Sixth Committee (Legal) — 75th session

Expulsion of Aliens (Agenda item 82)

Documentation

Summary of work

Background (source: A/75/100)

At its sixty-ninth session, in 2014, the General Assembly, under the item entitled “Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its sixty-sixth session”, considered chapter IV of the report of the Commission, which contained the draft articles on the expulsion of aliens together with a recommendation, in paragraph 42, that the Assembly: (a) take note of the draft articles on the expulsion of aliens in a resolution, annex the articles to the resolution and encourage their widest possible dissemination; and (b) consider, at a later stage, the elaboration of a convention on the basis of the draft articles. The Assembly welcomed the conclusion of the work of the Commission on the expulsion of aliens, expressed its appreciation to the Commission for its continuing contribution to the codification and progressive development of international law, took note of the recommendation of the International Law Commission contained in paragraph 42 of its report and decided to include in the provisional agenda of its seventy-second session an item entitled “Expulsion of aliens” (resolution 69/119).

At its seventy-second session, the Assembly allocated the item to the Sixth Committee, where statements in the debate were made by 18 delegations (see A/C.6/72/SR.14 and 15). The Assembly decided to include the item in the provisional agenda of its seventy-fifth session, with a view to examining, inter alia, the question of the form that might be given to the articles or any other appropriate action (resolution 72/117).

Consideration at the seventy-fifth session

The Sixth Committee considered the item at its 16th and 19th meetings on 10 and 19 November 2020, respectively (see A/C.6/75/SR.16 and 19).

During the general debate on the item, statements were made by the representatives of Norway (on behalf of the Nordic Countries), Singapore, the United States of America, El Salvador, Cuba, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Mexico, the Islamic Republic of Iran, China, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Malaysia, and the observer for the Holy See.

In their general comments, delegations reiterated the importance of the topic, while underlining its complexity. Several delegations stressed the connection between the topic and human rights law.  The importance of striking a balance between State sovereignty and the human rights of the person expelled or in the process of expulsion was highlighted.

Some delegations expressed concern over the content of the draft articles and noted the divergence of opinions among States on the topic.  In that regard, it was stressed in the view of some that the draft articles did not reflect customary international law.  The view was also expressed that no convention on the basis of the draft articles should be elaborated.  Other delegations affirmed that the draft articles constituted an important contribution as guidelines to States and could form a basis for discussion.  A view was expressed that the draft articles could potentially become an international legal document. 

The view was expressed that the General Assembly should simply take note of the draft articles.  It was also suggested that the General Assembly take note of the concerns raised and reservations expressed by delegations.

Archived videos and summaries of plenary meetings

Video   16th meeting (10 November 2020, 3:00pm – 6:00pm) | Summary

Video   19th meeting (19 November 2020, 3:00pm – 6:00pm) | Summary

Action taken by the Sixth Committee

At the 19th meeting, on 19 November 2020, the representative of Honduras, on behalf of the Bureau, introduced a draft resolution entitled “Expulsion of aliens” (A/C.6/75/L.18). At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.6/75/L.18 without a vote.

Under the terms of the draft resolution, the General Assembly would decide to include in the provisional agenda of its seventy-eighth session an item entitled “Expulsion of aliens”, with a view to examining, inter alia, the question of the form that might be given to the articles or any other appropriate action.

Subsequent action taken by the General Assembly

This agenda item will thus be considered at the seventy-eighth session (2023).

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