06/12/2001
Press Release
GA/9991



Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Plenary

77th Meeting (AM)


FOLLOWING TERRORIST ATTACKS, ASSEMBLY TOLD GLOBAL NORMS AGAINST PROLIFERATION,


USE OF WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION MUST BE STRENGTHENED


Assembly Hears Total of 13 Reports, 11 Resolutions

As It Considers Cooperation between United Nations, Other Organizations


Future terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction could be prevented by strengthening the global norms against the use and proliferation of such weapons, the General Assembly heard this morning as it began considering cooperation between the United Nations and other organizations, including regional ones.  Reports and draft resolutions on that theme were introduced this morning, for a total of 13 reports and 11 resolutions before the Assembly.


Speaking on the issue of weapons of mass destruction was the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as he introduced the OPCW report.  He said the OPCW was the world's repository of expertise in the global struggle against chemical weapons.  Its Chemical Weapons Convention was a global legal norm that prohibited nationals of States from engaging in acts that violated its provisions.  It covered “chemical terrorism” and “terrorists”.  The harbouring of such terrorists should also be punishable by law.


By a resolution on that item sponsored by the Netherlands, the Assembly would include the item on its next session's agenda.  It would take note of the OPCW annual report and welcome the entry into force of an agreement on a relationship between the two organizations.


Romania's Minister of Foreign Affairs said he was just back from Bucharest, where terrorism had been the main theme at a meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).  The Council had adopted a plan of action to combat terrorism.  It centered on OSCE's policing activities, which had gone beyond Kosovo into southern Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.  A similar role was contemplated in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and there was already an OSCE policing role in Georgia and Central Asia.  He said existing procedures for cooperation between the United Nations and OCSE should be expanded.


The Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) presented the Commission’s report.  He said the Treaty was a cornerstone of the international non-proliferation and disarmament regime.  The June 2000 agreement to regulate the relationship between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission had made the CTBTO a new member

of the United Nations family, at a time when terrorism was increasing concern about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.


Introducing a resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, Indonesia's representative said such cooperation was of paramount importance when challenges to humankind could not be solely the responsibility of the United Nations.


Introducing a resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), India's representative said durable solutions to the enormous range of challenges and problems facing most societies required the promotion of democracy, tolerance and respect for diversity.  The IPU was committed to the Universal Declaration of Democracy and to promoting pluralistic systems of representative government.  It could be an important ally of the United Nations.


Egypt's representative introduced a draft resolution on United Nations cooperation with the League of Arab States.  He recalled that both had been founded at the same time and that close links bound them.  In view of events in occupied Arab territories, that cooperation should be increased to end the occupation of Arab lands.  There should also be more cooperation in the economic, social and development areas to speed development in the Arab world and achieve joint objectives.


Zambia's representative said Africa's plans for sustainable developing and eradication of poverty would remain pipe-dreams without cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU).  He was introducing a draft on that issue, which incorporated elements such as the establishment of the African Union, the launching of the New African Initiative, now called the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and Africa’s commitment to fighting terrorism.


Other resolutions introduced this morning concern cooperation between the United Nations and the Latin American Economic System, the International Organization of la Francophonie, the Council of Europe, the Organization of the Islamic Conference , the Economic Community of Central African States, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the OSCE, and the Pacific Islands Forum.


Speaking on all the cooperative agreements before the Assembly and on the resolutions being introduced were the representatives of Equatorial Guinea, Nauru, Lithuania, Tajikistan, Lebanon, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Belgium (on behalf of the European Union) and Iran.


The Assembly will meet again at 3:00 p.m. to continue considering the issue of United Nations cooperation with other organizations, including regional ones.


Background


The General Assembly is expected to consider and take action on reports and resolutions concerning cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations.  They include cooperation of the United Nations with the Latin American Economic System, the International Organization of la Francophonie, the Council of Europe, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, and the League of Arab States.  The text also cover United Nations cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Economic Community of Central African States, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Organization of African Unity, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Pacific Island Forum.


Reports before the Assembly


The Assembly has before it the Secretary-General's report on Cooperation between the United Nations system and the Latin American Economic System (SELA) (document A/56/171).  It describes cooperation between SELA and the United Nations agencies and programmes, compiled from those organizations’ answers to a request from the Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).  The report notes that cooperation between SELA and the United Nations system and other organizations has intensified over the years and become more diversified, in terms of both the areas of cooperation and the organizations concerned.


There is a report by the Secretary-General on cooperation between the United Nations and the International Organization of la Francophonie (OIF) (document A/56/390).  The report notes that the OIF has continued to promote peace in Burundi, in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Togo.  It has also sent information and contact missions or participated in peace talks in the Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Haiti.


In the economic, social and cultural fields, the OIF has worked with several United Nations bodies concerned with those issues.  Areas of cooperation have included capacity-building for women, technical training on world renewable energy, issues relating to globalization, good governance, combating HIV/AIDS, new communication technologies, international investment agreements and international trade.


The report concludes that cooperation between the United Nations and OIF has grown closer, embracing a growing number of areas of activity.  Continued personal contacts and working meetings between the Organization and OIF officials should lead to even deeper collaboration, enhancing the efforts of both organizations.


There is also a report of the Secretary-General on cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe (document A/56/302).  The report is submitted pursuant to resolution 55/3 of October 2000, when the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to continue exploring possibilities for further enhancement of cooperation, information exchange and coordination between the United Nations and the Council.  By the same resolution, the Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to report to it at its fifty-sixth session on cooperation between the two organizations in implementation of the resolution.


The report highlights the point that since the adoption of General Assembly resolution 55/3, interaction between the two organizations had continued to improve.  It is envisaged that ongoing cooperation will be enhanced in the months ahead, pursuant to the General Assembly's call to continue exploring possibilities for further enhancement of cooperation, information exchange and coordination.  The report also states that it would be most useful to report to the Assembly more fully of concrete cooperation measures every other year, and recommends that the next report of the Secretary-General on this subject be submitted to the Assembly at its fifty-eighth session.


Regarding cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) (document A/56/398), the Secretary-General reports on his participation in the OIC Summit conference of November 2000, where Qatar succeeded Iran to the Chairmanship for a three-year period.  Other high-level meetings involving the OIC and the United Nations include a coordinating meeting of OIC Ministers of Foreign Affairs at Headquarters in September 2000.  The United Nations and OIC also continued consultations on political matters, especially concerning the peacemaking efforts that have become an important dimension of the cooperation between them.


The report outlines follow-up actions taken on recommendations of meetings between the United Nations and OIC.  The report also highlights cooperation between the OIC and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the Islamic Development Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).


Finally, the report indicates that other organizations, programmes and departments of the United Nations system had provided information on programmes and activities carried out in cooperation with OIC.  Those ranged from the International Telecommunications Union to the Department of Public Information (DPI) within the Secretariat.


There is a report of the Secretary-General on cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States (document A/56/489).  The present report is submitted pursuant to paragraph 12 of General Assembly resolution 55/10 of 30 October 2000.  Part II of the report discusses consultations and exchanges of information.  It states that during the period under review, the secretariats of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, as well as the Office for the Permanent Observer for the League of Arab States to the United Nations, continued to maintain close contact on matters on mutual concern to the two organizations.


Part III of the report describes follow-up action on proposals agreed to at general meetings between organizations of the United Nations system and the League of Arab States.  Part IV discusses the general meeting on cooperation between the secretariats of the United Nations system and the League of Arab States and its specialized organizations.  As recommended by the Assembly in its resolution 55/10, the general meeting on cooperation between the secretariats of organizations of the United Nations system and of the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States took place in Vienna from 17 to 19 July 2001.

There are two reports by the Secretary-General on cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).  The first (document A/55/996) contains recommendations of the IPU concerning areas in which it could play a role in strengthening cooperation between the United Nations and national parliaments.  Those areas include:  changing people’s views about the United Nations; promoting parliamentary awareness and action to support international agreements reached at the United Nations; promoting activities by parliaments to forge national support for international action.  Also, it could report on parliamentary activities relevant to the work of the United Nations, and support parliaments in carrying out legislative and oversight functions in matters subject to international cooperation at the United Nations.


The IPU suggests that it work with the Secretary-General and Member States to identify a programme of work in which it would promote parliamentary debate and action in specific areas.  The Secretary-General recommends that the Assembly grant the IPU a standing invitation to participate in Assembly sessions and in its work, as well as participate in international conferences.  He also suggests it circulate IPU documents in the Assembly and invite specialized agencies to adopt similar means of cooperating with the IPU.


The second report on cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (document A/56/449) responds to General Assembly resolution 55/19 of 8 November 2000, in which the Secretary-General is asked to report at the Assembly’s fifty-sixth session on the various aspects of cooperation between the two organizations.  The report describes the action taken by the two organizations to secure parliamentary input to recent United Nations events.  It also describes the parliamentary action, coordinated by the IPU, to support or complement the work of the United Nations, in particular in the areas of peace and security, economic and social development, international law and human rights, democracy, governance and gender issues.


The report contains sections on the follow-up to the Millennium Summit and the Conference of President Officers, contribution of Parliaments to major United Nations events, peace and security, economic and social development, international law and human rights, democracy, governance and gender issues, and secretariat arrangements.


The report concludes that the close relationship between the United Nations and the IPU is continuously being strengthened.  The Secretary-General is pleased with efforts currently under-way to act on the suggestions contained in his earlier report (document A/55/996) concerning a new relationship between the IPU, the Assembly and the IPU’s subsidiary organs.


There is a report of the Secretary-General on cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) (document A/56/301).  This report is submitted in compliance with the Assembly's request in its resolution 55/22 of November 2000.  In that resolution, the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to extend his support to all areas to be covered in the framework of cooperation between the United Nations system and ECCAS, particularly the reinforcement of the structures of the Community and the attainment of its objectives in favour of peace and security, democracy and human rights.


The present report is based on information received from various departments, offices, bodies, programmes and agencies of the United Nations system.  The Secretary-General states that the effectiveness of any cooperation between the United Nations and ECCAS would have to include the support that Member States of the Organization as a whole are prepared to extend to Central African States.


There is a report of the Secretary-General on cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization (document A/56/122).  The present report is submitted pursuant to resolution 55/42 of November 2000 on the cooperation between the two organizations, in which the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit a report on the implementation of that resolution.  The report provides a brief resume of the status of the cooperative relationship between the Economic Cooperation Organization and various United Nations organizations during 2000 and 2001.


There is a report of the Secretary-General on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) (document A/56/125).  By its resolution 55/179, the Assembly acknowledged the increasing contribution of the OSCE to the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security in its region through activities in early warning and preventative diplomacy.  By the same resolution, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to continue exploring with the Chairman-in-Office and the Secretary-General of OSCE possibilities for further enhancement of cooperation and to submit a report on implementation of the resolution.


According to the report, the United Nations and OSCE have continued to practice a division of labour based on the comparative advantages of the two organizations, with the United Nations retaining the lead in efforts in Abkhazia, Georgia and Tajikistan, and the OSCE in the Republic of Moldova, South Ossetia, Georgia, and in the resolution of the conflict in and around the Nagorny-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan.  Enhanced coordination has been established of consultation and cooperation in the field and between the respective headquarters.  The report further mentions information received from the United Nations system and others concerning contacts and coordination with the OSCE.


Another report (document A/56/489) covers cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU).  In the year under review, the United Nations and its specialized agencies have continued to implement and expand in scope and depth the agreed programme of cooperation with the OAU.  One of the most important developments that may affect the structure and content of the programme of cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU is the coming into force of the Constitutive Act of the African Union on 26 May 2001.  The OAU is to be phased out within a period of one year, and proposals are to be evolved on the orientation and structure of the new African Union for the consideration of the States members.


Part II of the report deals with cooperation in the area of conflict prevention, peace and security, in particular the Department of Political Affairs (with particular reference to electoral assistance) and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  Part III discusses cooperation on humanitarian issues, in particular the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and UNHCR.


Further sections of the report discuss cooperation in public information with UNESCO on issues including HIV/AIDS, education and culture.  It also discusses cooperation with UNCTAD, FAO, WHO and the International Office for Migration (IMO).  Cooperation with the Economic Commission for Africa would be on issues such as the environment, population and gender issues, as well as regional cooperation and integration.  Another organization is the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its programme for promoting Africa's economic cooperation and integration by establishing the African Economic Community along with capacity-building for the OAU mechanism for conflict prevention, management and resolution.


Also before the Assembly was a note of the Secretary-General on cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) (document A/56/317).  The note transmits the report of the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO covering the year 2000.  The Executive Secretary was expected to report on the Commission's recent activities in his statement to the Assembly.


[Full distribution of the report had not been possible, so delegations were requested to have copies transmitted to them during discussion of the item.]


Regarding cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Assembly had a note by the Secretary-General (document A/56/490) in which he submits the report of that organization on the implementation of the convention on the prohibition of the development, production, stockpiling, and use of chemical weapons and on their destruction in the year 2000.


The report states that as of 31 December 2000, the number of Member States of the organization had increased to 141 from 128.  The 13 new members are Azerbaijan, Colombia, Eritrea, Gabon, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Malaysia, Mozambique, San Marino, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  Thirty-three signatories had yet to ratify the Convention and 19 other States had yet to accede to it.


According to the report, during 2000 a total of 1,539 tonnes, 2.2 per cent, of chemical weapons agents and a total of 489,969 munitions and containers, or 5.59 per cent, were destroyed, although progress was not evenly distributed amongst the declared chemical weapons possessor States Parties.  It brought the aggregate amount of chemical weapons destroyed since the commencement of OPCW in 1997 to a total of 4,863 tonnes, or 7.1 per cent of unitary chemical weapons.


The report states further that in the area of international cooperation a new important activity was launched in the form of the OPCW associate programme, providing scientists and engineers from countries with developing economies or economies in transition with additional experience through exposing them to modern practices in the chemical industry.


Resolutions before the Assembly


      Before the Assembly there was a draft resolution (A/56/L.34*) on cooperation between the United Nations and the International Organization of la Francophonie.  By the terms of the draft, the Assembly would recommend to the United Nations and the OIF that they should continue and intensify their consultations with a view to ensuring greater coordination in the areas of conflict prevention, peace-building, support for the rule of law and democracy, and promotion of human rights.


The Assembly would also request the Secretary-General, acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General of the OIF, to encourage the holding of periodic meetings between representatives of the United Nations Secretariat and representatives of the secretariat of the OIF, in order to promote the exchange of information, coordination of activities and identification of new areas of cooperation.


The draft resolution is sponsored by Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Greece, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Monaco, Morocco, Niger, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, St. Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Vanuatu, and Viet Nam.


There is a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe (document A/56/L.31).  By the terms of the draft, the Assembly requests the Secretary-General to continue exploring, with the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, possibilities for further enhancement of cooperation, information exchange and coordination between the United Nations and the Council of Europe.


The draft is sponsored by Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Ukraine.


There is a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference sponsored by Mali (document A/56/L.36).  By terms of the draft, the Assembly would recommend that a general meeting of representatives of the secretariats of the United Nations system and the OIC be held in 2002 to enhance cooperation and to review progress.  The Assembly would also recommend that coordination meetings be held of focal points for the organizations and agencies of the United Nations system and the OIC and its subsidiary organs, as well as for specialized and affiliated institutions.  Those should be held concurrently with the general meeting in 2002.


By the terms of the text, the Assembly would also urge the United Nations and other organizations of the United Nations system, especially the lead agencies, to provide increased technical and other forms of assistance to the OIC and its subsidiary organs and specialized and affiliated institutions in order to enhance cooperation.


      There is a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States (A/56/L.26).  By its terms, the Assembly would call on the United Nations system to continue cooperating with the Secretary-General and among themselves, as well as with the League of Arab States, in follow-up of multilateral proposals aimed at strengthening and expanding cooperation between the League and the United Nations.  It would also call on the United Nations programmes and agencies to strengthen the capacity of the League of Arab States and its institutions to benefit from globalization and information technology, and to participate wherever possible with organizations and institutions of the League in the execution and implementation of development projects in the Arab region.


Further to the draft, the specialized agencies and other organizations and programmes of the United Nations should inform the Secretary-General, not later than 30 June 2002, of progress made in their cooperation with the League of Arab States and its specialized organizations.  It would request the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session a report on implementation of the present resolution, and decide to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-seventh session the item entitled "Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States".


The draft resolution is sponsored by Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.


There is a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (document A/56/L.35*), by whose terms the Assembly would welcome the ongoing efforts to explore ways in which a new and strengthened relationship may be established between it and the IPU, and would encourage Member States to continue their consultations with a view to adopting a decision thereon during the Assembly's fifty-seventh session.


The Assembly would also call for the cooperation between the two organizations to be consolidated further, and decide to include the item in its provisional agenda for the fifty-seventh session.


The draft is sponsored by Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey and Ukraine.


There is also a draft resolution (document A/56/L.25/Rev.1) on cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Community of Central African States.  By terms of the draft, the Assembly would urge all Member States and the international community to contribute to the efforts of the ECCAS to achieve economic integration and development, promote democracy and human rights and consolidate peace and security in Central Africa.  It would also urge the United Nations, the agencies affiliated with it and the international community to provide the Community with sufficient resources to carefully consider the cost implications of the programmes and decisions adopted at various United Nations world conferences, in particular, to strengthen the role of women in the development process.


Also, the Assembly would urge the international community and the United Nations agencies to continue to provide those countries of the Community in which a process of national reconstruction is taking place with appropriate assistance to consolidate their efforts towards democratization and the consolidation of the rule of law and to support their national development programmes.  It would urge the United Nations and the international community to help to strengthen the means existing in the region to ensure that the Community has the necessary capacity with regard to prevention, monitoring, early warning and peacekeeping operations, and would request the Secretary-General to continue enhanced contacts with the Community, with a view to encouraging and harmonizing cooperation between the United Nations and the Community.


The resolution is sponsored by Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.


There is a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization (A/56/L.32).  By it, the Assembly would invite the international community and the United Nations to assist members of the Economic Cooperation Organization in strengthening their early warning systems, preparedness, capacity for timely response and rehabilitation, so that they could avoid human casualties and lessen the socio-economic impact of disasters.


Further to the draft, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to submit a report on implementation of the resolution at the Assembly’s fifty-seventh session.  It would also decide to include in the agenda of the fifty-seventh session the sub-item “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization” under the item “Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations”.


The draft was sponsored by Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.


Zambia is the sponsor of a draft on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (document A/56/L.37).  By it, the Assembly would stress the need for closer cooperation between the two in the area of peace and security, especially in conflict prevention, peacekeeping, peace-making and post-conflict activities, including support for democratization.  It would urge the United Nations to encourage Member States to supply funding, training and logistical support for building the peacekeeping capabilities of African countries, with an eye to their participation in United Nations peace operations.  It would also urge the United Nations to contribute to the deployment of OAU member troops in those operations.


The Assembly would also stress the urgent need for the two organizations to develop concrete programmes to address the problems of proliferating arms, weapons and mines within the framework of relevant declarations and resolutions.  It would call upon United Nations agencies to help the OAU facilitate its transition to the African Union, and to intensify the coordination of regional programmes to ensure effective harmonization with African regional and subregional economic organizations and to create a positive environment for economic development and investment.  The United Nations would be called upon for active support of OAU efforts in urging the donor community and multilateral institutions to meet the agreed target of 0.7 per cent official development assistance.  It would also be called upon to implement the enhanced programme of debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries, and to secure comprehensive debt relief for African countries through national and international measures to achieve sustainable debt management.


In addition, the Secretary-General would be called upon to involve the OAU in implementing Millennium Declaration commitments as well as other regional commitments.  It would request United Nations assistance in concretely strengthening the OAU capacity for its conflict-prevention mechanisms.  Agencies would be requested to work the element of enhancing regional economic cooperation and integration into their national, subregional and regional activities.  The New Partnership for Africa's Development would be welcomed, joint actions to fight global terrorism would be encouraged and Member States would be asked to help with the problem of refugees, returnees and displaced persons.  United Nations organizations would be asked to ensure equitable representation of African men and women at senior and policy levels.  The Secretary-General would be asked to report on progress in two years.


By a draft on cooperation between the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum (document A/56/L.29), the Assembly would urge the United Nations system to cooperate with the Secretary-General on initiating, maintaining and increasing consultations and programmes with the Pacific Islands Forum and its institutions.  It would call upon the secretaries-general of both bodies to help develop long-term peace-building programmes to address new security threats to the region.  It would invite the Secretary-General to take steps expanding the capacity of both secretariats and to promote meetings that would broaden or even formalize cooperation and coordination between the two organizations.  Finally, it would invite Member States to assist in joint efforts of the two, asking the Secretary-General to report in a year.


There is a draft on cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, sponsored by Indonesia (document A/56/L.38).  It takes note of both the Secretary-General’s report and that of the Secretary-General and the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO.  By terms of the draft, the Assembly would decide to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-seventh session the item entitled "Cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization”.


Finally, the Netherlands is the sponsor of a resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (document A/56/L.30).  By that, the Assembly would decide to include the item on the agenda of its next session.  It would take note of the organization’s annual report and would welcome the entry into force of the agreement concerning a relationship between the two organizations.


Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty


WOLFGANG HOFFMANN, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the CTBTO, said the Treaty was one of the cornerstones of the international non-proliferation and disarmament regime.  Its total ban on all nuclear test explosions in all environments would help end the development of ever more sophisticated nuclear weapons, as well as arrest their proliferation.  In view of the terrorist attacks of 11 September, the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction had acquired a new urgency.


He said that since his first address to the Assembly on 30 October 2000, the Treaty had been signed by four additional States and ratified by a further 23, one of which was an Annex 2 State -– one of the 44 States listed in the Treaty whose ratifications were required for its entry into force.  Today, the Treaty had 164 signatories and 89 ratifiers.  Thirty-one of those ratifiers were by Annex 2 States.  The level and pace of signatures and ratifications indicated the international community's firm support for the Treaty.  The five-year old Preparatory Commission carried out the necessary preparations for the Treaty's effective implementation.  Its activities focused on two key areas:  the establishment of the global verification regime to monitor compliance; and the promotion of signature and ratification.


The International Monitoring System (IMS) consisted of 321 monitoring stations and 16 radionuclide laboratories that monitored the Earth for evidence of a nuclear explosion, he said.  A Global Communications Infrastructure carried the seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide data from IMS facilities to the International Data Centre.  That global satellite communications network was also used to distribute data and reports relevant to Treaty verification to the States signatories.  The International Data Centre received raw data from monitoring stations around the world, which it processed, analyzed and transmitted to States for final analysis.  On-site inspections were a final verification measure, and the development of a draft operational manual was a key task of the Commission.


He said that the infrastructure and technology used to collect, transmit, process and analyze verification data, together with the data itself, could provide States with significant scientific and civil advantages.  On 15 June 2000, the Assembly adopted an agreement to regulate the relationship between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission, thereby accepting it as a new member of the United Nations family.  It was important to report to the United Nations annually on its activities.  In times of increasing concern about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the reports of such specialized organizations in that field should be of particular relevance.  He called upon all States to take steps to ensure that the Treaty entered into force as soon as possible.


Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons


JOSE M. BUSTANI, Director-General of the OPCW, said that the worst terrorist atrocity in modern history added an entirely new dimension to the world's concepts of security, which had been based largely on the assumption that tensions and rivalries between States or groups of States were at the heart of the international order.  In the three brief months since 11 September, many of those assumptions appeared “almost prehistoric”.  The new risks to international peace and security made it increasingly self-evident that only long-term approaches based on genuinely multilateral cooperative actions would eradicate terrorism.


He said that non-State groups had already acquired and used weapons of mass destruction.  Religious fanatics had used a chemical warfare agent, sarin, to attack civilians in the Tokyo underground in 1995.  The desire of Osama bin Laden to obtain weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, was also a matter of public record, and the recent anthrax attacks in the United States were not attributable to natural causes.  Under certain circumstances, chemical weapons could inflict even more damage than biological weapons.  They could kill almost instantaneously, leaving no time for a cure.  Indeed, chemical weapons attacks required an immediate and massive response.  The world's readiness to respond quickly and effectively to such attacks was of immediate relevance to the mandate of the Chemical Weapons Convention, to which 143 States -– soon to be 145 -– belonged.


The international community could do much to prevent future terrorist attacks with weapons of mass destruction by strengthening the global norms against the use and proliferation of such weapons, he said.  The OPCW, as the world's designated repository of knowledge and expertise in the global struggle against all possible uses of chemical weapons, would cooperate fully with the anti-terrorism efforts.  The Convention, by prohibiting the nationals of States parties from engaging in acts that violated its provisions, including “chemical terrorism”, was a truly global legal norm against chemical weapons and against all those, including terrorists, who might wish to violate that norm.  Harbouring terrorists who were contemplating the development or use of chemical weapons was a crime that should be punishable by law on the territory of each of the 145 States parties.


He cited significant progress towards the complete elimination of chemical weapons.  All 8.6 million chemical weapons declared by the four declared chemical weapons possessor States had been inventoried by the OPCW inspectors, and one-fifth of those chemical munitions and containers, together with 6,000 tonnes of chemical agents, had already been destroyed.  All 61 former chemical weapons production facilities declared by 11 States parties had been closed down, and 36 of those had already been either destroyed or fully converted to peaceful purposes. 


Nevertheless, he was worried about the disparities in the numbers of chemical weapons destroyed by the United States -– 23 per cent of its stockpile -– and the Russian Federation, which had yet to complete the destruction of one per cent of its chemical weapons arsenal.  The Convention's system of verification and compliance could not realize its full potential if Member States with concerns about possible non-compliance neglected to make full use of the system, including challenge inspections.  Moreover, as a result of a shortfall in OPCW income, it would be able to conduct only 70 per cent of its planned inspection activity in 2001.


Introduction of draft texts


MBA ECUA MIKO (Equatorial Guinea), introducing draft resolution L.25/Rev.1 on cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Community of Central African States, said the vast majority of States in the Community had been the targets of political upheaval, fratricidal wars and acts of permanent destabilization over the past decade.  Those events had not only taken countless innocent lives and left many others missing day by day, but had also systematically destroyed the fragile economies of the affected countries and caused the breakdown of their constitutional institutions.


Since 1999, he said, the heads of State of the Community had manifested their readiness to galvanize member States as instruments for peace and security throughout the subregion.  The Council of Ministers had gathered in October in his country to adopt a detailed action programme for the Economic Community of Central African States for the 2002-2003 biennium, making bodies of peace and security operational in Central Africa.  An action programme of such dimensions could not possibly succeed with only the political determination of those who had drafted it.  It must have the assistance of the international community.

Concluding, he orally amended draft resolution L.25/Rev.1, noting that operative paragraph 7 would incorporate elements of paragraph 9, which would be deleted


BHAGWANT S. BISHNOI (India), introducing draft resolution L.35, on cooperation between the United Nations and the IPU, said that durable solutions for the enormous range of challenges and problems that most societies faced required the promotion of democracy, of tolerance and of respect for diversity.  The IPU, through its commitment to the Universal Declaration of Democracy and to the promotion of pluralistic systems of representative government, could be an important ally of the United Nations in facing up to the challenges confronting the world community.


     The concerns of the United Nations and the IPU were common. They were democracy, respect for human rights, equitable economic growth, sustainable development, social progress and the achievement of international peace and security.  Parliaments and the Inter-Parliamentary Union could be a bridge between the global and the local.   By mobilizing public opinion, they could contribute to forging national support for international cooperation.


He announced that the following delegations had joined as co-sponsors:


Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Moldova, San Marino, Senegal, Slovakia, South Africa, Syria, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Viet Nam and Zambia.


VINCI N. CLODUMAR (Nauru) introduced draft resolution L.29, entitled “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum”, on behalf of the Pacific Islands Group and the co-sponsors.  He said that the Pacific Islands Forum enjoyed a special relationship with the United Nations. In the past decade, that relationship had matured with confidence and a determination to strengthen areas such as fisheries, small business enterprise, trade, human rights, democracy, peace building and oceans management.


     As the Forum celebrated its 30th anniversary this year as the principal multilateral body in the region, the demands of its members and those of the international community had also increased, thus shaping the interventions required by the organization.  By resolution L.29, the Pacific Islands Forum would welcome ongoing efforts towards closer cooperation with the United Nations, and affirm the need to strengthen that cooperation in the areas of economic and social development, as well as in political and humanitarian affairs.  He recommended the resolution for adoption by the Assembly and vouched that the Pacific Islands Forum would make its contribution in its implementation.


     He announced the following additional co-sponsors:  Cambodia, Ireland, Pakistan, Philippines, France, Barbados, Canada, Belgium, Chile, Portugal, Japan, United Kingdom, Malaysia and Norway.

MIRCEA DAN GEOANA, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania, said he had come to New York directly from the conclusion of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Bucharest.  He said the principal theme at the meeting had inevitably been the war on terrorism.  As a reflection of the OSCE's determination to contribute to international efforts against terrorism, the Ministerial Council had adopted on

4 December a broad-ranging Plan of Action for combating the scourge.  Under the Bucharest Plan of Action, OSCE States had pledged to expand existing activities which contributed to the global fight against terrorism; and to increase bilateral and multilateral cooperation within the OSCE and with the United Nations and other international and regional organizations.  The OSCE would offer assistance to participating States in implementing international anti-terrorist conventions and protocols; it would increase its activities to promote the rights of persons belonging to national minorities and take action to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist activities.


A number of other Ministerial conclusions had been the decisions to strengthen the political dialogue process within the OSCE; to enhance human dimension activities; to address more directly economic and environmental concerns; to accelerate measures against human trafficking, including through signature and ratification of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the relevant Protocol on trafficking; and to enhance OSCE-related police activities.


The joint activity of the United Nations and OSCE in Kosovo was a regional model of effectiveness, he said.  Cooperation in preparing for the elections last month for a provisional self-government under United Nations Security Resolution 1244 had been exemplary.  Concerning Bosnia and Herzegovina, OSCE had continued to work on building strong institutions.  A special area of activity had been assistance in preparing new election legislation.  The success of OSCE policing activities, not only in Kosovo, but more recently in southern Serbia and now in The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, had convinced him that the OSCE could take on a similar role in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  He also elaborated on the role of the OSCE in Georgia with regard to refugees and in the fight against organized crime, corruption and arms control.


He concluded by stating that in terms of the cooperation between the United Nations and OCSE, existing procedures must be developed and expanded.  Additional measures for the cooperation might include the establishment of an efficient information exchange mechanism on potential crises and lessons learned from common field missions; exchange of liaison officers; joint training of staff in the field of early warning and prevention; development of common indicators for early warning; and the establishment of a database on the conflict-prevention capabilities of the United Nations and regional organizations.


GEDIMINAS SERKSNYS (Lithuania), introducing draft resolution A/56/L.31 on cooperation with the Council of Europe, said his country, as Chair of the Council’s Committee of Ministers, would continue to seek and increase dialogue and complementary action with the United Nations.  One of the main areas of cooperation was in protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms.  The Council had made its contribution to the work of the United Nations by providing its expertise in strengthening human rights, democracy and the rule of law, including training of staff for field missions and prevention of trafficking of women and girls.

He said the Council had also given important support to the setting up of the International Criminal Court, to conflict prevention and peace-building, and to long-term post-conflict peace-building through political and institutional reform.  Major contribution had been made to re-establishing public order, rebuilding democratic institutions and protection of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and to the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe.  Following the tragic events of 11 September, the Council had reacted quickly by agreeing on a broad package to strengthen its own action in the fight against terrorism.


The Council would also contribute its experience to the promotion of a wide inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue with a view to enabling society to find greater cohesion and reduce the risks of misunderstandings.  It was important that regular exchanges should take place between the United Nations, the OSCE and the Council of Europe on issues of common interest, in particular with regard to action in the field.  He attached great importance to the high-level tripartite meetings between the three organizations.  He recommended adoption of the draft without a vote.


He announced that Colombia, Belize, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Nauru, United Kingdom and Japan had joined as co-sponsors of the draft resolution.


RASHID ALIMOV (Tajikistan), acting President of the Economic Cooperation Organization, introduced draft resolution A/56/L.32.  He said it was important that in the time since the last resolution had been adopted, cooperation between his organization and the United Nations had grown broadly.  That was evident from the fact that the organization had become an effective community of States with common economic goals.  It was also evident from the growing interest of the international community in the region.  The co-sponsors recommended that the draft be adopted by consensus.


     SELIM TADMOURY (Lebanon), introducing draft resolution L.34 on cooperation between the United Nations and the International Organization of la Francophonie, said that in the spirit of cooperation, the International Organization of la Francophonie was participating more and more in the work of the United Nations.  He also underlined the positive and intensifying cooperation between the International Organization and specialized organizations in the fields of education, science and culture, for example with UNESCO.  Those examples of cooperation reflected the attachment of both the United Nations and the International Organization to economic development and cultural diversity.


It was necessary, he said, to have increased cooperation between the International Organization of la Francophonie and the specialized institutions, funds and programmes of the United Nations, as well as regional commissions, in particular the Economic Commission for Africa.  That would help establish a brighter future through the identification of new strategies for the elimination of poverty, sustainable development, education, training and the development of new information technologies.


AHMED ABOUL GHEIT (Egypt), introducing draft resolution L.26 on cooperation with the League of Arab States, said the League had been founded at the same time as the United Nations, and close links bound the two organizations.  Those links gave form to necessary cooperation through Article 8 of the United Nations Charter.

Relations between the United Nations and the League of Arab States had progressed since the General Assembly had adopted by consensus a resolution on cooperation between the organizations.  The organizations were currently cooperating in various ways, with questions of common interest basically linked to peace and security.  In view of the events on occupied Arab territories, that cooperation should be increased to end the occupation of Arab lands.  There should also be increased cooperation in the economic, social and development areas to speed up development in the Arab world and to achieve the joint objectives of both organizations.


He announced that The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had joined as a co-sponsor of the resolution.


MWELWA C. MUSAMBACHIME (Zambia), introducing draft resolution A/56/L.37 on cooperation with the OAU, said the draft incorporated elements such as the establishment of the African Union, the launching of the New African Initiative, now called the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and Africa’s commitment to the fight against terrorism.


He said the draft stressed the need for closer cooperation and coordination with the United Nations in the area of peace and security, conflict prevention, post-conflict reconstruction and support for democratization and good governance.  Unless those elements were properly addressed, Africa’s sustainable economic development and growth, including alleviation and eradication of poverty on the continent, would remain remote pipe-dreams.  He hoped the draft would be adopted by consensus.


     RHOUSDY SOERIAATMADJA (Indonesia), introducing draft resolution L.38 on cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization, said that cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations was of paramount importance, particularly when challenges to humankind could not be solely the responsibility of the United Nations.


The Relationship Agreement between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission adopted on 15 June 2000, had established an important foundation for improving links and interactions between them.  A better relationship could facilitate the achievement of the overarching aim of the Treaty -– to contribute to the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weaponry in all its aspects and to the promotion of international peace and security.


In times of increasing concern over the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, he said, the reports of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization should be of particular relevance to the General Assembly.  It was important that the Assembly receive regular reports about the development and activities of the Commission, he said.


Statements


ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said cooperation between the OAU and the United Nations was happening during the historic transition of the OAU to the African Union.  He had noted with satisfaction the willingness of the United Nations to examine, together with the OAU, how to render support and assistance to that initiative, which clearly needed backing from the United Nations and other regional groupings.  He was now, more than ever, confident that cooperation between the two organizations could be built on a vast body of mutual experience.  He called for strengthening liaison and consultations between the two organizations.


The most important area of cooperation had been in peacekeeping operations, he said.  The United Nations had been decisive in bringing peace efforts by African leaders to a successful conclusion.  The African military involvement in peacekeeping missions should also be noted.  While reiterating the primary responsibility of the Security Council in peacekeeping, he underlined the importance of coordination and cooperation on the ground between the United Nations and regional bodies.  He recalled the efforts of Algeria in the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea.  Throughout that process, which led to the Algeria Agreement, the OAU had been able to count on the backing of the United Nations and the European Union.  Regarding the OAU plan for Western Sahara, he said Africa subscribed to the integral implementation in good faith by the two parties to that plan, including organization of the referendum for self-determination.


He said there had been little progress on cooperation in the field of economic and social development because of a decline in resources within the United Nations system.  While some movement had been registered, the general situation on the continent remained alarming.  In order to halve the number of people living in abject poverty by 2015, Africa must grow 7 per cent annually –- at a time when African debt had set new records and the AIDS pandemic was far from being reversed.  He hoped that NEPAD could help to overcome some of the old problems, but projects in Africa continued to depend on available resources, the Achilles heel in cooperation between the OAU and the United Nations.  He therefore appealed to donor countries to show more generosity.


MICHEL KAFANDO (Burkina Faso) said the United Nations and the IPU had the same objectives, to advance the promotion of peace and justice through dialogue and diplomatic measures.  The diplomatic action carried out by the IPU and its members was today a reality in terms of the position adopted by the Union and its members regarding major challenges.  Whether it was a question of peace and security, development, the environment or health, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and national parliaments did their part in seeking the appropriate response to a multitude of issues.


The IPU, he said, had spared no effort to combine its work with that of States, non-governmental organizations and the United Nations to meet the challenges mankind was facing.  The draft resolution for cooperation between the United Nations and the IPU would no doubt add a parliamentary dimension to United Nations actions.


One thing was certain:  the international community could no longer ignore parliamentary diplomacy.  It was thus urgent that the United Nations grant the status of permanent observer to the IPU.  Burkina Faso deplored the foot-dragging that had delayed a decision on this important question, and only hoped that the extra time would give Member States the chance to realize that granting the IPU permanent observer status would be of great benefit to the United Nations.


JEAN DE RUYT (Belgium), speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the subject of cooperation with regional organizations was cropping up more and more in meetings of United Nations bodies.  In an increasing number of operations on the ground, the Organization was calling on the services of regional organizations because they were able to provide expertise complementing that of the United Nations.


Coordination with the OAU on conflict prevention and conflict resolution was beginning to take shape, he said, although much remained to be done in the operational field.  Regarding the OSCE, he noted cooperation in the Balkans, Georgia and Tajikistan, where conflict prevention, early warning, crisis management and rehabilitation had been carried to successful conclusions.  He welcomed cooperation with the IPU, but regretted that the General Assembly had been unable to grant that organization a different status.


He was pleased that cooperation with the International Organization of la Francophonie now covered a growing number of areas of mutual interest.  Cooperation with the Council of Europe made sense when one considered the expertise of the Council in such areas as human rights, democratic institutions and the rule of law.  He noted that the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference as well as the League of Arab States had been able to intensify coordination.  He welcomed cooperation with the CTBTO, which had given firm support to United Nations efforts in international security, arms control and disarmament.  The European Union also attached great importance to the activities of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, particularly given the risk that such arms might fall into the hands of terrorists.


HADI NEJAD HOSSEINIAN (Iran) said the Economic Cooperation Organization, made up of ten developing countries, was a regional arrangement that aimed at the expansion and consolidation of economic, technical and technological cooperation among Member States.  The longer-term objective was the promotion of common institutions for smooth movement of goods and capital among the Member States, and facilitation of their gradual integration in the world economy and active and meaningful participation in the globalization process.  In recent years, expansion of cooperation in the social and cultural fields had also received increasing attention within the Economic Cooperation Organization.  The secretariat of the Organization, with its headquarter in Tehran, had focused its activities on finding the necessary means at the regional and international levels to address the common challenges facing its Member States, as well as to facilitate the organization’s participation in the international economy. 


He said the recent situation in Afghanistan also underlined the need for more regional cooperation for prosperity, which would serve to promote peace and security in the region.  The establishment of cooperative arrangements with United Nations bodies and agencies, funds and programmes, had been at the heart of those efforts.  Those areas of fruitful cooperation enjoyed huge potential that needed to be further explored and he hoped the current situation in the region gave more impetus for expansion and promotion of such cooperation.


The growing level and pace of cooperation and joint programmes between the Economic Cooperation Organization and various United Nations bodies was encouraging and needed to be further strengthened, he added.  That cooperation had been extended to such bodies as UNDP, UNCTAD, UNFPA, FAO and many others.  Although cooperation between the United Nations system and the Economic Cooperative Organization had been expanding, ample opportunities and unrealized potentialities still existed for such an expansion.  New areas of cooperation could be explored and operationalized with such other agencies as United Nations

Children's Fund and United Nations Development Fund for Women in the field of fighting against narcotic drugs, as well as with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the World Tourism Organization in the area of cultural development and tourism.


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