Statement at the General Assembly Sixth Committee Agenda Item 81: United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study and Wider Appreciation

Elizabeth Grosso
United States Mission to the United Nations
October 21, 2021


Thank you, Chair.

We thank the Secretary-General for his report on the United Nations Program of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law. We also recognize the significant role of the Office of Legal Affairs, in particular the Codification Division, in implementing the Program of Assistance.

Since its establishment in 1965, the Program of Assistance has made, and continues to make, indispensable contributions to the education of students and practitioners in international law. Knowledge of international law is a key component to furthering the rule of law at all levels. Through a firm understanding of international law, new generations of lawyers, judges and diplomats gain a deeper appreciation of the complex instruments that govern so many aspects of this interconnected world. The United States is pleased to participate on the Advisory Committee of the Program of Assistance, and it merits the continuing, strong support of all Member States so that it can thrive for years to come. We continue to thank the Program of Assistance for providing as many scholarships as possible within existing resources to accommodate the greatest number of students for its valuable courses. And we thank those countries and organizations that have made in-kind and financial contributions to make its courses a reality.

While it is disappointing that the Program’s courses and fellowship events could not be held in person this year, we continue to applaud its nimble adaptation to the working conditions of Covid-19. We are glad that the Codification Division was able to share remote, self-paced versions of these essential trainings with participants who otherwise would have attended an in-person workshop, as well as pilot versions of real-time online workshops on important topics such as the peaceful settlement of disputes and the law of state responsibility. We hope these resources can be built upon in the future to reach an even broader audience. It is also positive that the Program has further developed its alumni network, which is an important component of the ongoing value of the Program to prior participants.

We are also pleased that the Program continues to make progress in improving the accessibility and content of the Audiovisual Library of International Law, which provides quality training to a limitless number of people, at a relatively low cost for UN member states, and at no cost to those who access it. As scholars around the world continue to rely on remote learning options, the Library is a more valuable resource than ever.

Thank you.