Adopting 68 Texts Recommended by Third Committee, General Assembly Sends Strong Message towards Ending Impunity, Renewing Efforts to Protect Human Rights

GA/11604
18 December 2014
Sixty-ninth session, 73rd & 74th Meetings (AM & PM)

Adopting 68 Texts Recommended by Third Committee, General Assembly Sends Strong Message towards Ending Impunity, Renewing Efforts to Protect Human Rights

Sending a strong message to end impunity and to renew efforts to promote and protect human rights, especially for vulnerable groups, the General Assembly adopted 61 resolutions and seven decisions recommended by its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) while deferring action on one draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar pending the issuance of budget implications.

Across a landscape of issues, including crime, refugees, intolerance and women’s advancement, as well as relevant areas concerning the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, the Assembly adopted 50 draft texts without a vote.  Among them was a package of texts about young people, including calls to action on literacy, early or forced marriage and on the rights of the child.

Expressing concern at the high number of unemployed youth, estimated globally at 74.5 million in 2013, with most living in developing countries, the Assembly adopted a new resolution by which it decided to designate 15 July as World Youth Skills Day.  It also adopted without a vote a new text on protecting children from bullying.  Recognizing that bullying, including cyberbullying, could be expressed through violence and aggression and that bullying in any form could have a negative impact on the rights of children and their well-being, and aware of the need to prevent and eliminate bullying among children, the Assembly, by the text, urged Member States to, among other things, promote and invest in education as a powerful tool in promoting tolerance, a sense of dignity, mutual understanding and respect.

Recorded votes were requested on a number of drafts, reflecting varying views on a range of topics, including albinism, the right to development and the use of mercenaries.  Among those texts tabled for a vote was a landmark resolution on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  By that text, adopted by a recorded vote of 116 in favour to 20 against, with 53 abstentions, the Assembly, for the first time, decided to submit the Special Rapporteur’s report on that country to the Security Council.  Also by the text, the Assembly encouraged the Council to take appropriate action to ensure accountability, including through consideration of referral of the situation in that country to the International Criminal Court and consideration of the scope for effective targeted sanctions against those who appeared to be most responsible for acts that the Commission of Inquiry had said could possibly constitute crimes against humanity.

As in previous years, delegates had differing views on such special rapporteur reports and draft resolutions on specific countries.  Some speakers said the double standards and selectivity of so-called country-specific reports violated human rights and even threatened the right to self-determination.  Some said dialogue was the only way to effectively address human rights concerns.

Explanations of position came from a number of delegations, including those whose countries were the subject of draft resolutions.  The representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said his delegation had rejected the draft resolution on the human rights situation in his country because, in part, it was politically driven and failed to reflect the reality on the ground.  Commenting on the draft text on his country, passed by a vote of 83 in favour to 35 against, with 68 abstentions, Iran’s representative said such reports and draft resolutions were unfairly targeting States.

In an exchange prior to taking up the draft resolution on the human rights situation in Syria, which was adopted by a vote of 127 favour to 13 against, with 48 abstentions, the representative of the United Arab Emirates asked delegates to support the text, as human rights violations in that country must end.  In response, the representative of Syria urged Member States to vote against the text, saying that the report’s criticism of the human rights situation in his country was a paradox given that some States, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar, had financed terrorist networks that were attacking Syrian citizens.

The Assembly also adopted, by recorded vote, the following draft texts: Report of the Human Rights Council; Combating glorification of Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance; Global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action; Use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination; The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination; International Albinism Awareness Day; United Nations Human Rights Training and Documentation for South-West Asia and the Arab Region; Globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of all human rights; Promotion of peace as a vital requirement for the full enjoyment of all human rights by all; Promotion of a democratic and equitable international order; Human rights and unilateral coercive measures; The right to development; Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; and Moratorium on the use of the death penalty.  Votes were also requested on draft resolutions on situation reports on the Syria and Iran.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly also adopted seven decisions, taking note of relevant documents pertaining to related draft resolutions, and passed the Third Committee’s work programme for the seventieth session.

It also took action on two draft resolutions, adopting without a vote, texts on the role of the United Nations in promoting a new global human order and on the administration of justice at the United Nations, the latter contained in a report of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

In other business, the Assembly appointed Rowan M. Downing of Australia to the vacant post of ad litem judge of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal in Geneva.  Based on the Internal Justice Council’s recommendation, the Assembly also decided to extend the terms of office of two ad litem judges on the Dispute Tribunal, namely Alessandra Greceanu of Romania and Nkemdilim Amelia Izuako of Nigeria, from 1 January to 31 December 2015.

General Assembly Vice-President Álvaro Mendonca E Moura (Portugal), at the top of the meeting, delivered a statement on behalf of General Assembly President Sam Kutesa (Uganda) condemning the attack on the school in Pakistan and extending condolences to its people and Government.  Member States were urged to cooperate and support that country’s efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Also speaking today were representatives of Albania, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Cuba, Algeria, Papua New Guinea, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Guyana.

In exercise of the right of reply, representatives of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Syria spoke.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Friday, 19 December, to take up reports from its Second Committee (Economic and Financial).

Background

The General Assembly met this morning to take action on draft resolutions and decisions contained in reports of its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural).

The Assembly would also take up a report of the Secretary-General on the role of the United Nations in promoting a new global human order (document A/69/410) and a related draft resolution (document A/69/L.45), as well as a report from its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) on the administration of justice at the United Nations (document A/69/664).

It would also consider the appointment of ad litem judges of the United Nations Dispute Tribunal, taking up a memorandum by the Secretary-General (document A/69/555) and the report of the Internal Justice Council (document A/69/373).

Opening Statement

ÁLVARO MENDONCA E MOURA (Portugal), General Assembly Vice-President, delivering a statement on behalf of General Assembly President Sam Kutesa (Uganda), condemned by the strongest terms the attack on the school in Peshawar causing numerous deaths and injuries, the majority of whom were children.  He extended his deepest condolences to the people and Government of Pakistan and called on Member States to cooperate and support efforts of Pakistan’s Government to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Introduction of Reports

ERVIN NINA (Albania), Rapporteur of the Third Committee, introduced its reports as follows:  Social development (document A/69/480); Advancement of women (document A/69/481); Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions (document A/69/482); Report of the Human Rights Council (document A/69/483); Promotion and protection of the rights of children (document A/69/484); Rights of indigenous peoples (document A/69/485); Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (document A/69/486); and Right of peoples to self-determination (document A/69/487).

He also presented the Committee’s reports on human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms (document A/69/488/Add.2); human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives (document A/69/488.Add.3); Promotion and protection of human rights (document A/69/488); Crime prevention and criminal justice (document A/69/489); International drug control (document A/69/490); Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/69/491); and Programme planning (document A/69/492).

Action on Draft Resolutions

The Assembly first considered the Third Committee’s report on Social development (document A/69/480), which contained six draft resolutions.  Acting without a vote, it adopted the following draft resolutions:  Literacy for life: shaping future agenda; Realizing the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development goals for persons with disabilities towards 2015 and beyond; Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly; Celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family; World Youth Skills Day; and Follow-up to the second World Assembly on Ageing.

It then took up the Third Committee’s report Advancement of women (document A/69/481), containing five draft resolutions and one draft decision.  The Assembly adopted the following draft resolutions without a vote:  Intensification of efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls; Intensification of efforts to end obstetric fistula; Trafficking in women and girls; Intensifying global efforts for the elimination of female genital mutilations; and Follow-up to the fourth World Conference on Women and full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly.  The Assembly went on to adopt an orally proposed draft decision by which it took note of documents pertaining to women’s advancement.

Turning to the Third Committee’s Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons and humanitarian questions (document A/69/482), containing three draft texts, it adopted without a vote the following draft resolutions:  Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; Enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and Assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa.

The Assembly then acted on the Third Committee’s Report of the Human Rights Council (document A/69/483), which contained a synonymous draft resolution.

By a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 2 against (Belarus, Israel), with 56 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted the text.

The Assembly then turned to the Committee’s report on Promotion and protection of the rights of children (document A/69/484), containing three draft resolutions and one draft decision.  Acting without a vote, it adopted the following texts:  Child, early and forced marriage; Rights of the Child; and Protecting children from bullying.  Also without a vote, the Assembly adopted an orally proposed draft decision in connection with the question of the promotion and protection of the rights of children.

In explanation of position after the vote on the draft resolution on the Report of the Human Rights Council, the representative of Kuwait said that her delegation favoured the resolution, but had reservations regarding a resolution which was adopted at the twenty-seventh session of the Council on gender equality.  Through that resolution, some countries were trying to impose viewpoints that had nothing to do with humanitarian law, without taking into account religious and cultural issues.

Taking up the Third Committee’s report on Rights of indigenous peoples (document A/69/485), it adopted without a vote a synonymous draft resolution contained therein.

It then turned to the Third Committee’s report on Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (document A/69/486), containing three draft resolutions and one draft decision.

The Assembly adopted a draft resolution on combating glorification of Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, by a recorded vote of 133 in favour to 4 against (Canada, Palau, Ukraine, United States) with 51 abstentions.

Acting without a vote, it adopted a draft resolution on the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

Taking action on a draft resolution on the global call for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, the Assembly adopted the text by a recorded vote of 134 in favour to 10 against (Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United Kingdom, United States), with 42 abstentions.

The Assembly then adopted without a vote an orally proposed draft decision by which it took note of related documents.

Turning to the Third Committee’s report, The right of peoples to self-determination (document A/69/487), the Assembly considered three draft resolutions.

The Assembly adopted a draft resolution on use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 52 against, with 7 abstentions (Chad, Fiji, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, Switzerland, Tonga).

Acting without a vote, the Assembly then adopted a draft resolution on the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination.

With a recorded vote having been requested on a draft resolution the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, the Assembly adopted the text by a recorded vote of 180 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 4 abstentions (Cameroon, Paraguay, South Sudan, Tonga).

It then took up the Third Committee’s report Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms (document A/69/488/Add.2), containing 22 draft resolutions.

The representative of Saudi Arabia, in explanation of position before the action, said, in regards to the draft resolution on privacy in the digital age, that each State had the right to protect its citizens; however, the Internet failed to respect boundaries.  There was no established regulatory framework and national measures were insufficient to protect privacy.  A mechanism was needed to develop policies regarding the Internet’s use internationally, including monitoring tools.  A recent meeting in Brazil had resulted in conclusions that called for mechanisms to examine policy on the Internet, including privacy, with a comprehensive approach taking into account the roles of stakeholders.  However, the conclusions failed to take into account the views of States and consensus did not occur.  He requested that the Brazil meeting be recognized as not having transparency and that it had not been held under the auspices of the United Nations.  Instead, references should be made to meetings in the Economic and Social Council or other United Nations bodies.

The representative of the United Republic of Tanzania, in explanation of position on the draft resolution “L.35/Rev.1” on International Albinism Awareness Day, said that, regrettably, text reflecting the needs of those affected had been excluded.  His delegation had sought an actionable resolution.  While the current draft was useful, it fell far too short of what was needed.  As such, his delegation had requested a vote on the text and would cast a vote of abstention.

Acting without a vote, it adopted the following draft resolutions:  The right to privacy in the digital age; Protection of migrants; The role of the Ombudsman, mediator and other national human rights institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights; and International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

It then adopted, by a recorded vote of 171 in favour to none against, with 16 abstentions, a draft resolution on International Albinism Awareness Day.

By a vote of 182 in favour to 1 against (Syria), with 3 abstentions (Rwanda, South Africa, Zimbabwe), the Assembly adopted a draft resolution on United Nations Human Rights Training and Documentation for South-West Asia and the Arab Region.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted a draft resolution entitled Human rights in the administration of justice.

The Assembly adopted, by a recorded vote of 135 in favour to 53 against, with 1 abstention (Central African Republic), a draft resolution entitled Globalization and its impact on the full enjoyment of all human rights.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolutions on combating intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons, based on religion or belief and on freedom of religion or belief.

By a recorded vote of 134 in favour to 53 against, with 2 abstentions (Singapore, Tonga), the Assembly adopted a draft on the promotion of peace as a vital requirement for the full enjoyment of all human rights by all.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted a draft resolution on the right to food.

The Assembly then adopted by a recorded vote — 129 in favour to 53 against, with 6 abstentions (Armenia, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Samoa) — a draft resolution on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order.

The Assembly, acting without a vote, then adopted a draft resolution on enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights.

By a recorded vote of 134 in favour to 53 against, with 1 abstention (Chad), the Assembly adopted a draft resolution on human rights and unilateral coercive measures.

In another recorded vote — 156 in favour to 5 against (Canada, Israel, Palau, United Kingdom, United States), with 26 abstentions — it adopted a draft on the right to development.

The Assembly adopted by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to none against, with 66 abstentions the draft resolution entitled Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly then adopted draft resolutions on:  Human rights and extreme poverty; Missing persons; and the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity.

By a recorded vote of 117 in favour to 37 against, with 34 abstentions, it adopted the draft on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted a draft resolution on migrant children and adolescents.

In explanation of position after the action, the representative of the United States stated that her delegation’s vote on the draft resolution on death penalty had not been reflected correctly.  That vote should have been no.

The Assembly then turned to the Third Committee’s report Human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives (document A/69/488/Add.3), containing four draft resolutions covering the situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Syria, Myanmar and Iran.  It deferred consideration of a draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Myanmar until the issuance of the pertinent Fifth Committee report.

Speaking in explanation of vote before the votes, the representative of the United Arab Emirates stated that his country was one of the co-sponsors of the resolution on human rights in Syria because it was necessary to put an end to the human rights violations, including killings and arbitrary detentions, suffered by “the brotherly people of Syria”.

Also speaking in explanation of position before the votes, the representative of Syria said that his delegation opposed the draft resolution which criticized the human rights situation in his country.  Some regimes were feeding the violence in Syria.  They were not content with arming terrorist groups; they were establishing military training camps.  Saudi Arabia was the main cause of religious hatred in the region.  The Qatari regime had also provided millions of dollars to terrorist organizations.  The report’s criticism was paradoxical given the violations against women and minorities in those and other States.  He urged all countries to reconsider their positions and vote against the text.

Also speaking in explanation of position before the votes, the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea said that his delegation rejected the draft resolution on human rights situation in his country, because it was “the product of a political plot”.  The European Union and Japan had drafted the text based on the fabricated report of the Commission of Enquiry, which had never visited the country.  They had blocked all possibilities for dialogue and cooperation by forcibly pushing the adoption of the resolution.  Their intention was not the promotion of human rights, but sycophancy and subservience to the United States, which had conducted shocking violations as evidenced by the Central Intelligence Agency torture crimes.

The representative of Iran, in explanation of position before the votes, said that the draft resolution on human rights situation in his country was “political, prejudicial and unbalanced.”  It ignored the fact that Iranian society was a vibrant and multi-voiced society.  It also failed to acknowledge the positive developments in Iran since the beginning of the new Government’s tenure and the constant readiness of the Iranian Government to cooperate with the United Nations human rights mechanisms.  Country-specific resolutions, such as the one before the Assembly, were counterproductive because they increased distrust and damaged the Organization’s credibility.

In explanation of position before the votes, the representative of Cuba said that her country had always opposed country-specific resolutions in the Third Committee because they were politically motivated and contributed nothing to the promotion of human rights.  The Human Rights Council and the Universal Period Review mechanism were the forums in which the human rights situations of all countries should be considered on an equal footing.  The resolution on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had created a dangerous precedent that threatened the right to self-determination of States.  By referring the issue to the Security Council and the International Criminal Court, the text promoted the sanctioning of countries.

The representative of Algeria, also speaking in explanation of position before the votes, voiced regret at the continued double standards in the proliferation of country-specific resolutions.  Differences on human rights should be resolved through dialogue, not confrontation.  The General Assembly should adopt a new approach that promoted technical cooperation, dialogue and transparency.  Selective resolutions that targeted specific countries undermined the mandate of the Human Rights Council.

In explanation of position before the votes, the representative of Papua New Guinea said that the international community had agreed on the notion that the Human Rights Council had and should continue to underpin the development of human rights.  The Universal Periodic Review process had been an important catalyst in that process around the world.  Papua New Guinea had had three special rapporteurs visit the country to report on various human rights issues.  While the country had not agreed with every aspect of the reports, it had welcomed the scrutiny.  He called on Iran and other countries to allow rapporteurs to visit.  In view of that, his delegation would abstain on the resolution related to Iran.

Also speaking in explanation of vote before the votes, the representative of Saudi Arabia said that the delegate of Syria had referred to his country.  The General Assembly Chair requested that he wait to exercise his right of reply until the end of the consideration of the draft resolutions.

The Assembly then adopted, by a recorded vote of 116 in favour to 20 against, with 53 abstentions, a draft titled “Situation of human rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea”.

Also by a recorded vote of 127 in favour to 13 against, with 48 abstentions, it adopted a text titled “Situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic”.

In another recorded vote — 83 in favour to 35 against, with 68 abstentions — the Assembly adopted a draft titled “Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

In explanation of position after adoption, the representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea thanked the delegations that had voted against the resolution regarding his country and stated that the United States was viciously attempting to destroy his nation’s ideology and system.  In the light of that dangerous campaign undertaken, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea would continue to uphold its pride and honour in its socialist system and would do its utmost to defend it.

The representative of El Salvador, also in explanation of position after adoption, said that his delegation had agreed with the text of the draft resolution on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea that had been originally presented, with the exception of paragraph 8.  For constitutional and legal reasons, he noted that he could not support the language in that paragraph.  Given the results of voting on the amendment that would have changed that language, and given that co-sponsoring countries had included elements for more “rapprochement”, he said that his delegation had changed its position and had decided to vote for the resolution.  However, he emphasized that his country was not currently a party to the Rome Statute, and therefore, its vote in favour of the resolution should not be considered as in any way a change of position on that.

Costa Rica’s representative, in explanation of position after the action, said that country-specific assessments should be undertaken and that the Human Rights Council was the forum in which those situations should be discussed and examined.  Furthermore, the Universal Periodic Review was the appropriate mechanism with which to examine human rights.  Cooperation and constructive dialogue and other mechanisms should continue to be part of the way human rights were promoted and protected.

In explanation of position, Sri Lanka’s representative said he had voted against the draft text on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.  He urged that Government to take action to address concerns.  “Name and shame” resolutions were unproductive, he said, adding that a cooperative approach had been proposed, but had not been supported.  The draft text’s reference to encouraging the Security Council’s referral of the issue to the International Criminal Court was “unacceptable”.

Right of Reply

In exercise of the right of reply, the representative of Saudi Arabia said, in response to statements made by Syria’s delegate, that hundreds of thousands of Syrians face hunger, arbitrary detentions and other situations.  Syria’s delegate discussed human rights in other countries and failed to mention, among other things, that the draft text had been based on United Nations reports.  The Syrian delegate’s objective was to twist reality, he said.

Also in exercise of the right of reply, Qatar’s representative said it was regrettable to hear accusations made by Syria’s delegate.  It was an attempt to divert attention from the flagrant human rights violations committed by the regime in Syria, as highlighted in various United Nations reports.

The representative of Syria, responding to statements made by delegates of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, said that documents had proven the existence of terrorist training camps in those countries.  Western media reports had also shown developments in financing arming terrorists, she said, urging Member States to “google” the issue to inform themselves.  Qatar and Saudi Arabia had enough money to buy the conscience of other States, but they had not “bought” Syria, she concluded.

Action on Draft Resolutions

The General Assembly then took note of the Third Committee’s report, Promotion and protection of human rights:  comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (document A/69/488/Add.4).

Turning to the Third Committee’s report Promotion and protection of human rights (document A/69/488), the Assembly adopted a draft decision contained therein concerning documents in connection with that issue.

The Assembly then took note of the Third Committee’s report, Crime prevention and criminal justice (document A/69/489), containing nine draft resolutions and one draft decision.

Acting without a vote, it adopted the following draft resolutions:  Follow-up to the twelfth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and preparations for the thirteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners; International cooperation in criminal matters; United Nations Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the Field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; Rule of law, crime prevention and criminal justice in the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015; and International Guidelines for Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Responses with Respect to Trafficking in Cultural Property and Other Related Offences.

It also adopted without a vote the following drafts:  Strengthening the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme, in particular its technical cooperation capacity; United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders; and Preventing and combating corrupt practices and the transfer of proceeds of corruption, facilitating asset recovery and returning such assets to legitimate owners, in particular to countries of origin, in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

The Assembly also adopted without a vote an orally proposed draft decision taking note of relevant documents in connection with crime prevention and criminal justice.

The Assembly then turned to the Committee’s report titled International drug control (document A/68/490), which contained two draft resolutions and one draft decision.  Acting without a vote, it adopted the draft resolutions on the Special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem to be held in 2016 and on International cooperation against the world drug problem.  It also adopted without a vote an orally proposed draft decision.

The Assembly then took up the Third Committee’s report Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/69/491) on the Committee’s programme of work for the seventieth session, contained therein.  Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted the draft decision.

Finally, the Assembly took note of the Third Committee’s report Programme planning (document A/69/492), which contained no proposed action.

The Assembly then took up the report of the Secretary General on The role of the United Nations in promoting a new global human order (document A/69/410) and a draft resolution contained therein.

Introducing that resolution, the representative of Guyana stated that the Secretary-General’s report highlighted the objectives of eradicating poverty, expanding productive employment, promoting gender equality and social integration, and promoting growth with equity in the global development agenda.  The pursuit of that people-centred agenda faced many challenges and addressing those challenges must be a critical focus in the post-2015 agenda.  The current draft resolution recognized that the well-being of people and the full development of their potential was pivotal to sustainable development.  It also took into account the significance of inequality in the global development agenda and the importance of continued efforts to strive for inclusive development approaches to overcome poverty and inequality.

The Assembly then adopted that draft resolution without a recorded vote.

Taking up a report of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) on the administration of justice at the United Nations (document A/69/664), the Assembly also adopted, without a vote, a draft resolution on that topic as recommended in paragraph 6 of the report.

Dispute Tribunal

The Assembly took up a memorandum by the Secretary-General (document A/69/555), which required it to appoint an ad litem judge to the United Nations Dispute Tribunal to replace Judge Jean-Francois Cousin of France, who resigned from the position effective 1 April 2014.  Operational since 2009, the Tribunal was established under General Assembly resolution 62/228 on administration of justice at the United Nations.

Also before the Assembly was the Report of the Internal Justice Council (document A/69/373), which contained the background information on the two candidates recommended for the above-mentioned appointment:  Vincent Cador of France and Rowan M. Downing of Australia.

Mr. Cador had served as a judge of various divisions of the Bethane Superior Court from 1995 to 2001 and as judge of the Strasbourg Administrative Court from 2002 to 2005.  He had been a legal secretary in the Court of Justice of the European Union since 2005.  He held a doctorate in private law from Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II).

Mr. Downing had served as a judge of the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia since 2006.  He was a judge of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal of the Republic of Vanuatu from 1993 to 1995 and co-chair of an Australian Medicare participation tribunal.  He was a senior counsel and had been involved in many international projects.

Based on the Internal Justice Council’s recommendation, the Assembly then decided to extend the terms of office of two ad litem judges, namely Alessandra Greceanu of Romania and Nkemdilim Amelia Izuako of Nigeria from 1 January to 31 December 2015.

Proceeding to the appointment of an ad litem judge to the Dispute Council, the Assembly voted by secret ballot.

The Assembly agreed to a proposal in the Secretary-General’s memorandum indicating that it would invite Member States to take due consideration of geographical distribution and gender balance and then proceeded to the election.  The candidate obtaining the largest number of votes and a majority of the votes of those present and voting would be considered to be elected and thereby appointed by the Assembly to the Dispute Tribunal.

The results of the voting were as follows:

Vincent Cador (France)

47

Rowan M. Downing (Australia)

56

Having received the required majority of the vote, Mr. Downing was elected for a term from 1 January to 31 December 2015.

For information media. Not an official record.