SECOND COMMITTEE APPROVES DRAFT RESOLUTION CONDEMNING ALL FORMS OF CORRUPTION

13 December 2005
GA/EF/3138

SECOND COMMITTEE APPROVES DRAFT RESOLUTION CONDEMNING ALL FORMS OF CORRUPTION

13/12/2005
General Assembly
GA/EF/3138
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixtieth General Assembly

Second Committee

36th Meeting (PM)

Second Committee approves draft resolution

 

condemning all forms of corruption

 

It also Passes Seven Other Texts in Consensus Actions

The General Assembly would condemn corruption in all its forms and emphasize the need to improve the efficiency, transparency and accountability of domestic administration, public spending and the rule of law, according to one of seven draft resolutions that the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) approved without a vote this afternoon.

By other terms of that draft -- on preventing and combating corrupt practices and the transfer of funds of illicit origin, as well as returning such assets to the countries of origin -- the Assembly would call for further international cooperation to support national, subregional and regional efforts to prevent and combat corrupt practices and the transfer of assets of illicit origin, as well as for asset recovery, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption.  Also by that text, it would urge Member States to abide by the principles of proper management of public affairs and public property, fairness, responsibility and equality before the law, as well as the need to safeguard integrity and foster a culture of transparency, accountability and rejection of corruption.

A draft on science and technology for development, also approved as orally corrected, would have the Assembly affirm its commitment to strengthen and enhance existing mechanisms and support research and development initiatives to address the special needs of developing countries in the areas of health, agriculture, conservation, sustainable use of natural resources and environmental management, energy, forestry and the impact of climate change.  It would also affirm its commitment to support greater efforts to develop renewable sources of energy, such as solar, wind and geothermal energy; implement policies at international and national levels to attract public and private investment that enhanced knowledge, transfer technology on mutually agreed terms and raised productivity; and support developing-country efforts to harness new agricultural technologies, so as to increase agricultural productivity through environmentally sustainable means.

By a draft on sustainable mountain development, the Assembly would underline that national action was key to achieving progress in sustainable mountain development, and invite the international community to support the efforts of developing countries to develop and implement strategies and programmes.  Also by that text, the Assembly would underline the importance for sustainable mountain development of exploring a wide range of funding sources, such as public-private partnerships; increased opportunities for microfinance, including microinsurance, small housing loans, savings, education and health accounts, and support for entrepreneurs seeking to develop small and medium-sized businesses; and debt for sustainable development swaps.

The Assembly would, by other terms of that text, stress that indigenous cultures, traditions and knowledge were to be fully considered, respected and promoted in development policy and planning for mountain regions, and underline the importance of promoting the full participation and involvement of mountain communities in decisions affecting them, as well as of integrating indigenous knowledge, heritage and values in all development initiatives.  By further terms, the Assembly would underline the need of mountain women for improved access to resources, and to strengthen their role in decision-making that affected their communities, cultures and environments.

Finally, the Committee approved a draft on the International Year of the Potato 2008, by which the Assembly would decide to declare the year 2008 the International Year of the Potato.

Other drafts approved by today related to the report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its twenty-third session; the United Nations Institute for Training and Research; and South-South Cooperation

The Second Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on 15 December, to take action on all outstanding draft resolutions, as well as to conclude its work for the current session.

Draft Resolutions

A draft on the report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its twenty-third session (document A/C.2/60/L.60), would have the General Assembly call on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to continue with activities relating to small island developing States, in pursuance of the outcome of the International Meeting to Review the Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, held in Port Louis, Mauritius, in January 2005.

Also by the text, the Assembly would emphasize the need for UNEP to further contribute to sustainable development programmes, implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, and to the work of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD).  It would also emphasize the need to enhance coordination and cooperation among United Nations organizations in the promotion of the environmental dimension of sustainable development, and welcome the Programme’s continued active participation in the United Nations Development Group.

By other terms, the Assembly would reiterate the need for stable, adequate and predictable financial resources for UNEP, and, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII), underline the need to consider the adequate reflection of all administrative and management costs of UNEP in the United Nations regular budget.  It would also emphasize the importance of the Nairobi headquarters location and request the Secretary-General to keep the resource needs of UNEP and the United Nations Office in Nairobi under review, so as to permit the effective delivery of necessary services to them.

Another draft, on the International Year of the Potato, 2008 (document A/C.2/60/L.57), would have the Assembly decide to declare the year 2008 the International Year of the Potato.  It would also invite the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to facilitate the implementation of the International Year, in collaboration with Governments, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research centres, other United Nations bodies, and non-governmental organizations.

By a draft on sustainable mountain development (document A/C.2/60/L.63), the Assembly would note that the growing demand for natural resources, including water, the consequences of erosion, deforestation and other forms of watershed degradation, the occurrence of natural disasters, as well as increasing emigration, the pressures of industry, transport, tourism, mining, agriculture, and the consequences of global climate change are key challenges in fragile mountain ecosystems, to implement sustainable development and eradicating poverty in mountains, consistent with the Millennium Development Goals.

The Assembly would, by further terms, underline that national action is a key element in achieving progress in sustainable mountain development, welcome its steady increase in recent years with a multitude of events, activities and initiatives.  It would underline also the importance for sustainable development in mountains of exploring a wide range of funding sources, such as public-private partnerships; increased opportunities for microfinance, including microinsurance, small housing loans, savings, education and health accounts and support for entrepreneurs seeking to develop small and medium-sized businesses; and, on a case-by-case basis, debt for sustainable development swaps.

Also by the text, the Assembly would underline the importance of enhancing the sustainability of ecosystems that provide essential resources and services for human well-being and economic activity, and developing innovative means of financing for their protection.  It would underline also the need for improved access for women in mountain regions, as well as the need to strengthen their role in decision-making processes that affect their communities, cultures and environments.

By further terms, the Assembly would stress the importance of capacity-building, institutional strengthening and educational programmes to foster sustainable mountain development at all levels, and to enhance awareness of good practices in sustainable development in mountains, and the nature of relationships between highland and lowland areas.  It would stress, by other terms, that indigenous cultures, traditions and knowledge are to be fully considered, respected and promoted in development policy and planning in mountain regions, and underline the importance of promoting full participation and involvement of mountain communities in decisions that affect them, and of integrating indigenous knowledge, heritage and values in all development initiatives.

According to a text on science and technology for development (document A/C.2/60/L.59), the Assembly would affirm its commitment to strengthen and enhance existing mechanisms and to support initiatives for research and development, including through voluntary partnerships between the public and private sectors, to address the special needs of developing countries in health, agriculture, conservation, sustainable use of natural resources and environmental management, energy, forestry, and the impact of climate change; and to promote and facilitate access to and development of, transfer and diffusion of technologies, including environmentally sound technologies and the corresponding know-how, to developing countries.

The Assembly would also affirm its commitment to promote and support greater efforts to develop renewable sources of energy, such as solar, wind and geothermal energy; to implement policies at the national and international levels to attract both public and private investment, domestic and foreign, that enhances knowledge, transfers technology on mutually agreed terms and raises productivity; and to support the efforts of developing countries, individually and collectively, to harness new agricultural technologies in order to increase agricultural productivity through environmentally sustainable means.

Also by the text, the Assembly would encourage the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development to assist developing countries in integrating science, technology and innovation policies in national development strategies.  By further terms, it would encourage United Nations bodies engaged in biotechnology to enhance their implementation of programmes designed to assist developing countries build capacity in biotechnology, including for industry and agriculture, as well as for risk assessment and management of biosafety.

By a draft on preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of funds of illicit origin and returning such assets, in particular to the countries of origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (document A/C.2/60/L.54), the Assembly would condemn corruption in all its forms, including bribery, money-laundering and the transfer of assets of illicit origin.  It would, by other terms, reiterate its invitation to all Member States and competent regional economic integration organizations to ratify or accede to, and fully implement the Convention as soon as possible.

Also by the text, the Assembly would call for further international cooperation in support of national, subregional and regional efforts to prevent and combat corrupt practices and the transfer of assets of illicit origin, as well as for asset recovery consistent with the principles of the Convention, particularly chapter V.  Further, it would encourage all Governments to prevent, combat and penalize corruption in all its forms, and work for the prompt return of illicitly acquired assets, consistent with the Convention, particularly chapter V.

The Assembly would, by other terms, urge Member States to abide by the principles of proper management of public affairs and public property, fairness, responsibility and equality before the law, and the need to safeguard integrity and to foster a culture of transparency, accountability and rejection of corruption.  It would, by further terms, welcome actions by the private sector, including small and large companies and transnational corporations, to remain fully engaged in the fight against corruption, and call upon the private sector to continue making efforts in that regard.  It would emphasize the need for all relevant stakeholders, including within the United Nations system, to continue to promote corporate responsibility and accountability.

Another draft, on South-South Cooperation (document A/C.2/60/L.61), would have the Assembly stress that South-South cooperation offers viable opportunities for developing countries in their individual and collective pursuit of sustained economic growth and sustainable development.  By further terms, it would urge all relevant United Nations organizations and multilateral institutions to intensify their efforts to mainstream the use of South-South cooperation in the design, formulation and implementation of their regular programmes and to consider increasing allocations of human, technical and financial resources for supporting South-South cooperation initiatives.  In that regard, it would take note of the initiatives contained in the Havana Programme of Action adopted by the first South Summit, the Marrakech Framework for the Implementation of South-South Cooperation and the Doha Plan of Action.

Also by the text, the Assembly would invite all countries to support South-South and triangular cooperation, through the Voluntary Trust Fund for the Promotion of South-South Cooperation in the United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities and the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund for Economic and Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries.  It would also invite the UNDP to rename the Voluntary Trust Fund as the United Nations Fund for South-South Cooperation, while maintaining its mandate and voluntary nature, and to designate it as the main United Nations trust fund for promoting and supporting South-south and triangular initiatives.

A draft on the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (document A/C.2/60/L.56), would have the Assembly underline the need to further develop and expand the scope of partnerships between the Institute and other organizations and United Nations bodies, with respect to their training programmes.  It would, by other terms, stress that the courses of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) should focus primarily on development issues and the management of international affairs.  Further by the draft, it would urge States that had interrupted their voluntary contributions to consider resuming them in view of the successful restructuring and revitalization of the Institute.

Also by the draft, the Assembly would stress the need for an expeditious solution of issues related to the Institute’s rent, rental rates and maintenance costs.  Also, it would encourage the Institute’s Board of Trustees to resolve the critical financial situation of the Institute, to broaden its donor base and further increase contributions to the General Fund.

Action on Draft Resolutions

The Committee first took up the text on the report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its twenty-third session (document A/C.2/60/L.60), approving it without a vote, as orally corrected and withdrawing an earlier version (document A/C.2/60/L.24).

The representative of the United States said the existing system of multilateral environmental agreements represented a good balance between coordination and decentralization.  The United States supported improvements to UNEP, but not changes to its status.  The Programme should be funded principally through voluntary contributions, and funding from the regular budget should decrease.

Next, the Committee approved, without a vote, the text on the International Year of the Potato, 2008 (document A/C.2/60/L.57), which was introduced by Committee Vice-Chairman, Stephano Toscano ( Switzerland).

The representative of Peru stressed the importance of the Year, noting that it would raise international awareness of the potato as a vital agricultural product.  Peru hoped to see the full participation of all interested groups in the Year.

Acting again without a vote, the Committee then approved a draft on sustainable mountain development (document A/C.2/60/L.63), withdrawing a previous text (document A/C.2/60/L.19).

The representative of the United States noted that the draft used the term “debt for sustainable development swaps” in operative paragraph 14.  Without a clear definition of that term, the United States delegation interpreted that phrase to mean “debt for nature swaps”, which was in current use internationally.

The Committee then approved, without a vote and as orally corrected, a draft on science and technology for development (document A/C.2/60/L.59) and withdrew an earlier version (document A/C.2/60/L.17).

Deciding to postpone consideration of the draft on international migration and development (document A/C.2/60/L.62) until its next meeting, the Committee then approved, without a vote and as orally corrected, the text on preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of funds of illicit origin and returning such assets to the countries of origin (document A/C.2/60/L.54).  It withdrew an earlier version (document A/C.2/60/L.29).

Speaking after that action, the representative of the United Kingdom said, on behalf of the European Union, Canada, Australia, Japan and Lichtenstein, that the ratification and full implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption by all Member States was vital to the fight against corruption, and that the text sent a strong message in that regard.  However, the European Union was strongly disappointed that the title did not reflect the language on asset return that had been agreed in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document.  The European Union understood the title to mean that assets of illicit origin derived from corruption should be returned to their rightful owners, consistent with the Convention.  All Member States were urged to consider the importance of adopting a resolution at the sixty-first session of the General Assembly that more accurately reflected the provisions of the Convention, in both the title and the text.

The representative of Switzerland said he shared the concerns expressed by the European Union, and added that a resolution should be adopted in the future that reflected exactly the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.  The current title did not rule out recovery and return of illicit assets to rightful owners, according to the Convention, even if the owners were not States, in the State of origin, or in the State requesting the return of assets.

The representative of the United States, aligning himself with the European Union, said that, in addition to joining the consensus, his delegation understood “right to development” to mean that each individual should enjoy the right to development of his or her intellectual or other capabilities to the maximum extent possible, through the exercise of a full range of civil and political rights.

The Committee then approved, without a vote, an orally corrected draft on South-South Cooperation (document A/C.2/60/L.61) and withdrew a previous text (document A/C.2/60/L.31).

Acting again without a vote, it then approved a text, as orally corrected, on the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (document A/C.2/60/L.56), withdrawing an earlier version (document A/C.2/60/L.39).

The representative of Turkey said her country supported the Institute and had joined the consensus on the text, but stressed the need for better screening of its course content.  The inclusion of irrelevant text into United Nations materials used by the Institute raised serious questions about its objectivity and reliability.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.