16 January 2015
Sixty-ninth session, 78th Meeting (AM)

General Assembly, Unanimously Adopting Decision, Sets Out Intergovernmental Negotiations Road Map on Post-2015 Development Agenda

Resolution on Cooperation between Caribbean Community, United Nations Also Adopted without Vote

The General Assembly today set out a road map for the process of intergovernmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda, adopting without a vote a draft decision on that matter.

By the text (document A/69/L.46), the Assembly decided that the process — designating days dedicated to stocktaking declarations, sustainable development goals and targets, means of implementation and global partnership for sustainable development, as well as follow-up and review — would take place between 19 January and 31 July.

In addition the Assembly, underlining the importance of achieving a consensus outcome, decided that the process’ outcome document on the post-2015 development agenda should be prepared for and adopted by consensus at the United Nations summit in September 2015 on the matter.  The document’s initial draft, to be presented to Member States by May 2015 for the intergovernmental negotiations, shall be prepared by the co-facilitators on the basis of Member States’ views and taking into account substantive discussions during the negotiations. 

The decision also stated that the negotiations would take place in accordance with the Assembly’s rules of procedure, with the co-facilitators ensuring the engagement of relevant stakeholders.  In addition, it was decided that the interactive dialogues of the summit shall have as their overarching theme “Transforming the world: realizing the post-20-15 development agenda”.  The themes of its six individual dialogues would be decided through the intergovernmental negotiations process.  Such modalities would be flexible and reviewed as necessary.

After the text’s adoption, a representative of the Secretariat read out a statement on its financial implications.  As the request for an outcome document would lead to an increase in the Department for General Assembly and Conference Management’s documentation workload, additional resources would be required.  As the specific parameters of the outcome document had yet to be decided by the Assembly, it was not possible at present time to estimate the resource requirements for such documentation.

The representative said that, upon the Assembly’s decision on the specific parameters, the Secretary-General would submit a detailed account of such costs requirements in line with rule 153 of the Assembly’s rules of procedure.  Accordingly, the draft’s adoption would not give rise to any financial implications under the 2014-2015 programme budget.

Several speakers then took the floor in explanation of vote after that action, with Japan’s representative welcoming the decision, but stating that she was extremely disappointed that its adoption had been postponed until today because the Secretariat had raised the issue of possible programme budget implications.  She recalled the co-facilitators’ extraordinary efforts that led to the adoption on 29 December 2014 of Assembly resolution 69/244 on the organization of the summit, and resolution 69/550 on the meeting dates of the intergovernmental negotiations.

All budgetary issues related to today’s draft decision could have been resolved if information had been provided on time, she went on to say.  When the details of outcome document became clear, all efforts should be made to absorb the related costs within the existing programme budget.  In the event that was not possible, any extra resource requirements must be discussed by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) and the Assembly’s Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

The United States’ representative, noting that operative paragraph 4 of the text stated that the outcome document should be adopted by consensus, said every effort must be made to reach consensus.  However, if consensus was not achieved, then the word “should” meant that articles 82 to 91 of the Assembly’s rules of procedure would apply.

The European Union’s representative said he was pleased with the manner in which the provisional road map had been set out, and that civil society and other relevant stakeholders would be included in the intergovernmental negotiations.  Any adjustments to the road map would fall within the co-facilitators’ mandate.  The Assembly should achieve consensus on the outcome document.  The Union did not read operative paragraph 4 as in any way modifying the Assembly’s relevant rules of procedure.

Also today, the Assembly adopted without a vote a draft resolution (document A/69/L.51) titled “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Caribbean Community”, which was introduced by the representative of Grenada.

By the text, the Assembly called on the United Nations Secretary-General, in association with his counterparts in the Caribbean Community and the relevant regional organizations, to continue to assist in furthering the development and maintenance of peace and security within the region.

Further, the Assembly requested the Secretaries-General of the two entities to continue to promote and expand cooperation within their respective mandates so as to increase their organizational capacity to attain their objectives and seek answers to such global issues as climate change; disaster risk reduction; sustainable development challenges, including poverty, inequality and non-communicable diseases; and transnational organized crime.

The resolution has the Assembly call on the United Nations and its specialized agencies, funds and programmes, bearing in mind the particular vulnerabilities of Caribbean States, to intensify their assistance to those States in addressing the diverse challenges to achieving sustainable development, including through the sustained and effective implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action, the Mauritius Strategy and the SAMOA Pathway, and through the implementation of the Community’s strategic objectives.

Also by the text, the Assembly acknowledged the launch of a regional programme by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for the period 2014-2016 in support of the crime and security strategy developed by the Community’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security, and the conclusion of a memorandum of understanding between the Office and the Agency to facilitate their collaboration.

Further, the Assembly reiterated the urgent need for reopening the regional UNODC Office to reinforce the efforts of Caribbean States in their struggle against the interrelated scourges of transnational organized crime, drugs, violent crime and the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

At the beginning of the meeting, the Assembly took note of document A/69/722, by which the Secretary-General informed the Assembly President that 13 Member States were in arrears of paying their assessed financial contributions to the United Nations, under the terms of Article 19 of the Charter. 

The Assembly will meet again on Monday, 9 February, to hold a High-level Thematic Debate on Means of Implementation for a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda.

For information media. Not an official record.