24 November 2008
General Assembly
GA/SHC/3941

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

Sixty-third General Assembly

Third Committee

46th & 47th Meetings (AM & PM)


THIRD COMMITTEE DRAFT TEXT ENDORSES RECOMMENDATIONS, FUTURE WORKPLAN


OF HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL’S WORKING GROUP ON RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT


Approves 8 Resolutions for General Assembly Adoption;

Right to Food, Mercenaries, Combating Religious Defamation Among Issues


The General Assembly would endorse the recommendations of a Human Rights Council Working Group on the right to development and call on United Nations agencies to promote the concept of a right to development in their programmes, while stressing the need for the international financial and multilateral trading systems to do the same, according to one of eight resolutions approved by the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today, including six by recorded vote.


Approved by a vote of 177 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 2 abstentions (Canada and Israel),the resolution on the right to development would have the Assembly call on the Council to continue to ensure that its agenda promotes and advances sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals and to lead to raising the right to development as set out in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, to the same level and on a par with all other human rights and fundamental freedoms (Annex IV).


The Assembly would endorse the conclusion and Council’s recommendation adopted in the Working Group on the Right to Development and stress the importance of endorsing the 2008-2010 work plan for the high-level task force, established within the framework of the Working Group, which, among other things, would widen the criteria for the periodic evaluation of global partnerships to include various components of Millennium Development Goal 8, which was on global partnerships. 


Other provisions of the draft would have the Assembly stress that the high-level task force and the Working Group take into account the need to help increase the participation of developing countries in international decision-making; to promote effective partnerships with developing countries, particularly the least developed countries; and strive for greater acceptance of the right to development at the international level, while urging all States to undertake the necessary policy formulation at the national level. 


By a vote of 180 in favour to 1 against (United States) and no abstentions, the Committee also approved a resolution on the right to food, by which the Assembly would “consider it intolerable” that more than 6 million children still died every year from hunger-related illness before their fifth birthday, and that the number of undernourished people had grown to about 923 million worldwide, at the same time that the planet could produce enough food to feed 12 billion people, or twice the world’s present population. (See Annex III.)


By the terms of the text, the Assembly would express concern that, in many countries, girls were twice as likely as boys to die from malnutrition and childhood diseases and that twice as many women as men were estimated to suffer from malnutrition.  Accordingly, it would have the Assembly encourage all States to take action to address gender inequality and discrimination against women, including through measures to ensure that women had equal access to resources, including income, land and water, so as to enable them to feed themselves and their families.  By further terms of the draft, the Assembly would urge Member States to promote and protect the rights of indigenous people, who have expressed in different forums their deep concerns over the obstacles and challenges faced in the full enjoyment of the right to food.


After the vote, the representative of the United States said he was unable to support the text because he believed the attainment of the right to adequate food was a goal that should be realized progressively.  In his view, the draft contained inaccurate textual descriptions of underlying rights. 


The Committee also approved a draft resolution on the rights of the child by a vote of 180 in favour to one against ( United States), with no abstentions.  Among other things, that omnibus text would call upon States to create an environment conducive to the well-being of all children, including by strengthening international cooperation in regard to the eradication of poverty, the right to education, the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, and the right to food.


On the subject of mercenary activity, the Committee approved -- by a vote of 122 in favour to 51 against, with 5 abstentions (Chile, Fiji, New Zealand, Switzerland and Tongo) ‑‑ a draft that would have the Assembly urge all States to take legislative measures to ensure that their territories and nationals were not used for the recruitment, assembly, financing, training and transit of mercenaries whose use could impede the right of people to self-determination, destabilize Governments, or dismember or impair the territorial integrity or political unity of States.  (See Annex I.)


That text, “on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination”, among other things, would request the Working Group on that issue to continue the work done by Special Rapporteurs to strengthen the international legal framework against the use of mercenaries, and to take account of the proposed legal definition of a mercenary in the Rapporteur’s report to the Commission on Human Rights at its sixtieth session.


Voting to reject the text, the representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said he was not convinced that the Third Committee and the Human Rights Council were the right bodies in which to discuss the use of mercenaries, since the question should not be dealt with in regard to human rights or the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination.  Also, drawing links between mercenaries and terrorism was part of the work of the General Assembly’s Sixth Committee.  The representative of Malaysia, who voted in favour, noted the lack of clear and well-defined standards regarding the use of mercenaries, and added that the resolution was moving in the right direction in that regard.


The Committee also approved a draft on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, as revised, by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to none against, with 57 abstentions (see Annex VIII).  The text would reiterate the obligation of all States to conduct exhaustive and impartial investigations into all suspected cases of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, to identify and bring to justice those responsible, while ensuring the right of every person to a fair and public hearing.  A list of categories of victims would include a reference to the sexual orientation of victims, which the representative of Sweden said had arisen froma finding in a 1999 report of the Special Rapporteur regarding the link between sexual orientation and arbitrary executions.


Indeed, the Committee approved that text after rejecting -- bya vote of 78 against to 60 in favour, with 29 abstentions (see Annex VI) ‑‑ a proposal by the representative of Uganda, acting on behalf of the Organization for Islamic Conference, to amend the text to remove a reference to the sexual orientation of victims.  By a vote of 77 against to 59 in favour, with 25 abstentions (see Annex VII), the Committee had also chosen to reject a proposal by the same parties to include a direct reference to peoples under foreign occupation, retaining instead a reference to the killing of persons “affected” by foreign occupation. 


A final draft approved by a vote ‑‑ on combating the defamation of religion, which was passed by 85 votes in favour to 50 against, with 42 abstentions (see Annex I) ‑‑ would have the Assembly urge all States to provide adequate protection against acts of hatred resulting from defamation of religions and the incitement to religious hatred in general.  The representative of Uganda, its main sponsor, explained that the text incorporated the concerns of many delegations that all religions be covered by the text and not just Islam, because although Islam was usually at the core of such acts, it did not preclude the possibility that other religions could be targeted later (See Annex II).


Prior to the vote, the representative of the United States said he objected to the text’s way of conflating racism and racial discrimination, and would vote against it.  The language appeared to suggest that, like race, a person’s religion was a characteristic that an individual could not change, even though the Universal Declaration of Human Rights contained provisions which said that individuals had a right to change and choose their religion, or to choose not to practice a religion at all.  Also urging a “no” vote, the representative of the Observer Mission of the Holy See said he feared the resolution would lend itself locally to laws that would penalize religious minorities and stifle dialogue.  The representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the concept could have been better captured in terms of combating the incitement to religious hatred, which in his view could be fought on a clear legal basis.


Two other texts were approved without a vote:  on assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa; and on follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.


Action was deferred on six draft resolutions:  on protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism and a related amendment; on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief; on the Committee on the Rights of the Child and its related programme budget implications; on the report of the Human Rights Council and its


related programme budget implications;on the global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action; and implementation of the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons:  Realizing the Millennium Development Goals for Persons with Disabilities.


In other business, the Committee took note of a number of documents, including:  the report of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on its fortieth and forty-first sessions (document A/63/38); the report of the Secretary-General on supporting efforts to end obstetric fistula (document A/C.3/63/222); the report of the Secretary-General on trafficking in women and girls (document A/C.3/63/215); the report of the Secretary-General on the improvement of the status of women in the United Nations system (document A/C.3/63/364); and a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme on the activities of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (document A/C.3/63/205).


It also took note of a note by the Secretariat regarding appointment of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children (document A/63/203).


Also speaking in connection to various drafts today were the representatives of Japan, Singapore, Benin, Cuba, Chile, Argentina, Egypt, India, Nigeria, Colombia, Brazil, Libya, United Kingdom, and Canada. 


The representatives of Guatemala, Switzerland, Finland, Mauritius (speaking on behalf of the African Group), Pakistan, Syria, Iran, Sweden, Denmark, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, Israel, Sudan, Barbados, Jamaica, Mexico, Uruguay, Turkey, India, Japan, Norway, and Liechtenstein also spoke.


The Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. Tuesday, 25 November, to take up all outstanding draft resolutions and to take up the agenda item on the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly.


Background


The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) was expected to hear a continuation of an explanation of vote on a draft resolution regarding the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (document A/C.3/63/L.53/Rev.1 and its programme budget implications in document A/C.3/63/L.72), before taking action on remaining drafts from its last session:  the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/63/L.50/Rev.1); on combating defamation of religions (document A/C.3/63/L.22/Rev.1); on the right to food (document A/C.3/63/L.42/Rev.1); on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief (document A/C.3/63/L.34/Rev.1); and extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (document A/C.3/63/L.35/Rev.1, and its amendments contained in documents A/C.3/63/L.74 and L.75).  (For further details, see Press Releases GA/SHC/3939 and GA/SHC/3940.)


It was also expected to take action on a number of other draft texts.  


A draft resolution on assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa (document A/C.3/63/L.58/Rev.1), would have the General Assembly call upon the international community to take concrete actions to meet the protection and assistance needs of refugees, returnees and displaced persons, and to contribute generously to projects and programmes aimed at alleviating their plight.  It would also call for States to facilitate durable solutions for refugees and displaced persons, among other things.


A draft text on implementation of the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons:  realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities (document A/C.3/63/L.3/Rev.1), would have the General Assembly, while expressing concern about the persistent gap between policy and practice in mainstreaming the perspectives of persons with disabilities, encourage States to ensure that their development strategies, policies and programmes were inclusive of issues concerning persons with disabilities.  Further, it would encourage them to use the objectives of the World Programme of Action and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a guide for their work.  It would also call on States to include a review and evaluation of the impact of development efforts on the rights, well-being and livelihood of persons with disabilities in country reports, in connection with the forthcoming periodic reviews of progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals.


By a draft text on the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (document A/C.3/63/L.73), the Assembly would, among other things, call upon Governments, the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, and all sectors of civil society, including non-governmental organizations, as well as all women and men, to fully commit themselves and to intensify their contributions to the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session.


Having considered the recommendations contained in the report of the Human Rights Council for the period from 10 September 2007 to 24 September 2008, the Committee would have the Assembly -- by the terms of the draft resolution on that issue (document A/C.3/63/L.57/Rev.1) -- take note of the report and endorse its recommendations.  The Committee also had before it the related programme budget implications of that action, contained in document A/C.3/63/L.77.


Also before the Committee was a draft resolution on the rights of the child (document A/C.3/63/L.16/Rev.1).  By the terms of that draft, the General Assembly would -- among other things -- call upon States to create an environment conducive to the well-being of all children, including by strengthening international cooperation in regard to the eradication of poverty, the right to education, the right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, and the right to food. 


A draft on global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (document A/C.3/63/L.51/Rev.1) was also before the Committee.  The text would have the Assembly emphasize State responsibility to combat criminal acts motivated by racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance through various means.  In the section of the draft relating to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the text would have the Assembly urge the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to maintain and issue regular updates on its website of a list of countries that had not yet ratified the Convention and to encourage such countries to ratify it at the earliest. 


In addition, the draft would have the Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Human Rights Council form a three-tiered intergovernmental process for the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.  Regarding the Durban Review Conference, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to allocate resources from the regular budget of the United Nations to facilitate the participation of special procedures and mechanisms of the Human Rights Council in meetings of the Preparatory Committee and the regional preparatory conferences.


Should the Assembly adopt that draft resolution, the programme budget implications (document A/C.3/63/L.70), based on estimated additional requirements for the Durban Review Conference and its preparatory process, would amount to $3.8 million.  The amount for which an appropriation would be sought totals only $570,400, as it is anticipated that the balance of the estimated additional requirements of $3.2 million will be met through the pre-existing budget.


Also before the Committee was a draft text on the right to development (document A/C.3/63/L.30/Rev.1), which would have the Assembly stress the importance of the endorsement of the work plan for the high-level task force on the implementation of the right to development for the period 2008-2010, which would ensure that the criteria for the periodic evaluation of global partnerships would be extended to other components of Millennium Development Goal 8. 


The Assembly would also stress the importance of the high-level task force taking into account, in its work, the need to:  promote the democratization of the system of international governance in order to increase the effective participation of developing countries in international decision-making; promote effective partnerships with developing countries, particularly the least developed countries, for the purpose of the realization of their right to development; and strive for greater acceptance, operationalization and realization of the right to development at the international level, while urging all States to undertake the necessary policy formulation at the national level.


Next, while reaffirming that terrorism could not and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group, the Assembly would -- by a draft text on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (document A/C.3/63/L.39/Rev.1) -- call on States not to resort to profiling based on stereotypes founded on grounds of discrimination prohibited by international law, including on racial, ethnic and/or religious grounds.  It would urge States, while countering terrorism, to ensure due process guarantees.  The Assembly would emphasize that targeted sanctions were a “significant tool” in countering terrorism and had a direct impact on targeted individuals and entities.  It would recognize the need to continue ensuring the efficiency and transparency of the United Nations targeted sanctions regime, and in that regard, continue enhancement of efforts in support of these objectives as contained in Security Council resolution 1822 of 30 June 2008.


Further by the text, the Assembly would oppose any form of deprivation of liberty that amounted to placing a detained person outside the protection of the law, and urge States to respect the safeguards concerning the liberty, security and dignity of the person and to treat all prisoners in all places of detention in accordance with international law.  It would request the Office of the High Commissioner and the Special Rapporteur to continue to contribute to the work of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, including by raising awareness about the need to respect human rights while countering terrorism.


Taking note of a decision taken by the Committee on the Rights of the Child to request approval from the Assembly to meet in parallel chambers, draft resolution A/C.3/63/L.46/Rev.1 would have the Assembly authorize that request for ten working days during each of its three regular sessions, and for five working days during the weeks of its pre-sessional meetings, between October 2009 and January 2011.


The programme budget implications for that draft (document A/C.3/63/L.61*), should it be adopted, would amount to an additional requirement for the biennium 2008-2009 in the amount of $513,100, for General Assembly and Economic and Social Council affairs and conference management.  Additional requirements in the amount of $245,600 were expected to arise in relation to conference-servicing and additional staffing requirements.  The extent to which an additional appropriation for the biennium 2008-2009 would be required would be determined in the context of the consolidated statement of all statements of programme budget implications and revised estimates for the biennium.


By further terms, the General Assembly would be required to approve the proposed modifications to the outputs to be incorporated into the programme of work of section 23, Human rights, of the programme budget for the biennium 2008‑2009 under subprogramme 2, Supporting human rights bodies and organs.  Further requirements of $4.2 million for 2010-2011 would be dealt with in the context of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 2010-2011.


The final two texts before the Committee were on programme planning (document A/C.3/63/L.78) and revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/C.3/63/L.76).


Action on Draft Resolutions


The Committee resumed its consideration of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (document A/C.3/63/L.53/Rev.1) and its programme budget implications (document A/C.3/63/L.72), which had been adopted in the previous meeting by a vote of 178 in favour to 0 against, with 0 abstentions.


Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of Japan said her delegation had been a traditional co-sponsor of the draft resolution and shared its concerns.  However, the current text had significant programme budget implications that could impair the normal functions of the United Nations and, as such, her delegation had withdrawn its co-sponsorship.  Any initiative undertaken must advance the most cost-effective measures and all parties should make efforts to reduce expenditures at every stage.  Japan believed that the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination should strive to dislodge the backlog within the specified time and should continue to work towards improving the effectiveness of its working methods.


The representative of Singapore said the draft resolution stressed the importance of ensuring that States parties would implement their obligations under the Convention and, as such, Singapore had voted in favour.


Benin’s delegate said his understanding was that the vote on the draft had been undertaken under rule 129 of the rules of procedure and not due to a request by the representative of Egypt.  He asked for his statement to be included in Committee’s records.


The Committee then moved to take action on the draft resolution on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/63/L.50/Rev.1).  The Secretary informed the Committee that, should the draft be adopted, there would be no requirement for additional appropriation under the programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.


The representative of Cuba, the main sponsor of the draft, said the draft before the Committee condemned any form of impunity for mercenaries or for those who recruited, funded and trained mercenaries.  It would also ask for the Special Rapporteur on the issue to continue to work towards strengthening the international legal framework to combat the use of mercenaries, bearing in mind the new legal definition of mercenary introduced by the Special Rapporteur to the former Human Rights Commission in its sixtieth session.  The draft contained a number of minimal revisions based on contributions by Member States.  Should the draft be submitted to a vote, she requested all delegations to vote in favour.


The Chair informed the Committee that a recorded vote had been requested.  In response to a question from the representative of Cuba, the Chair said that the United States had requested the vote.


The draft was approved by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 51 against, with 5 abstentions ( Chile, Fiji, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Tonga).  (For details see Annex I.)


The representative of Chile, speaking in explanation of vote, said his delegation had abstained due to the content of preambular paragraph 9, on new forms of mercenary activities.  That paragraph could be interpreted as an “automatic assimilation” of the work of private security companies to that of mercenaries.  Further, also in reference to that paragraph, he noted that there currently were no legal instruments that clearly defined new mercenary activity.


The representative of Argentina expressed support to the free determination of all peoples suffering under occupation or colonization.  The draft text recently voted on should be interpreted and applied in accordance with relevant resolutions of the General Assembly.  In particular, she referred to the special and specific situation in the Malvinas and General Assembly resolution 2065(XX), as well as the pronouncement of the Committee on Decolonization, which recognized that a sovereignty dispute existed between the United Kingdom and Argentina and the need for a bilateral solution, based on renewed negotiations and bearing in mind the interest of the islands’ population.


The representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, expressed a shared concern over the dangerous activities of mercenaries and acknowledged the dangers and profoundly negative repercussions of such activity.  However, the European Union was not convinced that the Third Committee and the Human Rights Council were the right bodies in which to discuss the use of mercenaries, since the question should not be dealt with in regards to human rights or the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination.  Also, drafting links between mercenaries and terrorism was part of the work of the General Assembly’s Sixth Committee.  As such, while supporting efforts to reduce the threats caused by mercenaries, his delegation had voted against the draft.


The representative of Malaysia expressed concerns over the rise in the use of private military companies and private security companies, which often operated with little regulatory oversight.  Malaysia did not support the use of mercenaries under any circumstance.  Yet, it understood that, in certain circumstance, the use of private military companies or private security companies might be required.  However, the lack of clear and well-defined standards regarding their use was of concern.  The resolution was moving in the right direction in that regard and Malaysia, therefore, had chosen to co-sponsor the draft for the first time and had voted in its favour. 


The Committee then took up the draft resolution on combating defamation of religions (document A/C.3/63/L.22/Rev.1), hearing from its main sponsor, the representative of Uganda, who spoke on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, together with Belarus and Venezuela.  She said a wide number of delegations had participated in each of the three rounds of consultations, while some had not participated at all.  The text reflected a desire to accommodate concerns raised during those consultations.  The approach on the text had been changed to lay stress on the ills posed by the defamation of religion on all religions, and would call on States to combat such acts without exception.  Though Islam was usually at the core of such acts at present, it did not preclude the possibility that other religions could be targeted next. 


She said those States that claimed that the notion of defamation of religion had no bearing in international normative frameworks were overlooking the fact that all States had recently affirmed the global counter terrorism strategy, which had sought to de-link terrorism to a particular religion or ethnic group.  The international community had further resolved to promote a culture of peace and respect for all religions.  Eleven weeks ago, all States had reaffirmed their commitment to implement that strategy in an integrated manner, as reflected in General Assembly resolution 62/272 of 5 September, which had been adopted without a vote.  She hoped that the negative reaction shown by some delegations would not signal a departure from that commitment.  She also expressed hope that all those that said they would support the text if it made a reference to all religions would live up to their promise.


She then made an oral amendment to preambular paragraph 8 of the text, to change the reference to “illegal immigration” to “irregular immigration”.


The representative of the Observer Mission of the Holy See said the Committee had seen an increased focus on protection of religions based on the perceived rise in defamation of religious symbols and institutions.  The concept of defamation had arisen from the belief that religious ideas and figures deserved protection by the State in an effort to ensure that their adherents were not offended.  In the current international context, that notion risked removing the focus from the rights of individuals and groups towards the protection of institutions, symbols and ideas, and would lend itself locally to laws that would penalize religious minorities and stifle dialogue.  While he was supportive of the need to protect believers from hate speech, he also believed that it was possible to protect religious freedom by applying the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the agreements on the elimination of intolerance and discrimination based on religion and belief.


The representative of Egypt, aligning himself with the statement by Uganda, said the draft was an important one.  Many changes had been introduced, and it now dealt with the defamation of all religions.  It also dealt with the concerns of some that the Assembly should focus on discrimination of religious minorities, as the Holy See had indicated.  The text dealt with those problems in the context of those existing instruments.


The Chair then informed the Committee that a vote had been requested.


In an explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of India said his country opposed defamation and stereotyping based on religion.  The draft was an improvement on previous texts on the subject, but retained a focus on a single religion.  Defamation and stereotyping was a problem of concern to all religions.  He would abstain from the vote.


The representative of the United States said he appreciated the sponsors’ aim to address the denigration of religion in a number of manifestations, and agreed with the general tenets of the draft –- including its emphasis on education, its concern for the perpetuation of stereotypes, and encouraging public officials to respect people’s religions.  He also appreciated the fact that the text had been expanded to include a reference to a variety of religions.  While deploring hateful speech, his Government had a strong view that people should be free to express their opinion in challenge to an ideology of hate.  He believed that some States were seeking to restrict expression in the name of defamation of religion, when they should be promoting dialogue involving all peoples. 


He called on all Member States to reaffirm their belief in the freedom of expression and to call into account those that misused General Assembly resolutions to harass individuals who were seeking to express their opinions and beliefs.  He also objected to the text’s way of conflating racism and racial discrimination.  The language appeared to suggest that, like race, one’s religion was a characteristic that one could not change, which was in direct conflict to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration, which said that individuals had a right to change and choose their religion, and to manifest their beliefs through its teaching, practice and observance, or to choose not to practice a religion at all.  It was unhelpful and incorrect to suggest that race and religion were the same.  He would vote no on the draft.


The representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said belief in tolerance, non-discrimination, freedom of expression, thought, conscience, religion or belief, were the principles upon which the Union had been formed.  The European Union attached great importance to fighting the incitement to religious hatred.  While he thanked the Organization of the Islamic Conference for organizing consultations on both the concept of defamation of religion and on the text itself, the European Union believed that human rights were indivisible.  The right to freedom of expression was at the essence of the right to thought, conscience and belief. 


He said it was necessary to make distinctions between incitement to religious hatred and the right to discuss or criticize religion, adding that only the former should be forbidden.  He noted that the recent report of the Special Rapporteur on racism and related intolerance had recommended dealing with the concept of defamation of religion through the establishment of legal norms to combat the incitement to religious hatred.  There was no need for additional norms on the question.  In situations where fundamental rights were in conflict, only courts could establish the limits.  That question could not be tackled in the political field, but in the legal field.  He also could not accept the idea of defamation of religion being integrated into the human rights framework.  International human rights law should be aimed at protecting people in exercising their freedom of religion, not in protecting religions, as such.  He believed the resolution could be used to justify arbitrary decisions against religious minorities, for instance, by not allowing them to exercise their right to religion or belief.  He could not support the resolution and would vote against it.


The draft was then approved, as orally revised, by a vote of 85 in favour to 50 against, with 42 abstentions. (See Annex II.)


Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of Nigeria reaffirmed his delegation’s vote in favour of the draft.  He noted that Nigeria was a multicultural and multiethnic country, in which religion had been given a great amount of protection.  Overall, interreligious dialogue and harmony should be promoted in such a way as to foster unity for all peoples and mankind, with due respect to all cultures and religions.


The representative of Chile said that there should be no discrimination in the exercise of freedom of religion or expression and those freedoms could not be limited, except in those cases expressly referred to in international conventions.  All incitement to racial or religious discrimination should be prohibited by law and States parties should immediately undertake such efforts.  In addition, the concept of defamation of religions should not be used to weaken the right to freedom of expression, a right that was essential to strengthening rule of law and building democracy.


Colombia’s delegate said that the media could contribute to a greater understanding among all religions, beliefs, cultures and peoples and could facilitate dialogue among various groups.  Colombia had abstained from voting due to the ambiguous nature of some of the concepts expressed in the draft, specifically those that could lead to unjustified limitations of freedom of expression.  He expressed hope that, at the next session, more details could be heard regarding the defamation of religion and its relationship to freedom of expression. 


The representative of Brazil said his delegation had abstained from voting because the draft contained some aspects that posed difficulties.  Brazil’s constitution in regard to the freedom of religion was in line with the relevant articles of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights.  Brazil shared the view that the issue of defamation of religions should not be considered from a political perspective, but, rather, from a strictly legal one.  He also underscored the importance of treating Islamophobia, Christianophobia and anti-Semitism on the same footing, as doing otherwise would invite accusations of selectivity and double standards.


The representative of Singapore said his delegation had voted in favour of the draft, on the understanding that its contents applied to all religions.  In addition, Singapore’s understanding of the oral amendment made to preambular paragraph 8 was that it would have to be in accordance with each country’s national legislation.   Defamation bred intolerance, stereotypes and distrust, and harmful rhetoric and demonization along cultural and religious lines were often the precursors to conflict.  Such actions should be combated, along with all forms of intolerance.


The Committee then moved to take action on draft resolution on the right to food (document A/C.3/63/L.42/Rev.1), which contained no programme budget implications.


The representative of Cuba said that, should the draft be approved, the General Assembly would then consider the resolution within the framework of a global food crisis and an economic crisis.  Prior to the worsening of the food crisis there were 800 million hungry people across the world; now, that figure had increased to 923 million hungry people worldwide.  The causes of the food crisis were systemic and due to the unfair distribution of wealth throughout the world.


The Human Rights Council had held a special session to analyze the issue and Cuba reaffirmed the need to continue considering the important issue both in the Council and in the Third Committee.  However, in the Committee, the subject should be considered with a holistic view.  Therefore, the draft under consideration did not only refer to the current crisis, but also addressed wider issues, such as the need to expand agricultural production and to support food security. 


She also referred to a hard copy version of a number of editorial corrections to preambular paragraphs 11 and 17 of the text, as well as operative paragraph 32, which had been distributed in the conference room.  The document also contained a revision to operative paragraph 25, which would now stress that States parties to the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights consider implementing that Agreement, while mindful of the obligation of Member States to promote and protect the right to food.


The representative of Libya drew attention to an error in the Arabic version of the text, which referred to his country’s name incorrectly.


The Chair informed the Committee that a recorded vote had been requested and, in response to a question by Cuba, the Chair noted that the United States had requested the vote.


The Committee then approved the draft by a recorded vote of 180 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with no abstentions. (See Annex III.)


Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of the United States said that, while agreeing with the sentiment expressed in the resolution, his delegation could not support the text as drafted.  The United States felt that the attainment of the “right to adequate food” or the “right to be free from hunger” was a goal that should be realized progressively.  The current resolution contained numerous objectionable provisions, including inaccurate textual descriptions of underlying rights.  The United States was the largest food donor in the world of international humanitarian food aid and it would continue to work towards providing food security to all.  In the future, he expressed hope that the co-sponsors would work to address his delegation’s concerns, so the United States could join other countries in adopting the draft.


The representative of United Kingdom expressed concerns about paragraph 12, which stressed a commitment to promote and protect the economic, social and cultural rights of indigenous peoples.  The United Kingdom did not recognize the concept of collective human rights, with the exception to a right to self-determination.  In a statement delivered on 29 June 2006 at the adoption of the Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, her Government had expressed its position that indigenous individuals were entitled to the full protection of their rights on an equal basis to all other individuals.  The United Kingdom did not accept that some individuals should benefit from human rights that were not available to others.  This was a long standing and well established position of her country.  Her Government also believed that the rights of a group should not supersede the rights of the individual.  While her Government acknowledged that many States had granted collective rights in their Constitutions, national laws and agreements, her support for the draft did not amount to a change in the United Kingdom’s position on collective rights.


The representative of Canada expressed a belief in the progressive realization of the right to food as a component to everyone’s right to an adequate standard of living.  In its reports to the Committee that oversees implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Canada had illustrated the necessary steps to realize the right to adequate food.  While her country supported the realization of that right, it was concerned by operative paragraph 25 of the text.  She wished to note that there was no established link between the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and the concepts of food security and right to food.  In her understanding of paragraph 25, which would encourage WTO members to consider how to implement the TRIPS agreement, that paragraph did not suggest that United Nations Member States make substantive interpretations of the TRIPS agreements or that it instruct WTO members on how to implement it from a substantive standpoint.  There was nothing in the TRIPS agreement to prevent States from pursuing the right to food or food security.  She added that, as a strong supporter of the right to food, Canada had voted in favour of the text.


The representative of Guatemala said her vote in favour of the text had not been correctly reflected in the records.


The representative of Switzerland said his country had voted in favour of the text and had chosen to co-sponsor it after a long and difficult negotiation.  He voiced hope that, next year, the main author would guarantee greater transparency in those negotiations.


Making a general statement, the representative of Malaysia said his Government would engage with the international community to address the need for food.  States had a responsibly to their own citizens to ensure access to food, but soaring food prices had exacerbated the problem.  The right to food was a universal human right and a pressing global concern that was interlinked to development issues, the international trade system and the global market structure.  Solving the issue required more synergized action.


The representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the Union was pleased to have worked with the delegation of Cuba, whom he thanked, on that important resolution.  He appreciated its approach, which was based on human rights.  The Universal Declaration had anticipated a certain standard of living for all people, which would include freedom from hunger.  It was the responsibility of individual states to satisfy the food needs of their people, on the basis of the fulfilment of their political, civil and economic rights.  Also, there was a clear link between financial security and enough food and the rights of women.  It was important that States not lose sight of human rights in their national strategies to achieve food security for all.


Regarding paragraph 14, he said the European Union accepted the idea of differential treatment for developing countries as was defined in international law, and that no country should implement policies that were not in accordance with internationally accepted rules.  If a rights based approach were adopted, it should promote individual rights rather than food production, since the latter corresponded only to the rights of citizens who were farmers.


The representative of Finland, aligning herself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union, expressed regret over having to withdraw her delegation’s co-sponsorship, due to the last-minute amendment that weakened the reference to the rights of indigenous peoples.  In spite of considerable efforts by the main sponsors, negotiations had resulted in a compromise solution.  Despite concerns over that paragraph, the overall form of the draft had allowed Finland to support the resolution and she expressed hope that, in the future, the text of the draft would improve so as to allow Finland to co-sponsor it once again.


The representative of Colombia said that the right to food was an important element for the achievement of the right to life.  Operative paragraph 25, and its reference to the right to intellectual property, should be viewed against the backdrop of autonomy, especially in regard to analytical processes.  As well, operative paragraph 14 would require an examination of those various concepts to ensure greater clarity, as there was currently no international agreement on its definition.


The Committee then moved to take action on draft resolution on assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa (document A/C.3/63/L.58/Rev.1), which contained no programme budget implications.


The representative of Mauritius, speaking on behalf of the African Group, the main sponsors of the draft, welcomed the supportive manner in which consultations had been undertaken and said the current resolution reflected the overall views of the membership on the matter.  That said, it had been impossible, due to time constraints, to address all the various concerns.  However, those concerns had been noted and would be taken under consideration in the future. 


He added two new preambular paragraphs after preambular paragraph 6, which encouraged States to undertake an active role in the matter and to help provide assistance to those in need.  They also emphasized the primary responsibility of States in addressing the issues of internally displaced persons under their jurisdiction.  With those revisions in light, he expressed hope that the draft would draw the broad support of Member States, as it had in the past. 


The draft, as orally revised, was approved without a vote.


The representative of Cuba thanked Angola for its efforts in facilitating negotiations on the draft, as well as the efforts of the African Group in taking into account the various concerns of delegations.  With regard to the last preambular paragraph of the draft, she said that, while States held the responsibility to protect internally displaced persons within their jurisdiction, the role of the international community should be to lend assistance to the State, if it so requested.


The representative of Pakistan said that his delegation had joined consensus, despite the fact that Pakistan was not party to the 1951 Convention or its Protocol.  He also expressed concerns over the text of operative paragraph 21 and its reference to the “local integration of refugees”.


The representative of Syria, also thanking Angola for its efforts, said that Syria understood the last preambular paragraph to mean that the State had the prime responsibility to protect internally displaced persons on their territory and the international community should assist, with the consent of States. 


The Committee was then expected to take action on draft resolution on the implementation of the World Programme of Action Concerning Disabled Persons:  realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities (document A/C.3/63/L.3/Rev.1), but, as the Secretary informed the Committee, the document had not yet been released and consideration of the item was, therefore, postponed.


Next, the Committee approved without a vote a draft text on the follow-up to the Fourth World Conference on Women and full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (document A/C.3/63/L.73), which was submitted by the Chair.


The representative of the United States, in explanation of position, said he understood that references in the text to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women did not amount to an endorsement of that body’s pronouncements on recommendations.  He further understood that any references to its recommendations only applied to those that were consistent with its mandate.  States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women were under no obligation to change their policies if they were already consistent with the provisions of that Convention, particularly with regard to the rights of unborn children, and on prohibiting or restricting the use of abortion.  He objected to the use of the term “reproductive health services”, because it had taken on an ambiguous meaning to include abortion, which the United States did not agree with.  The United States had proposed modest changes to the language of the text, but they had not been accepted.  He said he was disassociating from the consensus.


The representative of Egypt said he had joined consensus with the understanding that nothing in the text permitted, endorsed, urged, promoted or encouraged abortion or the right to abortion.  The representative of Libya said his country had joined the consensus on a similar understanding, adding that abortion was only allowed in certain conditions, according to Islamic law.  Similarly, the representative of Iran said he welcomed the consensus approval of the text, and supported its implementation in a manner consistent with national law.  He also reserved Iran’s rights vis-à-vis Conventions to which it was not a party.


Following that action, the Committee then took note of a number of documents, including:  the report of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on its fortieth and forty-first sessions (document A/63/38); the report of the Secretary-General on supporting efforts to end obstetric fistula (document A/C.3/63/222); the report of the Secretary-General on trafficking in women and girls (document A/C.3/63/215); the report of the Secretary-General on the improvement of the status of women in the United Nations system (document A/C.3/63/364); and a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme on the activities of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (document A/C.3/63/205).


For various reasons, the Committee then decided to defer action on three draft resolutions:  on the report of the Human Rights Council for the period from 10 September 2007 to 24 September 2008 (document A/C.3/63/L.57/Rev.1*) pending the preparation of its related programme budget implications, to be contained in document A/C.3/63/L.77; on the rights of the child (document A/C.3/63/L.16/Rev.1), because negotiations were ongoing; and on global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (document A/C.3/63/L.51/Rev.1) and its related programme budget implications, contained in document A/C.3/63/L.70, also in view of ongoing consultations.


The Committee then moved to take action on the draft resolution on the right to development (document A/C.3/63/L.30/Rev.1), which contained no programme budget implications.  The Secretary informed the Committee that, should the draft be adopted, there would be no requirement for additional appropriation under the programme budget for the biennium 2008-2009.


The representative of Cuba, the main sponsor of the draft, said the text followed the guidelines established in the Declaration on the Right to Development, which confirmed that that right was an inalienable human right from which all individuals should benefit.  The draft was based on the work of the Working Group of the Human Rights Council and the special high-level team on the exercise of the right to development.  Operative paragraph 8 dealt with an important and priority subject for developing countries, namely, consideration towards the development of a binding international legal standard on the right to development.  He thanked all delegations for their cooperation and expressed hope that it would be adopted by consensus.  He also made a number of minor oral revisions to operative paragraphs 22 and 33.


The Chair informed the Committee that a recorded vote had been requested and, in response to a question by Cuba, said that the United States had made the request.


Speaking in explanation of vote, before the vote, the representative of the United States said that the United States opposed the resolution.  As was well-known, the United States understood the term right to development to mean that each individual should enjoy the right to develop his or her intellectual or other capabilities to the maximum extent possible, through the exercise of the full range of civil and political rights.  The draft contained references to some initiatives, such as the consideration of a legally binding instrument, which the United States, as it had in years past, found objectionable.  The United States would continue to help countries achieve economic progress and their development goals.  However, the resolution under consideration did not advance those goals and, as such, the United States would vote against the draft. 


The representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, said that the European Union remained firmly committed to the enjoyment of the right to development by all.  The right to development was a fundamental right and could not be used to signify any limitations to other rights.  It was up to States to take primary responsibility to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights, including the right to development.  The European Union would continue to play its part towards that end and would vote in favour on the resolution.  Its support for the positive work done by the Working Group on the right to development and the special high-level team should not necessarily be interpreted to mean support for the development of a binding international legal standard.  Finally, in regard to operative paragraph 11, the European Union believed that it was entirely up to the Human Rights Council to decide on follow-up.


The draft was approved by a recorded vote of 177 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 2 abstentions ( Canada, Israel) (Annex IV).


Speaking in explanation of vote, after the vote, the representative of the United Kingdom said her country had played an active role in promoting the right to development and was, overall, supportive of the draft.  However, operative paragraph 33 and its reference to indigenous peoples, rather than individuals, was of concern, since human rights were equal to all and did not belong to any one group over another.  Such a paragraph should not be read so as to establish collective rights.


The representative of Canada said her country supported the concept of the right to development and it actively participated in the United Nations working group on the subject.  Though it had joined consensus on the resolution at the ninth session of the Human Rights Council, Canada had substantive concerns over the current draft, as it still contained language regarding new international legal standards.  It was premature to say that such standards would be necessary, while the working group and Task Force were still in deliberations.  Such an instrument was only one of many options that might be considered in the future.  In addition, the draft should focus more on the primary responsibility of each State to promote and protect the rights of its own citizens, within their respective jurisdictions.  For that reason, Canada had abstained from voting.


The representative of Switzerland said that, despite concerns over operative paragraph 8, his delegation had voted in favour of the draft.  Switzerland continued to hold reservations over a binding international legal standards and its support for the draft should not be seen as a final opinion on such a standard. 


The representative of Finland, aligning herself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union, expressed a need to further strengthen references to the various international instruments providing for the rights of indigenous peoples, in the draft.


The Committee was then expected to take action on draft resolution on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief in document A/C.3/63/L.34/Rev.1.  The Secretary informed the Committee that the document was still outstanding and therefore asked that its consideration be deferred to the afternoon, if possible.


The Committee then turned to the draft resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (document A/C.3/63/L.35/Rev.1), which the Secretary said would require $147,000 per biennium to implement, though it would require no additional appropriation under the 2008-2009 budget.


The representative of Sweden, speaking on behalf of the Nordic Countries, thanked delegations for their constructive participation in the drafting of the text.  She read an oral amendment to paragraph 5, agreed to at the very last minute, by which States that had not abolished the death penalty would pay particular regard to the provisions contained in articles 6, 14 and 15 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and articles 37 and 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, bearing in mind the safeguards and guarantees set out in various Economic and Social Council resolutions, and taking account of the Special Rapporteur regarding the need to respect essential procedural guarantees, including the right to seek pardon or commutation of sentence. 


She said those changes would incorporate an amendment proposed in document A/C.3/63/L.74, and indeed, that amendment was duly withdrawn by its main sponsor, the representative of Uganda, on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).


Continuing, the representative of Sweden said consensus had not been reached regarding amendments put forward in document A/C.3/63/L.75, also made by the representative of Uganda on behalf of the OIC, which the Chair said would be subject to a vote. 


Addressing that amendment, the representative of Uganda explained that the OIC had repeatedly requested that the case of people under foreign occupation be addressed by the text, since they were most likely to be the subjects of extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions.  The co-sponsors had tried to shift the focus from the rights of such people to foreign occupation as a situation.  The response of the co-sponsors would be to dilute the reference to those people by adding a list of irrelevant cases and de-linking them from cases of refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants, which were often the result of foreign occupation.  People affected by foreign occupation could include the population of neighbouring States, for example.


She said the OIC believed that attempts to avoid the core issues related to the rights of peoples living under foreign occupation would only heighten the adverse consequences of the situations imposed on them.  It was for that reason that the group decided to table the amendment.


In addition, she said the notion of sexual orientation had no legal foundation in any international human rights instrument.  The OIC acknowledged that some Member States might have accepted that notion, but there was no justification to highlight that controversial notion while ignoring that discrimination existed in different parts of the world on the basis of colour, race, gender or religion, among others.  The OIC had proposed to the co-sponsors some generic language that would serve to cover all types of discrimination, without creating any negative discrimination in favour of certain individuals at the expense of others.  Yet again, that language –- which would have enabled many OIC states to join the consensus and even join the list of co-sponsors -- had not been accepted.


She said the OIC would request two separate votes on items contained in document L.75:  a vote on the suggestion to insert a reference to “peoples under foreign occupation” and another vote on replacing the phrase “including sexual orientation” with the term “whatsoever” [so that the entire sentence would read “to investigate promptly and thoroughly all killings...including all killings committed for any discriminatory reason whatsoever].


The representative of Sweden said that, given the many good discussions that had been held on operative paragraph 6(b) and the efforts of the draft’s co-sponsors, it was with some regret that the amendments proposed in A/C.3/63/L.75 were still on the table.  The co-sponsors could not accept such amendments and, as such, she requested a recorded vote on the separate sets of amendments. 


The Committee then moved to take action on paragraph 1 of the draft amendment.  On a point of order, the representative of Egypt said his understanding was that the voting would take place on paragraphs 1(a) and 1(b) together and on 1(c) on its own, which the representative of Uganda affirmed.


In an explanation of vote, before the vote on paragraphs 1(a) and 1(b), the representative of Finland said that the resolution L.35/Rev.1 was aimed at protecting persons from extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions.  In light of the importance many delegations attached to the issue of foreign occupation, the co-sponsors had decided, for the first time, to include a reference to persons under foreign occupation in operative paragraph 6(b).  That paragraph aimed at protecting the right to life of all individuals, especially those belonging to specific groups.  The alternative wording on foreign occupation, as proposed, clearly extended the coverage of that paragraph beyond its originally intended scope.  At the same time, the proposed amendment would exclude many important groups of individuals in vulnerable situations.  The wording of the draft resolution safeguarded the same rights that the co-sponsors of the proposed amendment sought to protect and it was regrettable that their proposed wording was not acceptable to all delegations.  For those reasons, Finland would vote against the proposed amendments and respectfully asked other delegations to do likewise.


The representative of Sweden said that the co-sponsors had included a reference to foreign occupation with a wording that was based on what had been accepted in other resolutions.  However, that language had been rejected and last-minute efforts to reach consensus on the previous Friday had also failed.  Sweden did not agree with the analysis put forward by the delegate from Uganda in her statement, since it questioned whether there was a need to make reference to killings of persons affected by terrorism, hostage-taking or foreign occupation.  There should be an investigation whenever such killings took place, without exception, so the inclusion of those killings did have a place in the resolution. 


Continuing, she said that the word “persons” had been proposed by Sweden instead of “peoples” because killings of individual persons was the subject under consideration and should, therefore, be stressed.  The language of the draft resolution fully reflected the issue at hand and did not need to be amended.  At the same time, it should be understood that a vote against the amendment did not mean a vote against the inclusion of foreign occupation in the text but, rather, as a vote against the alternative wording on the issue.


The representative of Denmark , aligning herself with the statement by Sweden, said consultations on operative paragraph 6(b) had been very difficult and very tense.  In recognition of concerns expressed by numerous delegations, the co-sponsors of the draft had agreed to include a reference to foreign occupation in the text, and to add hostage-taking and terrorism as well, all in an effort to bring the draft closer to universal acceptance by the Assembly.  In order to maintain that broad compromise, all three elements should be kept in the text.  The concrete meaning of the proposed amendments over the killings of peoples, as opposed to persons, introduced a collective dimension that was outside the scope of the paragraph.  As such, Denmark would reject the proposed amendments and urged others to do likewise.


The representative of Syria, aligning herself with the statement made on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, expressed regret over the fact that her delegation’s concerns had not been taken into account in the text of the draft resolution.  The wording in operative paragraph 6(b) was not clear, nor did it hold any meaning since the “persons affected by” terrorism, hostage-taking or foreign occupation was too ambiguous and did not take into consideration those living “under” foreign occupation.  For that reason, Syria would vote in favour of the proposed amendments and urged all other countries to do the same.


The Committee then rejected paragraphs 1(a) and 1(b) of the proposed amendment, by a recorded vote of 78 against to 60 in favour, with 29 abstentions (Annex V).


In a general statement after the vote, the representative of Costa Rica said his delegation had abstained because the amendment would go beyond the scope of the text under discussion.  Costa Rica had traditionally supported that resolution and, for the reason given, it had chosen, this time, to abstain. 


The representative of Egypt asked that it be noted that the language of the proposed amendment was the exact language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the language used in the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.


The Committee then moved to take action on paragraph 1(c) of the proposed amendment.  Speaking in explanation of vote, before the vote, the representative of Argentina said her delegation had co-sponsored the draft resolution due to an awareness of the need to end extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, acts which continued to be committed.  All individuals and groups that continued to be subjected to such practices should be protected and references to that specific group, those discriminated against due to sexual orientation, should not be excluded.  The term “whatsoever” referred to all groups, which was not necessarily the focus intended.  The inclusion of sexual orientation would ensure that the draft was clear and would stress the need to protect that particular group.  For those reasons, Argentina would vote against the proposed amendment. 


The representative of the Netherlands said his delegation would also vote against the amendment.  “Let us call a spade a spade,” he said, noting that the United Nations should not shy away from addressing the problem by its name and should confront the issue.  States often accepted that crimes against groups due to their sexual orientation and a lack of action increased impunity in that regard.  The Special Rapporteur had noted the link between arbitrary killings and sexual orientation, and it was hard to understand the unwillingness of some States to address the issue.  He thus called on all Member States to vote against the amendment.


Sweden’s delegate said quite some time had been spent in informal consultations on the issue of the inclusion of “sexual orientation” in the text.  The reason for the inclusion of the phrase was based on observations made for the first time in 1999, by the Special Rapporteur regarding the link between sexual orientation and arbitrary executions.  The language had not been removed over the years because evidence had shown that the problem continued to exist.  Including the reference would alert States regarding the need to address the issue in the proper manner.  Though “whatsoever” might be presumed to include that group, the issue still needed to be highlighted specifically.  Sweden would vote against the proposed amendment and she urged other delegations to do the same.


The proposed amendment was rejected by a recorded vote of 77 against to 59 in favour, with 25 abstentions (Annex VI). 


The Committee then took action on the draft as whole, as contained in document A/C.3/63/L.35/Rev.1.


The representative of Benin said that his delegation would withdraw its co-sponsorship of the resolution. 


The representative of Uganda then requested a vote on the draft. 


In a general statement, the representative of Sweden expressed regret over the request for a vote.  The text had come a long way and negotiations had brought the draft as close as possible to a consensus.  There was widespread agreement that the issue at hand was an important one and that the draft captured, overall, the concerns of delegations.  Sweden would vote in favour of the draft and she respectfully called on all other delegations to do the same. 


The Committee then approved the draft by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to none against, with 57 abstentions (Annex VII). 


Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of the United States said, although her delegation had abstained from voting, it joined the co-sponsors of the draft in condemning extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.  Countries such as her own, who continued to maintain capital punishment on its books, should abide by their international obligations and should use such punishment for only the most serious of crimes.  She noted that the language of the draft addressed two bodies of law, specifically international human rights law, as noted in preambular paragraph 3, and international humanitarian law.  At the same time, in preambular paragraph 6, it notes the complementary and mutually reinforcing relationship between the two.  Other parts of the text suggest that those different bodies of law applied in different circumstances.  However, preambular paragraph 9 notes the intention of the resolution, which is to prevent, combat and eliminate the abhorrent practice.  The United States did not believe that the resolution needed to touch on situations where international humanitarian law was applicable.  The law of war provided a related, but different, framework for addressing that abhorrent conduct. 


Continuing, she said that operative paragraph 8 and some other paragraphs could be improved to better recognize the differences between those two bodies of law.  That said, it was important also to recognize the improvements that had already been made in relation to previous texts.  In regard to references to the International Criminal Court in the text, there were some factual errors in the text in terms of what was or was not under the Court’s jurisdiction.  It was unfortunate that more neutral language could not have been found when referring to the Court in the draft and that divisions over the Court itself had spilled over into resolutions on other issues.  She also expressed regret over the undue politicization of parts of the resolution, in particular in regard to foreign occupation, and expressed hope that, in the future, changes would be made so as to allow the United States to show its full support for the draft and to vote in its favour.


Speaking also in explanation of vote, the representative of Iran said his country condemned the practice and believed that all States must eliminate those practices.  He had taken part in informal consultations, during which he proposed amendments to enhance the text, so as to engender the widest possible support.  He had strong reservations on paragraph 5, saying that any reference to those that retained the death penalty would undermine the universal responsibility of states to prevent extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary killings.  The strong position of several delegations on sexual orientation, as contained in paragraph 6, which had no legal definition and foundation in international human rights instruments, should have been respected.


The representative of Israel said his country condemned such acts of extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, but he was unable to support the language that blurred the distinction between those types of executions and killings in situations of armed conflict.  His Government was committed to upholding international law, but nevertheless could not accept the inconsistent references to international law in the text.  He was also concerned by the politicization of the draft, which “permeated a certain aspect of the resolution”.  Coming from a region where political leaders were assassinated, he regretted not being able to support that text.


The representative of Sudan said that, in light of the opinion of OIC members, his Government appreciated the consensus reached on operative paragraph 5 and rejected aspects of paragraph 6.  On paragraph 9, however, he remarked that the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court did not extend into the national jurisdiction of States, because the Rome Statute had specified that to be the case.  That paragraph had no consequence except to States that were bound by the Statute.


The representative of Barbados said he supported the first of two sets of amendments acted upon earlier, and had also supported the resolution as a whole because his Government condemned extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary killings.


The representative of Jamaica said her country supported efforts aimed at combating extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary killings, and was pleased that paragraph 5 had been amended.  But references to the death penalty in the text would imply that that practice amounted to a form of extrajudicial and arbitrary execution.  If so, her country did not share that opinion.


The representative of Egypt noted the improvement to the text this year as compared to the last, with the exception of the content of paragraph 6(b).  He had hoped that the co-sponsors would have incorporated the amendment proposed by the OIC in that regard.  Had that been the case, his Government would have been able to have joined the list of co-sponsors.  He hoped that next year, the authors would be open to dealing with that issue once more.


The Committee then turned its attention to the draft text on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism (document A/C.3/63/L.39/Rev.1) and the amendment contained in document A/C.3/63/L.78.  But, at the request of its main sponsor, the representative of Mexico, the Committee decided that action be deferred until tomorrow because consultations were still underway.  The Chair suggested that if negotiations could be completed by the end of today, he would be willing to return to that text later.


Following that decision, the Committee took up the draft resolution on elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief(document A/C.3/63/L.34/Rev.1).  The representative of France, its main sponsor, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said she would like to withdraw document A/C.3/63L.34/Rev.1 in favour of the original text, L.34, so as to facilitate the draft’s speedy approval.  She then called on the Secretariat to note changes to the text as submitted at the end of October, which was being circulated in the room for the benefit of all delegates, and proceeded to announce those changes orally.


After several minutes, the representative of Sudan, on a point of order, said he objected to the approach being taken by the representative of France in laboriously reading each change to the text, because he found it confusing.  Agreeing, the representative of Egypt said it seemed that amendments were in fact being made to L.34/Rev.1 and not L.34, and that there was some difficulty in following the representative of France’s train of thought.


The representative of France said a draft Rev.1 had been submitted on Friday, which had not been officially released.  However, because she would like to have the text adopted today, she had elected to read the changes out loud.  The Chair, however, agreed with others in saying that that method was producing much confusion, leading him to propose that the text be dealt with tomorrow.  The representative of France agreed, though she cautioned that the Committee was not likely to escape the possibility of hearing further oral amendments tomorrow.


The Committee was expected to take action on draft resolution on the Committee on the Rights of the Child (document A/C.3/63/L.46/Rev.1) and its related programme budgetary implications (document A/C.3/63/L.61*).  However, as the Secretary informed the Committee, documentation was not yet available and action would need to be postponed to the following day. 


Similarly, when the Committee moved to take action on draft resolution on the report of the Human Rights Council for the period from 10 September 2007 to 24 September 2008 (document A/C.3/63/L.57/Rev.1**) and its related programme budget implications of that action, contained in document A/C.3/63/L.77, the representative of Cuba asked that the resolution be addressed the following day, in an effort to garner broad support for the draft. 


The Committee then moved to the draft resolution on the rights of the child (document A/C.3/63/L.16/Rev.1) and its related programme budget implications of that action, contained in document A/C.3/63/L.69.


The representative of Uruguay, the main sponsor, said the draft was the fruit of extensive negotiations and numerous informal consultations.  She made a few oral revisions to the English version of the text, which had already been distributed informally in the room.  Among the many challenges that stood in the way of the full enjoyment of human rights for children was child labour, and that issue was addressed in the resolution, in step with its definition as recognized by States parties to the International Labour Organization (ILO).  The root causes of child labour, such as poverty and a lack of education, were also addressed.  The draft called on States to translate the need to eradicate child labour into real action and requested that the Secretary-General include, in his report, progress made in fighting child labour and efforts towards its elimination.  The draft also maintained its reference to concerns over the appointment of a new Special Rapporteur.  The omnibus resolution sought to be as broad as possible, including all essential elements and covering all concerns expressed.  Though some delegations were considered by that scope, they should be assured that the co-sponsors of the draft had considered each proposal individually and in depth before its inclusion.


The representative of Turkey said that his delegation disassociated itself from subparagraph (d) of operative paragraph 54 of the resolution and operative paragraph 55.


The representative of the United States said it was with a “heavy heart” that she requested a vote on the draft.  Due to time constraints, last-minute changes had not been able to be thoroughly vetted by the very large number of co-sponsors and it was with regret that, as in years past, the United States would request a vote.


The representative of India said his delegation would support the draft, since the important omnibus resolution addressed a number of essential issues.  However, he noted that India was not a State party to the relevant International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions in regard to child labour.  Child labour was an issue that required a holistic and multipronged effort and, to that end, India continued to be committed to the fight against it.   


The Committee then approved the draft by a recorded vote of 180 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with no abstentions. 


Speaking in explanation of vote, the representative of the United States welcomed the commitment of the United Nations and the Third Committee on issues relating to the rights of the child.  The United States was equally committed to the issue and had worked to ensure that the protection of the rights of children was fully integrated into its foreign policy.  However, she also expressed disappointment over the failure to make a number of minor changes that would have allowed the United States to support the draft.  In particular, she referred to preambular paragraph 2, which stated that the Convention on the Rights of the Child “must constitute” the standard, and in operative paragraph 2, which might have been improved by urging States to “consider” becoming States parties to the Convention, as each State had a sovereign right to make such decisions on their own.  Finally, operative paragraph 31, which recognized the contribution of the International Criminal Court in ending impunity for the most serious crimes against children, was not necessarily supported by fact, as it had not yet tried a single case in that regard.


The representative of Japan said she was concerned by certain paragraphs in the text that seemed to have programme budget implications.  For instance, although the situation of children in armed conflict was of special importance, activities to address that issue should be funded through voluntary contributions.  Such programme budget implications impaired the functioning of United Nations financial system.


The representative of Syria said she had voted in favour of the text, and that her country had worked to address the matter through its legislative and legal framework.  She had no problems with the draft, in essence, but added that her Government would interpret paragraphs 12, 14, 15 and 39 in a manner consistent with national law.


The representative of Singapore said he had voted in favour of the draft because his Government supported the rights of the child.  However, he had concerns regarding paragraph 3, on the need to withdraw reservations to Conventions.  Article 19 of the law on treaties drew a distinction between permissible and impermissible reservations.  Since the Convention on the Rights of the Child only forbade reservations that were incompatible with its objectives, he argued that it was inappropriate to insist that States reviewed permissible reservations with the aim of withdrawing them.  He expressed concern at the trend to urge countries to quickly withdraw such reservations, because it could dissuade countries from acceding to such accords at all.


The representative of Uruguay said that, among the corrections that she had submitted to the Secretariat, a paragraph that should have appeared between paragraphs 53 and 54 seemed not to have been included in L.16/Rev.1.  In response, the Secretary admitted that it was a mistake on the Secretariat’s part and assured the Committee that the text would be reissued for technical reasons.


At the invitation of the Chair, the representative of Uruguay read the paragraph, which would have the Assembly call on all States and relevant United Nations agencies and regional organizations to mainstream the rights of the child in conflict situations into their work.  It would have those bodies ensure that their staff and personnel were properly trained on the issue, and be subject to codes of conduct.  It would also have the Assembly encourage the participation of children in creating strategies to address the issue, giving due weight to each child according to the child’s age and maturity.


The representative of Sudan, on a point of order, objected to the addition of one more paragraph to a text after it had already been approved by the Committee.  The Committee had faced a similar situation when it took action on a resolution on obstetric fistula, but was told that additional paragraphs could only be added once the draft reached the General Assembly.  Responding, the Secretary said that the difference between that situation and today’s was that the mistake had been on the Secretariat’s part today, rather than an omission by the main sponsor.  The Chair added that today’s omission had been announced while the Committee was still on the relevant agenda item.


The representative of Norway, also speaking on behalf of New Zealand and Switzerland, acknowledged some significant improvements in the text while, at the same time, expressing longstanding concerns about the negotiating framework of the resolution.  A more open process might allow for further progress to be made.  In addition, while the omnibus approach had value in bringing together some children’s rights texts for more systematic consideration, the current resolution was “unwieldy” and might restrict the amount of appropriate attention to all contemporary challenges or give the impression that issues not in the omnibus were not important.  In view of those concerns, the omnibus resolution should not necessarily be seen as the exclusive vehicle for promoting the rights of the child and other initiatives might complement the omnibus approach. 


The representative of Liechtenstein commended the two facilitators for their efforts to build consensus on the draft resolution.  The draft contained positive language on many issues of great importance, though he expressed regret over the exclusion of a reference to Security Council resolution 1820 (2008), which was absent from the chapter on children in armed conflict, despite its relevance.  A fundamental review of the negotiation framework would also be worthwhile as the current framework had resulted in a text that was long and difficult to read.  The omnibus approach was, in principle, the right one, but ‘fresh thinking” could help improve its effectiveness in the future. 


Before concluding its consideration of agenda item 60(a), Implementation of Human Rights Instruments, the Committee took note of the Secretariat’s note regarding the appointment of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children (document A/63/203).


On a point of order, the representative of Sudan asked for greater clarification in regard to his previous concerns and the adoption of the draft, after which the Chair informed the Committee that it was his understanding that the resolution had been adopted, with its added paragraph.


ANNEX I


Vote on Mercenaries


The draft resolution on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of people to self-determination (document A/C.3/63/L.50/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 51 against, with 5 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, 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, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  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, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Chile, Fiji, New Zealand, Switzerland, Tonga.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu.


ANNEX II


Vote on Combating Defamation of Religions


The draft resolution on combating defamation of religions (document A/C.3/63/L.22/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 85 in favour to 50 against, with 42 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.


Abstain:  Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Japan, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Mongolia, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Rwanda, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Zambia.


Absent:  Albania, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu.


ANNEX III


Vote on Right to Food


The draft resolution on the right to food (document A/C.3/63/L.42/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 180 in favour to 1 against, with no abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, 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, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, 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, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  United States.


Abstain:  None.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tuvalu.


ANNEX IV


Vote on Right to Development


The draft resolution on the right development (document A/C.3/63/L.30/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 177 in favour to 1 against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, 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, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, 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, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, 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, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  United States.


Abstain:  Canada, Israel.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu.


ANNEX V


Vote on Amendment to Extrajudicial Executions Text


The amendments to operate paragraph 6(b) of the draft resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, included in paragraphs 1(a) and 1(b) (document A/C.3/63/L.75) were rejected by a recorded vote of 78 against to 60 in favour, with 29 abstentions, as follows:


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu.


In favour:  Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Abstain:  Afghanistan, Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Costa Rica, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mongolia, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sri Lanka, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan.


Absent:  Belize, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ghana, Guyana, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Marshall Islands, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Suriname, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu.


ANNEX VI


Vote on Amendments to Extrajudicial Executions


The amendments of operative paragraph 6(b) of the draft resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution contained in paragraph 1(c) of  document A/C.3/63/L.75 was rejected by a recorded vote of 77 against to 59 in favour, with 25 abstentions, as follows:


Against:  Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Montenegro, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.


In favour:  Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Gambia, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Abstain:  Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Botswana, Burundi, Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mongolia, Namibia, Rwanda, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, United Republic of Tanzania.


Absent:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Suriname, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu.


ANNEX VII


Vote on Extrajudicial Executions


The draft resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution (document A/C.3/63/L.35/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 121 in favour to none against, with 57 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela.


Against:  None.


Abstain:  Angola, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, China, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu.


ANNEX VIII


Vote on Rights of the Child


The draft resolution on the rights of the child (document A/C.3/63/L.16/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 180 in favour to 1 against, with no abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, 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, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  United States.


Abstain:  None.


Absent:  Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kiribati, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


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For information media • not an official record