1 November 2017
Seventy-second Session, 24th Meeting (PM)

Second Committee Introduces 36 Draft Resolutions, Including Texts on Protecting Global Climate, Development Needs of Middle-Income Countries

The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) met today to introduce 36 draft resolutions, including one highlighting the adverse effects of climate change, such as persistent drought, extreme weather, land degradation, sea level rise and retreat of mountain glaciers.

Introducing that draft on “protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind” (document A/C.2/72/L.26), Ecuador’s delegate, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, warned that climate change threatened sustainable development, food security and efforts to eradicate poverty.

Mitigation of climate change was an immediate and urgent global priority, he stressed, urging developed States to set up ambitious emission reduction targets and provide adequate finance, technology transfer and capacity-building support for developing countries.

He also introduced 34 additional texts, primarily focused on international, regional and national efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a major concern during the current session.

A draft on “development cooperation with middle-income countries” (document A/C.2/72/L.23) noted that those nations were home to five of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants and 73 per cent of its poor.  The classification of middle-income countries based on per capita income gave an incomplete picture, highlighting the urgent need to ensure that their development needs were duly addressed.

According to another text on “commodities” (document A/C.2/72/L.9), many commodity-dependent developing countries were highly vulnerable to fluctuations in prices, which had dropped during the first four months of 2017 after a brief upswing in 2016.  The draft called on relevant bodies to improve the regulation, efficiency, functioning and transparency of financial and commodity markets.

A draft on “external debt sustainability and development” (document A/C.2/72/L.15) underscored global challenges like sluggish economic and trade growth, net negative capital flows to developing countries, flat commodity prices and expected tightening of monetary policies in developed States.  Creditors should provide swift and flexible debt restructuring, relief and cancellation, especially for developing countries affected by natural hazards.

Another text on “information and communications technologies (ICT) for sustainable development” (document A/C.2/72/L.5) pointed to the continuing digital divide between and within countries as well as among women and men.  It defined access to information and communications technology in all dimensions, from quality to affordability, as well as the risk that developing countries would be further marginalized due to the rapid pace of technology development.

Focusing on macroeconomic policy questions, other drafts were introduced on “unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries” (document A/C.2/72/L.7); “international trade and development”(document A/C.2/72/L.17); “international financial system and development” (document A/C.2/72/L.19); “financial inclusion for sustainable development” (document A/C.2/72/L.10); and “promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen asset recovery in order to foster sustainable development” (document A/C.2/72/L.16).

Under sustainable development, texts were introduced on “oil slick on Lebanese shores” (document A/C.2/72/L.8); “International Year of Camelids, 2024” (document A/C.2/72/L.29); “Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development” (document A/C.2/72/L.39); and “follow-up to and implementation of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States” (document A/C.2/72/L.27).

Also under that topic, drafts were introduced on “disaster risk reduction” (document A/C.2/72/L.14); “implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa” (document A/C.2/72/L.37); “implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its contribution to sustainable development” (document A/C.2/72/L.34); “education for sustainable development in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” (document A/C.2/72/L.24); “Harmony with Nature” (document A/C.2/72/L.38); “ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” (document A/C.2/72/L.3); and “combating sand and dust storms” (document A/C.2/72/L.4).

Focusing on globalization and interdependence, texts were introduced on the “role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence” (document A/C.2/72/L.11); “science, technology and innovation for development” (document A/C.2/72/L.6); and “culture and sustainable development” (document A/C.2/72/L.13).

Under eradication of poverty and operational activities for development, texts were introduced on “implementation of the second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008‑2017)” (document A/C.2/72/L.22); “women in development” (document A/C.2/72/L.21); “human resources development” (document A/C.2/72/L.20); “follow-up to the second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries” (document A/C.2/72/L.35); “operational activities for development of the United Nations system” (document A/C.2/72/L.41); and “South‑South cooperation” (document A/C.2/72/L.43).

Further texts were introduced on “follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries” (document A/C.2/72/L.31); “implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conferences on Human Settlements and on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN‑Habitat)” (document A/C.2/72/L.36); “Permanent Sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources” (document A/C.2/72/L.40); “follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the international Conferences on Financing for Development” (document A/C.2/72/L.18); and “food security and nutrition” (document A/C.2/72/L.25).

A draft resolution on “World Bee Day” (document A/C.2/72/L.32) was introduced by Slovenia’s representative, who noted that pollinators contributed greatly to nutrition and food security, but were endangered by human activities like intensive agricultural practices, pesticides and pollution.  The text would seek to raise awareness of the need to protect bees and other pollinators, underlining poverty reduction, hunger eradication and human health.

The Committee will meet again on Wednesday, 8 November, at 3 p.m. to hear introductions of and act on further draft resolutions.

For information media. Not an official record.