19 December 2008
General Assembly
GA/10802

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

Sixty-third General Assembly

Plenary

72nd Meeting (AM)


among 34 development-related actions, General Assembly adopts resolution


reaffirming need to work towards new international economic order


Taking Action on Second Committee Reports, Plenary Also Passes

Text Relating to ‘Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization’


In an attempt to better address the major economic and policy challenges to long-term economic growth and sustainable development, particularly in light of the global financial crisis, the General Assembly today laid the groundwork for in-depth consideration of those issues by unanimously adopting -- among 34 development-related actions put forward by its Second Committee (Economic and Financial) -- a series of comprehensive resolutions.


After two months of intense discussions in the Committee that linked the financial and economic turmoil spanning the globe to the current food and energy crises, as well as climate change, the Assembly’s adoption -- by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 52 abstentions -- of a resolution on the international economic situation and its impact on development that would help shape United Nations thinking on how to build a new international economic order based on the principles of equity, sovereign equality, interdependence, common interest and cooperation among States.  By that text, the Assembly agreed to hold a comprehensive debate on the topic during its sixty-fourth session next year, and asked the Secretary-General to provide input in his next report on globalization and interdependence.  (See annex I for voting details.)


Adopting a related text, the Assembly expressed its deep concern over the negative effect of the financial crisis on developing countries seeking the financing necessary to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and other development objectives.  It encouraged development partners to help those countries achieve the Millennium targets in health, nutrition and sanitation, and to bolster their agricultural productivity through greater investment.  It advised all countries to harness knowledge and technology and to stimulate innovation, if they were to become competitive and benefit from trade and investment.  But developed countries in particular were asked to transfer that technology under fair, open terms so that developing nations could implement key socio-economic strategies.


Aiming to keep development funding at centre stage, the Assembly also adopted a draft that called on the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus -- which took place in Doha, Qatar, from 29 November to 2 December -- to discuss the impact of the crisis on such financing.  It also adopted five draft Conference-related decisions concerning accreditation, rules of procedure, the agenda and work programme.


Under the poverty-eradication umbrella, the Assembly adopted two resolutions, one on the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017), by which it called on donor countries to provide adequate, predictable financing for developing countries attempting to erase that social ill.  Expressing concern over the overall decline in official development assistance in 2006 and 2007, the Assembly also called on donor countries to fulfil their aid commitments.


By terms of the second resolution, on the role of microcredit and microfinance, the Assembly underscored the need for greater access to those tools in developing countries, particularly so small farmers could increase agricultural productivity and rural development.  It emphasized the need to prevent credit deficiencies caused by the financial crisis in microcredit and microfinance institutions and their services to the poor, as well as encouraged Member States to adopt coherent financial regulatory frameworks.


Industry, energy and migration gained increased attention within the development realm, according to some of the resolutions adopted this session.  For example, the Assembly adopted, by consensus, a text on industrial development cooperation, emphasizing the importance of creating wealth for poverty-reduction and pro-poor growth, particularly by women, through the development of strong productive capacities in developing nations and those with economies in transition.  It also called for continued and efficient use of official development assistance to sustain industrial development in those countries, and urged all Governments to devise policies for creating dynamic industrial sectors.


By the terms of a resolution on international migration and development, the Assembly encouraged a more balanced approach to migration and urged Member States and relevant international organizations to incorporate a gender perspective into international migration policy.


The Assembly also demonstrated its support for the role of reliable and stable transit of energy in ensuring sustainable development, by adopting a resolution that recognized the need for energy transit to international markets through pipelines and transport system.  That text also welcomed Turkmenistan’s offer to hold a high-level conference on that topic in 2009.


In another action, the Assembly adopted, also by consensus, a resolution on information and communications technology for development, urging stronger, continued cooperation among all stakeholders to implement fully the outcomes of the Geneva and Tunis phases of the World Summit on the Information Society.


Taking action on a resolution relating to development cooperation with middle-income countries -- the first such text on that subject presented its Second Committee -- the Assembly emphasized that those countries must take primary responsibility for their own development, while acknowledging the challenges they faced in erasing poverty and achieving the Millennium targets.  It also noted that national averages based on such criteria as per capita income did not always reflect the needs of those countries, and invited the United Nations development system to support them through improved field coordination and inter-agency collaboration.


The resolutions adopted reflected the breadth of the Second Committee’s agenda during its 10-week session.  It considered the widespread economic development ramifications of climate change, development economics, including the need for a more equitable international financial system that would represent the voice of developing countries, and the need to bolster their resilience to financial risk.  It also considered the shared responsibility of creditors and debtors to prevent unsustainable debt situations and colossal roadblocks, notably debt burdens, trade barriers and inequitable market access, that could hamper sustainable economic growth.


A text on international trade and development, and another titled “External debt and development:  towards a durable solution to the debt problems of developing countries”, stressed the importance that the Assembly gave to continued consideration of those topics, while requesting that the Secretary-General report on them during the Assembly’s sixty-fourth session.  Another text focused on the report of the twelfth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XII) and welcomed the offer by the Government of Qatar to hold the thirteenth session.


The Assembly also stressed the importance it attached to commodities in a text requesting that the Secretary-General report on that topic during the Assembly’s sixty-fourth session.


In addition, the Assembly found consensus in adopting a resolution on preventing and combating corrupt practices and returning such assets to the countries of origin, in line with the principles of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.  By its terms, the Assembly expressed concern over the magnitude of the problem, condemning corruption in all its forms and urging Governments to combat and penalize it.


By its adoption of a text on operational activities for development, the Assembly expressed concern over the continuing imbalance between core and non-core funding and the limited progress towards greater funding predictability and adequacy.


Climate change issues were an underlying theme in much of the Committee’s work, especially concerning sustainable development issues.  The Assembly adopted 13 resolutions contained in the Committee’s report on sustainable development.


The Assembly proclaimed 2011 the International Year of Chemistry, designating the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the lead agency and focal point for the Year.  Further by that text, it stressed that chemistry education was critical to addressing such challenges as global climate change; providing sustainable sources of clean water, food and energy; and maintaining a wholesome environment for the well-being of all people.


By another text, relating to the oil slick on Lebanese shores, the Assembly requested that Israel promptly and adequately compensate Lebanon and Syria for the costs of repairing the environmental damage caused by the destruction by the Israeli Air Force of the oil storage tanks near Lebanon’s Jiyah electric power plant, including restoration of the marine environment.  It decided to set up a voluntary trust fund for an eastern Mediterranean oil spill restoration to support integrated, environmentally sound management of the environmental disaster resulting from the destruction.  The Assembly adopted that text by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 7 against ( Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 2 abstentions ( Cameroon, Colombia).  (annex II)


The Assembly also showed its strong support for international efforts and funding to prevent and manage natural disasters, as well as extreme weather patterns, by adopting, without a vote, three texts on those topics.  One resolution, on natural disasters and vulnerability, expressed the Assembly’s deep concern over the increasing number and scale of natural disasters wreaking havoc on small island developing States, least developed and other vulnerable countries.  Further, the Assembly called upon the international community, particularly developed countries, to give vulnerable developing countries adequate, predictable resources and technology, as well as development cooperation and technical assistance.


By a text on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the Assembly called upon the international community to step up efforts for full implementation of the Hyogo Declaration and the Hyogo Framework for Action, and encouraged it to continue to adequately finance the United Nations Trust Fund for Disaster Reduction through multi-year, non-earmarked contributions as early in the year as possible, and to support the development of institutions that could help build resilience to natural hazards.


In a consensus adoption of a text on international cooperation to reduce the impact of the El Niño phenomenon, the Assembly called upon the international community, the Secretary-General and relevant United Nations bodies to help strengthen the International Research Centre on El Niño, based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, through scientific, technical and financial assistance so that the Centre could improve forecasting skills and develop appropriate policies to reduce El Niño’s impact.


The Assembly also adopted, by consensus, a text on the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its tenth special session, stressing the need to further advance and fully implement the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-Building.


Further, the Assembly adopted, also without a vote, a text titled “Towards the sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea for present and future generations”, calling on the United Nations and the international community to help Caribbean countries and regional organizations protect the sea from degradation due to pollution from ships, illegal dumping or hazardous waste, and to provide them with aid for long-term disaster relief.


In a recorded vote, the Assembly adopted a resolution reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources.  The Assembly took that action by 164 votes in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 5 abstentions (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu).  (annex III)


A number of resolutions adopted by consensus sought to bolster South—South cooperation and the economies of least developed and landlocked developing countries through numerous multilateral forums and frameworks, such as the proposed United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, scheduled for 2011, the Brussels Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 and the Almaty Programme of Action.


Other texts concerned implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development; 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; the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa; the Convention on Biological Diversity; and implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).


Other Assembly actions today included its decision to adopt the Second Committee’s programme of work for its next session and taking note of the Committee’s report on programme planning.


Awsan Al-Aud ( Yemen), Rapporteur of the Second Committee, introduced that body’s reports.


In other action, the Assembly adopted, by consensus, two plenary-generated texts.  By the terms of the first, titled “International Labour Organization Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization”, the Assembly recognized that the social justice impact of the current economic crisis may disproportionately affect the most vulnerable segments of society.  As such, it reiterated support for a fair globalization and resolved to make the goal of full and productive employment -- including for women and young people -- a central objective of national and international policies.


Further, the Assembly supported the call to promote implementation of an integrated approach to the decent work agenda based on the four interrelated objectives of employment creation, fundamental rights at work, social dialogue and social protection.  It also encouraged Member States to consider applying the principles set out in the Toolkit for Mainstreaming Employment and Decent Work.


By a resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum, the Assembly invited the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the Forum to expand cooperation with a view to attaining their common objectives.


Speaking during today’s session were the representatives of Norway, Tuvalu and Turkmenistan.


Background


The General Assembly met this afternoon to consider the reports of its Second Committee (Economic and Financial) that are the outcome of meetings held between 8 October and 11 December.  Topics under consideration during that period were:  permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (agenda item 38); information and communication technology (item 46); macroeconomic policy questions (item 47), which includes sub-items on international trade and development, the international financial system and development, external debt crisis and development:  towards a durable solution to the debt problems of developing countries, and commodities.


Also before the Assembly were the Committee’s report on follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the preparation of the 2008 Review Conference (item 48).  The report on sustainable development (item 49) includes sub-items on implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development; follow-up to and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programmes of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States; International Strategy for Disaster Reduction; protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind; implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa; the Convention on Biological Diversity; and the Report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its tenth special session.


The Assembly also had before it the Committee’s reports on implementation of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) (item 50); and on globalization and interdependence (item 51), which includes sub-items on the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence; international migration and development; culture and development; preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of assets of illicit origin and returning such assets, in particular to the countries of origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption; and integration of the economies in transition into the world economy.


Other reports submitted by the Second Committee covered groups of countries in special situations (item 52), which includes sub-items on the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries and on specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries:  outcome of the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation; and the eradication of poverty and other development issues (item 53), which includes sub-items on implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017) and industrial development cooperation.


The Assembly also had before it the Committee’s reports on operational activities for development (item 54); revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (item 110); and programme planning (item 119).


Committee Reports and Draft Resolutions


The report on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (document A/63/410) contains a draft resolution by which the Assembly would reaffirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources.  The Committee approved that text on 20 November by a recorded vote of 139 in favour to 6 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, United States), with 4 abstentions (Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Haiti, Nauru).  (See Press Release GA/EF/3232.)


Contained in the report on information and communication technologies for development (document A/63/411) is a draft resolution by which the Assembly would stress the importance of Governments using such technologies to create public policies and services responsive to national development needs and priorities.  The Committee approved that text without a vote on 26 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)


The report on macroeconomic policy questions (document A/63/412) contains five draft resolutions.  The first, on international trade and development (document A/63/412/Add.1), would have the Assembly stress the importance of continued discussions on that topic, and note the deliberations in the context of the preparatory process for the Follow-up Conference on Financing for Development to Review Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, which would substantively address the issue.  It would request that the Secretary-General submit progress reports on the issue during the Assembly’s sixty-fourth session.  The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 25 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)


The second draft, on the report of the twelfth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), would have the Assembly thank the Government and people of Ghana for their hospitality during the April session and welcome the offer by the Government of Qatar to host the thirteenth session in 2012.  The Committee approved that text without a vote on 25 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)


A third text, on the international financial system and development (document A/63/412/Add.2), would have the Assembly stress its concern over the impact of the current global financial crisis on development.  The Committee approved that text without a vote on 20 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3232.)


By a draft titled “External debt and development:  towards a durable solution to the debt problems of developing countries” (document A/63/412/Add.3), the Assembly would stress the importance of continuing to consider substantively external debt and development, and request that the Secretary-General submit a report on the subject at the Assembly’s sixty-fourth session.  The Committee approved that text without a vote on 20 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3232.)


A text on commodities (document A/63/412/Add.4), approved by consensus on 26 November, would have the Assembly stress the importance of continuing substantive consideration of the issue of commodities and request that the Secretary-General submit a report on it during the Assembly’s sixty-fourth session.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)

Contained in the Committee’s report on follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the International Conference on Financing for Development (document A/63/413 and (Part I)/Corr.1) are five draft decisions, including one on arrangements and organization of work of the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus; another on provisional rules of procedure for that event; a third containing its provisional agenda; a fourth referring to accreditation of intergovernmental organizations; and a final one referring to accreditation of non-governmental organizations.  The Committee approved those draft decisions without a vote on 5 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3228.)


The second part of that report (document A/63/413 (Part II)) contains a draft resolution on Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus.  By its terms, the Assembly would stress the importance of continued discussions on financing for development, and note the deliberations in the context of the preparatory process for the Follow-up Conference, which would substantively address the issue.  The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 25 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)


Contained in the Committee’s report on sustainable development (document A/63/414) are 13 draft resolutions, the first of which would have the Assembly proclaim 2011 the International Year of Chemistry, and designate the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the lead agency and focal point for the Year.  The Assembly would stress that chemistry education is critical to addressing such challenges as global climate change; providing sustainable sources of clean water, food and energy; and maintaining a wholesome environment for the well-being of all people.  That text was approved without a vote on 20 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3232.)


A second text, on reliable and stable transit of energy and its role in ensuring sustainable development and international cooperation, would have the Assembly welcome international cooperation in developing transportation systems and pipelines, recognize the need for extensive international cooperation to ensure reliable transportation of energy to international markets through pipelines and transport systems, and welcome Turkmenistan’s offer to hold a high-level international conference on the subject in 2009.  The Committee approved that text without a vote on 25 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)


By a draft on the oil slick on Lebanese shores, the Assembly would reiterate its deep concern over the deliberate destruction by the Israeli Air Force of oil storage tanks near the Lebanese El Jiyeh electric plant for its adverse impact on sustainable development in Lebanon.  It would request that the Israeli Government assume responsibility for promptly and adequately compensating Lebanon’s Government, as well as Syria’s Government, whose shores have been partially polluted, and for the costs of environmental repair, including marine environment restoration.  The Committee approved that text by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 7 against ( Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 2 abstentions ( Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire) on 26 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)


Addendum 1 of that report (document A/63/414/Add.1) contains a draft on Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.  By that text, the Assembly would call upon all stakeholders to take action to ensure effective implementation of and follow-up to the commitments, programmes and time-bound targets adopted at the 2002 World Summit.  That draft was approved without a vote on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


Addendum 2 (document A/63/414/Add.2) contains two drafts, the first on 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.  By its terms, the Assembly would urge all Governments, relevant organizations, United Nations bodies and the Global Environment Facility to take timely action to effectively follow-up and implement the Strategy and the Mauritius Declaration.  The Assembly would also call upon the international community to help those States adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change.  The Committee approved that text without a vote on 26 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)


The second text, titled “Towards the sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea for present and future generations”, the Assembly would call upon the United Nations and the international community to help Caribbean countries and regional organizations protect the Caribbean Sea from degradation due to ship pollution, illegal dumping or hazardous wastes.  The Assembly would also express deep concern over the severe destruction and devastation in several Caribbean countries caused by heightened hurricane activity in recent years, and urge continued long-term aid to those countries.  The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 26 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)


Addendum 3 (document A/63/414/Add.3) contains three drafts, the first on international cooperation to reduce the impact of the El Niño phenomenon.  It would have the Assembly call upon the international community to step up assistance to countries affected by El Niño and adopt measures to strengthen the International Research Centre on El Niño in Guayaquil, Ecuador.  The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 18 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3231.)


By a draft on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the Assembly would call upon the international community to step up efforts to fully implement the Hyogo documents, encourage it to continue providing adequate voluntary financial contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund for Disaster Reduction and encourage Member States to make multi-annual, non-earmarked contributions as early in the year as possible.  The draft was approved by Committee without a vote on 26 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)


A third text, on natural disasters and vulnerability would have the Assembly call upon the international community, particularly developed countries, to provide adequate, predictable resources and technology transfer to developing countries vulnerable to the natural disasters adverse effects.  It would express its deep concern over the number and scale of disasters and their consequences for small island developing States, least developed countries and other vulnerable countries in particular.  The Committee approved that text without a vote on 26 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)


By a text on protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind (document A/63/414/Add.4), the Assembly would call for urgent global action to address climate change for the benefit of present and future generations, and urge parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Convention to continue using the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in their work.  The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 25 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)


A draft resolution on implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (document A/63/414/Add.5) would have the Assembly reaffirm its resolve to address the causes of desertification and land degradation and the ensuing poverty by mobilizing adequate and predictable financial resources, technology transfer and capacity-building.  The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 26 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)


By a text on the Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/63/414/Add.6) the Assembly would encourage developed-country signatories to contribute to its trust funds, and urge transfer technology and fully support and participate in activities for the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010, under the auspices of the Convention’s secretariat.  The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


A text on the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its tenth special session (document A/63/414/Add.7) would have the Assembly stress the need to further advance and fully implement the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-Building, and emphasize the need for UNEP to contribute further to sustainable development programmes, implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.  The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


Contained in the report on implementation of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)(document A/63/415) is a draft resolution by which the Assembly would encourage Governments to promote sustainable urbanization to improve the living conditions of vulnerable populations, including slum-dwellers and the urban poor, and to help mitigate climate change.  It would reiterate its call for continued financial support to UN-Habitat and encourage Member States to strengthen or set up broad-based national Habitat committees to mainstream sustainable urbanization and urban poverty reduction in their respective national development strategies.  The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


The report on globalization and interdependence (document A/63/416) contains six draft resolutions, beginning with one on the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence (document A/63/416/Add.1).  By that text, the Assembly would express deep concern over the negative impact of the current financial crisis and the attendant global economic slowdown on the ability of developing countries to gain access to the financing necessary to achieve their development objectives.  The Assembly would also stress the need for increased investment in developing countries’ agricultural productivity and encourage all development partners to help those nations meet targets in health, nutrition and sanitation.  The text was approved without a vote on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


Contained in Addendum 1 of that report was a draft on development cooperation with middle-income countries, by which the Assembly would emphasize that middle-income countries must take primary responsibility for their own development.  But is also recognized the significant challenges they still faced and acknowledged their efforts and successes to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  It would also invite the United Nations development system to support those countries and improve field coordination to do so.  The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 25 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)


By the terms of another draft resolution in Addendum 1, titled “Towards a new international economic order”, the Assembly would decide to hold, at its sixty-fourth session, an in-depth consideration of the international economic situation and its impact on development.  It would also reaffirm the need to work towards a new international economic order based on the principles of equity, sovereign equality, interdependence, common interest and cooperation among all States.  The Committee approved that draft on 11 December by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 49 abstentions.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


Addendum 2 (document A/63/416/Add.2) contains a draft on international migration and development, which would have the Assembly encourage efforts by Member States and the international community to promote a balanced approach to migration so migrants could reap its benefits.  That text was approved without a vote on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


By a draft on preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of assets of illicit origin (document A/63/416/Add.4), the Assembly would express concern about the magnitude of corruption and condemn it in all its forms, including bribery, the laundering of proceeds from corruption and other forms of economic crime.  It would also urge all Governments to combat and penalize corruption, stress the need for transparency in financial institutions and urge all Member States to abide by the Convention’s principles of proper management of public affairs and public property, fairness, responsibility and equality before the law.  The Committee approved the text without a vote on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


Addendum 5 (document A/63/416/Add.5) refers to a draft decision on integration of the economies in transition into the world economy, by which the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on that subject.  The Committee approved that draft decision by consensus on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


The report on groups of countries in special situations (document A/63/417), contains two draft resolutions, the first one on implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 (document A/63/417/Add.1), by which the Assembly would decide to convene, as called for in paragraph 114 of the Brussels Programme, the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries at a high-level meeting in 2011.  The Committee approved the text without a vote on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


By terms of the second text -- “Groups of countries in special situations:  specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries:  outcome of the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation" (document A/63/417/Add.2) -- the Assembly would call upon those countries to take steps to speed up implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action.  It would also call upon donors and development institutions to provide those countries with technical and financial assistance, call upon development partners to further integrate the Almaty Programme into their work programmes, and encourage the Office of the High Representative to continue to ensure coordinated follow-up and effective monitoring and reporting on the Programme’s implementation.  The Committee approved the text without a vote on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


The report on eradication of poverty and other development issues (document A/63/418) contains three draft resolutions, including one on the role of microcredit and microfinance in the eradication of poverty (document A/62/418/Add.1).  By its terms, the Assembly would underline the need for greater access to those tools in developing countries so that small farmers can increase agricultural productivity and rural development, as well as the importance of strengthening domestic financial sectors as a source of capital.  The Committee approved that text on 11 December without a vote.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


A second text, on the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017) (document A/62/418/Add.1), would have the Assembly stress the importance of comprehensive, integrated activities to eradicate poverty, in line with the outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits.  It would also call upon the international community to continue to give priority to poverty eradication and upon donor countries to provide developing countries with adequate, predictable financial resources on a bilateral or multilateral basis for poverty-eradication efforts.  The text was approved without a vote on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


The third draft in that report is on industrial development cooperation (document A/63/418/Add.2).  By its terms, the Assembly would emphasize the importance of creating wealth for poverty reduction and pro-poor growth, particularly for women, by developing and strengthening productive capacities in developing countries and those with economies in transition.  The Committee approved the text without vote on 25 November.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)


Contained in the report on operational activities for development (document A/63/419) are two drafts, one of which would have the Assembly express concern about the continuing imbalance between core and non-core funding and the limited progress towards greater funding predictability and adequacy.  It would urge donors to substantially increase their voluntary contributions to the United Nations core and regular budgets, underscore the importance of mobilizing more predictable levels of voluntary funding for core operational programmes, and reiterate its request to the Secretary-General to promote an adequate and expanding base of development assistance, in line with national development priorities.  The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


By the terms of a draft resolution on the High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation the Assembly would request that its President entrust the President of the High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation with undertaking the necessary consultations with Member States to prepare for the proposed Conference, with a view to making a decision during the Assembly’s sixty-third session on its nature, date, budgetary implications, objectives and modalities.  The Committee approved the text without a vote on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


Contained in the report on revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/63/420) contains the draft programme of work for the Second Committee for the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly, which the Committee approve without a vote on 11 December.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


The Committee considered the report on programme planning (document A/63/447), but decided on 11 December it that no action on its agenda item on programme planning was needed.  (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)


Action on Plenary Texts


Prior to taking up the Second Committee reports before it, the General Assembly moved to take action on two plenary drafts resolutions, including one on the International Labour Organization Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization (document A/63/L.29/Rev.1), under agenda item 44 -- “Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields”.


The Assembly adopted that text without a vote.


Speaking after the action, the representative of Norway said the resolution must be placed in the context of the current times.  While Member States had been busy negotiating to improve global cooperation and economic governance, outside the building, market failures and mismanagement had played havoc with the global economy.  The world was now facing the most dramatic economic crisis since the Great Depression and, while the epicentre of that “economic tsunami” was just a few blocks south of the General Assembly Hall, the consequences were felt everywhere.


“The world economy is now so interconnected that greed and mismanagement anywhere is a threat to working men and women everywhere,” he said.  To deal with that interdependence and to protect the livelihoods of ordinary people, new banking and finance regulations were needed, along with public investment and a restoration of trust.  Such actions should be guided by the International Labour Organization’s new Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization.  While States bore the primary responsibility for that implementation, all relevant organizations had a crucial role to play.  That was why Norway, together with the United Republic of Tanzania, had initiated the process to bring the Declaration on Social Justice to the General Assembly with a draft resolution supporting its call for an integrated approach to the Decent Work Agenda, and based on four strategic objectives:  employment creation; observance of fundamental principles and rights at work; social dialogue; and social protection.


Introducing the second plenary draft resolution, on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Pacific Island Forum text (document A/63/L.56), on behalf of the Pacific Island Forum, the representative of Tuvalu said that, by its terms, the Pacific Islands Forum and its associated institutions would reaffirm its commitment to a partnership of cooperation and friendship with the United Nations and its development partners.  Such cooperation must be seen through the lens of the serious threats posed to vulnerable island States by climate change and the global economic recession.

He expressed the hoped that the United Nations and all Member States could acknowledge that reality and support the region’s efforts to tackle those issues.  The strengthened United Nations presence in the region, and the many areas of cooperation between the two bodies, were greatly valued but there was room for significantly more, in particular, to increase the impact of the partnership.  The Forum urged all United Nations agencies to revitalize their efforts to improve cooperation and support in the region.


The Assembly then adopted the draft without a vote.


The representative of Turkmenistan then said her delegation had intended to officially co-sponsor draft resolution L.39/Rev.1 under agenda item 114 on cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations, and she wished her statement to be reflected in the official records.


Her request was duly noted.


Action on Second Committee Reports


AWSAN AL-AUD ( Yemen), Rapporteur of the Second Committee, introduced that body’s reports.


Taking up the first report, on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (document A/63/410), the Assembly adopted the related draft resolution by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 5 abstentions (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu).  (annex I)


The Assembly then took up the report on information and communication technologies for development (document A/63/411), adopting the related draft resolution without a vote.


Turning next to the report on macroeconomic policy questions (document A/63/412), the Assembly decided to take note of it and consider its addenda.


Taking up addendum 1 (document A/63/412/Add.1), it adopted, without a vote, two draft resolutions, the first on international trade and development and the second on the Report of the twelfth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.


Acting again by consensus, the Assembly then adopted texts on the international financial system and development (document A/63/412/Add.2); external debt crisis and development:  towards a durable solution to the debt problems of developing countries (document A/63/412/Add.3); and commodities (document A/63/412/Add.4).


The Assembly then took up the two-part report on follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the preparation of the 2008 Review Conference (document A/63/413(Part 1) Corr.1 and (Part II)).  Acting without a vote, it adopted five draft decisions contained in Part I of the report on the following Conference-related matters:  arrangements and organization of work; provisional rules of procedure; provisional agenda; accreditation of intergovernmental organizations; and accreditation of non-governmental organizations.  It also adopted, once again by consensus, a draft on follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the preparation of the 2008 Review Conference contained in Part 2 of the report.


Taking up the report on sustainable development (document A/63/414), the Assembly took note of the report and adopted, by consensus, a draft resolution on the International Year of Chemistry and a text on reliable and stable transit of energy and its role in ensuring sustainable development and international cooperation.


Following the adoption of the latter text, the representative of Turkmenistan pointed out that it had 50 co-sponsors, but only 27 were listed in the document.


A recorded vote was requested in connection with the draft on the oil slick on Lebanese shores, which the Assembly then adopted by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 2 abstentions (Cameroon, Colombia).  (annex II)


Taking up the draft on 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/63/414/Add.1), the Assembly adopted that text without a vote.


It then took up addendum 2 of that report (document A/63/414/Add.2), adopting, also without a vote, the draft resolution on 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 and the text titled towards the sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea for present and future generations.


Taking up addendum 3 (document A/63/414/Add.3), the Assembly adopted, without a vote, the draft resolution on international cooperation to reduce the impact of the El Niño phenomenon; the text on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction; and the draft on natural disasters and vulnerability.


It then took upthe text on implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (document A/63/414/Add.5), adopting it without a vote, as orally revised.


The Assembly then took up and adopted, again by consensus, a text on the Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/63/414/Add.6).


It then took note of the report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme, through its consensus adoption of the text on the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its tenth special session (document A/63/414/Add.7).


Taking up the report on implementation of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (document A/63/415), the Assembly adopted the eponymous draft resolution without a vote.


It then took up the report on globalization and interdependence (document A/63/416).  It took up by consensus a text on the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence and another on development cooperation with middle-income countries.


Taking up a draft resolution titled “Towards a new international economic order”, the Assembly adopted it by a recorded 123 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 52 abstentions, as orally corrected.  (annex III)


Turning to addendum 2 of that report (document A/63/416/Add.2), it adopted, by consensus, a draft resolution on international migration and development).


The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, a draft on preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of assets of illicit origin and returning such assets, in particular to the countries or origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (document A/63/416/Add.4) and a draft decision on the Report of the Secretary-General on the integration of the economies in transition into the world economy (A/63/416/Add.5).


Taking up the report on groups of countries in special situations (document A/63/417), the Assembly adopted, by consensus, a draft resolution on the implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 (document A/63/417/Add.1).


It then adopted, also by consensus, the text titled “Groups of countries in special situations:  specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries:  outcome of the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation” (document A/63/417/Add.2).


Turning to the report on eradication of poverty and other development issues (document A/63/418), the Assembly adopted, without a vote, texts on the role of microcredit and microfinance in the eradication of poverty and the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017) (document A/63/418/Add.1).


It then adopted, once again without a vote, a draft on industrial development cooperation (document A/63/418/Add.2).


The Assembly then took up the report on operational activities for development (document A/63/419), adopting, again without a vote, drafts on operational activities for development and the High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation.


The Assembly then adopted the Committee’s programme of work for the sixty-fourth session, as contained in its report Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/63/420).


It then took note of the Committee’s report on programme planning (document A/63/447).


ANNEX I


Vote on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources


The draft resolution on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (document A/63/410) was adopted by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 8 against, with 5 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States.


Abstain:  Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu.


Absent:  Botswana, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lesotho, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Suriname.


ANNEX II


Vote on Oil Slick


The draft resolution on the oil slick on Lebanese shores (document A/63/414) was adopted by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 7 against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:


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


Against:  Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States.


Abstain:  Cameroon, Colombia.


Absent:  Botswana, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lesotho, Micronesia (Federated States of), Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Suriname, Tonga, Turkmenistan.


ANNEX III


Vote on New Economic Order


The draft resolution “Towards a new international economic order” (document A/63/416/ADD.1) was adopted by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 1 against, with 52 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  United States.


Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom.


Absent:  Belarus, Botswana, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lesotho, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Turkmenistan.


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For information media • not an official record