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Sixty-sixth session

Observer Status for the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in the General Assembly (Agenda item 174)

Summary of work

Background

The item was included in the agenda at the request of Cambodia, Japan, Nepal, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam

Consideration at the sixty-sixth session

The Sixth Committee considered the item at its 8th, 29th and 30th meetings, on 6 October and 9 and 11 November 2011 (see A/C.6/66/SR.8, 29 and 30).

At the 8th meeting, on 6 October 2011, the representative of the Republic of Korea, on behalf of Cambodia, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam, introduced a draft resolution entitled “Observer status for the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in the General Assembly” (A/C.6/66/L.9). Under this draft resolution, the General Assembly would decide to invite the International Conference of Asian Political Parties 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.

Statements were made by the representatives of the Republic of Korea, Cambodia, Viet Nam, Japan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Nepal, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), China and Argentina. The Chairman of the Committee also spoke.

Some delegations expressed their support for the granting of observer status to the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in the General Assembly. The important role played by this organization in strengthening cooperation between various political parties in Asia aimed at promoting development in the region was welcomed.

Some other delegations expressed their serious reservations about the ability of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties to meet the criteria for the granting of observer status in the General Assembly established in the Assembly decision 49/426 of 9 December 1994 since, as they pointed out, it was not an intergovernmental organization. The need to submit the constitutional instrument of this organization for the Committee’s consideration was emphasized.

The Chairman, in response to requests made by some delegations, commenced a general discussion on how to further proceed in considering the requests for the granting of observer status in the General Assembly.

Statements were made by the representatives of Egypt, the Republic of Korea, Cuba, Argentina, Turkey and Japan.

Some delegations stressed the need for the strict and consistent application of the criteria for the granting of observer status in the General Assembly established in the Assembly decision 49/426 of 9 December 1994 and for allocating sufficient time for a detailed legal examination by the 6th Committee of such requests based on adequate information and documents. The views were reiterated that each application should be accompanied by the constitutional instrument of relevant organization for the Committee’s consideration.

Some other delegations pointed out that the general discussion on how to further proceed in considering the requests for the granting of observer status was not included in the agenda of the plenary meetings of the Committee. A view was expressed in favour of such a discussion in informal settings. An agreement with the above suggestion was expressed.

This was followed by an informal discussion on this issue.

At the 29th meeting, on 9 November 2011, the representative of the Republic of Korea, on behalf of the sponsors of the draft resolution, in order to allow more time for building consensus on this item, proposed that the Committee defer a decision on the request for observer status for the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in the General Assembly to the sixty-seventh session of the Assembly.

Some delegations objected against deferring the above request for observer status to the next session of the Assembly and spoke in favour of withdrawing draft resolution A/C.6/66/L.9 (attached) under this item. They pointed out that the International Conference of Asian Political Parties was not an intergovernmental organization, did not meet the criteria for the granting of observer status in the General Assembly established in the Assembly decision 49/426 of 9 December 1994 and should rather apply for observer status in ECOSOC. The need to submit the constitutional instruments of this organization for the Committee’s consideration was re-emphasized. A point was also made that the exemptions made in the past in the granting of observer status were based on consensus and should not be viewed as precedents for future practice.

Some other delegations stressed that various delegations spoke in favour of the granting of observer status in the General Assembly to the International Conference of Asian Political Parties. A reference was also made to the exemptions made in the past in the granting of observer status in the absence of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations which would regulate the granting of observer status. It was further pointed out that the necessary documentation had been distributed for the consideration by the Committee.

The Chairman of the Committee suggested continuing the consideration of this item at the next meeting of the Committee, following the informal consultations among the interested delegations.

At its 30th meeting, on 11 November 2011, a point was made that a decision not to object to deferring the request for observer status for the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in the General Assembly to the next session of the Assembly was in line with the practice of decision-making by consensus in the Committee. However, it was reiterated that the International Conference of Asian Political Parties was not an intergovernmental organization, did not meet the criteria for the granting of observer status in the General Assembly established in the Assembly decision 49/426 of 9 December 1994 and should rather apply for consultative status in ECOSOC. The need to resubmit the request by the sponsors for the Committee’s consideration of the above item was also pointed out.

Action taken by the Sixth Committee

At its 30th meeting, on 11 November 2011, the Committee adopted a draft decision without a vote. Under this draft decision, the General Assembly would decide to defer a decision on the request for observer status for the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in the General Assembly to the sixty-seventh session of the Assembly.

This agenda item was subsequently considered at the sixty-seventh session (2012).