Adopting 29 Legal Texts, General Assembly Reaffirms Sixth Committee’s Vital Role in Progressive Development of International Law

15 Dec

The General Assembly today reaffirmed the vital role of the Sixth Committee (Legal) as its primary forum for considering legal questions, adopting without a vote 19 draft resolutions and 10 draft decisions recommended by the Committee, including four new requests for observer status.

Taking Action on 29 Draft Texts, Sixth Committee Delegates Highlight Session’s Unique Challenges, Limitations Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

19 Nov

Concluding its seventy-fifth session today — after weeks of deliberations marked by socially distanced meetings and masked delegates — the Sixth Committee (Legal) upheld its tradition of consensus by approving without a vote 15 draft resolutions, 4 requests for observer status and 10 draft decisions, as delegates came to terms with the limitations placed on their work by the COVID‑19 pandemic and sought a way forward despite the uncertainty created by the virus.

Speakers Argue over Legal Framework Needed for Protecting Persons in Event of Disaster during Pandemic, as Sixth Committee Considers Annual Report

11 Nov

As climate‑related hazards and natural phenomena continue to loom over many countries and the world continues to reel from the COVID‑19 pandemic, the debate on the protection of persons in the event of disasters took on an urgency that went beyond legal abstractions, as the Sixth Committee (Legal) today considered the Secretary‑General’s report on the matter (document A/75/214) and deliberated the merits of codifying related draft articles into an international agreement.

Spotlighting Rising Attacks, Sixth Committee Speakers Urge Adherence to Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic Protection of Consulates, Missions

10 Nov

Despite long-held principles found in the Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, delegates spotlighted recent attacks against their missions and staff, as the Sixth Committee (Legal) took up the Secretary‑General’s report, “Consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives” (document A/75/168).

Sixth Committee Speakers Applaud Programme of Assistance’s Continued, Accessible Training in International Law Education During COVID-19 Pandemic

6 Nov

As the Sixth Committee (Legal) took up the Secretary‑General’s report on the Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law (document A/75/389), delegates praised its unique contribution to promoting the rule of law by providing high quality, accessible training in international law education, even during an unprecedented pandemic.

Spotlighting International Law Commission Study on Sea-Level Rise, Sixth Committee Speakers Urge that Maritime Regime Reflect Reality of Climate Threat

5 Nov

In lieu of International Law Week - rendered impossible due to COVID‑19 - the Sixth Committee (Legal) heard oral reports from the Chair‑Designate and the Secretary of the International Law Commission today, as delegates, praising the Commission’s adaptation of work methods around the pandemic’s limitations, spotlighted the importance of its recent issuance of the first issues paper on sea‑level rise in relation to international law.

Speakers Argue About Calls for Universal Ratification of Additional Protocols to Geneva Conventions, as Sixth Committee Takes Up Annual Report

4 Nov

As the Sixth Committee (Legal) took up the Secretary‑General’s annual report on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts (document A/75/263), some speakers highlighted the importance of ratifying the Protocols universally, while others voiced reservations based on their national experience.

Speakers Point to Lack of Progress, Divisions over Universal Jurisdiction Scope, Application, as Sixth Committee Begins Debate on Principle

3 Nov

Frustration with a lack of meaningful progress and divisions over the appropriate scope and application of universal jurisdiction permeated the discussion in the Sixth Committee (Legal) today, as delegates took up the report of the Secretary‑General, “The scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction” (document A/75/151).

Tackling Host Country Report, Sixth Committee Speakers Highlight Abuses of Headquarters Agreement, Urge Secretary-General to Invoke Arbitration

23 Oct

Complaints and concerns about the abuse of the Headquarters Agreement by the United States dominated discussion in the Sixth Committee (Legal) today, as delegations took up the report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country.  (For background, see Press Release GA/L/3622.)