8 December 1999


8 December 1999

Press Release



Renews Mandate of Guatemala Verification Mission

The General Assembly this morning adopted resolutions calling for enhanced cooperation with the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and better coordination of United Nations emergency humanitarian assistance, and renewed the mandate of the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA).

By the resolution on the OAU -- one of nine texts adopted without a vote - - the Assembly urged the United Nations to encourage donor countries, in consultation with the OAU, to provide funding and training to enhance the peacekeeping capabilities of African countries and enable them to participate actively in United Nations peacekeeping operations. It also encouraged the United Nations system to help the OAU protect children affected by conflicts in Africa. Also by that text, the Assembly called on Member States and regional, international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to provide assistance to internally displaced persons, refugees and African host countries, and to ensure the security and neutrality of refugee camps and settlements.

Seven of the resolutions adopted this morning fell under an agenda item on strengthening the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance. Their provisions covered a wide range of actions:

-- For Tajikistan, the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to continue to give special attention, in the dialogue with the multilateral lending institutions, to the humanitarian implications of adjustment programmes;

-- For the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Government was encouraged to pursue sound macroeconomic policies and promote good governance; and the Secretary-General was asked to continue consulting with regional leaders on convening an international conference on peace and development in the Great Lakes region;

General Assembly Plenary - 1a - Press Release GA/9679 73rd Meeting (AM) 8 December 1999

-- For Djibouti, the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to continue efforts to mobilize resources for an effective programme of financial, technical and material assistance to enable the demobilization, reintegration and employment of demobilized soldiers;

-- For Somalia, the Assembly appealed to all parties to redouble their efforts for national reconciliation, and for States and organizations to continue to assist in rehabilitating basic socio-economic services, and restoring civil administration in areas where peace and security prevail;

-- The Assembly urged the United Nations Coordinator of International Cooperation on Chernobyl to continue efforts to strengthen international cooperation to overcome the health, socio-economic, and ecological consequences of the Chernobyl disaster in Belarus, Russian Federation and Ukraine, and called for continued exchanges of information with those countries to enhance world public awareness of the consequences of such disasters;

-- The Assembly also called for States to facilitate cooperative actions between the United Nations system and civil society through national volunteer corps, and invited States, international financial institutions, regional organizations and the United Nations system to consider ways to integrate the "White Helmets" volunteers into programme activities.

-- Addressing the strengthening of coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance overall, the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to submit, in 2000, concrete proposals on how to enhance use of the Central Emergency Revolving Fund, and called for cooperation in implementing the agreed conclusions of the Economic and Social Council's 1999 substantive session.

Also this morning, the Assembly renewed MINUGUA's mandate through 31 December 2000, stressing the Mission's key role in consolidating peace, promoting human rights and building confidence.

Finally, the Assembly decided that the current session would conclude its work and recess on 17 December.

Statements were made by the representatives of Argentina, Côte d’Ivoire, Japan, Tunisia, Egypt, United Republic of Tanzania, Senegal, Norway, Namibia, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Poland, Sweden, Tajikistan, Cameroon and Guatemala.

The Assembly will meet again today at 3 p.m. to consider causes of conflict in Africa, and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development on that continent.

Assembly Work Programme

The General Assembly met this morning to continue its consideration of: cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU); coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance; and the situation in Central America. (For background, see press release GA/9678 dated 7 December.)

The Assembly also began consideration of the causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa. It had before it the report of the Secretary-General on the development of Africa, and implementation and coordinated follow-up by the United Nations system of initiatives on Africa; and a letter on the same issue from the President of the Economic and Social Council.

Report of Secretary-General

According to the Secretary-General’s report (document A/54/133), estimates put 44 per cent of Africans as living in poverty. A recent report of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) also suggests that the goal set by the 1995 Copenhagen World Summit for Social Development, of halving poverty by 2015, would require a 4 per cent reduction in the number of people living in those conditions each year, either through increased economic growth or through income redistribution. This would require a 7 per cent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) per year for Africa as a whole.

Thus, the Secretary-General stresses, financing Africa's development is crucial. Improving education and infrastructure, providing adequate healthcare, reducing poverty, reintegrating refugees and displaced persons and catalysing structural transformation require massive investment. The prospects for domestic resource mobilization continue to be limited by low savings ratios due to mass poverty and the subsistence income levels of the majority of Africans. While some room exists for reallocation of resources, servicing of Africa's external debt utilizes resources that could otherwise be diverted to important tasks. The continent's debt stock increased from $344 billion in 1997 to $350 billion in 1998 and is equivalent to over 300 per cent of its exports of goods and services.

Beyond domestic resources, comments the Secretary-General, other sources of external finance, including foreign direct investment (FDI) and official development assistance (ODA), have to increase to the levels required to transform African economies and reduce poverty. Africa received $4.76 billion of FDI in 1997, representing 3 per cent of global flows. These inflows are highly concentrated in a few countries. In addition, ODA from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which is critical to capacity- building in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa, has continued to decline, falling from its peak of $23 billion in 1992 to $18.7 billion in 1997.

Recalling the recommendations in his 1997 report on the causes of conflict in Africa (document A/52/871), the Secretary-General states that an issue that has been emphasized is accountability and transparency in public administration. In collaboration with the Global Coalition for Africa, the World Bank has sent multidisciplinary missions to help each country identify the causes and effects of corruption and to propose means to address the causes. Enhancing administrative capacity is also identified as a critical part of promoting good governance. The World Bank is assisting in building capacity for decentralization and local governance in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the Bank, the pervasive weakness of local governments and the lack of capacity of municipal institutions in the region are major impediments to socio-economic development.

The Secretary-General states that the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have been active in establishing regional and country-level support for governments in the elaboration of human rights action plans. In addition, continues the Secretary-General, bilateral donors continue to support several governance-related projects in Africa.

In the area of social development, the report continues, the United Nations and its lead agencies are involved in a number of activities geared towards creating an enabling environment for enhancing the effectiveness of the informal sector in both rural and urban areas.

Turning to discrimination against women, the report notes that in 1998 the ECA prepared "Status of women in Africa, 1998: 53 country profiles", a brochure intended to serve as information sensitization and advocacy tool. It outlines the extent to which governments and other sectors of African society have succeeded in implementing international instruments aimed at achieving gender equality.

On the issue of improving trade flows, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO)and the International Trade Centre have launched a joint integrated technical assistance programme, for which a trust fund has been established, notes the Secretary- General. Of an estimated requirement of $10.3 million, $7.1 million has already been pledged. The programme helps African countries to identify and take advantage of opportunities provided by the multilateral trading system.

Turning to improving financial resource flows, the Secretary-General states that despite the general decline in the level of ODA to Africa, some donor countries have increased development assistance. They are the United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Also, in an effort to redesign technical assistance to close the gap between industrial and developing countries by accelerating the transfer of knowledge, skills and expertise, emphasis is being placed on national execution of projects pioneered by the UNDP.

Addressing regional cooperation and integration, the report states that African countries, with the support of their development partners, should examine ways in which support for regional and subregional integration can be used to promote economic discipline and sound macroeconomic policies, and to facilitate the establishment of solid institutional confidence-building links between neighbouring countries.

Turning to priority areas under the current initiatives in Africa and possible priorities in partnership, the report observes that while there is agreement on the broader priorities, there are differences in emphasis on specific areas, among African countries and among bilateral donors. The Economic and Social Council may wish to consider how the array of priorities for African development, defined in different contexts, can be ranked to promote harmonization of initiatives. The Council may also wish to consider the linkages between targets, the establishment of specific new targets and their utility in the context of prioritizing, monitoring and evaluating the progress of initiatives.

On the issue of coordination of United Nations system initiatives, the Secretary-General recommends that the Council ask the United Nations system, including the Bretton Woods institutions, as well as other multilateral and regional organizations and bilateral donors, to collaborate with the government of each African country, and among themselves, to ensure the consistency of coordination mechanisms. They should favour synergy, avoid duplication and contradictions, and simplify as appropriate, the modalities and procedures required by the functioning of these mechanisms.

On the harmonization of non-United Nations initiatives in Africa, the Secretary-General recommends that the Organization set up selected thematic consultations to be attended by representatives of donor countries and the host country to discuss common priorities at the policy and operational levels. This is intended to encourage donor agencies to streamline and rationalize their development activities and bring them closer to the Organization's system. Such consultations could also deal with the mobilization of resources to implement activities in common priority areas.

Letter from President of Economic and Social Council

In a letter to the President of the Assembly (document A/54/153), the President of the Economic and Social Council, Paolo Fulci, recommends that an agreed set of conclusions, entitled "Development of Africa: implementation and coordinated follow-up by the United Nations system of initiatives on African development", adopted by the Council at its 1999 session, should be considered by the open-ended working group to be established by the Assembly at this session.


FERNANDO PETRELLA (Argentina) said that one of the main conclusions that emerged from the Security Council’s September meetings on the African situation was that cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations must be expanded. While the essential responsibility for peace and security was vested in the Council, that body needed to maintain close cooperation with regional and subregional bodies. Securing peace meant that the minimum conditions of development must be achieved. United Nations agencies and the Bretton Woods institutions must join forces in that respect.

He said there had to be realistic but emphatic efforts to bring about reconciliation in societies that suffered from conflict. Although not all the African conflicts had been solved, there had been a positive trend towards peace negotiations in certain countries. He renewed his country's support for the rule of law in Africa and for the opening of the continent's economy.

CLAUDE S. BOUAH-KAMON (Côte d’Ivoire) stated that cooperation between the OAU and the United Nations should promote partnership while averting competition and duplication through the exchange of information and expertise. However, the Organization’s new international order for Africa during the past decade had been pursued without such collaboration. Therefore, it was necessary to strengthen collaboration.

Programmes for human rights, democracy in Africa and good governance, for example, must take into account OAU’s activities in the region and preparations for the tenth Conference on development of Africa, he said. The contribution of the OAU would assist in identifying common causes of conflict, with a view to prevention. Meanwhile, the ECA had assisted the OAU in preparing for United Nations meetings and regional consultations, and new steps had been taken to accelerate the realization of the continent’s development goals.

The OAU Summit in Algiers had declared 2000 the year of peace in Africa, he recalled. To that end, the United Nations must strengthen its support by providing material and logistical mechanisms for conflict prevention in the region. He welcomed the increase in joint initiatives between the two organizations, including ministerial conferences organized to deal with the problem of refugees and displaced persons, and the provision of election assistance by the United Nations.

YUKIO SATOH (Japan) said that the importance of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, particularly in pursuing conflict prevention and economic development, could not be overstated. Japan therefore supported the cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU. The latter’s efforts had been instrumental in facilitating peace agreements in the conflicts in Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and its patient efforts to find a peaceful settlement between Ethiopia and Eritrea were highly commendable.

He said that Japan had given $1.45 million to the OAU Peace Fund, which financed implementation of the OAU’s Comprehensive Framework of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution in Africa. His country had also assisted the OAU Liaison Office and Neutral Facilitator during the peace process in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He said that increased international attention was needed to prevent and resolve conflicts. He hoped the discussion would further enhance the level of international attention to the issue of conflicts in Africa.

MOHAMED SALAH TEKAYA (Tunisia) said that cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU covered many areas such as peace, security, as well as socio-economic development. The achievements that had been realized so far were encouraging. Moreover, the OAU embodied the aspirations of the African peoples and countries; it played a decisive part in affirming the political identity of the continent and in promoting solidarity and cooperation. It had provided the framework for African collective actions.

The OAU had translated into reality Africa’s will to tackle the many challenges the continent faced. However, the solution of those challenges depended on the commitment and support of the international community. The priority given by United Nations agencies to the development of Africa was also welcome. Regular consultations between the two organizations would promote cooperation and coordination. There had been remarkable progress in achieving coordination to resolve and manage African conflicts.

AHMED ABOUL GHEIT (Egypt) said that during the past year, Africa had experienced an escalation in armed conflicts. Nonetheless, through the OAU and subregional efforts, the continent had redoubled efforts to address its crises. That will had resulted in a cease-fire agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, concluded in Lusaka, and peace in Sierra Leone, which had been negotiated in Lomé. However, if the international community expected Africa to pursue efforts to maintain peace and security, then Africans likewise expected that community to assume its collective responsibility for the continent as stipulated in the Charter. The international community should not just simply express support for efforts to address conflicts in Africa.

He said that since the parties to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had signed a cease-fire agreement, the international community had so far dispatched only military liaison officers to the capital of that country. It was regrettable that the Council had not dispatched the peacekeeping operation that was waiting to be deployed. If the Council had given the same responses to the Democratic Republic of the Congo as it had given to Kosovo and East Timor, then questions would not have to be asked. He called on the United Nations to increase its assistance to the OAU so as to strengthen its conflict management and resolution mechanism.

Stressing the role of the Assembly in strengthening cooperation and easing human suffering, he said it was lamentable that the progress report on implementation of the Secretary-General's proposals for remedying causes of conflict in Africa had been submitted only to the Security Council. That progress report had whole chapters that did not fall within the purview of the Council and which should be considered equally by the Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and other relevant organs and agencies of the United Nations.

KAGYABUKAMA KILIBA (United Republic of Tanzania) said the United Nations had considerable global experience in the management, resolution and prevention of conflicts, and thus could be of great assistance to the OAU in that area. He noted with appreciation that $3 million had been provided through the UNDP to strengthen the organization’s capacity for conflict prevention, resolution and management. The partnership should be enhanced, and should focus on the anticipatory, prevention, negotiation and peacemaking capacity of the OAU.

Cooperation between the two organizations in the management of African humanitarian emergencies was also crucial, as the problem of refugees and displaced persons on the continent had grown in magnitude while resources had dwindled, he added. They also needed to strengthen collaboration in setting up structures and norms with regard to human rights, environmental, democratization and governance issues. The magnitude of Africa’s economic challenges was obvious, with many States burdened with debilitating debt and a fall in commodity prices. It was therefore essential that the two organizations cooperate in promoting African development.

He concluded that, in order to liberate Africa from its seemingly intractable problems, the OAU, which represented the continent, needed the support of the United Nations. Success in Africa depended on the close collaboration of both organizations.

IBRA DEGUENE KA (Senegal) said that, in the political and security field, cooperation with the OAU had reached a decisive point because of the impetus given by the Secretaries-General of the two organizations. The establishment of a regional office would enhance their joint efforts. The problems of security and peace were at the heart of concerns of the continent, which was convulsed by tensions in the midst of efforts at economic and political development. Mechanisms established by the OAU demonstrated the will of the African countries for an environment of peace and security.

Various achievements in support of peace in the region were encouraging, he said. But they had not silenced the resentment of the international community, which was always timorous at the beginning of crises in the region. It would be worthwhile for the Security Council to consult with regional organizations in dealing with crises anywhere.

Turning to refugee problems, he noted that despite the scale of the task, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had always managed to implement repatriation programmes in the region. The ECA had also played an important role in formulating strategies for integration in the continent. The OAU had undergone drastic changes since the decolonization era and faced complex new challenges in the areas of peace, security and development. A process of dynamic and multi-faceted cooperation between the two organizations would eventually prove to be mutually beneficial.

OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said it was clear that the future of Africa primarily rested in the hands of African nations; as the OAU represented all those countries, it had a crucial role to play in promoting peace and stability and development on the continent. At the same time, the world community should involve itself more actively through cooperation and partnerships. All Member States, especially the rich industrialized countries, had a moral and political obligation to bring lasting stability and prosperity to Africa.

He said that the Secretary-General’s report had demonstrated the close link between poverty, underdevelopment and violent conflict; one could not be addressed in isolation from the others. Norway therefore supported implementation of the Secretary-General’s recommendations in those areas and had allocated $3 million for that purpose. It also intended to increase its ODA to 1 per cent of GDP and would continue to mobilize the global political will and financial means to realize the target of cutting African poverty by half by 2015.

He commended the efforts of African leaders, regional and subregional organizations to promote the peaceful resolution of conflicts. The OAU had an especially important role to play in this regard. He called for stronger support by the international community for the OAU and stressed the importance of closer partnerships between that organization and the United Nations.

MARTIN ANDJABA (Namibia) said enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU would strengthen the capacity of the latter to respond to the increasing needs of its member States. He therefore welcomed the ongoing contacts and consultations between the two organizations.

However, he said, in the case of Sierra Leone, United Nations peacekeepers had still not been fully deployed although many months had passed since the signing of the peace agreement. The continued role of the United Nations in resources mobilization, and the support of the international community in the implementation of peace agreements in Africa, was crucial. He called on donor countries to contribute to the Trust Fund for Improving Preparedness for Conflict Prevention and Peacekeeping in Africa.

Despite the difficult economic and social conditions in many African countries, and environmental and desertification-related problems, the continent was doing all it could to create conditions for sustained economic growth and sustainable development, he said. He called on the international community to enhance the capacity of African countries to benefit from the advantages offered by globalization. In this regard, the implementation of the New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s was needed.

DURI MOHAMMED (Ethiopia) said the establishment of the United Nations liaison office with the OAU constituted an important step that would enable wider coordination and exchange of information between the two organizations. However, the effectiveness and contributions of that office would depend on the clarity of its mandate and terms of reference. The liaison office should focus on well-defined priority activities aimed at enhancing African capacity in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.

Turning to the crisis between Ethiopia and Eritrea, he said the OAU had shown its commitment to uphold justice by adopting two documents that addressed the fundamental cause of that crisis and provided for the withdrawal of the armed forces of the aggressor State from all Ethiopian territories. However, the intransigence of the aggressor State in its refusal to accept and implement the OAU peace proposal, coupled with the unbalanced position taken by the Security Council, had resulted in major fighting and in continuation of the crisis. The manner in which that crisis had been handled had reinforced the widely held view regarding the double standard and lack of resolve by the Council in dealing with African issues.

Experience had shown that, whether it was in matters of peace and security or economic development cooperation, Africa continued to be marginalized and least favoured for genuine cooperation, he said. The economic situation there remained precarious and recovery and development continued to be hindered by multiple factors -- including the persistence of conflicts, debt burdens declining ODA, and a net outflow of resources -- all of which were paralysing growth and development in the continent.

MARTIN BELINGA EBOUTOU (Cameroon) stated that all the African countries favoured formalizing the cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU. Much ground had been covered within the framework of such cooperation, particularly the abolition of apartheid and colonialism. Viable solutions continued to be sought for the continent’s specific problems.

He welcomed the decision of the Secretaries-General to meet twice each year to coordinate efforts. He also welcomed the establishment of the liaison office in the region. He also noted initiatives on peace and security, particularly those aimed at enhancing Africa’s capacity to deal with its conflicts and economic problems. However, Africa was still encountering problems that posed a threat to the international community. African countries were fully conscious of the scope of those problems and had adopted important decisions and identified priorities. In that light, their expectations of cooperation with the United Nations had increased. They were determined to eliminate the scourge of conflict.

The Organization must assist the OAU to attain its priority objectives for a peaceful and integrated Africa, he continued. Only then would globalization mean cooperation and participation, not marginalization.

Draft on Cooperation with OAU

PAWEL RADOMSKI (Poland) said his country wished to associate itself with the statement made yesterday by Finland on behalf of the European Union.

The Assembly adopted the draft resolution on the cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU (document A/54/L.38) without a vote.

Draft on Strengthening Coordination of Emergency Humanitarian Assistance

Introducing the draft resolution contained in document A/54/L.54, PER NORSTROM (Sweden) noted that it would have the Assembly welcome the progress made by the Emergency Relief Coordinator and Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in strengthening coordination. It also welcomed the agreed conclusions from the second humanitarian segment of the Economic and Social Council’s summer session and called on relevant actors to cooperate to ensure their implementation. Further, it would ask the Secretary-General to submit concrete proposals to enhance the functioning and utilization of the Central Emergency Revolving Fund.

He hoped the text would be adopted by consensus.

Draft on Assistance for Tajikistan

ABDUKAKHOR NUROV (Tajikistan) introduced the draft resolution entitled "Emergency international assistance for peace, normalcy and rehabilitation in Tajikistan" (document A/54/L.49). He said the text would have the Assembly welcome efforts aimed at achieving peace and national reconciliation in his country, as well as the Secretary-General’s efforts to attract the attention of the international community to the significant humanitarian needs there. The draft recognized that comprehensive international support was still essential in meeting the basic needs of his people and strengthening the progress achieved in the peace process. He said that Egypt, Pakistan and Slovenia had joined the list of sponsors; Kyrgyzstan should have been on the original list.

Drafts on Assistance to African Countries

Mr. EBOUTOU (Cameroon), introducing the draft resolutions on assistance for the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Djibouti, said increased humanitarian and financial assistance was needed to support the recovery of those countries. He called for international solidarity with, and assistance to, all of Africa, as 44 per cent of Africans and 51 per cent of Africans living in the sub-Saharan region were living in a state of absolute poverty. Moreover, armed conflicts in the Horn of Africa and Central Africa had provoked deaths, refugees and displaced persons. He called for the international community to mobilize to assist in rebuilding the economic and social infrastructures of the affected countries.

Regarding the draft resolution on special assistance for the economic recovery and reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he said no economic recovery would be possible without peace and good management of economic affairs. It was important to create an environment that could promote the role of everyone in the life of the country.

Turning to the draft resolution on assistance for the reconstruction and development of Djibouti, he said that Oman had joined the list of that text’s sponsors. The people of Djibouti were facing many difficulties because of climatic situations. The determination of the Government to pursue democracy was exemplary. The assistance of the United Nations was essential.

Regarding the draft resolution on assistance for humanitarian relief and economic and social rehabilitation of Somalia, he said humanitarian assistance was needed to mitigate human suffering in the region. He also called on the Somalian parties for national reconciliation.

Draft on “White Helmets”

FERNANDO PETRELLA (Argentina), introducing the draft resolution on participation of volunteers in humanitarian relief (document A/54/L.34/Rev.1), noted that it would have the Assembly encourage such initiatives as the White Helmets project. That was a voluntary corps that placed trained teams at the disposal of the United Nations to respond rapidly to humanitarian crises, and to assist in reconstruction and peacemaking efforts. It was non-political and neutral, and could provide reserves to be made available through the United Nations Volunteers. Member States must promote such cooperative actions between the Organization and civil society organizations.

He announced the addition of Angola, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Gabon, Greece, Jamaica, Madagascar and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the list of sponsors. Action on Drafts

The President of the Assembly, THEO-BEN GURIRAB (Namibia) said that the following countries had joined in sponsoring the resolution on strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations (document A/54/L.54): Armenia, Costa Rica, Fiji, Gabon, Iceland , Liechtenstein, Sudan, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Côte d'Ivoire. The Assembly adopted that text without a vote.

The Assembly then adopted a draft resolution on emergency international assistance for Tajikistan (document A/54/L.49) without a vote.

Also without a vote, it adopted draft resolutions on special assistance for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (document A/54/L.53), assistance for Djibouti (document A/54/L.56), and assistance for Somalia (document A/54/L.57).

Once more without a vote, the Assembly adopted a resolution on the strengthening of international cooperation and coordination of efforts to study, mitigate and minimize the consequences of the Chernobyl disaster (document A/54/L.22/Rev.1).

The PRESIDENT informed the Assembly that Cameroon had also become a sponsor of the text on the “White Helmets” (document A/54/L.34/Rev.1). The draft was then adopted without a vote.

The PRESIDENT drew the Assembly's attention to the report of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) (document A/54/651) on the programme budget implications of the draft resolution on the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala (MINUGUA) (document A/54/L.27).

He also informed Members that another draft resolution on the situation in Central America (A/54/L.24/Rev.1) would be taken up at a later date.

The Assembly then adopted the resolution on MINUGUA without a vote.

Explanation of Vote

BRENDA MERCEDES CASTELLANOS-GONZALEZ (Guatemala) recalled that she had previously pointed out that MINUGUA's continued presence in Guatemala was necessary. Noting the establishment of a new Government in January, she expressed her country's gratitude for the newly adopted resolution confirming the Mission's continued presence.

* *** *

For information media. Not an official record.