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China's hosting of the Fifty-fourth Annual Session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization

Release Time: 2016-08-15

From April 13 to 17, 2015, the Chinese government successfully hosted the 54th Annual Session of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization(AALCO) in Beijing. Around 250 representatives, many at ministerial level, from 42 member states and 7 observer states of the AALCO, the United Nations (UN) and other relevant international organizations, participated in the session.

 

As inspired by the Asian-African Conference held in Bandung in 1955, AALCO was established in 1956 to promote exchange and cooperation on international law across Asian and African continents. Over years it has grown into an inter-governmental organization in the area of legal consultation (still the only one of such nature across Asian and African continents) with 47 member states and 2 permanent observers, and made enormous efforts and attained great achievements in fulfilling its mandate and objectives.

 

Premier Li Keqiang of the People's Republic of China addressed the inaugural session of the Annual Session. In his speech, Premier Li reviewed the remarkable 60 years history of AALCO and its numerous achievements, highlighted the continued value and importance of win-win cooperation, upholding and advancing the rule of law at international level in the joint pursuit of peace and development for the benefit of all. He encouraged Asian and African countries to continue carrying forward the Bandung spirit and advancing world peace and development as well as justice and righteousness hand in hand, including through revitalizing the AALCO. Premier Li also announced that China would fund the establishment of a China-AALCO Exchange and Research Program on International Law.

 

H.E. Prof. Dr. Rahmat Mohamad, Secretary-General of AALCO and H.E. Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs & Legal Counsel of the United Nations, representing H.E. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations also delivered speeches at the inaugural session.

 

Representatives from member states unanimously elected Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Head of the Chinese Delegation and Vice Foreign Minister, as Chairman of this session.

 

During the session, a special meeting commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference was held. Chinese Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui, UN Under-Secretary-General H.E. Miguel de Serpa Soares and representatives from India, Indonesia, Vietnam and several other member states delivered keynote speeches respectively.

 

Moreover,a parallel side event, International Colloquium on the Charter of the United Nations and the Post-War International Order sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the Chinese Society of International Law(CSIL) was held on the margin of the session.

 

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, CSIL President Li Shishi, UN Under-Secretary-General H.E. Miguel de Serpa Soares, Mr. Rodrigo do Amaral Souza, Director-General of the Department of Immigration and Legal Affairs of the Ministry of External Relations of Brazil, Dr. Pradip Kumar Choudhary, Director of Legal and Treaties Division of Ministry of External Affairs of India and ILC members Hussein A. Hassouna and Shinya Murase attended and addressed the colloquium. Dr. Xu Hong, Director-General of the Department of Treaty and Law of the Chinese Foreign Ministry served as the coordinator of the whole colloquium, H.E. Professor Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai, President of Asian Society of International Law, moderated two sub-panels of the colloquium.

 

Representatives took an active part in the discussions and reached significant consensus in strengthening Asia-Africa solidarity and cooperation, jointly safeguarding the post-war international order and promoting international rule of law. Representatives also exchanged views on many important issues, such as cybersecurity, counter-terrorism and violent extremism, maritime law, environment and sustainable development, and achieved substantive outcomes, such as setting up an open-ended working group on international law in cyberspace and adopting 11 resolutions, including the special resolution commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference. The session concluded successfully on April 17 after completion of its agenda. Representatives highly appreciated the fruitful outcomes achieved in the Annual Session, viewing it one of the most successful sessions in the history of the AALCO.