Activities of the Legal Counsel of the
International Law Week and 28th Informal Meeting of Legal Advisers
23-27 October 2017
International Law Week was held at the United Nations Headquarters from 23 to 27 October this year.
In the morning meeting of the Sixth Committee at the start of the week, the Legal Counsel addressed the delegates, legal advisers and international law experts from Member States, many of whom travelled to New York specifically for this occasion. Mr. Serpa Soares expressed his recognition to the work and commitment of the Chairperson, Members of the Bureau and delegations which resulted in significant progress on many of the items on the Committee’s agenda. The Legal Counsel highlighted the importance of the long-standing partnership between the Committee and the International Law Commission, which will be celebrating its Â 70th anniversary next year.
As is tradition, the Informal Meeting of Legal Advisers, organized this year by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also was held on the first day of the International Law Week.
In the opening remarks of this meeting, the Legal Counsel highlighted the role of international law and international legal mechanisms in conflict prevention, as well as the importance of the Law of the Sea and on-going processes such as the related to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. During his intervention, the Legal Counsel also made reference to the future challenges for International Humanitarian Law, as well as the work of the United Nations on international criminal justice and accountability.
During the ensuing panel discussions, legal advisers deliberated on these topics, in particular on the impact, importance and future of International Humanitarian Law. The meeting also addressed the peaceful settlement of disputes in conflict prevention and the significance of international law and justice in this regard. The meeting concluded with a discussion on the opportunities and future challenges concerning the role and work of a legal adviser.
Throughout the week, Mr. Serpa Soares also held several bilateral meetings with a number of legal advisers who came from all over the world to the UN in order to discuss current issues of international law and the future challenges and opportunities for its promotion and development.
Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs atthe International Law Week and 28th Informal Meeting of Legal Advisers