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Statement by Mr. Pham Vinh Quang Deputy Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations On behalf of ASEAN at the Six Committee of the UNGA 66th Session On Agenda Item 80 “United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, dissemi
10-21-2011, 04:23 pm

Mr. Chairman, 

1.  I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Viet Nam and Thailand. 

2.  ASEAN welcomes the Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law contained in document A/66/505.  The report highlights in a comprehensive and detailed manner the activities being undertaken and the challenges faced in implementing the Programme.

Mr. Chairman, 

3.  ASEAN considers the Programme as a vital component in the over-all efforts to contribute to the progressive development of international law, to further strengthen the rule of law at national and international levels and to build the respective capacities of States.   

4.   Indeed, the Programme provides valuable opportunities for the United Nations and its Member States to be deeply engaged in matters concerning international law on a variety of platforms, at different points and with ever expanding access.  These include, among others, Fellowship programs, research assistance, conduct of seminars, the holding of study visits, publications, multi-media information development and access, dissemination and human resource development.  

5.   ASEAN, therefore, wishes to commend the continuing efforts of the Office of Legal Affairs, along with its Codification Division, the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, the International Trade Law Division, the Treaty Section; and the United Nations Office in Geneva.

6.   ASEAN is encouraged by several developments that move the Programme towards a deeper engagement with the UN Members.  This includes the holding for the first time in 10 years, a regional course in international law for lawyers from Africa held in Adidis Ababa beginning February 2012. 

7.   ASEAN considers the holding of regional courses in international law as important activities. Two of our Members have already hosted these regional courses - Thailand in 2005 and in 1986; and the Philippines in 1969. Recently, Thailand has expressed its agreement to host the Regional Course in International Law for Asia in Bangkok in the Fall of 2012.

8.   ASEAN also welcomes the continued commitment of the concerned offices to make international law and its developments more accessible to an even wider global audience through the use of information communications technology.   Web-based electronic research, web-accessible documents, and the digitization of audio and visual files help significantly bridge the knowledge and information gaps in international law.

9.   ASEAN likewise notes the awarding in 2011 of 19 fellowships to the International Law Programme in the Hague. This number equals the awards given in 2010 which was a significant improvement over the 12 fellowships awarded in 2009.

10. These positive developments notwithstanding, Mr. Chairman, ASEAN recognizes that the Programme of Assistance faces very real problems, particularly with regard to funding which seriously impact on the efficacy and effectiveness of the implementation of the Programme.

11.  Funding issues affect the implementation of the Programme, in particular, the holding of regional courses, the Audiovisual Library of International Law, the desktop publishing programme for legal publications and training materials, as well as possibly the technical assistance provided by the Treaty Section on the registration of treaties, depositary practice of the Secretary General and final clauses. 

12.  In this regard, ASEAN welcomes the voluntary contributions of Member States to the Programme of Assistance and urges other countries to consider making voluntary contributions. 

13.  ASEAN would also like to underscore the importance of complementary efforts being undertaken at the regional level that seek to promote the teaching, study, dissemination and wider appreciation of international law.

Mr. Chairman,

14.   Before I conclude, allow me to express again ASEAN’s willingness to support the United Nations Programme of Assistance and articulate the hope that Programme’s work in promoting the dissemination and appreciation of International Law will continue to move forward and gain more ground in the future.  

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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