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Thank you, Mr./Madam Chair,
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, the Republic of North Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia*and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia, align themselves with this statement.
We thank the Secretary-General for his report. We also express our appreciation for the work of the Advisory Committee on the Programme of Assistance in supporting the Programme and for the tireless efforts of the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs in implementing its activities.
As stated in the EU Global Strategy, the EU is committed to a global order based on international law. A multilateral order grounded in international law, including the principles of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is the only guarantee for peace and security.
Against this backdrop, the EU and its Member States see the Programme of Assistance as a means to promoting and disseminating international law, and as an invaluable tool to promote the rule of law at the international level. We therefore strongly support all activities undertaken under the Programme, including academic research and teaching, trainings, publications, and online databases.
In particular, the International Law Fellowship Programme and the Regional Courses in International Law for Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin-America and the Caribbean should continue to provide a comprehensive training by highly qualified international law scholars from different regions and legal systems, thus enhancing geographical and linguistic inclusivity.
We see the Audiovisual Library of International law as a significant contribution to the teaching and study of international law around the world. The COVID-19 crisis revived the need for on-line teaching and learning. The Audiovisual Library - which is a virtual training and research centre in international law - becomes in this context all the more important. We commend all efforts to enhance it and to make the lectures in the Lecture Series accessible more widely via podcasts and other applications.
We encourage developing more e-learning platforms that would benefit a higher number of students and scholars across the world. The COVID-19 outbreak widened the gap between those that are able to access digital learning opportunities and those that are not. In that regard, the Programme should consider systems with strong offline functionality and systems built for use on basic mobile phones that would make the learning facilities accessible to those that lack the connections and devices to learn remotely. That would help reduce digital inequalities, while at the same time it will assist in teaching, studying and dissemination and wider appreciation of international law.
We underline the importance of multilingualism to guarantee an equal access to all the activities undertaken under this Programme.
In closing, we commend the work of all those that contribute to the development of the Programme, as well as the voluntary contributions towards its financing. We underline the significant contribution of the Programme to strengthening the role of international law, to making international law accessible more widely, and to preparing the future generations of lawyers. We stand ready to contribute further to its success.
I thank you, Mr./Madam Chair
* The Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.