– CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY –
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
We thank the Committee on Relations with the Host Country for its report (A/67/26) on its activities conducted during the reporting period.
We would also like to thank outgoing Ambassador Hadjimichael and Ambassador Emiliou of Cyprus for presiding over the work of the Committee during the past year, as well as the other members of the Bureau.
The EU and its Member States express their appreciation for the ongoing work and endeavour of the Committee to serve as a forum for addressing the different issues that Permanent and Observer Missions to the United Nations and the diplomatic community may face, in full compliance with applicable international law and the Headquarters Agreement between the United Nations and the host country.
At the outset, we also wish to express our 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, resolve any difficulty that may arise and promote mutual understanding between the diplomatic community and the people of the city of New York.
The Committee deals with a variety of issues ranging from security of missions and the safety of their personnel to transportation issues. Though often practical in nature, these 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.
We consider the observance of privileges and immunities of diplomatic personnel to be an issue of great importance. To this end, it is paramount to safeguard the integrity of the relevant body of international law, particularly 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.
Concerning the implementation of the Agreement between the United Nations and the United States of America regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, we express our appreciation to the host country for its continued efforts for the timely issuance of entry visas to representatives of Member States and observers.
Considering that the security of missions and safety of personnel are indispensable for their effective functioning, we welcome the efforts made by the host country in this regard.
To conclude, we fully endorse the conclusions and recommendations formulated by the Committee in its report. We remain convinced that the Committee is an important body that assists the membership of the Organisation by providing a forum where matters of concern can be communicated to the host country and which facilitates dialogue between the parties in a manner geared towards addressing these issues both constructively and effectively.