Calling Attention to Chronic Hunger, General Assembly Decides 2016-2025 Will Be Decade of Action on Nutrition
Member States Also Adopt, without Vote, Seven Texts Recommended by Budget Committee, Filling Advisory Body Vacancy
The General Assembly today appointed a new advisory body member and adopted a package of texts recommended by its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) and decided to proclaim 2016-2025 the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition.
“Clearly, not enough is being done to ensure the basic right to food,” said Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (Brazil), in introducing the draft resolution titled “United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025)” (document A/70/L.42), which the Assembly adopted without a vote.
It was simply unacceptable for chronic hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity to occur in a world that produced enough food for all of humanity, he said, framing the draft resolution in the context of Goal 2 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 2014 Rome Declaration on Nutrition.
In adopting “L.42”, the Assembly expressed concern that more than 2 billion people were suffering from micronutrient deficiencies and the number of people affected by obesity was rapidly growing in all regions. At the same time, nearly 800 million people were chronically undernourished and, among children under age 5, approximately 159 million were stunted and 50 million wasted.
Calling upon the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization to lead the implementation of the Decade, the Assembly, by the text, invited Governments and other stakeholders, including international and regional organizations, civil society, the private sector and academia, to actively support the Decade, including through voluntary contributions.
Taking up a report of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) on appointments to fill vacancies in subsidiary organs (document A/70/539/Add.1), the Assembly decided to appoint Carmel Power (United Kingdom) as a member of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) for a term of office beginning on 16 May 2016 and ending on 31 December 2016. That 16-member body’s main functions included examining and reporting on budgets submitted to the Assembly by the Secretary-General and advising the Assembly on any administrative and budgetary matters referred to it.
The Assembly went on to adopt, without a vote, seven texts introduced by Fifth Committee Rapporteur Gert Auväärt (Estonia). (For more information, see Press Releases GA/AB/4194, GA/AB/4193 and GA/AB/4189.)
Turning to its agenda item on the Committee’s proposed programme budget for the biennium 2016-2017, contained in document A/70/648/Add.1, the Assembly adopted six-part draft resolution “L.31” on special subjects, which included strengthening property management at the United Nations Secretariat, revised estimates for humanitarian assistance and staff assessment and estimates for special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council.
By that text, the Assembly, among other things, approved $3.18 million for the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team and the implementation of resolution 2231 (2015), endorsing the comprehensive joint action plan on Iran’s nuclear programme, and $4.32 million (net of staff assessment) for the United Nations Monitoring Mechanism on humanitarian assistance for Syria.
Speaking after that action, the representative of Syria emphasized the importance of respecting national sovereignty and the role of concerned States in the distribution of humanitarian assistance.
The Assembly also took up its agenda item on progress towards an accountability framework in the United Nations Secretariat, adopting two draft texts, contained in document A/70/649/Add.1. By draft resolution “L.30”, the Assembly stressed the indispensable roles of external and internal oversight and reaffirmed the zero tolerance approach to fraudulent acts and corruption, noting with concern the delay in revising the policy against retaliation and urging the Secretary-General to finalize it. By draft decision “L.32”, the Assembly decided to defer a number of questions related to the programme budget for the biennium 2016-2017 and human resources management until its seventy-first session.
With regard to the construction of a new facility for the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, Arusha Branch, the Assembly adopted draft resolution “L.27”, contained in document A/70/634/Add.1, encouraging the Secretary-General to continue to take all measures to mitigate potential risks and to ensure that construction was monitored and completed within the approved resources and revised timeline
The Assembly then accepted the reports of the Board of Auditors — a three-member independent expert body that audits the accounts of the United Nations organization and its funds and programmes — on the strategic heritage plan of the United Nations Office at Geneva and on progress in the handling of information and communications technology affairs in the Secretariat, with its adoption of draft resolution “L.26”, contained in document A/70/624/Add.1.
By adopting draft resolution “L.29” on the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU), contained in document A/70/801, the Assembly stressed the importance of the Unit’s oversight functions in identifying managerial, administrative and programming questions within the participating organizations and in providing the Assembly with action-oriented recommendations to improve governance at the United Nations.
The Assembly also adopted draft resolution “L.28” on amendments to Staff Regulations and Rules, contained in document A/70/800.