United Nations

A/51/605/Add.1


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

5 December 1996

ORIGINAL:
SPANISH


General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Agenda item 97 (a)


          ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:  IMPLEMENTATION OF
          THE DECISIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS    
                   CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

                  Report of the Second Committee (Part II) *

(*  The report of the Committee on this item will be issued in several
parts, under the symbol A/51/605 and addenda.)


          Rapporteur:  Ms. Silvia Cristina CORADO-CUEVAS (Guatemala)


                               I.  INTRODUCTION

1.   The Second Committee held a substantive debate on agenda item 97
(see A/51/604, para. 2).  Action on sub-item (a) was taken at the 23rd
and 37th meetings, on 31 October and 2 December 1996.  An account of
the Committee's consideration of the item is contained in the relevant
summary records (A/C.2/51/SR.23 and 37).


        II.  CONSIDERATION OF DRAFT RESOLUTIONS A/C.2/51/L.10 AND L.39

2.   At the 23rd meeting, on 31 October, the representative of Costa
Rica (on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are
members of the Group of 77 and China) and Colombia (on behalf of the
States Members of the United Nations that are members of the Movement
of Non-Aligned Countries) introduced a draft resolution
(A/C.2/51/L.10) entitled "Elaboration of an International Convention
to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious
Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa". 
Subsequently, Canada joined in sponsoring the draft resolution, which
read:


         "The General Assembly,

         "Recalling its resolutions 47/188 of 22 December 1992, 48/191
     of 21 December 1993, 49/234 of 23 December 1994 and 50/112 of
     20 December 1995 related to the elaboration of an International
     Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
     Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly
     in Africa,

         "Recalling also the United Nations Convention to Combat
     Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought
     and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, 1/ 

         "Recalling further its resolution 50/114 of 20 December 1995,
     in which it recalled the decisions of the United Nations
     Conference on Environment and Development set forth in chapter 12
     of Agenda 21, entitled 'Managing fragile ecosystems:  combating
     desertification and drought',

         "Noting the ongoing work in preparation of the first session
     of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention undertaken by
     the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Elaboration of
     an International Convention to Combat Desertification in Those
     Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification,
     Particularly in Africa,

         "Noting with satisfaction that to date more than fifty
     countries have already ratified the Convention,

         "Recalling that, in accordance with article 22, paragraph 4,
     of the Convention,1 the first session of the Conference of the
     Parties shall be convened by the interim secretariat of the
     Convention and shall take place not later than one year after the
     date of entry into force of the Convention,

         "Having considered the recommendations and decisions made by
     the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee at its eighth and
     ninth sessions regarding the Conference of the Parties to the
     Convention, 2/ 

         "Having considered also the report of the Secretary-General
     on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 50/112 of
     20 December 1995 3/ and on possible requirements for
     intergovernmental and secretariat work on the implementation of
     the Convention and its regional implementation annexes to respond
     effectively to the needs in the African, Asian and Latin American
     and the Caribbean regions,

         "Considering that the Convention is one of the most important
     achievements in the implementation and follow-up of the
     recommendations and decisions of the United Nations Conference on
     Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992,

         "Taking into account the basic provisions of General Assembly
     resolution 40/243 of 18 December 1985,

         "1.   Welcomes the fact that, in conformity with article 36,
     paragraph 1, of the United Nations Convention to Combat
     Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought
     and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, the Convention
     will enter into force on 26 December 1996, and calls upon more
     countries to take appropriate action for the ratification,
     acceptance, approval or accession to the Convention;

         "2.   Urges the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the
     Elaboration of an International Convention to Combat
     Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought
     and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, to continue at its
     tenth session, to be held from 6 to 17 January 1997 in New York,
     its plan for the preparatory work for the first session of the
     Conference of the Parties to the Convention;

         "3.   Decides to convene, as necessary, before the first
     session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, in
     1997, a further session of the Committee, of up to two weeks'
     duration, the exact dates and venue of which shall be determined
     by the Committee at its tenth session;

         "4.   Decides also that the first session of the Conference of
     the Parties to the Convention shall be held for two weeks in
     October 1997;

         "5.   Accepts with deep appreciation the generous offer of the
     Government of Italy to host in Rome, at the headquarters of the
     Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the first
     session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention;

         "6.   Decides to include the first session of the Conference of
     the Parties to the Convention and the meetings of its subsidiary
     bodies in the calendar of conferences and meetings for 1997-1998;

         "7.   Requests the head of the interim secretariat to continue
     to promote cooperation and coordination with other relevant
     organizations and entities, particularly those of the United
     Nations system, in support of the regional implementation annexes,
     aimed, inter alia, at facilitating timely financial and technical
     assistance to affected developing country parties, particularly
     those in Africa, to enable them to fulfil their commitments under
     the Convention;

         "8.   Urges all States, the United Nations system, including
     international financial institutions and all other relevant
     organizations and actors, to take concrete actions and measures
     for the full and effective implementation of the provisions of
     Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee resolution 5/1 of
     17 June 1994 on urgent action for Africa, 4/ as well as to
     promote actions for other affected developing countries and
     regions;

         "9.   Notes the arrangements and contributions made by the
     Secretary-General and relevant organizations, funds and programmes
     active in the fields of desertification and/or drought;

         "10.  Takes note with appreciation of previous contributions
     made and calls for additional contributions to the extrabudgetary
     funds established pursuant to General Assembly resolution 47/188
     to assist all developing countries affected by desertification and
     drought, in particular the least developed countries, to
     participate fully and effectively in the negotiating process and
     in the sessions of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention
     and its subsidiary bodies;

         "11.  Renews its appeal to Governments, regional economic
     integration organizations and other interested organizations, as
     well as to non-governmental organizations and the private sector,
     to continue to make contributions to relevant United Nations
     bodies, in order to strengthen their capacity to support
     activities to combat desertification and/or mitigate the effects
     of drought in all affected developing countries and regions,
     particularly in Africa;

         "12.  Requests the Secretary-General, in the context of the
     relevant United Nations programme budget for the interim
     secretariat of the Convention, to continue to provide support to
     it until 31 December 1998, and to maintain the above-mentioned
     extrabudgetary funds;

         "13. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present
     resolution to the attention of all Governments, the relevant
     specialized agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations
     system, international financial institutions, other
     intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and relevant
     institutions;

         "14.  Also requests the Secretary-General to report to it, at
     its fifty-second session, on the implementation of the present
     resolution and on any possible implications arising from the
     report of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on its
     first session;

         "15.  Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its
     fifty-second session an item entitled 'Implementation of the
     United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those
     Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification,
     Particularly in Africa'."

3.   At the 37th meeting, on 2 December, the Vice-Chairman of the
Committee, Mr. Mohammad Reza Hadji Karim Djabbary (Islamic Republic of
Iran), introduced a draft resolution (A/C.2/51/L.39), submitted on the
basis of informal consultations held on draft resolution
A/C.2/51/L.10.

4.   The Committee had before it a statement on the programme budget
implications of draft resolution A/C.2/51/L.39, submitted by the
Secretary-General in accordance with rule 153 of the rules of
procedure of the General Assembly (A/C.2/51/L.48).

5.   Before the adoption of the draft resolution, statements were made
by the representatives of the United States of America, Ireland (on
behalf of the European Union) and Costa Rica (on behalf of the States
Members of the United Nations that are members of the Group of 77 and
China) (see A/C.2/51/SR.37).

6.   At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution
A/C.2/51/L.39 (see para. 8).

7.   In the light of the adoption of draft resolution A/C.2/51/L.39,
draft resolution A/C.2/51/L.10 was withdrawn by its sponsors.


                 III.  RECOMMENDATION OF THE SECOND COMMITTEE

8.   The Second Committee recommends to the General Assembly the
adoption of the following draft resolution:


             Elaboration of an International Convention to Combat
             Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing     
             Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly
                                   in Africa

     The General Assembly,

     Recalling its resolutions 47/188 of 22 December 1992, 48/191 of
21 December 1993, 49/234 of 23 December 1994 and 50/112 of
20 December 1995 related to the elaboration of an International
Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing
Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa,

     Recalling also the United Nations Convention to Combat
Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or
Desertification, Particularly in Africa, 5/

     Recalling further its resolution 50/114 of 20 December 1995, in
which it recalled the decisions of the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development set forth in chapter 12 of Agenda 21,
entitled "Managing fragile ecosystems:  combating desertification and
drought",

     Noting the ongoing work in preparation of the first session of the
Conference of the Parties to the Convention undertaken by the
Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the Elaboration of an
International Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries
Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in
Africa,

     Noting with satisfaction that to date more than fifty countries
have already ratified the Convention,

     Recalling that, in accordance with article 22, paragraph 4, of the
Convention,5 the first session of the Conference of the Parties shall
be convened by the interim secretariat of the Convention and shall
take place not later than one year after the date of entry into force
of the Convention,

     Having considered the recommendations and decisions made by the
Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee at its eighth and ninth
sessions regarding the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, 6/

     Having considered also the report of the Secretary-General on the
implementation of General Assembly resolution 50/112 of
20 December 1995 7/ and on possible requirements for
intergovernmental and secretariat work on the implementation of the
Convention and its regional implementation annexes to respond
effectively to the needs in the African, Asian and Latin American and
the Caribbean regions,

     Considering that the Convention is one of the most important
achievements in the implementation and follow-up of the
recommendations and decisions of the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992,

     Taking into account the basic provisions of General Assembly
resolution 40/243 of 18 December 1985,

     1.  Welcomes the fact that, in conformity with article 36,
paragraph 1, of the United Nations Convention to Combat
Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or
Desertification, Particularly in Africa, the Convention will enter
into force on 26 December 1996, and calls upon more countries to take
appropriate action for the ratification, acceptance, approval or
accession to the Convention;

     2.  Urges the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for the
Elaboration of an International Convention to Combat Desertification
in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or
Desertification, Particularly in Africa, at its tenth session, to be
held in New York from 6 to 17 January 1997, to aim at finalizing all
the outstanding negotiating issues, including the negotiations of the
two working groups and the plan for the preparatory work for the first
session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention;

     3.  Recalls the decision contained in paragraph 4 of its
resolution 50/112 and, in this context, takes note of paragraph 3 of
Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee decision 9/5 of
13 September 1996; 8/

     4.  Decides that the first session of the Conference of the
Parties to the Convention shall be held from 29 September to
10 October 1997;

     5.  Accepts with deep appreciation the generous offer of the
Government of Italy to host in Rome, at the headquarters of the Food
and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the first session
of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention;

     6.  Decides to include the first session of the Conference of the
Parties to the Convention and the meetings of its subsidiary bodies in
the calendar of conferences and meetings for 1997-1998;

     7.  Requests the head of the interim secretariat to continue to
promote cooperation and coordination with other relevant organizations
and entities, particularly those of the United Nations system, in
support of the regional implementation annexes, aimed, inter alia, at
facilitating the efforts of affected developing country parties,
particularly those in Africa, to fulfil their commitments under the
Convention;

     8.  Urges all States, the United Nations system, including
international financial institutions and all other relevant
organizations and actors, to take concrete actions and measures for
the full and effective implementation of the provisions of
Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee resolution 5/1 of 17 June 1994
on urgent action for Africa, 9/ as well as to promote actions for
other affected developing countries and regions;

     9.  Notes the arrangements and contributions made by the
Secretary-General and relevant organizations, funds and programmes
active in the fields of desertification and/or drought;

     10. Notes with appreciation the contributions made thus far to
the Trust Fund established pursuant to General Assembly resolution
47/188, and invites Governments, regional economic integration
organizations and other interested organizations to continue to make
voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund to support the interim
secretariat of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee and the
work of the Committee, and also for the transition period following
the first session of the Conference of the Parties to support the
secretariat of the Convention and the work of the Conference of the
Parties;

     11. Also notes with appreciation the contributions made to the
Special Voluntary Fund established pursuant to General Assembly
resolution 47/188 to assist developing countries affected by
desertification and drought, in particular the least developed
countries, to participate fully and effectively in the negotiating
process, and invites Governments, regional economic integration
organizations and other organizations to continue to contribute
generously to the Fund also for the transition period following the
first session of the Conference of the Parties;

     12. Renews its appeal to Governments, regional economic
integration organizations and other interested organizations, as well
as to non-governmental organizations and the private sector, to
continue to make contributions to relevant United Nations bodies, in
order to strengthen their capacity to support activities to combat
desertification and/or mitigate the effects of drought in all affected
developing countries and regions, particularly in Africa;

     13. Requests the Secretary-General, subject to the decision of
the Conference of the Parties at its first session, to consider:

     (a) Authorizing the secretariat established pursuant to General
Assembly resolution 47/188 to act as secretariat for the transition
period following the first session of the Conference of the Parties
until the permanent secretariat designated by the Conference of the
Parties begins operating, which should not be later than
31 December 1998;

     (b) Maintaining the arrangements within the current programme
budget for the interim secretariat to support the Convention beyond
the first session of the Conference of the Parties until the permanent
secretariat designated by the Conference of the Parties begins
operating, which should not be later than 31 December 1998, and
maintaining the arrangements relating to extrabudgetary funds;

     14. Requests the Secretary-General to bring the present
resolution to the attention of all Governments, the relevant
specialized agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations
system, international financial institutions, other intergovernmental
organizations, non-governmental organizations and relevant
institutions;

     15. Also requests the Secretary-General to report to it, at its
fifty-second session, on the implementation of the present resolution
and on any possible implications arising from the report of the
Conference of the Parties to the Convention on its first session;

     16. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-
second session an item entitled "Implementation of the United Nations
Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing
Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa".


                                     -----


                                     Notes

1/   A/49/84/Add.2, annex, appendix II.

2/   See A/51/76 and Add.1

3/   A/51/510.

4/   See A/49/84/Add.2, annex, appendix III, sect. A.

5/   A/49/84/Add.2, annex, appendix II.

6/   See A/51/76 and Add.1.

7/   A/51/510.

8/   A/51/76/Add.1, annex, appendix II.

9/   See A/49/84/Add.2, annex, appendix III, sect. A.

 

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