Remarks by John R. Arbogast, Counselor for Legal Affairs, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, at a Sixth Committee Session on Agenda Item 166 - Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country

John Arbogast, Counselor for Legal Affairs
New York, NY
November 15, 2013


Chairman, the United States, as always, is proud to serve as the host country to the United Nations and the Permanent and Observer Missions accredited to it. Our delegation remains proud of our country’s record in this respect, and we are grateful to those whose remarks have positively recognized the host country’s efforts. Along with the honor of hosting the United Nations and the world’s largest and most diverse diplomatic community comes a broad range of treaty obligations under international law. Since 1946, the United States government has fulfilled those obligations in every respect, and we remain committed to doing so in the future.

We believe that the Committee on Relations with the Host Country is a valuable forum in which to discuss relevant issues relating to the presence of this large, diverse, and dynamic diplomatic community in New York City, one of the largest, most diverse and most dynamic cities in the world. The Committee’s meetings provide the host country with an opportunity to assess the United Nations community’s concerns and how to best and most effectively address them.

The host country values greatly the cooperation and the constructive spirit of the members of the Committee in its work and the assistance provided by the United Nations Secretariat in this regard. We also appreciate the interest and participation of any delegation in the Committee’s sessions. The ability of delegations that are not members of the Committee to participate in its meetings has helped make the Committee’s deliberations open and more representative of the UN diplomatic community. The Committee’s limited but representative membership has made it an efficient and unusually responsive General Assembly body. The Committee’s deliberations this past year focused on mitigating delays in visa issuance, ensuring the safety and security of UN missions, and continuing to work with diplomatic missions on banking services.

Mr. Chairman, the United States would like to express particular appreciation for the efforts of the Chairman of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country, Ambassador Nicholas Emiliou. We also wish to thank the United Nations Legal Counsel, Miguel Serpa Soares, and Assistant Secretary General for Legal Affairs, Stephen Mathias, for their assistance and guidance in the Committee’s work. We wish to recognize the efforts of Ms. Brigitte Benoit-Landale, the Secretary of the Committee. Finally, we also extend our appreciation to Ms. Marjorie Tiven, New York City’s Commissioner in the Mayor’s Office for International Affairs, and her staff for their assistance in issues affecting the United Nations diplomatic community.

In closing, let me reiterate how proud we are to be the host country to the United Nations. We look forward to continuing to work closely with all of you in resolving issues that may arise during the coming year.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


PRN: 2013/234