ASSEMBLY URGES GLOBAL COOPERATION ON LIKELY EFFECTS OF YEAR 2000 COMPUTER PROBLEM; RISKS TO POORER COUNTRIES STRESSED

7 December 1998
GA/9528

ASSEMBLY URGES GLOBAL COOPERATION ON LIKELY EFFECTS OF YEAR 2000 COMPUTER PROBLEM; RISKS TO POORER COUNTRIES STRESSED

7 December 1998

Press ReleaseGA/9528

ASSEMBLY URGES GLOBAL COOPERATION ON LIKELY EFFECTS OF YEAR 2000 COMPUTER PROBLEM; RISKS TO POORER COUNTRIES STRESSED

19981207 Texts on Safety of Humanitarian Personnel, Aid for Developing Nations, Links with OAU Also Adopted; Committee Vacancies Filled

Emphasizing that the Year 2000 computer date conversion problem could have wide-ranging effects not only on computers, but also on practically all important areas of human activities, the General Assembly this afternoon requested all Member States to urgently increase their efforts to solve the "Millennium Bug" problem, and appealed to them to forge global cooperation to ensure a timely and effective response to the challenge.

Adopting without a vote a draft resolution on the issue introduced by the representative of Pakistan, the Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to ensure that all parts of the United Nations system take steps to make their computers and equipment with embedded microprocessors Year 2000-compliant. The text said the Organization should closely monitor actual and potential sources of funding to support the efforts of the developing countries, and countries with economies in transition, to address the problem. Steps should be taken to facilitate the dissemination of information to the Member States.

Speaking for the Group of 77 developing countries and China, the representative of Indonesia said developing countries lacked adequate resources to deal with a problem of such magnitude. Since they would be the most negatively impacted, because of their vulnerable position, they would need assistance both in the form of technical know-how and financial resources.

For the European Union and associated States, the representative of Austria told the Assembly that the meeting of national coordinators on the problem, which would be held by the Open-ended Working Group on Informatics on Friday this week, would permit a valuable exchange of information. That kind of networking was indispensable to minimize the impact of the Millennium Bug. Nobody could afford to be complacent. Priority must be given to "mission- critical systems", and to stress that contingency planning would be crucial for quickly overcoming the inevitable problems.

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The representatives of Singapore, India, Venezuela, Syria, Senegal, Lesotho, Japan, United States, Chile, Panama and Russian Federation also spoke on the issue.

In other action this afternoon, the Assembly, acting on the recommendations of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), made a number of appointments to fill vacancies on the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), the Committee on Contributions, the Board of Auditors, the Investments Committee, the United Nations Administrative Tribunal and the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC).

The Assembly appointed Nazareth A. Incera (Costa Rica), Ahmad Kamal (Pakistan), Rajat Saha (India), Nicholas A. Thorne (United Kingdom), Fumiaki Toya (Japan) and Gian Luigi Valenza (Italy) as members of the ACABQ for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 1999.

Pieter Johannes Bierma (Netherlands), Paul Ekorong A. Ndong (Cameroon), Neil Hewitt Francis (Australia) and Henry Hanson-Hall (Ghana) were appointed as members of the Committee on Contributions for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 1999. The Assembly also appointed Sergio Chaparro Ruiz (Chile) from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2000, Bernardo Greiver (Uruguay) from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2001, and Eduardo Iglesias (Argentina) from 1 January to 31 December 1999 and from 1 January to 31 December 2001.

The Assembly appointed the Chairman of the Commission of Audit of the Philippines as a member of the Board of Auditors for a three-year term of office beginning on 1 July 1999.

The Assembly confirmed the appointment by the Secretary-General of Yves Oltramare (Switzerland), Emmanuel Noi Omaboe (Ghana), and Jurgen Reimnitz (Germany) as members of the Investments Committee for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 1999.

The Assembly appointed Kevin Haugh (Ireland) and Deborah Taylor Ashford (United States) to the United Nations Administrative Tribunal for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 1999.

The Assembly appointed Mohsen Bel Hadj Amor (Tunisia), Turkia Daddah (Mauritania), Wolfgang Stockl (Germany), Carlos S. Vegega (Argentina) and Eugeniusz Wyzner (Poland) to the ICSC for a four-year term beginning 1 January 1999. It also designated Mohsen Bel Hadj Amor as Chairman of the Commission and Carlos S. Vegega as Vice-Chairman for four-year terms beginning on 1 January 1999.

The Assembly then adopted six draft resolutions and one draft decision submitted under the agenda item on humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including economic assistance.

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By the terms of a text on safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel, introduced by the representative of Austria, on behalf of the European Union, the Assembly strongly condemned any act or failure to act which prevented such personnel from discharging their functions. It called on Governments and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel to allow them to efficiently perform their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons. The text was adopted without a vote.

In adopting without a vote a draft on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations, introduced by the representative of Sweden, the Assembly called on the United Nations system, Governments and non-governmental organizations (NGO) to cooperate with the Secretary-General and the Emergency Relief Coordinator to ensure timely implementation of and follow-up to conclusions agreed by the Economic and Social Council.

In adopting without a vote a draft on assistance to Djibouti, introduced by the representative of Morocco, the Assembly noted the implementation of the structural adjustment programme by that country and appealed to all Governments, international financial institutions, specialized agencies of the United Nations system and NGOs to respond adequately to the country's financial and material needs.

By the terms of a text on assistance to Tajikistan, the Assembly strongly condemned the murders of four members of the United Nations Mission of Observers in that country, and urged the parties to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of United Nations and other international humanitarian personnel as well as the safety and security of their premises. It also encouraged Member States and other concerned to continue assistance to alleviate the urgent humanitarian needs of Tajikistan and to offer support to that country for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of its economy. The text was adopted without a vote.

Also adopted without a vote was a text on assistance for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, introduced by the representative of Senegal. The Assembly called for a peaceful solution to the conflict in that country, and supported regional diplomatic initiatives aimed at peaceful settlement of the situation. In addition, the Assembly encouraged the Government to pursue sound macroeconomic policies and to promote good governance and the rule of law, and also urged the Government and people to exert all efforts for economic recovery and reconstruction despite the ongoing armed conflict.

By the terms of a draft on assistance to the Palestinian people, introduced by the representative of Austria (on behalf of the European Union), the Assembly called on the United Nations system to intensify their assistance in response to the urgent needs of the Palestinian people, in accordance with

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the Palestinian priorities set forth by the Palestinian Authority. It also called on the international donor community to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance to the Palestinian people to meet their urgent needs. The text was adopted without a vote.

The Assembly adopted a draft decision on assistance to the Palestinian people, introduced by the representative of Egypt, by a vote of 131 in favour to 4 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and United States) with 0 abstentions. (For details of voting see Annex.)

By its terms, the Assembly requested that the Secretary-General continue to use the term "Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem", when appropriate, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions, in relevant reports to the General Assembly, including the report under the item entitled "Assistance to the Palestinian people".

In adopting without a vote a draft resolution on the implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s, introduced by the representative of Senegal, the Assembly urged all States, international and multilateral organizations, financial institutions and development funds and programmes of the United Nations system, as well as intergovernmental organizations and NGOs, to urgently take concrete and effective measures to implement fully the recommendations contained in the report of the Assembly's Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole for the Mid-term Review of the Implementation of the New Agenda.

The Assembly, in adopting without a vote a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU), introduced by the representative of Burkina Faso, urged all States and international subregional organizations to implement actively the recommendations of the Assembly's Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole for the Mid-term Review of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s, as adopted by the Assembly at its fifty-first session.

It also urged the Secretary-General, Member States, regional, international and non-governmental organizations to support the operations of the African Economic Community, its popularization and the strengthening of institutional support. Further, the Assembly urged the Organization to support the OAU's efforts to expand democracy in Africa.

Also, the Assembly called on the United Nations system to ensure the effective, fair and equitable representation of Africans at senior and policy levels at their respective headquarters and in their regional field operations.

By the terms of a draft on causes of conflict and the promotion of durable and sustainable development in Africa, introduced by the representative of Senegal, the Assembly called on African countries to continue efforts to create an enabling domestic environment for sustainable

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development. It also called on the international community to provide those countries with a substantial increase in the flow of financial resources required to effectively implement the recommendations of the Secretary-General, and call on all parties concerned to cooperate in improving the quality and effectiveness of development assistance from all sources. The text was adopted without a vote.

In adopting without a vote the draft on the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA), the Assembly authorized the renewal of the Mission's mandate from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 1999. It underscored the importance of further complying with the commitments set out in the peace agreements, and called on the parties to implement the commitments they entered into in the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and those in the other peace agreements.

By the terms of another draft resolution on the situation in Central America, also adopted without a vote, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General, the United Nations system and the international community to continue to support and verify the implementation of all peace agreements signed under the Organization's auspices in Guatemala. The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to continue to support the initiatives and activities of Central American Governments, particularly efforts to consolidate peace and democracy through the implementation of a new, comprehensive sustainable development programme and the initiative to establish the Central American Union.

Statements and explanations of vote were made by the representatives of Israel, Russian Federation, Syria, Indonesia (on behalf of the Group of 77 and China) and the United States.

The Acting President of the Assembly, Haji Jemat Ampal (Brunei Darussalam) announced that consideration of the question of the Comorian island of Mayotte and the report of the Committee on Conferences would be taken up at a later date to be announced.

When the Assembly resumes its work at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 8 December, it will take action on two draft resolutions under agenda item 20 (on humanitarian and disaster relief assistance), and consider the Declaration of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity on the aerial and naval military attack against Libya by the United States in April 1986; the questions of armed Israeli aggression against Iraqi military installations; the consequences of Iraqi occupation of and aggression against Kuwait; implementation of the resolutions of the United Nations; launching of global negotiations on international economic cooperation for development; and the situation of democracy and human rights in Haiti.

Assembly Work Programme

The General Assembly meets this afternoon to consider: global implications for the year 2000 date conversion problems of computers; strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations; implementation of the United Nations new agenda for the development of Africa in the 1990s; cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU); causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa; the situation in Central America; appointment of members of the Committee on Conferences; and reports of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

The Assembly had before it related reports and draft resolutions on which it was expected to take action.

Year 2000 Date Conversion Problem

The Assembly had before it the report of the Secretary-General on steps taken within the United Nations system to resolve the year 2000 date conversion problem of computers (document A/53/574), which summarizes various actions taken by the United Nations system to address the problem of the "millennium bug". It also has a related draft resolution (document A/53/L.43 Rev.1). In his report, the Secretary-General states that the problem stems from the fact that many software and hardware systems use only two digits to identify the year. If not converted by the target date of 31 December 1999, these systems will recognize "00" not as the year 2000, but 1900. Electronic systems based on dates will shut down, produce meaningless or misleading results, or revert to some other date. The problem is not limited to computer systems, and it is compounded by the possibility of a domino effect. As a result, critical operations could experience significant disruptions.

The report further states that the General Assembly, at its fifty-second session, adopted resolution 52/233 entitled "Global implications of the year 2000 date conversion problem of computers", which calls upon the Secretary- General to take steps to ensure that all parts of the United Nations system take measures to face the challenge by drawing up a plan of action, and calls upon the Economic and Social Council to prepare guidelines on which Member States can draw in addressing the year 2000 problem. Follow-up action in connection with that resolution is expected to be on the agenda of the Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions meeting scheduled for early 1999.

Also according to the report, the Secretariat has put significant effort into ensuring that all its mission-critical systems continue to operate correctly. Through the Information Technology Services Division within the

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Office of Central Support Services of the Secretariat, departments at Headquarters and at offices away from Headquarters have been made aware of the seriousness of the year 2000 problem, and efforts for its resolution have been coordinated at different levels covering all areas that would be potentially affected. A special project is in charge of the development and implementation of the integrated management information system. In November 1997, a report was prepared by the technology services division at the request of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Informatics of the Economic and Social Council, outlining the approach adopted by the Secretariat for meeting the year 2000 challenge.

Also, according to the report, an independent study is being conducted in order to carry out an overall risk assessment, and to recommend solutions for all affected applications and equipment. The report is expected to be completed by the beginning of 1999. The integrated management information system and the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund were excluded from the study, since those areas will be addressed separately. The report contains a summary of the current status of compliance of various elements of the technological infrastructure, including the telephone systems, the message switch, personal computers, mainframe facilities, non-mainframe applications, optical disk system, e-mail, Internet and other applications.

The Secretary-General observes that the status of compliance of enterprise and departmental applications varies, depending on when the systems were first introduced. Older software systems, less likely to be compliant, will be assessed, and detailed recommendations will be made. A review of the most mission-critical systems has already been completed.

Also, according to the report, the integrated management information system of the United Nations is year-2000-compliant by design. In the system itself, all dates are composed of eight digits. A new version of the operating system for the hardware was successfully tested and will soon be installed on all machines with the UNIX operating system. The implementation of the integrated management information system has greatly reduced the year 2000 exposure of the United Nations that would have arisen if old systems to support finance, procurement and personnel continued to be in production. The current payroll system is also being upgraded and applications interfacing with the integrated management information system are being reviewed for compliance.

The report states that the Secretariat recognizes the need for contingency planning, which appears to be only partly a technical exercise, but mostly a management issue. The Secretariat is taking action along those lines: the Information Technology Services Division is establishing a monitoring system to track progress in compliance at the departmental level and at offices away from Headquarters. For the time immediately after the deadline, a crisis management structure will be created, and human and

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technical resources will be identified that will be on alert to address potential problems.

Regarding the status of year 2000 preparedness of other United Nations organizations, the report states that some of the programmes, funds and specialized agencies of the United Nations system are in an early stage of assessment and planning, while others are already compliant or in the process of conversion or replacement of their systems. The report also contains information on the steps taken with Member States to resolve the year 2000 problem.

In conclusion, the Secretary-General states that there are a number of estimates of the global costs of resolving the year 2000 problem that differ considerably. For the United Nations, it is important to distinguish between those activities which are year-2000-specific, such as the impact assessment study and code remediation in applications, and those which result in year 2000 compliance but are a part of the normal life cycle of computer systems. Equipment is replaced on a regular basis and software is upgraded independently of the year 2000 deadline.

Although no special provisions were made to address the year 2000 issue when the budget for the biennium 1998-1999 was prepared, the projects and activities relevant to that issue are being funded from existing resources on a priority basis. Replacement projects and upgrading originally scheduled for the biennium 2000-2001 had to be initiated earlier, to ensure system compliance by the end of the current biennium. Since the highest priority has been given to the above-mentioned activities, other projects are only progressing within the limits of the remaining resources.

By the terms of the related draft resolution, sponsored by Pakistan, the General Assembly would request all Member States to urgently increase their efforts to solve the year 2000 problem, and appeal to them to forge global cooperation to ensure a timely and effective response to the challenge. It would call upon Governments, public and private organizations and civil society to share information about their experiences and urge all Member States to emphasize the importance of contingency planning and to develop plans to address the potential large-scale failures. The Assembly would further request the Secretary-General to take steps to ensure that all parts of the United Nations system take measures that their computers and equipment are year-2000-compliant well before the target date, by drawing up a plan of action for the United Nations system.

Also by the terms of the draft, the Assembly would take note, with appreciation, of the suggested guidelines for addressing the problem prepared by the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 1998, and urge Member States to draw upon them in addressing the problem. It would request the Secretary-General to ensure that the United Nations system closely

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monitors actual and potential sources of funding to support the efforts of the developing countries and countries in transition to address the year 2000 problem, and facilitate the dissemination of relevant information on those funding possibilities to Member States. It would also request the Secretary-General to report to the Assembly at its fifty-fourth session and to include in the provisional agenda of that session an item on the year 2000 problem of computers.

Coordination of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance

By the terms of a draft resolution on the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel (document A/53/L.62), the Assembly would strongly condemn any act or failure to act which obstructs or prevents humanitarian and United Nations personnel from discharging their humanitarian functions, or which entails their being subjected to threats, the use of force or physical attack resulting in injury or death.

It would call upon Governments and parties in complex humanitarian emergencies, in particular armed conflicts and post-conflict situations, in countries where humanitarian personnel are operating, to cooperate fully with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies and organizations and to ensure the safe and unhindered access of humanitarian personnel to allow them to efficiently perform their task of assisting the affected civilian population, including refugees and internally displaced persons.

The Assembly would call upon all States to consider signing and ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. It would urge all States to ensure that any threat of violence or act of violence committed against humanitarian personnel on their territory is fully investigated and to take all appropriate measures, in accordance with international law and national legislation, to ensure that the perpetrators of such acts are prosecuted.

It would also call upon all States to provide adequate and prompt information concerning the arrest or detention of humanitarian and United Nations personnel, to allow independent medical teams to investigate the health of those detained, and to afford them the necessary medical assistance. The Assembly would also urge all States to take the necessary measures to ensure the full and effective implementation of the relevant principles and rules of international humanitarian law including those related to the safety and security of humanitarian and United Nations personnel.

Co-sponsoring the draft are: Andorra; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Australia; Austria; Bangladesh; Belgium; Brazil; Bulgaria; Canada; Chile; Costa Rica; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Honduras; Hungary; Iceland;

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Ireland; Italy; Japan; Kazakhstan; Kyrgyzstan; Liechtenstein, Lithuania; Luxembourg; Monaco; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Republic of Korea; Moldova; Romania; San Marino; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Tajikistan; The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Ukraine; United Kingdom; United States and Uruguay.

By the terms of a draft resolution on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations (document A/53/L.59), the Assembly would call upon relevant organizations of the United Nations system, Governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to cooperate with the Secretary-General and the Emergency Relief Coordinator to ensure timely implementation of and follow-up to agreed conclusions of the 1998 substantive session of the Economic and Social Council. It also invited the Council to consider ways to further enhance the humanitarian segment of its future sessions, as outlined in those conclusions.

Co-sponsors of the draft are Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States.

By the terms of a draft on relief and rehabilitation of Somalia (document A/53/L.31), the Assembly would urge all States and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned to continue the further implementation of its resolution 47/160, so as to assist the Somali people to embark on the rehabilitation of basic social and economic services, and on institution-building aimed at the restoration of civil administration at the local level in all those parts of the country where peace and security prevail.

The Assembly would call on all parties, movements and factions in Somalia to respect fully the security and safety of personnel of the United Nations and its specialized agencies and of non-governmental organizations, and to guarantee their complete freedom of movement throughout the country. It would also call on the Secretary-General to continue to mobilize international humanitarian, rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance for Somalia. Further, it would call on the international community to provide continuing and increased assistance in response to the United Nations Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction assistance for Somalia covering the period from October 1998 to December 1999.

The draft is sponsored by: Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

By a draft on assistance for the reconstruction and development of Djibouti (document A/53/L.33/Rev.2), the Assembly would declare its solidarity

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with the Government and people of Djibouti, who continue to face critical challenges owing, in particular, to the scarcity of natural resources and the continuing critical situation in the Horn of Africa. It would note the implementation of the structural adjustment programme by the Government of that country and appeal to all Governments, international financial institutions, specialized agencies of the United Nations system and non- governmental organizations to respond adequately to the financial and material needs of the country.

The Assembly would also consider that the process of demobilization, and of the reintegration and employment of demobilized soldiers, is essential not only for national rehabilitation, but also for the success of agreements with international financial institutions and for the consolidation of peace. It would also state that the process requires substantial resources which exceed the real capacity of the country. It would request the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to mobilize resources necessary for an effective programme of financial, technical and material assistance to Djibouti. It would also request the Secretary-General to prepare a study of the progress achieved in economic assistance to Djibouti.

Co-sponsoring the draft are: Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Gabon, India, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Viet Nam and Yemen.

By the terms of a draft resolution on emergency international assistance for peace, normalcy and rehabilitation in Tajikistan (document A/53/L.44) the Assembly would encourage Member States and others concerned to continue assistance to alleviate the urgent humanitarian needs of Tajikistan and to offer support to that country for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of its economy. It would welcome the intention of the Secretary-General to continue the United Nations humanitarian programme in Tajikistan for 1999, and would invite Member States to fund programmes included in the appeal. It would strongly condemn the murders of four members of the United Nations Mission of Observers in that country, and urge the parties to ensure the safety, security and freedom of movement of United Nations and other international humanitarian personnel, as well as the safety and security of their premises.

The Assembly would encourage the parties to cooperate in order to reduce the threat from indiscriminate use of landmines to the population of Tajikistan and to the provision of humanitarian assistance. It would recognize that comprehensive international support remained essential for the intensification of the Tajik peace process, and would remind both parties that the ability of the international community to mobilize and to continue assistance for Tajikistan is linked to the security of the personnel of the

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United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (UNMOT) and of international organizations and of humanitarian workers.

Co-sponsoring the draft are Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, China, Georgia, Greece, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgzstan, Morocco, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United States and Uzbekistan.

By a draft co-sponsored by India and Senegal on special assistance for the economic recovery and reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (document A/53/L.63), the Assembly would call for a peaceful solution to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, including an immediate ceasefire, the withdrawal of all foreign forces, the initiation of a peace process, including negotiations to end the conflict, and a political dialogue aimed at reconciliation. It would also support regional diplomatic initiatives aimed at peaceful settlement of the situation. In addition, the Assembly would encourage the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to pursue sound macroeconomic policies and to promote good governance and the rule of law. It would also urge the Government and the people of that country to exert all efforts for economic recovery and reconstruction despite the ongoing armed conflict.

Assistance to the Palestinian people

By the terms of a draft resolution (document A/53/L.54/Rev.1) on assistance to the Palestinian people, the Assembly would call on relevant organizations and agencies of the United Nations system to intensify their assistance in response to the urgent needs of the Palestinian people in accordance with priorities set forth by the Palestinian Authority, with emphasis on national execution and capacity-building. It would also call on the international donor community to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance to the Palestinian people to meet their urgent needs.

Also, the Assembly would urge Member States, international financial institutions of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non- governmental organizations and regional and interregional organizations to extend, as rapidly and as generously as possible, economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people in close cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization and through official Palestinian institutions.

It would also urge Member States to open their markets to exports of Palestinian products on the most favourable terms, consistent with appropriate trading rules. Further, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Assembly at its next session, through the Economic and Social Council, on the implementation of the present text, containing: an assessment of the assistance actually received by the Palestinian people; and

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an assessment of the needs still unmet and specific proposals for responding effectively to them.

Co-sponsoring the draft are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and United Kingdom.

By a further draft on assistance to the Palestinian people (document A/53/L.56) the Assembly would reiterate the same as draft resolution L.54 but would also request the Secretary-General to use the term "occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem" in his reports, and would request its use in other reports issued by the Secretariat or the subsidiary organs of the United Nations. The text is co-sponsored by: Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Palestine.

By the terms of a draft decision on the same question, assistance to the Palestinian people (document A/53/L.65), the Assembly would request that the Secretary-General "continue to use the term Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, when appropriate, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions, in relevant reports to the General Assembly, including the report under the item entitled 'Assistance to the Palestinian people', bearing in mind the need to take account of future relevant General Assembly resolutions and progress in the Middle East peace process". Co-sponsoring the draft are: Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Oman, Tunisia, Yemen and Palestine.

New Agenda for Development of Africa

By the terms of a draft resolution on implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (document A/53/L.39/Rev.1), sponsored by Senegal, the Assembly would express concern at the continuous decline of resource flows to Africa, in particular, in the level of Official Development Assistance (ODA) which, among other things, has impeded timely implementation of the New Agenda. It would emphasize the need, in the implementation of initiatives, to focus on priority areas determined by African countries themselves, stipulated in the Cairo Agenda for Action and the New Agenda, and to organize close consultations at both the policy and the operational levels among the various development partners to achieve the best results.

The Assembly would reiterate the importance of effective monitoring and evaluation and other follow-up mechanisms for the implementation of the New Agenda at the national, sub-regional, regional and global levels, and would request the Secretary-General to establish a set of performance indicators to measure the progress made in the implementation of the New Agenda. It would urge all States, international and multilateral organizations, financial

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institutions and development funds and programmes of the United Nations system as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to urgently take concrete and effective measures to implement fully, in a coordinated manner, recommendations contained in the report of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole of the Assembly for the Mid-term Review of the Implementation of the New Agenda.

By the text, the Assembly would also request the Secretary-General, in his efforts to harmonize current international and bilateral initiatives on Africa, to ensure the effective and timely implementation of the New Agenda, which remains the negotiated political compact between the international community and African countries, and also to ensure that the United Nations and its funds and programmes are working in a coordinated manner within the framework of the United Nations system-wide special initiative for the Implementation of the New Agenda.

Cooperation with Organization of African Unity (OAU)

By the terms of a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU) (document A/53/L.21/Rev.1), the Assembly would urge all States and international sub- regional organizations to implement actively the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole of the Assembly for the Mid-term Review of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s, as adopted by the Assembly at its fifty-first session.

The draft, sponsored by Sudan, would also urge the Secretary-General, Member States, regional and international organizations, particularly those of the United Nations system, and non-governmental organizations to extend their support to the operations of the African Economic Community, its popularization and the strengthening of its institutional support.

Further, the Assembly would urge the United Nations to continue to support the OAU in its efforts to manage the expansion of the democratic experience in Africa, particularly in the areas of education for democracy, election observation, human rights and freedom, including technical support to the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.

The Assembly would call on the relevant organs of the United Nations system to ensure the effective, fair and equitable representation of Africans at senior and policy levels at their respective headquarters and in their regional field operations. It would also call on United Nations agencies to intensify the coordination of their regional programmes in Africa to create linkages among them and to ensure the harmonization of their programmes with those of the African regional and sub-regional economic organizations.

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Further, the Assembly would call on all Member States and regional and international organizations, particularly those of the United Nations system, and non-governmental organizations, to provide appropriate assistance to refugees and displaced persons, as well as to the African countries of asylum, "taking into account recent disquieting developments in this respect". Also, it would call on the United Nations to cooperate and coordinate its efforts with those of the OAU in the following areas: peaceful settlement of disputes and maintenance of international peace and security in Africa, as provided for under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter (dealing with regional arrangements); and prevention of conflict through the promotion of a culture of peace, tolerance and harmonious relations in Africa and enhancement of the existing pattern of exchange of information and consultation. It would call on United Nations organs, particularly the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council, to continue to involve the OAU closely in all their activities concerning Africa. It would invite the United Nations to continue to assist the OAU in strengthening the operational capacity of its mechanism for conflict prevention, management and resolution in Africa.

Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa

By a revised text, sponsored by Senegal, on the causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa (document A/53/L.40/Rev.1), the Assembly would call upon African countries to continue efforts to create an enabling domestic environment for sustainable development. It would also call upon the international community to provide those countries with a substantial increase in the flow of financial resources, and further call upon all parties concerned to cooperate in improving the quality and effectiveness of development assistance from all sources. It would stress the importance of improved coordination among relevant bodies and agencies of the United Nations system in assisting with post-conflict peace-building, reconciliation, reconstruction and development in Africa, and request the Secretary-General to seek further measures in that regard.

The Assembly would urge the United Nations and other relevant international institutions, upon request from Governments, to provide adequate assistance for the strengthening of the institutions for the promotion of transparency and accountability in public administration and good governance. In that regard, it would urge all Governments to promote and respect all human rights and the rule of law, and to strengthen democratic institutions. The Assembly would also urge all States, as well as other relevant actors, to rely upon peaceful means rather than military solutions to their problems. To that end, it would urge them to promote preventive diplomacy and confidence-building measures, as appropriate, and strengthen Africa's capacity to participate in all aspects of peacekeeping operations.

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By the text, the Assembly would call upon the international community to supplement national efforts by providing African countries with sufficient resources for capacity-building and the attainment of a substantial and sustained pace of economic growth and development. It would strongly underline the importance of an enabling environment for investment, in particular foreign direct investment; market access; good governance; increase in the volume and effectiveness of ODA; tackling unsustainable debt burdens, including debt concession measures, and flexibility in the debt-initiative for heavily indebted poor countries. The draft stressed the importance of regional cooperation and integration as priority areas needing to be addressed to achieve sustainable development in Africa, to encourage the participation of all African countries in the global economy.

African countries would also be encouraged to continue to promote regional economic cooperation and integration in the framework of the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community and other complementary sub- regional organizations and arrangements. It would call upon the international community to support those efforts, and would request all Governments and intergovernmental organizations to pay particular attention to the special needs of refugee women and children, including those with special protection needs, as well as internally displaced persons. The Assembly would also request its President to establish an open-ended ad hoc working group of the Assembly to monitor the implementation of the present resolution. In this regard, the Group should determine its mandates and modalities, taking into account the outcome of the Economic and Social Council on this matter.

Situation in Central America

By the terms of a draft on United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) (document A/53/L.20), the Assembly would also decide to authorize the renewal of the mandate of the Mission from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 1999. It would underscore the importance of further complying with the commitments set out in the peace agreements, particularly issues identified as priorities, including the need to increase fiscal resources for the consolidation of the peace process, and to address the areas of land and justice. It would call upon the parties to implement the commitments they entered into in the Comprehensive Agreement on Human Rights and in other peace agreements, in particular those contained in the Third Phase of the implementation Compliance and Verification Timetable for the Peace Agreement (1998-2000).

The Assembly would urge the parties and all sectors of Guatemalan society to remain committed to the goals of the peace agreements, and to strengthen further efforts towards consensus-building, reconciliation and development, with particular attention to the most vulnerable sectors of society. The Assembly would also invite the international community to continue its support for peace-related activities in Guatemala through

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voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund for the Guatemala peace process established by the Secretary-General.

The draft is co-sponsored by Colombia, Mexico, Norway, Spain, United States and Venezuela.

By the terms of a draft on peace, freedom and democracy in Central America (document A/53/L.22/Rev. 2), the Assembly would request the Secretary- General to continue to support the initiatives and activities of Central American Governments, particularly efforts to consolidate peace and democracy through the implementation of a new, comprehensive sustainable development programme and the initiative to establish the Central American Union. It would emphasize the importance of the global frame of reference and the establishment of national and regional development priorities as a basis for promoting the effective, consistent and sustainable progress of the Central American peoples, and for providing international cooperation in accordance with the new circumstances in and outside the region.

The Assembly would also encourage Central American Governments to continue to carry out their responsibilities by fully implementing the commitments assumed under national, regional or international agreements. It would also appeal to all Member States, the United Nations system, international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and other major actors in international civil society, to provide cooperation and assistance and emergency aid in the rehabilitation and construction of the countries affected by Hurricane Mitch.

The draft also requested the Secretary-General, the United Nations system and the international community to continue to support and verify in Guatemala the peace agreements signed under United Nations auspices.

Co-sponsoring the draft are: Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

According to a report of the Fifth Committee (document A/53/698), by a draft decision the Assembly would make an additional appropriation of $184,300 in the 1998-1999 programme budget for peacekeeping operations and special missions, should it adopt the draft resolution on the situation in Central America contained in document A/53/L.22/Rev.2. An additional appropriation of $34,800 would be required for staff assessment.

According to another report of the Fifth Committee (document A/53/699), by a draft on programme budget implications, the Committee would recommend to

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the Assembly that should it decide to extend the mandate of the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) by adopting draft resolution A/53/L.20, an additional appropriation of some $22.6 million in the 1998-1999 programme budget would be required. A further appropriation of $2,465,700 would be required for staff assessment.

Committee on Conferences

The Assembly had before it the Secretary-General's note (document A/53/108) on appointment of members of the Committee on Conferences. The 21 members of the Committee serve for a period of three years, on the basis of the following geographical distribution: six from African States; five from Asian States; four from Latin American and Caribbean States; two from Eastern European States; and four from Western European and other States. One third of the members retire annually and retiring members are eligible for reappointment. The present members of the Committee are Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Benin, Chile, Fiji, France, Gabon, Georgia, Iran, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lesotho, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, Russian Federation and the United States.

Since the terms of office of Austria, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Morocco, Nepal and the United States expires on 31 December 1998, it will be necessary for the General Assembly President to appoint seven members to fill the resulting vacancies during the fifty-third session. The members will serve for a period of three years beginning on 1 January 1999.

Fifth Committee Reports

Before the Assembly are reports of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) on appointments to fill vacancies in subsidiary organs and other appointments. By the Committee's recommendation contained in its report (document A/53/707) on appointment of members of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), the Assembly would appoint the following persons as members of the ACABQ for a three-year term of office beginning on 1 January 1999: Nazareth A. Incera (Costa Rica); Ahmad Kamal (Pakistan); Rajat Saha (India); Nicholas A. Thorne (United Kingdom); Fumiaki Toya (Japan); and Gian Luigi Valenza (Italy).

The Fifth Committee, in its report (document A/53/708) on appointment of members of the Committee on Contributions, recommends that the Assembly appoint Pieter Johannes Bierma (Netherlands), Paul Ekorong A. Ndong (Cameroon), Neil Hewitt Francis (Australia) and Henry Hanson-Hall (Ghana) as members of the Committee on Contributions for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 1999. It also recommends that the Assembly appoint the following persons for a term of office as indicated: Sergio Chaparro Ruiz (Chile) from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2000; Bernardo Greiver (Uruguay) from 1 January

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2000 to 31 December 2001; and Eduardo Iglesias (Argentina) from 1 January to 31 December 1999 and from 1 January to 31 December 2001.

By the terms of the recommendation of the Fifth Committee on appointment of a member of the Board of Auditors (document A/53/709), the Assembly would appoint the Chairman of the Commission of Audit of the Philippines as a member of the Board of Auditors for a three-year term of office beginning on 1 July 1999.

The Fifth Committee, in its report (document A/53/710) on confirmation of the appointment of members of the Investments Committee, recommends that the Assembly confirm the appointment by the Secretary-General of the following persons as members of the Investments Committee for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 1999: Yves Oltramare (Switzerland); Emmanuel Noi Omaboe (Ghana); and Jurgen Reimnitz (Germany).

By the terms of the recommendation of the Fifth Committee on appointment of members of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal (document A/53/711), the Assembly would appoint Kevin Haugh (Ireland) and Deborah Taylor Ashford (United States) to the Tribunal for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 1999.

In its report on appointment of members of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) and designation of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Commission (document A/53/712), the Fifth Committee recommends that the Assembly appoint the following persons to the Commission for a four-year term beginning 1 January 1999: Mohsen Bel Hadj Amor (Tunisia); Turkia Daddah (Mauritania); Wolfgang Stockl (Germany); Carlos S. Vegega (Argentina); and Eugeniusz Wyzner (Poland). It also recommends that the Assembly designate Mohsen Bel Hadj Amor as Chairman of the Commission and Carlos S. Vegega as Vice-Chairman for four-year terms beginning on 1 January 1999.

Introducing draft resolution (document A/53/L.43/Rev.1) on the global complications of the Year 2000 Date Conversion Problem of computers, AHMAD KAMAL (Pakistan) said that any disruption in communication and computer systems may seriously impair global economic activities and push the global economy further towards crisis and depression. The complexity of the problem had made it almost impossible to correctly gauge the havoc that the Millennium Bug could play in the lives of the people. The inter-linkages of computer systems and the inter-twined nature of the world economy necessitated a global response to the global threat.

The need for a global response to the Y2K threat brought into sharper focus the role of the United Nations and the international multi-lateral system, he said. Efforts in the United Nations were two-pronged. The first related to the computer systems within the United Nations system, and the progress on that front was heartening. The second related to the situation in

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Member States, where the situation was not so encouraging. Developing countries took the problem rather too casually, labouring under the notion that they would somehow be insulated from the effects of the menace, and some developed countries were also falling behind. The levels of awareness and action, particularly on issues like crisis management and contingency planning, had still not attained the required pace. In order to focus proper attention on the problem, and to highlight the need for concrete action, the matter was again being brought before the General Assembly.

SUTJIPTOHARDJO DONOKUSUMO (Indonesia), speaking on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, said the nature and implications of the Year 2000 date conversion problem made it imperative to promote a degree of awareness among Member States. Given the fact that the problem was global, with profound consequences for the entire world community, it required concerted and intensified global efforts to rectify it within the rigid time- frame. The efforts and the initiatives of the open-ended Working Group on Informatics would not only create a level of awareness of the problem, but would also help to deal with it in an effective manner. It could not be denied that even greater efforts needed to be exerted, including the holding of regional workshops on the problem and related issues like contingency planning and crisis management.

He said developing countries lacked adequate resources to deal with a problem of such magnitude. Since developing countries would be the most negatively impacted due to their vulnerable position, they would need assistance both in the form of technical know-how and financial resources. In an increasingly globalized world, the failure of the developing countries to address the Year 2000 problem was bound to have contagious effects on the rest of the world. The Group was therefore glad to lend its support to the resolution before the Assembly.

HANS PETER MANZ (Austria), speaking on behalf of the European Union, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Cyprus, said that awareness of the seriousness of the Y2K problem seemed to differ appreciably among Member States. The European Union hoped that delegations reported extensively to their capitals and tried to get the message across to the competent authorities that the "Millennium bug" had to be addressed urgently and in a coordinated fashion.

He said that on Friday the Open-ended Working Group on Informatics would gather national coordinators on the Y2K problem. The European Union appreciated the remarkable efforts of the Permanent Representative of Pakistan, as Chairman of the Working Group, in organizing that upcoming meeting, and acknowledged the substantial support offered by the host country. The Union looked forward to that meeting, which would allow a valuable exchange of information between national coordinators. That sort of

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networking was indispensable if the impact of the "Millennium bug" was to be minimized.

Nobody, even if they were absolutely certain of the Y2K-compatibility of their own systems, could afford to be complacent, he said. It was important to give priority to mission-critical systems and -- given the growing realization of the world's inability to eradicate the "Millennium bug" before the end of next year -- to stress that contingency planning would be crucial for quickly overcoming the inevitable problems. As part of that, it was important to consider the implications for national infrastructures of possible cross-border supply chain failures. While the Y2K problem might appear to be overstated for various reasons by people with vested interests, it would be a terrible mistake to underestimate it.

KISHORE MAHBUBANI (Singapore) said that in some cases, Y2K could have serious economic or even fatal results. As an example, he said tons of food had recently been destroyed at a British department store after a computer misread the expiry date of "2002" as "1902". Similar problems had occurred at other warehouses. Cash registers had been known to crash because of the inability to read credit cards with expiry dates in the year 2000.

The myth that Y2K was a problem mainly affecting developed countries was a dangerous one, because it lulled developing countries, with their presumably lower use of technology, into a false sense of security, he said. Most developed countries were already well prepared for Y2K. By contrast, however, many developing countries were only just realizing the potential problems and had insufficient resources to deal with them. The Y2K problem would strike in exactly 389 days. "We cannot avoid it, and by now it is too late to try to reprogram every piece of computer equipment...However, we can work to minimize the damage", he said.

Expressing appreciation that the Assembly had decided to discuss the global implications of the Y2K problem, he said it was necessary to raise global awareness. He added that in Singapore, all Government agencies had been instructed to complete the conversion of affected systems by the end of this year, leaving the whole of 1999 for testing. Singapore also strongly supported international efforts and was participating in several regional forums to examine the Y2K impact on such areas as banking and civil aviation.

ATUL KHARE (India) said the Year 2000 problem was not limited to computer systems, but would, in fact, affect a large number of electronic systems that involved microprocessors based on dates. Furthermore, the possibility of a cascading or domino effect could result in significant disruptions in the economy and the structures of governance. Increased interdependence and globalization ensured that no country would be immune from that danger unless all were Year 2000-compliant, at least in systems deemed to be mission-critical. He noted that what was not mission-critical in one

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system could easily prove to be so in another which was only peripherally linked to it.

He said that, in India's view, the target date for Year 2000 compliance could not be January 2000, but some time in the middle of next year, in order to provide sufficient time for testing of solutions that might have been applied. India had taken note with satisfaction that the personal computers in United Nations Headquarters, operating systems and commercial software in the mainframe systems managed by the International Computing Center in Geneva, and the Integrated Management Information System (IMIS) application were already fully year 2000-compliant. India had also noted the steps taken by United Nations offices away from Headquarters and welcomed the Secretary- General's efforts towards contingency planning based on the recognition that, as stated in his report on the matter, "even if the power supply and telecommunications infrastructure operated by the United Nations were fully compliant, links with external systems made them vulnerable".

In India it was strongly believed that the problem should not be perceived simply as that related to the date of 1 January 2000, he said. It would also be important to recognize that the Year 2000 would be a leap year, as opposed to 1900, which had not been. India was also concerned about other dangerous dates, like 9 September 1999, recognized by a non-compliant six- digit date system as 990909. In fact, the General Insurance Company had indicated through widespread advertisements that claims arising out of Y2K or such dangerous dates as 9 September 1999 would not be admissible. That had led to renewed vigour in public and private sector companies to effectively tackle the problem and reduce their liabilities. Several private sector companies had already become Y2K-compliant. The Confederation of Indian Industry had set up a task force on the issue and was providing links on its web page for Y2K solutions. The National Association of Software and Services Companies was also taking a leading role in disseminating information, both in India and abroad, about Y2K solution providers.

ROSSANNA FIGUERA (Venezuela) said despite a growing dependence on computers, no one had stopped to give serious consideration to the problem of the Year 2000 date conversion problem. While there was little more than a year left before the new millennium, very little was known about the problem and even less on what needed to be done to resolve it in time. Despite various efforts by the Organization, including reports and other related documentation and a resolution by the Economic and Social Council, there was still a serious lack of knowledge about the possible implications of the problem on the regular functioning of production as well as the effect it would have on main industries, air traffic control, customs and ports, hospitals, intensive care wards, and many other areas.

She said that although applying the corrective measures was up to governments, the United Nations had a fundamental role to play in

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disseminating information on the Year 2000 problem. There was an urgent need to devise contingency plans that would provide technical and financial support to multilateral organizations and developing countries. One important step was the planned Meeting of National Coordinators for the year 2000 problem to be held on 11 December at the United Nations. Her country had put the platinum network in place which made available extensive documentation from reliable sources on the problem. In addition, it had created a website on the Internet whose objective was to investigate the population's level of knowledge on the problem. That would help to better focus Government campaigns on the issue. Her delegation hoped the resolution would be adopted by consensus.

FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) said that achievements in the field of informatics had opened new doors. New conditions had been created, which if wisely used could improve humanity's situation. Syria appreciated the efforts of Ahmad Kamal and the vitality with which he conducted the Working Group, whose aim was to raise awareness of the problem. He also welcomed the Secretary-General's report and the steps taken within the United Nations system to address the problem in a timely manner. All opinions indicated that the problem was a dual one. On the one hand, it was a technical problem that required creativity and efforts to find a solution. On the other hand, it was a huge financial problem. The costs of solving the problem would reach tens of billions of dollars. While the solutions would become available to some countries, ways should be found so developing countries could solve the problem without having additional financial burdens on their budgets. He hoped that the meeting to be held on 12 December of the Working Group on Informatics would be constructive in finding solutions.

The issue of Year 2000 compliance of computer systems was important, he said. In March, the Syrian Government had discussed the question and adopted measures and decisions, asking all parties to work together to solve the problem. It had asked its ministers to form committees to follow up on compliance and to carry out studies, training sessions and to work to raise awareness. Also, it had asked establishments to submit a report on electronic systems available to them that were related to the Year 2000 problem. If there was no compliance, committees would be set up to study the effects of non-compliance and whether solutions would be applicable or not. Syria supported the draft resolution and believed that its adoption by the Assembly would give more momentum to international efforts to address the date conversion problem.

IBRA DEGUENE KA (Senegal) said that in view of the efforts undertaken by the United Nations, it was possible to be optimistic about the Year 2000 date conversion phenomenon, which could affect all aspects of human life. He commended the outstanding work of the ad hoc Working Group of the Economic and Social Council, which had submitted recommendations on the problem. Aware of the importance of computer science, Senegal had in 1990 established a Ministry

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for State modernization, which had appointed a national coordinator on the problem of the year 2000 conversion. Cooperation in all areas, especially in the computer field was essential.

Senegal, like other African countries, was aware of the challenge, he said. The threat required collective action, both nationally and internationally. A joint approach needed to be taken. His delegation supported the draft resolution under consideration, and hoped that all Member States would do the same.

PERCY METSING MANGOAELA (Lesotho) said the digitalization of technology and its linkages to computers was one of the watershed marks of the past years. Globalization had spawned a new economy driven by computers. The smooth running of computers was therefore necessary. While developing countries struggled to grapple with the emerging globalized economy, they paid scant attention to the Year 2000 conversion problem, and lagged far behind in addressing the issue. In the interim, the remaining one year could be grossly inadequate for remedying the neglect so far.

He said the developing countries would need considerable assistance from their more developed partners in terms of financial and technological aid. His delegation firmly supported the draft especially in its call for the United Nations to closely support funding to address the Year 2000 problem. He said there would always be sceptics who would downplay the effects of a potential problem. However, in this particular case it would be better to err on the side of caution, since the domino effect could spell disaster of truly global proportions.

YUKIO TAKASU (Japan) said that the conversion problem should be addressed in a concerted manner by the United Nations system, Member States, the public and private sector and civil society. Date conversion would have wide-range effects on economic and social infrastructures, such as power supplies, telecommunications, transportation, financial systems and public health. Unless every nation shared its experiences in dealing with the Year 2000 problem and coordinated its efforts, the result could be worldwide confusion. With less than 400 days remaining before the year 2000, the international community must use both bilateral and multilateral forums to heighten public awareness of the importance and urgency of the problem and take all measures to deal with it.

In that context, the Japanese Government had adopted a National Y2K Action Plan in September and had requested both the public and private sectors to cooperate in its implementation, he said. Under that plan, ministries and agencies would by the end of June 1999 take necessary measures in accordance with the Y2K Conversion Guidelines and complete their simulation tests on systems that were directly related to the daily lives of people. Contingency plans explicitly covering shutdowns and malfunctions would also be set up and

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all corporations would be encouraged to conduct independent checkups on their own initiatives.

As no nation was free from the Y2K problem, the United Nations should take the initiative in promoting the issue and ensuring that all nations were prepared to meet the challenge, he continued. In light of the need for global preparedness, the forthcoming special meeting of the Working Group on Informatics on 11 December, would provide an opportunity to discuss measures for international cooperation on the Y2K problem.

BETTY KING (United States) said some people might still believe that the effects of the Year 2000 or Y2K problem would be confined to the computer industry. Others did not know the meaning of Y2K. For those not familiar with the intricacies of computer technology, it was hard to understand how the lives of individuals around the world could be affected by a computer problem. The reality was that systems for telecommunications, water, manufacturing, air transport, shipping, power and almost every other area risked serious disruptions or failure if left untreated. Even some local traffic lights and grocery store registers could be affected.

She said the Y2K problem affected every nation and would serve to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the world. The time constraints, paired with the tremendous financial and personnel resources needed to address the Y2K problem around the world, truly made it a global challenge. Every nation must take the responsibility to ensure that their critical systems were Y2K-compliant and that local governments and private sectors were solving their Y2K problems. The focus must be on international cooperation and the sharing of information on the status of Y2K-readiness.

The United States Government had begun a coordinated effort to fix its systems in 1995, she said. In February 1998, it had appointed a national Y2K coordinator who was responsible for overseeing the Government's response to the problem. That included reaching out to local governments, the private sector and international entities to promote action on the problem and to offer support to Y2K efforts. The guidelines for addressing the Year 2000 problem, adopted by the Economic and Social Council in July, highlighted the seriousness of that problem and provided useful information on problem solutions and contingency planning. The United States endorsed those guidelines and called for their broad dissemination as requested by the General Assembly.

The Secretary-General's report identified corrective actions which had yet to be taken, raising serious concerns about the Organization's ability to complete those actions within the necessary timeframe, she said. The United Nations system needed an information management strategy to deal with system-wide problems, of which Y2K was one example. Member States were urged to step up national and international activities to reach Y2K-compliance, and

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the Secretariat should take all necessary actions to ensure that the United Nations could continue to function effectively without interruption.

RODRIGO MORAGA (Chile) said that the Year 2000 problem had an international dimension as complex as its national dimension. That was why Chile had placed the problem on the agenda of its foreign policy. The problem required resolute international cooperation. In the global context of the world economy, a country could not be indifferent to what happened in other parts of the world. The "Millennium bug" obliged countries to work together, and cooperation had to be carried out not only with one's geographical neighbours, but also with one's virtual neighbours.

It was necessary for each country to adopt the necessary measures to ensure operational continuity and compliance with the commitments undertaken, he said. It was possible that all systems would not be corrected before the deadline, so there would be some difficulties after the deadline. Therefore, efforts should be aimed at minimizing those difficulties. If only one system could be addressed in time, he believed electrical power should be focused on it. Chile supported the convening of a conference on the computer problem on 11 December, as well as the draft resolution.

JUDITH M. CARDOZE (Panama), speaking on behalf of the Rio Group, said the Group underscored the importance of making governments aware of the Year 2000 problem. It also supported the view that it was important to make small companies and local government agencies realize the complexities of the problem. The guidelines proposed by the Working Group on the Year 2000 phenomenon were far reaching and significant because they contained the elements to bring about awareness of the problem. They could also provide conclusions and possibly bring about solutions.

She said the advent of the third millennium meant a change in the date digits of computer systems which would have great consequences. The Group supported the adoption of measures aimed at understanding and overcoming the problems in question, by maintaining the basic functions of national systems and reducing the risks ahead. The member States of the Rio Group urged the industrialized countries to contribute, with their technology and other means, to helping developing countries with their problems.

DAE-WON SUH (Republic of Korea) said that his country was acutely aware of the Year 2000 problem for an inter-related world. His delegation welcomed the work of the ad hoc Open-ended Working Group on Informatics, which had prepared recommendations for Member States. As the year 2000 approached, the international community must work together. Such efforts demanded significant financial resources, and all levels of human society should work together to overcome the problem.

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The United Nations should play a leading role in resolving the issue, he said. His delegation looked forward to the upcoming United Nations conference on the problem, which would serve as an important occasion to coordinate international action. Given the urgency of the matter, his delegation strongly supported the draft under consideration and believed that it was important to act now to ensure a smooth transition to the new millennium.

VOLODYMYR YEL'CHENKO (Ukraine) said that steps toward resolving the problem had been taken in Ukraine in accordance with the national programme of informatization which had the status of State law and determined the directions, acting forces and stages of development of national information technologies. Priority was given to power energy, including its nuclear area, finances, the social sphere, transportation and communications. The task of reducing the consequences of the Y2K issue in Ukraine was difficult, although the country had enough highly qualified personnel to resolve the technical aspects of the problem. However, lack of financial resources kept Ukraine far from resolving the forthcoming computer disaster by the year 2000, that might cause unpredictable consequences.

The importance of the problem in Ukraine was connected with the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, he said. Inside every computer chip there was a little clock and if the clock stopped running, the chip stopped running. It was like a little bomb. If it happened to be in a nuclear facility, the worst that could happen, specialists hoped, was that a large chunk of Ukraine would be blacked out in the middle of winter as the reactors and other power stations would temporarily be shut down. But then again, he said, anything was possible, as it had been one night in 1986, when one of the reactors had failed to stop. Even if the Chernobyl Plant was shut down, dozens of other nuclear reactors across the territory of the former Soviet Union, which worked with 40 per cent of computer systems worldwide, would be vulnerable to malfunction from the "millennium bomb".

VASSILI A. NEBENZI (Russian Federation) said the Secretary-General's report on the Year 2000 problem of the date conversion of computers gave only general information on steps to be taken by the United Nations. There was virtually no information on the cost that would be incurred. Experts had estimated that global costs in addressing the problem would be somewhere between 300 billion and 600 billion dollars. It would be helpful to have an estimate for United Nations activities. His delegation also believed that the Open-ended Working Group on Informatics should be further enhanced.

He said the Russian Federation had adopted a special decree on the Year 2000 problem. His parliament intended to hold a hearing on the issue and an inventory of the computer systems in the various sectors of the economy was being compiled. A plan of action had also been adopted and the country was preparing to conduct individual certification to determine the readiness of

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Russian computer systems for the year 2000. His delegation supported the draft resolution before the Assembly.

Action on Draft

The Assembly then adopted the draft without a vote.

Fifth Committee Reports

On the recommendation of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) in its report (document A/53/707) on appointment of members of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), the Assembly appointed the following persons as members of the ACABQ for a three-year term of office beginning on 1 January 1999: Nazareth A. Incera (Costa Rica); Ahmad Kamal (Pakistan); Rajat Saha (India); Nicholas A. Thorne (United Kingdom); Fumiaki Toya (Japan); and Gian Luigi Valenza (Italy).

Acting on the Fifth Committee's recommendation on the appointment of members of the Committee on Contributions (document A/53/708), the Assembly appointed Pieter Johannes Bierma (Netherlands), Paul Ekorong A. Ndong (Cameroon), Neil Hewitt Francis (Australia) and Henry Hanson-Hall (Ghana) as members for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 1999. It appointed the following persons for terms of office as indicated: Sergio Chaparro Ruiz (Chile) from 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2000; Bernardo Greiver (Uruguay) from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2001; and Eduardo Iglesias (Argentina) from 1 January to 31 December 1999 and from 1 January to 31 December 2001.

On the Fifth Committee recommendation on the appointment of a member of the Board of Auditors (document A/53/709), the Assembly appointed the Chairman of the Commission of Audit of the Philippines for a three-year term of office beginning on 1 July 1999.

In its report (document A/53/710) on confirmation of the appointment of members of the Investments Committee, the Fifth Committee recommended that the Assembly confirm the appointment by the Secretary-General of the following persons as members of the Investments Committee for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 1999: Yves Oltramare (Switzerland); Emmanuel Noi Omaboe (Ghana); and Jurgen Reimnitz (Germany). The Assembly so decided.

It also accepted the recommendation of the Fifth Committee (document A/53/711) that Kevin Haugh (Ireland) and Deborah Taylor Ashford (United States) be appointed to the United Nations Administrative Tribunal for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 1999.

In its report on appointment of members of the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) and designation of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of

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the Commission (document A/53/712), the Fifth Committee recommended that the Assembly appoint the following persons to the Commission for a four-year term beginning 1 January 1999: Mohsen Bel Hadj Amor (Tunisia); Turkia Daddah (Mauritania); Wolfgang Stockl (Germany); Carlos S. Vegega (Argentina); and Eugeniusz Wyzner (Poland). It also recommends that the Assembly designate Mohsen Bel Hadj Amor as Chairman of the Commission and Carlos S. Vegega as Vice-Chairman for four-year terms beginning on 1 January 1999. The Assembly agreed.

Action on Draft

HANS PETER MANZ (Austria), on behalf of the European Union and the other co-sponsors, introduced the draft resolution on safety and security of humanitarian personnel (document A/53/L.62) and said that Fiji, Niger and Panama wished to join the list of co-sponsors. He said European Union members shared the Secretary-General's concern regarding the continuous erosion of respect for international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles. They condemned deliberate attacks on civilian populations and the denial of the basic right to receive humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian assistance must be granted unhindered. Non-discriminatory access needed to be provided. Civilian population, as well as humanitarian personnel and United Nations personnel, had to be adequately protected. More and more staff of humanitarian agencies were working in areas designated insecure. The number of people in need who may have died because the security situation prevented aid from reaching them was inestimable. Any action that obstructed humanitarian personnel from doing their job was to be strongly condemned.

PER NORSTROM (Sweden) introduced the draft resolution on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations (document A/53/L.59) and informed the Assembly that Bangladesh, Greece and Guatemala had become additional co-sponsors of the text.

IBRA DEGUENE KA (Senegal) said the draft resolution on rehabilitation of Somalia (document A/53/L.31) would be introduced tomorrow. Introducing the draft resolution on special assistance for the economic recovery and reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (document A/53/L.63), he said the current situation in that country had negative repercussions on its social and economic environment. A new meeting of the "Friends of the Congo" was necessary. Since the draft was the outcome of negotiations and consensus, he appealed to the Assembly to adopt it by consensus. He said China, the Comoros, Djibouti and India were also co-sponsoring the text.

GHALI BENHIMA (Morocco) introduced draft resolution A/53/L.33/Rev.2 on assistance to Djibouti. He said the draft, co-sponsored by more than 20 countries, and now joined by Bangladesh and Greece, recalled that Djibouti had been affected by numerous natural disasters. The small country had also hosted thousands of refugees. With great courage it had embarked on political

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reform and reconstruction. Those efforts could not bear fruit without the generosity of the international community and he hoped the draft would be adopted by consensus.

RASHID ALIMOV (Tajikistan) introduced draft resolution A/53/L.44 on assistance to Tajikistan, noting that for the third time the Assembly would be showing the international community's support for the peace process and the normalization of the situation in his country, which was currently going through a difficult stage in post-conflict development. He said Bangladesh, Iran, the Republic of Moldova and Pakistan had joined as cosponsors.

HOSSAM ZAKI (Egypt) introduced draft decision A/53/L.65 on assistance to the Palestinian people, noting that after numerous consultations, it had been possible to reach a formula that enjoyed the consensus of the parties. He requested the Assembly not to put the draft resolution A/53/L.56 under the same title to a vote. He said the decision, in which Djibouti had joined as a co-sponsor, was reached after long negotiations and he appealed to all delegations to vote in favour of it.

Mr. MANZ (Austria), on behalf of the European Union, introduced the draft resolution on the Assistance to the Palestinian people (document L.54./Rev.1). He said the co-sponsors of the text continued to attach particular importance to the issue. As a major donor in assistance to the Palestinian people, the European Union was pleased once again to initiate the draft resolution. It hoped the Assembly would adopt the text without a vote, as it had done in previous years.

AARON JACOB (Israel), in explanation of vote, said that in years past his country would join the consensus on the draft resolution A/53/L.54 Rev.1 entitled "Assistance to the Palestinian people". For many years, Israel had been cooperating fully with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Relief and World Agency (UNRWA) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), as well as with other international organizations in implementing programmes to improve the living conditions of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Promotion of the economic well-being of the Palestinians was an essential element in the promotion of peace and stability, and it could only be advanced through cooperation. The holding of conferences and seminars could not and should not replace direct economic and development assistance.

He said Israel's participation in the consensus on the draft should not be construed as implying any position regarding the present status of the area referred to as "occupied territory". Its support also did not carry any implication regarding Israel's position on the permanent status of those territories, which was a matter to be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians in the framework of the permanent status negotiations, which had just recently reconvened.

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On the draft decision contained in document A/53/L.65, he said that Israel would vote against it. It was yet another attempt to prejudice the outcome of the bilateral negotiations between the parties through a decision of the General Assembly. As stipulated in the terms of reference of the peace process and the agreements achieved to date, all outstanding issues were to be resolved through direct negotiations between the parties themselves. Israel regretted that contentious political elements had been introduced into the issue of assistance to the Palestinian people.

Of all parties, he said, the Palestinians themselves should be most sensitive to the value of maintaining wide support for that issue, which had been most recently manifested in the last week's conference of donor parties held in Washington, D.C., in which Israel had willingly participated. It was regrettable that the Palestinian observer delegation had seen it fit to introduce extraneous and controversial political terminology into the subject.

Action on Drafts

The assembly adopted the draft resolution on the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel (L.62) without a vote. It also adopted without a vote the texts on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations (L.59); on assistance for the reconstruction and development of Djibouti (L.33/Rev.2); on emergency international assistance for peace normally and rehabilitation in Tajikistan (L.44); and on special assistance for the economic recovery and reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (L.63).

The draft resolution on the Assistance to the Palestinian people (L.54/Rev.1) was also adopted by the Assembly without a vote.

The Assembly then took action on the draft decision on assistance to the Palestinian People (A/53/L.65) which was adopted by a recorded vote of 131 in favour to 4 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and the United States) with no abstentions. (For details of voting see Annex.)

VASILY A. NEBENZYA (Russian Federation), in explanation of vote, said while his delegation supported the humanitarian thrust of resolution L.62 (on safety of humanitarian personnel), which was a logical response to protect the lives of those people carrying out the work of the United Nations, it could not become a co-sponsor of the draft because it did not reflect the concerns of his country.

He said the inclusion of different categories of humanitarian personnel, United Nations personnel and associated staff demanded a clear distinction between them, based on the existing legal regimes on protection.

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In particular, it was necessary to distinguish between those participating as combatants in United Nations operations as stipulated in Chapter VII of the Charter (who were regulated by the law on international armed conflicts) and those personnel who were taking part in humanitarian operations and thus enjoyed different immunities and privileges. It was also necessary to distinguish between other personnel who took part in humanitarian action but were not covered by such protection. His country supported such an approach to developing the issue and hoped that this would be taken into account in the future.

FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) said his delegation had joined the consensus on resolution L.54/Rev.1. Syria supported the operative paragraph aimed at providing assistance to the Palestinian people so that they could overcome the great challenges they faced. His delegation, however, had some reservations on the preambular paragraphs because they did not reflect the development of the crisis faced by the peace process in the Middle East. Syria believed the right path to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people meant eliminating the real cause of their suffering, namely the Israeli occupation of Arab territories since 1967.

He said Israel should not be allowed to continue its policy of enclosure and siege of Arab territory. All of those actions affected the economic development in Palestinian territory. Israel's earlier statement to the effect that while they supported efforts to help Palestine they did not consider the territory occupied showed a lack of respect for the international community and resolutions by the Security Council.

Introducing the draft resolution on New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s (A/53/L.39/Rev.1.), Mr. KA (Senegal), said that Japan, the Group of 77 developing countries and China had become co-sponsors. The text emphasized the need for the African countries themselves to take part in the process of development, as well as the importance of cooperation on all levels. It noted the urgent need for all States, as well as international, non-governmental and financial organizations, to take concrete and effective measures as a matter of urgency in order to implement fully the recommendations of the Assembly's Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole on the mid- term review of the Implementation of the Agenda for Development of Africa in the 1990s.

He proposed some changes in the wording of the text, including a description of the decline in official development assistance as being "an impediment, among other things, to the implementation of the New Agenda". By another change, the Secretary-General would be asked to "ensure that" -- rather than "ascertain whether" -- United Nations efforts were being undertaken in a coordinated manner for implementation of the New Agenda.

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SUTJIPTOHARDJO DONOKUSUMO (Indonesia), on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said that while the draft had been negotiated by the African Group, the text was at the initiative of the Group of 77 and China. He said the implementation of initiatives for development should be "country-driven". He expressed appreciation to his African colleagues for bringing forth the draft.

The Assembly adopted draft resolution A/53/L.39/Rev.1 as orally revised without a vote.

REGINA MONTOYA (United States), in explanation, said that while she supported many of the measures, she preferred to see more balance on the implementation of the New Agenda for African Development. The international community's assistance would play a significant role in bettering the lives of Africans. However, they had to take the initiative to see results. The Secretary-General's progress report highlighted that more needed to be done in areas such as the private sector, democratization and debt relief. Global partnership in conjunction with national efforts was needed to address those areas.

MICHEL KAFANDO (Burkina Faso) introduced the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU (A/53/L.21/Rev.1) on behalf of the members of the OAU. He said that for reasons beyond their control the draft resolution was not submitted when the item was considered last month. There had been three significant events this year, the 35th Summit of the OAU, the ministerial-level meeting of the Security Council on Africa, and the Secretary-General's report on peace and development in Africa. He hoped the draft, which was the outcome of wide negotiations, would be adopted by consensus.

The Assembly adopted the draft without a vote.

Mr. KA (Senegal) introduced the draft resolution on durable peace in Africa, (A/53/L.40, Rev.1). He said it was the result of fruitful negotiations. It concentrated on the negative effects of conflict on the vulnerable groups of the population, and recognized the need for all parties to adhere to the principles of international humanitarian law.

The draft also strongly emphasized the importance of creating the environment for foreign investment, as well as good governance and effective international assistance. Reduction of debt burden was also very important for the creation of durable peace on the continent. Special emphasis was placed on the need to improve coordination between different funds and programmes of the United Nations. In addition to other initiatives planned, the draft envisioned the creation by the President of the General Assembly of an ad hoc working group to implement the draft, particularly the recommendations of the Secretary-General on the issues.

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He said the co-sponsors of the draft were the Group of 77 and China, Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Norway, United States, Canada, Japan and the Netherlands.

He made some changes in the wording of the text, including an addition to the preambular paragraph expressing concern at the increasing incidence of atrocities. The words "and the use of children as combatants" were to be added.

Mr. DONOKUSUMO (Indonesia), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, said the draft before the Assembly was of equal importance to his Group and represented its position on the issue. The text had been negotiated by the African Group and the Group of 77 and China was pleased to sponsor it.

REGINA MONTOYA (United States) said African leaders had recently made it clear to the President of the United States, William J. Clinton, that the continent was open for business. The resolution would assist Africa in achieving its dreams, which was why her country was co-sponsoring the draft. The text promoted democracy and human rights and sought to integrate Africa into the global economy.

An enabling environment was the key to development in that continent, she said. Respect for human rights and strengthening of democratic institutions were important in that respect. As economic opportunity spread, so too would the prospects for sustainable and lasting peace. Her Government firmly supported Africa's efforts to strengthen regional aspects of peace- keeping operations. It also reiterated its call for creditors to provide interim debt relief.

ANDREI GRANOVSKY (Russian Federation) noted the substantive and comprehensive nature of the draft and said he supported it on that basis. His country had taken an active part in the Security Council working group, which had worked with the recommendations of the Secretary-General. However, his delegation had consistently advocated that the focus of the working group should not be on the recommendations of the Secretary-General pertaining to the competence of the General Assembly. According to operative paragraph 15 of the draft, a working group of the Assembly -- to be formed -- would determine its own mandate. When that occurred, its approach to the Secretary- General's recommendations on the competency of the Assembly would be determined. Further, the Council was already actively considering recommendations of the report that came within its purview.

The Assembly then adopted the draft, as orally revised, without a vote.

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Action on Drafts on Central America

The Acting President of the Assembly, HAJI JEMAT AMPAL (Brunei Darussalam) announced that, since introduction of draft resolution on the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) (A/53/L.20), Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Nigeria had joined as co-sponsors.

The Assembly then adopted the draft without a vote.

Mr. AMPAL (Brunei Darussalam) announced that, since introduction of the draft resolution on procedures for the establishment of a firm and lasting peace in Central America (A/53/L.22/Rev.2), Belgium, Brazil, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia had joined as co-sponsors.

The Assembly then adopted the text without a vote.

(ANNEX FOLLOWS)

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General Assembly Plenary Press Release GA/9528 81st Meeting (PM) 7 December 1998

ANNEX

Vote on Assistance to Palestinian People

The Assembly adopted the draft decision on assistance to the Palestinian people (document A/53/L.65) by a recorded vote of 131 in favour to 4 against, with 0 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, United States.

Abstain: None.

Absent: Afghanistan, Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Bolivia, Burundi, Cameroon, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Fiji, Gabon, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Swaziland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam.

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37

For information media. Not an official record.