Skip to main content
GA/EF/2755

UNCTAD IX OUTCOME, ANTI-CORRUPTION DECLARATION, SPECIAL SESSION ON AGENDA 21 AMONG ISSUES IN TEXTS APPROVED BY SECOND COMMITTEE

2 December 1996


Press Release
GA/EF/2755


UNCTAD IX OUTCOME, ANTI-CORRUPTION DECLARATION, SPECIAL SESSION ON AGENDA 21 AMONG ISSUES IN TEXTS APPROVED BY SECOND COMMITTEE

19961202 Endorsing the outcome of the ninth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD IX, Midrand, South Africa, May 1996), the General Assembly would welcome the Conference's far-reaching reforms, which adapted it to new economic and institutional situations created by the process of globalization, the conclusion of the Uruguay Round and the creation of the World Trade Organization, under the provisions of one of 24 texts adopted by the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) this morning, only one by recorded vote.

Also by the draft resolution, the Assembly would request the Secretary- General of UNCTAD to report on savings resulting from improved overall cost- effectiveness achieved pursuant to UNCTAD IX and to submit a proposal on how to reallocate a part of the savings in the 1998-1999 budget cycle with a view to strengthening the Conference's capabilities in priority areas, including in technical cooperation. The revised three-part draft resolution on international trade and development was sponsored by the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Russian Federation and the United States.

By a text approved on the recommendation of the Economic and Social Council, States would pledge to deny the tax deductibility of bribes paid by any private or public corporation or individual of a Member State to any public official or elected representative of another country, under the provisions of a draft United Nations declaration against corruption and bribery in international commercial transactions annexed to the draft.

Under other provisions of the declaration, States would pledge to criminalize bribery of foreign public officials in an effective and coordinated manner, but without in any way precluding, impeding or delaying international, regional or national actions to further implement the declaration. Member States would agree that actions taken by them to establish jurisdiction over acts of bribery of foreign public officials in international commercial transactions shall be consistent with the principles of international law regarding the extraterritorial application of a State's laws.

Second Committee - 1a - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Acting also on the Council's recommendation, the Committee approved by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 17 abstentions a draft resolution on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources. Under its provisions, the Assembly would call upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, to cause loss and depletion of, or to endanger the natural resources in the occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan. (For details of the voting, see Annex.)

By another draft, the Assembly would decide to convene the special session for the purpose of an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of Agenda 21 from 23 to 27 June 1997, at the highest political level of participation and also decide that the Commission on Sustainable Development would devote its fifth session, to be held from 7 to 25 April 1997, as a negotiating meeting, to final preparations for the special session.

Reaffirming the importance of the dialogue on economic and development issues between the developed and developing countries, the Assembly would agree, by another text, to defer the holding of a high-level dialogue until its fifty-second session; the date, modalities and focus of the discussion would be decided by the President of the Assembly, taking into account the progress in the work of the ad hoc open-ended working group on an agenda for development, by another draft approved. The theme to be discussed during the dialogue would be the social and economic impact of globalization and interdependence and their policy implications. Acting on financing of development, the Assembly would stress the need to increase efforts to ensure the flow of substantial resources to developing countries, through, among other measures, an expansion of multilateral credits, the promotion of foreign direct investment and an increase in concessional and non-debt resources. It would also stress that private capital flows are an important external source of financing for sustainable development and that attracting such investment requires sound fiscal and monetary policies, accountable governmental institutions, and transparent legal and regulatory regimes.

Acting on global financial integration, the Assembly would note that the globalization of financial markets can generate new risks of instability, including interest rate and exchange rate fluctuations and volatile short-term capital flows, which require all countries to pursue sound economic policies and to recognize the external economic impact of their domestic policies.

By other drafts approved, the Assembly would:

-- Emphasize the need for developing countries that are heavily dependent on primary commodities for continuing to promote a domestic policy and an institutional environment that encourages diversification and enhances competitiveness;

Second Committee - 1b - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

-- Request the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to undertake, in the context of supporting South-South cooperation, an in-depth assessment and further analysis of best practices in the field of industrial policies and strategies and their relevance in particular regional and country situations;

-- Welcome the outcome of the World Food Summit, held in Rome from 13 to 17 November, and urge all members of the international community, including international and regional financial institutions, to cooperate actively in a coordinated manner in the implementation of the Plan of Action adopted at the Summit;

-- Reaffirm the importance of resource mobilization, including financial cooperation, the transfer of technology, and capacity-building for communication in development programmes and projects, and call upon the international community and organizations of the United Nations system to assist developing countries in introducing technologies and innovative methods for enhancing communication for development;

-- Call upon the United Nations system to continue to conduct analytical activities and to provide policy advice and technical assistance within existing resources to the economies in transition on the social and political framework for economic and market reforms, particularly with regard to the development of the necessary conditions for attracting foreign investments;

-- Urge all countries to make additional contributions for the implementation of the Programme of Action adopted by the International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1995), taking account of the economic constraints faced by developing countries, in particular the least developed countries;

-- Endorse the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements and the Habitat Agenda adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, reaffirming the commitment to the full and progressive realization of the right to adequate housing, as provided for in international instruments;

-- Decide that the theme for the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty shall be "Eradicating poverty is an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind";

-- Welcome the fact that the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa would enter into force on 26 December, calling upon more countries to take appropriate action for its ratification, acceptance, approval or accession;

Second Committee - 1c - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

-- Invite the secretariat to the Convention on Biological Diversity to provide the Assembly at its special session on the implementation of Agenda 21 information on experience gained under the Convention to date;

-- Reaffirm that disaster reduction form an integral part of sustainable development strategies and national development plans of vulnerable countries and communities; and

-- Decide to convene a special session of the Assembly in 2001 to review the achievement of the goals of the World Summit for Children.

The Committee will meet again this afternoon to take action on all outstanding drafts.

Committee Work Programme

The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met this morning to take action on all outstanding drafts before it.

Under its consideration of the report of the Economic and Social Council, the Committee has before it a twice revised draft resolution on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (document A/C.2/51/L.30/Rev.2). Under its provisions, the General Assembly would reaffirm the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land and water. It would call upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, to cause loss and depletion of, or to endanger the natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan. The right of the Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, loss or depletion of, or danger to, their natural resources would be recognized. The Assembly would express the hope that that issue would be dealt with in the framework of the final status negotiation between the Palestinian and Israeli sides. The Secretary-General would be requested to report to the Assembly's fifty-second session on the implementation of the present resolution. The draft is sponsored by Algeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Malaysia, Mauritania, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Another draft resolution, sponsored by Syria, on behalf of the Group of Arab States, Afghanistan and Cuba, concerns economic and social repercussions of the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, occupied since 1967, and on the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan (document A/C.2/51/L.29). It would have the Assembly reaffirm that those settlements are illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development. The Assembly would recognize their economic and social repercussions on the people there. It would reaffirm the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan to their natural and all other economic resources, and would regard its infringement as illegal. The Secretary-General would be requested to submit to the Assembly at its fifty-second session, a report on the progress made in the implementation of the resolution. Also recommended by the Council is a draft resolution on corruption and bribery in international commercial transactions (document A/C.2/51/L.37). In the draft's preambular part, the Assembly would recall the work carried out by it and by the Council on the issue of illicit payments and on elaborating a code of conduct for transnational corporations, "consideration of which helped call attention to and raise international awareness of the adverse consequences of bribery in international commercial transactions", says the draft.

Second Committee - 6 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

In the operative part, the Assembly would start by adopting the proposed United Nations declaration against corruption and bribery in international commercial transactions, which is annexed to the text of the draft resolution. By other provisions of the draft, the Council and its subsidiary bodies, in particular the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, would be requested to examine ways to further the implementation of the declaration, so as to promote the criminalization of corruption and bribery in international commercial transactions and to keep that issue under regular review.

Also by the draft resolution, the Assembly would invite other bodies of the United Nations system, including the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), to take action to promote the objectives of the draft resolution and the proposed declaration. Private and public corporations, including transnational corporations, and individuals engaged in international commercial transactions would be encouraged to cooperate in its implementation.

The Secretary-General would be requested to inform States and organizations of the text's adoption, to encourage action towards making its provisions widely known and to promote its effective implementation. He would also be requested to prepare a report for the Assembly's fifty-third session, including information, among others, on steps taken by States and regional organizations to combat corruption and bribery in international commercial transactions, and on measures undertaken in accordance with the present resolution to promote social responsibility and the elimination of corruption and bribery in international commercial transactions.

Under the provisions of the proposed United Nations declaration against corruption and bribery in international commercial transactions, Member States individually and through international and regional organizations, would commit themselves to take effective and concrete action to combat all forms of corruption, bribery and related illicit practices in international commercial transactions, particularly to pursue enforcement of existing laws prohibiting such bribery. They would call upon private and public corporations, including transnational corporations, and individuals within their jurisdiction engaged in international commercial transactions to promote the objectives of the declaration.

In addition, States would also pledge to criminalize such bribery of foreign public officials in an effective and coordinated manner, but without in any way precluding, impeding or delaying international, regional or national actions to further the implementation of the declaration.

The proposed declaration would define "bribery" as including among others, the offer, promise or giving, as well as the soliciting, demanding, accepting or receiving of any payment, gift or other advantage, directly or indirectly, by any private or public corporation, including a transnational

Second Committee - 7 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

corporation, or individual from a State to any public official or elected representative of another country as undue consideration for performing, or refraining from the performance, of that official's or representative's duties in connection with an international commercial transaction.

Further by the declaration, States would pledge to deny in countries that do not already do so, the tax deductibility of bribes paid by any private or public corporation or individual of a Member State to any public official or elected representative of another country, and to that end to examine their respective modalities for doing so. They would also pledge to develop or maintain accounting standards and practices that improve the transparency of international commercial transactions, and that encourage private and public corporations including transnational corporations, and individuals engaged in international commercial transactions to avoid and combat corruption, bribery and related illicit practices.

States would also pledge to develop or to encourage the development of business codes, standards or best practices that prohibit corruption, bribery and related illicit practices in international commercial transactions; and to examine establishing illicit enrichment by public officials or elected representatives as an offense. In addition, States would cooperate and afford one another the greatest possible assistance in connection with criminal investigations and other legal proceedings brought in respect of corruption and bribery in international commercial transactions. They would ensure that bank secrecy provisions do not impede or hinder criminal investigations or other legal proceedings relating to illicit practices in international commercial transactions.

In addition, States would pledge that actions taken in furtherance of the declaration should respect fully the national sovereignty and territorial jurisdiction of Member States, as well as their rights and obligations under existing treaties and international law, and should be consistent with human rights and fundamental freedoms. They would also agree that actions taken by them to establish jurisdiction over acts of bribery of foreign public officials in international commercial transactions, shall be consistent with the principles of international law regarding the extraterritorial application of a State's laws.

Under its consideration of macroeconomic policy questions, the Committee has before it a revised draft resolution on enhancing international cooperation towards a durable solution to the external debt problem of developing countries (document A/C.2/51/L.24/Rev.1). That draft is sponsored by Costa Rica, on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, and by Colombia, on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries.

Under its provisions, the Assembly would recognize that effective, equitable, development-oriented and durable solutions to the external debt and

Second Committee - 8 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

debt-servicing problems of developing countries can contribute substantially to the strengthening of the global economy, and to the efforts of developing countries to achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development. It would note that further progress, including new and concrete measures, and swift implementation of innovative approaches is essential to effective, equitable, development-oriented and durable solutions to the external debt and debt-servicing problems of developing countries, particularly the poorest and heavily indebted countries.

The importance for developing countries of continuing their efforts to promote a favourable environment for attracting foreign investment, thereby promoting economic growth and sustainable development, would be stressed. Also stressed would be the need for the international community to promote a conducive external economic environment through, among other measures, improved market access, stabilization of exchange rates, effective stewardship of international interest rates and increased resource flows, as well as improved access to technology for the developing countries.

Also stressed would be: the need for developing countries to continue to undertake sound, transparent and market-oriented economic policies for structural adjustment in order to favour their exit from debt problems; and the fact that the evolving debt strategy must be accompanied by a favourable and supportive international economic environment, including the full implementation of the results of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, and the Marrakesh ministerial decisions in favour of the least developed countries and the net food-importing developing countries.

The Assembly would welcome the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Debt Initiative endorsed by the Interim Committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Development Committee of the World Bank, designed to enable eligible heavily indebted poor countries to achieve a sustainable debt situation through coordinated action by all creditors on the basis of adjustment efforts by the debtor countries necessary to achieve sustained economic growth and sustainable development.

In addition, it would recognize that the implementation of the Initiative requires additional financial resources from both bilateral and multilateral creditors, and therefore should not be pursued at the expense of development resources. It would stress the urgent need for the developed countries to give the Initiative the support it both needs and deserves, and to implement it flexibly to ensure that the performance already achieved is taken into account in determining the duration of adjustment required to reach with the assistance of all creditors, an exit from debt rescheduling. Further stressed would be the importance of implementing the Initiative eligibility criteria flexibly in a transparent manner and with the full involvement of the debtor country.

Second Committee - 9 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Also by the draft the Assembly welcoming the decision taken by the Paris Club to go beyond Naples terms to provide debt reduction, including some debt stock forgiveness for the poorest and most heavily indebted countries, would stress the need for the swift implementation of that decision and urge all other bilateral creditors to make comparable contributions in the context of coordinated efforts by all countries.

The efforts of indebted developing countries in regard to fulfilling their commitments on debt servicing despite the incurring of a high social cost would be recognized. In that regard, the Assembly would encourage private creditors and, in particular, commercial banks to continue their initiatives and efforts to address the commercial debt problems of middle-income developing countries.

Creditor countries, private banks and multilateral financial institutions, within their prerogatives, would be invited to continue the initiatives and efforts to address the commercial debt problems of the least developed countries. The IMF would be invited to continue devising concrete measures and action to address the problems faced by indebted developing countries, including the provision of bilateral contributions and, if the need arises, to consider optimizing its reserves management in order to facilitate the financing of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility.

The Assembly would note with great concern, the continuing burden of debt and debt-service obligations of middle-income countries, including in particular those in Africa, and -- in language which remains bracketed in text pending agreement -- [urges] or [encourages] creditors, including multilateral financial institutions and commercial banks, to continue to address their obligations effectively.

In addition, the Assembly would stress the need for, in addition to debt-relief measures that include debt and debt-service reduction, new financial flows to debtor developing countries from all sources. It would urge creditor countries and multilateral financial institutions to continue to extend concessional financial assistance, particularly to the least developed countries, in order to support the implementation of economic reforms, stabilization and structural adjustment programmes and the eradication of poverty by the developing countries so as to enable them to extricate themselves from the debt overhang, attract new investment and to assist them in achieving sustained economic growth and sustainable development. Further stressed would be the urgent need to continue to provide social safety nets to vulnerable groups most adversely affected by the implementation of economic reform programmes in the debtor countries, in particular low-income groups.

The Assembly would call upon the international community, including the United Nations system, and invite the Bretton Woods institutions, as well as the private sector, to take appropriate measures and action for the

Second Committee - 10 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

implementation of the commitments, agreements and decisions of the major United Nations conferences and summits organized since the beginning of the 1990s on development related to the question of external debt. The Secretary-General, in close cooperation with the Bretton Woods institutions and other relevant bodies of the United Nations system, would be requested to closely follow the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Debt Initiative and to report to the Assembly's fifty-second session on the implementation of the Initiative and of the draft resolution.

In addition, a draft resolution (document A/C.2/51/L.53) submitted by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Kheireddine Ramoul (Algeria), on the basis of informal consultations held on a text contained in document A/C.2/51/L.26, concerns net flows and transfer of resources between developing and developed countries.

Under its provisions, the Assembly would stress the need to increase efforts to ensure the flow of substantial resources to developing countries, through, among other measures, an expansion of multilateral credits, the promotion of foreign direct investment and an increase in concessional and non-debt resources. It would also stress that private capital flows are an important external source of financing for sustainable development and that attracting such investment requires sound fiscal and monetary policies, accountable governmental institutions, and transparent legal and regulatory regimes.

The Assembly would reaffirm the pressing need of developing countries for official development assistance (ODA), especially those in Africa and the least developed countries, and would urge countries to strive to fulfil, consistent with commitments in international agreements, the agreed target of 0.7 per cent of the gross national product (GNP) of developed countries for ODA to the developing countries, and the target, where agreed, of 0.15 per cent of GNP of the developed countries for ODA to the least developed countries as soon as possible.

In addition, by the draft the Assembly would stress the need to mobilize public support for development cooperation through a strategy based on partnership between developed and developing countries which incorporates mutually agreed goals for development. It would also stress the importance of the role of the International Development Association (IDA) as a highly concessional lending arm of the World Bank for promoting development in eligible development countries and would urge donors fully to honour their commitment in that regard, in particular to IDA's eleventh replenishment. It would appeal to all countries to continue to cooperate and work together on issues relating to the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility, with a view to arriving at a self-sustained facility, including the provision of bilateral contributions, and if the need arises the IMF should consider optimizing its reserves management in order to facilitate the Facility's financing.

Second Committee - 11 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

All international financial institutions and donor countries would be urged to continue their own efforts to improve the quality and effectiveness of their lending through thorough assessment of the contributions to sustainable development of projects financed, effective monitoring and evaluation, and increased concessionality. The Secretary-General would be requested to continue to monitor developments in the net flows and transfer of resources between developing and developed countries and to report on the matter in the World Economic and Social Survey, 1997. He would also be requested to report, in close cooperation with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Bretton Woods institutions, to the Assembly's fifty-third session on the implementation of the draft.

Also before the Committee is another draft resolution (document A/C.2/51/L.50) submitted by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Ramoul (Algeria), on the basis of informal consultations held on a draft resolution contained in document A/C.2/51/L.28 concerning global financial integration and strengthening collaboration between the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions.

Under its provisions, the Assembly would recognize that technological advances have reduced the costs and increased the speed of international financial transactions and that, as policy liberalization has facilitated international capital flows, financial institutions have increasingly added foreign assets to their portfolios, paving the way towards the phenomenon of global financial integration. It would be stressed that global financial integration presents new challenges and opportunities for the international community and that it should constitute a very important element of the dialogue between the United Nations system and the Bretton Woods institutions.

The Assembly would note that the globalization of financial markets can generate new risks of instability, including interest rate and exchange rate fluctuations and volatile short-term capital flows, which require all countries to pursue sound economic policies and to recognize the external economic impact of their domestic policies. Also stressed would be that sound domestic macroeconomic policies of each country in regard to promoting macroeconomic stability and growth are primary elements for determining private capital flows, and that the coordination of macroeconomic policies and a favourable international economic environment play an important role in reinforcing their effectiveness.

The Assembly would stress that the implementation of sound domestic monetary, fiscal and structural policies over the medium term, including ensuring of sound banking systems, is required to promote financial and exchange rate stability; and that Governments and international financial institutions have a contribution to make to reducing the risks of volatility of short-term capital flows and to promoting stability in domestic financial markets, within their respective competencies.

Second Committee - 12 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

The progress made in improving risk management and transparency in international financial markets, such as the International Monetary Fund's improved surveillance capacities, standards for the provision of economic and financial information to markets, and the creation of an emergency financing mechanism would be recognized. Also recognized would be the progress made in establishing the new arrangements to borrow, which would effectively double the resources currently available to the IMF under the General Arrangements to Borrow, and improve the Fund's ability to assist members in circumstances that could have systemic implications.

Recognizing that a number of developing countries have been able to take advantage of the globalization of finance, the Assembly would note that a number of developing countries, among them most of the least developed countries, especially those of Africa, have not benefitted from the globalization of finance and continue to be in great need of ODA. The Assembly would consider that the strengthening of collaboration between the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions requires an integrated approach, encompassing a closer policy dialogue at the intergovernmental level on relevant areas of international development policy issues, taking into account their respective competencies. It would underscore the need for encouragement of private flows to all countries, in particular to developing countries, while reducing the risks of volatility.

In addition, the Assembly would reiterate the need for broadening and strengthening the participation of developing countries in the international economic decision-making process. Welcoming the steps taken by the IMF and recognizing the need for a stronger and central role for the Fund in surveillance of all countries, in a symmetrical manner, the Assembly would reaffirm the objective of promoting greater transparency and openness, including increasing participation of developing countries in the work of the Fund, with that objective also involving the regular and timely provision of economic and financial data by all Fund members.

Under trade and development, the Committee has before it two draft resolutions.

A revised three-part draft resolution on international trade and development (document A/C.2/51/L.16/Rev.1) is sponsored by Costa Rica (on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China), Colombia (on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries), Japan, Mexico, Norway, Russian Federation and the United States.

In part I, the Assembly would endorse the outcome of the ninth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD IX, Midrand, South Africa, May 1996). It would welcome the fact that UNCTAD, as part of the United Nations system and a contributor to its revitalization, has adopted far-reaching reforms, as embodied in the outcome of the ninth session --

Second Committee - 13 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

"Midrand Declaration and A Partnership for Growth and Development" -- encompassing its programme of work, its intergovernmental machinery and the reform of its secretariat, including its complementarity with the World Trade Organization and its cooperation with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), thus adapting itself to new economic and institutional modalities created by the process of globalization, the conclusion of the Uruguay Round and the creation of the World Trade Organization.

The Assembly would also welcome the importance attached by UNCTAD IX to building a lasting partnership for development between non-governmental actors and the Conference and the initiative taken by the Secretary-General of the Conference to hold meetings with relevant actors. The role of UNCTAD as the focal point within the United Nations for the integrated treatment of development and interrelated issues in the areas of trade, finance, technology, investment and sustainable development would be recognized.

The Assembly would also recognize that UNCTAD, having a comparative advantage in tackling trade-related development issues, should continue to facilitate the integration of developing countries and countries in transition into the international trading system, in a complementary manner with the World Trade Organization and to promote development through trade and investment in cooperation and coordination with the International Trade Centre, relevant institutions of the United Nations system and other international organizations.

The Assembly would decide that UNCTAD should implement its programme of work with a focus on the issues of globalization and development, international trade in goods and services and commodity matters, investment, enterprise development and technology, services infrastructure for development and trade efficiency. The President of UNCTAD IX would be invited to consider convening a special high-level review meeting two years prior to the tenth session of the Conference.

In part II of the draft, the Assembly would stress the urgent need to continue trade liberalization in developed and developing countries. It would also stress the need for the full integration of economies in transition, as well as other countries, in particular through improved access to their exports in accordance with the multilateral trading system. It would recognize that the World Trade Organization provides the framework for an open, rule-based, equitable, secure, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable multilateral trading system, and stress that all members of the World Trade Organization should implement their commitments in respect of the Uruguay Round agreements in a full, timely, faithful and continuous manner. Also, all provisions of the Final Act Embodying the Results of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations should be effectively applied.

Second Committee - 14 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Governments and concerned organizations would be urged to implement fully and expeditiously the Marrakesh Ministerial Decision on Measures in Favour of the Least Developed Countries, as well as to effectively apply the Ministerial Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least Developed and Net Food-importing Countries. Also Governments would be urged to adopt the recommendations adopted at the Mid-term Global Review of the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the 1990s and at UNCTAD IX as they relate to trade and trade-related issues of the least developed countries.

The Assembly would emphasize the importance of the inaugural Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, to be held in Singapore, with regard to reviewing the implementation of the Uruguay Round agreements and its built-in agenda. In that regard it would underscore that the pursuit of that agenda, as well as the international community's handling of "new issues" affecting the conduct of international trade relations, should be carried out in a balanced manner, which takes into account the concerns of all countries, including developing countries.

The Assembly would further emphasize that the dispute settlement mechanism of the World Trade Organization is a key element as regards the integrity and credibility of the multilateral trading system and the full realization of the benefits anticipated from the conclusion of the Uruguay Round. It would deplore any attempt to bypass or undermine multilaterally agreed procedures on the conduct of international trading, by resorting to unilateral actions, over and above those agreed in the Uruguay Round and affirm that environmental and social concerns should not be used for protectionist purposes.

Also by the draft, the Assembly would emphasize the need for a balanced and integrated approach to environment, trade and development issues. It would reaffirm that Governments should have as their objective to ensure that trade and environmental policies are mutually supportive in order to achieve sustainable development and that, in doing so, their environmental policies and measures with a potential trade impact should not be used for protectionist purposes.

In part III of the draft, the Assembly would recognize the important progress made in understanding the relationship between trade and environment in the Committee on Trade and Environment of the World Trade Organization, as well as in UNCTAD, and in the Commission on Sustainable Development, and it would request the Conference to continue its work on trade, environment, and development, in cooperation with relevant international organizations, including the World Trade Organization. It would also request the Conference to continue its special role in promoting the integration of trade, environment and development.

Second Committee - 15 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

The role of UNCTAD in the context of the forthcoming special session of the Assembly for the purpose of an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of Agenda 21 would be stressed.

Also by the draft, the Conference would be requested, based on the outcome of UNCTAD IX, to identify and analyse the implications for development of issues relevant to investment, taking into account the interests of developing countries and bearing in mind the work undertaken by other organizations.

The need to give priority to the problems facing the least developed countries would be reaffirmed by the draft. Governments and organizations would be requested to take concrete measures in order to implement fully and as a matter of urgency the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s, including the measures and recommendations agreed upon at its mid-term review, especially those related to trade and development. The need to give special attention, within the context of international cooperation on trade and development issues, to the implementation of the many international development commitments geared to meeting the special development needs and problems of small island developing States and of land- locked developing States would be stressed.

The Assembly would invite preference-giving countries to continue to improve and renew their Generalized System of Preferences schemes in keeping with the post-Uruguay Round trading system and with the objective of integrating developing countries, especially least developed countries, into the international trading system.

The Assembly would request the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to present a proposal on savings resulting from improved overall cost-effectiveness achieved pursuant to the ninth session of the Conference, including the restructuring of the intergovernmental machinery and reform of the Secretariat, and to submit a proposal on how to reallocate a part of the savings in the 1998-1999 budget cycle with a view to strengthening the Conference's capabilities in priority areas, including in technical cooperation.

A draft resolution (document A/C.2/51/L.49) submitted by the Vice- Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Ramoul (Algeria), on the basis of informal consultations held on the draft resolution contained in document A/C.2/51/L.14 on commodities, would have the Assembly emphasize the need for developing countries that are heavily dependent on primary commodities for continuing to promote a domestic policy and an institutional environment that encourage diversification and enhance competitiveness. It would note the need expressed by developing countries, in particular the commodity-dependent developing countries, for stable and more predictable commodity prices, in the face of instability and decline in real terms of the prices of many commodities.

Second Committee - 16 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

The Assembly would emphasize the urgent need for supportive international policies to improve the functioning of commodity markets through efficient and transparent price formation mechanisms, including commodity exchanges, and through the use of commodity price risk management instruments. Developed countries would be urged to continue to support the commodity diversification efforts of developing countries, especially African countries, in a spirit of common purpose and efficiency, including providing technical and financial assistance for the preparatory phase of their commodity diversification programmes.

Also by the draft, the Assembly would reiterate the importance of maximizing the contribution of the commodity sector to economic growth and sustainable development in commodity-dependent developing countries, and in that respect would stress, among others, that trade-distorting policies and practices, including tariff and non-tariff barriers, tariff escalation and obstacles to competition, have a negative effect on the ability of developing countries to diversify their exports and to undertake the requisite restructuring of their commodity sector; and expansion of South-South trade in commodities offers opportunities for intersectoral linkages within and among exporting countries.

The Assembly would encourage the Common Fund for Commodities, in cooperation with the International Trade Centre, UNCTAD and other relevant bodies to direct its commodity development programmes more towards commodity sector diversification projects, as well as to promote commodity market development in the developing countries, with particular focus on the needs of least developed countries, and to explore effective ways and means of using the resources of the First Account of the Common Fund. It would urge producers and consumers of individual commodities to intensify their efforts to reinforce mutual cooperation and assistance.

Under its consideration of sectoral policy questions, the Committee has before it two draft resolutions.

The first text, a draft resolution (document A/C.2/51/L.46) submitted by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Ramoul (Algeria), on the basis of informal consultations held on the draft contained in document A/C.2/51/L.12 concerns industrial development cooperation.

Under its provisions, the Assembly would welcome the major programme of reform and the restructuring process undertaken by the UNIDO. It would reiterate the importance of cooperation and coordination within the United Nations system in providing effective support to the industrial development of the developing countries, and call upon UNIDO to continue carrying out its central coordinating role in that regard.

Second Committee - 17 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Also by the draft, the Assembly would emphasize the importance of a favourable international and national environment for the industrialization of developing countries, and urge all Governments to adopt and implement development policies and strategies that promote, within a framework of transparent and accountable industrialization policies, enterprise development, foreign direct investment, technological adaptation and innovation and expanded access to markets, among others. The importance of technology transfer to the developing countries as an effective means of international cooperation in the field of industrial development would be reiterated.

The international community and the relevant organizations and bodies of the United Nations system, in particular UNIDO, would be called upon to support the efforts of the developing countries to intensify and expand industrial cooperation among themselves with respect to, among other things, trade in manufactured products, industrial investments and business partnerships, as well as industrial technology and scientific exchanges. \ The UNIDO would be requested to undertake, in the context of supporting South-South cooperation, an in-depth assessment and further analysis of best practices in the field of industrial policies and strategies and their relevance in particular regional and country situations. It should also undertake assessment and analysis of lessons learned in the field of industrial development, so as to provide practical insights and ideas.

The UNIDO would be further requested to expand and enhance its interaction with the business community, including the private sector, in assisting the development of the industrial sector in the developing countries and economies in transition, particularly in the field of small and medium- sized enterprise development. Member States and organizations would be invited to extend support to the successful implementation of the Alliance for Africa's Industrialization, launched on 23 October at Abidjan, by Governments of African countries and the private sector, which aims at accelerating the pace of Africa's industrialization through industrial capacity-building, including the agro-industrial field, and partnerships between Governments of African countries and the private sector at all levels.

In addition, the importance of the integration of the informal sector into industrial development cooperation, as well as the necessity for the development of human capacities, in particular strengthening women's economic capacity and providing business services to women would be emphasized.

The second draft resolution (document A/C.2/51/L.47), submitted by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Ramoul (Algeria), on the basis of informal consultations held on the text contained in document A/C.2/51/L.38 concerns food and sustainable agricultural development.

Second Committee - 18 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Under its provisions, the Assembly would welcome the outcome of the World Food Summit, held in Rome from 13 to 17 November. It would urge all members of the international community, including international and regional financial institutions, to cooperate actively in a coordinated manner in the implementation of the Plan of Action adopted at the Summit. It would recommend that, at its special session for the purpose of an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of Agenda 21, the Assembly give due attention to the follow-up to the Plan of Action.

The Secretary-General would be invited to ensure that the Administrative Committee on Coordination decide on the inter-agency mechanism for the implementation of the Plan of Action and the incorporation of the mechanism into existing arrangements, and to report to the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 1997. He would also be requested to ensure that a coordinated follow-up at the field level to the Summit would be undertaken in the context of the resident coordination system, taking into account the coordinated follow-up to United Nations major international conferences. He would be further requested to report to the Assembly's fifty-second session on the implementation of the Plan of Action, in the context of the follow-up to the major United Nations conferences of the 1990s, including the implementation of their respective programmes of action.

The Assembly would reiterate its invitation to the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to submit to its fifty-second session, through the Economic and Social Council, a report on the outcome of the World Food Summit, including actions to be taken to follow-up its outcome at all appropriate levels. Also before the Committee is a draft resolution on communication for development programmes in the United Nations system (document A/C.2/51/L.45) submitted by Committee Vice-Chairman Mohammad Reza Hadji Karim Djabbary (Iran) on the basis of informal consultation on a previously introduced draft (document A/C.2/51/L.23). Under the draft's provisions, the Assembly would recognize the importance of addressing the issue of communication for development within the intergovernmental processes of the United Nations system, according to the respective mandates of the agencies concerned. Further, it would invite agencies, organizations, funds and programmes of the United Nations system to take the recommendations contained in the Secretary-General's report into consideration when planning and implementing relevant projects and programmes, with the cooperation of the resident coordinator. The Assembly would recognize the relevance for concerned actors in development at the country level, including policy makers and decision makers at all levels, to attribute increased importance to communication for development. Moreover, it would encourage them to include it in an appropriate manner as an integral component in the development of projects and programmes.

Second Committee - 19 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

The need to support two-way communication systems that enable dialogue and allow communities to speak out, express their aspirations and concerns, and participate in the decisions that relate to their development would be stressed. The Assembly would acknowledge interest in holding the next informal round table in the Latin American and Caribbean region, to build upon the meetings held in Asia and Africa. To that end, it would invite interested States to cooperate with relevant agencies, organizations, funds and programmes of the United Nations system in the convening of informal round tables, with the participation of the international financial institutions and the regional banks, at the country level.

Further, it would reaffirm the importance of resource mobilization, including financial cooperation, the transfer of technology, and capacity- building for communication in development programmes and projects. It would call upon the international community and organizations of the United Nations system to assist developing countries in introducing technologies and innovative methods for enhancing communication for development.

In addition, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), to officially inform it at its fifty-third session of the implementation of the draft.

Also before the Committee is another draft resolution (document A/C.2/51/L.52) submitted by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Ramoul (Algeria), on the basis of informal consultations held on a draft contained in document A/C.2/51/L.21, which concerns renewal of the dialogue on strengthening international economic cooperation for development through partnership.

The draft would have the Assembly reaffirm the importance of the dialogue on economic and development issues between the developed and developing countries. It would agree to defer the holding of the high-level dialogue for a period of two days until its fifty-second session. The date, modalities and focus of the discussion would be decided by the President of the Assembly through consultation with Member States and taking into account the progress and results achieved in the work of the ad hoc open-ended working group on an agenda for development. It would agree that the theme would the social and economic impact of globalization and interdependence and their policy implications. The Secretary-General would be requested, in close cooperation with Governments, all relevant parts of the United Nations system, relevant organizations and other development actors, to make initial preparations for such a dialogue. He would also be requested to submit to the Assembly at its fifty-second session, a report on the implementation of the draft including further recommendations for enhancing the dialogue and an assessment of the ongoing efforts for its strengthening.

Second Committee - 20 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Another text before the Committee is a 47-Power draft resolution on integration of the economies in transition into the world economy (document A/C.2/51/L.17), the General Assembly would recognize the need for ensuring favourable conditions for market access of exports from countries with economies in transition. It would take note of the Secretary-General's report on the integration of those economies into the world economy. It would welcome the measures undertaken by the organizations of the United Nations system to implement its resolution 49/106 on the integration of economies in transition into the world economy.

Moreover, it would call upon those organizations to continue to conduct analytical activities and to provide policy advice and technical assistance within existing resources to the economies in transition on the social and political framework for economic and market reforms, particularly with regard to the development of the necessary conditions for attracting foreign investments. The Secretary-General would be requested to submit a report on the implementation of the text to the Assembly's fifty-third session.

The draft is sponsored by Albania, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Uzbekistan.

Another draft resolution before the Committee, on the implementation of the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (document A/C.2/51/L.43) is submitted by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee Mohammad Reza Hadji Karim Djabbary (Iran) on the basis of informal consultations on a previous text contained in document A/C.2/51/L.19.

Under its provisions, the Assembly would urge all countries to make additional contributions for the implementation of the Programme taking account of the economic constraints faced by developing countries, in particular the least developed countries. The new text would emphasize the importance of the identification and allocation of financial resources by all members of the international community, including regional financial institutions, to enable them to fulfil their commitments regarding the implementation of the Cairo Programme of Action.

Noting the action taken so far by Governments and the international community to implement the Programme, the Assembly would reiterate that Governments continue to commit themselves at the highest political level to achieve goals and objectives, and to take a lead role in coordinating the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the follow-up actions to the

Second Committee - 21 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Conference at national levels. It would emphasize the essential nature of international cooperation in the field of population and development for the implementation of the Conference's recommendations.

In addition, the Assembly would call upon the international community to continue to provide, both bilaterally and multilaterally, adequate and substantial support and assistance for population and development activities, including through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), other organs and organizations of the United Nations system, and the specialized agencies that would be involved in the implementation of the Programme of Action.

The Assembly would reiterate the importance of South-South cooperation for the successful implementation of the Programme of Action, and would invite all Governments, relevant organizations of the United Nations system, as well as the private sector and non-governmental organizations, to continue to support those activities in South-South cooperation being undertaken by the developing countries. It would recognize the efforts of Partners in Population and Development in strengthening the capacities of developing countries in South-South cooperation.

The Economic and Social Council would be requested to give guidance on matters concerning harmonization, cooperation and coordination within the United Nations regarding the implementation of the Programme of Action. The Assembly would reiterate that the Commission on Population and Development had the primary responsibility for monitoring, reviewing and assessing the implementation of the Programme. It would emphasize the Commission's need to continue its work in broadening its focus to fully reflect the Programme of Action.

The Secretary-General would be invited to ensure that the Task Force on Basic Services for All of the Administrative Committee on Coordination inform the Commission and the Economic and Social Council on the progress of its work, with emphasis on the improvement of the impact of programme delivery for the purpose of system-wide coordination. In addition, the Assembly would stress the need for close cooperation and timely reporting by all the working groups of the Task Force.

The Assembly would recommend that its special session on implementation of Agenda 21 to be convened from 23 to 27 June 1997, should give due attention to the issue of population in the context of sustainable development.

Also before the Committee is a draft resolution sponsored by Costa Rica (on behalf of the Group of 77 and China) and Colombia (on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (document A/C.2/51/L.15/Rev.1). It concerns the implementation of the decisions adopted by the Istanbul United Nations of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II).

Second Committee - 22 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Under its provisions, the Assembly would endorse the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements and the Habitat Agenda adopted by the Conference on 14 June. It would reaffirm the commitment to the full and progressive realization of the right to adequate housing, as provided for in international instruments, and in that context recognize an obligation by Governments to enable people to obtain shelter and to protect and improve dwellings and neighbourhoods.

It would call upon all Governments, organizations of the United Nations system and other actors concerned with human settlements and urban management issues, such as local authorities, relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, parliamentarians, the private sector, trade unions, academicians and other community groups, to implement fully and effectively the Habitat Agenda, and to give both the Habitat Agenda and the Istanbul Declaration the widest possible dissemination, and in that context draw attention to the best "practices" initiative.

It would call upon all Governments to establish or strengthen as appropriate, participatory mechanisms for the implementation, assessment, review and follow-up of the Habitat Agenda and national plans of action. It would reaffirm that the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and relevant resolutions, and together with the Commission on Human Settlements, shall constitute a three-tiered intergovernmental mechanism to oversee the coordination of activities for the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. It would recommend that at its special session to be convened from 23 to 27 June 1997, for the purpose of an overall review and appraisal of Agenda 21, the Assembly give due attention to the issue of human settlements in the context of sustainable development.

It would be reaffirmed that the Assembly should consider holding a special session in the year 2001 for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the outcome of Habitat II, including the identification of obstacles, considering further actions and initiatives, and that a decision on this matter should be taken at its fifty-second session. The Assembly would emphasize that the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, in accordance with their respective mandates, should review and strengthen the mandate of the Commission on Human Settlements, taking into account the Habitat Agenda, as well as the need for synergy with related commissions and conference follow-ups and for a system-wide approach to its implementation. The Commission on Human Settlements would be requested at its forthcoming session, in 1997, to review its programme of work in order to ensure an effective follow-up and implementation of the outcome of the Conference in a manner consistent with the functions and contributions of other relevant organs of the United Nations system, and make recommendations thereon to the Economic and Social Council within the framework of the review of the activities of its subsidiary bodies.

Second Committee - 23 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

The Secretary-General would be invited to undertake in the light of the review of the mandate of the Commission on Human Settlements, a comprehensive and in-depth assessment, from within existing resources, of the Centre for Human Settlements with a view to its revitalization to present terms of reference and a preliminary report on that assessment for the consideration of the Commission at its sixteenth session, and to make a final report to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session. He would be further requested to ensure more effective functioning of the Centre by providing sufficient human and financial resources within the regular budget of the United Nations.

The Assembly would decide that the Commission on Human Settlements as a standing committee of the Economic and Social Council should have a central role in monitoring within the United Nations system, the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and advising the Council thereon. The Council would be recommended, in the context of the overall review process of its subsidiary bodies, to review the periodicity of the meetings of the Commission on Human Settlements, taking into account the need for full and effective implementation of the Habitat Agenda. It would be reaffirmed that the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements shall be designated as a focal point for the implementation of the Habitat Agenda.

Also before the Committee is a draft resolution (document A/C.2/51/L.51) submitted by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Ramoul (Algeria), on the basis of informal consultations held on draft resolution A/C.2/51/L.18, which concerns the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty.

Under its provisions, the Assembly would express its solidarity with people living in poverty in all countries and reaffirm that the satisfaction of basic human needs is an essential element of poverty eradication, those needs being closely interrelated and comprising nutrition, health, water and sanitation, education, employment, housing and participation in cultural and social life.

It would also express its solidarity with those suffering from a lack of control over resources including land, skills, knowledge, capital and social connections, and call for particular actions to provide appropriate social services to enable vulnerable people and people living in poverty to improve their lives, to exercise their rights and to participate fully in all social, economic and political activities and to contribute to social and economic development.

The Assembly would decide that the theme for the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty shall be "Eradicating poverty is an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind", and also decide to adopt the logo for the Decade as proposed in the report of the Secretary-General. It would recommend that, within the context of overall action for the eradication of poverty, special attention should be given to

Second Committee - 24 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

the multidimensional nature of poverty and to the national and international framework conditions and policies that are conducive to its eradication. Those should aim at the social and economic integration of people living in poverty and the promotion and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, including the right to development.

The Assembly would also decide that the themes for 1997 and 1998 shall be "Poverty, environment and development" and "Poverty, human rights and development", respectively; the themes for the remaining years of the Decade will be decided every two years, commencing in 1998, at the fifty-third session of the General Assembly.

It would decide further that the objective of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty is to achieve the goal of eradicating absolute poverty, and reducing overall poverty substantially in the world, through decisive national actions and international cooperation in implementing fully and effectively all agreements, commitments and recommendations of United Nations major conferences and summits organized since 1990 as they relate to poverty eradication.

The Assembly would recognize the need to increase the share of funding for social development programmes, particularly basic social programmes, commensurate with the scope and scale of the activities required to achieve the objectives and goals set out in commitment 2 of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and chapter 2 of the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development, relating to the eradication of poverty.

A draft resolution on the elaboration of an international convention to combat desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa (document A/C.2/51/L.39) based on a previously introduced draft (document A/C.2/51/L.10) is submitted by Committee Vice-Chairman Mohammad Reza Hadji Karim Djabbary (Iran).

Under its provisions, the Assembly would welcome the fact that the Convention would enter into force on 26 December 1996, and would call upon more countries to take appropriate action for its ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

It would urge the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the elaboration of the Convention to aim at finalizing all the outstanding negotiating issues, including the negotiations of the two working groups and the plan for the preparatory work for the first session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, at its tenth session, to be held in New York from 6 to 17 January 1997.

Further, the Assembly would decide that the first session of the Conference of Parties to the Convention shall be held from 29 September

Second Committee - 25 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

to 10 October 1997. It would accept the generous offer of the Government of Italy to host that session in Rome, at the headquarters of the FAO. It would also decide to include the first session of the Conference of Parties to the Convention and the meetings of its subsidiary bodies in the calendar of conferences and meetings for 1997-1998.

The Assembly would request the head of the interim secretariat to continue to promote cooperation and coordination with other relevant organizations and entities, particularly those of the United Nations system, in support of the regional implementation annexes, aimed inter alia, at facilitating the efforts of developing country parties, particularly those in Africa, to fulfil their commitments under the Convention. It would urge all States, the United Nations system and all other relevant organizations and actors, to take concrete actions and measures for effective implementation of the provisions of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee resolution 5/1 of 17 June 1994 on urgent action for Africa, as well as to promote actions for other affected developing countries and regions.

In addition, the Assembly would invite Governments, regional economic integration organizations and other interested organizations to continue to make voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund to support the Interim secretariat of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee and the work of the Committee, and also for the transition period following the first session of the Conference of Parties to support the secretariat of the Convention and the work of the Conference of the Parties. Moreover, the Assembly would invite them to continue to contribute generously to the Special Voluntary Fund established pursuant to Assembly resolution 47/188 to assist developing countries affected by desertification and drought, in particular the least developed countries.

The Secretary-General would be requested to consider authorizing the secretariat established pursuant to Assembly resolution 47/188 to act as secretariat for the transition period following the first session of the Conference of Parties until the permanent secretariat designated by the Conference of Parties begins operating, which should not be later than 31 December 1998. He would also be requested to consider maintaining the arrangements within the current programme budget for the interim secretariat to support the Convention beyond the first session of the Conference of Parties until the permanent secretariat designated by the Conference of Parties begins operating, which should not be later than 31 December 1988, and to maintain the arrangements relating to extrabudgetary funds.

A statement on the financial implications of the above draft (document A/C.2/51/L.48) says that it is understood that the first session of the Conference of the Parties will be held in Rome. However, pending a decision by the Conference of the Parties at its first session, the meetings of its subsidiary bodies may not be included in the calendar for 1998. Once the

Second Committee - 26 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Conference of the Parties has made its recommendation on its programme of meetings for 1998, the conference-servicing requirements of those recommendations will be submitted to the Assembly at its fifty-second session for approval.

Further, on the assumption that the Conference would request the Assembly to authorize the Secretary-General to maintain the current budgetary and administrative arrangements regarding the secretariat of the Convention for 1998, the requirements for financing the activities of that secretariat in 1998 will be dealt with in the context of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 1998-1999.

A draft resolution on special session for the purpose of an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of Agenda 21 (document A/C.2/51/L.41) based on a previously introduced draft (document A/C.2/51/L.9) is submitted by the Committee Vice-Chairman Mohammad Reza Hadji Karim Djabbary (Iran).

By its provisions, the Assembly would decide to convene the special session for a duration of one week, from 23 to 27 June 1997, at the highest political level of participation. It would also decide that the Commission on Sustainable Development would devote the forthcoming meeting of its ad hoc open-ended inter-sessional working group, to be held from 24 February to 7 March 1997 to prepare for the special session, and that the Commission would devote its fifth session, to be held from 7 to 25 April 1997, as a negotiating meeting, to final preparations for the special session for the overall review and implementation of Agenda 21.

Further, the Assembly would decide to invite States members of specialized agencies which are not members of the United Nations to participate in the work of the special session in the capacity of observers. It would stress that there should be no attempt to renegotiate Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development or other internationally recognized intergovernmental agreements in the field of environment and sustainable development. Moreover, it would stress that discussions at both the preparatory meetings and the special session should focus on the fulfilment of commitments and further implementation of Agenda 21 and related post-Conference outcomes. The governing council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) would be invited to include in its report to the Assembly at its special session, information and views on ways to address in a forward looking manner, national, regional and international application of principles contained in the Rio Declaration and the implementation of Agenda 21 in the interrelated issues of environment and development. In addition, it would decide to consider at its special session, the application of those principles at national, regional and international levels and to make recommendation on them.

Second Committee - 27 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

The Assembly would welcome the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), held at Istanbul from 3 to 14 June, and its relevance to the field of sustainable development. It would invite the Commission on Human Settlements to make a contribution to the special session in connection with the implementation of the Habitat Agenda adopted in Istanbul. Further, it would invite Governments to assist developing countries, particularly the least developed among them, in participating in the special session and its preparatory process, and to make timely contributions to the Trust Fund for the support of the work of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

The Secretary-General would be requested to enhance the public information programme of the United Nations so as to raise global awareness in a balanced manner, in all countries, of both the special session and the work undertaken by the United Nations in the follow-up to the Conferences. The Assembly would invite all Governments to promote widespread dissemination at all levels of the Rio Declaration and to make voluntary contributions to support the public outreach activities of the United Nations for the special session. Also, it would decide to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-second session the sub-item entitled "special session for the purpose of an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of Agenda 21", and would request the Secretary-General to submit to it at that session, a report on the special session.

The draft resolution on the application of the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development in international cooperation on environment (document A/C.2/51/L.11) would have the General Assembly strongly call upon the international community to provide support for the effective participation of all concerned countries in the implementation of their commitments in the field of environment and sustainable development through technical and financial assistance and other appropriate mechanisms, including bilateral and regional channels and multilateral institutions and funds.

It would call upon the international community to apply, where necessary, the principle of common but differentiated responsibility in ongoing international cooperation on the protection of environment and in efforts to implement existing instruments of international environment law and in the elaboration of new instruments. In addition, the international community would be called upon to take fully into account, specific circumstances and requirements, particularly those of developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

The Assembly would invite the Secretary-General, in the course of preparations for its special session for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of Agenda 21 of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), to submit information on the application of the principles contained in the Rio Declaration.

Second Committee - 28 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

In addition, the Assembly at its 1997 special session would be invited to consider the issue of the application of the principles in the Rio Declaration in different instruments adopted so far, with particular focus on the role played by the United Nations and its bodies. It would also be asked to make recommendations on further development of international law in the field of sustainable development.

The draft is sponsored by Belarus, Russian Federation and Ukraine, Georgia, Latvia and Tajikistan.

A draft resolution (document A/C.2/51/L.31) submitted by the Vice- Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Djabbary (Iran) on the basis of informal consultations held on a previous draft on the Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/C.2/51/L.5), would have the Assembly take note with appreciation, the generous offer of the Government of Argentina to host the third session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention at Buenos Aires in last month. The Assembly would welcome the results of the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 6 to 17 November 1995. Moreover, it would encourage those States that have not yet ratified the Convention to do so.

The Assembly would recognize that States Parties had agreed to provide financial resources for the implementation of the Convention in accordance with article 20, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Convention. Further, it would invite the secretariat to the Convention to provide the Assembly at its special session in 1997, information on experience gained under the Convention to date, and information on effective arrangements for the coordination of activities related to the objectives of the Convention. It would welcome the work being carried out under the Convention to enhance cooperation with the Commission on Sustainable Development and biodiversity-related conventions.

In addition, the Assembly would invite the Conference of the Parties to the Convention to take into account the outcome of the 1997 special session at its fourth meeting when considering ways of promoting greater cooperation with the United Nations system and the international community in relation to activities relevant to the objectives of the Convention. It would invite the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session, and pending the outcome of the 1997 special session, to report to the Assembly on the results of future meetings of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention.

A draft resolution on the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (document A/C.2/51/L.42), would have the Assembly reaffirm that disaster reduction formed an integral part of sustainable development strategies and national development plans of vulnerable countries and communities. The text is submitted by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee,

Second Committee - 29 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Mr. Djabbary (Iran), on the basis of informal consultations held on draft resolution A/C.2/51/L.4.

The Assembly would call upon all States, relevant intergovernmental bodies and all others involved in the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction to participate actively in the financial and technical support for Decade activities to ensure the implementation of the International Framework of Action for the Decade, in particular to translate the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World adopted at the International Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction.

The Assembly would underline the need for the United Nations system to ensure the integration of the Yokohama Strategy and its Plan of Action into the coordinated approach taken to the follow-up to all recent major United Nations conferences and summit meetings and to the implementation of their respective plans of action.

It would stress the need for synergy between the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States and that of the Yokohama Strategy and its Plan of Action.

It would reaffirm the need to support the Strategy's implementation with particular regard to improving education and training in disaster reduction, including the creation of interdisciplinary and technical networking at all levels, for the purpose of capacity-building and human resources development in developing countries, in particular those prone to natural disasters, as well as least developed, small island developing and land-locked countries.

By the draft's other provisions, the Assembly would call upon the secretariat of the Decade to continue to facilitate a concerted international approach to improvements in early warning capacities for natural disasters and similarly, others with adverse impact on the environment in the process leading towards the closing events of the Decade.

The Secretary-General would be invited to facilitate, within the existing International Framework of Action for the Decade, the development of a concrete proposal for an effective international mechanism on early warning. It would include the transfer of technologies related to early warning to developing countries under the auspices of the United Nations, and as part of the implementation of the International Framework of Action for the Decade and the Yokohama Strategy and its Plan of Action.

The Assembly would recommend that adequate provision be given to the International Framework of Action for the Decade as part of the review of the implementation of Agenda 21 adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development by the General Assembly at its 1997 special session.

Second Committee - 30 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

The Secretary-General would be requested to continue to appeal for additional voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund for the Decade. He would also be requested to bring forward proposals regarding the format, substance and timing of the closing event of the Decade, in order to begin the preparatory process in 1998. The proposals, to be set out in the Secretary- General's substantive report to the Assembly at its fifty-second session, would take account of the need to review relationships and responsibilities relevant to natural disaster reduction with respect to the future and the performance capability of the Decade's secretariat.

By the draft text, the Assembly would reaffirm that the secretariat, working with the full support of relevant United Nations Secretariat bodies and drawing on the contributions of the organizations of the United Nations system, other international organizations and Governments, would continue to serve as the substantive secretariat for the preparation of the closing event of the Decade.

The Assembly would commend all countries, in particular those developing and least developed ones, that had mobilized domestic resources for disaster reduction activities and had facilitated the effective implementation of such activities. Additionally, it would also encourage all developing countries concerned to continue in that direction.

It would welcome the initiatives aimed at defining regional frameworks for disaster mitigation, such as the regional seminars held in Africa and the Mediterranean.

According to the programme budget implications (document A/C.2/51/L.36) on the above draft all the activities of the Decade had been programmed in the current programme budget for the biennium 1996-1997, except for the session of the preparatory committee for the closing event of the decade to be held in 1997. That session, given the time table for budget preparation, had not been foreseen in the 1996-1997 programme budget.

The related conference-servicing costs for that session would represent a direct charge to the regular budget, the PBI says. The preparatory committee would have a five-day session and hold a total of 22 meetings of its plenary and working groups, to be served in all official languages of the Organization. There would be a total of 59 pages of pre-session, in-session and post-session documentation. On the basis of those parameters and on the assumption that the session would take place in Geneva, the conference- servicing requirements of the committee had been estimated at full cost in the amount of $251,100. Those costs would represent additional requirements for the 1996-1997 budget.

A draft resolution (document A/C.2/51/L.44) submitted by the Vice- Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Ramoul (Algeria), on the basis of informal

Second Committee - 31 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

consultations held on draft resolution A/C.2/51/L.8 concerns progress at mid- decade on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 45/217 on the World Summit for Children. The Assembly would welcome the significant progress reported by most countries on achieving the majority of the mid- decade goals and objectives of the World Summit for Children, particularly in immunization, the control of diarrhoeal diseases, polio, guinea worm and iodine deficiency disorders, and access to safe water. It would welcome further, the overwhelming response of all countries especially the developing countries, to the commitments agreed at the World Summit for Children.

In addition, it would express particular concern that progress on malnutrition, maternal mortality, sanitation, and girls' education has been inadequate, and in some cases, negligible. It would take note with concern the considerable variation in the progress made across countries and regions due to different baseline conditions in 1990 and the varying rates of progress in relation to the goals. It would invite Governments to increase, as appropriate, their budget allocations to basic social services for covering the special needs of children in order to facilitate achieving the goals set out in the World Declaration and Plan of Action. Developed countries would be urged to make increased efforts to mobilize additional resources for the fulfilment of the goals and objectives of the World Summit for Children and to ensure, in the context of their development assistance, that programmes to that end will have a priority when resources are allocated.

The Assembly would stress the need for according priority to the special needs of children in regions of slow progress, particularly the least developed countries and sub-Saharan Africa, and in other developing countries that have not yet reached the mid-decade goals. It would recognize the need for continued cooperation and partnership and appropriate international support to those developing countries that have already reached the mid-decade goals or the end-of-decade goals, in order to ensure the sustainability of such achievements.

The Assembly would call on Governments and their partners, taking into account lessons learned during the mid-decade reviews, to adjust, refine and prioritize, where necessary, their goals and strategies within the framework of the World Declaration and the Plan of Action and in conformity with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to respond to local situations. It would urge full integration of the follow-up to the Summit goals into the work of the inter-agency task forces and other mechanisms established to ensure a coordinated and effective follow-up to major United Nations conferences. It would decide to convene a special session of the Assembly in 2001 to review the achievement of the goals of the World Summit for Children, and that the arrangements for the special session should be considered at the fifty-third session of the General Assembly.

Second Committee - 32 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Action

KHEIREDDINE RAMOUL (Algeria), Vice-Chairman of the Committee, introduced a new draft resolution on net flows and transfer of resources between developing and developed countries.

The representative of Costa Rica, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said that at a meeting held at the Ambassadorial level, the Group had decided to change its position with regard to the use of the term "within existing resources". He emphasized that the Committee should leave consideration of financial aspects of texts to the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary). Considering financial implications was outside the Second Committee's purview and the Group was prepared to delete such language from the text.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

The representative of the United States registered her delegation's reservations on the tenth preambular paragraph. In addition, her delegation could not accept targets represented in operative paragraph 3 of the resolution.

Following that, an earlier version of the draft was withdrawn by the sponsors.

Next, MR. RAMOUL (Algeria) introduced with oral amendments, a new draft resolution on global financial integration and strengthening collaboration between the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions, in particular the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The draft was then approved, without a vote, as orally amended.

The representative of Brazil who had coordinated negotiations on the draft, pointed out the importance of the phenomenon of global financing integration and the need for the challenges and opportunities that arose from it, particularly the problem of volatility of private capital flows, to be discussed in the United Nations. In highlighting those issues, the resolution had built upon previous resolution. The text gave a more focused conceptual framework for global financing integration. It also provided a new momentum for the collaboration between the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions. Brazil understood that collaboration was mutually beneficial.

Following that, an earlier version of the draft was withdrawn by the sponsors.

The Committee then took up a revised draft resolution on international trade and development.

Second Committee - 33 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

MR. RAMOUL (Algeria) said the novelty in the draft this year was that it was not a Vice-Chairman's text. The draft was short compared to previous years, particularly in the preambular part. There were three sections in the draft and discussion on it had been in very good spirits and had led to consensus in informal consultations.

MARGARET KELLEY, the Committee Secretary, said under operative paragraph 14 of the draft, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, through the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to present a proposal on savings resulting from improved overall cost-effectiveness achieved pursuant to the ninth session of the Conference, including the restructuring of the intergovernmental machinery and the reform of the secretariat, and to submit a proposal on how to reallocate a part of the savings in the 1998-1999 budget cycle with a view to strengthening the Conference's capabilities in the priority areas including, among others, in technical cooperation. In connection with that paragraph, it should be noted that the Secretary-General would be submitting his proposals for the programme budget of 1998-1999 shortly.

The draft was approved without a vote.

The representative of Brazil, who coordinated negotiations on the draft on international trade and development on behalf of the Group of 77 and China noted that for the first time, the draft was co-sponsored by developed partners. That formidable achievement, he said, strengthened the spirit of partnership in North-South relations and should set an example for the work of the United Nations in the field of development. The draft was action-oriented and far shorter than those adopted in previous years. In endorsing the Midrand consensus, achieved at the ninth session of the Conference, held in Midrand, South Africa, with wide co-sponsorship, the Assembly was tendering a vote of confidence in UNCTAD, recognizing that it had already implemented far- reaching reforms and should now concentrate on its substantive programme of work.

He added that the draft resolution reaffirmed the role of the World Trade Organization as the framework for a rule-based multilateral trading system, and called for balanced results in the Singapore conference, taking into account the concerns of all countries.

The representative of South Africa said his country was pleased that the resolution had been adopted by consensus and that it had enjoyed broad-based co-sponsorship from the United States, Japan, Norway, Mexico and the Russian Federation.

The representative of Venezuela suggested a technical correction in the Spanish version of the text.

Second Committee - 34 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

The Chairman, ARJAN HAMBURGER (Netherlands) said he hoped the Secretariat had taken note of the correction.

Next, the Committee took up a draft resolution on commodities.

Mr. Ramoul (Algeria) drew attention to the last paragraph of the draft referring to periodicity. He said it had been decided in informal consultations that the item would next be addressed by the Assembly's fifty- third session.

The representative of Cote d'Ivoire said in operative paragraph 4 of the text, the word "emphasizes" should be replaced by the word "expressed". In operative paragraph 6, line 2 the words "should aim" should be replaced with "should have as their objective". Moreover, in operative paragraph 12, in line 6, after the phrase "net food importing developing countries" the word "and" should be added before the word "encourages".

The draft was then approved as orally amended and corrected, without a vote. An earlier version was withdrawn by its sponsors.

Next, the Committee approved a draft decision by which the General Assembly would take note of the report of the Secretary-General on global financial integration: challenges and opportunities. It would also take note of: the Secretary-General's report on strengthening international organizations in the area of multilateral trade; a note by the Secretary- General transmitting the report of the UNCTAD secretariat on specific measures in favour of island developing countries; a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the Joint Inspection Unit entitled "United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: Review of institutional and programme issues"; and the comments of the Secretary-General on the JIU report.

Mr. RAMOUL (Algeria), Vice-Chairman of the Committee, said the draft entitled on industrial development corporation should be adopted by consensus.

The representative of the United States said her delegation dissociated itself from the consensus and also specifically registered its reservation on the fifth preambular paragraph relating to the term "sustained economic growth". She said that it was her delegation's understanding that whenever that term appeared in the draft it referred to "growth in the context of sustainable development" consistent with a provision in the declaration adopted by the heads of State and government at the World Summit for Social Development. Furthermore, the question of roles within the United Nations system needed to be re-examined in the light of recent developments. She said her statement should be reflected in full in the Committee's records.

The draft was approved and an earlier version was withdrawn by the sponsors.

Second Committee - 35 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Mr. RAMOUL (Algeria) then, referring to the draft on food and sustainable development, said it had been recommended at the recent Rome World Food Summit for approval by the General Assembly.

The draft was accordingly approved by the Committee without a vote. The earlier version of the draft was withdrawn by the sponsors.

A representative of the FAO, noting that the FAO had sponsored the World Food Summit, said the draft contained commitments on follow-up to the Plan of Action adopted at the Summit after protracted negotiations. He said actions on all of the follow-up should reflect the consensus achieved at the Summit.

At the proposal of the Chairman, the Committee adopted a draft decision by which the General would take note of the report of the Secretary-General on the use of freshwater resources for food and agricultural production, as well as the implications of the results of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations for food production, including agro-industrial products and on global food security in developing countries.

Mr. DJABBARY (Iran), Committee Vice-Chairman, introduced a draft on communication for development and proposed an amendment to the first preambular paragraph. The draft was approved as orally amended. An earlier version of the draft was withdrawn by the sponsors.

Mr. RAMOUL (Algeria) introduced the draft on renewal of the dialogue on strengthening international economic cooperation for development through partnership, and orally amended operative paragraph 3.

The representative of Indonesia made a correction to operative paragraph 3 regarding the theme of the dialogue.

The draft was approved and an earlier version of the text was withdrawn by the sponsors.

Vice-Chairman DJABBARY (Iran) introduced the draft on the implementation of the Cairo Programme of Action.

The representative of the United States expressed her delegation's reservation about the preambular paragraph containing the phrase "sustained economic growth", stating that whenever it appeared in the text it was her delegation's understanding that it referred to "growth in the context of sustainable development" consistent with the text adopted by the heads of State and government at the Copenhagen World Summit on Social Development.

The representative of China suggested a correction in the draft.

The draft was approved without a vote and the earlier version withdrawn.

Second Committee - 36 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Mr. DJABBARY (Iran) introduced the draft on implementation of the decisions adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II).

The representative of Turkey announced that his delegation had joined the co-sponsors.

The Chairman said he had been informed by the Secretariat that the draft had no budgetary implications.

The representative of the United States, noting the Chairman's statement, proposed deletion of the phrase "from existing resources" in operative paragraph 19.

The representative of South Africa, noting he had been the coordinator for the Group of 77 and China on negotiations on the draft, reiterated the earlier statement by the representative of Costa Rica on behalf of the Group relating to the financial aspects of resolutions of the main committees. He said the Group reaffirmed its opposition to linkage between the issuance of a statement on programme budget implications and the inclusion of the terminology "within existing resources" contained in line 3 of operative paragraph 19 of the draft. The Group looked forward to the adoption by consensus of the draft, which, he said, was important.

The Committee approved the draft as orally revised.

The representative of Norway said he had joined in the consensus although it had some reservations about operative paragraph 19. His delegation supported transparency and would pursue the matter in the appropriate forum.

Mr. RAMOUL (Algeria), a Committee Vice-Chairman, introducing the draft on the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty, said it should refer to all aspects of poverty eradication.

The representative of the United States said it did not accept the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product for overall official development assistance stipulated in operative paragraph 15 of the draft text.

The Committee approved the draft without a vote and the original version was withdrawn.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution on elaboration of an international convention to combat desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa.

Second Committee - 37 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

The representative of the United States thanked the representative of Benin for his work in achieving consensus on the draft text in informal consultations. Speaking on operative paragraph 12, she said there were important issues regarding the interim secretariat which were still to be addressed. Her country was of the view that United Nations programme budget funds should be drawn on only after extra budgetary funds had been explored.

The representative of Canada said his country wanted to join the co- sponsors of the draft.

The representative of Ireland, on behalf of the European Union, said he wanted to associate the Union with remarks made by the representative of United States in commending the representative of Benin as the coordinator of the Group of 77 and China for the negotiations on the draft. He expressed the hope that nothing in the resolution pre-empted decisions that would be taken by the Conference of the Parties and the Assembly at its fifty-second session.

The representative of Costa Rica, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said she welcomed the co-sponsorship of Canada.

The draft was then approved without a vote. An earlier version of the draft was withdrawn by its sponsors.

Next, the Committee took up a draft resolution on the special session of the Assembly for the purpose of overall review and implementation of Agenda 21.

MARGARET KELLEY, the Committee Secretary, said the programme budget implications of the activities envisaged in the operative paragraphs of the draft were available.

Mr. DJABBARY (Iran), Vice-Chairman of the Committee, then introduced the draft resolution on the special session for the purpose of overall review and implementation of Agenda 21, which was approved without a vote.

The representative of Papua New Guinea, the coordinator for the Group of 77 and China for negotiations on that text, said he appreciated the efforts of Mr. Djabbary in informal consultations on the draft. He reiterated that Agenda 21 should not be shrunk to an abridged version. Moreover, concrete proposals should be action-oriented. In the spirit of compromise, the reference to "common but differentiated responsibility" had been taken out of the text; however, its key importance should be noted.

The representative of China thanked Papua New Guinea for its role as the coordinator. He also pointed out mistakes in the Chinese version of the text.

Second Committee - 38 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

The Committee then approved the draft resolution. As a result, an earlier version of the draft was withdrawn by its sponsors.

Next, Mr. DJABBARY (Iran) introduced a draft resolution on the Convention on Biological Diversity with oral amendments, which was approved as orally amended, without a vote.

The representative of Marshall Islands, coordinator for the Group of 77 and China for that text, thanked Mr. Djabbary for his role in informal consultations on the text as well as several delegations for their "grammatical" contributions.

An earlier version of the draft was then withdrawn by its sponsors.

Mr. DJABBARY (Iran) introduced the draft resolution on the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.

The representative of Jamaica, as coordinator for the Group of 77 and China on the draft, introduced amendments to lines 4 and 5 of operative paragraph 14 of the text.

The Committee then approved, without a vote, the draft resolution as orally amended. An earlier version of the draft was withdrawn by its sponsors.

Next, the Committee took up a draft resolution on progress made at mid- decade on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 45/217 on the World Summit for Children.

The Committee Secretary said under operative paragraph 27 of the draft the Assembly would decide to convene a special session in 2001 to review the achievements of the goals of the World Summit for Children, and that the arrangement for the special session should be considered at the fifty-third session of the Assembly. Since the programme of meetings was yet to be decided no estimation of the conference-servicing costs could be made. A statement on the financial implications of the draft would be prepared later.

The representative of the Philippines, as coordinator for the Group of 77 and China for the draft, drew attention to minor amendments to the text.

Mr. RAMOUL (Algeria), a Vice-Chairman, said the item on the Children's Summit had been delegated to the Plenary, the Second and the Third (Social, Cultural and Humanitarian) Committees. In the text, a clear link between poverty and the goals of the Children's Summit had been drawn. The text had been approved by consensus in informal consultations.

Second Committee - 39 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

The representative of Turkey said his country wanted to co-sponsor the original text of the resolution.

The representative of Mexico said his country would also like to become a co-sponsor of the original draft.

The Committee then approved, without a vote, the draft resolution as orally corrected. An earlier version was withdrawn by its sponsors.

Next, it approved a draft decision by which the Assembly would take note of the note by the Secretary-General on the activities of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in 1995.

Next, the Committee took up a revised draft resolution on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in Syrian Golan over their natural resources.

Mr. RAMOUL (Algeria), a Vice-Chairman, informing the Committee of the results of informal consultations on the draft, said in the beginning there had been two separate drafts on Palestine, which had now been combined in one text.

The representative of Malaysia said that, besides the original sponsors of the draft, Algeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Cuba had joined as co- sponsors.

The Chairman said that at the request of the United States, the draft would be put to vote.

The representative of Israel said the issue of rights over natural resources was covered in the Interim Agreement between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel. Therefore, its inclusion in the draft text was superfluous. The efforts to change the terms of reference reached at Madrid through the back door were regrettable. Israel and the PLO had agreed to resolve matters in direct face-to-face talks. The principle of direct negotiations also applied to Syria and Lebanon. He called on Syria to engage in face-to-face negotiations. Moreover, the exercise of blaming all of Lebanon's woes on Israel was an old one. He also called on Lebanon to directly negotiate with his country. The present draft aimed to pre-determine the outcome of direct negotiations between the parties and was counter- productive to peace.

The representative of Lebanon said occupation hindered economic development. The Committee was not dealing with political issues. The international community should remain faithful to the United Nations Charter and should repeat that occupation was the worst enemy of economic development.

Second Committee - 40 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Security Council resolution 425 was very clear. It did not speak of peace talks and negotiations, but referred clearly to withdrawal of Israel to internationally recognized borders. Lebanon believed that the implementation of the present resolution would help ongoing negotiations and create a healthy environment. The occupation of southern Lebanon hindered economic development of the country. The occupying Power should leave Lebanon alone to resolve its problems.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in Syrian Golan over their natural resources by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 2 against (United States and Israel), with 17 abstentions. (For details of the voting, see Annex I.)

In light of approval of the new version of the draft, an earlier version was withdrawn by its sponsors.

Speaking after the vote, the representative of Japan said his Government had contributed about $200 million to the Palestinian Authority and would continue to do so. Operative paragraph 4 contained issues which should be discussed in the final negotiations. Japan's support of the draft did not change its position on those issues. The Committee was not the forum for issues of a political nature.

The representative of Ireland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said it had voted in favour of the draft resolution because it believed that the natural resources of any territory seized by force of arms should not be used inappropriately or illegally by the occupying Power. The European Union recognized the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to the occupied territories and reaffirmed that any infringement of the rights of the Palestinian people with regard to the Convention was illegal. Nevertheless, it held that the issues referred to in the draft resolution were matters which were to be dealt with in the framework of the permanent status negotiations of the ongoing Middle East peace process. The draft resolution adopted today should not therefore be considered as prejudicial to or pre-emptive of the outcome of those negotiations. Any action or statement which might be seen as doing so was best avoided. Finally, he said the European Union expressed disquiet at the introduction of a new item to the already overburdened agenda of the Assembly.

The representative of the United States said he had opposed the draft resolution, which was flawed. The draft injected issues which were subject in the ongoing negotiations in the Middle East peace process. The use of the term sovereign rights could prejudge the outcome of those negotiations. The specific reference to Jerusalem in the draft was unacceptable. Genuine assistance to the Middle East negotiations should be forward-looking.

Second Committee - 41 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

The representative of Argentina said he supported the draft.

The representative of Australia said it had voted in favour on the basis of the fundamental purpose of the draft. The terms of the draft should not be considered prejudging the outcome of the ongoing negotiations. Australia was concerned about the introduction of the new item.

The representative of Canada also said his country was concerned about the increasing proliferation of new items. Canada had voted in favour of the draft which should not prejudge the outcome of the ongoing negotiations in the region.

The representative of Iran said it had voted in favour of the draft. That should not be construed as any recognition of Israel.

The representative of Eritrea said he would have voted in favour of the draft had he been present.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution on the United Nations declaration against corruption and bribery in international commercial transactions.

Mr. RAMOUL (Algeria), informing the Committee of informal consultations on the draft, said the text had been approved in informal consultations in the version that had been sent by the Economic and Social Council.

The representative of Jordan said his delegation wanted to co-sponsor the draft.

The representative of Australia said her Government strongly opposed bribery and corruption and was pleased to join the consensus on the issue.

The representative of China said his delegation attached great importance to the issues of bribery and corruption. Speaking on operative paragraph 3 of the proposed declaration, he said the elements contained therein could be interpreted in various ways. He expressed reservations about that paragraph.

The representative of Bolivia said his country wanted to co-sponsor the text.

The representative of Ecuador said her delegation also wanted to be a co-sponsor.

The Chairman announced that co-sponsoring a Council draft was impossible but the statements made by delegates to that effect would be reflected.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

Second Committee - 42 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

The representative of the United States said that the Committee had sent a strong indication to the international community that bribery was not acceptable. He thanked co-sponsors and partners who had worked on finalizing the text. Also, he said he looked forward to the draft's speedy adoption by the Assembly Plenary.

The representative of Mexico said corruption and bribery were of concern to his country. The Declaration amounted to a far-reaching commitment to fight corruption. He stressed the importance of follow-up and the establishment of modern accounting systems.

The representative of South Africa said he was happy that there was a broad consensus.

The representative of Venezuela said his country reserved its right to make a statement on the draft in the Plenary.

The Committee also approved a draft decision by which the Assembly would take note of the relevant chapters of the report of the Economic and Social Council for 1996, including chapters I to IV, chapters V to VII and annexes. It would also take note of the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the progress report of the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) on preventive action and intensification of the struggle against malaria in developing countries, particularly in Africa. Further, it would take note of the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on the United Nations Population Award. The draft decision was approved without a vote.

Next, the Committee took up the draft resolution on integration of economies in transition into the world economy.

Mr. DJABBARY (Iran), a Committee Vice-Chairman, said consensus had been achieved on the draft with two small amendments. According to those, the phrase "in accordance with multilateral trading agreement" should be added at the end of the last preambular paragraph. Moreover, the phrase "within existing resources" should be deleted from operative paragraph 2, line 5.

The representative of the Russian Federation said Argentina and Israel joined as co-sponsors of the draft.

The draft was then approved by the Committee, without a vote.

The representative of Brazil said he supported the draft and the aspirations of those countries as expressed in the draft.

The representative of the Russian Federation said the countries with economies in transition attached great importance to the draft. He also commended the brevity of the text.

(ANNEX TO FOLLOW)

Second Committee - 43 - Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996

Second Committee Press Release GA/EF/2755 37th Meeting (AM) 2 December 1996 ANNEX

Vote on Sovereignty in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

The draft resolution on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian Territory (document A/C.2/51/L.30/Rev. 2) was approved by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 2 against, with 17 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Korea, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Côte d'Ivoire, El Salvador, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Georgia, Kenya, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Paraguay, Ukraine, Uruguay.

Absent: Albania, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guatemala, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Zaire.

* *** *

For information media. Not an official record.