3 October 2013
General Assembly

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

Sixty-eighth General Assembly

Fourth Committee

2nd Meeting* (AM)

Fourth Committee Approves Programme of Work in Organizational Meeting


for Sixty-Eighth General Assembly Session


In a brief organizational meeting today, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) approved its work programme for the new session, which contains more than a dozen topics for consideration, including questions relating to peacekeeping, outer space, the effects of atomic radiation and the granting of independence to Non-Self-Governing Territories and peoples.

Committee Chair Carlos Enrique García González ( El Salvador) welcomed Vice-Chairs Mafiroane Motanyane ( Lesotho), Christina Rafti ( Cyprus) and Francesco Santillo ( Italy).  He encouraged the Group of Eastern European States to nominate a candidate for the position of Rapporteur at the earliest opportunity.

According to its work programme (documents A/C.4/68/1, A/C.4/68/L.1 and A/C.4/68/INF/1), the Committee would first consider a number of items relating to decolonization during a general debate to be held from 7 to 14 October.

The Chair informed the Committee that he had received an aide-memoire (document 01/13) containing 87 requests for hearings on the questions of French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Guam, New Caledonia and Western Sahara, which had been circulated to delegations by e-mail.  The Chief Minister of Gibraltar would be addressing the Committee under the agenda item relating to Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, he added.

From 16 to 18 October, the Committee would devote three meetings to questions relating to information.  It would also hold three meetings on the peaceful uses of outer space from 22 to 24 October.  The Committee also agreed, as in previous years, to establish a working group on outer space to be chaired by the delegation of Japan.

On 25 October, the Committee would consider questions relating to the effects of atomic radiation.  It would then hold a comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations over the course of four meetings from 28 to 31 October.  On 1 November, the Committee would consider assistance in mine action, and on 4 and 5 November, it would hold a comprehensive review of special political missions.

Moving on to topics relating to the Middle East, the Committee would consider aspects of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on 6 and 7 November.  On 8, 11 and 12 November, it would take up the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.  The Committee was expected to conclude its work by 14 November.

The Fourth Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on 7 October to begin its consideration of issues relating to implementation of the decolonization Declaration.

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*     The 1st Meeting was covered in Press Release GA/11432 dated 1 October 2013.

For information media • not an official record