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Statement by Mr. Guan Jian, Counsellor and Legal Adviser of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations, at the Sixth Committee of the 59th Session of the UN General Assembly, on Item 149: Scope of Legal Protection under the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel

2004-10-20 20:00

New York, 20 October 2004

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, please allow me to take this opportunity to announce that the Chinese Government has completed its domestic legislative procedure to accede to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel and submitted its instrument of accession to the Secretary-General during the Treaty Event this year. I would like to reiterate on behalf of my government China's commitment to fulfilling its treaty obligations in good faith and its readiness to work with other countries to ensure the safety of personnel taking part in UN operations.

Mr. Chairman, faced with the reality of the steady worsening of the safety and security of personnel of UN operations in recent years and mounting casualties among them, the Chinese delegation supports the adoption of further measures by the international community to enhance protection of the safety of UN and associated personnel. We are gratified by the important progress made at the recently concluded session of the Working Group on measures to expand the scope of legal protection under the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, which agreed to use a draft paper prepared by its chairman as a basis for future consideration of a draft optional protocol. That chairman’s paper has incorporated the views of all sides and will in our view serve as a good basis for future deliberations on the item. We are ready to hear more comments by delegations on the draft paper so that the negotiation of the draft protocol can be concluded on the basis of consensus. The Chinese delegation wishes to thank Ambassador Christian Wenaweser for the tremendous efforts he has made. We are heartened by the unanimous support evident at this session of the Working Group for expanding the scope of protection for United Nations and associated personnel. This will spur us on in this endeavor. The scope and depth of the views and comments made by delegations at this session on the provisions of the draft will no doubt greatly facilitate our future deliberations.

Mr. Chairman, the Chinese delegation wishes to take this opportunity to reiterate its principled position on the scope of application of the optional protocol. We believe that the risk element should be the basic condition for the applicability of the protocol. This will not only facilitate the early conclusion of the work on the draft instrument but also help to give expression to the imperative of the protection of personnel taking part in UN operations. More countries, particularly the host countries of UN operations, will as a consequence find it more attractive to become parties to the protocol. We hope that the protocol will strike a delicate balance between the rights and obligations of states parties. We note the constructive approach taken by some countries in this regard and stand ready to reciprocate with the same spirit in taking part in the consultations with a view to producing a draft text acceptable to all.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


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