14 January 2011

Meeting for the First Time This Year, General Assembly Takes Action on Cooperation with Francophonie Organization; Facilitating Work of Rwanda, Yugoslavia Tribunals

14 January 2011
General Assembly
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fifth General Assembly


74th Meeting (AM)

Meeting for the First Time This Year, General Assembly Takes Action on Cooperation

with Francophonie Organization; Facilitating Work of Rwanda, Yugoslavia Tribunals


Welcoming the genuine contribution of the International Organization of la Francophonie to United Nations efforts in countries like Haiti, Côte d’Ivoire and Democratic Republic of the Congo, the General Assembly today invited the Secretaries General of those international bodies to continue exchanging information with a view to identifying new areas of cooperation.

Those elements were laid out in a consensus resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the International Organization of la Francophonie (document A/65/L.26/Rev.1), adopted by the Assembly in its first plenary meeting of 2011.  By its terms, the Assembly noted the desire of the two organizations to consolidate, develop and strengthen ties in the political, economic, social and cultural fields, expressing great satisfaction with cooperation in the area of human rights.  In particular, the Assembly commended crisis and conflict prevention efforts undertaken in accordance with commitments set forth in the 2000 Bamako Declaration, which aims to promote and consolidate democracy in French-speaking countries.

Introducing the text, Peter Maurer, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, said it reflected the role of the international organization as a stakeholder on the international scene and underscored its wish to participate with the United Nations in settling socioeconomic, cultural and humanitarian problems.  The international organization also hoped to be a link for sharing useful practices in addressing such cross-cutting threats as piracy and drug trafficking.  Peacekeeping operations were another sphere of interest, he said, noting that troops must be able to communicate in French, a condition not always fulfilled.  The United Nations must ensure multilingualism in its peacekeeping operations, he added.

Speaking after action, Ileka Atoki ( Democratic Republic of the Congo), recalling that his country would host the Fourteenth Francophonie Conference in 2012, said the text gave new impetus to the international organization’s participation in the prevention and settlement of conflicts, peacebuilding and provision of electoral assistance in French-speaking countries.  As a post-conflict nation, the Democratic Republic of the Congo appreciated the Assembly’s note with satisfaction of the follow-up in electoral assistance and oversight.  Indeed, 2011 was an electoral year for his country and his people would be called on to chose leaders to guide their destiny — locally, regionally and internationally.  In those efforts, the United Nations would be of invaluable support.

Moussa Makan Camara, Observer of the International Organization of la Francophonie, expressed his satisfaction that the concerns of French-speaking countries had met with broad consensus in the General Assembly, confirming that the international organization provided a space to achieve common objectives.  The United Nations had benefited from efforts by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to learn the French language and, with 72 Member States using that language, he asked that others show the same willingness.  Such efforts would assist cooperation in such areas as preventing conflicts, building democracy and the rule of law, and in mobilizing progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.

Also today, the Assembly adopted by consensus two decisions related to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY).

By the first (document A/65/L.57), the Assembly authorized Judges Joseph Asoka de Silva and Taghrid Hikmet of the Rwanda Tribunal to complete the Ndindiliyimana et al case, which they had begun prior to the expiration of their terms of office on 31 December 2010, and took note of the Tribunal’s intention to complete that case in March 2011.

The Assembly also authorized Judge Joseph Masanche to complete the Hategekimana case, which he had begun before his term’s expiry on 31 December 2010, taking note of the intention to complete that case in January 2011.  Further, for the Tribunal to complete existing or additional trials, the Assembly decided that the total number of ad litem Judges might temporarily exceed the maximum of nine provided for in the Tribunal’s statute, to a maximum of 12 at any one time, returning to a maximum of nine by 31 December 2011.

By a second decision (document A/65/L.58), the Assembly authorized Judge Kevin Parker of the former Yugoslavia Tribunal to complete the Dordević case, which he had begun before the 31 December 2010 expiration of his term of office, taking note of the Tribunal’s intention to complete that case by the end of February 2011.  It also authorized Judge Uldis Kinis to complete the Gotovina et al case, which he had begun before the expiration of his term of office on the same date, taking note of the Tribunal’s intention to complete the case by the end of March 2011.

By other terms, the Assembly decided to allow Judge Kinis to serve at the Tribunal beyond the cumulative period of service provided for under article 13 ter, paragraph 2 of the Tribunal’s statute.  It also called on the Secretariat to continue working with the Tribunal’s Registrar to find practicable solutions to the issue of adequate staffing as the Tribunal approached completion of its work.

In other action, the Assembly took up a request submitted by the Secretary-General (document A/65/232), informing it of the resignation of Judge Rose Boyko of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal, effective 15 January, which would create a vacancy on that body.  As the agenda of the sixty-fifth session did not contain a sub-item on the appointment of a judge, the Assembly decided to include in its current session a sub-item on “Appointment of a judge of the United Nations Appeals Tribunal”, under its agenda item 113 entitled “Organizational, administrative and other matters”.

The General Assembly will reconvene at a time and date to be announced.

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