30 November 2007
General Assembly
GA/EF/3204

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

Sixty-second General Assembly

Second Committee

30th Meeting (PM)


four texts approved by Second Committee would boost initiatives


on climate change, promote sustainable development

 


The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) this afternoon approved four draft resolutions that would bolster several broad climate change-related initiatives by having the General Assembly call on Governments and stakeholders to take action on a range of critical global warming and sustainable development issues.


Among the texts approved was one entitled “Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.”  That draft (document A/C.2/62/L.40), approved, without a vote as orally corrected, would have the Assembly call upon stakeholders to take action to ensure the effective implementation of and follow-up to the commitments, programmes and targets adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development.


The Committee also approved, again without a vote, as orally corrected, a draft resolution on the follow-up to and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the further implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (document A/C.2/62/L.41).  By that text, the Assembly would urge all Governments and relevant international and regional stakeholders to take timely action for the effective implementation of and follow-up to the Mauritius Declaration and the implementation strategy.  The Assembly would also call for new and additional voluntary resources to revitalize the Small Island Developing States Information Network.


Also approved without a vote, as orally corrected, was a draft resolution on protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind (document A/C.2/62/L.38).  That text would have the Assembly stress the seriousness of climate change, and strongly urge States that had not yet ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to do so in a timely manner.  By other terms, the Assembly would recognize the serious risks and challenges posed by climate change, and call upon States to take urgent global action to address the phenomenon in line with the Convention’s principles.


In a recorded action, the Committee approved operative paragraph 11 of that text, which concerned the budget of the Convention by 160 votes in favour to 2 against (Japan, United States), with no abstentions (See annex for voting details). 


Later in the meeting, the representatives of Kenya and Afghanistan said they had been unable to participate in that action, and requested that their delegations be included among those voting in favour of the draft.


In a statement before the vote, the representative of the United States said he would vote against the paragraph, because regular resources should not be diverted from the United Nations regular budget to fund treaty bodies and conventions.  However, the United States supported the objectives of the Climate Change Convention, and would continue to do so through voluntary contributions.


Japan’s representative said she could not agree with the paragraph, noting that the Convention had its own budget and secretariat.  Not every Member State was a party to the treaty and its costs should therefore be separate from the United Nations regular budget.


Speaking after the vote, on behalf of the European Union, Portugal’s representative said he would have preferred that the draft resolution mark 2008 as the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of resolution 45/33, which recognized climate change as a common concern of mankind, and more fully acknowledge the importance of the scientific findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  Unchecked climate change would prevent the international community from achieving the Millennium Development Goals.


Acting without a vote, the Committee also approved a draft on the report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on its twenty-fourth session (document A/C.2/62/L.39).  By that text, the Assembly would decide to declare the decade 2010-2020 as the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification.  It would stress the need to further advance and fully implement the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building.


The Committee will meet again at a date and time to be announced.


Background


The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met this afternoon to take action on four draft resolutions.


Before the Committee was a draft resolution on protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind (document A/C.2/62/L.38), by which the General Assembly would stress the seriousness of climate change and strongly urge States that had not yet ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to do so in a timely manner.  It would recognize that climate change poses serious risks and challenges to all countries, particularly developing countries, and call upon States to take urgent global action to address it in line with the Convention’s principles, including that of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.


By other terms, the Assembly would urge countries to fully implement their commitments under the Convention and enhance international cooperation to do so.  Further, it would call upon the international community to fulfil commitments made during the fourth replenishment of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), and request that the Secretary-General make provisions for the sessions of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention and its subsidiary bodies in his proposed 2008-2009 programme budget. 


Also before the Committee was a draft on the report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its twenty-fourth session (document A/C.2/62/L.39), by which the Assembly would decide to declare the decade 2010-2020 as the United Nations Decade for Deserts and the Fight against Desertification.  It would stress the need to further advance and fully implement the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building, and call upon Governments and other stakeholders in a position to do so to provide the necessary funding and technical assistance.  It would also call upon the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to continue its efforts to fully implement the Bali Strategic Plan through strengthened cooperation with other stakeholders.


By a draft on the implementation of Agenda 21, the programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/62/L.40), the Assembly would call upon Governments, relevant international and regional organizations, the Economic and Social Council, United Nations funds and programmes, regional commissions and specialized agencies, international financial institutions, the GEF and other intergovernmental organizations to ensure the effective implementation of and follow-up to the commitments, programmes and targets adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development.


Also by that text, the Assembly would call for the effective implementation of the commitments, programmes and time-bound targets adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and for the fulfilment of the provisions relating to the means of implementation, as contained in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.  The Assembly would also underline the importance of reviewing implementation of the decisions of the thirteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development on water and sanitation.


Another draft, on the follow-up to and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the further implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (document A/C.2/62/L.41), would have the Assembly urge all Governments and relevant international and regional stakeholders to take timely action for the effective implementation of and follow-up to the Mauritius Declaration and the implementation strategy.  The Assembly would call upon the international community to support the efforts of small island developing States to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change by providing them with new and predictable sources of financing, capacity-building and appropriate technologies.  The Assembly would urge the Secretary-General to ensure that the Small Island Developing States Unit of the Economic and Social Council are sufficiently and sustainably staffed without delay.


By other terms of that text, the Assembly would call for new and additional voluntary resources to revitalize the Small Island Developing States Information Network, and request that the United Nations step up efforts to mainstream the Mauritius Strategy in their work programmes and establish a focal point for small island developing States’ issues.  Further, it would decide to review progress made in addressing the vulnerabilities of small island developing States.


ANNEX


Vote on Protection of Global Climate


Operative paragraph 11 of the draft resolution on protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind (document A/C.2/62/L.38) was approved by a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 2 against, with no abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Japan, United States.


Abstain:  None.


Absent:  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belize, Burundi, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


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For information media • not an official record