STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. EMAD MORCOS MATTAR, COUNSELLOR OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF EGYPT TO THE UNITED NATIONS, IN THE SIXTH COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY UNDER AGENDA ITEM 81 "UNITED NATIONS PROGRAMME OF ASSISTANCE IN THE TEACHING, STUDY, DISSEMINATION AND WIDER APPRECIATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW" (New York, 19 October 2018)
Thank you Mr. Chair,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China on agenda item 81 entitled "United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law". It is a pleasure to see you chairing the work of this Committee, and the Group of 77 and China would like to congratulate you and the members of the bureau on your election and ensure you of their full support.
The Group of 77 and China would like to thank the Secretary-General for his report published as document A/73/415, which provides information concerning the implementation of the Programme of Assistance in 2018, as well as the activities planned for 2019 and the related administrative and financial implications. The Group of 77 and China also commend the laudable efforts of the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs in carrying out the mandated activities under the Programme of Assistance.
The Group of 77 and China reiterates their support for the Programme of Assistance as an effective tool for disseminating a greater knowledge of international law, which serve in strengthening international peace and security and promoting friendly relations and cooperation among States.
The Programme and its components are, among others, the cornerstones of the efforts of the United Nations to promote international law. The jurists, academics, diplomats and other public officials from developing countries greatly benefit from the regional courses in international law, fellowships, publications and the Audiovisual Library of International Law.
In this regard, the Group of 77 and China are grateful that the necessary resources were secured in the programme budget for the biennium 2018-2019 for the International Law Fellowship Programme, the United Nations Regional Courses in International Law for Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean, and for the continuation and further development of the United Nations Audiovisual Library of International Law.
During the reporting period, the following programmes and courses were organized with great success:
The International Law Fellowship Programme was held in The Hague from 25th of June to 3rd of August 2018,
The Regional Course in International Law for Africa was held at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in Addis Ababa, from 5th of February to 2nd of March 2018,
The Regional Course in International Law for Asia-Pacific was held at the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in Bangkok, from 20th of November to 15th of December 2017,
The Regional Course in International Law for Latin America and the Caribbean was held at the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in Santiago, from 23rd of April to 18th of May 2018.
The UN Audiovisual Library of International Law is another essential tool that provides international lawyers, scholars, diplomats and unlimited number of individuals and institutions around the world, high-quality training free of charge through the Internet. The Group of 77 and China believe that it is important to continue promoting the access and the utilization of the UN Audiovisual Library. We are also pleased to learn that the Codification Division is undertaking off-site recording sessions in various locations in order to promote a broader geographical and linguistic representation of the recorded lectures and to record lecturers who are unable to travel to New York.
The Group of 77 and China commend the Codification Division efforts, which have successfully completed the podcast project for the Audiovisual Library aiming to facilitate access to the lectures for users without reliable high-speed Internet on computers and mobile devices. The Group of 77 and China welcome the outcome of this project that made all lectures (over 500) available as audio files, which are significantly easier to access than video files and can be either streamed or downloaded.
The Programme of Assistance plays a vital role in promoting the rule of law at the national and international levels. The promotion of the rule of law is one of the targets of Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. The various activities under the Programme of Assistance provide the opportunity for individuals to acquire greater knowledge of international law. These capacity-building activities will contribute to the improvement of the participation of developing countries in different multilateral frameworks and instruments and ultimately help strengthen the rule of law.
The Group of 77 and China remain committed to that objective as reflected in the Ministerial Declaration adopted at the 42nd Annual Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Group of 77 on 27 September 2018, particularly the commitment to include the International Law Fellowship Programme, the seminars and regional training on treaty law and practice and the legal publications and training materials, as well as the necessary funding for the Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Memorial Fellowship, in the regular budget of the United Nations for the biennium 2018-2019 (para. 174). The funding from the regular budget will better ensure the continuation of related activities in the coming years.
Last but not least, we would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the Office of Legal Affairs for its tireless efforts to promote knowledge of international law in an inclusive manner and encourage it to continue to reach out to Member states to better inform them on ways and means to access and use available resources. The Group of 77 and China would also like to extend appreciation to all Member States, which have contributed to the continued success of the Programme. While budgetary funding has been obtained, voluntary contributions, including in-kind contributions, remain vital.
I thank you.