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Summary: 16 November 2015, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States by Gilles Marhic, Minister Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the Sixth Committee on Agenda item 167: Report of the Committee on 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 Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Iceland, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

We thank the Committee on Relations with the Host Country for its report (A/70/26) on its activities conducted during the reporting period. In particular, we would like to 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 express appreciation for 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. The Committee is essential 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.

We also 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, 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 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.

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.

We consider that obtaining suitable banking services is indispensable for the effective functioning of Permanent Missions; in this connection, we welcome the significant efforts made by the Host Country, taking note of General Assembly resolution 68/306 adopted by consensus on 9 September 2014. 

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.

* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

  • Ref: EUUN15-192EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: 
  • Date: 16/11/2015

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