Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message, delivered by Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, to an event organized by the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, in New York today:
It is a pleasure to greet the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) and all those who have gathered for today's discussions. I thank Mr. Roy Lee for extending this invitation.
International law is at the heart of our two organizations. I am pleased that AALCO maintains close ties across the United Nations system, and that AALCO has been a permanent observer to the United Nations since 1980.
AALCO is engaged in discussions on important topics of international law which are or have been on the agenda of the International Law Commission and Sixth Committee of the General Assembly. By fostering dialogue and exchanges of views among its 46 member States in Africa and Asia, it promotes a deeper understanding of the law and enhances their capacity to contribute to the development of international norms on issues that are of great interest to all Member States of the United Nations.
You have a rich agenda today, including the protection of civilians, the law of the sea and the identification of customary international law. I wish you a fruitful meeting and thank you for your commitment and contributions.
Source: United Nations.