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I have the honour to take the floor on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.
The Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of 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 would like to thank the Committee on Relations with the Host Country for its report (A/73/26) on its activities conducted during the reporting period.
We would also like to express our thanks to the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus, Ambassador Kornelios Korneliou, for presiding over the work of the Committee during the past year, as well as to the other members of the Committee’s Bureau, and the UN Secretariat, for their continuous support to the Committee’s work.
The observance of privileges and immunities of diplomatic personnel is an issue of great importance, based on solid legal principles. To this end, we underline the need to safeguard the integrity of the relevant body of international law, particularly the Headquarters Agreement between the United Nations and the Host Country, the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.
The Committee on Relations with the Host Country has an important role to play in handling a variety of matters that the diplomatic community may face in the context of the relationship between the Host Country and the United Nations community. The Committee’s role is central in helping to reassure that this relationship is in full compliance with the aforementioned relevant body of international law. Its work remains vital in preserving the legal regime that defines the status of the United Nations and outlines the rights and obligations of diplomatic agents.
During the reporting period, the Committee continued to represent an open and efficient forum for dealing with a range of diverse issues pertaining to the activities of Permanent and Observer Missions to the UN and their staff. Via the Committee, the membership of the Organisation can communicate matters of concern to the Host Country so that they can be discussed in a spirit of mutual understanding and cooperation. We note with appreciation the ongoing work and efforts of the Committee to facilitate dialogue and solutions.
The European Union would also like to express its thanks to the Host Country for its efforts to help accommodate the needs, interests and requirements of the diplomatic community in New York in various areas. It acknowledges all the steps taken to resolve problems and difficulties that may arise and to promote mutual understanding between the diplomatic community, the local authorities and the people of the city of New York.
We underline that the maintenance of appropriate conditions for the delegations and missions accredited to the United Nations is in the interest of the United Nations and all of the Member States. To this effect, we recognize the efforts of the Host Country in implementing the Agreement between the United Nations and the United States of America regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, and encourage the Host Country to continue enhancing its efforts in this regard.
The European Union fully endorses the recommendations and conclusions contained in the report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country.
The Committee on Relations with the Host Country is an important body of the United Nations that promotes constructive and effective dialogue between the parties towards addressing existing issues that the diplomatic community may face. The European Union encourages the Committee to continue its productive work in the same spirit of cooperation and in accordance with international law.
I thank you Mr. Chairman.
* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.