SECOND COMMITTEE APPROVES DRAFT RESOLUTION CALLING FOR URGENT GLOBAL ACTION IN ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE TO BENEFIT PRESENT, FUTURE GENERATIONS

25 November 2008
GA/EF/3233

SECOND COMMITTEE APPROVES DRAFT RESOLUTION CALLING FOR URGENT GLOBAL ACTION IN ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE TO BENEFIT PRESENT, FUTURE GENERATIONS

25 November 2008
General Assembly
GA/EF/3233
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-third General Assembly

Second Committee

29th Meeting (AM)

second committee approves draft resolution calling for urgent global action

in addressing climate change to benefit present, future generations

Text on Cooperation with Middle-Income Countries Passed for First Time Ever

The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) approved seven draft resolutions by consensus this morning, including one text by which the General Assembly would call for urgent global action to address climate change for the benefit of present and future generations.

By other terms of that text, the Assembly would:  stress the seriousness of climate change; call upon States to work together for the full implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities; strongly urge those States that had not yet done so to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to the Convention in a timely way; and urge parties to the Convention to continue using the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their work.

The Assembly would, by further terms, recognize the need to provide financial and technical resources, capacity-building and technology transfer to developing countries adversely affected by climate change, in addition to calling upon the international community to fulfil the commitments made during the fourth replenishment of the Global Environment Facility Trust Fund.

Following the Committee’s approval of the text, the representatives of France (on behalf of the European Union) and Sweden said it would send a very constructive, important message to negotiators convening in Poznan, Poland, next month for the fourteenth session of the Conference of Parties.  The representative of Antigua and Barbuda, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said the three pillars of sustainable development must remain global priorities, and that global action to address climate change must be based on common but differentiated responsibilities, with developed countries taking the lead.

By the terms of a text on industrial development cooperation, the Assembly would emphasize the importance of creating wealth for poverty reduction and pro-poor growth, particularly for women, by developing and strengthening productive capacities in developing countries and those with economies in transition.  The Assembly would also call for continuing, as well as more efficient and effective use of, official development assistance (ODA) for sustainable industrial development in those countries.  It would urge all Governments to develop and implement policies that would create dynamic industrial sectors.

Further by that text, the Assembly would stress the importance of developing agro-industry and reducing post-harvest losses, by introducing improved technologies and increasing the processing of agricultural products in developing and transition countries.  It would encourage the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to promote environmentally sound, sustainable production through industrial waste management and energy efficiency, particularly in rural areas.

A third text, on development cooperation with middle-income countries, would have the Assembly emphasize that middle-income countries must take primary responsibility for their own development, recognize the significant challenges they still faced and acknowledge their efforts and successes in eradicating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.  It would also note that national averages based on such criteria as per capita income did not always reflect the needs of those countries, and invite the United Nations development system to support, as appropriate, middle-income countries and improve field coordination among other international, regional, and financial organizations in that regard.

Guyana’s representative pointed out that it was the first time that the Committee had approved a draft resolution on that subject.

By a draft resolution on the reliable and stable transit of energy and its role in ensuring sustainable development and international cooperation, the Assembly would welcome international cooperation in developing transportation systems and pipelines, recognize the need for extensive international cooperation to ensure reliable transportation of energy to international markets through pipelines and transport systems, and welcome Turkmenistan’s initiative to hold, in 2009, a high-level international conference to discuss the issue.

Prior to the Committee’s action on that text, Turkmenistan’s representative expressed hope that delegates would take concrete steps during the 2009 conference to implement the draft’s aims.  Kazakhstan’s representative acknowledged that country’s responsibility to maintain sustainable energy supplies to the international market, saying that ensuring a stable global energy market was in the best interest of all Member States.

A fifth draft, on Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus (document A/C.2/63/L.37) would have the Assembly stress the importance of continued discussions on financing for development, and note the deliberations in the context of the preparatory process for the Follow-up Conference, to be held over the weekend, which would substantively address the issue.

By a sixth text, the Assembly would similarly stress and note, within the same context, the importance of continued consideration of international trade and development.  The Assembly would, by both of those texts, respectively, request that the Secretary-General submit progress reports on the two issues during the Assembly’s sixty-fourth session.

A seventh draft, on report of the twelfth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), would have the Assembly thank the Government and people of Ghana for their hospitality during the April session and welcome the offer by Qatar’s Government to host the thirteenth session in 2012.

Committee Chairperson Uche Joy Ogwu ( Nigeria) announced that the Committee would postpone until Wednesday action on a draft resolution relating to the follow-up to and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island developing States.

In other business, the representative of Antigua and Barbuda introduced, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, a draft on the High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation.

Also speaking today were the representatives of Tajikistan, Georgia, Russian Federation, Syria, Chile, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Spain.

The Committee will meet again Wednesday, 26 November, to take action on all outstanding draft resolutions.

Background

The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met to take action on draft resolutions relating to macroeconomic policy questions, follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the preparation of the 2008 Review Conference, sustainable development, globalization and interdependence, and eradication of poverty and other development issues.

The meeting began with a number of delegates taking the floor to express their positions with respect to the draft resolution on the permanent sovereignty over natural resources on occupied Arab lands (document A/C.2/63/L.5), approved at the Committee’s last formal meeting.

The representatives of Sweden and Uganda said their respective delegations had not been present for the voting on that text, but wished the record to reflect that they would have voted in favour.

Action on Draft Resolution

JANIL GREENAWAY ( Antigua and Barbuda) then introduced, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, a draft resolution on the High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (document A/C.2/63/L.43).

The Committee then proceeded to take action on eight draft resolutions relating to:  macroeconomic policy questions; follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the preparation of the 2008 Review Conference; sustainable development; globalization and interdependence; and eradication of poverty and other development issues.

Committee members then approved, by consensus, draft resolutions on the Report of the twelfth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (document A/C.2/63/L.35); international trade and development (document A/C.2/63/L.49); and Follow-up to the International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus (document A/C.2/63/L.37).

Taking up a text on reliable and stable transit of energy and its role in ensuring sustainable development and international cooperation (document A/C.2/63/L.3/Rev.1 and Add.1), the representative of Turkmenistan said it was the result of several informal consultations, and thanked all co-sponsors for their constructive spirit and flexibility.  It was to be hoped that concrete steps would be taken during next year’s high-level conference towards reliable and stable transit of energy so as to ensure sustainable development.

The representative of Tajikistan asked all Committee members to approve the draft by consensus.

The representative of Georgia, also calling on the Committee to approve the text, said stable and reliable transit was a key to ensuring sustainable development.

The representative of the Russian Federation said he was satisfied with the comprehensive and balanced nature of the text, adding that he supported Turkmenistan’s initiative to hold a high-level conference on the subject next year.

The representatives of Syria, Chile and Kyrgyzstan also supported the draft.

The representative of Kazakhstan then acknowledged her country’s responsibility to maintain sustainable energy supplies to the international market, noting that ensuring the stability of global energy markets was in the common interest of all Member States.

The Committee then approved that draft, as orally corrected.

UCHE JOY OGWU ( Nigeria), Committee Chairperson, then said action on the draft relating to Follow-up to and Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island developing States (document A/C.2/63/L.44) would be postponed until Wednesday.

The Committee then approved, by consensus, a draft on protection of global climate for present and future generations (document A/C.2/63/L.45).

The representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said it was essential to send a show of support prior to the Poznan Conference next month by adopting the present draft resolution.  Throughout negotiations, the European Union had emphasized the importance of implementing the Bali Programme of Action in a balanced way.

Stressing the importance of common but differentiated responsibilities to ensure that the goals of cutting greenhouse gas emissions were met, he said the European Union had made a commitment to reduce its emissions by 20 per cent to pre-1990 levels.  For the first time, the text dealt with the need to integrate a gender perspective into the topic.  That was a positive step forward.

The representative of Belarus thanked the draft resolution’s co-sponsors.

The representative of Antigua and Barbuda, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, stressed the importance of the three pillars of sustainable development and of ensuring that they remained global priorities.  Global action to address climate change should be done within the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, with developed countries taking the lead.

The representative of Sweden then thanked the delegations that had supported the draft, noting that today marked the first time in three years that a text on climate change for present and future generations had been adopted by consensus.  That would send a very constructive, important message to negotiators in Poznan.

The Committee then approved a draft resolution on development cooperation with middle-income countries (document A/C.2/63/L.47).

The representative of Guyana then thanked all delegations for ensuring that the text, the first of its kind, was adopted by consensus.

The representative of Spain said the matter was of great importance and thanked all delegations for their constructive spirit in approving the text.

The Committee then approved, again without a vote, a draft on industrial development cooperation (document A/C.2/63/L.46).

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