Resolutions on Protecting Global Climate, Eliminating Unilateral Economic Measures, among 16 Texts Approved as Second Committee Concludes Session
The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) today approved 16 resolutions and two decisions, voting on five of them, including one expressing profound alarm that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise globally, as it concluded its seventy-sixth session.
Further to the text, on “Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind”, the General Assembly would emphasize that mitigation and adaptation to climate change represent an immediate global priority. It would urge Member States to adopt environment-responsive approaches to COVID-19 recovery by aligning investments and policies with international agreements to speed up transition to low-emission, climate-resilient, inclusive and sustainable economies.
Addressing that draft, China’s delegate noted that adverse effects of climate change are becoming increasingly visible, highlighting the need for urgent climate action to combat it. The representative of Switzerland expressed regret that the resolution failed to faithfully reflect outcomes of the recent United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, calling on parties who haven’t done so to submit nationally determined contributions for climate finance.
Among other environmental drafts was one on “Combating sand and dust storms”, by which the Assembly would recognize that these hazards, as well as unsustainable land management practices, pose serious challenges to the development of affected regions. Recognizing that such storms have inflicted substantial economic, social and environmental damage to the world’s arid, semi-arid and dry subhumid areas in recent years, the Assembly would underscore the need to promptly address them.
The text was approved in a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Australia).
Several macroeconomic and financial drafts were approved, including one on “Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries”. By its terms, the Assembly would urge the international community to adopt measures to eliminate the use of unilateral economic, financial or trade measures unauthorized by relevant United Nations organs, inconsistent with international law and the Charter of the United Nations and contravening basic principles of the multilateral trading system.
Speaking to that draft, the representative of the United States said sanctions are an effective, legitimate and peaceful tool for countering threats to peace and security, used against those who threaten human rights, undermine democracy or engage in criminal activities. In contrast, the representative of Iran said unilateral coercive measures aiming to destroy a State’s economy constitute an act of war, passing the red line of terrorism and reaching crimes against humanity.
The text was approved in a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States), with 46 abstentions.
A further text on “Promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthening good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development” would have the Assembly call on countries to eliminate base erosion and profit shifting, ensuring that all companies, including multinationals, pay taxes to Governments of countries where economic activity occurs and value is created, according to national and international laws and policies.
Addressing that text, Nigeria’s delegate said illicit financial flows undermine security and inhibit growth, stressing the need for transparency and a redesigned global architecture to tackle them. Adding that such illicit flows need immediate action, she said evidence indicates that recovering and returning their proceeds could generate enough capital to finance the fight against climate change in sub-Saharan Africa by 2030.
A draft was also approved on “Agricultural technology for sustainable development”, by which the Assembly would urge Member States, United Nations organizations and other stakeholders to improve development of sustainable agricultural technologies and their transfer to developing countries. It would encourage international, regional and national efforts to strengthen capacity and foster using local know-how in developing countries, especially that of smallholder and family farmers.
The draft was approved in a recorded vote of 140 in favour to 1 against (Syria), with 34 abstentions.
On that text, Qatar’s delegate, speaking for the Arab Group, said Israel’s submission of the draft, as an occupying authority, is an odious attempt to hide its crimes against Palestinian agriculture and people. Syria’s representative similarly questioned Israel’s eligibility to submit the text, as it continues to hinder agriculture in the occupied Syrian Golan, confiscating land and prohibiting use of natural resources.
Slovenia’s delegate, speaking for the European Union, lauded the draft for addressing progress towards several Sustainable Development Goals, including “zero hunger”, responsible consumption, as well as production, and climate action. The representative of Israel noted that agricultural production and distribution have suffered heavy blows since the onset of COVID-19, stressing that technology is vital in addressing these new realities.
Drafts were also approved on information and communication technologies (ICT); investments for sustainable development; external debt; financing for development update; Environment Assembly; tourism; biological diversity; science, technology and innovation; least developed countries; and coastal zone management.
Draft decisions were approved on the Committee’s work plan for the General Assembly’s seventy-seventh session and two upcoming meetings in 2022.
Also speaking were the representatives of Venezuela, Cuba, Zimbabwe, United Kingdom, Eritrea, Sweden, Liechtenstein, Canada (speaking also for Australia and New Zealand), Republic of Korea, France, Belarus, Guatemala, Japan, Turkey, Antigua and Barbuda, India, Chile, Guinea (for the “Group of 77” developing countries and China), Russian Federation and Morocco. The Observer for the State of Palestine also made a statement.
In addition, a statement was made by Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs Maria-Francesca Spatolisano.
Action on Draft Resolutions
The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) first took up a draft on “Information and communications technologies (ICT) for sustainable development” (document A/C.2/76/L.56), approving it without a vote as orally corrected, withdrawing a previous draft.
By that text, the General Assembly would recognize that a lack of access to affordable and reliable technologies and services remains a critical challenge in many developing countries. All efforts should be deployed to reduce the price of ICT and broadband access, bearing in mind that deliberate interventions, including through research and development and technology transfer on mutually agreed terms, may be necessary to spur the development of lower-cost connectivity options.
Further to the draft, the Assembly would call upon all stakeholders to keep the goal of bridging digital divides an area of priority concern, put into effect sound strategies that contribute to the development of e-government and continue to focus on pro-poor ICT policies and applications, including access to broadband at the grass-roots level, with a view to narrowing the digital divides among and within countries and, in turn, build information and knowledge societies.
The representative of Switzerland said his country joined consensus on the draft, stressing that the enormous challenges in the digital area must be addressed without delay. A digital arena managed by various actors must be inclusive, he said, expressing regret that the draft did not reflect this in a more representative manner.
The representative of the European Union, speaking in its capacity as observer, said the bloc joined consensus, noting that the world during COVID-19 has seen an increase in reliance on digital technology, which has provided an important lifeline for the continuity of work and service delivery. However, this has not been enjoyed by all, she said, stressing that digital transformation must be harnessed for the resilient recovery of all, which was not adequately reflected in the resolution.
The representative of the United States emphasized that closing the digital divide is essential, stating that his country joined consensus on the draft. Regarding operative paragraphs 19 and 32, he referred delegates to the general statement the United States made on 18 November.
Next, it turned to a text on “International financial system and development” (document A/C.2/76/L.21/Rev.1), approving it in a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions.
By that text, the Assembly would stress the critical importance of a stable, inclusive and enabling global economic environment for the advancement of sustainable development, for the reliable and effective financing of development and for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, mobilizing public and private, as well as domestic and international resources.
Further to the draft, the Assembly would urge multilateral donors and invite the international financial institutions and regional development banks, within their respective mandates, to review and implement policies that support national efforts to ensure that a higher proportion of resources reach women and girls, particularly in rural and remote areas, and invites multilateral and regional development banks to agree on common indicators for analysing the gender impact of their lending.
Speaking after the vote, the representative of the United States said his country supports the 2030 Agenda and implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, but voted against the draft due to language that remains unchanged. His country disagrees with references to increasing protectionism, unfair market distorting actions and lack of coherence in the international trading and monetary systems. Moreover, the concessionality of assistance should be determined by the governing bodies of international institutions, he said, referring delegates to the United States statement of 18 November regarding the 2030 Agenda, illicit financial flows and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
The representative of France said he tried to vote in favour of the draft, but the ballot was not registered and should be recorded in the proceedings.
The representative of Iran said his country voted in favour of the draft, but due to references made to non-United Nations initiatives in operative paragraph 29, disassociates itself from that text.
The Committee then took up a draft on “External debt sustainability and development” (document A/C.76/L.55), approving it without a vote, withdrawing a previous text.
By that text, the Assembly would emphasize the special importance of timely, effective, comprehensive and durable solutions to the debt problems of developing countries to promote their economic growth and development.
Further to the draft, the Assembly would stress the need to continue to assist developing countries in avoiding a build-up of unsustainable debt to reduce the risk of relapsing into another debt crisis, considering the challenges posed by the global economic environment and risks for debt sustainability in some developed and developing countries.
The representative of the United States said the draft is particularly timely, as the economic impact of COVID-19 has increased debt risks and set back recovery for various nations. He added, however, that debt transparency is critical to maximize the benefit of relief and allow for fair burden sharing. Also, he said it is outside the scope of the draft to express concern over contracts, referring delegates to his country’s statement on 18 November regarding debt service, trade, technology transfer and debt-related frameworks.
Following that, it acted on a text on “Promoting investments for sustainable development” (document A/C.2/76/L.58), approving it without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.
By that text, the Assembly would note with concern that many of the least developed and small island developing States continue to be largely side-lined by foreign direct investment (FDI) that could help to diversify their economies, despite improvements in their investment climates. It would also note with concern the gap in access to capital for micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular for businesses led by women, young entrepreneurs and persons with disabilities.
Further to the draft, the Assembly would call upon the United Nations system and all relevant stakeholders to support the capacity-building of developing countries in their efforts to close the Sustainable Development Goals investment gaps, especially at the country programme level, and on the use of public finance to leverage private investment for projects benefiting sustainable development.
The representative of the United States said his country joined consensus on the draft, recognizing that FDI in developing countries is vital for sustainable development. Regarding its position on cross-cutting issues mentioned in the text, he referred delegates to his country’s general statement of 18 November.
The Committee then turned to a text on “Follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development” (document A/C.2/76/L.59), approving it without a vote, withdrawing a previous text.
By that text, the Assembly would emphasize the need to work towards the full and timely implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.
Further to that draft, the Assembly would recognize that, in combating the negative impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to achieve a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery, a functioning global financial safety net, with a strong, quota-based and adequately resourced International Monetary Fund (IMF) at its centre, is important to support a global economic recovery.
The representative of the United States referred delegates to his country’s general statement of 18 November regarding the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.
Next, it took up a draft on “Agricultural technology for sustainable development” (document A/C.2/76/L.20/Rev.1), approving it in a recorded vote of 140 in favour to 1 against (Syria), with 34 abstentions.
By that text, the Assembly would urge Member States, relevant United Nations organizations and other stakeholders to strengthen efforts to improve the development of sustainable agricultural technologies and their transfer and dissemination under mutually agreed terms to developing countries, especially those least developed and encourage international, regional and national efforts to strengthen capacity and foster the utilization of local know-how in developing countries, especially that of smallholder and family farmers.
Further to that draft, the Assembly would encourage Member States, civil society and public and private institutions to develop partnerships to support financial and market services, including training, capacity-building, infrastructure and extension and rural advisory services. It would also call for further efforts by all stakeholders to include smallholder farmers, in particular rural women and youth, in planning and in taking decisions about making appropriate sustainable agricultural technologies and practices accessible and affordable to them.
Before action, Qatar’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, said it had asked for a vote on the draft resolution and will abstain from voting as the “Group of 77” developing countries and China had submitted a draft resolution titled “agricultural technology, food security and nutrition” under agenda item 26, which is of the same substance. Thus, the draft resolution submitted by Israel is a waste of United Nations resources, he said, adding that such submission by Israel, while it is an occupying authority, is odious conduct and an attempt to hide its crimes against Palestinian agriculture and the Palestinian people. Stressing that Israel continues to destroy and waste the assets and resources of the Palestinian people, and has prevented the farming of land by Palestinians, he invited all States to abstain from voting.
Syria’s representative said the main sponsor of the draft resolution is not morally eligible to submit the text, as it continues to hinder the capacity of the Syrian people in the occupied Syrian Golan to use agriculture, which is their only means of survival, confiscating agricultural land and prohibiting them from using natural resources. Moreover, he said Israel continues to defy several resolutions which invite them to cease their nefarious practices that undermine all socioeconomic aspects of life. Noting that several United Nations reports describe how Israeli policy saps agricultural development, he said the resolution defies the truth reflected in those reports and, in that regard, his delegation would vote against it.
After action, Slovenia’s representative, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said it had voted in favour of the resolution as it directly addresses progress towards several Sustainable Development Goals, namely those relating to “zero hunger”, responsible consumption and production, and climate action, among others. Welcoming that the resolution highlights the impact of COVID‑19 on agriculture and food systems, she said recovery efforts present a unique opportunity to build back better and greener.
Israel’s representative said that since the onset of COVID‑19, agricultural production and distribution have suffered heavy blows, causing food prices to rise increasing global hunger and poverty. Meanwhile, as sea levels rise and weather becomes more extreme, climate change is destroying the future of farmers around the globe. Noting that employing technology is an absolute necessity to address those new realities, he said the resolution provides an opportunity to focus on innovation and technology that can help countries around the world. He said there are still Member States, such as Syria and Iran, who chose not to support the resolution out of antisemitism and contempt, as well as others who abstained from voting. He expressed hope that in the future politics will be pushed aside, noting that today’s vote marks an important step towards solving global issues and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals.
The representative of Belarus said her delegation voted in favour of the resolution due to the importance of agricultural technology for sustainable development and ensuring food security, especially in the context of the pandemic. Noting the importance of avoiding actions that could threaten food security, she said thoughtless sanctions and the use of unilateral economic restrictions against whole sectors of the economy linked to food are dragging populations of vulnerable countries to the brink of starvation. Stressing that the use of sanctions is futile, counterproductive and must be stopped, she referred the Committee to her country’s statement delivered on 22 November under agenda item 26.
The representative of the United States said his country remains committed to promoting agricultural development as a means to achieving sustainable development and joins consensus on the resolution. Regarding his country’s position on technology transfer and/or knowledge-sharing, he referred the Committee to his country’s general statement delivered on 18 November.
Iran’s representative pointed out that his country did not vote in favour of or against the resolution because it does not recognize the “so-called” State of Israel. Noting that “one of the participants” took others’ valuable time by misusing the Committee and raising baseless accusations, he requested the Chair to request that participant to respond to its own responsibilities under the agenda item.
Syria’s representative said Israel, the occupying Power, has “no shame” to have the audacity to attack another Member State and accuse it of lies, while it pretends to be a peace-loving nation looking to help others in need. The entire world has known the atrocities committed by Israel against the Palestinian and Syrian people for decades, he said.
The observer for the State of Palestine, associating himself with the Arab Group, said Israel, the occupying Power, continues to exploit the Committee’s platform by hiding behind key sustainable development issues to cover up its dreadful acts against Palestinian agriculture. Referring to both General Assembly and Security Council resolutions adopted in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said Israel has not respected any of them, adding that it is undermining the Palestinian economy and consolidating its apartheid regime over the Palestinian people. Addressing the representative of Israel, he said “you cannot change the history”, as everything is written in the United Nations archives.
The Committee then took up a draft on “Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central America” (document A/C.2/76/L.24/Rev.1), approving it without a vote.
By that text, the Assembly would recognize the major role that sustainable tourism plays in the development of Central American countries, as an instrument of social inclusion that generates decent jobs and improves the quality of life of the population, aimed at achieving poverty eradication.
Further to the draft, the Assembly would call upon Member States and the tourism sector to take effective measures, in the context of sustainable tourism, including ecotourism initiatives, to promote the equal participation of women and the balanced participation of youth, older persons, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and local communities, at all levels and in decision-making processes in all areas, and to promote effective economic empowerment, mainly through decent job and income creation.
Speaking after action, Guatemala’s representative said that her country, as pro tempore chair of the Central American Integration System, had submitted the resolution with the goal of further developing sustainable tourism, incentivizing economic growth, protecting biodiversity and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Given the region’s richness in majestic tourism locations, the resolution will serve as a benchmark for all stakeholders as they recover from the pandemic, especially those countries dependent on tourism.
Next, it turned to a text titled “Convention on Biological Diversity” (document A/C.2/76/L.54), approving it without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.
By that text, the Assembly would urge parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity to ensure the coherence and complementarity of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework with other existing or upcoming international processes, in particular regarding the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and other related processes, frameworks and strategies.
Further to the draft, the Assembly would note with concern the findings of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, and stress the urgent need to halt the global decline of biodiversity, which is unprecedented in human history, including its main indirect and direct drivers, in particular, changes in land and sea use, direct exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution and invasion of alien species.
Speaking after action, the representative of the United States said his country remains actively engaged in the work of the Convention on Biological Diversity and supports its objectives. Although it is not a party to the Convention, his country is following closely the process to negotiate the global biodiversity framework. Further, he said the title of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity does not reflect well-defined consensus language or international principles. Naming various declarations and agendas, he referred the Committee to his country’s general statement delivered on 18 November.
The representative of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, noting that it was joining consensus, said that protecting biodiversity is a prerequisite to building stronger economies and safeguarding well-being. For that reason, the Union has pledged to double its external funding for biodiversity protection and conservation, particularly for the most vulnerable countries. The international community must agree on an ambitious and transformative post-2020 global biodiversity framework in 2022, he said, pointing out that the pandemic has underscored the need to redefine mankind’s relationship with nature.
China’s representative said the first stage of the Fifteenth Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity was held in Kunming. China’s President attended the “summit” where he announced a contribution of RMB 1.5 billion to create a biodiversity fund of Kunming, a first set of national parks, and a policy system, including for carbon neutrality measures. Going forward, China as host country and chair of the Conference will work with the rest of the international community to push for biodiversity restoration. Referring to subsequent meetings that will take place in 2022, he said China will discharge earnestly its obligations as a host country to ensure the successful outcome of the second stage of the Conference.
Following that, the Committee acted on “Report of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)” (document A/C.1/76/L.53), approving it without a vote, withdrawing a previous text.
By that text, the Assembly would express concern about findings of global environmental assessments indicating that, despite the availability of solutions to common environmental challenges, the planet is increasingly polluted, adversely affected by climate change, quickly losing its biodiversity and experiencing widespread environmental degradation.
Further to the draft, the Assembly would urge support for a sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery from COVID-19 that protects the planet, stimulates sustainable consumption and production patterns, promotes the One Health approach, revitalizes economies, creates decent and sustainable jobs and makes real progress in eradicating poverty, while enhancing future resilience to similar challenges.
Speaking after action, the representative of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, said his bloc was pleased to join consensus and looks forward to the convening of the resumed meeting of the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly. The resolution sends a strong message on the need to mainstream the environment in the United Nations system, and should mobilize Member States, the United Nations system, and other stakeholders in view of the important milestones ahead. He called on the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly to launch negotiations of an intergovernmental instrument to end plastic pollution. Looking ahead to the second part of the Fifteenth Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity as well as other environment-related events in 2022, he expressed hope that an ambitious post-biodiversity framework would be adopted.
The representative of the United States said his country strongly supports UNEP and its critical role in galvanizing action to solve many of the world’s environmental problems, adding that it was pleased to join consensus on the resolution. Regarding the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, he referred to his country’s statement of 18 November.
Next, the Committee turned to a text on “Combating sand and dust storms” (document A/C.2/76/L.36/Rev.1), approving it, as orally corrected, in a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Australia).
By that text, the Assembly would recognize that sand and dust storms, as well as unsustainable land management practices, can pose a serious challenge to the sustainable development of affected countries and regions. Also recognizing that they have inflicted over the past few years substantial economic, social and environmental damage on inhabitants of the world’s arid, semi-arid and dry subhumid areas, especially in Africa and Asia, the Assembly would underscore the need to treat them and promptly take measures to address these challenges.
Speaking before action, Israel’s representative, expressed regret about the call for a vote on the resolution, noting that the draft recalls a United Nations high-level event that had already taken place. The language used does not reflect the language used in the modalities resolution for that event or the language used in the first resolution following the event. It was especially disturbing that the language used is an attempt to rewrite history, deliberately misrepresenting a previously adopted resolution, she said, expressing hope that 2022 will allow the Committee to engage constructively on the resolution.
Speaking after action, the representative of the United States reiterated that the title of the Fifteenth Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity does not reflect well-defined consensus language or international principles. He expressed regret that the compromise language regarding that text as reflected in other resolutions and agreed during negotiations was removed from the final text. Regarding references to the 2030 Agenda, the Sendai Framework and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, he referred the Committee to his country’s general statement of 18 November.
The Committee then took up a draft on “Science, technology and innovation for sustainable development” (document A/C.2/76/L.60), approving it without a vote, withdrawing a previous text.
By its terms, the Assembly would underscore the need to adopt science, technology and innovation strategies as integral elements of national sustainable development plans and strengthen knowledge-sharing on mutually agreed terms and collaboration, scaling up investment in these areas and enhancing technical, vocational and tertiary education and training. Further, it would encourage Member States to strengthen and foster investment in research and development for environmentally sound technologies and promote the involvement of business and financial sectors in developing them.
Further to the text, the Assembly would call on Member States and the United Nations development system to strengthen their support for different science, technology and innovation partnerships with developing countries in primary, secondary and higher, vocational and continuing education, business opportunities for the private sector, and science, technology and innovation infrastructure.
The representative of the United States said his delegation joined consensus, but viewed a reference in preambular paragraph 18 to the Digital Cooperation Organization as representing only one example of multilateral activities outside of the United Nations system relevant to that paragraph. As there are many other organizations doing similar work, the United States does not view the reference as a relevant example, nor does it elevate that organization over other regional organizations. He also pointed out that the reference in operative paragraph 17 refers to “other relevant initiatives” as voluntary initiatives only. Citing other paragraphs, he referred the Committee to the general statement delivered on 18 November.
The representative of the United Kingdom said her delegation joined consensus, but addressed Committee modalities, noting that time spent contesting procedure rather than engaging on substance took away Committee time and resources that could have otherwise addressed how science, technology and innovation affect sustainable development. While pleased to see strong human rights language in that preambular paragraph, she expressed regret at the lack of greater emphasis on a multi-stakeholder approach.
The representative of the Republic of Korea joined consensus, acknowledging that the resolution recognizes the critical role of science, technology and innovation in building resilience to, combating and building back from the pandemic. He welcomed the inclusion of a paragraph affirming that recognizing that human rights offline must apply online as well, expressing support for a human rights-based approach to digital technology.
The representative of Japan said her delegation joined consensus, and it is essential that the technology facilitation mechanism functions agilely to help all Member States learn and collaborate, but noted it is underfunded, with untapped potential. She welcomed reference to “partnership in action” in operative paragraph 10 as a concrete recommendation.
Following that, the Committee took up a draft on “Follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries” (document A/C.2/76/L.57), approving it without a vote, withdrawing a previous text.
According to that draft, the Assembly would call on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to focus its analytical work on least developed countries, emphasizing productive capacities and measuring structural transformation. It would also urge least developed countries and their development partners to use existing initiatives and programmes, such as World Trade Organization (WTO) decisions on duty-free and quota-free market access for least developed countries, preferential rules of origin and aid for trade.
The representative of the United States said his country is committed to supporting least developed countries, including through the ongoing Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries negotiations. He noted the United States does not accept language in operative paragraph 12 calling on countries to increase their official development assistance (ODA) commitments, as emphasis should be on all other forms of development finance. He noted the terms “adequate” and “predictable” in operative paragraph 29 have no internationally agreed definitions, and more inclusive terms should be used. He further referred the Committee to his country’s general statement of 18 November.
The representative of Canada, also speaking for Bangladesh, Co-Chairs of the Preparatory Committee bureau for the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, noted Committee negotiations took place under challenging circumstances. She looked forward to resuming deliberations in support of the least developed countries during the next United Nations General Assembly session.
The representative of the United Kingdom said her delegation joined consensus, but expressed disappointment that Committee modalities were often challenged by deletions, treatment of language from an Economic and Social Council resolution as a source text and technical updates. Those activities necessitated convening small groups on procedure rather than substance. She expressed hope that Member States will seize a once in a decade opportunity to strengthen global partnerships, as it is critical that the most vulnerable are placed at the core of commitments.
The representative of the Turkey said that due to Committee modalities, delegates were unable to discuss any substantive issues, voicing hope for substantive discussions in 2022.
The Committee then turned to a text on “Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries” (document A/C.2/76/L.16/Rev.1), approving it in a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States) with 46 abstentions.
By its terms, the Assembly would urge the international community to adopt urgent and effective measures to eliminate the use of unilateral economic, financial or trade measures, unauthorized by relevant United Nations organs, inconsistent with international law or the Charter of the United Nations or which contravene basic principles of the multilateral trading system.
Further, the Assembly would call on the international community to condemn and reject the use of such measures as political and economic coercion against developing countries that impede full achievement of economic and social development. It would also call on the international community to condemn and reject imposition of unilateral coercive economic measures inconsistent with international law and the Charter, which impede the capacity of targeted countries to respond efficiently to the pandemic and promote post-pandemic recovery.
The representative of the United States, speaking before the vote, said his delegation again opposed the resolution, as sanctions are an effective, legitimate and peaceful tool for countering threats to peace and security, used against those who threaten human rights, undermine democracy or engage in criminal activities. The United States has applied them with specific goals in mind, including protecting the rule of law and human rights. The country also works to minimize unintended consequences, as in tailoring sanctions on Syria and Venezuela, in view of the pandemic. The United States is the leading donor of humanitarian assistance to both countries, providing billions of dollars, and will continue to tailor sanctions to support the flow of legitimate humanitarian goods and assistance. Sanctions are a legitimate way to achieve foreign policy, national security and international objectives, he noted, and the United States is not alone in that view.
The representative of Venezuela, speaking on behalf of the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations, said unilateral coercive measures, be they economic or political, have become the preferred instrument of certain States to exert pressure on developing countries, and force the sovereign will of another State to obtain advantage over them. They clearly run contrary to spirit and letter of Charter of the United Nations, he said, as these illegal measures attack sustainable development and are also an obstacle to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. He reiterated that increasing recourse to unilateralism impacts the independence of States and their freedom of trade, economic development and efforts to fight the pandemic. They impose pain and suffering on entire populations and should be lifted.
The representative of Slovenia, speaking on behalf of the European Union after the vote, lamented the difficult negotiation process. The bloc abstained due to deterioration of the text compared to previous iterations, leading away from consensus. She noted the Union believes restrictive measures are an important tool in fighting terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. States hold the primary responsibility to protect human rights. Many transgressions are unacceptable and ending them is a key worldwide priority for the bloc. She noted sanctions should respect the principles of international law, with measures imposed in that context. She expressed regret that none of the bloc’s proposals were taken on board. The European Union and its Member States are the leading donor of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, including to States under sanctions. She objected to several formulations in the text.
The representative of Cuba, associating himself with the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations, noted the loss of access to international markets under unilateral coercive measures, and that a heightening of unilateral coercive measures against a number of countries attacks sovereignty and independence of States, and stymies national efforts at development. Those initiatives aim to cause economic and political problems, with no distinction between Governments and populations, attacking the most vulnerable. Cuba has been the victim of the most severe and prolonged coercive measures ever applied against any country, he stressed, causing $9.175 billion in damages from 2019 to 2020 alone. Those measures have been tightened during pandemic, despite calls by Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to lift them. He noted the United States once again opposed the resolution, showing its disdain for developing countries.
The representative of Zimbabwe, associating herself with the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations, said her delegation voted in favour of the draft, as unilateral coercive measures transgress international law. Given their extraterritorial nature, they severely impede the socioeconomic advancement of developing countries. Zimbabwe is still suffering under sanctions imposed some 20 years ago, she emphasized, impacting all sectors of its economy. While sanctions are characterized as targeted, she noted, under the pandemic, their effects are more odious, calling for the immediate and unconditional lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe and other nations.
The representative of the United Kingdom, also speaking on behalf of Australia, Canada and Ukraine, said sanctions are a legitimate tool of foreign policy. The Governments cited voted against the resolution for first time, after having long disagreed with its sentiment and abstaining in previous years. She noted this year’s resolution mischaracterizes sanctions, with no mention that humanitarian exemptions can ensure that sanctions can avoid affecting food, medicine and other aid. They are lawful, transparent and allow for due process protections, with no inconsistency with the Charter of the United Nations.
The representative of China said his delegation voted in favour of the draft. With COVID-19 especially affecting developing countries, the international community must work with more urgency for momentum on development. In recent years, some developing countries have experienced instability fuelled by external interference, he said, and unilateral coercive measures run contrary to the trend of the times and the Charter. No country should coerce another, and the international community must eliminate unilateral or trade measures affecting developing countries. Unilateral coercive measures and the bullying of certain countries do not help solve problems, he said, urging the relevant countries to immediately and completely abolish them.
The representative of Eritrea, associating herself with the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations, welcomed the resolution, as it is deplorable to witness foreign policy conducted using unilateral coercive measures mainly against developing countries that pursue independence efforts. Illegal unilateral coercive measures are packaged as targeted, she noted, as though they do not adversely affect States. Whether targeted or not, they have no legitimacy, she said, urging those States imposing them to refrain, as “our realities are not those of yours.”
The representative of Iran, associating himself with the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations, said unilateral coercive measures including sanctions are illegal under international law and the Charter, representing a clear violation of the right to self-determination. Unilateral coercive measures aiming to destroy economy and living standards of a State constitute an act of war, as the effects are analogous. Even if they do not affect humanitarian aid, as alleged by some States, he stressed excluding some States from the international banking system is harmful. Imposing unilateral coercive measures, including illegal economic sanctions, including against some countries suffering under the pandemic, passes the redline of economic terrorism, reaching the level of crimes against humanity.
The representative of Sweden said she had intended to abstain, asking for that vote to be corrected or reflected in the report of the meeting.
Next, the Committee took up a draft on “Promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthening good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development” (document A/C.2/76/L.28/Rev.1), approving operative paragraph 3 in a recorded vote of 116 in favour to 41 against, with 7 abstentions (Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Turkey).
The Committee then approved the draft as a whole, without a vote.
By that text, the Assembly would call on all countries to work together to eliminate base erosion and profit shifting and ensure that all companies, including multinationals, pay taxes to Governments of countries where economic activity occurs and value is created, according to national and international laws and policies.
The Assembly would also call on countries to cooperate, according to applicable bilateral or multilateral agreements, in the areas of mutual legal and administrative assistance in tax matters, as well as the automatic exchange of financial account information. Further it would stress that anti-corruption measures should be an integral part of national development policies and strategies.
The representative of the United States, speaking on operative paragraph 3, said fighting corruption is integral to development and security. However, the language undermines constructive work, and his delegation disassociated itself from operative paragraph 3. The United Nations Convention against Corruption is the appropriate venue for experts to consider confiscation and the proceeds from crimes, and the resolution undermines its work. He expressed concern over the endorsement of the High-level Panel on International Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity, as the document was not approved by consensus and is not a United Nations document. He also reiterated that some language undermines working against money laundering, corruption and other such crimes. The resolution is not clear on which activities are in question, and does not pay enough attention to transparency, and his delegation does not believe asset recovery should be so directly coupled with sustainable development. He referred the Committee to his country’s statement of 18 November regarding the term “illicit financial flows”.
The representative of the United Kingdom expressed disappointment that the resolution ended up with a paragraph vote containing language the delegation cannot accept. Since 2006, the United Kingdom has frozen, confiscated or returned over £1.1 billion in assets stolen from developing countries. It is not appropriate for the Committee to engage with Faculty Panel, she stated, as it has no official United Nations mandate. She noted the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption will soon meet and is the correct forum for dealing with illicit financing. She expressed hope that, when negotiating the resolution in 2022, the Committee can reach more consensus.
The representative of Liechtenstein said combating illicit financing has been a longstanding priority for his country, but his delegation disassociated from operative paragraph 3 in 2020 as the faculty panel is not endorsed by United Nations membership, and voted against it in 2021. It is misleading that the resolution confuses asset recovery with asset return, he said, and his delegation will still advocate for the Convention on Corruption framework. He encouraged the bi-annualization or tri-annualization of the resolution.
The representative of Canada, also speaking on behalf of Australia and New Zealand, expressed concern over future trends in negotiations on the resolution. Those delegations abstained on operative paragraph 3 over concerns with the substance and process of negotiation. He noted the recent addition of substantive elements, and request for a Secretary-General’s report on the resolution duplicates the request for the Convention on Corruption report. Amendments to the draft were not technical updates and deserved further deliberation, he said, and the Committee could have achieved a better text with modalities respected.
The representative of Switzerland said that his country did not support all recommendations in operative paragraph 3, noting that the definition of illicit financial flows remains open. Elements of corruption require different approaches, and instruments already exist. Creating new coordination bodies will not help implement instruments, he said, and his delegation could not then support the text of operative paragraph 3. A lack of consensus makes efforts in the future more difficult.
The representative of Nigeria said her delegation attaches great importance to “L.28/Rev.1”, as illicit financial flows undermine the security of nations and inhibit growth. In addressing international financial flows, there is a need for transparency and integrity, and a redesigned global architecture to combat them, including establishing of an international ecosystem of laws and institutions. The challenges require taking immediate action, and it was therefore disappointing to see the need for a vote on operative paragraph 3. She expressed appreciation for the flexibility shown by the Group of 77 on the financial action task force referenced in the resolution, and lamented that fractures in the international community appear to be widening. She noted that evidence indicates that recovery and returning proceeds of illicit financial flows of assets could generate enough capital to finance the fight against climate change in Sub Saharan Africa by 2030.
The representative of the Republic of Korea expressed regret that a wholly consensual outcome was not possible. His delegation abstained on operative paragraph 3, while attaching significance to combating illicit financial flows. However, he was not entirely satisfied with the paragraph’s contents for several reasons, noting concern over a vague reference to illicit financial flows, and stating there is no shortage of commitments, mechanisms or bodies tackling components of illicit financial flows, including tax, corruption and criminal activities.
The representative of Sweden said that her country intended to vote no on operative paragraph 3, asking that the record be corrected accordingly.
The representative of Slovenia, speaking on behalf of the European Union on resolution as a whole, said financial integrity is a priority for Sustainable Development Goals. The bloc voted against operative paragraph 3, as the initiative was not as inclusive as hoped. The Faculty Panel report only reflects the views of its members, who did not even agree amongst themselves, she noted. Some language threatens to weaken support for existing bodies and instruments, she said, and the bloc disassociated itself from operative paragraph 3.
Following that, the Committee turned to a draft on “Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind” (document A/C.2/76/L.19/Rev.1), rejecting an amendment to paragraph 10 in a recorded vote of 84 against to 62 in favour, with 11 abstentions. It decided to retain the paragraph in a recorded vote of 96 in favour to 51 against, with 9 abstentions (Antigua-Barbuda, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Fiji, Haiti, Honduras, Maldives).
The Committee then approved the draft as a whole, without a vote.
By that text, the Assembly would express profound alarm that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise globally, remains deeply concerned that all countries are vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change and are already experiencing an increase in such impacts. Noting that these include persistent drought, extreme weather events, land degradation, sea level rise, coastal erosion, ocean acidification and retreat of mountain glaciers, the Assembly would emphasize that mitigation of and adaptation to climate change represent an immediate and urgent global priority.
Further to the text, the Assembly would urge Member States to adopt a climate- and environment-responsive approach to COVID‑19 recovery, including by aligning investments and domestic policies with the 2030 Agenda, Paris Agreement goals and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to accelerate a transition to low-emission, climate-resilient, inclusive and sustainable economies.
Also by the text, the Assembly would stress the need to strengthen the global response to climate change by increasing countries’ abilities to adapt to its adverse effects, fostering resilience, accelerating full implementation of the 2030 Agenda and integrating appropriate measures into national policies, strategies and planning. It would further stress the importance of mobilizing means of implementation from all sources, including adequate financial support for mitigation and adaptation, considering the specific needs and special circumstances of developing countries.
Speaking before the vote, the representative of the European Union, speaking in its capacity as observer, said her bloc joined consensus on the draft, despite major deficiencies in the text. Regarding operative paragraph 30, she expressed regret that progress made at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow was not fully reflected in the text, including provisions on transparency and climate finance.
The representative of the United States said the draft’s language in operative paragraph 10 deflects away from the key Sustainable Development Goals, urging Member States to vote yes for the amendment.
Speaking after the vote, the representative of Antigua and Barbuda said his country hoped for consensus on the amendment to ensure that the agreed language in it is maintained, as the amendment was taken from the 2030 Agenda, stating that he abstained from the vote.
The representative of India stressed that developed countries must not neglect their obligations on climate financing, mitigation and adaptation to developing countries. Regarding operative paragraph 10, she lamented that a nation used this to propagate its own agenda, noting that no constructive engagement was made on this paragraph.
The representative of Chile stressed that the outcomes of the Glasgow conference must be fully implemented, especially regarding climate finance and long-term finance, expressing regret that no consensus was achieved on this crucial matter.
The representative of China noted that the adverse effects of climate change are increasingly visible, stressing the urgency for climate action. The Glasgow Climate Change Conference made positive progress, injecting new impetus into the Paris Agreement. The international community should build on this momentum to promote climate mitigation and adaptation in a balanced manner, with developed countries providing the funding.
The representative of Guinea, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77, called on all members of his to vote no to the amendment to operative paragraph 10.
Addressing the draft as a whole, the representative of the Russian Federation stressed the need to ensure consensus on climate issues and adherence to the Paris Agreement. The text should have reflected forests and absorption of greenhouse gases more, he said, expressing regret that the draft failed to do this.
The representative of the United States said his country joined consensus on the draft, but expressed regret that it must disassociate from operative paragraph 10, which promoted a domestic priority of a Member State rather than the 2030 Agenda. He also expressed disappointment in the final language, which failed to reflect the ambition and outcomes of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference.
The representative of the United Kingdom, noting the ambitious and balanced outcome from the Glasgow conference, stressed the importance of all nations coming together on critical steps to protect the climate. The draft contains agreed language on finance and post-2025 finance goals, but fails to include fully updated language as contained in the Glasgow climate platform.
The representative of Switzerland expressed regret that the resolution failed to faithfully reflect the outcomes of the Glasgow conference, calling on parties who have not submitted nationally determined contributions to do so as soon as possible. Stressing the need to make financial flows compatible with low emissions, he called on all to support the development of technology and policies to ensure a transition to low energy systems.
The representative of Canada, also speaking for Norway, Iceland, New Zealand and Australia, expressed disappointment that the Committee was unable to avoid a paragraph vote, stressing that countries must set aside their differences on climate issues.
The Committee then turned to a draft on “Strengthening cooperation for integrated coastal zone management for achieving sustainable development” (document A/C.2/76/L.38/Rev.1), approving it without a vote.
By that text, the Assembly would emphasize that coastal areas are an essential ecological and economic resource, noting that their management and planning, from a sustainable development perspective, need an integrated management approach. It would call on Member States and other actors at the local, national, regional and international levels to address the problem of marine litter, including plastic litter and microplastics, which impacts coastal management.
Further to the text, the Assembly would call on Member States to reduce the level of pollution of coastal areas and protect marine ecosystems and coastal areas in the long term. It would also call on them to develop partnerships allowing the exchange of good practices in integrated coastal zone management, marine spatial planning and the implementation of sustainable economic models and approaches, considering that international cooperation to implement marine spatial planning can contribute to the maintenance of ecosystem integrity and improve the economic profitability of marine management and the use of resources.
Morocco’s representative, introducing the draft resolution, said the text is a strong illustration of how coastal economies can contribute to sustainable development and to a resilient recovery from COVID‑19. The resolution aims to celebrate efforts made by all Member States, including those without coastal exposure in order to enhance their participation in global trade. It also has enabled the interlinking of various pillars of international cooperation, including North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation. He said his country has adopted a coastal law in 2015, followed by the establishment of a national commission on integrated coastal management, enabling considerable measures in areas such as energy efficiency, public transport and water management. He invited Member States to approve the text by consensus, noting that the resolution is a collective effort for sustainable development.
After action, the representative of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, said his bloc welcomes the resolution, especially the call made therein to address the problem of marine litter and reduce the level of pollution in coastal areas. He warned that without a change in approach, the amount of plastic that ends up in oceans could triple by 2040 to 29 million tons per year. In that regard, he called upon the resumed session of the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly in February to launch negotiations of a much-needed intergovernmental instrument to end plastic pollution. Referring to preambular paragraph 2, which was not open for negotiations in 2021, he said that, while his bloc joins consensus, the omnibus resolution on oceans and law of the sea is and should remain the authoritative source of any reference to the Convention on the Law of the Sea in resolutions of the General Assembly. His bloc’s joining consensus in 2021 does not imply support for language in that preambular paragraph for other resolutions in the future.
Colombia’s representative said his country’s commitment to strengthening cooperation for integrated coastal zone management is evidenced in his Government’s recent announcement at the twenty-sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of the extension of its protected marine areas in the East Pacific to 16 million hectares. Noting that while Colombia joins consensus, he said that, with respect to preambular paragraph 2, his country had not ratified the Convention on the Law of the Sea, the provisions of which are not effective nor enforceable against Colombia. As his country does not view that the convention represents the only legal framework regulating ocean activities, it expresses reservation to the reference to that instrument, which is included in the resolution.
The representative of the United States said his country strongly supports the sustainable use and management of coastal zones and marine ecosystems, as well as the launch of negotiations for a global legal instrument on ocean and plastic pollution, at the second session of the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly. While his country joined consensus, regarding references to the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, he referred the Committee to its statement delivered on 18 November.
Japan’s representative said that while his delegation decided to join consensus, it regrets that the oral statement by the Secretariat in connection with operative paragraph 14 implying a proposed programme budget for 2023 was issued and circulated after the final informal consultations, without prior information sharing or discussion on the matter. He expressed hope that important aspects, such as programme budgetary implications, would be discussed in detail during informal discussions among Member States for transparency purposes going forward.
The representative of the United Kingdom said that the topic is of particular interest to his country in its role as president of the twenty-sixth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and leader of the Global Ocean Alliance. With respect to preambular paragraph 2, which was not open for negotiation or amendment, he said his country’s preferred language to refer to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea is contained in a long-standing paragraph accepted in the Committee. After reading that preferred language, he said his country does not consider that language in preambular paragraph 2 would be an appropriate basis for future negotiations.
Turkey’s representative, said that while her country joins consensus and supports efforts to strengthen cooperation on coastal management, it is not a party to the Convention on the Law of the Sea. That convention is not the only legal framework that regulates all activities in the ocean and sea. She said Turkey disassociates itself form references made in the resolution to that convention and those references should not be interpreted as a change in the legal position of her country on that matter.
Iran’s representative said that while her country joins consensus, it is not a party to the Convention on the Law of the Sea and thus disassociates itself from all references made in the resolution to that convention, especially in preambular paragraph 2.
Morocco’s representative, expressing appreciation for the consensus reached on the resolution, assured Japan’s representative that his comments had been taken into account and would also be taken into consideration in the future.
Next, the Committee took up a decision on “Draft programme of work of the Second Committee for the seventy-seventh session of the General Assembly” (document A/C.2/76/L.61), approving it without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.
By that text, the Assembly would approve the Committee’s draft programme of work for its seventy-seventh session of the Assembly. It would further invite the Second Committee Bureau at the seventy-seventh session, in preparing the draft programme of work and timetable of the Committee for the seventy-seventh session, to consider the provisional programme of work and timetable of the Committee as contained in document A/C.2/76/CRP.2.
Speaking before action, the representative of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, said that a revitalized fit-for-purpose Committee is necessary to address new and emerging challenges. Bound by this year’s modalities, her bloc had not attempted to make further progress on revitalization during negotiations on Committee resolutions. However, it is of utmost importance to keep revitalization of the Committee on its agenda now and in the future, she said, adding that the June 2021 revitalization decision contains many important proposals that would serve as a good basis for progress.
Canada’s representative, speaking also on behalf of Andorra, Australia, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Liechtenstein, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Republic of Korea and the United Kingdom, said the Committee must continue to adapt to current realities and challenges. Their delegations had voiced strong concerns about resolutions that do not currently align with the landmark agreements of 2015, particularly the 2030 Agenda. They had also expressed support to merge resolutions when appropriate, adapt the periodicity of resolutions and to actively consider co-authorship. Noting that the Committee is at a turning point on revitalization, he said the same collaboration and discipline that allowed it to complete its work during the current session, could be used to ensure the Committee also delivers to Member States a sustainable, inclusive and resilient recovery towards achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
The representative of the United States said it was important to continue discussions on revitalization of the Committee, noting progress made over the last two years. The Committee’s decision on revitalization in June contains important proposals that could serve as a good basis for further progress. Noting that there are useful tools that the Committee could adopt to better focus its work, he suggested exploring the possibility of delegations submitting a justification for the introduction or continued consideration of resolutions, indicating how a resolution would support the work of the Committee. Moreover, his delegation is open to considering creative ideas to ensure that the Committee delivers to all its citizens.
The Committee then took up a draft decision on its working methods, approving it without a vote. The decision reads as follows:
“The General Assembly recalls its resolution 75/325 on “Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly”, in particular the provisions relating to working methods, as well as its decisions 75/548B and 73/537B on “Revitalization of the work of the Second Committee”, decides to convene up to two informal meetings of the Second Committee in early 2022 to discuss the working methods of the Committee, and requests the Bureau of the Committee to update the conference room paper on Second Committee working methods, following those discussions.”
The Committee then took up and concluded consideration of its item on “Programme planning”.
Maria-Francesca Spatolisano, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, said that, despite the limitations posed by the pandemic, the Committee had reached a clear agreement on its methods of work. Recognizing the severe negative impacts of the pandemic on human health, safety and well-being, as well as on lives and livelihoods, the Committee had also provided relevant guidance to current global challenges, examples of which could be found in many of the resolutions it had recently approved. Policy guidance on the challenges faced by groups of countries in special situations was also provided by the Committee, calling for the convening in 2024 of a fourth international conference on small island developing States, as well as deciding to hold the third United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries, also in 2024. As well, the Committee provided guidance on important topics, such as biological diversity, coastal zone management, and sustainable consumption and production patterns. Noting the Committee’s efficient work during this session, she said the Department of Economic and Social Affairs remains committed to support the Second Committee, as it continues to advance the realization of the 2030 Agenda in the decade of action and delivery.
The Chair said that, given the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Committee had carefully prepared a set of modalities on how to engage with each other over the course of a few months and managed to ensure that its conclusions fell into place with those of the Twenty-Sixth United Nations Climate Change Conference. Further, the Committee managed to respond to the guidance of the Secretary-General’s Food Systems Summit and agreed to start planning for reviewing the work on landlocked developing and small island developing States in 2024, she said, noting that those were not small accomplishments under difficult circumstances. She expressed gratitude to the Bureau, noting that it was first all-women Bureau of the Second Committee in history. She also thanked the facilitators and co-facilitators of resolutions, whose efforts brought together the views of all delegations in the 37 draft resolutions that the Committee had recently approved, as well as the United Nations Offices and the Secretariat for their support. Finally, she thanked delegations for taking the guidance on modalities in stride and for their commitment to engaging efficiently, allowing the Committee to complete its work.