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Statement by Mr. DUAN Jielong, Director-General of Treaty and Law Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, at the Sixth Committee of the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly, on Item 82 "Report of the International Law Commission"
(Reservations to Treaties, Shared Natural Resources, Obligation to Extradite or Prosecute)

2007/11/01

New York, 1 November 2007

Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation wishes to thank the Chairman of the current session of the ILC, Mr. Ian Brownlie, for his introduction of the work of the Commission. We congratulate the ILC for the achievements of the current session under the leadership of Mr. Brownlie. Now I'd like to comment on three topics.

I. Reservations to Treaties

At its 59th session, the ILC considered the 11th and 12th reports submitted by the Special Rapporteur, Mr. Alain Pellet, and adopted at referendum nine draft guidelines on the prohibition of reservations and the related commentaries. We would like to express our appreciation to Mr. Alain Pellet for his outstanding work and to make the following comments.

First. The nine draft guidelines on the prohibition of reservations and the related commentaries

It is the view of the Chinese delegation that the guidelines on the prohibition of reservations should strike a reasonable balance between maintaining the freedom of States to make reservations to treaties and safeguarding the integrity and universality of treaties. They should also be in line with the relevant provisions of the 1969 and 1986 Vienna Conventions.

1. We are in favor of using the compatibility of a reservation with the object and purpose of the treaty as the basic criterion in deciding whether a reservation is valid (or allowed) as contained in the draft guidelines. We believe that draft guidelines 3.1.5 (incompatibility of a reservation with the object and purpose of the treaty) and 3.1.6 (determination of the object and purpose of the treaty) largely embody the relevant provisions of the 1969 and 1986 Vienna Conventions. However, we are of the view that in defining the object and purpose of a treaty, consideration should be given to specific situations of different types of treaties in addition to setting general criteria.

2. We believe that all treaties should follow the criterion of compatibility with the object and purpose of the treaty, whereas the approach taken by the draft guidelines of separating reservations to general human rights treaties (3.1.12) and reservations to treaty provisions concerning dispute settlement or the monitoring of the implementation of the treaty (3.1.13) adopts different criteria and will likely cause confusion. Therefore we suggest the deletion of these two provisions. If they are deemed really necessar