FOURTH COMMITTEE APPROVES 10 DRAFT TEXTS ON DECOLONIZATION, FIVE BY RECORDED VOTE; TURNING TO OUTER SPACE MATTERS, HEARS PLAN TO BOOST ACCESS TO SPACE-BASED DATA

11 October 2006
GA/SPD/346

FOURTH COMMITTEE APPROVES 10 DRAFT TEXTS ON DECOLONIZATION, FIVE BY RECORDED VOTE; TURNING TO OUTER SPACE MATTERS, HEARS PLAN TO BOOST ACCESS TO SPACE-BASED DATA

11 OCTOBER 2006
General Assembly
GA/SPD/346
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-first General Assembly

Fourth Committee

7th Meeting (AM)

FOURTH COMMITTEE APPROVES 10 DRAFT TEXTS ON DECOLONIZATION, FIVE BY RECORDED VOTE;

TURNING TO OUTER SPACE MATTERS, HEARS PLAN TO BOOST ACCESS TO SPACE-BASED DATA

The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) today approved 10 draft texts on decolonization issues, five of them by a recorded vote, and began its consideration of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

During an interactive dialogue on outer space issues, much attention was given to a proposal that would establish the “United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response”, or “SPIDER”.  The initiative would provide universal access to all countries and international and regional organizations to all types of space-based information and services to support the full disaster management cycle of natural and man-made disasters.

The Committee approved, by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Kiribati, United Kingdom), with 3 abstentions (Belgium, France, United States) a draft resolution, as orally amended, on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, which would have the Assembly call upon the administering Powers to take all necessary steps to enable the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to exercise fully, as soon as possible, their right to self-determination.  (For details of the vote, please see Annex V.)

Also by the text, the administering Powers would further be called upon to cooperate with the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples to finalize, before the end of 2007, a constructive programme of work on a case-by-case basis for the Territories to facilitate the implementation of the Special Committee’s mandate and the relevant decolonization resolutions.

Through a draft on the economic and other activities affecting the interests of the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories, approved by a recorded vote of 146 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 2 abstentions (France, United Kingdom), the Assembly would reaffirm the right of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to self-determination, as well as their right to enjoy their natural resources and to dispose of them in their best interest.  (See Annex II.)

Among texts approved without a vote this morning was a draft decision on the question of Gibraltar, a draft resolution on the question of New Caledonia and a draft resolution, as orally amended, on the questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands.

By approving, without a vote, a draft text on Tokelau, the Committee recommended that the Assembly, noting that a referendum had failed by a narrow margin to produce the two-thirds majority required to change Tokelau’s status as a Non-Self-Governing Territory, welcome New Zealand’s agreement to the request by the Tokelauan Council on Ongoing Government to maintain the referendum package, and request that the Special Committee continue examining the question.

In other action, the Committee approved a draft resolution on Information from Non-Self Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations, in a recorded vote of 139 in favour to none against, with 3 abstentions ( France, Israel, United Kingdom).  A text on dissemination of information on decolonization was approved by a vote of 153 in favour to 2 against ( Israel, United Kingdom), with 1 abstention ( France).  (See Annex I.)

Also considered was a draft on the implementation of the Declaration of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations, which was approved by a vote of 95 in favour to none against, with 53 abstentions.  (See Annex III.)

Acting without a vote, the Committee also approved a draft resolution entitled “Offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories”.

Introducing the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, its Chairman, Gerard Brachet (France), saying that the Committee, for almost half a century, had been at the centre of “humankind’s amazing and breathtaking journey through outer space”, noted that the past year had witnessed several devastating disasters, particularly the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the earthquake on the border of Pakistan and India, Hurricane Katrina, and mudslides and flooding in southern Mexico and the flooding in Europe.  Losses could be avoided if better information was available through improved risk assessment, early warning and monitoring of disasters.  His Committee, therefore, proposed a programme within the United Nations to provide universal access for all countries and international and regional organizations to all types of space-based information and services to support the full disaster management cycle. 

He said space technology could also be used for reducing poverty and environmental degradation.  In 2007, the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik I, the fortieth anniversary of the entry into force of the Outer space Treaty and the fiftieth session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space would be celebrated.  Next year would also be the International Heliophysical Year.  Highlighting some of his Committee’s activities, including in areas of space and water, space debris, the use of nuclear power sources in outer space, he said a new item on the Committee’s agenda next session would be “International cooperation in promoting the use of space-derived geospatial data for sustainable development”. 

In the interactive dialogue that followed, Cornelia Riess, expert on space technology, and Sergio Camacho, Director, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, provided more information on “SPIDER”, the proposed platform for space-based information for disaster management and emergency response.  The representative of Chile also spoke on the subject, warning that natural disasters had eclipsed terrorism as the most important threat to national security

The representatives of the United Kingdom, Cuba, Argentina, Finland (on behalf of the European Union) and Mali spoke in explanation of position.  The representative of Saint Lucia also spoke. 

The Committee will meet again at 10 a.m., on Thursday, 12 October, to start its general debate on international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

Background

The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) met this morning to conclude its consideration of decolonization issues with the adoption of 11 draft texts, and to start its consideration of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.

Eight of the 11 draft texts before the Committee are recommended to it by the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in its report (document A/61/23).  The eight draft resolutions, as well as a draft resolution on offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories (document A/C.4/61/L.4), are summarized in Press Release GA/SPD/345 of 6 October.

The Committee also had before it a draft resolution on the question of Western Sahara (document A/C.4/61/L.5).  By its terms, the Assembly would underline Security Council resolution 1495 (2003) in which the Council expressed its support of the peace plan for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara as an optimum political solution on the basis of agreement between the two parties.  It would also underline that the parties reacted differently to this plan, and continue to support strongly the efforts of the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy, in order to achieve a mutually acceptable political solution to the dispute over Western Sahara.

Further to the draft, the Assembly would call upon all the parties and the States of the region to cooperate fully with the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy.  It would also call upon the parties to cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in its efforts to solve the problem of the fate of the people unaccounted for, and further call upon the parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict. 

The Committee also had before it a draft decision submitted by the Chairman on the question of Gibraltar, contained in document A/C.4/61/L.6, by which the Assembly would urge the Governments of Spain and the United Kingdom, while listening to the interests and aspirations of Gibraltar, to reach a definitive solution to that question, in light of the relevant Assembly resolutions and in the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations.  It welcomed the successful outcome of the first package of measures concluded in the tripartite Forum for Dialogue on Gibraltar.

On international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, the Committee had before it the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (document A/61/20), which summarizes the outcome of its forty-ninth session, held in Vienna from 7 to 16 June 2006.  Its Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and Legal Subcommittee met in February and April, respectively.  The Committee’s sessions addressed the need to promote international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.  It had aligned many of its activities with the global development goals set by the Millennium Summit (September 2000), the World Summit on Sustainable Development (September 2002) and the 2005 World Summit (September 2005).

The Committee noted with satisfaction the agreement of the General Assembly that the Committee could consider ways to promote regional and interregional cooperation based on experiences stemming from the Space Conference of the Americas and the role that space technology could play in the implementation of recommendations of the World Summit on Sustainable Development.  The Committee also agreed that the Office of Outer Space Affairs should continue to update the list of space-related initiatives that corresponded to recommendations contained in the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which is available on the Office website (www.uncosa.unvienna.org/wssd/index.html).

The Committee recommended that, at its fiftieth session in 2007, it should continue its consideration of the agenda item entitled “Ways and Means of Maintaining Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes”, as a priority.

The report states that the Committee also considered implementation of the recommendations of the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III), and endorsed the recommendations of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and its Working Group of the Whole in that regard.  Recommendations of UNISPACE III were being effectively implemented through the use of multi-year workplans, the establishment of action teams and reports from ad hoc and other groups on their activities. 

Also, according to the report, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee reported results of deliberations during its forty-third session on the items assigned to it by General Assembly resolution 60/99, including the activities of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications.  Priority thematic areas were: use of space technology for disaster management; satellite communications for tele-education and telemedicine applications; monitoring and protection of the environment; management of natural resources; and education and capacity-building, including research areas in basic space sciences and space law.

The Programme on Space Applications was helping developing countries and countries with economies in transition to participate in and benefit from the space activities contained in the recommendations of UNISPACE III.  Other areas that the Subcommittee had addressed included: matters relating to the remote sensing of the Earth by satellite; space debris; use of nuclear power sources in outer space; space-system–based telemedicine; near-Earth objects; space-system-based disaster management support; examination of the geostationary orbit; and support to proclaim the year 2007 the International Geophysical and Heliophysical Year.

During its forty-fifth session, the Legal Subcommittee reviewed the status and application of the five United Nations Treaties on outer space, the report says.  It also took up matters regarding the definition and delimitation of outer space and the character of the geostationary orbit, including ways and means to ensure its equitable use without prejudice to the role of the International Telecommunications Union.  In addition, it considered the possible revision of the “Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space”, and it examined the preliminary draft protocol on matters specific to space assets to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment.  It further considered the practice of States and international organizations in registering space objects.

In other matters discussed in the report, the Committee agreed that spin-offs of space technology should be promoted because they advanced economies through the production of new innovative technologies, and made contributions to the quality of human life.  Spin-offs were successfully being used in the fields of energy, environmental conservation and resource management, among others.

In its consideration of the item “Space and Society”, the Committee continued to focus its discussions on the special theme of “space and education” for the period 2004-2006.  It agreed to develop specific action plans for incorporating outer space into education, expanding space tools for education and ensuring that space-based services contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal on access to education.  It would also undertake to prepare a document on the role of space in education.

According to the report, the Committee also took up the agenda item “Space and Water”, agreeing that the current challenge in using space applications for water management was ensuring that new, valuable scientific were made available and converted into practical information to be used by policymakers.

Action on Decolonization Texts

The Committee first took up draft resolutions contained in the report of the Special Committee (document A/61/23).  Beginning with consideration of draft resolution I on information from Non-Self-governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations, it approved the text by a recorded vote of 139 in favour to none against, with 3 abstentions ( France, Israel, United Kingdom).  (Annex I)

In explanation of the vote after the vote, the representative of the United Kingdomsaidher delegation had abstained, but not because it objected to the main purpose of the draft.  Noting that her country was fully meeting its obligations regarding the Non-Self-Governing Territories under its administration, she said the decision about whether the Territory was in a position to send informationwas ultimately for the Government of the Territory and the administering Power concerned, and not for the General Assembly. 

The representative of Cuba said her delegation would have voted in favour of the draft if it had been present.

The Committee then approved, by a recorded vote of 146 in favour to 1 against ( Israel), with 2 abstentions ( France and the United Kingdom), draft resolution II on economic and other activities that affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.  (Annex II)

In explanation of the vote, the representative of Argentina said the resolution should be interpreted and implemented in accordance with relevant Assembly resolutions 2065 (XX), and 31/49, in relation to the question of the Malvinas ( Falkland Islands).

The Committee then took up draft resolution III on the implementation of the Declaration of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations.

The representative of Saint Lucia proposed two amendments.

The text, as orally amended, was approved by a recorded vote of 95 in favour to none against, with 53 abstentions.  (Annex III)

In an explanation of the vote after the vote, the representative of Finland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that members of the European Union wished to renew their support for specialized agencies in the struggle to achieve decolonization, but the statutes of those agencies must be respected.  That was why the European Union had abstained in the vote.

Also in explanation of the vote, the representative of Argentina said his delegation had always supported the work of the Special Decolonization Committee and had traditionally voted in favour of Draft Resolution III, as his country agreed with its objectives.  Although Argentina had no objection to the present resolution as a whole, paragraphs 12 to 14 did not reflect properly the existing resolutions.  It was important that the Committee’s decisions be coherent with all previous resolutions, especially those of the Economic and Social Council.  For that reason, the delegation had abstained from voting.

Without a vote, the Committee approved the draft resolution contained in document A/C.4/60/L.4, entitled offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories.

The representative of Saint Lucia tabled amendments to draft resolution VI in the Special Committee’s report, on questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands regarding the section on the United States Virgin Islands, which were approved.

The Committee then approved, by consensus, a draft decision on the question of Gibraltar, contained in document A/C.4/61/L.6.

Also by consensus, the Committee approved draft resolution IV in the Special Committee’s report, entitled question of New Caledonia.

Draft resolution V, question of Tokelau, was also approved by consensus.

Without a vote, the Committee approved draft resolution VI in the Special Committee’s report on questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands as orally amended.

Speaking in explanation of the vote after the vote, the representative of Argentina said paragraph 21 of Section A of draft IV stipulated that, in accordance with the Plan of Action, seminars could only be held in the Pacific, the Caribbean and at Headquarters.  The words “and others” were therefore incorrect.

Supporting the principle of self-determination, he recalled that that principle was limited to the Territories referred to in the text.  The Committee had recognized that there were Territories where the principle was not applied because of sovereignty disputes.  Regarding Malvinas (Falkland Islands), he said the principle of territorial integrity of Argentina should be applied according to several Assembly resolutions.

The representative of the United Kingdom, also speaking after the vote, said she joined consensus in full support of the right to self-determination.  However, the language used in the resolution, in particular that referring to the United Kingdom’s overseas Territories, had become increasingly inaccurate and unrepresentative over the years.  The United Kingdom had made many proposals to modify the language, but none had been included.  Expressing her delegation’s disappointment, she said the Special Committee on Decolonization would be further diminished if it continued to disregard the opinions of the administering Powers. 

By a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 2 against ( Israel, United Kingdom), with 1 abstention ( France),the Committee approved draft VII on Dissemination of information on decolonization.  (Annex IV)

In explanation of the vote after the vote, the representative of the United Kingdom said her delegation had voted against the resolution because the obligation placed on the Secretariat to disseminate information would put a drain on the scarce resources of the United Nations. 

The representative of Mali said his delegation would have voted in favour of the draft had it had an opportunity to vote.

The Committee approved, by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to 3 against (Belgium, France, United States), with 3 abstentions (Israel, Kiribati, United Kingdom)draft resolution VIII contained in the report on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.  (Annex V)

In explanation vote, the representative of the United Kingdom said her delegation continued to find elements of the draft resolution unacceptable and had therefore voted against it this year.  Despite the United Kingdom’s negative vote, modernizing relationships with overseas Territories, while taking into account the wishes of the people in those Territories, remained important.

Chairman’s Remarks on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

Fourth Committee Chairman MADHU RAMAN ACHARYA (Nepal), recalling the recent tragedies of the Indonesian tsunami, the Pakistani-Indian border earthquake and Hurricane Katrina, said the initiative to establish a United Nations programme on space-based information for disaster management and emergency response was key to enhancing global coordination efforts.  The proposed programme could support commitments agreed to in the 2005 World Summit, implementation of the Hyogo Declaration and the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015, implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, and to help developing countries elaborate national strategies for human resources, science and technology.

He said that other areas that held potential for space science and technology included cost-effective water resource management and mitigation of water-related emergencies, transmission of high-quality education to remote areas, and improvement of public health services in under-privileged areas.  Further, the International Satellite System for Search and Rescue (Cospas-Sarsat) was using space technology to assist aviators and mariners. 

The Chairman noted that United Nations Treaties provided a legal framework to ensure peaceful exploration and use of outer space, and a growing number of States were ratifying them.  The Legal Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was studying the practice of States in registering space objects.

The Chairman of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, GERARD BRACHET ( France), said the past year had witnessed several devastating disasters, particularly the tsunami in the Indian Ocean, the earthquake on the border of Pakistan and India, Hurricane Katrina and mudslides and flooding in southern Mexico and the flooding in Europe.  Those disasters called for redoubled efforts in disaster reduction and an enhanced response in disaster emergencies.  Losses could be avoided if better information was available through improved risk assessment, early warning and monitoring of disasters.  The integrated and coordinated use of space technologies could play a crucial role in that regard.

He said some countries lacked resources and structures for mitigating and managing natural disasters.  It was important, therefore, that international coordination and disaster reduction and emergency responses at the global level be enhanced.  The Outer Space Committee had concluded that a programme should be established within the United Nations to provide universal access to all countries and international and regional organizations to all types of space-based information and services to support the full disaster management cycle.  The programme could also contribute to achieving universal access to space-based technology solutions, spreading the benefits across the globe and supporting the development standards for delivery of space-based data, technology solutions and services.

Space was essential for meeting numerous developmental challenges, he continued.  Examples included programmes for reducing poverty and preventing infectious diseases and environmental degradation.  It could also provide reliable communication where ground networks had been destroyed by a disaster.  His Committee, for almost half a century, had been at the centre of “humankind’s amazing and breathtaking journey through outer space” and had successfully resolved various complex issues.  The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 was a landmark legal instrument, by which activities of Member States in outer space were governed.  In 2007, the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik I; the fortieth anniversary of the entry into force of the Outer Space Treaty; and the fiftieth session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space would be celebrated. 

He said that among the substantive items the Committee had considered during the past year were: the implementation of the recommendations of UNISPACE III; ways and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes; the work of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal subcommittee; spin-off benefits of space technology; space and society; space and water; and recommendations of the World Summit on the Information Society.  The Committee had devoted a great deal of time to consider the outcomes of the Assembly’s five-year review of the implementation of the recommendations made during UNISPACE II, the so-called “UNISPACE III + 5” review.  Agreement had been reached on the disaster management programme, as well as on the establishment of the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems.

Space debris had been another important item considered by the Committee’s Scientific and Technical Subcommittee.  The Working Group on Space Debris had successfully developed draft space debris mitigation guidelines.  The Working Group on the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer space had also made significant progress.  The Subcommittee had organized numerous workshops and had continued to consider the International Heliophysical Year 2007.  The Year would serve to focus worldwide attention on the importance of international cooperation in research activities in the field of solar-terrestrial physics.

He also highlighted the work carried out by the Legal Subcommittee, including its working groups, on examining the practice of States and international organizations in registering space objects, on the status and application of the five United Nations Treaties on outer space, and on matters related to the definition and delimitation of outer space through the re-established working group.  The Committee had agreed to include a new item on its agenda, entitled “International cooperation in promoting the use of space-derived geospatial data for sustainable development”.

In conclusion, he said that the Committee was actively seeking innovative ways to enhance international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.  It was keen on continuing its efforts to bring space technologies and their benefits to Earth, particularly to developing countries.

Interactive Panel Discussion on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

CORNELIA RIESS, expert on space technology, said a record $210 billion had been spent in 2005 on damages as a result of international disasters.  Further, some 650 disasters had caused 100,000 deaths worldwide that year.  Such trends called for increased attention.  More disasters were causing higher damages in regions that were trying to catch up to the latest technologies.  What could space contribute?  Applications of communication, navigation and earth observation technologies offered unique opportunities for disaster management and could contribute to risk awareness.

She discussed two projects that currently supported the disaster management community.  The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters had captured two thirds of the world’s disasters by using space-based information.  That had supported urgent access to disaster areas and provided information for relief measures.  The Global Earth Observation System of Systems was based on a 10-year implementation plan as an overall conceptual framework of existing and future humanitarian, disaster management and prevention systems.

She proposed the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (SPIDER) as a single coordination mechanism for disaster management.  One of its roles would be to connect disaster management resources with space technologies.  To make that point, she presented products derived from space observation, including maps of Darfur, Pakistan and Thailand.  Crisis mapping of Darfur highlighted logistics of a refugee camp, among other things.  Other maps showed the vulnerability of areas with a high probability of natural disaster.

SERGIO CAMACHO, Director, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, provided a brief summary of the background of the proposal to establish the SPIDER.  He said UNISPACE III, held in Vienna in 1999, had adopted a resolution entitled “The Space Millennium; Vienna Declaration on Space and Human Development”, endorsed in 1999 by Assembly resolution 44/68.  The Vienna Declaration contained 33 major recommendations, for the implementation of which action teams had been established.

He said that in 2001, one such action team had recommended the establishment of an international space coordination entity for disaster management, nominally identified as “Disaster Management International Space coordination” (DMISCO).  The team’s report had been presented to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and been included in report A/59/174.  The Assembly, in resolution 59/2, had called for a study on the matter.  An ad-hoc expert group, established by the Committee, had presented such a study to the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee in 2006 (document A/AC.105/C.1/L.285). 

According to the expert group, yearly operational costs of SPIDER would amount to some $1.3 million.  Austria, China, Germany and India had made commitments of some $860,000.  Other States had offered support, set to coincide with the establishment of the entity. 

He said that SPIDER should be implemented under the auspices of the Office for Outer Space Affairs, as an open network of providers of support.  It would have offices in Beijing and in Bonn, Germany.  The possibility of a liaison office in Geneva should be also considered.  The Programme would report to and receive guidance from the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, through the Office for Outer Space Affairs. 

In the following interactive discussion, the representative of Chile said that natural disasters constituted a powerful issue in his country, as they created costly humanitarian and natural resource consequences.  Natural disasters had eclipsed terrorism as the most important threat to national security, since the poorest populations were hit the hardest.  Countries without clear preventative measures to help poor populations faced particularly challenging difficulties. 

He urged the international community to be aware of existing instruments to prevent disasters, and to specifically consider the threats posed to developing countries, as there was no doubt this was the “decade of natural disasters”.  Photos of Darfur seen earlier in today’s meeting had proved that technologies existed to give sharp and detailed information.  He posed the question: was the international community acting consistently with the knowledge it had regarding this part of the planet?  For both ethical and practical reasons, it was necessary to understand true threats, as instability in one place could lead to instability elsewhere.

In concluding remarks, Mr. BRACHET said the central theme of today’s discussion had been the protection of individuals and society.  Advanced space technologies were not only meant to be sent to Mars; they could also be used for the best possible protection of society against natural and man-made disasters.  He stressed the fact that, although the technology was advanced, improvement was needed in how it served society.

ANNEX I

Vote on Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories

Draft resolution I on information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations (document A/61/23) was approved by a recorded vote of 139 in favour to none against, with 3 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  None.

Abstain:  France, Israel, United Kingdom.

Absent:  Albania, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Kiribati, Lebanon, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United States, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

ANNEX II

Vote on Economic and Other Activities

Draft resolution II on economic and other activities that affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories (document A/61/21) was approved by a recorded vote of 146 in favour to 1 against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Israel.

Abstain:  France, United Kingdom.

Absent:  Albania, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Kiribati, Lebanon, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Nauru, Nicaragua, Niger, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United States, Uzbekistan.

ANNEX III

Vote on Implementation of the Declaration of the Granting of Independence by Specialized Agencies

Draft resolution III on the implementation of the Declaration of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and international institutions of the United Nations (document A/61/23) was approved by a recorded vote of 99 in favour to none against, with 53 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  None.

Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

Absent:  Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burundi, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Kiribati, Lebanon, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niger, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United States, Uzbekistan, Yemen.

ANNEX IV

Vote on Dissemination of Information

Draft resolution VII on dissemination of information on decolonization (document A/61/23) was approved by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 2 against, with 1 abstention, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Israel, United Kingdom.

Abstain:  France.

Absent:  Benin, Bhutan, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Federated States of Micronesia, Gambia, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Kiribati, Lebanon, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Montenegro, Nauru, Niger, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United States, Uzbekistan.

ANNEX V

Vote on Implementation of Declaration

Draft resolution VIII on implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (document A/61/23) was approved by a recorded vote of 154 in favour to 3 against, with 3 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Israel, Kiribati, United Kingdom.

Abstain:  Belgium, France, United States.

Absent:  Benin, Bhutan, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Federated States of Micronesia, Gambia, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Lebanon, Liberia, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Montenegro, Nauru, Niger, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan.

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