Sixth Committee (Legal) — 76th session

Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country (Agenda item 167)


Summary of work

Background (source: A/76/100)

At its twenty-sixth session, the General Assembly established the Committee on Relations with the Host Country and decided to include the item entitled “Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country” in the provisional agenda of its twenty-seventh session (resolution 2819 (XXVI)).

The Assembly has had the item on its agenda annually since its twenty-seventh session (resolutions 3033 (XXVII), 3107 (XXVIII), 3320 (XXIX), 3498 (XXX), 31/101, 32/46, 33/95, 34/148, 35/165, 36/115, 37/113, 38/140, 39/87, 40/77, 41/82, 42/210 A and B, 42/229 A and B, 42/230, 42/232, 43/48, 43/49, 43/172, 44/38, 45/46, 46/60, 47/35, 48/35, 49/56, 50/49, 51/163, 52/159, 53/104, 54/104, 55/154, 56/84, 57/22, 58/78, 59/42, 60/24, 61/41, 62/72, 63/130, 64/120, 65/35, 66/108, 67/100, 68/120, 69/128, 70/121, 71/152, 72/124, 73/212, 74/195 and 75/146).

At present, the Committee is composed of the following 19 Member States: Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, France, Honduras, Hungary, Iraq, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Russian Federation, Senegal, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and United States of America.

At its seventy-fifth session, the Assembly allocated the item to the Sixth Committee, where statements in the debate were made by 11 delegations (see A/C.6/75/SR.10). The Assembly requested the Committee to continue its work in conformity with resolution 2819 (XXVI) and, in that framework, to continue to consider additional appropriate measures to enhance its work and effectiveness and to make recommendations in its report to the Assembly at its seventy-sixth session (resolution 75/146).

Consideration at the seventy-sixth session

The Sixth Committee considered the item at its 27th, 28th and 29th meetings, on 9, 10 and 18 November 2021 (see A/C.6/76/SR.27, 28 and 29). The Chair of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country introduced the report of the Committee (A/76/26).

Statements were made by the representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran (on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement), the European Union (also on behalf of its member States (the candidate countries of the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the Republic of Moldova, aligned themselves with the statement)), Singapore, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Syrian Arab RepublicCuba [in English], China, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Russian Federation, and the United States of America.

The conclusions and recommendations formulated by the Committee were endorsed, with some delegations noting the important role of the Committee in handling a variety of matters on relations with the host country. It was also observed that the working method of the Committee needed to be improved.

It was emphasized that the observance of privileges and immunities of diplomatic personnel was an issue of great importance which was based on solid legal principles. The necessity to preserve multilateralism and safeguard the integrity of the relevant body of international law, particularly the Headquarters Agreement between the United Nations and the Host Country, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations was underlined.  Appreciation of the host country’s efforts to accommodate the needs, interests and requirements of the diplomatic community in various areas was also expressed. 

Concern was voiced over the remaining travel and movement restrictions imposed by the Host Country on staff of certain missions and staff members of the Secretariat of certain nationalities, especially the more stringent restrictions that continued to affect the permanent and visiting representatives of one Mission. These restrictions were considered by some delegations as politically motivated, arbitrary and discriminatory in nature. 

Concern was also expressed in relation to the non-issuance of entry visas to certain representatives of certain Member States and other difficulties experienced by some permanent missions in obtaining visas, opening bank accounts and carrying out banking transactions, as well as alleged unjustified expulsion of diplomats accredited to the United Nations and restrictions arising from the bilateral relations of the Host Country in relation to the permanent missions, their premises and their personnel.

The Secretary-General was called upon to ensure that the Host Country strictly and fully complied with the provisions of the Headquarters Agreement and to consider and take any appropriate steps under section 21 of the Headquarters Agreement.

Archived videos and summaries of plenary meetings

Video   27th meeting (9 November 2021, 3:00pm – 6:00pm) | Summary

Video   28th meeting (10 November 2021, 3:00pm – 6:00pm) | Summary

Video   29th meeting (18 November 2021, 10:00am – 1:00pm) | Summary

Action taken by the Sixth Committee

At the 28th meeting, on 10 November, 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.6/76/L.6).

At the 29th meeting, on 18 November, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.6/76/L.6 without a vote.

Under the draft resolution, the General Assembly would, inter alia, strongly urge the host country to remove all remaining travel restrictions imposed by it on staff of certain missions and staff members of the Secretariat of certain nationalities; express serious concern regarding the non-issuance of entry visas to certain representatives of certain Member States; anticipate the prompt issuance by the host country of entry visas to all representatives of all Member States and members of the Secretariat pursuant to the Headquarters Agreement; and reiterate its recommendation to the Secretary-General to now give most serious consideration and take any appropriate steps under section 21 of the Headquarters Agreement and to enhance efforts to resolve the issues.

Subsequent action taken by the General Assembly

This agenda item will be considered at the seventy-seventh session (2022).

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