ASSEMBLY SEEKS CLOSER ASSOCIATION BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS AND AGENCY FOR CULTURAL AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION
ASSEMBLY SEEKS CLOSER ASSOCIATION BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS AND AGENCY FOR CULTURAL AND TECHNICAL COOPERATION19951016 French-speaking Group Said to Be Involved in Wealth of Activities Comparable with Those of World Organization, so Stronger Links Desirable
The Secretary-General was invited to promote cooperation between the United Nations and the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation, by the terms of a resolution which the General Assembly adopted this morning without a vote.
Also by the text, the specialized agencies and other bodies and programmes of the United Nations were urgently requested to cooperate with the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and of the Agency to promote such cooperation.
A representative of the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation said that it had sent 25 observer missions to elections in various member countries. He added that the United Nations and the Agency could strengthen their cooperation in the area of electoral assistance.
Other speakers said that based on the solidarity of language, the Agency had been able to bring together countries from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. It had facilitated the work of recent world conferences, and was active in a variety of areas ranging from education to the environment. Cooperation between the Agency and the United Nations was not new, they stressed, noting that the Agency had enjoyed observer status in the General Assembly since 1978.
Statements were made by the representatives of Monaco, Djibouti, Belgium, Côte d'Ivoire, Tunisia, Mauritania, Togo and Lebanon. The draft resolution was introduced by the representative of France.
The General Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 17 October, to take up the report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization and a related draft resolution.
Assembly Work Programme
The General Assembly met this morning to consider the possibility of improved cooperation between the United Nations and the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation.
The Assembly has before it a 36-Power draft resolution (document A/50/L.4) by which the Secretary-General would be invited to take the necessary steps, in consultation with the Agency's Secretary-General, to promote cooperation between the two secretariats by encouraging meetings that enable their representatives to consult one another on projects, measures and procedures that will, in turn, facilitate and expand cooperation and coordination between the two organizations.
Also by that text, the specialized agencies and other bodies and programmes of the United Nations would be urgently requested to cooperate with the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the Agency for Cultural and Technical Development to achieve that end. Countries using French as a common language would be welcomed to involve themselves, through the Agency, in United Nations activities, in particular the preparation, conduct and follow-up of world conferences.
The draft resolution is sponsored by Belgium, Benin, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Gabon, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mauritius, Monaco, Morocco, Niger, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Togo, Tunisia and Viet Nam.
Introduction of Draft Resolution
Introducing the draft resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation, Alain Dejammet (France) said the Agency covered 44 countries from five continents. The Francophone people, he said, shared a common culture besides a common language.
He said the Agency was founded in 1970 as a unique intergovernmental body. In recent years, it had supported programmes towards democratization and had participated in raising consciousness about human rights. The idea of strengthening the cooperation between the Agency and the United Nations was seen as a necessity on both sides. The Agency, which had liaison offices in Geneva and Brussels, had enjoyed the status of observer at the United Nations
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since 1978, and was already working with regional and international organizations. It had developed joint programmes with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
JACQUES LOUIS BOISSON (Monaco) said the Agency had been founded 25 years ago and now had a membership of 44 countries distributed over all regions. In the quarter-century of its existence, the Agency had met with great success in promoting culture in the broadest sense of the term, encompassing creativity, technology and other aspects. At a time of great change and upheaval in the world, the Agency had been able to retain its resolve to cooperate in a spirit of respect for cultures.
The values promoted by the United Nations were also those of the French- speaking Agency, which had participated in debates and exchanges of view in the international community. The Agency had taken part in several major international conferences organized under United Nations auspices, out of concern for the subjects they covered, such as the environment, human rights, population, social development and the rights of women. Agency efforts were aimed at benefiting the least developed countries. Monaco had enjoyed the Agency's support for its annual world theatre festival, which featured troupes from Africa sponsored by the Agency.
DYASNE ABDALLAH DORANI (Djibouti) said his delegation endorsed the statement of the Ambassador of France on the behalf of the members of the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation. The Agency was a United Nations in miniature and a quarter of the United Nations membership of the United Nations membership was represented in it.
The Agency's mandate was to develop multilateral cooperation, he said. It had also begun to develop a political dimension by getting involved in the maintenance of peace. The French-speaking world was debating what it could do in the area of conflict prevention. The Agency did not want to rival any international agency or organization but wanted to assist the United Nations in that area.
ALEX REYN (Belgium) welcomed the opening of an Agency office in New York; that would promote cooperation between it and the United Nations. Such cooperation was not new; the Agency had participated in recent world conferences organized under United Nations auspices. "The French-speaking world is a reality which we must make use of, given the wealth and diversity of its members, as we seek challenges to the problems facing the world today."
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JOEL W. ADECHI (Benin) said he would join previous speakers in testifying to the Agency's efforts for development and peace. Based on the solidarity of language, the Agency had been able to bring together countries from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. Cooperation between the Agency and the United Nations was not new. The Agency had enjoyed observer status since 1978. Strengthening such cooperation could only be positive.
DAOUDA DIABATE (Côte d'Ivoire) said the Agency's activities covered a wide range of areas, including human rights, the environment, education and support for democratization. The purposes of the United Nations and those of the Agency coincided. Increased cooperation between them to achieve their common ideals was needed.
French-speaking countries benefited from the Agency's assistance in a variety of areas, and the Agency had facilitated participation of those countries in various world conferences held under United Nations auspices. In particular, it had played a wide and welcome role at the recent Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing.
SLAHEDDINE ABDELLAH (Tunisia) said the Agency believed in the common ideals of dialogue and solidarity. It was a catalyst for mutual development of its members. Over the years, it had been engaged in numerous activities which had transcended ideologies.
The Agency had diversified its field of activities since its creation, he said. The Agency had been prominent in the areas of education and training, agriculture and food production, and energy and transfer of technology. It had signed agreements with the Organization of African Unity (OAU), UNESCO and with several other bodies.
HAMOUD OULD ELY (Mauritania) hoped the draft would be adopted shortly. Such action could not come at a more auspicious moment, as the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations was approaching, and the draft called for new forms of cooperation, geared towards future challenges in such fields as development, democracy and respect for human rights. Mauritania was actively involved in the Agency, which promoted dialogue for the preservation of peace and security.
OSSEYI KOSSIVI (Togo) said the Agency was the one intergovernmental organization of the French-speaking world. It was clear that the United Nations on its own could not cope with the problems of States or groups of States. Other organizations could, in that respect, "take the baton" from the United Nations. His delegation believed wholeheartedly that the Agency could resolutely stand beside the Organization in all its endeavours.
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The Agency and the United Nations shared the same ideals, and closer ties between the two would lead to achievement of those ideals.
SAMIR MOUBARAK (Lebanon) said his country was a sponsor of the draft and a member of the Agency. The multilateral cooperation which the Agency promoted among its members covered a wide range of areas, including the environment, education and the energy sector. There was no question that the French-speaking movement played an important role internationally, both on the cultural level and in the political arena.
RIDHA BOUABID, observer for the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation, said the Agency supported the Secretary-General in his goals of peace, security and development. Recognizing the importance of multilateralism in today's world, the Agency's members supported the Secretary-General's Agenda for Development.
The French-speaking world believed that a common language could be an important dynamic in working towards common ideals, he said. The Agency had recently opened observer offices at the European Union and the United Nations Headquarters.
He said rationalization, and collaboration between agencies and organizations, was required to tackle problems of development. To that end, the Agency had developed cooperation with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), UNESCO, the European Union, the World Bank, the OAU and other agencies. The Agency had participated in conferences organized by the United Nations. At the Rio Summit on development, at the Vienna Conference on human rights and at the Beijing Conference on women, members of the Agency, as a group, had cooperated to work towards the goals of those conferences.
The Agency had collaborated with the United Nations, under its programme on "Law in the service of development and democracy". It had sent 25 observer missions to elections in various member countries. The United Nations and the Agency could further strengthen their cooperation in this area, particularly in assisting in the preparatory phase of elections. In Rwanda, in response to a call by Rwandan authorities, a mission was sent by the Agency, jointly with the UNDP and the United Nations Centre on Human Rights.
The Assembly then adopted without a vote the resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Agency for Cultural and Technical Cooperation.
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