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.
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
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
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
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.
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.