Remarks by Steven Hill, Counselor, Nationality of Natural Persons in Relation to the Succession of States at a General Assembly Sixth Committee (Legal) Session

Steven Hill, Counselor
New York, NY
October 17, 2011


Thank you, Mr. Chairman

We greatly appreciate the Sixth Committee’s continued interest in this important item.  We also appreciate the efforts of the ILC in preparing draft articles on the nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States.

Statelessness in the context of state succession can affect democratization, economic development, and regional stability.  We agree with the basic tenet of the draft articles that individuals affected by the succession of States must possess the nationality of at least one of the successor States.  Moreover, we urge governments to review their nationality laws to ensure that they do not discriminate against women, members of minority and other vulnerable groups, and to ensure that stateless individuals present within their borders are provided with documentation, protection from abuse, and access to basic services.

As seen in many of the written observations of member states, however, approaches to statelessness that might occur as the result of state succession should take into account factors such as the individual right of expatriation and other legitimate concerns of states in determining policies related to nationality.  The balancing of these important considerations merits additional examination and discussion.  We believe that the written observations provided by Member States to date in response to several resolutions of the General Assembly provide very useful insights into the perspectives and practices of those States, and we look forward to reviewing any additional member state submissions and to exploring these issues in as practical a manner as possible.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman


PRN: 2011/252