2005.10.19: Item 83: Scope of Legal Protection under the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel

Second Secretary Ahn Eun-ju at Sixth Committee of the General Assembly

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

1. I would like to express my delegation’s appreciation for Ambassador Wenaweser of Liechtenstein for his leadership of the Ad Hoc Committee earlier this year, of the intersessional informal consultations, and of the working group during this session. There is a truism that large bodies do not reason coherently, but my delegation believes we are doing well under Ambassador Wenaweser’s excellent guidance.

2. My delegation also thanks the Secretary-General for his succinct and informative report A/59/226 and the oral report by the legal counsel. We need to keep in mind that along with our efforts to complete a protocol to the 1994 Convention, efforts to ensure the Convention’s universality should continue. Also, we commend the Secretary-General for his efforts to incorporate the key provisions of the Convention into status-of-forces and status-of-mission agreements.

3. My delegation also notes Secretary-General’s recommendation that, given the difficulty of issuing a declaration of exceptional risk, we seriously consider dispensing with the need for a declaration as a condition for the application of the Convention. It seems to be generally agreed that what we are trying to achieve with a new protocol is exactly that. That is how we came to a general agreement that peacebuilding is inherently a risky endeavour and thus should not require a declaration of exceptional risk. In paragraph 5, the Secretary-General’s report reiterates his reservations regarding the triggering mechanism due to “the lack of generally agreed criteria for determining whether there exists a situation of exceptional risk, the timeliness of such a declaration and the political considerations that might be likely to influence a technical assessment of that nature.”

4. We should not single out a certain situation and leave peacebuilding operations conducted during that situation outside the protocol, trusting that a declaration mechanism will be effective. We have heard repeatedly that the triggering mechanism in the 1994 Convention does not function well in practice, for several reasons.

5. Peacebuilding is an evolving concept. Peacebuilding operations will evolve in response to the needs of societies in distress. The contours of what peacebuilding means are reasonably specific and not particularly subjective.

6. After several years of intense negotiation, we seem to be closer than ever to reaching an agreement. Compromise has been the main key all along and should continue to be. My delegation supports adopting a new protocol early in the 60th session of the General Assembly and will cooperate to that end.

Thank you.