Statement by H.E Mr. Le Hoai Trung
Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations
on behalf of ASEAN at the Sixth Committee of the UNGA 66th Session
on Agenda Item 83: “The Rule of Law at National and International Levels”
New York, 5th October 2011
I have the honor to address the Committee on behalf of the ten Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
Strengthening the rule of law at the national and international levels is central to achieving the vision of the United Nations for a more just, secure, progressive and peaceful world. In recent years, we have seen concrete progress towards the realization of this broad and ambitious endeavour. ASEAN would like to thank the Secretary-General for his second annual report on strengthening and coordinating United Nations rule of law activities contained in document A/66/133, which provides a comprehensive reference of key UN achievements and its approach in advancing and strengthening the rule of law at both national and international levels in over 150 Member States in every part of the world. The Rule of Law Coordination and Resource Group, chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General and supported by the Rule of Law Unit, continues to make progress in system-wide strategic coordination and coherence of the United Nations’ engagement.
At the same time, ASEAN wishes to emphasize that any efforts of the international community in providing rule of law assistance must be based on principles of national ownership, sovereign equality of States, peaceful settlement of disputes, adherence to a rules-based regime and respect for territorial integrity. Significant investments have been made in peace and security and international justice; more attention and resources should likewise be dedicated to developing national capacities to address developmental and socio-economic issues. At last year’s MDG Summit, member states reaffirmed that “good governance and the rule of law at national and international levels are essential for sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger.” To increase the effectiveness of rule of law assistance, the United Nations should be at the center and must continuously work on strengthening coordination and coherence between donors, national partners and international agencies.
ASEAN has turned a new chapter in the history of the organization with the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter in December 2008. Based on the Charter, ASEAN will transform into a rules-based, people-centered and closely integrated Community by 2015. Among the 14 principles highlighted in the ASEAN Charter are adherence to the rule of law, good governance, democracy and constitutional government and the upholding of the United Nations Charter and international law. In line with ASEAN’s principle of being rules-based, ASEAN Member States would like to reiterate their commitment to promoting the implementation of their obligations under international treaties to which they are parties and to ensuring a more effective enforcement of agreements within ASEAN.
To develop and strengthen the institutional and legal frameworks envisaged in the Charter, following the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter, ASEAN Member States adopted a series of legal documents, such as the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the ASEAN, the Protocol to the ASEAN Charter on the Dispute Settlement Mechanisms, Rules of Authorization for Legal Transactions under Domestic Laws, Rules for Reference of Unresolved Disputes to the ASEAN Summit, Annexation of the Rules for Reference of Unresolved Dispute to the ASEAN Summit to the Protocol to the ASEAN Charter on Dispute Settlement Mechanisms, Rules of Procedure for the Conclusion of International Agreements by ASEAN, Rules of Procedure for the Interpretation of the ASEAN Charter.
The establishment of the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) and the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Women and Children (ACWC) demonstrates ASEAN’s collective commitment to good governance and the creation of a truly people-centered ASEAN.
The 18th ASEAN Summit, held in Jakarta on 7-8 May this year, emphasized the need for ASEAN to enhance its capacity to ensure greater peace, security and stability in the region, including on conflict management and resolution, and decided to commence the process towards establishing an ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation. The Institute may, inter alia, undertake relevant researches and studies, and provide counsel and recommendations to ASEAN governments on the promotion of peace and reconciliation.
Committed to pursue greater stability and security in the region, ASEAN is to immediately implement the Guidelines on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and commence the discussion of identifying elements of a regional code of conduct (COC).
ASEAN is committed to realizing a community of Southeast Asian nations that is grounded upon a firm commitment to the rule of law at national, regional and international levels. We believe that a rules-based, people-centered and more integrated ASEAN would allow us to play a greater role in the advancement of the progress, prosperity and security of Southeast Asia, as well as to be an even more effective partner of the United Nations and countries outside the region.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.