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Sixty-fourth session

Observer status for the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region of Africa in the General Assembly (agenda item 168)

Summary of work

Background

The item was included in the agenda at the request of Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania.

Consideration at the sixty-fourth session

At the 10th meeting, on 15 October, the representative of Kenya, on behalf of Angola, Australia, Benin, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Finland, Gabon, Ireland, Kenya, Madagascar, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, the Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia, introduced a draft resolution entitled “Observer status for the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region of Africa in the General Assembly” (A/C.6/64/L.4). Subsequently, Nigeria and Senegal joined in sponsoring the draft resolution.

The representatives of Argentina, China, Egypt, Pakistan and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) spoke. The delegations pointed out that the Sixth Committee should improve its working methods and strictly follow the criteria for the granting of observer status in the General Assembly established in the Assembly decision 49/426 of 9 December 1994 and relevant provisions of the Assembly resolution 54/195 of 17 December 1999. It was stressed that, in the future, the Committee should be able to conduct a legal analysis of the requests for observer status, based on the adequate information regarding relevant organizations, so as to avoid granting  observer status to entities of a non-governmental nature. While a suggestion was made that, in order to avoid a limitless number of requests from non-governmental organizations which may adversely affect the work of the Organization, the Sixth Committee should review the established criteria and conduct informal consultations prior to the plenary meetings of the Committee on the topic, a view was expressed in favour of retaining the current criteria.

Action taken by the Sixth Committee

At its 14th meeting, on 23 October, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.6/64/L.4 without a vote. Under this draft resolution, the General Assembly would decide to invite the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region of Africa to participate in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly in the capacity of observer; and request the Secretary-General to take the necessary action to implement the resolution.