Lack of political will on the part of an “elite few” continued to threaten efforts to reform the Security Council, the General Assembly heard today, as delegates warned that the resulting inertia risked jeopardizing the 15‑member organ’s credibility and that of the entire United Nations system.
While some speakers welcomed the Human Rights Council’s efforts to investigate alleged violations in countries ranging from Myanmar to South Sudan to Yemen, others voiced concern that selectivity had begun to creep into its agenda and working methods, as the General Assembly began its annual consideration of the 11‑year‑old intergovernmental body.
The General Assembly today adopted its annual resolution calling for an end to the United States-led economic, commercial and financial embargo on Cuba, expressing near universal concern over President Donald Trump’s announced intention to tighten the blockade, a reversal from the previous Administration’s efforts to normalize relations.
While the International Criminal Court — now more efficient and fully developed — had made significant strides in holding to account perpetrators of the world’s most serious crimes, fulfilling its mandate would ultimately require even greater cooperation from the international community, stressed its President, who briefed the General Assembly prior to its adoption of a resolution welcoming the Court’s annual report.
An increase in the number of cases deferred to the International Court of Justice only reaffirmed Member States’ faith in the judicial body, the General Assembly heard today, as several speakers called on those who had not yet done so to accept the Court’s compulsory jurisdiction without reservations.
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development — now fully embedded in the development paradigms of both the United Nations and the African Union — remained the “rallying point” in Africa’s pursuit of growth, the General Assembly heard today, as delegates drew attention to security concerns and other obstacles still facing the continent.
After 24 years of ground‑breaking work in the fight against impunity, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia would close its doors by end of year, having “blazed a trail of remarkable firsts”, the General Assembly heard today.
The General Assembly today elected, by secret ballot, 15 States to serve on the Human Rights Council, the United Nations body responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.
Delegates voiced both support for reform efforts and concerns about their potential implications today, as the General Assembly considered that issue alongside other agenda items, including follow-up to the outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits.
The United Nations must ensure that the impact of its Economic and Social Council — a critical platform for measuring sustainable development progress and amplifying stakeholders’ voices — was “greater than the sum of its parts”, the General Assembly heard today as it considered the Council’s diverse activities in 2017.