General Assembly, Taking up Second Committee Reports, Adopts 41 Resolutions, 2 Decisions, Deferring Action on Small Islands Text

20 December 2013
GA/11478

General Assembly, Taking up Second Committee Reports, Adopts 41 Resolutions, 2 Decisions, Deferring Action on Small Islands Text

20 December 2013
General Assembly
GA/11478
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-eighth General Assembly

Plenary

71st Meeting (AM)

General Assembly, Taking up Second Committee Reports, Adopts 41 Resolutions,

2 Decisions, Deferring Action on Small Islands Text

The General Assembly today adopted 41 draft resolutions and two draft decisions on a plethora of issues relating to sustainable development, macroeconomic policy, globalization, and countries in special situations, while postponing action on one text pending determination of the budgetary implications of its implementation.

Acting on the recommendation of its Second Committee (Economic and Financial), the Assembly adopted 37 drafts without a vote, including a text that, for the first time, would address the development needs of middle-income countries beyond the income variable.  By that text — titled “Development cooperation with middle-income countries” — the Assembly stressed that the concerns and special challenges of middle-income countries deserved due consideration in the post‑2015 development framework.

The resolution also had the Assembly urge the Organization to provide enhanced support for that category of countries through technical cooperation and other means.  In the same vein, it urged the international community to take the development needs of least developed countries into account, also calling upon it to continue undertaking timely, appropriate and targeted measures to address the ongoing adverse impact of the global financial and economic crisis.

By a recorded vote of 127 in favour to 2 against ( Israel, United States), with 50 abstentions, the Assembly adopted a draft resolution titled “Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries”.  It called upon the international community to condemn and reject the imposition of political and economic coercion on those countries.  The Assembly urged the international community to adopt critical and effective measures to eliminate such economic measures.

The following texts were also adopted by recorded vote: “Oil slick on Lebanese Shores” — 169 in favour to 6 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Palau, United States), with 4 abstentions (Cameroon, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Tonga) — “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources” — 168 in favour to 6 against, (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 9 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Honduras, Kiribati, Malawi, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Tonga) — and “Agricultural technology for development” — 144 in favour to 1 against (Bolivia), with 34 abstentions.

In other action, the Assembly adopted a draft titled “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”.  However, it deferred action on “Follow-up to and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States”, pending issuance of its programme budget implications by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

Also adopted were two draft decisions, one concerning the venue of the fourteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in 2016 and the other on the Second Committee’s programme of work for the next session.

The General Assembly will reconvene on Monday, 23 December, when it is expected to take up the reports of its Fifth Committee.

Background

The General Assembly met this morning to take action on a number of draft resolutions as well as a draft decision contained in reports of its Second Committee (Economic and Financial).

Introduction of Reports

JULIET HAY (New Zealand), Rapporteur of the Second Committee, introduced the following reports of that body: “Information and communications technologies for development” (document A/68/435); “Macroeconomic policy questions” (document A/68/436); “International trade and development” (document A/68/436/Add.1); “International financial system and development” (document A/68/436/Add.2); “External debt sustainability and development” (document A/68/436/Add.3); “Commodities” (document A/68/436/Add.4); and “Follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2008 Review Conference” (document A/68/437).

She also presented the following reports under the Second Committee’s sustainable development cluster: “Sustainable development” (document A/68/438); “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” (document A/68/438/Add.1); and “Follow-up to and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States” (document A/68/438/Add.2).

The Rapporteur also submitted the following reports under the same cluster: “International Strategy for Disaster Reduction” (document A/68/438/Add.3); Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind” (document A/68/438/Add.4); “Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa” (document A/68/438/Add.5); “Convention on Biological Diversity” (document A/68/438/Add.6); “Report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its first universal session” (document A/68/438/Add.7); “Harmony with Nature” (document A/68/438/Add.8); “Sustainable mountain development” (document A/68/438/Add.9); and “The role of the international community in the prevention of the radiation threat in Central Asia” (document A/68/438/Add.10).

She went on to present a report on “Implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)” (document A/68/439).

The Rapporteur then tabled the Second Committee’s reports on “Globalization and interdependence” (document A/68/440); “Role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence” (document A/68/440/Add.1); “Science and technology for development” (document A/68/440/Add.2); “Development cooperation with middle-income countries” (document A/68/440/Add.3); “Culture and development” (document A/68/440/Add.4); “Groups of countries in special situations” (document A/68/441); “Follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries” (document A/68/441/Add.1); “Comprehensive 10-year Review Conference on the Implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action” (document A/68/441/Add.2); “Eradication of poverty and other development issues” (document A/68/442); and “Implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017)” (document A/68/442/Add.1).

She concluded by presenting the following reports: “Women in development” (document A/68/442/Add.2); “Human resources development” (document A/68/442/Add.3); “Operational activities for development" (document A/68/443); “Operational activities for development of the United Nations system” (document A/68/443/Add.1); “South-South cooperation” (document A/68/443/Add.2); “Agriculture development, food security and nutrition” (document A/68/444); “Towards global partnerships” (document A/68/445); “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources” (document A/68/446); “United Nations University” (document A/68/602); “Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly” (document A/68/590); and “Programme planning” (document A/68/447)”.

Action on Drafts

The Assembly first took up the Second Committee’s report on “Information and communications technologies for development” (document A/68/435), adopting the synonymous draft resolution contained therein.

It then took note of the Committee’s report on “Macroeconomic policy questions” (document A/68/436).

The Assembly then turned to the Committee’s report on “International trade and development” (document A/68/436/Add.1), containing two draft resolutions and a draft decision, and adopted the first draft titled “International trade and development” without a vote.

By a recorded vote of 127 in favour to 2 against ( Israel, United States), with 50 abstentions, it then adopted a text titled “Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries”.

Taking up the draft decision “Venue of the fourteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in 2016”, the Assembly adopted it without a vote.

The General Assembly then took up the Second Committee’s reports on “International financial system and development” (document A/68/436/Add.2), “External debt sustainability and development” (document A/68/436/Add.3) and “Commodities” (document A/68/436/Add.4), adopting three synonymous draft resolutions without a vote.

It went on to take up the Second Committee’s report on “Follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2008 Review Conference” (document A/68/437), containing one draft resolution.  It adopted that text without a vote.

The Assembly then turned to the Second Committee’s report on “Sustainable Development” (document A/68/438), containing five draft resolutions.  Acting without a vote, it first adopted a draft titled “World Wildlife Day”.

By a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 6 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Palau, United States), with 4 abstentions (Cameroon, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Tonga), it adopted the text titled “Oil slick on Lebanese shores”.

The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, drafts on “Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central America” and “Cooperative measures to assess and increase awareness of environmental effects related to waste originating from chemical munitions dumped at sea”.

By a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 1 against ( Bolivia), with 34 abstentions, it then adopted a draft resolution on “Agricultural technology for development”.

The Assembly then turned to the report 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” (document A/68/438/Add.1), adopting a synonymous text.

Taking up the report on “Follow-up to and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States” (document A/68/438/Add.2), it deferred action on a synonymous draft resolution pending issuance of its programme budget implications by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

The Assembly then took up the Second Committee’s report on “International Strategy for Disaster Reduction” (document A/68/438/Add.3), adopting a synonymous draft resolution without a vote.

Taking up a report on “Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind” (document A/68/438/Add.4), it adopted a synonymous draft resolution without a vote, as orally revised.

The Assembly then turned to the report on “Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa” (document A/68/438/Add.5), adopting a synonymous draft without a vote.

Taking up the report on the “Convention on Biological Diversity” (document A/68/438/Add.6), it adopted, without a vote, a draft titled “Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its contribution to sustainable development”.

The Assembly then turned to the “Report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its first universal session” (document A/68/438/Add.7), adopting, without a vote, a draft titled “Report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its first universal session and the implementation of section IV.C, entitled ‘Environmental pillar in the context of sustainable development’, of the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development”.

The Assembly then took up the Second Committee’s reports on “Harmony with Nature” (document A/68/438/Add.8), “Sustainable mountain development” (document A/68/438/Add.9) and “The role of the international community in the prevention of the radiation threat in Central Asia” (document A/68/438/Add.10).  It adopted three synonymous texts without a vote.

The Assembly then took up the report on “Implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)” (document A/68/439), adopting a synonymous text without a vote.

It then took note of the Second Committee report on “Globalization and Interdependence” (document A/68/440).

The Assembly then took up the Second Committee’s report titled “Role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence” (document A/68/440/Add.1), adopting the synonymous draft resolution contained therein without a vote.

Acting again without a vote, it adopted two draft resolutions — “Science, technology and innovation for development” and “International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, 2015” — contained in the Committee’s report on “Science and technology for development” (document A/68/440/Add.2).

The Assembly then moved on to the report “Development cooperation with middle-income countries” (document A/68/440/Add.3), adopting the synonymous draft contained therein without a vote.

Turning to the report on “Culture and development” (document A/68/440/Add.4), it adopted, without a vote, a draft titled “Culture and sustainable development”.

The Assembly then took note of the Second Committee’s report on “Groups of countries in special situations” (document A/68/441).

Moving onto the report “Follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries” (document A/68/441/Add.1), the Assembly adopted a synonymous draft contained therein without a vote.

It then shifted its focus to the Second Committee’s report titled “Comprehensive 10-year Review Conference on the Implementation of the Almaty Programme” (document A/68/441/Add.2), adopting, without a vote, a draft titled “Specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries: outcome of the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation”.

The Assembly then took note of the Second Committee’s report “Eradication of poverty and other development issues” (document A/68/442).

It went on to take up the Second Committee’s report “Implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017)” (document A/68/442/Add.1), adopting a draft titled “Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017)” without a vote.

The Assembly then took up the report on “Women in development” (document A/68/442/Add.2), adopting a synonymous draft resolution contained therein without a vote.

Moving on to the report on “Human Resources development” (document A/68/442/Add.3), the Assembly adopted the synonymous draft resolution contained therein without a vote.

It then took note of the report “Operational activities for development” (documents A/68/443 and A/68/443/Add.1).  Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted a draft titled “Operational activities for development of the United Nations system”.

The Assembly then took up the Second Committee report on “South-South cooperation” (document A/68/443/Add.2), adopting the synonymous draft resolution contained therein without a vote.

It then moved on to the report “Agriculture development, food security and nutrition” (document A/68/444), which contained three draft resolutions, including: “International Year of Pulses, 2016”; “World Soil Day and International Year of Soils”; and “Agriculture development, food security and nutrition”.  It adopted all three without a vote.

Turning to the Second Committee report “Towards global partnerships” (document A/68/445), it adopted, without a vote, a draft titled “Towards global partnerships: a principle-based approach to enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and all relevant partners”.

The Assembly then took up the Second Committee’s report “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources” (document A/68/446), which contained a synonymous draft resolution.  By a recorded vote, it adopted that text with 168 in favour to 6 against ( Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 9 abstentions ( Australia, Cameroon, Honduras, Kiribati, Malawi, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Tonga).

The Assembly then took up the Second Committee report “United Nations University” (document A/68/602), adopting, without a vote, a draft titled “Amendments to the Charter of the United Nations University”.

Moving on to the report “Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly” (document A/68/590), it adopted a text titled “Programme of work of the Second Committee for the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly”.

The Assembly then took up the Second Committee’s report on “Programme planning” (document A/68/447), adopting the synonymous text contained therein without a vote.

The General Assembly then took up a report of the Fifth Committee titled “Appointment of members of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee” (document A/68/562/Add.1).  It appointed Maria Gracia Pulido Tan ( Philippines) as a member of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee for a three‑year term to begin on 1 January 2014.

The representative of Algeria requested that his delegation’s correct vote on the draft “Agricultural technology for development” be reflected, pointing out that although he had abstained, the record inaccurately indicated that he had voted in favour.

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