THIRD COMMITTEE APPROVES 11 MORE DRAFTS FOR ASSEMBLY INCLUDING ONE MORE COUNTRY-SPECIFIC TEXT THAT AGAIN DRAWS HEAVY CRITICISM

21 November 2007
GA/SHC/3910

THIRD COMMITTEE APPROVES 11 MORE DRAFTS FOR ASSEMBLY INCLUDING ONE MORE COUNTRY-SPECIFIC TEXT THAT AGAIN DRAWS HEAVY CRITICISM

21 November 2007
General Assembly
GA/SHC/3910
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-second General Assembly

Third Committee

51st & 52nd Meetings (AM & PM)

THIRD COMMITTEE APPROVES 11 MORE DRAFTS FOR ASSEMBLY INCLUDING ONE MORE

COUNTRY-SPECIFIC text THAT AGAIN DRAWS HEAVY CRITICISM

 

Despite determined resistance from several Member States, the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee) today approved its fourth country-specific resolution -- highlighting the human rights situation in Belarus -- which would have the General Assembly express concern about activities to silence political opposition and human rights defenders in that country.

That text was among five proposals approved by the Committee by recorded vote and six by consensus, which touched on a range of topics, including the use of mercenaries, contemporary forms of racism, the role of the United Nations in promoting genuine elections and democratization, among others.

By a vote of 68 in favour to 32 against, with 76 abstentions, the Committee agreed that the draft on the human rights situation in Belarus would have the Assembly express concern about arbitrary detention, lack of due process, and closed political trials of leading opposition figures and human rights defenders in that country.  (See annex II.)

Upon approval, the text was promptly rejected by the representative of Belarus, who said the accusations levelled against his Government were “unfounded”, even as the representative of the United States, one of the resolution’s main sponsors, said the text contained an “honest and truthful account of unfortunate facts on the ground”.

The representative of the United States said that the homes of suspected opposition members in Belarus were stormed and their computers taken away.  Newspapers and leaflets about demonstrations were regularly confiscated, and State-run printing companies were pressured not to print “independent” views.

In addition to the resolution on Belarus, four others were adopted by recorded vote, including one on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination.  That draft was approved by a vote of 122 in favour to 51 against, with 6 abstentions ( Chile, Fiji, Lichtenstein, New Zealand, Switzerland and Tunisia).  (See annex IV.)

Voting against the draft, the representative of Portugal, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said neither the Third Committee nor the Human Rights Council were the proper forums to discuss such issues, and questioned the wisdom of considering that matter from the perspective of human rights violations and threats to self-determination.  She also said the text’s reference to a link between mercenaries and terrorism needed further clarification, a sentiment echoed by others that had voted against the text.

In another action, the Committee approved a draft on the inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, by a vote of 122 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 52 abstentions.  The draft would have the Assembly urge States to declare the provision of any assistance to racist activities, including financial resources, as a punishable offence.  It would call on States to take more effective measures to combat the rising popularity of neo-Nazism and “skinheads”.  (See annex III.)

Explaining his reasons for voting against that draft, the representative of the United States said it had failed to distinguish between actions and statements that, while offensive, might be protected by freedom of expression.

Meanwhile, a draft on strengthening the United Nations role in support of genuine elections and the promotion of democratization received 173 votes in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions (Syria and Zambia), despite objections raised by the representative of Cuba over references to a resolution on enhancing the role of regional organizations in promoting democracy, adopted by the Commission on Human Rights resolution in 2000.  (See annex VI.)

Also, a resolution on the right to food was approved by a recorded vote of 176 in favour, 1 against ( United States) and no abstentions. (See annex VII.)

In addition, six drafts were approved by consensus, addressing issues such as assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons; protection and assistance to internally displaced persons; questions relating to youth and the world social situation; torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief; and alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The text on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment was approved without a vote when the representative of Belarus withdrew a proposed amendment to the text touching on the acceptability of specific interrogation practices in national law enforcement systems.

The Committee also decided to withdraw one of its resolutions relating to youth -- on the supplement to the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond -- deciding, instead, to include it in the annex to another resolution on that topic.  The representative of the United Kingdom noted that the draft, which was one of the consensus texts, had been written with the help of youth delegates.

Action on resolutions relating to the World Summit for Social Development, and a declaration on the right and responsibility of individuals, groups and organs to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms were postponed.

The Committee will meet again on Tuesday, 27 November at 10 a.m. to continue taking action on the remaining draft resolutions on its agenda.

Background

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to take action on draft resolutions entitled Situation of human rights in Belarus (document A/C.3/62/L.51) and Assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa (document A/C.3/62/L.82).  (For background, please see Press Release GA/SHC/3909 of 20 November 2007.)

A draft resolution on Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly (document A/C.3/62/L.10) would have the General Assembly urge developed countries that have not yet done so, in accordance with their commitments, to make concrete efforts towards meeting the targets of 0.7 per cent of their gross national product for official development assistance to developing countries, and 0.15 to 0.2 per cent of their gross national product to least developed countries.  Further, the Assembly would encourage developing countries to build on the progress achieved in ensuring that official development assistance is used effectively to help meet development goals and targets.

Supplement to the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond (document A/C.3/62/L.4) was yet another draft before the Committee.  This text would have the Assembly adopt the supplement which is annexed in the present resolution.

A draft resolution on Policies and programmes involving youth:  youth in the global economy (document A/C.3/62/L.7/Rev.1) would have the Assembly stress that progress in achieving the internationally agreed target of full and productive employment, as well as decent work, for young people should be a central objective of national and international efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.  The Assembly would also ask United Nations agencies and invite the international community and civil society, as well as the private sector, to promote the broader youth development agenda, and to strengthen international cooperation to support Member States in their efforts to achieve such progress, taking into account that the primary responsibility for ensuring youth development lies with States.  Further, the Assembly would call upon Member States to ensure the full participation of youth-led organizations and other stakeholders in all efforts to achieve the proposed goals and targets.

By the terms of a draft resolution on the Inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (document A/C.3/62/L.61), the Assembly would express deep concern over the glorification of the Nazi movement, including the erection of monuments and the holding of public demonstrations in the name of neo-Nazism.  It would note with concern the increase in number of racist incidents in several countries and the rise of skinhead groups, which have been responsible for many of these incidents, as well as the resurgence of racist and xenophobic violence targeting members of ethnic, religious or cultural communities and national minorities.

The Assembly would stress that such practices fuel contemporary forms of racial discrimination and xenophobia, as well as contributing to the spread of extremist movements, including neo-Nazism.  It would call on States to take more effective measures to combat those phenomena, while reaffirming that States parties to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination are obliged to condemn all propaganda and all organizations that are based on ideas of racial superiority; to adopt measures to eradicate all incitement to, or acts of, discrimination; to declare the provision of any assistance to racist activities, including the financing, as a punishable offence; and to prohibit public authorities from promoting or inciting racial discrimination.

By a draft resolution on The use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/62/L.62), the Assembly would reaffirm that the use of such persons and their recruitment, financing and training are causes for grave concern, and violate the purposes and principles of the Charter.  It would once again urge States to take legislative measures to ensure their territories, and those under their control, are not used to recruit mercenaries for the planning of activities designed to impair the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign States.

By other terms of the text, the Assembly would request all States to exercise the utmost vigilance against any recruitment, training, hiring or financing of mercenaries by private companies offering international military consultancy and security services, and impose a specific ban on such companies intervening in armed conflicts.  It would also call on States to investigate possible mercenary involvement in criminal acts of a terrorist nature, and condemn any form of impunity granted to perpetrators of mercenary activities, as well as those responsible for their use, recruitment, financing and training.  The Assembly would call on States to assist the judicial prosecution of those accused of mercenary activities in transparent trials, and ask the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) both to publicize the adverse effects of mercenary activities on the right of peoples to self-determination, and to advise States affected by those activities.

A draft resolution on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (document A/C.3/62/L.26) would have the Assembly condemn all forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including intimidation.  It would call upon all States to fully implement the absolute prohibition of these practices.  The text would also have the Assembly condemn any action or attempt by States or public officials to legalize, authorize or acquiesce to such practices, including grounds that cite national security or judicial decisions.  (An amendment contained in document A/C.3/62/L.27 would add a preambular paragraph to “L.26”, expressing concern over any attempt to narrow the definition of torture when addressing the issue of the acceptability of specific interrogation practices in national law enforcement systems.)

A draft resolution on Strengthening the role of the United Nations in enhancing the effectiveness of the principle of periodic and genuine elections and the promotion of democratization (document A/C.3/62/L.30/Rev.1) would have the Assembly recommend that, throughout an entire electoral process, including before and after elections and based on needs assessment missions, the United Nations continue to provide technical advice and other assistance to requesting States and electoral institutions to help to strengthen their democratic processes.  It would also request the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to continue its governance assistance programmes in cooperation with other relevant organizations, particularly those that strengthen democratic institutions and links between civil society and Governments.

A draft resolution entitled Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms(document A/C.3/62/L.33/Rev.1) would have the Assembly condemn all human rights violations committed against persons engaged in promoting and defending human rights and fundamental freedoms around the world.  Further, the Assembly would urge States to take all appropriate actions to eliminate such human rights violations.  The Assembly would urge States to ensure that any measures to combat terrorism and preserve national security comply with their obligations under international law, particularly international human rights law, and do not hinder the work and safety of human rights defenders.

A draft resolution on Protection of and assistance to internally displaced persons (document A/C.3/62/L.34/Rev.1) would have the Assembly express particular concern at the grave problems faced by many internally displaced women and children, including violence and abuse, sexual exploitation, forced recruitment and abduction.  Furthermore, the draft resolution would have the Assembly call upon Governments to provide protection and assistance, including reintegration and development assistance, to internally displaced persons, and to facilitate the efforts of relevant United Nations agencies and humanitarian organizations in these respects by further improving access to internally displaced persons, among other things.

According to the terms of a draft resolution on Elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief (document A/C.3/62/L.42), the Assembly would condemn all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief, as well as violations of freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief.  It would stress that the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion be applied equally to theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, and that all believers and non-believers are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.  An overall rise in instances of intolerance and violence against members of many religious and other communities would be recognized with deep concern, including cases motivated by Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and Christianophobia.  States would be urged to step up efforts to eliminate intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief.

A draft resolution entitled The right to food(document A/C.3/62/L.53/Rev.1) would have the Assembly consider it intolerable that more than 6 million children still die every year from hunger-related illness before their fifth birthday; that there are about 854 million undernourished people in the world; and that the absolute number of undernourished people has been increasing in recent years when, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, the planet could produce enough food to feed 12 billion people, which is twice the world’s present population.  The draft would further have the Assembly express concern that women and girls are disproportionately affected by hunger, food insecurity and poverty, partly due to gender inequality and discrimination.

Action on Draft Resolutions

The Committee first took up the draft resolution on the Situation of human rights in Belarus (document A/C.3/62/L.51).

The representative of the United States said Belarus had ignored calls from the Third Committee and the [former] Commission on Human Rights to accord its citizens their basic human rights.  It had also ignored recommendations on its human rights practices made by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and had continued to use imprisonment as a political strategy for dealing with opposition figures, including former presidential candidates.

He added that Belarusians were deprived of the right to assembly or to join together in legitimate and peaceful organizations, while political parties had been deregistered on miniscule pretexts.  The authorities in that country had used similar artifice to storm private residences of those suspected of harbouring opposition political views, confiscating computers and printed material and jailing suspected opponents.  Trials had also been held behind closed doors.

He said the people of Belarus had little access to alternative or independent sources of information.  Newspapers and leaflets about demonstrations were regularly confiscated, and State-run printing companies were pressured not to print independent newspapers.  Websites were consistently blocked.  Civil society continued to struggle against repressive restrictions designed to deny them a voice in the administration and future of their own country.  The resolution now before the Committee was based on an “honest and truthful account of unfortunate facts on the ground”.

The representative of Uzbekistan regretted the submission of country-specific resolutions before the Third Committee; they served as instruments of political pressure on Member States, promoted confrontation, and had a negative impact on work on human rights by the United Nations.  The Organization should focus its attention on joint solutions to common problems, including human rights.

The representative of Venezuela recalled that the Human Rights Council had abolished the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Belarus.  Some countries were using the Third Committee to review and revise decisions taken by that Council.  Country-specific resolutions before the Third Committee were a desperate attempt by some countries to transfer unsuccessful practices that had existed in the old Commission on Human Rights to the Committee.  Country-specific resolutions only created confrontation and mistrust.

The representative of the Russian Federation said country-specific resolutions contributed to a climate of politicization and confrontation in the United Nations.  His country had supported the creation of the Human Rights Council in the hope that it would be free of negative elements.  An important part of the institution-building package adopted by the Council had been the abolition of the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for Belarus; that decision sent a clear signal about the situation of human rights in that country.  His delegation did not support the draft resolution before the Committee.

The representative of Syria said she regretted the insistence of some States on submitting country-specific resolutions for political reasons, which could affect relations among countries.  Such texts also threatened to undermine the consensus that had already been reached on the correct way to deal with human rights issues.  She fully rejected the use of human rights issues to interfere in the internal affairs of other States, which went against the principles of the Charter.  The international community needed to promote cooperation in protecting human rights through internationally recognized instruments and through the appropriate forum, namely the Human Rights Council.  Her delegation would therefore vote against the resolution.

The representative of Zimbabwe said country-specific resolutions did not advance the human rights agenda.  They massaged the political egos of those that sponsored them and heightened tension among States.  Instead, countries should engage in dialogue.  As many others had argued, no country was free of blemishes in terms of their human rights records, including the sponsors of such resolutions themselves.  Those countries ignored the human rights violations of their allies in the developed world.  Country-specific resolutions were about settling political scores, which was not the business of the Third Committee.  Human rights issues should be considered under the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the Human Rights Council.  She urged others not to support the resolution.

The representative of Turkmenistan said in May 2006, his country had supported the General Assembly decision to establish the Human Rights Council.  Last Friday, a decision was adopted on institution building of that body, which confirmed the Universal Periodic Review mechanism.  Regrettably, even after that decision was adopted, many obstacles remained.  There was also duplication in the activities of the Human Rights Council.  As a believer in the principle of non-interference, he considered the continuing politicization of human rights issues to be unacceptable and instead advocated dialogue.  Given those reasons, he could not support the resolution on Belarus and would vote against it.

The representative of Iran said Belarus did not warrant such a draft resolution.  The text was unjustified and political.  In addition, his country opposed country-specific resolutions, which undermined United Nations bodies.  The Organization should not be used by countries to advance their own political agendas.  His delegation therefore opposed the draft resolution under discussion.

The representative of Sudan reiterated his delegation’s opposition to country-specific resolutions, which escalated confrontation on human rights for political purposes.  Those who put forth such drafts did so with narrow interests.  The text before the Committee reflected the arrogant approach of the main sponsor, which was acting like the policeman of the world.  The Human Rights Council, which had ended the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for Belarus, was practising its major role as a forum that dealt with human rights in an objective manner.  His country opposed all such country-specific initiatives.

The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, noting the strategic position of Belarus, said that the draft resolution was the result of the political considerations of the main sponsor.  The Third Committee was being abused for political purposes.  His delegation would vote against the text if it was put to a vote.

The representative of Australia said the Third Committee should continue to be a forum for discussing human rights issues and violations wherever they might occur.  As the only universal body dealing with human rights, its discussions should not be stifled.  Resolutions presented to the Committee should be acted on their merits.

The representative of Belarus noted that no procedural motion stood in the way of the debate on the resolution.  But whether that debate amounted to a fair consideration of the resolution on its merits was an open question.  Had the discussion brought the international community any closer to the concerns of the resolution’s main co-sponsors?  Had it made Member States more or less aware of the motives for the preferential mistreatment of his country?  Had there been a balanced assessment of human rights issues in Belarus?  He noted that there had not been any dialogue, engagement or real debate.

He said that some might call it a debate, but it really amounted to an exchange of statements where speakers were more intent on making their own points than listening to what others said.  The Third Committee had the most divisive voting patterns among all of the six Committees.  That kind of voting caused divisions among States, and made the strongest moral argument regretfully devoid of power to ignite a positive response and to enact a change for the better.

He said the debate had stifled its ability to exercise sound judgment on the proper way of dealing with such delicate situations.  He asked Member States to consider where they would go from here.

The representative of Russian Federation said the initiative of the co-sponsors had the potential to undermine the package agreement on institutional building of the Human Rights Council.  He opposed the resolution and also opposed considering it, and therefore proposed a no action motion.

Speaking in favour of the proposed no action motion, the representative of China said the Human Rights Council had been created to save the international community from the political confrontation that had long existed in the field of human rights, and to encourage cooperation and dialogue.  It was set to begin its process of Universal Periodic Review.  The Third Committee should go with the tide of the times and stay clear of draft resolutions based on double standards.

The representative of Cuba reiterated his delegation’s opposition to draft resolutions based on selectivity and double standards.   Cuba opposed attempts to use human rights to achieve political objectives aimed at domination.  In addition, the draft resolution before the Committee contravened decisions recently taken by the Human Rights Council.

Speaking in opposition to the no action motion, the representative of San Marino said that such motions deprived Member States of the opportunity to discuss important issues.  Every Member State should be allowed to present resolutions on human rights issues, and to receive an international response to their concerns.  San Marino opposed no action motions as a matter of principle.

The representative of Portugal, on behalf of the European Union, said that if delegations put proposals on the table regarding grave violations of human rights, then the Committee had to take action on them.  Delegations that had concerns about the political nature of a draft resolution should vote against the resolution or abstain.  Accusations of selectivity and double standards, and suggestions that Western countries sought to avoid international scrutiny, were regrettable.  Each proposal before the Third Committee deserved consideration on its own merits.

The Committee then rejected the no action motion by a recorded vote of 65 in favour to 79 against, with 31 abstentions (see annex 1).

The Chairman then announced that a recorded vote had been requested on the draft resolution.

The representative of Belarus said in a statement before the vote that through his dialogues with Member States and other experts, he had come to the view that most States opposed country-specific resolutions.  They were the prerogative of the Human Rights Council.  He called on States to vote against the draft.

The representative of Portugal, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the draft had set out various issues of concern to the international community and the Union.  Unfortunately, the Government of Belarus continued to violate its people’s right to expression and assembly, and had refused to cooperate with United Nations human rights mechanisms.  Human rights defenders and political opponents continued to be harassed and intimidated, while the independent media and other civil society organizations faced persecution.  The presidential election of 2006 and municipal elections in 2007 had both failed to meet international acceptable criteria of fairness.

She said the Third Committee must address the situation in Belarus, and indeed, the text would call on that country’s Government to honour its human rights commitments.  The international community’s position was to persuade that Government to improve the human rights situation of its people and to end the impunity of human rights violators.  The European Union would vote in favour of the resolution.

The representative of Myanmar said, in explanation of vote before the vote, that the current resolution was a further example of powerful States exerting pressure on developing ones.  Such actions would create mistrust.  The promotion of human rights should be based on the principle of cooperation and genuine dialogue.  In line with the views of the Non-Aligned Movement, he said he would vote against the resolution.

The representative of Kyrgyzstan said he would not support the resolution.

The representative of Egypt said she was opposed to country-specific resolutions because they were selective and politicized.  The lack of objective discussions at the General Assembly went against efforts to intensify international cooperation on human rights issues in the multilateral setting, namely the Human Rights Council.  The fact that the sponsors of such resolutions had never tabled a country-specific resolution on the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, for example, showed the existence of double standards.  She would vote against the draft resolution.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution by a recorded vote of 68 in favour to 32 against, with 76 abstentions (see annex II).

Explaining his delegation’s vote in favour of the resolution, the representative of Ukraine said his delegation had acted on the basis of principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  His country was really interested in developing cooperation with Belarus, its neighbour and an important partner.  It supported dialogue between Belarus and the international community on all issues, including human rights.  Ukraine opposed the use of no action motions.

The representative of Jamaica said that no country could boast of a perfect human rights record.  Her country had welcomed the Universal Periodic Review mechanism and the ability of the Human Rights Council to convene urgent sessions as necessary.  The effectiveness of the Third Committee had been called into question by naming-and-shaming and attempts to embarrass sovereign countries.  While abstaining on country-specific resolutions, Jamaica’s vote should not be interpreted as condoning or ignoring serious human rights situations.  All States had to abide by their international obligations.

The representative of Algeria said her delegation had voted against the draft.  Country-specific resolutions resulted in a climate of confrontation that was detrimental to the human rights cause.  The Universal Periodic Review mechanism had been created to ensure that the errors of the Commission on Human Rights were not repeated; that mechanism was the only appropriate one to review the human rights situation in all countries.

The representative of Paraguay said his delegation had voted in favour of the draft, in the understanding that such issues needed to be addressed when warranted in the appropriate forums.  The recent adoption of the institution-building package of the Human Rights Council, including the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, would ensure that General Assembly resolutions could be taken up by the Council.

The representative of Brazil said she had abstained from the vote because her country supported the consolidation of the Human Rights Council as the main United Nations body to promote and protect human rights.  Brazil would submit itself to a transparent assessment under that body’s Universal Periodic Review mechanism and encouraged Belarus to do the same.  Brazil asked that countries not renew the draft resolution on Belarus in the future.

The representative of Belarus said he would not recognize the draft just adopted, saying the accusations contained within it were unfounded.  The text had no legal, political or moral force.  Moreover, Belarus was a party, in good faith, to international documents on human rights and would continue to participate in international cooperation mechanisms, including United Nations special procedures.  Belarus was optimistic that, through the institution-building package of the Human Rights Council, human rights issues would be dealt with on a comprehensive and equitable basis.  Belarus reaffirmed its interest in a dialogue on human rights issues with all countries, based on principles of mutual respect.

Next, the Committee turned to the draft resolution on Assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa (document A/C.3/62/L.82).

The representative of Angola, on behalf of the African Group, pointed to amendments to the text which were being circulated in the room.  A new preambular paragraph had been added to reflect references to the vulnerability of women and children to sex discrimination and abuse, as well as their increased risk of contracting diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and other illnesses.  A second preambular paragraph had been added to reflect recent African Union decisions regarding the situation of refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa.

The Committee then approved the text, as orally revised, without a vote.

As the Committee prepared to act on the draft resolution on Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly (document A/C.3/62/L.10), the representative of Pakistan, its main sponsor, said more consultations might be required, and thus requested that action be postponed until Tuesday.

The Committee then deferred action on the text.

The Committee then took action on the draft resolution titled Supplement to the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year 2000 and Beyond (document A/C.3/62/L.4) and Policies and programmes involving youth:  youth in the global economy (document A/C.3/62/L.7/Rev.1).

The representative of the United Kingdom, also speaking on behalf of Senegal and the co-sponsors, made an oral correction to the draft.  He recalled that young people today were better placed than ever to participate in, and benefit from, global development, but at the same time, rapid changes in the global economy presented challenges that had to be addressed if the global community was to be fully inclusive for all young people.  It was hoped that adoption of “L.7/Rev.1” would go some way towards achieving that goal.  It was understood that “L.4” would be withdrawn upon its inclusion as an annex to “L.7/Rev.1”.  Thanks went out to youth delegates who had contributed actively to the draft.

The Committee then approved “L.7/Rev.1” without a vote as orally corrected, and agreed without a vote not to take action on “L.4”.

Turning to the item on comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, the representative of Costa Rica said he had intended to join list of co-sponsors on a related resolution approved by the Committee on 14 November (document A/C.3/62/L.5/Rev.1).  It was duly noted.

The Committee then turned to the draft resolution on the Inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (document A/C.3/62/L.61).

The representative of the Russian Federation said the text was a timely one, given the rise of extremists groups, such as neo-Nazis and skinheads, who drew inspiration from an ideology that the United Nations itself had been designed to combat.  Those groups regularly built monuments to commemorate Nazi supporters, and celebrations of freedom from Nazi rule were marked as days of mourning, among other things.  Such groups and their ideology must be countered at national and international levels.  He noted that the resolution was being tabled around the time of the sixty-second anniversary of the first Nuremberg trial (20 November 1945).

He then made an oral amendment to the text, removing the words “or transfer monuments” from operative paragraph 3.

The representative of Turkmenistan said racist ideologies and intolerance were no longer relegated to the margins, but were again being defended and renewed.  Such movements received a great deal of financial support and found new recruits among youth.  At times, such groups invoked their democratic rights to defend their actions, but the right to insult people could not be called a democratic right.  Nor was it a justifiable cause for violence.  In Turkmenistan, racist propaganda and the instigation of racism and religious intolerance were crimes punishable by law.  He voiced full support for the draft, and called on others to vote for its approval.

The Chair said a vote had been requested on the draft, and, when asked, said that the representative of the United States had called for that vote.

The representative of Portugal, on behalf of the European Union, said that neo-Nazism was a particularly abhorrent expression of racism and xenophobia, which still existed in many societies.  The fight against neo-Nazism, however, could not be used for extraneous purposes.  Despite its active participation in informal consultations, the European Union had not supported the initiative for most of the same reasons it had not done so in the past.  Instead of addressing human rights concerns related to racism and racial discrimination, the draft still had a selective and unsubstantiated focus.  Inaccurate citations of the judgement of the Nuremberg Tribunal had not been rectified.  In addition, the draft did not better reflect the fundamental principle that the fight against neo-Nazism could not undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The representative of the United States said his delegation had called for a vote, and that it would vote against the draft.  No country abhorred hatred and Nazism more than the United States, but the draft resolution failed to distinguish between actions and statements that, while offensive, might be protected by freedom of expression, on the one hand, and actions and statements that incited violence, which should be prohibited, on the other.  Curtailing expression was not a viable means of eliminating racism and related intolerance; only through a free flow of ideas, unfettered discussion and vigorous debate –- cornerstones of democracy -- could deplorable ideologies be challenged.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution, “L.61”, by a vote of 122 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 52 abstentions (see annex III).

Explaining his vote, the representative of Switzerland said his delegation recognized the value of the last-minute change that had been made to operative paragraph 3.  It had allowed Switzerland to continue to abstain on the resolution as a whole.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution on The use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/62/L.62).

The Secretary of the Committee, MONCEF KHANE, explained that, should the draft be adopted, an additional $139,600 would be required in the biennium 2008-2009.  That amount would go towards one regional consultation per year, to be convened by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The representative of Cuba noted that the resolution would have the General Assembly request the relevant working group to continue to discharge its duties, given the rise of new forms and modalities of mercenarism.  Also by the draft, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights would be asked to convene regional consultations on the role of mercenaries in impeding the right of peoples to self-determination, among other things.

He then made some oral amendments to the text, deleting preambular paragraph 6, inserting the word “noting” in preambular paragraph 10, and inserting a reference to “ Panama” in operative paragraph 15.

The Chair then announced that a recorded vote had been requested.

The representative of Portugal, on behalf of the European Union, said that she shared the concerns expressed by the Special Rapporteur on the issue, and recognized the dangers of contemporary forms of mercenaries.  However, she was not convinced that the Third Committee or the Human Rights Council were the proper forums to discuss such issues, and was similarly unconvinced that the issue should be taken up from the perspective of human right violations and threats to self-determination.  Moreover, the link between mercenaries and terrorism was not clear.  For those reasons, she would not support the draft resolution, but would actively participate in dialogues on the matter in the appropriate forum.

The Committee then approved the text by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 51 against, with 6 abstentions ( Chile, Fiji, Lichtenstein, New Zealand, Switzerland and Tunisia) (see annex IV).

The representative of Argentina said she supported the right to self-determination of people under colonial domination and foreign occupation.  In that connection, she noted that the dispute over the Malvinas Islands between Argentina and the United Kingdom was not a question of self-determination.  That question could only be resolved through negotiations, while taking into account the interest of the islanders.

The representative of Chile said he had abstained from the vote because he did not agree with the provision in preambular paragraph 10, which referred to new modalities of mercenarism, and which linked private military and security companies with mercenarism.  There were no legal definitions of those “new modalities”.

The Committee then took action the draft resolution on Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (document A/C.3/62/L.26).

The representative of Denmark, the main sponsor, said a fundamental principle of human rights was the prohibition of torture.  She introduced a short oral revision to preambular paragraph 10; it would now read:  “Bearing in mind the special procedures review process being undertaken by the Human Rights Council and its relevant resolutions”.

The representative of Belarus, noting that agreement had been reached on compromise language, withdrew the amendment contained in document A/C.3/62/L.27.  He added that Belarus was honoured to become a co-sponsor of “L.26”.

The draft resolution was then approved, as orally revised, without a vote.

The Committee then turned to the draft resolution on Strengthening the role of the United Nations in enhancing the effectiveness of the principle of periodic and genuine elections and the promotion of democratization (document A/C.3/62/L.30/Rev.1).

The representative of the United States said the strong support enjoyed by the draft showed that Member States appreciated the Organization’s role in promoting democracy, and free and fair elections, worldwide.  It would request the United Nations to continue helping countries, on a case-by-case basis, to develop, improve and refine their electoral institutions and processes.  It would also encourage Member States to consider contributing to the United Nations Trust Fund for Electoral Assistance, which was understood to be close to depletion.

The representative of Cuba said the insertion of preambular paragraph 5 raised concerns with its reference to a Commission on Human Rights resolution on enhancing the role of regional organizations in promoting democracy.  The term “democracy” could be viewed differently by different organizations, and Cuba would have preferred that the text make some reference to the need to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Member States.  For that reason, Cuba requested a separate vote on preambular paragraph 5.

Before proceeding to the vote, the representative of Costa Rica called attention to a mistake in the spelling of his country’s name (Costa Rice), which was duly noted.

The representative of Ukraine said he wished to join the list of co-sponsors.

The Committee then approved preambular paragraph 5 by a vote of 142 in favour to none against, with 24 abstentions (see annex V).

Raising a point of order, the representative of Trinidad and Tobago said he had meant to vote in favour, which the Committee duly noted.

The Chair then moved to approve the draft resolution, without a vote.

Raising a point of order, the representative of Egypt reminded the Chair that whenever votes were held on parts of a draft, a vote must also be held on the draft as a whole.

The Secretary acknowledged that whenever a “division of proposal” was moved, the practice had been to hold a vote on the draft resolution as a whole.  Was the representative of Egypt invoking that practice? 

The representative of Egypt said he was not.

At the request of the representative of Egypt, the Secretary then read out the relevant rule of procedure, rule 129.

Raising a point of order, the representative of the United States said rule 129 did not apply, since the representative of Cuba had not moved for a division of the text.  The United States requested that the Committee proceed to approve the draft resolution.

The Chair confirmed that he had not received a request for a division of the text.

The representative of Egypt said a similar argument had arisen five years ago, leading to a ruling by the Office of Legal Affairs that calling for a separate vote on a paragraph in a text amounted to a division.

The Chair then moved to suspend the meeting.

The representative of Sudan raised a point of order, reminding the Chair that a suspension was not permitted while the Committee was taking action.

The representative of Egypt, on a point of order, said the Committee had held a separate vote on the same paragraph, and that had led to a vote on the whole resolution.

The Chairman said that was the direction in which the Committee was going.

The representative of Cameroon recalled that when his country chaired the Committee in 2003, the same problem had arisen, and that legal advice had been sought.  He suggested that the Secretary find that decision.

The representative of Sudan, also on a point of order, expressed full confidence in the way the Chairman was conducting the meeting, but he was concerned that a precedent might be set if the meeting was suspended while the Committee was still taking action.

The Chairman said that he was abiding by his decision.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution (L.30/Rev.1) by a vote of 173 in favour, with none against and two abstentions ( Syria and Zambia) (see annex VI).

The representative of Venezuela said her delegation had voted for the draft resolution.  She added that democracy was a universal value expressed by the free will of a people.  While democracies shared a common basis, there was no single model, and forms of democracy varied from region to region.

The representative of Zambia said her delegation should have voted in favour, and she asked that that be noted in the record of the meeting.

The representative of the United States thanked all delegations that had supported the draft resolution.  Such extremely broad support testified to the appreciation of Member States for the role of the United Nations in promoting democracy, as well as free and fair elections, worldwide.  The United States had not thought it was necessary to prolong the procedural discussion, but it did not consider the morning’s proceedings as a precedent, and it reserved the right to raise the same procedural issues in future.

Turning to the draft resolution on the Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (document A/C.3/62/L.33/Rev.1), the representative of Norway asked that action be deferred.

She also asked for action on the next draft, on the Protection of and assistance to internally displaced persons (document A/C.3/62/L.34/Rev.1) to be deferred.

Taking up the next draft resolution, on the Elimination of all forms of intolerance and of discrimination based on religion or belief (document A/C.3/62/L.42), the representative of Portugal, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, made several oral amendments to the text.

She proposed that, in the preambular section, three new paragraphs be added, including a reference to the destruction of monuments, the recognition of the value of interreligious dialogues in promoting tolerance, and welcoming the General Assembly’s high level dialogue on that issue from 4 to 5 October.

She also proposed that operative paragraph 2 be changed to include the phrase “all people regardless of their religions or beliefs and without any discrimination as to their equal protection by the law”.  Operative paragraph 4 would include the sentence “and the slow progress in the implementation of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief”.

In operative paragraph 5, she said the phrase beginning with the word “persons” should be deleted and replaced with the phrase “in vulnerable situations, including refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons, as regards their ability freely to exercise their right to freedom of religion or belief”.  In operation paragraph 8, the phrase after the word “interrelated” would be deleted and replaced with the phrase “and mutually reinforcing”.

She said a new operative paragraph would be inserted after the current operative paragraph 8, which would say, “Takes note of the report to the Human Rights Council by the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism on the incitement to racial and religious hatred and the promotion of tolerance”.

After the current operative paragraph 10, a new operative paragraph would be added, saying, “Emphasizes also that equating any religion with terrorism should be avoided, as this may have adverse consequences on the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion or belief of all members of the religious communities concerned”.

She added that she would have liked the Special Rapporteur’s report to be reflected more strongly in the draft, but in the spirit of compromise the views of others had been taken into consideration.  There could be no doubt that the right to freedom of religion applied to believers and non believers.  Of fundamental importance to the freedom of belief was the freedom of expression.

The draft resolution “L.42” was then adopted without a vote as orally revised.

The representative of Syria said her country rejected all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief but would maintain the right to interpret subparagraphs A and B of operative paragraph nine in accordance with national legislation.

The representative of Pakistan, on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, noted the contribution that Muslim scholars and scientists had made to humanity.  It was the hope of the Conference that future consultations on similar draft resolutions would be conducted in a constructive spirit, both in the Third Committee and at the Human Rights Council.

The representative of Portugal, on behalf of the European Union, apologized for not having read out the names of co-sponsors of the draft resolution, which she then did.

The Committee then took action on the draft resolution on the right to food (document A/C.3/62/L.53/Rev.1).

The representative of Cuba reaffirmed, on behalf of 139 co-sponsors, the broad support in the General Assembly for the right to food as a human right.  That right had been recognized in human rights instruments of broad international recognition.  Food security problems continued to have a global perspective and they had worsened, particularly on the African continent.  The draft would reaffirm that hunger was an outrage, as well as a violation of human dignity, and that measures had to be urgently adopted to eliminate it.  The text would commend the work of Jean Ziegler, the Special Rapporteur on the right to food; it would also welcome the work of the World Food Programme (WFP) and hope that that agency would have adequate resources to continue its work, particularly in Africa.

She then read out a number of minor changes to the draft resolution and drew attention to a mistake in the Spanish version.

The representative of Finland regretfully withdrew her country’s sponsorship of the text, saying she objected to the formulation of operative paragraph 12 of the text, which would have the Assembly “take into account” the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.  Her country placed high value on that Declaration and felt that that qualifier was inappropriate.

The representative of the United States then requested a recorded vote.

Before taking action, the representative of Guatemala voiced support for Finland’s position, even though she had decided to accept that wording.

Also making a general statement, the representative of Colombia said his country supported the resolution but did not share the recommendations contained in the report of the Special Rapporteur on biofuels.

The representative of the United States, in explanation of vote before the vote, said he agreed with the sentiments contained in the resolution but could not support it as drafted.  His country had consistently taken the view that the attainment of food security and freedom from hunger should be realized progressively.

He said the current draft contained other objectionable provisions, such as the inaccurate textual description of the underlying right.  His country had proven by its actions that it was committed to promoting food security and was the world’s largest donor of humanitarian food aid.  He continued to hope that the resolution’s sponsors would work with the United States in future to accommodate its concerns.

The Committee then approved the draft by a vote of 176 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with no abstentions (see annex VII).

The representative of France said he voted in favour of the resolution tabled by Cuba.  His delegation’s vote, however, should not be understood as tolerance of Cuba’s words against France in exercise of its right of reply during the consideration of item 65, the report of the Human Rights Council, which he had found unacceptable and irresponsible.

The representative of Cuba raised a point of order, saying the Committee was now hearing explanations of vote and nothing else.

The Chair appealed to Member States “to stay with the script”.

The representative of Paraguay said he voted in favour of the draft because, as an agriculture-based, landlocked country, the promotion of food security was important.  He stressed, however, that the Special Rapporteur’s work must comply with the mandate given to him in resolution 2000/10 of the Commission of Human Rights in its entirety and not only with regard to the provision on “emerging issues”.

The representative of Ecuador, making a general statement, said her delegation had been a co-sponsor of the draft resolution and it had voted in favour of it.  Ecuador was unable to accept the oral amendment that had been made by Cuba, however, as it diminished the protection of the social, economic and cultural rights of indigenous peoples.

The Committee then moved to take action on a draft resolution entitled Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (document A/C.3/62/L.33/Rev.1).  The representative of Norway, made oral revisions to two preambular paragraphs, as well as to operative paragraph 8, in which the words “to provide all information” would be followed by the words “in a timely manner”.  It was hoped that, following intense consultations, the draft resolution would be approved by consensus, as had been the case in the past.

The representative of Chile, noting his delegation’s co-sponsorship of the draft, said his country would continue to support the work of human rights defenders.  He then recalled what his delegation had said when the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders, Hina Jilani, had referred to Chile.  In the Mapuches case, Chile had responded in a timely manner, and due respect had been assured for all legal processes.  Chile continued to reject the use of force and violence.

The representative of Venezuela said that the contents of the amendment to the draft resolution, contained in document A/C.3/62/L.88, were now reflected in “L.33/Rev.1” as orally revised.  Expressing gratitude to the delegation of Norway, she said there was no longer a need to take up the amendment.

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

The representative of Syria said she had joined the consensus, but said the Declaration mentioned in the resolution committed States not to interfere in the affairs of others.  Countries should not be selective in their treatment of other States, and likewise, non-governmental organizations were bound to be impartial.  She interpreted paragraph 20 of the Declaration as focusing on the principles of sovereignty, independence and non-interference, which would create a favourable climate for dialogue.

The representative of Iran said he was initially reluctant to join the consensus but had eventually done so because of the constructive role played by the co-sponsors during negotiations.  He expressed regret that the hidden agenda of a few States had sidetracked the resolution and the mandate set forth in the Declaration.

He noted that the resolution was entirely protection-based and did not adequately address the concept of promotion of human rights as set forth in the Declaration.  Iran disassociated itself from the application of the inconclusive, undefined, utterly selective and inconsistent term “human rights defenders”.  The use of the term overlooked the role of individuals, groups and organs of society, which was the agreed-upon term used in the Declaration.

He said the Declaration had not been properly captured in the resolution.  Further, the mandate should be streamlined by the Human Rights Council in accordance with the Declaration, which made it clear that everyone had the right to foster knowledge of human rights and that individuals, non-governmental organizations and relevant institutions had a role to play in that regard.

The Committee went on to take action on the draft resolution entitledProtection of and assistance to internally displaced persons (document A/C.3/62/L.34/Rev.1), with the representative of Norway making an oral revision to operative paragraph 9.

The representative of the Russian Federation expressed appreciation to the delegation of Norway for its efforts towards consensus on the text, which his country could join.

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

The representative of Syria said her delegation had joined the consensus, as it was convinced of the need to direct attention to the situation of internally displaced persons.  Her delegation, however, had reservations about the “guiding principles” referred to in the preambular paragraphs, as they did not cover persons displaced by foreign occupation.  Negotiations should have been held on that matter prior to approval of the draft resolution.

The representative of Venezuela, noting that his delegation had joined consensus, drew attention to preambular paragraph 9 and its reference to the Rome Statutes of the International Criminal Court.  Only in certain circumstances could the displacement of persons constitute a war crime, he said.  More comprehensive and inclusive wording was necessary; it was hoped that a broader vision would be reflected in the text the next time the Committee addressed the issue.

Right of Reply

The representative of the United Kingdom, exercising the right of reply, and referring to a remark made by his counterpart from Argentina, recalled the statements that his delegation had made on 16 and 20 November about the sovereignty of the Falkland Islands.

ANNEX I

Vote on Motion to Adjourn Debate

The motion to adjourn the debate on the draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Belarus (document A/C.3/62/L.51) was rejected by a recorded vote of 79 against to 65 in favour, with 31 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China, Congo, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu.

Abstain:  Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Moldova, Morocco, Mozambique, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago.

Absent:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ecuador, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kiribati, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Tuvalu.

ANNEX II

Vote on Situation of Human Rights in Belarus

The resolution on the situation of human rights in Belarus (document A/C.3/62/L.51) was approved by a recorded vote of 68 in favour to 32 against, with 76 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu.

Against:  Algeria, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, China, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, Gambia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.

Abstain:  Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, Zambia.

Absent:  Azerbaijan, Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Iraq, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tunisia, Tuvalu.

ANNEX III

Vote on Inadmissibility of Certain Practices Fuelling Racism

The draft resolution on the inadmissibility of certain practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (document A/C.3/62/L.61) was approved by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 1 against, with 52 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  United States.

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

Absent:  Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu.

ANNEX IV

Vote on Use of Mercenaries

The draft resolution on the use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/62/L.62) was approved by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 51 against, with 6 abstentions, as follows:

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

Against:  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, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

Abstain:  Chile, Fiji, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Switzerland, Tunisia.

Absent:  Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu.

ANNEX V

Vote on Preambular Paragraph 5

Preambular paragraph 5 of the draft resolution on strengthening the role of the United Nations in enhancing the effectiveness of the principle of periodic and genuine elections and the promotion of democratization (document A/C.3/62/L.30/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 142 in favour to none against, with 24 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan.

Against:  None.

Abstain:  Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, Mali, Myanmar, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Absent:  Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

ANNEX VI

Vote on Strengthening Role of United Nations

The draft resolution on strengthening the role of the United Nations in enhancing the effectiveness of the principle of periodic and genuine elections and the promotion of democratization (document A/C.3/62/L.30/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 173 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:

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

Against:  None.

Abstain:  Syria, Zambia.

Absent:  Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Zimbabwe.

ANNEX VII

Vote on Right to Food

The draft resolution on the right to food (document A/C.3/62/L.53/Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 176 in favour to 1 against, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, 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, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  United States.

Abstain:  None.

Absent:  Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Palau, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Somalia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

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