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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

Mr. Chairman,

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.

Mr. Chairman,

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