I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, and the EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and Moldova align themselves with this declaration.
Let me first to congratulate Ambassador Mavroyiannis of Cyprus for the presentation of the report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country. During the reporting period the Committee has been fully engaged with the issues falling under its mandate. The European Union wishes to express its appreciation for the progressing work and endeavour of the Committee which continues to serve as an important and necessary venue for considering the various issues and problems that Missions accredited to the UN may face in full conformity with international law.
The European Union also wishes to express its appreciation to the host country for its commitment and efforts to help accommodate the needs, interests and requirements of the diplomatic community in New York and to promote mutual understanding between the diplomatic community and the people of the city of New York.
The Committee deals with a variety of issues that affect diplomats in New York, ranging from diplomatic parking to diplomatic privileges and immunities. Though often practical in nature, these issues go to the heart of preserving the legal regime that defines the status of the United Nations and outlines the rights and obligations of diplomatic agents. The EU considers the observance of privileges and immunities to be an issue of great importance and to this end, considers paramount the safeguarding of the integrity of the relevant body of international law such as the Headquarters Agreement between the United Nations and the host country, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations. With regard to privileges and immunities, the EU welcomes the decision of the host country to partly exempt all diplomats accredited to the United Nations from secondary screening procedures at airports and looks forward to its effective implementation.
The EU supports the proper implementation of the Parking Programme for Diplomatic Vehicles in a manner that is consistent with international law. The EU notes the outcome of the second review of the implementation of the Parking Programme and calls upon the host country to address the problems reported by permanent missions in the context of the review.
The EU also wishes to express appreciation to the host country for its efforts to ensure the timely issuance of entry visas to representatives of Member States on United Nations business and would like to urge the host country to remove travel restrictions imposed on staff of certain Missions and staff members of the Secretariat of certain nationalities.
The European Union has studied carefully the report of the Committee and fully endorses its conclusions and recommendations. The European Union is convinced that the Committee remains a relevant body that can assist the membership of the Organisation in communicating matters of concern to the host country and which facilitates dialogue between the parties in a manner geared towards addressing these issues. We consider that the spirit of co-operation that has prevailed in the Committee and the resolution of all problems in full observance of international law, is a recipe that must continue to guide the methodology of the Committee. The European Union supports the application of a multilateral spirit to finding solutions agreeable to all parties concerned and would like to urge the host country and all member states to approach problems which may arise in a constructive and result-oriented manner within the framework of the Committee.
I thank you.