SECOND COMMITTEE APPROVES DRAFT RESOLUTION STRESSING NEED FOR SPEEDY RESUMPTION, CONCLUSION OF DOHA WORK PROGRAMME

GA/EF/3070
12 December 2003

SECOND COMMITTEE APPROVES DRAFT RESOLUTION STRESSING NEED FOR SPEEDY RESUMPTION, CONCLUSION OF DOHA WORK PROGRAMME

12/12/2003
Press Release
GA/EF/3070


Fifty-eighth General Assembly

Second Committee

38th Meeting (PM)


SECOND COMMITTEE APPROVES DRAFT RESOLUTION STRESSING NEED


FOR SPEEDY RESUMPTION, CONCLUSION OF DOHA WORK PROGRAMME


The General Assembly would stress the importance of speedily resuming and concluding the work programme adopted at the 2001 World Trade Organization meeting in Doha, taking into account the needs of commodity-dependent developing countries, according to one of three draft resolutions that the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) approved without a vote this afternoon.


By other terms of that draft on commodities, the Assembly would emphasize the need for developing countries that were heavily dependent on primary commodities to promote a domestic policy and institutional environment that encouraged diversification and liberalization of the trade and export sectors, as well as enhanced competition.  It would also urge governments, and invite international financial institutions, to continue assessing the effectiveness of systems for compensatory financing of shortfalls in export-earnings, and stress the importance of empowering developing countries to insure themselves against risk, including natural disasters.


According to another draft, on international migration and development, the Assembly would urge States, as well as the United Nations, to continue strengthening international cooperation in international migration and development to maximize its benefits for migrants.  It would also call on United Nations bodies and other intergovernmental, regional and subregional organizations to work towards integrating migration issues more coherently within the broader context of implementing agreed economic and social development goals.  The Assembly would decide, by further terms, that the high-level dialogue of the General Assembly in 2006 would be devoted to international migration and development.


Another draft was on the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence.  By its terms, the Assembly would stress the need to address global asymmetries, including developing-country vulnerability to external shocks; the concentration of technical innovation in industrialized countries; the limited international mobility of labour; and such issues as increasing the flow of foreign direct investment and enhancing the participation of developing countries in the world trading and financial systems.


By further terms, the Assembly would underline the importance of improved developing-country access to international financial markets; counter-cyclical macroeconomic policies in the face of volatile capital flows; and a stronger role for developing countries in global decision-making processes, particularly in the Bretton Woods institutions and other entities bearing on international financial flows.


Also by that text, the Assembly would strongly urge the international community to take all needed measures for African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small-island developing States to achieve sustainable development and participate in the global economy.  Such measures would include support for structural and macroeconomic reform; foreign direct investment; enhanced official development assistance; the search for a durable solution to external debt; market access, capacity-building and dissemination of knowledge and technology.


During the meeting, a draft resolution on the World Summit on the Information Society was withdrawn.


The Committee also approved oral decisions regarding the report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on the transit environment in the landlocked States of Central Asia and their transit developing neighbours; and the report of the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the challenges and constraints to, and progress towards, achievement of the major development goals and objectives adopted by the United Nations during the past decade.


Other oral decisions approved concerned support for developing- and transition-country participants in the United Nations Forum on Forests; and reports of the Economic and Social Council, the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund, and the World Tourism Organization on the assessment of the results achieved in realizing the aims of the International Year of Ecotourism.


All drafts approved today were introduced by Vice-Chairpersons of the Committee.


The Committee also heard statements by the representative of the United States.


The Second Committee will meet again on Monday, 15 December, to take action on the remaining texts before it.


Background


The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met this afternoon to continue taking action on various draft resolutions and decisions before it.


Before the Committee was a draft resolution relating to the Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/C.2/58/L.11) by which the General Assembly would invite States parties to finalize negotiations for an international regime to promote and safeguard the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits of genetic resource use.


Also by that draft, the Assembly would urge developed countries to facilitate the transfer of environmentally sound biotechnology to effectively implement the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.  Further, it would underline the need for financial resources and capacity-building to implement the Protocol, particularly to strengthen national capacities to make required information available to the Biosafety Clearing House and to make informed decisions on imports of living modified organisms.


The Committee also had before it had a draft on implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and the strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT).  By that text (document A/C.2/58/L.31), the Assembly would urge governments to promote pro-poor investments in water and sanitation to improve living environments, particularly in slums and informal settlements.  Also by that text, the Assembly would call on the international community and donor countries to support developing countries in achieving human settlements targets by providing assistance with financial resources, technology transfer and capacity-building.


By other terms, the Assembly would urge UN-HABITAT to strengthen its efforts to make the Cities Alliance initiative an effective means for implementing the Habitat Agenda’s twin goals -– namely, adequate shelter for all and sustainable human settlements development in an urbanizing world.  The Assembly would, by other terms, call for continued financial support to UN-HABITAT and its Foundation, increase unearmarked voluntary contributions to the Foundation, and provide multi-year funding for programme implementation.


According to a draft resolution on international migration and development (document A/C.2/58/L.37), the Assembly would urge States and the United Nations to continue strengthening international cooperation in international migration and development to maximize its benefits to migrants.  Further, it would call on United Nations bodies and other intergovernmental, regional and subregional organizations to continue addressing international migration and development, with a view to integrating migration issues more coherently within the broader context of implementing agreed economic and social development goals.


Also by that draft, the Assembly would decide to hold a high-level dialogue on international migration and development in 2004 to address the multidimensional aspects of international migration and development, and identify appropriate ways of maximizing its benefits and minimize its negative effects on development.


By a text on commodities (document A/C.2/58/L.38), the Assembly would endorse the report of the Meeting of Eminent Persons on Commodity Issues and emphasize the importance of implementing its recommendations.  It would, by other terms, call on donors to increase financial and technical support for activities aimed at commodity issues, particularly the needs and problems of commodity-dependent developing countries.


Also by that text, the Assembly would stress the importance of a speedy resumption and successful conclusion of the work programme adopted at the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, held at Doha, considering special problems faced by commodity-dependent countries, particularly those related to agricultural subsidies.  Further, it would request donors and development partners to support commodity-exporting countries in adding value to their products, and call for tariff peaks, tariff escalation and trade-distorting subsidies affecting commodity-exporting developing countries to be eliminated.


By other terms, the Assembly would call on the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and other international organizations to strengthen their capacity-building and technical cooperation activities in such fields as designing and implementing policies, building institutions, managing and using commodity revenues, managing price risk and improving supply capacities, identifying best practices, and South-South cooperation in commodities.


Action on Draft Resolutions


The Committee first approved an oral decision to take note of the report of the Secretary-General of UNCTAD on the transit environment in the landlocked States of Central Asia and their transit developing neighbours (document A/58/209).


HENRI RAUBENHEIMER (South Africa), Committee Vice-Chairperson, then introduced a draft resolution on commodities (document A/C.2/58/L.76), which was approved without a vote, as orally revised.  It replaced the earlier draft contained in document A/C.2/58/L.38.


The representative of the United States recalled that last year’s resolution had required the convening of a Meeting of Eminent Persons on Commodity Issues, who would then present a report to the General Assembly.  The United States delegation had expected a short procedural resolution to take note of that report.


ULRIKA CRONENBERG-MOSSBERG (Sweden), Committee Vice-Chairperson, then introduced a text on international migration and development (document A/C.2/58/L.77), which the Committee approved without a vote as the previous draft (document A/C.2/58/L.37) was withdrawn.


The representative of the United States, while noting her country’s strong commitment to supporting migration as a positive phenomenon, said it was best dealt with bilaterally or regionally.  An international conference could simply produce more sterile debate on the subject.


The Committee then approved an oral decision to take note of the Secretary General’s report on the challenges and constraints to, and progress towards, the achievement of the major development goals and objectives adopted by the United Nations during the past decade. (document A/58/327).


Mr. RAUBENHEIMER (South Africa), Committee Vice-Chairperson, then introduced a draft on the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence (document A/C.2/58/L.78), which was approved without a vote, replacing an earlier draft (document A/C.2/58/L.41).


The representative of the United States, recalling that she had stated her delegation’s position on the subject during an earlier session, asked that it be reflected in summaries of the current meeting.


The Committee then approved the withdrawal of a draft resolution on the World Summit on the Information Society (document A/C.2/58/L.42).


Turning to the report of the Economic and Social Council -– in reference to the Council’s resolution 2003/63 entitled “Trust Fund for the United Nations Forum on Forests” –- the Committee then approved an oral decision by which the General Assembly would decide that support to participants from developing countries, as well as from countries with economies in transition, may be provided from the Trust Fund for travel and daily subsistence allowance from funds designated for that purpose as recommended by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 2003/63.


The Committee then approved an oral decision to take note of the following reports:  the report of the Economic and Social Council as contained in document A/58/3 (Parts I and II) and Part II/Corr.1, namely chapters I – V, chapter VII, sections B – H and chapter IX; the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund on the United Nations Population Award (document A/58/151); and the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report prepared by the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization on the assessment of the results achieved in realizing the aims and objectives of the International Year of Ecotourism (A/58/96).


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For information media. Not an official record.