December 15, 2018

Statement by Amb. Kornelios Korneliou on Relations with the Host Country

Sixth Committee, Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country

United Nations, 2 November 2018

Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates,

At the outset, let me say that it is a privilege for me to serve as Chairman of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country. That said, it is a pleasure to address today the Sixth Committee in this capacity, in order to introduce this year’s Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country contained in document A/73/26, Supplement No. 26.

The Report was prepared in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 72/124 of 7 December 2017 and follows the structure of previous years. It is divided into four chapters:

  • Chapter 1 contains a brief introduction.
  • Chapter 2 elaborates on the membership, composition, terms of reference and organization of the work of the Committee.
  • Chapter 3 summarizes the discussion on the topics dealt with by the Committee during the reporting period.
  • Finally, Chapter 4 contains the recommendations and conclusions of the Committee.

Annexed to the Report is the list of topics that are under consideration by the Committee, as adopted in 1982 and modified in 1994, as well as a list of documents addressed to the Committee.

Mr. Chairman,

The Committee on Relations with the Host Country continues to provide an open environment where members and interested delegations participating as observers to the work of the Committee, can follow its work and raise any concerns that fall within the purview of the Committee.

It represents a forum, where discussions can take place in a constructive manner and issues can be addressed on the basis of international law, including in particular the Headquarters Agreement between the United Nations and the Host Country.

The Host Country Committee is an important forum in which representatives of Member States seek to resolve different problems faced by the diplomatic community through a frank and constructive exchange of views and cooperation of all concerned.  It has proved to be an open, transparent and flexible body.  Any interested delegation can participate in it as an observer.  Moreover, the Committee is of a unique nature since it is the only body in the UN system which is mandated to consider matters in relation to the host country and then report thereon to the General Assembly.

During the reporting period, important issues to the UN Membership were raised, related to the implementation of the Agreement between the United Nations and the USA regarding the UN Headquarters and privileges and immunities, for example entry visas and travel regulations, to name a few; also, issues related to the security of missions and the safety of their personnel, as well as banking issues.

The Committee will continue its efforts in addressing all issues that are on its agenda a spirit of cooperation and in accordance with the international law.

Mr. Chairman,

In the Report and the Recommendations and Conclusions therein, we have tried to fully reflect on our discussions throughout the year. Hence, there is new language, inter alia, on privileges and immunities applicable to premises of permanent missions to the United Nations, on issuance of entry visas to representatives of Member States and members of the Secretariat, on travel regulations issued by the host country with regard to personnel of certain missions and staff members of the Secretariat, as well as on the role of the Secretary General in the work of the Committee, in line with the General Assembly resolution 2819 of 1971.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished delegates,

In line with these Recommendations and Conclusions, I wish to reassure you of my personal commitment to help address all these issues, in a spirit of compromise and in full regard for the interests of the Organization.

Before I conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Members of the Committee, the Host Country section of the United States Mission to the United Nations, the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, and all observer delegations who participated in the meetings of the Committee during this reporting period, for their support and excellent cooperation. I also wish to express my appreciation to the Secretary of the Committee and to the UN Secretariat for their continuous guidance and support throughout the year.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.