I have the honour of speaking on behalf of the five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Sweden – and my own country, Norway.
The Nordic countries would once again like to thank the International Law Commission for its elaborate work on the draft articles on expulsion of aliens.
After the adoption of the draft articles, at its 66th session in 2014, the ILC recommended that the General Assembly at a later stage consider the elaboration of a convention on the basis of the draft articles.
The General Assembly, in 2014, decided to revert to the matter in 2017.
On 12 June 2014, the Nordic countries provided written joint comments after the first reading of the draft. At the Sixth Committee session in 2017, the Nordic countries gave a joint statement.
The position of the Nordic countries remains essentially unchanged.
The Nordic countries are still not convinced that this topic lends itself to incorporation into a convention. It is an area of law with significant and detailed regional rules and divergence of opinion on many aspects.
That said, we find the articles a useful description of the challenges in the area of expulsion of aliens. We consider that the best approach at this point in time is to reiterate our appreciation to the International Law Commission for its continuing contribution to the codification and progressive development of international law and to revert to the consideration of this topic in some years’ time.
On a more general note, and without prejudice to the future status of the draft articles, we would like to emphasize that a possible future convention, or any other type of instrument on expulsion of aliens, should be based on, and clearly emphasize the obligation of states under international law to readmit their own nationals who do not have a legal residence in another country. This obligation applies to both voluntary and forced returns.
In conclusion, Mr Chair, we consider that the Committee is best advised to revert to this matter in some years’ time.