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GA/EF/2804
4 December 1997

ELIMINATION OF UNILATERAL, COERCIVE ECONOMIC MEASURES CALLED FOR IN RESOLUTION APPROVED BY SECOND COMMITTEE

4 December 1997


Press Release
GA/EF/2804


ELIMINATION OF UNILATERAL, COERCIVE ECONOMIC MEASURES CALLED FOR IN RESOLUTION APPROVED BY SECOND COMMITTEE

19971204 Texts Also Approved on El Niño, Vanuatu, Small Island Developing States, Buenos Aires Plan of Action, Operational Activities for Development

The General Assembly would urge the international community to adopt measures to eliminate the use of unilateral coercive economic measures against developing countries, that were not authorized by the United Nations or inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, by the terms of a draft resolution approved by recorded vote this morning in the Second Committee (Economic and Financial). Five draft texts were approved without a vote.

By terms of the draft resolution on economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries, approved by a recorded vote of 86 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 45 abstentions, the Assembly would reaffirm that no State could use unilateral economic, political or any other type of measures to coerce another State into subordinating the exercise of its sovereign rights. (For details of the vote, see Annex.)

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved texts that would have the Assembly:

-- call on the United Nations system to contribute further to a comprehensive approach and study of the El Niño phenomenon, and to intensify its cooperation with the regions affected by the phenomenon, especially developing countries, small island States and landlocked countries;

-- decide to postpone its consideration of an Economic and Social Council decision regarding the graduation of Vanuatu from the list of the least developed countries;

-- request the Secretary-General to ensure that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) had the capacity to complement the work of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs in implementing the Programme of Action of the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States;

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-- decide to hold a one-day commemorative meeting during its fifty-third session to mark the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries; and

-- request the Secretary-General, when presenting his report on the triennial policy review of operational activities for development to the Assembly at its fifty-third session, to consider the implications of steps adopted by the United Nations system to implement reform initiatives on operational activities, and to make recommendations for their implementation.

Also this morning, the Committee endorsed two decisions and one resolution contained in the report of the Economic and Social Council for 1997 (document A/52/3).

Statements on the draft texts were made by the representatives of Benin, Canada, Fiji, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Mozambique, New Zealand, Rwanda, Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania (on behalf of the Group of 77 and China), United States and Vanuatu.

The Committee will meet again Friday, 5 December, to conclude its programme of work.

Committee Work Programme

By a draft resolution on economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries (document A/C.2/52/L.23/Rev.1), sponsored by the United Republic of Tanzania on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, the Assembly would reaffirm the Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation Among States, which states that no State might use or encourage the use of unilateral economic, political or any other type of measures to coerce another State to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights. The international community would be urged to adopt measures to eliminate the use of unilateral coercive economic measures against developing countries which were not authorized by the United Nations or were inconsistent the Charter of the United Nations. The Secretary-General would be requested to continue to monitor the imposition of coercive economic measures and to study the impact of such measures on the affected countries, including the impact on trade and development.

By the terms of a draft resolution on International cooperation to reduce the impact of the El Niño phenomenon (A/C.2/52/L.37), submitted by a Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Hans-Peter Glanzer (Austria), on the basis of informal consultations held on a draft contained in document A/C.2/52/L.20, the Assembly would calls on the United Nations system to contribute further to a comprehensive approach and study of El Niño and to intensify its cooperation with the regions affected by the phenomenon, especially with developing countries, small island developing States and landlocked countries. It would recommend that long-term public awareness and information about natural disasters, including those induced by El Niño, be integrated into national disaster management programmes and in the United Nations support for social and economic development programmes.

The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to promote an inter- governmental meeting of experts to facilitate the exchange of information and national experiences related to the monitoring of the El Niño phenomenon as well as of strategies for the reduction of its impact. The Secretary-General would also be requested to facilitate, within the framework of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, an international strategy for the prevention, mitigation and rehabilitation of the damages caused by the El Niño phenomenon. In addition, the Assembly would urge the Secretary-General to include the El Niño phenomenon and its consequences in the activities of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction to improve the effectiveness and increase international coordination of natural disaster early-warning systems.

The Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Adel Abdellatif (Egypt), submitted a draft resolution on industrial development cooperation (document A/C.2/52/L.40), on the basis of informal consultations held on a draft contained in document A/C.2/52/L.16. By the provisions of that draft, the Assembly would call on all Member States to support the implementation of the

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programme for the Industrial Development Decade for Africa and the Plan of Action for the Alliance for Africa's Industrialization, taking into account the results of the mid-term review of the Industrial Development Decade for Africa. African Member States would be urged to integrate the objectives of the Alliance into their national plans and the establish an institutional capacity for the formulation of mechanisms to follow up and monitor programmes and projects.

The Assembly would call on the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to strengthen their coordination with UNDP and other United Nations agencies and donors to accelerate the implementation and goals of the Industrial Decade for Development of Africa. UNIDO, ECA and other relevant United Nations organizations would also be requested to work closely with Governments and the private sector in Africa at the national, regional and international levels to foster industrial production and development.

By the terms of a draft resolution on the Report of the Committee on Development Planning (A/C.2/52/L.41), submitted by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Adel Abdellatif (Egypt), on the basis of informal consultations held on draft resolution A/C.2/52/L.28, the Assembly would decide to postpone its consideration of Economic and Social Council decision 1997/223, regarding the graduation of Vanuatu, a small island developing State, from the list of the least developed countries. It would reaffirm the usefulness of the vulnerability index as a criterion for the designation of the least developed countries. It would also welcome the convening of Working Group III of the Committee for Development Planning in New York from 17 to 19 December to review the results of the technical work and the outcome of the expert group meeting.

By the terms of a draft resolution on implementation of the outcome of the Global Conference on the sustainable development of small island developing States (A/C.2/52/L.42), submitted by a Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Hans-Peter Glanzer (Austria), on the basis of informal consultations held on a draft contained in document A/C.2/52/L.19, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to ensure that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) had the capacity to carry out the research and analysis necessary to complement the work of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs regarding the implementation of the Programme of Action of the Global Conference. The bilateral and multilateral donor communities would be called on to mobilize adequate financial resources to supplement efforts by small island developing States in implementing the Technical Assistance Programme and the information network for those countries.

The Assembly would also take note of the progress in the development and compilation of a vulnerability index for small island developing States and invite all relevant actors to support the Department of Economic and Social Affairs on work to refine the index. It would request the secretariat of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, in cooperation with the international community, to strengthen national and regional partnerships for

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a disaster reduction strategy for the twenty-first century, including requirements for effective disaster reduction and prevention capacities and measures for small island developing States.

By the terms of a draft resolution on economic and technical cooperation among developing countries (A/C.2/52/L.44), submitted by the Vice- Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Adel Abdellatif (Egypt), on the basis of informal consultations held on a draft text contained in document A/C.2/52/L.9, the Assembly would decide to hold a one-day commemorative meeting at the beginning of its fifty-third session to mark the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action for Promoting and Implementing Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries. The Special Unit for Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) would be requested to be responsible for the preparation and organization of the commemorative meeting, in consultation with Member States and relevant organizations and agencies of the United Nations system.

The Assembly would also request the Secretary-General, in cooperation with the Special Unit, to incorporate in his report for the triennial policy review of operation activities for development, an assessment and recommendations aimed at further strengthening the integration of the modalities of economic and technical cooperation among developing countries in the operational activities of the United Nations system, in order to enhance the global partnership in international development cooperation.

In addition, Governments and relevant United Nations organizations, including the multilateral financial institutions, would be called upon to consider increasing allocations of resources for economic and technical cooperation among developing countries and to identify and support innovative funding modalities to promote South-South cooperation, such as triangular cooperation and private sector funding. The Assembly would also stress the need to intensify the process of strengthening the various interregional dialogues and the exchange of experiences among subregional and regional economic groupings for the purpose of expanding South-South cooperation through integrating the modalities of economic and technical cooperation among developing countries.

By the terms of a draft resolution on operational activities for development of the United Nations (A/C.2/52/L.46), submitted by the Vice- Chairman of the Committee, Mr. Adel Abdellatif (Egypt), on the basis of informal consultations held on a draft text contained in document A/C.2/52/L.5, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General, when presenting his comprehensive report on the triennial policy review of operational activities for development to the Assembly at its fifty-third session, to consider the implications of steps adopted by the United Nations system to implement reform initiatives, and to make recommendations for their effective and expeditious implementation, bearing in mind the views of Member States. It would also request the funds and programmes in their regular

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reporting to the Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, on the triennial policy review, to include in their reports actions taken to implement adopted reform measures of the Secretary-General, including an analysis of the implications of those reforms for operational activities and for inter-agency coordination. In addition, the Assembly would urged the Executive Boards of the funds and programmes to complete their reviews of their funding policies and strategies as soon as possible and to report thereon to the Economic and Social Council at its 1998 substantive session.

Action on Draft Texts

ADEL ABDELLATIF (Egypt), Vice-Chairman of the Committee, introduced the draft resolution on the report of the Committee on Development Planning (document A/C.2/52/L.41).

JEAN RAVOU-AKII (Vanuatu) thanked co-sponsors of the draft resolution, the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, the Chairman of the Committee and the experts of the Committee who had contributed to the drafting of the draft resolution.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

In light of the adoption of draft resolution A/C.2/52/L.41, draft resolution A/C.2/52/L.28 was withdrawn by its sponsors.

The Committee then took up two decisions and one resolution contained in Chapter I of the report of the Economic and Social Council (document A/52/3), which either called for action by the General Assembly or brought items to its attention. By doing so, the Committee endorsed:

-- the revisions of the General Regulations of the World Food Programme, as contained in the annex to the report of the Executive Board of the World Food Programme (document E/1997/49);

-- the Council's recommendations that the report of the Council of the United Nations University would be considered directly by the Second Committee, beginning in 1998, as contained in paragraph 3 of resolution 1997/43; and

-- the Council's recommendation, contained in paragraph 240 (b) of the report of the Committee for Development Planning, requesting that Cape Verde, Maldives and Samoa be graduated from the list of the least developed countries at the time of the next review in the year 2000.

The Committee then decided to ask the General Assembly to take note of the following documents: relevant chapters of the Economic and Social Council for 1997 (document A/52/3), including chapters I-IV, chapter V, sections A, B, C, F, G, H, I and J, Chapter VII, and annexes; the report of the Secretary- General on the possibilities of strengthening the coordination of the organization and bodies of the United Nations system in the field of energy (document A/52/175-E/1997/75); the report of the Secretary-General on new and

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innovative funds for globally agreed commitments and priorities (document A/52/203-E/1997/85); a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund on the United Nations Population Award (document A/52/212); and a note by the Secretary- General transmitting the statement by the Administrative Committee on Coordination on universal access to basic communications and information services (document A/52/354).

Mr. ABDELLATIF (Egypt) introduced the draft resolution on unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries (document A/C.2/52/L.23/Rev.1). He said there had been a call for a recorded vote. The text was a revised draft resolution sponsored by the United Republic of Tanzania on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China.

Speaking before the vote, the representative of the United States said his Government opposed the resolution, because it regarded economic sanctions as a legitimate instrument of foreign policy when faced with unacceptable international behaviour. Economic sanctions were one of a series of steps available to press for change. Sanctions were most effective when applied multilaterally. The United States would work with other members of the global community whenever possible to devise a collective response to egregious behaviour that violated international norms or threatened international security.

Although the United States would always prefer to act multilaterally, there were times when it had no choice but to act unilaterally when the stakes were high and when important national interests or core values were at stake, he continued. When such actions were taken, the United States was also mindful of the humanitarian concerns and the need to avoid unfortunate and unwanted harm to the innocent, who were usually unable to influence and were often themselves victims of the objectionable policies of their own government. For a State to decide that it would limit its economic relations with any other State was not a coercive measure, it was the exercise of a sovereign right.

The Committee approved the draft resolution by a recorded vote of 86 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 45 abstentions. (For details of the vote see Annex.)

Speaking after the vote the representative of Luxembourg, speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the Union abstained in the vote. Economic measures must be compatible with the United Nations Charter and with the principles of international trade, as defined by the World Trade Organization. Unilateral economic measures that were contrary to international law should not be adopted. Unfortunately, the present draft

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resolution was exclusively for developing countries and the Union hoped that the next resolution would cover other groups.

The representative of the United Republic of Tanzania, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, expressed his gratitude to all those who voted in favour of the resolution. The group regarded the change in the voting pattern as an indication of the international community's opposition to unilateral coercive economic measures. The Group of 77 and China had shown its flexibility on the issue and hoped that it would continue to receive more support.

The representative of Mozambique said he would have voted in favour of the resolution, had he been present earlier when voting took place.

The representative of Fiji said he had unintentionally abstained. He had intended to vote in favour of the draft resolution.

Although the United States would always prefer to act multilaterally, there were times when it had no choice but to act unilaterally when the stakes were high and when important national interests or core values were at stake, he continued. When such actions were taken, the United States was also mindful of the humanitarian concerns and the need to avoid unfortunate and unwanted harm to the innocent, who were usually unable to influence and were often themselves victims of the objectionable policies of their own government. For a State to decide that it would limit its economic relations with any other State was not a coercive measure, but the exercise of a sovereign right. The Committee approved the draft resolution by a recorded vote of 86 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 45 abstentions. (For details of the vote, see Annex.)

Speaking after the vote, the representative of Luxembourg, on behalf of the European Union and associated States, said the Union abstained in the vote. Economic measures must be compatible with the United Nations Charter and with the principles of international trade, as defined by the World Trade Organization. Unilateral economic measures that were contrary to international law should not be adopted. Unfortunately, the present draft resolution was exclusively for developing countries and the Union hoped that the next resolution would cover other groups.

The representative of the United Republic of Tanzania, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, expressed his gratitude to all those who voted in favour of the resolution. The group regarded the change in the voting pattern as an indication of the international community's opposition to unilateral coercive economic measures. The Group of 77 and China had shown its flexibility on the issue and hoped that it would continue to receive more support.

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The representative of Mozambique said he would have voted in favour of the resolution, had he been present earlier when voting took place.

The representative of Fiji said he had unintentionally abstained. He had intended to vote in favour of the draft resolution.

HANS-PETER GLANZER (Austria), Vice-Chairman of the Committee, introduced the draft resolution on international cooperation to reduce the impact of the El Nino phenomenon (document A/C.2/52/L.37).

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

In light of the adoption of draft resolution A/C.2/52/L.37, draft resolution A/C.2/52/L.20 was withdrawn by its sponsors.

The Committee then decided to ask the Assembly to take note of the following documents: the report of the Secretary-General on the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (document A/52/560); and the report of the Secretary-General on improved effectiveness of early-warning systems with regard to natural and similar disasters (document A/52/561).

Mr. GLANZER (Austria) then introduced the draft resolution on implementation of the outcome of the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (document A/C.2/52/L.42).

DENIS CHOUINARD (Canada) thanked the Group of 77 and China for preparing the draft text and congratulated the facilitator, the representative of Papua New Guinea, for the work he carried out. He then requested that Canada be listed as a co-sponsor of the draft resolution.

The Committee then approved the draft text without a vote.

In light of the adoption of draft resolution A/C.2/52/L.42, draft resolution A/C.2/52/L19 was withdrawn by its sponsors.

Mr. ABDELLATIF (Egypt) introduced the draft resolution on operational activities for development of the United Nations (document A/C.2/52/L.46).

JEFFREY LANGLEY (New Zealand) said a paragraph regarding the role of private sector and non-core funding, drafted by his delegation, had not been approved during informal consultations. It was deeply disappointing that the Assembly was not yet willing to recognize the vital role played by non- governmental funding. The role of private sector funding would be a key issue for consideration during next year's triennial review.

K.E. KAMANDO (United Republic of Tanzania) said the Group of 77 and China disagreed with New Zealand. The Group did not find it necessary to

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remove emphasis from core sources of funding to non-core sources of funding. The Group had the support of others in that regard.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

In light of the adoption of draft resolution A/C.2/52/L.46, draft resolution A/C.2/52/L.5 was withdrawn by its sponsors.

Mr. ABDELLATIF (Egypt) introduced the draft resolution on economic and technical cooperation among developing countries (document A/C.2/52/L.44) and read out the following oral revision:

-- operative paragraph 1, line 6, "San Jose" should be inserted between the words "the" and "Declaration".

The Committee then approved the draft resolution, as orally revised, without a vote.

In light of the adoption of draft resolution A/C.2/52/L.44, draft resolution A/C.2/52/L.9 was withdrawn by its sponsors.

The Committee then decided to ask the General Assembly to take note of the following documents: report of the High-level Committee on the Review of Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (A/52/39); report of the Joint Inspection Unit entitled "Review of financial resources allocated by the United Nations system to activities of non-governmental organizations" (A/51/655-E/1996/105) and a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the comments of the Administrative Committee on Coordination thereon (A/52/114- E/1997/46); report of the Joint Inspection Unit entitled "Coordination of policy and programming frameworks for more effective development cooperation" (A/51/636-E/1996/104) and a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the comments of the Administrative Committee on Coordination thereon (A/52/115- E/1997/47); and report of the Joint Inspection Unit entitled "Strengthening field representation of the United Nations system" (A/52/457) and a note by the Secretary-General transmitting the comments of the Administrative Committee on Coordination thereon (A/52/457/Add.1).

The representative of Germany said he would have abstained voting on the resolution on unilateral coercive measures (document A/C.2/52/L.23/Rev.1), if he had been in the room during the vote.

The representative of Tunisia said Tunisia would have supported the same draft text if it had been in the room.

The representative of Rwanda said he would have voted in favour of the same resolution if he had been present during the vote.

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The representative of Greece said he would have abstained in the recorded vote on the draft text.

The representative of Benin said he would have voted in favour of the draft text if he had been present during the vote.

(annex follows)

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ANNEX

Vote on Unilateral Economic Measures

The draft resolution on unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries (document A/C.2/52/L.23 Rev.1) was approved by a recorded vote of 86 in favour to 1 against, with 45 abstentions:

In favour: Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Togo, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against: United States

Abstain: Andorra, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom

Absent: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Benin, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Jamaica, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mozambique, Palau, Republic of Moldova, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan

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For information media. Not an official record.