United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

6 December 1996


General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Agenda item 97


                 Report of the Second Committee (Part VIII) *

(*  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/51/605, para. 2).  Action on questions not related to specific
sub-items was taken at the 26th and 37th meetings, on 5 November 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.26 and


2.   At the 26th meeting, on 5 November 1996, the representative of the
Russian Federation, on behalf of Belarus, Georgia, Latvia, the Russian
Federation, Tajikistan and Ukraine, introduced a draft resolution
entitled "Application of the principles of the Rio Declaration on
Environment and Development in international cooperation on the
environment" (A/C.2/51/L.11), which read:

         "The General Assembly,

         "Recalling the principles contained in the Rio Declaration on
     Environment and Development, in particular, those stating that
     States have a sovereign right to exploit their own natural
     resources, pursuant to their environmental and developmental
     policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within
     their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the
     environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of
     national jurisdiction,

         "Recalling also that, in view of the different contributions
     to global environmental degradation, States have common but
     differentiated responsibilities, and standards applied by some
     countries may be inappropriate or of unwarranted economic and
     social cost to other countries,

         "Recalling further that one of the goals of international
     law-making on environment and sustainable development, as
     contained in Agenda 21, is to promote and support the effective
     participation of all countries concerned, in particular,
     developing countries, in the negotiation, implementation, review
     and governance of international agreements or instruments,
     including the provision of appropriate technical and financial
     assistance and other available mechanisms for that purpose and the
     use of differential obligations, where appropriate, and also to
     promote international standards for the protection of the
     environment which take into account the different situations and
     capabilities of countries,

         "1.   Calls upon the international community to apply, where
     necessary, the principle of common but differentiated
     responsibility in ongoing international cooperation on the
     protection of the environment and in efforts to implement existing
     instruments of international environmental law and the elaboration
     of new instruments, and to continue to take fully into account
     specific circumstances and requirements, in particular, those of
     developing countries and countries with economies in transition,
     thus facilitating their compliance with their obligations under
     international agreements;

         "2.   Strongly calls upon the international community to
     provide assistance and support for effective participation of all
     concerned countries in the implementation of their commitments in
     the field of environment and sustainable development, inter alia,
     through technical and financial assistance and the use of other
     appropriate mechanisms, including bilateral and regional channels
     and multilateral institutions and funds;

         "3.   Invites the Secretary-General, in the course of
     preparations for the special session of the General Assembly,
     called for the purpose of overall review and appraisal of the
     implementation of Agenda 21, to submit information on the
     application of the principles contained in the Rio Declaration and
     proposals on further measures regarding their full account in
     international law-making and other forms of cooperation on the
     environment and development;

         "4.   Invites the General Assembly at its special session in
     1997 to consider the issue of the application of the principles in
     the Rio Declaration in different legal instruments adopted so far,
     with particular focus on the role played by the United Nations and
     its bodies, and to suggest recommendations on further development
     of international law in the field of sustainable development."

3.   At the 37th meeting, on 2 December, the Vice-Chairman of the
Committee, Mr. Mohammad Reza Hadji Karim Djabbary (Islamic Republic of
Iran), informed the Committee that, in the light of the adoption of
draft resolution A/C.2/51/L.41 (see A/51/605/Add.2, para. 8), draft
resolution A/C.2/51/L.11 was withdrawn by its sponsors.



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Date last posted: 28 December 1999 17:35:10
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