GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEFERS DECISION ON HUMAN CLONING, ADOPTS 24 RESOLUTIONS ON WIDE RANGE OF LEGAL, OTHER MATTERS

2 December 2004
GA/10309

GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEFERS DECISION ON HUMAN CLONING, ADOPTS 24 RESOLUTIONS ON WIDE RANGE OF LEGAL, OTHER MATTERS

02/12/2004
Press ReleaseGA/10309

Fifty-ninth General Assembly

Plenary

65th Meeting (PM)

general assembly defers decision on human cloning, adopts 24 resolutions

on wide range of legal, other matters

Among Other Issues, Adopted Texts Concern Andean Zone of Peace,

Assistance to Palestinians, Fair Globalization, International Criminal Court

The General Assembly this afternoon adopted 24 resolutions without a vote, including texts on two new legal instruments, as it deferred one decision among the recommendations made by its Sixth Committee (Legal) and also acted on four of its own agenda items.

The deferred decision was on the most controversial question before the Committee, the elaboration of a convention on human reproductive cloning.  The decision to establish a working group to meet in February to finalize the text of a United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning would be taken once the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Financial) considered the programme budget implications.  The basis for discussions in the working group would be a proposal by Italy to have the Assembly solemnly declare that States should prohibit any attempts to create human life through cloning.

Regarding the items on its own agenda, the Assembly acted on resolutions concerning the Andean Zone of Peace; public administration and development; assistance to Palestinian people; and a report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization –- “A fair Globalization:  Creating Opportunities for All”.  All were adopted without a vote.

The resolutions in the Legal Committee’s 19 reports covered a range of topics.  Among the most widely debated was a resolution on the International Criminal Court.  By that text, the Assembly decided to consider directly in its plenary any report submitted by the Court under its Relationship Agreement with the United Nations in a manner similar to the plenary’s consideration of reports by the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia.

In today’s action, the representative of the United States dissociated his country from consensus on the resolution.  The Netherlands’ representative, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said concerns about the Court were unfounded.  The Rome Statute contained the most comprehensive list of due process protections ever promulgated.  The Court’s jurisdiction was complementary to national legislation, and the Court would assume jurisdiction only when a State did not.

A resolution on the elaboration of two conventions concerning terrorism was also the subject of continued debate in the Committee.  The Assembly again strongly condemned all acts of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable and urged States, as a matter of priority, to become parties to relevant conventions and protocols on terrorism.  It decided that its Ad Hoc Committee on terrorism should meet from 28 March to 1 April 2005 to expedite its elaboration of comprehensive instruments against international terrorism and for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism.

Moving on to the two new instruments, the Assembly invited States to become parties to the Convention on the Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property, the text of which is annexed to the resolution.  The Assembly agreed with the general understanding that the instrument did not cover criminal proceedings.  Also, its completion was the culmination of 35 years of work by the International Law Commission, the Sixth Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee.  The Convention will be open for signature by all States from 17 January 2005 until 17 January 2007.

The Legislative Guide on Insolvency Law was one of two resolutions in the report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL).  By it, the Assembly recommended that States consider the Guide when revising or adopting relevant legislation on the subject.  By the other text on UNCITRAL, the Assembly appealed for harmonization of legal activities between international organizations and the Commission to promote consistency and coherence in international trade law.

The Assembly adopted two resolutions contained in the report on the Special Committee on the Charter.  By one, the Special Committee would meet from 14 to 24 March 2005.  By the other, consideration would continue on Charter provisions related to assisting third States affected by sanctions.

In other actions the Assembly commended a set of draft articles on the responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts and invited governments to submit comments on drafting a legal instrument on the nationality of legal persons in relation to the succession of States.  It decided that the International Law Commission would hold its next session from 2 May to 3 June and from 4 July to 5 August 2005.

Other resolutions concerned the Status of Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions as related to protection of civilians in armed conflict; measures to enhance protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular property and representatives; the scope of the Convention on protecting United Nations and associated personnel; and the relations between the United Nations and the host country.

Finally, the Assembly invited six inter-governmental organizations to participate in its work and sessions as observers:  the Southern African Development Community (SADC); the Shanghai Cooperation Organization; the Collective Security Treaty Organization; the Economic Community of West African States; the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

Speaking on the plenary items were the representatives of Peru (on behalf of the Andean Community), Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, United States, Honduras, Netherlands (on behalf of the European Union), Israel and the United Republic of Tanzania.

The Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. Friday, 3 December, when it will take up the reports of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security).

Background

The General Assembly met this afternoon to consider the 19 reports of its Sixth Committee (Legal), one of which contains a recommendation that the Committee meet again in February to conclude consideration of a United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning.

Other reports contain draft resolutions on matters relating to terrorism; the International Criminal Court; the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL); the International Law Commission; nationality; State responsibility for wrongful acts and jurisdictional immunities of States; protection of victims in armed conflict; diplomatic protection and safety of United Nations personnel; relations with the host country; the Charter; and observer status in the General Assembly for six regional intergovernmental organizations.

Also this afternoon, the Assembly was expected to take up draft resolutions on its own agenda items.  Those include on the Andean Zone of Peace; public administration and development; assistance to the Palestinian people; and a report by the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization entitled “A Fair Globalization:  Creating Opportunities for All”.

Sixth Committee (Legal) Reports

The Committee’s report on the nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States (document A/59/504) contains one resolution recommending that the Assembly reiterate its invitation for governments to take into account the provisions of a set of articles annexed to a 2000 General Assembly resolution (55/153).  The Assembly would also encourage States to elaborate legal instruments at the regional or subregional level to regulate questions of nationality with a view to preventing statelessness.  States would also be invited to submit views on the advisability of elaborating a legal instrument on the matter, including on avoidance of statelessness.  The question would be taken up again at the Assembly’s sixty-third session in 2008.  The Committee approved the draft without a vote on 17 November.

The report on responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts (document A/59/505) contains one draft resolution approved without a vote on 9 November pertaining to a set of articles the International Law Commission had approved in 2001 on the subject.  By the draft, the Assembly would commend the set of articles to governments without prejudice as to future adoption or action.  The Secretary-General would be requested to invite governments to submit written comments as to future action and to submit their practice on the matter while a report was compiled on decisions in which international courts, tribunals and other bodies made reference to the articles.  The Secretary-General would be asked to report the results of those actions well before the question was considered again at the Assembly’s sixty-second session in 2007.

The single resolution in the report on the Status of Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts (document A/59/506) was approved without a vote on 8 November.  By it, the Assembly would call on States to become parties to the Additional Protocols and other relevant instruments.  It would reaffirm the need to make implementation of international humanitarian law more effective and would call on States to consider becoming parties to the Optional Protocol to the Rights of the Child Convention, which concerns children in armed conflict.  The Assembly would also decide to consider the item again at its sixty-first session in 2006.

Containing one draft resolution is the report on measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives (document A/59/507).  Approved without a vote on 29 October, it would have the Assembly strongly condemn acts of violence against such persons and facilities, emphasizing that those acts could never be justified.  The Assembly would urge States to observe, implement and enforce the principles and rules of international law on protecting diplomatic and consular persons and facilities.  It would urge States to take every measure at the national and international levels to prevent violence against those persons and facilities, as well as to prevent any abuse of diplomatic or consular privileges and immunities.

Further, the Assembly would recommend that States cooperate on taking protective measures through information exchange and by providing assistance to juridical authorities in instances of violence or abuse.  States would be called upon to become parties to relevant instruments and to make use of peaceful means to settle disputes, including through the Secretary-General’s good offices.  He, in turn, would be requested to offer his good offices and to be the focal point for State reports on violations, reporting on those matters at the Assembly’s sixty-first session in 2006.

The draft resolution on the convention on jurisdictional immunities of States and their property (document A/59/508) was approved without a vote on 9 November.  By it, the Assembly would agree with the general understanding reached in the Ad Hoc Committee on the matter that the convention did not cover criminal proceedings.  It would then adopt the six-part convention annexed to the resolution.

Part I is the introduction, dealing with the scope, use of terms, privileges and immunities not affected and non-retroactivity.  Part II on general principles treats the issues of immunity, modalities, express consent, participation in a court proceeding and counterclaims.  Part III, on proceedings in which State immunity cannot be invoked, covers commercial transactions, contracts of employment, personal injuries and damage to property, ownership, possession and use of property, intellectual and industrial property, participation in companies and collective bodies, ships and arbitration agreements.

Part IV, on immunity from measures of constraint before a court, deals with pre- and post-judgement measures of constraint, effect of consent to jurisdiction and specific categories of property.  Part V on miscellaneous provisions covers service of process, default judgement and privileges and immunities during court proceedings.  Part VI, final clauses, covers the relationship of the convention to other agreements, dispute settlement and the ratification process.  An annex to the convention covers understandings with respect to certain provisions.

The text on the report on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) concerns the UNCITRAL report on its thirty-seventh session (14-25 June, New York) (document A/59/509) contains two resolutions, both approved without a vote on 29 October.  By draft resolution I on the Commission’s report, the Assembly would take note of the report and commend UNCITRAL for completing and adopting the legislative guide on insolvency law.  It would note with regret that no contributions had been made to the trust fund for providing travel assistance to developing countries and would further decide to continue considering the granting of travel assistance to Commission members.  The importance of bringing UNCITRAL conventions into effect would be stressed.

By draft resolution II on the Legislative Guide on Insolvency Law, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to publish the Guide and would recommend that all States give it due consideration when assessing the economic efficiency of their insolvency regimes and when revising or adopting insolvency legislation.  The Assembly would also recommend that all States continue considering the implementation of UNCITRAL’s Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency.

The text on the Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its fifty-sixth session (Geneva, 3 May to 4 June and 5 July to 6 August) (document A/59/510) was approved without a vote on 17 November.  It would have the Assembly take note of the report and of the Commission’s long-term work programme while also endorsing its decision to include in its agenda the topics “expulsion of aliens” and “effects of armed conflicts on treaties”.  It would draw governmental attention to the importance of the Commission having views on aspects of the topics contained in the report, in particular:  the draft articles and commentary concerning diplomatic protection; and the draft principles allocating loss in the case of transboundary harm arising out of hazardous activities.  It would invite them to provide information on bilateral or regional practice in allocating and managing groundwaters from transboundary aquifer systems for the topic of “shared natural resources” and state practice on the topic of “unilateral acts of States”.

Further, the Assembly would invite the Commission to take other measures to enhance its efficiency and productivity.  It would encourage cost-saving measures and welcome the Commission’s enhanced dialogue with the Legal Committee.  The Assembly would encourage States to be represented at the legal advisor level during the Commission’s report to the legal Committee and would affirm the indispensable assistance given the Commission by the Codification Division of the Legal Office.  The Assembly would request the Commission to indicate specific issues on which governmental comment would be welcome, noting that consultations with legal experts and organizations could help governments formulate comments and observations.

The Assembly would further take note of the Commission’s cooperation with other bodies concerned with international law.  The Commission’s conclusion that summary records were an indispensable part of developing international law and codifying it would be approved, as would the conclusion that summary records were an essential part of the Commission’s work and its Yearbook.  The Assembly would express the hope that the International Law Seminar would continue, requesting the Secretary-General to provide it with adequate services.  The Secretary-General would also be requested to forward written materials to the Commission in accordance with established practice while the Secretariat could be asked to circulate the Commission’s relevant documents and articles.

Finally, the Assembly would decide that the Commission would meet in Geneva for its fifty-seventh session from 2 May to 3 June and from 4 July to 5 August 2005.  The Committee’s debate of the Commission report would begin on 24 October.

Also approved without a vote on 17 November is the draft resolution on the report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country (document A/59/511).  It would have the Assembly endorse the Committee’s recommendations and conclusions, considering the maintenance of appropriate conditions for the normal work of delegations and missions and the observance of their privileges and immunities to be of great importance and in the interest of all Member States.  It would request the host country to continue solving problems through negotiations and to take all necessary measures to prevent interference in the functioning of missions.

The Assembly would note the Committee’s detailed review of the first year of the parking programme’s implementation.  The review was to enable the Committee to address problems experienced by some permanent missions and to continuously ensure its proper implementation in a fair, non-discriminatory and effective manner consistent with international law.  The Assembly would note that some travel restrictions had been lifted on staff of certain missions and United Nations staff members of certain nationalities, and would request the host country to consider removing the remaining travel bans.

By the single draft on the International Criminal Court (document A/59/512), approved on 19 November, the Assembly would call on States to become parties to the Court’s Rome Statute and its Agreement on Privileges and Immunities.  It would recall that the Special Working Group on the Crime of Aggression was open to all States.  The Assembly would further take note of references to the Court’s role in promoting justice and the rule of law, and it would welcome steps taken to functionalize the Court, including the closing of trust funds set up for its establishment.  Recalling the Relationship Agreement that granted the Court observer status in the General Assembly with reporting privileges, the Assembly would decide to include the item “Report by the International Criminal Court” on the agenda of its sixtieth session.

The two drafts in the report of the Special Committee on the Charter and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization (document A/59/513) were approved without a vote on 17 November.  By resolution I on the report, the Assembly would decide that the Special Committee would hold its next session from 14 to 24 March 2005, when it would continue considering proposals on maintaining international peace and security.  A priority would be the implementation of Charter provisions relevant to protecting third States affected by sanctions.  The Special Committee would be asked to keep the peaceful settlement of disputes on its agenda, to consider proposals on the Trusteeship Council and to give priority to considering ways to improve its working methods.

Further, the Assembly would endorse the Secretary-General’s efforts to eliminate the backlog in publishing the Repertoire of the Security Council’s Practice and would request him to establish a trust fund to eliminate the backlog in the Repertory of Practice of the United Nations Organs.  He would also be requested to continue efforts to make all versions of the Repertory available electronically and to report on both the Repertoire and Repertory at the Assembly’s sixtieth session in 2005.

By resolution II on implementation of Charter provisions related to assisting third States affected by sanctions, the Assembly would renew its invitation for the Security Council to consider establishing further mechanisms for such third States to consult with it as soon as possible under Charter Article 50.  The Assembly would strongly recommend that the Council continue efforts to enhance the effectiveness and transparency of the sanctions committee by streamlining working methods and facilitating access for representatives of such third States.  Where economic sanctions had caused a severe impact on third States, the Security Council would be invited to ask the Secretary-General to consider appointing a special representative or sending a fact-finding mission to assess the situation and identify forms of assistance.

The draft would reaffirm the importance of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) in mobilizing and monitoring economic assistance efforts and in identifying solutions.  The ECOSOC would be asked to consider the question at its 2005 session.

A draft resolution on measures to eliminate international terrorism (document A/59/514) was approved on 17 November.  By it, the Assembly would strongly condemn all forms and manifestations of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, wherever and by whomever committed.  It would urge States to punish nationals and others in their territory, who provided or collected funds for the benefit of those participating in the commission of terrorist acts.  It would further urge States to become parties to relevant conventions and protocols, as well as to cooperate with all parties in providing technical and other expert advice to States needing assistance in becoming parties to those instruments.

In addition by the draft, the Assembly would urge States and the Secretary-General to make the best use of existing United Nations institutions in efforts to prevent terrorism.  It would decide that the Ad Hoc Committee on the matter should continue elaborating a draft comprehensive convention and one on nuclear terrorism on an expedited basis, and that the question of convening a high-level conference on terrorism would be kept on the Assembly’s agenda.  The Assembly would also decide that the Ad Hoc Committee would meet from 28 March to 1 April 2005 to continue its work, also meeting, if necessary, during the Assembly’s sixtieth session within the framework of Sixth Committee (Legal) working group.

Finally, the Secretary-General would be requested to make a comprehensive inventory of the Secretariat response to terrorism and include it in his report on the issue.  The Ad Hoc Committee would be requested to report during the Assembly’s fifty-ninth session in the event of completing either of the instruments or to report on progress during the sixtieth session.

By a draft text on the scope of legal protection under the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel (document A/59/515/Corr.1), also approved on 17 November, the Assembly would urge States to take all necessary measures to prevent crimes against such persons, ensure that the offences did not go unpunished and that perpetrators were brought to justice.  The Assembly would call upon States to become parties to the relevant international instruments and to respect fully their obligations under them, particularly the 1994 Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel. (As at 9 November, 77 countries had ratified or acceded to the Convention, which entered into force on 15 January 1999.

By other terms of the text, the Assembly would recommend that the Secretary-General continue to seek the inclusion of, and that host countries include, key provisions of the Convention in status-of-forces, status-of-missions and host country agreements negotiated between the United Nations and those countries.

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Scope of Legal Protection under the Convention would be asked to reconvene for a week, from 11 to 15 April, with a mandate to expand the scope of the legal protection, possibly by a legal instrument.  Its work would be continued during the Assembly’s sixtieth session within the framework of a working group of the Sixth Committee, the Assembly would further decide.  The topic will be included in the provisional agenda of the Assembly’s sixtieth session in 2005.

A draft decision in the report on an international convention against the reproductive cloning of human beings (document A/59/516) was approved on 19 November without a vote when Italy introduced a draft resolution containing a proposal to recommend adoption of a United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning rather than continuing work on opposite approaches toward elaborating a convention on the matter.  Based on the Committee Chairman’s proposal, the decision was approved to establish a Working Group to use the proposed declaration as the basis for a Working Group to finalize the text and present it to the Committee during the current session.

By the decision in the report, the Assembly would take note of the decision for the Working Group to meet on 14, 15 and 18 February, with the Committee meeting on the afternoon of the final day to consider and take action on the Working Group’s report.  The Working Group would be open to all States, as well as pertinent others, with the Committee Chairman chairing the Working Group and the Bureau serving as Friends of the Chairman.

Draft resolutions contained in four reports requesting observer status in the General Assembly for organizations were approved without a vote on 7 October.  Those were:

-- The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (document A/59/517), a Beijing-based international organization established in 2001 by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to promote regional peace and security along with economic development;

-- The Southern African Development Community (SADC) (document A/59/518), a Gaborone, Botswana-based international organization aimed at promoting sustainable socio-economic development at all geographic levels and presently comprised of Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe;

-- The Collective Security Treaty Organization (document A/59/519), established in 2003 to promote cooperation for regional and global security and comprised of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, the Russian Federation and Tajikistan; and

-- The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)(document A/59/520), aimed at accelerating the economic and social development of the West African States through cooperation with 15 current members:  Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.

Approved without a vote for observer status in the General Assembly on 29 October was the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) (document A/59/521), aimed at promoting cooperation and harmonizing policies based on good governance practices and respect for human rights among the nine members:  Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Finally, observer status in the General Assembly was approved without a vote on 5 November for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (document A/59/544), aimed at promoting cooperation for social, economic and cultural growth on a national, regional and international level for the seven members:  Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Assembly Drafts

The text on the Andean Zone of Peace (document A/59/L.20/Rev.1) would have the Assembly call on all States to support the States that comprise the Andean Community in promoting the principles and purposes provided for by the Declaration of San Francisco de Quito, adopted by the Community’s heads of State last July, which established the Zone within the relevant geographical area covering land, airspace and waterways, as a nuclear, chemical and biological weapons-free region and also stated the objective of ridding the zone of anti-personnel mines.

The text also urges the members of the Community to make every effort to ensure the early fulfilment of the commitments arising from the Declaration.  [The Community is comprised of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.]

Another draft resolution, on public administration and development (document A/59/L.27/Rev.1), recalls the historic fiftieth resumed session of the fiftieth General Assembly, which was devoted to the subject of strengthening of public administration and development, would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General to, among other things, to continue to facilitate the dissemination of valuable practices in that field through the United Nations Online Network in Public Administration and Finance.

By a draft resolution on assistance to the Palestinian people (document A/59/L.24), the Assembly would express its grave concern at the deterioration in the living conditions of the Palestinian people throughout the occupies territory, which constitutes a mounting humanitarian crisis, and would therefore call on the international donor community, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to extend as rapidly as possible emergency economic and humanitarian assistance to counter the impact of the current crisis.

A draft resolution on the report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization -- “A Fair Globalization:  Creating Opportunities for All” – (document A/59/L.38) would have the Assembly take note of that report as a contribution to the international dialogue towards a fully inclusive and equitable globalization, and decide to consider the wider challenges and opportunities posed by that phenomenon within the framework of the comprehensive review of the Millennium Declaration and the 2005 ten-year review of the World Summit for Social Development by the Commission for Social Development.

Introduction of Sixth Committee (Legal) Reports and Action on Resolutions

ANNA SOTANIEMI (Finland), the Sixth Committee Rapporteur, introduced the Committee’s reports.

The Assembly took up the report on the nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States (document A/59/504) containing one draft resolution.  The Assembly adopted the resolution without a vote.

Also adopted without a vote was the draft resolution contained in the report on responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts (document A/59/505).

The draft resolution in the report on the Status of Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts (document A/59/506) was also adopted without a vote, as were the draft resolutions in the reports on measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives (document A/59/507) and the convention on jurisdictional immunities of States and their property (document A/59/508).

The text in the report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on the UNCITRAL report on its thirty-seventh session (14-25 June, New York) (document A/59/509) was taken up.  Resolution I on the Commission’s report was adopted without a vote, as was Resolution II on the Legislative Guide on Insolvency Law.

Next to be adopted without a vote was the text in the report of the International Law Commission on the work of its fifty-sixth session (Geneva, 3 May to 4 June and 5 July to 6 August) (document A/59/510).

The draft resolution in the text on the report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country (document A/59/511) was adopted without a vote.

The report on the International Criminal Court (document A/59/512) was taken up and its resolution adopted without a vote.

Speaking in explanation of position after action, the representative of the United States said he dissociated himself from consensus on the resolution.

Speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated countries, the representative of Netherlands noted that the Assembly had adopted the resolution without a vote, just as the Committee had approved it.  Now that the Relationship Agreement between the Court and the United Nations had been signed, and the Court had entered into force, it was vital for the Court to remain on the Assembly’s agenda and for the Agreement to be turned into practical cooperation.  The resolution before the Assembly reaffirmed the Court’s observer status in the Assembly’s work, including through annual reports of the Court’s activities to the Assembly.

He said the Union had relentlessly defended the Court’s integrity.  The Court was the most significant recent development in advancing justice and the rule of law to end impunity.  Concerns about the Court were unfounded.  The Rome Statute was the most comprehensive list of due process protections ever promulgated.  It provided all safeguards against using the Court for political purposes.  The Court’s prosecutors and judges were selected by, and from among, countries committed to justice, human rights and democracy.  The Rome Statute and the Elements of Crime defined the actions in the Court’s jurisdiction, which were genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.  The clarity and precision of those documents was unmatched by any tribunal’s statute.  The Court’s jurisdiction was complementary to national legislation, and the Court would assume its jurisdiction only when a State did not do so.

A set of guidelines had been developed for States to consider in relation to bilateral agreements dealing with conditions for surrendering persons to the Court, he continued.  First, existing international agreements already covered legal cooperation on criminal matters such as extradition, and new agreements weren’t needed.  Further, the agreements drafted by the United States were inconsistent with obligations of States Parties to the Court and possibly with other international agreements.  Also, the scope of persons covered by the agreement was excessive since the Court’s jurisdiction was limited to persons acting on behalf of States and did not apply to tourists or business people.  Bilateral agreements should also contain a sunset clause and most importantly should not result in impunity.  The Union would assist States in preventing impunity and developing a broader dialogue about the Court.

The report of the Special Committee on the Charter and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization (document A/59/513) was taken up.  Resolution I on the report was adopted without a vote, as was Resolution II on implementation of Charter provisions related to assisting third States affected by sanctions.

The draft resolution in the report on measures to eliminate international terrorism (document A/59/514) was taken up and adopted without a vote, as was the draft text on the scope of legal protection under the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel (document A/59/515/Corr.1).

Action was postponed on the draft decision in the report on an international convention against the reproductive cloning of human beings (document A/59/516), pending review of programme budget implications by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).  That had been announced when the decision was approved.  There would be no additional cost for the Working Group’s three-day meeting, and the cost of the Committee meetings were expected to be $37,000.00.

The draft on the observer status for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (document A/59/517) was taken up and adopted without a vote, as was the draft resolution on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) (document A/59/518).

In explanation of position after action, the representative of Seychelles said his country was no longer a member of the group.

The draft on observer status for the Collective Security Treaty Organization (document A/59/519) was taken up and adopted without a vote, as were the drafts on such status for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (document A/59/520), the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) (document A/59/521) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (document A/59/544).

Action on Assembly Drafts

The Assembly then took up a number of outstanding plenary-generated texts.

The representative of Peru introduced a draft resolution on the Andean Zone of Peace (document A/59/L.20/Rev.1), saying the creation of the Zone had been one of the most important initiatives towards bringing about peace and security in the Americas.  The draft had been the outcome of negotiations between the Andean countries and those States that had expressed interest in tightening the language.  Given that the Zone and its principles mirrored those of the United Nations Charter, the Assembly should welcome it and adopt the relevant text by consensus.

Prior to action, the representative of Colombia said that the Declaration recognized that peace, security, and the full force of democracy and the rule of law were necessary conditions to reach higher levels of political, economic and social development for the countries that comprised the Zone.  She added that those countries were working to strengthen their democracies, and that Colombia celebrated the definitive solution to the territorial disputes among the countries of the subregion, which had paved the way for the Declaration’s adoption last July.

At a time when many doubted the effectiveness of multilateralism in the face of myriad global challenges, it would be enough to look at the crucial contributions being made by regional and subregional organizations to see that the principle remained compelling and valid and that States’ commitment to strengthening it would only grow.

The representative of Venezuela said the progress in the peace process among the countries of the Community was a further example of the willingness of the Andean countries to work towards peace.  It was also a contribution to collective security, social inclusion and the facilitation of peaceful measures to solve subregional conflicts, whatever their origin.

The representative of Bolivia said the Declaration that had established the Zone had been an example of the organic movement to rid certain regions of nuclear and other dangerous weapons towards the promotion of peace, general and complete disarmament and the establishment of nuclear-free zones.  One of the objectives of such a movement was to redirect valuable resources towards the enhanced social and economic development.

The creation of the Zone also pointed to the strengthening and deepening of integration between the countries of the subregion, particularly towards improving collective security, ensuring democratic and economic stability and creating overall conditions to overcome hindrances to the sustainable development of the wider South American region, he said, urging hat the draft be adopted by consensus.

Ecuador’s representative stressed the importance that his country attached to the creation of the Andean Zone of Peace.  He was convinced that on the basis of clear political will to work together, promote mutual trust and create an area free of nuclear weapons and anti-personnel mines, Andean nations would be better able to ensure peace, security, cooperation and development in the wider subregion.  The text before the Assembly stressed the progress that the members of the Andean Community had made in securing peace and promoting trust, and Ecuador was convinced that the Andean Community would help to promote cooperation between its member nations so that they could all better address the challenges facing their countries in an increasingly globalized world.

The representative of the United States welcomed the aim of the Andean States to establish a zone of peace and promote peaceful coexistence and freedom.  It also understood that such a zone would be consistent with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in South America, other international instruments and relevant laws of the sea.

The Assembly then adopted the orally amended text by consensus.

Next, the representative of Honduras introduced a draft text on public administration and development (document A/59/L.27/Rev.1).  He said sponsors of the draft believed that public administration methods that were modern and able to take advantage of new information technology were essential tools for development and excellent methods to achieve the objectives of the Millennium Declaration.  He then made slight technical corrections to the draft resolution.

The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution by consensus.

Next, a draft resolution on assistance to the Palestinian people (document A/59/L.24), was introduced by the representative of the Netherlands (speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States), who said that by the text, Member States, international financial institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were urged to extend economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people as rapidly as possible.

The text also would have the Assembly express its appreciation for the work of the Secretary-General and his staff in the field of humanitarian assistance and the Middle East Peace process.  He hoped the text would be adopted unanimously, and then reintroduced a new operative paragraph 1:  “Also takes note of the Personal Humanitarian Envoy of the Secretary-General on the humanitarian conditions and needs of the Palestinian people”.

The text was adopted without a vote.

Following the vote, the representative of Israel said his delegation had voted in favour of the draft as a demonstration of Israel’s continued support for humanitarian efforts aimed at relieving the situation of the Palestinian People.  Israel was doing all it could to ensure that their humanitarian needs were met.  And while difficulties remained, Israel worked to ensure that the flows of humanitarian goods went to Palestinian areas as smoothly as possible.  It was also working to upgrade its operating procedures to speed the transfer of humanitarian assistance, ambulances and goods.  He hoped that Israel’s continued efforts might also jumpstart the peace process.

He went on to say that helping to end suffering of all peoples in the Middle East was a crucial component of overall peace efforts in the region.  It was also a priority of the Israeli Government.  Israel welcomed the work of all international agencies and believed that for such work to be effective it should be coordinated with relevant authorities.  He added that terrorist activity affected the measures Israel enacted or its security.  Terrorist activities also had a direct impact on humanitarian workers and aid recipients alike, on both sides.  He stressed that humanitarian issues should be free of politicization, and that Israel’s support for the thrust of the text should not construed as an endorsement of certain terms included therein.  He also stressed the need to acknowledge that civilians on both sides were suffering, as well as the importance of working to ensure that the civilians on both sides lived in security and peace in accordance with the principles of the Road Map peace plan.

Finally, the Assembly took up a draft resolution on the report of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization -- “A Fair Globalization:  Creating Opportunities for All” –- (document A/59/L.38).

Introducing that text on behalf of Finland and his own country, the representative of the United Republic of Tanzania said the preambular paragraphs of the text recalled and reaffirmed the Millennium Declaration’s vision of a world where globalization benefited everyone, of greater policy coherence and of better cooperation between the Bretton Woods Institutions, the United Nations family and other multilateral bodies.  The operative paragraphs took note of the World Commission’s report as a contribution to achieving equitable globalization, and, among other things, called on the United Nations system and Member States to consider the report.

The text was adopted without a vote.

Following that action, the representative of Venezuela said her delegation had been part of the consensus, but it believed that globalization, rather than promoting economic and social development, had led to a polarization between rich and poor countries and had sparked marginalization, exclusion, poverty and hunger.

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For information media. Not an official record.