOVEN ( Belgium), speaking for the European Union and associated States, said the continued attacks on missions and their personnel were a matter of great concern. The Vienna Conventions on the protection of diplomatic facilities and persons were quite clear that all States had a responsibility to use every means to protect the consular properties within their territories.
He said all violations of those conventions must be investigated and prosecuted by States. Further, any violation by a State of its international obligations to protect diplomatic premises must be met with a demand on the part of the international community for measures of redress and restitution by that State to address the situation. Those measures could include the payment of reparations to victims and improvement of the security situations surrounding the consulate or mission.
ÅSMUND ERIKSEN ( Norway), speaking for the Nordic countries, said the obligation to protect foreign emissaries was within all legal systems and that international cooperation depended upon the protection of representatives of States. The duty of the receiving State to protect diplomatic and consular representatives was the cornerstone of international relations. Although the protection of representatives of international intergovernmental organizations might have another legal basis or reason, he emphasized that their protection, as well, was crucial to them fulfilling their mandates.
Continuing, he said that such principles were aimed at protecting the channels of communications between States, rather than particular individuals and he condemned such acts of violence. The need for close co-operation and information in order to prevent the violation of security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and personnel were also crucial in international relations. He called upon States who had not done so to become parties to the Vienna Conventions and the instruments relevant to the protection of such personnel. He also urged that Member States comply with the Secretary-General’s request for information on this matter, as reporting, in his view was important in raising awareness and promoting efforts to enhance the protection security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives on a global platform.
ZHOU LULU ( China) said the core element of law on diplomatic and consular relations was the principle that the receiving State had a special responsibility to take all appropriate steps to protect the diplomatic and consular mission and their personnel from any attack. The “responsibility to prevent” was the stipulation in the two relevant Geneva Convention protocols. Proactive measures should be undertaken and the exchange of information should be enhanced so as to forestall acts that would compromise the safety and security of missions and their personnel. Receiving States should ensure the “responsibility to prevent” in its domestic legislation. Failure to fulfil the obligation should be addressed by holding the state accountable.
LESTER DELGADO SÁNCHEZ ( Cuba) said there continued to be transgressions on his country’s diplomatic representatives and that the Mission of Cuba had suffered incidents that had harmed personnel. The host country had been informed and he was sure all measures would be taken to prevent this happening in the future. On a national level, his country regulated crimes of any action against diplomats and international representatives. Because of the adoption of such measures, Cuba enjoyed “calm and security”, which enabled diplomats and international missions to carry out their work. He supported all the successful activities of the diplomatic corps and he urged that the consideration of effective measures be taken and ensured in this matter.
CHEAH CHOONG KIT (Malaysia) noted that 17 States had submitted reports on violations of diplomatic property and eight had responded to the request for information on enhanced security measures they had taken in that regard. With 104 missions in 87 countries, he said his country had always supported and emphasized the responsibility of host countries to accord appropriate protection to missions and representatives. No missions had encountered incidents during the reporting period. The matters had been handled satisfactorily through bilateral discussions in a spirit of goodwill and cooperation. There had been no reason to take up the matter with the international community.
Ms. AL-HELL ( Qatar) said relations between States and the tenets of the Charter were based on international law. The protection of diplomatic and consular representatives, as well as of international staff and their families, was to ensure security so that they could fulfil their duties. Her country condemned all acts against such personnel. The Secretary-General’s report contained a limited number of responses; it would have been helpful if a larger number of States had participated in contributing to the report.
She said Qatar took all necessary measures to ensure the safety of all missions in the country, and she was proud to state that there had been no violations on its territory during the reporting period. Furthermore, Qatar had ratified all instruments, including the Vienna Conventions and the respected Optional Protocols. She stressed the obligation of States under international law to bring offenders to justice, and she urged all States to commit to all international instruments relevant to this matter.
Statements on the Charter Special Committee
JEAN-CEDRIC JANSSENS DE BISTHOVEN (Belgium), speaking for the European Union thanked the Secretary-General for the reports, specifically on two of the topics regarding the implementation of the provisions of the Charter related to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions, and the Repertory of Practice of United Nations organs and Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council. He noted that that Committee had not taken any decision or formulated any recommendation on the topic of assistance to States affected by sanctions. The European Union believed that sanctions remained an important instrument under the United Nations Charter and that the practice of the Security Council in recent years demonstrated that sanctions could be designed in a way that minimized adverse consequences for third countries that were affected. As the report had stated, no Member States had approached any of the sanction committee in regards to economic problems arising from sanctions, and so, he said, the item should be removed from the agenda.
As for the Repertory of Practice of United Nations organs and the Repertoire of the Security Council, he commended the efforts undertaken by the Secretariat in continuing to reduce the backlog in their publication. He welcomed the strengthening of cooperation with academic institutions and in the progress made toward having these publications accessible on the Internet. Noting the contributions made by Member States to special trust funds established for these documents, he said States that had not done so, should contribute to these funds. Turning to reform of the working methods of the Special Committee, he pointed out that the seven days allotted to the Special Committee exceeded the need of the topics under consideration. He was not keen on having any new items put on the agenda, since there were items not yet concluded.
He said that the work of the Special Committee would also benefit by focusing on issues that would have a “concrete impact on the work of the Organization”. Several of the topics in its report had already been discussed for many years without arriving at consensus and recommendations. These, too, should be removed from the agenda or given a longer period of review. To that end, he concurred with the proposal by the representative of Mexico that the Special Committee convene every two years.
ESHAGH AL HABIB (Iran), speaking for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), said that the United Nations was the central forum for important matters ranging from economic development to the maintenance of peace and security. Efforts to strengthen the Organization and develop its full potential were beneficial.
Democratizing the principal organs was an important element in reform of the Organization, he went on. The encroachment of the Security Council onto the functions and powers of the other organs was of concern. The reform should be carried out in accordance with the principles and procedures set out in the Charter. The Special Committee should examine the legal elements involved in the process, particularly the chapters relating to the functions and Powers of the General Assembly.
He said the use of sanctions continued to be of great concern. They were to be used only as a last resort measure, and as a blunt instrument whose use aroused fundamental ethical questions about whether the sufferings inflicted on vulnerable groups in the target country were a legitimate means of exerting political pressure. The usual cautions about the use of sanctions should be respected in terms of objectives being clearly defined. Other aspects of sanctions should also be considered, including the issue of compensation.
ALEJANDRA QUEZADA ( Chile), speaking for the Rio Group of countries, underscored the mandate of the Committee to keep in its agenda the question of peaceful settlement of disputes between States. The relevant General Assembly resolution (64/115) was an important contribution to the Committee regarding the sanctions regime and to the peaceful settlement of disputes. Thus, it was crucial that the Special Committee continue its consideration of all the subjects concerning the maintenance of international peace and security in order to strengthen the role of the United Nations.
With regards to third States affected by sanctions, he noted that not only had no sanctions committee been approached by a Member State, but that in most cases the Security Council had adopted exceptions by which a State could request an authorization of access to frozen funds for a variety of basic and extraordinary expenses.
Turning to the Repertory and the Repertoire, she noted the efforts made in updating these documents, as well as the incorporation of the Repertory volumes into the United Nations website. However, the 26-year gap in Volume III of the Repertory was of concern, and she called for its update as soon as possible. As for the Special Committee, she noted the special challenges in reinvigorating its work and enabling it to make a valuable contribution to the revitalization of the Organization. However, the work of the Special Committee’s latest sessions and the lack of concrete results were of concern and she said that options must be considered in making the working methods more efficient.
HATEM TAG-ELDIN ( Egypt) said the Special Committee played an essential role in strengthening the framework for the peaceful settlement of disputes, as well as the establishing the norms and legal practices necessary to enforce the principles of international legality derived from the Charter. In this regard, the Security Council, in particular, should focus on fulfilling its main role in maintaining international peace and security and should “cease to encroach” on the competencies of the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council. Furthermore, the expansion of the Security Council should address the “historical injustices to Africa”. Further reforms in the working methods were needed to ensure transparency, accountability and the participation of concerned States in the Council’s discussions.
On the question of sanctions, he suggested, among other points, that they should be imposed only as a last resort and after all efforts toward a peaceful means to settlement of the dispute had been exhausted. Furthermore the imposition of sanctions should not be utilized for political gain and should have a specific period of time with an expiry date established in advance. Greater attention should be given to the humanitarian impact of any sanction, and the Council should maintain its neutrality and objectivity when assessing available information. He said he wished to reiterate his country’s stance on the importance of the proposal to request an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice regarding the use of military force by some States, without prior authorization from the Security Council. He emphasized the work of the Charter Committee in enhancing the role of the General Assembly as the central deliberative and policy-making body maintaining international peace and security.
YURI NIKOLAICHICK ( Belarus) said the Charter contained the prescription for maintaining peace and security. Sanctions must be a tool of last resort and their impacts carefully analysed. They should have a specific timeframe, as well as be subject to regular review. Measures for alleviating the suffering of third parties should be in place. Also, sanctions should also not be imposed as punishment.
He said new topics for the Special Committee’s consideration should be viewed in light of the fact that the peaceful settlement of disputes among States was the Organization’s principle aim. His own proposal relating to a request for an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in response to an unauthorized use of force satisfied that criterion. The new proposal for a study of the functional interaction of the principal organs should also be seriously considered. The work on the Repertory and Repertoire was welcome. Finally, it should be kept in mind that improving the Special Committee’s working methods was not an end in itself, but a means for the Special Committee to be more effective, in continuing to contribute to the reform of the United Nations.
ABDURRAHMAN SHALGHAM ( Libya) said he looked forward to the improvement and continued efforts regarding the Repertory and Repertoire. However, sanctions still “command the attentions of the Committee” and he looked forward to the Security Council being guided by its stance. Furthermore, the Security Council should steer away from sanctions being political tools, or from imposing these sanctions selectively or preventatively without real reasons. An appropriate review mechanism needed to be implemented. It was imperative to apply established legal principles and define the responsibilities of those who imposed sanctions arbitrarily, which was an aim of the revised working paper by Libya and which had received support. He urged Member States to study it and said he would welcome proposals that would enrich it.
He said that the relationship between the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, and the Security Council had legal dimensions that should command more attention by a Committee mandated to strengthening the Organization. He noted the proposals and working papers of Cuba, Belarus and the Russian Federation, as well as of Venezuela and Ghana. These working papers needed prompt discussion and analysis. The role of United Nations could not be strengthened unless reforms of the General Assembly and the Security Council be implemented and genuine democracy be established, he said. The majority was still waiting for “bold historic initiatives” and a new balance in the international order.
LYDIA MATAPO ( Zambia) noted that the Security Council’s shift from general to targeted sanctions had resulted in no reports being filed with regard to unintended impact on third States. Even so, the article dealing with assistance to such States was an important area to continue to explore since many States had suffered in the past from the unintended consequences of sanctions when they had not even been the intended targets. As stated previously, targets should be imposed and implemented in line with safeguards. There should be transparency in their implementation and a mechanism should be developed to address special economic problems arising from the application of sanctions.
DIANA TARATUKHINA ( Russian Federation) said one of the important issues before the Charter Committee was the question of requesting an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on a response to the unauthorized use of force by a State. Sanctions should be imposed with strict attention to the guidelines that acted as a safeguard to their use, including the clear statement of purpose and the setting out of clear goals to be attained. Among the circumstances to be taken into consideration with regard to the application of sanctions was the question of preparedness of the Economic and Social Council to address sanctions-related challenges.
LESTER DELGADO SÁNCHEZ (Cuba) said that respect for and promotion of the Charter was of vital importance, as was true reform of the United Nations. It was also of equal importance that the negative tendencies of the Security Council be curbed. The Special Committee was the appropriate framework to reform the Organization and to consider and propose all recommendations on the provisions of the Charter. During the last meeting of the Special Committee, although there appeared a lack of political resolve by Member States, the two reports gave ground optimism.
He emphasized that it was the sovereign rights of States to make proposals to the General Assembly and he expressed appreciation for these new proposals which could contribute to strengthening the Charter. The Special Committee had great work ahead and he called for a legal regime regarding sanctions, particularly in the implementation of such sanctions when all other means had been exhausted in the peaceful settlement of disputes. Furthermore, he said that these sanctions should be applied only when international security had been violated, and they should not be applied in a preventative manner. He commended the work and efforts made in the updating of the Repertory and Repertoire, as they were essential and important documents of the history of the United Nations.
MOHAMMAD ERFANI AYOOB ( Afghanistan) reaffirmed that the peaceful settlement of disputes was an essential goal for the United Nations and was the most efficient tool both for maintaining international peace and security and for strengthening the rule of law in international relations. All judicial mechanisms should be utilized toward that end, including the International Court of Justice.
He said United Nations reform should be carried out in accordance with the principles and procedures established by the Charter, with the legal framework of the constitutional instrument remaining preserved. The Special Committee could contribute to the process of reform by examining legal matters in both the reform process and the democratizing of its principal organs. The work on updating the institutional memory of the Repertory and Repertoire was welcome. And finally, sanctions continued to be an important tool in maintaining and restoring international peace and security. They should be designed with focus and carefully targeted, supported by clear objectives and implemented in ways that weighed the effectiveness of achieving aims against the possible adverse consequences, including socio-economic and humanitarian consequences for both populations and third States.
The Special Committee should continue to consider the question of assistance to third States, he said. Also, while the Security Council had made progress on establishing new procedures for the listing and delisting of individuals and entities on sanctions lists, the lists should continue to be closely studied. The delisting of certain members of the Taliban had been welcomed.
FARHANI AHMAD TAJUDDIN ( Malaysia) said that there were still long-standing issues remaining under consideration by the Special Committee, including the 2009 working paper by Cuba, the revised working paper by Belarus and the Russian Federation, and the introduction of new subjects by Ghana and Venezuela. The complexities and various issues surrounding these topics called for more study before decisions were to be made. On the issue of third States affected by sanctions, Malaysia commended the improvement of the sanctions regime by the Security Council and noted the “scarcity of reports” by third States of any adverse effects. However, she stressed that this should not lead to an assumption that the new approach of targeted sanctions caused no such effects. The Special Committee should continue to consider this item.
With regard to the peaceful settlement of disputes, she said that Malaysia had resorted to it, particularly in its territorial disputes, although her country would also look at other dispute resolution forums for a “satisfactory resolution of its disputes or claims”. She stated that the adherence of the International Court of Justice to its mandates would continue to increase the confidence of Member States. She commended the Special Committee’s review of its working methods to increase its productivity through a decisive decision-making mechanism that would deal with longstanding proposals.
Mr. JOHNSON ( United States) said efficiency was crucial for the Special Committee’s work, it must remain focused on ways to improve its productivity and should be cautious about adding new items to its agenda since many of the issues proposed had been taken up and addressed elsewhere. The Special Committee should also not take up issues that would be duplicative, or inconsistent with the roles of the principal organs as set forth in the Charter, including with regard to sanctions. Positive developments to ensure that the system of targeted sanctions remained a robust tool for combating threats to international peace and security had been borne out by the fact that no States had approached sanctions committees regarding special economic problems arising from the implementation of sanctions.
In summary, he said he did not support the proposal to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on a response to the use of force, nor did he support other proposals for new items to be taken up. The Special Committee on the Charter was most useful when it efficiently considered proposals that were clear and realistic and which took into account the appropriate organs of the United Nations.
JORGE VALERO ( Venezuela) said reform of the United Nations Charter was the more important issue to be considered, and one his country had raised with regard to achieving true democratization. The Security Council should be reformed through the “immediate expansion” of its membership, with representatives from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Furthermore, the elimination of the “privileges” of the veto was also critical to this reform. Turning to the General Assembly, he called for the functions that had been “usurped by the Security Council” to be reinstated and that direct and universal participation of all countries “on equal footing” be implemented in the selection of the Secretary-General.
As for sanctions, he said his country’s longstanding position was that sanctions be applied only in extreme situations, and only after all efforts of compromise had been exhausted. Humanitarian issues also needed to be taken into account, and therefore sanctions should not be indefinite as they “primarily affected the people”. While emphasizing the obligation of States in regards to the peaceful settlement of disputes, he urged that the United Nations strengthen its capacity to contribute to conflict prevention. Concluding, he praised all the efforts taken regarding the Repertory and Repertoire, and called for Volume II and its supplements to be updated.
ESHAGH AL HABIB ( Iran) said States had a responsibility to adhere to the rule of law at the international level. Unfortunately, the threat of the use of force continued and the Special Committee had an important role in dealing with such matters. Sanctions were to be imposed only after other avenues had been exhausted and the Security Council should not seek to impose sanctions for illegitimate reasons. The Council had a responsibility to carry out its duties as set out in the Charter and that organ must not exceed the powers with which it had been entrusted. The rule of law at the international level required that the Council be held responsible for wrongfully imposed sanctions. Measures should be developed that would ensure the targeted State was compensated for breaches in the legitimate application of sanctions.
He said the International Law Commission should look into the issue under the topic of responsibility of international organizations. Unilaterally imposed sanctions were not only a violation of international law but they impacted negatively on the ability of developing countries to pursue their economic and social development. The updates on the Repertory and Repertoire were welcome, but it was unfortunate that no greater progress had been made on important chapters dealing with topics of the Special Committee’s concern.
DIRE TLADI ( South Africa) said the Charter Committee had a potential to contribute significantly to the development and enhancement of international law. However, as indicated by the inability to adopt the sanctions document as a resolution but merely annex the document to a resolution, the Special Committee was not living up to its potential. The link between international peace and advisory opinions had been laid out. It was hoped that progress would be made during the current session on the Russian-Belarus proposal relating to that item.
He said he was pleased to support the topic on cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations. His country had sought such cooperation during its first term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2007-2008. The elaboration of principles for such cooperation was important, not only as a matter of policy and a reflection of the growing role of regional organizations in the United Nations, but it was also significant from the perspective of legal certainty. For example, while the Security Council had the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, the African Union Constitutive Act empowered the Union to intervene in the case of crimes of serious concern to the international community. That brought up questions regarding the precise legal contours governing the Council’s powers and the Union’s right to intervene.
YUN YONG IL (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) expressed his regret that no progress had been made in the deliberations of the proposals on the peaceful settlement of conflicts and the enhancement of the United Nations role on international peace and security. The adherence by Member States to the principles of the United Nations Charter meant respecting sovereignty, equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of other Member States. He said that as long as these basic principles were not being observed, genuine peace and development could not be ensured.
He said the “continued encroachment” by the Security Council on issues belonging to the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council was “destroying the balance among principal organs of the United Nations”. He called for the enhancement of the General Assembly’s authority so that Security Council resolutions relating to issues such as sanctions and use of force, among others, could take effect only with the approval of the General Assembly.
Turning to the situation of the Korean Peninsula, which he called an issue of national reunification and the establishing of peace, he said that his Government had this January proposed talks to replace the Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty, aimed at creating a breakthrough for peace and security in the region through confidence-building between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States. However, he asserted, the United Nations Command had been a “major stumbling block” in changing the current “ceasefire state into a more durable peace and putting an end to the cold war on the Korean Peninsula”. He urged that the United Nations render active cooperation in realizing his country’s peace treaty proposal through “the dismantling of the United Nations Command”, which had been called for in the resolution adopted by the General Assembly in its thirtieth Session.
EBENEZER APPREKU (Ghana) explained his proposal for the Special Committee to take up the question of strengthening the relationship between the United Nations and regional organizations. He said it was based on the fact that the guidelines and practices underpinning the partnership had not always been consistent with the Charter provisions enshrining the importance of such organizations in advancing the Organization’s work. The elaboration of clearer principles and practical measures would strengthen the global-regional partnership. The approach taken would be a “two-way street” in that the United Nations would make proposals on how to strengthen its cooperation with regional organizations and would also call on those organizations to consider ways and means of enhancing their contributions to the maintenance of peace and security.
Among other measures, he said consultations and cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations would be expanded through formalized agreements between respective secretariats. As appropriate, regional organizations would become involved in the work of the Security Council. The ultimate objective would be to ensure that regional organizations had the capacity to prevent armed conflict and to strengthen cooperation in the economic, social and cultural fields. A concept paper or working paper would be circulated within the next weeks as a start to further discussion.
MEHBOOB BEG ( India) noted the shift that the Security Council made from comprehensive sanctions to targeted sanctions, as well as the adoption of both substantive and procedural safeguards to mitigate the adverse effects on third States. He believed that the Security Council should have the authority and responsibility for any solution with regard to affected third States. The Russian Federation paper on the introduction and implementation of sanctions as an annex to the relevant resolution last year was important, yet he noted that there had not been much movement on this. The application of sanctions would be reinforced and made more acceptable through establishing permanent and predictable solutions to the problems of third States affected by sanctions. He noted with appreciation that no sanctions committee had been approached by Member States in regard to special economic problems arising from sanctions since 2003.
He then recalled the World Summit Outcome Document in 2005 which called for the strengthening of the United Nations by highlighting the General Assembly’s role as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the United Nations. He also urged that the Security Council membership be expanded in both permanent and non-permanent categories. Finally, he said that India regarded the Repertory and the Repertoire as a valuable source of information on the application of the Charter, and the practice of United Nations organs and the Security Council. They were essential to the preservation of the United Nations history as well as immensely useful to Member States, academics and practitioners alike.
Right of Reply
In exercise of his right of reply, the representative of the Republic of Korea said that the relevant resolutions of the Security Council recognized the United Nations as the entity on maintaining peace in the Korean Peninsula region. Furthermore, it was misleading to take out of context resolution 3390 A and B, adopted by the General Assembly in 1975 on the Korean question. A permanent peace
regarding the Peninsula would be negotiated at an appropriate forum outside of the United Nations.
In response, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea representative said that the purported United Nations presence on the Peninsula was a United States “construct” as judged by technical elements. Relevant resolutions had affirmed the dissolution of the United Nations Command. The Korean nation was one nation, and the Peninsula was divided by the foreign presence. The people on the Peninsula should be allowed to address questions about their future together without foreign interference.
In exercising his further right of reply, the Republic of Korea representative said the United Nations Command was there by relevant Security Council resolutions in accordance with all legal frameworks. The issues should be discussed by the parties involved and not in the current forum. The nuclear issue in the north of the Peninsula was an important point that impacted all discussions of issues regarding the Peninsula. Therefore, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea needed to come to the table with genuine intentions for peace.
In response, the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea stated that the Committee was an appropriate forum in that it addressed legal aspects of the United Nations Organs and bodies. He called for the Republic of Korea to implement the unification of the Peninsula and dismantle the United Nations Command. The two peace agreements that had been signed should be implemented and the United Nations presence dismantled.
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