|Statement by Ms. CHEN Peijie, Counsellor and Legal Adviser of the China Mission to the United Nations, at the Sixth Committee of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly, on Item 73: "Criminal Accountability of United Nations Officials and Experts on Mission"|
New York, 10 October 2008
On the question of criminal accountability of UN officials and experts on mission, the Ad Hoc Committee held its second session in April this year during which countries discussed the issue of international cooperation related to this item as well as the non-paper put forward by the chairman. The Chinese delegation welcomes the progress of the work of the Ad Hoc Committee, and is ready to continue to exchange views with all sides on this issue.
China is in favor of holding those UN officials and experts who have committed criminal acts accountable under criminal law in order to protect the image, prestige and credibility of the United Nations. This calls for effective cooperation among the UN, countries of nationality of the officials and experts in question and their host countries. Therefore, China supports the Ad Hoc Committee in giving priority to discussing international cooperation since it is highly necessary to establish effective means of cooperation. We believe that first, cooperation among host countries, countries of nationality and the UN in such aspects as crime prevention, exchange of information and personnel training will help prevent crimes. Effective mechanisms for judicial cooperation will lead to more effective combating against crimes. Second, in view of the fact that crimes occur in host countries, a non-host country will encounter a lot of inconveniences in criminal investigation; so the host country may initiate such investigations and proceed to prosecution with the assistance of the UN. At the same time, the country of nationality should also play a role. Third, as to the admissibility of evidence collected by the UN through its administrative investigation in criminal proceedings either in the host country or the country of nationality, it should mainly be up to the countries concerned to decide according to their domestic law.
My delegation welcomes the report by the Secretary- General to the current session of the GA, which gives an account of several cases that came up during the period from 6 December 2007 to 30 June 2008. We thank the Secretariat for its efforts. We hope that the Secretariat will provide us with information about more cases and the way in which they were dealt with. We would also like to know if there are loopholes in the current mechanism. Such information can help the 6th committee and the Ad Hoc Committee in their further deliberations.
My delegation would like to take this opportunity to give an introduction of our relevant domestic legislation. Article 7 of our Criminal Code stipulates that the Chinese court will have jurisdiction over an act of crime committed by a Chinese citizen outside the territories of the People's Republic of China if such an act also constitutes a crime under our Criminal Code. In addition, according to Article 9 of the same Criminal Code, with regard to crimes under any international treaty to which China is a party, China will exercise criminal jurisdiction over them within the scope of its treaty obligations.
In the field of international cooperation, up till September 2008, China has acceded to more than 20 multilateral conventions that contain provisions on judicial cooperation, and concluded with 58 countries 102 treaties on extradition and judicial assistance, of which 79 have entered into force. With countries that do not have treaty relations with us, we are willing to carry out cooperation on extradition and criminal judicial assistance on a case by case basis in accordance with China's Law on Extradition, other relevant legal provisions and the principle of mutual benefit. China is also willing to discuss feasible ways of cooperation with the UN.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.