21 October 2013

Statement by Mr. Hossein Gharibi Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran

Before the Sixth Committee 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

on Agenda Item 77: “Responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts”

New York, 21 October 2013

بسم الله

 In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to make a brief statement on this Agenda item. My delegation takes note of the reports of the Secretary-General on this item contained in documents A/68/69 and its addendum as well as document 68/72.

Once again, the main theme of our discussion today is to consider the final form of a set of the Draft Articles which has been the subject of many years of deliberations in the International Law Commission as well as this Committee.

The present Draft Articles are the outcome of study in the ILC and the General Assembly. The Commission began its study on the topic of State responsibility in 1955 and it took 46 long years to finalize it in 2001. Five learned Special Rapporteurs of the ILC worked on the topic and almost all Member States reflected on its content whether in written form or in their statements in the Sixth Committee. As such they reflect a wealth of intellect and deliberate consideration. The final form that these Draft Articles would get should correspond to this high quality of work by ILC.

Iran attaches high importance to the question of state responsibility and is of the view that many provisions of the Draft Articles are expression of customary international law. To name a few, I would like to refer to the draft Articles 41, 48, 50 and 54. They are not only reflective of existing international law but also consistent with a number of authoritative pronouncements of international case-law, including the ICJ’s decisions in the Corfu Channel case, South West Africa case and the case concerning the Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua. They are also consistent with the prevailing doctrines on this subject matter.

Mr. Chairman,

State responsibility is the backbone of international law and a cornerstone of the rule of international law in international relations. The rules of state responsibility should be clear and known to all subjects of international law. And the only way to materialize this is to crystallize the rules in the form of a treaty. A well elaborated convention on state responsibility could contribute to a better application and promotion of international law. Accordingly, my delegation believes that the time is ripe to convene a diplomatic conference to adopt an international convention on state responsibility. For sure, the ILC’s Draft Articles are the best basis for such a legally binding instrument. We stand ready to engage actively in this exercise.

I thank you.

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