General Assembly Adopts 48 Texts in Total as It Takes Action on Reports of Its Second Committee

GA/11746
22 December 2015
Seventieth Session, 81st Meeting (PM)

General Assembly Adopts 48 Texts in Total as It Takes Action on Reports of Its Second Committee

Draft Decision on Movements of Refugees, Migrants Passed in Direct Plenary Action

The General Assembly today adopted 43 draft resolutions and 5 draft decisions on a plethora of issues relating to sustainable development, information and communication technologies, and countries in special situations.

Acting on the recommendation of its Second Committee (Economic and Financial), the Assembly adopted four drafts by recorded vote, including one on “Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries”, which it passed by 131 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 49 abstentions.

By that text, the Assembly expressed grave concern that unilateral coercive economic measures adversely affected the economies and development efforts of developing countries in particular, and had a negative impact on international economic cooperation as well as on efforts to move towards a non-discriminatory and open multilateral trading system.  The Assembly urged the international community to adopt urgent measures to eliminate such economic measures.

Also by recorded vote, the Assembly adopted a text on “Agricultural technology for development” by 146 in favour to none against, with 36 abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly urged Member States, relevant United Nations organizations and other stakeholders to strengthen efforts to improve the development of sustainable agricultural technologies and their transfer and dissemination under mutually agreed terms to developing countries, especially least developed countries.  It also called upon Member States to mainstream gender into agricultural policies and projects, and to focus on closing the gender gap.

The Assembly adopted the following texts by recorded vote:  “Oil slick on Lebanese Shores – 171 in favour to 6 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 3 abstentions (Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, Tonga); and “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” – 164 in favour to 5 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 10 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Togo, Tonga, Vanuatu).

The Assembly also adopted a text on “Development cooperation with middle-income countries” by which it called upon both developed- and developing-country members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) declaring themselves in a position to do so to realize the timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all products originating from all least developed countries, consistent with its own decisions.

Acting without a vote, and in keeping with the new Sustainable Development Goals, the Assembly adopted several relevant texts, including one declaring the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017” and another promoting women’s role in the development process and titled “Women in development”.  Another text, “International Day of Women and Girls in Science”, proclaimed 11 February of each year the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

In other business today, the Assembly adopted, directly in plenary, a draft decision titled “High-level plenary meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants”.

Presenting the Second Committee’s reports was Reinhard Krapp (Germany), Vice-Chair, on behalf of the Rapporteur, Chantal Uwizera (Rwanda).

Speaking in explanation of position today were representatives of Venezuela, Azerbaijan and Argentina.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 4 p.m. on Wednesday 23 December, when it is expected to take action on the reports of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

Introduction of Reports

REINHARD KRAPP (Germany), Vice-Chair of the Second Committee, introduced that body’s reports as follows:  Information and communications technologies for development (document A/70/469); Macroeconomic policy questions (document A/70/470); International trade and development (document A/70/470/Add.1); International financial system and development (document A/70/470/Add.2); External debt sustainability and development(document A/70/470/Add.3); Commodities (document A/70/470/Add.4); and Follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development (document A/70/471).

Under the Committee’s cluster on sustainable development, he then introduced the following reports:  Sustainable development (document A/70/472); 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/70/472/Add.1); Follow-up to and implementation of the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (document A/70/472/Add.2); International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (document A/70/472/Add.3); Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind (document A/70/472/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/70/472/Add.5); Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/70/472/Add.6); Harmony with Nature (document A/70/472/Add.7); United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (document A/70/472/Add.8); and Sustainable development (A/70/472/Add.9).

Mr. KRAPP (Germany) went on to submit the following reports:  Implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (document A/70/473); Globalization and interdependence (document A/70/474); Role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence (document A/70/474/Add.1); Science and technology for development (document A/70/474/Add.2); Culture and sustainable development (document A/70/474/Add.3); Development cooperation with middle-income countries (document A/70/474/Add.4); Groups of countries in special situations (document A/70/475); Follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (document A/70/475/Add.1); and Follow-up to the second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (document A/70/475/Add.2).

He also introduced reports on:  Eradication of poverty and other development issues (document A/70/476); Implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017) (document A/70/476/Add.1); Women in development (document A/70/476/Add.2); Human resources development (document A/70/476/Add.3); Operational activities for development (document A/70/477); Operational activities for development of the United Nations system (document A/70/477/Add.1); South-South cooperation for development (document A/70/477/Add.2); Agriculture development, food security and nutrition (document A/70/478); and Towards global partnerships (document A/70/479).

Finally, he introduced reports on the 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/70/480); Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/70/518); and Programme planning (document A/70/519).

Action on Drafts

Before taking up the reports of the Second Committee, the Assembly resumed its consideration of other agenda items, adopting a draft decision titled “High-level plenary meeting on addressing large movements of refugees and migrants” (document A/70/L.34).

MOGENS LYKKETOFT, (Denmark) Assembly President, introduced the draft and made an oral revision.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted the draft decision, as orally revised.

The Assembly then turned to reports of the Second Committee, taking up “Information and communications technologies for development” (document A/70/469) and adopting the draft resolution contained therein without a vote.

Turning to the Committee’s agenda item “Macroeconomic policy questions” (document A/70/470), the Assembly took up its report “International trade and development” (document A/70/470/Add.1), containing three draft resolutions and a draft decision.

By a recorded vote of 131 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 49 abstentions, the Assembly adopted a draft titled “Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries”.

It then adopted, without a vote, the other two drafts, respectively titled “Consumer protection” and “International trade and development”.

Acting again without a vote, the Assembly went on to adopt a draft decision titled “Venue of the fourteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in 2016”.

The representative of Venezuela speaking in explanation of position, said she was pleased that the resolution on unilateral economic measures had been adopted, describing such measures as a direct violation of the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.  In particular, it violated the rights of peoples as well as the inalienable right of every State to carry out its own political, economic and social development.  Venezuela categorically opposed unilateral economic measures, she emphasized.

The General Assembly then took up the Second Committee’s reports on “International financial system and development” (document A/70/470/Add.2), it adopted two texts contained within – “International financial system and development” and “Financial inclusion for sustainable development”.

It then adopted, once again without a vote, two draft resolutions titled, respectively, “External debt sustainability and development” (document A/70/470/Add.3) and “Committees” (document A/70/470/Add.4).

The Assembly then took up the Second Committee’s report “Follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development” (document A/70/471), adopting the draft resolution contained therein without a vote.

Taking up a report titled “Sustainable Development” (document A/70/472), containing eight draft resolutions, the Assembly adopted a draft titled “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, 2017” without a vote.

By a recorded vote of 171 in favour to 6 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 3 abstentions (Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, Tonga), it then adopted a text titled “Oil slick on Lebanese shores”.

It went on to adopt, without a vote, three drafts titled, respectively, “Combating sand and dust storms”, “Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central America” and “Towards comprehensive cooperation among all modes of transport for promoting sustainable multimodal transit corridors”.

By a recorded vote of 146 in favour to none against, with 36 abstentions, the Assembly adopted the draft resolution “Agricultural technology for development”.

It then adopted two draft resolutions – “United Nations forest instrument” and Global Code of Ethics for Tourism” – as well as a draft decision titled “Report of the Secretary-general on the International Day of Forests” without a vote.

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/70/472/Add.1), adopting a draft contained therein without a vote.

Taking up the report on “Follow-up to and implementation of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States” (document A/70/472/Add.2), the Assembly adopted the related text without a vote.

Turning to the report “International Strategy for Disaster Reduction” (document A/70/472/Add.3), it adopted two draft resolutions titled, respectively, “World Tsunami Awareness Day” and “International Strategy for Disaster Reduction” without a vote.

Acting again without a vote, the Assembly adopted a draft resolution contained in the Second Committee report “Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind” (document A/70/472/Add.4).

It then turned to the report “Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa” (document A/70/472/Add.5), adopting a related draft resolution without a vote.

Taking up “Convention on Biological Diversity:  report of the Second Committee” (document A/70/472/Add.6), the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a draft resolution titled “Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its contribution to sustainable development”.

The Assembly then took up the Second Committee’s reports “Harmony with Nature” (document A/70/472/Add.7) and “United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014)” (document A/70/472/Add.8), adopting the two related draft resolutions without a vote.

Acting again without a vote, it adopted a draft contained in the report “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/70/473).

The Assembly went on to take note of the Second Committee’s report on “Globalization and Interdependence” (document A/70/474).

The Assembly then turned to the Second Committee’s reports “Role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence” (document A/70/474/Add.1) and “Science and technology for development” (document A/70/474/Add.2), adopting two related drafts – “International Day of Women and Girls in Science” and “Science, technology and innovation for development” without a vote.

Taking up the report “Culture and sustainable development” (document A/70/474/Add.3), it adopted the draft resolution contained therein without vote.

Moving on to the report “Development cooperation with middle-income countries” (document A/70/474/Add.4), the Assembly adopted the related draft without a vote.

It then took note of the Second Committee’s report “Groups of countries in special situations” (document A/70/475).

Moving on to the report “Follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries” (document A/70/475/Add.1), the Assembly adopted a related draft resolution without a vote.

It then turned to the report “Follow-up to the second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (document A/70/475/add.2), adopting a related text without a vote.

The representative of Azerbaijan, speaking in explanation of position, emphasized the text’s importance in helping landlocked developing countries realize their potential.  He said the strengthening of regional partnerships and the settlement of regional disputes must be dealt with in line with relevant Security Council resolutions and the United Nations Charter.

Next, the Assembly took note of the report “Eradication of poverty and other development issues” (document A/70/476).

It went on to take up the report “Implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017)” (document A/70/476/Add.1), adopting a draft titled “Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017)” without a vote.

Taking up the report “Women in development” (document A/70/476/Add.2), the Assembly adopted a related draft resolution without a vote.

Moving on to the report “Human resources development” (document A/70/476/Add.3), it adopted the draft resolution contained therein without a vote.

It then took note of the report “Operational activities for development” (document A/70/477 and document A/70/477/Add.1).  Acting without a vote, it adopted a draft titled “Operational activities for development of the United Nations system”.

The Assembly then took up the report “South-South cooperation for development” (document A/70/477/Add.2), adopting the related draft resolution contained therein without a vote.

It then moved on to the report “Agriculture development, food security and nutrition” (document A/70/478), adopting the related draft without a vote.

The Assembly then adopted, again without a vote, a draft decision titled “Note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report on the main decisions and policy recommendations of the Committee on World Food Security”.

Taking up the Second Committee report “Towards global partnerships” (document A/70/479), 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 moved on to 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/70/480), which contained a related draft resolution.

By a recorded vote, it adopted that text by 164 in favour to 5 against, (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 10 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Togo, Tonga, Vanuatu).

The representative of Venezuela, speaking in explanation of position, said her country had voted in favour of the resolution because it rejected the oppression of the Palestinian people.  The Palestinians should be in charge of their own resources and land, she added.

The Assembly then took up of the report “Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly” (document A/70/518), adopting that draft decision and another titled “Draft Programme of work of the Second Committee for the seventy-first session of the General Assembly” without a vote.

It took note of the report of the Second Committee entitled “Programme planning” (document A/70/519).

It then turned to the report “Sustainable development” (document A/70/472/Add.9), adopting, without a vote, a draft resolution titled “United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14:  Conserve and Sustainably Use the Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources for Sustainable Development”.

The representative of Argentina said his country had joined the consensus due to the importance it attached to the sustainable use of oceans and seas, but it did not agree that a high-level conference of the United Nations was the way to conserve the oceans and seas.  Rather, the process would benefit from the input of technical stakeholders at the national level, he said, adding that a high-level conference must not negotiate outcomes and recommendations, but instead garner political momentum.

For information media. Not an official record.