|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-sixth General Assembly
General Assembly, Acting by Consensus, Adopts Two Resolutions
on Strengthening United Nations System
In Separate Action, Ecuador Appointed Member of Palestinian Rights Committee
Acting by consensus today, the General Assembly adopted two draft resolutions aimed at strengthening the United Nations system.
By a text on civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict (document A/66/L.39), the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to continue to hold regular consultations on reviewing that capacity in order to maintain close collaboration with Member States, including through the Peacebuilding Commission, and to continue to draw on all relevant expertise, particularly that of field practitioners, with a view to developing initiatives to support national capacity.
Further to the text, the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to submit a report in 2012 on measures outlined in his report on the subject for consideration by the Assembly and its subsidiary bodies, notably the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary). The Assembly also decided to consider developments on the review of civilian capacity in the aftermath of conflict during its sixty-seventh session.
Presenting the text, Indonesia’s representative said it set forth a “clear and viable political framework” for all stakeholders to work together to create effective civilian capacities in post-conflict countries requiring them. “The draft resolution before us today stresses, among others, the following key elements: the need for fully respecting the principle of national ownership; enhanced cooperation; and inclusive processes towards developing civilian capacities and expertise,” he said. Readily deployed and skilled civilian capacities and resilient, accountable national institutions were vital to supporting national recovery while building and sustaining peace, he added, noting that the process required effective partnerships between the United Nations and Member States, as well as other relevant stakeholders, including civil society and regional organizations.
Speaking after the text’s adoption, Canada’s representative said the United Nations had a unique opportunity to strengthen its system for preventing a possible relapse into violence. Too often such opportunities were missed because capacity was lacking, international efforts were disjointed and expertise was too slow to arrive, he said, noting that those inadequacies had real consequences for States struggling to recover from violent conflict or facing the prospect of instability. The resolution provided a procedural basis upon which the United Nations could improve its development of civil expertise in post-crisis settings.
“This resolution lays out a consensual and comprehensive approach for developing, considering and adopting important changes to the way this Organization addresses civilian capacity issues,” he continued, describing it as “a useful step forward”. He added that the United Nations civilian capacity review was taking place at a time when the world body was undergoing a broader reform process, and when the international community better understood the deep challenges of peacebuilding.
Welcoming the resolution, El Salvador’s representative recounted his country’s experience in building civilian capacity after the end of its bloody civil conflict from 1980 to 1992. After the signing of a peace agreement, the country had drawn upon the strong support of the United Nations, and had since repaid the Organization by playing an active role on the Peacebuilding Commission, he said.
Recalling that El Salvador had successfully held free and fair legislative and municipal elections on 11 March, he said that experience could contribute to the United Nations analysis of the role of civilian capacity in post-conflict situations. Creating State institutions that upheld human rights was crucial, he emphasized, welcoming the Secretary-General’s request to include the Peacebuilding Commission in consultations on reviewing civilian capacity. However, he expressed regret that the resolution overlooked the need to promote and strengthen North-South cooperation, which was a key component in supporting civilian capacity-building.
The Assembly also adopted a draft titled “The United Nations in global governance” (document A/66/L.38). Presenting that text, Chile’s representative said its main purpose was to reaffirm that the United Nations system must remain the “cornerstone” of global governance and to provide a road map for improving and strengthening the Organization to that end. By adopting the resolution, he added, the Assembly also reaffirmed its own role and authority on global matters of concern to the international community.
With its unique position within the multilateral system, the United Nation enjoyed “unquestioned legitimacy” to deal with all global concerns, he continued. The resolution, therefore, focused, for a second time, on the question of global economic governance and development. By its terms, the Assembly decided to include in the provisional agenda of its sixty-seventh session the sub-item “Central role of the United Nations in global governance”, under the item “Strengthening of the United Nations system”.
In that regard, the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to submit to the Assembly, by the end of February 2013, an analytical report focusing on global economic governance and development, and to provide concrete recommendations. It invited the Presidents of the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council to consider organizing, in a coordinated manner, informal thematic debates on the subject. The Assembly further invited the United Nations system, including the regional commissions and other actors, to contribute to those deliberations, as appropriate.
Highlighting two key elements of the resolution, the representative said that, first, it provided one year for preparation of the requested report in order to ensure a comprehensive analysis with concrete recommendations, noting that insufficient time had been provided for that task in the previous year. Second, the resolution called for the report to be prepared in consultation with Member States and all relevant organizations of the United Nations system, taking into account the results of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”) and all other United Nations processes.
“It is important to identify and tackle deficiencies in global governance today,” he said, reiterating that the resolution called for the support of the Presidents of both the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council in that regard. “We hope you will help us work out an integral agenda of relevant issues and promote a broad international consensus for responding adequately [to them],” he concluded.
In another action today, the Assembly appointed Ecuador a member of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. During its 13 February 2012 meeting, that body had welcomed Ecuador’s decision to seek membership, announced in an annex to a letter dated 14 February 2012 from the Committee’s Chair to the Assembly President (document A/66/742).
At the outset of today’s meeting, the Assembly took note of documents A/66/668/Addenda 5 to 7, in which the Secretary-General informed the Assembly President that, since he issued his communications contained in document A/66/668/Addendum 4, Gabon, the Dominican Republic and Tonga had made the necessary payments to reduce their arrears below the amount specified in Article 19 of the Charter.
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