14 March 2008
General Assembly
GA/10693

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

Sixty-second General Assembly

Plenary

86th Meeting (AM)


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION REAFFIRMING TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY


OF AZERBAIJAN, DEMANDING WITHDRAWAL OF ALL ARMENIAN FORCES


Seriously concerned that the armed conflict in and around the Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan continued to endanger international peace and security, the General Assembly today reaffirmed Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, expressing support for that country’s internationally recognized borders and demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Armenian forces from all occupied territories there.


By a recorded vote of 39 in favour to 7 against (Angola, Armenia, France, India, Russian Federation, United States, Vanuatu), with 100 abstentions, the Assembly also reaffirmed the inalienable right of the Azerbaijani population to return to their homes, and reaffirmed that no State should recognize as lawful the situation resulting from the occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories, or render assistance in maintaining that situation.  (See annex for voting details.)


At the same time, the Assembly recognized the need to provide secure and equal conditions of life for Armenian and Azerbaijani communities in the Nagorny Karabakh region, which would allow an effective democratic system of self-governance to be built up in the region within Azerbaijan.


Introducing the draft resolution, the representative of Azerbaijan said he did not accept the argument that the text was unilateral and untimely.  It had been prepared in accordance with international law and was impartial.  It had been prompted by unfolding circumstances, both regionally and internationally, which had heightened concerns over the status of the settlement process.  It was, therefore, apropos and timely.


Meanwhile, he said, Azerbaijan was gravely concerned and alarmed at the lack of clear proposals from France, the Russian Federation and the United States, the co-chairs of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group, under whose auspices talks had begun in 1992.  The co-chairs had expressed in words their support for the objective of liberation for all the occupied territories and the return of the Azerbaijani population to Nagorny Karabakh, but by their deeds, they were trying to belittle that common endeavour.


The co-chairs had no right to deviate from the principle of territorial integrity for the sake of their “notorious neutrality”, he stressed.  Neutrality was not a position; it was the lack of one.  There could be no neutrality when the norms of international law were violated.  Neutrality under such conditions meant total disregard for those norms.  Four Security Council resolutions adopted in 1993 demanded the immediate withdrawal of the occupying forces from Azerbaijan, while the General Assembly’s dispatch of a fact-finding mission to the territories in early 2005 had confirmed Armenian settlement there.


Several delegates, speaking in explanation of position before the vote, expressed support for the text and for Azerbaijan’s just stance.  They included the representative of Pakistan, who spoke on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), noting that the group had repeatedly called for the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces from all the occupied territories, and for the peaceful resolution of the conflict on the basis of respect of territorial integrity and the inviolability of internationally recognized borders.  OIC was deeply distressed by the plight of more than 1 million Azerbaijani displaced persons and refugees, and called for the creation of conditions for their safe return home.


Also speaking before the vote, the representative of the United States noted that the Minsk Group co-chairs had jointly proposed to the two sides last November a set of basic principles for the peaceful settlement of the conflict.  The proposal comprised a balanced package of principles currently under negotiation.  Today’s resolution did not consider the proposal in its balanced entirety.  Because of that selective approach, the three co-chairs must oppose that unilateral text, which threatened to undermine the peace process.


However, he reaffirmed the negotiators’ support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and thus did not recognize the independence of Nagorny Karabakh.  But, in light of serious clashes along the Line of Contact, which had occasioned loss of life, both sides must refrain from unilateral and excessive actions, whether at the negotiations table or in the field.


Calling the resolution a “wasted attempt” to predetermine the outcome of the peace talks, Armenia’s representative said that was not how responsible members of the international community conducted the difficult but rewarding mission of bringing peace and stability to peoples and regions.  The co-chairs had found that the text did not help the peace talks; so had Armenia.  Refugees and territories had been created by an Azerbaijan that had “unleashed a savage war against people it claims to be its own citizens”.  Only when the initial cause was resolved would the fate of all the territories and refugees concerned be put right.


Others speaking before the vote were the representatives of Slovenia (on behalf of the European Union), France, Uganda, Ukraine, China and Turkey.


Speaking in explanation of position after the vote were the representatives of Indonesia, South Africa and Libya.


Azerbaijan’s representative also spoke in exercise of the right of reply.


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


Background


The General Assembly met this morning to consider the situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan and to take action on a related draft resolution.


Introduction of Text


AGSHIN MEHDIYEV ( Azerbaijan), introducing the draft resolution on the situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan (document A/62/L.42), said the conflict in and around the Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan had a long history.  Qarabag (Karabakh in Russian) -- both its mountainous (Nagorniy in Russian) and lowland parts, economically and politically linked -- had always been a historic province in Azerbaijan.  In antiquity and the early Middle Ages, the region had been part of a State known as Caucasian Albania, which had existed from the fourth century B.C. to the eighth century A.D. in the territory of present-day Azerbaijan.  In 313, Christianity had been proclaimed a State religion in Albania.


He noted that, in 1918, Azerbaijan had proclaimed independence and, guided by the principle of good-neighbourliness, handed over the Azerbaijani Iravan ( Yerevan) Province of the Republic of Armenia.  Nevertheless, the newly established Armenian Government had raised claims to other territories, including Nagorny Karabakh, over which the Armenian Assembly had formally accepted Azerbaijani rule in 1919.  During Soviet times, the Nagorny Karabakh region had enjoyed political, economic and cultural autonomy and had developed faster than Azerbaijan and Armenia as a whole.


The present stage of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict dated back to the end of 1987, he noted.  As a result of the repression carried out in Armenia, 220 Azerbaijanis had been killed, 1,154 wounded and approximately 250,000 expelled.  That had been the last deportation of Azerbaijanis who for centuries had resided in the territory presently called Armenia.


In early 1988, the Armenian Government had instigated a secessionist movement in the Nagorny Karabakh region, he said.  In 1989, the Armenian Parliament, in total contradiction to the Constitution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, had adopted a decree on “Reunification of the Armenian SSR and Nagorny Karabakh”.  In continuation of those steps, Armenia, with the support of foreign troops and the direct participation of international mercenaries and terrorist groups, had unleashed a full-scale military operation that had led to the occupation of the Nagorny Karabakh region and seven adjacent districts.  That occupation had been accompanied by a policy of ethnic cleansing.  As a result, more than 1 million Azerbaijanis had become refugees and internally displaced persons.


He recalled that, in response to the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories and alarmed by the severe humanitarian catastrophe, the Security Council had adopted four resolutions in 1993 demanding the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces.  Negotiations under the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group had begun in 1992, and Armenia had been the only one of the 54 participating OSCE States that had not accepted the principles proposed as the basis for settlement of the conflict.  Moreover, Armenia had sought to consolidate the occupation through illegal activities.  It had falsified history and misappropriated the cultural and architectural heritage of all the occupied territories.  Further, it had launched an outrageous policy of massive illegal settlement of Armenians in the occupied territories.


Having included the item on its agenda, the General Assembly had considered it in 2004, as a result of which the first ever fact-finding mission had been dispatched to the occupied territories in early 2005, he said.  The mission had confirmed the facts of Armenian settlement in the occupied territories.  The mission had become feasible, owing to the Assembly’s “just and right approach to the grave concern articulated by Azerbaijan”.


In a dangerous development, massive fires had occurred in 2006 in the eastern part of the occupied territories, where the Azerbaijani population would eventually return, he said.  The most dangerous development, however, had occurred on 4 March 2008, when the Armenian occupying forces had grossly violated the ceasefire regime, resulting in five casualties on the Azerbaijani side and 27 on the Armenian side.  That Armenian-led provocation had clearly been intended to divert attention from the tense situation in the country.  The use of force had become a traditional method of Armenia’s foreign and domestic policy.


He said his country had always conducted negotiations in good faith, whereas Armenia used negotiations as a cover for its illegal activities.  The talks were built on the clear stance of the full restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, which were both indisputable and non-negotiable, both from the legal and political view, and deserved support in the framework of the negotiations and the draft resolution.  The final settlement stage envisaged a peaceful and prosperous region, where the Azerbaijani and Armenian populations of Nagorny Karabakh would live in friendship and security within the Republic of Azerbaijan.  To arrive at that point, the consequences of the conflict must be eliminated.  That meant the withdrawal of the occupying forces from all occupied territories and the return of internally displaced persons.  Transport and communication links should also be restored.


Meanwhile, Azerbaijan was gravely concerned and alarmed at the lack of clear proposals from the co-chairs of the Minsk Group, he said.  In words they expressed support for the objectives of liberation for all the occupied territories and the return of the Azerbaijani population to Nagorny Karabakh, but in deeds they were trying to belittle that common endeavour.  The co-chairs had no right to deviate from the principle of territorial integrity for the sake of their “notorious neutrality”.  Neutrality was not a position; it was a lack of one.  There could be no neutrality when the norms of international law were violated.  Neutrality under those conditions meant total disregard for those norms.


He concluded by describing as unacceptable the argument that the draft resolution was unilateral and untimely.  The text had been prepared in accordance with international law and it was impartial.  It had been prompted by the unfolding circumstances, both regionally and internationally, which had heightened concerns over the status of the settlement process and, therefore, was apropos and timely.


Action on Text


The representative of Slovenia, speaking in explanation of position before the vote on behalf of the European Union, said that, while recognizing the right of Member States to bring issues to the attention of the General Assembly for consideration, the Minsk Group should retain the lead in settling the Nagorny Karabakh conflict.  The European Union reiterated its support for all the principles, without exception, set up within the Minsk Group, and valued the views of the Group’s co-chairs.


She said the settlement of Nagorny Karabakh dispute was an important part of the Union’s European Neighbourhood Policy and featured prominently in the related action plans.  The European Union was ready to support all steps that contributed to a peaceful resolution of the conflict, and called on the parties concerned to avoid any actions that could lead to heightened tensions and undermine the ongoing mediation efforts.


The representative of the United States said the political-level representatives of France, the Russian Federation and the United States, as co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group dealing with the Nagorny Karabakh conflict, had jointly proposed to the two parties a set of basic principles for the peaceful settlement of the conflict, on the margins of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Madrid in November 2007.  Those basic principles were founded on the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act, including those related to refraining from the threat or use of force, the territorial integrity of States and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples.  The proposal transmitted to the two sides comprised a balanced package of principles currently under negotiation.  The sides had agreed that no single element was agreed until all elements were agreed by the parties.


Unfortunately, the draft resolution before the Assembly selectively propagated only certain of those principles to the exclusion of others, without considering the co-chairs’ proposal in its balanced entirety, he said.  Because of that selective approach, the three co-chairs must oppose the unilateral draft resolution.  They reiterated that a peaceful, equitable and lasting settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict would require unavoidable compromises by the parties, reflecting the principles of territorial integrity, non-use of force, equal rights of peoples and other principles of international law.


He said that, while the co-chair countries would oppose the unilateral draft resolution, which threatened to undermine the peace process, they reaffirmed their support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and, thus, did not recognize the independence of Nagorny Karabakh.  At a time when serious clashes had occurred along the Line of Contact, occasioning loss of life, both sides must refrain from unilateral and excessive actions, either at the negotiations table or in the field.


The representative of France said he would vote against the draft resolution unilaterally presented by Azerbaijan, although his delegation fully supported the common position of the European Union on the question of the Nagorny Karabakh conflict.


The representative of Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said the group had a long-standing, principled and firm position concerning Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan, and had articulated its full support for the latter’s just stance in relevant OIC declarations, communiqués and resolutions at the summit and ministerial levels.  At their May 2007 session, OIC foreign ministers had reiterated their condemnation of Armenia’s continuing aggression against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which constituted a blatant violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.  They had called for the immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces from all the occupied territories and for the peaceful resolution of the conflict on the basis of respect for territorial integrity and the inviolability of internationally recognized borders.


He also expressed support for the Azerbaijan Government’s efforts to remove obstacles to the peace process, such as the illegal transfer of settlers of Armenian nationality to the occupied territories, the alteration of geographic, cultural and demographic practices, unlawful economic activity and exploitation of natural resources in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.  OIC demanded that Armenia stop those activities, as well as the continued destruction of Azerbaijan’s cultural and historical heritage, including Islamic monuments.  OIC was deeply distressed by the plight of more than 1 million Azerbaijani displaced persons and refugees from the occupied territories, and called for the creation of conditions for their safe, honourable and dignified return home.


Expressing deep concern over Armenia’s efforts to consolidate the status quo of occupation, particularly its continued illegal settlement of Armenians in the occupied territories, he said they undermined and prejudiced a negotiated settlement.  OIC supported the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group and bilateral consultations between the two parties to settle the conflict peacefully.  The parties were expected to negotiate in good faith, and OIC called on the international community to support the peace process, steering it clear of impediments and a possible stalemate.


The representative of Uganda, aligning himself with the statement by Pakistan, said his country firmly believed in a peaceful settlement of disputes between States and was a fervent supporter of the principle of inviolability of the sovereignty of States and respect for territorial borders, in accordance with the United Nations Charter.  If there was any departure from those principles, it must be well grounded in international law.  Uganda saw no justifiable departure in the present case; Azerbaijan had been a victim.  Uganda, therefore, supported the draft resolution, which was also in line with Security Council resolutions, and would vote “yes”.


The representative of Ukraine said today’s discussion once again highlighted the problem of protracted conflicts in the territories of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia.  They remained major impediments to the democratic and economic development of those States.  It was of vital importance that the international community continue to take practical steps to help settle the conflicts based on unconditional recognition of the territorial integrity of those countries.


He said each of those conflicts had their own history and nature, and therefore, settlement mechanisms should differ, but have a strong basis in the clear adherence to human rights.  Ukraine strongly rejected attempts to connect the case of Kosovo to the conflicts in the territories of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia.


At the same time, Ukraine consistently supported the Minsk Group regarding settlement of the conflict, he said, noting further that the Minsk process had not been exhausted.  Azerbaijan and Armenia should demonstrate flexibility and not undermine the possibilities for a settlement.


The representative of China, expressing serious concern over the question of Nagorny Karabakh, said he respected and supported Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the international community’s efforts to promote the peaceful settlement of the conflict.  The situation was complex and sensitive.  It had a direct bearing not only on the relationship between Azerbaijan and Armenia, but also on peace and stability in the entire Caucasus region.


He said his country had always advocated the settlement of disputes through peaceful negotiations, and had hoped the two countries would pursue talks, in accordance with the Charter and in the context of the Minsk Group.  China supported the co-chairs’ continued efforts to play a constructive role, and hoped the three would continue seeking to bring the two parties together for an earnest and in-depth dialogue, leading to a breakthrough in negotiations.


The representative of Turkey, aligning himself with OIC, pointed out that there was an ongoing peace process within the Minsk Group framework.  While there were concerns that the United Nations might cause some “deviation”, it should not be forgotten that the foundations of the Minsk process were indeed embedded in the United Nations Charter.  Thus, it was difficult to understand how the United Nations could derail a process that the Organization had helped bring to fruition in the first place.


He said everyone should support the draft resolution as a means towards that goal, turning it into an opportunity, rather than a distraction.  Everyone should remain committed to the Minsk Group framework.  As for timing, Turkey begged to differ with the argument that the text might blur the assessment of the co-chairs.  If it was a critical time in the Minsk process, then there could be no better occasion for the General Assembly to extend its support for the early and peaceful settlement of the 16-year-old conflict.  The draft resolution sufficiently addressed the core of the predicament.  After all, the problem was essentially one of occupation, as close to 20 per cent of Azerbaijan’s territory was occupied.


The representative of Armenia said it was unprecedented for a draft resolution to be put to the vote without there having been any consultations on it, in cynical disregard of the foundation of the United Nations and every other organization.  The purpose of the drafters had never been to encourage or facilitate discussion.  It was simply a way for Azerbaijan to list its wishes on a piece of paper.  If the intention had truly been to contribute to the success of ongoing negotiations, Azerbaijan would have put its energy into the existing Minsk Group negotiation format.


He said that, after Azerbaijan had militarized the conflict 20 years ago, there had been a full-scale war between Armenians of Nagorno Karabagh and Azerbaijan.  The result was thousands dead, nearly 1 million refugees and lost territories on both sides.  Today, there was a self-maintained ceasefire and negotiations under the auspices of the Minsk Group.  Despite that and attempts by Azerbaijan to divert from the peace process, the talks were indeed moving forward.  There was now a negotiating document on the table that addressed all fundamental issues, security being foremost among them.  The Minsk Group co-chairs had presented the latest version to the two sides at the OSCE Ministerial Meeting in Madrid.


Yet, Azerbaijan risked sabotaging that process by presenting a draft that ignored fundamental international norms and the real issues, which must be addressed, he continued.  In short, the draft was counterproductive.  It called for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of armed forces, while ignoring the security vacuum that would result.  Who would be responsible for the security of the population of Nagorno Karabagh, which was already vulnerable, in the absence of “international cover” safeguarded by those very armed forces?


The draft also called for self-governance within Azerbaijan, he noted.  That had become impossible 20 years ago and was not possible today, when the security of the Armenian minority was clearly endangered.  The international community had demonstrated that it understood that, in various conflicts around the world.  The Government of Azerbaijan had forfeited its right to govern people it considered its own citizens when it had unleashed a war against them 20 years ago.  Armenians would not return to such a situation.  Just as victims of domestic violence were not forced back into the custody of the abuser, the people of Nagorno Karabagh would not be forced back into the custody of a Government that sanctioned pogroms against them, and later sent its army against them.


Noting that the draft also asked for commitment by the parties to humanitarian law, he questioned their commitment to the non-use of force, the peaceful resolution of disputes and all the other provisions of the Helsinki Final Act.  The draft talked about territories and refugees, but not how the consequences of the conflict would be resolved if the original cause was not addressed.  Refugees and territories had been created by an Azerbaijan that had “unleashed a savage war against people it claims to be its own citizens”.  Only when the initial cause was resolved would the fate of all the territories and refugees in question be put right.


The draft was a “wasted attempt” to predetermine the outcome of the peace talks, he said.  That was not how responsible members of the international community conducted the difficult but rewarding mission of bringing peace and stability to peoples and regions.  The co-chairs had found that today’s text did not help the peace talks.  Armenia also knew it would undermine the peace process and asked other delegations not to support it.


Taking action on the draft resolution, the Assembly adopted the text by a recorded vote of 39 in favour to 7 against (Angola, Armenia, France, India, Russian Federation, United States, Vanuatu), with 100 abstentions (see annex).


The General Assembly President then stated that, under Article 19 of the Charter, Paraguay’s vote would not be recorded today.


The representative of Indonesia, speaking in explanation of position after the vote, said he had voted in favour of the text because it reaffirmed Charter principles and objectives in addressing the conflict; it supported the peaceful settlement of the conflict and underlined the principles of respect for territorial integrity and the inviolability of internationally recognized State borders.  It was to be hoped that the adoption of the resolution would contribute to the intensifying of efforts to achieve a settlement that was acceptable to both sides and in accordance with international law.  Indonesia continued to support the mediation efforts within the framework of the Minsk Group, as well as bilateral consultations between the parties.  Both parties should remove obstacles to the peace process.


The representative of South Africa said his delegation had abstained from voting on the resolution because it supported the efforts of the Minsk Group towards the settlement of the dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia, specifically the “Basic Principles for the Peaceful Settlement of the Nagorny Karabakh Conflict”.  As a member of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Union, South Africa affirmed the territorial integrity of States and took note with concern of the latest developments in the region, specifically the outbreak of violence between the two sides on 4 March.  The parties should return to negotiations based on the norms and principles of international law.


The representative of Libya, having also voted in favour, said he supported countries under the yoke of occupation and the right of refugees to return.  Libya had hoped that the parties would have reached agreement, but the international community had been asked to pronounce itself on the item.  The will of the international community should be supported, as should the principles of national sovereignty and territorial integrity.  Flowing from the draft, the two parties should overcome obstacles through direct negotiations, respecting international law and international humanitarian law.


Right of Reply


The representative of Azerbaijan emphasized the utmost importance of the resolution, which had been adopted despite the efforts of some Member States.  The text indicated Member States’ firm stance.  It was timely, constructive, balanced and based on international law.  It provided the population of the Nagorny Karabakh region with the possibility of self-rule and the territorial integrity of the State to which it belonged, as well as the right of return and the withdrawal of all occupying forces.  It also supported mediation efforts and made clear to Armenia that settlement of the conflict could only be achieved on the basis of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.


He said the Armenian side and those supporting it must understand that negotiations could continue only on the basis of international law, and the status of Nagorny Karabakh could only be defined at the level of international law.  As long as Armenia continued to dictate its will, proceeding from a fait accompli that sought to tear the region away from Azerbaijan, it would not achieve peace with Azerbaijan.  There could be no talks on the basis of a fait accompli; objective conditions must be created, such as relieving the territories of occupation, rehabilitating them and allowing the return of refugees.


There was deep resentment over the position of the Minsk Group co-chairs, who had voted against the resolution, since the text had been drafted carefully on the basis of the settlement they had repeatedly assured that they would pursue, he said.  However, the co-chair’s draft contained more disagreements than clarity.  Azerbaijan had taken note, however, of the co-chair’s support for continuing the process and expected them to work towards a draft on basic principles, which would take today’s resolution into account.  Azerbaijan would continue to be guided by the principles adopted in the resolution and by the draft on basic principles.


ANNEX


Vote on Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan


The draft resolution on the situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan (document A/62/L.42) was adopted by a recorded vote of 39 in favour to 7 against, with 100 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Colombia, Comoros, Djibouti, Gambia, Georgia, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Moldova, Morocco, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen.


Against:  Angola, Armenia, France, India, Russian Federation, United States, Vanuatu.


Abstain:  Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia.


Absent:  Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Paraguay, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Syria, Tajikistan, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.


* *** *



For information media • not an official record