07/12/01
Press Release
GA/9993



Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Plenary

79th and 80th Meetings (AM and PM)


ASSEMBLY VOTES ON UNITED NATIONS ROLE IN NUCLEAR-TEST-BAN TREATY


PREPARATIONS; EUROPEAN UNION REGRETS UNITED STATES DEMURRAL


U.S. also Withholds Support on Cooperation with Council of Europe,

Citing Reservations over References to International Criminal Court


In a recorded vote, the General Assembly this afternoon adopted a resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.  Voting on the text –- one of a number adopted as, at two meetings today, the Assembly ended its consideration of United Nations cooperation with regional and other organizations --- was 134 in favour, to 1 against (United States), with 2 abstentions (India and Pakistan) (See Annex).  The resolution took note of reports presented on the issue.


By a resolution on United Nations cooperation with the Council of Europe, adopted without a vote, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to continue exploring further enhancement of cooperation, information exchange and coordination between the United Nations and the Council.  The representative of the United States said she could not participate in the adoption of that text, because it contained language on the International Criminal Court that was unacceptable to the United States Administration.  The representative of the European Union said the position of the United States was regrettable.


The Assembly further adopted, without a vote, nine resolutions on cooperation with organizations such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Organization of the Islamic conference, the League of Arab States, the Organization of African Unity, the Economic Community of Central African States, the International Organization of la Francophonie, the Economic cooperation Organization, the Pacific Islands Forum and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.


The Assembly also considered reports from the Secretary-General on United Nations cooperation with the Latin American Economic System and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.


By the text on cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Assembly welcomed the ongoing efforts to explore ways in which a new and strengthened relationship may be established between them and encouraged Member States to continue their consultations with a view to adopting a decision thereon during the Assembly's next session.


In the debate today, the representative of Bangladesh welcomed the contribution of the Inter-Parliamentary Union to the ongoing debate on observance of international law in the interest of world peace, and to its promotion of parliamentary awareness of the importance of securing respect for international humanitarian law.


The resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity stressed the need for closer cooperation between the two in the area of peace and security, especially in conflict prevention, peacekeeping, peacemaking and post-conflict activities, including support for democratization.  It also stressed 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. 


The representative of Namibia said Africa continued to carry the burden of too many conflicts and other social and economic problems, but the continent had also proven its determination to take charge of the situation by the adoption of the New African Initiative, now called the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).


By the resolution on cooperation with the Pacific Islands Forum the Assembly urged the United Nations system to cooperate with the Secretary-General on initiating, maintaining and increasing consultations and programmes with that group, to help develop long-term peace-building programmes to address new security threats to the region.


The resolution on cooperation with the Organization of the Islamic Conference recommended that a general meeting of representatives of the secretariats of the United Nations system and that Organization be held in 2002 to enhance cooperation and to review progress.


By the terms of the text on cooperation with the League of Arab States, the Assembly called upon the United Nations to strengthen the capacity of the League to benefit from globalization and information technology, and to participate with organizations and institutions of the League in the execution and implementation of development projects in the Arab region.


The representative of the Netherlands introduced the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.


The Secretary-General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Observer and Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, the representative of the League of Arab States, the representative of the Organization of African Unity, the Permanent Observer of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Observer of the International Organization of la Francophonie, and the Assistant Secretary-General of the Economic Community of Central African States also addressed the Assembly today.


(page 1b follows)


Others taking part in the debate were the representatives of Venezuela, Slovakia, Russian Federation, Liechtenstein, Pakistan, Kenya, Jamaica, Mexico, Brazil, Chad, Latvia, Armenia and Dominica (on behalf of the Caribbean Community).


The representatives of Belgium (for the European Union), United States, New Zealand and Australia explained their vote


Announcements

The Assembly was informed that next Thursday, 13 December, draft resolution A/56/L.10 on the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency would be considered, as well as the amendment thereto contained in A/56/L.11.  The Assembly would then also consider draft resolutions under agenda item 20 (Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance).

Consideration of item 37 "The role of diamonds in fuelling conflict", originally scheduled for the morning of Friday, 14 December, would be postponed to a later date.

The Assembly meets again Monday, 10 December, at 10 a.m. to consider appointment of members of the Joint Inspection Unit and the return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin.


Background


The General Assembly is expected to continue its consideration of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations and to act on 11 related draft resolutions.


The resolutions are on cooperation with the International Organization of la Francophonie (A/56/L.34); cooperation with the Council of Europe (A/56/L.31); cooperation with the Organization of the Islamic Conference (A/56/L.36); cooperation with the League of Arab States (A/56/L.26); cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (A/56/L.35); cooperation with the Economic Community of Central African States (/56/L.25/Rev.2); cooperation with the Economic Cooperation Organization (A/56/L.32); cooperation with the Organization of African Unity (A/56/L.37); cooperation with the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (A/56/L.38); cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (A/56/L.30); and cooperation with the Pacific Island Forum (A/56/L.29).


[For background information see Press Release GA/9991].


ADRIANA PULIDO (Venezuela) said the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) had been involved year after year in the United Nations agenda, and had projected that involvement at the parliamentary level.  Over the past 12 years, the IPU had been doing fruitful work in such areas as peace, human rights and international law.  It counted among its members regional assemblies and five associate members, including three regional parliaments.  At a time when international relations were undergoing change and a stronger United Nations was needed for peace and international cooperation, one could not ignore contributions from such organizations as the IPU.


The culture of peace required joint cooperation from a variety of entities, she continued.  The IPU had contributed decisively to fostering peace and cooperation, but its most noteworthy contribution involved the contacts and political associations made under the aegis of IPU conferences.  Those associations could contribute much to preventing and resolving disputes.


The IPU continued the work of the United Nations through national parliaments by aligning national legislation with international treaties, she said.  That was one of the ways parliamentary diplomacy could have great importance at the national level.  The IPU gave the United Nations a parliamentary perspective by bringing it into play through the power of its people.  Venezuela welcomed the initiative that observer status be given to the IPU, and trusted that that objective would be attained in further sessions of the General Assembly.


KLARA NOVOTNA (Slovakia) said that cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had continued to prosper over the past few years.  However, the success of that cooperation would be measured by its contribution to the improvement of people’s lives in responding to their needs and hopes.  There were many specific challenges for the United Nations and the OSCE in the prevention, settlement and management of conflicts, in particular in south-eastern Europe.  History had shown that there could be no security in Europe as long as there was instability in that part of the European continent.

Her country appreciated the work done by both the United Nations and the OSCE missions in Kosovo and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in preparation of the elections.  She appealed to the elected leaders to adopt a constructive approach so that real progress in the inter-ethnic dialogue and improvement in the living conditions of all the inhabitants of the province could be achieved as soon as possible.  Her country also appreciated that following recent terrorist attacks, States had manifested their determination to coordinate activities to fight that evil.  Slovakia was ready to be a firm and active partner in the struggle.


GENNADY GATILOV (Russian Federation) said it was important to improve cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, taking into account the particular strengths and advantages of each.  Efforts to combat terrorism had brought out a new form of cooperation that was stronger than ever.  More effective use should be made of the characteristic resources of regional organizations, particularly in relation to peacekeeping.


To improve coordination, he said there should be regular, high-level meetings between senior United Nations officials and heads of the regional organizations.  The most promising area for cooperation was in joining forces to combat transnational crimes such as drug trafficking, and to confront the new threats to security, such as terrorism.


Moving on to a review of regional initiatives and priorities, he said a plan of action had been adopted for the OSCE.  The effect of cooperation had been particularly successful in such areas as combating drugs and promoting the integration of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.  In Latin America, the emphasis should be on economic development.  In Africa, the level of cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of Africa Unity (OAU) needed to be stepped up now that the African Union was in the process of being established.  Resources must be mobilized to combat the unacceptable challenges facing the African countries.  Effective partnerships should be developed towards that end.  The Economic and Social Council should be involved, particularly in areas such as demining and combating poverty.


CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said the recent terrorist attacks had brought into sharper focus the need to aggressively pursue means to prevent terrorism and to bring terrorists to justice.  Legal cooperation was necessary to ensure that terrorists were brought to justice and that activities which facilitated terrorism -- in particular, financing of terrorism -- were stopped at an early stage and eventually prevented altogether.  Through its tradition of active support for democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, the Council of Europe was uniquely positioned to make a substantial contribution in the fight against terrorism.  The efforts of the OSCE in the fight complemented those of the Council of Europe.


The past decade had seen the emergence of armed conflict in Europe on a scale not seen since the Second World War, he said.  The OSCE had made important contributions to containing those conflicts, in close cooperation with the United Nations.  Most recently, the OSCE had been an essential participant in the activities of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo.  The successfully completed elections held in Kosovo on 17 November had demonstrated the effectiveness of cooperation between the two organizations.  The Council of Europe in turn had played an essential role in monitoring the elections.

ABDUL MANNAN (Bangladesh), addressing cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, said he appreciated the input given by various parliaments to the Millennium Summit, the Assembly's special session on HIV/AIDS, the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, and the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries.


He welcomed the contribution of the IPU to the ongoing debate on observance of international law in the interest of world peace, and to its promotion of parliamentary awareness of the importance of securing respect for international humanitarian law.  His Government was committed to good governance and was making a concerted effort to ensure the participation of women in all levels of policy making and implementation.  To have a viable and worthwhile State, a good parliament was a prerequisite.  The UN and the IPU could complement each other in many areas.


He supported the Secretary-General's proposal for granting observer status to the IPU.  That gesture from the Assembly would have a positive outcome for the world, as it brought two very important actors in everyday life to the same table.


SHAMSHAD AHMAD (Pakistan) said the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) was one of the largest intergovernmental organizations, with 56 members and four observer States, and represented the Islamic world as its collective voice. It aimed to promote solidarity and cooperation among all its members in the political, economic and social spheres.  The OIC had been engaged over the years in a constructive and cooperative relationship with the United Nations and other international organizations, reinforcing common endeavours in pursuit of peace and development.


In accordance with the cardinal precepts of Islam, which was a religion of peace and tolerance, the OIC had tried to promote better understanding and dialogue between and among different cultures, he said.  The need to promote cross-cultural understanding had never been as acute as it was now.  The tragic events of 11 September underscored the need to further strengthen cooperation between the Islamic world and the international community in the common fight against international terrorism by identifying and addressing its root causes.


Continuing, he said that the Economic Cooperation Organization sought to promote socio-economic development in keeping with challenges arising on the global economic scene.  Originally a trilateral entity of Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, it was enlarged in November 1992 to include Afghanistan and six newly independent republics of Central Asia and the Caucasus.  Now the Economic Cooperation Organization was a major regional organization of 10 member States bound together by geography, history and culture and a common vision for their future –- a future of peace and prosperity.  Unfortunately, its potential had not been fully realized due to the protracted conflict in Afghanistan, but now there was a glimmer of hope for peace there.  It could serve as a vehicle for post-war reconstruction, and also for developing and integrating economies of the region that had borne the brunt of conflict.  The Economic Cooperation Organization already had in place blueprints for the region–wide development of transport and communications, trade and investment, banking and insurance, culture and education, and effective use of the region’s vast energy resources.


DIRK JAN VAN DEN BERG (Netherlands) introduced the draft on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (document A/56/L.30).  He recalled that yesterday the Director-General to that organization had made a statement regarding the cooperation.  The draft resolution, he added, was entirely procedural.  It noted the Assembly’s resolution 55/283 of 7 September this year approving the Agreement concerning the relationship between the United Nations and the organization, the receipt of whose annual report was acknowledged.  By the operative paragraphs of today’s draft, he went on, the Assembly welcomed the entry into force of the Agreement, took note of the annual report and decided to include the item on the agenda for the next Assembly session.  In view of its strictly procedural nature, he hoped the draft would be adopted by consensus.


BOB F. JALANG’O (Kenya) said that the escalation of conflicts in Africa had eroded development gains attained over the years, and it had been established that conflict situations were havens for the legal exploitation of natural resources.  Kenya heartily welcomed any form of collaborative mechanism between the United Nations and the OAU in preventive diplomacy, particularly in operations and peace missions in the African region.  However, Kenya urged the strengthening of United Nations peacekeeping, particularly in the area of reimbursement.  In that regard, Kenya appreciated the efforts of the United Nations in reimbursing costs to troop-contributing countries, but lamented the serious delays encountered in reimbursement for contingent-owned equipment.


He reaffirmed the important role of regional organizations in conflict resolution, preventive diplomacy and peace-making.  However, closer cooperation between regional organizations -- including the OAU -- and the United Nations should be encouraged.  The humanitarian and emergency situations in Africa seemed to elicit a slow response from the international community.  Kenya had continued to shoulder an enormous burden from the influx of refugees from neighbouring countries, and called for international support to alleviate the burden.


He was deeply concerned with the question of excessive availability, accumulation and illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons.  Those weapons threatened human security and hindered socio-economic development and political stability.  It was therefore imperative for the international community to take decisive steps to alleviate the problem.


Announcements


The Vice-President of the Assembly, Dumisani Kumalo (South Africa) announced that on Thursday, 13 December the Assembly would take up the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (item 14) to consider draft resolution A/56/L.10 and an amendment in document A/56/L.11.


The Assembly would also consider several draft resolutions under the item on strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance (item 20).


The Assembly would consider the role of diamonds in fuelling conflict (item 37), originally scheduled for the morning of Friday 14 December, at a later date.


GERHARD THERON (Namibia) said the IPU had continued to fulfil its unique role internationally and had contributed to the work of the United Nations in a number of areas.  The IPU had participated in fields such as peace and security, economic and social development, international law and human rights, democracy, governance and gender issues.  It had also successfully bridged the gaps that sometimes existed between the United Nations and the national level by effectively promoting the goals and objectives of the Organization.  The relationship between the IPU and the United Nations needed to be strengthened, and he was hopeful that new and special ties between the two organizations would be realized soon.


He said Africa today continued to carry the burden of too many conflicts and other social and economic problems, but the continent had also proven its determination to take charge of the situation by its adoption of the New African Initiative, now called the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).  Those initiatives could not be realized without the assistance of international partners.  With the establishment of the African Union, the continent would achieve better economic and political integration, which would lead to improved cooperation and coordination with the United Nations.  In that regard, he looked forward to the completion of the proposed review of the United Nations/Organization of African Unity Programme of Cooperation to determine how that programme could be adapted to support the OAU as it developed the structural concept of the new African Union.


Security threats were increasing, he said, and the world should speak with one voice when it came to issues of disarmament and international security.  Both the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban-Treaty Organization and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had pragmatic and concrete measures designed to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction.  He therefore supported the strengthening of cooperation between those organizations and the United Nations.


MIGNONETTE PATRICIA DURRANT (Jamaica), speaking on behalf of the Group of Latin America countries and the Caribbean, said she welcomed progress made in cooperation efforts between the United Nations agencies and programmes, especially the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and Latin American Economic System.  She was pleased to report that since the adoption of resolution 54/8 on 25 October 1999, the Latin American Economic System (SELA) had taken a series of decisions that complemented the present report.  Over the past year, there had been increased cooperation in support of Latin American and Caribbean Member States in the areas of training, promotion, and provision of technical assistance.


Furthermore, she said, there had been considerable effort within the region to promote, create and encourage coordination of regional cooperation activities by integrating the operations of various regional and international specialized organizations.  In the areas of extra-regional relations, attention had been focused on agricultural negotiations, through the conduct of several studies and joint programmes with the World Bank and with the collaboration of the Andean Development Corporation.  A draft resolution entitled “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Latin American Economic System” would be introduced to the General Assembly at a later date.


CARLOS VALERA (Mexico) said, regarding the cooperation between the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum, that his country was well aware of the challenges facing the world in a globalizing society.  It was vital to strengthen multilateral mechanisms, especially in connection with issues that affected peace and security.  Small island states had a history of cultural diversity and of respect for the rule of law, including international law.  That created a commonality of interest between them and Mexico in such areas as conservation of the environment and ensuring zones of peace.


In addition, he said, there was also a shared desire on the part of small States and Mexico to contribute to the holistic well being of their people.  That entailed a whole range of concerns in such areas as promoting a culture of peace.  To achieve such aims, they relied on measures to strengthen their cooperation with other States, with regional organizations and with the United Nations.  Hopefully, the consideration of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations under one agenda item, as a whole, would increase the effectiveness of the Pacific Islands Forum.


SANTIAGO I. MOURÃO (Brazil) said the possibilities for enhanced cooperation were illustrated by the Inter-Parliamentary Union.  Since its establishment more than a century ago, that Union had been an incremental force in promoting cooperation and understanding among parliamentarians of different nations.  In the performance of its mandate, it had also enhanced the goals of the United Nations. Activities of the Inter-Parliamentary Union truly helped in the intensification of dialogue among societies and nations.  This was a natural consequence of the ever-closer interaction between domestic and international affairs in a world increasingly subject to globalization.


The advantages, he added, were two-fold.  On the one hand, it offered an opportunity for parliamentarians to interact with their colleagues from across the globe.  At the same time, it enabled parliamentary decisions to bolster the activities of the United Nations and, as a result, ensured a broader representation of States in the work of the Organization.  Brazil therefore supported ongoing efforts to establish a new and strengthened relationship between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.


He added that the agreement between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was an important step in the consolidation of the regime of disarmament and non-proliferation of chemical weapons.  It strengthened both organizations, supported the implementation of their common objectives and benefited the international community as a whole.  The agreement would facilitate the universalization of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, as well as its more effective implementation.  He stressed that the full implementation of the Convention, must be seen as an urgent endeavour of the international community, with a view to eliminating all chemical arsenals, verifying industrial activities using sensitive chemicals, promoting increasing cooperation for peaceful uses and controlling the international exchange of sensitive chemicals.


KOUMTOG LAOTEGGUELNODJI (Chad) recounted the track record of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) to stress the efforts its members had made to promote an economic integration policy.  The Community negotiated the ECCAS treaty from 1982-1983, ratified it from 1983-84, and the treaty had entered into force in 1985.  From 1985 to 1992, the ECCAS Secretariat had proposed legal, commercial, customs, financial, monetary and technical instruments to increase the production of goods and services for the community’s markets.  At the same time, concrete proposals were made to members favouring the free circulation of goods, capital and nationals in the Community.

Initial efforts at the economic integration of ECCAS members were made possible thanks to financial and technical assistance, as well as human resources from the international community.  With establishment of the ECCAS, real hope was born for endogenous development among all African States.  Unfortunately, from 1992 to 1998, the organization had begun to descend into prolonged lethargy, due to political and economic difficulties.


In 1998, he said, a new era began for the ECCAS, and authorities at the highest political levels decided to revitalize it.  A multidisciplinary mission had travelled through member countries and had asked decision-makers and civil society about their needs in socio-economic integration.  That mission clearly showed that the people of Central Africa wanted peace and security to go about their daily business.  The organization had then integrated the goals of peace and human security into its initial agenda, which was economic integration.  He fully supported the adoption by consensus of draft resolution L.25. on economic cooperation with Central African States.


GINTS JEGERMANIS (Latvia) emphasized the major role of the Council of Europe in the area of promotion and protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law within its region.  Being a truly pan-European organization, the Council of Europe could advantageously perform tasks common to a number of international organizations.  Both organizations continued to have shared interests which lent themselves to cooperation in such areas as conflict-prevention, post-conflict peace-building and confidence-building measures.  The United Nations, the OSCE, the European Union and the Council of Europe performed complementary tasks and, in his view, must work in a mutually reinforcing fashion.  The best means to achieve this was through close and frequent contacts between the headquarters of organizations and the people on the ground –- as it had been in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


He said that the accession of new countries to the Council of Europe was giving a strong impetus to the promotion of democracy and stability in the region.  He reminded the Assembly of the accession of Armenia and Azerbaijan to the Council in the beginning of 2001, during Latvia's chairmanship of the Council.  That had been a time when the dialogue with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia had commenced and pre-accession relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina were intensified.  Those developments were facilitated by the common activities of the successive chairmanships of Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Luxembourg.


MOVSES ABELIAN (Armenia) said the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) was dealing with a number of regional conflicts, most of which had emerged because peoples under alien domination had been denied their legitimate and peacefully sought right to self-determination.  One such conflict in need of peaceful settlement was that of Nagorno-Karabakh.  No amount of ambiguous diplomatic language could mask the fact that the people there had earned the right to live peacefully in their historic homeland of three thousand years.  The Armenian side of this conflict was prepared to engage in a serious "give-and-take" and was open to mutual compromise.  With the help of the OSCE Minsk Group, a forward movement could be registered, sustained and consolidated.


In January 2001, he said, Armenia had joined the Council of Europe and was fully cognizant that the membership in this respected European body was a privilege, which implied certain responsibilities.  Armenia welcomed the cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe, which was mostly focused on the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms.  Armenia also welcomed the interaction between the Council of Europe and the United Nations High Commissioners for Refugees and for Human Rights.


On the sub item “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference”, he said Armenia repeated its call for a more constructive and balanced stance from that respected organization with regard to the conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh.  Armenia reiterated that this conflict had no religious dimension and, rejected any attempt to present it as a battle between Christians and Muslims.  It held the Organization of the Islamic Conference in high esteem and once more confirmed its invitation to the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to visit Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.


SIMON P. RICHARDS (Dominica), speaking for the member nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said that those countries were grateful to the Secretary-General for his report (document A/56/171), setting forth the many aspects of continuing cooperation between the Latin American Economic System (SELA) and the organs of the United Nations system.  For CARICOM members, he said, the importance of a regional institution like SELA was most noteworthy in areas of enhanced capacity-building through technical training and in the provision of information vital for a better understanding of current economic trends.


The role of SELA was also significant in assisting the promotion of the regional and sub-regional efforts, which were essential to the development of the capacity of small States to derive some benefits from the globalized economy.  In its focus on extra-regional relations, intra-regional relations and regional cooperation, SELA emphasised the benefits likely to accrue from interdependent relations existing between the sub-regions of Latin America and the Caribbean.  He said SELA also served as an important link between the region and other regions of the world.


JOHANNES DE JONGE, Director of External Relations, Council of Europe, said the world had reacted with compassion and solidarity to the terrorist attacks of 11 September.  Governments and international organizations had expressed their determination to resolutely fight international terrorism.  The Council of Europe had decided on a broad package of initial decisions to strengthen its own action in the fight against terrorism and to address factors likely to feed terrorism.  A cornerstone of that action was legal cooperation to combat terrorism.  One of the key objectives in action against terrorism was to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice, which presupposed a legal framework permitting substantial international cooperation.


He underlined cooperation with the United Nations in preventing conflict and building peace in South-Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.  The two organizations also had long-standing cooperation in Bosnia and Herzegovina and now in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.  The Council contributed to the work of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo in several areas, such as human rights, legal reform, minority protection and education.


The Council’s concern for human rights and human dignity did not stop at the borders of Europe, he said.  To create a better understanding of the complexity of the intimate links that existed between all countries and to create greater solidarity among the peoples of the world, the Council had set up the European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity in Lisbon in 1989.  That Centre also aimed to bring the universal standards of democracy and human rights to other continents.


JAN KUBIS, Observer and Secretary-General, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said the issue of terrorism had received top priority since the terrorist attacks of 11 September.  The OSCE States respected the United Nations as the global legal framework for the fight against terrorism.  They were adding their national, bilateral and multilateral actions to the fight in close cooperation with other organizations and forums.  A plan of action adopted by the recent OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting in Bucharest had set out numerous actions for cooperation with the United Nations and with regional organizations in Europe, the CIS region, the Arab countries and Africa.


At the same time, he said, OSCE States defended their freedom and protected their own citizens against acts of terrorism.  They rejected the identification of terrorism with any nationality or region.  The OSCE had a broad membership of    55 States, including States in Central Asia.  That placed it in a good position to implement a comprehensive approach to security.  It would look for ways in which to promote and expand multi-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.  The recent successful election in Kosovo was an excellent illustration of OSCE working closely with the United Nations to achieve progress beyond conflict.


To increase OSCE capacities in the increasingly important area of policing and to better organize its activities, he said the OSCE had created a Senior Police Adviser position in its secretariat.  That would enable it to provide conceptual and operational support for civilian police-related activities, including multi-ethnic training that will prepare thousands of OSCE-trained police officers, and would reform existing police according to the most democratic of tenets modern policing.  Once that was established, the Adviser would develop contacts and cooperate with OSCE and international partners.


Reviewing the situation of peacekeeping operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the role played by the OSCE, he said security was a priority.  It was assured by close cooperation and through regular meetings to share information and coordinate responses.  Other areas of common interest were the combating of aggressive nationalism and trafficking in people, the promotion of gender issues and the curbing of the presence of light weapons.  In all those areas, the core of information exchange and coordination with international partners took place in the field.  In turn, there was frequent contact with headquarters.


HUSSEIN HASSOUNA, League of Arab States, said cooperation between his organization and the United Nations went back many years.  The Secretary-General’s report dealt well with the initiatives and issues in his region.  He reviewed the many meetings that had been held at the highest levels and said the League was committed to improving cooperation with the United Nations to achieve the development and welfare of all peoples and ensure the safety of all mankind.


Regarding cooperation between the League and the United Nations, he said the level of representation in such meetings should be at the highest level on the part of the Organization.  The issue was important for his region, particularly at the upcoming sectoral meeting next year, when the question of establishing a free-trade zone in the region would be discussed.  The question of capacity-building was also a priority, particularly in the framework of restructuring the League and promoting implementation of the Millennium Declaration goals through coordination between the United Nations and other organizations.


A great opportunity had been available during the Millennium Summit, he said.  It had been a chance to lead the United Nations into a new era by promoting its legitimacy.  The terrorist attack that coincided with the opening of this year's Assembly session had impacted international relations profoundly.  The key priority now was to find ways to cooperate on issues and to establish mechanisms that would enable countries to avoid the splintering consequences of the terrorist attack.  Mechanisms should be designed to fight selectivity and double standards in anti-poverty programmes and establish justice in order to realize sustainable social and economic development while protecting the environment.


He said all regional organizations must cooperate, since the events of     11 September had shown the need for an international regime based on the rule of law.  Again, the League had strongly condemned the terrorist attacks since they ran counter to all religions.  It had also stressed that there was no link between the terrorist acts and Islam.  Further, the League had affirmed that Arab culture was peaceful and had called for an international meeting on related issues.  It had stressed the importance of differentiating between terrorist acts and legitimate fights for freedom.


In that regard, he said many resolutions had been passed on the Middle East situation.  They were based on the principle of land for peace.  Still, Israel was attacking innocent people, leading to a cycle of violence that would not end until the occupation by Israel ended.  Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 were the only tools to end the occupation, which the United Nations had a responsibility to bring about for the establishment of a Palestinian State.  In November, an important statement had been issued by Ministers of the League.  It was aimed at spreading the culture of peace to bring about justice and stop the fighting, with the League representing Arab legitimacy.    


SYLVAIN ETUL MPWOTSH NGUNG, for the Organization of African Unity (OAU), said there had been no shortage of difficulties in carrying out joint programmes with the United Nations, but both organizations had done their utmost to achieve what was possible.  On the ground, regular consultations had occurred between them to enact the directives of their leadership and the resolutions of the General Assembly.  He welcomed other activities the OAU had carried out in the humanitarian and social areas, in close concert with United Nations agencies.


At the Lusaka Summit in July, he said OAU members had taken major decisions, including one to move from the OAU to an African Union.  The conference had also adopted a declaration on the New African Initiative, which had become the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.  That was a true action plan stressing peace and security, and recognizing that human rights and good governance were essential for development.  It was a political framework, clearly defined and well-structured to promote development in the continent at a time of globalization.  The Partnership was designed after in-depth examination of Africa’s political and social situation, and after governments had identified problems “hamstringing” the continent.


The move for an African Union was a difficult task that the Secretary-General of the OAU must tackle, along with many problems continuing to afflict Africa, including situations of conflict.  Peace agreements had brought some calm,

but Africa was still considered a continent where conflicts seemed endless.  One consequence was the ever-rising number of refugees and displaced persons.  All those problems were compounded by the external debt burden and by natural disasters, such as drought and floods.  External debt was paralyzing the continent at all levels.  He called on Africa’s economic partners to consider sacrifices made by African countries, and to consider the best way to cancel that debt and make economic recovery possible.


The meeting was adjourned.


When the Assembly met again this afternoon,MOKHTAR LAMANI, Permanent Observer of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), drew attention to paragraph 34 of the report of the Secretary-General contained in document A/56/398.  The paragraph indicated that information from a number of organizations, departments of the United Nations system, on their respective programmes and activities in cooperation with the OIC and its specialized institutions, could not be included in the report.  He felt that only unforeseen or unavoidable technical constraints would have led to the exclusion of this information from the report.  He sincerely believed that had the material been available in the report, it would have added more to the collective understanding of the state of cooperation between the two organizations.


He also took the opportunity to draw the attention of delegates to operative paragraphs contained in draft resolution A/56/L.36, paragraph 5.  In its latter part, the draft took note of the close cooperation between the two organizations in continuing the search for a lasting and peaceful solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.  The events of the past few weeks had brought about serious changes in the situation in Afghanistan, signalling the need for even closer cooperation in those particular aspects of peacemaking.  The OIC would stand by for the tasks that lay ahead in that direction.


The OIC expressed hope that the same degree of concern demonstrated by the United Nations in Afghanistan would be focused on the Middle East in order to end the illegal Israeli occupation of Arab lands and of Palestinian territory, to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their right of self-determination; and to enable them attain the establishment of their own independent sovereign State with Jerusalem as its capital.  The United Nations had an important and mandated role in implementing the general will of the international community, and that role must not be reneged.


RIDHA BOUABID, Observer of the International Organization of la Francophonie, said Assembly resolution 54/25 of 15 November 1999 had encouraged the United Nations and the Organization of la Francophonie to intensify their consultations in order to achieve better coordination in the areas of conflict prevention, maintenance of peace-building, the state of law, democracy and human rights.  The resolution also invited both organizations to develop new synergies in support of poverty elimination, energy, sustainable development, education and development of new information technologies.


Exchange of information between the two organizations had taken place concerning member countries of the organization that had experienced crises, such as Burundi, Haiti, Guinea-Bissau, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Comoros and Guinea.  That exercise had been marked by constant concern for complementarity.  Regarding support for electoral assistance, democracy and human rights, he said a lot remained to be done, but the bond between the two organizations had become stronger.


The new partnership in economic and social areas, through the Organization’s principal operative, the intergovernmental agency of la Francophonie and various United Nations agencies, such as the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, supported the elimination of poverty, the battle against AIDS and promotion of participation of the private sector.  He welcomed the synergy with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) regarding the third United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries.


Regarding new information technologies, he said the tradition of cooperation was gaining ground through projects in 1999 and 2000 for francophone countries in Western Africa and the Middle East.  The organization was now working on a programme of cooperation for 2002 and 2003 for Central Africa and the Caribbean region.  He thanked all Member States for the support he hoped would be given to the draft resolution.


NELSON COSME, Assistant Secretary-General of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), said that cooperation with the United Nations had in large measure led to the creation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and ECCAS.  Central Africa had an area of more than 6 million square kilometres.  It had more than 100 million people and was rich in natural resources.  Central Africa deserved the sustained attention of the international community because its development would determine that of the rest of the continent.


He said that outbreaks of violence severely affected the development of the subregion.  For that reason, emphasis in the region had been placed on confidence-building measures to strengthen peacekeeping and conflict-prevention mechanisms, including an early-warning system.  None of those measures could be implemented without the United Nations, which alone had the legitimacy to respond on issues affecting international security.


With regard to the relationship between ECCAS and the African Union, he said there should be intense cooperation between the two secretariats to achieve subregional integration with the continent.  That would also enable ECCAS to develop partnerships to intensify development.  Many roles were envisioned for ECCAS within the Union.  It was intended that ECCAS would open up African commerce by creating a free-trade zone.  The ECCAS would also provide jobs and shape the infrastructural elements for development.  Of course, it would participate in the campaign against terrorism.


In brief, he said the future of ECCAS was very much tied up with that of the OAU.  Africans themselves would show interest in tackling the problems that had beset ECCAS and Africa in the past.


Action on Draft Resolutions


The Assembly then turned its attention to the eleven draft resolutions before it, as contained in documents A/56/L.25/Rev.2, L.26, L.29, L.30, L.31, L.32, L.34, L.35, L.36, L.37 and L.38.


CAROLYN WILLSON (United States), in explanation of vote, said she regretted not being able to participate in the adoption of the draft on cooperation with the Council of Europe, because it contained language on the International Criminal Court that was unacceptable to her Government.  The United States had well-known objections to that Court, she said, including the Court’s purported ability to exercise jurisdiction over nationals of non-parties, the inclusion of the crime of aggression within the statue of the Court, and the possibility of politically motivated prosecutions.  Her country valued the cooperative relationship between the United Nations and the Council of Europe, but could not endorse the statement in the draft on the Council’s efforts to support the International Criminal Court.


JEAN DE RUYT (Belgium), speaking for members of the European Union said those countries regretted that the United States had asked for draft resolution L.38 (on cooperation in preparations for the nuclear-test-ban treaty) to be pressed to a vote.  The European Union believed the work of the Preparatory Committee for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) completed efforts the United Nations had made in the domain of international security, arms control and disarmament in an effective manner.  That was why it welcomed the adoption of a partnership agreement between the Preparatory Commission for the CTBT and the United Nations, as well as agreements of cooperation with United Nations specialized agencies and programmes.


For the European Union, he said, the CTBT constituted an important step, both symbolic and concrete, in non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, he said. It conformed with article 6 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which was the cornerstone of the non-proliferation regime and the foundation of nuclear disarmament research.


The call from the United States delegation for a vote on this text was regrettable because it aimed to impair cooperation between the European Union and the Preparatory Commission.


BRONTE MOULES (Australia) said he was pleased to support the draft, but regretted that it could not be adopted without a vote.  The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty was a landmark achievement for nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.


The Assembly was informed that Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Greece, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands and the Democratic Republic of the Congo had joined as co-sponsors of draft resolution L.25/rev.2, on cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Community of Central African States.


The Assembly then adopted the draft without a vote.


The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had joined as co-sponsor for draft resolution L.26, on cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States, which was also adopted without a vote.


Senegal had joined as co-sponsor of draft resolution L.29 (on cooperation between the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum).  Jamaica had joined as co-sponsor of draft resolution L.30, on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.  Both texts were adopted without a vote.

Germany, Russian Federation and United Kingdom had joined as co-sponsors of draft resolution L.31 on cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe, which was adopted without a vote, as was draft resolution L.32, on cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization.


New co-sponsors for draft L.34 were Albania, Angola, Slovakia, Suriname, Ukraine, Colombia, Turkey, Dominica and Hungary.  That draft, on cooperation between the United Nations and the International Organization of la Francophonie, was also adopted without a vote.


The Assembly then turned to draft resolution L.35 on cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which was also adopted without a vote.  Its additional co-sponsors were Australia, Cape Verde, Colombia, Croatia, El Salvador, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Nepal, Paraguay, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Sudan, Yemen, Zimbabwe, Thailand, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Libya and Eritrea.


Co-sponsors for draft resolution L.36 –- on cooperation between the United Nations and the organization of the Islamic conference -- were Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Indonesia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Niger, Pakistan, Senegal, Syria, Turkey and United Arab Emirates.  The text was adopted without a vote.


The Assembly adopted, without a vote, draft resolution L.37 on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity as orally amended.  Its additional co-sponsors were Chile, Libya, Madagascar and Seychelles.


In a recorded vote of 134 in favour, to one against (United States), with two abstentions (India and Pakistan), the Assembly adopted draft resolution A/56/L.38, on co-operation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (See Annex).  Suriname joined as a co-sponsor of the text.


TREVOR HUGHES (New Zealand), speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, said he had supported the resolution just as his country had always supported the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.  He regretted that the resolution had not been adopted without a vote.


(annex follows)



ANNEX


Vote on Cooperation with CTBT Preparatory Commission


The Assembly adopted the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (document A/56/L.38) by a recorded vote of 134 in favour to

1 against, with 2 abstentions as follows:


In favour:  Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yugoslavia, Zambia.


Against:  United States.


Abstaining:  India, Pakistan.


Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Bhutan, Cameroon, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Estonia, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Honduras, Jamaica, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Federated States of Micronesia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


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