The 58th Annual Session of AALCO took place in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania from 21st to 25th of October 2019, and was attended by representatives from 25 Member States of AALCO and 13 Non-Member States and International Organizations as Observer delegations. This was the third time that the United Republic of Tanzania was the host of the Annual Session of AALCO. The Forty-Ninth and the Twenty-Fifth Annual Sessions of the Organization were hosted in the country in the years 2010 and 1986 respectively. [k1]
The Guest of Honour of the Annual Session, H.E. Ms. Samia Suluhu Hassan, Vice-President of the United Republic of Tanzania. In her welcome address, she acknowledged the major role played by AALCO in facilitating cooperation among the Asian and African Member States in the development of international law. She reaffirmed the commitment of the United Republic of Tanzania to AALCO and encouraged the Member States to continue upholding the spirit of cooperation and engagement with a view to sustain international law in Asia and Africa. Gratitude was also expressed towards the Member States of AALCO for extending their unqualified support to the Secretary-General of AALCO for the performance of his mandate and functions.
The inaugural session for the 58th Annual Session of AALCO witnessed addresses by Hon. Prof. Palamagamba John Kabudi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E. Prof. Dr. Kennedy Gastorn, Secretary-General of AALCO, H.E. Amb. Koji Haneda, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Philippines and the President of the 57th Session of AALCO, Hon. Yuji Iwasawa, Judge, International Court of Justice, H.E. Amb. Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga, Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs of the United Republic of Tanzania and Hon. Prof. Adelardus Kilangi, Attorney-General, United Republic of Tanzania.
H.E. Amb. Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga, Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs of the United Republic of Tanzania was elected as the President of the 58th Annual Session of AALCO, along with H.E. Mohammed Shalaldeh, Minister of Justice, State of Palestine who was elected as the Vice-President of the 58th Annual Session.
During the course of the Session both organizational and substantive matters were deliberated among Member States and observer delegations.. The Republic of Philippines was formally welcomed for re-joining the Organization as the 48th Member State at the Session.
The organizational matters included the Report of the Secretary General on the Work of AALCO, Budget for the year 2020 and the Report on the Work of AALCO’s Regional Arbitration Centres on which resolutions were adopted along with the adoption of the Chairman’s Report of the Fourth Meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group on International Law in Cyberspace. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was also concluded between AALCO and the Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Malaysia on 21 October 2019 during the first general meeting of the Annual Session.
Substantive matters included topics such as [k2] Extraterritorial Application of National Legislation: Sanctions imposed against Third Parties, Peaceful Settlement of Disputes, Violations of International Law in Palestine and Other Occupied Territories by Israel and Other International Legal Issues related to the Question of Palestine, Selected Items on the Agenda of the International Law Commission, International Law in Cyberspace, Law of the Sea and International Trade and Investment Law.
The following publications prepared by the AALCO Secretariat were also released during the Session: Yearbook of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (2018, Vol. XVI) ISSN 0972-9534; AALCO Journal of International Law (2017 & 2018) ISSN 2319-2895; the Newsletters [vol. 11(2) and 12(1)] and a Special Study titled ‘The Status of Jerusalem in International Law: A Legal Enquiry into the Recent Attempts to Disrupt the Status Quo’ ISBN 978-93-86611-81-9.
The Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretaries-General of AALCO as well as the President and the Vice-President of AALCO paid a courtesy visit to H.E. Dr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania and expressed their gratitude for the support and cooperation extended by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania in hosting the Annual Session. A message of thanks was also adopted at the Annual Session by the AALCO Member States and Observers and presented to the President of the United Republic of Tanzania. In addition, vote of thanks to the Secretariat and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania iwere also delivered on behalf of the African States, Asian States and International Organizations present at the Annual Session.
[k1]The Second Session was held at Hyatt Kilimanjaro Hotel.
[k2]Not all topics were referred to by the Member States.