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Statement by Mr. JAN ČÍŽEK Legal Director Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic

Agenda Item 138 Nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States New York, October 27, 2004

Agenda Item 138

Nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States

New York, October 27, 2004


Mr. Chairman,

Taking the floor for the first time in the current session of the Sixth Committee, let me commence by congratulating you on your chairmanship of the Sixth Committee. The Czech Delegation is convinced that your profound legal knowledge and well-known professional skills and experience will greatly assist the Sixth Committee to achieve a valuable outcome of its work. I would also like to extend our congratulations to the other Members of the Bureau on their election.

Having learned with deep sadness of the demise of Mr. Robert Rosenstock, a long-standing member of the International Law Commission and great internationalist, I would like to take this opportunity to convey the Czech Delegation´s profound sympathy and condolences to the Delegation of the United States and to Mr. Rosenstock´s family and friends.

Mr. Chairman,

The Czech Republic fully associates itself with the Statement of the European Union on the agenda item No. 138 "Nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States" which has been delivered by the representative of the Netherlands a little while ago.

Allow me, however, to state some additional comments of the Czech Delegation concerning the item under our consideration.

Having its own experience with the legal regulation of the citizenship of natural persons in the context of the succession of States, the Czech Republic followed with great interest and expectations deliberations of the International Law Commission and the Sixth Committee on the topic of nationality in relation to the succession of States. Having considered the subject-matter to be topical and highly important, the Czech Delegation delivered several statements in the Sixth Committee pertaining to the nationality in relation to the succession of States. In its last intervention, the Czech Delegation inter alia expressed its satisfaction with the key principles which the draft articles on nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States are based on and offered its detailed comments and observations aimed at further improving the text of both the draft articles and the commentaries to them. As regards the question of the form in which the final set of the draft articles should be adopted by the General Assembly, at that time the Czech Delegation expressed its preference to the form of a declaration, as originally suggested by the Special Rapporteur of the International Law Commission, Mr. Václav Mikulka, in his Second Report on the topic of nationality in relation to the succession of States. The Czech Republic, therefore, welcomed the recommendation of the International Law Commission adopted at its 51st session in 1999 that the final set of 26 draft articles on nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States be adopted by the General Assembly in the form of a declaration.

By its resolution 54/112 the General Assembly decided to include the item we are currently dealing with to the agenda of its 55th session, with a view to the consideration of the final set of draft articles on nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States, as adopted by the International Law Commission in 1999, and adoption of those draft articles in the form of a declaration. By the same resolution the General Assembly also invited Governments to submit their comments and observations on the question of a convention on nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States. However, at the 55th session of the General Assembly, no consensus was reached on the recommendation of the International Law Commission, i.e. to adopt the draft articles in the form of a declaration. The General Assembly, therefore, took note of the draft articles by its resolution 55/153 and annexed them to this resolution.


Mr. Chairman,

The Czech Delegation continues to be of the opinion that the form of a legally binding instrument is not an appropriate and practical one in the case of the present draft articles. My delegation is convinced that one of the key purposes of the draft articles on nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States is to provide States involved in the process of succession with a reliable set of legal principles and recommendations to be considered and followed in the course of preparation of domestic laws on nationality. Having said that and taking into consideration, in particular, operative paragraphs 3 and 4 of resolution 55/153 of the General Assembly, my delegation feels that the above-mentioned purpose the draft articles should serve, i.e. to provide States with a useful guide in the subject-matter, has been already achieved by annexing the draft articles on nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States to resolution 55/153 of the General Assembly.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.