|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-fifth General Assembly
31st Meeting (AM)
Second Committee Approves Text Encouraging Member States to Strive for Balanced,
Ambitious Outcome as Cancún Conference on Climate Change Approaches
Drafts on Least Developed Countries, Sustainable Development Also Passed
The General Assembly would encourage Member States to approach the upcoming United Nations Climate ChangeConference in Cancún, Mexico, with a view to achieving a substantive, balanced and ambitious outcome,according to one of seven draft resolutions approved by consensus today in the Second Committee (Economic and Financial).
Also by that draft, the Assembly would urge parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and invite parties to its Kyoto Protocol, to continue making use of the information contained in the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It would also recognize the urgent need to provide financial and technical resources, capacity-building and technology transfer to help developing countries adversely affected by climate change.
By a text on information and communications technologies for development, the Assembly would extend the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum for another five years. It would also stress the need for the Forum to improve its working and functions, as well as the need to enhance the participation of Governments and other stakeholders from developing countries, particularly least developed countries, in all Forum meetings.
Speaking prior to the Committee’s action on that text, the representative of the United States said the draft could have better reflected steps by the Internet Governance Forum to examine its working methods and participation, a sentiment echoed by the representatives of Belgium (on behalf of the European Union) and Canada (on behalf of CANZ, including Australia and New Zealand) after the draft was approved.
A draft entitled “Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries” would have the Assembly decide to convene the Conference from 9 to 13 May 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey, at the highest possible level. Further, it would invite all development partners and other relevant stakeholders — including Member States, the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization, parliaments, civil society, non-governmental organizations and the private sector — to remain fully engaged in the preparatory process.
Nepal’s representative, speaking on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries, underscored the need to consolidate global commitments to least developed countries and create a new agenda for the next decade.
According to a text titled “Protection of coral reefs for sustainable livelihoods and development”, the Assembly would urge States to take all necessary steps to protect coral reefs while taking immediate and concerted global, regional and local action to respond to the challenges of climate change and ocean acidification. It would also urge them to adopt and implement comprehensive and integrated approaches for managing and enhancing coral reefs and related ecosystems.
By the terms of a text on the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, the Assembly would encourage the World Tourism Organization to continue promoting and disseminating the Code and monitoring the implementation of tourism-related ethical principles through its World Committee on Tourism Ethics. It would also invite States Members to support the Organization’s activities by extending tourism’s benefits to all sectors of society, particularly the most vulnerable and marginalized groups.
A draft titled “International cooperation to reduce the impact of the
El Niño phenomenon” would have the Assembly call upon the Secretary-General, United Nations organs taking part in the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the international community to adopt measures to further strengthen the International Research Centre on El Niño. It would also encourage the World Meteorological Organization to continue strengthening the exchange of data and information with relevant institutions.
Finally, the Committee approved a text on culture and development, by which the General Assembly would invite all Member States, intergovernmental bodies, the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations to promote the positive value of cultural diversity through education and media tools. It would also invite them effectively to integrate and mainstream culture into their development policies and strategies at all levels.
The Committee will meet again on Tuesday, 30 November, at a time to be announced, to take action on outstanding draft resolutions.
The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met this morning to take action on draft resolutions relating to information and communications technologies for development, sustainable development, globalization and interdependence, and groups of countries in special situations.
Action on Draft Resolutions
ENKHTSETSEG OCHIR (Mongolia), Committee Chair, called attention to the first draft resolution, on information and communications technologies for development (document A/C.2/65/L.56), noting that it held no programme budget implications.
In a statement before action, the representative of the United States stressed that discussions and policymaking on Internet governance must include the full range of stakeholders, adding that the consensus reached on the text regrettably did not better reflect steps by the Internet Governance Forum to examine its working methods and participation.
The Committee then approved the text without a vote.
The representative of Belgium, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the draft did not sufficiently highlight Member States’ positive assessment of the Forum’s functioning and evolution over the past five years. Its preparatory process should remain flexible to ensure its continuing response to new developments.
The representative of Canada, speaking on behalf of CANZ (including Australia and New Zealand), echoed the sentiments expressed by the delegates of the United States and Belgium.
The representative of Australia then submitted a draft on protection of coral reefs for sustainable livelihoods and development (document A/C.2/65/L.28/Rev.1), noting that it had several additional co-sponsors.
The representative of Fiji, speaking on behalf of Pacific Small Island Developing States, said the text integrated many of the challenges facing the Group’s members. Climate change and ocean acidification were the greatest threats to coral reefs, and the text was particularly timely, given massive coral bleaching in South-East Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and areas of the Pacific.
The Committee then approved the draft, again without a vote.
The representative of Turkey dissociated her delegation from international instruments listed in the text, to which her country was not a signatory, and emphasized that the consensus should not be interpreted as a change in Turkey’s position with regard to those instruments.
The representative of Honduras then submitted a draft entitled “Global Code of Ethics for Tourism” (document A/C.2/65/L.35/Rev.1), highlighting corrections needed and noting the addition of three new co-sponsors.
The Committee approved that text without a vote, as orally corrected.
A representative of the World Tourism Organization thanked the co-sponsors, particularly Honduras, and Committee members for their spirit of compromise.
CSILLA WÜRTZ ( Hungary), Committee Vice-Chair, then submitted a draft on international cooperation to reduce the impact of the El Niño phenomenon (document A/C.2/65/L.54), which the Committee approved without a vote.
She also submitted a text entitled “Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind”(document A/C.2/65/L.51), which the Committee approved, again without a vote.
JEAN CLAUDY PIERRE ( Haiti), Committee Vice-Chair, then submitted a draft on culture and development (document A/C.2/65/L.50), noting that it needed corrections.
The Committee approved that text without a vote.
The representative of Peru said the draft was an important part of the present session as it recognized the contributions of all cultures and civilizations to humankind. It was important to encourage the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to optimize culture’s contribution to development, he emphasized.
PAUL EMPOLE (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Committee Rapporteur, then submitted a text entitled “Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries” (document A/C.2/65/L.55).
In an oral statement, the Committee Secretary said the informal interactive hearings referred to in the draft would require services, including interpretation and documentation, for a total of two meetings. The $30,200 cost of processing documentation in-house would be absorbed and the draft would hold no financial implications under the programme budget for 2010-2011.
After the representatives of Turkey and France proposed several oral amendments, the Committee approved the text without a vote, as orally corrected.
Speaking on behalf of the Group of Least Developed Countries, the representative of Nepal underscored the need to consolidate global commitment to least developed countries and create a new agenda for the next decade. He also called on the international community to ensure that the Conference would have a successful outcome, and on international financial institutions to offer support for the event.
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