Statement by Prof. Dr. Miriam Defensor Santiago Before the Sixth Committee Plenary Meeting On the report of the work of the 63rd session of the International Law Commission
27 October 2011, United Nations Headquarters, New York
As it is my first time to address this meeting, allow me the pleasure of extending my warmest felicitations to you on your election and that of the members of the Bureau. Allow me to express once again my delegation’s firm commitment to support you in advancing the important work on this agenda item.
Respect for and adherence to the rule of law has allowed nations to thrive. It lays out the firm foundations for a freer and more just world, guides us in our national efforts to achieve lasting peace, sustainable progress and fuller prosperity and moves us in the establishment and maintenance of our respective relations with other members in the larger international community in pursuit of common goals.
As a matter of consequence and duty, therefore, we must ensure that respect for and adherence to the rule of law – as expressed in various commitments under international law – are faithfully observed.
As a matter of consequence and duty too, we must ensure that international law remains responsive to the many changes and developments that impact on the legal framework that defines the rights and obligations of States.
In this regard, the important role and function of the International Law Commission cannot be overstated.
With the “promotion of the progressive development of international law and its codification,” as its object, the Commission and its work are of clear strategic value to the international community.
Since its establishment pursuant to Resolution 174 of 1947, the Commission has positively considered and acted on many topics in its long term programme of work;the Philippines commends the Commission for its laudable work and considerable output.
Given the Commission’s track record, the Philippines is confident that the Commission will continue to carry out its mandate.
The Philippines welcomes the publication of the report of the 63rd session of the International Law Commission.
The report is comprehensive and detailed, showing the significant workload of and the progress made by the Commission on a number of items. The Philippines wishes to focus its comments on the Commission’s work on the “Effects of Armed Conflicts on Treaties” which was included in the Commission’s Programme of Work in its fifty-sixth session.
Since 2004, the Commission adopted, on second reading, a set of 18 draft articles together with commentaries on the effects of armed conflicts on treaties. In accordance with article 23 of its Statute, the Commission also recommended to the General Assembly to take note of the draft articles in a resolution and to annex them to the resolution, and to consider, at a later stage, the elaboration of a convention on the basis of the draft articles.
For these advancements, we are thankful to Special Rapporteur Mr. Lucius Caflisch for his outstanding work and the contributions of his predecessor Sir Ian Brownlie.