As the Sixth Committee (Legal) wrapped up its seventy‑third session today by taking action on 13 draft resolutions, including a historic text, and one draft decision, several delegations, while highlighting the Committee’s tradition of approving resolutions without a vote, at the same time, disassociated themselves from several paragraphs in those draft texts that they deemed contentious.
After approving four draft resolutions concerning the work of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) today, the Sixth Committee (Legal) critiqued its own working methods, with delegates emphasizing the need to make better use of time and calling for an improved relationship with the International Law Commission.
Prior to hearing oral reports of the Working Groups on “Measures to eliminate international terrorism”, “Scope and application of universal criminal jurisdiction” and “Criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on Mission”, the Sixth Committee (Legal) today approved without a vote the draft resolution, “Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization”.
While New York City is uniquely suited for the work of diplomacy, banking and travel restrictions placed on some delegations not only is hindering official United Nations business, but is also in contradiction to the Headquarters Agreement between the United States and the Organization, the Sixth Committee (Legal) heard today, as it took up the Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country.
After approving without a vote five resolutions on requests for observer status in the General Assembly and deferring one request, the Sixth (Legal) Committee today commenced its discussion on the report and draft articles addressing the protection of persons in the event of disasters, with delegates debating the merits of elaborating an international treaty.
As delegates concluded consideration of the third and final cluster of topics from the International Law Commission’s annual report, they emphasized the importance of addressing controversial issues, such as immunity of State officials who had committed crimes against humanity and the protection of the environment during armed conflict and occupation, with care and an acknowledgement of the matters’ complexity and political sensitivity.
The subject of the environment dominated the Sixth Committee (Legal) debate today with speakers discussing the ongoing degradation of the atmosphere and the gaps and discrepancies in international law when protecting the environment during occupation, as review of the second cluster of topics of the International Law Commission’s annual report concluded and review of the third cluster began.
Because the International Court of Justice is adjudicating more cases related to scientific and technological advances, the Court is able to guarantee its competency addressing such expanded and diverse disputes through the engagement of outside experts as established by its founding Statute, the President of that body told the Sixth Committee (Legal) today during his annual visit.
Environmental concerns were in the foreground of the Sixth Committee (Legal) debate today, as delegates concluded consideration of the first cluster of topics from the International Law Commission’s annual report and took up the second cluster, including jus cogens and the provisional application of treaties.
As the Sixth Committee (Legal) continued its consideration of the International Law Commission’s annual report, delegates shared their views on both the practical nature of the tools provided by the Commission for the identification of customary international law, as well as that body’s plans to expand their programme of work to address contemporary concerns.
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