Sixth Committee (Legal) — 62nd session

Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country (agenda item 157)


Summary of work

Background (source: A/62/100)

The Committee on Relations with the Host Country was established by the General Assembly at its twenty-sixth session, in 1971 (resolution 2819 (XXVI)). The Committee is currently composed of the following 19 Member States: Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, France, Honduras, Hungary, Iraq, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mali, Russian Federation, Senegal, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America.

At its sixty-first session, the General Assembly requested the host country to continue to solve, through negotiations, problems that might arise and to take all measures necessary to prevent any interference with the functioning of missions; noted the decision of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country to conduct another review of the implementation of the Parking Programme for Diplomatic Vehicles during the sixty-first session of the General Assembly; noted that during the reporting period some travel restrictions previously imposed by the host country on staff of certain missions and staff members of the Secretariat of certain nationalities had been removed, and requested the host country to consider removing the remaining travel restrictions; noted that a number of delegations had requested a shortening of the time frame applied by the host country for issuance of entry visas to representatives of Member States; and requested the Secretary-General to remain actively engaged in all aspects of the relations of the United Nations with the host country (resolution 61/41).

Consideration at the sixty-second session

The Sixth Committee considered the item at its 27th meeting, on 12 November 2007.  The Chair of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country introduced the report of the Committee (A/62/26 and Corr.1).

Statements were made by the representatives of Portugal (on behalf of the European Union; the candidate country, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; the countries of the Stabilization and Association Process; and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, Moldova and Armenia which aligned themselves with the statement), Angola (on behalf of the African Group), India, Cuba, Indonesia, the Russian Federation, Pakistan and the United States of America.

Appreciation was expressed for the work and the report of the Host Country Committee as well as for the continued efforts of the host country to fulfil its obligations under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and the Headquarters Agreement to accord full facilities for the normal functioning of the missions accredited to the United Nations.  A reference was also made to instances of travel restrictions, delay in the issuance of entry visas and to the imposition of municipal property and gasoline taxes on diplomatic missions.

The United States confirmed its commitment to fulfil its obligations under international law and highlighted, in particular, the success achieved in the implementation of the Parking Programme and the introduction of special screening procedures for diplomats at its airports. It was also pointed out that restrictions on private non-official travel of members of certain missions did not violate international law.

Action taken by the Sixth Committee

At the 27th meeting, the representative of Cyprus, also on behalf of Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica and Côte d’Ivoire, introduced a draft resolution entitled “Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country” (A/C.6/62/L.15).  At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.6/62/L.15, without a vote.  The representative of Thailand made a statement in explanation of position after the adoption of the draft resolution.

Subsequent action taken by the General Assembly

This agenda item was subsequently considered at the sixty-third session (2008)

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