Second Committee Approves 28 Resolutions, Including on Combating Protectionism, Eliminating Unauthorized Unilateral Trade Measures

GA/EF/3528
26 November 2019
Seventy-fourth Session, 24th & 25th Meetings (AM & PM)

Second Committee Approves 28 Resolutions, Including on Combating Protectionism, Eliminating Unauthorized Unilateral Trade Measures

The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) today approved 28 draft resolutions, including one emphasizing the urgent need to combat protectionism in all forms and rectify trade‑distorting measures inconsistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Also by that text, on “International Trade and Development”, the Assembly would urge the international community to adopt measures to eliminate unilateral economic, financial or trade measures unauthorized by United Nations organs, inconsistent with international law and the Charter of the United Nations or contravening multilateral trading system principles.

The draft was approved in a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions.

Supporting the text, the European Union’s representative said his bloc attaches great importance to a strong multilateral trading system under the auspices of WTO.  He added, however, that the organization must be modernized to address current tensions in the international trading system, creating a more equal playing field and combating protectionism.

The delegate of the United States, opposing the draft, said the United Nations is an inappropriate venue for trade discussions, as it must respect the mandates of independent institutions.  His country does not advocate protectionism and will not tolerate veiled criticisms of its policies, he said, stressing that each Member State has a sovereign right to determine unilateral economic, financial or trade measures.

Another draft, on “Commodities”, would have the Assembly stress the special challenges developing countries face as lower prices for commodities they produce threaten sustainable growth and debt burdens.  It would strongly encourage international financial institutions and development banks to assist developing countries in managing the effects of price volatility.

The Committee approved the draft in a recorded vote of 175 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions.

Several drafts addressed sustainable development, including one on “Agricultural Technology for Sustainable Development”, which would have the Assembly urge Member States, relevant United Nations organizations and other stakeholders to strengthen efforts to develop sustainable agricultural technologies as well as their transfer and dissemination to developing countries.

The text was approved in a recorded vote of 147 in favour to 3 against (Venezuela, Syria, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 28 abstentions.

Introducing the draft, the representative of Israel said agricultural technology can play a crucial role in creating higher paying jobs, improving livelihoods, sustainably managing water resources and providing small holders tools to progress from poverty to prosperity.

Speaking against the draft, Syria’s representative said its author lacks any moral or legal basis for tabling the text, as it is an occupying Power hindering development in Palestine and the Syrian Golan.  People in the Syrian Golan are blocked from using their agricultural resources, she said, adding that Israel is using the United Nations to launch a false commitment towards sustainable development.

Similarly, the observer for the State of Palestine said the occupying Power tabling the resolution has continuously prevented Palestinians from using their agricultural resources by confiscating land and water as well as restricting cattle imports.  In response, Israel’s representative noted that delegations hampering consensus on the draft are those who would benefit the most from it, but they prefer to put politics before the needs of their people.

By another draft, on “Combating sand and dust storms”, the Assembly would reaffirm that climate change is among the greatest challenges of our time and a serious challenge to sustainable development.  It would further recognize that sand and dust storms cause numerous human health problems in different regions worldwide, especially in arid and semi-arid regions.

The draft was approved in a recorded vote of 171 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Australia).

By a further draft on “Information and communications technologies (ICT) for sustainable development”, the Assembly would recognize uneven growth in the use of ICT, expressing concern over the 122 mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 people in developed countries, compared with 75 in developing States and 33 in the least developed countries.

The Committee also approved drafts highlighting new international days, by which the Assembly would decide to designate 21 May as International Tea Day, 7 September as International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies and 29 September as International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste.

Further sustainable development drafts were on “Cooperative measures to assess and increase awareness of environmental effects related to waste originating from chemical munitions dumped at sea”; “Culture and sustainable development”; and “Financial inclusion for sustainable development”.

Others focused on “Harmony with Nature”; “Human resources development”; “Disaster risk reduction”; “Science, technology and innovation for sustainable development”; “South‑South cooperation”; “Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central America”; “Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”; “Agriculture development, food security and nutrition”; and “Development cooperation with middle‑income countries”.

Addressing related development matters were drafts on “International financial system and development”; “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”; “Follow‑up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries”; Follow‑up to the second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries”; “Operational activities for development of the United Nations system”; “Report of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme”; and “Implementation of the Third United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2018‑2027)”.

Also speaking today were the representatives of Australia, Canada, Mexico, Iran, Pakistan, El Salvador, Lithuania, Turkey, Colombia, Venezuela, San Marino, Jordan, Republic of Korea, Nepal, Norway, Bolivia, Paraguay, Afghanistan, Hungary, Russian Federation and China.

The Committee will meet again on Wednesday, 27 November to act on its remaining draft resolutions.

Action on Draft Resolutions

The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) first took up a draft on “Information and communications technologies for sustainable development” (document A/C.2/74/L.70).

It then approved the text without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

Addressing the draft, the representative of the United States referred the Committee to previous remarks his delegation has made about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Next, the Committee turned to a text on “International trade and development” (A/C.2/74/L.15/Rev.1).

The draft was approved in a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions.

Speaking after the vote, the representative of the United States said his country enjoys strong trade across the globe, but could not join consensus on the draft.  The United Nations must respect the mandates of independent institutions and is not the appropriate venue for such discussions about trade.  His country does not advocate protectionism and will not tolerate veiled criticisms of its policies.  Each Member State has a sovereign right to determine how it conducts unilateral economic, financial or trade measures, such as sanctions.

The representative of the European Union, said his bloc voted in favour of the text, as it attaches great importance to development and the strength of the multilateral trading system under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Adding, however, that WTO needs to be modernized to ensure its continuing effectiveness, he said it must be able to address current tensions in the international trading system, creating a more equal playing field and combating protectionism.

The representative of Australia said her country recognizes the importance of international trade as an engine for economic development and voted in favour of the draft.  However, it wishes to disassociate itself from operative paragraph 3 due to disagreement with the language used.

The representative of Canada said his delegation voted in favour of the draft, as it supports a level playing field for all under a rules‑based trading system, but expressed disappointment that the text moves away from long agreed language.

Following that, the Committee took up a text on “International financial system and development” (A/C.2/74/L.62).

The Committee approved the draft in a recorded vote of 177 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions, withdrawing a previous text.

Speaking after the vote, the representative of the United States said his delegation voted against the text as it does not agree with language referring to “increasing protectionism”.  The United States does not advocate protectionism and will not tolerate veiled criticisms of its policies when others are working hard work to deliver on free and fair trade.  His delegation also opposes the use of the term “illicit financial flows”, as there is no agreed international definition of them.  The United States believes that unilateral economic measures, as opposed to the use of force, can be effective in improving human rights or otherwise addressing inappropriate actions.

The representative of Mexico said his delegation voted in favour of the text, but noted that it lacks alignment with central United Nations documents.  He pointed to the need for more appropriate guidelines in drafting resolutions, which must be linked with underlying documents.

The representative of Iran said his country joined consensus on the draft but due to certain concerns wishes to disassociate itself from operative paragraph 28.

The representative of Pakistan said his delegation also voted in favour of the text, but wishes to disassociate itself from operative paragraph 28.

The representative of Syria said his delegation voted in favour of the draft, but wishes to disassociate itself from operative paragraph 28.

The Committee then turned to a draft on “External debt sustainability and development” (A/C.2/74/L.59).

The Committee then approved the text without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

The representative of the United States then expressed concern that the resolution does not address debt sustainability and transparency.  He noted the workload of the Committee is more hectic and rushed, with 47 resolutions to debate, more than ever before.  There is not enough meaningful change in the documents to warrant addressing them annually.

Next, the Committee took up a draft on “Commodities” (A/C.2/74/L.55).

Speaking before the vote, the observer for the State of Palestine asked which delegation had requested the vote.

The Chair said the vote had been requested by the United States.

The text was approved in a recorded vote of 175 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions, withdrawing a previous draft.

Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote, the representative of the United States expressed regret that his delegation could not join consensus.  The draft makes obsolete references to a trade crisis and extends beyond the scope of what the United Nations should address.  He noted the United States will act with sovereignty in trade relations and does not take its direction in that domain from the United Nations.  His delegation could not support operational paragraph 3 or operational paragraph 8 and questioned undefined terms in operational paragraph 9.  The United Nations should not opine on the WTO Aid for Trade initiative.  He again expressed concerns over the Committee workload and asked that the drafts be triannualized and biannualized.

The Committee then turned to a draft on “Financial inclusion for sustainable development” (A/C.2/74/L.61).

The Committee then approved the text without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

The representative of the United States referred the Chair to comments made on 21 November and expressed support for language supporting the dignity of the human person.  He said countries must improve their anti‑money‑laundering/combating the financing of terrorism controls.  He expressed concern over the lack of definition of the term “illicit financial flows” and called for the use of “illicit finance”.  States must work to prevent corruption in the first place rather than enforce laws after the crimes have been committed.

Following that, the Committee turned to a draft on “International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste” (A/C.2/74/L.8/Rev.1).

The representative of the San Marino introduced the draft, stating that reducing food waste could feed 2 billion people worldwide, as more food is prepared than is actually consumed.  Additional costs are incurred through food disposal, packing, transportation and infestation.  He noted the resolution carries no programme budget implications for the United Nations system.

The representative of the European Union said fighting food waste and loss is a key part of the bloc’s strategy.  The world consumes over 1.5 times the natural resources of the planet, and thus Member States are dedicated to fighting waste and pollution in the development and consumption process.  She said the Union attaches great importance to the revitalization process of the Committee and will support a separate resolution on Sustainable Development Goal 12.

The representative of the United States referred to remarks made by his delegation on 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda.

The text was then approved without a vote.

Following that, the Committee turned to a draft on “Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central America” (A/C.2/74/L.33/Rev.1).

The representative of El Salvador, speaking on behalf of the Central American Integration System, noted the topic must be strengthened for the many benefits it generates.  Her region faces great vulnerabilities due to climate change, which threatens the tourist attractions promoted by the bloc.

The representative of the United States referred to remarks made by his delegation on 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda, and again raised concerns over the workload of the Committee.

The text was then approved without a vote.

Next, the Committee turned to a draft on “Cooperative measures to assess and increase awareness of environmental effects related to waste originating from chemical munitions dumped at sea” (A/C.2/74/L.40/Rev.1).

The representative of Lithuania introduced the text, making an oral correction to preambular paragraph 6 and presenting the appropriate language.  She noted dumping chemical munitions had begun after the First World War.  She noted it is a myth that those munitions pose no threat when they are dumped into the sea.  The overall goal of the resolution is to build awareness and generate regional and international cooperation over the damage caused by the waste.

The representative of the European Union reconfirmed commitment to improve awareness on the issue.  However, she expressed disappointment that no agreement could be found on language under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.  She reiterated that the international agreement promotes and maintains international peace and security, with 168 States parties bound by its jurisdiction.  She noted the bloc’s support does not imply support for language in preambular paragraph 11.

The representative of Turkey dissociated his delegation from language to which it is not a party.

The text was then approved as orally corrected without a vote.

The representative of the Colombia observed that the text contains formulations on the Convention to which his delegation is not party and has not ratified.  He stated support for the resolution cannot be construed as support for the international agreement and objected to preambular paragraph 12.

The representative of the El Salvador expressed support for improving the marine environment in general, as those resources are crucial.  She noted her country is not a State party to the Convention and should not fall under its obligations.  She dissociated her Government from preambular paragraph 12.

The representative of Venezuela said his delegation joined consensus on the resolution but could not be associated with international instruments to which his State is not party, including the Convention.  Its provisions are therefore not applicable to his country.

The representative of Iran said his delegation could not be associated with international instruments to which his State is not party, including the Convention.

Following that, the Committee took up a draft on “Agricultural Technology for Sustainable Development” (A/C.2/74/L.44/Rev.1).

Introducing the draft, the representative of Israel said wide support for the text underscores the significant role agricultural technology plays in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.  It can play a crucial role in creating higher paying jobs, improving livelihoods, creating resilience, sustainably managing water resources and providing small holders the tools to progress from poverty to prosperity.

The representative of Syria said her delegation is aware of the need to improve agricultural technology, playing an integral role in efforts to build capacity and use local expertise.  However, the author of the current draft clearly lacks any moral or legal basis to table it, as it is an occupying Power hindering development in Palestine and the Syrian Golan.  People in the Syrian Golan are continually blocked form using their own agricultural resources through discriminatory policies concerning farmers and settlers.  Adding that her country is opposed to the resolution, she said Israel is using the United Nations to launch a false commitment towards sustainable development.

The representative of Jordan, speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, said his bloc will abstain from the vote, as Israel — the occupying Power — has never accepted United Nations resolutions.  Adding that Israel continues to carry out illegal practises affecting many lives in occupied zones, he said the country should not be tabling such a resolution.

The text was approved in a recorded vote of 147 in favour to 3 against (Venezuela, Syria, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), with 28 abstentions.

Speaking after the vote, the observer for the State of Palestine, aligning himself with the Arab Group, noted that agriculture is an essential tool for empowering societies.  However, the occupying State that tabled the resolution has continuously prevented Palestinians from making use of their agriculture resources through confiscation of land and water and various other measures, including restrictions on cattle imports.

The representative of the United States said his delegation voted in favour of the draft but referred to its previous recorded position on the 2030 Agenda and other development agreements.

The representative of Finland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said his bloc voted in favour of the text, noting that it directly addresses achievement of several goals laid down in the 2030 Agenda.  Agricultural technology can improve food security as well as the sustainability of food systems.  Adding that climate change is among the most pressing global challenges, he welcomed the draft’s efforts to combat it through a reduction in greenhouse gases.

The representative of Israel noted that agriculture makes up 30 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in developing countries.  Agricultural technology addresses many sustainable development challenges, helping to improve incomes and making livelihoods more resilient.  With the global population rising and climate change threatening livelihoods, it is necessary to seek ways of producing more using less.  Noting that those preventing consensus on the draft are among those who would benefit the most from it, he said they prefer to put politics before the needs of their own people.

The representative of the Republic of Korea then introduced a draft on “International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies” (A/C.2/74/L.34/Rev.1).  He noted that an estimated 7 million people face premature death due to indoor and outdoor pollution each day.  It has long been recognized that air pollution is one of greatest threats to human health, but it has often been regarded as a local and or regional issue, leading to lack of discussion on the issue at the United Nations.  Reducing pollution can lead to achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and related targets, but transformation efforts are needed in areas like energy as well as consumption patterns.

The Committee then approved the text without a vote.

Speaking after the approval, the representative of Finland, speaking for the European Union, said her delegation joined consensus on the draft, despite reservations over its title.  Poor air quality is the number one environmental cause of premature death in Europe.  It also impacts life quality by exacerbating asthma and related problems, with vulnerable groups being the worst affected.  Pollution crosses borders, making it a matter of international concern and topic of interest at the United Nations.

The Committee then turned to a draft 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” (A/C.2/74/L.60).

The Committee approved the text, as orally corrected without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

The representative of the United States referred to the language of the draft, pointing to previously stated position on the 2030 Agenda and other development agreements.  His delegation supported consensus on the text but does not support the creation of new financial instruments to assess the graduation process.  He stressed that per capita income should be used to assess readiness and that multilateral development banks, rather than the United Nations, be the institutions for concessional finance.

Next, it took up a draft on “Disaster risk reduction” (A/C.2/74/L.57).

The representative of Nepal noted consensus on the draft was due to collaboration between facilitators during informal consultations.

The text was then approved without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

Following that, the Committee turned to a draft on “Report of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)” (A/C.2/74/L.52).

The Committee then approved the text without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

The representative of the United States reiterated remarks made by her delegation on 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda and other related development agreements.

The representative of Norway said the resolution strengthens the work of the United Nations Environment Assembly, as the world must integrate sustainable use conservation under the Sustainable Development Goals.  The Committee then took up a draft on “Harmony with nature” (A/C.2/74/L.47/Rev.1).

The observer for the State of Palestine asked which delegation had requested the vote.

The Chair informed that the vote had been requested by the delegation of the United States.

The representative of Bolivia noted that efforts will be in vain until “Mother Earth” is recognized as a whole.  She said those who had requested the vote must work towards those ends, noting the vote had been requested for periodicity.

The text was approved in a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 44 abstentions.

The representative of Finland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, noted they had abstained due to longstanding concerns over the resolution.  The Union does not believe the resolution adds value to the work of the Committee and did not actively engage in deliberations on the text.  He urged the “Group of 77” developing countries and China to consider the relevance of United Nations meetings.

The representative of Mexico noted his delegation voted in favour as the resolution will help implement the 2030 Agenda.  He said his delegation had introduced language to the text to build a bridge between divergent positions, but none of that was taken into account.  The vote was held, he said, because intermediary solutions were not sought out.

The representative of the United States said the resolution changes little from year to year and is unnecessary, again raising concerns over the workload of the Committee and referring to remarks made by his delegation on 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda and other related development agreements.

Next, the Committee turned to a draft on “Combating sand and dust storms” (A/C.2/74/L.46/Rev.1).

The representative of Finland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, introduced an oral amendment to operative paragraph 17 (to be issued as A/C2/74/CRP.3), noting there had been no consensus during negotiations.  He stated the text introduced today retains the annual periodicity, which is addressed by revitalization of the Committee.

The text of the amendment was rejected in a recorded vote of 55 in favour to 103 against, with 2 abstentions (Vanuatu, Turkey).

The observer for the State of Palestine asked which delegation had requested the vote on the draft as a whole.

The Chair informed that the vote had been requested by the delegation of Israel.

The representative of Israel said the vote was requested for reasons of substance and procedure, as the draft addresses an event that has already occurred.  The draft is an attempt to rewrite history, and there is no room for “political hijacking”.

The text of the draft as a whole was approved in a recorded vote of 171 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Australia).

The representative of the United States again raised concerns over the workload of the Committee and referred to remarks made by her delegation 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda and other related development agreements.

Following that, the Committee took up a draft on “Science, technology and innovation for sustainable development” (A/C.2/74/L.58).

The representative of Mexico noted the draft represented the result of cooperation among delegations.

The Committee then approved the text without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

The representative of the United States referred to remarks made by his delegation on 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda and other related development agreements.

The representative of Israel noted that achieving the 2030 Agenda requires harnessing science, technology and innovation, with boys and girls equally encouraged to pursue education in all subjects including the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

The Committee then turned to a draft on “Culture and sustainable development” (A/C.2/74/L.51).

The Committee then approved the text without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

The representative of the European Union noted the draft cited the contribution of culture to sustainable development for the first time.  However, she expressed regret that a proposal on the importance of freedom of expression to cultural activities was not taken up in the text.

The representative of the United States cited the importance of cultural heritage to indigenous peoples and encouraged States to promote the right to repatriate remains.  He noted that the United States since 1990 has worked to return 1.9 million items of cultural importance to indigenous peoples.  He clarified text included in operative paragraphs 16, 16.1, 18 and 20 and again raised concerns over the workload of the Committee, asked for a number of resolutions to be triannualized and biannualized, and referred to remarks made by his delegation on 21 November.

Next, it took up a draft on “Follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries” (A/C.2/74/L.54).

The Committee Secretary delivered an oral statement on the programme budget implications of operative paragraphs 45 and 46.

The representative of Turkey said adoption of the resolution would lead to the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Doha, Qatar in March 2020 on eradicating poverty and enabling graduation from the least developed category.

The Committee then approved the text without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

The representative of the United States noted language calling on developed countries to increase official development assistance (ODA) in operative paragraph 8 was not acceptable, and the term “illicit financial flows” in operative paragraph 20 has not been defined.  He referred to remarks made by his delegation on 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda and other related development agreements.

Following that, the Committee turned to a draft on “Follow‑up to the second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries” (A/C.2/74/L.53).

The representative of Paraguay noted that colleagues had worked together collaboratively on the draft.

The Committee then approved the text without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

The representative of the United States noted language on “enabling policies” does not refer to his Government and referred to remarks made by his delegation on 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda and other related development agreements.

The representative of Afghanistan offered support for the two previous resolutions.

The Committee then turned to a draft on “Human resources development” (A/C.2/74/L.56).

The Committee then approved the text without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

The representative of the United States referred to remarks made by her delegation on 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda and other related development agreements.  She said the terms “migration” and “migrants” are not clearly defined under international law and the United States asserts its sovereignty over its territory on the issues.  She rejected any implication that the resolution calls on the United States to provide additional funding.

The representative of Hungary said States should avoid generating opportunities for human traffickers and smugglers.

The observer for the Holy See supported the inclusion of special emphasis on education and lifelong learning, including older persons in the future of work.  He welcomed that human resources development cannot be achieved without ensuring decent work, equal pay for work of equal value and opportunity for all.  A grinding pursuit of profit above all is harmful to humanity.

Next, the Committee then took up a draft on “Operational activities for development of the United Nations system” (A/C.2/74/L.38/Rev.1).

The Committee then approved the text without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

The representative of the Russian Federation said the draft unfortunately lacked an important reference to donor consent.  He called for that dialogue to continue among Member States to avoid discrimination in operational activities.

The representative of Canada said this was one of the Committee’s most important resolutions but expressed disappointment over operative paragraph 4 which contains new language on a sensitive issue without transparent negotiation.

The representative of the United States referred to remarks made by her delegation on 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda and other related development agreements.

The representative of Australia said the text offered succinct guidance on reform but had broken silence over operative paragraph 4 due to addition of language by the Group of 77.  That language introduced reference to States rather than Member States, representing unnecessary politicization of the resolution.

Following that, the Committee turned to a draft on “South‑South cooperation” (A/C.2/74/L.65).

The Committee then approved the text without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

The representative of the United States referred to remarks made by his delegation on 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda and other related development agreements.

The representative of Japan expressed regret that a reference to triangular cooperation was not included in the 2019 text, as it is also importance to inclusive development.

The representative of Mexico said South-South cooperation is indispensable to her country, but that leaving out a reference to triangular cooperation was a “lost opportunity”.  The report of the Secretary‑General repeatedly highlights triangular cooperation, which has a flexible focus on development.

Next, the Committee took up a draft on “International Tea Day” (A/C.2/74/L.6/Rev.1).

The observer for the State of Palestine orally revised operative paragraphs 2 and 5 and asked which delegation had requested the vote.

The Chair informed that the vote was requested by the delegation of Israel.

The representative of Israel said the resolution should have enjoyed consensus, but his delegation was disappointed by a lack of will to compromise in consultations.  The resolution did not follow previously agreed language in absence of agreement.  He and other delegations expressed concern with language but were ignored.

The text as orally revised was approved in a recorded vote of 118 in favour to 3 against (Australia, Israel, United States), with 45 abstentions.

The representative of Finland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said his delegation abstained because there are other ways to make international proclamations on international days or years.  He called on all Member States to refrain from including national concepts in Committee resolutions.

The representative of the United States said the delegation could not join consensus due to language in operative paragraph 4 which addressed the internal issues of one delegation.  Language should refer to Member States, she said, also referring to remarks made by her delegation on 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda and other related development agreements.

The representative of China said his delegation had drafted the resolution with the Group of 77 and expressed regret that it was not adopted by consensus.  The resolution is short and procedural, language cited had appeared in previous resolutions, and operative paragraphs 2 and 5 fully reflect the current composition of the United Nations.  He noted that tea is critically important worldwide, with over 13 million people depending on the tea industry for their livelihoods.

Next, the Committee took up a draft on “Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” (A/C.2/74/L.71).

The representative of Iraq expressed support for the work that went into the resolution.

The Committee then approved the text without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

The representative of the United States referred to remarks made by her delegation on 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda and other related development agreements.

Next, the Committee took up a draft on “Development cooperation with middle‑income countries” (A/C.2/74/L.67).

The Committee then approved the text without a vote, withdrawing a previous draft.

The representative of the United States referred to remarks made by his delegation on 21 November addressing the 2030 Agenda and other related development agreements.  He reiterated it is inappropriate for delegations to weigh in on banking procedures.

The Committee then turned to a draft on “Implementation of the Third United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2018‑2027)” (A/C.2/74/L.63).

It then approved the draft, withdrawing a previous text.

The representative of the United States said his delegation is pleased to join consensus on the draft, but referred the Committee to a statement it made on sexual and reproductive health on 7 November in the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural).  On the 2030 Agenda, he referred the Committee to a statement made on 21 November and other related development agreements.

Next, it took up a text on “Agriculture development, food security and nutrition” (A/C.2/74/L.64).

The Committee approved the draft without a vote, withdrawing a previous text.

The representative of the United States said her country is the single largest bilateral donor in the area of hunger and nutrition worldwide, but referred the Committee to its position on the 2030 Agenda and other development agreements made in a statement on 21 November.  She also expressed concern about the language used in preambular paragraphs 12, 24 and 26.

For information media. Not an official record.