Assistance to Palestinian People, Compliance with Court Ruling Concerning Violation of Convention on Consular Relations among Texts Adopted by General Assembly

GA/12115
20 December 2018
Seventy-third Session, 62nd & 63rd Meetings (AM & PM)

Assistance to Palestinian People, Compliance with Court Ruling Concerning Violation of Convention on Consular Relations among Texts Adopted by General Assembly

Organ also Takes Action on Draft Resolutions, Decisions by Second, Sixth Committee

The General Assembly today adopted resolutions and decisions of its Second (Economic and Financial) and Sixth (Legal) Committees, also adopting four texts — including one calling for compliance with International Court of Justice judgments — from its plenary session.

The Assembly adopted, as orally revised, a resolution related to the judgment of the International Court of Justice of 31 March 2004 concerning “Avena and Other Mexican Nationals” (document A/73/L.63) by a recorded vote of 69 in favour to 4 against (Israel, Liberia, Marshall Islands, United States), with 66 abstentions.  Through it, the Assembly urgently calls for full and immediate compliance with the Court’s judgment.

The representative of Mexico, who introduced the draft, said the Court issued its judgment in 2004 in a case presented by his Government related to violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and of due process involving over 50 cases of Mexican nationals sentenced to death in the United States.  The Court determined the United States failed to provide necessary consular information and failed to allow Mexico to provide consular services.  As a result, the Court ordered the review of 51 cases of Mexicans nationals, he said, warning that the United States is failing to comply with the judgment.

The representative of the United States, explaining her country’s position before adoption of the text, said it was inappropriate for such a bilateral matter to be brought before the General Assembly.  The United States takes seriously its international obligations related to consular access and would vote “no” because the Assembly is not the proper venue for discussions on the matter.

Several speakers disagreed with that assessment, with the representative of Brazil stressing that “the duty to comply with the Court is established in the Charter of the United Nations”.  As a result, the General Assembly can discuss Court-related matters, he said.

Earlier in the day the Assembly — acting without a vote — adopted a text on “assistance to the Palestinian people” (document A/73/L.69), through which it urges Member States, international financial institutions of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and regional and interregional organizations to extend, as rapidly and as generously as possible, economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people.

“Despite challenges emanating from Israeli occupation, the State of Palestine has made progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” said the observer of the State of Palestine after the text’s adoption.  He warned that the lack of a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the greatest obstacle to sustainable development for the Palestinian people.

The General Assembly also adopted the resolution “cooperation between the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)” (document A/73/L.72) by a recorded vote of 142 in favour to 0 against, with 12 abstentions, having first decided to retain operative paragraph 6 by a recorded vote of 114 in favour to 11 against, with 19 abstentions.

Consideration of the draft, through which the Assembly takes note of the annual report for 2016 and the draft report for 2017 of OPCW submitted on its behalf by its Director General, saw representatives raise concerns over the apparent politicization of a historically procedural text.

“Several countries are politicizing the text by selectively targeting Syria and other Member States,” warned Syria’s representative after the text’s adoption.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly also adopted a resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (document A/73/L.71), through which it reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations and the group to develop the partnership between the two organizations.  It further encourages the United Nations to continue to work closely with ASEAN in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

Turning to the Second Committee (Economic and Financial), the General Assembly adopted 38 resolutions and one decision largely aimed at bolstering global efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

By a resolution on international trade and development, adopted in a recorded vote of 184 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions, the Assembly emphasized the need to combat protectionism and rectify trade-distorting measures inconsistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements.

Adopting a resolution on protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind, the Assembly expressed alarm that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise worldwide, stating that it remains concerned that all nations are experiencing an increase in adverse climate change impacts.

A further resolution addressed the oil slick on Lebanese shores, which was adopted in a recorded vote of 166 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guatemala, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Tonga).  By that text, the Assembly expressed deep concern about the adverse implications of Israel’s destruction of oil tanks near Lebanon’s Jiyah electric power plant for achieving sustainable development in the country.

Another resolution was adopted on agriculture development, food security and nutrition by a recorded vote of 185 in favour to 1 against (United States).  By its terms, the Assembly expressed concern that the world is falling behind in eradicating hunger and malnutrition by 2030, noting that scarce and unsustainably managed natural resources, climate change, drought, desertification and conflict are preventing progress.

Additional resolutions spotlighted financing for development; illicit financial flows; the international financial system; external debt; small island developing States; the El Niño phenomenon; desertification; biological diversity; the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); water for sustainable development; harmony with nature; sand and dust storms; radiation in Central Asia; the Caribbean Sea; entrepreneurship; affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy; Agenda 21; disaster risk reduction; World Food Safety Day; World Pulses Day; and International Year of Plant Health 2020.

Further resolutions concerned 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; international migration; the new international economic order; least developed countries; landlocked developing countries; operational activities; South-South cooperation; the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat); and global partnerships.  The Assembly also adopted a decision titled draft provisional rules of procedure and provisional agenda of the second high-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation.

The Assembly also adopted the programme of work of the Second Committee for the seventy-fourth session of the General Assembly.

Committee Rapporteur Anneli Lepp (Estonia) introduced its reports.

In other business, the Assembly took up 23 resolutions and 7 decisions recommended by the Sixth Committee (Legal) for adoption by the Assembly.  Of the three resolutions contained within the “report of the International Law Commission on the work of its seventieth session”, consideration of the eponymous first text was postponed to a later date to allow time for the review of its programme budget implications by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).  The other 22 texts, in keeping with the Sixth Committee’s long‑standing tradition, were all adopted without a vote.

The Russian Federation’s delegate, however, weighed in on the resolution “Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country”.  While expressing his support in general for the text, he underscored that the mention of appreciation for the host country for “some abstract efforts” in paragraph 12 seems absurd in the face of the ongoing unlawful actions of the United States. 

The representative of Syria commented on the adoption of the resolution “The rule of law at the national and international levels”, expressing reservations on paragraph 63 of the text that refers to the report of the Secretary-General on strengthening and coordinating United Nations rule of law activities.  Calling that paragraph unbalanced, he said the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Persons responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011 had been established through a resolution that did not enjoy consensus at the General Assembly.  The credibility of Syria’s legal and political position is solid, he stressed.

The General Assembly also adopted the four resolutions contained in the “Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on the work of its fifty-first session”.  Within that document was the text “United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements resulting from Mediation”.  Singapore’s delegate expressed his appreciation to Member States for their support of the new Convention, which would be opened for signatures during a ceremony in his country on 7 August 2019.  The Convention will benefit the global economy by aiding the growth of international commerce, he said.

Also speaking today were the representatives of Austria (on behalf of the European Union delegation), Slovakia, Egypt, Romania, Israel, Qatar, Australia, France, Republic of Korea, Namibia, Viet Nam, Netherlands, Iran, Cuba, Singapore (on behalf of ASEAN), Bangladesh and Thailand.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Friday, 21 December, when it is expected to take action on a number of outstanding agenda items.

Action on Sixth Committee (Legal) Reports

NADIA ALEXANDRA KALB (Austria), Sixth Committee Rapporteur, introduced that body’s reports addressing 24 substantive and 3 procedural agenda items that had been allocated to the Committee.  With the exception of the election of officers, they represented the Organization’s priorities in the legal sphere, namely the promotion of justice and international law; drug control, crime prevention and combating international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations; and organizational matters and administration.  The reports — 22 resolutions and 7 decisions — were then introduced in the order under which they fell under those headings.

The draft resolutions and draft decisions had been approved by the Sixth Committee without a vote, she said, adding she hoped that the General Assembly would do the same.  Noting that there was no report in respect of the agenda item, “Election of officers of the Main Committees”, she said that, consistent with previous practice, elections for the Sixth Committee’s seventy‑fourth session would be taken up at a later stage in the course of the current session.

The General Assembly took up the report, “Criminal accountability of United Nations officials and experts on mission” (document A/73/549), adopting the draft resolution contained therein without a vote.  By the text, the Assembly, among other things, expresses its concern with respect to all alleged crimes on the part of United Nations officials and experts on mission, including allegations of fraud, corruption and other financial crimes.  It also urges the Secretary-General to continue to ensure that his zero-tolerance policy for criminal activities — including sexual exploitation and abuse, fraud and corruption — is made known to all United Nations officials and experts on mission at all levels, especially those in managerial positions.  Further, it urges that the policy be fully implemented in a coherent and coordinated manner throughout the United Nations.

Acting again without a vote, the General Assembly adopted four draft resolutions contained in the “Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on the work of its fifty-first session”.  The eponymous resolution (document A/73/496) has the General Assembly, among other things, take note with appreciation of that report and endorse the efforts and initiatives of the Commission as the core legal body within the United Nations system in the field of international trade law.

Within that document was the “United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements resulting from Mediation” by which the General Assembly adopts that Convention and authorizes a ceremony for the opening for signature to be held in Singapore on 7 August 2019.  It also recommends that the Convention be known as the “Singapore Convention on Mediation”.

Also contained in the eponymous text was the resolution, “Model Law on International Commercial Mediation and International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation”, in which the General Assembly recommends that the Secretary-General transmit the text of the Model Law to Governments and other interested bodies.

The resolution, “Model Law on Recognition and Enforcement of Insolvency-Related Judgments”, also included in the document, has the General Assembly recommend that all States give favourable consideration to the Model Law when revising or adopting legislation relevant to insolvency, bearing in mind the need for internationally harmonized legislation governing and facilitating instances of cross-border insolvency.

The representative of Singapore, speaking in explanation of position, expressed appreciation to Member States for supporting the resolution on the treaty addressing international settlement agreements resulting from mediation.  That resolution adopts the Convention and authorizes a ceremony in Singapore on 7 August 2019, opening the accord for signatures.  The Convention and the amended Model Law will facilitate growth of international commerce, to the benefit of the global economy, he said, adding that Singapore looks forward to welcoming delegations in August 2019 to be among the first signatories of that document.

The Assembly next adopted without a vote the resolution contained in the report, “United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law” (document A/73/557).  By the text, the General Assembly authorizes the Secretary-General to carry out the activities specified in his report in 2019, including the International Law Fellowship Programme, and the United Nations Regional Courses in International Law for Africa, for Asia-Pacific and for Latin America and the Caribbean.  The General Assembly also commends the Codification Division of the Office of Legal Affairs for the cost-saving measures undertaken regarding the International Law Fellowship Programme and the United Nations Regional Courses to increase the number of fellowships for the training courses financed from provisions in the regular budget.

The General Assembly then turned to three resolutions contained within the “Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its seventieth session” (document A/73/556).  Taking up the first resolution, the Assembly postponed adoption to a later date to allow time for the review of its programme budget implications by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).  By the terms of that text, the General Assembly would express its appreciation to the International Law Commission for the work accomplished during its session and stress the desirability of further enhancing the dialogue between the International Law Commission, in particular the Special Rapporteurs, and the Sixth Committee.

The Assembly then adopted two other resolutions under that agenda item.  The second resolution contained within the report “Subsequent agreements and subsequent practice in relation to the interpretation of treaties” has the Assembly express its appreciation to the International Law Commission for its continuing contribution to the codification and progressive development of international law and takes note of the conclusions on subsequent agreements and subsequent practice in relation to the interpretation of treaties.

By the text of the third resolution, “Identification of customary international law”, which was also contained within the document, the Assembly notes the conclusions on the matter and, encouraging their widest possible dissemination, calls States’ attention to those conclusions, along with all who may be called upon to identify rules of customary international law.

Adopting without a vote “Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts” (document A/73/555), by that text, the General Assembly welcomes the universal acceptance of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and notes the trend towards a similarly wide acceptance of the two Additional Protocols of 1977.  It calls upon all States parties to the Geneva Conventions that have not yet done so to consider becoming parties to the Additional Protocols at the earliest possible date.  It also calls upon Member States to participate in the thirty‑third International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, to be held in Geneva in 2019.

The General Assembly continued by adopting without a vote the resolution “Consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives” (document A/73/554).  By the text, the Assembly urges States to strictly observe, implement and enforce, including during a period of armed conflict, all the applicable principles and rules of international law governing diplomatic and consular relations, including those relating to inviolability.  It also urges States to take all appropriate measures, in accordance with international law, at the national and international levels to prevent any abuse of diplomatic or consular privileges and immunities, particularly serious abuses, including those involving acts of violence.

The Assembly then adopted without a vote the resolution “Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization” (document A/73/486).  By that text, the General Assembly, among other things, reiterates its call for voluntary contributions to the trust fund for the elimination of the backlog in the Repertory of Practice of United Nations Organs.  It also notes with concern that the backlog in the preparation of Volume III of the Repertory, although slightly reduced, had not been eliminated.  It then calls upon the Secretary-General to address that issue while commending him for progress made in reducing the backlog.

Also before the Assembly was the resolution “The rule of law at the national and international levels” (document A/73/553), adopted without a vote.  By the terms of that text, the General Assembly encourages the Secretary-General and the United Nations system to accord high priority to rule of law activities.  By further terms, the Assembly reaffirms its role in encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification, and further reaffirms that States shall abide by all of their obligations under international law.

The representative of Syria, speaking in explanation of position, expressed his reservations with regard to paragraph 63 of the text and disassociated himself from all consensus on the paragraph, given that it refers to the report of the Secretary-General on strengthening and coordinating United Nations rule of law activities (document A/73/253).  That paragraph is unbalanced, he stressed, adding that two years after the creation of the International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism, through a resolution that did not enjoy consensus at the General Assembly, the credibility of Syria’s legal and political position is solid.  The creation of that illegitimate body is a flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations, he said.

The Assembly, acting without a vote, adopted the resolution “The scope and application of the principle of universal jurisdiction” (document A/73/550), in which the General Assembly decides that the Sixth Committee shall continue its consideration of the topic, without prejudice to the consideration of it or any related issues in other forums of the United Nations.  For this purpose, it also decides to establish, at its seventy-fourth session, a working group of the Sixth Committee to continue undertaking thorough discussions on the matter.

Acting again without a vote, the General Assembly adopted the resolution “Protection of persons in the event of disasters” (document A/73/558).  By its terms, the General Assembly takes note of the views and comments expressed in the debates on this topic by the Sixth Committee during the seventy-third session, as well as the comments and observations received from Governments on the draft articles.  It calls attention to the recommendation by the International Law Commission that a convention be elaborated on the basis of the draft articles.

The Assembly also adopted without a vote the resolution “Strengthening and promoting the international treaty framework” (document A/73/560).  By the text, the General Assembly recalls Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations, reaffirms the importance of the registration and publication of treaties, as well as their accessibility, and stresses that the regulations be useful and relevant to Member States and be kept updated to assist States in implementing their obligations thereunder.  The General Assembly also reaffirms its support for the annual treaty event organized by the Secretary-General.

The Assembly also adopted without a vote the resolution “Measures to eliminate international terrorism” (document A/73/551).  By the text, it condemns all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, wherever and by whomever committed.  Further, it calls upon all Member States, the United Nations and other appropriate international, regional and subregional organizations to implement the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, as well as the resolutions relating to the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth biennial reviews of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, in all its aspects at the international, regional, subregional and national levels without delay, including by mobilizing resources and expertise.

The Assembly then adopted without a vote the decision contained in the report, “Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly” (document A/73/559).  By that text, the Assembly notes that the Sixth Committee has decided to adopt the provisional programme of work for the seventy-fourth session of the General Assembly, as proposed by the Committee’s Bureau.

The Assembly also took note of the report on Programme Planning (document A/73/563), which requires no further action by the Assembly.

Taking up the resolution “Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country” (document A/73/552), the General Assembly considers that the maintenance of appropriate conditions for the normal work of the delegations and the missions accredited to the United Nations and the observance of their privileges and immunities — which cannot be subject to any restrictions arising from the bilateral relations of the host country — is in the interest of the United Nations and all Member States.  It takes seriously recent concerns raised by permanent missions regarding the normal performance of their functions and requests that the host country continue to work to solve problems that might arise.  As well, the General Assembly requests that the host country consider removing the remaining travel restrictions imposed by it on staff of certain missions and staff members of the Secretariat of certain nationalities.

The representative of the Russian Federation, speaking in explanation of position, highlighted paragraph 12 which expresses appreciation to the host country for “some abstract efforts”.  While expressing support for the part of the resolution that calls on the host country to uphold its international legal obligations, he disassociated himself from consensus on that paragraph because the United States authorities are violating their obligations under the agreement.  Urging the host country to end their ongoing and unlawful actions, he said that expressing appreciation against this backdrop seems absurd.

Syria’s delegate also expressed reservations about the text, pointing to the first part of the second paragraph of the resolution.  While expressing appreciation for the city of New York and its civil servants, he lamented the politicized decisions and restrictions of the host Government, which seeks to punish some missions and United Nations staff of certain nationalities because of disagreements with the Governments of those countries.

Before the Assembly was the decision “Observer status for the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States in the General Assembly” (document A/73/433).  By that text, the sponsors requested that the Committee defer a decision on the request for observer status for the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States in the General Assembly until the seventy-fourth session of the General Assembly.  It was adopted without a vote.

Also adopted by the Assembly was a decision on “Observer status for the Eurasian Economic Union in the General Assembly” (document A/73/434) in which the sponsors requested the Committee to defer a decision on the request for observer status for the Eurasian Economic Union in the General Assembly until the seventy-fourth session of the Assembly.  The Assembly approved the decision.

The Assembly then adopted a decision on “Observer status for the Community of Democracies in the General Assembly” (document A/73/467) in which the sponsors requested the Committee to defer a decision on the request for observer status for the Community of Democracies in the General Assembly until the seventy-fourth session of the Assembly.  The decision was adopted without a vote.

The Assembly then adopted without a vote the decision on “Observer status for the Ramsar convention on Wetlands Secretariat in the General Assembly” (document A/73/436) in which the sponsors requested the Committee to defer a decision on the request for observer status for the Community of Democracies in the General Assembly until the seventy-fourth session of the Assembly.  The decision was approved.

The Assembly also adopted without a vote a decision to defer the request “Observer status for the Global Environment Facility in the General Assembly” (document A/73/435) until the seventy-fourth session of the Assembly.  The Assembly adopted the decision.

Adopted without a vote was the resolution “Observer Status for the New Development Bank in the General Assembly” (document A/73/463), by which the Assembly invites that group to participate in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly in the capacity of observer.  The Bank mobilizes resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in emerging economies and developing countries while complementing the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions.

The resolution “Observer status for the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea in the General Assembly” (document A/73/465) was also adopted by the Assembly without a vote.  That group was invited to participate in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly in the capacity of observer.  The International Council is an intergovernmental organization that coordinates and promotes marine research, providing the best available science to enable policymakers to make informed decisions on the sustainable use of marine environments and ecosystems.

The General Assembly then adopted without a vote “Observer status for the European Public Law Organization in the General Assembly” (document A/73/462), inviting that group to participate in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly in the capacity of observer.  Established by international treaty, the Public Law Organization disseminates knowledge in public law — from constitutional law to international law.  It also collaborates with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the European Union and the Council of Europe.

The resolution “Observer Status for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in the General Assembly” (document A/73/464) was also adopted without a vote.  By that text, the General Assembly invites the Bank to participate in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly in the capacity of observer.  The Bank fosters sustainable economic development, creates wealth and improves infrastructure connectivity in Asia.  The Bank has been in operation for nearly three years and has an authorized capital stock of $100 billion.

Next, the General Assembly adopted without a vote the resolution, “Observer Status for the International Think Tank for Landlocked Developing Countries in the General Assembly (document A/73/466).  Invited to participate in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly in the capacity of observer, the Think Tank provides sustainable solutions to landlocked developing countries and promotes awareness about their unique characteristics and obstacles through high quality research and seminars.

Introduction of Reports and Draft Resolutions

ANNELI LEPP (Estonia), Rapporteur of the Second Committee, introduced the body’s reports and draft resolutions or decisions within, noting oral revisions for some.  She began with information and communications technologies (ICT) for development (document A/73/535); macroeconomic policy questions (document A/73/536); international trade and development (document A/73/536/Add.1); international financial system and development (document A/73/536/Add.2); external debt sustainability and development (document A/73/536/Add.3); promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development (document A/73/536/Add.4); and follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development (document A/73/537).

Turning then to reports on development, she introduced sustainable development (document A/73/538); 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/73/538/Add.1); follow-up to and implementation of the SIDS [small island developing States] 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/73/538/Add.2); disaster risk reduction (document A/73/538/Add.3); protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind (document A/73/538/Add.4); implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (document A/73/538/Add.5); Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/73/538/Add.6); report of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) (document A/73/538/Add.7); Harmony with Nature (document A/73/538/Add.8); ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (document A/73/538/Add.9); combating sand and dust storms (document A/73/538/Add.10); and the role of the international community in the prevention of the radiation threat in Central Asia (document A/73/538/Add.11).

Next, she introduced reports on 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/73/539); globalization and interdependence (documents A/73/540 and A/73/540/Add.1); international migration and development (document A/73/540/Add.2); groups of countries in special situations (document A/73/541); follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (document A/73/541/Add.1); follow-up to the second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (document A/73/541/Add.2); eradication of poverty and other development issues (document A/73/542); implementation of the Third United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2018-2027) (document A/73/542/Add.1); industrial development cooperation (document A/73/542/Add.2); operational activities for development (document A/73/543); operational activities for development of the United Nations system (document A/73/543/Add.1); South-South cooperation for development (document A/73/543/Add.2); agriculture development, food security and nutrition (document A/73/544); towards global partnerships (document A/73/545), as orally revised; 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/73/546); revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/73/547); and programme planning (A/73/548).

Action on Draft Resolutions

The Assembly then turned to draft resolutions in the reports, beginning with a text on information and communications technologies for development (document A/C.2/73/L.29/Rev.1), taking note of the report and adopting it without a vote.  By that text, it expressed concern over the substantial continued digital and broadband divides between and within developed and developing countries.

The Assembly then took note of the report on ICT for sustainable development.

The representative of Switzerland, speaking in explanation before the vote, on behalf of several countries, reaffirmed commitment to the multilateral system for the global economy.  Stressing the importance of transparency and equitable trade under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization (WTO), he said the multilateral system advances a progressive trade agenda, contributing to sustainable development under the 2030 Agenda.

Next, it turned to macroeconomic policy questions, taking note of the report and adopting a resolution on international trade and development (document A/C.2/73/L.21/Rev.1) by a recorded vote of 184 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly emphasized the need to combat protectionism in all its forms and rectify any trade-distorting measures that are inconsistent with WTO agreements.

Following that, it adopted a resolution on international financial system and development (document A/C.2/73/L.12/Rev.1) by a recorded vote of 184 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly stressed the critical importance of a stable, inclusive and enabling global economic environment to advance sustainable development.

The Assembly then adopted a resolution on external debt sustainability and development (document A/C.2/73/L.50), without a vote, by which it stressed the dual responsibility of creditor and debtor countries to avoid a build-up of unsustainable debt so as to reduce the risk of relapsing into another debt crisis.

Next, it adopted a resolution on promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development (document A/C.2/73/L.19/Rev.1).  By its terms, the Assembly would express concern that virtual assets are increasingly being used for illicit activities, calling on countries to cooperate in mutual legal assistance and automatic exchange of financial account information.

The Assembly then took note of the report on macroeconomic policy questions.

Following that, it took up follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development, adopting a resolution of the same name (document A/C.2/73/L.42).  By that text, the Assembly emphasized the need to work towards the full and timely implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.

The Assembly then took note of the report on follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development.

The Assembly then adopted a resolution titled “oil slick on Lebanese shores” (document A/C.2/73/L.13) by a recorded vote of 166 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Guatemala, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Vanuatu).  By that text, it expressed deep concern about the adverse implications of Israel’s destruction of oil tanks near Lebanon’s Jiyeh electric power plant for achieving sustainable development in the country.

The Assembly then adopted a resolution on entrepreneurship for sustainable development (document A/C.2/73/L.35/Rev.1) by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 25 against, with 5 abstentions (Bangladesh, China, South Africa, South Sudan, Turkey).  By its terms, the Assembly emphasized the importance of improved regulatory environments and policy initiatives promoting entrepreneurship and fostering micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Next, it adopted, without a vote, a resolution on midterm comprehensive review of the implementation of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028 (document A/C.2/73/L.24/Rev.1).  By its terms, the Assembly would decide to convene, in New York from 22 to 24 March 2023, a United Nations conference on that topic to assist in achieving internationally agreed water-related goals and targets.

Following that, the Assembly adopted a resolution on “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.2/73/L.34/Rev.1) by a recorded vote of 125 in favour to 47 against, with 3 abstentions (New Zealand, Norway, Turkey).  By that text, the Assembly stressed the importance of overcoming silos and seeking innovative and coordinated approaches in integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development at the global, regional and national levels.

The Assembly then adopted a resolution on 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.2/73/L.53).  By that text, the Assembly urged all partners to integrate the Samoa Pathway into their respective cooperation frameworks, programmes and activities to ensure its follow-up and implementation.

Next, it adopted, without a vote, a resolution titled “towards the sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea for present and future generations” (document A/C.2/73/L.27/Rev.1), by which the Assembly called on the international community to assist the region’s countries in protecting the Caribbean Sea from degradation due to ship pollution and the illegal dumping or accidental release of hazardous waste.

The representative of Turkey said she joined consensus on the resolution but wishes to disassociate herself from references made to international instruments that it is not party to, which cannot be construed as a change in the legal position of her country regarding the said documents.  Also, Turkey does not consider the language in the “Oceans and the Law of the Sea” resolution regarding the Convention on the Law of the Sea as agreed language and therefore calls for a vote on the said resolution every year.

The representative of Colombia noted his country is committed to the conservation and sustainable development of marine life, and has a robust set of measures for marine protection.  Colombia develops the marine environment in strict observance of protocols but has not ratified the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and therefore is not subject to it.

Following that, the Assembly adopted a resolution, without a vote, on effective global response to address the impacts of the El Niño phenomenon (document A/C.2/73/L.6/Rev.1).  By its terms, it stressed that during neutral El Niño and La Niña years it is critical to prepare for, build resilience to and reduce the risks of the next event, calling on the international community to provide financial, technical and capacity-building support to countries affected by the El Niño phenomenon.

The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, a resolution on disaster risk reduction (document A/C.2/73/L.15/Rev.1), by which it underlined the need to address economic, social and environmental impacts of climate change, emphasizing that disaster prevention, preparedness, early actions and resilience-building in most cases are significantly more cost-effective than emergency response.

Next, it adopted a resolution, without a vote, on protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind (document A/C.2/73/L.43), by which the Assembly expressed profound alarm that greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise worldwide and remained deeply concerned that all nations are experiencing an increase in adverse impacts of climate change.  It also underlined the need to address economic, social and environmental impacts of climate change, emphasizing the need for action at all levels.

Following that, the Assembly adopted a resolution, without a vote, 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.2/73/L.44).  By that text, it affirmed that achieving land degradation neutrality would serve as an accelerator for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, encouraging the public and private sectors to invest in combating desertification, land degradation and drought.

The Assembly then adopted a resolution, without a vote, on implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its contribution to sustainable development (document A/C.2/73/L.33/Rev.1,) by which it decided to convene a summit on biodiversity at the level of Heads of State and Government before the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, in 2020, to highlight the urgency of action at the highest levels.

The Assembly then postponed action on a resolution on the report of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (document A/C.2/73/L.49) to allow time for the review of its programme budget implications.  It will act on the draft resolution when the report of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) on its programme budget implications is available.

The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, a resolution on Harmony with Nature (document A/C.2/73/L.39/Rev.1), by which the organ decided to continue observing International Mother Earth Day annually on 22 April.

Next, it adopted without a vote a resolution on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (document A/C.2/73/L.40/Rev.1).  By that text, the Assembly called for ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.  It strongly encouraged Governments and other stakeholders to increase the global share of new and renewable energy, underscoring the importance of wider access to cleaner and more sustainable cooking and heating methods.

Following that, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a resolution on combating sand and dust storms (document A/C.2/73/L.45).  By its terms, it recognized that such hazards have inflicted substantial economic, social and environmental damage on inhabitants of the world’s arid, semi-arid and dry subhumid areas in the past few years, underscoring the need to promptly address those challenges.

It then adopted without a vote a resolution on the role of the international community in the prevention of the radiation threat in Central Asia (document A/C.2/73/L.41/Rev.1).  By that text, the Assembly emphasized the importance of adopting preventive and other measures to resolve the problem of radioactive and toxic waste in Central Asia and remediate polluted areas in accordance with the highest safety standards and best global practices.

The Assembly then took note of the report on sustainable development.

The representative of Kyrgyzstan noted the resolution had been developed through cooperation and would enhance sustainable development in the region.

Next, the Assembly adopted a resolution on 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) (A/C.2/73/L.4/Rev.1).  By its terms, it dissolved the UN-Habitat Governing Council as a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly and replaced it with the UN-Habitat Assembly, deciding that the first session of the latter will be held in May 2019.

The Assembly then took note of the report on 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).

Following that, it took note of the report and adopted a resolution titled towards a New International Economic Order (document A/C.2/73/L.23) by a recorded vote of 133 in favour to 48 against, with 5 abstentions (Armenia, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Korea, Tonga, Turkey).  By that text, the Assembly strongly urged States to refrain from applying unilateral economic, financial or trade measures not in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations that impede full achievement of economic and social development.

The Assembly then adopted a resolution on international migration and development (document A/C.2/73/L.46) by a recorded vote of 182 in favour to 3 against (Hungary, Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (Italy, Libya).  By that text, the Assembly recommitted to ensuring full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, and support for countries of origin, transit and destination.  By further terms, it decided to convene a one-day high-level debate on international migration and development in the first half of 2019.

The representative of Italy said his country decided to defer its decision on whether to join the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and abstained from voting on the resolution.

The representative of Libya said his country abstained from voting on the resolution due to its references to the Global Compact for Migration, about which his country has reservations.  The Compact wishes to grant legitimacy to migration with no clear distinction between legal and illegal migration, which leads to the notion that all migrants are refugees.  Moreover, the agreement does not consider the duties of transit countries regarding migration and also does not directly address its root causes.

The representative of Chile said his country is reserving its position on several paragraphs in the resolution.

Next, the Assembly took note of the report on groups of countries in special situations and adopted, without a vote, a resolution on follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (document A/C.2/73/L.47), by which the organ urged countries to make concrete efforts towards the official development assistance (ODA) targets of 0.7 per cent of gross national income for developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of gross national income for least developed countries.

By further terms, the Assembly expressed concern that foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to least developed countries contracted by 17 per cent in 2017 compared with 2016.  It also decided to convene the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and Government, in 2021, for a duration of not more than five working days.

Following that, it adopted, without a vote, a resolution on follow-up to the second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (document A/C.2/73/L.48).  By its terms, the Assembly highlighted the need to establish secure, reliable, efficient, high-quality, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including transit systems, renewable energy and ICT.  It stressed air transport is particularly important, as it provides landlocked developing countries with direct access to international markets.

The Assembly then took note of the report on eradication of poverty and adopted a resolution on eradicating rural poverty to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/73/L.18/Rev.1) by a recorded vote of 133 in favour to 48 against, with 2 abstentions (Georgia, Turkey).  By that text, the Assembly underlined the need for increased investment in agriculture, natural resources management and capacity-building.  It also emphasized the need to increase investment in rural infrastructure, especially in roads, water, sanitation and electricity.

Next, it adopted, without a vote, a resolution on promotion of sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, for poverty eradication and environment protection A/C.2/73/L.20/Rev.1), by which the Assembly underlined the importance of ensuring responsible resource management, addressing the negative impacts of unbalanced tourism, respecting environmental and sociocultural capacities and conducting an environmental impact assessment that does not present additional cost commitments.

The representative of China noted 80 per cent of the extreme poor still live in rural areas, an obstacle to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  The resolution is a commitment to leaving no one behind, and his country has worked cooperatively to change the backwardness of rural areas.

Following that, it adopted, without a vote, a resolution on implementation of the Third United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2018‑2027) (document A/C.2/73/L.9/Rev.1), by which the Assembly expressed deep concern that progress in reducing poverty remains uneven, with 1.3 billion people still living in multidimensional poverty, an unacceptably high number.

By further terms, the Assembly expressed concern that ODA fell by 0.6 per cent in 2017, compared with 2016.  Noting that ODA was about 0.31 per cent of the aggregate donor gross national income in 2014, below the commitment of 0.7 per cent, it called on developed countries to deliver on their commitments.

The Assembly then adopted a resolution on industrial development cooperation (document A/C.2/73/L.10/Rev.1) by a recorded vote of 183 in favour to 2 against (Democratic Republic of the Congo, United States), with no abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly stressed that a dynamic industrial and manufacturing sector is one of the many factors that can lead to narrowing income inequalities and to the development of social protection systems, as well as to reducing inequality within and among countries.

The Assembly then took note of the report on eradication of poverty and other development issues.

Next, it adopted, without a vote, a resolution on operational activities for development of the United Nations system (document A/C.2/73/L.8/Rev.1), by which the Assembly emphasized that adequate, predictable and sustainable funding of the resident coordinator system is essential to delivering a coherent, effective, efficient and accountable response in accordance with national needs and priorities.

Following that, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a resolution on South-South cooperation for development (document A/C.2/73/L.22/Rev.1).  By its terms, the organ recognized the need to strengthen and invigorate South-South and triangular cooperation.

The Assembly then took note of the report on operational activities for development and adopted a decision titled “draft provisional rules of procedure and provisional agenda of the second high-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation”.  By that text, it decided to recommend the draft provisional rules of procedure of the Conference and the provisional agenda of the Conference contained in annexes I and II to the note, respectively, for adoption by the forum.

Next, it adopted without a vote a text on World Food Safety Day (document A/C.2/73/L.2/Rev.1), by which the Assembly addressed unsafe food, which causes more than 200 diseases worldwide, including cancer, and adopted 7 June as World Food Safety Day.

Following that, it adopted, without a vote, a text on World Pulses Day (document A/C.2/73/L.3/Rev.1), by which the Assembly decided to designate 10 February as World Pulses Day to maintain momentum gained during the International Year of Pulses.

The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, a resolution on International Year of Plant Health, 2020 (document A/C.2/75/L.5/Rev.1), by which the organ decided to declare 2020 the International Year of Plant Health.

Next, it took note of the report on agriculture development, food security and nutrition and adopted a resolution on agriculture development, food security and nutrition (document A/C.2/73/L.7/Rev.1) by a recorded vote of 185 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly expressed concern that the world is not on track to eradicate hunger and malnutrition by 2030, noting that scarce and unsustainably managed natural resources, climate change, drought, desertification and conflict are preventing progress.  It stressed that urgent and concerted action is needed at all levels to recover momentum and accelerate efforts.

Following that, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a resolution titled “towards global partnerships:  a principle-based approach to enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and all relevant partners” (document A/C.2/73/L.32/Rev.1).  By that text, the Assembly stressed that partnerships will be critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, as an effective instrument for mobilizing additional human and financial resources, expertise, technology and knowledge.  It further stressed that greater effort is required to unlock new financial flows, including from mainstream institutional investors.

The Committee then took note of the report on “towards global partnerships”.

The Assembly then adopted a resolution titled “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.2/73/L.37) by a recorded vote of 159 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 13 abstentions.

By that text, the Assembly demanded that Israel cease the exploitation, damage, cause of loss or depletion and endangerment of the natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.  By further terms, the Assembly stressed that the wall and settlements being constructed by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory are contrary to international law and are seriously depriving the Palestinian people of their natural resources.

The Assembly then took note of the report on 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.

Next, it adopted a text titled “draft programme of work of the Second Committee for the seventy-fourth session of the General Assembly and Conference room paper 1 on the provisional programme of work and timetable for the Second Committee at the seventy-fourth session of the General Assembly” (document A/C.2/73/L.67).

The Assembly then adopted a decision to approve the Second Committee’s programme of work for its seventy‑fourth session.

Finally, it took note of a report on programme planning.

The observer for the European Union, speaking after adoption, said he had chosen not to re-introduce 14 amendments relevant to the guiding principle that “no one will be left behind” during the General Assembly plenary.  The European Union was nonetheless concerned over a gradual and subtle movement towards a development concept favouring States rather than individuals.  While expressing support for the idea of “no country being left behind”, he could not accept a re-interpretation of a concept underwritten by all leaders.  Stressing that the Second Committee’s potential to drive international development remains unfulfilled, with lives and livelihoods at stake, he said it should not “get caught in the fruitless trap of renegotiating” 2015 agreements.  He expressed regret that proposed alternative language for relevant preambular and operative paragraphs had not been accepted and that fellow negotiators had refused to even discuss the issue.

The representative of Egypt, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, noted his Government had made many proposals to spur substantive deliberations on global financial and development issues, showed flexibility on new proposals by different partners, and accepted reversion to agreed language where consensus could not be reached.  Unfortunately, there had been efforts to rescind what had been agreed on.  As the concepts of leaving no country or person behind are complementary and not mutually exclusive, he said States should be properly assisted to ensure none of their citizens are left behind.  Without that concept, the ideal will face considerable challenges.  He reiterated commitment to multilateralism and will continue endeavouring to safeguard consensus.

Assistance to the Palestinian People

JAN KICKERT (Austria), speaking for the European Union delegation, introduced the draft resolution “Assistance to the Palestinian people” (document A/73/L.69).  Voicing his concern over the situation of women and children in the occupied Palestinian territory, he stressed that in Gaza a humanitarian disaster was imminent. There must be increased assistance to reduce tensions and avoid conflict.  He also called for the return of the Palestinian Authority to the Gaza Strip.  Lasting results require addressing Israel’s legitimate security concerns.  The European Union will continue to assist Palestinians and Palestinian refugees and will continue to be a predictable supporter of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), he said.

Then, acting without a vote, the General Assembly adopted the resolution “L.69”.  Through it, the Assembly urges Member States, international financial institutions of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and regional and interregional organizations to extend, as rapidly and as generously as possible, economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people.  It also stresses the importance of ensuring free humanitarian access to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods.

The observer of the State of Palestine, speaking in explanation of position, thanked the Secretary-General for efforts to update reports that reflect the economic and social realities of the Palestinian people.  He also noted that the European Union was providing funding for projects across multiple sectors and that such funding allows the UNRWA to continue assisting the Palestinian people.  Calling for increased resources to ensure vital services remain available for all Palestinians, he said the Palestinian Government is developing a national programme that promotes human rights and prosperity with a focus on good governance and sustainable development.  “Despite challenges emanating from Israeli occupation, the State of Palestine has made progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals,” he noted, warning that the lack of a political solutions to the conflict was the greatest obstacle to sustainable development.

Strengthening of United Nations System

JUAN JOSÉ IGNACIO GÓMEZ CAMACHO (Mexico) introduced the resolution, “Judgment of the International Court of Justice of 31 March 2004 concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals:  need for immediate compliance” (document A/73/L.63).  He said the International Court of Justice issued its judgment in 2004 in a case presented by Mexico related to violations of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and of due process involving over 50 cases of Mexican nationals sentenced to death in the United States.  The Court determined the United States failed to provide necessary consular information and failed to allow Mexico to provide consular services.  As a result, the Court ordered the review of 51 cases of Mexicans nationals.

He said the United States is failing to comply with the Court’s judgment and Mexico has not received a response to requests made to the Security Council on the matter.  He said six Mexican citizens were executed in Texas without respect for the Court’s ruling which called for reconsideration of their sentencing.  “Non-compliance with the International Court of Justice is a breach of international rule of law and impacts the United Nations system,” he stressed.  To streamline the text, he proposed to orally revise the text by removing the second operative paragraph.

The representative of the United States, in explanation of position, said it was inappropriate for such a bilateral matter to be brought before the General Assembly.  The United States takes seriously its international obligations related to consular access and would vote “no” because the Assembly is not the proper venue for discussions on the matter.  The State Department is taking steps to implement the Court’s judgment, she said, calling on all delegations to vote against the draft resolution.

The representative of Brazil reaffirmed his unwavering support for the International Court of Justice, which advances the goals of the United Nations.  “The duty to comply with the Court is established in the Charter of the United Nations,” he said, adding that the General Assembly can discuss Court-related matters.

The Assembly then adopted the resolution “L.63”, as orally revised, by a recorded vote of 69 in favour to 4 against (Israel, Liberia, Marshall Islands, United States), with 66 abstentions.  Through it, the Assembly urgently calls for full and immediate compliance with the Judgment of the International Court of Justice of 31 March 2004 in the case on Avena and other Mexican nationals.

The representative of Slovakia, speaking in explanation of position after action, said that the case Avena and Other Mexican Nations relates to compliance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, a multilateral treaty of central importance for friendly relations between States.  Article 94, paragraph 2, of the Charter of the United Nations enables the party to a dispute to have recourse to the Security Council should the other party fail to perform the obligations incumbent upon it under a judgment rendered by the Court.  Further, the General Assembly is empowered, pursuant to Article 10 of the Charter, to discuss any matter within the scope of the Charter, including the Statute of the Court.  The subsidiary nature of this competence is underlined by the Charter, which in Article 12, paragraph 1, states that recommendations by the General Assembly may be taken, unless the Security Council exercises its functions. 

Bearing in mind the aforesaid, he said he assumed the General Assembly may take steps regarding non-compliance with the Court’s judgments only in very specific circumstances and strict conditions, which are not met in the present case.  Dispute settlement generally and the implementation of the judgments and decisions of the Court specifically represent an obligation that is primarily owned by the parties to the dispute.  He abstained from voting due to reservations with regards to the procedural aspects of the draft resolution, he said.

The representative of Egypt said that the International Court of Justice is the principle judicial organ of the United Nations and that each member should comply with the decision of the Court in any case to which it is a party.  Egypt respects the Vienna Convention on consular relations and respects the judgment of the Court in the case concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nations, he said, calling for the full and immediate compliance with the judgment of the Court.

The representative of Romania, underscoring that his Government opposes the use of the death penalty in all circumstances, highlighted the important role of the Court for the peaceful resolution of inter-State disputes.  He referred to Article 94 and to the possibility that Member States appeal to the Security Council rather than the General Assembly should any party to the case not comply. On these grounds, he abstained from voting on the resolution.

The representative of Israel said her vote did not relate to substantive issues raised in Court decisions.  She said Israel voted “no” in order not to intervene in bilateral matters.

The representative of Qatar said he abstained in the vote and that respect for Court judgments confirms the importance of respecting international law.

The representative of Australia said compliance with Court judgments is of critical importance and essential for the maintenance of the international-rules-based order.  Obligations under the Vienna Convention are vital and the draft legislation in the United States may pave the way to compliance with the Court’s decisions.

SHERAZ GASRI (France) said the situation leading to the resolution comes from the lack of the implementation of the Court’s decision.  Member States must comply with decisions of the Court and, as stipulated by Article 94, paragraph 2, respect that States can appeal to the United Nations if the other parties do not abide by the Court’s decision.  She also called for a moratorium on capital punishment.

Mr. PARK (Republic of Korea) said that international obligations regarding consular access should be fully respected.  At the same time, he said he was concerned that Mexico did not have substantial consultations, including with the United States prior to circulating the draft resolution.  He expressed hope that the two parties will continue to consult in order to implement the judgment.

LUKE TANG (Singapore), noting his abstaining from the vote, said that as a small State, his country is deeply committed to multilateralism and international law.  Abstention today does not detract from this position, he said, and it should not and must not be interpreted as diminishing paragraph 1 of Article 94.  He noted his regret that the resolution was tabled at a late stage, not affording delegations sufficient time.

LAHYA ITEDHIMBWA SHIKONGO (Namibia), emphasizing her country’s support for the international system and the Court, urged all Member States to comply with the Court’s judgments.  All Member States should resolve bilateral issues themselves.  Because of that stance, she abstained from voting.

The representative of Viet Nam said that he voted in favour of the resolution and that he supported the rule of law at all levels.  He reaffirmed that issues related to the death penalty fall under the sovereign jurisdiction of States.

United Nations and Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

KAREL JAN GUSTAAF VAN OOSTEROM (Netherlands) introduced the resolution “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons” (document A/73/L.72).  He said the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) verifies the destruction of stockpiles, prevents the re-emergence of weapons and promotes the peaceful use of chemistry.  In doing so, it contributes to international peace and to the realization of the principles of the United Nations Charter.  He said the draft is procedural in nature and updates its previous iterations, acknowledging the organization’s progress in advancing the principles of the United Nations Charter.

The General Assembly, by a recorded vote of 114 in favour to 11 against, with 19 abstentions, decided to retain operative paragraph 6 of draft resolution “L.72”.

The General Assembly next adopted “L.72”, as a whole, by a recorded vote of 142 in favour to 0 against, with 12 abstentions.  By the terms of the text, the Assembly takes note of the annual report for 2016 and the draft report for 2017 of the OPCW submitted on its behalf by its Director General.  It also notes with appreciation the ongoing work of the OPCW regarding the implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction.

The representative of Iran, in explanation of position after action, said the text is expected to focus on cooperation and to confine its scope to topics agreed upon by the two organizations it references.  However, he warned of attempts to politicize what is intended to be a procedural draft.  He said he voted against operative paragraph 6 and abstained in the vote on the draft as a whole.

The representative of Syria reiterated his Government’s condemnation of the use of chemical weapons.  He said attempts were made to reach consensus on the draft.  However, several countries were politicizing the text by selectively targeting Syria and other Member States.  Operative paragraph 6 made illegitimate references to decisions of the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction.

The representative of Cuba called for a return to adopting the text by consensus as a display of unity among Member States.  She called for controversial issues to be left out of the text.

NGUYEN NAM DUONG (Viet Nam) condemned the use of chemical weapons.  As a State party to chemical weapons conventions, his country supports their full implementation.  He regretted that the beginning of operative paragraph 5 was changed at the last minute.

Cooperation between United Nations, Association of Southeast Asian Nations

Mr. TANG (Singapore), introducing the draft resolution titled “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)” (document A/73/L.71), said that the establishment of the organization 51 years ago was an exercise to deepen regional integration and economic cooperation.  Thanks to ASEAN, a region once marked by confrontation and conflict has been transformed into one that operates through consultation and consensus.  ASEAN has tremendous potential as a regional organization and is redoubling efforts towards economic integration, deepening cooperation to address security threats and implementing innovative ideas to bring cities and people closer together.  The Association’s efforts at regional integration have been amplified by the international community and its relationship with the United Nations mutually reinforced.  ASEAN is presenting the draft resolution to welcome the expanding relationship with the Organization.

FAIYAZ MURSHID KAZI (Bangladesh) said that as a neighbour of ASEAN his nation attaches great importance to its relationship with the organization and recognizes its contribution to promoting peace and security in the region.  The illicit trafficking of methamphetamine from Myanmar, an ASEAN member, is creating havoc.  The Rohingya crisis is overwhelming due to its gravity and poses a host of immediate and long-term challenges in the region.  Bangladesh has made efforts to contain the crisis for now but cannot take responsibility for possible fallout in the region over a longer stretch of time.  He regrets that in the draft the Member States do not accept any generic reference to this issue let alone the humanitarian crisis itself.

The Assembly adopted the resolution without a vote.  Through the terms of the text, it reaffirms the commitment of the United Nations and ASEAN to develop the partnership between the two organizations.  It further encourages the United Nations to continue to work closely with ASEAN in implementing the 2030 Agenda.

The representative of Thailand, commenting on “L.72”, said she supported the draft as it is important to renew commitment to all efforts to implement the Chemical Weapons Convention.  However, she noted her abstention on operative paragraph 6.

For information media. Not an official record.