UN DECADE REPORT
[Editor's Note: I extend a special thank you, on behalf of the ASIL UN
Decade Group to Professor Sanchez, for her very useful summary of the 1996 UN
Secretary-General's Report on State and Organizational responses to the UN Decade of
National and Organizational Responses to the UN Decade of International
by Professor Gloria M. Sanchez
Western State University College of Law Fullerton, California
A comprehensive, though not complete, summary of the national and organizational
responses to the UN Decade of International Law as provided in the Secretary-General's 1996
report (A/51/278) (1996 report) is provided in this article.
The General Assembly, by resolution 50/44, invited all States and International
organizations and institutions to provide, update, or supplement information on activities they had
undertaken in implementing the program. The General Assembly also requested that these parties
submit their views on possible activities for the next term of the Decade.
In addition, the Resolution invited the International Committee of the Red Cross to
continue reporting on its, and other pertinent bodies', work concerning protection of the
environment and armed conflict. The Resolution also requested that the Secretary-General submit
a report on the progressive development of international law and its codification at the General
Assembly's fifty-first session and that the proceedings of the UN Congress on Public International
Law (13-17 March 1995) be made available for dissemination.
The Resolution reported that the Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs of the
Secretariat continues to computerize the Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the
Secretary-General and the UN's Treaty Series for Internet and on-line availability,
respectively, to Member States and other users. The United Nations Juridical Yearbook
is also being computerized.
The 1996 report delineates three countries responses to requests for information on
activities concerning the UN Decade: Chile, Norway and Turkmenistan. *** Approximately 24
entities, comprised of UN bodies and international bodies and organizations, also provided
information for the 1996 report.
As in prior reports, the 1996 report is divided into three sections: an introduction
general information (summarized above); an analytical presentation of the States and international
organizations' responses; and a summary of UN activities concerning the progressive development
of international law and its codification. Similarly, this article applies the same format used in the
ANALYTICAL PRESENTATION OF
- (summarized above)
A. Promotion of the acceptance of and respect for the principles of international law:
Palau became the 184th state to join the Convention on International Civil
(Chicago Convention); 110 parties have signed the International Air Services Transit Agreement
as of 30 May 1996; 140 States have adopted the Protocol on the Authentic Trilingual Text of the
Chicago Convention as of 30 May 1996; although, 91 States have ratified the amendments to the
Chicago Convention, the number of ratifications necessary to bring them into force has not been
reached; 3 aviation security conventions have been widely accepted, the Convention on Offences
and Certain other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, the Convention for the Suppression of
Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against
the Safety of Civil Aviation; as of 30 May 1996, the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful
Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation, Supplementary to the
Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, received 65 ratifications and
adherences, 14 more than in 1994; and, as of 30 May 1996, 11 more States ratified the
Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection, increasing the
total to 22, (35 States, including 5 producer States, must ratify the convention for it to enter into
- Acceptance of Multilateral Treaties
- Turkmenistan is considering accession to the following conventions:
1958 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards; the 1980 UN
Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods; the 1974 Convention on the
Limitation Period in the International Sale of Goods; and, the 1951 Convention relating to Status
- Fourteen new ratifications of seven human rights conventions and more than 30
assurances of an intention to ratify one or more of these were received by the Director-General of
the ILO by the beginning of the ILO Conference (June 1996).
- Seventy-five Governments
signed the Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) Agreement and the FAO
received over 3,700 offers of service. Six Governments signed the Transition in Eastern and
Central Europe (TCDT) Agreement and the FAO received 122 applications.
- Brief status of
international air law instruments:
Due to the slow ratification of other international air law instruments, the ICAO
(148th Session) will refer the matter to the Legal Committee for study. The Legal Committee is
charged with considering several options, including provisional application by States parties to
various instruments pending their entry into force according to the Vienna Convention on the Law
of Treaties, regional seminars, improving communication between the organization and
non-ratifying States, and preparing reference material.
3 more countries ratified or acceded to the Lusaka Agreement on Cooperative
Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora and 1 more State's
ratification or accession is necessary for the Agreement to enter into force; and, as of 30 May
1996, chemical industry associations in the European region and Japan and a scientific
non-governmental organization had notified the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that they
intend to adhere to the Code of Ethics on the International Trade in Chemicals.
- Brief status of conventions and protocols relating to the environment:
B. Promotion of the peaceful settlement of disputes:
- Assistance and Technical Advice
- The International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) offers courses to
on developing, codifying, implementing international maritime law and preparing legislation and
legal texts in the area of merchant shipping.
- The UN International Drug Control Programme
(UNDCP) assists States in becoming Parties to and in effectively implementing the international
drug control conventions. UNDCP collects national drug control laws and regulations and
publishes them to ensure mutual disclosure among Parties and prepares an annual analytical index
of this legislation and an annual directory of national authorities competent to act under various
conventions' articles. UNDCP is preparing a commentary on the UN Convention against Illicit
Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 in order to provide States with a
uniform interpretation of that convention and practical recommendations for its
- The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) provided legal assistance to various
East European countries drafting constitutions, facilitating future adherence to international
- ILO deployed multidisciplinary teams to several developing countries to facilitate
adherence and implementation of international labor conventions as part of the "Active
- The FAO and the Observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel jointly
hosted an Expert Consultation on the legal and institutional aspects of managing and developing
the Northern Sahara Groundwater Aquifer, in which the Arab Center for the Studies of Arid
Zones and Dry Lands (ASCAD) also participated. They approved a short-term action program,
inter alia, to harmonize legislation dealing with water resources.
- UNIDO published a
Manual on Technology Transfer Negotiations and Licensing. UNIDO is also preparing Guidelines
for the Development, Negotiation and Contracting of Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Projects to
assist developing countries. UNIDO also provides technical legal assistance to individual
- UNEP continues to provide legal advice and financial assistance to developing
countries and countries with economies in transition in order to implement international
environmental agreements. UNEP also provides administrative support to secretariats of
international environmental agreements. UNEP initiated empirical studies on mechanisms to
implement and ensure compliance with environmental conventions, dispute avoidance and
resolution and trade measures in multilateral environmental agreements.
- The International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provides technical assistance to States on any measure
concerning implementing international humanitarian law, and consequently, created a new unit,
the Advisory Service on International Humanitarian Law, within its Legal Division to provide
such advice. ICRC held two symposia of medical experts on effects of weapons in armed
conflicts. ICRC also established an Advisory Service Documentation Centre to promote and
facilitate the exchange of information on national implementation of humanitarian law. ICRC's
CD-Rom on International Humanitarian Law is being updated.
- The International Bar
Association (IBA) launched its Human Rights Institute (HRI) with South African President
Nelson Mandela as its Honorary President. HRI is developing and expanding IBA's goal of
promoting the rule of law, improving legal systems and access to justice and independence of
lawyers and the judiciary. IBA has protested human rights violations and is surveying members on
independence of lawyers and women's rights. HRI is also conducting surveys which will form the
basis for model standards. IBA has a program of workshops and seminars which was launched
with a Mexico City meeting in March 1996. IBA provides technical legal assistance to Bars of
developing countries regarding multilateral treaty-making.
- The International Bureau of the
Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) continues to encourage States to become Parties of the
Hague Convention of 1907.
- The Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of
Commerce (ICC) provides technical legal advice and assistance on modern international
- Ways and Means of Implementing Multilateral Treaties
- Turkmenistan is reviewing drafts of laws for enactment on the rights of
refugees and migrants and on migration and it is also conforming legislation to international
- UNDCP continues to monitor implementation of drug control treaties by providing to
and analyzing annual questionnaires' results from States regarding legislative, administrative and
operational measures they have taken.
- ODIHR of OSCE organized a Meeting in Warsaw,
October 1995, and a report, on implementation of international humanitarian law. The report also
identified problems concerning, inter alia, attacks on civilians, ethnic cleansing, and
mistreatment of prisoners of war.
- Protocol No. 11 of the European Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1950, which provides for setting up a
single permanent court to interpret and apply the Convention, has been ratified by 21 of the 33
Contracting States. The permanent court will replace the current system comprised of 3
international bodies upon full ratification. From January through May 1996, the present European
Court of Human Rights held that human rights violations had occurred in 12 cases and none in 7
- ICRC welcomed the creation of 2 ad hoc tribunals for Rwanda and the former
Yugoslavia by the Security Council concerning war crimes. The 26th International Conference of
the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies was held in Geneva in December 1995. The
Conference adopted 5 resolutions dealing with implementing and enforcing international
humanitarian law, including, inter alia, bringing war criminals to justice and
recommending that children under 18 years of age not be used in armed conflicts.
- In 1995,
ICRC hosted 2 Meetings of Experts from military and academic circles, and UN forces
commanders and officials. They reviewed the applicability of peacekeeping forces of all
humanitarian law provisions and drafted project guidelines. In May 1996, a final text of the
guidelines was established by ICRC and the Office of Legal Affairs of the Secretariat,
Guidelines for UN Forces Regarding Respect for International Humanitarian Law.
- Suggestions by States
- None reported.
- Suggestions by International
- WTO indicated that it conducted special training courses on dispute
- IBA is a repository concerning alternative dispute resolution
procedures and practice. Various IBA sections have held seminars and workshops on dispute
resolution and enforcement of arbitral awards. The joint IBA/UNCITRAL project on effective
implementation of the New York Convention continues.
- PCA's Steering Committee approved
an interim report on dispute resolution which proposes, inter alia, a high-level diplomatic
conference and an international instrument (similar to the Helsinki General Act) defining
circumstances and methods available under PCA's auspices.
- PCA's Financial Assistance Fund
received contributions and commitments from several countries to offset the cost of international
dispute resolution. The scope of the Fund was clarified in an amendment to paragraph 5 of the
Terms of Reference and Guidelines. The International Bureau's draft background paper on the
field of environment and sustainable development was circulated to a working group of mostly
government representatives; the working group was scheduled to meet at the Hague in June 1996
to consider PCA's role in the same field.
- The World Federalist Movement (WFM) and the
Danish UN Association, jointly, and the Secretary-General and Administrative Council of PCA,
independently, addressed the end of the Decade and the centenary of the First Hague Peace
Conference and establishment of PCA calling for members to consider the scope and content of
the international conference to be held in 1999 celebrating these events.
- The Court of ICC
indicated increased activity in arbitration but not conciliation. Asian, Central and East European,
and Latin American States have increased their use of arbitration. The ICC publication (No.
447-3) contains the latest version of the ICC Arbitration Rules. The ICC International Centre for
Expertise and the ICC's Commission on Banking Technique and Practice have developed an
interim system for resolving letters of credit disputes.
- The International Maritime Organization's (IMO) Legal Committee included the
following in its 1996 work program: providing a mechanism by which to compensate coastal
States for bunker oil damage, retaining compulsory insurance, and providing a draft international
convention on wreck removal prepared by Germany, the Netherlands, and the United
- IMO held a conference in November 1995 during which amendments to several
chapters of the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS 1974) and
resolutions were adopted concerning enhancing the safety of roll-on/roll-off passenger ships. The
amendments enter into effect in 1997.
- IMO held the International Conference on Hazardous
and Noxious Substances and Limitation of Liability in 1996. The following treaty instruments
were adopted: International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection
with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea 1996 (HNS 1996) and Protocol
of 1996 to amend the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 (1996
LLMC PROT). Both are open for signature from 1 October 1996 through 30 September
- Contracting Parties to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by
Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter 1972 considered amendments concerning new approaches
to waste management, pollution prevention, and technical cooperation to supersede the London
Convention of 1972
- As of May 1996, ILO had adopted 176 conventions and 183
recommendations, the latest being the Safety and Health in Mines Convention (No. 176) and
Recommendation (No. 183) and an Additional Protocol to the Labour Inspection Convention
(No. 81). The 84th maritime session of the ILO was held in October 1996 and
focused on labor inspection, wages, work hours and recruitment and placement of
- The Committee of Legal Advisors on Public International Law (CAHDI) of the
Council of Europe reported that the progressive development of international law and its
codification had been its central focus and it had examined many issues relating to public
international law, including, the work of the Sixth Committee of the GA and the International
Law Commission, State succession in Europe and treaties, jurisdictional immunities of States, law
and practice as to reservations, the Decade, embassies and diplomats' debts, and international ad
- The Ministerial Meeting convened in Quebec in October 1995 and adopted the
Fiftieth Anniversary Declaration on Food and Agriculture (Quebec Declaration) reaffirming the
right to food as a fundamental human right and the noting the vital importance of sustainable
management of natural resources. The FAO Conference of 1995 adopted, by resolution 4/95, the
Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
- FAO's Committee on Agriculture (COAG) met
in March 1995 and focused on UNCED, CSD Agenda 21, and implementing the Code of Conduct
on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides and plant resources. In October 1995, the FAO
Conference considered and/or adopted several documents relating to agricultural development
and sustainable agriculture. It also approved: the Code of Conduct for the Import and Release of
Exotic Biological Control Agents, Guidelines for Pest Risk Analysis, and Requirements for the
Establishment of Pest-Free Areas. The International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) will be
conformed with the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement.
- The General Work Programme of
ICAO's Legal Committee dealt with global navigation satellite systems, international air law
instruments, liability of air traffic providers and others, offenses not covered by current air law
- IBA passed a resolution (ICRC agrees) that a permanent international criminal
court and an African Court of Human Rights should be established.
- IBA contributed to the
development of the Convention on the International Return of Stolen or Illegally Exported
Cultural Objects, adopted the Cross-border Insolvency Concordat, drafted an international
convention on the human genome and published a report on harmonization of international
competition law enforcement.
- Promoting the UN Programme of Assistance in this area
- ILO scheduled seminars, courses and meetings in this area for
UNDCP scheduled meetings and regional workshops regarding drug-related matters and legal
- Lawyers from the countries in socio-economic transition participated in the
1996 Hague Fellowship Programme.
- Promoting teaching of International Law for
Students and Teacher at Schools and at Higher Education Levels
- ICRC continues to encourage introduction of humanitarian law
military academy and university curricula and initiated a pilot project for 2.5 million secondary
students on humanitarian values.
- Organizing International Regional Seminars and
Symposia for Experts on International Law
- UNEP held several meetings and Expert Workshops for general
of international environmental law.
- ODIHR of OSCE published A Collection of
International Instruments: Human Rights and the Judiciary, a quick reference guide law
professionals, non-governmental organizations, and the media. ODIHR organized symposia and
seminars dealing with humanitarian issues.
- The International Court of Justice and UNITAR
co-sponsored a colloquium, in the Hague, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the
Court in 1996. The colloquium's proceedings will be published.
- The International
Congress/XXth Round Table, "United for the Respect of International Humanitarian
Law," and XXIth Round Table, "Armed Conflicts and Disintegrated States -
Humanitarian Challenge," were held in San Remo in 1995 and 1996, respectively. The
Institute also held seminars on human rights issues concerning East and Central European
countries and on cooperation between East-West European Countries. The Institute published the
"San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at
- In 1995, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Commission of
Human Rights convened an informal meeting of the Presidents of Constitutional and Supreme
Courts of the Member States of the Council of Europe on the responsibilities of national courts
and the Strasbourg institutions concerning human rights. The colloquy on the European
Convention on Human Rights which intends to inform law professionals and NGOs on recent
developments in the European Convention on Human Rights, the Commission and the Court,
took place in Budapest in 1995.
- ICAO held a regional seminar on air law in Asia and the
Pacific region in January 1996.
- ICRC organized a symposium and participated in various
international fora on the subject of displaced persons.
- IBA organized a range of conferences
and seminars to aid the teaching, study and dissemination of international law and published
papers or summaries thereon. IBA's Section on Business Laws began offering a course on the
fundamentals of international business practice in Paris in 1995. IBA also organized workshops in
various countries on the globalization of the legal profession.
- The ICC Court's four regional
arbitration groups met during 1995. The ICC Court, the International Centre for Settlement of
Investment Disputes, and the American Arbitration Association held several colloquia in 1995.
During 1996, various committees of the ICC hosted conferences and seminars on diverse topics,
including international arbitration, and collaboration in the arbitration process, in Spain, Lebanon
- In 1995, the Centre for Studies and Research in International Law and
International Relations of the Hague Academy of International Law focused on natural and
industrial catastrophes and, in 1996, on state succession. It also offered courses on human rights
for the benefit of Asian and African Countries.
- Training in International Law for
Legal Professionals and Government Officials
- The Chilean International Law Society conducted activities to promote
International Law, including conferences, seminars, research and publications in which academia
and the public participated. Presentations made at the seminars were published in
Estudios, consisting of 10 volumes to date. The Society also published two books,
El Tratado de Paz y Amistad entre Chile y Argentina (1988) and Solucion judicial
de controversias. El derecho internacional ante los tribunales internacionales e internos
(1995), and initiated an award for the best Master's thesis concerning international
- UNDCP organized seminars, regional workshops and expert working groups in various
areas of concern in the control of illegal drugs regarding training judges and prosecutors, training
legal drafters of legislation, drafting model legislation and cooperation between States in
- ODIHR of OSCE and UNHCR conducted a Judicial Training Workshop in
Belarus, and a Professional Training Workshop for Russian Judges in Moscow, in
- UNITAR's training program in debt and financial management is designed to assist
countries in sub-Sahara Africa, Central, North and South Asia, and the Middle-East by providing
seminars, workshops, training, both on a one-time and on a continuing basis (in some countries)
on regional and national levels. The UNITAR/IPA Fellowship Programme in Peacemaking and
Preventive Diplomacy provided training in conflict and alternative dispute resolution methods and
is developing materials in the area. UNITAR also organized workshops settlement of trade
disputes at WTO and joined UNEP and UNCHS in providing a Training Programme in
Environmental Law and Policy in 1995 in Nairobi. UNITAR and the IUCN's Commission on
Environmental Law began a correspondence instruction program to disseminate information
world-wide to both governmental and non-governmental organizations which will supplement
current in-field training.
- Italy sponsored courses on humanitarian law for armed forces.
UNHCR organized two courses on international refugee law in San Remo in 1995 and 1996,
- UNEP trained officials from developing countries in aspects of international and
national environmental law and is developing a training manual on environmental law.
Hague Academy of International Law held general courses concerning the 50th
Anniversary of the UN, nuclear proliferation, L'emergence de l'Etat de droit, and bilateralism and
community interest, in 1995; and, state sovereignty, international trade law, the International
Court and arbitration and Security Council measures under UN Charter Chapter VII, in 1996.
- m Publication of the Practice of States
- ILO published the following texts in 1995-1996: ILO
on Freedoms of Association: Standards and Procedures; The Digest of Decisions and
Principles of the Freedom of Association Committee of the Governing Body
(4th ed.); and, Handbook of Procedures Relating to International Labour
Conventions and Recommendations. The ILO also announced that its computer-based
system, ILOLEX, updated annually, will include general law and practice surveys on selected
international labor instruments. The two most current surveys deal with ILO instruments on
employment termination and non-discrimination and occupation. The Internet ILO home page
(http://www.unicc.org/ilo) provides basic information on international labor standards.
1994, the Council of Europe, through its Committee of Legal Advisors on Public International
Law (CAHDI), set up a Group of Specialists to do a feasibility study of a pilot project on
documentation of State succession and recognition (DI-S-PR); its contribution to the
- In 1996, FAO published "Reforming Water Resources Policy - A Guide to
Methods, Processes and Practices", Irrigation and Drainage Papers, No. 52.
- The UN
Dag Hammarskjold Library is joining the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN), a database
of statutes and regulations from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. Access to GLIN is
available to the Library's official users. The Office of Legal Affairs' Codification Division
published The Work of the International Law Commission and plans to publish a
collection of essays on public international law by members of the International Law Commission.
It will prepare opinion abstracts from the United Nations Juridical Yearbook for GLIN.
The Division is considering making the United Nations Juridical Yearbook and the
Report of the International Law Commission available
- Publication of International Legal Instruments and Legal Studies
- In 1995, FAO published: "Legislation Governing Food Control
Quality Certification", and, "Treaties Concerning the Non-Navigational Uses of
International Watercourses - Asia", FAO Legislative Studies series, Nos. 54 and 55,
- In 1995, UNEP published a collection of articles entitled "UNEP's New
Way Forward: Environmental Law and Sustainable Development" and "Legislating
Chemicals: An Overview". UNEP also continued to publish the "Biannual Bulletin of
Environmental Law" and updated the Register of International Treaties and Other
Agreements in the Field of the Environment (1996). UNEP and IUCN plan to develop a national
and international environment law database to serve developing countries' needs.
disseminated the Guidelines for military manuals and instructions on protecting the environment
during armed conflicts. In September 1995, ICRC went on the World Wide Web (home page not
reported). ICRC is also developing a model manual for military commanders, without legal
backgrounds, on humanitarian law norms. ICRC and the International Institute of Humanitarian
Law are completing the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed
Conflicts at Sea.
- UNESCO published: Human Rights: Major International
Instruments (1995 and 1996); World Directory of Teaching and Research Institutions in
International Law (3rd ed. 1995); and Non-Military Aspects of
International Security (1995).
- The Department of Public Information of the Secretariat
and the Office of Legal Affairs produced a videotape "International Law: Our Common
Language", which is shown during the UN Congress on Public International
- Publication of Judgments and Advisory Opinions
- The Court of Justice of the European Communities continued to
case law through systematic publication in the 11 official languages of the Community and
through regularly holding meetings, symposia and conferences.
- The Inter-American Court of
Human Rights published case law, advisory opinions, provisional measures and the Annual Report
(containing a summary of the Court's activity for the year). Some publications are also available
on diskettes. The Court has computerized its proceedings and all of its judgments, advisory
opinions, provisional measures, general information and press releases are on Internet
(http://www.umn.edu/humanrts). It also has a site on the OAF system (home page not reported).
Summaries, indexes and analyses of decisions are being prepared.
- The European Court of
Human Rights' judgments are available on Internet (home page not reported). They are also
available full text on HUDOC database. The Court's registry is preparing an index. The Council of
Europe published "Judgments of the European Court of Human Rights: Reference
Charts". The Court is now issuing an annual collection of summaries of judgments
(available since 1993 and also available in other Court publications) and an annual Survey of
Activities. In 1995, the Court published a special edition covering 1959-1994,
"Survey: Thirty Five Years of Activity".
- The Office of Legal Affairs'
Codification Division published Reports of International Arbitral Awards (vol. XX,
- Publication by International Organizations of Treaties Concluded
- ILO updated a three volume set of ILO Conventions and
(English version ; French version ).
- In 1995, WTO published Basic Instruments
and Selected Documents (BISD), supplement no. 40, a collection of the Legal Texts on the WTO
Dispute Settlement Procedures, and an Analytical Index: Guide to GATT Law and Practice.
WTO also published various texts on the Uruguay Round, Schedules of Concessions and
Commitments, and Plurilateral Trade Agreements.
- Publication of the United Nations
Juridical Yearbook remains backlogged. Volumes of past and recent years are being
prepared simultaneously to correct the problem. It is expected that the publication backlog will be
eliminated in 1998. The 1993 edition will contain an index and a cumulative index for 1960-1993
will be available.
- The Office of Legal Affairs' Treaty Section reported that over 40,000
treaties were submitted for registration pursuant to Article 102 of the Charter and 474 multilateral
treaties were deposited with the Secretary-General. The Treaty Section continues to computerize
treaty information from the UN Treaty Database. Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the
Secretary-General is now available in full text format, updated daily, within the UN on the
LAN and also on the Internet at http://www.un.org/Depts/Treaty. Fifteen hundred volumes of the
UN Treaty Series (UNTS) are available on the LAN. The United Nations Treaty
Series Cumulative Index and the League of Nations Treaty Series will also be
available on the LAN as of 1996. The UN Electronic Services Division is exploring the use of
external service providers to upgrade computer access to the database and the treaty registry
system. The Division notes that this should expedite the publication process and also commented
that the publication process would be enhanced if translations were increased.
- E. Procedures and organizational aspects
- Role of the Sixth Committee
- No report.
- Proceedings of the UN on Public International
- The Office of Legal Affairs' Codification Division prepared the
proceedings for external publication in 1996.
- Establishment of National, Subregional
and Regional Committees
- No report.
- Question of Adequate Financing for
the Programme for the Decade
- Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, Japan, Norway and
Switzerland contributed to the UN Trust Fund for the International Law Seminar in Geneva.
- The Human Rights Commission is currently working on drafts of declarations
concerning rights and responsibilities of individuals and social groups and social organs to protect
human rights, rights of indigenous peoples; and, on protocols on the Convention against torture,
the Conventions on children's rights and the Convention on civil and political rights.
Subcommission is elaborating principles and guidelines concerning victims' remedies and
rehabilitation and is studying human rights and the environment, housing, etc.
Commission on the Status of Women is continuing its work on eliminating discrimination against
- The Review Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Prohibitions or
Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons adopted a protocol prohibiting some
laser weapons and amended other protocols.
- Negotiations concerning a comprehensive
nuclear-test-ban treaty continue.
- The Disarmament Commission adopted the
"Guidelines for International Arms Transfers".
- The Legal Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
continues to define and delimit matters relating to outer space and to the character and use of
- The Joint UNCTAD/IMO Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Maritime Liens
and Mortgages is considering revising the 1952 International Convention for the Unification of
- The UN Commission on International Trade Law adopted the UNCITRAL Model
on Electronic Commerce and the UNCITRAL Notes on Organizing Arbitral Proceedings.
- The Commission is focusing, inter alia, on crimes against children, and
- UNEP continues its work on international environmental law, and, is specifically
focusing, inter alia, on sustainable development, hazardous chemicals and pesticides, and
the marine environment.
- Work continues on establishing the three institutions created by the UN's
Convention on the Law of Sea.
- The Commission adopted the Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of
Mankind. The Commission also worked on 60 articles on State responsibility and
recommendations regarding State succession. The Commission will consider in the future
diplomatic protection, ownership and protection of wrecks in relation to national maritime
jurisdiction and unilateral acts of States.
- The Special Committee, inter alia, continued work on implementing
assistance to third States, dispute resolution, and the Trusteeship Council.
- The Committee adopted and opened for signature or accession the UN
Convention on Independent Guarantees and Stand-by Letters of Credit. The Committee also
approved the UN Model Rules of Conciliation of Disputes between States. The Committee also
continues work on assistance to third States and sanctions, an international criminal court,
diplomatic courier and non-navigational uses of international watercourses. The Committee
reaffirmed the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism.
Copyright 1997 American Society of International Law