ASSEMBLY SEEKS CLOSER TIES BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS, ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY IN SECURITY, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AREAS
ASSEMBLY SEEKS CLOSER TIES BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS, ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY IN SECURITY, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AREAS
ASSEMBLY SEEKS CLOSER TIES BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS, ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY IN SECURITY, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AREAS19971124
The General Assembly this morning called on the United Nations, particularly the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council, to continue to involve the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in all its African activities. It urged enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU in preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping operations, and in joint fact-finding missions.
In adopting without a vote a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU, the Assembly also urged the United Nations to continue to support OAU efforts to manage a peaceful democratic transition in Africa. Further, it urged Member States, the United Nations and other organizations to assist refugees and displaced persons, and African countries of asylum, and to assist economic integration and cooperation in Africa.
Introducing the draft, the representative of Zimbabwe, on behalf of the Chairman of the OAU, said the resolution outlined the political and economic challenges facing Africa and the need for the international community to respond in practical terms. He said it contained specific measures and clear proposals that required urgent action on the part of the United Nations Secretariat in particular and the international community in general.
In other action this morning, the Assembly elected, by secret ballot, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Spain and the United States as members of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, to serve six-year terms beginning on 1 June 1998.
Since the number of candidates endorsed by the African States, the Asian States and the Latin American and Caribbean States corresponded to the number of seats to be filled in each group, the following candidates were declared elected: Burkina Faso, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, Fiji, India, Iran, Thailand, Colombia, Honduras and Paraguay. Argentina and Uruguay will serve on an alternating annual basis, starting with Argentina.
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The General Assembly decided this morning to include in the agenda of the current session an additional item entitled "Admission of the International Seabed Authority to membership in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund" and allocated it to the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).
Statements were made by Luxembourg, on behalf of the European Union and associated States, Swaziland, Japan, Argentina, Ethiopia, Malawi, Norway, Benin and Tunisia.
The Assembly meets at 3 p.m. today to consider strengthening of the United Nations coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance.
Assembly Work Programme
The General Assembly met this morning to consider the second report of its General Committee, and to elect nineteen members of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). It was also expected to consider cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including several items related to special economic assistance. It was to take action on a number of draft resolutions.
Report of the General Committee
The Assembly had before it the second report of the General Committee (document A/52/250/Add.1) on the Assembly's current session. At its third meeting, on 21 November, the General Committee decided to recommend to the Assembly that in its agenda a new item entitled, "Admission of the International Seabed Authority to membership in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund". It would be allocated to the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).
Cooperation with Organization of African Unity (OAU)
By the terms of a draft resolution (document A/52/L.8), sponsored by Zimbabwe, the Assembly would call on the United Nations to cooperate with the OAU to peacefully settle disputes and maintain peace and security in Africa; to intensify its regional programmes in Africa and harmonize them with regional and subregional economic organizations; and to ensure the effective, fair and equitable representation of Africa at senior and policy levels.
The Assembly would urge the United Nations to enhance its cooperation with the OAU in preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peacekeeping operations and in joint fact-finding missions, by providing technical assistance and financial and logistical support; encourage donor countries to provide funding and training for peacekeeping; and continue supporting OAU in managing a peaceful democratic transition in Africa, through education, election observation, human rights and freedom.
Further, the Assembly would urge Member States, the United Nations and other organizations to assist refugees and displaced persons as well as African countries of asylum, and to support the African Economic Community and assist economic integration and cooperation in Africa, especially the regional economic communities. The United Nations would be invited to assist the OAU in establishing an early-warning system; technical assistance and training of personnel, including a staff exchange programme; exchange and coordination of information between their respective early-warning systems; logistical support; and mobilization of financial support.
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The Assembly would request relevant United Nations organs to help the OAU strengthen its information-gathering, analysis and dissemination capacity by training personnel and mobilizing technical and financial assistance.
According to the Secretary-General's report (document A/52/374), since January he and the OAU Secretary-General have discussed the need for closer ties to prevent and resolve conflicts in Africa. They appointed Mohammed Sahnoun as joint United Nations-OAU Special Representative for the Great Lakes region, subsequently agreeing to expand his mandate to the Congo. In January, they agreed to meet twice yearly to discuss cooperation priorities and coordinate efforts. The first such meeting focused on conflict prevention, peacemaking, peace-building and democratization in Africa.
The United Nations Department of Political Affairs and the OAU exchange information and coordinate initiatives, the report continues. The Department provides the OAU with information on electoral assistance and democratic transition and has offered to organize training programmes. A United Nations mission to Addis Ababa in August helped the OAU strengthen its capacity to prevent and resolve conflicts. The Secretaries-General discussed an initiative proposed by France, the United Kingdom and the United States to strengthen Africa's peacekeeping capacity, under the auspices of the United Nations and OAU.
The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is cooperating with OAU and the African Development Bank (ADB) on an African Economic Community (AEC), the report says. They are also collaborating on mobilizing financial resources for development; the role of African workers and trade unions in subregional and regional economic integration; mobilizing resources and raising awareness for refugees in Africa; trade policies and World Trade Organization negotiations; future relations between the African, Caribbean and Pacific group of States and the European Union; and globalization, development and international labour standards. The report also examines cooperation between the OAU and various agencies and programmes.
Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Assistance
According to a note by the Secretary-General (document A/52/443), the United Nations humanitarian system has undertaken, over the past 18 months, an unprecedented effort to review its capacity to address humanitarian crises. During the review, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee examined some of the central issues, particularly those relating to coordination, resource mobilization, internally displaced persons, evaluation, strengthening local capacity and relief and development linkages, and staff development. The conclusions will allow for a more strategic approach to humanitarian assistance which will, in turn, enhance effective response to humanitarian crises, allow for better focus on capacity-building, and increase linkages with rehabilitation and recovery activities.
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In his report on the reform of the United Nations (document A/51/950), the Secretary-General included a number of proposals and actions pertaining to the humanitarian sector. Those reform measures primarily aim to strengthen the Office of the Emergency Relief Coordinator through enhanced focus on three core functions: policy development and coordination; advocacy of humanitarian issues; and coordination of humanitarian emergency response. They also address the functioning of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee and field coordination arrangements, as well as the consolidated appeal process.
In the context of reporting on the follow-up to Assembly resolution 46/182, the Secretary-General will report during the fifty-third session in 1998 on the implementation of the reform of the United Nations humanitarian sector as well as further progress by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee in the strengthening of the capacity of the United Nations in humanitarian assistance.
Joint Inspection Unit Report
A note by the Secretary-General (document A/52/270), transmits the report of the Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) on the execution of humanitarian assistance programmes through implementing partners. According to the report, the question of accountability of partners for both programme delivery and proper use of resources is made more complex by the massive presence of non- governmental organizations which share a substantial part of operations. In most cases, programmes and projects are carried out without due regard to controlling mechanisms, so as to meet obligations effectively and on time. In complex emergencies, organizations cannot avoid giving priority to project delivery and results. Accountability and related requirements may follow.
In the report, the JIU examines the principles governing the financial control between United Nations organizations and their implementing partners -- their selection methods and criteria; legal, administrative and financial procedures; controlling mechanisms and reporting procedures. It makes recommendations to help improve overall management of financial resources utilized by implementing partners, and to clarify various levels of accountability of the parties involved in humanitarian assistance operations.
It is suggested that the various types of implementing partners should be classified according to their activity and performance. Organizations should be more selective in identifying implementing partners by improving existing legal, administrative and financial selection procedures. A roster of reliable implementing partners in order to set up a more manageable core of implementers could be helpful. To make implementing partners more responsible for programme/project delivery, it is recommended that existing agreements with implementing partners should always include a provision of fund accountability and an adequate audit, monitoring and evaluation coverage of their activities. All United Nations agency agreements should include a clause defining responsibilities of implementing partners and the consequences in case of default.
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During the primary planning stage of a project/programme, it is suggested all parties should agree to an effective system to manage financial and human resources, with a clear definition of respective responsibilities. Humanitarian agencies should give top priority to strengthening their monitoring and controlling mechanisms. They should have an evaluation strategy to follow the progress and achievement of implementing partners; to assess cost-effectiveness and financial management capacity; and -- based on their records -- use the lessons learned to select implementing partners in future assignments. An organizational handbook will enable efficient coordination and establish a sound working relationship between United Nations organizations and their partners.
Democratic Republic of the Congo: draft resolution
According to the terms of the draft (document A/52/L.14), the Assembly, convinced that the Democratic Republic of the Congo needs urgent international assistance to rehabilitate and reconstruct its damaged economy, would urgently appeal to all Member States, the specialized agencies and other United Nations organizations, as well as international development and financial institutions, to contribute generously, through bilateral or multilateral channels, to the country's rehabilitation and reconstruction. Those bodies, as well as international development and financial institutions, would be asked to urgently consider the establishment of a programme of assistance for the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Among numerous other provisions, the draft would have the Assembly decide to include in the provisional agenda of its next session, under the item on the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, a sub-item entitled "Special assistance for the economic recovery and reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of the Congo".
By the terms of a second draft resolution (document A/52/L.16), sponsored by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Assembly would express deep concern at the grave social, economic, health and ecological impact of the massive and unexpected presence of refugees in Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania. It would commend those countries for their sacrifices and continuing commitment to assist refugees, notwithstanding their limited resources. The Assembly would seek from all States and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and the international financial and development institutions, the provision of financial, technical and material assistance to help restore the basic services destroyed in the countries receiving refugees. The Secretary-General would be asked to submit to the General Assembly a follow-up report at its next session.
Sustainable Development of Central America
The Secretary-General's report (document A/52/297) describes cooperation activities of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), from July 1995
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to July 1997, in supporting efforts by Central American Countries to implement a new programme of sustainable regional development. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the report says, Central America registered a downturn in economic growth in 1996. The overall slump triggered a rise in urban unemployment. The outlook in 1997 is for moderate improvement in economic growth with countries maintaining prudent fiscal and monetary policies, to reduce fiscal deficits and inflation.
The UNDP launched a new programme of cooperation in Central America in 1996, financed by UNDP core resources and third-party sources including Spain, Italy, the European Union, Sweden and Norway. Agency programmes contributed to national reconciliation, reform of democratic institutions and, with civil society participation, consensus-building in sustainable human development. Attention was given to human rights; the rule of law; local justice; public security; financial administration reform; tax administration modernization; socio-economic reintegration of former combatants, demobilized military personnel and wounded war victims; and resettlement of uprooted population groups.
In the area of socio-economic development, the UNDP implemented the programme for sustainable human development at the local level and supported States efforts towards decentralization and modernization. Regional governments are helped in agricultural modernization and rural-sectoral reform to strengthen sustainable development.
Reconstruction and Development of El Salvador
According to the report of the Secretary-General (document A/52/433) on United Nations efforts to promote the consolidation of peace, reconstruction and development in El Salvador, there has been a decline since 1995 in funding to consolidate peace. Several donors focused on strengthening new democratic institutions. Some programmes, however, were impeded because of, among other things, delays in funding; lack of progress of other initiatives; and the specific nature of the projects. The main programmes for reconstruction and the strengthening of democratic institutions address economic and social reintegration of former combatants of the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) and demobilized members of the armed forces.
There is assistance to landholders, including rural and urban integration; care for the war disabled; help for communities affected by the conflict, as well as the strengthening of democratic institutions, including the judicial system, the electoral process, public security and human rights.
The report says that from the beginning, reintegration projects have been plagued by administrative, financial and political delays. Crucial aspects of agricultural reintegration, including land transfer, investment credits, improvement in economic and social infrastructure and the lack of housing and basic services, have not been resolved. Priority must be given to
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ensuring the operation of democratic institutions in the spirit in which they were created or reformed.
Without external cooperation, the report continues, there is little likelihood of consolidating the peace process and guaranteeing democratic governance. While donors responded generously to the request for the funding of projects related to major infrastructure, the improvement of social services and compensation, the response had fallen short of the amount required to complete other programmes.
By the terms of the draft resolution (document A/52/L.34), the General Assembly would note with satisfaction the renewed expression by the Government of El Salvador and all political forces of their political will to consolidate peace and development in a complex context, and the efforts to develop programmes and projects of economic and social benefits aimed at the maintenance and consolidation of peace, the strengthening of democracy and sustainable development. It would urge the Government of El Salvador and all political forces to make every effort to support the development of medium- term and long-term national programmes and strategies, particularly social welfare projects, designed to improve the lives of the most vulnerable segments of the population.
It would also recognize the need for continuing international support and cooperation as a complement to national efforts in El Salvador to overcome the profound causes of the situation and fundamental obstacles to the consolidation of a fully democratic State.
The sponsors of the draft resolution are Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay.
Economic Rehabilitation of Angola
The Secretary-General's report (document A/52/563) describes humanitarian assistance activities carried out in Angola up to 30 September 1997, and highlights progress in humanitarian activities and demobilization in the context of the Lusaka Protocol.
At the beginning of 1996, the report says, security risks declined and humanitarian activities began to expand into previously inaccessible areas. Owing to delays in the implementation of other political and military tasks associated with the Lusaka Protocol, demobilization did not begin until September 1996. Throughout 1996 and 1997, the international community has urged the two parties to the conflict to complete the tasks required by the Protocol. In late 1996 and early 1997, progress was made in satisfying the commitments of the Protocol, including the quartering of more than 78,000 National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) troops. There was additional progress in the demobilization of under-age military personnel and in initiating the rapid demobilization plan.
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On 11 April 1997, the Government of Unity and National Reconciliation was formed and efforts begun to transform UNITA from a guerrilla movement into a political party. However, clashes between government forces and those of UNITA in the diamond-rich Lunda Norte province in May have threatened the peace and raised questions regarding the commitment of the parties to bring the peace process to a successful conclusion.
Despite the prevailing tense situation throughout Angola and the recent stalemate in the peace process, the report continues, humanitarian organizations have continued to implement their programmes, with a mix of both emergency and reconstruction projects under way in both government-controlled and UNITA-controlled areas. Unfortunately, increased insecurity has led to a slowdown of large-scale rehabilitation projects and delayed resettlement plans for the one million internally displaced persons and 300,000 Angolan refugees in neighbouring countries.
The report also details areas such as the political and military developments affecting humanitarian relief efforts, and notes assistance by Member States and other donors, including China, Ireland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Reconstruction of Madagascar After Natural Disasters
The report of the Secretary-General (document A/52/562) describes relief measures undertaken following cyclones, floods and locust infestations in Madagascar since 1994, and details contributions by donor countries, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations. Substantial external financial support is required, the report says, to support Madagascar's national fund for natural disasters. The development of a reliable system for monitoring and early warning of the level of staple and other food stocks has added urgency owing to the likely impact on Madagascar of the current El Niño phenomenon.
The international community's response to relief needs in the aftermath of disasters has been consistently good, but assistance with vital rehabilitation and durable reconstruction efforts has not been of the desired level. The report says, the United Nations system will continue to mobilize the international community to address outstanding issues that will enhance Madagascar's capacity to manage the effects of recurrent natural disasters. An appraisal and planning mission by the Department of Humanitarian Affairs and UNDP during 1997 will lay the foundations of comprehensive, multi-sectoral disaster reduction management, drawing upon international and local expertise.
Report on Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
The Secretary-General's report on economic assistance to States affected by the implementation of Security Council sanctions on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (document A/52/535) says three donor conferences raised a total of
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$3 billion. The lifting of sanctions had led to a gradual resumption of economic ties with the Republic, easing the burden on neighbouring and other States in the region. However, Bulgaria and Ukraine said they suffered serious economic losses as a result of the sanctions, particularly from the disruption of traditional transport links in the region. They called on the international community to address the special economic needs of affected third States, especially through enhanced regional economic cooperation, transport and infrastructure development, trade and investment promotion, and participation of the affected countries in the reconstruction of the former Yugoslavia.
The report says neighbouring and other affected countries should be encouraged to participate more actively in the rehabilitation, reconstruction and development of the former Yugoslavia. The focus of the United Nations humanitarian assistance programme in former Yugoslavia has shifted from emergency relief to the return of refugees and displaced persons and supporting capacity-building. United Nations peacekeeping missions in the region still issue tenders that are open to countries affected by the sanctions. The international donor community's focus on sustainable investments and reforms will help restore and promote economic cooperation with and among all States of the former Yugoslavia and other countries in southeastern Europe.
Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Liberia
According to the Secretary-General's report on emergency assistance to Liberia (document A/52/678) the humanitarian situation there has improved substantially since the April-May 1996 hostilities in Monrovia. For the first time in their 150-year history as an independent nation, Liberians voted on 19 July for Presidential and legislative representatives in internationally supervised and generally free and fair elections. Subregional diplomacy and political leverage backed by military force deserved much credit. Humanitarian diplomacy, advocacy and relief work also contributed significantly.
The report says that, although their resources were looted or destroyed during the civil war, the United Nations and its humanitarian assistance partners have persevered in helping the war-affected people of Liberia. Critical contributions during the last year include helping contain cholera and measles outbreaks, halting mass starvation in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties, pressuring factions to allow assistance to reach the needy and successful efforts to demobilize and reintegrate former combatants.
According to the report, positive political developments pose new challenges to the humanitarian community as previously inaccessible areas open up. Future assistance activities will focus on facilitating voluntary return and resettlement of the internally displaced and Liberian refugees. The United Nations is also working to fully integrate participants in the war into
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civil society, based on their declared wishes. Positive expectations must be balanced against the deteriorating situation in Sierra Leone and its possible repercussions for Liberia. Relief work will need to continue for some time to meet the remaining needs of vulnerable groups.
Reconstruction and Development of Lebanon
In reviewing the situation in Lebanon between July 1996 and June 1997, the Secretary-General's report (document E/1997/96) notes that the operating environment for national recovery and development activities was more difficult because of events in southern Lebanon, compounded by the effects of the deadlocked regional peace process. Economic activity in 1996 was characterized by a marked slowdown, notwithstanding the efforts of the national authorities to modernize financial and economic legislation to encourage investment in Lebanon and to open international markets to Lebanese exports.
The scope and volume of United Nations system activities increased by around 25 per cent in 1996, to just under $20 million. That represented a modest contribution, well below 10 per cent, of the overall development assistance effort. "The international community has given a clear signal it will support Lebanon and the reconstruction process", the document concludes.
By the terms of the draft resolution (document A/52/L.36), the Assembly, reaffirming the pressing need to continue assistance to the Government of Lebanon for the reconstruction of the country and the recovery of its human and economic potential, would appeal to all Member States and the United Nations system to intensify their efforts with a view to considering an increase of all forms of support, including financial grants and soft loans. In particular, donor countries would be requested to consider playing a full part in the consultative group to be established on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Lebanon.
The Assembly would also call on all organizations and the United Nations system to support governmental national capacity-building and institutional renewal for social reconstruction and development, environmental management, public services provision and support for private-sector development, and for implementing priority field-based programmes in the rehabilitation and reintegration of displaced persons and in the reconstruction and development of Baalbeck-Hermel and the south Lebanon region.
Lastly, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its next session through the Economic and Social Council's 1998 substantive sessions, on the implementation of the present resolution.
The sponsors of the draft resolution are Algeria, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea,
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Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Saudi Arabia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Yemen.
Reconstruction and Development of Djibouti
The Secretary-General's report (document A/52/434) says Djibouti's difficulties and problems are related first and foremost to the conflicts in the Horn of Africa, which have created a large movement of displaced popula- tions and reduced the country's revenues as a result of loss of trade and services. In addition, recurring emergencies, such as droughts, floods and epidemics, combined with large-scale destruction of livestock, water sources and health and education facilities as a result of the war in the country, have considerably increased Djibouti's emergency and humanitarian needs.
According to the report, as a result of a major repatriation programme to Ethiopia and a more stringent national policy, the pressure from refugees, displaced persons and illegal immigrants has been somewhat alleviated. However, the problem of displaced persons resulting from the civil strife (1991-1994) remains and needs to be adequately addressed through specific actions, including the rehabilitation of affected areas and reintegration schemes for the returnees.
The immediate need, the report states, is for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged or destroyed social infrastructures (schools, dispensaries, water facilities) in all regions that have been affected by civil strife. The report also describes the operational activities of various United Nations agencies, including United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Food Programme (WFP), and World Health Organization (WHO) in Djibouti. It concludes by requesting the international community to provide financial support to enable the continuation of the technical assistance projects, in order to meet urgent socio-economic programmes for the reconstruction and development process in Djibouti.
Economic and Social Rehabilitation of Somalia
According to the Secretary-General's report on humanitarian relief and the economic and social rehabilitation of Somalia (document A/52/532), the overall humanitarian situation in that country -- despite progress since the tragic months of 1992 -- remains an enormous challenge to the international community. The absence of a national government and effective civil institutions impede any sustained, comprehensive development. Much more would have been accomplished, the report adds, if the country was not hostage to the vagaries of a few powerful individuals. Although conflict between militia has diminished in parts of the country, civilians and United Nations and non-governmental organizations personnel are still threatened, and relief and recovery efforts are disrupted because of the general climate of lawlessness.
Hundreds of thousands of people need humanitarian assistance, including over 250,000 internally displaced persons. The lack of national
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reconciliation prevents the repatriation of large numbers of refugees in neighbouring countries and beyond, which threatens regional stability.
There is little hope for the immediate future, the report says. Besides peace initiatives, such as the planned Bossaso national reconciliation conference which could lead to the formation of a broad-based government with the participation of all major factions, progress is elusive. However, there are some positive trends to build on, including zones of relative stability and regions of recovery and transition. The direction taken by those areas in the near future is critical for the country as a whole.
The report says, Somali leaders must reaffirm their commitment to peace and ensure the protection of the civilian population who are often the victims of wanton violence. The international community needs to reiterate its support for humanitarian efforts. Despite the political impasse, hundreds of thousands of Somali citizens remain in dire need.
Not long ago, the report goes on, the international community spent billions of dollars in response to the immense humanitarian tragedy in Somalia. Although the country is in much better shape, progress will remain fragile without continued nurturing and reinforcement. The Secretary-General urges the international community to ensure that past gains are preserved and strengthened.
Assistance to Rwanda
The Secretary-General's report on international assistance to Rwanda for the reintegration of returning refugees, the restoration of total peace, reconstruction and socio-economic development (document A/52/568) says significant progress was made in providing humanitarian assistance in that country in 1996 and 1997, despite the enormous humanitarian needs confronting the Government and the humanitarian community. The difficulties associated with the return and reintegration of 1.35 million refugees, compounded by persistent and severe security problems, challenged the Government and humanitarian organizations alike.
The report says the Joint Reintegration Programming Unit established by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will help the country with reintegration efforts through the transitional phase that links relief and return of refugees to development.
On the question of the rehabilitation, reconstruction and socio-economic development of the country, the report outlines the situation in a number of areas, including agriculture, food production and food security, reintegration, water and sanitation, education, women and children, health, and nutrition. Rwanda's greatest challenge, it states, is coping with the legacy of the genocide. A promising start has been made on reintegration
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programmes, but substantial additional resources and, more important, a cessation of violence and sustained reconciliation initiatives are required if reintegration is to succeed. An immediate priority is the justice sector, where tens of thousands languish in prisons awaiting improvements in the capacity of the system to handle their cases.
While the emphasis is clearly on rehabilitation and reconstruction programmes, there are still significant humanitarian assistance needs, the report says. Rwanda has received considerable support for humanitarian aid programmes from donors, including the European Union, United States, Norway, Germany, Canada and Sweden. The response of the international community to humanitarian requirements in Rwanda has been admirable but much remains to be done. Continued support of these programmes is necessary in order to ensure at least minimal assistance to the populations most in need.
Emergency Assistance to the Sudan
The Secretary-General's report on emergency assistance to the Sudan (document A/52/525), covering the period October 1996-July 1997, states that in spite of efforts by several parties to find a peaceful solution to the ongoing civil conflict, fighting among the warring parties intensified. This further destabilized and degraded the lives of millions of Sudanese civilians, and further exacerbated the humanitarian crisis, putting intense pressure on millions of people already living below subsistence levels. Widespread malnutrition and a spread in infectious diseases continued to affect populations at risk, especially those displaced by war. In addition, large parts of northern Sudan suffered extensive drought, placing more than two million Sudanese at risk of serious hunger.
The main constraints limiting relief efforts under Operation Lifeline Sudan were related to restrictions imposed by one or more of the parties as well as funding shortages. According to the report, despite the constraints faced by the humanitarian agencies, Operation Lifeline Sudan and partner non-governmental organizations reduced the risk of widespread hunger in war and drought-affected areas. They also supported and coordinated a wide range of relief and rehabilitation activities in the sectors of primary health care, household food security, livestock health, water and sanitation, emergency education, children in especially difficult circumstances, gender and development, capacity-building, humanitarian principles and child rights.
The report also details political and military developments affecting humanitarian relief efforts, access restrictions, internally displaced persons, non-governmental organizations, relief food assistance, non-food assistance, and assistance to refugees. It describes actions by Member States, including Italy, Ireland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The report concludes by calling for the establishment of specific modalities for the participation of the parties.
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Assistance for Tajikistan
The Secretary-General's report on emergency assistance for peace, normalcy and rehabilitation in Tajikistan (document A/52/500) notes the successful conclusion of the inter-Tajik talks in June. Since then, it says, international assistance has shifted to promoting peace, reconciliation and sustainable development. Outlining cooperation between United Nations agencies, the Tajik Government and international organizations to implement humanitarian, rehabilitation and development programmes, the report says restoration of basic services and infrastructure will require support from the international community and renewed commitment by the Government. The United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Donor Alert, which sought $22 million to cover urgent humanitarian needs from December 1996 to May 1997, has been extended through December. Tajikistan's humanitarian needs will continue in the near future, and a full-scale inter-agency appeal for 12 months beginning in January 1998 is planned. Adequate food stocks, medical supplies and other relief items will be critical during the winter.
Serious security incidents and military activity affect humanitarian agencies in parts of the country, the report adds, notably in the Garm and Tavildara areas and Khatlon province. The Secretary-General urges the Tajik Government to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of United Nations and other international humanitarian personnel.
Assistance for Burundi: draft resolution
By the terms of the draft resolution on emergency assistance for the economic recovery and reconstruction of Burundi (document A/52/L.37), the Assembly, deeply fearing the possible deterioration of the economic and social situation in that country, would urgently appeal to all States, the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and to humanitarian agencies to resume humanitarian assistance programmes and development programmes with the Republic of Burundi.
The draft, sponsored by Lesotho, would also request the Secretary- General, in consultation with all interested parties, including the countries of the Great Lakes region and the other Member States of the United Nations, as well as with the Organization of African Unity and the international humanitarian agencies, to ensure the speedy and unfettered distribution of all humanitarian assistance to the vulnerable sectors of Burundi, victims of the war.
The Assembly would invite the Government of Burundi to introduce a programme of economic and social rehabilitation and reconstruction economic of infrastructures necessary to improve the living conditions of all the people of Burundi. The UNDP would be asked to take appropriate steps to organize a round table on external assistance for Burundi.
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Assistance to the Palestinian People
The report of the Secretary-General (document A/52/159) covers the period from June 1996 through May 1997 and describes assistance received by Palestinians, an assessment of their unmet needs and specific proposals for responding to them. During the review period, the Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories focused on: coordinating and targeting donor-funded projects in unemployment, related socio-economic hardship, and employment generation development projects; working with development partners to provide budgetary support to the Palestinian Authority; strengthening institution- building programmes and technical assistance in sustainable development; encouraging greater private-sector involvement in economic development and employment generation; and expediting donor disbursements.
The report gives an overview of the unmet needs of Palestinians in the occupied territories, including the priority areas of education, employment generation, health, infrastructure and housing, institution-building and the private sector. It describes efforts to establish a local aid coordination committee, to enable donors to report on their activities and for the Palestinian Authority to provide updates on the budget deficit. The third United Nations inter-agency meeting in Gaza, in April 1996, established priorities for United Nations 1997 assistance programmes and presented proposals for addressing unmet needs. Preparation of the Palestinian Development Plan for 1998-2000 began early this year.
"White Helmets" Initiative
The Secretary-General's report on the proposed participation of volunteers -- "White Helmets" -- in United Nations humanitarian relief, rehabilitation and technical cooperation activities (document A/52/586), addresses the technical, institutional and financial viability of the initiative. Through a broad range of programmes, it says, the "White Helmets" initiative has proved to be an increasingly valuable mechanism in facilitating the identification and recruitment of skilled and integrated volunteer teams in support of activities of the United Nations system. Within a short period of time, it has developed from an idea into a functioning capacity, in support of international assistance and mobilization efforts throughout the world. It brings a wide range of expertise into areas stricken by disasters and crises throughout the world, allowing resources to be organized according to requirements in each country setting while providing a critical link to building local capacity.
The report summarizes activities undertaken to date in various areas, including Angola, Haiti, Lebanon, the Palestinian Occupied Territories and Rwanda, as well as describing the institutional arrangements of the "White Helmets". The report states that the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) have a separate account, to receive and administer funds for UNV/"White Helmets" activities. Funds can be contributed either by the public sector, Member
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States or international organizations, directly or through the consolidated inter-agency appeal process, or by the private sector, through individual or institutional donations.
Member States are encouraged to examine opportunities for further application of this mechanism and to offer suitably qualified candidates to strengthen further the human resource base of the UNV/"White Helmets" programme. Its viability depends on additional funds, the report continues, and it is, therefore, hoped that contributions to the special window of the Special Voluntary Fund will be forthcoming from both governments and private sources.
By the terms of the draft resolution (document A/52/L.32), the Assembly would encourage Member States to continue establishment of their respective national focal points for "White Helmets" to provide the United Nations system with an accessible global network of rapid-response facilities in case of humanitarian crises. It would invite Member States and the United Nations system to continue to develop and implement further ways and means to ensure the full integration of the "White Helmets" initiative into their programme activities, particularly those related to humanitarian, disaster and relief assistance and, at the field level, to enhance coordination and support through the United Nations resident coordinator system.
It would request the Secretary-General to identify, within the context of the ongoing reform efforts, the office in New York that will be responsible for the "White Helmets" liaison functions, and report to the Assembly's fifty- fourth session, in the context of the cluster of issues related to the item entitled "Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance", on the actions taken in line with the present resolution.
The sponsors of the draft resolution are Afghanistan, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Georgia, Guyana, Hungary, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Monaco, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, South Africa and Uruguay.
The Secretary-General's report on the Chernobyl disaster, on strengthening relief assistance and mitigating consequences of the disaster (document A/52/537), describes action by the United Nations in 1996-1997, and examines in detail the findings of the international conferences held in commemoration of the disaster's tenth anniversary and of the inter-agency needs assessment mission that visited the affected areas in 1997. Finally, it presents recommendations for future action to improve the quality of life of those affected.
The report states that the needs assessment mission proposed 40 projects focusing on the following areas: minimization of the accident's impact on
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health; socio-psychological rehabilitation; environmental issues, including forests and agriculture; economic rehabilitation; and new information strategy.
It is to be hoped, the report continues, that the international community will pledge cash and/or in-kind contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund for Chernobyl, directly to implementing agencies or on a bilateral basis. The projects, most of which require a relatively modest level of funding, would help bring relief to the many people who have been afflicted by the Chernobyl disaster. Some of them would help reduce the risks to future generations. The programme would translate the commitment expressed in many United Nations resolutions into positive action.
By the terms of the draft resolution (document A/52/L.33), the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to continue his efforts in the implementation of relevant Assembly resolutions and, through existing coordination mechanisms, particularly the United Nations Coordinator of International Cooperation on Chernobyl to maintain close cooperation with United Nations agencies, regional and other relevant organizations. This would be to encourage regular exchange of information, cooperation and coordination of multilateral and bilateral efforts, while implementing programmes and specific projects in the framework of relevant agreements and arrangements.
Further, the draft would urge the United Nations Coordinator of International Cooperation on Chernobyl to continue his efforts on strengthening international cooperation to overcome the health, social, economic and ecological consequences of the Chernobyl disaster in the most affected areas of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, based on the inter-agency programme of international assistance to areas affected by the Chernobyl disaster. It would also call on the Secretary-General to continue the regular exchange of information with the countries concerned, relevant organizations and bodies of the United Nations system, with a view to enhancing world public awareness of the consequences of such disasters.
The sponsors of the draft resolution are Belarus, Russian Federation and Ukraine.
Report of General Committee
The General Assembly decided to include in the agenda of the current session an additional item entitled "Admission of the International Seabed Authority to membership in the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund". It further decided to allocate the item to the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).
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UNCITRAL: Elections to Fill Vacancies
The members of the UNCITRAL whose terms of office expire on 31 May, 1998 are Argentina, Austria, Chile, Ecuador, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Kenya, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain, Sudan, Thailand, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, United States and Uruguay. Those members are eligible for re-election.
Remaining on the Commission are Algeria, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Singapore and the United Kingdom. None of these States are eligible for re-election.
In accordance with the rules of procedure, the Assembly held the election by secret ballot with no nominations.
For the four vacant seats from among the African States, the four endorsed candidates were Burkina Faso, Kenya, the Sudan and Uganda. From among the Asian States, the four endorsed candidates were Fiji, India, Iran and Thailand.
From among the Eastern European States, there were four candidates for three seats: Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and Romania.
For the four seats from among the Latin American and Caribbean States the endorsed candidates were Colombia, Honduras and Paraguay and the Group also endorsed Argentina and Uruguay for the fourth seat on the understanding that they will alternate representation on an annual basis, starting with Argentina.
For the four seats among the Western European and other States, there were five candidates: Austria, Greece, Italy, Spain and the United States.
Since the number of candidates endorsed by the African States, the Asian States and the Latin American and Caribbean States, (with Argentina and Uruguay alternating on an annual basis), corresponded to the number of seats to be filled in each group, the President declared those candidates elected for six-year terms beginning on 1 June, 1998.
The Assembly proceeded to vote by secret ballot to elect three members from the Eastern European States and four members from the Western European and other States.
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Results of Voting
Eastern European States
Number of ballot papers: 164 Number of invalid ballots: 0 Number of valid ballots: 164 Abstentions: 2 Number of Members Voting: 162 Required Majority: 82
Lithuania 133 Hungary 111 Romania 110 Czech Republic 106 Ukraine 2 Slovakia 1
Western European and other States
Number of ballot papers: 164 Number of invalid ballots: 0 Number of valid ballots: 164 Abstentions: 1 Number of Members Voting: 163 Required Majority: 82
Italy 140 Spain 138 Austria 136 United States 115 Greece 96
Having obtained the required majority, the following States were elected members of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law: Austria, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Spain, and United States.
Cooperation with OAU
MACHIVENYIKA T. MAPURANGA (Zimbabwe), speaking in his capacity as representative of the Chairman of the OAU, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, introduced the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU.
He said the text reflected their determination to become more proactive. The desire of the Secretary-General to strengthen such cooperation had resulted in intensive consultations, exchange of information and periodic
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meetings between the United Nations Secretary-General and the OAU Secretary- General. Their efforts had resulted in strengthened cooperation between the two organizations, which had for the first time agreed to institutionalize their meetings. The draft resolution was being tabled after two important meetings in Harare in June and at the United Nations on 25 September, when the Security Council held a ministerial meeting on the situation in Africa. At each meeting, the OAU Chairman spoke on behalf of Africa's people about democratization, peace and security and development. The draft outlined the political and economic challenges facing Africa and the need for the international community to respond in practical terms. It contained specific measures and clear proposals that required urgent action on the part of the United Nations Secretariat in particular, and the international community in general.
Speaking in his capacity as representative of his country, he said the OAU had greatly contributed to the work of the United Nations. Fighting was going on in Sudan, Somalia and the Great Lakes region, and his Government counted on continued support from the United Nations to strengthen the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution created in 1993. Cooperation between the two organizations should be extended beyond peace and security to encompass development.
If scrupulously implemented, the United Nations System-wide Special Initiative on Africa could create an enabling environment for economic growth and prosperity in the continent and strengthen efforts by the United Nations and the OAU to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development. The Africa of the mass media was a tragedy, but the continent was undergoing a renaissance that needed support from the United Nations and the international community.
JEAN-LOUIS WOLZFELD (Luxembourg), speaking on behalf of the European Union (EU) and Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the associated country of Cyprus, welcomed the first ministerial meeting between the Union and the OAU held in New York on 23 June. On 26 and 27 June the President of the Union and the European Commission had visited Addis Ababa to discuss finalizing a project for expanding the ability of the OAU to process the information necessary for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to set a date for a meeting in December in Lusaka. The European Council looked forward to a summit meeting between the Heads of State and Government of the Union and of Africa in 2000. The Union welcomed the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution of the OAU. It was the Africans' responsibility to restore peace on the continent, and important for African countries to take part in peacekeeping missions under Security Council mandates.
The Union provided concrete support in that respect, he said. It would strengthen dialogue with the OAU on early-warning, preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping, respect for human rights, the rule of law, a pluralist society,
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democracy and a culture of tolerance. Therefore, the Union welcomed cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU, including the appointment of the Special Representative of both organizations for the Great Lakes region, Mohamed Sahnoun.
The Union was in favour of convening an international conference on the situation in the Great Lakes region under United Nations and OAU auspices, he said. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Union urged President Laurent-Desire Kabila to organize elections within the two-year period announced and to facilitate the work of humanitarian organizations. The Union also called for a restarting of the democratic process in the Republic of the Congo. It also expressed concern over the situation in Sierra Leone and called on the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to ensure sanctions against that country were imposed in compliance with Security Council resolution 1132 (1997). He also expressed concern over the situation in Angola. It was imperative for UNITA to comply with the Lusaka Protocol, which was voluntarily signed. He called on UNITA to comply with resolutions 1127 (1997) and 1135 (1997), adding that the Union was itself taking measures to impose sanctions in compliance with them.
Aid granted by the Union under the Lome Convention and other sources meant that today it was the world's leading aid donor to Africa, he said. Its contribution accounted for over 60 per cent of total aid to sub-Saharan Africa by countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). For its part, Africa must accept responsibility for sustainable development and prosperity. Each government must ensure that its people enjoyed basic rights and freedoms and create conditions for economic growth.
MOSES M. DLAMINI (Swaziland) said the United Nations had a primary aim to expand peaceful change, so that Member States did not resort to violence, by providing the means through which conflicts might be contained and resolved and by dealing with their root causes. The strategy of cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU offered great potential. Swaziland was encouraged by the continuing cooperation between the United Nations system, funds, and programmes in the field of economic and social development. Efforts by the United Nations and the international community to avert the difficulties faced by African countries were displayed in numerous initiatives, such as the United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development; the United Nations System-wide Special Initiative on Africa; and the Tokyo Declaration and Programme for Action. The implementation approaches, work programmes and resource mobilization strategies should be closely followed to ensure that their goals did not remain visionary.
He said only a few donor countries had lived up to their commitments; otherwise official development assistance (ODA) was on the decline, and African countries had yet to benefit from the recent international trade expansion and growth in foreign investment. The important question was when.
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Swaziland and most African countries had committed themselves to the establishment of sound institutional structures. Adherence to the principle of accountability had widely increased in the continent. The climate for trade and investment would be right and rewarding to foreign entrepreneurs. For such reasons, it was morally correct for developed countries to fulfil their commitments. The UNDP donation of $3 million towards capacity-building of the OAU Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution would strengthen the OAU's financial capacity to carry out earmarked projects in that area. However, budgetary allocations devoted to conflict prevention activities involving women were insufficient, as more than 20 million refugees fleeing African conflicts were women and children.
MASAKI KONISHI (Japan) said that recognizing that peace and development were inextricably related, Japan was taking two initiatives which it hoped would strengthen the cooperative efforts of the United Nations and regional organizations, and particularly the OAU, in both of those areas. First, was an international conference on strategies for conflict prevention, to which would be invited international experts and representatives of interested Member States, to be convened in January 1998 in Japan. He anticipated that the conference, focusing mainly on the African region, would produce concrete proposals as to how to resolve conflicts through cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU. The fundamental solution of conflicts in Africa required that development was set firmly on track and poverty eradicated. Bearing that in mind, Japan had been focusing its efforts on African development issues and was planning the Second Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD II), to be convened at the ministerial level next year.
Many of the issues which the United Nations, particularly the Security Council, was called on to address, were African problems, he said. It was fitting that the Council meet at the ministerial level in September to discuss the situation in Africa, and he now looked forward to the Secretary-General's report on the sources of conflict in Africa to be submitted early next year. Japan was working to foster a greater cooperative relationship between the OAU and the international community in the effort to tackle the complex cause of conflicts. Also, Japan was consulting closely with the OAU to determine how, in addition to its contribution to the OAU Peace Fund, it could provide assistance in the areas of development cooperation, conflict prevention and post-conflict peace-building in Africa.
FERNANDO PETRELLA (Argentina) expressed recognition of and support to the OAU for its tireless efforts to promote democracy, peace and development in Africa. The OAU had established the prerequisites to achieve such goals. Argentina had experienced economic insecurity and a closed market, so it understood the efforts of the countries of the OAU. Argentina had strengthened bilateral relations with many African countries and also improved trade relations. The OAU had responded in a supportive and active way to find peaceful solutions to disputes. Argentina would do its utmost and be present
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in Africa to actively contribute to promoting peace and security, humanitarian assistance and electoral assistance. His country had provided electoral monitors in the first free and fair elections in South Africa.
At the ministerial meeting of the Security Council on 25 September, Argentina had reiterated active support to the international community's efforts to promote development in Africa, he said. As the Secretary-General mentioned in his speech last week on the occasion of Africa Industrialization Day, Africa had experienced the highest economic growth rate in over 20 years. Without African initiatives, no efforts in the areas of decolonization, disarmament, human rights and development by the United Nations in the continent could be realized.
DURI MOHAMMED (Ethiopia) said many African countries had taken far- reaching measures to promote good governance, democratization, popular participation and political pluralism. They had also undertaken individual and collective efforts to grapple with socio-economic development challenges by introducing bold economic reform measures, which were often painful. Such efforts required a supportive international environment to succeed, and cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) should be seen in that light.
He said it was encouraging that United Nations system support to Africa had increased in the last year. While the United Nations had primary responsibility in the maintenance of international peace and security, regional organizations, such as the OAU, could also play an important role in preventing and resolving conflicts in their own region.
He said cooperation between the OAU and the United Nations system should aim to ensure support for implementation of programmes adopted by African Governments rather than formulating new and sometimes conflicting ones. Politically, Africa had to establish the necessary political stability for economic integration and socio-economic development. That required good governance, peace, justice, as well as preventing, managing and resolving conflicts. While achievements by African countries in those areas in recent years had been encouraging, contributions by the United Nations system in cooperation with the OAU to the efforts of African countries remained indispensable.
DAVID RUBADIRI (Malawi) aid he was gratified that cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU had continued to increase, and paid tribute to the Secretaries-General of the two organizations for their commitment to advancing collaboration in various areas.
African countries continued to pursue the issues of governance, peace and security with determined vigour and commitment, he said. He was encouraged by the continued participation of the United Nations in Africa's efforts towards democratization and peace-building. He recognized the ongoing
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cooperative efforts by the United Nations in the areas of economic and social development. The various actors should spare no effort in lending support to the continent as it strove towards economic betterment. The effective implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s, and the United Nations System-wide Special Initiative, would be a step in the right direction. He said he fully welcomed the draft resolution, whose thrust was the strengthening of cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU.
SVEIN AASS (Norway) said there was a need to further strengthen the cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU in the fields outlined in the Secretary-General's report. The United Nations had a special responsibility towards Africa. It was tragic that many parts of the continent had been the scene of violent conflicts resulting in death and destruction. It was also unfortunate that situations, like the Republic of the Congo, could not have been prevented from escalating into the tragedies of great magnitude that they had become. Member states of the OAU were the major players in promoting peace, democracy and development on the continent, he said. The international community, through the United Nations, should strengthen coordination and cooperation with the OAU. He commended the appointment of a Special Representative to the Great Lakes Region. Efforts should be made to ensure full coordination between the agencies of the United Nations and the sub-agencies of various African organizations. Norway would give the highest priority in its development cooperation to assist Africa bilaterally and through various United Nations initiatives.
SAMUEL AMEHOU (Benin) said the draft resolution reflected the dynamism of cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU, as well as the ability of the two organizations to adapt to developments on the continent. Successful examples of cooperation included the peaceful settlement of the conflicts in Liberia and the gradual normalization of the situation in the Central African Republic and the Great Lakes region.
He said an integrated approach, including economic and social development, the recovery of economies ruined by conflicts, rehabilitation and reconstruction and the establishment of a rapid conflict prevention system at the country level, was necessary. Peace as "the absence of conflict" could not guarantee prosperity. The only way Africa could finally achieve development was by solving the problems of debt servicing, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and economic and social growth. Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe had highlighted all of those aspects at the Security Council ministerial meeting, as well as during the general debate at the present session of the General Assembly.
ALI HACHANI (Tunisia) said one example of increased cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU was the ministerial level meeting of the Security Council devoted to African problems. The Presidential Statement adopted at that meeting reflected the desire for a stronger partnership
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between the two organizations in the areas of conflict resolution and peacekeeping. His Government supported the proposal to create an OAU liaison office to facilitate information exchanges and coordinate actions of the organizations.
Regional and subregional bodies were playing an increasing role in peacekeeping and conflict resolution, he said. Cooperation on peace between the United Nations and the OAU was fundamental to ensure the success of those activities. Security and sustainable development went hand in hand; there could not be one without the other. The best way to prevent conflicts was to promote development.
He said globalization was hampering the efforts of many African countries to grow economically and become integrated into the world economy. The international community should, therefore, provide development aid to Africa. Special attention must be paid to the debt burden of many African countries and efforts must be made to reverse the downward trend in official development assistance. It was difficult to implement projects and programmes developed by the United Nations for Africa. For example, the United Nations Agenda for Development was foundering because of a lack of resources.
The Vice-President of the Assembly, Jargalsaikhany Enkhsaikhan (Mongolia) announced that the Netherlands had joined the list of co-sponsors of the draft on cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU.
The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution without a vote.
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