United Nations

A/RES/45/212


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

21 December 1990

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



                                                      A/RES/45/212
                                                      71st plenary meeting
                                                      21 December 1990
 
 Protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind
 
      The General Assembly,
 
      Recalling its resolutions 43/53 of 6 December 1988 and 44/207 of
 22 December 1989, in which it recognized that climate change is a common
 concern of mankind, and urging Governments and, as appropriate,
 intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and scientific
 institutions, to collaborate in a concerted effort with the aim of preparing,
 as a matter of urgency, a framework convention on climate change, and other
 related instruments, containing appropriate commitments for action to combat
 climate change and its adverse effects, taking into account the most
 up-to-date, sound scientific knowledge and any existing uncertainties, as well
 as the particular needs and development priorities of developing countries,
 
      Recalling also its resolution 44/206 of 22 December 1989 on the possible
 adverse effects of sea-level rise on islands and coastal areas, particularly
 low-lying coastal areas,
 
      Recalling further its resolution 44/228 of 22 December 1989 on the United
 Nations Conference on Environment and Development,
 
      Taking note of the relevant resolutions and decisions of the Governing
 Council of the United Nations Environment Programme and of the Executive
 Council of the World Meteorological Organization,
 
      Taking note also of the recommendations and decisions of the Preparatory
 Committee for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development,
 adopted at its organizational session and at its first session,
 
      Noting the important work accomplished by the Intergovernmental Panel on
 Climate Change, which has completed its first assessment report,
 
      Noting also the relevant conclusions and recommendations on climate
 change adopted at various intergovernmental meetings during 1990,
 
      Noting further the fact that the largest part of the current emission of
 pollutants into the environment originates in developed countries, and
 recognizing therefore that those countries have the main responsibility for
 combating such pollution,
 
      Welcoming the fact that several countries and a regional economic
 integration organization have already taken measures or made specific
 commitments to address the problem of climate change and its effects through
 the stabilization and/or reduction of environmentally harmful emissions of
 greenhouse gases, and that other countries are contemplating doing so,
 
      Noting that, pursuant to paragraph 10 of General Assembly resolution
 44/207, resolution 4 (EC-XLII) of 22 June 1990 of the Executive Council of the
 World Meteorological Organization and decision SS.II/3 of 3 August 1990,
 adopted by the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme
 at its second special session, an Ad Hoc Working Group of Government
 Representatives to prepare for negotiations on a framework convention on
 climate change met at Geneva from 24 to 26 September 1990 and adopted a number
 of recommendations,
 
      Recognizing the continuing need for scientific research into the sources
 and effects of climate change and its possible adverse impact, including the
 socio-economic consequences, and the effectiveness of possible response
 strategies, and recognizing also the importance of the active participation of
 developing countries and the need to assist and co-operate with them in
 climate-related research and action,
 
      1.   Decides to establish a single intergovernmental negotiating process
 under the auspices of the General Assembly, supported by the United Nations
 Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization, for the
 preparation by an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee of an effective
 framework convention on climate change, containing appropriate commitments,
 and any related instruments as might be agreed upon, taking into account
 proposals that may be submitted by States participating in the negotiating
 process, the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the
 results achieved at international meetings on the subject, including the
 Second World Climate Conference;
 
      2.   Decides that the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee should be
 open to all States Members of the United Nations or members of the specialized
 agencies, with the participation of observers in accordance with the
 established practice of the General Assembly;
 
      3.   Welcomes the organization of a broad-based preparatory process at
 the national level involving, as appropriate, the scientific community,
 industry, trade unions, non-governmental organizations and other interested
 groups; 
 
      4.   Decides that the first negotiating session should be held in
 Washington, D.C., in February 1991 and that, subject to review of the
 timetable at the end of each negotiating session and taking into account the
 schedule of other intergovernmental meetings on environment and development
 matters, in particular the sessions of the Preparatory Committee for the
 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, further meetings
 should be held at Geneva and at Nairobi, in May/June, September and
 November/December 1991 and, as appropriate, between January and June 1992;
 
      5.   Authorizes the Secretary-General of the United Nations, with the
 assistance of the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment
 Programme and the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization,
 pending the establishment of an ad hoc secretariat for the Intergovernmental
 Negotiating Committee, to convene, exceptionally, the first session of the
 Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, to be held in Washington, D.C., in
 February 1991; the subsequent sessions of the Committee shall be convened by
 the ad hoc secretariat;
 
      6.   Decides that the maximum duration of each of the negotiating
 sessions should be two weeks;
 
      7.   Considers that the negotiations for the preparation of an effective
 framework convention on climate change, containing appropriate commitments,
 and any related legal instruments as might be agreed upon, should be completed
 prior to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in
 June 1992 and opened for signature during the Conference;
 
      8.   Reaffirms the principles embodied in its resolutions 44/207 and
 44/228, which take into account the concerns of all States and the specific
 needs of developing countries;
 
      9.   Takes account of the Ministerial Declaration adopted at the Second
 World Climate Conference, held at Geneva from 29 October to 7 November 1990;
 
      10.  Decides to establish a special voluntary fund, administered by the
 head of the ad hoc secretariat under the authority of the Secretary-General of
 the United Nations, to ensure that developing countries, in particular the
 least developed among them, as well as small island developing countries, are
 able to participate fully and effectively in the negotiating process, and
 invites Governments, regional economic integration organizations and other
 interested organizations to contribute generously to the fund;
 
      11.  Recommends that, at the first session of the Intergovernmental
 Negotiating Committee, to be held in Washington, D.C., a Bureau consisting of
 a Chairman, three Vice-Chairmen and a Rapporteur shall be elected, each of the
 five regional groups being represented by one member;
 
      12.  Requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in
 consultation with the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment
 Programme and the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization,
 as well as with the executive heads of United Nations bodies with expertise in
 the field of development, to establish as soon as possible at Geneva an ad hoc
 secretariat of appropriate size and quality, consisting mainly of Professional
 staff of the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological
 Organization, taking into account the need to ensure that the work programmes
 of those two organizations are not negatively affected, to be co-ordinated by
 those two organizations in consultation and co-operation with the head of the
 ad hoc secretariat and supplemented by staff from other bodies of the United
 Nations system, as appropriate, in order to ensure that the ad hoc secretariat
 embodies the requisite technical expertise;
 
      13.  Decides that the Secretary-General of the United Nations shall
 appoint as head of the ad hoc secretariat a senior official of an appropriate
 level, who shall act under the guidance of the Intergovernmental Negotiating
 Committee;
 
      14.  Requests the head of the ad hoc secretariat to co-operate closely
 with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to ensure that the Panel
 can respond to the needs and requests for objective scientific and technical
 advice made during the negotiating process;
 
      15.  Also requests the head of the ad hoc secretariat to make available,
 at the first session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, the first
 assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, including
 its paper on legal measures, as well as the background documentation prepared
 for the Panel, as inputs for the negotiations, together with the Ministerial
 Declaration of the Second World Climate Conference and other relevant
 documents;
 
      16.  Requests the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, through the
 ad hoc secretariat and taking into account the relevance of the negotiations
 to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, to keep the
 Preparatory Committee for the Conference and the Secretary-General of the
 Conference, as well as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, regularly
 informed in a timely manner, through regular progress reports, of the progress
 of the negotiations;
 
      17.  Also requests the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to take
 into account, as appropriate, any relevant developments in the preparations
 for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development that the
 Preparatory Committee may bring to its attention;
 
      18.  Requests the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Negotiating
 Committee, on behalf of the Committee, to submit a report to the United
 Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 on the outcome of
 the negotiations, as well as on possible future steps in the field of climate
 change; 
 
      19.  Invites relevant non-governmental organizations to make
 contributions to the negotiating process, as appropriate on the understanding
 that these organizations shall not have any negotiating role during the
 process, and taking into account decision 1/1 concerning the participation of
 non-governmental organizations adopted by the Preparatory Committee for the
 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development at its first session;
 
      20.  Decides that the negotiating process shall be funded through
 existing United Nations budgetary resources, without negatively affecting its
 programmed activities, and through voluntary contributions to a trust fund
 established specifically for that purpose for the duration of the negotiations
 and administered by the head of the ad hoc secretariat under the authority of
 the Secretary-General of the United Nations;
 
      21.  Invites the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations
 Environment Programme and other relevant bodies of the United Nations system,
 including those in the field of development, to make appropriate contributions
 to the negotiating process, including its funding;
 
      22.  Invites Governments, regional economic integration organizations and
 other interested organizations to contribute generously to the trust fund;
 
      23.  Requests the head of the ad hoc secretariat to prepare draft rules
 of procedure for consideration by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee
 at its first session;
 
      24.  Requests the Secretary-General of the United Nations to submit to
 the General Assembly at its forty-sixth session a report on the progress of
 the negotiations;
 
      25.  Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its forty-sixth
 session the item entitled "Protection of global climate for present and future
 generations of mankind".