SECOND COMMITTEE CONCLUDES CURRENT SESSION WITH CALL FOR COOPERATION TOWARDS ACHIEVING CLIMATE CHANGE GOALS

8 December 2006
GA/EF/3173

SECOND COMMITTEE CONCLUDES CURRENT SESSION WITH CALL FOR COOPERATION TOWARDS ACHIEVING CLIMATE CHANGE GOALS

8 December 2006
General Assembly
GA/EF/3173
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-first General Assembly

Second Committee

34th Meeting (AM)

SECOND COMMITTEE CONCLUDES CURRENT SESSION WITH CALL FOR COOPERATION

TOWARDS ACHIEVING CLIMATE CHANGE GOALS

 

Adopts 11 Draft Resolutions Covering Issues Ranging from Sustainable

Development, Biodiversity to Desertification, Industrial Development Cooperation

The General Assembly would call on Member States to work cooperatively towards achieving the objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in a draft resolution approved today by the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) during its closing session, by a vote of 114 in favour to none against, with 49 abstentions.  (See annex II for voting details.)

While no Member State opposed the approval of that text as a whole, a vote was held on a provision that would endorse a link of the Convention’s secretariat to the United Nations, with 108 in favour to 2 against ( Japan, United States) and 48 abstentions.  (See annex I for voting details.)

By the terms of that text -- on the protection of the global climate for present and future generations of mankind -- the Assembly would welcome the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol on 16 February 2005, and would urge States that had not yet done so to ratify it in a timely manner.  It would underline the seriousness of climate change as an argument for the Convention’s implementation, and would take note of an offer by the Indonesian Government to host the next session of the Conference of the Parties and the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, in December 2007.

The Committee also approved a draft resolution, by consensus, on the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence, in which the Assembly would affirm the need for the United Nations to play a major role in promoting international cooperation for development, in close cooperation with other multilateral institutions.

By the text, the Assembly would recognize that countries diverged greatly in their ability to access and use scientific and technological knowledge, generated mostly in developed countries.  More technical and financial assistance to developing countries would be called for, to build the human and institutional capacity needed to strengthen their national innovation systems.

According to the draft, the theme for next year’s discussion on globalization and interdependence would centre on the impact of international policies and on the implementation of national development strategies.  That led a few countries to stress, in their explanation of position, that a discussion on globalization should emphasize the responsibility of each country for its own development, and that national policies should promote good governance.

Those drafts were approved alongside nine others:  on the Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development; Towards the sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea for present and future generations; the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010; the Convention on Biological Diversity; the Report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme; Implementation of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006); Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa; specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries:  outcome of the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation; and on Industrial development cooperation.

However, a text that would have condemned those that engaged in the dumping of toxic waste in developing countries -- in response to the transportation and dumping of such waste in and around Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, on 19 August -- was withdrawn by the representative of Niger, who had initially tabled the text.  He expressed disappointment that no agreement had been reached on that text -- on special economic assistance to Côte d’Ivoire.

Speaking in explanation of position today were the representatives of Venezuela, United States, Canada (on behalf of CANZ), Turkey, France, Barbados (on behalf of the Association of Caribbean States), Japan, Finland (on behalf of the European Union), Australia (on behalf of CANZ), Russian Federation, Bangladesh and South Africa (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China).

Also today, the Committee approved its draft programme of work for the sixty-second session of the General Assembly, to begin in September 2007.

In her closing remarks, Committee Chairperson Tiina Intelmann of Estonia thanked delegates for their perseverance in pushing through over 40 draft resolutions and decisions relating to economic and financial matters.  Some issues had proven divisive -- notably the topic trade and development and climate change -- but hopefully, the message of global partnerships would be heard, and acted upon, outside of the Committee.

Congratulating the Committee for a “remarkable year,” José Antonio Ocampo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said that steps in the right direction had been taken to unlock the potential of civil society and the private sector to help build those partnerships.

Also expressing thanks for the Committee’s work were the representatives of Finland (on behalf of the European Union), South Africa (on behalf of the Group of 77), Croatia, United States, Brazil, Guyana (on behalf of the countries of the Caribbean Community), Canada, and Indonesia.  Several representatives also said they hoped that broader consensus on sustainable development issues could be achieved in the future.

Background

The Committee met this morning to take action on all outstanding draft resolutions.

Before the Committee was a draft resolution on Groups of countries in special situations:  specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries:  outcome of the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation (document A/C.2/61/L.62).

By that text, the Assembly would reaffirm the right of landlocked countries to have access to and from the sea, and to have freedom of transit through the territory of transit countries by all means of transport, in accordance with the applicable rules of international law.  At the same time, it would reaffirm that transit countries, in the exercise of their full sovereignty over their territory, have the right to ensure that the rights and facilities provided for landlocked countries in no way infringe their legitimate interests.

The Assembly would, by the draft, urge donor countries and financial and development institutions to provide landlocked and transit developing countries with appropriate technical and financial assistance to implement the priorities outlined in the Almaty Programme of Action.  It would call on the United Nations, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Bank, the World Customs Organization, the World Trade Organization and the International Maritime Organization (IMO), to integrate the Almaty Programme of Action into their programmes of work.

Further by the text, the Assembly would requests the Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States to accelerate its work on developing indicators to measure the progress in implementing the Almaty Programme.  It would decide to hold a mid-term review of the Programme in 2008.

Also before the Committee, a draft resolution on the Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/C.2/61/L.61) would have the Assembly urge Member States to fulfil their commitments to significantly reduce the rate of loss of biodiversity by 2010, emphasizing that this would require the provision of new and additional financial and technical resources to developing countries, including through the Global Environment Facility.

Also by that text, the Assembly would note the progress made in elaborating and negotiating the international regime on genetic resources and benefit-sharing by the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on that topic, as well as the decision of the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to complete the work of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group before the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to be held in 2010.

A draft resolution on the Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/61/L.60) would have the Assembly call on Governments, the Economic and Social Council, other United Nations bodies, international financial institutions, the Global Environment Facility and intergovernmental organizations and major groups to ensure the implementation of, and the follow-up to, commitments, programmes and time-bound targets adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

By the draft, Governments would be encouraged to participate at the upcoming fifteenth session of the Commission and its Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting, with representatives, including ministers, from departments and organizations working in the areas of energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air pollution/atmosphere and climate change, as well as finance, in the fifteenth session of the Commission and its Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting.

By further terms, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to submit reports on four issues:  energy for sustainable development, industrial development, air/pollution atmosphere and climate change, including the means for addressing those issues.

The Committee also had before it a draft resolution on the Protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind (document A/C.2/61/L.24/Rev.1), by which the Assembly would call on States to work cooperatively towards achieving the objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  Welcoming the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol on 16 February 2005, the Assembly would urge States that had not yet done so, to ratify it in a timely manner.

By other terms, the Assembly would take note of the twelfth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the second session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, held in Nairobi from 6 to 17 November 2006, and take further note of the offer of the Government of Indonesia to host the thirteenth session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the third session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, in Bali, Indonesia, from 3 to 14 December 2007.

Before the Committee was a draft resolution on the Eradication of poverty and other development issues:  industrial development cooperation (document A/C.2/61/L.65), by which the Assembly would call on donors and recipients to achieve greater efficiency in using official development assistance for industrial development, in developing countries and in countries with economies in transition.  It would also call for the continued use of other resources, including private, public, foreign and domestic resources, in that regard.

Further, by the draft, the Assembly would call on the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to coordinate activities in the field, through the common country assessment process and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.

Also before the Committee was a draft resolution on Recognition of the Caribbean Sea as a special area in the context of sustainable development (document A/C.2/61/L.67), which would have the Assembly call for assistance from the United Nations and international community to protect the Caribbean Sea from the illegal release of oil and other harmful substances from ships, and from the illegal dumping, or accidental release, of radioactive materials, nuclear waste, dangerous chemicals and other hazardous wastes, in violation of international rules and standards, as well as pollution from land-based activities.

According to the draft, the Assembly would call on States to develop programmes to halt the loss of marine biodiversity in the Caribbean Sea, in particular fragile ecosystems like coral reefs.

It would urge the United Nations and the international community to help Caribbean countries to integrate relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction into their sustainable development approaches.  It would call on Member States to improve their emergency response capabilities and to contain environmental damage in the Caribbean Sea, resulting from natural disasters or maritime accidents.

A draft on the Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (document A/C.2/61/L.55) would have the Assembly reaffirm its resolve to address the causes of desertification and land degradation -- and the poverty resulting from it -- through adequate and predictable financing, technology transfer and capacity-building.

By that text, the Assembly would reiterate the calls on Governments, in collaboration with relevant multilateral organizations, such as the Global Environment Facility implementation agencies, to integrate desertification into their plans and strategies for sustainable development.  It would also take note of the outcome of the fourth replenishment of the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund, including pledges made by the international community to the Trust Fund at the Third Assembly of the Global Environment Facility, held in Cape Town, South Africa, in August.

Also by the draft, the Secretary-General would be requested to take account of the institutional linkage and related administrative arrangements between the Convention secretariat and the United Nations Secretariat, to facilitate the introduction of the euro as the budget and accounting currency of the Convention.  The secretariat for the Commission on Sustainable Development would be requested to work closely with the secretariat of the Convention, ahead of the Commission’s upcoming sixteenth and seventeenth sessions.

A draft on the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010 (document A/C.2/61/L.29/Rev.1) would have the Assembly declare 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity.  It would invite Member States and relevant international organizations to support the activities of developing countries with respect to the Year, with particular attention to African countries, least developed countries, small island developing States, landlocked developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

Before the Committee was a draft resolution on the report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its ninth special session (document A/C.2/61/L.68), by which the General Assembly would take note of the report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) at its ninth special session, and also take note of the report of the Secretary-General on universal membership of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum of the United Nations Environment Programme.

By that text, it would reiterate the need for stable, adequate and predictable financial resources for UNEP, while underlining the need to adequately reflect the Programme’s administrative and management costs in the United Nations regular budget.  It would emphasize the importance of the Nairobi headquarters location of UNEP, and request the Secretary-General to keep the resource needs of the Programme and the United Nations Office at Nairobi under review so as to permit the delivery of necessary services to the Programme and to the other United Nations organizations in Nairobi.

Also by the text, the Assembly would decide to consider the important, but complex, issue of establishing universal membership of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum of the United Nations Environment Programme at its sixty-fourth session.

Before the Committee was a draft resolution on the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence (document A/C.2/61/L.69), in which the General Assembly -- recognizing that many countries, especially the least developed countries, have remained marginalized in the globalizing world economy -- would affirm the need for the United Nations to play a fundamental role in promoting international cooperation for development, and would resolve to strengthen coordination within the United Nations system, in close cooperation with all other multilateral financial, trade and development institutions, in order to support sustained economic growth, poverty eradication and sustainable development.

By that text, the Assembly would underline the fact that it is for each Government to evaluate the trade-off between the benefits of accepting international rules and commitments and the constraints posed by the loss of policy space -- i.e., the scope for domestic policies, especially in the areas of trade, investment and industrial development, is now often framed by international disciplines, commitments and global market considerations -- and that it is particularly important for developing countries, bearing in mind development goals and objectives, that all countries take into account the need for appropriate balance between national policy space and international disciplines and commitments.

Recognizing that countries diverged greatly in terms of their abilities to access, diffuse and use scientific and technological knowledge, most of which is generated in developed countries, the Assembly would urge the international community to work together to ensure that the development dimensions are mainstreamed into global intellectual property rights regimes, guaranteeing an adequate diffusion of scientific and technical knowledge and avoiding excessively high costs of proprietary technology.

By the draft, the Assembly would call for technical and financial assistance to developing countries to build the human and institutional capacity needed to strengthen their national innovation system.  It would call also for the creation of an international database on knowledge and research information.

By a draft resolution on the Implementation of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006) (document A/C.2/61/L.66), the General Assembly would recognize the contribution that the first United Nations Decade had made to poverty eradication, and would note the interest expressed for the proclamation of a second United Nations decade for the eradication of poverty.

The Committee also had before it its draft programme of work for the sixty-second session of the General Assembly (document A/C.2/61/L.59).

Action on draft resolutions

The representative of Brazil, referring to the draft on implementation of agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/61/L.60) said that, consensus had been agreed upon in informal consultations.  However, there were a few changes made to the text which had been agreed upon.

The representative of Iran then took the floor to make some minor changes to the text.

The draft was adopted as orally corrected.

An earlier version (document A/C.2/61/L.27) was withdrawn.

On the draft resolution towards the sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea for present and future generations (document A/C.2/61/L.67), the representative of Brazil said that a consensus had been reached and further recommended its adoption.

The representative of Peru took the floor to make minor changes to the text.

The resolution was adopted as orally corrected.

Explanations of Position

The representative of Venezuela said his Government had actively participated and would continue to decisively support the initiative.  As his Government remained convinced that the Caribbean Sea needed to be protected, solidarity and cooperation had marked every phase of negotiation.  Although Venezuela was not a party to the Convention, he wanted to highlight his country’s historic solidarity with its Caribbean brothers.

The representative of the United States wanted to highlight two aspects of the text.  Regarding the phrase “special area in the context of sustainable development,” he questioned the need for new formulation along those lines, as there were several mechanisms already in place to protect the Caribbean region.

The use of the term was not provided for under international law and did not carry legal implications or affect existing law in any way.  In addition, on the “inclusion of accidental release of hazardous waste,” accidental releases were violations of international rules only when such rules so provided.

The representative of Turkey said that her delegation had joined in consensus as the draft addressed important issues.  Her Government supported efforts to promote sustainable conservation.  However, Turkey disassociated itself from references to international instruments to which it was not party, and agreements with the drafts’ provisions should not be interpreted as a change in Turkey’s legal position.

The representative of France, also speaking on behalf of the United Kingdom, attached great importance to freedom of navigation in the Caribbean, believing that all shipping routes between Europe and Asia should remain open.  Furthermore, there were very strict rules involving the transport of nuclear material in place.

The representative of Barbados, speaking on behalf of the Association of Caribbean States, said the resolution aimed to achieve more effective regional cooperation around a very valuable resource -– the Caribbean Sea.  The uniqueness of that sea merited a unique approach.

The representative of Japan said that he supported the position of the United Kingdom and France.

An earlier version (document A/C.2/61/L.30) was withdrawn.

Introducing a draft on Protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind (document A/C.2/61/L.24/Rev.1), the representative of South Africa said that, unfortunately, after many hours in the negotiating room, consensus could not be reached.  Thus, his delegation, on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, had decided to introduce a regional text with some slight amendments.  In an attempt to get broad consensus once again, the Group of 77 had shown extreme flexibility and hoped that action would be taken.

The representative of Brazil then expressed his thanks and acknowledgment to the representatives of Croatia and Argentina who had spared no effort in finding consensus on the resolution.

Explanation before the Vote

The representative of Finland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, regretted that consensus had not been reached.  It was not an adequate response to the serious threat of climate change.  Thus, her delegation would abstain.  Expressing concern over the regional and global impact of climate change, she said it was clear that action by the European Union alone was insufficient.

The representative of Japan said that global warming was an urgent challenge.  The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was an independent treaty-body with its own budget and secretariat.  The United Nations did not need to shoulder its expenses.  UNFCCC needed to assume whole responsibility for its costs, and, thus, Japan would vote against the paragraph.  At the same time, he noted that climate change was a very important issue to Japan, and it was the largest donor to UNFCCC.

Operative paragraph 10 of the draft (document A/C.2/61/L.24/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 108 in favour to 2 against ( Japan, United States), with 48 abstentions (annex I).

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The representatives of Argentina and Australia then took the floor to make points of order.

Explanation before the Vote

The representative of Australia, speaking on behalf of Canada, Australia and New Zealand, took the floor to explain its abstention.  She said that, the decision to end negotiations prematurely was unfortunate.  Climate change was one of the most important challenges facing today’s international community.

The draft resolution as a whole (document A/C.2/61/L.24/Rev.1), as further revised, was then approved by a recorded vote of 114 in favour to none against, with 49 abstentions (annex II).

Explanation after the Vote

The representative of the Russian Federation said he had voted in favour of the draft, and welcomed its adoption as his Government considered United Nations agreement on protecting the global climate as vital.  Although the draft reflected his delegation’s approach, he was concerned with the process of coming to agreement.  Such an important decision needed to be reached in open and transparent consultations.  This year, however, such a process had not been completed.  The Committee had to adopt it without translation in all United Nations languages –- that was unacceptable.

The representative of Bangladesh said he had indeed voted in favour of the draft, although there had been a technical error.

The representative of France expressed concern about the lack of language versions, but had agreed to vote anyway.  He did not want to see repetition of that.

As the Committee turned to the draft resolution on the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010 (document A/C.2/61/L.29/Rev.1), the Committee Vice-Chairman made some minor amendments to the text.

The Committee then approved the draft, as orally amended, without a vote.

The Committee then turned to the draft resolution on the Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/C.2/61/L.61), upon which the representative of Antigua and Barbuda made some amendments to the text, deleting references to the “decline in ecosystem services” in operative paragraph 6 and “genetic resources” in operative paragraph 7.

The draft was then adopted, without a vote and as orally amended.  An earlier version (document A/C.2/61/L.33) was withdrawn.

As the Committee turned to the draft resolution on the Report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (document A/C.2/61/L.68), the Secretary of the Committee provided an oral statement of programme budget implications, saying no additional funds would be needed should the General Assembly adopt the draft.

The committee Vice-Chairman, who had tabled the resolution, thanked the facilitator who had overseen negotiations of the text, wishing him well on his return to Chile.

The representative of Chile thanked Member States for their support of the draft, saying there were no amendments to the texts.

The draft resolution was then approved and an earlier version (document A/C.2/61/L.19) was withdrawn.

The Committee then began its consideration of the draft resolution on the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence (document A/C.2/61/L.69), where the Committee Vice-Chairman made a minor amendment to the text.

The draft resolution was approved, as orally amended.

Explanation of Position after Action

The representative of Finland, on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said she had been pleased to join the consensus, but stressed that a discussion on globalization and interdependence must include all aspects of that phenomenon.  Singling out one theme for discussion was not thought appropriate, since the broadest possible approach should be taken to meet the challenges of globalization.

As such, she said, next year’s discussion on globalization and interdependence should focus on both benefits and challenges alike, and future reports by the Secretary-General should avoid espousing theories that interpreted multilateral rules as inimical to development.  Such a report must also take account of national policies that might influence the implementation of national strategies.  The primary responsibility for development lay with individual countries themselves, based on the principles of good governance.

In its interpretation of operative paragraph 22, she said the European Union understood that the upcoming discussion planned for the sixty-second session of the General Assembly would be broad and not take place on a parallel track to other processes.  Hopefully, in the future, Member States would consider a discussion of such a broad issue on a biennial basis.

The representative of the United States said he was pleased to join the consensus.  While the draft would request the Secretary-General to include “globalization and interdependence” on the Second Committee agenda next year, the United States believed it would be more appropriate as a biennial item, especially since much work must go into the Secretary-General’s report on the issue.

He said that, furthermore, the introduction of specific themes under that broad topic was an admission that ongoing discussions had reached “certain limits”.  It was strongly encouraged that delegates support turning the issue into a biennial one.

The representative of Canada, on behalf of the Canada, Australia and New Zealand Group, said that while his country had been pleased to join the consensus, he agreed with the statement of the European Union and the comments by the United States delegate.  Canada shared the position on operative paragraph 22 as outlined by the European Union.  Canada looked forward to a continued discussion on the issue, particularly in the run-up to the next UNCTAD meeting.

The representative of South Africa, on behalf of the Group of 77, said that good governance was imperative for both developed and developing countries.  Fellow Member States must realize that the global economic and financial regime was balanced in favour of developed countries.  The goal of operative paragraph 22 [which called for a discussion next year under the theme “Impact that, inter alia, international commitments, policies and processes can have on the scope and the implementation of national development strategies”], was to bring States to an understanding that good governance and sound economic policies in developing countries were contingent on what took place at the international level.

He said the impact of international rules on developing countries should continue to be a Second Committee issue until the global economic regime became an equitable one.

In light of the draft’s adoption, an earlier version of the text (document A/C.2/61/L.15) was withdrawn.

The Committee then considered a draft resolution on Groups of countries in special situations:  specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries:  outcome of the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation (document A/C.2/61/L.62), which was adopted without a vote.

An earlier version (document A/C.2/L.35) was withdrawn.

The Committee then turned to the draft resolution on the Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (document A/C.2/61/L.55), hearing a statement by the Committee Secretary on Program Budget Implications.

She said that substantial increases in the scope and cost could accrue as a result of the resolution’s adoption by the General Assembly, and the matter would be taken up by the Fifth Committee.

The representative of Costa Rica made some minor changes to the text.

The draft was adopted as orally corrected.

An earlier version (document A/C.2/61/L.31) was withdrawn.

The draft resolution on the Implementation of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006) (document A/C.2/61/L.66), was then considered.

The Committee Vice-Chairman took the floor to say that the issue needed to be addressed with a sense of urgency and expressed his thanks to the representative of Angola.  He further recommended it be adopted without a vote.

The draft was adopted without a vote.

A previous version (document A/C.2/61/L.22) was withdrawn.

A draft resolution on the Eradication of poverty and other development issues:  industrial development cooperation (document A/C.2/61/L.65) was then considered.

The representative of Italy made several small corrections to the text.

The draft was adopted as orally corrected, without a vote.

A previous version (document A/C.2/61/L.40) was withdrawn.

As the Committee turned to the draft resolution on Special economic assistance to Côte d’Ivoire (document A/C.2/61/L.43), the representative of Niger, on behalf of the African Group, said he wished to withdraw the text, in the absence of any agreement.  In submitting that draft, the Group thought that it could, without difficulty, enjoy the support of the United Nations to bring the dumpers of toxic waste in Côte d’Ivoire to justice.  The resolution would also have provided measures to prevent such crimes in the future.

He said that during the negotiation process, some delegates had “emptied the document of any sense”, particularly with regard to its legal provisions.  Such pollution was not a natural disaster, but a man-made one.  Thanks were offered to all States that had shown Côte d’Ivoire support during the session.

Finally, the Committee took up its draft programme of work for the sixty-second session of the General Assembly (document A/C.2/61/L.59), where the Secretary of the Committee made a small correction to the second page, regarding Item 9, “Eradication of Poverty”.

The representative of Argentina, in reference to the item on “Strengthening human assistance and coordination”, informed others that an omnibus resolution would be tabled in the plenary Committee, calling for all topics under that issue to be discussed in the Plenary, in future.  What steps should the Committee take to reflect that development?

The Secretary explained that in approving the current draft programme of work, the Committee was merely making a recommendation.  The draft could be revised by the Assembly, as needed.

Niger’s delegate then asked that the statement he made earlier, on behalf of the African Group, be included in that report.  The request was noted by Committee Chairperson TIINA INTELMANN.

The draft programme of work was then approved, as orally corrected.

Chairperson’s Closing Remarks

Ms. INTELMANN said that over 40 resolutions and decisions had been adopted by the Committee at the end of twelve weeks, sending a strong message of commitment to the global partnership for development.  The Committee had agreed that a follow-up conference on financing for development be held in the second half of 2008 in Qatar, for example.  Several resolutions had also been passed on sustainable development, calling on strengthened action on biodiversity and forests.

She said, however, that some issues had proved divisive, such as trade and development, where the Committee had failed to come to a consensus for the third year running.  The resolution on climate change, which was under consideration at today’s meeting, had also not met with consensus.  She appealed to delegates to not let such a practice become the norm, and to continue thinking of the Second Committee as a “consensus Committee”.

She went on to say that the Committee’s work had been enriched by a number of special events, including a panel discussion with Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organization on “Negotiating Doha”.  At a meeting of the bureaus of the Second and Third Committees, it was felt that many agenda items were cross cutting -- particularly those to do with the advancement of women, the eradication of poverty, the role of the private sector in helping to achieve international development goals and others.  Joint informal events might be considered next year, to increase the mutual understanding of both Committees.

She said that, hopefully, the message contained in Second Committee resolutions on the global partnership for development, which had been highlighted at the informal thematic debates on development in the General Assembly, would be carried far beyond the Committee.

In concluding remarks, JOSÉ ANTONIO OCAMPO, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, said today’s meeting had marked the end of a remarkable year for the Second Committee.  More than 40 resolutions had been adopted, and those constituted significant contributions -- particularly in the advancement of the Millennium Development Goals.  Poverty eradication still remained the most urgent goal on the agenda.

He said, however, that desired results had not been reached in the field of trade and climate change.  On trade specifically, the inability of negotiating partners to come together reflected a growing gap.  That remained a source of great concern.  Furthermore, it was imperative that the Doha Round be concluded successfully, and in a timely manner.

At the same time, many steps in the right direction had been taken.  Key themes that had emerged included good intentions being matched by action and an urgent need for scaling up.  A resolution adopted on the Economic and Social Council had given the Council new functions and could unlock the potential of civil society and the private sector by helping build more partnerships, he noted.  Lastly, the discussion on aid effectiveness needed to be brought to a truly multilateral arena.  “I look forward to building with all of you,” he concluded.

ANNEX I

Vote on Protection of Global Climate

Operative paragraph 10 of the draft resolution on protection of the global climate (document A/C.2/61/L.24/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 108 in favour to 2 against, with 48 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Japan, United States.

Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

Absent:  Azerbaijan, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

ANNEX II

Vote on Protection of Global Climate

The draft resolution on protection of the global climate, as a whole (document A/C.2/61/L.24/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 114 in favour to none against, with 49 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  None.

Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

Absent:  Azerbaijan, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Liberia, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

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