Law Commission ‘Guide to Practice’ on Reservations to Treaties Is Applauded in Assembly’s Legal Committee, with Some Concerns

26 October 2011

Law Commission ‘Guide to Practice’ on Reservations to Treaties Is Applauded in Assembly’s Legal Committee, with Some Concerns

26 October 2011
General Assembly
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-sixth General Assembly

Sixth Committee

20th Meeting (PM)

Law Commission ‘Guide to Practice’ on Reservations to Treaties


Is Applauded in Assembly’s Legal Committee, with Some Concerns


UNESCO, World Bank among Some with Doubts on Draft

Articles Relating to ‘Responsibility of International Organizations

As the Sixth Committee (Legal) today resumed its consideration of the report of the International Law Commission, delegations lauded the recently finalized Guide to Practice on reservations to treaties as a sound legal reference for international law practitioners.

Observing that “reservations to treaties” was one of the difficult issues in the law of treaties, the delegate of Bangladesh called the guidelines on the “effects of an established reservation” logical and based on actual State practice.  More so, on the problematic “effects of an invalid reservation”, the guidelines were useful in understanding their impact and consequences.  Utilizing the Guide to Practice, in his view, would promote “healthy treaty relations”.

The representative of Romania heralded the outstanding work that produced the Guide.  An excellent tool for international law practitioners, he also highlighted the Guide’s section on the significance of the rationale provided for invalid reservations within the context of reservations dialogue.

The making of reservations to treaties played an important role in allowing States to work together to address some of the world’s greatest challenges, stated the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See.  However, he stressed it was important the Guide take into full consideration States’ concerns.  Further, treaty monitoring bodies needed to respect the primary role of States in determining the permissibility and scope of reservations.  Failure to do so, he warned, might place the very nature of multilateral treaties in jeopardy.

On the topic of “responsibilities of international organizations”, concerns were voiced by several delegations and observers that the draft articles required further improvement, with the representative of Viet Nam emphasizing that an international organization’s responsibility and that of its Member States was unclear.  This posed the question of how Member States would “divide and shoulder” responsibility if the action turned out to be internationally wrong.

Also expressing concern was the representative of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), who read a letter on behalf of fourteen organizations and organs urging further dialogue on this matter, so that the input and comments of these organizations could be further considered.  There was apprehension, she stated, that an endorsement of the draft articles at this time by the General Assembly might lead to detrimental legal solutions to both international organizations and Member States.

A representative of the World Bank, also speaking for a number of other Organizations, commended the Commission’s work, while stating that it had “its necessary limitations”, and that any general rules on responsibility in the draft articles had “only a residual character”.

Also speaking today in their national capacity were the representatives of Cuba, Angola, Slovenia, United States, Singapore, Portugal, Belarus, Chile, France, Poland, Australia, and Nigeria.

The Committee will meet again tomorrow at 10 a.m., 27 October, to conclude its debate on the “First Cluster” of items from the International Law Commission report, and begin work on the “Second Cluster”.


Continuing its annual consideration of the report of the International Law Commission, the Sixth Committee (Legal) met this afternoon to conclude its debate on the introductory chapters, “the responsibility of international organizations” and “reservations to treaties”.  The Committee also had before it the second “cluster” of topics, including “effects of armed conflicts on treaties”, “expulsion of aliens” and “protection of persons in the event of disaster”.  (For background on the report and themes, see Press Release GA/L/3420 of 24 October.)


MANUEL DE JESUS PIREZ PEREZ ( Cuba) expressed his appreciation for the International Law Commission making an electronic version of its report available in a timely manner, but regretted that it was not available in the six official languages of the United Nations in as timely a manner, and said the delay hindered the consideration of the report in State capitals.

He commended the expanded membership of the Commission, including women members and representing geographical diversity.

On the topic of “reservation to treaties”, he thanked the Special Rapporteur for his dedicated work and welcomed the Guide to Practice as a set of “valuable guidelines”.  He stressed that none of those guidelines, however, should conflict with the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.  He did not think the mechanism for assistance proposed in the report was appropriate in this instance since reservation to treaties was an “expression of the sovereignty of States”.

As for the responsibility of international organizations, he confirmed his country’s comments to the Commission on this matter, among them, noting that the definition in the draft articles of international organization was broader than that in the Vienna Convention, and that “other entities” should not be included in that definition.

JOAQUIM BELO MANGUEIRA ( Angola) said there should be greater interaction between States and the International Law Commission.  This would progress the development of international law.  He welcomed both the discussion of the new and existing topics included in the Commission’s agenda.

Expressing gratitude for the role of Special Rapporteur Alain Pellet in advancing work on reservations to treaties, he said the Guide to Practice could serve as a reference for States.  On the mechanism of assistance for dispute resolution, he said such a mechanism must take into account the interests of States and the contents of treaties.

Turning to the responsibility of international organizations, he said agents of international organizations could commit wrongful acts where they were posted, because of the immunities and privileges granted to them.  Likewise, these acts could rightfully be considered under the scope of the draft articles on the responsibility of States.  One of the principles of international law in that regard was respect for the domestic rules of the States concerned.  This, however, did not free the agent from the responsibility for wrongful acts committed in a third State.

He reminded the Committee that when expanding the scope of the draft articles on the responsibility of international organizations, it should take into account that international organizations could include “organ and agent of an international organization”.

ANDRAŽ ZIDAR ( Slovenia) focused on the three topics for which the Commission had adopted draft articles.  Turning to reservations to treaties, he said the Guide to Practice and its annex would greatly help governments deal with reservations in their day-to-day practice and he looked forward to further efforts to create an appropriate mechanism of assistance.  Turning to the responsibility of international organisations, he said he believed the draft articles provided useful guidance to States and international organisations in their practice, but thought more time was needed to reflect on the articles before a decision was made on their final form.

He said that while he was of the view that new topics to be included in the Commission’s long-term programme of work were deserving of further examination, he also looked for finalisation of other issues on the Commission’s agenda, particularly work on the “obligation to extradite or prosecute”.

Concerning the “protection of persons in the event of disasters”, he said this was one area where State commentary would be particularly useful.  In his opinion, close cooperation and solidarity in the international community was paramount for efficient disaster relief, as legal guidance was a prerequisite for timely and effective response.  As a consequence of the increased frequency of large-scale catastrophes, and the need for immediate response and humanitarian assistance, there was an urgent need to comprehensively regulate this area.

He therefore urged the Commission to provide a set of guiding rules, bearing in mind two competing tendencies at the heart of this matter:  the duty to ensure the protection of persons affected by disasters and the need to respect fundamental principle of sovereignty and non-intervention of States.  The Commission, in its drafting of certain draft articles on the matter, had struck the right balance between these two tendencies.

Continuing with the topic, he said the duty of an affected State to ensure protection of and assistance to the affected population should be based on the preservation of life, ensuring human rights, such as the right to life, food, health, water and housing.  Within the relevant draft articles, it was therefore rightfully stated that when an affected State lacked the capacity or will to protect its population, such protection should be guaranteed through external assistance, which was offered in accordance with humanitarian principles.

The right of non-affected actors to offer assistance was a result of the fact that protecting persons during disasters was in the interest of the international community.  The affected State’s sovereignty was not affected, since it could still decide whether to accept the offered external assistance.  On the other hand, the duty of the international community to offer assistance as a specific obligation would be problematic in practice.  The Commission should therefore continue its work based on the already adopted and proposed draft articles, whereby non-affected actors could be encouraged to help and offer assistance, but not in the form of a duty.

MARK SIMONOFF ( United States), commending the work of the Law Commission and its Special Rapporteurs, noted that the Commission benefited from a strong interactive relationship with States and international organizations.  He acknowledged the inclusion of requested views from Governments in the report.

Turning to the proposal of new topics, he said that with regard to “formation and evidence of customary international law” the Commission’s views produced an “excellent road map” of how the issue might be tackled.  However, also illustrated in the Commission’s report were the many questions outstanding on this matter, including delineating which acts counted as State practice, and the role that treaties played in the formation of customary law.  Flexibility was an essential feature in the formation of customary law; the Commission’s work should not be “overly prescriptive”.

On the topic of the “protection of the atmosphere”, he said the United States was party to many treaties governing air pollution and he pointed out that one of the first actions by the current administration was to push for a global treaty on mercury.  Given that the current structure of law in this area was treaty-based, and that negotiations by States addressing the matter were ongoing, he did not think a codification of rules was appropriate at this time.

Addressing the “provisional application of treaties”, he said consideration of a final form on this should be taken up at a later date.  On the “fair and equitable treatment standard in international investment law”, he said that a survey by the Commission might benefit governments and practitioners in this area.  The topic, “protection of the environment in relations to armed conflicts”, was not, in his view, a priority at this time, since the Commission had identified a lack of State support in that area.

While commending the accomplishment of the Special Rapporteur to bring a conclusion to the work on “reservations to treaties”, he emphasized that State practice on the consequences of an invalid reservation remained varied and was one of the more controversial elements of the Guide to Practice.  It thus should not be considered as consistent State practice.

Turning to the issue of “responsibility of international organizations”, he said the draft articles were a “significant contribution to international legal thinking”.  Nevertheless, the relevant provision of the present drafts lacked the same authority as its corresponding provision in the draft articles on State responsibility.  The diversity among international organizations would not allow the draft articles to be applied to such organizations in the same way as they applied to States, as in the case of countermeasures and self-defence.  He supported the recommendation of the Commission that an elaboration of the draft articles be deferred.

LIONEL YEE ( Singapore) said the Commission’s practice of inviting comments by Member States should continue, along with keeping the list of issues as focused as possible.  Turning to “reservations to treaties”, he said a “reservation dialogue” would serve a useful purpose, allowing all actors involved to articulate their reasons.  As for a “reservation assistance mechanism” it was, in his opinion, an “overly simplistic ‘one-size fits-all’ response” to the differences that might arise in reservations in different treaties.

On the “responsibility of international organizations” he said relating the work of such organizations to the law of international responsibility and the question of accountability was an issue that encompassed both legal and political considerations; it was a “critical task” of the Commission.

He said his delegation continued to have some difficulty with certain aspects of the draft articles, such as those on countermeasures and the derived responsibility of States.  He therefore supported a final form that would treat those draft articles in the same manner as the articles on State responsibility.  Further, he noted a recent policy trend to establish international institution under national private law, with sophisticated “mixed membership” structures; the scope of the draft articles might need to be revisited at a later date to address these private law institutions.  The articles would benefit from a period of reflection, notably with texts that fell within the category of “progressive development”.

MIGUEL DE SERPA SOARES ( Portugal) said the five new topics selected by the Law Commission for its long-term programme of work arose from the emergence of autonomous and specialized domains, a trend which, he cautioned, could lead to the fragmentation of legal knowledge and subsequent action.  The Commission should address new trends of contemporary international relations through the progressive development of international law.  Surveying the repetition of international facts was not “overrated” and should be considered a relevant legal tool; while this tool could protect against the sometimes conservative views of States, it should not hamper the Commission from putting forth “new and daring proposals”.

Addressing the “responsibility of international organizations”, he said that 62 years after the its decision to codify international responsibility, the Commission had fulfilled this mission by adopting draft articles.  Although this topic was the logical counterpart of State responsibility, the former should not necessarily derive from the latter.  In his view, the draft articles concerning international organizations still followed those on State responsibility too closely.  Nevertheless, the principles of State responsibility generally applied to international organizations, and it was therefore preferable to focus on a specific set of draft articles that dealt with specific problems.  Analysis of the draft articles should have better reflected differences between States and international organizations.

The General Assembly should take note of the draft articles by way of a resolution, and later consider adopting a convention based on them.  He reminded the Sixth Committee that it had a duty to contribute toward the stability and strength of the draft articles; otherwise, the work initiated by the Commission on international responsibility risked becoming a “never-ending story”.

ANDREI POPKOV ( Belarus) said the many years of fruitful work by the Commission, the Special Rapporteurs and States had resulted in the Guide to Practice on reservations to treaties.  It could create a legal basis for removing difficult areas in relation to reservations in international law, balancing the goals of broad participation in international treaties and the preservation of integrity.

Despite its achievements, he said, the Guide had its shortcomings.  In some of the guidelines the role of written declarations and reactions to them was not clear.  Oral interpretative declarations were insufficiently precise and could lead to differences in establishing the authors’ intent.  He said the provision on objections to late reservations should be improved, so that there was a similar mechanism for objections and reservations formulated late.  It was also important that the guidelines should place those making reservations and those objecting in same legal position.

Speaking about the responsibility of international organizations, he said it was important that when the General Assembly took note of those articles, it would invite States to submit additional commentary.  He welcomed future work on the matter under United Nations auspices as well as an international convention.  As currently drafted, he said many provisions within the draft articles went beyond the norm of international law.  Before the adoption of a convention there should be broad and thorough discussion about the articles by States and international organizations.

MOHAMMAD SARWAR MAHMOOD ( Bangladesh) observed that “reservations to treaties” was one of the difficult issues in the law of treaties, and although the conditions and consequences of reservations had been established in the Conventions of 1969 and 1986, there remained ambiguities.  This was demonstrated in subsequent developments, notably to reactions and objections of other parties to impermissible and invalid reservations.  The guidelines were helpful to better understanding of these provisions in the Conventions on reservations, and he underscored that the guidelines on the effects of an established reservation were logical and based on actual State practice.

However, the effects of an invalid reservation were more problematic and the Convention provisions were not very clear.  The guidelines were useful for understanding the impact and consequences of the invalid reservations; they were not aimed at excluding the reservation-making parties from treaty relations, but to limit the relations.

The provision for reservations, he said, also promoted the goal of maximum participation of the States in the multilateral treaties.  However, he urged that this not undermine the establishment of treaty relations with reserving States, especially in the case of impermissible and invalid reservations.  Concluding, he stated that to follow the guidelines would promote “healthy treaty relations”.

ALEJANDRA QUEZADA ( Chile) said the draft articles on the responsibility of international organizations provided a body of appropriate and consistent rules.  International organizations were an essential component of the international community, contributing to peace and international security and intervening positively in the areas in which they operated.  In recent decades, international organizations had increased in number and complexity, establishing complex legal relations with their member States, other States, international organizations and individuals.

International organizations were the subjects of international law and, as such, international law must establish legal consequences for their wrongful acts.  For this reason, draft articles establishing a normative framework in this regard was necessary and inevitable, and would legitimize the work of international organizations.  The draft articles finalized by the Commission were remarkable for their visionary character and because they anticipated new trends in international law.  Because practice in this regard was “limited” and “embryonic”, however, the draft articles pertained more to the progressive development of international law than to its codification.

She said she concurred with the Law Commission that the draft articles should follow the form of the articles on State responsibility, but there should be a different and separate body of rules.  She recommended that the General Assembly take note of the articles by means of a resolution and annex them, in the view of their consolidation over time.

In closing, she voiced concern about the fact that the Committee had received the draft articles concerning international organizations yet the draft on State responsibility, which was commended by the Commission for adoption as a convention, had not made major progress.

EDWIGE BELLIARD ( France) expressed concern that the consideration of five new topics might overload the agenda of the Law Commission and put undue pressure on the Commission’s deadlines.  She reaffirmed her delegation’s commitment and expectation for the completion of the work already in progress.

On the topic of “immunity of State officials from foreign criminal jurisdiction” she said that the overview of the subject opened the way for further work by the Commission and for the drafting of articles; the topic lent itself to the codification of international law, but because of the complexity and sensitivity of the subject, it also needed great caution.  Interest of the State, above all, was at issue, rather than the interest of the individual benefiting from immunity.

She said there were exceptions to immunity, which should be considered standard under international law.  It was important to not confuse jurisdiction, whether it was territorial, personal or universal, and immunity.  It would be of value to include within the scope of the study on this issue the inviolability of State officials.

Turning to the obligation to extradite or prosecute, she expressed doubts about the future of this topic, since it had been on the agenda since 2005 and no progress had been made.   Among suggested new topics she noted that “formation and evidence of customary international law” was closest to the mission of the international law body, namely that of the codification and progressive development of international law.  As for “protection of the atmosphere” and “protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts”, she felt they were not appropriate for the Commission’s agenda.  She urged the Commission to concentrate on the topics already on its agenda, with the exception of the topic on “customary law”.

On the topic of “reservations to treaties” she said she appreciated the beneficial effects of the “reservation dialogue” but it should not be an obligation or institutionalized.  If the dialogue were more practical and informal in nature, better results would emerge.

Speaking on the “responsibility of international organizations”, she said that solutions identified with regard to the responsibility of States could not all be transposed to the responsibility of such organizations, which were of an institutional nature.  She called for prudence regarding draft article 7 on the conditions for attributing responsibility to an international organization when “organs of a State or organs or agents of an international organization are placed at the disposal of another international organization”.  The criteria of “effective control” seemed most in line with the law of responsibility, and would require fact-finding and a case-by-case study.  In the case of self defence, she said that the transposition from State to organization did not seem appropriate since self-defence was enshrined in the Charter.

MACIEJ SZPUNAR ( Poland) noted that after more than 15 years of intensive work, the Commission had adopted the Guide to Practice on reservations to treaties.  This was a significant step in the codification work of the Commission; the Guide would fill a number of gaps and clarify certain ambiguities of the 1969 and 1986 Vienna Conventions on the Law of Treaties, as well as issues arising in State practice.

He said modifications to the Guide brought it closer to State perspectives presented in recent years.  Generally speaking in support of the wording of the guidelines, he welcomed the new regulation providing that reactions to interpretative declarations should not be subject to conditions for permissibility, and also the removal of some guidelines which were controversial.

Turning to other topics of the Law Commission during its last session, he said they were ready for further codification work.  Even topics which were developing relatively slowly, such as the immunity of State officials from foreign jurisdiction and the obligation to extradite or prosecute, were showing gradual progress.  The proposals for new topics were “inspiring”, and worthy of further development in the future.

He said the draft articles on the responsibility of international organizations were a continuation of the Commission’s work on the responsibility of States.  With respect to possible codification, the draft articles should encompass all rules relating to international responsibility.  The rules on State responsibility should be adopted as a declaration by the General Assembly and separate codification of the law on responsibility of international organizations was not desirable.  He said he had concerns with the draft articles on the responsibility of international organizations, including those concerned with “effective control,” namely the way the articles dealt with the division of responsibility between the organization and its member States, and the definition of international organization.  This would be better served by the notion of “intergovernmental organization”.

ION GÂLEA ( Romania) said the Guide to Practice on reservations to treaties represented outstanding work and would be an excellent tool for international law practitioners.  Equally useful were the introduction to the Guide, which clarified its nature and purpose, and its annex.  The dialogue carried out within the Committee of Legal Advisers on Public International Law and within the Council of the European Union Working Party on International Public Law was particularly valuable to development of the Guide.  Within the Guide, he acknowledged the significance of the rationale provided for invalid reservations within the context of reservations dialogue, and he welcomed inclusion of that rationale in the draft recommendation.  In regard to the proposal to establish a mechanism of assistance, he said he realized its merits, but called for further reflection; any possible reference to the mechanism being compulsory deserved an especially detailed analysis.

As on the responsibility of international organizations, he said the complexity of the topic was conveyed through solid arguments made over the years.  These arguments were based both on the scarcity of practice in this field and the specific nature and diversity of international organizations.  That complexity was illustrated by the diverse comments received from governments and international organizations, which reflected divergent views, ranging from concern to strong support for the draft articles.

Two common criticisms, he added, related to the excessive alignment of the draft articles with those articles on State responsibility, and to challenges in reflecting the specificities of each international organization.  The draft articles on the responsibility of States were a good starting point; certain parallelisms between the two sets of articles were justified and did not result in their “automatic and uncritical alignment”.  The diversity of international organizations should not discourage the elaboration of rules on their responsibility.

NGUYEN HUU PHU ( Viet Nam) congratulated the Law Commission for its productive session and on the work of the Special Rapporteurs.  He called for more effective and efficient relations between the Commission and the Sixth Committee, suggesting that the Committee review works completed by the Commission, and to offer assessment as to whether further steps toward codification would be feasible.

On the topic “reservation to treaties”, he stated his country’s position that the Guide to Practice was to serve as guidelines to State practice and should not alter the accepted norms on the law of treaties.  On the issue of “responsibility of international organizations” he said the draft articles required further improvement; the analogy between some of these draft articles and those on the responsibility of States, was inapplicable.  The articles also did not provide for consequences of the dissolution of international organizations.  That possibility made such organizations similar to a corporate body under national law.  This would then require any counter-party to assume certain risks when dealing with international organizations.  He also noted that the responsibility of such an organization and its Member States was unclear.  There was a question of how these Member States would “divide and shoulder” responsibility if the action turned out to be internationally wrong.

RICHARD ROWE ( Australia) offered condolences to Italy’s delegation and to the family of Judge Antonio Cassese on the recent death of “this eminent jurist”.

On the work of the Law Commission over the past year, he said a range of international law issues had been covered and valuable guidance had been provided to States by highlighting areas of consensus and areas where further discussion was necessary.  As to new topics proposed by the Commission, he preferred prioritization of the topics “formation and evidence of customary international law” and the “provisional application of treaties”.

On the subject of reservations to treaties, he welcomed refinements made to the Guide to Practice, particularly the modification of the positive presumption that an author of an invalid reservation was bound by the treaty without the benefit of the reservation, unless a contrary intention was identifiable.  The change, to a position of neutrality dependent on the intention expressed by the reserving State, was a positive development.

As for the Commission’s recommendation to establish a reservations dialogue among States and international organizations, he said such dialogue enabled States to assess the validity of a reservation and encouraged the withdrawal or reduction in scope of the reservation where appropriate.  In that context, he called for more detail on the methodology and operations of the dispute settlement mechanism for reservations and objections to treaties.

MOHAMMED BELLO ADOKE (Nigeria), noting that he served in his individual capacity as a member of the Commission, spoke in his national capacity and commended the strides made by the Commission, notably the set of draft articles on the “responsibility of international organizations”, “the effects of armed conflicts on treaties” and “reservations to treaties”.

On the topic of “responsibility of international organizations” he said that the work of the Special Rapporteur, Giogio Gaja, was “a significant achievement” and the principle of reparation contained in the draft articles was a welcome development and contributed to the progressive development of international law.

Turning to “reservations to treaties”, he applauded the adoption of the Guide to Practice, stating that the Guide was a “testimony to the dedication and commitment” of the Special Rapporteur, Alain Pellet.  His delegation, however, would reserve comments on other proposals, such as “reservation dialogue” and “mechanism of assistance”.  Among the new topics the Commission was considering for its long-term programme of work, he said he welcomed the inclusion “of customary international law” because of its obvious importance to State relations.  The issue of fair and equitable treatment standard in international investment law was also of interest to his country.

ARCHBISHOP FRANCIS ASSISI CHULLIKATT, Permanent Observer for the Holy See, said that in an interconnected world, the need to establish and implement the rule of law was of increasing importance.  The work of the International Law Commission provided a valuable resource for the further development of international law.

On the Guide on reservations to treaties, he spoke with concern about giving treaty-monitoring bodies the authority to address the permissibility and scope of reservations formulated by States.  The competence and functions of treaty bodies were defined in their constituent instruments.  They could not, therefore, be modified or extended through decisions of bodies outside the meetings of State Parties or through, in this instance, adoption of guidelines by the Law Commission and the General Assembly.  If these bodies were to be given the task of assessing the permissibility and scope of reservations, such authority must be given by State parties within the treaty or through the adoption of an amendment or protocol to a treaty.

Continuing, he said negotiation, adoption and ratification of a treaty required a number of political, social and legal decisions by States, and particularly with regard to human rights treaty bodies those carefully weighted considerations must be taken into account.  The practice of making reservations to treaties played an important role in allowing States to work together to address some of the world’s greatest challenges.  It was therefore important that the Guide paid due consideration to States’ concerns and recognized that treaty-monitoring bodies must also respect the primary role of States in determining the permissibility and scope of reservations.  Failure to recognize the role of States and the contractual nature of treaty bodies might place the very nature of multilateral treaties in jeopardy.

YUVAN BEEJADHUR (World Bank), speaking for a number of agencies and organizations, emphasized a few key principles reflected in general commentary to the draft articles on the responsibility of international organizations.  These principles conveyed a clear appreciation for the importance of the Commission’s work on the topic, but also its necessary limitations.  First, the principle of specialty had particular importance in that it highlighted that any general rules on responsibility in the draft articles had only residual character vis-à-vis applicable special rules, including the rules of the organization, some of which might also be relevant for non-members.  Second, the commentary acknowledged that limited practice, on which quite a number of draft articles were based, pointed to progressive development in this area rather than codification.  Finally, the draft articles expressed secondary rules, with the consequence that nothing in them “should be read as implying the existence or otherwise of any particular primary rule binding on international organizations.” These were important guiding principles for correct understanding of the draft articles.

SUZANNE BILELLO, speaking on behalf of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the legal advisers of 14 organizations and bodies of the United Nations, read aloud a letter to the assembled Committee delegates and members of the Commission and Secretariat, stating that with regard to the “responsibility of international organizations” those organizations and bodies had concerns which had not been taken into consideration during the drafting of the articles on this subject.

She expressed further concern that the endorsement of the General Assembly might “inspire jurisprudence” based on in sufficient international practice and would lead to detrimental legal solutions both to international organizations and to Member States.  She urged that the General Assembly not take a decision on the draft articles and that the Commission engage in further dialogue with international organizations towards draft articles that reflected the concerns of the international organizations and bodies on whose behalf she spoke. 

* *** *

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