GENERAL ASSEMBLY ESTABLISHES PROCEDURES FOR MILLENNIUM SUMMIT, APPOINTS MEMBERS TO INSPECTION UNIT, CONTRIBUTIONS COMMITTEE

10 May 2000
GA/9707

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ESTABLISHES PROCEDURES FOR MILLENNIUM SUMMIT, APPOINTS MEMBERS TO INSPECTION UNIT, CONTRIBUTIONS COMMITTEE

10 May 2000


Press Release
GA/9707


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ESTABLISHES PROCEDURES FOR MILLENNIUM SUMMIT, APPOINTS MEMBERS TO INSPECTION UNIT, CONTRIBUTIONS COMMITTEE

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A total of six meetings will be held during the Millennium Summit scheduled for Headquarters from 6 to 8 September, under the terms of a resolution adopted by the General Assembly this afternoon.

In another action, the General Assembly appointed four candidates members of the Joint Inspection Unit to five-year terms beginning on 1 January 2001 and expiring on 31 December 2005. The new members are: Doris Betrand-Muck (Austria); Ion Gorita (Romania); Wolfgang M. Munch (Germany); and Louis-Dominique Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso).

The Assembly also appointed Nathan Irumba (Uganda) a member of the Committee on Contributions. All actions were taken without a vote.

By other terms of the Millennium Summit resolution, two meetings would be held daily during the Summit from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m., from Wednesday, 6 September, to Friday, 8 September.

Also, four interactive round-table sessions are scheduled, to be held concurrently with the plenary meetings, from: 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, 6 September; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, 7 September; and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, 8 September.

Statements in explanation of position on the draft resolution were made by the representatives of the Russian Federation, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Cuba and Germany.

At the start of the meeting, the Acting President of the Assembly, Claude Morel (Seychelles), announced the passing away of Lee Llewellyn Moore, the Permanent Representative of Saint Kitts and Nevis to the United Nations. He said Ambassador Moore had a long and distinguished career as a civil servant and an esteemed diplomat. He was well respected both at home and abroad for his admirable qualities and devotion to his country and to the ideals of the United Nations.

On behalf of the General Assembly, its President, and on his own behalf, the Acting President conveyed heartfelt condolences to the Government and people of Saint Kitts and Nevis and to the bereaved family. A minute of silence was observed in tribute to the memory of Ambassador Moore.

General Assembly Plenary - 1a - Press Release GA/9707 96th Meeting (PM) 10 May 2000

Astona Browne (Saint Kitts and Nevis) thanked the Acting President and the General Assembly for the expression of condolences.

The Assembly also noted that Mali had paid sufficient arrears to no longer be subject to sanctions under Article 19 of the United Nations Charter.

The acting President announced that the Assembly would meet again, in the week of 22 May, to commence discussion of the Secretary-General’s report on the Millennium Summit.

General Assembly Plenary - 3 - Press Release GA/9707 96th Meeting (PM) 10 May 2000

Work Programme

The General Assembly met this afternoon to appoint candidates to fill vacancies on the Committee on Contributions and the Joint Inspection Unit (documents A/54/541/Add.1 and A/54/110, respectively). It will also act on a draft resolution on the organization of the list of speakers and the round tables for the Millennium Summit (document A/54/L.83/Rev.1).

With regard to the appointment of a member of the Committee on Contributions, the Assembly has before it a report of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) (document A/54/541/Add.1) recommending that the Assembly appoint Nathan Irumba (Uganda) a member of the Committee on Contributions, following the resignation of David Etuket. Mr. Irumba, who was nominated by the Government of Uganda, will fill the remaining part of the term of office of Mr. Etuket beginning from today (date of adoption of decision by Assembly) and ending on 31 December 2000.

Concerning the appointment of members of the Joint Inspection Unit, a note by the President of the General Assembly (document A/54/110) contains the names of four candidates who will fill vacancies on the Joint Inspection Unit that will arise on 31 December 2000 from the expiration of the terms of office of Andrzej Abraszewski (Poland), John D. Fox (United States), Wolfgang M. Munch (Germany) and Louis-Dominique Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso).

The candidates who will be appointed for a five-year term beginning on 1 January 2001 until 31 December 2005, are: Doris Betrand-Muck (Austria), Ion Gorita (Romania), Wolfgang M. Munch (Germany), and Louis-Dominique Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso).

The draft resolution (document A/54/L.83/Rev.1) submitted by the President of the Assembly, concerns the organization of the list of speakers and the round tables for the Millennium Summit

By the text, the Assembly would decide that the Millennium Summit shall consist of a total of six meetings, with two meetings a day, as follows:

-- Wednesday, 6 September, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m.

-- Thursday, 7 September, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m.

-- Friday, 8 September, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The Assembly would also decide that the Millennium Summit shall hold four interactive round tables on: Wednesday, 6 September, from 3 to 6 p.m.; Thursday, 7 September, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m.; and Friday, 8 September, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

It would decide further that the list of speakers for the Millennium Summit and the modalities for the round tables shall be established in accordance with the procedure set forth in the annex to the draft resolution.

According to the annex, the speakers list would be based on six meetings. At the opening meeting, on Wednesday, 6 September, the first speakers would be: the two co-chairpersons of the Millennium Summit; the Secretary-General; and the head of State or head of the delegation of the host country of the Organization. (The two co-chairpersons of the Summit are the country of the President of the fifty-fourth session of the General Assembly and that of the President of the fifty-fifth session). The opening meeting would therefore have 32 speaking slots.

The morning meetings of Thursday, 7 September, and Friday, 8 September would have 40 speaking slots. The afternoon meetings of Wednesday and Thursday would have 30 speaking slots, and that of Friday, 20, devoted to the closing of the Millennium Summit. The establishment of the initial list of speakers would take place at a meeting to be held possibly during the current month, according to the annex. Statements during the Summit would be limited to five minutes.

The four round tables would have at least 40 seats each, with a head of State or government presiding, according to the annex. Three regions not represented by the two co-chairpersons would chair three of the round-tables. The choice of the chairperson of the fourth round table would be subject to further consultations. The chairpersons of the regional groups would communicate to the President of the General Assembly the list of countries from their respective regions that would participate in each round table. The General Assembly encouraged member States to be represented at the round tables at the level of heads of State or government.

Statements

The Acting Assembly President, CLAUDE MOREL (Seychelles), conveyed the Assembly’s condolences to the Government and the people of St. Kitts and Nevis on the death of that country’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Lee Llewellyn Moore. He also conveyed condolences to Mr. Moore’s family. The Assembly observed a minute’s silence in Mr. Moore’s honour.

ASTONA BROWNE (Saints Kitts and Nevis) thanked the Assembly and paid homage to Mr. Moore’s contribution to her country.

Action

The Acting PRESIDENT then drew the Assembly’s attention to a letter from the Secretary-General advising that Mali had made the necessary payments to reduce its arrears below the amount specified in Article 19 of the United Nations Charter, and the Assembly noted this payment. [Article 19 establishes that a Member State with arrears equal to the level of its last two year’s dues loses its vote in the General Assembly, unless the Assembly exempts it from this sanction.]

The Assembly then turned its attention to the need to appoint a member of its Committee on Contributions. Nathan Irumba of Uganda was appointed, without a vote, to serve on that Committee from 10 May 2000 to 31 December 2000.

The Assembly then appointed the four nominated candidates, without a vote, to serve five-year terms on the Joint Inspection Unit, commencing 1 January 2001.

The Acting PRESIDENT then drew its attention to the draft resolution before it on organizational aspects of the Millennium Summit (document A/54/L.83/Rev.1).

He submitted two oral amendments to the draft. The first revision was to the second preambular paragraph. The first line of the second preambular paragraph would read as follows:

-- Recalling also its resolution 54/254 of 15 March 2000, by which it;

-- At the beginning of sub-paragraphs (a), (b) and (c), “Decided that” would be added.

-- After sub-paragraph c, the following sub-paragraph taken from paragraph 4 (d) of resolution 54/254 of 15 March 2000 would be added:

“(d) Requested the President of the General Assembly to hold consultations with all Member States in an open-ended process with a view to taking decisions on all outstanding issues relating to the Millennium Summit, including its outcome”.

The second revision concerned part A of the annex to the draft resolution. Paragraph 4 (a) of Part A of the annex would be replaced by the following:

“4(a) Heads of State will thus be accorded first priority, followed by Heads of Government; vice-presidents, crown princes/princesses; the highest- ranking official of the Holy See and Switzerland, in their capacity as observer States, and Palestine, in its capacity as observer; ministers; and permanent representatives.”

The Acting PRESIDENT said that with respect to paragraph 2 of Part B of the annex, the last sentence of paragraph 2 should read as follows: “The choice of chairperson of the fourth round table would be subject to further consultations”.

Speaking in explanation of position, SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that the draft to a great extent reflected the views of all delegations. However, he believed it was important to be quite clear about its provisions. He supported the amendment that would have the draft clearly set forth the order in which statements would be made at the Summit.

Regarding the section that stated that consultations would continue on the participation of civil society, parliamentarians and inter-governmental organizations, he understood that no Member States would reject participation from the Inter-Parliamentary Union, he said. Thus the matter of participation by parliamentarians was settled and any further consultations should relate only to the other invitees. Finally, he thought it important that after the adoption of this resolution, Member States' focus should shift immediately to discussion of what the Summit's outcome would be, and to the final document it would produce.

The representative of Venezuela pointed out a substantive discrepancy between the English and Spanish versions of the draft.

Also speaking in explanation of position, SUN JOUN-YUNG (Republic of Korea) said he supported the revision proposed by the President on order of precedence given to speakers, which meant the draft was now in accord with established Assembly practice.

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

MANUEL TELLO (Mexico), speaking in explanation of position, said that the resolution meant the Assembly could finally move from procedural to substantive matters. He called for the preparation and distribution of a timetable of meetings to consider the Secretary-General's report on the Summit. Those meetings should commence as soon as possible, he said, to allow the Summit outcome documents to be prepared.

This resolution, together with the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) decision this morning, made it clear that what was anticipated was a single, unique event to which heads of State or government were personally invited by the Secretary-General. He was concerned that initiatives were still under way aimed at diminishing the occasion, through the holding of parallel events. He was referring particularly to proposals to hold summit meetings, at head of State or government level, of the Economic and Social Council and the Security Council. He trusted that those two bodies shared the Assembly's desire to ensure the Millennium Summit the greatest success and visibility.

The Acting PRESIDENT then explained that consultations were planned to create a timetable, as requested.

BRUNO RODRIGUEZ PARRILLA (Cuba), also speaking in explanation of position, said he was extraordinarily pleased that after 18 months of consultations the resolution had been adopted. This put the Assembly in an excellent position to undertake the more important part of the Summit preparatory process. The Summit would not be considered historical on the basis of its procedures, but on the basis of the expressions of political will it aroused from Member States and on the outcomes it adopted.

Therefore, Cuba was pleased to see the end of this long stage of organizational meetings, he said, despite concerns Cuba had expressed this morning in the Fifth Committee about financial aspects of the Summit. The most important thing now was for the Assembly President to immediately announce a timetable for the consultations on the outcome. If discussion of the timetable for those consultations were only to begin in May, that left little time for negotiating the substantive outcome. He would rather see the Assembly's actual consultations on substantive matters commence immediately. Finally, he said the Assembly Millennium Summit was a unique meeting that should have no parallels elsewhere, as those might unwittingly damage the Summit.

HANNS HEINRICH SCHUMACHER (Germany), also speaking in explanation of position, said he was concerned at ongoing rumours in the hallways about possible Security Council and Economic and Social Council parallel summits. Those bodies could, and were certainly entitled to, hold meetings whenever they felt it necessary, but the Secretary-General had initially proposed a United Nations meeting to demonstrate that the family of nations was standing shoulder to shoulder in confronting the world's problems. The demonstration's power might be diluted if a series of summit events were held. He asked the Assembly President to consult with the other organs on the matter.

The Acting PRESIDENT then told the Assembly that its President would convene am Assembly meeting in the week commencing 22 May to allow an exchange of views on the Secretary-General’s report on the Millennium Summit.

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For information media. Not an official record.