Statement by the Argentine delegation
Agenda Item 80. United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law
My delegation welcomes the consideration, as every year, of the activities under the Programme of Assistance in the teaching, study, dissemination and wider appreciation of International Law, and recognizes the Secretariat for the Report contained in document A/66/505, presented in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 64/100.
The Report of the Secretary General provides a very complete and updated overview of the activities of the United Nations in the context of the Programme.
I would like to refer to three aspects which, in the opinion of my delegation, deserve to be highlighted taking into account that this Agenda Item pursues a double objective: the dissemination of international as a tool for fostering the rule of law and as a tool for capacity building, in particular in developing countries.
a) Publications and other resources
Such publications comprise the United Nations Juridical Yearbook, the Yearbook of the International Law Commission and the Summaries of Judgements, Advisory Opinions and Orders of the International Court of Justice, all under the responsibility of the Codification Division. Also, we would like to acknowledge the publications of the Treaty Section of the United Nations, to which electronic access is provided, and the Yearbook of the International Law Commission. International lawyers from all regions, in particular those from developing countries, de todas las regiones, en particular los de países en desarrollo, han recibido algún tipo de asistencia financiera para participar en ambos cursos.
The Audiovisual Library of International Law deserves special mention. The Audiovisual Library, launched at the 63rd Session of the General Assembly, responds to academic demands from all over the world by providing access to highly valuable historic archives of the United Nations.
I would also like to mention the Law of the Sea Bulletin and the Law of the Sea Information Circulars, under the responsibility of the Division of Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea. These publications are complemented with electronic access. Asuntos Oceánicos y Derecho del Mar -both with electronic access- as well as the Legislative History of the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention.
As repeatedly stated by my delegation, all those publications constitute a priceless resource for Member States, as their use goes beyond public officials or practicing lawyers, as they are also accessed to by students aiming at deepening their knowledge of international law and those undertaking research.
The Report of the Secretary General correctly refers to the international law courses as a tool for training which allows participants to concentrate in topics of international law of current interest for the region.
My delegation welcomes the regional course of international law organized for the first time in 10 years for lawyers of the African region, and which took place in February 2010.
I would also like to recognize the importance of the regional workshops of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea on the regime for settlement of disputes established by the 1982 Law of the Sea Convention. My country had the privilege of hosting the regional workshop for Latin America, in 2008, being convinced that such workshops promote not only the peaceful settlement of disputes and the acceptance of the jurisdiction of ITLOS, but also –and mainly- adherence to this branch of international law.
The international law scholarship programme of the United Nations is the most complete for international lawyers, in particular for those from developing countries. The International Law course of the Hague Academy of International Law and the Generva International Law Seminar of the International Law Commission have a longstanding tradition in training of international lawyers who perform duties in public service and in academia, and are very renowned due to their high quality and degree of specialization. International lawyers from developing countries of all regions have been granted some degree of financial assistance to participate in both courses.
I would also like to highlight the role of the Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Fellowship on the Law of the Sea, specialized in this branch of international and which honours the memory of the first President of the Third un Conference on the Law of the Sea. The Amerasinghe Fellowship is awarded every year since 1986 to one individual from a developing country. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, the Fellowship could not be awarded due to the lack of resources in its Trust Fund. The Trust Fund has recently received some new contributions –including one from my country- and the 28th Fellowship was awarded in 2011 to a national of Indonesia. Nevertheless, the lack of resources in its Trust Fund is a situation that persists. We should commit ourselves to making efforts for keeping the tradition of an annual award. The Report of the Secretary General indicates that capacity-building activities in the area of ocean affairs and the law of the sea are considered under the agenda item entitled “Oceans and the law of the sea”, but notwithstanding that we consider it relevant to have in this forum a brief presentation on the Fellowship. That is so because not only it was established pursuant to Resolution 31/79 on the Programme of Assitance, but mainly because that contributes to promoting financial contributions to its Trust Fund. We value the inclusion of an informal presentation on it, but we expect that in the future such a presentation takes place in the formal meetings of this Committee under this agenda item.
The Divisions of the Secretariat involved in international law, as well as other bodies of the UN System, are fully cognizant of the fact that the Programme of Assistance in the teaching, study, dissemination and wider appreciation of international law has a direct link with promoting the rule of law, and Report before us is a clear display of the efforts being made to maintain such activities despite the scarcity of resources. Member States should commit ourselves to continue to support these efforts.