United Nations

A/RES/50/12


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  
50th session
21 November 1995


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 162

RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
[without reference to a Main Committee (A/50/L.13)]

50/12. Universal Congress on the Panama Canal

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 49/28 of 6 December 1994 on the law of
the sea, 49/99 of 19 December 1994 on international trade and
development and 49/131 of 19 December 1994 on the declaration of 1998
as International Year of the Ocean, and resolutions 2.5 of 16 November
1993, 1/ adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization at its twenty-
seventh session, and 1994/48 of the Economic and Social Council of
29 July 1994, both on the International Year of the Ocean,

Bearing in mind that on 7 September 1977 Mr. Jimmy Carter,
President of the United States of America, and General Omar Torrijos,
Head of Government of the Republic of Panama, signed in Washington the
Treaty concerning the Permanent Neutrality and Operation of the Panama
Canal 2/ and the Panama Canal Treaty, 3/ known as the
Torrijos-Carter treaties, which stipulate that, at noon on 31 December
1999, the Canal, including all improvements, is to come under the
control of the Republic of Panama, which shall assume total
responsibility for its management, operation and maintenance,

Emphasizing the significance of the Washington Declaration,
signed on 7 September 1977 by the heads of State, heads of Government
and representatives of the American republics, which recognizes "the
importance for the hemisphere, for trade and for world shipping of the
agreements designed to ensure the accessibility and continued
neutrality of the Panama Canal",

Welcoming the plans of the Government of Panama to hold a
Universal Congress on the Panama Canal in Panama City in September
1997, with the participation of Governments, international bodies,
public and private academic institutions, maritime users and
international shipping companies, to examine jointly the role which
the Panama Canal should play in the twenty-first century,

Underlining the fact that the International Congress for Study of
the Interocean Canal (Congre`s international d'e'tudes du canal
interoce'anique) was convened by the Socie'te' de ge'ographie de
Paris, met from 15 to 29 May 1879 in the French capital, under the
presidency of Count Ferdinand de Lesseps, builder of the Suez Canal,
and culminated in the resolution that the canal should be built along
the route traced between the Gulf of Limo'n on the Atlantic Ocean and
the Bay of Panama on the Pacific Ocean,

Cognizant of the fact that, in keeping with the spirit of a new
global alliance for sustainable development, it is necessary to
formulate a balanced, integrated approach to environmental, trade and
development issues,

Convinced, therefore, that the Universal Congress on the Panama
Canal will promote international cooperation towards ensuring an
orderly, sustainable development of the uses and resources of the
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the rational exploitation and
development of the Canal watershed and coastal areas, bearing in mind
that Panama's coastline on the two oceans stretches for
2,988.3 kilometres in all, of which 1,700.6 kilometres are on the
Pacific Ocean and 1,287.7 are on the Caribbean Sea,

Noting with appreciation the progress of the Tripartite
Commission, consisting of the Republic of Panama, the United States of
America and Japan, in the plans for the construction in the Isthmus of
Panama of a sea-level canal or the enlargement of the present lock
canal,

Reaffirming its resolution 31/142 of 17 December 1976, on the one
hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Amphictyonic Congress of
Panama, in which it recalled that Simo'n Boli'var, the Liberator,
referred on several occasions to the need for a possible opening of a
canal in Panama, which "will shorten distances throughout the world,
strengthen commercial ties" between the continents and promote the
exchange of products "from the four corners of the globe",

Noting with satisfaction that by its resolution 49/131, 1998 was
proclaimed International Year of the Ocean, during which year the
Lisbon World Exposition is to be held,

Emphasizing that the Universal Congress on the Panama Canal has
among its priority aims the promotion of international cooperation
with a view to achieving an orderly, sustainable development of the
uses and resources of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans,

1. Supports the initiative of the Government of Panama in
convening the Universal Congress on the Panama Canal, with the
participation of Governments, international bodies, public and private
academic institutions, maritime users and international shipping
companies, to examine jointly the role which the Panama Canal should
play in the twenty-first century;

2. Requests Member States to assist generously in this
undertaking;

3. Urges the competent organs, programmes and specialized
agencies of the United Nations system, in particular, the United
Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment
Programme and the International Maritime Organization, to study the
possibility of providing assistance from within existing resources for
the organization of the Universal Congress on the Panama Canal;

4. Emphasizes the importance of the Universal Congress on the
Panama Canal and expresses the hope that its results will contribute
to the growth of world trade and to sustained economic growth and
sustainable development throughout the world;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General
Assembly at its fifty-first session a report on the implementation of
the present resolution;

6. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-
first session the item entitled "Universal Congress on the Panama
Canal".

52nd plenary meeting
7 November 1995

Notes

1/ See United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,
Records of the General Conference, Twenty-seventh Session, Paris, 15 October
to 16 November 1993, Vol. I, Resolutions, sect. III.2.

2/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1161, No. 18342.

3/ Ibid., vol. 1280, No. 21086.


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