Legal Committee, Approving Drafts on International Trade Law Commission, Welcomes Technical Cooperation with Developing Countries

5 November 2010
GA/L/3405

Legal Committee, Approving Drafts on International Trade Law Commission, Welcomes Technical Cooperation with Developing Countries

5 November 2010
General Assembly
GA/L/3405
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fifth General Assembly

Sixth Committee

27th Meeting (PM)

Legal Committee, Approving Drafts on International Trade Law Commission,

 

Welcomes Technical Cooperation with Developing Countries

 

Other Texts Agreed on Intellectual Property Rights,

Insolvency Procedures, Arbitration Rules; Terrorism Report Noted

Acting by consensus without a vote, the Sixth Committee (Legal) approved a total of 10 draft resolutions today, among them four relating to the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and one to the responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts.  The Committee also took note of the report of the terrorism working group and heard the introduction of three additional draft resolutions.

The four texts relating to the report of the UNCITRAL included the annual omnibus draft, by which the General Assembly would take note of the report and welcome the Commission’s work in both drafting texts and providing technical assistance to developing countries in the field.  The Assembly would also note the lack of funds for the Commission’s ability to respond to the growing need for uniform interpretation of texts on trade law worldwide.

The other drafts based on the Commission’s report included one on the revised arbitration rules for use in resolving international disputes.  A draft on a legislative guide on security rights in intellectual property, which was a supplement to the Commission’s legislative guide on secured transactions, would have the Assembly recommend that States use the text in revising national legislation.  Finally, a resolution on a legislative guide on insolvency law, relating to the treatment of enterprise groups in insolvency, would have the Assembly recommend that States use the guide to assess the efficiency of insolvency regimes and that judges, insolvency practitioners and other stakeholders make use of the guide in carrying out their functions.

On the responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts, the draft resolution would have the Assembly call on States to submit comments regarding the future form of the draft articles on the matter.  The Secretary-General would be asked to update the list of juridical decisions in which the articles had been cited.  States would be invited to submit information on their practice.

Also approved today was a draft on criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on mission, introduced by the representative of Greece.  By that text, the Assembly would call on States to establish jurisdiction over their nationals serving on United Nations missions.  A draft on diplomatic protection relating to the scope of the principle was introduced by Slovakia’s delegate and would have the Assembly request States to submit views on whether the draft articles on the matter should be elaborated into a convention.  By a draft on enhancing the safekeeping of diplomatic facilities and persons, which was introduced by the representative of Finland, the Assembly would request States to report on relevant situations within their territories.

Further, a draft on the prevention of transboundary harm and the allocation of loss in the event of such harm was introduced by the delegate of the Republic of Korea.  By it, States would be requested to submit views on the future form of the text.  A draft on the status of Protocols to the 1949 Vienna Conventions was introduced by Sweden’s delegate.  It would have the Assembly call on States to make use of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission regarding the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

Introduced today by the representative of Ghana for later action was a draft on the Programme of Assistance relating to the promotion of international law.  By the text, the Assembly would urge Governments to make voluntary contributions for regional courses as an important complement to the International Law Fellowship Programme and the Audiovisual Library in International Law.  Also introduced by the delegate of Ghana was a draft that would authorize the formation of a study group to take up the controversial concept of universal jurisdiction.

A draft on the Special Committee on the Charter was introduced by the delegate of Egypt.  It would have the Assembly request the Special Committee to continue to consider ways in which the Charter provisions could be applied to the situation of third parties affected by the implementation of sanctions.

And finally today, the Committee took note of the report of the terrorism working group, which was introduced by the representative of Guatemala.  Syria’s delegate spoke for the Organization of the Islamic conference on the report.

The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 11 November, when it is expected to consider the report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country, among other matters.

Background

The Sixth Committee (Legal) met today to take up draft resolutions on issues ranging from the report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) to the report of its working group on terrorism.  The Committee was also expected to hear an address from the President of the General Assembly.

Before the Committee were four draft resolutions on the Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).  The first was the annual omnibus resolution (document A/C.6/65/L.4), by which the Assembly would take note of the report and would welcome the Commission’s work.  It would reaffirm the importance of the Commission’s work, particularly for assisting developing countries with technical cooperation in the field.  Activities such as the reported panel discussion and resulting decisions would be noted, as would the lack of sufficient funds to respond to the growing need for uniform interpretation of Commission texts.

By a draft resolution on arbitration rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) as revised in 2010 (document A/C.6/65/L.5), the Assembly would express appreciation for the adoption of the relevant text.  It would recommend the Rules be used in settling disputes arising out of international commercial relations and would ask the Secretary-General to make all efforts toward making the Rules known and available.

A draft resolution on UNCITRAL’s legislative guide on secured transactions: supplement on security rights in intellectual property (document A/C.6/65/L.6) would have the Assembly express appreciation for the completed text and request the Secretary-General to disseminate it broadly, including electronically.  The Assembly would also recommend its use by States to assess the economic efficiency of their intellectual property rights financing and to give favourable consideration to the text when revising relevant national legislation and to advise the Commission when they had done so.  Finally, States would be encouraged to consider becoming party to the United Nations Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade and to implement recommendations of the Trade Law Commission’s Legislative Guide on Secured Transactions.

Finally, a draft resolution on the International Trade Commission’s legislative guide on insolvency law on the treatment of enterprise groups in insolvency (document A/C.6/65/L.7) would have the Assembly express appreciation for the text and would request the Secretary-General to transmit the document to Governments and interested bodies.  It would recommend that States use the Guide to assess the economic efficiency of their insolvency law regimes and for revising legislation.  The Assembly would recommend that States continue to implement the Model Law on cross-border insolvency and that judges, insolvency practitioners and other stakeholders give due consideration to the Guide.

Among other subjects, there was a draft resolution before the Committee on the responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts (document A/C.6/65/L.8) by which the Assembly would request that Governments consider the question of future adoption of the draft articles or other appropriate action, and submit written comments on such future action to the Secretary-General.  The Assembly would also request that the Secretary-General update the compilation of decisions of international courts, tribunals and other bodies referring to the articles and invite Governments to submit written information on their practice in this regard.

The Committee had before it a draft on criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on mission (document A/C.6/65/L.3), by which the Assembly would strongly urge States to take all measures to ensure that crimes by United Nations officials on mission not go unpunished.  States would also be strongly urged to consider establishing jurisdiction over crimes by their nationals while serving on mission with the United Nations.  The Secretary-General would be urged to strengthen existing training on United Nations standards of conduct, while States would be urged to provide information to the Secretary-General on their handling of credible allegations of misconduct by their nationals.

Further, the United Nations would be urged to continue cooperating with States exercising jurisdiction by providing information and materials for purposes of criminal proceedings.  The Secretary-General would be requested to report on implementation of the resolution at the next Assembly session.

A draft on diplomatic protection (document A/C.6/65/L.9) would have the Assembly acknowledge the importance of the subject with regard to State relations, and would request the Secretary-General to ask Member States to submit views in writing on whether a convention based on the articles should be elaborated or whether any other action should be taken based on the articles.  The Secretary-General would also be asked to update the compilation of decisions of international courts, tribunals and other bodies on these articles, as well as invite States to submit information on their practice in this regard. 

Before the Committee was a draft resolution on the consideration of prevention of transboundary harm from hazardous activities and allocation of loss in the case of such harm (document A/C.6/65/L.13).  The draft would note that questions arising from this issue were of major importance between States relations.  It would have the Assembly request that the articles on the prevention of transboundary harm and the articles on the allocation of loss, as articulated by the International Law Commission, to be brought to the attention of Member States, who would be invited to submit views in writing.

Further, States would be asked to submit further comments and recommendations on whether a convention based on the articles should be elaborated, as well information on any practice in the application of the articles and principles.  It would also request that the Secretary-General submit a compilation of decisions of international courts, tribunals and other bodies in regards to the articles and principles. 

A draft resolution on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts (document A/C.6/65/L.15) would have the Assembly urge States party to the Geneva Convention of 1949 to consider becoming parties to the Additional Protocols and to consider making use of the International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission.  It would also have the Assembly call upon States to consider becoming party to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child regarding children in armed conflict.

Further it would request that, based on information received from Member States and the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Secretary-General submit to the Assembly the status of the Additional Protocols as well as measures taken to strengthen the existing body of international humanitarian law at its sixty-seventh session.  States and the International Committee of the Red Cross would also be asked to submit information to the Secretary-General on new developments and activities during the reporting time.

A draft before the Sixth Committee on consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives (document A/C.6/65/L.14) that would have the Assembly urge States to take all appropriate measures at the national and international levels to prevent any acts of violence against the missions, representatives and officials and to fully investigate any such acts and bring the offenders to justice.

The Assembly would also request that States report to the Secretary-General any serious violations of the protection, security and safety of said persons, as well as representatives with diplomatic status to international intergovernmental organizations.  It would also request that States report to the Secretary-General all measures taken to bring the offender to justice, the final outcome of the proceedings and any implementation of measures taken to prevent such violations occurring again.  States would also be asked to submit views on any measures needed or already taken with regard to enhancing the issue of safety for diplomatic and consular personnel.

Before the Committee was a draft on the United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law (document A/C.6/65/L.16) which would have the Assembly authorize the Secretary-General to finance relevant fellowships from provisions in the regular budget and, when appropriate, from voluntary financial contributions.  The Secretary-General would also be asked to continue to award a minimum of one scholarship in 2011 under the Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Memorial Fellowship on the Law of the Sea, as well as to provide the necessary resources to the programme budget in 2011 and to continue to provide such resources for future bienniums.

In addition, by the draft, Governments would be urged to make voluntary contributions for regional courses as an important complement to the International Law Fellowship Programme and the Audiovisual Library in International Law.  Appreciation would be expressed to the Republic of Korea and to Ethiopia for holding regional conferences. 

Further, the Secretary-General would be asked to continue to publicize the Programme and invite Member States, universities, philanthropic foundations and other relevant national and international institutions and organizations, as well as individuals, to make voluntary contributions toward the Programme’s activities and services.  The Secretary-General would be requested to report on implementation of the resolution at the next Assembly session.

A draft resolution on the report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and the strengthening of the role of the Organization (document A/C.6/65/L.12) would request that the Special Committee continue to consider the subject as a priority, in regard to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions under the relevant chapter, as well as improving its working methods towards identifying widely acceptable measures for future implementation.  States would be called upon to make voluntary contributions to the trust funds for the updating of the Repertoire of Practice of the Security Council and for the elimination of the backlog in the Repertory of Practice of United Nations organs.  The Secretary-General would be asked to submit a report on both publications and on the implementation of the Charter related to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions at the next Assembly session.

The Committee had before it a draft resolution on the scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction (document A/C.6/65/L.18) which would have the Assembly request the Sixth Committee to continue its consideration, and to establish a working group to undertake a thorough discussion on the issue.   Member States and relevant observers would be invited to submit information and observations on the subject, including applicable international treaties, domestic legal rules and judicial practice.  The Secretary-General would be asked to then submit a report based on such information at the next Assembly session.

Finally, before the Committee was the report of the working group on measures to eliminate international terrorism (document A/C.6.65/L.10) which states that the working group decided to refer consideration of the present report to the Committee. 

Address by the General Assembly President

JOSEPH DEISS, President of the General Assembly, said the Committee’s work made the work of the Assembly more efficient and capable of ever being strengthened.  The issues before the Committee were sensitive and the Committee approached them with a constructive attitude.  Tangible results had been achieved on the formulation of a terrorism convention, for example.  The rule of law at the national and international levels was an example of a new item before the Committee that was of urgent importance to the overall work of the United Nations and to the Assembly.

In response, ISABELLE PICCO ( Monaco), the Committee Chairperson, reaffirmed the constructive approach with which the Committee took up consideration of the items before it.  She said the visit by the Assembly President was an example of the Organization enhancing its coherence and coordination.  No doubt delegations would refer to his visit when taking up the issue of the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly next week.

Action on Drafts

The Committee took up the four draft resolutions on the Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).  All were introduced by the representative of Austria. 

The omnibus resolution on the report of the Commission (document A/C.6/65/L.4) was approved without a vote.

A draft resolution on arbitration rules of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) as revised in 2010 (document A/C.6/65/L.5), was approved without a vote

Also approved without a vote was the draft on the Commission’s legislative guide on secured transactions: supplement on security rights in intellectual property (document A/C.6/65/L.6), as was the draft resolution on the Commission’s legislative guide on insolvency law on the treatment of enterprise groups in insolvency (document A/C.6/65/L.7) was also approved without a vote.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution on the responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts (document A/C.6/65/L.8).  The draft was approved without a vote.

Action on Newly-Introduced Drafts

The representative of Greece introduced a draft on criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on mission (document A/C.6/65/L.3).  The draft was then approved without a vote.

The Chair of the working group on diplomatic protection, the representative of Slovakia gave an oral report on the group’s work, and on behalf of his Bureau introduced the draft resolution on diplomatic protection (document A/C.6/65/L.9).  The draft was approved without a vote. 

The representative of the Republic of Korea introduced the draft resolution on the consideration of prevention of transboundary harm from hazardous activities and allocation of loss in the case of such harm (document A/C.6/65/L.13), which was then approved without a vote. 

The draft resolution on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts (document A/C.6/65/L.15)was introduced by the representative of Sweden and approved without a vote.

Finally, the representative of Finland introduced a draft on consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives (document A/C.6/65/L.14). This was also approved without a vote.

Introduction of Texts

The representative of Ghana introduced a draft on the United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law (document A/C.6/65/L.16) and made oral amendments.

The representative of Ghana also introduced a draft resolution on the scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction (document A/C.6/65/L.18).

Finally, the report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and the strengthening of the role of the Organization (document A/C.6/65/L.12) was introduced by the representative of Egypt, who made oral amendments.

The Committee then took up the report of the Working Group on measures to eliminate international terrorism (document A/C.6/65/L.10), which was presented by the representative of Guatemala on behalf of the Chair of the working group.

The representative of Syria, speaking for the Organization of the Islamic Conference, made a procedural statement and noted that the discussion on the content of the report had not been concluded.  The Chair took note of the report.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.