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Statements in International Organisations


United Nations - General Assembly: Ad - Hoc Committee on the Administration of Justice at the United Nations (New York)

Statement on behalf of the European Union by Mr. Marko Rakovec, Second Secretary, Permanent Mission of Slovenia to the United Nations

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Mr. Chairman,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The following countries align themselves with this statement: The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia[*], the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA country Iceland, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia align themselves with this declaration.

At the outset, we would like to express our congratulations to you, Mr. Chairman, and the other members of the Bureau for you election. We are confident that you will guide this Committee in its deliberations in a very competent and efficient manner.

The European Union welcomes this meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee as an important step towards the completion of our work on the new system of the Administration of Justice at the United Nations, and we underline our determination to see the establishment of the new system by 1 January 2009. The EU would like to thank the relevant departments of the Secretariat for providing the additional information as requested by decision A/62/519 which is now contained in the Secretary General’s Note A/62/748. The EU also welcomes Resolution A/62/228, which has already successfully addressed many of the particular issues.  This resolution and additional information, as well as the results of the previous deliberations of the Sixth Committee, provide a good basis for our further discussion.

As acknowledged by the Secretary General in his note, the United Nations, as an organization involved in setting norms and standards in the area of human rights and the rule of law, has a particular obligation to offer its own employees a system of administration of justice that fully complies with applicable international human rights standards and delivers timely, effective and fair justice. Moreover, the EU firmly believes that establishing an internal justice system that enjoys the confidence of both staff and management is essential to promoting mutual trust and enhancing accountability which, in turn, will strengthen the Organization.

The EU is convinced that the new system should be consistent with a number of fundamental principles, including the right to an effective remedy, equal access to justice and the right to be heard, independence, transparency, professionalism and decentralization. Moreover, taking into the account the purposes and principles of the United Nations, the new system of administration of justice should be consistent with the relevant rules of international law and the principles of rule of law and due process.

The EU believes that, as a first step, the priority for discussion at this Ad-Hoc Committee should be to focus on establishing a new internal justice system that would, as a minimum, cover the individuals who have access to the current system of administration of justice. As a further step, we should also  seek to make sure that the United Nations, as an exemplary employer, complies with its duty to ensure that effective remedies are available to all other categories of UN personnel and consider what types of recourse would be the most appropriate to this end.

We stand ready to work under your leadership, Mr. Chairman, on the draft Statutes of the new Tribunals, the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT) and the United Nations Appeals Tribunal (UNAT), which are included in the Secretary General's Note (A/62/748). Notwithstanding the complexity of the matter, we believe that by focusing our discussion on these draft statutes, the Ad Hoc Committee will be able to deliver concrete results during this session.

We are confident that the productive discussion within the 6th Committee on legal aspects of the new system will subsequently enable the 5th Committee to decide on the corresponding financial and administrative aspects.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, the EU is committed to work constructively towards achieving the goal of putting in place the new system by January 2009, as decided by resolution 61/261.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

[*]   Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


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Date: 11.04.2008