United Nations

A/RES/51/180


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

11 February 1997

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH



Fifty-first session
Agenda item 97 (a)


                  RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

           [on the report of the Second Committee (A/51/605/Add.1)]


            51/180.     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, 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, 2/
entitled "Managing fragile ecosystems:  combating desertification
and drought",

      Noting the ongoing work in preparation for 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, 3/

      Having also considered the report of the Secretary-General 4/
on the implementation of resolution 50/112 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 of and follow-up to the
recommendations and decisions of the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development, held at Rio de Janeiro in June 1992,

      Taking into account the basic provisions of its 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 or approval of 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; 5/

      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, 6/ 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 drought;

      10.   Notes with appreciation the contributions made thus far to
the Trust Fund established pursuant to 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 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 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
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".

                                                          86th plenary meeting
                                                              16 December 1996


                                     Notes

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

2/    See Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992 (A/CONF.151/26/Rev.1 (Vol.
I and Vol. I/Corr.I, Vol. II, Vol. III and Vol. III/Corr.1)) (United
Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigenda), vol. I:
Resolutions Adopted by the Conference, resolution 1, annex II.

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

4/    A/51/510.

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

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

 

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