|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-seventh General Assembly
99th Meeting (AM)
General Assembly Adopts 5 Resolutions, 2 Decisions while Deferring Action
On Several Items as Sixty-Seventh Session Concludes
Outgoing President Lists 193-Nation Body’s Successes,
Failures as Secretary-General Hails Youthful Leader’s ‘Great Dynamism’
The General Assembly concluded its sixty-seventh session today, capping a year characterized by a mix of breakthroughs and failures, with the adoption of the first-ever global arms trade treaty prominent among the former, and inaction on the Syrian tragedy among the latter.
In its final actions of the session, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, 5 resolutions and 2 decisions while deferring consideration of several agenda items until its sixty-eighth session.
Outgoing Assembly President Vuk Jeremić (Serbia) called for further action on global challenges, including sustainable development, emphasizing that now was “the very last moment” to chart a course towards a more secure, prosperous and sustainable future. “There will be no second chance, no ‘next time’, no ‘do-over’,” he stressed. “We must not squander this opportunity out of fear, reticence, distrust, incredulity or whatever else may be holding us back.”
He went on to highlight some achievements of the past year, saying Member States had adopted close to 90 written and oral decisions, as well as around 300 resolutions, including a significant breakthrough: adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty, the first legally binding instrument to establish common standards for the international transfer of conventional armaments. He recalled that the 193-nation body had also overwhelmingly voted to grant Palestine the status of non-member observer State.
Another notable achievement was the landmark resolution on the United Nations and global economic governance, he said, recalling that Member States had, for the first time, set the baseline terms for flexible and regular interaction in the Assembly between the United Nations, G20 and non-G20 countries, as well as international financial organizations. The Assembly had held more than a dozen thematic debates on “issues of critical importance”, such as international criminal justice, the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Africa, sustainable development and climate change, culture, entrepreneurship, education, social inequality, and most recently, credit rating agencies.
On the downside, inaction on the ongoing Syrian crisis was “the most glaring failure of the international family”, he emphasized, calling for the early convening of an international peace conference on Syria. He noted that both the quantity and frequency of flashpoints had been surging upward in recent times. “Humanity is facing a test of unprecedented proportions — an existential crisis unlike any the world has experienced in its long and tumultuous history,” he declared.
Turning to the post-2015 agenda, he said the Assembly had fewer than 850 days in which to establish the parameters of a universal transition to sustainability. All eyes were on the 193-nation body, which was the only international institution endowed with the indisputable legitimacy to act on behalf of all sovereign States.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the outgoing President for the great dynamism he had brought to the job, citing a list of achievements under his leadership. “When he was elected, he was just a month away from his thirty-seventh birthday, one of the youngest people ever chosen to serve in that capacity,” Mr. Ban recalled, adding: “I am sure he now feels considerably older than 38; presiding over 193 Member States has a way of aging a person.”
Following a minute of silence at the end of the meeting, the President invited John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda), his successor, to the podium, handing him the presidential gavel.
The Assembly will reconvene at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, 17 September, to open its sixty-eighth session.
Action on Drafts
Taking up a draft decision titled “Implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the Political Declarations on HIV/AIDS” (document A/67/L.69/Rev.1), by which it included the item on the agenda in its sixty-eighth session, the Assembly adopted it without a vote.
Speaking in explanation of position, the representative of the United States expressed regret over the failure to adopt the relevant report of the Secretary-General, and the adoption of the decision only very late in the session. Calling for rational discussion of HIV/AIDS, backed by science, she emphasized that evidence-based, non-discriminatory approaches were essential to ensuring an AIDS-free generation.
The representative of Australia said she was pleased that a decision had been achieved, but disappointed over the absence of agreement on the report, which provided clear guidance on the continued response to HIV/AIDS. She stressed the importance of making a priority of battling the disease.
Making a general statement, the representative of the European Union delegation said the Secretary-General’s report was well balanced, with a good focus on worst-affected areas while taking regional specificities into account. There was no reason not to welcome the report, but the European Union delegation accepted the decision only to take note of it, he said.
The representative of Mozambique then introduced a draft resolution titled “Consolidating gains and accelerating efforts to control and eliminate malaria in developing countries, particularly in Africa, by 2015” (document A/67/L.80), proposing some corrections to the text, which the Assembly then adopted without a vote, as orally corrected.
The Assembly then took up the draft “Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields; Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit” (document A/67/L.83). Because of the text’s late submission, the Assembly agreed to consider it during its sixty-eighth session.
The Assembly then turned to follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2008 Review Conference, adopting a text titled “Modalities for the sixth high-level dialogue on Financing for Development” (document A/67/L.82) without a vote.
It then took up a draft decision on “Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development”, adopting the related draft decision, “Board of the 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns” (document A/67/L.81), without a vote.
The General Assembly then adopted, without a vote, a draft resolution contained in the report (document A/67/425/Add.1) of the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization).
The Assembly then took up a draft titled “Cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union” (document A/67/L.67/Rev.1), introduced by the representative of Eritrea on behalf of the African Group, and adopted the text without a vote.
The representative of Japan welcomed the resolution, stressing the importance of the two organizations in Africa. The need for them to work together closely was clear and strong, she added.
The representative of New Zealand, submitting a draft resolution titled “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum” (document A/67/L.79), noted the Forum’s expansion since the world body’s founding. Although it represented some of the world’s smallest States, they could not remain passive on climate change, oceans and fisheries or sustainable development. He praised the Secretary-General’s unprecedented engagement with the Pacific Islands.
The Assembly then adopted the text without a vote.
The Assembly then deferred consideration of the situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan until the sixty-eighth session. It also agreed that the question of the Comorian island of Mayotte — included in the agenda of the sixty-seventh session on the understanding that the issue would not be discussed until further notice — should be included on the agenda of the sixty-eighth session.
The Assembly then agreed that the following items should be included on the agenda of its sixty-eighth session, for consideration upon notification by a Member State: Question of Cyprus; Armed aggression against the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Question of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas); The situation of democracy and human rights in Haiti; Armed Israeli aggression against the Iraqi nuclear installations and its grave consequences for the established international system concerning the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and international peace and security; and Consequences of the Iraqi occupation of and aggression against Kuwait.
It went on to defer, until its sixty-eighth session, consideration of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals, financing of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad, and financing of the United Nations Mission in East Timor.
The Assembly further decided that a draft decision titled “Extension of the intergovernmental process of the General Assembly on strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system” (document A/67/L.83) had been submitted too late for action to be taken. Instead, it agreed to transmit the document for action during its sixty-eighth session.
The Assembly then agreed that several other agenda items would remain open for consideration during the sixty-eighth session.
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