Resolution Approved by Third Committee Calls for High-level General Assembly Meeting to Assess Progress against Grave Challenge of Human Trafficking

16 November 2012
GA/SHC/4057

Resolution Approved by Third Committee Calls for High-level General Assembly Meeting to Assess Progress against Grave Challenge of Human Trafficking

16 November 2012
General Assembly
GA/SHC/4057
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-seventh General Assembly

Third Committee

39th Meeting (AM)

Resolution Approved by Third Committee Calls for High-level General Assembly

 

Meeting to Assess Progress against Grave Challenge of Human Trafficking

 

Also Hears Introduction of Texts on Eliminating Racism,

Human Rights Council Report, International Drug Control

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today approved a draft resolution that would have the General Assembly hold a high-level meeting in 2013 to assess progress in the global community’s fight against the grave challenge of human trafficking.

Introducing the resolution, which was adopted by consensus, the representative of Belarus said more than two years had passed since the Assembly had adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, and, while it was an effective document in the fight of traffickers and provided assistance to victims it was still necessary to unite efforts in the uncompromised fight against that form of slavery.  The resolution would facilitate implementation of important legal instruments and motivate other efforts against human trafficking, he said.

By the text, the General Assembly would recall its decision to conduct an appraisal of the progress of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, and therefore would decide to convene a high-level meeting no later than July 2013 to assess achievements, gaps and challenges, including in the implementation of the relevant legal instruments.  It would also welcome the launch of the report by the United Nation Office of Drugs and Crime “Trafficking in Persons:  Global Patterns,” no later than January 2013.

The Assembly would also reiterate its concern that despite sustained measures taken at the international, regional and national levels, trafficking in persons remained one of the grave challenges facing the international community.  It would also recognize that current global economic crises were likely to further aggravate the problem, and would call upon Governments to continue efforts to criminalize and fight trafficking in persons.

Speaking after action, the representative of the United States said her country remained committed to combating trafficking of persons in all its forms.  While some Member States had made progress, prosecution remained disappointingly low compared to the magnitude of the problem, she said.

Also today, the Committee heard the introduction of three draft resolutions.  The text on the Report of the Human Rights Council was introduced by the representative of Cape Verde, while the text on the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance was introduced by Slovenia’s representative.  The draft resolution on international drug control was introduced by Mexico’s representative.

The Committee will reconvene at 3 p.m. Monday, 19 November, to hear the introduction of and take action on several draft resolutions.

Background

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to hear the introduction of three draft resolutions.  It also was expected to take action on a draft resolution entitled, Improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons (document A/C.3/67/L.16/Rev.1).

Introduction of Draft Resolutions

Kicking off the morning meeting, Cape Verde’s representative, on behalf of the African Group, introduced the draft resolution on Report of the Human Rights Council (document A/C.3/67/L.59), saying he looked forward to the text’s adoption by consensus.

Next, the representative of Slovenia introduced the draft resolution on elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (document A/C.3/67/L.57), saying that the biennial draft addressed three elements to ensure the effective implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination.  The three operative parts were based on the reports presented to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination under agenda item 67(a).  The first part related to the Committee’s work, recognizing need to address the growing workload of treaty bodies.

He said the second part related to the Committee’s financial situation, urging State parties to the international Convention to ratify the amendment concerning such financing.  It also requested the Secretary-General to continue to provide adequate resources.  The last part referred to the status of the international Convention, calling for universal ratification and effective implementation.

Finally, Mexico’s representative, also on behalf of Colombia and Guatemala, introduced the draft resolution on international drug control (document A/C.3/67/L.14), saying the text addressed one of the most sensitive problems facing the global community.  The world drug problem called for more intensive international cooperation and strategies to reduce supply and demand, based on a balanced approach.  Various activities were outlined for States to carry out to combat the problem on all fronts.

She said criminals continued to profit from drug trafficking and that the international strategy to counter them must be strengthened.  A special session of the General Assembly would be held after the meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in 2014, aiming to assess State implementation of the Political Declaration and Plan of Action on International Cooperation towards an Integrated and Balanced Strategy to Counter the World Drug Problem.

Action on Draft Resolution

The Committee then turned to the draft resolution on Improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons (document A/C.3/67/L.16/Rev.1).  The Secretary made an oral statement on budget implications under paragraphs 10, 12, 13, 15 and 16; an additional $62,300 of funds would be necessary for documentation services at the high-level meeting of the General Assembly, which had been called for no later than July 2013 to assess achievements, gaps and challenges in the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.  All possible efforts would be made to adsorb that expenditure under existing resources.

Introducing the resolution, the representative of Belarus expressed appreciation to all delegations whose consultations helped devise a balanced, result-oriented document.  The resolution aimed at convening a high-level meeting of the General Assembly to assess how to effectively and comprehensively implement the Global Plan of Action, discussing useful experience acquired and what must be done in the future to implement the partnership against trafficking.  In addition, the first global report on human trafficking would be presented at the meeting.

Belarus was certain that the adoption of the resolution would facilitate the adoption of important legal instruments.  The resolution also motivated the special procedures of the Human Rights Council to strengthen efforts in that area, as well as the protection of victims through donations to the Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons.  Another important factor of the fight against human trafficking was the provision of technical assistance to States, he said.  More than two years had passed since the Global Plan of Action had been adopted, and it was an effective document to fight traffickers and provide assistance to victims of trafficking.  It was still necessary, though, to unite efforts against criminals, and Belarus would continue, with its friends, the uncompromised fight against that form of slavery.

Acting with without a vote, the Committee adopted the draft resolution as orally revised.

By that text, the Assembly would reiterate its concern that despite sustained measures taken at the international, regional and national levels, trafficking in persons remains one of the grave challenges facing the international community, which also impairs the enjoyment of human rights and needs a more concerted collective and comprehensive international response.

It would also recognize that the current global economic crises are likely to further aggravate the problem of trafficking in persons, and would call upon Governments to continue their efforts to criminalize trafficking in persons in all its forms, to condemn the practice of trafficking in persons, and to investigate, prosecute, condemn and penalize traffickers and intermediaries, while providing protection and assistance to the victims of trafficking, with full respect for their human rights.

Further, it would welcome the launch of the report by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime entitled “Trafficking in persons:  Global Patterns,” no later than January 2013.  It would also recall its decision to conduct an appraisal of the progress achieved in the implementation of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which it adopted in July 2010, and therefore decided to convene, within existing resources, a high-level meeting of the General Assembly at its sixty-seventh session, no later than July 2013, in order to assess achievements, gaps and challenges, including in the implementation of the relevant legal instruments.

Speaking in explanation of position after adoption, the representative of the United States said she was pleased to join consensus, and remained committed to combating trafficking of persons in all its forms.  International efforts must focus on the optional protocol, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.  While some Member States had made progress, prosecution remained disappointingly low compared to the magnitude of the problem.  The United States also had concerns about the budgetary issues of the resolution, as the cost of the high-level meeting would strain the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  All efforts would be made to achieve the stated objective regarding costs.

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