Remarks in the Sixth Committee on Agenda Item 84: Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the U. N. and on the Strengthening of the Role

Elizabeth Grosso
New York, New York
November 3, 2021

Remarks in the Sixth Committee on Agenda Item 84: Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the U. N. and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization


Thank you, Chair.

We welcome this opportunity to provide a few observations about the work of the Special Committee on the UN Charter this year.

We thank the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs for their continued work on the Repertory of Practice of the United Nations Organs and the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council. Both publications provide a useful resource on the practice of the United Nations organs, and we much appreciate the Secretariat’s hard work on them.

With respect to the agenda item on peaceful settlement of disputes, we participated with interest in the annual thematic debate, which this year focused on the use of arbitration. The United States has a long history of utilizing arbitration, from the Jay Treaty of 1794, to the Iran-US claims tribunal, today, and appreciated the opportunity to share state practices on the effective use of this flexible conflict resolution tool. We were also pleased to support the proposal by the Philippines to mark the 40th anniversary of the Manila declaration, which has made a valuable and lasting contribution to the peaceful settlement of disputes, and deserves renewed attention.

With respect to items on the Special Committee’s agenda concerning the maintenance of international peace and security, we appreciated the annual briefing on sanctions. The United States emphasizes that targeted sanctions adopted by the Security Council in accordance with the UN Charter remain an important instrument for the maintenance of international peace and security. We would support further discussion on options to strengthen implementation. We reiterate,

however, that the Committee should not pursue activities in the area of the maintenance of peace and security that would be duplicative or inconsistent with the roles of the principal organs of the United Nations as set forth in the Charter.

With respect to proposals regarding new subjects of consideration for the Special Committee, we continue to welcome new proposals that are practical, non-political, and do not duplicate efforts elsewhere in the United Nations. However, we urge member states to avoid using the Special Committee as a forum for the airing of bilateral concerns, or to pursue topics more appropriately raised in other forums.

The United States has welcomed productive steps in past years to streamline the agenda of the Special Committee and to close the discussion of proposals that failed to generate consensus. Committee members should now give serious consideration to biennial meetings or shortened sessions, especially if the impact of the pandemic continues to create intense scheduling demand at the UN headquarters. We hope the Special Committee will take further steps to improve its efficiency and productivity, and to make the best use of scarce Secretariat resources.

Thank you.