17 November 2006


17 November 2006
General Assembly
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-first General Assembly

Second Committee

30th Meeting (PM)



Acting Unanimously, Delegates also Pass Texts

On Natural Disasters, Sixtieth Anniversary of Children’s Fund

Acting without a vote today, the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) approved a draft resolution, which would have the General Assembly call for the full implementation of commitments made at the January 2005 International Meeting on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States.

That text, which was unanimously approved alongside two other draft resolutions and one oral decision, would have the Assembly urge the Secretary-General to ensure, without delay, that the Small Island Developing States Unit in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs was sufficiently and sustainably staffed to undertake its broad range of mandated functions.  It would also call for the provision of additional resources to the Small Island Developing States Information Network.

By other terms of that draft, on the follow-up to and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (document A/C.2/61/L.42), the Assembly would request relevant United Nations agencies to mainstream the Mauritius Strategy in their work programmes and to establish a focal point for matters related to small island developing States within their respective secretariats.

Prior to the Committee’s action, its Secretary said no additional funding would be required in carrying out the provisions of the draft resolution.

As the Committee approved the text, it withdrew an earlier version (document A/C.2/61/L.18).

Following that action, the representative of Venezuela reminded the Committee that his country was not party to the Convention on the Law of the Sea and, as such, did not feel bound by paragraphs 26 and 27 of the Mauritius Strategy.

The Committee also approved, without vote, a draft resolution on natural disasters and vulnerability (document A/C.2/61/L.44), by which the General Assembly would urge the international community to address the adverse effects of natural disasters, particularly in vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries in Africa.

Also by that draft, the Assembly would stress the importance of the Hyogo Declaration and Framework for Action in addressing the adverse effects of natural disasters on national development efforts and poverty-reduction strategies.  It would also stress the importance of close cooperation among Governments, the United Nations and other partners, such as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, in developing “people-centred” early warning systems, among other disaster management strategies.

By further terms, the Assembly would place stress on the need for parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, including its Kyoto Protocol, to continue addressing the effects of climate change.  It would encourage the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to continue to assess the socio-economic effects of climate change on developing countries.

In approving that text, the Committee withdrew an earlier one (document A/C.2/61/L.28).

Following that action, the United States delegate voiced his country’s deep commitment to strengthening the capacity of communities to deal with disasters.  While the United States had joined the consensus, it was concerned about language regarding the “increase in frequency of natural hazards” as no objective evidence had been seen to support such an increase and none had been provided during negotiations on the text.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution on the commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), unanimously approving that text (document A/C.2/61/L.32/Rev.1).  By its terms, the Assembly would congratulate the Fund on the occasion, while requesting a special meeting to commemorate it in December.

Introducing the draft, the representative of Belarus said that, in order for the commemorative meeting to take place, the text must be adopted in the plenary by the end of November.  As such, the Committee’s Rapporteur was requested to transfer the text to the plenary as quickly as possible.

Finally, the Committee approved an oral decision to take note of the Secretary-General’s report on comprehensive statistical data on operational activities for development for 2005 (document A/61/77-E/2006/59) as well as his note transmitting the report of the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with respect to the activities of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (document A/61/292).

In other business, the Committee heard the representative of South Africa introduce, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, two draft resolutions.  The first text, on the role of microcredit and microfinance in the eradication of poverty (document A/C.2/61/L.39), would have the Assembly call on Member States, the United Nations system and other stakeholders to maximize the use of microcredit and microfinance as tools to eradicate poverty and to disseminate best practices in the microfinance sector.  By the second draft, on industrial development cooperation (document A/C.2/61/L.40), the Assembly would call for the continued use of official development assistance for industrial development in developing countries, in addition to other private, public, foreign or domestic resources.

He also introduced a draft decision on the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (document A/C.2/61/L.38), by which the Assembly would decide to consider harmonizing the submission of the report of the Institute’s Executive Director and that of the Secretary-General at its sixty-second session.

[According to the Secretary to the Committee, the draft decision had been erroneously published as a draft resolution, and it would be re-released with the appropriate corrections.]

The representative of Namibia introduced a third draft resolution, on special economic assistance to Côte d’Ivoire (document A/C.2/61/L.43), which would have the Assembly request that Member States, United Nations bodies, international financial institutions and development partners provide economic and technical assistance, in addition to current and post-disaster efforts in that country, in the wake of the illegal dumping of toxic wastes in and around Abidjan on 19 August.

He said that the African Group had sought, through that draft resolution, to send an unequivocal message to the perpetrators of that crime that the international community would not tolerate such disregard for human life and destruction of the environment.

The Second Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 22 November, to take action on additional draft resolutions.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.