General Assembly

Pending a negotiated prohibition on the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, controlling the fissile material holdings of key nuclear-weapon States, in a way that served the strategic interests of all concerned, would go far to curb nuclear weapons proliferation and prevent nuclear terrorism by non-State actors, the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) heard today, as it entered the second week of its general debate for the session.
Ion Botnaru, Director of the General Assembly and Economic and Social Council Affairs Division in the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, briefed correspondents today on the rules of procedure for tomorrow’s election of five non-permanent members of the Security Council.
As the Fourth Committee continued its general debate on decolonization issues today, delegations praised the progress that had been made towards self-determination in the Pacific region, while expressing frustration with the scant progress towards reducing the number overall of United Nations-listed Non-Self-Governing Territories, including Western Sahara.

The degree of damage caused by the criminal misconduct of United Nations personnel on mission made it urgent to adopt a convention on the matter as soon as possible, the delegate of the Democratic Republic of the Congo urged today as the Sixth Committee took up the question of criminal accountability of such officials and experts on mission for the Organization.

Against a backdrop of the widely-held view that more than 20,000 nuclear weapons still existed in the world today, legally binding negative security assurances, or promises that nuclear-weapon States would never use those weapons against those countries that did not have them, and a verifiable and irreversible nuclear weapons convention were sure ways to motivate the “marathon towards global zero”, the Disarmament Committee heard today in the course of its debate.
As part of its ongoing efforts to strengthen the accountability and transparency of United Nations activities, delegates to the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) today expressed strong support for the work of the two crucial oversight bodies — the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), and the Independent Audit Advisory Committee — as it took up their wide-ranging annual reports.
Pressed to conclude their work over the next two years, top officials from the United Nations war crimes Tribunals investigating atrocities committed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide and the Balkan wars of the 1990s, today appealed to the General Assembly for more time, resources and, especially, incentives to help attract and hold onto qualified staff.
Continuing its general debate on decolonization issues today, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) focused its attention on the question of Western Sahara, as petitioners appealed for resolute action on the part of the United Nations and the wider international community to effectively tackle a raft of injustices they believed gripped the region, including terrorism, slavery, natural resource exploitation and human rights abuses.