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Sixty-seventh session

Observer Status for the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in the General Assembly (Agenda item 167)

Summary of work

Background (source: A/67/100)

By a letter dated 10 August 2011 (A/66/198), the Permanent Representatives of Cambodia, Japan, Nepal, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam to the United Nations requested the inclusion of this item in the agenda of the sixty-sixth session.

At its sixty-sixth session, the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Sixth Committee, decided to defer a decision on the request for observer status for the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in the Assembly to its sixty-seventh session (decision 66/530).

Consideration at the sixty-seventh session

The Sixth Committee considered the item at its 11th and 25th meetings, on 16 October and on 16 November 2012 (see A/C.6/67/SR.11 and 25).

Statements were made by the representatives of the Philippines, Cambodia, the Republic of Korea, Pakistan, Japan, Argentina, the Congo, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of) and the Russian Federation.

At the 11th meeting, on 16 October, the representative of the Philippines, on behalf of Cambodia, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam, introduced the topic.

Some delegations expressed their support for the granting of observer status to the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in the General Assembly.

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 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 was emphasized. A point was made that non-governmental organizations should apply for the granting of consultative status in ECOSOC and that those organizations which had obtained such a status in ECOSOC should not be granted observer status in the General Assembly. A view was expressed that in the absence of consensus concerning the granting of observer status in the Assembly such requests should be withdrawn.

The representative of the Philippines expressed his readiness to conduct consultations on this issue with the interested delegations.

A view was expressed against amending the criteria for the granting of observer status in the Assembly, and the need to apply them in accordance with strict legal principles while not allowing any automaticity in the granting of observer status was stressed. It was emphasized that the current format of the consideration of this item should not be viewed as a precedent in the future. A view was expressed stressing the need to invite all the delegations to participate in informal consultations during the future consideration of such requests.

Action taken by the Sixth Committee

At the 25th meeting, on 16 November, the representative of the Philippines orally reported on the outcome of the informal consultations on this matter which did not result in consensus and pointed out that the criteria for the granting of observer status in the Assembly could be amended in the future. In order to allow more time for building consensus on this item, he proposed, on behalf of Cambodia, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea and Viet Nam, that the Committee recommend to the General Assembly to defer a decision on the request for observer status for the International Conference of Asian Political Parties in the General Assembly to its sixty-eighth session. This proposal was supported by some delegations.

At the 25th meeting, on 16 November, the Committee adopted, without a vote, a draft decision under which 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-eighth session of the Assembly.

This agenda item was subsequently considered at the sixty-eighth session (2013).