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Sixth Committee


Concluding its seventy-sixth session today, the Sixth Committee (Legal) upheld its tradition of consensus and approved without a vote 15 draft resolutions, along with a draft decision and a draft letter, marking the end of 29 socially distanced meetings over which members met — together but apart — to consider the evolving face of international law in a world still in the grips of the COVID‑19 pandemic.


After deferring observer status requests to the seventy‑seventh session, delegates in the Sixth Committee (Legal) today, in the debate on revitalizing the work of the General Assembly, stressed the need to strengthen the Committee’s prized tradition of consensus by including substantive discussions and constructive dialogue.


After approving three draft resolutions, the Sixth Committee (Legal) took up the report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country today, with many speakers stressing that visa and travel restrictions imposed on the delegations of certain States ‑ motivated by these States’ bilateral relations with the host country ‑ threaten their ability to participate fully in United Nations activities.


Delegates in the Sixth Committee (Legal) today offered various proposals in response to concerns about the abuse of the Charter of the United Nations and the impact of sanctions, as the Committee concluded its debate on the report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization, also known as the Special Charter Committee.


As the Sixth Committee (Legal) concluded its debate on the third cluster of topics from the International Law Commission’s report today — thus completing its consideration of the report as a whole — delegates pointed out the Commission’s work on succession of States in respect of State responsibility hinges on considerations of continued legal personality for which uniform State practice does not exist.


Against the backdrop of the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, speakers today in the Sixth Committee (Legal) continued their review of the International Law Commission report’s second cluster of topics, offering detailed accounts of both national and regional initiatives to address the urgent and life-threatening crisis posed by rising sea-levels.


After taking action on a request for observer status in the General Assembly, the Sixth Committee (Legal) today concluded the first cluster of topics of the International Law Commission reports and took up the second cluster, with delegates debating what role the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea should play in addressing rising sea levels resulting from climate change, an existential threat to many island and low-lying States not contemplated when that Convention was signed in 1982.