United Nations

A/RES/50/206


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

23 January 1996
ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 119


           RESOLUTIONS ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

        [on the report of the Fifth Committee (A/50/837)]


          50/206.    Pattern of conferences

                                A

     The General Assembly,

     Having considered the report of the Committee on
Conferences,  1/

     Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolutions
43/222 B of 21 December 1988, 46/190 of 20 December 1991, 47/202
A to D of 22 December 1992, 48/222 A and B of 23 December 1993
and 49/221 A to D of 23 December 1994,

     Noting with concern the difficulties encountered by some
Member States owing to the lack of conference services for
meetings of regional and other major groupings of Member States,

     1.   Notes with appreciation the work of the Committee on
Conferences;

     2.   Approves the draft calendar of conferences and meetings
of the United Nations for the biennium 1996-1997 as submitted
 2/ and amended by the Committee on Conferences;  3/

     3.   Authorizes the Committee on Conferences to make
adjustments in the calendar of conferences and meetings for 1996
that may become necessary as a result of actions and decisions
taken by the General Assembly at its fiftieth session;

     4.   Notes that no sessions are scheduled to open or close
on 20 February and 29 April 1996, invites United Nations bodies
to avoid holding meetings on 20 February and 29 April 1996, and
requests the Secretariat to make similar arrangements when
drafting the revised calendar of conferences and meetings for
1997;

     5.   Invites the Economic and Social Council to continue to
consider, as appropriate, the biennialization of meetings of its
subsidiary bodies;

     6.   Invites all bodies to exercise restraint in requesting
open-ended ad hoc meetings in view of the possible adverse effect
of such meetings on      the efficient utilization of
conference-servicing resources;

     7.   Expresses concern that the overall utilization factor
for conference services fell below the established benchmark
figure of 80 per cent in 1994;

     8.   Endorses the initiatives taken by the Chairman of the
Committee on Conferences with a view to assisting bodies to
achieve the optimum utilization of conference-servicing resources
and, to that effect, to assess realistically their need for such
resources;

     9.   Requests the Secretariat to take the measures
recommended by the Committee on Conferences to enhance
utilization of conference-servicing resources and to report
thereon to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session
through the Committee;

     10.  Expresses concern about the underutilization of
conference facilities at duty stations outside Headquarters, and
emphasizes the need to make the most effective use possible of
such facilities;

     11.  Requests the Chairman of the Committee on Conferences
to hold consultations with various bodies and committees to
ensure rational allocation and capacity utilization of all United
Nations conference facilities at Headquarters, United Nations
Offices and other duty stations with a view to addressing the
present imbalance in order to enhance the capacity utilization
and cost-effectiveness of these facilities and to report to the
Committee on the outcome of these consultations at its
substantive session of 1996;

     12.  Decides that the headquarters rule shall be adhered to
by all bodies, particularly those whose headquarters are
underutilized;

     13.  Requests the Secretary-General to provide, within the
resources approved for conference services in the biennium
1996-1997, interpretation services for meetings of regional and
other major groupings of Member States upon request by those
groupings, taking into account the priority due to meetings
included in the calendar of conferences and meetings, and to
submit a report on the implementation of this decision to the
General Assembly at its fifty-first session through the Committee
on Conferences.


                                            100th plenary meeting
                                                 23 December 1995


                                B

     The General Assembly,

     Recalling its resolutions on the control and limitation of
documentation, including resolutions 33/56 of 14 December 1978,
36/117 B of 10 December 1981, 37/14 C of 16 November 1982, 45/238
B of 21 December 1990, 47/202 B of 22 December 1992, 48/222 B of
23 December 1993 and 49/221 B of 23 December 1994,

     Encouraging all bodies entitled to written meeting records
to keep under review their need for such records,

     1.   Decides, pursuant to paragraph 3 of resolution 49/221
B, that the current entitlement to meeting records of the
following bodies shall be continued:

     (a)  United Nations Administrative Tribunal (when holding
oral hearings);

     (b)  First Committee;

     (c)  Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of
the Palestinian People (when holding meetings in observance of
international days of solidarity proclaimed by the General
Assembly);

     (d)  Executive Committee of the Programme of the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;

     2.   Approves the recommendation of the Special Committee on
the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the
Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries
and Peoples to replace its verbatim records by summary records; 
4/

     3.   Notes the intention of the Committee on the Peaceful
Uses of Outer Space to replace its verbatim records by unedited
transcripts,  5/ and requests the Committee to keep the
General Assembly informed, through the Committee on Conferences,
of the experience of that body regarding unedited transcripts;

     4.   Takes note of the decision of the Committee on
Conferences contained in paragraph 75 of its report, 2/ and
requests the Committee to report on the implementation of that
decision to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session.


                                            100th plenary meeting
                                                 23 December 1995


                                C

     The General Assembly,

     Taking note of the statement made by the representative of
the Secretary-General to the Fifth Committee on 10 October 1995
on, inter alia, the costs of documentation,  6/

     Recognizing the right of Member States, through
intergovernmental bodies, to request reports,

     Recognizing that Member States can contribute directly to
the reduction of documentation, which contributes to savings,
through restraint in making such requests,

     Recognizing also that the reduction in the demand for, and
volume of, documentation could improve the quality and timeliness
of reports,

     Noting that Economic and Social Council decision 1995/222 of
5 May 1995, entitled "Documentation", requires Secretariat
accountability regarding seriously tardy reports,

     Noting also that some actions taken by the Committee on
Conferences and the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
can result in lower documentation costs, while noting further
that the political and financial impact of such actions has to be
assessed by the General Assembly,

     Recognizing the right of Member States to request
circulation of communications as official documents,

     1.   Notes with concern that the existing limits of 32 pages
and 24 pages for documents prepared for intergovernmental
meetings, confirmed by its resolution 36/117 A of 10 December
1981 and endorsed by its resolution 38/32 E of 25 November 1983,
respectively, are not routinely enforced;

     2.   Requests the Secretary-General to enforce, where
appropriate, the existing page limits referred to in paragraph 1
above in respect of all documents originating in the Secretariat,
to review these limits, where appropriate, with a view to
achieving an overall reduction of documentation without affecting
its quality and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its
fifty-first session through the Committee on Conferences;

     3.   Also requests the Secretary-General to include only
where necessary brief descriptions of the history of the subjects
contained in the reports together with a reference to relevant
documents, bearing in mind the need to restrict the number of
pages to the limits referred to in paragraph 1 above;

     4.   Further requests the Secretary-General to ensure that
documentation is available in accordance with the six-week rule
for the distribution of documents, simultaneously in each of the
six official languages of the United Nations;

     5.   Decides that, should a report be issued late, the
reasons for the delay should be indicated when the report is
introduced;

     6.   Requests members of all bodies to exercise restraint in
making proposals containing requests for new reports;

     7.   Invites all bodies to consider the possibility of
biennializing or triennializing the presentation of reports, to
review the necessity of all recurrent documents with a view to
streamlining documentation and contributing to savings and to
make appropriate recommendations;

     8.   Encourages members of intergovernmental bodies:

     (a)  To consider the possibility of requesting oral reports,
without prejudice to the provision of information to delegations
in all the official languages;

     (b)  To request consolidated reports on related topics under
a single item or sub-item where appropriate and cost-effective;

     9.   Requests the Secretary-General:

     (a)  To provide an oral estimate of the cost of documents or
reports requested by Member States, without prejudice to the
right of intergovernmental bodies to request such documents or
reports;

     (b)  To seek a more reader-friendly and uniform format of
reports, taking into account new publishing technologies, that
would include sections containing the objective of the report, an
executive summary, the conclusions drawn and, as appropriate, the
action proposed to be taken by the body, and to submit proposals
thereon to the General Assembly through the Committee on
Conferences;

     10.  Endorses the recommendation made by the Advisory
Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions that the
Joint Inspection Unit be requested to conduct a comprehensive
survey of the role publications play in implementing mandates of
intergovernmental bodies and the extent to which recurrent
publications could be made more cost-effective in this regard;
 7/

     11.  Requests the Secretary-General to present to the
General Assembly at its fifty-first session, through the
Committee on Conferences and the Advisory Committee on
Administrative and Budgetary Questions, a report on the
implementation of these measures, including information on
possible savings.


                                            100th plenary meeting
                                                 23 December 1995


                                D

     The General Assembly,

     Stressing the need to provide Member States and United
Nations bodies, upon request, with more comprehensive and
accurate information on the costs of meetings and documentation,

     Noting that the introduction of new technologies enhances
the quality, cost-effectiveness and efficiency of conference
services,

     Stressing also the importance of access to, and benefit
from, the optical disk system and other new technologies in all
official languages by all Member States and the need to overcome
the difficulties faced by some Member States in acquiring the
technology to access the optical disk system,

     1.   Requests the Secretary-General to develop as soon as
possible a comprehensive and accurate cost-accounting system for
conference services, to report on the progress of its
implementation to the General Assembly through the Committee on
Conferences and to report the results of its use to the Assembly
through the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary
Questions, in accordance with their respective mandates; 

     2.   Encourages the Secretariat to continue its efforts to
improve the cost-effectiveness of document production, without
prejudice to the international character of the Organization;

     3.   Also requests the Secretary-General to present
proposals to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session
through the Committee on Conferences on facilitating access by
developing countries to the optical disk system in all official
languages, taking into account the possible savings from reduced
copying and distribution costs;


     4.   Further requests the Secretary-General, in pursuing the
foregoing efforts, to ensure that new technologies in the area of
conference services are introduced in all official languages as
soon as possible in a comprehensive manner without adverse
effects on the provision of services, in full consultation with
Member States and, as appropriate, in coordination with relevant
intergovernmental bodies.


                                            100th plenary meeting
                                                 23 December 1995


                                E

     The General Assembly,

     Recalling all its previous resolutions on the use of
languages in the United Nations, including resolutions 2 (I) of 1
February 1946, 2247 (XXI) of 20 December 1966, 2292 (XXII) of 8
December 1967, 3189 (XXVIII), 3190 (XXVIII) and 3191 (XXVIII) of
18 December 1973, 36/117 B of 10 December 1981, 47/202 D of 22
December 1992, 49/221 B of 23 December 1994 and 50/11 of 2
November 1995,

     Recalling also its request to the Secretariat, contained in
resolution 49/221 C of 23 December 1994, to continue exploring
ways and means of providing conference services in a manner that
fully responds to the needs of intergovernmental and expert
bodies, while ensuring the criteria of quality and timeliness and
due respect for the principle of equal treatment of the official
languages of the United Nations as laid down in General Assembly
resolution 42/207 C of 11 December 1987,

     1.   Emphasizes the need for strict compliance with the
resolutions and rules establishing language arrangements for the
different bodies and organs of the United Nations;

     2.   Stresses the need to continue to ensure the
availability of the necessary resources to guarantee the timely
translation of documents into the different official and working
languages of the Organization and their simultaneous distribution
in those languages;

     3.   Appreciates the fact that, through advanced technology
as well as improved management and increased productivity, the
Secretariat has largely been enabled to cope with the growth in
demand for translation and documentation services;

     4.   Notes the actions taken to improve the quality of
translation into all official languages, in particular the
efforts of the Arabic Translation Service to implement the
proposal contained in annex II to the report of the Committee on
Conferences to the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session,
 8/ requests the Secretary-General to undertake a thorough
review of the terminology and technical methods used in
translation into Arabic, and urges the Secretariat to speed up
its efforts towards the implementation of phase II of that
proposal and to report thereon to the Committee on Conferences at
its substantive session of 1996.


                                            100th plenary meeting
                                                 23 December 1995

                                F

     The General Assembly,

     Reaffirming its resolution 49/221 D of 23 December 1994,

     Noting with satisfaction the significant improvements in the
meeting arrangements and facilities within the United Nations
premises for the holding of bilateral meetings and contacts among
Member States during the fiftieth session of the General Assembly
and during the special commemorative meeting of the Assembly on
the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations,

     1.   Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General and
the Secretariat for their prompt and effective actions to
implement resolution 49/221 D;

     2.   Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide
these improved meeting arrangements and facilities for subsequent
sessions of the General Assembly;

     3.   Decides that such improved meeting arrangements and
facilities shall be made available within existing resources.


                                            100th plenary meeting
                                                 23 December 1995


                              Notes

1/        Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth
Session, Supplement No. 32 and addenda (A/50/32 and Add.1 and 2).

2/        Ibid., Supplement No. 32 (A/50/32), annex II.A.

3/        Ibid., Supplement No. 32 (A/50/32), addenda
(A/50/32/Add.1 and 2).

4/        See A/50/23 (Part I), para. 56.

5/        Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth
Session, Supplement No. 20 (A/50/20), para. 180.

6/        See A/C.5/50/SR.4.

7/        Official Records of the General Assembly, Fiftieth
Session, Supplement No. 7 and corrigendum (A/50/7 and Corr.1),
para. 83.

8/        Ibid., Forty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 32
(A/49/32/Rev.1).

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