Fifty-seventh General Assembly
55th & 56th Meetings (AM & PM)
GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPROVES STRONGER LINKS BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS
AND NUMBER OF REGIONAL AND OTHER OUTSIDE GROUPS
Enhanced Cooperation Said to Improve Chances of Progress on Global
Agenda Priorities -– Notably for Peace, Development, Poverty Reduction
The General Assembly today adopted a number of resolutions, all but one without a vote, calling for enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations.
By a vote of 128 in favour to one against (United States) with three abstentions (Cambodia, Ghana, Pakistan), the Assembly took note of the report of the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. (See annex for details.)
By a resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union, which was granted observer status with the Assembly earlier in the week, the Assembly decided to allow the circulation of official documents of the Union in the Assembly, on the understanding that there were no financial implications for the United Nations, and that it would not constitute a precedent for other organizations with observer status. The Assembly also invited the specialized agencies to consider adopting similar modalities for cooperation with the Union.
Regarding cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union, the Assembly called on the Secretary-General and the Interim Chairman of the African Union to review the Cooperation Agreement between the United Nations and the previous Organization of African Unity with a view to reflecting the establishment of the Union.
In other action, the Assembly urged the international community and the United Nations agencies to continue to provide those countries of the Economic Community of Central African States, in which a process of national reconstruction was taking place, with appropriate assistance to consolidate democracy and the rule of law, and to support their national development programmes.
Resolutions were also adopted on cooperation between the United Nations and the following: Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization; Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization; Caribbean Community; Economic Cooperation Organization; International Organization of La Francophonie; Latin American Economic System; League of Arab States; Organization of the Islamic Conference; Pacific Islands
Forum; Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons; Southern African Development Community; and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Action on a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe would be taken at a later date.
Statements were made the representatives of Argentina, Republic of Korea, Poland, Belarus, Sweden, Zambia, Azerbaijan, Iraq, United Kingdom, Ecuador, Kenya, Andorra, Lithuania, Japan, Burkina Faso, Australia, Liechtenstein, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Austria and Cameroon.
In addition, the representatives of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the International Organization of La Francophonie, the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, the Caribbean Community, the League of Arab States, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Economic Community of Central African States, the Council of Europe and the African Union also spoke.
Speaking in explanation of vote were the representatives of Denmark (on behalf of the European Union), Israel, India, New Zealand and Australia.
The Observer for the League of Arab States and the representatives of Israel, Armenia and Azerbaijan exercised their right of reply.
The Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. tomorrow, 22 November to consider the reports of its First Committee.
The General Assembly met this morning to continue its consideration of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations. For further background, see Press Release GA/10103, issued 20 November.
LUIS E. CAPPAGLI (Argentina) said that the dialogue and existing cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS) had to be strengthened and broadened. The OAS played a vital role in the hemisphere for the defence of democracy and the protection of human rights. Its knowledge of regional problems put it in the best position to enable the United Nations to benefit from its experience and capacity in issues of common interest.
Cooperation was also welcome in the economic and social fields, he said. The report on cooperation between the United Nations and the OAS had summarized the existence of different levels of exchange between the OAS and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). That cooperation could be broadened to other areas to unify the efforts of both of those organizations to promote the millennium goals in the continent, particularly that of development and poverty eradication.
During the current year, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had suffered a crisis that affected its activities and threatened its future, he said. Luckily, through the cooperation of all States parties, that difficulty had been overcome and an atmosphere of harmony and cooperation had been re-established. He was pleased that the States parties to the Convention had deposited their trust in a distinguished Argentine diplomat, Rogelio Pfirter, to direct the Technical Secretariat in that new period.
SUN JOUN-YUNG (Republic of Korea) said that enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union would have a salutary effect on the United Nations’ future, as members of the Union would bring their experience to strengthen human rights, democracy and social and economic development. It had been a productive year for cooperation between the two organizations, but there was still ample opportunity to cultivate substantive relations between the two by going beyond mere declarations.
Also, as a full dialogue partner of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), he said that enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and ASEAN would contribute to promoting peace, stability and socio-economic development in the ASEAN region. Moreover, the United Nations had a long history of cooperation with the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) in promoting international law. The Organization had served as the major association for Asian and African countries in the development of international law and his country was honoured to host its June 2003 meeting.
Turning to United Nations cooperation with the OPCW, he added that the OPCW’s activities had become yet more relevant in light of current events. Pleased to note the OPCW’s readiness to cooperate with the Security Council’s Counter-terrorism Committee, he said the organization deserved the unreserved support of its member States and the international community as a whole. Finally, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), having already acquired a solid reputation in the areas of counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, peace building, early warning, refugees and the rights of children, was uniquely placed to cooperate with the United Nations in those areas.
TADEUSZ IWINSKI (Poland) said that in an increasingly globalized world, cooperation between international organizations was a necessity. To promote the values shared by their members and to tackle global issues discussed at conferences in Monterrey and Johannesburg, those organizations must cooperate further within (and sometimes beyond) their respective mandates. The dialogue between the United Nations system and the Council of Europe could serve as an example.
He said that further cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe in the peace-building and establishment of political stability in South-East Europe was needed. That cooperation should include training of human rights observers, human rights programmes, and promotion of dialogue among civilizations. He appreciated the role of the Council of Europe in promoting such values as democracy and the rule of law. Despite Poland’s concentration on the final phase of accession negotiations with the European Union, he attached special attention to the activities of the Council of Europe, especially those that contributed to the spread of peace, stability and democracy. He confirmed his country’s readiness to organize in Poland the third summit of the Council of Europe.
ANATOLY MALOFEEV (Belarus) said that the state of world affairs had posed more complex and massive tasks for the United Nations, such as poverty eradication, ensuring peace and security, environmental protection and combating terrorism. National parliaments could do a great deal of benefit to the lives of people around the world. The Inter-Parliamentary Union, an authoritative body bringing together 144 parliaments from around the world, had, over the past few years, adopted resolutions and undertaken measures to support the work of the United Nations. The Millennium Declaration had stated the importance of increasing cooperation between the United Nations and the Union. He supported the resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Union.
Turning to terrorism, he said that the attacks of 11 September and the recent attack in Bali were links in the same chain, showing that no country was immune to such attacks. Today, the world was one in understanding the need to fight that scourge. The United Nations should be the centre for coordinating strategies in that regard.
It was necessary, he said, to recognize the impact of global environmental degradation. He recalled the tragic consequences of the Chernobyl disaster and said international assistance had not been commensurate with the needs that had to be met in that connection. He hoped that, through joint efforts at the State and parliamentary levels, an effective solution to common problems could be found.
JAN BERGQVIST (Sweden) said that the highest common denominator in the cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe was the central role that human rights played in their activities. The Universal Declaration of Human rights and the European Convention on Human Rights were both utterly central instruments for achieving humanism in the world. Today, one of the main activities of the Council of Europe was its support for the rule of law and the development of sound practices in new and re-established democracies. That also had global implications and was of great importance to the United Nations.
After the events of 11 September last year, it was natural that the Council of Europe made every possible contribution to the fight against terrorism, he continued. That political “preparedness” resulted in a set of guidelines for the work to combat terrorism, while preserving democracy and human rights. It was important that States not deviate from the their democratic standards of openness, responsibility and legal predictability just because they dealt with terrorists. “If we are not steady in this respect, we may soon find ourselves on a very slippery slope towards lower standards in the field of democracy and human rights,” he said.
In that context, he hoped that the International Criminal Court would eventually be universally recognized and that its statutes would not be diluted or set aside by bilateral agreements.
MWELWA MUSAMBACHIME (Zambia) said his Government recognized the importance of regional integration as a fundamental tool for fostering social and economic development. The commitment of African leaders to the people, exemplified by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), qualified them for support from the international community, which should accelerate the continent’s integration into the global economy. He was especially pleased with the efforts of the United Nations and Member States to strengthen cooperation with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in the areas of conflict prevention and resolution, peacekeeping and peace-building. Those efforts heightened the prospects for peace in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Focusing on the humanitarian crisis caused by erratic weather and HIV/AIDS in southern Africa, he appealed to the international community for food aid to solve the immediate food shortages and so prevent a severe catastrophe. In addition to food aid, assistance should be provided to deal with the wider health issues concerning water and sanitation. In the long run it would be advisable, he said, if the donor community engaged and strengthened regional mechanisms within SADC in addressing the crisis.
YASHAR ALIYEV (Azerbaijan) supported cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations. Referring to the “valuable contribution” of the Council of Europe to democratic stability in Europe, he also welcomed the fact that its experience was increasingly being referred to by others beyond the region of its responsibility. That deserved attention by the United Nations.
Regarding a peaceful settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict within the framework of the OSCE’s Minsk Group, he said that mediation by the Minsk Group should be impartial and aimed at the “unconditional” implementation of the OSCE’s and Security Council’s decisions on withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces from Azerbaijan’s occupied territories; the elimination of the consequences of the armed conflict; and strict compliance with the principles of the 1975 Helsinki Final Act.
He also said that departure from those principles put the rule of law and effectiveness of the international mediation under serious doubt, and undermined confidence in the OSCE Minsk Group. Although the OSCE did have the lead resolving the conflict in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, according to the Secretary-General’s report “Cooperation between the UN and the OSCE,” considering the lack of progress in the negotiations regarding the Armenian “aggression”, the Security Council must intervene. For its part, his country had
put decisively forward a package of proposals concerning Armenia's withdrawal from four occupied districts and the restoration of the main railroad line. Those proposals were rejected by Armenia.
MOHAMMED SALMAN (Iraq) said that the Inter-Parliamentary Union had a wealth of knowledge and experience, from which the United Nations could greatly benefit. The Union should play an important role in strengthening multilateral diplomacy. As the expression of the voice of the people, parliaments ensured the democratic nature of decision-making processes. The relations between the Union and the United Nations were consistent with the Charter. The partnership between the Union and the United Nations could enhance the transparency and image of the United Nations in public opinion.
To stop the anarchy rampant in international relations, and to stop the United Nations from losing the respect of the peoples of the world, he called on the Union to join efforts with others to combat hegemony. What was happening in Iraq was a clear case of genocide, which even the United Nations staff could not tolerate. Every day, people in Iraq were dying. What was transpiring in the Security Council in connection with Iraq was yet another example of the flagrant violation of the Charter and international law. He hoped the Assembly’s debate would strengthen cooperation between the Union and the United Nations.
TERRY DAVIS (United Kingdom) said he welcomed and supported the resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe. The Council and the United Nations had emerged at a similar point in history. Both shared a common goal –- to put an end to the scourge of war. The statesmen who struggled to make the Council a reality took heart from the foundation of the United Nations. The two organizations were mutually reinforcing. The Council looked to the United Nations to take the lead on global conflict prevention and human rights issues. In return, it served to underpin and advance the universal goals and values of the United Nations throughout Europe.
Tragically, he said, despite the efforts of the United Nations, the Council and others, war and conflict remained a global scourge, which destroyed the lives and hopes of millions. Europe had not been immune. The end of the cold war brought most of Central and Eastern Europe into the Council, but that development was preceded by violent conflicts, which saw human rights abuses on a massive scale in the South Caucasus and South-East Europe. Cooperation between the United Nations and the Council was about respect for human rights; the prevention of torture; the fight against discrimination, racism and xenophobia; and the campaign for equal treatment and equal opportunities for men and women. It was about securing a better future based on universally held rights and values.
DENYS TOSCANO-AMORES (Ecuador) said that, in order to ensure an active international presence and participation for the Latin American Economic System (SELA), Latin America and the Caribbean needed to establish, among others, a permanent system of economic cooperation with other international organizations and a guiding body for negotiations involving the region. Latin American countries faced grave obstacles in overcoming poverty and underdevelopment, given the imbalances that plagued international economic relations.
Conditionalities and stabilization policies had had an injurious impact on State structures, he said. Regional democratic systems faced deep economic crises and growing social discontent. Democratic governance was in genuine danger of collapse. Furthermore, the proper course to follow in correcting those setbacks depended not just on the countries striving to find the path to development, but also on the support of developed countries. For that reason, developing common regional positions and strategies vis-à-vis other States and international organizations, and promoting Latin American integration, was essential.
Moreover, he said, given the lack of alternative academic and political debate, SELA and ECLAC should combine their capacities, in order to revive the debate about the need for a more just and equitable world order. Calling for the creation of effective alternatives to overcome the structural crises undermining countries, he concluded that technical and economic cooperation between SELA and the United Nations agencies was necessary, but that it could not replace North-South cooperation.
DAVID K.A. KIKAYA (Kenya) said the escalation of conflicts in Africa had eroded development gains and conflict situations were havens for the illegal exploitation of natural resources. To stem the tide of chaos, he supported the role of the United Nations in the area of peace and security. He fully supported any form of collaboration between the United Nations and the African Union in preventive diplomacy, particularly in peace missions in the African region.
He said that Kenya had been in the forefront in the search for peace in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa, especially in Southern Sudan and Somalia. No sustainable development could be achieved in an atmosphere of conflict. He called upon the United Nations to support regional and subregional initiatives of conflict, early warning and response mechanisms, to improve conflict prevention and management.
He expressed concern about the “excessive” availability of small arms and light weapons. The global community must take decisive steps to alleviate this problem. Kenya would work with the United Nations, the African Union and other regional organizations to stem that problem. Most African countries were still among the poorest in the world, he added. That imbalance must be corrected, through implementation of the commitments made at the conferences on least developed countries and sustainable development, among others.
JELENA PIÀ COMELLA (Andorra) said that she welcomed the leading role the Inter-Parliamentary Union had played in international conferences. National parliaments had participated in decision-making on texts relating to sustainable development and security through the intermediary role of the Union and through their inclusion in national delegations.
In the field of sustainable social and economic development, the Union had enriched the declarations adopted at the Special Session on Children and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, she added. The Union and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) had organized a parliamentary forum on children, at which 250 parliamentarians from 75 States had adopted a series of recommendations and measures for the protection and promotion of the rights and well-being of children. Then, on the initiative of the South African Parliament, the Union had brought 300 parliamentarians from more than 50 States together to adopt a declaration presented at the Johannesburg Summit.
In the field of peace and security, the Union had played a pioneering role in combating terrorism, it had resolutely condemned the terrorist acts against the United States and adopted a resolution urging States to cooperate in the fight against, and prevention of, terrorism. Moreover, the resolution invited national parliaments to promote or endorse relevant United Nations resolutions. Finally, welcoming the granting of observer status to the Union, she said it would undoubtedly bolster cooperation between the two institutions.
GEDIMINAS ŠERKŠNYS (Lithuania) said that the Council of Europe set the standards for the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms on the European continent. Therefore, the member States of both the Council and the United Nations would support continuous and increasing cooperation between the two organizations. The Council had tremendous experience in human rights education and training, legislation and the elaboration of international, legally-binding instruments in the field of human rights, criminal law, the environment and the cultural and social spheres.
Lithuania valued the Council’s contribution to the fight against terrorism, he said, particularly in the elaboration of the draft Protocol amending the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism and the elaboration and adoption of the “Guidelines on Human Rights and the Fight against Terrorism.” The Council also deserved credit for the disappearance of the death penalty from many European criminal codes, as well as for its role in facilitating the entry into force of the Rome Statute.
Furthermore, he added, the Council had played a significant role in promoting regional cooperation -- which could contribute to the consolidation of stability and security -- including cooperation between regional organizations, various initiatives and processes in Europe and cooperation with the United Nations. Possible avenues for enhanced cooperation with the United Nations could include contributing to the dialogue on peace-building and human rights.
KOJI HANEDA (Japan) advocated the importance of Africa’s ownership -- that is, its own initiatives and self-help efforts -- as well as Africa’s partnership with the international community. African development must be initiated and led by Africans themselves. However, to help ensure the fruitfulness of those efforts, the international community should support these efforts as an equal partner. The African countries had demonstrated such ownership through NEPAD and the African Union, and he paid high tribute to those efforts.
Continuing, he said that the resolution of conflicts in Africa required self-help efforts at the regional and subregional levels. Japan would support the activities of the African Union in this area by encouraging the “appropriate” use of the African Union Peace Fund, to which Japan recently contributed $200,000. Regarding the cooperation between the United Nations and the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, he was confident that the work of the codification of international law would be greatly advanced by strengthening that interaction.
MICHEL KAFANDO (Burkina Faso) said that the challenges facing Africa were massive. The continent was continuously tested by internal conflicts, the resolution of which required the assistance of the United Nations. In that respect, he praised the United Nations for calming many conflicts and supporting democratic processes in African countries. Regarding the economic challenges, the African Union expected a great deal from the United Nations in combating poverty. Cooperation with the United Nations would always be indispensable. In the social and humanitarian spheres, combating epidemics and the resolution of social constraints also required partnership with the United Nations.
The International Organisation of La Francophonie had shown exemplary vitality in its activities, he said. Above all, it was an essential player in the search for peace, the consolidation of democratic institutions and the promotion of human rights. Given its merit, he was sure that the resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and that organization would be adopted by consensus.
He said that for more than two years, he had been among those advocating for the Inter-Parliamentary Union to be granted observer status at the United Nations. The Union’s statutes indicated that it shared the objectives of the United Nations and through its activities was working for peace and cooperation. He was sure that the draft resolution in that connection would be adopted by consensus.
BRUCE SCOTT (Australia) said that the range of sub-items grouped under the agenda item provided clear evidence of the extensive network of cooperation and dialogue between the United Nations and other regional and other entities. The item should serve as a practical example of efforts being made to streamline the work of the Assembly, without compromising of the content of the matters under discussion.
On the subject of United Nations cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, he said that Australian parliamentary delegates to the General Assembly had expressed caution about the need for the Union to be formally represented at the United Nations. The parliaments of Union member States were able to voice their views through their elected governments and their representatives in New York. However, Australia also took note that the arguments in favour of the draft resolution on the Union noted its “unique status” and stressed that the decision would not set a precedent for others.
At a time when the focus was on rationalizing the agenda and workload of the United Nations, adding to the list of potential documents would not help streamline and reform United Nations administrative processes. Yet, Australia had joined the list of co-sponsors of the draft resolution, as the volume of documents was not likely to be great and as a result of the strong support expressed by numerous co-sponsors of the draft resolution, which had been interpreted as a collective desire to make the new arrangement operate efficiently, to further the cooperation between the two organizations.
JONATHAN HUSTON (Liechtenstein) said that a unique feature of the Council of Europe was its parliamentary dimension. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council played an important role, due to its mandate to monitor compliance of member States with the commitments they entered into when joining the organization. Those commitments related to the protection of human rights, the rule of law, democracy and the protection of the rights of minorities. That mechanism of the Council helped advance considerably the ideals and values that were also defended by the United Nations.
It was also the Parliamentary Assembly, he noted, which strongly advocated the elaboration of an international instruments to prohibit the abuse of the Internet for racist propaganda. Its quintessential role as a driving force for new initiatives had again produced a tangible result. At its last session, the Council’s Committee of Ministers adopted an additional protocol to the Convention on Cyber-Crime, concerning the criminalization of acts of a racist and xenophobic nature committed through computer systems. That protocol constituted an important
element of the follow-up to the World Conference against Racism, and gave a further example of the concrete contribution of the Council to international efforts under the leadership of the United Nations.
ROKSANDA NINČIĆ (Yugoslavia) emphasized the fruitful cooperation between the OSCE and its Mission in her country, confirmed by a number of successfully completed projects and activities. As a result of that cooperation, the Republic had been actively participating in the work of all OSCE bodies and organs, and maintained cooperation with the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, among others.
Established two years ago, the scope of the activities of the OSCE Mission in Yugoslavia encompassed the reform of the judiciary, public administration and the reform of the police and media. Its role in helping her country overcome a difficult legacy had been remarkable. Cooperation being a two-way process, the Mission consulted with the competent ministries, local experts and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to the benefit of all concerned.
Turning to the Council of Europe, she appreciated the role of its Mission in her country and welcomed its engagement in developing a proposal for decentralization in Kosovo and Metohija. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council recently recommended the accession of Yugoslavia to the Council. Yugoslavia had agreed to a series of commitments, declaring its readiness to continue its democratic reforms within the Council.
MASOOD KHALID (Pakistan) said that the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), one of the largest intergovernmental organizations, had been engaged in a constructive relationship with the United Nations over the years to improve understanding and dialogue between different civilizations and cultures. In the aftermath of 11 September 2001, the OIC had joined the common endeavour to combat international terrorism. It had adopted its own convention to deal with the scourge of terrorism, which presented a comprehensive framework and a clear definition of terrorism, while upholding the principle of self-determination and acknowledging the legitimacy of struggles for freedom against foreign occupation.
The United Nations and the OIC had also interacted together in Kashmir, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Middle East and Palestine and in the socio-economic arena, he added. The two organizations should expand and diversify their cooperation by identifying new areas.
Additionally, he said, the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) sought to promote the social and economic development of its member States, in line with their basic needs. The ECO had played an important role in strengthening and promoting multi-dimensional regional cooperation among its members, in such areas as trade, transport, communication and energy. The members of that regional body had immense natural resources, as well as the will to tap them for mutual gain. Moreover, the ECO already had in place blueprints for a region-wide transport and communications infrastructure, and banking and insurance infrastructures, among others. It was hoped that the international community would support the ECO’s efforts to realize those blueprints for the benefit of the region and the world at large.
MARKIYAN KULYK (Ukraine) said close cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations was a decisive factor in meeting the challenges faced by the international community. He noted, with satisfaction, the increasing
cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE, among whose major achievements were the coordinated actions in the fight against international terrorism. He also welcomed the positive cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe, particularly in the consolidation of democracies in South Eastern Europe.
This year, he noted, saw the birth of a new regional organization –- the African Union. He attached great importance to the strengthening of cooperation between the United Nations and African regional and subregional organizations in promoting peace and stability in the continent. It was important to establish effective coordination between the United Nations and the various mechanisms of the African Union.
GERHARD PFANZELTER (Austria) welcomed the consolidation of the items on cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations under one agenda item. His country was actively engaged in the work of the OSCE, which had proved itself an important actor in conflict prevention, among other things. The OSCE and the United Nations were close partners in efforts for peace, democracy and prosperity. Today’s threats to peace and stability were so diverse that no single country or region could combat them effectively. After the events of 11 September 2001, the OSCE had adopted two far-reaching plans of action to combat terrorism.
He said that the impressive number of signatures and ratifications of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) had demonstrated the growing support for that Treaty. Unfortunately, the number of States whose ratification was required was stagnating at 31. It was important to step up efforts to convince those States to ratify as soon as possible. He also appreciated the high quality of the cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe. The Council’s work with the United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK) and the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) were particularly noteworthy, as were its efforts in Georgia with the United Nations Mission there. In addition, he congratulated the Inter-Parliamentary Union
for having formally received observer status in the Assembly earlier this week. By including the Union in its debates, the Assembly would acknowledge the voice of the elected representatives of the world’s peoples.
When the Assembly met again this afternoon JOSEPHINE FOTSO (Cameroon) said the complexity of global problems had turned the United Nations into a special setting for developing fruitful multilateral cooperation. Also, regional organizations were indispensable for managing issues at the regional and national levels. Cooperation between regional organizations and the United Nations should be guided towards strengthening the capabilities of regional organizations. Regional organizations, in their operations, should serve as relays connecting the United Nations to what those organizations did on the ground. But not all regional organizations required the same amount of attention; some required more than others.
Africa, she said, had become aware of its particular situation. The creation of the African Union and the NEPAD were the outcome of that growing awareness. Africa’s problems deserved to be addressed in a holistic and comprehensive way. That was why a special high-level structure was needed in the Secretariat to address African issues. Also, the Africa office in Addis Ababa should be strengthened in terms of human and financial resources. In addition, the Council for Peace and Security, envisioned under the African Union, deserved the full attention of the United Nations.
Special emphasis, she added, must be placed on post-conflict reconstruction. At the same time, donors should come up with the resources to finance programmes of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR). The African Union was supported by five sub-regional African organizations, and she welcomed the support of the United Nations for them as well. Cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Community of Central African States should also be strengthened.
SERGIO PAEZ, President of the Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), described the granting of observer status to the Union by the United Nations would be a milestone in their evolving relationship. One of the skills of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, he noted, was its ability to open up channels of communication and build bridges of international understanding, when official diplomacy was unable or unwilling to do so. The Union would contribute to the work of the United Nations by adding a parliamentary dimension to international cooperation and, as an institution representing popular will, it would be able to play a salient role in helping to make international cooperation more democratic.
The Millennium Declaration, he said, recognized the need for the United Nations to work more closely with parliaments in various fields, including peace and security, economic and social development, international law and human rights, and democracy and gender issues. That broad mandate coincided with that of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Going further, he suggested that the Union and the United Nations examine those areas where interaction between them would be particularly important at this stage in world affairs. They could also determine how parliaments could best assist in the implementation of the Millennium Declaration Goals.
RIDHA BOUABID, International Organization of La Francophonie, said that as an instrument of peace, democracy and human rights and a pillar of development, a dialogue between cultures was a vehicle of progress in the fight against poverty and the emergence of a more equitable globalization in the service of the most vulnerable populations and the development of all States. This vision inspired La Francophonie’s with its international partners like the United Nations.
Yet even more could be done, he said, particularly in the two priority areas of sustainable development and of support for democracy, human rights and rule of law. On the first, La Francophonie had supported the designing of national policies for sustainable development in French-speaking countries. Moreover, La Francophonie intended to organize a high-level meeting designed to facilitate synergies and mechanisms for north-south and south-south partnerships. La Francophonie also wished to initiate a partnership with bilateral and multilateral actors to develop an information system for French-speaking countries on sustainable development.
Within the second priority area, he added that La Francophonie benefited from a normative instrument covering the democracy, rule of law and human rights fields. The Bamako Declaration had outlined specific measures and actions to be adopted in cases of democratic crisis or grave violations of human rights. These measures aimed to facilitate the achievement of consensual solutions to crises and to support the re-establishment of constitutional order.
WAFIK Z. KAMIL, Secretary-General, the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO), said that despite its limitations, the United Nations had made significant contributions towards the maintenance of international peace and security, as well as in the economic and social fields. As a regional legal organization, the AALCO was thus proud of cooperating with the United Nations and was determined to enhance and strengthen that cooperation and urged other organizations and nations to do so.
He said AALCO was convinced of the need for the invaluable role that the United Nations played, and should play, as a forum for the nations of the world and its unique quest in relieving all kinds of suffering that befell the international community. The United Nations was and should therefore remain the symbol of peace and security for humanity. Without those fundamental pillars of the Organization, none of its programmes of development in all fields to bridge the gap between rich and poor nations could be built nor implemented. The African-American Legal Consultative Organization was committed to play its role in preserving those objectives. He reaffirmed the organization’s commitment to work with the United Nations and other sister organizations in making a joint and concerted effort to establish a shared future based on fundamental human values.
He said the Asian and African States were concerned with the consequences of civil and fratricidal conflicts which resulted in the displacement of populations. The fact that the total number of internally displaced persons had surpassed the population of world refugees was itself an indicator of the enormity of the situation. He cited the root causes of displacements such as competition for controlling land and other scarce natural resources; disintegrating social and political structures at the domestic level; intolerance towards multiculturalism; growing disparities between the rich and the poor, and said all aspects needed to be addressed by the United Nations and the respective regional organizations.
COLIN GRANDERSON, of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) secretariat, said the follow-up to the United Nations International Conference on Financing for Development was critical. The Monterrey consensus achieved there had indicated the path to be followed. Another development-based international conference in which the region placed importance was the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Although it did not produce a dramatic outcome, new targets and timetables were established which addressed some of the concerns of CARICOM states.
He said the Caribbean Sea was a major element of CARICOM’s collective environment. The initiative by the Governments of the wider Caribbean region to have the Caribbean Sea recognized as a special area in the context of sustainable development had met with partial success with the General Assembly’s adoption of a related resolution and an enhanced version with the same title. He urged the wider international community to continue its support of the Caribbean region in protecting this lifeline.
YAHYA A. MAHMASSANI, Observer for the League of Arab States, said cooperation between the Secretaries-General of the League and of the United Nations had, during the times of talk about war with Iraq, led to a de-escalation of the situation and the subsequent adoption of the Security Council resolution allowing for the return of inspectors. The Arab League, committed to international legitimacy, emphasized the need to establish a nuclear-weapons-free-zone in the Middle East. In that connection, the international community should seek to disarm Israel, whose weapons of mass destruction posed a threat to the entire Middle East region.
Enhancing cooperation between the United Nations and the League could only be realized with representatives of both organizations attending each other’s meetings, as well as joint meetings at the highest level. On the joint efforts of both organizations to establish a just peace in the Middle East, he said the League continued to present initiatives emphasizing the Arab choice for peace. However, the Israeli Government continued to refuse peace and continued its policy of occupation and war. The support of the League for the United Nations was out of the conviction and commitment of its member States to the principles of the United Nations Charter. The League wished to strengthen cooperation with the United Nations in all fields.
VALERI CHECHELASHVILI, Secretary-General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, said the lesson of the organization's summit meeting in Istanbul in June, was that each member State would increasingly have to define its interests over the future of the region, having in mind what could be achieved by introducing the collective vision, and conducting itself as part of the group and not an individual player.
He said the philosophy of the Black Sea Group was to focus on the windows of opportunity where consensus existed or was emerging. He had no illusions about solving all the region’s problems; however, through a pragmatic concept of economic cooperation, trust could be promoted between the countries, paving the way for a new system of stability in the Black Sea area.
He said that the General Assembly’s new resolution on cooperation with the United Nations opened new avenues for the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization which had built cooperation with different United Nations agencies.
MOKHTAR LAMANI, Observer, Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), said that the Secretary-General’s report on cooperation between the two bodies showed encouraging progress on the implementation of priority programmes jointly developed by the OIC and the United Nations. The OIC remained dedicated to the tasks being jointly pursued.
Drawing attention to the third and fifth operative paragraphs of the related draft resolution, he said that contacts and interactions between the United Nations and the OIC would continue to be strengthened with the support of the Islamic Group, in New York and Geneva, and through OIC contact groups and committees at the United Nations. The OIC would do its best to reinforce its close cooperation with the United Nations on peacemaking and preventive diplomacy, and peace-building, reconstruction and development in Afghanistan, in the best interests of the common Member States of both organizations.
He said cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference continued with a view to finding a just, acceptable and lasting solution to the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was hoped that the same degree of concern shown by the international community for Afghanistan would be focused on the Middle East, to put an end to the Israeli occupation and to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination and to establish an independent State, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. The United Nations had an important and mandated role in implementing the general will of the international community, as reflected in numerous United Nations resolutions.
NELSON COSME, Secretary-General of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), said the adoption of earlier resolutions relating to cooperation between the United Nations and the Community and to granting the Community observer status in the General Assembly constituted the bedrock of their relationship. Those resolutions also strengthened the Community’s cooperation with the United Nations permanent consultative committee on the questions of security in Central Africa. He expressed appreciation for the cooperation between the ECCAS and the various specialized agencies of the United Nations system.
He said the international community, through the World Bank and the European Union, supported initiatives by ECCAS to promote peace and stability in post-conflict societies. In relation to those goals, the Community had put in place an international programme for demobilization and reintegration requiring roughly $500 million. He said ECCAS saw the need to strengthen ties with the United Nations especially in the areas of conflict resolution and peacekeeping. Such cooperation would enhance the continent’s ability to monitor and prevent conflict situations. The Security Council had also reaffirmed the need to promote and enhance the relationship between the Community and the United Nations system.
JOHANNES DE JONGE, Director of External Relations, Council of Europe, cited examples of the long-standing cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe dating back to the creation of the Council in 1949. That cooperation, he said, was best illustrated by the inclusion of the European Convention on Human Rights in Rome in 1950, putting the protection of human rights at the forefront of the Council of Europe’s work as a standard-setting organization.
He said the protection and strengthening of human rights was an essential and indispensable task that required relentless efforts of international cooperation at both global and regional levels. And although the Council’s efforts focused on Europe, it stood ready to contribute to the work of the United Nations and relevant regional organizations. In a globalizing world, continents and countries became more interdependent. And that inevitably called for increased cooperation at many different levels and areas. Faced with the serious threat of terrorism, calling for intensive cooperation between governments and organizations, the Council of Europe had done its utmost to counter that threat.
However, he added, it was of paramount importance that the fundamental values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law did not fall victim to the fight against terrorism. For that reason, the Council of Europe‘s Committee of Ministers had adopted “Guidelines on human rights and the fight against terrorism”, the first international text designed to help States in finding the right balance between the requirements of efficiently protecting society and the preservation of fundamental rights and freedoms. The Council of Europe believed that intercultural and inter-religious dialogue could contribute to reducing certain causes of terrorism, and also the support from which terrorists could benefit.
SYLVAIN ETUL MPWOTSH NGUNG, Observer for the African Union, said the Secretary-General’s report reflected achievements in political and economic areas, in peacekeeping, humanitarian affairs, human rights, health and the environment and underlined the excellent relations that characterized the cooperation between the two organizations. As the successor to the Organization for African Unity (OAU), the African Union gave priority to the prevention, management and settlement of conflicts, since the persistence of tension and conflict seriously hamstrung the development of the continent.
The African Union would not be able to meet African expectations without a solid foundation, and needed the help of partners, particularly the United Nations. The birth of the African Union was a decisive turning point in the continent’s history; Africa had taken the decision to eradicate its poverty and underdevelopment. African leaders had not come to the international community empty-handed, but armed with a well articulated programme of action, namely the NEPAD, which highlighted the importance of the issues of peace and security, of democracy and good governance, and of human rights, health, agriculture and debt. The intention was to put Africa firmly on the path to sustainable development and to end Africa’s marginalization in the context of globalization.
The African Union, he said, had inherited both the assets and liabilities of the OAU, and it intended to honour its obligations and to pursue both cooperation with sub-regional organizations and continued integration across Africa. The issues of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and malaria, as well as the external debt problem, refugees and displaced persons, and the fight against terrorism also figured on the Union’s agenda. In particular, it should be noted that Africa had not waited for the events of 11 September 2001 to organize the fight against terrorism at the continental level.
The representatives of Armenia, Congo, Lebanon and Chile proposed oral revisions to the texts on cooperation between the United Nations and four groups: the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, the Economic Community of Central African States, the League of Arab States and the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Explanations of Vote
Speaking before the vote, NIELS HENRIK WOGGSBORG (Denmark), for the European Union and associated countries, said he regretted that the resolution on cooperation with the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization could not be passed by consensus. The European Union attached great importance to the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and found the work of the Preparatory Commission crucial in bringing about the global monitoring system to verify compliance with the Treaty.
The adoption of a partnership agreement between the two organizations had previously been welcomed, he said, as had the conclusion of cooperation agreements with United Nations specialized agencies and programmes. The Treaty marked an important step towards non-proliferation and disarmament in accordance with article VI of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which was the cornerstone of the global non-proliferation regime and the essential foundation for nuclear disarmament. He would vote in favour of the resolution.
Mr. SHACHAM (Israel) said he joined consensus on the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States, guided by the desire to make peace with its neighbours, all of whom were members of the League. That was the first resolution to be adopted by the Assembly on the Middle East during the current session. He was pleased that it would be adopted by consensus. It was not possible to restore confidence and trust by engaging in polemics in debates in New York. Peacemaking was a bilateral endeavour and rhetoric offered in international forums was unhelpful.
It was unfortunate that the representative of the League of Arab States had engaged in an attack on a Member State, he said. He utterly rejected the language used by the representative of the League, which accused Israel of refusing peace and pursuing a policy of terror. That, too, on a day when a suicide bomber killed 11 Israeli civilians on a bus attack in Israel. The hostility shown by the League against a fellow Member State of the United Nations was inconsistent with the principles of the Organization. He wished to remind the Assembly that over half of the League’s member States considered themselves at war with Israel and called for Israel’s destruction.
Action on Texts
Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted, as orally revised, the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (document A/57/L.11).
Next, it adopted the text on cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (document A/57/L.16).
Then it adopted the text on cooperation with the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, as orally revised (document A/57/L.18). Following that, the Assembly adopted the text on cooperation with the Pacific Islands Forum (document A/57/L.21). Likewise, the text on cooperation with the Economic Cooperation Organization (document A/57/L.22) was adopted.
Next, the Assembly adopted the text on cooperation with the Latin American Economic System (document A/57/L.24). Then the Assembly adopted the text on cooperation with the Economic Community of Central African States (document A/57/L.25), as orally revised. The text on cooperation with the Caribbean Community (document A/57/L.26) was also adopted.
Following that, the Assembly adopted the text on cooperation with the Organization of the Islamic Conference (document A/57/L.28). Also, the text on cooperation with the International Organization of La Francophonie (document A/57/L.29) was adopted. The text on cooperation with the Southern African Development Community (document A/57/L.30) was adopted after that.
The Assembly then adopted the text on cooperation with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (document A/57/L.31).
The text on cooperation with the League of Arab States (document A/57/L.32) was adopted, as orally revised.
The Assembly was informed by the Secretariat that should it adopt the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (document A/57/L.38), it was understood that official documents of the Union would be circulated in all official languages of the Assembly; and that all costs, directly or indirectly involved, would be covered in full by the Union.
After that, the Assembly adopted the text on cooperation with the Inter-Parliamentary Union, as orally revised.
It did the same for the text on cooperation with the African Union (document A/57/L.39).
The Assembly then turned to the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (A/57/L.40).
The Assembly adopted the text by a vote of 128 in favour to one against (United States) with three abstentions (Pakistan, Ghana, Cambodia). (For details of vote see Annex.)
Speaking after the vote, BHAGWANT SINGH BISHNOI (India) expressed satisfaction on the adoption of the resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the IPU, as orally revised, and deep appreciation for the efforts of Chile and other co-sponsors. He said he was convinced of the need for cooperation between the United Nations and the IPU; the concerns of both organizations were substantially similar and the IPU could be an important ally of the United Nations in facing the challenges of today’s world.
He said he had some questions about the formulation of operative paragraph 3 that he anticipated would be shared by other parliamentary countries. It was important for the different arms of a State to work together, but divergences were allowed for. Therefore, it was possible that the position of the government might differ from the positions endorsed by delegations to the IPU. However, given its close relations with Chile and the other co-sponsors, India had decided to go along with consensus.
Ms. DIXON (New Zealand) said she was pleased to support the resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization. New Zealand had for many years advocated the importance of a nuclear-test-ban treaty. The establishment of the Preparatory Commission had marked a significant step forward in the maintenance of international peace and security. Supportive of cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission, she expressed her regret that this resolution could not be adopted without a vote.
PAUL STEPHENS (Australia) said he had been pleased to vote for the resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission, but had been disappointed that it had been necessary to bring it to a vote. It should be possible to adopt this type of procedural resolution by consensus. It was appropriate, he added, that this item be considered on a biennial basis in the future. Moreover, Australia supported the work of the Preparatory Commission and the establishment of an international framework for the entry into force of the Treaty.
Right of Reply
Mr. MAHMASSANI, Observer for the League of Arab States, said the representative of Israel “had fooled nobody”. The killing of Palestinians went on unabated on a daily basis. Israel had followed a scorched earth policy to annihilate the Palestinian people. Amnesty International had issued a report which said that Israeli Defence Forces had committed violations of international law in the Jenin refugee camp, including war crimes for which they must be held accountable. Soldiers had used people as human shields. Since Jenin, the killing had continued unabated, as had the demolition of houses, collective punishments and the killing of women and young children.
He said Israel followed a policy of strangulation and starvation, which everybody could watch on television. What was Israel doing on Arab territory? Israel was the only country to carry occupation forward into the twenty-first century. Israel talked peace, but carried out war. He said the Arab peace initiative, which had been welcomed by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the European Union and the whole world –- even the United States –- had been rejected by Israel. If Israel wanted peace, he concluded, it should get out of Arab territory and come to the negotiating table. It should be willing to withdraw from the Arab territories, in accordance with the pre-1967 boundaries to show its desire for peace.
MOVSES ABELIAN (Armenia) said the Nagorny-Karabakh issue was not between Armenia and Azerbaijan, but rather between Azerbaijan and the people of Nagorny-Karabakh. The reference to Armenian aggression was completely misleading. The conflict in that region was not due to aggression but to Azerbaijan ignoring the call for self-determination by the people of the region. Armenia was not responsible for the conflict. The settlement of that conflict by peaceful means remained a fundamental aspect of his country’s foreign policy.
Mr. SHACHAM (Israel) asked why the Observer for the League of Arab States had not taken the opportunity to condemn the terrorist attack committed today on a bus in Jerusalem and denounce suicide terrorists. That blind and blatant imbalance was indicative of the policies of the League. He challenged the Observer to now condemn clearly the heinous attack committed in Jerusalem.
YASHAR ALIYEV (Azerbaijan) said that the conflict in Nagorny-Karabakh was a conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, whose presidents were conducting negotiations on the matter.
Mr. MAHMASSANI, Observer for the League of Arab States, said that the League had always rejected the killing of civilians. He challenged the representative of Israel to condemn the killing of Palestinian children and women on a daily basis by the Israeli government.
Mr. ABELIAN (Armenia) said that conflict was the result of Azerbaijan’s rejection of the right to self-determination of the people of Nagorny-Karabakh. He called on the Government of Azerbaijan to undertake a constructive approach to the conflict based on compromise.
Mr. SHACHAM (Israel) reminded the Observer for the Arab League that there was no moral equivalence between a terrorist who strapped a bomb to his body and blows up a bus and the legitimate actions taken by a State to defend its citizens from a clear and present danger. It was unfortunate that Palestinian civilians were sometimes hurt in such actions. They were not the targets of Israel’s counter-terrorist actions. There were many cases in which Israeli forces had called off operations when it became clear that civilians were in the area. Sometimes mistakes had been made but they had been investigated. Israel protected civilians. Arab terrorists killed civilians.
Mr. ALIYEV (Azerbaijan) reminded the representative of Armenia that the OSCE Ministerial Decision of 1992 had established Armenia and Azerbaijan as the main
parties to the conflict in Nagorny-Karabakh. The communities in that region had been established as “interested parties” to the conflict.
Vote on Cooperation with Test-Ban-Treaty Preparatory Commission
The draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (document A/57/L.40) was adopted by a recorded vote of 128 in favour to 1 against, with 3 abstentions, as follows:
In favour: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yugoslavia, Zambia.
Against: United States.
Abstaining: Cambodia, Ghana, Pakistan.
Absent: Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Iran, Kiribati, Latvia, Madagascar, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Mongolia, Namibia, Nauru, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
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