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Sixth Committee of the 50th General Assembly

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  • Statement by Mr. Jaroslav Horak, Representative of the Czech Republic, Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the role of the Organization Statement
    New York, November 7, 1995

  • Statement by Mr. Jaroslav Horak, Representative of the Czech Republic, Establishment of an International Criminal Court Statement
    New York, November 2, 1995

  • Intervention prononcée par M. Martin Smejkal, représentant la République tchčque, Rapport de la Commission des Nations Unies pour le droit commercial international sur les travaux de sa vingt-huitičme session
    New York, le jeudi 28 septembre 1995


Statement by Mr. Jaroslav Horak, Representative of the Czech Republic, Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the role of the Organization Statement

Mr. Chairman,

Allow me, first of all, to congratulate the Chairman of the Special Committee, Mr. Nalin Surie from India, for the skilful way in which he has conducted the Committee´s work, as well as for his lucid introduction of the report at the inception of this debate.

The Special Committee had on its agenda several items assigned to it by the General Assembly resolution 49/58 of 9 December 1994.

The first among these items is the question of implementation of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations related to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions under Chapter VII of the Charter. This matter has been under consideration in the Charter Committee for some time now. Recently, we have witnessed a substantial increase in the magnitude of the problem, given the frequency with which sanctions have been applied and the duration of the sanctions régimes. In the view of my delegation the results of consideration of this item in the Special Committee are not satisfactory .

The fact that the Special Committee had not received the Report of the Secretary-General containing the analysis of the proposals and suggestions concerning this issue contained in the report of the Special Committee on its 1994 session, however frustrating it may be, is certainly not the main reason for the lack of real progress. The matter of assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions is a comprehensive and difficult one. Simple and easy solutions will probably not be available. The Czech Republic, as a member of the Special Committee, studied with interest the proposals contained in working paper A/AC.182/L.79, including the idea of establishment of a Trust fund to assist financially third States affected by the imposition of sanctions. However, it is our opinion that the significance of such a fund for the solution of the whole complex of economic problems arising from the application of sanctions should not be overestimated.

A number of problems of third States can be dealt with effectively on a case by case basis, because the circumstances and the particular problems that the affected third States face are very different and call for different approaches. In this respect there is certainly a need for improvement of procedures of the sanctions committees of the Security Council.

On the other hand, we would also like to reiterate our position stated already in the Special Committee, according to which the said measures should not be understood as a pre- condition for the action of the Security Council under Chapter VII. The Security Council must obviously remain able to carry out its responsibilities in accordance with the Charter and in particular its essential power to impose sanctions rapidly and effectively when the situation warrants it must not be impeded.

Following the recommendation of the Special Committee the General Assembly has decided to establish, within the framework of the Sixth Committee, an open-ended working group with a view to considering, on the basis of the Secretary-General´s report, the issue of implementation of the provisions of the Charter related to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions under Chapter VII of the Charter. The ongoing discussions within the working group have so far been quite constructive and thought provoking. We welcome in this respect the proposals aimed at ensuring more transparency in the procedures of the sanctions committees as well as those contemplating possible steps to be made towards a better coordination in this complex field. We are indeed convinced that it would be very useful to have more coordination in the various efforts to provide international assistance to third States affected by sanctions. In this connection, appropriate arrangements, including organisational and institutional ones within the Secretariat, should be envisaged in order to improve the capacity of response of the United Nations in mitigating the adverse impact of sanctions upon affected third States. We hope that the open-ended working group will explore possibilities for further direction of work on this issue which should lead to generally acceptable recommendations.

Mr. Chairman,

The Czech delegation welcomes the adoption by the Special Committee of the Model rules for the conciliation of disputes between States elaborated on the basis of the working document proposed earlier by Guatemala. The Model rules in their final version adopted by the Special Committee are a balanced, satisfactory text. They take account of already existing procedures to which the States committed themselves in a number of multilateral or bilateral instruments, they are not intended to be adopted in the forme of a binding instrument but rather be available to the States for possible use. We believe that the Model rules will represent a useful guide for States in their future practice in the field of conciliation.

Mr. Chairman,

The Special Committee had further before it the proposal concerning the establishment of a Dispute Settlement Service offering or responding with its services early in disputes, submitted already earlier by Sierra Leone. No substantive progress has been reached on this item during this year´s session of the Charter Committee. In our view the proposal covers an issue several aspects of which have already been studied by the Special Committee and to which several documents, representing the outcome of earlier work of the Committee in this field, relate. The clarification of the relationship between these documents and this proposal would facilitate the decision of the Committee concerning the work on this question. In this connection, we thank the delegation of Sierra Leone for the commentary contained in document A/50/403.

Mr.Chairman,

As my delegation stated already during the session of the Special Committee, the "enemy - State clauses" contained in the United Nations Charter have become obsolete. States to which those these clauses had been directed became peace-loving countries and contribute to the peaceful cooperation among the States and to the achievement of the noble goals of our organization. We therefore support the recommendation of the Special Committee concerning the deletion of these clauses as soon as possible by using the amendment procedure set out in article 108 of the Charter. We hope that this proposal will be adopted by consensus.

Mr.Chairman,

The Special Committee, after having considered the question of the review of the its membership recommended to the General Assembly that the Special Committee be henceforth open to all Member States and that it continue to operate on the basis of the practice of consensus.

As far as the question of membership is concerned, the Czech delegation is prepared to follow the general feeling of this Committee. It however would like to note that it is not convinced that the conversion of the Special Committee into an open-ended committee corresponds to any practical need. The way the work has been conducted until now allowed all States, without any discrimination, to fully participate in the Special Committee´s business. As it was the case also at the last session of the Special Committee, States which are not members of the Special Committee and which participated in its work as observers had, all over the whole session, the same possibility as members to influence the results of the Committee´s work. Moreover, it should not be forgotten that the Special Committee has no decision-making power and all results of its work are submitted for consideration to the Sixth Committee which is a committee with the full membership.

In the view of my delegation more important than the question of membership is the agenda of the Special Committee and the methods of its work. That is why we welcome the fact, that the Special Committee reiterated in its recommendation the need for consensus as a basic principle governing its work. It is the firm hope of my delegation that the consensus method will continue to preside over the work of the Special Committee and inspire all its efforts thus strengthening the authority of all documents which are the outcome of its work.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.


Statement by Mr. Jaroslav Horak, Representative of the Czech Republic, Establishment of an International Criminal Court Statement

Mr. Chairman,

allow me, at the outset, to express the gratitude of my delegation to the chairman of the Ad hoc Committee on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Mr. Adriaan Bos, for his lucid presentation of the report of the Ad hoc Committee, as well as for his excellent guidance in conducting the two sessions of the Committee. We wish to extend our congratulations also to the other members of the bureau of the Ad hoc Committee and to the Chairman of the open-ended working group, Mr. Gerhard Hafner, for the able and efficient manner in which they have performed their duties.

The Ad hoc Committee had before it the task to review major substantive and administrative issues arising out of the draft statute of an international criminal court prepared by the International Law Commission and to consider, in the light of that review, necessary arrangements for the convening of an international conference of plenipotentiaries. The Czech delegation supports the idea of establishing of an international criminal court and recognises that the progress achieved during the two sessions of the Ad hoc Committee this year has a special significance for the realisation of this idea.

Mr. Chairman,

we are aware of the fact that the purpose of our discussion here in the Sixth Committee is not to prolong or to repeat the debate concerning the substantive and administrative issues arising out of the draft statute, but rather to evaluate the progress achieved thus far on the way towards an international conference and to set up the most effective procedure to be followed now that the Ad hoc Committe has fulfilled its mandate by submitting the report which we have before us (doc. A/50/22). That is why, as far as substantive issues are concerned, in particular the method of the Court´s establishment, relationship between the Court and the United Nations, applicable law, Court´s jurisdiction and mechanism of its acceptance by the States etc., my delegation would like simply to recall its previous position concerning these issues presented in the Sixth Committee a year ago and during both sessions of the Ad hoc Committee. Taking into account the debate which took place in the Ad hoc Committee, we would nevertheless emphasise the need for a deeper analysis of the question of the complementary character of the Court´s jurisdiction in relation to the jurisdiction of national courts.

The principle of complementarity provided for in the third preambular paragraph of the draft statute is an essential element in the establishment of an international criminal court. We are in full agreement with the basic idea that the international criminal court is intended to be complementary to national criminal justice systems in cases where necessary trial procedures may not be available or may be ineffective. At the same time we would like to stress that the complementary character of the Court´s jurisdiction does not mean that it should become merely residual to national jurisdiction. Nor should the principle of complementarity preclude the possibility that in respect of some crimes, the jurisdiction of the Court could be exclusive. We have already earlier expressed the view that should the crime of aggression be included within the subject-matter jurisdiction of the Court, the Court´s jurisdiction concerning this crime should be exclusive.

Common understanding of practical implementation of this principle will be of crucial importance for the universal acceptance and successful operation of the International Criminal Court. The issue of complementarity and the relationship between the International Criminal Court and national courts would have to be examined in a number of areas, including those of international judicial cooperation. Furthermore, the discussion of this problem cannot be separated from the discussion of the list of crimes which would fall under the jurisdiction of the Court. We are quite sympathetic with the view expressed by several delegations according to which a well functioning system is conceivable, especially in the first phase of the Court´s existence, only if the jurisdiction of the Court is limited to a few "hard-core crimes". These should include, in our view, genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and, under a specific régime, aggression. On the other hand, it is our opinion that the jurisdiction within the limits specified above should be clearly construed as having an inherent character. Limiting the subject-matter jurisdiction to the most serious crimes will no doubt simplify resolving some of the most difficult questions raised by the relationship between the international criminal court and national courts, thus contributing to promote broader acceptance of the Statute by States. Narrowing down the Court´s jurisdiction will also enhance its effectiveness, credibility and moral authority, avoid overloading the Court with cases that could be dealt with adequately by national courts, and limit the financial burden imposed on State-parties to the Statute. Furthermore, such restrictive approach will be consistent with the recent orientations of the ILC´s work on the draft Code of crimes against the peace and security of mankind.

Mr. Chairman,

one issue that has provoked a most controversial discussion in the Ad hoc Committee is that of the role of the Security Council in the exercise of the Court´s jurisdiction. The role envisaged in the draft statute for the Security Council is in accordance with its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security and with its existing powers under the Charter, as reflected in recent practice. As the Council would merely refer a general matter or situation to the Court, but would actually not bring before the Court any case against a specific individual, the independence and autonomy of the Court in the exercise of its investigative, prosecutorial and judicial functions would be preserved. The intervention of the Security Council in triggering the jurisdiction of the Court, as envisaged in the draft Statute, would be particulary relevant if the jurisdiction of the Court were limited to the most serious crimes that might threaten international peace and security.

Mr. Chairman,

As far as methods of proceedings (due process) and the question of the relationship between States parties, non-States parties and the international criminal court, as well as the question of general rules of criminal law are concerned, my delegation would like to express its recognition to the working group for its valuable contribution to the Committee´s work. The relevant working paper and guidelines on these issues prepared by the working group represent a very useful basis for further discussion.

Mr. Chairman,

The Ad hoc Committee has achieved very positive results in fulfilling the mandate entrusted to it by the General Assembly. The Czech delegation subscribes to the conclusions of the Ad hoc Committee contained in paragraph 257 of the report that the work on the establishment of an international criminal court on the basis of the draft Statute prepared by the International Law Commission should continue. We also believe that the mandate for future work should be changed and extended to the effect that the consideration of remaining issues be organised in a way which would make it possible to complete the substantive discussion and the drafting of a consolidated text of a convention in time for a conference of plenipotentiaries to be convened preferably in 1997. In this connection, we hope that the ongoing consultations on the relevant draft resolution will allow us to achieve a consensus along the lines of the conclusions of the Ad hoc Committee with a view to preserve the current momentum for the establishment of an International Criminal Court.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.


Rapport de la Commission des Nations Unies pour le droit commercial international sur les travaux de sa vingt-huitičme session
Intervention prononcée par M. Martin Šmejkal, représentant la République tchčque

Monsieur le Président,
Comme c´ est la premiere fois que je prends la parole au sein de cette Commission, je souhaiterais tout d´ abord en profiter pour associer ma voix a toutes celles des orateurs qui m´ont précédé, en vous félicitant de votre élection a la présidence de la Sixieme Commission. Ma délégation s´en réjouit et exprime sa certitude que votre expérience constituera un gage sur de réussite de nos travaux. Nos félicitations s´ adressent également aux autres membres du Bureau.

Monsieur le Président,

Ma délégation tient a remercier M. Goh Phai Cheng pour sa présentation particulierement claire et éloquente du rapport de la vingt-huitieme session de la Commission des Nations Unies pour le Droit commercial international. D´emblée, le contenu de cette présentation a fait apparaitre l´ importance des résultats achevés lors de cette session. La République tcheque se félicite de l´avancée accomplie en ce qui concerne le projet de Convention sur les garanties indépendantes et les lettres de crédit stand-by. Nous nous sentons concernés par cette problématique qui est pour notre économie tout a fait d´ actualité. Dans ces conditions, il n´est pas surprenant que nos spécialistes notamment en droit bancaire aient participé activement a ces travaux de la Commission et de son Groupe de travail des pratiques en matiere de contrats internationaux. A cet égard, je voudrais remarquer que notre expérience nous a montré que bien que n´étant pas membre a part entiere de la Commission, nous avons pu, en tant qu´ observateur, travailler d´une facon pleinement satisfaisante et sans rencontrer d´obstacles.

Sur le fond, nous estimons que le projet figurant en annexe du rapport de la Commission représente un résultat de grande valeur, un texte complet et de qualité. Par ailleurs, nous constatons avec satisfaction qu´ il a été finalement retenu d´ adopter la loi uniforme voulue sous la forme d´une convention - de surcroit n´admettant pas de réserves - plutot que sous la forme initialement envisagée d´une loi-type. Ma délégation soutient pleinement la procédure a suivre en vue de la transformation de ce projet en texte de convention, telle que proposée par la Commission, a savoir l´adoption de la convention par résolution de l´Assemblée générale lors de la présente session, et son ouverture subséquente a la signature. A l´appui de cette position, nous avancons les raisons de bon sens, évoquées d´ailleurs par le rapport de la Commission lui-meme: économie considérable de moyens financiers et de temps, alors que la nécéssité de convoquer une conférence diplomatique ne semble pas s´imposer d´une facon évidente. A cet égard, il faut tenir compte avant tout de la nature meme du texte du projet, qui forme un tout équilibré, fruit de nombreuses années de négociations, qu´ il est sans doute préférable de garder en l´état.

Monsieur le Président,

ma délégation espere que les efforts soutenus de la Commission aboutiront prochainement a la mise au point définitive du projet de loi-type sur certains aspects juridiques de l´ échange de données informatisées. Nous prenons note avec satisfaction des progres réalisés dans ce domaine par le groupe de travail des paiements internationaux puis celui sur l´échange de données informatisées et nous sommes convaincus qu´il sera bientot possible de finaliser une solution universellement acceptable, malgré la compléxité redoutable des questions liées aux problemes tels que la reconnaissance juridique des messages sous forme de données informatisées, l´ exigeance de l´ écrit ou enfin le régime de la signature "éléctronique". Nous restons pleinement conscients de l´extreme diversité des dispositions y applicables contenues dans différents ordres juridiques internes, mais nous croyons toujours que les exigeances du commerce international finiront par l´emporter et nous obligeront a aller de l´avant dans ce domaine également.

Pour conclure, permettez-moi, Monsieur le Président, d´ aborder brievement la question du systeme, mis au point par la Commission, en vue de la constitution d´un recueil de jurisprudence relative aux instruments de la CNUDCI. En tant qu´ Etat partie a la Convention sur la prescription en matiere de vente internationale de marchandises et a la Convention sur les contrats de vente internationale de marchandises, la République tcheque s´efforce de s´insérer efficacement dans ce systeme dont l´utilité n´est pas a démontrer.

Cependant, il est vrai que notre correspondant national rencontre pour le moment de nombreuses difficultés dans son action. Or nous nous efforcons d´ adopter une attitude positive et d´y remédier "en profondeur", ce qui nous amene d´ailleurs fort a propos a réfléchir aux réponses appropriées de portée plus large, "systémique" en quelque sorte, par exemple en essayant de définir des procédures de collecte et de traitement d´information jurisprudentielle a partir des données disponibles dans notre systeme judicaire.

Je vous remercie, Monsieur le Président.