Sixth Committee

Sixth Committee

20 November 2019

As the Sixth Committee (Legal) concluded its seventy‑fourth session today by taking action via its tradition of consensus on 12 draft resolutions, 1 draft decision and 3 requests for observer status, several delegates expressed regret over a lack of forward progress in the development of international law, while others distanced themselves from certain provisions in those texts because of terminology or tacit endorsements of certain mechanisms.

11 November 2019

After hearing the oral reports of its working groups, the Sixth Committee (Legal) today approved without a vote three draft resolutions concerning international trade law and one on transboundary harm and allocation of loss.

6 November 2019

Delegates urged the International Law Commission to proceed with caution on their work addressing “Succession of States in respect of State responsibility” due to a dearth of State practice in this area and a need for consistency with the Commission’s previous work in adjacent fields, as the Sixth Committee (Legal) concluded its consideration of Cluster III from that body’s annual report today.  (For background, see Press Release GA/L/3610.)

5 November 2019

As the Sixth Committee (Legal) concluded consideration of Cluster II from the International Law Commission’s Report, delegates expressed varying opinions about the draft principles on “Protection of the environment in relation to armed conflicts”, with some cautioning against the broad scope of the drafts while others stating that the provisions furthered the international community’s efforts to safeguard the environment.

1 November 2019

In response to the evolution of international law and the expansion of international society, the International Court of Justice has creatively employed the primary sources of law applicable in cases before the Court — international customary law and general principles of law — the Court’s President told delegates today during his annual address to the Sixth Committee.

31 October 2019

Delegate after delegate commended the International Law Commission for including “Sea‑level rise in relation to international law” in its programme of work and called for urgent action to address the legal implications of climate change and its effects on maritime borders, as the Sixth Committee (Legal) concluded consideration of the first cluster of topics from the Commission’s annual report and took up the second cluster.

30 October 2019

Continuing its debate today on Cluster I from the report of the International Law Commission, Sixth Committee (Legal) delegates dissented on the Commission’s inclusion of dispute-settlement mechanisms and a non-exhaustive list in its draft conclusions on “Peremptory norms of general international law (jus cogens)”.  (For background, see Press Releases GA/L/3605 and GA/L/3606.)

29 October 2019

After approving without a vote a request for observer status, the Sixth Committee (Legal) continued its consideration of Cluster I of the International Law Commission’s report, with delegates debating if a convention based on the draft articles on “Crimes against humanity” was appropriate and, if so, whether the time was right for such an instrument.

28 October 2019

As the Sixth Committee (Legal) began its consideration of the International Law Commission report today, speakers addressed the first of three clusters of topics, critiquing the Commission’s working methods and offering competing views about the future of draft articles and conclusions on “Crimes against humanity” and “Peremptory norms of general international law” (jus cogens).

25 October 2019

The global demand for legal training met by the Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law must be matched by funding for its activities, the Sixth Committee (Legal) heard today as it began its consideration of the Programme.

22 October 2019

Beginning its consideration on the prevention of transboundary harm from hazardous activities and the allocation of loss in the case of such harm, as well as the law of transboundary aquifers, the Sixth Committee (Legal) today debated the merits of formalizing the draft articles on the two topics into a binding international convention.

21 October 2019

As the Sixth Committee (Legal) took up the report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) today, delegates called for an expansion of that Commission’s membership, along with reforms in investor‑State settlement disputes.

18 October 2019

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.

17 October 2019

Concluding their debate on the scope and application of universal jurisdiction, and beginning consideration on the Organization’s internal justice system, as well as the Special Committee on the Charter, delegates of the Sixth Committee (Legal) today shared a wide range of stances on the complex issues before them.

16 October 2019

Delegates remained divided on the appropriate forum for continuing discussions on the scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction, as the Sixth Committee (Legal) resumed its consideration of the matter today.

15 October 2019

As the Sixth Committee (Legal) today took up two agenda items, the responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts and diplomatic protection, delegates held a vigorous debate on the question of elaborating the draft articles addressing both principles into legally binding conventions.

14 October 2019

Implementation of the rule of law principle on the international level — particularly in the area of conflict resolution — was being undermined by States failing to adhere to their international obligations, along with the selective enforcement and exploitation of existing frameworks and mechanisms, delegations stressed as the Sixth Committee (Legal) concluded its consideration on the topic today.

11 October 2019

With as many as 5 billion people around the world falling into a “justice gap”, the rule of law is crucial in the compacts between people and their Governments, and between States, a senior United Nations official told the Sixth Committee (Legal) today as it continued its consideration of the principle.

10 October 2019

Holding United Nations officials and experts on mission accountable for crimes required Member States to increase their exercise of national extraterritorial jurisdiction in order to ensure the integrity of the Organization, the Sixth Committee (Legal) heard today as it took up that topic, alongside the matter of the principle of rule of law.

9 October 2019

As the Sixth Committee (Legal) continued its consideration of measures to eliminate international terrorism, delegates called for more funding for counter-terrorism efforts, as well as increased cooperation in tackling and stopping the legal and illegal financing that supports terrorist groups and activities.