IN RECORDED VOTE, ASSEMBLY ADOPTS TEXT ON SOUTH ATLANTIC ZONE OF PEACE

29 November 2000
GA/9834

IN RECORDED VOTE, ASSEMBLY ADOPTS TEXT ON SOUTH ATLANTIC ZONE OF PEACE

29 November 2000

Press ReleaseGA/9834

IN RECORDED VOTE, ASSEMBLY ADOPTS TEXT ON SOUTH ATLANTIC ZONE OF PEACE

20001129

Adopts 3 Drafts Without Vote, Confirms UNIFEM Committee Appointments

In a recorded vote of 119 Member States in favour and 1 abstention (United States), the General Assembly this morning adopted a resolution on the zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic, by whose terms it would call upon all States to cooperate in the promotion of the objectives established in the declaration of the zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic, and to refrain from any action inconsistent with those objectives. (For voting results, see Annex.)

By the terms of the resolution, which was introduced by the representative of Argentina, the Assembly also called upon Member States to continue their efforts towards the achievement of appropriate regulation of maritime transport of radioactive and toxic wastes, taking into account the interests of coastal States and in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the regulations of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The representative of Brazil said the zone provided Member States with mechanisms to face common problems. High on the list of priorities were efforts to protect the marine environment and to cooperate in combating illegal drug trafficking. On the conservation of the marine environment, he favoured the adoption of new mechanisms to prevent environmental accidents and promote the exchange of information. The fight against drug trafficking should continue to be actively pursued. The zone could act as a forum for such action.

The Assembly further adopted, without a vote, a draft resolution on the International Decade for a culture of peace and non-violence for the children of the world (2001-2010), introduced by the representative of Bangladesh, whereby the Assembly invited Member States to place greater emphasis on and expand their activities to promote a culture of peace and non-violence.

By the terms of the resolution, the Assembly decided to devote one day of plenary meetings at its sixty-first session to the consideration of the item, and called upon the relevant United Nations bodies, in particular, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), to promote both formal and non-formal education that inculcates a culture of peace and non-violence.

General Assembly Plenary - 1a - Press Release GA/9834 74th Meeting (AM) 29 November 2000

The Assembly also adopted, without a vote, a resolution on the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the special session of the General Assembly in that regard, introduced by the representative of Chile. By its terms, the Assembly emphasized the importance of placing the goals of social development at the centre of economic policy-making, including policies that influence domestic and global market forces and the global economy.

By the terms of the resolution, the Assembly also invited the Secretary- General, the Economic and Social Council, the Commission for Social Development, the regional commissions, the relevant agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system, and other intergovernmental forums to take all steps necessary to ensure the effective implementation of all commitments and undertakings contained in the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action and in the outcome document of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly.

Another draft text, also adopted without a vote, on the role of the United Nations in promoting a new global human order, was introduced by the representative of Guyana. By its terms, the Assembly stressed the need for a broad-based consensus for action within a comprehensive and holistic framework towards the achievement of the goals of development and poverty eradication, involving all actors, namely governments, the international community, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and other relevant actors of civil society.

In further action, the Assembly took note of its President's appointment of Croatia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Namibia and the Netherlands as members of the Consultative Committee of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), for a three-year term beginning 1 January 2001.

The representatives of the United States and France spoke in explanation of vote.

The Assembly will reconvene at 3 p.m. to take up consideration of the question of Palestine.

General Assembly Plenary - 3 - Press Release GA/9834 74th Meeting (AM) 29 November 2000

Assembly Work Programme

The fifty-fifth regular session of the General Assembly met this morning to take up consideration of the zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic and the appointment of the members of the Consultative Committee of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). It was also expected to take action on draft resolutions on a culture of peace; implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the special session of the General Assembly; and the role of the United Nations in promoting a new global human order.

Zone of Peace and Cooperation of South Atlantic

Before the General Assembly was a report of the Secretary-General (document A/55/476) on the zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic.

The General Assembly, on 24 November 1999, adopted resolution 54/35 entitled “zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic”, in which it took note of the report of the Secretary-General (A/54/447) and requested the relevant organizations, organs and bodies of the United Nations system to render all appropriate assistance that States members of the zone might seek in their joint efforts to implement the declaration of the zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic. Pursuant to resolution 54/35, the Secretary-General addressed a note verbale, dated 22 May, to the Governments of Member States of the United Nations, requesting their views on the implementation of the declaration. The Secretary-General also dispatched letters to the relevant organizations and bodies of the United Nations requesting them to submit their contributions for the preparation of the report of the Secretary-General by 31 July.

As of 10 October, the Government of Argentina had replied. Eight replies had been received from United Nations bodies. Those were the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Department of Disarmament Affairs, the Department of Public Information (DPI), the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention, the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Bank and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Before the Assembly was a draft resolution (document A/55/L.39) on the issue, sponsored by Angola, Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Namibia, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo and Uruguay.

By the terms of the draft, the Assembly would call upon all States to cooperate in the promotion of the objectives established in the declaration of the zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic, and to refrain from any action inconsistent with those objectives and with the Charter of the United Nations and relevant resolutions of the Organization, in particular, actions that may create or aggravate situations of tension and potential conflict in the region.

The Assembly would also call upon Member States to continue their efforts towards the achievement of appropriate regulation of maritime transport of radioactive and toxic wastes, taking into account the interests of coastal States and in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the regulations of the IMO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Assembly would welcome the decision on the circulation and illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons taken by the heads of State and government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) at its thirty-fifth ordinary session. It would underline that sustainable peace and security in Sierra Leone can be achieved only through the fulfilment of the broad objectives of the Peace Agreement signed at Lomé on 7 July 1999, including full disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, the legitimate exploitation of natural resources of Sierra Leone for the benefit of its people, full respect for the human rights of all, national reconciliation, effective action on the issues of impunity and accountability, the full extension of the authority of the State of Sierra Leone, and a free and inclusive democratic process leading to elections.

By the same terms, the Assembly would view with concern the humanitarian effects on the civilian population of the present situation in Angola. It also would view with concern the increase in drug trafficking and related crimes, and call upon the international community and States members of the zone to promote regional and international cooperation to combat all aspects of the problem of drugs and related offences.

The Assembly would request the relevant organizations, organs and bodies of the United Nations system to render all appropriate assistance that the States members of the zone may seek in their joint efforts to implement the declaration of the zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic.

Culture of Peace

The General Assembly had before it a draft resolution on the international decade for a culture of peace and non-violence for the children of the world (2001-2010), sponsored by Argentina, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, El Salvador, India, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Senegal and Thailand.

By the terms of the draft, the Assembly would decide to devote one day of plenary meetings at its sixty-first session to consideration of the item, including a review of the progress made in the implementation of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, as well as the observance of the Decade at its mid-point, with the participation of all relevant actors. It would designate UNESCO as the lead agency for the Decade, with responsibility for coordinating the activities of the organizations of the United Nations system, as well as liaison with the other organizations concerned.

The Assembly would call upon the relevant United Nations bodies, in particular, UNESCO and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), to promote both formal and non-formal education at all levels that inculcates a culture of peace and non-violence.

Further to the draft, the Assembly would invite Member States to place greater emphasis on and expand their activities to promote a culture of peace and non-violence, in particular, during the Decade, at the national, regional and international levels, and to ensure that peace and non-violence are fostered at all levels. It would also invite civil society at the local, regional and national levels to widen the scope of their activities to promote a culture of peace and non-violence, engaging in partnerships and sharing information, thus contributing to a global movement for a culture of peace.

By the same terms, the Assembly would request UNESCO to disseminate widely, in various languages, the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace and related materials, in particular, throughout the Decade.

The Assembly would stress the importance of the media and of the new information and communication technology in further promoting a culture of peace and non-violence, especially among children and young people.

Implementation of Outcome of World Summit for Social Development And Special Session of General Assembly

The General Assembly had before it a draft resolution (document A/55/L.40), sponsored by Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela and Viet Nam, on the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the special session of the General Assembly in this regard.

By the draft, the Assembly would emphasize the importance of placing the goals of social development at the centre of economic policy-making, including in policies that influence domestic and global market forces and the global economy. The Assembly would also invite the Secretary-General, the Economic and Social Council, the Commission for Social Development, the regional commissions, the relevant agencies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system, and other intergovernmental forums, to take all steps necessary to ensure the effective implementation of all commitments and undertakings contained in the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action, and in the outcome document of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly. The General Assembly would decide to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-sixth session the item entitled "implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly", and request the Secretary-General to submit a report on the question to the General Assembly at its fifty-sixth session.

Role of United Nations in Promoting New Global Human Order

Also before the Assembly was a draft resolution on the role of the United Nations in promoting a new global human order (document A/55/L.15), sponsored by Ecuador, Guatemala and Guyana, by whose terms the Assembly would stress the need for a broad-based consensus for action within a comprehensive and holistic framework towards the achievement of the goals of development and poverty eradication, involving all actors, namely governments, the international community, the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other relevant actors of civil society.

By the same terms, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to seek the views of Member States on the elements of a new global human order, its practical and policy implications and the possible options, instruments and mechanisms of implementation, and to prepare a report thereon for consideration by the Assembly at its fifty-sixth session.

Further to the draft, the Assembly would decide to include in the agenda of its fifty-sixth session the item entitled “the role of the United Nations in promoting a new global human order”.

Extension of Session until 15 December

At the conclusion of yesterday morning’s meeting, the Assembly President announced that the end of the current session, originally scheduled for 5 December, had been postponed until 15 December.

Introduction of Draft: Zone of Peace of South Atlantic

ARNOLDO LISTRE (Argentina) said it was a matter of great satisfaction to introduce draft resolution A/55/L.39 on behalf of the members of the “Zone of peace and cooperation in the South Atlantic”. Since its creation in 1985, the zone had been an excellent forum for discussion and deepening relations of cooperation and friendship between African and Latin American States of the South Atlantic. Argentina was gratified by the successful implementation of the objectives that the countries of the zone had achieved in the past 15 years. Since then, five high-level meetings had taken place, the last in Argentina in 1998, and his country recognized the importance that members had placed on reinforcing cooperation.

Members of the zone had set fundamental goals, especially strengthening peace and security, the peaceful solution and negotiation of all disputes, the promotion of democracy, respect for human rights and good governance, the promotion of trade between the Latin American and African States of the zone, the protection of environment and marine life, cooperation against drug smuggling, and the development of the concept of solidarity in emergency humanitarian situations. As regards peace and security, his Government considered that nuclear-free zones, such as those established by the Tlatelolco and Pelindaba Treaties, prohibited the use or threat of nuclear weapons in conformity with the principles established by the United Nations Charter.

On the proliferation of illicit small arms, the countries of the zone were committed to promoting the establishment and maintenance of peace with the least possible deviation of human and economic resources for armaments. Fortunately, there was cooperation on the phenomenon of small weapons, which required different methods of response. In that context, Argentina reasserted its call for the international community to avoid any actions that could aggravate tensions in the region. It was clear that matters relating to peace and development were inseparable, he added. The States members of the zone had enjoyed economic stability, modernization of the State structure, trade liberalization and the privatization of public enterprises. Lastly, Argentina wished to underline the progress made by the “white helmets” in providing humanitarian assistance to Angola, Brazil, Equatorial Guinea and Sierra Leone.

LUIZ TUPY CALDAS DE MOURA (Brazil) said that the zone provided Member States with mechanisms to face common problems. High on the list of priorities were efforts to protect the marine environment and cooperate in combating illegal drug trafficking. On the conservation of the marine environment, Brazil was working with its neighbours, and favoured the adoption of new mechanisms that would help prevent environmental accidents and promote the exchange of information. The fight against drug trafficking should continue to be actively pursued, and the zone could act as a forum for such action. International organizations had an important role to play in promoting those objectives. The zone of peace and cooperation could also serve as a forum where regional organizations could unite their efforts to bring peace and security to the world.

Appointment of Members of Consultative Committee, UNIFEM

As the terms of office of the present five members of the Consultative Committee will expire on 31 December, the Assembly’s President, Harri Holkeri (Finland), had named Croatia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Namibia and the Netherlands as members for a three-year term beginning 1 January 2001. The Assembly decided to take note of those appointments and to conclude its consideration of the agenda item.

Introduction: Implementation of Outcome of World Summit for Social Development

EDUARDO TAPIA (Chile), introducing the draft resolution (document A/55/L.40), announced that Australia, Israel, Mali, Malta, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, San Marino and the United States had joined as co-sponsors of the text. He said negotiations for the Assembly session on the subject, in Geneva in July, had not been easy, but it had been possible to arrive at a consensus that would serve to provide guidelines for the work to be carried out. The international community would be proud, indeed, if it succeeded in eradicating poverty. Today’s text was of a procedural nature, designed to enshrine the agreements achieved in Copenhagen and Geneva. Priority would be granted to adoption of required measures to achieve the objectives set out in Copenhagen and other meetings.

Although the text of the draft was procedural, negotiations had been difficult because the topic was complex. He hoped that, in the future, the lofty perspectives enshrined in the draft would ultimately prevail.

Action on Draft Resolution A/55/L.40

The Assembly was informed that Gabon had become a co-sponsor to the draft resolution.

The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, the resolution as contained in document A/55/L.40 and decided to conclude its consideration of the agenda item.

Introduction of Draft Resolution: Culture of Peace

ANWARUL KARIM CHOWDHURY (Bangladesh), introducing draft resolution A/55/L.43/Rev.1 on a Culture of Peace, announced that there were four additional co-sponsors of the draft: Cuba, Myanmar, Guyana and Tunisia. He emphasized that the text was a follow-up to resolution 52/15 of 20 November 1997, proclaiming 2000 as the International Year for the Culture of Peace, and resolution 53/25 of 10 November 1998, proclaiming the period 2001-2010 as the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World. The draft resolution recognized the need to strengthen the global movement for a culture of peace. Bangladesh called for a greater emphasis on the expansion of the culture of peace and non-violence, to ensure that it was fostered at all levels.

A number of countries had undertaken extensive activities to promote a culture of peace. In fact, national committees and focal points were now in existence in more than 160 countries, furthering the declaration of a culture of peace. The current draft encouraged the establishment of such bodies in the remaining countries. Bangladesh welcomed the important work of UNICEF and the University of Peace for further promoting a culture of peace and non-violence, particularly by means of special activities during the Decade at national, regional and international levels.

In closing, he stated that the draft resolution invited civil society at the local, regional and national levels to widen the scope of their activities to promote a culture of peace and non-violence, engaging in partnerships and sharing information, thus contributing to a global movement for a culture of peace. By virtue of the large number of co-sponsors, Bangladesh urged its adoption by consensus.

Action on Draft Resolution QA/55/L.43/Rev.1: Culture of Peace

The Assembly adopted, without a vote, the draft resolution on a Culture of Peace, and decided to conclude consideration of the agenda item.

Role of United Nations in Promoting New Global Human Order

S.R. INSANALLY (Guyana) said that the concept of a new global human order aimed at promoting an enlightened partnership for development to deal with the challenges and arrest the growing disparities among and between nations. It was inspired by the end of the cold war, increased technical development and the deepening interdependence of nations. Over the last two decades, however, there had been a gradual but definite displacement of development from the international policy agenda. The reason for the gap between expectation and reality and the failure of development policies were not hard to understand. Whilst every agreement in the past decade had highlighted the importance of certain fundamental human values, the prevailing paradigm was devoid of any humanistic consideration and, consequently, of any real prospect for success.

The initiative of a new global human order was, therefore, an attempt to identify and address the gaps in international cooperation that had impeded effective implementation of the many initiatives on development pursued by the United Nations and the international community. As experience had shown, development could not be addressed by the continued pursuit of old models and strategies. Nor could it simply be farmed out to the market, which was merely the servant and not the master of human endeavour. It was a challenge that required a serious dialogue among governments, which should ideally be undertaken at the United Nations.

The draft resolution, he continued, reflected a common determination to promote the economic and social advancement of all people, and a sense of urgency for the revitalization of international cooperation to that end. At the same time, the resolution emphasized the principle of the responsibility of countries for their development process.

Action on Draft Resolution A/55/L.15/Rev.2

The Assembly was informed that Myanmar had joined as a co-sponsor of the draft.

The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, the resolution on the role of the United Nations in promoting a new global human order.

Speaking after adoption of the resolution, JAY SNYDER (United States) said that effectively responding to the challenges of achieving sustainable development and increasing human well-being in all countries was an important United States goal. However, while he understood the motivations lying behind the proposed resolution, he believed it was duplicative of many other ongoing international initiatives related to sustainable development objectives. The United States was, therefore, concerned by the draft’s potential to lead towards non-productive and duplicative discussions in the future.

The accompanying documents called for the implementation of specific policies to which the United States Government was strongly opposed. They included enlarging United Nations responsibilities beyond the bounds of the Charter and infringing on the agreed mandates of other international institutions. The same documents concentrated almost exclusively on international responsibility for achieving economic growth in developing countries, he said. They did not address the dramatic differences in economic performance among developing countries over the past four decades. In fact, many developing countries had achieved unprecedented income growth and poverty reduction during that period, with per capita income rising at much higher rates than in industrialized countries. Many other developing countries had suffered only economic stagnation, although they operated within the same international system and sometimes started with population and natural resource bases equivalent to those of more successful countries. Why was this so? The new global human order as presented in the resolution ignored that key question.

He said that the lack of balance at the core of the proposal threatened to revive sterile past debates on important development questions, at a time when there had been significant changes in thinking at both national and international levels concerning the best routes towards sustainable development for all. There was a general agreement that pragmatic and practical solutions were needed most. He hoped that the report resulting from this resolution would take such considerations fully into account.

The Assembly then decided to conclude its consideration of the item.

Action on Draft Resolution A/55/L.39: Zone of Peace of South Atlantic

JAY SNYDER (United States), in explanation of his vote, said the United States would abstain from voting because international zones should be created through multilateral regional forums and not through the United Nations.

In a recorded vote, the Assembly adopted the resolution on the zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic, with 119 Member States voting in favour and 1 (United States) abstaining.

Explanation of Vote

JEAN-CLAUDE BRUNET (France) said that his country had voted in favour of the draft. However, France wished to recall its reservations on the concept of the zone of peace. They included some continuing uncertainties about the geographical limits of the proposed zone and the respect for the rule of international law, particularly on the use of international airspace and waterways.

(annex follows)

General Assembly Plenary Press Release GA/9834 74th Meeting (AM) 29 November 2000

ANNEX

Vote on Zone of Peace of South Atlantic

The draft resolution on a zone of peace and cooperation of the South Atlantic (document A/55/L.39) was adopted by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 0 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia.

Against: None.

Abstain: United States.

Absent: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Cambodia, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Lebanon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zimbabwe.

* *** *

For information media. Not an official record.