United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

24 October 1995


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 37


Report of the Secretary-General



I.  INTRODUCTION .......................................................2

II.  REPLIES RECEIVED FROM GOVERNMENTS ..................................3

  A.  Argentina ......................................................3

  B.  Brazil .........................................................4

  C.  Malawi .........................................................5

  D.  South Africa ...................................................5

  E.  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland ...........6

  SYSTEM .............................................................7

  A.  Department of Public Information ...............................7

  B.  Economic Commission for Europe .................................8

  C.  Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean ........8

  D.  United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization9

  E.  World Meteorological Organization ..............................9

95-32234 (E)   021195

1.   At its  forty-ninth session,  the General  Assembly adopted  resolution
49/26 of  2 December 1994 on  a zone of peace  and cooperation of the  South
Atlantic in which,  inter alia, it took note of the report of the Secretary-
General. 1/  It  welcomed with satisfaction the holding of the third meeting
of the States  members of the zone, held at Brasilia on 21  and 22 September
1994,  and  took  note  of the  Final  Declaration, the  Declaration  on the
Denuclearization of  the  South  Atlantic,  the Declaration  on  the  Marine
Environment, the Declaration on Business Cooperation  in the South  Atlantic
and the  decision on the  establishment of  the Permanent  Committee of  the
zone  of  peace and  cooperation  of  the South  Atlantic,  adopted  at  the
meeting. 2/

2.  In the  same resolution, the General Assembly affirmed the importance of
the South  Atlantic to global maritime  and commercial  transactions and its
determination  to  preserve  the  region  for all  activities  protected  by
customary international law, as  reflected in the  United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea. 3/

3.   The  General  Assembly  called upon  all  States  to cooperate  in  the
promotion  of the objectives established  in the declaration of  the zone of
peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic and  to refrain from any  action
inconsistent  with those  objectives  and  with  the  Charter  and  relevant
resolutions of  the United Nations, particularly  action which might  create
or  aggravate situations of  tension and  potential conflict  in the region.
It  also requested  the relevant  organizations,  organs  and bodies  of the
United Nations system to render appropriate  assistance which States of  the
zone might seek in  their joint efforts to  implement the objectives  of the
zone.     The   Assembly  requested   the  Secretary-General  to   keep  the
implementation  of  resolution  41/11  of  27  October 1986  and  subsequent
resolutions on  the matter  under  review and  to  submit  a report  to  the
General Assembly at its fiftieth session,  taking into account, inter  alia,
the views expressed by Member States.

4.   Pursuant to  the above  resolution, the  Secretary-General addressed  a
note verbale on 4 May 1995  to the Governments of the  States Members of the
United  Nations,  requesting  their  views  on  the  implementation  of  the
declaration on the zone  of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic.  On
the  same day, letters  were also  dispatched to  the relevant organizations
and  bodies  of  the  United  Nations   requesting  them  to  convey   their
contributions for the preparation of the  report of the Secretary-General by
1 August 1995.

5.    As  of   11  October  1995,  five   Governments  had  replied  to  the
SecretaryGeneral.    Those replies  are  reproduced  in  section  II of  the
present report.  Any  further replies and notifications that may be received
at a later date will be published as addenda to the present report.

6.   By the same  date, communications  had been  received from five  of the
organizations and  United  Nations bodies  addressed,  and  are set  out  in
section III of the present report.


A.  Argentina

[Original:  Spanish]

[1 August 1995]    

1.   The Argentine  Republic once  again affirms  its full  support for  the
principles and purposes  of the zone of peace  and cooperation of the  South
Atlantic declared in General Assembly resolution 41/11 of 27 October 1986.

2.  In this connection, it wishes to underline the special importance  which
the  promotion of democracy  and political  pluralism and  the protection of

human rights  and fundamental  freedoms have  for the  strengthening of  the
zone, without which a truly effective zone of peace would be very  difficult
to envisage.

3.   The commitment  of the  Argentine Republic  to the  consolidation of  a
lasting  peace  in  the  region  has   been  tangibly  demonstrated  by  its
participation in  the United Nations  Angola Verification Mission  (UNAVEM),
even at the cost of loss of life.

4.   As  regards  the peaceful  uses  of nuclear  energy  and  international
cooperation, the Argentine  Republic believes it  is important to strengthen
and promote  the development of international  law relating  to the physical
protection of nuclear materials.

5.  As the Foreign Minister of Argentina stated at the  Review and Extension
Conference  of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
Weapons, held in April-May 1995:

  The transport  of materials such as  plutonium or  highly enriched uranium
raised major  questions regarding contamination,  which require the  closest
possible attention of the international community.

  The recent transit of  radioactive waste through  the waters of the  South
Atlantic has placed Argentina in a  difficult situation because of the clear
ecological risks it may  face, given the particular characteristics inherent
in  navigation in  the southern  seas.   We believe  that the  international
community should  go on  record  in favour  of  the  efforts being  made  to
strengthen  existing  instruments in  the  area  of physical  protection  of
nuclear materials  and management  of radioactive  waste, in  order to  make
those instruments truly useful in the event of an ecological emergency.

6.  The Argentine Government has repeatedly expressed its concern about  the
protection of  the  environment of  the south-west  Atlantic, in  particular
about  the  dangers caused  by  the  passage  of  ships transporting  highly
radioactive substances.

7.  The United Nations  Convention on the Law of the Sea confers on  coastal
States the authority  to exercise  jurisdiction in their exclusive  economic
zone,  inter  alia,  for  the  protection  and  preservation  of  the marine
environment, and they thus  have the power to  enact and enforce norms aimed
at avoiding  contamination of  their waters.   Argentina  has exercised  and
will continue  to exercise  that authority in accordance  with international

8.   Argentina acts  responsibly in  all matters relating  to the protection
and preservation of resources.  However, without international  cooperation,
Argentina's efforts  to preserve and protect  the environment  in the south-
west Atlantic could prove to be insufficient.

9.  While  the Argentine Republic respects freedom of navigation as governed
by  international  instruments,  it believes  that  such  freedom should  be
regulated in the case  of ships transporting  highly radioactive substances.
The Government  is  determined  to  call  upon  the  relevant  international
organizations to  enforce and strengthen  international rules and  standards
for  preventing, reducing  and  controlling contamination,  and  to  develop
rules  regulating  the passage  of  ships  transporting  highly  radioactive
substances, to  ensure, in particular, that  the packing  of such substances
meets the requirements of the International Maritime  Organization (IMO) and
the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) concerning safety in packing.

10.   Finally, the  Argentine Republic  wishes once again to  state that the
colonial situation  of  the  Malvinas,  South  Georgia  and  South  Sandwich
Islands  persists   in  the  South   Atlantic,  affecting  its   territorial
integrity.   The increasing normalization of relations between Argentina and
the United  Kingdom  of Great  Britain  and  Northern Ireland,  the  ongoing
cooperation efforts  and the expressly  manifest will  to regain sovereignty

by  peaceful means and  in accordance  with the  principles of international
law, of which the SecretaryGeneral and  the United Nations General  Assembly
have been informed, in addition to  the constitutional commitment to respect
the  way of  life  of  the inhabitants  of  the Malvinas  Islands, have  not
achieved  a solution to the sovereignty dispute, which is greatly desired in
the South Atlantic region.

B.  Brazil

[Original:  English]

[14 August 1995]   

1.  The Government of Brazil reiterates its  commitment to the purposes  and
objectives  of  the zone  of peace  and  cooperation of  the South  Atlantic
(ZPCSA), as expressed in resolution 41/11,  in subsequent resolutions of the
General Assembly  and  in the  decisions  and  declarations adopted  by  its
Member States.

2.   Brazil hosted  the third meeting  of the States  members of the  ZPCSA,
held at  Brasilia on 21  and 22  September 1994.   The Final  Declaration of
that meeting,  Declarations on the Denuclearization  of the South  Atlantic,
on the Marine  Environment and on  Business Cooperation,  and a decision  on
the inter-sessional follow-up mechanism  have been circulated  in a document
submitted to the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session. 4/

 3.  Recent  developments in the context of the South Atlantic,  such as the
integration of  a democratic  South  Africa  in the  ZPCSA and  progress  in
subregional integration  agreements, offer new  opportunities for  enhancing
the links  among countries sharing the African and South  American coasts of
the South Atlantic.  Further  joint efforts are  to be expected in order  to
address challenges  in areas such as  the easing of tension, preservation of
the  environment,  non-proliferation of  weapons  of  mass  destruction  and
cooperation for development, and in multilateral issues.

4.   The Government  of Brazil  looks forward  to participating in  the next
meetings of the member  States of the zone and  welcomes the offers  made by
the  Governments  of  South  Africa,  Argentina  and  Benin  to  host future

C.  Malawi

[Original:  English]

[9 August 1995]    

  The Government  of Malawi is committed  to the  promotion of international
peace and security, and  questions of peace and security are central to  its
domestic  and  foreign  policies.   The  Government  therefore endorses  the
objectives of the resolution.  In addition,  it supports measures which  are
aimed at the conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources.

D.  South Africa

[Original:  English]

[11 October 1995]  

1.   South Africa  welcomes the  objectives of  General Assembly  resolution
49/26 of 2 December  1994.  Bringing the countries of the South Atlantic rim
together   in  closer  understanding  and  cooperation  and  by  bridging  a
military-free and  nuclear-free ocean  to increase  political, economic  and
cultural links between  eastern South  America and  West African  countries,

can be warmly subscribed to.

2.  In this regard the South African  Government wishes to underline  recent
developments  in relations between  South Africa  and the  States members of
the  zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic, which developments
have contributed not only  to a lessening of  tension in the  South Atlantic
but also to prospects for increasingly close economic and other contacts.

3.  It is clear that the  emergence of a democratic non-racial Government of
National Unity in South Africa, preceded by the independence of Namibia  and
the reintegration  of Walvis Bay into  that territory, has not only afforded
South  Africa the advantage  of becoming  the twenty-fourth  member State of
the  zone, but also  provided a  more propitious  environment for furthering
the objectives of the zone.

 4.  The Government  of South Africa remains committed to the principles and
objectives of the Declaration of the third meeting of the States members  of
the zone of peace and  cooperation of the South Atlantic, held in Brazil  on
21  and  22 September  1994,  and  reaffirms its  belief  in the  zone  as a
veritable instrument for  promoting international peace and security as well
as development cooperation.

5.   As a mark of  its commitment, South Africa  will be hosting the  fourth
ministerial meeting of the zone in Cape Town, South Africa, early in 1996.

6.    South  Africa  recognizes  the  intraregional  opportunities  for  the
expansion of trade, investment, cultural, tourism, sporting and other  links
and  wishes to  cooperate  in these  fields in  a positive  and constructive

7.    The zone  provides  a very  important  opportunity  and  framework for
promoting the  common interests and aspirations  of those  African and South
American States  which share the  South Atlantic.  Such  an instrument could
also provide impetus and  substance to South-South  dialogue and cooperation
in general.

8.   Global  developments  that  have brought  an end  to the  cold  war and
realigned  balances  of  power,  particularly also  in  the  South Atlantic,
afford member States  a safer environment  in which to pursue  more relevant
and substantive economic,  social, environmental and other regional  issues,
and as a grouping vis-a-vis the rest of the world.

9.  These new opportunities should be sought  and vigorously pursued.  As it
will  be chairing  the  next  meeting, South  Africa  will hope  to  make  a
meaningful input in this regard.

10.   It remains necessary, at the same time, not to become complacent about
the many  problems that do  beset the region  and individual Member  States.
Poverty  and deprivation,  human rights  and asymmetrical  development  that
would  benefit all,  and  not just  some, must  continue to  receive earnest
attention.   The region is  capable of looking  to itself  for solutions and
the  necessary  political  will  must  be  found  to  establish  that beyond

E.  United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

[Original:  English]

[9 August 1995]    

  The  Government  of the  United  Kingdom  of  Great  Britain and  Northern
Ireland welcomes  the objectives of General  Assembly resolution  49/26 of 2
December  1994, which  are to  promote peace  and cooperation  in  the South
Atlantic.   In  this  regard, the  British  Government wishes  to  draw  the
Secretary-General's attention  to developments  in Anglo-Argentine relations

which  have  contributed to  the  lessening  of  tension  in the  south-west
Atlantic.   In particular, cooperation continues  in the forum  of the South
Atlantic Fisheries Commission (contributing to the conservation of  stocks),
and in the field of military  confidence-building measures under the Interim
Reciprocal Information  and Consultation  System.   Discussions continue  to
try to find  areas for cooperation over  oil exploration around the Falkland
Islands (Malvinas),  and to  enable the  removal of  land mines left  on the
Islands following the conflict of 1982.


A.  Department of Public Information

1.   The  adoption of General  Assembly resolution 49/26  was highlighted by
the  Department's  daily  news  programmes  for  broadcasting organizations,
including  the Radio  Bulletin Board,  and  received  emphasis in  its press
release service on 2 December 1994.   United Nations information centres and
services, particularly those  located in  the region, publicized the  action
taken by the General Assembly through their newsletters.

2.  From the beginning  of December 1994 to the end of June 1995,  questions
relating  to  the purposes  and  objectives  of  the  zone, with  particular
emphasis  on  the  interrelationship  of  peace,  security  and  sustainable
development,  have been the  subject of  612 radio  magazine and documentary
programmes produced altogether in 11 languages  and distributed to about 800
broadcasting organizations.  During the same  period, 506 press releases  in
English and French on issues pertaining  to the resolution, including  press
coverage  of the  World Summit  for Social  Development  and of  meetings of
intergovernmental   bodies  at   Headquarters,   have   been  produced   and
distributed.  A  great number of those press  releases, as well as  relevant
background notes,  have been transmitted by  electronic mail and by pouch to
United Nations  offices around  the world,  and through  publicly accessible
databases and networks such as the Internet.

3.    Through  newsletters,  group  briefings,  adaptation  of   information
materials produced  at  Headquarters  and other  forms of  dissemination  of
information, all United Nations information  centres have drawn attention to
the efforts of the international community  with regard to the establishment
of  a  zone  of  peace  and  cooperation  of  the  South  Atlantic  and  its
objectives.    These  activities  related  to  the  Vienna  Declaration  and
Programme of Action 5/  adopted by the  World Conference on Human Rights  on
25 June 1993  to promote human rights, the  progress towards the full  entry
into force  of the Treaty  for the Prohibition  of Nuclear  Weapons in Latin
America and the Caribbean (Treaty of  Tlatelolco), 6/ the implementation  of
the  Declaration on the  Denuclearization of  Africa, 7/  the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea  and its importance to the  South Atlantic,
the  Rio Declaration  on Environment and  Development and Agenda  21, 8/ and
the  activities of  the  Organization on  achieving a  lasting peace  and on
rendering humanitarian assistance to Angola and  Liberia.  Within the region
addressed by the resolution, special efforts  with regard to the  objectives
of  the  resolution have  been  undertaken  by  the  information service  in
Santiago and the information centres in  Accra, Buenos Aires, Dakar,  Lagos,
Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Washington and Windhoek.

4.  Nine productions of the United Nations  Television series "UN in Action"
for  broadcasting by over  100 television  stations, and  six productions of
its programme "World  Chronicle" for broadcasting by television stations  in
North  America,  have  been  directed  to   issues  with  relevance  to  the
resolution.  Issues  before the World Summit for Social Development were the
theme  of  a  30-minute  programme  which  was  aired  by  major  television

B.  Economic Commission for Europe

1.   Although the  major part  of the  zone falls  outside the  geographical
scope  of  the region  of  the  Economic  Commission for  Europe  (ECE), the
Commission is  offering its  cooperation, if  needed, in  the  field of  the
environment,  in  which  it   has  developed  a   number  of   environmental
conventions that could serve as a model for other regional groupings.

2.  ECE would like  to draw particular attention  to the Secretary-General's
note to the  Economic and  Social Council  9/ on  a Europe-Africa  permanent
link through  the Strait of Gibraltar  and corresponding Council  resolution
1993/60  of 30  July  1993.   A  similar  note  has been  prepared  for  the
forthcoming session  of the Council,  outlining the work done  on the bridge
or tunnel options during the period 1993-1994.   ECE has been following this
issue since 1982.

C.  Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

1.  The  activities of the  Economic Commission  for Latin  America and  the
Caribbean  (ECLAC)  focused  on  implementing  the  recommendations  of  the
meetings of  experts on  the law  of the sea  of the  States members of  the
zone, in the framework  of the results of  the United Nations  Conference on
Environment and Development.

2.  Since there  have been no  further meetings of its kind since  1991, the
ECLAC  contribution to  the goals  of  General  Assembly resolutions  on the
subject  has  been   essentially  through  the  transmission  of   pertinent
documentation  of  its activities  in  relevant  areas  such  as the  United
Nations  Convention on  the  Law of  the Sea,  the Convention  on Biological
Diversity 10/ and the Basel  Convention on the Control  of the Transboundary
Movement of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, 1989.  11/  ECLAC has  been
sending these documents to  Headquarters for submission  to the  Coordinator
of the zone.

3.   ECLAC believes  that stronger  cooperation on  environmental affairs in
the zone is essential  and would like to be informed about technical  forums
to be  convened in  the future,  as well  as about  other possible  existing
channels  for information  exchange  with the  newly  established  Permanent
Committee  on the Zone of Peace and Cooperation of  the South Atlantic.  Two
specific areas deserve inclusion in  cooperation efforts between  experts of
States members of the  zone. The first  is the need for cooperation  between
Africa and Latin America in the control of the illegal traffic of  hazardous
products and  wastes and, in  this connection,  in the  fostering of  closer
links  between the Bamako  Convention on  the Ban of the  Import into Africa
and  the  Control of  Transboundary  Movement  and  Management of  Hazardous
Wastes   within  Africa,   12/  and   the  Latin   American  and   Caribbean
arrangements.    The establishment  of  regional  centres for  training  and
transfer of  technology in the  field could be  another interesting  area of
cooperation.   The second area  relates to the  need for  the preparation of
guidelines  on the  conservation and  sustainable use  of  marine biological
diversity.    ECLAC  convened  a meeting  in  October 1994  to  analyse some
aspects referring to coastal management  in marine and coastal areas of high
biodiversity in the Atlantic.

D.  United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization        

1.   The United Nations  Educational, Scientific  and Cultural  Organization
(UNESCO)  and  its  Intergovernmental  Oceanographic  Commission  (IOC)  are
working  in the South  Atlantic through the regional  subsidiary body of IOC
for the central eastern  Atlantic (IOCEA), through  Integrated Management of
Coastal Systems (COMAR) in Africa and  South America, through a  subregional
programme  for  the  upper south-west  Atlantic  of  Argentina,  Brazil  and
Uruguay, and through the initiation of a programme for  the Benguela Current
system, including Namibia and South Africa,  and possibly other partners  in

2.    In this  context,  South-South  cooperation  is  encouraged.   Several
activities are  carried out  jointly with  the United  Nations Division  for
Ocean Affairs and the  Law of the  Sea.  IOC has proposed a  training centre
in West  Africa as  part of  the United  Nations/United Nations  Development
Programme Train-Sea-Coast Programme.

E.  World Meteorological Organization

1.   Three  countries bounding  the  South  Atlantic (Argentina,  Brazil and
South  Africa) accepted  international  responsibility, under  the  new  WMO
marine Broadcast Systems for the Global  Maritime Distress and Safety System
of  IMO, for  the broadcast  of  meteorological  forecasts and  warning, via
satellite, in support of  maritime safety, to specified  zones in the  South
Atlantic.   These broadcast services  are now operational.   The same  three
countries   also   accepted   provisional   responsibility   for   providing
meteorological support  services, under the  WMO Marine Pollution  Emergency
Response Support  System (MPRESS),  for the  same zones,  for operations  in
response to marine  pollution emergencies on the  high seas.   Formal trials
of the MPRESS are now under way.

2.  Following a  joint initiative of the WMO/IOC Data Buoy Cooperation Panel
and   WMO/IOC/United  Nations   Environment  Programme  (UNEP)/International
Council of  Scientific Unions (ICSU) Global Climate Observing System (GCOS),
a  cooperative  international South  Atlantic  Buoy  Programme  (ISABP)  was
formally established in October 1994.   The programme groups 12 institutions
from six countries with interests in  the South Atlantic (Argentina, Brazil,
Germany,  South  Africa,  the  United  Kingdom,  and  the  United  States of
America), with the  objective of maintaining operationally an agreed network
of drifting  buoys in the  South Atlantic,  measuring various meteorological
and surface oceanographic variables, in support  of major programmes of  WMO
such as  the World Weather  Watch (WWW) and  those implemented jointly  with
IOC, such as GCOS,  the Global Ocean Observing  System (GOOS) and  the World
Climate  Research  Programme  (WCRP).    All   data  from  these  buoys  are
distributed globally  through the Global  Telecommunication System (GTS)  of
WMO.   Technical coordination  for ISABP  is provided  by the  South African
Weather Bureau.

3.  Under  the IOC/WMO Integrated Global  Ocean Services System (IGOSS), the
Argentine  navy  maintains  a  specialized  oceanographic  centre  for   the
collection, processing, archival  and delivery, as required, of  sub-surface
oceanographic  data  (primarily temperature  and  salinity)  for  the  South


  1/  A/49/524.

  2/  A/49/467, annexes I-V.

  3/   Official Records of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of
the Sea,  vol.  XVII  (United  Nations  publication,  Sales  No.  E.84.V.3),
document A/CONF.62/122.

  4/  A/49/467.

  5/  A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.

  6/  United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 634, No. 9068.

  7/  Official Records of the  General Assembly, Twentieth Session, Annexes,
agenda item 105, document A/5975.

  8/   See  Report  of the  United  Nations Conference  on  Environment  and
Development, Rio  de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992, vol. I, Resolutions adopted by

the  Conference  (United   Nations  publication,  Sales  No.  E.93.I.8   and
corrigenda), resolution 1, annex I.

  9/  E/1993/80.

  10/   See United  Nations Environment Programme, Convention  on Biological
Diversity (Environmental  Law and Institutions  Programme Activity  Centre),
June 1992.

  11/  International Legal Material, vol. 28, p. 687.

  12/  Ibid., vol. 30, 1991 and vol. 31, 1992.



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