– CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY –
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Acceding Country Croatia*, the Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro* and Iceland†, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Norway, a member of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova, and Georgia, align themselves with this declaration.
We have taken note of the report of the Special Committee contained in document A/67/33 and thanks the Secretary-General for his reports on two of the topics dealt with by the Committee, namely the implementation of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations related to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions and the repertory of practice of United Nations organs and repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council.
With regard to the item “Maintenance of international peace and security”, we continue to firmly believe that sanctions remain an important instrument, under the UN Charter, for the maintenance and restoration of international peace and security. The practice of the Security Council in recent years demonstrates that sanctions can be designed in a targeted way to minimize the possibility of adverse consequences for civilian population as well as for third parties.
In this regard, we note that, in his report, the Secretary-General indicates that neither the General Assembly nor the Economic and Social Council found it necessary in 2012 to take any action related to assistance to third States affected by sanctions. As far as the Secretariat is concerned, the report also recalls that no States have appealed to the United Nations for relief of economic problems arising from sanctions since 2003.
In the light of the findings of this report and as expressed during the meeting of the Special Committee last February, we continue to hold the view that studying the question of assistance to third States affected by sanctions by the Special Committee is no longer relevant and should, as a result, be removed from its agenda.
More broadly, we continue to strongly advocate for the implementation of the 2006 decision on reforming the working methods of the Special Committee. We note with concern that this year, a total of 7 working days was allotted to the Special Committee and its Working Group, while the discussions on the substance of the topics under consideration in fact required far less time. For the sake of efficiency, we consequently urge UN Members States, in line with the Japanese paper on the reform of the working methods (A/AC.182/L.108/Rev.3) adopted by the Special Committee in 2006 (cf. A/61/33, §72 and 73), to work together to explore ways and means to achieve a better use of resources and of the meetings of the Committee.
This could be done by reviewing all existing agenda items, looking into the usefulness of further discussing them, taking into account their continued relevance and the likelihood of reaching a consensus in the future, before examining proposals for new items, or by reexamining the duration and, as suggested by Mexico in 2010, the frequency of the sessions of the Committee.
We stand ready to participate constructively in this process and hopes that the same spirit of cooperation will allow us to make progress on this issue.
Regarding the Repertory of practice of United Nations organs and Repertoire of practice of the Security Council, we take note of the progress and the efforts undertaken by the Secretariat to reduce the backlog in the preparation of those two publications. We welcome the increased use of the internship programme of the United Nations and the further strengthening of the cooperation with academic institutions for the preparation of studies. Considering the importance of the Repertory and the Repertoire, both as research tools for the international community, particularly the diplomatic community and universities, and as a means to preserve the memory of the Organisation, we call upon the Secretary-General to continue his efforts toward updating the two publications and making them available electronically in all language versions. We would also like to express its gratitude to the States having made voluntary contributions to the trust fund for the elimination of the backlog in the Repertory and reiterates its call for other Member States to do likewise.
I thank you, Mr. Chair.
*Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
† Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.