Press Releases

    21 October 2005

    General Committee Recommends Inclusion of Item on Observer Status for Hague Conference on Private International Law in Assembly's Agenda

    NEW YORK, 20 October (UN Headquarters) -- The General Assembly's General Committee this morning decided to recommend the inclusion of an additional item in the Assembly's agenda for the current session entitled "Observer status for the Hague Conference on Private International Law", as requested by the Netherlands.

    The Committee also recommended that the item be allocated to the Assembly's Sixth Committee (Legal).  The Assembly is expected to consider the General Committee's recommendation on Tuesday, 25 October.

    According to a letter from the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to Assembly President Jan Eliasson (Sweden), contained in document A/60/232, the 65-member intergovernmental Hague Conference specializes in three areas of private international law:  legal cooperation and litigation; protection of children, families, relations and vulnerable adults; and commercial and finance law.  Since 1951, the Conference has drawn up 36 multilateral treaties in many areas of private international law.  The Conference "services" the treaties it draws up by providing assistance, monitoring and support in cooperation with the United Nations.

    The letter also details the cooperation between the Conference and United Nations legal bodies, including the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), and with the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law.  The Conference has also worked with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in the field of commercial and financial law.

    Given the way the work of the Conference has developed, the letter adds, and given the needs of both Member States and the Organization, the granting of observer status to the Conference in the Assembly's work could lead to even greater complementarity of work and to more systematic cooperation. 

    The representatives of Spain and United Kingdom expressed support for the proposal.

    The General Committee's next meeting will be announced in the Journal.

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