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General Assembly

As the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today took up the proposed financing for 29 special political missions for 2011, some delegates warned of the problems posed by the expanding and fluctuating financial demands those missions were placing on the Organization’s budget resources, an impact even seen in the outline presented today by Secretariat officials for the 2012-2013 budget cycle.
The surge in demand for humanitarian assistance in often high-risk environments — geared to support the growing numbers affected by the increase in frequency, scale and scope of emergencies — required effective, sustained and well-financed intervention by the international community, said delegates today during the General Assembly’s annual wide-ranging debate on strengthening the United Nations coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance.
Decolonization was a remarkable but incomplete chapter in the history of the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said today as he marked the fiftieth anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by calling on the international community to remain committed to making good on its promise to end colonialism, once and for all.
Capping a day of debate aimed at forging a flexible and effective shared response to the present complex political, economic and social challenges, the General Assembly today adopted a raft of consensus texts urging more cooperation — among States and between the United Nations and various regions and treaty bodies — on everything from environmental management and transit construction to the broader spheres of trade, economic integration, security and peacebuilding.
Acting on the recommendation of its Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), the General Assembly this morning adopted 27 resolutions and 1 decision, nine among them concerning the Arab-Israeli conflict, by which it deemed “extremely detrimental” Israeli settlement policies and activities on efforts to resume and advance the peace process and on its credibility.
The Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today took up the Secretariat’s request for an assessment of $652.5 million to finance the ongoing operations of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). This assessment would make up the second portion of the $1.36 billion, approved by the General Assembly with its 24 June resolution 64/275, for the Mission’s operation from 1 July 2010 to the end of next June.
Calling for more attention to health as an important policy issue on the international agenda, especially in meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, the General Assembly today recognized that challenges in global health demanded persistent attention, urged States to consider health in the formulation of foreign policy and requested the Secretary-General and World Director-General to submit a report to the next session on “improving the effectiveness of governance for global health”.
The General Assembly today noted with satisfaction the establishment of a new strategic relationship between the Russian Federation and the United States and the desire of the two countries to bring their respective nuclear postures into alignment with that new relationship, as well as their endeavour to reduce further the role and importance of nuclear weapons, according to one of 58 resolutions and decisions it adopted on the recommendation of its First Committee.
Stressing the international community’s responsibility to address the needs of Palestinian refugees and expressing alarm over the chronic funding shortfall of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) set up to support them, 20 donors this morning pledged approximately $214 million to UNRWA for 2011, and several more indicated their contributions would be forthcoming.