23 July 2012
General Assembly

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

Sixty-sixth General Assembly


122nd Meeting (AM)

General Assembly Adopts Two Texts Relating to Conflict, Development in Africa,

Draft Decision on Tenure of International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda Judges

New Members Appointed to Five-Year Terms on Joint Inspection Unit

Concerned about violence against women and children, and the tragic plight of the latter in African conflict situations, the General Assembly adopted today a draft resolution on causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development on the continent.

It also adopted a draft resolution in support of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and a draft decision on the tenure of judges serving on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Adopted without a vote, the text on causes of conflict in Africa (document A/66/L.41/Rev.1) called for intensified efforts to support the development of national capacity and peace-consolidation mechanisms so as to ensure an end to conflict on the continent.  It also called for a coordinated, multi-stakeholder approach to helping post-conflict countries move smoothly from relief to development, as well as for support for the African Union effectively to integrate training in international humanitarian law and human rights law while implementing its 10-year capacity-building programme.

Further, the Assembly called for women to play a greater role in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, and for more support for safeguards to help refugees, while urging further progress in implementing policies to better protect women and children.

Urging adoption of the text while introducing it on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, Algeria’s representative said it would enhance the voice of African countries in international economic decision-making and reduce the continent’s marginalization.

Speaking in explanation of position before the vote, the representative of the United States said her delegation supported African-led efforts to enhance economic growth and was pleased to join the consensus on the draft resolution.  She also commended the “excellent” facilitation efforts by United Republic of Tanzania.

In its consensus adoption of the text on NEPAD (document A/66/L.40/Rev.1), the Assembly expressed grave concern over the particularly negative impact on Africa of the financial and economic crisis, volatile energy and food prices, desertification, land degradation, biodiversity loss, its own disproportionately low share of international trade and its increased debt burden.  The Assembly urged the fulfilment of official development assistance (ODA) commitments and continued support for measures to address challenges to Africa’s efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger, create jobs and ensure sustainable development.  It also called for a comprehensive, sustainable solution to Africa’s external debt.

Introducing that text on behalf of the “Group of 77” and China, Algeria’s representative welcomed the progress African States had made in peacekeeping and peacebuilding, and its efforts to promote human rights and democracy.  Recognizing the need for international support, he said Governments and international partners must continue coordinated efforts to promote peace and sustainable development on the continent.

The Assembly then adopted, again without a vote, a draft decision (document A/66/L.54) allowing, on an exceptional basis, three judges to continue serving on the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda until 31 December 2012, or the completion of the Ngirabatware case.  It also extended the term of another judge until 31 December 2014 so that he could perform the functions required of him as trial judge and Tribunal President.  The extension would be reviewed in June 2013.

In its consideration of that decision, the Assembly had before it a letter dated 17 July 2012 from the President of the Security Council addressed to the President of the General Assembly (document A/66/870), and identical letters dated 1 June 2012 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Security Council (document A/66/819-S/2012/392).

In other business, the Assembly appointed the following members of the Joint Inspection Unit:  Sukai Prom-Jackson ( Gambia); Jean Wesley Cazeau ( Haiti); A. Gopinathan ( India); Gennady Tarasov ( Russian Federation); and George Artsiotas ( United States).  They will serve five-year terms beginning on 1 January 2013 and expiring on 31 December 2017.

The Assembly also decided to include the sub-item “Election of members of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law” on the agenda of its current session.

At the outset of the meeting, the Assembly elected Kenya as Vice President of its sixty-seventh session.

The General Assembly will reconvene on a date to be announced.

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For information media • not an official record