Remarks at a Meeting of the Sixth Committee on Agenda Item 91: Debate on Strengthening and Promoting the International Treaty Framework

Julian Simcock
Deputy Legal Adviser
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
October 5, 2018


Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

We welcome the opportunity to address issues related to treaties. Treaties provide an important means by which states can establish frameworks to advance their common interests. The United States works actively to identify areas in which treaty relationships can enhance our cooperative efforts. We utilize treaties to promote law enforcement cooperation to fight crime and protect our citizens, to promote mutually beneficial terms for international trade, to coordinate efforts for mutual defense and security, and for many other important purposes. In the United States, we’ve been pleased this year that our Senate has provided advice and consent to ratification of five new treaties, addressing extradition, maritime boundaries, and intellectual property rules. We look forward to continued engagement with other states to make our treaty relationships effective and mutually beneficial.

In the context of considering means of strengthening the international treaty system, we have taken note of ideas for potential changes to regulations under Article 102 of the Charter regarding the registration of treaties. As we noted when the Secretary-General first addressed possible changes to the regulations in 2016, we believe this Committee should focus its attention on proposals that could further contribute to efficiency, particularly through the effective use of information technology, and make the most productive use of available resources. At the same time, we would have concern about proposals that could have the effect of limiting the accessibility and usefulness to member states of information and treaty texts made available by the Secretary-General. More generally, we continue to believe that consideration of any such changes should proceed cautiously, and that the Committee should take careful account of the views of the Secretariat with regard to any implementation issues or challenges that might be posed by particular proposals. We look forward to further opportunities to give these important issues the careful and rigorous consideration they merit.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.