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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Zhang Yishan, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Chinese Mission to the United Nations, at the Plenary of the 59th Session of the UN General Assembly, on Item 56(b): Cooperation between the United Nations and the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization


New York, 21 October 2004

Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, I'd like to thank the Secretary General for his report on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization ("AALCO"). We're happy to see the ever strengthening relationship and the gradual expansion of cooperation between the two organizations.

Mr. Chairman, born out of the spirit of the Bandung Conference, AALCO is the only intergovernmental legal consultative institution in the Asian-African region. Over the years, AALCO has

● closely followed the latest developments in international law,

● carried out in-depth studies on issues of international law of common concern to its member states,

● provided advice to its member states in the field of international law, and

● offered its member states a forum for cooperation on legal questions of common interest.

AALCO has thus been able to provide guidance to Asian and African states in their participation in international legal practice and has contributed to the progressive development and codification of international law. AALCO has now become a regional international organization of unique influence in the field of international law. We believe that AALCO will see its influence grow further with the increase in its membership and the expansion of its activities.

Since being granted permanent observer status with the United Nations in 1980, AALCO has witnessed its cooperation with the United Nations grow increasingly closer. Several organs of the UN and other international organizations are regularly present at the annual session of AALCO and make topical presentations. Meanwhile, AALCO also attends relevant meetings within the UN system and takes an active part in the deliberations of relevant items. A quick review of its agenda reveals the priority consistently given by AALCO to legal issues and other matters of concern to the UN. At its 43rd annual session held in June in Bali, Indonesia, AALCO deliberated on such agenda items as

● Work of the International Law Commission,

● Law of the Sea,

● International Criminal Court: recent developments,

● International Legal Instrument Against Corruption,

● Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property,

● WTO as a Framework Agreement and Code of Conduct for World Trade, and

● Cooperation against Trafficking in Women and Children.

The session has strengthened understanding and cooperation among its member states on the above-mentioned agenda items. Worth special mention is the cooperation between AALCO and the ILC. Regular attendance at each other's annual or regular sessions by AALCO and the International Law Commission, the presentation of reports on the progress of their respective work and exchanges of views have helped Asian and African states keep abreast of the latest developments in international legislation, and enabled them to make their contribution to the progressive development and codification of international law.

Mr. Chairman, as member of both the United Nations and AALCO,