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Statement by Mr. LIU Zhenmin, Director-General of the Department of Treaty and Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, at the Sixth Committee of the 58th Session of the UN General Assembly, on Item 150: Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property

2003/10/21

New York, 21 October 2003

Mr. Chairman,

First of all, I would like to thank Professor Hafner for his clear introduction on the work of the Ad Hoc Committee on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property. Under his able leadership and with the common efforts of the delegations of states, the Ad Hoc Committee finalized the review of the draft articles on jurisdictional immunities of States and their property on the Ad Hoc Committee's meeting held in February this year. The Chinese delegation hopes that the Sixth Committee would accept such a result of the Ad Hoc Committee. It is also our hope that all the delegations would continue to show their constructive and cooperative spirit to ensure the adoption of the draft articles in the form of a legally binding instrument by the Sixth Committee.

As far as the substance of the draft articles is concerned, frankly speaking, the present text is not as satisfactory and perfect as expected. However, we are fully aware that the text as it stands now represents the best possible result that could be achieved among all parties concerned in the circumstances. Jurisdictional immunities of states and their property is an important topic of international law and has received much attention from all countries. The present draft articles are the result of compromise by states. We hope all countries will treasure this result and accept the draft articles.

As to the final form of the draft articles, the Chinese delegation favors an international convention based on the draft articles. It is the view of this delegation that, due to the lacuna in national legislations in most countries in the field of jurisdictional immunities of states and their property at this moment, the practice in this respect differs greatly from country to country. Even countries that already have legislation that specifically deals with state immunities find incompatibility among their respective national laws and regulations in this field as well as in their practices. Under the influence of the economic globalization and with growing economic cooperation and exchanges among countries, practice indicates that conflicts of legal regimes governing jurisdictional immunities will be more acute, resulting in an increasing number of legal problems. Therefore the formulation of an international convention on this issue is in the interest of the international community and will facilitate states to regulate and unify their behavior in relation to jurisdictional immunities and to avoid and minimize legal conflicts. It will also have a positive impact on maintaining harmony and stability in international relations.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

 

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