Delegates Defer Five Requests for Observer Status until Seventy-Fifth Session
Before considering seven requests for observer status in the General Assembly, the Sixth Committee (Legal) today concluded its debate on the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations with speakers highlighting the impact of sanctions, the importance of the peaceful settlement of disputes and the unique role mediation plays in that endeavour. (For background, see Press Release GA/L/3600.)
The Sixth Committee decided to defer action until the seventy-fifth session of the General Assembly on observer status requests for the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States, Eurasian Economic Union, Community of Democracies, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Secretariat and the Global Environment Facility.
Prior to considering those requests, the Sixth Committee concluded its debate on the report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization.
The representative of Ukraine, also speaking for Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, stressed that only those actors who are genuinely neutral can function as constructive and effective mediators. When one of the parties to a conflict is allowed to play the role of mediator, this fiction undermines the legitimacy of mediation efforts overall and leads to de facto protraction of the conflict in question, he emphasized.
El Salvador’s delegate, underscoring the importance of mediation efforts, stated that this approach is an effective way to seek compromise and friendly cooperation between countries. To this end, he called for the exchange of information and practice on the use of peaceful means to resolve conflicts to determine which methods are most effective.
The representative of the Philippines also championed the peaceful settlement of disputes by spotlighting the 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes as a landmark example of the Special Committee’s work. This instrument represents the first comprehensive plan and consolidation of the legal framework for peaceful international dispute resolution. Peace ensures the safety of human rights, she added.
However, the representative of Algeria, while also praising the Manila Declaration as a useful and pertinent legal instrument, expressed concern on the impact of sanctions. Their application, she stressed, must be used as a last resort within a clear framework that minimizes unintended consequences on vulnerable groups, civilian populations and third States.
Iran’s delegate, speaking for the Non-Aligned Movement, also expressed concern regarding Security Council-imposed sanctions, underscoring that sanctions are not applicable as a preventive measure in any and all instances of violations of international law, norms or standards. Sanctions are blunt instruments, he emphasized. The objectives should be clearly defined, based on tenable legal grounds, should be for a specified time frame and should be lifted as soon as the objectives are achieved.
The representative of Bangladesh also stressed that the imposition of sanctions should conform with the Charter of the United Nations and international law and be only applied as a last resort in the case of a threat to international peace and security, a breach of the peace or an act of aggression. Affirming the importance of peaceful settlements of disputes, he highlighted the advisory opinions of the International Court of Justice on legal questions in international dispute resolutions and urged Member States to support the Court’s work and proceedings.
Echoing that, the representative of Mauritius also acknowledged the importance of the International Court of Justice, stating that its judgements and advisory opinions help clarify the scope of international law. As the Organization rebalances its approach to peace and security, the Security Council should make greater use of Chapter VI of the Charter on the pacific settlement of disputes. “It is heart-warming,” he said, to see a commitment to peace and security that favours conciliation and dialogue over sanctions.
Also speaking today during the debate on the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations were representatives of Cuba, Belarus, China, Ghana, Sudan, Qatar, Morocco, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Mexico, Nicaragua, Republic of Korea, United States, Russian Federation, Libya, India, Venezuela, Armenia, Oman, Niger, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Nepal, Iran (in his national capacity), Argentina, Syria and Pakistan, along with a representative of the European Union.
Speaking during the debate on requests for observer status were the representatives of Cuba, Sierra Leone, Gambia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, China, Sudan, Comoros, Germany, Spain, Turkey, United States, Philippines, Russian Federation and Bangladesh.
The representatives of Japan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Armenia, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Syria spoke in exercise of the right of reply.
The Sixth Committee will meet at 10 a.m. on Monday, 21 October, to conclude its consideration of requests for observer status and to begin consideration of the report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the work of its fifty-second session.
Special Committee on Charter and Strengthening Role of Organization
HUW LLEWELLYN, Director of the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs, outlined the progress made on the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs. Concerning the backlog in the preparation of volume III of Supplements 7–9 (1985–1999), the Division maintained regular contact with Peking University where research and drafting of a study on Article 23 of the Charter of the United Nations continues. Other studies on Articles 33 and 49 are under review. He also detailed progress made on volumes III and IV of Supplement 10 (2000–2009) and on Supplement 11 (2010–2015), noting that, since the issuance of the Secretary‑General’s report this year, volumes I and IV of Supplement 7 (1985–1989) were issued in both English and Spanish.
Turning to the current status of the Repertory, he reported that 44 out of 57 volumes have been completed. Of these, 33 have been published and 11 have been finalized and submitted for translation and publication. Studies from the 44 completed volumes are available on the United Nations website for the Repertory, along with advance versions of several studies for volume III of Supplements 7–9 and Supplements 10-11. The electronic version of the Repertory includes a full-text search feature, which provides users the ability to search all studies for any word or combination of words in English, Spanish and French.
Cooperation with the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, is still active, he said, adding that this nine-year-long collaboration led to the preparation of 12 studies. He called for delegations to support and participate in the preparation of Repertory studies through the involvement of their national academic institutions. Pointing to an environment of increased financial constraint within the Organization, he stressed that voluntary contributions to the Repertory Trust Fund remain a crucial element for sustaining progress on the Repertory and maintaining its website. To this end, he called for Member States’ continued support for the Secretariat’s work on reducing the backlog in the publication of the Repertory through voluntary contributions to the Fund.
ESHAGH AL HABIB (Iran), speaking for the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the United Nations is the central and indispensable forum for addressing issues related to international cooperation, economic development and social progress, peace and security, human rights and the rule of law, based on dialogue and cooperation. While recognizing efforts taken to develop the Organization’s full potential, he reiterated his concern over the continuing encroachment by the Security Council on the functions and powers of the General Assembly and those of the Economic and Social Council through addressing issues that fall within the competence of the latter organs.
Security Council-imposed sanctions remain an issue of serious concern, he said, adding that targeted sanctions, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, should be used only when there is a threat to international peace and security or an act of aggression. Sanctions are not applicable as a preventive measure in any and all instances of violations of international law, norms or standards. Sanctions are blunt instruments, the use of which raises questions of whether suffering inflicted on vulnerable groups in the target country are a legitimate means of exerting political pressure. The objectives should be clearly defined, based on tenable legal grounds, should be for a specified time frame and should be lifted as soon as the objectives are achieved, he said.
EGLANTINE CUJO, European Union delegation, highlighted the report on implementation of the provisions of the Charter related to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions, observing that there have been no reports evaluating the unintended consequences of application of sanctions. The meetings and activities of the sanctions committees allow countries from the region to discuss implementation difficulties, she pointed out, stressing that sanctions are an important tool in the maintenance and restoration of international peace and security. Turning to the revised documents concerning the proposal for strengthening the role of United Nations in international peace and security, she said these considerations have been debated for several years without substantial progress.
Such proposals are duplicative of revitalizing efforts taking place elsewhere, she added. Further, the relationship between different organs of the United Nations is appropriately defined and does not need to be clarified by the Committee. The bloc also does not see the added value of the request for an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on use for force, she said. On the new revised working document submitted by Ghana on strengthening the relationship and cooperation between the United Nations and regional arrangements or agencies in the peaceful settlement of disputes, she said: “We wonder as to the legal basis” for the framework defining cooperation. The European Union is ready to contribute to the discussion, she added.
IHOR YAREMENKO (Ukraine), also speaking for Georgia and the Republic of Moldova, called for the next report to pay more attention to the relevant details and nuances of Member States’ positions. The outcome of a February discussion related to the peaceful settlement of disputes was reflected in the report only in general terms. Turning to the issue of mediation, he stressed that only genuinely neutral actors can be constructive and effective mediators. When a party to a conflict tries to play mediator to avoid responsibility, peaceful settlement becomes difficult.
For example, he said the Russian Federation, as an aggressor State, does not recognize itself as a party to the conflicts in Georgia and Ukraine and, instead, portrays itself as a mediator. In the Republic of Moldova, that State continues to station its military forces and armaments without consent in violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country. Allowing a party to a conflict to play a mediator’s role undermines the legitimacy of mediation efforts overall and leads to de facto protraction of the conflict in question, he emphasized.
Mr. FUNDORA (Cuba), associating him with the Non-Aligned Movement, stressed that current international circumstances reaffirm the importance of the mandate of the Special Committee on the Charter and Strengthening the Role of the Organization. Certain countries are attempting to reinterpret the principles of the Charter of the United Nations to promote political agendas of interference in other States’ internal affairs. The actions of the United States serve as an example of this behaviour; that Government has also arbitrarily violated the prohibition against the threat of use of force via its statements regarding Venezuela. In addition, it has imposed an economic blockade against the Cuban people and feels entitled to hamper economic relations between Cuba and third countries. The Special Committee should fully discuss any proposal for resolution, decision or course of action by United Nations organs when such proposals implicate compliance with or implementation of the Charter. He underscored her rejection of any attempt to reduce the work or agenda of the Special Committee and encouraged delegations to submit substantive proposals and participate constructively in debates.
RUSLAN VARANKOV (Belarus) noted that the Special Committee is the only expert organ with the mandate to consider legal matters pertaining to the United Nations Charter. Acknowledging the concerns that related questions are better suited to the plenary session of the General Assembly, he reaffirmed that the Special Committee must make its contribution as well. Voicing support for the Special Committee’s consideration of the balance of power of the Organization’s main organs, he added that the existence of parallel political process, such as the revitalization of the General Assembly and the reform of the Security Council, should not be considered duplicative. Rather, “we should be talking of proper division of labour between these fora,” he said, adding that the potential of the Special Committee is not being used fully regarding sanctions. Unilateral coercive measures violate the Charter and these wrongful acts rarely achieve the aims stated by those who introduce them, he said, noting that they frequently ratchet up cycles of confrontation.
YANG XI (China) stressed that mediation should be used in strict compliance with the Charter and preconditioned on State consent. Only when mediation is undertaken on a voluntary and equal basis and reflects amity and mutual accommodation can it play its unique role in resolving disputes and have its results accepted by the parties concerned. Turning to sanctions, he called for the Security Council to exercise prudence in its use of such measures, which should be reserved for when other non-enforcement measures are exhausted. Further, such use should be consistent with the Charter and international law to minimize the impact on the general population and third States. Pointing to a certain country’s current imposition of unilateral sanctions, he urged that this behaviour is to the detriment of the effectiveness and authority of United Nations sanctions. He also supported further Committee deliberations on a proposal to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of States’ resort to the use of force without prior Council authorization, he added.
MARIA ANGELA ABRERA PONCE (Philippines), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the 1982 Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of Disputes is one of the landmark outcomes of the Special Committee. That is the first comprehensive plan and consolidation of the legal framework in that field, she noted, adding that peace ensures the safety of human rights. She reaffirmed support for Ghana’s proposal on strengthening cooperation between the United Nations and regional arrangements or agencies, adding that the proposal addresses the need to fill gaps in the Organizations’ work. Noting the progress made towards updating the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council, she stressed the importance of that being available electronically in all its language versions.
SOLOMON KORBIEH (Ghana), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, called for enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and regional arrangements or agencies in the peaceful settlement of disputes among nations. These regional bodies are closer to the areas of conflict. Therefore, they are often better-placed to understand the dynamics of these conflicts and appreciate the specific needs for intervention and the operationalization thereof. As the fluidity of conflict imposes a greater burden on regional arrangements and agencies to act quickly to prevent conflict in one State spreading to its neighbours, a partnership between the Organization and such regional efforts would facilitate the peaceful settlement of disputes. He stressed, however, that this partnership must be more structured than the cooperation currently contemplated by the Charter, particularly regarding the clarity of roles.
ELSADIG ALI SAYED AHMED (Sudan), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the reform of the Organization must be undertaken in accordance with the Charter and should maintain its legal framework. The Special Committee must study the legal questions pertaining to this, including implementation of Chapter IV, dealing with the functions and powers of the General Assembly. The sanctions system raises basic ethical questions about the suffering inflicted on vulnerable groups in the target countries. That system should avoid unintended consequences in the target States and third States. Also highlighting the role of the African Union in producing African solutions to African problems, he pointed to the peace accord his Government signed with South Sudan in 2018.
MOHAMED HAMAD AL-THANI (Qatar), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, stressed that States must act in good faith to respect the principles of the Charter and to prevent conflict. The prohibition against the threat or use of force is a fundamental pillar of the multipartite world order. It is worrying to see States attempt to justify illegitimate acts that run counter to the Charter. For its part, Qatar has suffered from unilateral, unjust measures and a blockade in violation of international law, he noted. Consequently, he emphasized his support for the Special Committee’s continued focus on the peaceful settlement of disputes. Underscoring his rejection of any attempt to dictate and interfere to undermine the sovereignty of other States, he stressed that such attempts represent a danger to multilateralism.
AAHDE LAHMIRI (Morocco) stressed that when peace and security are threatened, the United Nations should work to restore it. However, the means of restoring that peace should not be to the detriment of the socioeconomic development of the people in the affected State or region. Sanctions imposed by the Security Council must remain ancillary and should only be used as a last resort. Also stressing the need to immediately lift sanctions once conditions are met, she highlighted the importance of adhering to the principles of proportionality, international humanitarian law and human rights law. Noting the frontline role of the Special Committee, she underscored the added value of the establishment of various courts and tribunals on various subjects.
KIM IN CHOL (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), pointing to a specific country’s interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign States such as Venezuela, said that the prevailing reality requires Member States to unite to safeguard the Charter against unilateralism. The United Nations Command, rigged up in 1950, is a typical example of how the United Nations has been abused by an individual country, he stressed, adding it has no legal justification for remaining in South Korea in view of its origin. Further, it is dangerous to include Japan in this “ghost entity”, he said, underscoring that this “war criminal State follows the road of self-destructive overseas invasion to become a military power, instead of making apology and compensation for past crimes”. If the United States is truly interested in the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula, it should immediately dismantle the United Nations Command, he said.
RISHY BUKOREE (Mauritius), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Group, said the United Nations Charter has helped create a better and more peaceful world. Highlighting the vital role of the International Court of Justice as the principal judicial organ of the Organization, he added that judgements and advisory opinions of the Court have helped clarify the scope of international law. The Security Council must attempt to make greater use of Chapter VI of the Charter on pacific settlement of disputes, as the Organization rebalances its approach to peace and security. The reforms proposed by the Secretary-General aim to achieve this and integrate all pillars of the United Nations under a common vision of action. “It is heart-warming,” he said, to see a commitment to peace and security that favours conciliation and dialogue over sanctions.
PABLO ARROCHA OLABUENAGA (Mexico) expressed concern at the increase of notifications sent to the Security Council under Article 51 of the Charter as justification by some States to use force on the territory of other States. The proliferation of non-State armed groups leads countries to adopt new tactics against such threats, which poses a threat to the Council’s task of ensuring collective security. Stressing that the exercise of self-defence must be done in accordance with international law, he said that States notifying the Council under Article 51 should have to detail how the requirements for self-defence have been met under international law and the Charter. The Council should also provide Member States more information regarding its actions following the receipt of notifications under Article 51, as well as provide periodic updates in this respect, he said.
ALINA J. LLANO (Nicaragua), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the Special Committee has much to contribute to the reform of the United Nations. It is tasked with providing specific recommendations that aim at avoiding overlapping mandates and ensuring that bodies do not exceed their powers. Voicing concern that, on occasion, the Security Council has taken upon itself issues that fall in the purview of the General Assembly, she expressed support for all initiatives aimed at peaceful settlement of disputes. At its last meeting, the Special Committee held a constructive debate on State practice of mediation, he said, adding it has important work ahead of it. The time granted to it is appropriate and it is not desirable to reduce its working sessions.
HÉCTOR ENRIQUE JAIME CALDERÓN (El Salvador) said that it is increasingly necessary to have legal instruments that effectively incorporate different models of peaceful dispute settlement to ensure the maintenance of international peace and security. Mediation is an effective way to seek compromise, regardless of whether the role of mediator is played by a State or an international body. This valuable support tool promotes friendly cooperation between countries. He called for the international community to facilitate the exchange of information and existing practices on the use of peaceful means to resolve conflicts and expressed hope that such exchanges will illustrate which methods are most effective to this end.
PARK CHULL-JOO (Republic of Korea) commended the R1epertory of Practice of the United Nations organs and the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council as useful resources. Noting that many Committee agenda items have been discussed for several years with no substantial progress, he added that it is necessary to revisit afresh long-time stagnant issues and proposals, without excluding the possibility of retiring or sunsetting them for the sake of more efficient and productive discussions. Duplication between the Special Committee and other United Nations organs was also a recurring concern, he said, proposing that the Committee hold sessions with less frequency and shorter duration. He also stressed that the discussion is not the forum for addressing the matter of the Command Force.
Ms. PIERCE (United States) said that targeted sanctions adopted by the Security Council in accordance with the Charter remain an important instrument for the maintenance of international peace and security. Her Government continues to believe that the Special Committee should not pursue activities that would be duplicative or inconsistent with the roles of the principal organs of the Organization. This includes consideration of a long-standing working paper that calls for the legal study of General Assembly functions and powers, among other matters. It also includes a long-standing proposal regarding United Nations reform, as well as the question of the General Assembly requesting an advisory opinion on the use of force from the International Court of Justice, a proposal that the United States has consistently stated that it does not support.
ELENA A. MELIKBEKYAN (Russian Federation), expressing support for the work of the Special Committee, said it should continue its work on a permanent basis. For several years, the Special Committee has had on its agenda proposals from her delegation on updating the handbook on peaceful settlement of disputes and creating a section of the United Nations website with relevant links. Regretting that it was not possible to reach a consensus on that, she welcomed the interesting exchange of opinions. These discussions demonstrate the usefulness of the Committee as a platform for dialogue. Also responding to earlier statements, she said that some States have unleashed war on their own populations and are abusing the United Nations as a platform to shift blame on others.
MOHAMED A. M. NFATI (Libya), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that peace and security is one of the chief reasons for the creation of the United Nations. It is necessary to restructure and reform the Organization, he added, noting the need to strengthen the role of its primary organs based on justice, democracy and sovereign equality between States. The Special Committee has a role to play in that task, he said, noting his country’s proposals on strengthening the role of the United Nations in the maintenance of peace and security. The main ideas include supporting the role of the General Assembly and strengthening the relationship between the Assembly and the Security Council. Further, the composition of the Council must reflect the composition of the United Nations, he stressed.
YEDLA UMASANKAR (India), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, highlighted the International Court of Justice’s critical role in the maintenance of international peace and security. He called for the Security Council to increase referrals to the Court under Chapter VI of the Charter to promote judicial settlement of international disputes before resorting to other means. Turning to sanctions, he stressed that this tool should not be used as a punitive measure, but only as a last resort and only for so long as necessary. Citing Article 50 of the Charter, he said that the Security Council is obliged to find a definitive solution to the economic problems of affected third States. He also expressed support for detailed case studies that assess the possible adverse impact of sanctions on individual third States.
JHON GUERRA SANSONETTI (Venezuela), associating himself with Non-Aligned Movement, said that at a time when unilateralism is rampant, the reform of the United Nations and the Security Council is a priority. Such reforms seek to achieve a greater balance between the different organs of the United Nations. The Special Committee has an important part to play in bolstering the role of the General Assembly which is the most representative body. Sanctions should be used only when all means for peaceful settlement of disputes have been exhausted. They should not impede important human rights, such as the right to food and the right to work, he said, condemning the increasing tendency of the United States Government to appeal for unilateral coercive measures against his country and others.
DAVIT KNYAZYAN (Armenia) emphasized that each dispute or conflict is unique in terms of its root causes, essence, mediation format and principles of resolution. He called for caution against attempts by some States to generalize conflicts or to introduce an artificial hierarchy of international law principles. While the engagement of mediators with all parties to a conflict is vital for advancing the peace process, the international community should refrain from creating incentives for mediation shopping. Turning to the report itself, he urged the Special Committee to carefully examine the information provided by Member States before reflecting such information in the report to avoid factual mistakes and distortion of internationally accepted terminology. On this point, he objected to the language contained in paragraph 59 of the report related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
HAZAA MOHAMMED SAIF AL REESI (Oman), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the Special Committee has a catalysing role in encouraging States to abide by the rules of the Charter. Affirming the importance of complying with that document and bolstering the principle of non-use of force, he added that increasing the Organization’s role in mediation and diplomacy will render the world more stable. Recalling the situation in the Middle East, he urged the international community to work to solve the questions besetting a number of States in that region. It is especially crucial to find the appropriate legal framework for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State, he said.
AMADOU ADAMOU (Niger), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the seventy-fifth anniversary theme — The Future We Want, the United Nations We Need — reflects the international community’s common aim of multilateralism. The United Nations needed is a reformed United Nations and the reforms need to be conducted with respect for the principles of the Charter. Recalling his President’s words during the plenary debate of the General Assembly, he said: “national interests are better defended in cooperation than in confrontation”. Multilateralism is a timeless tool, he said, expressing concern about the adoption of sanctions and their impact on third States. He called for more fairness and transparency in the procedures governing sanctions.
TAREQ MD ARIFUL ISLAM (Bangladesh), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, underscored the importance of preventive diplomacy in the peaceful settlement of disputes and the participation of women in all stages of conflict resolution. Bangladesh values the advisory opinions of the International Court of Justice on legal questions in international dispute resolutions, he said, calling for Member States to support the Court’s work and proceedings. The General Assembly’s status as the chief deliberative, policymaking and representative organ of the United Nations should be upheld. There should also be a balance between the functions and powers of principal organs of the United Nations according to its Charter. The Special Committee is the appropriate forum for examining the legal aspects of these issues. Turning to sanctions, he stressed that their imposition should conform with the Charter and international law and should constitute a last resort in the case of a threat to international peace and security, a breach of the peace or an act of aggression.
ZAKIA IGHIL (Algeria), associating herself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that since its establishment, the Special Committee has produced useful and pertinent legal instruments, including the Manila Declaration. Considering ways to enhance the efficiency of the Special Committee is key and, towards that goal, political will is critical to achieve progress in its programme of work. Expressing concern about the impact of sanctions, she said that they must be implemented in accordance with the Charter and relevant principles of international law. In addition, they must be applied as a measure of last resort and within a clear framework in order to minimize any unintended adverse consequences on vulnerable groups, civilian populations and on third States. Highlighting the vital role of the International Court of Justice, she also underscored the importance of regional arrangements or agencies in the peaceful settlement of disputes.
TOFIG MUSAYEV (Azerbaijan), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, highlighted the importance of mediation as a key aspect of preventive diplomacy and pointed to its wide use in practice to peacefully settle disputes, including in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Referencing comments made by one delegation more than seven months after the adoption of the report, he said the purpose of these comments was to “question the sovereignty of Azerbaijan and its Nagorno-Karabakh region” and to avoid responsibility for the consequences of the war waged. The formulation used in paragraph 59 of the report is in line with relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions and reflects support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan within its internationally recognized borders, he said.
Mr. ABDELAZIZ (Egypt), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, voiced support for the Special Committee. Examining ways and means of strengthening the role of the Organization is a necessary exercise, he said, welcoming the focused debate on the subtopic “Exchange of information in State practices regarding the use of mediation”. Ensuring the rule of law requires that States subject themselves to the authority of international law and employ its various dispute settlement mechanisms. The peaceful settlement of international disputes in a manner that does not endanger peace, security and justice is one of the key principles of international law as elaborated in the “Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States” adopted in 1970, he recalled.
YAGYA RAJ PUDYAL (Nepal), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, affirmed the importance of the work of the Special Committee. The Committee should not shy away from engaging deeply on the legal aspect of encroachment by the Security Council on the functions and powers of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. In regard to the Ad Hoc Working Group on the revitalization of the General Assembly, he commented that such groups, if allocated resources for year-round business, leave the Special Committee — which was created for the same purpose — without a job. That situation must be eliminated. He stressed that reforms of the United Nations should be carried out with a view to making the Organization more democratic, transparent and responsible, thus reinforcing the principles enshrined in the Charter. He also expressed appreciation for the Repertory of Practice.
MOHSEN SHARIFI (Iran) said that the practice of a few countries which unlawfully resort to force, or the threat thereof, has put in question the United Nations credibility. It is regrettable that some Member States are opposing the proposal submitted by the Russian Federation and Belarus to seek the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice in that regard. The United States has violated Articles 100 and 105 of the Charter, including by imposing unprecedented restrictions on Iranian diplomats in New York. Thus, they have weaponized the seat of the United Nations, mixing the responsibility as host country with bilateral considerations. The Organization’s founders predicted such a threat and did not give the host country “carte blanche to do whatever it wants”. Indeed, Article 105 stipulated that the Organization’s independent functioning was an indispensable condition of its establishment and that the privileges and immunities of its officials are for the purposes of such functions. He urged the Charter Committee to review Articles 100 and 105 and deliver concrete recommendations with the aim of strengthening the Organization.
FERNANDO ANDRÉS MARANI (Argentina) pointed to the Secretary-General’s role in mediation as conferred by the Charter. Turning to Mexico’s statement regarding Article 51, he stressed that it is necessary for Member States to have space to reflect on these issues. To this end, the Special Committee could provide an opportunity for an exchange of views on the topic. He said he supported a debate in this area based on an unofficial text addressing substantive and procedural issues along with those related to transparency regarding the interaction between States invoking Article 51 and the Security Council. He also acknowledged the importance of the Repertoire and thanked the Secretariat for its efforts to upload this content online.
AMMAR AL ARSAN (Syria), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the international community should support the Special Committee collectively as well as individually. Calling for constructive self-criticism, he noted that due to financial and political polarization, trust and transparency are in retreat. It is necessary to strengthen mediation in conflict resolution, he said, condemning countries that considered economic blockades as a form of preventive diplomacy. He also expressed concern about the use of Article 51 of the Charter to justify acts of aggression against sovereign States, as was happened in his country. Any agreement between the United States and Turkey to create so-called safe zones on Syrian territory is a violation of national sovereignty, he stressed. Turning to sanctions, he emphasized that normal human beings were being affected adversely by it.
SAAD AHMAD WARRIACH (Pakistan), associating himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said the annual thematic debate on the pacific settlement of disputes is a useful meeting; discussion should not be limited to mere academic indulgence. There is a need to address threats to international peace and security emanating from prevailing inter-State conflicts and instances of foreign occupation and denial of self-determination. Furthermore, the issue of sanctions is equally compelling. “As sanctions are a means to an end as well as a relatively peaceful means of coercion, it is important to maintain the credibility of sanctions and not to use them as a prelude to the use of force,” he said, urging States to use them only with the utmost caution and when other peaceful options are inadequate or exhausted. While the Security Council has sought to place greater emphasis on the use of targeted sanctions, the imperative to streamline them and bring greater transparency, objectivity and predictability in order to avoid their abuse “cannot be overemphasized”, he stressed.
Right of Reply
The representative of Japan, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said the statement by the delegate of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea referring to Japan was groundless and based on factual error. For over 70 years since the end of the Second World War, his country regards the facts of history in a spirit of humility and has consistently respected democracy and human rights. Further, Japan has contributed to the peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the international community. He called for Japan and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to bring peace to Northeast Asia by overcoming mutual mistrust and deepening cooperation with each other.
The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea referred to other delegations’ statements regarding the United Nations Command and said that the Special Committee is in fact the right forum to discuss this issue. The Command’s presence is a flagrant violation of the Charter as it threatens peace and security by expanding military influence on the Korean Peninsula and the rest of the region. He reiterated that the Command must be dissolved without delay.
The representative of Armenia stated that the arguments of Azerbaijan’s delegate are groundless and that it seeks to promote its conflict narrative. He reiterated that the report distorts the official terminology used by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) relating to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The representative of Turkey stated her rejections of the accusations by the representative of Syria’s and expressed her regret at the Syrian regime’s attempt to politicize the Committee. She reiterated that Turkey has already explained the limited scope of its operation based on legitimate security concerns relating to its southern border and confirmed her country’s commitment to the territorial integrity of Syria.
The representative of Azerbaijan said that Armenia’s delegate was attempting to distort the consequences of the war waged against his country and that the delegate made selective references to some formulations while deliberately omitting others. The formulation in the report is in line with relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, he stressed.
The representative of Syria asked the Chair of the Sixth Committee a procedural question regarding whether a delegation can refer to a Member State by something other than its official name.
The Chair replied that the Sixth Committee aims to follow standard procedure when addressing other Member States, but that Syria can request clarification or further details from the Secretariat.
The representative of Syria noted that he would make this inquiry and would like a response from the Secretariat. He then stressed that Turkey’s delegate’s statement simply echoes what Turkey has said to all delegations regarding some Governments’ use of Article 51 of the Charter. Syria does not seek to politicize this situation; rather, it is Turkey who does. He pointed to the cynical situation of a State sending military forces to another country, saying that the State respects the territory and sovereignty of those being killed while destroying and taking their territory. He also said that Turkey cannot, on the one hand, conclude an agreement with the United States to create safe areas within Syria and, on the other hand, respect Syrian sovereignty. Further, he stated that Turkey focuses on the issue of Syrian refugees to blackmail the European Union.
The representative of Armenia said that the attempts by the delegate of Azerbaijan to distort facts compel his country to refer to official documents on the issue to give the Committee facts regarding the situation. Pointing to many instances of such documents referring to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he stressed that Azerbaijan’s conduct is a classic case of mediation shopping to conceal that country’s lack of political will and unwillingness to engage constructively in negotiations by misusing other platforms to propagate its one-sided narrative.
The representative of Azerbaijan said that Nagorno-Karabakh will remain an integral part of his country. Numerous international documents confirm that, he said, adding that Armenia continues to occupy the region and surrounding seven districts of Azerbaijan in violation of United Nations resolutions.
Requests for Observer Status
The representative of Cuba, making a general statement, said that prior to the evaluation of the request for observer status, it is necessary to conduct an in-depth analysis of this topic. Observer status can be granted to inter-governmental organizations as long as their activities carry an interest for the General Assembly. Each organization should present its founding documents, membership and other relevant information.
The Committee then deferred to the seventy-fifth session of the General Assembly five requests for observer status for the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States (document A/66/141); the Eurasian Economic Union (document A/70/141); the Community of Democracies (document A/70/142), the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Secretariat (document A/72/194); and the Global Environment Facility (document A/72/195).
The Committee then took up the draft resolution on the request for observer status for the Group of Seven Plus in the General Assembly.
The representative of Sierra Leone, introducing draft resolution A/C.6/74/L.2, said that the Group is a treaty-governed intergovernmental organization, with legal personality, whose outlook to development is predicated on the premise that without peace and stability, there can be no development. The members of the Group are from diverse regions and are bound by the spirit of solidarity. As a group of countries generally affected by conflict or in fragility and striving to transition to the next stage of development, the Group of Seven Plus exists to create a platform to collectively promote home-grown peace.
The representative of the Gambia, speaking for the African Group, said that the Group’s membership comprises countries that have experienced periods of instability and conflict and are now advocating for peaceful resolution of conflicts through country-led dialogue and reconciliation. The work of the United Nations is to ensure such countries recover fully from conflict, consolidate peace and pursue development. Granting observer status to the Group will therefore provide the Group a platform to carry out its objectives, he said.
Timor-Leste’s delegate said that the Group of Seven Plus, which is better known as “g7+” is made of twenty countries which have emerged from conflict. Member States of the Group have come together to advocate for country-led transitions and work together in exchanging experiences as they build strong State institutions. She requested the Sixth Committee to consider positively the Group’s request for observer status.
The representative of Togo said that the Group has the noble aim of maintaining international peace and security and promoting sustainable development. Granting it observer status in the General Assembly will enable it to diversify its international network and act more effectively.
Afghanistan’s delegate said that, as a country making efforts to recover from devastating conflict, his Government attaches great importance to the work of the Group. Afghanistan was the first to ratify the charter of the Group. The main objectives of the Group include advocating for peaceful resolution of conflicts through dialogue and reconciliation. Therefore, it is well-positioned to obtain observer status in the General Assembly.
Central African Republic’s representative voiced firm support for the draft resolution and called for granting observer status to the Group. Praising its efforts to promote effective cooperation, mutual learning and strengthening State institutions, she said these are in line with the general mandate of the United Nations. The Group has played a role in mobilizing support for her country, she noted.
The delegate of China said that the work of the Group is of interest to the General Assembly and will contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security.
Sudan’s representative also said he agreed that the Group of Seven Plus fulfils the legal criteria for observer status in the Assembly.
The representative of Comoros said the Group of Seven Plus is an inter-governmental organization and has a legal personality. The membership is made of conflict-affected countries that have come together to pursued peace and stability. These goals are also the goals of the United Nations and therefore the Group is an ally to the Organization.
The Committee then took up the draft resolution A/C.6/74/L.3 on the request for observer status for the International Organization of Employers.
The representative of Germany introduced that text, noting that for nearly a hundred years the organization has played an important role in creating a sustainable economic environment and promoting free enterprise. It also has a crucial role in enabling cooperation between the private sector and Governments. It is already strongly engaged in supporting the aims of the United Nations and as an observer, the organization can bring the views of employers and the private sector to important General Assembly discussions. Although it is not an inter-governmental organization, the Assembly has made exceptions to this criterion, she noted. The organization qualifies for that exception because of the value it could bring to the United Nations.
Spain’s delegate voiced support for granting observer status to the International Organization of Employers, adding that it meets a series of conditions that make it particularly apt for the function of observer. It has become one of the constituent arms of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and has helped shape public policy on migration, climate change and integration of young people into the labour market.
Turkey’s delegate said that the organization, as an integral part of the tripartite structure of ILO has already demonstrated the unique and significant contributions that it is able and willing to make to the United Nations. It should be accorded observer status not only because it deserves that status but also so that the United Nations can benefit from its global network.
The representative of the United States said that the International Organization of Employers is ineligible for observer status because it is not an intergovernmental organization. It is composed of business and employer organizations, rather than States. Voicing concern that exceptions will eventually render the General Assembly’s decision meaningless, essentially changing the rule without debate on the merits of abandoning the criteria, she said she hoped that the organization will continue to play a robust role at the United Nations, drawing on its status as a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.
The representative of Philippines voiced support for granting observer status to the organization.
Russian Federation’s delegate said that the work of the International Organization of Employers, including in the ILO, is very worthwhile. However, it is crucial to respect the criteria established by the General Assembly for observer status. “We cannot focus on one criteria and fully ignore the other,” she said, adding that an exception is not appropriate here.
Bangladesh’s representative said that granting observer status to the International Organization of Employers will allow fruitful cooperation between the United Nations and the organization.