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The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

3 November 2016, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States by Mr. Eric Chaboureau, First Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the General Assembly Sixth Committee on Item 165: Report of the Committee on the relations with the Host Country

– Check against delivery –

Mr. Chair,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Country Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania, the Country of the stabilization and association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, EFTA country Iceland, as well as Ukraine and Moldova align themselves with this statement.

We thank the Committee on Relations with the Host Country for its report (currently A/AC.154/2016/L.1) on its activities conducted during the reporting period. We also thank 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, and the Secretariat staff for their support.

We note with appreciation the on-going and sustained work of the Committee and we value its goal of serving as a technical forum to deal with many different issues pertaining to the activities of Permanent and Observer Missions to the UN and their staff. As a forum which deals with the full range of issues concerning the relationship between the host country and the United Nations community, the Committee has an essential role in handling a variety of issues the diplomatic community may face, in full compliance with applicable international law and the Headquarters Agreement between the United Nations and the host country. The range of issues the Committee deals with, though often practical in nature, 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 further wish to express our appreciation to the Host Country for the commitment and efforts to help accommodate the needs, interests and requirements of the diplomatic community in New York in various areas, resolve any difficulty that may arise and promote mutual understanding between the diplomatic community, the local authorities and the people of the city of New York.

The observance of privileges and immunities of diplomatic personnel is an issue of great importance based on solid legal principles. 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, and encourage the Host Country to continue to enhance its efforts in this regard.

The commitment of the Host Country to help accommodate the needs, interests and requirements of the diplomatic community has also been demonstrated in the area of providing suitable banking services to all permanent missions.

We also welcome the fact that there are no outstanding issues with regards to obtaining appropriate banking services, and reiterate the Committee’s anticipation that the host country will continue to assist the permanent missions accredited to the United Nations and their staff in obtaining such services.

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 in a spirit of cooperation. To this end we favour further consideration by the Committee of measures to make its work even more effective.

I thank you.

  • Ref: EUUN16-191EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: Sixth Committee - Legal Committee
  • Date: 03/11/2016

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