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REMARKS 

OF 

MR. NUGROHO WISNUMURTI

CHAIRMAN OF THE INTERNATIONAL LAW COMMISSION

 BEFORE THE MEETING OF LEGAL ADVISORS, 

LEGAL COMMITTEE,  UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

New York, 25 October 2010

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

Allow me first of all to express my appreciation to you and to the Coordinators for the invitation to this important gathering. The opportunity to have dialogue among Legal Advisors of Member States in an informal setting such as this meeting, is a testimony of our common commitment to promote respect for International Law and to tress its importance in inter-States relations. The fact that this meeting is being held as a part of the International Law Week has added its significance. It is  therefore a privilege for me as Chairman of the International Law Commission to be a part of this meeting.

 

Over the years, the Commission has benefited from the dialogue between the Commission and the Sixth Committee, and in particular from its guidance and the inputs from Member States that have contributed to the work of the Commission. And the informal Meeting of Legal Advisors serves as an opportunity to have interactions that will also contribute to the work of the Commission.

 

This morning I presented the first of three parts of my report on the work of the International Law Commission in its sixty-second session. As you will note, the Commission this year has made further progress in its work. I have indicated this morning that on the topic “Reservation to treaties” the Commission has adopted 59 additional draft guidelines and thereby complete the entire set of guidelines. We intend to adopt the final version the guidelines at the end of the current quiquennium next year. Ithas indeed been a challenging task for the Commission, and especially for the Special Rapporteur  of this topic, Mr. Allain Pellet, to go through the painstaking but interesting process in the drafting of a very detailed guidelines that began in 1993. This has been achieved with the valuable contributions from Member States and international organizations through the debate in the Sixth Committee, where the role of Legal Advisors has been instrumental, as well as through direct submission to the Commission of the views of Member States and international organizations on the draft guidelines. As we plan to adopt the final version of the draft guidelines next year, it is imperative for me to draw your attention to Chapter III of the Report of the Commission. Under this Chapter, the Commission invites Member States, international organizations and other organs with which it cooperate, to submit comments on the draft guidelines before 31 January 2011 so as to enable the Commission to consider those comments in the light of further improving the draft guidelines and to produce the final version next year.

 

The Commission has also made progress on the topic “Effects of armed conflicts on treaties” by going through a second reading of the draft articles on the topic that were prepared with the late Sir Ian Brownlie as the Special Rapporteur. The Commission considered the revised draft articles proposed by the new Special Rapporteur, Mr. Lucius Caflisch on the basis of comments and observations from Member States, and decided to refer all the 17 draft articles, together with an annex, to the Drafting Committee.

 

There are other progress as well as challenges in  our work on other topics, but I shall reserve my comments in my  second and third statement introducing the Commission’s Report. Suffice it for me at this stage to touch briefly on the topic “Treaties overtime”. The Commission this year discussed relevant issues on the significance and role of subsequent agreements and practice in the interpretation of treaties on the basis of an introductory report prepared by the Chairman of the Study Group and its addendum. The report deals with relevant jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice and of tribunals of ad hoc jurisdiction, and also with the preparatory work of the provisions of the 1969 Vienna Convention of the Law of Treaties on the interpretation and modification of treaties and with the question of the inter-temporal law. It is the intention of the Study Group to complete its consideration of the in introductory report and begin examining  the issues of subsequent agreements and practice.

 

In this connection I would like to refer to Chapter III of the Commission’s report on the topic. To facilitate the work of the Study Group, Governments are requested to provide examples of “subsequent agreements” or “subsequent practice” which are or have been particularly relevant in the interpretation of their treaties. The Commission is also interested in instances of interpretation which involved  taking into account other factors pertaining to factual or legal developments, arising after the entry into force of the treaty. I do hope that Governments would response to these requests.

 

The topic “Responsibility of international organizations” has not been considered by the Commission this year. As you recall, at its sixty-first session, the Commission completed the first reading of the 66 draft articles on the topic with the commentaries that had been considered by the Sixth Committee.  The Special Rapporteur Mr. Geogio Gaja is preparing a revision of the draft articles for the second reading in the light of the comments and observations of Member States expressed in the Sixth Committee and the written comments and observations submitted  directly to the Commission. It would be useful for Member States that have not done so to submit their comments and observations before 31 January 2011.

 

The last point that I would like to raise is the long-term programme of work of the Commission. The Planning Group decided on 4 May 2010 to reconstitute the Working Group on the Long-term Programme of Work under the Chairmanship of Mr. Enricue Candioti. The Working Group under its mandate continued the consideration of various possible topics for the Commission’s future work. In this context, while the Commission is very much responsible to propose new topics to the Member States, it would be very helpful in my personal opinion for the Member States to also propose possible topics that would serve the interest of the international community.

 

Allow me now to conclude by once again expressing my appreciation to you for inviting me to participate in this important informal Meeting of Legal Advisors.

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333,   Fax: 1.212.972.9780   -   www.indonesiamission-ny.org

 

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