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Ireland Statement at UNGA 6th Committee on UN Programme of Assistance

Madam Chair,

Ireland aligns with the statement made by the European Union and makes some additional comments in its national capacity.

Ireland extends its thanks to the Secretary General for his informative report on the operation of the Programme of Assistance. 

Ireland acknowledges the importance of the aim of the Programme, to contribute to a better knowledge of international law. This plays a crucial role in achieving the principles and purposes of the United Nations  in accordance with the Charter, most notably the maintenance of international peace and security and the development of friendly relations among nations. A better knowledge of international law helps to promote the rule of law at the international level in accordance with Goal 16 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ireland  recognises the essential function which the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations has in implementing the Programme and also thanks the Advisory Committee for its work in this regard.  In particular, Ireland acknowledges the steps which all those involved in the operation of the Programme took to continue to deliver its aims, notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic, which clearly had a significant impact on the organisation of activities over the period in question.

While the pandemic presented various, unprecedented challenges, Ireland welcomes the initiatives by the Codification Division to avail of opportunities to organise online educational activities and online lectures. Ireland appreciates the value of the Regional Training Courses, which help to ensure training in international law for participants from developing countries. We also recognise the importance of the International Law Fellowship Programme. Ireland welcomes the information in the report on the numbers of persons applying to and participating in these programmes, broken down into regions and genders. We are pleased to make annual contributions to support these important initiatives.

Ireland especially commends the Codification Division for establishing the alumni network of participants of the training programmes, organised under the Programme of Assistance.  As has been referred to by other delegations, the aspect of the Programme with the widest potential reach is the UN’s Audiovisual Library of International Law.  This is an important resource for both students and practitioners.  The broad range of high quality lectures, in audio and video format, on the Library’s website provides a comprehensive resource of international law topics.

Ireland praises recent efforts to facilitate access and promote awareness of the lectures through social media and the Library podcast.  Ireland would also encourage further reflection on how to make the presentations more accessible and user friendly, in a search-friendly format.  Such a development would facilitate quicker and easier access to this important resource.  Ireland is glad to support the work of the Audiovisual Library through annual contributions to its work.

We welcome the news of the most recent award of the Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe Memorial Fellowship on the Law of the Sea.  Given the relatively high cost of each fellowship, we encourage all member states in a position to do so to consider contributing to the relevant voluntary trust fund so that it can continue to be awarded regularly to deserving candidates. 

Madam Chair,

Ireland is proud to continue to support the Programme of Assistance across its different areas of activities in the teaching, study and promotion of international law.   The work carried out by the UN Programme of Assistance is very important to broaden awareness and promote a greater understanding of international law and in this regard, Ireland encourages other States to also consider supporting its worthy initiatives.

I thank you, Madam Chair.




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