Continuing CHAPTER VI Institutional aspects


General Assembly, 2004

At plenary meetings of the General Assembly, held between 21 and 30 September,1 a number of Member States, many represented at the level of Head of State or Government, adddressed a wide range of disarmament and security issues.
The First Committee, meeting under the chairmanship of Luis Alfonso De Alba of Mexico, held a general debate on all its agenda items, listed in Annex II to this chapter, between 4 to 15 October, and a structured discussion (thematic discussion and introduction of draft resolutions) from 18 to 22 October, and took action on draft resolutions from 25 October to 5 November.2
The General Assembly took action on nine draft resolutions related to issues discussed in this chapter.

Conference on Disarmament

59/104. Report of the Conference on Disarmament
The draft resolution was introduced by Myanmar, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 15 for the sponsors), on 25 October. The revised text was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 28 October and by the General Assembly on 3 December. For the text of the resolution, see page 88.
The resolution requested all States members of the Conference on Disarmament to cooperate with the current and successive Presidents in their efforts to guide it to the early commencement of its substantive work in 2005; and requested the Secretary-General to continue to ensure that the Conference was provided with adequate administrative, substantive and conference support services.
First Committee
Before the vote, Israel stated that it would join the consensus, but expressed disappointment that the text did not reflect the full scope of the Conference's work in 2004.

Disarmament Commission

59/105 Report of the Disarmament Commission
The draft resolution was introduced by Georgia, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 16 for the sponsors), on 22 October. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 27 October and by the General Assembly on 3 December. For the text of the resolution, see page 89.
The resolution requested the Disarmament Commission to continue its work in accordance with its mandate and to make every effort to achieve specific recommendations on its agenda, taking into account the adopted "Ways and means to enhance the functioning of the Disarmament Commission."3 It also requested the Secretary-General to transmit to the Commission the annual report of the Conference on Disarmament, together with all the official records of the 59th session of the General Assembly relating to disarmament matters, and to render all assistance that the Commission may require for implementing the present resolution.
First Committee
Prior to vote, two States expressed their disappointment at the Commission's failure to reach agreement on its substantive work in 2004. The Netherlands, speaking on behalf of the European Union (EU) and a number of other countries that aligned themselves with its explanation of vote,4 reaffirmed the EUs commitment to a successful outcome of the Disarmament Commission's work and to its effort to promote topical, concrete and useful recommendations. Canada mentioned that the draft resolution lacked recommendations on substantive issues for the Commission to take up at its three-week session next year, noted the financial costs that having no substantive agenda would entail, and hoped that the Commission would devote its 2005 session to an examination and discussion of its functions.
After the vote, Cuba expressed its regret that operative paragraph 5 of the text (on the 2005 substantive agenda items) did not include either the constructive proposals presented by the Non-Aligned Movement or any specific item. It stressed that the effectiveness of the Disarmament Commission depended more on the political will of certain countries to advance the multilateral approach to disarmament, particularly nuclear disarmament, than on any changes in its working methods.

Reform of the First Committee

59/95. Improving the effectiveness of the methods of work of the First Committee
The draft resolution was introduced by Indonesia, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 12 for the sponsors), on 5 November. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 5 November and by the General Assembly on 3 December. For the text of the resolution, see page 72.
The resolution invited Member States to consider the biennialization or triennialization of the agenda items discussed in the First Committee, on a voluntary basis, and particularly when no specific action was required to be taken for the implementation of relevant resolutions; to continue to hold interactive debates based on a programme and format elaborated through informal consultations between the Bureau and Member States in advance of each First Committee session; to submit more concise, focused and action-oriented draft resolutions and, where practical, to consider the possibility of submitting draft decisions. It also recommended that the respective sponsors of draft resolutions hold informal consultations, both before and during Committee meetings, with the participation of all interested Member States for furthering discussions on draft resolutions already submitted or yet to be submitted to the First Committee; reiterated that the Secretary-General would keep all Committees, including the First Committee, informed of the detailed estimated cost of all resolutions and decisions recommended by the Committees for approval by the General Assembly; requested the First Committee to explore the forms of mutual cooperation with other Main Committees; and decided to develop further, within existing resources, the electronic support for the work of the FC, in particular through the existing web sites.
First Committee
After the vote, Cuba expressed hope that the Committee's 2005 session would focus on the substantive priority items that required the necessary political will of all Member States.

SSOD IV

59/71. Convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament
The draft resolution was introduced by Malaysia, on behalf of States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Non-Aligned Movement, on 22 October. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 28 October and by the General Assembly on 3 December. For the text of the resolution, see page 24.
The resolution decided to establish an open-ended working group, working on the basis of consensus, to consider the objectives and agenda, including the possible establishment of the preparatory committee, for the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament, taking note of various related documents; requested the open-ended Working Group on SSOD IV to hold an organizational session in order to set the date for its substantive sessions, and to submit a report on its work, including possible substantive recommendations, before the end of the 60th General Assembly session. It also requested the Secretary-General, within existing resources, to provide the open-ended Working Group with the necessary assistance and services as may be required to discharge its tasks.

Department of Disarmament Affairs and its Regional Centres

59/97. United Nations disarmament fellowship, training and advisory services
The draft resolution was introduced by Nigeria, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 13 for the sponsors), on 25 October. The revised draft resolution was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 27 October and by the General Assembly on 3 December. For the text of the resolution, see page 77.
The resolution requested the Secretary-General to continue to implement the Geneva-based programme annually within existing resources and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its 61st session.
59/98. United Nations regional centres for peace and disarmament
The draft resolution was introduced by Malaysia, on behalf of States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Non-Aligned Movement, on 22 October. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 27 October and by the General Assembly on 3 December. For the text of the resolution, see page 78.
The resolution appealed to Member States in each region and those that were able to do so, as well as to international governmental and non-governmental organizations and foundations, to make voluntary contributions to the regional centres in their respective regions to strengthen their activities and initiatives; and requested the Secretary-General to provide all necessary support, within existing resources, to the regional centres in carrying out their programmes of activities.
59/99. United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean
The draft resolution was introduced by Mexico, on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, on 22 October. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 27 October and by the General Assembly on 3 December. For the text of the resolution, see page 80.
The resolution appealed to Member States, in particular those within the Latin American and Caribbean region, as well as to international governmental and non-governmental organizations and foundations, to make and to increase voluntary contributions to strengthen the Regional Centre, its programme of activities and the implementation thereof. It also requested the Secretary-General to provide the Regional Centre with all necessary support, within existing resources, so that it may carry out its programme of activities in accordance with its mandate, and to report to the General Assembly at its 60th session on the implementation of the resolution.
59/100. United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific
The draft resolution was introduced by Nepal, on behalf of the sponsors (see page 14 for the sponsors), on 22 October. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 27 October and by the General Assembly on 3 December. For the text of the resolution, see page 83.
The resolution requested the Secretary-General to provide the Regional Centre with the necessary support, within existing resources, in carrying out its programme of activities; urged him to ensure the physical operation of the Regional Centre from Kathmandu within six months of the date of signature of the host country agreement and to enable the Centre to function effectively; and requested him to report to the General Assembly at its 60th session on the implementation of the resolution.
59/101. United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa
The draft resolution was introduced by Nigeria, on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of African States, on 22 October. It was adopted without a vote by the First Committee on 28 October and by the General Assembly on 3 December. For the text of the resolution, see page 84.
The resolution appealed once again to all States, as well as to international governmental and non-governmental organizations and foundations, to make voluntary contributions in order to strengthen the programmes and activities of the Regional Centre and facilitate their implementation. It also requested the Secretary-General to continue to provide the necessary support to the Regional Centre for better achievements and results; to facilitate close cooperation between the Regional Centre and the African Union, in particular in the area of peace, security and development, and to continue to assist the Director of the Regional Centre in his efforts to stabilize its financial situation. It also appealed in particular to the Regional Centre, in cooperation with the African Union, regional and subregional organizations and the African States, to take steps to promote the consistent implementation of the UN Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.

1Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-ninth Session, Plenary Meetings, 3rd to 17th meetings.
2Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-ninth Session, First Committee, 2nd to 23rd meetings.
3Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fifth session, Supplement No. 42 (A/55/42), p. 13.
4The Netherlands spoke on behalf of the European Union, the candidate countries of Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania and Turkey; the countries of the Stabilization and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia and Montenegro; and the European Free Trade Association countries of Iceland and Norway, members of the European Economic area.