GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPOINTS KOFI ANNAN OF GHANA AS SEVENTH SECRETARY-GENERAL19961217 Also Adopts Legal Committee Texts, Resolutions on Bosnia and Herzegovina, World Television Day
The General Assembly this afternoon appointed by acclamation Kofi Annan of Ghana as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, with a term beginning on 1 January 1997 and ending 31 December 2001.
The Assembly also paid tribute to the work of Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, acknowledging with deep gratitude the determined efforts and dedicated service he provided to the United Nations during the past five years. The Assembly placed on record his many achievements -- political, diplomatic, organizational, as well as reforms -- during a period of profound change in international relations, adopting a resolution to that effect by acclamation.
Mr. Annan, speaking as the Secretary-General elect after taking the oath of office, said that the United Nations, along with the rest of the world, must change. He called upon all Member States to welcome the change, not resist it; to let change be an ally, not an enemy. With the participation of all nations, large and small, east and west, north and south, it would be possible to make the Organization leaner and more effective, while allowing it to set more realistic goals.
In his address to the Assembly, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said that Member States in the past five years had called on the United Nations to take action on an unprecedented scale -- for peace, development, democratization and reform. However, the troubles of the times had led to disillusionment, at times weakening the will of the world community to act or to make difficult choices. Against that backdrop, the conditions for major reform of the United Nations did not yet exist. Until a consensus among Member States existed, along with the political will to make hard decisions which included reform of the intergovernmental machinery and secretariat structures -- major institutional reform was impossible.
In saying farewell to the Assembly, he said that the one work to characterize the role of the Secretary-General was independence. The
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Secretary-General must never been seen as acting out of fear or in the attempt to curry favour with one State or group of States. His loyalty must be international, and the international civil service must be a real civil service.
Razali Ismail (Malaysia), President of the Assembly, praised the work of Mr. Boutros-Ghali and welcomed Mr. Annan to the post at a time of deep crisis for the United Nations -- when its coffers were all but empty and when important States placed inordinate and unfair demands upon it. However, he told Mr. Annan, "we place our trust in your ability to articulate and defend a vision of the United Nations that meets the expectations of Member States and the peoples of the world".
Statements by the regional groups and the host country were also made welcoming the appointment of Mr. Annan.
Taking up the reports of its Sixth Committee (Legal), the General Assembly took action to facilitate the establishment of an international criminal court, outlined measures to suppress international terrorism and supported plans for a framework convention on non-navigational uses of international watercourses, as it completed its action on the recommendations of the Sixth Committee.
Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted five resolutions on the Committee's recommendation, through which it also addressed the economic problems of third States affected by Security Council sanctions, as well as the report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization.
Regarding the international criminal court, the Assembly set the dates for forthcoming meetings of its Preparatory Committee, so that it might complete a draft convention for submission to a diplomatic conference of plenipotentiaries. It decided that the conference would be held in 1998, to finalize and adopt the convention. It also asked for establishment of a fund to facilitate the participation of the least developed countries.
The Assembly strongly condemned all acts of international terrorism, under another resolution. It called on all States to adopt a wide range of specified measures to prevent terrorism and to strengthen international cooperation against it. It also established an ad hoc committee to elaborate an international convention for the suppression of terrorist bombings and acts of nuclear terrorism.
By a declaration annexed to the resolution, approved by the Assembly, Member States reaffirm that they should take appropriate measures to ensure that asylum seekers have not participated in terrorist acts. They emphasize that asylum seekers may not avoid prosecution for terrorist acts while awaiting the processing of their asylum applications.
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The Security Council was invited to consider establishing further mechanisms or procedures of consultation to solve the special economic problems of third States affected by Council sanctions, by another text. The Secretary-General was asked to continue his efforts to develop a methodology aimed at assessing the adverse consequences actually incurred by such States.
The Assembly also decided to convene a second session of the Sixth Committee's working group of the whole, from 24 March to 4 April 1997, to elaborate a framework convention on the law of the non-navigational uses of international watercourses.
Another text set the dates for the next session of the Special Committee on the Charter as 27 January to 7 February 1997. By its terms, the Assembly asked the Committee to continue its priority consideration of the implementation of Charter provisions on assistance to third States affected by the application of Chapter VII sanctions.
The reports of the Sixth Committee were introduced by its Rapporteur, the representative of Cameroon. Statements were also made by the representatives of the United States, Lebanon, China, Syria and Liechtenstein.
Turning to the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Assembly demanded that all parties fully and consistently implement the terms of the Dayton Peace Agreement, adopting a resolution on the subject by a vote of 149 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Belarus and Russian Federation). (For details of the vote see Annex I.)
Also by that resolution, the Assembly called for: full cooperation and compliance with the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia; the establishment of the necessary conditions for the voluntary return of refugees and displaced persons; and the establishment of conditions for freedom of movement. In addition, the Assembly underlined that the readiness of the international community to commit resources for reconstruction and development was directly related to the fulfilment by the parties of their commitments under the Peace Agreement.
In other action this afternoon, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a five-part resolution on the follow-up to the 1995 World Summit for Social Development, by which it stressed the need for renewed and massive political will, both international and national, to achieve the objectives of social development. Recalling its earlier decision to hold a special session in the year 2000 to review implementation of the Summit outcome, the Assembly decided to establish a preparatory committee at its next session to hold an organizational session in 1998 and to initiate its substantive activities in 1999.
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Also this afternoon, the Assembly granted observer status to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day, adopting both measures without a vote.
The Assembly also decided to defer to its next session consideration of the launching of global negotiations on international economic cooperation for development.
Statements on the Social Summit were made by the representatives of Chile, Ireland (for the European Union), Canada and Costa Rica (for the "Group of 77" developing countries). The representative of the Russian Federation spoke in explanation of vote on the text on Bosnia and Herzegovina.
On the Law of the Sea Tribunal, the representatives of Belize, Ghana, Italy and Turkey spoke, as did the Tribunal's Registrar. Regarding World Television Day, the representatives of Italy, France, United States, Netherlands, Germany and Cuba spoke in explanation of vote.
The Assembly will meet again on Wednesday, 18 December, to consider reports of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) and to hear closing remarks to mark the close of its current regular session.
Assembly Work Program
The General Assembly met this afternoon to take up the recommendation of the Security Council for the appointment of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The Assembly had before it a draft resolution (document A/51/L.66) appointing Kofi Annan as United Nations Secretary-General for a term of office beginning on 1 January 1997 and ending on 31 December 2001. The draft was submitted by Canada, Congo, Mexico, Mongolia and Poland,
The Assembly also had before it a draft resolution containing a tribute to Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali (document A/51/L.67). The text, also sponsored by Canada, Congo, Mexico, Mongolia and Poland, would have the Assembly acknowledge with deep gratitude the "indefatigable efforts and dedicated service" provided to the Organization during the past five years by the Secretary-General.
In recognizing the high professional and personal qualities the Secretary-General brought to the job, the Assembly would place on special record his many achievements -- political, diplomatic, organizational, as well as reforms -- in leading the Organization during a period of profound change in international relations. It would express its deep appreciation for his contributions to international peace and security and development, his services in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, and his commitment towards a just and peaceful world.
Following the appointment of the Secretary-General, the Assembly is expected to take up agenda items on implementation of the World Summit for Social Development, global negotiations on international economic cooperation for development, the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, observer status for the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea and the proclamation of 21 November as World Television Day.
The Assembly also had before it five draft resolutions contained in four reports of its Sixth Committee (Legal).
Concerning the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development, the Assembly had before it a five-part draft resolution (document A/51/L.55) by which it would reaffirm the commitments entered into at the 1995 Copenhagen Summit and stress the need for renewed and massive political will at the national and international levels to invest in people and their well-being to achieve the objectives of social development. (For background on the Social Summit, see Press Release GA/9134 of 16 October.)
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The Assembly would reiterate its call to Governments to define time- bound goals and targets for reducing overall poverty and eradicating absolute poverty, expanding employment and reducing unemployment, and enhancing social integration, within each national context. Governments would be encouraged to contribute to the Trust Fund for the Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development. The Assembly would stress the need for all countries to seek innovative sources of funding, both public and private, for social programmes; and take note of the efforts of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to incorporate social development into their policies and programmes.
The Assembly would reaffirm the need for partnership between governments and the relevant actors of civil society, as well as encouraging non-governmental organizations to participate in the work of the Commission for Social Development. The Commission for Social Development would be recognized as the Commission of the Economic and Social Council with primary responsibility for the follow-up to and review of the implementation of the Summit. It would decide to enlarge the membership of the Commission from 32 to 46 and to annualize its meetings. The Assembly would reaffirm that the Economic and Social Council will provide overall guidance and oversee system- wide coordination in the implementation of the Summit outcome and make recommendations in this regard.
Recalling its earlier decision to hold a special session in the year 2000 for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the Summit outcome, the Assembly would decide that the Commission for Social Development would begin preparations for the session in 1999/2000. In addition, a preparatory committee would be established at the fifty-second session to hold an organizational session in 1998 and to initiate its substantive activities in 1999.
The draft is sponsored by: Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Ecuador, El Salvador, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, Ghana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Samoa, South Africa, Spain, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Venezuela and Zambia.
By the draft resolution on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (A/51/L.62/Rev.1) the Assembly would welcome the successful implementation of certain aspects of the Dayton Peace Agreement, including the establishment of a lasting cessation of hostilities, the establishment of the military zones of separation, the holding of national elections, and the formation and functioning of certain common institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
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However, the Assembly would demand the full, comprehensive and consistent implementation of the Peace Agreement, and underline the parties responsibility to cooperate in the formation and functioning of all the new common institutions of Bosnia and in establishing conditions for holding free and fair democratic local elections. The Assembly would call for full implementation including cooperation and compliance with the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the establishment of the necessary conditions for the voluntary return of refugees and displaced persons, and the establishment of the necessary conditions for freedom of movement.
The Assembly, while recognizing that the responsibility for consolidating the peace lies primarily with the authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, would also recognize that the role of the international community remains essential. However, the Assembly would underline that the readiness of the international community to commit resources for reconstruction and development was directly related to the fulfilment by the parties of their commitments under the Peace Agreement.
The Assembly would welcome the recent formation of the multinational Stabilization Force as the successor to the Implementation Force and call upon all parties to cooperate fully with it. International organizations would be urged to consider the provision of assistance to meet the infrastructural needs of the new common institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Sarajevo, the capital of the State and Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
The Assembly would demand that all parties arrest and surrender to the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia all indicted persons on territories under their control, as well as insisting upon the delivery of all indictees to the Tribunal for trial. The parties would also be called upon to cooperate with the work of the Tribunal, including with exhumations and other investigative acts.
On the text, the Assembly would call upon all parties to immediately establish the condition necessary for the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes and welcomes efforts by the European Union, bilateral and other donors, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations in establishing projects designed to facilitate the voluntary and orderly return of refugees and displaced persons to all regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Strongly condemning all acts of intimidation designed to discourage the voluntary return of refugees and displaced persons, in particular the destruction of housing units, the Assembly would reaffirm its support for the principle that all statements and commitments made under duress, particularly those regarding land and property, are wholly null and void.
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The Assembly would call on the parties to cooperate with the arbitration process in Brcko and to respect the decisions reached through that process; it would demand that they also comply with the Subregional Arms Control Agreement
The sponsors of the draft are: Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Guinea, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovenia, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
By the provisions of a 128-Power draft resolution, the Assembly would proclaim 21 November as "World Television Day", commemorating the date on which the first World Television Forum was held (document A/51/L.60). All Member States would be invited to observe the proposed day by encouraging global exchanges of television programmes focusing, among other things, on such issues as peace, security, economic and social development and the enhancement of cultural exchange. The Secretary-General would be requested to bring the resolution to the attention of all governments and appropriate non-governmental organizations.
In the draft's preambular part, the Assembly would recall a text adopted by its first session, resolution 13 (I) of 1 February 1946, in which it stated that the United Nations cannot achieve its purposes unless the peoples of the world are fully informed of its aims and activities. Also, it would underline that communications have become one of today's central international issues, not only for its relevance for the world economy, but also for its implications for social and cultural development. It would recognize the increasing impact of television on decision-making by alerting world attention to conflicts and threats to peace and security and its potential role in sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues.
The draft is sponsored by Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles,
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Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen and Zaire.
By a 58-Power draft resolution (document A/51/L.56), the Assembly would decide to invite the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to participate in its sessions and its work in the capacity of observer. The Secretary-General would be requested to take the necessary action to implement the text. In the drafts preambular part, the Assembly would welcome the establishment of the Tribunal in of Hamburg, Germany.
The draft is sponsored by Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, China, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominica, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, , Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania and Vanuatu.
The Assembly will also take action on five draft resolutions contained four reports of its Sixth Committee (Legal), thus completing its action on that body's reports. The drafts concern law on the non-navigational uses of international watercourses, the establishment of an international criminal court, the report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization, assistance to third States affected by the application of Security Council sanctions, and measures to eliminate international terrorism.
By the draft resolution on the non-navigational uses of international watercourses (document A/51/624), the Assembly would convene a two-week session of the Sixth Committee's working group of the whole, from 24 March to 4 April 1997, to elaborate a framework convention on the topic. Upon the completion of its mandate, the working group would report directly to the Assembly.
The Assembly would decide to reaffirm the mandate of the Preparatory Committee for the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, under a draft resolution in its report on the court (document A/51/627). By its terms, the Assembly would set the dates for forthcoming meetings of the Preparatory Committee to complete a draft convention for submission to a diplomatic conference of plenipotentiaries. It would decide that the conference would be held in 1998, with a view to finalizing and adopting the convention.
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The Secretary-General would be asked to establish a special fund for the participation of the least developed countries in the work of the Preparatory Committee and of the conference, and all States would be called upon to make voluntary contributions to it. The Assembly would urge participation in the Preparatory Committee by the largest number of States, so as to promote universal support for an international criminal court.
The Assembly would direct the Preparatory Committee, during its forthcoming session, to deal with the following: definition and elements of crimes; principles of criminal law and penalties; organization of the court; procedures; complementarity and mechanisms to trigger the court's involvement; cooperation with States; establishment of the court and its relationship with the United Nations; final clauses and financial matters; and other matters.
The Committee's report on the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization (document A/51/630) contains two draft resolutions.
By a draft resolution on the report of the Special Committee on the Charter, the Assembly would decide that the Special Committee would hold its next session from 27 January to 7 February 1997. It would ask the Committee, during that session, to consider all proposals concerning the maintenance of international peace and security. Among those would be a working paper on a draft declaration on basic principles and criteria for the work of United Nations peace-keeping missions and mechanisms for the prevention and settlement of crises and conflicts.
The Assembly would ask the Special Committee to continue considering, on a priority basis, the implementation of Charter provisions on assistance to third States affected by the application of Chapter VII sanctions. It would also be asked to continue its work on the peaceful settlement of disputes between States, including a proposal for establishment of a dispute-settlement service to be used early in a dispute, as well as proposals on enhancing the role of the International Court of Justice. The Committee would also be asked to continue considering proposals relating to the Trusteeship Council.
A second draft resolution in the report on the Charter Committee addresses the implementation of Charter provisions on assistance to third States affected by the application of Security Council sanctions. By its terms, the Assembly would invite the Security Council to consider the establishment of further mechanisms or procedures for consultation on the solution of special economic problems faced by affected third States. It would strongly recommend that the Council continue its efforts to enhance the effectiveness and transparency of its sanctions committees.
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The Assembly would also ask the Secretary-General to continue efforts aimed at developing a possible methodology for assessing the adverse consequences actually incurred by third States as a result of sanctions. The Secretary-General would be asked to continue on a regular basis to collate and coordinate information about international assistance available to third States affected by sanctions. He would also be asked to explore innovative and practical measures for assistance to affected third States.
The Committee also recommends a draft resolution on measures to eliminate international terrorism (document A/51/631). By its terms, the Assembly would strongly condemn all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, wherever and by whomsoever committed. It would repeat that criminal acts intended to provoke a state of terror for political purposes were unjustifiable in any circumstance, regardless of political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other considerations that might be invoked to justify them.
The Assembly would call upon all States to adopt further measures in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, including international standards of human rights, to prevent terrorism and to strengthen international cooperation to combat it. In particular, it would call on them to recommend that relevant security officials undertake consultations to improve the capability of governments to prevent, investigate and respond to terrorist attacks on public facilities, in particular public transport.
In addition, all States would be called upon to accelerate research and development on methods of detecting explosives and other harmful substances. It would note the risk of terrorists using electronic or wire communications systems and networks to carry out criminal acts and the need to find means, consistent with national law, to prevent such criminality. It would call on them, where sufficient justification exists, to investigate appropriately the abuse of organizations or groups by terrorists using them as a cover for their own activities.
The Assembly would also call on all States to develop, if necessary, mutual legal assistance procedures to facilitate speedy investigations and evidence collection, as well as cooperation between law enforcement agencies to detect and prevent terrorist acts. It would call on them to employ domestic measures to prevent and counteract the financing of terrorists and terrorist organizations. It would also call on them to intensify the exchange of information on facts related to terrorism. It would repeat its call on States to refrain from financing, encouraging, training or otherwise supporting terrorist activities.
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In addition, the Assembly would decide to establish an ad hoc committee to elaborate an international convention for the suppression of terrorist bombings and, subsequently, an international convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism. It would meet from 24 February to 7 March 1997 to prepare the text of a draft international convention for the suppression of terrorist bombings. The Assembly further recommends that its work should continue from 22 September to 3 October 1997, during the Assembly's next session, in the framework of a working group of the Sixth Committee.
Annexed to the draft resolution is a "Declaration to Supplement the 1994 Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism", which it would have the Assembly approve. Among its terms, States Members of the United Nations reaffirm that they should take appropriate measures before granting refugee status, to ensure that the asylum-seeker has not participated in terrorist acts. It emphasizes that asylum-seekers awaiting the processing of their asylum applications may not thereby avoid prosecution for terrorist acts. It also addresses questions relating to extradition and the sharing of information about terrorists.
A decision of the Fifth Committee (document A/51/733) informs the Assembly that the question of additional meetings requested in connection with the Sixth Committee reports will be dealt with by the Fifth Committee through its draft resolution on pattern of conferences.
Appointment of Secretary-General
Secretary-General BOUTROS BOUTROS-GHALI, addressing the Assembly, said he was grateful to have had the privilege to serve the peoples of the United Nations, and he was proud of the way the Organization had responded to the challenges of the last five years. He had had the difficult task of guiding the United Nations during the post-cold war period. The next century had already begun; great transformations did not wait for the calendar.
In the past five years, he said, Member States had called on the United Nations to take action on an unprecedented scale: for peace, development, democratization and reform. From El Salvador to Cambodia, to Angola and Mozambique, the United Nations had adapted United Nations peace-keeping to unprecedented forms of conflict. Development also was given a new opportunity, as ideological tensions were eased and the anticipated "peace dividend" raised hopes for development cooperation. The Earth Summit in Rio in 1992 brought the first-ever global plan -- Agenda 21 -- for a partnership to achieve sustainable development.
The middle years of this half-decade were deeply troubled. Where peace-keepers were asked to deal with warfare, serious setbacks occurred. The first came in Somalia and weakened the will of the world community to act against genocide in Rwanda. In Bosnia, too, hard choices were avoided. "The
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concept of peace-keeping was turned on its head", he said, "and worsened by the serious gap between mandates and resources".
Assistance to developing countries was declining, and resources for long-term development were diverted to emergency efforts. Africa was hit hardest. Despite high hopes for democratization, a counter-trend had emerged. Human rights atrocities reached unprecedented levels, and the horror of ethnic cleansing emerged. All served to slow or even erode the democratization process.
He said conditions for major reform of the United Nations would not exist until there was consensus among Member States, along with the political will to make hard decisions, including the reform of intergovernmental machinery and secretariat structures. Also, the financial crisis of the Organization continued to pose a serious obstacle to reform.
The Secretary-General said an "impressive recommitment and a new sense of maturity" had begun to emerge. Peace-keeping logic was being restored; the division of labour between the United Nations and regional organizations continued to improve; the series of recent world conferences had created an entirely new dimension to international cooperation. The stage was set for restoring development and international economic cooperation, a pre-condition for lasting peace and progress.
While reform was well under way, he said, reform was not an end in itself. Reform which sought to turn the United Nations away from fundamental responsibilities under the Charter could be legitimately opposed. The test of true reform would be whether it would improve the capacity of the Organization to meet those responsibilities and to advance the common objectives of the peoples of the United Nations and its Member States.
"The downward trend has been broken", he said. What was emerging was a United Nations "more mature in outlook and stronger in achievement", aware not only of its potential, but also of its limits. In looking to the future, some old problems appeared to have been solved, but new problems and old problems in new forms had emerged. For some, the world seemed more secure. For many others, devastation, death and despair had become more common. For some, economic progress raced forward. For a vast number of others, stark poverty crushed hope in every dimension of personal and community life.
How the world made use of the United Nations over the next few years could affect the course of world affairs for generations to come.
He said the financial crisis was an immediate problem and one which, like his predecessor, he had been unable to resolve. It was a threat to the future of the Organization. It was not the result of mismanagement, but the refusal to fulfil a treaty obligation. With the appointment of a new
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Secretary-General, all arrears should be paid at once, as has been promised so often in the past few months.
The Secretary-General said nothing was more precious to the United Nations than its reputation. And that reputation rested on four pillars: impartiality, equity, efficiency and achievement. A fifth principle was independence. The Secretary-General must never be seen as acting out of fear of, or in an attempt to curry favour with, one State or group of States. His loyalty must be international, and the international civil service must be a real civil service. (For full text of statement see Press Release SG/SM/6133 of 17 December.)
FRANCESCO PAOLO FULCI (Italy), as President of the Security Council, introduced the two draft resolutions. He went on to describe Kofi Annan as an eminent son of Africa who fully understood the origins and often devastating effects of the crises to which the world was prey. On many occasions, Mr. Annan had shown the ability to find an impartial, fair and effective middle road by which the United Nations could help to ease the tensions at the heart of so many of today's conflicts. His curriculum vitae was a testimony to more than 30 years of almost uninterrupted dedication to the many-faceted tasks performed by the United Nations. Time and again, the Organization had entrusted assignments of grave responsibility and diplomatic delicacy to Mr. Annan; time and again, Mr. Annan had not disappointed those who had faith in him. He would be an impeccable and impartial Secretary-General.
"We all owe an immense debt of gratitude to Boutros Boutros-Ghali, whose vision of the United Nations and message of mutual understanding between diverse peoples and cultures will remain a source of continuous inspiration to this Organization", he continued. Mr. Boutros-Ghali would leave a legacy that would guide the Council's debates for years to come, including his two outstanding studies, the Agenda for Peace and the Agenda for Development, which concerned the two key tasks of the Organization.
The Assembly then proceeded to adopt by acclamation the draft resolution on the Appointment of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, sponsored by Canada on behalf of the Western European and other States, Congo for the African States, Mexico for the Latin American and Caribbean States, Mongolia for the Asian States and Poland for the Eastern European States. It also adopted by acclamation the resolution on the tribute to Boutros Boutros-Ghali, also sponsored by the heads of the regional groups.
RAZALI ISMAIL (Malaysia), President of the General Assembly, recalled that Boutros Boutros-Ghali had become Secretary-General of the United Nations at a time of unprecedented change and considerable flux in the world. Notwithstanding the challenges, he had served the United Nations with dedication and selfless service, and with resolute sense of purpose. Mr. Boutros-Ghali would be remembered for his seminal intellectual contributions
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to the understanding of preventive diplomacy, humanitarian intervention and democratic nation-building; and for laying the essential building blocks for the reform and revitalization of the United Nations system. "His legacy will serve us well in the challenging years ahead", he added.
Both Mr. Annan and the incumbent were illustrious sons of Africa, he went on to say. In appointing Mr. Annan to this post, the Assembly had taken into account his long record of accomplishment and his understanding of the needs of the Organization at this critical juncture. "You are well known to all of us and we place our trust in your ability to articulate and defend a vision of the United Nations that meets the expectations of Member States and the peoples of the world."
It was no easy task. At the end of the day "it is only in the performance of your office in all its aspects, that you will be judged", he said. The agony and ecstasy of being Secretary-General included what could and could not be done. The United Nations should not be donor driven. "We do not covet the Bretton-Woods impersonation award", he said. And although finance and finite resources may be facts of life, the Secretary-General should not have to pose as mendicant, petitioning governments and legislatures alike, at the expense of all else.
"This General Assembly believes in a Secretary-General with an independent perspective in defence of the Charter", he said. With discretion, authority and responsibility, the Secretary-General must speak up and act for the wider international interest, one that transcended the concerns of any particular country or region. Every important action taken by the Secretary- General had a legal dimension, and while the success of those actions might not be ensured by legalism, any serious departure from the legal mandate would put the United Nations at risk. Former Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar had said in 1986, "the Secretary-General is the bearer of a sacred trust and the guardian of the principles of the Charter...[and]...to understand correctly the role of the Secretary-General is to appreciate the whole mission of the United Nations".
Mr. Razali said that Mr. Annan would take office at a time of deep crisis for the United Nations, when its coffers were all but empty. Important States had placed inordinate and unfair demands on the Organization, while others dwelt more "on what is wrong rather than what can be done". All should learn from the lessons and the dead-ends of the recent past, and collectively define the architecture of the United Nations in the twenty-first century.
(The full text of the President's statement has been issued as Press Release GA/9210.)
DANIEL ABIBI (Congo) spoke for the African Group States. He said Boutros Boutros-Ghali was a statesman of international stature who had
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navigated through the turbulent storms of a world in flux. His contribution was outstanding, indeed, in the consolidation of international peace and security, sustainable human development and protection of human rights. He had achieved inspiring results. For all those reasons, Africa said "thank you" to him.
Continuing, he said Kofi Annan was a man who had dedicated his entire life to the cause of peace and international cooperation. Africa knew that the United Nations would be in good hands. The incredible enthusiasm felt by so many staff members, along with the admirable management of sensitive issues such as Kuwait and Bosnia and Herzegovina, among others, testified to Mr. Annan's competence. The appointment was an impetus and an exhortation to Africa. Africa and the international community were celebrating today and the African Group reiterated its will to cooperate.
JARGALSAIKHANY ENKHASAIKHAN (Mongolia), speaking for the Asian Group of State, congratulated the new Secretary-General. Kofi Annan was an outstanding African personality, a seasoned diplomat and a skilful negotiator, he said. He would guide the Organization towards the realization of the principles enshrined in the Charter. He would contribute to the enhancement of the Organization's role and, by restructuring the system, would promote development and growth. He welcomed the Secretary-General designate and pledged the Asian Group's firm support in the discharge of his weighty responsibilities. He also paid tribute to the outgoing Secretary-General for his valuable contribution in guiding the Organization in the pursuit of its noble aims. His work had stimulated constructive discussion on the strengthening of the United Nations activities, he said.
ZBIGNIEW M. WLOSOWICZ (Poland), speaking on behalf of the Eastern European Group of States, congratulated Kofi Annan and said his appointment by acclamation reflected recognition of his diplomatic skills, profound knowledge of contemporary challenges, as well as his proven dedication to the Organization. In addition, through his appointment, Member States had reconfirmed the importance of Africa in international affairs. The new Secretary-General's mandate was complicated. The Eastern European Group of States wished him every success and declared their intention to cooperate with him in all endeavours.
During his tenure as Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali had guided the Organization through a crucial period of modern history, he said. Dedicated to the purposes and principles of the Organization's Charter, the outgoing Secretary-General had initiated reforms and made proposals for restructuring the United Nations system. He had contributed immensely to the cause of international peace, security and development.
MANUEL TELLO (Mexico), speaking on behalf of Latin America and the Caribbean Group of States, said he was pleased to see a worthy son of Africa
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occupy the high post of Secretary-General. The recommendation of the Security Council and the resolution of the Assembly were a well-deserved tribute to Mr. Annan's personal and professional qualities, which, for a good part of his life, he had placed at the service of the United Nations.
Mr. Annan knew how to blend firmness with conciliation, as he consistently sought to resolve differences, he continued. Those characteristics would no doubt guarantee the success of his work. As the head of peace-keeping operations, he had made tireless efforts in guiding the Organization in search of the peaceful resolution of disputes. As the national of a developing country, Mr. Annan would surely display equal vigour in closing the gap between the rich and the poor. He was confident, too, that the United Nations would expand its work in the Latin American and Caribbean region. He was sure that Mr. Annan would lead the international community with talent, skill and a steady hand into the twenty-first century.
Continuing, he said Boutros Boutros-Ghali could be proud of his work at a difficult and complex time. In those moments of turmoil, the Organization had the good fortune of having a statesman of dedication and experience at the helm. The Agenda for Peace and the Agenda for Development were concepts that history would place next to his name.
ROBERT R. FOWLER (Canada), speaking for the Group of Western European and other States, noted that Boutros Boutros-Ghali had taken the Organization's helm during a turbulent moment in global history and at a critical time in the Organization's own evolution. As Secretary-General, he had sought solutions to deeply ingrained global problems and had responded creatively to the new challenges facing the international community. With tireless and unwavering dedication, he had helped point the Organization in the right direction.
He welcomed Kofi Annan's appointment as Secretary-General. The Organization's Chief Executive had two main tasks: to manage the Organization; and to work with Member States to fulfil the vision of the Charter. During his distinguished career within the United Nations system, the Secretary-General designate had won the respect and abiding loyalty of those who worked with him.
The next five years would be critical for the Organization, he continued, particularly in terms of redefining its role in the twenty-first century. Mr. Annan was uniquely qualified to implement those changes required to adapt the Organization to the future. Today's appointment provided an opportunity for Member States to reaffirm their commitment to the Organization. That commitment was necessary if the Organization was to have the moral authority, financial capacity and political legitimacy required to fulfil its responsibilities. On behalf of the Group, he offered his full cooperation to the new Secretary-General.
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MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT (United States), speaking on behalf of the host country, welcomed the election of the seventh Secretary-General. Kofi Annan would lead the Organization across the threshold of a new century, she said. It would be his duty to manage the United Nations so that its resources were put to the best use. He was assuming office at a time of uncertainty about the Organization's future course. Some believed the United Nations was too divided and encumbered by past habits to perform efficiently. She, however, was more optimistic than that.
International cooperation was now more necessary than ever before, she continued. Institutions of all kinds were adjusting to the demands of scientific, demographic and political change. The Organization had profited from lessons learned in peace-keeping, and had begun a process of reform. Today, it had elected an individual of distinction and humanity. He had ably performed difficult tasks, with sound judgement and good humour. Offering congratulations, she iterated her country's promise to help. Outgoing Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali had served the international community long and well. He would be remembered for his intelligence, dignity and diplomatic skill.
As the Organization began its second half century, the international community must rededicate itself to the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, she said. Further, it must join efforts with the new Secretary-General to make the Organization an effective force for peace and, in the words of the Charter, a means for promoting social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.
The Assembly PRESIDENT officially informed Mr. Annan that the General Assembly had appointed him Secretary-General of the United Nations for a term of office beginning on 1 January 1997 and ending on 31 December 2001.
Mr. Annan then took the Oath of Office, given by the Assembly President.
KOFI ANNAN, Secretary-General elect, began his statement by pointing out the presence of former Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar. "Welcome home, sir", he said. Then, addressing the President of the General Assembly, he said he had long admired the imagination and determination the President had brought to the difficult challenges of multilateral diplomacy and wished to express his appreciation of his leadership of the Assembly.
Mr. Annan said that the Assembly had done him a great honour and bestowed a great responsibility. "As a son of Africa, and as an international civil servant, I pledge to you that I will do everything within my power to be worthy of your trust", he said. He then rendered homage to the vision and energy of "extraordinary Statesman", Mr. Boutros-Ghali, who led the Organization during the turbulent transition period from the cold war to the new era. All were conscious of his contribution, he said.
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The Organization was now at a crossroads, he continued. During 45 years, the rivalry of the super-Powers had impregnated its very existence and, to a large extent, shaped its mission. As the cold war had ended, Member States should agree as to what the United Nations should become.
"The time to choose is now", he said. "For this Organization, along with the rest of the world, must change. Let every Member State welcome this change, not resist it. Let us make change our ally, not our enemy; seize it as an opportunity, not a threat; recognize it as a necessity, not an imposition".
There was no lack of blueprints for a new, post-cold-war United Nations, he continued. There was no lack of ideas or debate. "What we need is consensus and commitment", he said. "The task was now to find common ground, to shape together the changes that would move the Organization forward." All the old problems still confronted the world, but the approach should be broadened. The world was beginning to recognize that the roots of conflict respected no national frontiers.
All should embark on a time of healing, he said. It should be a healing of fractures and frictions between Member States and the United Nations, which could not function without their political and material support, and a healing of wounded morale and ideals within the Secretariat, whose staff deserved thanks and encouragement.
He said "To the nations and peoples of the world whose representatives are assembled here today, I say simply this: the United Nations is your instrument for peace and justice. Use it; respect it; defend it. It can be no more wiser, no more competent and no more efficient than those Member States that now comprise and guide it".
No nation needed to face or fight alone the threats the Organization was established to defuse, he said. Yet, the United Nations could not succeed without Member States' political, moral, financial and material support and participation. "Applaud us when we prevail; correct us when we fail; but, above all, do not let this indispensable, irreplaceable institution wither, languish or perish as a result of Member State indifference, inattention or financial starvation", he said.
In closing, he said, "I accept the high post you have entrusted me, humbled by the formidable challenges that lie ahead, but filled with confidence in the nobility of our common goals, in the determination of our common spirit, and in the success of our common efforts. Alone, I can do nothing. Together, we can irreversibly advance the frontiers of peace, dignity and justice for all humankind".
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(The full text of Mr. Annan's statement has been issued as Press Release GA/9211.)
Follow-Up to Social Summit
The PRESIDENT announced the following revision of operative paragraph 48: "Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development to its fifty-second session."
JUAN SOMAVIA (Chile) introduced the draft resolution on the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development. The following co-sponsors had been added: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Slovenia, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Jamaica, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tunisia, Turkey and Ukraine.
JOHN BIGGAR (Ireland), on behalf of the European Union and the associated countries of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Iceland and Liechtenstein also associated themselves with the statement.
The European Union attached considerable importance to proper and thorough preparation of the special session, as provided in the current draft. That preparation should evolve in the context of the integrated approach to social development as decided by the Assembly last year. The enlargement of the Commission's membership, the adoption of a thematic and focused multi-year work programme and the decision to annualize its meetings would enable it to fulfil that central role.
ROSS HYNES (Canada) said that the World Summit for Social Development successfully forged an international consensus on the nature of the basic challenges of social development -- combating poverty, unemployment and marginalization. And, it agreed on the need for determined international, as well as national, efforts to address those challenges. Active contributions from the United Nations system and from experts and representatives of civil society would ensure that future work in that area was pragmatic and results- oriented. The leadership and sustained efforts of the Commission for Social Development would be crucial in shaping and establishing the basis for the preparatory work.
EMILIA CASTRO DE BARISH (Costa Rica), on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, said that preparations for the special commemorative session should receive all the time and resources needed.
Acting-President of the Assembly HARCOURT L. TURNQUEST (Bahamas) announced that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Guatemala, Philippines, and Uruguay had joined as co-sponsors of the draft.
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The Assembly adopted, as orally revised, the resolution on implementation of the World Summit for Social Development.
International Cooperation for Development
The Assembly decided to defer consideration of its agenda item on launching of global negotiations on internal economic cooperation for development.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
KONSTANTIN K. DOLGOV (Russian Federation), speaking in explanation of position, said his delegation had determined its position on the draft text based on how well the language reflected the current situation. The implementation of the Dayton Agreement was entering an important stage, as reflected by the Security Council authorization of the multinational force to follow the Implementation Force (IFOR). However, the Assembly's draft resolution was unclear and some language was too detailed, such as language on the International Tribunal. The language on the return of refugees did not mention anything about resettlement of refugees to a location of their choice. The co-sponsors, had however, changed the one-sided language originally contained in the text. For that reason the Russian Federation would abstain from the vote.
The ACTING-PRESIDENT announced that Guyana, Liechtenstein and the Netherlands had joined as co-sponsors of the draft.
The resolution on Bosnia and Herzegovina was adopted by a vote of 149 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Belarus and Russian Federation). (See Annex I.)
JOSE LUIS MONTEIRO (Cape Verde) said his delegations had voted in favour of the text but that vote had not appeared on the board.
Law of Sea Tribunal
GERHARD HENZE (Germany), introducing the draft resolution on observer status for the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, announced the following additional co-sponsors: Algeria, Comoros, Kuwait, Malaysia, Monaco, Myanmar, Nigeria, Poland, Suriname, Tunisia, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
LAWRENCE SYLVESTER (Belize) said the Tribunal's decision to seek formal status was consistent with the meeting on the Law of the Sea in late July in New York. The United Nations was the marketplace of ideas, and the Tribunal would need exposure to such ideas, as it would perform as a forum for the peaceful settlement of conflicts. A formal link was needed between both
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institutions. His delegation hoped the draft resolution would be adopted by consensus.
JACK B. WILMOT (Ghana) said his delegation was pleased to co-sponsor the resolution inviting the Tribunal of the Law of the Sea to participate in the capacity of observer. Such a status would expose the Tribunal to the resources, ideas and trends within the United Nations and thereby enhance its effectiveness at all times. Its activities were complementary to those of the United Nations in several spheres.
LORENZO FERRARIN (Italy), as co-sponsor of the draft before the Assembly, said his delegation conveyed its best wishes to the Tribunal. Italy was particularly proud of having an Italian scholar on the Tribunal. It was certain the Tribunal would meet all expectations.
Speaking before the vote, YESIM BAYKAL (Turkey) said her delegation had no objection to the substance of the draft before the Assembly. But, for the record, she wished to say that the Convention on the Law of the Sea did not make exceptions for particular geographical conformations. Although Turkey agreed with the Convention, it was unable to accept those shortcomings.
The Assembly took note of the fact that Benin wished to sign on as a co- sponsor of the text before it.
The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution on observer status for the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in the General Assembly, without a vote.
Following the vote, GRITAKUMAR CHITTY, Registrar of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, noted that one of the primary purposes of the United Nations under the Charter was to maintain international peace and security. The legal regime established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea built upon those foundations. The Tribunal's role in the peaceful settlement of disputes was consistent with the Charter and would encourage States parties to fulfil in good faith the obligations assumed under the Convention and under other international agreements.
The jurisdiction of the Tribunal comprised all disputes and all applications submitted to it in accordance with the Convention, he said. It was an instrument of the Convention especially instituted for the peaceful resolution of conflicts. As the central institution created under the Convention on the Law of the Sea, it needed to be aware of all developments concerning the oceans and of all general principles and developments relating to peaceful settlements, in accordance with the Charter. The granting of observer status would establish and consolidate links with the United Nations and assist both the Assembly and the Tribunal in their work. It was envisaged
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that those links would shortly find expression and elaboration in a relationship agreement between the two organizations.
Proclamation of World Television Day
Mr. FERRARIN (Italy) introduced the draft resolution on the proclamation of 21 November as World Television Day.
HUBERT LEGAL (France) said he joined the delegation of Italy in recommending the adoption of the draft before the Assembly.
Speaking before the vote, LETITIA CHAMBERS (United States) said the proclamation was a doubtful expenditure of time and energy at best. Other Assembly resolutions already addressed the substantive issues surrounding the communication of United Nations activities and there was certainly no shortage of mandates detailing how and what information should be disseminated. The medium's raison d'etre and central value, to facilitate the free and uncensored flow of information, could not be ignored, but the draft did not have that concept as an organizing principle. Also, the resolution had not been considered under the usual procedure, which would have allowed a full discussion. The resolution was unnecessary.
R.W. ZAAGMAN (Netherlands) said that the resolution addressed matters that were not urgent and added another "international day" of questionable use. The Netherlands would abstain.
Mr. HENZE (Germany) welcomed the television forum commemorated by the draft. However, there were already three United Nations days with similar content -- one dedicated to the press, another devoted to telecommunications and a third on information. To add a further day did not make much sense. As the United States and the Netherlands had pointed out, the draft did run counter to efforts to streamline the agenda. Furthermore, television was only one means of communication. The poor majority of the world's population could easily look at World Television Day as "a rich man's day", since they did not have access to television. There were more important media -- radio, for example. Also, there was an ambiguity in the draft, which seemed to work against freedom of the press.
The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution by a vote of 141 in favour to none against, with 11 abstentions (Annex II).
After the vote, CUETO MILIAN (Cuba) said her delegation considered that the proclamation of World Television Day should serve to promote relations of friendship, cooperation and respect among all nations and the economic and social development of all peoples. But the principles of freedom of the press and information were not reflected in the draft. There were nations that did
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not even know what television was and, in that regard, a balanced flow of information should be a concern.
The Assembly then took up the reports of the Sixth Committee.
The Assembly adopted the resolution on the convention on the law of the non-navigational uses of international watercourses.
Speaking after adoption of the text, Ms. CHAMBERS (United States) said her Government had joined consensus on the draft decision dealt with by the Fifth Committee -- concerning extra meetings for some subjects recommended by the Sixth Committee -- with the understanding that additional meetings would be met within the existing resources. The conferences should be accommodated within the budget of $2.608 billion. She hoped that the subject would be actively discussed in the Fifth Committee.
The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, the text on the establishment of an international criminal court.
The Preparatory Committee on the establishment of an international criminal court would convene its fifth session from 1 December to 12 December 1997 in order to complete the drafting of a widely acceptable consolidated text of a convention on the establishment of an international criminal court, according to a letter from the Chairman of the Committee on Conferences addressed to the President of the General Assembly (document A/51/721).
The meeting in December would represent a departure from a resolution by which a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly is not permitted to meet at United Nations Headquarters during a regular session of the Assembly unless explicitly authorized by the Assembly.
The text on the implementation of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations related to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions was then adopted without a vote.
The Assembly also adopted, without a vote, the draft resolution entitled report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the strengthening of the role of the Organization.
The General Assembly then turned to the resolution on measures to eliminate international terrorism.
Speaking before the vote, HICHAM HAMDAN (Lebanon) said that terrorism threatened world stability and should be fought as organized crime. He said that international terrorism must be clearly defined. Legitimate combat needed to be distinguished from violent acts. He said Lebanon maintained the right to resist Israelis occupation in southern Lebanon.
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ZHANG KENING (China) said that during the Sixth Committee's discussions of the resolution on measures to eliminate international terrorism, his Government had indicated that it would not participate in its consideration. Likewise, it would not participate in its consideration at the current Assembly's meeting for the reasons previously indicated.
The Assembly adopted the resolution on measures to eliminate international terrorism without a vote.
After adoption of the text, FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) said his delegation had hoped to find a separate paragraph in the resolution that included a clear definition of international terrorism. The resolution should have made a definition of international terrorism a priority of the ad hoc committee. Any definition needed to distinguish between terrorism and the struggle of people under foreign occupation, and recognize their right to resist that occupation.
CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said recent terrorist acts worldwide indicated the great need to fight it. However, the fight against terrorism must be in strict compliance with international law, especially in relation to human rights. He was grateful that the resolution just passed made it clear that the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees did not provide refuge for terrorists.
RENE AQUARONE (Netherlands) said that his delegation welcomed the withdrawal of the provisions regarding refugees and the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol. The provisions of the 1951 Refugee Convention did not stand in the way of bringing terrorists to justice.