Second Committee Approves Draft Resolution Stressing Need to Boost Food Production, Productivity, Sustainability as It Concludes Work

1 December 2010
GA/EF/3302

Second Committee Approves Draft Resolution Stressing Need to Boost Food Production, Productivity, Sustainability as It Concludes Work

1 December 2010
General Assembly
GA/EF/3302
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fifth General Assembly

Second Committee

33rd Meeting (PM)


Second Committee Approves Draft Resolution Stressing Need to Boost Food

 

Production, Productivity, Sustainability as It Concludes Work

 


Concluding its sixty-fifth session today, the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) approved 15 draft resolutions, including one on agriculture development and food security, by which the General Assembly would stress the need to enhance production, productivity and sustainability, while calling for the timely realization of the 2009 G-8 commitment to mobilize $20 billion over three years for sustainable agricultural development.


The Assembly would, by other terms of the text, stress the need to achieve those aims through public and private investment, better access to markets and credit for smallholder farmers, improved land-use planning, crop diversification and commercialization, sound water management, strong agriculture value chains, and rural infrastructure investment, as well as by empowering rural women as critical agents of rural development and food security.


Recognizing the consequences of the global food crisis for the realization of the Millennium Development Goals in developing countries and the need for Africa to embark on a “green revolution” to boost agricultural productivity, food production and regional food security, the Assembly would call for efforts to boost the agricultural sector’s ability to predict, prevent and address the impacts of climate change and extreme weather.  It would urge Member States and international organizations to pursue policies and strategies to improve the functioning of markets and ensure equitable access for all, while calling on the World Trade Organization and to promote policies favourable to enhanced agricultural trade.


The Committee approved nine draft resolutions under the sustainable development cluster, among them a text by which the Assembly would decide to declare 2013 the “International Year of Water Cooperation”.  It would encourage Member States, the Secretariat, the United Nations system, and major groups to take advantage of the Year to promote action at all levels, including through international cooperation aimed at achieving the water-related goals contained in such documents as Agenda 21, the United Nations Millennium Declaration and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.


A text on the Convention on Biological Diversity would have the Assembly decide to declare 2011-2020 the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.  In that regard, it would ask the Secretary-General, in consultation with Member States, to lead the coordination of the Decade’s activities on behalf of the United Nations, with the support of the Convention’s secretariat and those of other biodiversity-related instruments as well as relevant United Nations funds, programmes and agencies.


By a draft on implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, the Assembly would decide to convene a one-day high-level meeting on the theme “Addressing desertification, land degradation and drought in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication”, to be held on Tuesday, 20 September 2011, prior to the Assembly’s general debate.  Its aim would be to help raise awareness of those ills at the highest level, reaffirm the fulfilment of all commitments to the Convention and its 2008-2018 Strategic Plan, and contribute to preparations for the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.


A text titled “Sustainable development: harmony with Nature” would request the Secretary-General to convene, during the Assembly’s sixty-fifth session, an interactive dialogue held over two plenary meetings to commemorate International Mother Earth Day on 26 April 2011, as well as to contribute to the preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in terms of promoting a holistic approach to sustainable development in harmony with nature and sharing national experiences on criteria and indicators for measuring it.  The Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to create a trust fund to pay for the participation of independent experts in the interactive dialogues.


According to a draft on cooperative measures to assess and increase awareness of environmental effects related to waste originating from chemical munitions dumped at sea, the Assembly would invite the Secretary-General to seek the views of Member States and relevant regional and international organizations, for circulation and further consideration during the Assembly’s sixty-eighth session.


A draft titled “Follow-up of the International Year of Sanitation, 2008” would have the Assembly encourage all States, the United Nations system and other relevant stakeholders to take advantage of “Sustainable sanitation: the five-year drive to 2015” as a platform to promote action at all levels and increase awareness of the urgent need to reach the goal set out in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation of halving the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015.  It would also urge them to encourage behaviour change and policies aimed at increasing access to sanitation among the poor, complemented by a call to end open defecation as an extremely harmful practice for public health.


By the terms of a text on implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the

Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the Assembly would call upon Governments, all relevant global and regional organizations, United Nations funds and programmes, international financial institutions and others to ensure effective implementation of and follow-up to the commitments, programmes and time-bound targets adopted at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and encourage them to report on concrete progress in that regard.  Governments and organizations would be encouraged to undertake results-oriented initiatives and activities to support the work of the Commission on Sustainable Development while promoting and facilitating implementation of Agenda 21.


Following that action, Yemen’s representative, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, expressed worries over the lack of funds to finance the participation of at least one representative from each developing country in all preparatory meetings for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.

A draft on the report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on its eleventh special session would have the Assembly welcome the 26 February Nusa Dua Declaration as a contribution to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, call for UNEP’s effective, active participation in the Conference preparatory process and call on global and bilateral donors, as well as other countries in a position to do so, to support effective participation by developing-country representative participation in the plenary meeting.  The Assembly would request the Governing Council to convene a plenary meeting providing for the full and effective participation of all Member States, particularly developing countries, to determine modalities and institutional arrangements for the Intergovernmental Science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.


Following that action, Belgium’s representative, speaking on behalf of the European Union, welcomed the “green light” the text had given for the Platform’s creation, saying it would be a major step forward in international efforts to strengthen scientific knowledge of the links connecting biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being.  The representative of said that in order to be credible, the Platform must adhere to basic scientific tenets, as set out in the Busan Outcome.


Acting on agenda item relating to globalization and interdependence, the Committee approved three draft resolutions, including one on the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence.  By its terms, the Assembly would note with concern the continuing high rates of unemployment as a consequence of the global financial and economic crisis, recognize decent work as the best route out of poverty and invite donor countries, multilateral organizations and other development partners to continue to help Member States adopt policies consistent with the International Labour Organization’s Global Jobs Pact in order to promote a job-intensive recovery and sustainable development.  The Assembly would also stress the need for all countries to harness knowledge and technology and stimulate innovation to improve competitiveness, benefit from trade and investment, and promote sustainable development.


A text on preventing and combating corrupt practices would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General to submit, at its sixty-seventh session, a report on preventing and combating such practices and on recovering and returning assets of illicit origin, in particular to the countries of origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption.


According to a draft on international migration and development the Assembly would emphasize respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants as essential while expressing concern at legislation and measures adopted by some States that restricted those rights and freedoms.  It would reaffirm the duty of States to comply with their obligations under international law, including international human rights law.  The Assembly would also urge Member States and relevant international organizations to incorporate a gender perspective into all policies and programmes on international migration, by other terms.  It would call upon them to address the economic and financial effects of the crisis on international migrants and renew their commitment to resist unfair and discriminatory treatment.


Under the cluster on eradication of poverty and other development issues, the Committee approved two draft resolutions, including a text on the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017), by which the Assembly would urge the international community to implement the outcome documents relating to the internationally agreed development goals and outcome of the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development, in support of the Second Decade’s objectives.


Furthermore, the Assembly would call upon Member States to address the root causes of extreme poverty and hunger, emphasize the need to give highest priority to poverty eradication within the United Nations development agenda, calling upon donor countries in a position to do so to support national efforts by developing countries to eradicate poverty through adequate, predictable financial resources.  The Assembly would also emphasize that education and training were critical to empowering the poor.


A draft on industrial development cooperation would have the Assembly emphasize the need to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women at all levels, and in decision-making processes in the context of industrial development.  It would stress the importance of access to modern forms of energy, renewable energy and advanced energy technology for the realization of the Millennium Development Goals.  It would also call for continued use of official development assistance (ODA) for sustainable industrial development and industrial development cooperation between developing countries and those with economies in transition.


Also by its terms, the Assembly would call upon the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to take an active role in implementing Assembly resolutions 62/208 (2007) and 64/289 (2010), and encourage the agency to continue to help developing and transition countries participate in productive activities while strengthening their capacity to engage in international trade through the development of small and medium-sized enterprise.


The Committee also approved the draft programme of work for its sixty-sixth session and a draft decision on improving its working methods.


Belgium’s representative, speaking on behalf of the European Union, welcomed that draft decision as a modest and positive step towards more efficiently using the Committee’s time, but expressed regret that it did not fully incorporate existing Assembly mandates to rationalize Committee agendas.


In other business, the Committee took note of the Secretary-General’s report on an overview of the major international economic and policy challenges for equitable and inclusive sustained economic growth and sustainable development and of the role of the United Nations in addressing these issues in the light of the New International Economic Order (document A/65/272) as well as the Secretary-General’s report the role of microcredit and microfinance in the eradication of poverty (document A/65/267). 


Committee Chairperson Enkhtsetseg Ochir ( Mongolia) noted in her concluding remarks that the Committee had adopted 40 draft resolutions and three draft decisions during the present session, including five new texts.


Tabling draft resolutions for the Committee’s action were Vice-Chairs Csilla Wurtz ( Hungary) and Jean Claudy Pierre ( Haiti) as well as Committee Rapporteur Paul Empole ( Democratic Republic of the Congo).


Other speakers today were the representatives of Lithuania, Bolivia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Cuba, France, Colombia, Mexico, Gabon and Ukraine.


Background


The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met this afternoon to take action on draft resolutions relating to sustainable development, globalization and interdependence, eradication of poverty and other development issues, agriculture development and food security, and revitalization of the work of the General Assembly.


Action on Draft Resolutions


Taking up a draft resolution on cooperative measures to assess and increase awareness of environmental effects related to waste originating from chemical munitions dumped at sea (document A/C.2/65/L.32/Rev.1).


The Committee then approved it without a vote, as orally corrected.


Following that action, the representative of Lithuania, a main sponsor of the text, described it as an important invitation to Member States to share views, best practices and information on the subject at hand.


Tabling a draft resolution titled “Follow-up of the International Year of Sanitation, 2008” (document A/C.2/65/L.24/Rev.1), the representative of Panama, its main sponsor, said sanitation for all should be a global development priority, warning that without colossal efforts, the internationally agreed sanitation targets would not be met until 2032.  That was clearly unacceptable.  The text aimed to rally Member States to support the five-year drive so as to catalyse political action to reverse the alarming lack of meaningful progress on internationally agreed sanitation targets.


The Committee then approved the text without a vote.


The representative of Bolivia said water, health and sanitation were central to development and essential to human dignity, expressing hope that all Member States would work in all related forums to achieve the internationally agreed sanitation targets.


As the Committee took up a text entitled “International Year of Water Cooperation” (document A/C.2/65/L.25/Rev.1), the representative of Uzbekistan said he did not support the text because it did not account for all proposals made by his delegation.  As a result, Uzbekistan would not participate in the action on the draft and would therefore not be bound by any of its provisions.


The Committee then approved the text without a vote.


The representative of Tajikistan said the text’s unanimous adoption showed the strong spirit of consensus in the Committee and the importance of water in bringing everyone together.

The representative of Belgium, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said she understood that, while implementing the text, the Secretary-General would be mindful of the annex to Economic and Social Council resolution 1980/67, particularly paragraph 21, which states that expenditures should normally be met from existing resources in the regular budget.  The European Union understood that no extra-budgetary resources should be allocated to fund the International Year.


The representative of Cuba called for the correction of an error in the title of the draft’s Spanish-language version.


The Committee then took up a text on implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/65/L.52), approving it without a vote.


The representative of Yemen, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, expressed deep concern over the lack of funds to finance the participation of at least one representative from each developing country in all preparatory meetings for the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development.  The problem was particularly acute now when, on the eve of the first intersessional meeting, there were not resources to fund the participation of developing-country delegates.  The Group of 77 expected the Assembly’s call for funding to result in contributions to the Trust Fund in order to overcome those obstacles.


The Committee then took up a draft on implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (document A/C.2/65/L.65).


CSILLA WURTZ ( Hungary), Committee Vice-Chair, pointed out two paragraphs requiring correction.


The Committee then approved that text without a vote, as orally corrected.


The representative of Yemen, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, expressed concern over the phrase “within existing resources”, saying it contradicted past resolutions that clearly stated that the Fifth Committee was the appropriated Assembly Committee to address administrative and budgetary matters.  The insistence of developed countries on using that phrase in relation to development issues was regrettable and demonstrated a lack of political will and commitment to allow the allocation of appropriate resources for such activities.


The representative of Belgium, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said she was pleased to join the consensus in support of the draft, a position that demonstrated the bloc’s political will to support implementation of the anti-desertification Convention.


Vice-Chair WÜRTZ (Hungary) then submitted a draft resolution headed “Convention on Biological Diversity” (document A/C.2/65/L.67), orally correcting three paragraphs as the representatives of France and Colombia called attention, respectively, to translation errors in the French- and Spanish-language versions.


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


Ms. WÜRTZ ( Hungary) then tabled a draft on the Report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its eleventh special session (document A/C.2/65/L.71), making oral corrections, as the representatives of France and Mexico pointed out translation issues in the French- and Spanish-language versions.


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


The representative of Belgium, speaking on behalf of the European Union, welcomed the “green light” given for the establishment of an intergovernmental science policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services.  It would be a major step forward in international efforts to strengthen scientific knowledge of the links connecting biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being, thus enabling the translation of emerging scientific knowledge into specific policy action reflecting the interests of both developed and developing countries.


The representative of the United States, while noting that Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services deserved a draft resolution of its own, nevertheless welcomed the draft’s language, saying it clearly endorsed the establishment of the Platform and provided guidance on the next steps to be taken.  To be credible, the Platform must adhere to basic scientific tenets, as set out in the Busan Outcome, and relevant international organizations, such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), should all be engaged in its development.  It was understood that funds for participating in a governmental meeting to determine the modalities and institutional arrangements for the Platform would not come from UNEP’s Environment Fund.


The representative of Switzerland, underlining the draft’s importance, said his country was very favourable to the Platform’s establishment and urged the UNEP Governing Board to undertake final steps to that end.


The representative of Gabon said the text signalled the launch of an African group that would develop subregional policies for managing biodiversity.


Turning to a draft resolution titled “Sustainable development: harmony with Nature” (document A/C.2/65/L.30/Rev.1), the Committee heard some oral corrections to the text.


The Committee Secretary explained that, since 22 April 2011 would be Good Friday, a holiday at Headquarters, the commemoration of International Mother Earth Day would be held on 26 April, with the approval of the draft’s sponsors.


The representative of Bolivia said the change of date was based on the consensus reached during consultations.


The representative of Ukraine pointed out that the Chernobyl catastrophe would be commemorated on 26 April, and suggested a postponement of action on the draft.


The representative of Bolivia said a postponement was not deserved and his delegation was happy to let the Secretariat identify a more appropriate date, ideally one closer to the original date proposed.

ENKHTSEGSEG OCHIR ( Mongolia), Committee Chair, proposed that action be taken on the draft, providing time for the Secretariat to find a suitable date before the draft was put before the General Assembly plenary.


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


JEAN CLAUDY PIERRE ( Haiti), Committee Vice-Chair, submitted a draft resolution headed “Role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence” (document A/C.2/65/L.15/Rev.1), as the representative of France commented on the French-language version.


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


Concluding its consideration of globalization and interdependence, the Committee took note of the report of the Secretary-General titled “An overview of the major international economic and policy challenges for equitable and inclusive sustained economic growth and sustainable development, and of the role of the United Nations in addressing these issues in the light of the New International Economic Order” (document A/65/272).


Vice-Chair Mr. PIERRE (Haiti) then submitted a draft resolution titled “Preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of assets of illicit origin and returning such assets, in particular to the countries of origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption” (document A/C.2/65/L.68).


The Committee approved it without a vote, as orally corrected.


Mr. PIERRE ( Haiti) then tabled a text on international migration and development (document A/C.2/65/L.69), which the Committee approved without a vote, as orally corrected.


PAUL EMPOLE (Democratic Republic of Congo), Committee Rapporteur, submitted a draft titled “Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017)” (document A/C.2/65/L.64), making two oral corrections as the representative of Tunisia pointed out translation mistakes in the French- and Arabic-language versions.  Due to lack of capacity, it had not been possible to check the Chinese- Spanish- and Russian-language texts, he added.


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


Concluding its consideration of the eradication of poverty and other development issues, the Committee took note of the report of the Secretary-General on the role of microcredit and microfinance in the eradication of poverty (document A/65/267).


Mr. EMPOLE ( Democratic Republic of the Congo), Rapporteur, then tabled a draft resolution on industrial development cooperation (document A/C.2/65/L.45/Rev.1), which the Committee approved without a vote.


Turning to a draft resolution titled “Sustainable development: harmony with Nature” (document A/C.2/65/L.30/Rev.1), the Committee heard some oral corrections to the text.


The Committee Secretary explained that, since 22 April 2011 would be Good Friday, a holiday at Headquarters, the commemoration of International Mother Earth Day would be held on 26 April, with the approval of the draft’s sponsors.


The representative of Bolivia said the change of date was based on the consensus reached during consultations.


The representative of Ukraine pointed out that the Chernobyl catastrophe would be commemorated on 26 April, and suggested a postponement of action on the draft.


The representative of Bolivia said a postponement was not deserved and his delegation was happy to let the Secretariat identify a more appropriate date, ideally one closer to the original date proposed.


ENKHTSEGSEG OCHIR ( Mongolia), Committee Chair, proposed that action be taken on the draft, providing time for the Secretariat to find a suitable date before the draft was put before the General Assembly plenary.


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


JEAN CLAUDY PIERRE ( Haiti), Committee Vice-Chair, submitted a draft resolution headed “Role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence” (document A/C.2/65/L.15/Rev.1), as the representative of France commented on the French-language version.


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


Concluding its consideration of globalization and interdependence, the Committee took note of the report of the Secretary-General titled “An overview of the major international economic and policy challenges for equitable and inclusive sustained economic growth and sustainable development, and of the role of the United Nations in addressing these issues in the light of the New International Economic Order” (document A/65/272).


Vice-Chair Mr. PIERRE (Haiti) then submitted a draft resolution titled “Preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of assets of illicit origin and returning such assets, in particular to the countries of origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption” (document A/C.2/65/L.68).


The Committee approved it without a vote, as orally corrected.


Mr. PIERRE ( Haiti) then tabled a text on international migration and development (document A/C.2/65/L.69), which the Committee approved without a vote, as orally corrected.


PAUL EMPOLE (Democratic Republic of Congo), Committee Rapporteur, submitted a draft titled “Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017)” (document A/C.2/65/L.64), making two oral corrections as the representative of Tunisia pointed out translation mistakes in the French- and Arabic-language versions.  Due to lack of capacity, it had not been possible to check the Chinese- Spanish- and Russian-language texts, he added.


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


Concluding its consideration of the eradication of poverty and other development issues, the Committee took note of the report of the Secretary-General on the role of microcredit and microfinance in the eradication of poverty (document A/65/267).


Mr. EMPOLE ( Democratic Republic of the Congo), Rapporteur, then tabled a draft resolution on industrial development cooperation (document A/C.2/65/L.45/Rev.1), which the Committee approved without a vote.


As the Committee took up a draft resolution on agriculture development and food security (document A/C.2/65/L.61), the representative of France called for corrections to the French-language version before the text was approved without a vote, as orally corrected.


Turning to its agenda item on revitalization of the work of the General Assembly, the Committee approved its own draft programme of work for the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly (document A/C.2/65/L.72).


It then approved a draft decision on improving its working methods.


The representative of Belgium, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the decision was a modest and positive step that provided a sound basis for continuing efforts to improve the quality of the Committee’s work.  The decision to improve practices for submitting draft proposals, particularly regarding deadlines and the need for more concise, focused and action-oriented drafts, was welcome.  Those steps, in addition to measures for more efficient use of the Committee’s time, such as reducing the number of side events, would help enhance the quality of its work.


However, she expressed regret that existing General Assembly mandates to rationalize Committee agendas, such as provisions allowing for the biennialization, triennialization, clustering and elimination of items, had not been fully incorporated into the decision just approved.  The next Bureau of the Committee should take up those issues and related matters listed in the non-paper of 29 September, she said.


Finally, the Committee decided that no action was required under its agenda item on programme planning.


Conclusion


Ms. OCHIR ( Mongolia), Committee Chair, said in closing remarks that through constructive deliberations in the general debate, clustered discussions and important draft resolutions all members had endeavoured to build on and implement the outcomes of the September Summit on the Millennium Development Goals and other recent high-level events.  They had worked to move from the broad consensus reached in September to legislative policy actions and rendering more forward-looking decisions.


She then summarized the various texts approved, saying that under the macroeconomic policy cluster, the Committee had approved a more streamlined text on external debt sustainability and development.  By another text, all members hadagreed to work for a successful conference on the least developed countries, next year in Istanbul.  She said five new texts had been approved by consensus this year, including those on financing for development, ecotourism and poverty eradication, waste from chemical munitions dumped at sea, the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All, and the International Year for Water Cooperation.  The Committee had approved a total of 40 draft resolutions and three draft decisions.


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