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United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law

Statement by the Permanent Mission of the El Salvador to the United Nations On behalf of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC)

October 16

Mr. Chairman,

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the Thirty-Three members of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). 

The member States of CELAC, even from their inception as independent States, have declared International Law as the guiding principle of international relations and have incorporated the fundamental principles and norms of international law into their respective domestic legal systems.

In addition, the Latin American and Caribbean States have continuously participated and contributed to the progressive development of international law, as well as to the establishment and operation of numerous organizations dealing with international law, to strengthen international peace and security and to promote friendly relations and cooperation among States.

CELAC considers that the knowledge and understanding of what is contained in the substantive rules of International Law constitute a necessary premise for its fulfillment and this is of the utmost importance for this organization whose principles and purposes are based on respect for International Law.

In this regard, CELAC Member States consider it important to strengthen the teaching, study and dissemination of International Law and all actions that the United Nations System can carry out in this field.

We thank the Secretary-General for his valuable report (A/72/517), which describes the activities carried out in the implementation of the United Nations Program on Assistance in teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law in 2017, as well as the guidelines and recommendations for the implementation of the program of assistance for the biennium 2018-2019 Assistance Program and the related administrative and financial implications.

Mr. Chairman,

Among the several aspects included in the Report we consider convenient to highlight the following:

  • Scholarships and courses

International Law scholarships and courses, including the renowned summer courses at The Hague Academy of International Law, have a multiplier effect on the student and professional community. There have been entire generations of lawyers from various States who have benefit from the lessons provided by leading experts on each issue on the international legal agenda.

On the other hand, for countries like ours, regional courses are seen to be highly effective platforms for the teaching and dissemination of International Law. In that regard, we request that in the regular budget for 2018-2019 biennium should be allocated to the program the necessary financial resources to enable it to carry out the three regional courses.

In particular, CELAC welcomes the fact that the regional course on international law for Latin America and the Caribbean was held in April of this year in Santiago, Chile, in cooperation with the Chilean Foreign Ministry and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), as it generates important benefits for our region, and dissemination of international law.

  • Information resources

The Legal Affairs Office deserves a word of praise from all of us for the hard work put into establishing and maintaining 26 international law-related web sites, which not only contain valuable resources for the researcher but are also remarkably friendly-user.

Through the use of resources such as the Lecture Series, the Historic Archives and the Research Library, the Audiovisual Library provides a particular useful toolbox for the achievement of the goals of the Programme, that has the potential to reach millions of people throughout the world. Evidence of that is the access of the website by over 1.5 millions of persons from 193 Member States.

  • Publications

The work of the Office of Legal Affairs with regard to the legal publications, in particular their current effort to continue furthering the electronic publishing program, is praiseworthy. The academic community benefits a great deal from access to the materials compiled in signature publications, such as the legislative series and the summaries of advisory opinions and judgments from both the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of International Justice, available on line.

Bearing in mind that the working languages of the Court are only English and French, the publication of the compilations of the summaries and decisions of the International Court of Justice in all the official languages of the United Nations is also of particular value, in many cases this source constitutes the only way for teachers, researchers and students of our countries to accede to the contents of the rich jurisprudence of the ICJ.  No effort should be spared in maintaining this collection updated and in ensuring its widest possible dissemination at the national level. 

Mr. President,

Finally, during the past three sessions, Member States decided to finance the activities of the Assistance Program with regular budget provisions, including: The International Law Scholarship Program, the United Nations Regional Courses in International Law for Africa , Asia and the Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean; the United Nations Audiovisual Library for International Law; as well as the Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Memorial on the Law of the Sea, in case voluntary contributions for the grant of one scholarship per year were insufficient.

Thank you very much.



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