CONTINUING CONSIDERATION OF DRAFT RESOLUTIONS, SECOND COMMITTEE APPROVES SIX TEXTS

11 December 2001
GA/EF/2990

CONTINUING CONSIDERATION OF DRAFT RESOLUTIONS, SECOND COMMITTEE APPROVES SIX TEXTS

11/12/2001
Press ReleaseGA/EF/2990

Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Second Committee

39th Meeting (PM)

CONTINUING CONSIDERATION OF DRAFT RESOLUTIONS,

SECOND COMMITTEE APPROVES SIX TEXTS

The General Assembly would welcome the proposal by the Council of the International Telecommunication Union to hold the World Summit on the Information Society at the highest possible level in two phases, the first in Geneva from 10 to 12 December 2003 and the second in Tunis in 2005, according to one of six draft resolutions approved without a vote by the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) this afternoon.

By the text on the World Summit, the Assembly would also invite the ITU to assume the leading managerial role in the Executive Secretariat of the Summit and its preparatory process.  It would invite governments to participate actively in the preparatory process of the Summit and to be represented in the Summit at the highest possible level, and it would invite the international community to make voluntary contributions to the special trust fund established by the ITU to support the preparations for and holding of the Summit.

A draft resolution on the report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council on its twenty-first session would have the Assembly underline the need for sufficient financial resources, on a stable and predictable basis, to ensure the full implementation of the mandate of the UNEP.  The Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to keep the resource needs of UNEP and the United Nations Office at Nairobi under continuous review, and make proposals as needed in the context of the United Nations regular budget to strengthen both bodies. 

In addition, the Assembly would note the proposal of the Secretary-General to increase United Nations funding for the cost of servicing the UNEP secretariat and the Governing Council from the regular budget.

The text on women in development would have the Assembly call on governments to encourage the financial sector to mainstream a gender perspective in its policies and programmes.  Also, governments and entrepreneurial associations would be called on to facilitate the access of women, including young women and women entrepreneurs, to education and training in business, administration and information and communication technologies.

In addition, the Assembly would call on governments to promote family-friendly and gender-sensitive work environments, to promote the facilitation of breastfeeding for working mothers and the provision of the necessary care for working women’s children and other dependants.  It would also call on the international community to make efforts to mitigate the effects of excess

volatility and economic disruption, which have a disproportionately negative impact on women.

Also approved were draft resolutions on:  implementation of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006), including the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund for poverty eradication; implementation of the Declaration on International Economic Cooperation, in particular the Revitalization of Economic Growth and Development of the Developing Countries, and implementation of the International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade; and international strategy for disaster reduction.

Also this afternoon, a draft decision on cooperation between the United Nations and the Southern African Development Community was introduced by the representative of Namibia. 

Introducing the draft resolutions were the Vice-Chairmen of the Committee, Felix Mbayu (Cameroon) and Dharmansjah Djumala (Indonesia).

The Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Wednesday 12 December to continue its consideration of draft resolutions.

Background

The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met this afternoon to continue its consideration of draft resolutions.

Before the Committee is a draft resolution on the World Summit on the Information Society (A/C.2/56/L.52), submitted by Committee Vice-Chairman Felix Mbayu (Cameroon) on the basis of informals held on draft resolution A/C.2/56/L.3.  By its terms, the General Assembly would welcome the resolution adopted by the Council of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) at its 2001 session, in which it endorsed the proposal of the Secretary-General of the ITU to hold the Summit at the highest possible level in two phases, the first in Geneva from 10 to 12 December 2003 and the second in Tunis in 2005. 

Also, the Assembly would invite the ITU to act as the executive secretariat of the Summit and its preparatory process; it would invite governments to participate actively in the preparatory process of the Summit and to be represented in the Summit at the highest possible level; and would invite the international community to make voluntary contributions to the special trust fund established by the ITU to support the preparations for and the holding of the Summit.

Also before the Committee is a draft resolution on women and development (document A/C.2/56/L.63), submitted by Garfield Barnwell (Guyana), on the basis of informals held on A/C.2/56/L.21.  It would have the Assembly call on governments to encourage the financial sector to mainstream a gender perspective in its policies and programmes.  The Assembly would also call on governments and entrepreneurial associations to facilitate the access of women, including young women and women entrepreneurs, to education and training in business, administration and information and communication technologies.

In addition, the Assembly would call on governments to promote, through legislation, family-friendly and gender-sensitive work environments and also to promote the facilitation of breastfeeding for working mothers, as well as the provision of the necessary care for working women’s children and other dependants.  It would call on the international community to make efforts to mitigate the effects of excess volatility and economic disruption, which have a disproportionately negative impact on women, and to enhance trade opportunities for developing countries to improve the economic condition of women. 

Further, the Assembly would urge governments to develop and to promote methodologies for mainstreaming a gender perspective in all aspects of policy-making, including economic policy-making.  The Assembly would also urge governments to take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in regard to their access to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial credit, giving special attention to poor, uneducated women, and to support women’s access to legal assistance.

The Committee also had before it a draft resolution on implementation of the Declaration on International Economic Cooperation, in particular, the Revitalization of Economic Growth and Development of the Developing Countries, and implementation of the International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade (document A/C.2/56/L.23).  By its terms, the Assembly would decide to consider the further development of a new international development strategy during its fifty-seventh session, based on the outcomes of a number of meetings and keeping in mind the outcome of the review of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s. 

Those meetings included the special session of the General Assembly on HIV/AIDS, the Third United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries, the special session of the Assembly for an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, the International Conference on Financing for Development, the Assembly’s special session on children and the World Summit on Sustainable Development.]

Also, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to provide the Assembly at its fifty-seventh session with an overview of the challenges and constraints, as well as progress made, towards achieving the major development goals and objectives adopted by the United Nations during the past decade.

The draft on the report of the UNEP Governing Council on its twenty-first session (document A/C.2/56/L.65) is submitted by Committee Vice-Chairman Dharmansjah Djumala (Indonesia), on the basis of informals held on A/C.2/56/L.20.  By its terms, the Assembly would underline the need for sufficient financial resources, on a stable and predictable basis, to ensure the full implementation of the mandate of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).  The Assembly would also request the Secretary-General to keep the resource needs of UNEP and the United Nations Office at Nairobi under continuous review, and make proposals as needed in the context of the United Nations regular budget to strengthen both bodies. 

In addition, the Assembly would note the proposal of the Secretary-General to increase United Nations funding for the cost of servicing the UNEP secretariat and the Governing Council from the regular budget.

The draft resolution on international strategy for disaster reduction (A/C.2/56/L.62) is submitted by Mr. Djumala, on the basis of informals held on A/C.2/56/L.15.  It would have the Assembly decide that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Disaster Reduction should be modified to provide for the increased participation and continued membership of regional intergovernmental organizations and key United Nations agencies.  The Assembly would also decide to maintain the annual observance of the International Day of Natural Disaster Reduction on the second Wednesday of October, as a vehicle to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction, including prevention, mitigation and preparedness.

Also, the Assembly would call on governments to establish national platforms or focal points for disaster reduction, urge the United Nations system to provide appropriate support for those mechanisms, and invite the Secretary-General to strengthen the regional outreach of the secretariat for Disaster Reduction to ensure such support.  It would also call on governments and United Nations agencies to collaborate more closely in the sharing of disaster response and mitigation information, to take full advantage of the United Nations emergency information services such as ReliefWeb, as well as the Internet, and to consider other methods for the sharing of information.

The draft resolution on implementation of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006), including the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund for poverty eradication (document A/C.2/56/L.61) is submitted by Mr. Djumala on the basis of informals held on A/C.2/56/L.5.  By its terms, the Assembly would urge the strengthening of international assistance to developing countries in their efforts to alleviate poverty.  Also, it would call for the full, speedy and effective implementation of the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, as well as call on the heavily indebted poor countries to take, as soon as possible, the policy measures necessary to become eligible for the Initiative and to reach the decision point. 

Among other things, the Assembly would welcome the proposal to establish a world solidarity fund for poverty eradication and the promotion of human and social development in developing countries, particularly among the poorest segments of their population.

The Committee also had before it a draft decision sponsored by Namibia on cooperation between the United Nations and the Southern African Development Community (A/C.2/56/L.64).  The text would have the Assembly decide to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-eighth session a sub-item entitled “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Southern African Development Community”. 

Action on draft resolutions

The Committee Secretary read out an oral revision to the draft resolution on the World Summit on the Information Society.  Operative paragraph 3 should read:

“Invites the International Telecommunications Union to assume the leading managerial role in the Executive Secretariat of the Summit and its preparatory process”.

FELIX MBAYU (Cameroon), Vice-Chairman of the Committee, then introduced the draft resolution as orally revised.

Committee Chairman FRANCISCO SEIXAS DA COSTA said that Mauritania had joined the list of sponsors of the draft. He added that there were no programme budget implications for the resolution.

The text was approved, as orally amended, without a vote.

Committee Vice-Chairman GARFIELD BARNWELL (Guyana) then introduced the draft resolution on women and development.

The Committee also approved that text without a vote.

Next, Mr. BARNWELL introduced the draft resolution on implementation of the Declaration on International Economic Cooperation, in particular, the Revitalization of Economic Growth and Development of the Developing Countries, and implementation of the International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade.

He announced that a change had been made to operative paragraph 2 of the text to add the words “issue of” to the first line of that paragraph.  It should now read:

“Decides to consider the issue of further development of a new international development strategy during the fifty-seventh session of the General Assembly, based upon the outcomes of the aforementioned meetings, and keeping in mind the outcome of the review of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s”.

It was approved, as orally amended, without a vote.

Committee Vice-Chairman DHARMANSJAH DJUMALA (Indonesia) introduced the draft resolution on the report of the UNEP Governing Council on its twenty-first session.

That text too was approved without a vote.

Following approval, the Committee also decided to take note of the summary of the report of the Secretary-General on products harmful to health and the environment (A/56/115 and Corr.1).

Mr. DJUMALA then introduced the draft resolution on international strategy for disaster reduction.

The Committee approved that text without a vote.

He then introduced the draft resolution on implementation of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006), including the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund for poverty eradication.

Mr. SEIXAS DA COSTA said there were no programme budget implications for the resolution.

CLAUDIA SERWER (United States) said her delegation was happy to join consensus on that important resolution today.  At the same time, she wished to emphasize that actual decisions on appropriate debt treatment measures for specific cases would continue to be made in the established venues for such decision-making, and that, in particular, the United States consideration of debt-reduction measures envisaged as a part of the enhanced HIPC initiative would be reserved for indebted countries meeting enhanced HIPC criteria.

That text was then approved without a vote.

TJI-TJAI UANIVI (Namibia) introduced the draft decision on cooperation between the United Nations and the Southern African Development Community.

Mr. SEIXAS DA COSTA said informal consultations on that draft decision would take place following today’s formal meeting.

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For information media. Not an official record.