|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Sixty-first General Assembly
25th Meeting (PM)
Second Committee calls for continued technical assistance to economies
in transition, as it takes action on three draft resolutions
Other Texts Deal with ‘White Helmet’ Volunteers, Assistance for Liberia
Taking account of the high level of poverty in countries with economies in transition, the General Assembly would call on the United Nations, the Bretton Woods institutions and relevant multilateral and regional institutions to continue providing policy advice, as well as targeted and substantial technical assistance, to transitional economies, by the terms of one of 3 draft resolutions that the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) approved without a vote today.
According to that text, on the integration of transition economies into the world economy, such efforts would be aimed at strengthening the social, legal and political framework for completing market-oriented reforms and supporting national development priorities, with a view to sustaining positive trends and reversing any declines in the economic and social development of those countries.
By other terms, the Assembly would emphasize the importance of integrating those countries into the world economy, while stressing the need to focus international assistance on nations facing particular difficulties in socio-economic development, implementing market-oriented reforms and meeting internationally agreed development goals.
The Assembly would also reaffirm, by other terms, its commitment to broaden and strengthen the participation of developing countries and countries with economies in transition in international economic decision-making and norm-setting, and to that end, stress the importance of continuing efforts to reform the international financial architecture.
By the terms of a draft resolution onhumanitarian assistance and reconstruction of Liberia, the Assembly would express its gratitude to the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union, donor countries, specialized agencies of the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations for their valuable support in Liberia’s peacebuilding efforts.
Also, by that text, the Assembly would inviteall States, as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to assist Liberia in creating an enabling environment for the promotion of peace, socio-economic development and regional security, and to ensure that such efforts contributed to the development of an economy characterized by a predictable investment climate, conducive to entrepreneurship, good governance and the rule of law.
By the same text, the Assembly would appeal to the international community, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to provide adequate assistance to programmes and projects identified in the Secretary-General’s report. It would take note of plans for a round table conference of donors for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Liberia, to take place early next year, in close collaboration with the Government of Liberia and its development partners.
Also today, the Committee approved, without a vote, a resolution on the participation of United Nations “White Helmet” volunteers in the field of humanitarian relief. By its terms, the Assembly would -- noting the emphasis placed on local management of humanitarian emergencies, through the participation of affected communities and local volunteers -- recognize the efforts of the White Helmets to involve local populations in the task of planning, training, mobilizing and providing immediate responses in disaster situations.
By another provision of that text, the Assembly would encourage Member States to identify national focal points, through which the White Helmets would provide “a global network of rapid response facilities” in cases of humanitarian emergencies. It would also recognize that the White Helmets initiative could play an important role in the promotion, diffusion and implementation of decisions adopted in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, and make financial resources available to the Special Voluntary Fund of the United Nations Volunteers.
The Committee also approved an oral draft decision, by which the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on information and communication technology for development: progress in the implementation of General Assembly resolution 57/295.
Earlier, the Committee heard the introduction of 10 draft resolutions relating to sustainable development, as well as a text on the commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the operations of the United Nations Children’s Fund.
The Second Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Wednesday 8 November, to take up groups of countries in special situations.
As the Committee met to take action on a number of draft resolutions this afternoon, various delegates introduced texts relating to sustainable development, operational activities for development, and strengthening the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance, for action later in the session.
Before the Committee was a draft resolution on the Oil slick on Lebanese shores (document A/C.2/61/L.23), by which the General Assembly would express its deep concern over the adverse implications of the Israeli military attacks on the achievement of sustainable development in Lebanon. It would call on the Government of Israel to assume its responsibility, in accordance with international law, to adequately compensate the Government of Lebanon, based on principle 16 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, which stipulates that the polluter should bear the cost of pollution.
Also before the Committee was a draft on Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/61/L.27), which would have the Assembly call on Governments, the Economic and Social Council and other United Nations bodies, international financial institutions, the Global Environment Facility, as well as intergovernmental organizations and major groups to ensure the full implementation of follow-up commitments, programmes and time-bound targets, adopted at the World Summit.
By a third text, on Recognition of the Caribbean Sea as a special area in the context of sustainable development (document A/C.2/61/L.30), the Assembly would call on the international community and the United Nations system to support the Association of Caribbean States and its Commission in implementing the decision to recognize the Caribbean Sea as a special area, in the context of sustainable development. It would also call for assistance from the United Nations and the international community to protect the Caribbean Sea from land and ship pollution.
A draft resolution on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (document A/C.2/61/L.25) would have the Assembly call upon the international community to implement fully, the commitments of the Hyogo Declaration and the Hyogo Framework for Action. It would also stress the need to address risk reduction of, and vulnerabilities to, all natural hazards, including geological and hydrometeorological hazards.
The Committee also had before it a draft resolution on International cooperation to reduce the impact of the El Niño phenomenon (document A/C.2/61/L.26) which would have the Assembly welcome activities to strengthen the International Centre for the Study of the El Niño Phenomenon, through collaboration with international monitoring centres and national oceanographic institutions, as well as efforts to develop tools for decision makers and Government authorities to reduce the impact of the El Niño phenomenon.
By a draft on Natural disasters and vulnerability (document A/C.2/61/L.28), the Assembly would stress that, in order to reduce vulnerability to natural hazards, risk assessments should be integrated into national and local disaster risk reduction programmes. It would stress, also, the importance of close cooperation among Governments, the United Nations system, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations and such partners as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, to develop early warning systems.
Another draft, on the Protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind (document A/C.2/61/L.24), would have the Assembly call on States to work together to achieve the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
By the terms of a text on Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (document A/C.2/61/L.31), the Assembly would reaffirm its resolve to address the causes of desertification and land degradation -- and the poverty resulting from it -- through adequate and predictable financing, technology transfer and capacity-building.
A draft resolution on the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010 (document A/C.2/61/L.29) would have the Assembly call on all Member States and relevant international organizations to support the activities of developing countries, with respect to the International Year, with particular attention to African countries, least developed countries, small island developing States, landlocked developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
According to a draft resolution on the Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/C.2/61/L.33), the Assembly would take note of the outcomes of the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention and that of the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety. It would also call for work on the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) to be accelerated, especially on issues of making intellectual property rules fully supportive of the Convention’s objectives.
By a draft resolution on the Commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the operations of the United Nations Children’s Fund (document A/C.2/61/L.32), the President of the General Assembly would be requested to convene, in December 2006, a special commemorative meeting devoted to that anniversary.
Finally, a text on International Assistance for the economic rehabilitation of Angola (document A/C.2/61/L.10/Rev.1) would have the Assembly express its appreciation to the international community, the United Nations system, and the governmental and non-governmental organizations participating in humanitarian assistance programmes in Angola, including mine-action activities, and appeal for their continued contribution to humanitarian mine-action activities, in a manner complementary to that of the Government.
Introduction of Draft Resolutions
The representative of South Africa, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, introduced 10 draft resolutions under the topic of sustainable development.
The representative of Brazil said, in reference to the draft on the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010 (document A/C.2/61/L.29), that Mexico, Japan and Israel had joined as co-sponsors.
As the Committee took up the topic of operational activities for development, the representative of Belarus introduced a draft resolution on the Commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the operations of the United Nations Children’s Fund (document A/C.2/61/L.32).
Action on Draft Resolutions
The Committee then took up information and communication technology for development, approving an oral draft decision, by which the General Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report (document A/61/254) on information and communication technology for development: progress in the implementation of General Assembly resolution 57/295.
The Committee then took up the draft resolution on Integration of the economies in transition into the world economy (document A/C.2/6.1/L.11/Rev.1), approving it without a vote.
Following that action, the representative of the Czech Republic, speaking on behalf of Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia, noted that, 14 years after the General Assembly’s adoption of the first resolution on economies in transition, those countries had changed from centrally planned into market-oriented economies and should no longer be considered economies in transition. However, they would continue to support economies in transition as they integrated into the world economy.
Next, the Committee approved, without a vote, the draft resolution on humanitarian assistance and reconstruction of Liberia (document A/C.2/L.9/Rev.1).
Following that action, the representative of the Philippines said he had requested that the resolution on humanitarian assistance and reconstruction of the Philippines (document A.C.2/61/L.8*) be taken up today, and was disappointed not to see it tabled for action.
Committee Chairperson TIINA INTELMANN ( Estonia) responded by saying it had not been possible to act on that text today, because it had not been circulated on time.
Turning to the last item on the agenda, the Committee approved, without a vote, a draft resolution on the participation of volunteers, “White Helmets”, in the activities of the United Nations, in the field of humanitarian relief, rehabilitation and technical cooperation for development (A/C.2/61/L.4/Rev.1).
* *** *