Third Committee Approves 1 Draft Resolution, Hears Introduction of 7 Others Covering Missing Persons, Right to Food, Combating Nazism

GA/SHC/4187
10 November 2016
Seventy-first Session, 47th Meeting (PM)

Third Committee Approves 1 Draft Resolution, Hears Introduction of 7 Others Covering Missing Persons, Right to Food, Combating Nazism

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) approved a resolution today on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as well as heard the introduction of seven texts on issues ranging from combating the glorification of Nazism and neo-Nazism, to realizing the right to food.

The Committee capped its brief meeting with the consensus approval of a text that would have the General Assembly increase the members of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme from 98 States to 101 States.  Those additional members would be elected by the Economic and Social Council in 2017.

Before that action, seven texts were introduced.  The first — on the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, introduced by the Russian Federation’s delegate — would have the Assembly express its deep concern about the rise in racism and extremism and the glorification of any form of Nazism.

The draft resolution on the elimination of racism, introduced by Thailand’s delegate on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, would have the Assembly call on States that had not done so to consider acceding to and/or ratifying the related Convention.  It would request the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to develop a racial equality index aimed at measuring the performance of States in promoting substantive equality and inclusive societies.

Egypt’s representative introduced a draft resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, which would have the Assembly urge all States and United Nations agencies to continue to support Palestinians in their early realization of that right.

The Committee also heard the introduction of two draft resolutions by the representative of Cuba, the first of which was on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order, and the second on the right to food, which he said required urgent attention.

Azerbaijan’s representative introduced a draft resolution that would have the Assembly call on States to prevent people from going missing in connection with armed conflict and to determine the identity and fate of those missing.

Finally, Uganda’s delegate introduced a draft resolution on the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders which would request the Secretary-General to enhance regional cooperation.

The Third Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 15 November, to take action on several draft resolutions.

Introduction of Draft Resolutions

The representative of the Russian Federation introduced a draft resolution on “Combating glorification of Nazism, Neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance” (document A/C.3/71/L.45).  He recalled the history of Nazism, stressing that the text dealt with contemporary forms of that phenomenon.

The resolution would have the General Assembly express its deep concern about the rise in racism and extremism, and the glorification of any form of Nazism.  Further, it would urge those States that had not yet done so to ratify the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.

The representative of Thailand, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, introduced a draft resolution on “A global call for concrete action 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” (document A/C.3/71/L.48).  She stressed that the international community must redouble its efforts to address the recent rise in racist acts.

By the text, the Assembly would call upon States that had not done so to consider acceding to and/or ratifying the Convention.  It would express grave concern at the lack of progress in elaborating complementary standards to the Convention, and request the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to develop a racial equality index aimed at measuring States’ performance in promoting equality and inclusive societies.  It would also lay out measures to revitalize international human rights mechanisms.

The representative of Egypt introduced a draft resolution on the “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” (document A/C.3/71/L.50), which, he pointed out, contained technical changes from last year’s resolution on the same topic.

The representative of Cuba introduced a draft resolution on the “Promotion of a democratic and equitable international order” (document A/C.3/71/L.30).

The resolution would have the General Assembly express its concern about States’ continued abuse of the extraterritorial application of their national legislation in a manner that affected the sovereignty of other States and the full enjoyment of human rights.

The representative of Cuba introduced a draft resolution on “The Right to food” (document A/C.3/71/L.31), noting that realizing that right appeared utopian, given the great number of people suffering from hunger, especially in the developing world.  The matter required urgent attention.

The resolution would have the General Assembly request all States, private actors, and international organizations to consider the need to promote the realization of the right to food for all.

The representative of Azerbaijan introduced a draft resolution on “Missing persons” (document A/C.3/71/L.41), stressing that the issue was a painful reality for many and called for the text’s adoption by consensus.

By the text, the Assembly would call on States to take measures to prevent people from going missing in connection with armed conflict, and to determine the identity and fate of those missing.  It would also call on States to take steps regarding the legal situation of missing persons and their family in such areas as social welfare, psychological and psychosocial support, financial matters, family law and property rights.

The representative of Uganda then introduced a draft resolution on the “United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders” (document A/C.3/71/L.4/Rev.1), by which the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to enhance regional cooperation in crime prevention.  It would also require him to submit a biennial report on the structural, financial, administrative and operational aspects of the Institute at its seventy-third session.

Action on Draft Resolutions

The Committee then approved a draft resolution “Enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees” (document A/C.3/71/L.43), by which the Assembly would increase the number of Executive Committee members from 98 to 101 States.  Those additional members would be elected at a coordination and management meeting of the Economic and Social Council in 2017.

For information media. Not an official record.