Seventy-seventh Session,
77th Meeting (AM)

General Assembly Proclaims 12 July International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms, Aiming to Raise Awareness about Importance for Health, Sustainability

Delegates Also Elect 19 Member States to Economic and Social Council

Stressing the need for global and regional cooperation to manage and mitigate the effects of sand and dust storms, the General Assembly today adopted by consensus a resolution establishing 12 July as International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms, to be observed annually.

The text titled “International Day of Combating Sand and Dust Storms” was adopted under the agenda item on sustainable development: combating sand and dust storms.

By the resolution, the Assembly also invited all Member States and other relevant stakeholders to observe that International Day, in an appropriate manner and in accordance with national priorities, through education and activities aimed at raising public awareness of the importance of combating such storms for human health and well-being; the promotion of sustainable land use and management; enhancing food security and resilience to climate change; and sustainable livelihoods.

Further, the Assembly stressed that the cost of all activities that may arise from the implementation of the resolution should be met from voluntary contributions, including from the private sector.

The representative of Cuba, introducing the text on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, underscored that resilient action to combat and reduce sand and dust storms requires a better understanding of their severe multidimensional impacts on people and the environment.  The draft proposal was based on operative paragraph 19 of the Assembly’s resolution wherein it decided to consider during its seventy-seventh session the measures required to designate such a day to further raise awareness of sand and dust storms (document A/RES/77/171), he said, thanking Iraq for its role as coordinator and facilitator and voicing hope that it would be adopted by consensus.

Turning to the election of members of the Economic and Social Council, the Assembly first elected Türkiye to fill the seat for Western European and other States, relinquished by Greece.  Its term of office will begin on 1 January 2024 and end on 31 December 2025.  For the one seat remaining to be filled for Eastern European States, the Assembly determined that it would continue with the series of balloting on a date to be announced because neither North Macedonia nor the Russian Federation attained two-thirds majority.

The Assembly then, in one round of voting, elected 18 members of the Economic and Social Council to three-year terms to replace those members whose terms of office expire on 31 December 2023.  It elected Kenya, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia for the African States; Japan, Nepal and Pakistan for the Asia-Pacific States; Poland for the Eastern European States; Haiti, Paraguay, Suriname and Uruguay for the Latin American and Caribbean States; and France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Spain and the United Kingdom for the Western European and other States.  All terms of office will begin on 1 January 2024 and end on 31 December 2026.

The General Assembly will meet again on Monday, 12 June, at 10 a.m. to discuss implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the political declarations on HIV/AIDS and to take action on a draft resolution titled “International Day of the Arabian Leopard”.

For information media. Not an official record.