28 September 2006
General Assembly

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-first General Assembly

Fourth Committee

1st Meeting (AM)



Delegates to Consider ‘ University of Peace’ as Agenda Item for First Time

The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) approved this morning its programme of work and timetable for the sixty-first session of the General Assembly.  It also approved its working procedures, established a Working Group of the Whole on Outer Space and considered requests for hearing by petitioners from Non-Self-Governing Territories.

At the outset of the meeting, Committee Chairman Madju Raman Acharya of Nepal paid tribute to his predecessor, Yashar Aliyev ( Azerbaijan) and to members of the previous Bureau.  He also congratulated the new Bureau -- Vice-Chairpersons Larbi Djacta ( Algeria), Monica Bolanos-Perez ( Guatemala) and Urban Andersson ( Sweden), as well as Rapporteur Rana Salayeva ( Azerbaijan).

According to the work programme (document A/C.4/61/L.1), the Committee’s current session will open with issues from its annual roster, the first being implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (item 38), to be considered from 2 to 6 October.  During that time, the Committee will also consider related items such as information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73(e) of the United Nations Charter (item 34); economic and other activities that affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories (item 35); implementation of the decolonization Declaration by United Nations specialized agencies and associated international institutions (item 36); and offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories (item 37).

The Committee will consider international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space (item 29) from 11 to 13 October; questions relating to information (item 33) from 16 to 18 October; and the comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects (item 32) from 19 to 25 October.  From 27 to 30 October, it will take up the effects of atomic radiation (item 74); University of Peace (item 27) -- to be considered for the first time by the Fourth Committee on a triannual basis -- revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (item 109); and programme planning (item 117). 

From 31 October to 2 November, the Committee will consider the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (item 30), and on 6 to 8 November, it will take up the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (item 31).

The Committee expects to conclude its work for the current session on 9 November.  Its consideration of the items on information questions, outer space, peacekeeping operations and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East will include a questions-and-answer period following introduction of the relevant reports.

With respect to requests for hearing, an aide-mémoire (document 1/06) containing 44 requests relating to the questions of Gibraltar,Guam, New Caledoniaand Western Sahara was distributed.  There being no comments on those requests, the Committee decided that they would be circulated as a document for consideration at a later meeting.  The Chairman said he had received communications from the Chief Minister of Gibraltar and from a representative of the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands, who both wished to speak before the Committee.

The Fourth Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Monday, 2 October, to take up issues relating to implementation of the decolonization Declaration.

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For information media • not an official record