SECOND COMMITTEE CONSIDERS FIVE DRAFT TEXTS INTRODUCED BY GROUP OF 77, CHINA

28 November 2001
GA/EF/2984

SECOND COMMITTEE CONSIDERS FIVE DRAFT TEXTS INTRODUCED BY GROUP OF 77, CHINA

28/11/2001
Press ReleaseGA/EF/2984

Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Second Committee

33rd Meeting (PM)

SECOND COMMITTEE CONSIDERS FIVE DRAFT TEXTS INTRODUCED BY GROUP OF 77, CHINA

Draft Resolutions Address Such Issues as Financing for UNITAR,

Transit Transport Systems, Economic Measures Directed against Developing Countries

The General Assembly would reclassify the rental rates and maintenance costs charged to the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to alleviate its current financial difficulties -- aggravated by the current practice of charging commercial rates -- according to a draft resolution introduced in the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) this afternoon.

By the draft, which was one of five introduced by representatives of Iran on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, the Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to amend article VIII, paragraph 13, of UNITAR’s statute in furtherance of the above decision.  It would call upon developed countries, which are increasingly participating in UNITAR training programmes in New York and Geneva, to make contributions or consider increasing their contributions to UNITAR’s General Fund.

A text on landlocked developing countries would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General to convene in 2003 an international ministerial meeting of landlocked and transit developing countries and donor countries and representatives of international financial and development institutions on transit transport cooperation.  The ministerial meeting would formulate appropriate policy measures and action-oriented programmes aimed at developing efficient transit transport systems.  The Assembly would also welcome the generous offer made by Kazakhstan to host the meeting.

Also by that draft, the Assembly would invite donor countries, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and multilateral financial and development institutions to provide landlocked and transit developing countries with appropriate financial and technical assistance in the form of grant or concessional loans for the construction, maintenance and improvement of their transport, storage and other transit-related facilities.

By the text of the draft resolution on unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries, the Assembly would urge the international community to adopt urgent and effective measures to eliminate the use of such measures not authorized by relevant organs of the United Nations or inconsistent with the principles of international law as

set forth in the United Nations Charter and that contravene the basic principles of the multilateral trading system. 

The Committee also heard the introduction of draft resolutions on  trade and development and on international trade and development.

The Committee will meet again on Thursday, 29 November, to discuss the Third United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries.

Background

The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met this afternoon to hear the introduction of several draft resolutions sponsored by Iran on behalf of the

"Group of 77" developing countries and China.

By the text of a draft on the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) (document A/C.2/56/L.30), the General Assembly would request the Board of Trustees of UNITAR to continue to ensure fair geographical distribution and transparency in the preparation of programmes and in the employment of experts.  It would stress that the courses of the Institute should focus on development issues, particularly on trade.

Also by the draft, the Assembly would call upon developed countries, which are increasingly participating in UNITAR training programmes in New York and Geneva, to make contributions or consider increasing their contributions to the General Fund.  It would also request the Secretary-General to continue to explore ways and means of systematically utilizing the Institute in the execution of training and capacity-building programmes for the economic and social development of developing countries.

The Assembly would also decide to reclassify the rental rates and maintenance costs charged to the Institute with a view to alleviating its current financial difficulties, which are aggravated by the current practice of charging commercial rates, taking into account that other organizations affiliated with the United Nations enjoy such privileges.  In furtherance of the above decision, the Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to amend article VIII,

paragraph 13, of UNITAR’s statute.

Also by the text, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to report to it at its fifty-seventh session on the implementation of the resolution, including the impact of restructuring and revitalization on the efficiency of the Institute, as well as further details on the status of contributions to and the financial situation of the Institute .

By the text of a draft resolution on trade and development (document A/C.2/56/L.35), the Assembly would decide to include in the provisional agenda of its next session the sub-item on international trade and development, under the item under “Macroeconomic policy questions”.  The Assembly would also request the Secretary-General, in collaboration with the secretariat of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), to report to it at its next session on the implementation of the present resolution and developments in the multilateral trading system.

By the text of a draft resolution on unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries (document A/C.2/56/L.36), the Assembly would urge the international community to adopt urgent and effective measures to eliminate the use of such unilateral measures that were not authorized by relevant organs of the United Nations or were inconsistent with the principles of international law as set forth in the United Nations Charter and that contravene the basic principles of the multilateral trading system. 

Also by the text, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to continue to monitor the imposition of measures of this nature and to study the impact of such measures on the affected countries, including the impact on trade and development.  It would also request the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

By the text of a draft resolution on specific action related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries (document A/C.2/56/L.37), the Assembly would call upon the landlocked developing countries and their transit neighbours to implement measures to strengthen further their cooperative and collaborative efforts to deal with transit transport issues.  It would also appeal once again to all States, international organizations and financial institutions to implement, as a matter of urgency and priority, the specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries agreed upon in the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the outcomes of recent major United Nations conferences relevant to those countries.

Also by the draft, the Assembly would invite donor countries, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and multilateral financial and development institutions to provide landlocked and transit developing countries with appropriate financial and technical assistance in the form of grant or concessional loans for the construction, maintenance and improvement of their transport, storage and other transit-related facilities. 

By the draft, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to convene in 2003 an international ministerial meeting of landlocked and transit developing countries and donor countries and representatives of international financial and development institutions on transit transport cooperation to review the current situation of transit transport systems, including the 1995 Global Framework for Transit Transport Cooperation.  The ministerial meeting would also formulate appropriate policy measures and action-oriented programmes aimed at developing efficient transit transport systems.  It would be held for two days and would be preceded by a three-day meeting of senior officials to finalize the substantive preparation.  The Assembly would welcome the generous offer made by Kazakhstan to host the meeting.

Also by the text, the Secretary-General would be requested to convene in 2003, within existing resources for the biennium 2003-2004, another meeting of governmental experts from landlocked and transit developing countries and representatives of donor countries and financial and development institutions, to serve as a preparatory committee for the ministerial meeting referred to above.  It would also request the Secretary-General of UNCTAD to seek voluntary contributions to facilitate the preparation of the ministerial meeting.

The Secretary-General would be invited to take appropriate measures for the effective implementation of the activities called for in the present resolution, and to provide the Office of the Special Coordinator for Least Developed, Landlocked and Island Developing Countries with adequate resources so as to allow it to implement effectively its mandate.  The Secretary-General would also be requested to prepare a report on the implementation of the present resolution and submit it to the Trade and Development Board and to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session.

By the text of the draft resolution on international trade and development (document A/C.2/56/L.38), the Assembly would request the Secretary-General, in collaboration with the secretariat of UNCTAD, to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session on the implementation of the present resolution and developments in the multilateral trading system.

Introduction of Draft Resolutions

MEHDI MIRAFZAL (Iran), speaking on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, introduced the draft resolution on trade and development.

He then introduced the draft resolution on unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries.

Next, he introduced the draft resolution on specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries.

He then introduced the draft resolution on international trade and development.

ALIREZA TOOTOONCHIAN (Iran), also speaking on behalf of the "Group of 77" and China, introduced the draft resolution on the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).  He said the text sought to address the main issue pertaining to the Institute, which was its low level of voluntary contributions.

JOÃO FINS-DO-LAGO (Portugal), speaking on behalf of the European Union, hoped the text just introduced could be adopted by consensus as soon as possible.  While he was grateful for the explanations given regarding the text, he had some concerns regarding the programme budget implications of operative paragraph 11.  He requested the Secretariat to examine that paragraph and submit a document on the possible programme budget implications.

Mr. TOOTOONCHIAN (Iran) asked the Secretariat whether programme budget implications were required to be presented to the Committee, or if they were to be considered in the Fifth Committee.

MARGARET KELLY, Committee Secretary, replied that all draft proposals before the Committee were given to the Budget Office to determine possible budget implications.  The Committee must be informed of the programme budget implications before it takes action on the draft proposals.  The programme budget implications were to be acted on by the Fifth Committee.

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For information media. Not an official record.