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Statement by Mr. MA Xinmin, Chinese Delegate, at the Sixth Committee of the 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly on Item 83 "Diplomatic Protection"
19 October 2007


Mr. Chairman,

The Chinese delegation wishes to congratulate the International Law Commission for having completed on time the draft articles on diplomatic protection, thank successive Special Rapporteurs for their efforts, and express its appreciation to the Commission for its contributions to the codification and progressive development of international rules on diplomatic protection.

In the debate on this item at the 61st session of the GA, the Chinese delegation already made quite comprehensive comments. We would therefore confine ourselves to two additional comments.

First, the final form of the draft articles to be decided upon by the GA. Since major differences exist among member states over this point, the Chinese delegation believes that the GA does not have to immediately make a decision on this matter. Indeed, it may decide not to take any action at the moment so as to give member states some time to study and exchange ideas on the draft before it takes a decision on its final form when consensus is reached. The Chinese delegation would like to suggest that the draft be placed on the agenda of the 6th Committee on a triennial basis.

Secondly, a few remarks about the draft articles.

1. On article 6 entitled Multiple nationality and claim against a third State. According to the provision of this article, two or more States of nationality may respectively or jointly exercise diplomatic protection in respect of a dual or multiple national. In our opinion, in practice, it may lead to such a situation in which after one State of nationality exercises diplomatic protection in respect of its national, other States of nationality also exercise diplomatic protection in respect of their national over the same injury. This is obviously inappropriate. We would like to suggest that the draft article clearly specify that when diplomatic protection is in respect of a dual or multiple national, in the case when one of the States of nationality has already exercised diplomatic protection or multiple States of nationality have jointly exercised diplomatic protection, other State/States of nationality shall not pursue diplomatic protection over the same injury.

2. On the relationship between exhaustion of local remedies and diplomatic protection. The Chinese delegation agrees to the principle established in article 14 of the draft that exercise of diplomatic protection should be premised on the exhaustion by the injured person of all local remedies of the State alleged to be responsible for causing the injury. However, we would like to point out that whether or not the injured person has exhausted local remedies, the State of nationality should not be kept from taking necessary diplomatic action in respect of the matter. In this respect, we notice that the commentary on article 1 indicates that diplomatic protection does not include demarches or other diplomatic action that do not involve the invocation of the legal responsibility of another State, such as informal requests for corrective action.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.


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