Statement at the 77th General Assembly Sixth Committee on Agenda Item 83: Report on the UN Charter and Strengthening the Role of the Organization

Elizabeth Grosso
New York, New York
November 3, 2022


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 participated with interest in the annual thematic debate on the peaceful settlement of disputes, which this year focused on judicial settlement. We focused our remarks on the vital role of the International Court of Justice, and the diversity of means that exist for bringing disputes before the Court. We look forward to future exchanges of state practices on other peaceful methods of dispute settlement.

We also 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 continue to support further discussion on options to strengthen their implementation. While sanctions implemented outside of UN auspices are not the focus of this Committee’s work, we wish to also make clear our view that those sanctions are also a legitimate means to achieve foreign policy, security, and other important objectives.

With respect to proposals of new subjects for consideration by 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 fora.

We also urge those wishing to reinvigorate the Special Committee to withdraw proposals that have languished on its agenda and to give serious consideration to biennial meetings or shortened sessions, given the heavy demands on meeting resources at the UN. 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.

We also take this opportunity to thank the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs for their hard work on the Repertory of Practice of the United Nations Organs and the Repertoire of the Practice of the Security Council, which are valuable resources on the practice of the United Nations organs.

Finally, we must mention our disappointment that a substantive report of the deliberations of the Special Committee this year could not be adopted due to one delegation’s demand to omit any description of the numerous statements made condemning the invasion of Ukraine as a violation of the UN Charter. While member states often disagree on the difficult subjects raised in the Special Committee, each of those divergent positions should be indicated in the report, as has been in the case in previous reports. One party should not be permitted to demand that a position stated by a group of delegations clearly within the scope of the Committee be erased entirely as if it never happened. We trust that at its next session, the Special Committee will return to its well-established tradition of respectfully recording delegations’ diverse views for the benefit of the public and the historical record.

Thank you.