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-General and the President of the UN General Assembly to renew commitments to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 and to set out concrete plans and practical steps for action.
Economic and Social Council
The Economic and Social Council has 54 members, elected for three-year terms by the General Assembly. The term of office for each member expires on 31 December of the year indicated in parentheses next to its name. In 2009, the Council is composed of the following:
Algeria (2009), Barbados (2009), Belarus (2009), Bolivia (2009), Brazil (2010), Cameroon (2010), Canada (2009), Cape Verde (2009), China (2010), Congo (2010), Cï¿½te dï¿½Ivoire (2011), El Salvador (2009), Estonia (2011), France (2011), Germany (2011), Greece (2011), Guatemala (2011), Guinea-Bissau (2011), India (2011), Indonesia (2009), Iraq (2009), Japan (2011), Kazakhstan (2009), Liechtenstein (2011), Luxembourg (2009), Malawi (2009), Malaysia (2010), Mauritius (2011), Morocco (2011), Mozambique (2010), Namibia (2011), Netherlands (2009), New Zealand (2010), Niger (2010), Norway (2010), Pakistan (2010), Peru (2011), Philippines (2009), Poland (2010), Portugal (2011), Republic of Korea (2010), Republic of Moldova (2010), Romania (2009), Russian Federation (2010), Saint Kitts and Nevis (2011), Saint Lucia (2010), Saudi Arabia (2011), Somalia (2009), Sudan (2009), Sweden (2010), United Kingdom (2010), United States (2009), Uruguay (2010), Venezuela (2011).
PRESIDENT OBAMA(USA) TO THE UNITED NATIONS September 23, 2009, 15:26 Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentleman: it is my honor to address you for the first time as the forty-fourth President of the United States. I come before you humbled by the responsibility that the American people have placed upon me; mindful of the enormous challenges of our moment in history; and determined to act boldly and collectively on behalf of justice and prosperity at home and abroad. I have been in office for just nine months, though some days it seems a lot longer. I am well aware of the expectations that accompany my presidency around the world. These expectations are not about me. Rather, they are rooted I believe in a discontent with a status quo that has allowed us to be increasingly defined by our differences, and outpaced by our problems. But they are also rooted in hope the hope that real change is possible, and the hope that America will be a leader in bringing about such change. I took office at a time when many around the world had come to view America with skepticism and distrust. Part of this was due to misperceptions and misinformation about my country. Part of this was due to opposition to specific policies, and a belief that on certain critical issues, America has acted unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others. This has fed an almost reflexive anti-Americanism, which too often has served as an excuse for our collective inaction. Like all of you, my responsibility is to act in the interest of my nation and my people, and I will never apologize for defending those interests. But it is my deeply held belief that in the year 2009 more than at any point in human history the interests of nations and peoples are shared. The religious convictions that we hold in our hearts can forge new bonds among people, or tear us apart. The technology we harness can light the path to peace, or forever darken it. The energy we use can sustain our planet, or destroy it. What happens to the hope of a single child anywhere can enrich our world, or impoverish it.
In this hall, we come from many places, but we share a common future. No longer do we have the luxury of indulging our differences to the exclusion of the work that we must do together. I have carried this message from London to Ankara; from Port of Spain to Moscow; from Accra to Cairo; and its what I will speak about today. Because the time has come for the world to move in a new direction. We must embrace a new era of engagement based on mutual interests and mutual respect, and our work must begin now. We know the future will be forged by deeds and not simply words. Speeches alone will not solve our problems it will take persistent action. So for those who question the character and cause of my nation, I ask you to look at the concrete actions that we have taken in just nine months. On my first day in office, I prohibited without exception or equivocation the use of torture by the United States of America. I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed, and we are doing the hard work of forging a framework to combat extremism within the rule of law. Every nation must know: America will live its values, and we will lead by example. We have set a clear and focused goal: to work with all members of this body to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and its extremist allies a network that has killed thousands of people of many faiths and nations, and that plotted to blow up this very building. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, we and many nations here are helping those governments develop the capacity to take the lead in this effort, while working to advance opportunity and security for their people. In Iraq, we are responsibly ending a war. We have removed American combat brigades from Iraqi cities, and set a deadline of next August to remove all of our combat brigades from Iraqi territory. And I have made clear that we will help Iraqis transition to full responsibility for their future, and keep our commitment to remove all American troops by the end of 2011. I have outlined a comprehensive agenda to seek the goal of a world without nuclear weapons. In Moscow, the United States and Russia announced that we would pursue substantial reductions in our strategic warheads and launchers. At the Conference on Disarmament, we agreed on a work plan to negotiate an end to the production of fissile materials for nuclear weapons. And this week, my Secretary of State will become the first senior American representative to the annual Members Conference of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Upon taking office, I appointed a Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, and America has worked steadily and aggressively to advance the cause of two states Israel and Palestine in which peace and security take root, and the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians are respected. To confront climate change, we have invested 80 billion dollars in clean energy. We have substantially increased our fuel-efficiency standards. We have provided new incentives for conservation, launched an energy partnership across the Americas, and moved from a bystander to a leader in international climate negotiations. To overcome an economic crisis that touches every corner of the world, we worked with the G-20 nations to forge a coordinated international response of over two trillion dollars in stimulus to bring the global economy back from the brink. We mobilized resources that helped prevent the crisis from spreading further to developing countries. And we joined with others to launch a $20 billion global food security initiative that will lend a hand to those who need it most, and help them build their own capacity. We have also re-engaged the United Nations. We have paid our bills. We have joined the Human Rights Council. We have signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We have fully embraced the Millennium Development Goals. And we address our priorities here, in this institution for instance, through the Security Council meeting that I will chair tomorrow on nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, and through the issues that I will discuss today. This is what we have done. But this is just a beginning. Some of our actions have yielded progress. Some have laid the groundwork for progress in the future. But make no mistake: this cannot be solely the United States endeavor. Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the worlds problems alone. We have sought in word and deed a new era of engagement with the world. Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges. If we are honest with ourselves, we need to admit that we are not living up to that responsibility. Consider the course that we are on if we fail to confront the status quo. Extremists sowing terror in pockets of the world. Protracted conflicts that grind on and on. Genocide and mass atrocities. More and more nations with nuclear weapons. Melting ice caps and ravaged populations. Persistent poverty and pandemic disease. I say this not to sow fear, but to state a fact: the magnitude of our challenges has yet to be met by the measure of our action. This body was founded on the belief that the nations of the world could solve their problems together. Franklin Roosevelt, who died before he could see his vision for this institution become a reality, put it this way and I quote: The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, or one party, or one Nation¦. It cannot be a peace of large nations or of small nations. It must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world. The cooperative effort of the whole world. Those words ring even more true today, when it is not simply peace but our very health and prosperity that we hold in common. Yet I also know that this body is made up of sovereign states. And sadly, but not surprisingly, this body has often become a forum for sowing discord instead of forging common ground; a venue for playing politics and exploiting grievances rather than solving problems. After all, it is easy to walk up to this podium and to point fingers and stoke division. Nothing is easier than blaming others for our troubles, and absolving ourselves of responsibility for our choices and our actions. Anyone can do that. Responsibility and leadership in the 21st century demand more. In an era when our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero sum game. No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed. No balance of power among nations will hold. The traditional division between nations of the south and north makes no sense in an interconnected world. Nor do alignments of nations rooted in the cleavages of a long gone Cold War. The time has come to realize that the old habits and arguments are irrelevant to the challenges faced by our people. They lead nations to act in opposition to the very goals that they claim to pursue, and to vote often in this body against the interests of their own people. They build up walls between us and the future that our people seek, and the time has come for those walls to come down. Together, we must build new coalitions that bridge old divides coalitions of different faiths and creeds; of north and south, east and west; black, white, and brown. The choice is ours. We can be remembered as a generation that chose to drag the arguments of the 20th century into the 21st; that put off hard choices, refused to look ahead, and failed to keep pace because we defined ourselves by what we were against instead of what we were for. Or, we can be a
generation that chooses to see the shoreline beyond the rough waters ahead; that comes together to serve the common interests of human beings, and finally gives meaning to the promise embedded in the name given to this institution: the United Nations. That is the future America wants a future of peace and prosperity that we can only reach if we recognize that all nations have rights, but all nations have responsibilities as well. That is the bargain that makes this work. That must be the guiding principle of international cooperation. Today, I put forward four pillars that are fundamental to the future that we want for our children: non-proliferation and disarmament; the promotion of peace and security; the preservation of our planet; and a global economy that advances opportunity for all people. First, we must stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and seek the goal of a world without them. This institution was founded at the dawn of the atomic age, in part because mans capacity to kill had to be contained. For decades, we averted disaster, even under the shadow of a super-power stand-off. But today, the threat of proliferation is growing in scope and complexity. If we fail to act, we will invite nuclear arms races in every region, and the prospect of wars and acts of terror on a scale that we can hardly imagine. A fragile consensus stands in the way of this frightening outcome, the basic bargain that shapes the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty. It says that all nations have the right to peaceful nuclear energy; that nations with nuclear weapons have the responsibility to move toward disarmament; and those without them have the responsibility to forsake them. The next twelve months could be pivotal in determining whether this compact will be strengthened or will slowly dissolve. America will keep our end of the bargain. We will pursue a new agreement with Russia to substantially reduce our strategic warheads and launchers. We will move forward with ratification of the Test Ban Treaty, and work with others to bring the Treaty into force so that nuclear testing is permanently prohibited. We will complete a Nuclear Posture Review that opens the door to deeper cuts, and reduces the role of nuclear weapons. And we will call upon countries to begin negotiations in January on a treaty to end the production of fissile material for weapons. I will also host a Summit next April that reaffirms each nations responsibility to secure nuclear material on its territory, and to help those who cant because we must never allow a single nuclear device to fall into the hands of a violent extremist. And we will work to strengthen the institutions and initiatives that combat nuclear smuggling and theft. All of this must support efforts to strengthen the NPT. Those nations that refuse to live up to their obligations must face consequences. This is not about singling out individual nations it is about standing up for the rights of all nations that do live up to their responsibilities. Because a world in which IAEA inspections are avoided and the United Nations demands are ignored will leave all people less safe, and all nations less secure. In their actions to date, the governments of North Korea and Iran threaten to take us down this dangerous slope. We respect their rights as members of the community of nations. I am committed to diplomacy that opens a path to greater prosperity and a more secure peace for both nations if they live up to their obligations. But if the governments of Iran and North Korea choose to ignore international standards; if they put the pursuit of nuclear weapons ahead of regional stability and the security and opportunity of their own people; if they are oblivious to the dangers of escalating nuclear arms races in both East Asia and the Middle East then they must be held accountable. The world must stand together to demonstrate that international law is not an empty promise, and that Treaties will be enforced. We must insist that the future not belong to fear. That brings me to the second pillar for our future: the pursuit of peace. The United Nations was born of the belief that the people of the world can live their lives, raise their families, and resolve their differences peacefully. And yet we know that in too many parts of the world, this ideal remains an abstraction. We can either accept that outcome as inevitable, and tolerate constant and crippling conflict. Or we can recognize that the yearning for peace is universal, and reassert our resolve to end conflicts around the world. That effort must begin with an unshakeable determination that the murder of innocent men, women and children will never be tolerated. On this, there can be no dispute. The violent extremists who promote conflict by distorting faith have discredited and isolated themselves. They offer nothing but hatred and destruction. In confronting them, America will forge lasting partnerships to target terrorists, share intelligence, coordinate law enforcement, and protect our people. We will permit no safe-haven for al Qaeda to launch attacks from Afghanistan or any other nation. We will stand by our friends on the front lines, as we and many nations will do in pledging support for the Pakistani people tomorrow. And we will pursue positive engagement that builds bridges among faiths, and new partnerships for opportunity. But our efforts to promote peace cannot be limited to defeating violent extremists. For the most powerful weapon in our arsenal is the hope of human beings the belief that the future belongs to those who build, not destroy; the confidence that conflicts can end, and a new day begin. That is why we will strengthen our support for effective peacekeeping, while energizing our efforts to prevent conflicts before they take hold. We will pursue a lasting peace in Sudan through support for the people of Darfur, and the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, so that we secure the peace that the Sudanese people deserve. And in countries ravaged by violence from Haiti to Congo to East Timore we will work with the UN and other partners to support an enduring peace. I will also continue to seek a just and lasting peace between Israel, Palestine, and the Arab world. Yesterday, I had a constructive meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas. We have made some progress. Palestinians have strengthened their efforts on security. Israelis have facilitated greater freedom of movement for the Palestinians. As a result of these efforts by both sides, the economy in the West Bank has begun to grow. But more progress is needed. We continue to call on Palestinians to end incitement against Israel, and we continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements. The time has come to re-launch negotiations without preconditions that address the permanent-status issues: security for Israelis and Palestinians; borders, refugees and Jerusalem. The goal is clear: two states living side by side in peace and security a Jewish State of Israel, with true security for all Israelis; and a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967, and realizes the potential of the Palestinian people. As we pursue this goal, we will also pursue peace between Israel and Lebanon, Israel and Syria, and a broader peace between Israel and its many neighbors. In pursuit of that goal, we will develop regional initiatives with multilateral participation, alongside bilateral negotiations.
I am not naÃ¯ve. I know this will be difficult. But all of us must decide whether we are serious about peace, or whether we only lend it lip-service. To break the old patterns to break the cycle of insecurity and despair all of us must say publicly what we would acknowledge in private. The United States does Israel no favors when we fail to couple an unwavering commitment to its security with an insistence that Israel respect the legitimate claims and rights of the Palestinians. And nations within this body do the Palestinians no favors when they choose vitriolic attacks over a constructive willingness to recognize Israels legitimacy, and its right to exist in peace and security. We must remember that the greatest price of this conflict is not paid by us. It is paid by the Israeli girl in Sderot who closes her eyes in fear that a rocket will take her life in the night. It is paid by the Palestinian boy in Gaza who has no clean water and no country to call his own. These are Gods children. And after all of the politics and all of the posturing, this is about the right of every human being to live with dignity and security. That is a lesson embedded in the three great faiths that call one small slice of Earth the Holy Land. And that is why even though there will be setbacks, and false starts, and tough days I will not waiver in my pursuit of peace. Third, we must recognize that in the 21st century, there will be no peace unless we make take responsibility for the preservation of our planet. The danger posed by climate change cannot be denied, and our responsibility to meet it must not be deferred. If we continue down our current course, every member of this Assembly will see irreversible changes within their borders. Our efforts to end conflicts will be eclipsed by wars over refugees and resources. Development will be devastated by drought and famine. Land that human beings have lived on for millennia will disappear. Future generations will look back and wonder why we refused to act why we failed to pass on intact the environment that was our inheritance. That is why the days when America dragged its feet on this issue are over. We will move forward with investments to transform our energy economy, while providing incentives to make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. We will press ahead with deep cuts in emissions to reach the goals that we set for 2020, and eventually 2050. We will continue to promote renewable energy and efficiency and share new technologies with countries around the world. And we will seize every opportunity for progress to address this threat in a cooperative effort with the whole world. Those wealthy nations that did so much to damage the environment in the 20th century must accept our obligation to lead. But responsibility does not end there. While we must acknowledge the need for differentiated responses, any effort to curb carbon emissions must include the fast-growing carbon emitters who can do more to reduce their air pollution without inhibiting growth. And any effort that fails to help the poorest nations both adapt to the problems that climate change has already wrought and travel a path of clean development will not work. It is hard to change something as fundamental as how we use energy. Its even harder to do so in the midst of a global recession. Certainly, it will be tempting to sit back and wait for others to move first. But we cannot make this journey unless we all move forward together. As we head into Copenhagen, let us resolve to focus on what each of us can do for the sake of our common future. This leads me to the final pillar that must fortify our future: a global economy that advances opportunity for all people. The world is still recovering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. In America, we see the engine of growth beginning to churn, yet many still struggle to find a job or pay their bills. Across the globe, we find promising signs, yet little certainty about what lies ahead. And far too many people in far too many places live through the daily crises that challenge our common humanity the despair of an empty stomach; the thirst brought on by dwindling water; the injustice of a child dying from a treatable disease, or a mother losing her life as she gives birth. In Pittsburgh, we will work with the worlds largest economies to chart a course for growth that is balanced and sustained. That means vigilance to ensure that we do not let up until our people are back to work. That means taking steps to rekindle demand, so that a global recovery can be sustained. And that means setting new rules of the road and strengthening regulation for all financial centers, so that we put an end to the greed, excess and abuse that led us into disaster, and prevent a crisis like this from ever happening again. At a time of such interdependence, we have a moral and pragmatic interest in broader questions of development. And so we will continue our historic effort to help people feed themselves. We have set aside $63 billion to carry forward the fight against HIV/AIDS; to end deaths from tuberculosis and malaria; to eradicate polio; and to strengthen public health systems. We are joining with other countries to contribute H1N1 vaccines to the World Health Organization. We will integrate more economies into a system of global trade. We will support the Millennium Development Goals, and approach next years Summit with a global plan to make them a reality. And we will set our sights on the eradication of extreme poverty in our time. Now is the time for all of us to do our part. Growth will not be sustained or shared unless all nations embrace their responsibility. Wealthy nations must open their markets to more goods and extend a hand to those with less, while reforming international institutions to give more nations a greater voice. Developing nations must root out the corruption that is an obstacle to progress for opportunity cannot thrive where individuals are oppressed and business have to pay bribes. Thats why we will support honest police and independent judges; civil society and a vibrant private sector. Our goal is simple: a global economy in which growth is sustained, and opportunity is available to all. The changes that I have spoken about today will not be easy to make. And they will not be realized simply by leaders like us coming together in forums like this. For as in any assembly of members, real change can only come through the people we represent. That is why we must do the hard work to lay the groundwork for progress in our own capitals. That is where we will build the consensus to end conflicts and to harness technology for peaceful purposes; to change the way we use energy, and to promote growth that can be sustained and shared. I believe that the people of the world want this future for their children. And that is why we must champion those principles which ensure that governments reflect the will of the people. These principles cannot be afterthoughts democracy and human rights are essential to achieving each of the goals that I have discussed today. Because governments of the people and by the people are more likely to act in the broader interests of their own people, rather than the narrow interest of those in power. The test of our leadership will not be the degree to which we feed the fears and old hatreds of our people. True leadership will not be measured by the ability to muzzle dissent, or to intimidate and harass political opponents at home. The people of the world want change. They will not long tolerate those who are on the wrong side of history. This Assemblys Charter commits each of us, and I quote to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women. Among those rights is the freedom to speak your mind and worship as you please; the promise of equality of the races, and the opportunity for women and girls to pursue their own potential; the ability of citizens to have a say in how you are governed, and to have confidence in the administration of justice. For just as no nation should be forced to accept the tyranny of another nation, no individual should be forced
to accept the tyranny of their own government. As an African-American, I will never forget that I would not be here today without the steady pursuit of a more perfect union in my country. That guides my belief that no matter how dark the day may seem, transformative change can be forged by those who choose the side of justice. And I pledge that America will always stand with those who stand up for their dignity and their rights for the student who seeks to learn; the voter who demands to be heard; the innocent who longs to be free; and the oppressed who yearns to be equal. Democracy cannot be imposed on any nation from the outside. Each society must search for its own path, and no path is perfect. Each country will pursue a path rooted in the culture of its people, and in the past America has too often been selective in its promotion of democracy. But that does not weaken our commitment, it only reinforces it. There are basic principles that are universal; there are certain truths which are self evident and the United States of America will never waiver in our efforts to stand up for the right of people everywhere to determine their own destiny. Sixty-five years ago, a weary Franklin Roosevelt spoke to the American people in his fourth and final inaugural address. After years of war, he sought to sum up the lessons that could be drawn from the terrible suffering and enormous sacrifice that had taken place. We have learned, he said, to be citizens of the world, members of the human community. The United Nations was built by men and women like Roosevelt from every corner of the world from Africa and Asia; form Europe to the Americas. These architects of international cooperation had an idealism that was rooted in the hard-earned lessons of war, and the wisdom that nations could advance their interests by acting together instead of splitting apart. Now it falls to us for this institution will be what we make of it. The United Nations does extraordinary good around the world in feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and mending places that have been broken. But it also struggles to enforce its will, and to live up to the ideals of its founding. I believe that those imperfections are not a reason to walk away from this institution they are a calling to redouble our efforts. The United Nations can either be a place where we bicker about outdated grievances, or forge common ground; a place where we focus on what drives us apart, or what brings us together; a place where we indulge tyranny, or a source of moral authority. In short, the United Nations can be an institution that is disconnected from what matters in the lives of our citizens, or it can be indispensable in advancing the interests of the people we serve. We have reached a pivotal moment. The United States stands ready to begin a new chapter of international cooperation one that recognizes the rights and responsibilities of all nations. With confidence in our cause, and with a commitment to our values, we call on all nations to join us in building the future that our people deserve. Thank you.
29 January 2009 Secretary-General SG/SM/12071 ENV/DEV/1021 Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York SECRETARY-GENERAL DEEMS EFFORT BY WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM TO CREATE WATER SECURITY GLOBAL AGENDA COUNCIL, DEVELOP ECONOMIC, GEOPOLITICAL FORECAST ESSENTIAL Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s opening remarks to the water forecast session of the World Economic Forum, in Davos, Switzerland, today: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It is a pleasure to see you and pick up the conversation we began here in Davos one year ago. Lately, I have taken to saying that the past year was one of multiple crises. We have the economic crisis, the food crisis, the energy crisis. To these we can add climate change. All of these crises are still very much with us. They illustrate our world’s vulnerability to the shock of diminishing resources. And as you all know only too well, water is very much near the top of the list. Your work is therefore essential and I commend you for it. Over the past year, you have come together - academics, business people, Government leaders - and put this issue on the global agenda. People are beginning to realize how connected it is to so many challenges -- development, peace and security, economic growth. The global public has become increasingly aware how climate change and water scarcity threaten the populations of heavily settled parts of the world. They understand how it breeds conflict. They know how manmade climate change and growing consumption of water are putting unprecedented stress on this dwindling
resource. The good news is that we also know how technology can play an important role in mitigating water stress. Many technologies -- new and ancient -- can improve water, for example, supplying more water from seawater, harvesting rainfall or deploying new and simple methods of irrigation that save water. Farmers can diversify crops and plant drought-resistant seeds. All this we know. The problem is that we have no coordinated global management authority in the United Nations system or the world at large. There is no overall responsibility, accountability or vision for how to address the related problems of climate change, agricultural stress and water technology. This is where you come in. Some of you are members of the Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate, which I introduced here last year and has already made substantial progress. I hope many more of you will join. Your work to create a water security Global Agenda Council is essential. So is your effort to develop the economic and geopolitical forecast you are discussing today. For the first time, you are bringing together all the different perspectives and expertise required to define the full dimension of the problem and propose solutions. In doing so, you are creating the framework of a future partnership -ï¿½ bringing together businesses, Governments, universities and non-governmental organizations. The problem is broad and systemic. Our work to deal with it must be so as well. I look forward to seeing your work completed. I will help in any way I can. Finally, my advice? Why not make water security one of the key topics for climate change adaptation in 2009. * *** *
19 December 2008 General Assembly GA/10802
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York Sixty-third General Assembly Plenary 72nd Meeting (AM)
among 34 development-related actions, General Assembly adopts resolution reaffirming need to work towards new international economic order Taking Action on Second Committee Reports, Plenary Also Passes Text Relating to Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization
In an attempt to better address the major economic and policy challenges to long-term economic growth and sustainable development, particularly in light of the global financial crisis, the General Assembly today laid the groundwork for in-depth consideration of those issues by unanimously adopting -- among 34 development-related actions put forward by its Second Committee (Economic and Financial) -- a series of comprehensive resolutions.
After two months of intense discussions in the Committee that linked the financial and economic turmoil spanning the globe to the current food and energy crises, as well as climate change, the Assembly’s adoption -- by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 52 abstentions -- of a resolution on the international economic situation and its impact on development that would help shape United Nations thinking on how to build a new international economic order based on the principles of equity, sovereign equality, interdependence, common interest and cooperation among States. By that text, the Assembly agreed to hold a comprehensive debate on the topic during its sixty-fourth session next year, and asked the
Secretary-General to provide input in his next report on globalization and interdependence. (See annex I for voting details.)
Adopting a related text, the Assembly expressed its deep concern over the negative effect of the financial crisis on developing countries seeking the financing necessary to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and other development objectives. It encouraged development partners to help those countries achieve the Millennium targets in health, nutrition and sanitation, and to bolster their agricultural productivity through greater investment. It advised all countries to harness knowledge and technology and to stimulate innovation, if they were to become competitive and benefit from trade and investment. But developed countries in particular were asked to transfer that technology under fair, open terms so that developing nations could implement key socio-economic strategies.
Aiming to keep development funding at centre stage, the Assembly also adopted a draft that called on the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus -- which took place in Doha, Qatar, from 29 November to 2 December -- to discuss the impact of the crisis on such financing. It also adopted five draft Conference-related decisions concerning accreditation, rules of procedure, the agenda and work programme.
Under the poverty-eradication umbrella, the Assembly adopted two resolutions, one on the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017), by which it called on donor countries to provide adequate, predictable financing for developing countries attempting to erase that social ill. Expressing concern over the overall decline in official development assistance in 2006 and 2007, the Assembly also called on donor countries to fulfil their aid commitments.
By terms of the second resolution, on the role of microcredit and microfinance, the Assembly underscored the need for greater access to those tools in developing countries, particularly so small farmers could increase agricultural productivity and rural development. It emphasized the need to prevent credit deficiencies caused by the financial crisis in microcredit and microfinance institutions and their services to the poor, as well as encouraged Member States to adopt coherent financial regulatory frameworks.
Industry, energy and migration gained increased attention within the development realm, according to some of the resolutions adopted this session. For example, the Assembly adopted, by consensus, a text on industrial development cooperation, emphasizing the importance of creating wealth for poverty-reduction and pro-poor growth, particularly by women, through the development of strong productive capacities in developing nations and those with economies in transition. It also called for continued and efficient use of official development assistance to sustain industrial development in those countries, and urged all Governments to devise policies for creating dynamic industrial sectors.
By the terms of a resolution on international migration and development, the Assembly encouraged a more balanced approach to migration and urged Member States and relevant international organizations to incorporate a gender perspective into international migration policy.
The Assembly also demonstrated its support for the role of reliable and stable transit of energy in ensuring sustainable development, by adopting a resolution that recognized the need for energy transit to international markets through pipelines and transport system. That text also welcomed Turkmenistan’s offer to hold a high-level conference on that topic in 2009.
In another action, the Assembly adopted, also by consensus, a resolution on information and communications technology for development, urging stronger, continued cooperation among all stakeholders to implement fully the outcomes of the Geneva and Tunis phases of the World Summit on the Information Society.
Taking action on a resolution relating to development cooperation with middle-income countries -- the first such text on that subject presented its Second Committee -- the Assembly emphasized that those countries must take primary responsibility for their own development, while acknowledging the challenges they faced in erasing poverty and achieving the Millennium targets. It also noted that national averages based on such criteria as per capita income did not always reflect the needs of those countries, and invited the United Nations development system to support them through improved field coordination and inter-agency collaboration.
The resolutions adopted reflected the breadth of the Second Committee’s agenda during its 10-week session. It considered the widespread economic development ramifications of climate change, development economics, including the need for a more equitable international financial system that would represent the voice of developing countries, and the need to bolster their resilience to financial risk. It also considered the shared responsibility of creditors and debtors to prevent unsustainable debt situations and colossal roadblocks, notably debt burdens, trade barriers and inequitable market access, that could hamper sustainable economic growth.
A text on international trade and development, and another titled External debt and development: towards a durable solution to the debt problems of developing countries, stressed the importance that the Assembly gave to continued consideration of those topics, while requesting that the Secretary-General report on them during the Assembly’s sixty-fourth session. Another text focused on the report of the twelfth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XII) and welcomed the offer by the Government of Qatar to hold the thirteenth session.
The Assembly also stressed the importance it attached to commodities in a text requesting that the Secretary-General report on that topic during the Assembly’s sixty-fourth session.
In addition, the Assembly found consensus in adopting a resolution on preventing and combating corrupt practices and returning such assets to the countries of origin, in line with the principles of the United Nations Convention against Corruption. By its terms, the Assembly expressed concern over the magnitude of the problem, condemning corruption in all its forms and urging Governments to combat and penalize it.
By its adoption of a text on operational activities for development, the Assembly expressed concern over the continuing imbalance between core and non-core funding and the limited progress towards greater funding predictability and adequacy.
Climate change issues were an underlying theme in much of the Committee’s work, especially concerning sustainable development issues. The Assembly adopted 13 resolutions contained in the Committee’s report on sustainable development.
The Assembly proclaimed 2011 the International Year of Chemistry, designating the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the lead agency and focal point for the Year. Further by that text, it stressed that chemistry education was critical to addressing such challenges as global climate change; providing sustainable sources of clean water, food and energy; and maintaining a wholesome environment for the well-being of all people.
By another text, relating to the oil slick on Lebanese shores, the Assembly requested that Israel promptly and adequately compensate Lebanon and Syria for the costs of repairing the environmental damage caused by the destruction by the Israeli Air Force of the oil storage tanks near Lebanon’s Jiyah electric power plant, including restoration of the marine environment. It decided to set up a voluntary trust fund for an eastern Mediterranean oil spill restoration to support integrated, environmentally sound management of the environmental disaster resulting from the destruction. The Assembly adopted that text by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 7 against ( Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 2 abstentions ( Cameroon, Colombia). (annex II)
The Assembly also showed its strong support for international efforts and funding to prevent and manage natural disasters, as well as extreme weather patterns, by adopting, without a vote, three texts on those topics. One resolution, on natural disasters and vulnerability, expressed the Assembly’s deep concern over the increasing number and scale of natural disasters wreaking havoc on small island developing States, least developed and other vulnerable countries. Further, the Assembly called upon the international community, particularly developed countries, to give vulnerable developing countries adequate, predictable resources and technology, as well as development cooperation and technical assistance.
By a text on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the Assembly called upon the international community to step up efforts for full implementation of the Hyogo Declaration and the Hyogo Framework for Action, and encouraged it to continue to adequately finance the United Nations Trust Fund for Disaster Reduction through multi-year, non-earmarked contributions as early in the year as possible, and to support the development of institutions that could help build resilience to natural hazards.
In a consensus adoption of a text on international cooperation to reduce the impact of the El Niï¿½o phenomenon, the Assembly called upon the international community, the Secretary-General and relevant United Nations bodies to help strengthen the International Research Centre on El Niï¿½o, based in Guayaquil, Ecuador, through scientific, technical and financial assistance so that the Centre could improve forecasting skills and develop appropriate policies to reduce El Niï¿½o’s impact.
The Assembly also adopted, by consensus, a text on the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its tenth special session, stressing the need to further advance and fully implement the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-Building.
Further, the Assembly adopted, also without a vote, a text titled Towards the sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea for present and future generations, calling on the United Nations and the international community to help Caribbean countries and regional organizations protect the sea from degradation due to pollution from ships, illegal dumping or hazardous waste, and to provide them with aid for long-term disaster relief.
In a recorded vote, the Assembly adopted a resolution reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources. The Assembly took that action by 164 votes in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 5 abstentions (Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu). (annex III)
A number of resolutions adopted by consensus sought to bolster South South cooperation and the economies of least developed and landlocked developing countries through numerous multilateral forums and frameworks, such as the proposed United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation, the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed
Countries, scheduled for 2011, the Brussels Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 and the Almaty Programme of Action.
Other texts concerned implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development; Follow-up to and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States; the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa; the Convention on Biological Diversity; and implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
Other Assembly actions today included its decision to adopt the Second Committee’s programme of work for its next session and taking note of the Committee’s report on programme planning.
Awsan Al-Aud ( Yemen), Rapporteur of the Second Committee, introduced that body’s reports.
In other action, the Assembly adopted, by consensus, two plenary-generated texts. By the terms of the first, titled International Labour Organization Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization, the Assembly recognized that the social justice impact of the current economic crisis may disproportionately affect the most vulnerable segments of society. As such, it reiterated support for a fair globalization and resolved to make the goal of full and productive employment -- including for women and young people -- a central objective of national and international policies.
Further, the Assembly supported the call to promote implementation of an integrated approach to the decent work agenda based on the four interrelated objectives of employment creation, fundamental rights at work, social dialogue and social protection. It also encouraged Member States to consider applying the principles set out in the Toolkit for Mainstreaming Employment and Decent Work.
By a resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum, the Assembly invited the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the Forum to expand cooperation with a view to attaining their common objectives.
Speaking during today’s session were the representatives of Norway, Tuvalu and Turkmenistan.
The General Assembly met this afternoon to consider the reports of its Second Committee (Economic and Financial) that are the outcome of meetings held between 8 October and 11 December. Topics under consideration during that period were: 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 (agenda item 38); information and communication technology (item 46); macroeconomic policy questions (item 47), which includes sub-items on international trade and development, the international financial system and development, external debt crisis and development: towards a durable solution to the debt problems of developing countries, and commodities.
Also before the Assembly were the Committee’s report on follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the preparation of the 2008 Review Conference (item 48). The report on sustainable development (item 49) includes sub-items on implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development; follow-up to and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programmes of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States; International Strategy for Disaster Reduction; protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind; implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa; the Convention on Biological Diversity; and the Report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its tenth special session.
The Assembly also had before it the Committee’s reports on implementation of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) (item 50); and on globalization and interdependence (item 51), which includes sub-items on the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence; international migration and development; culture and development; preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of assets of illicit origin and returning such assets, in particular to the countries of origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption; and integration of the economies in transition into the world economy.
Other reports submitted by the Second Committee covered groups of countries in special situations (item 52), which
includes sub-items on the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries and on specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries: outcome of the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation; and the eradication of poverty and other development issues (item 53), which includes sub-items on implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017) and industrial development cooperation.
The Assembly also had before it the Committee’s reports on operational activities for development (item 54); revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (item 110); and programme planning (item 119).
Committee Reports and Draft Resolutions
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 (document A/63/410) contains a draft resolution by which the Assembly would reaffirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources. The Committee approved that text on 20 November by a recorded vote of 139 in favour to 6 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, United States), with 4 abstentions (Cote d’Ivoire, Fiji, Haiti, Nauru). (See Press Release GA/EF/3232.)
Contained in the report on information and communication technologies for development (document A/63/411) is a draft resolution by which the Assembly would stress the importance of Governments using such technologies to create public policies and services responsive to national development needs and priorities. The Committee approved that text without a vote on 26 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)
The report on macroeconomic policy questions (document A/63/412) contains five draft resolutions. The first, on international trade and development (document A/63/412/Add.1), would have the Assembly stress the importance of continued discussions on that topic, and note the deliberations in the context of the preparatory process for the Follow-up Conference on Financing for Development to Review Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, which would substantively address the issue. It would request that the Secretary-General submit progress reports on the issue during the Assembly’s sixty-fourth session. The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 25 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)
The second draft, on the report of the twelfth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), would have the Assembly thank the Government and people of Ghana for their hospitality during the April session and welcome the offer by the Government of Qatar to host the thirteenth session in 2012. The Committee approved that text without a vote on 25 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)
A third text, on the international financial system and development (document A/63/412/Add.2), would have the Assembly stress its concern over the impact of the current global financial crisis on development. The Committee approved that text without a vote on 20 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3232.)
By a draft titled External debt and development: towards a durable solution to the debt problems of developing countries (document A/63/412/Add.3), the Assembly would stress the importance of continuing to consider substantively external debt and development, and request that the Secretary-General submit a report on the subject at the Assembly’s sixtyfourth session. The Committee approved that text without a vote on 20 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3232.)
A text on commodities (document A/63/412/Add.4), approved by consensus on 26 November, would have the Assembly stress the importance of continuing substantive consideration of the issue of commodities and request that the SecretaryGeneral submit a report on it during the Assembly’s sixty-fourth session. (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)
Contained in the Committee’s report on follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the International Conference on Financing for Development (document A/63/413 and (Part I)/Corr.1) are five draft decisions, including one on arrangements and organization of work of the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus; another on provisional rules of procedure for that event; a third containing its provisional agenda; a fourth referring to accreditation of intergovernmental organizations; and a final one referring to accreditation of nongovernmental organizations. The Committee approved those draft decisions without a vote on 5 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3228.)
The second part of that report (document A/63/413 (Part II)) contains a draft resolution on Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus. By its terms, the Assembly would stress the importance of continued discussions on financing for development, and note the deliberations in the context of the preparatory process for the Follow-up Conference, which would substantively address the issue. The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 25 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)
Contained in the Committee’s report on sustainable development (document A/63/414) are 13 draft resolutions, the first
of which would have the Assembly proclaim 2011 the International Year of Chemistry, and designate the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the lead agency and focal point for the Year. The Assembly would stress that chemistry education is critical to addressing such challenges as global climate change; providing sustainable sources of clean water, food and energy; and maintaining a wholesome environment for the well-being of all people. That text was approved without a vote on 20 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3232.)
A second text, on reliable and stable transit of energy and its role in ensuring sustainable development and international cooperation, would have the Assembly welcome international cooperation in developing transportation systems and pipelines, recognize the need for extensive international cooperation to ensure reliable transportation of energy to international markets through pipelines and transport systems, and welcome Turkmenistan’s offer to hold a high-level international conference on the subject in 2009. The Committee approved that text without a vote on 25 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)
By a draft on the oil slick on Lebanese shores, the Assembly would reiterate its deep concern over the deliberate destruction by the Israeli Air Force of oil storage tanks near the Lebanese El Jiyeh electric plant for its adverse impact on sustainable development in Lebanon. It would request that the Israeli Government assume responsibility for promptly and adequately compensating Lebanon’s Government, as well as Syria’s Government, whose shores have been partially polluted, and for the costs of environmental repair, including marine environment restoration. The Committee approved that text by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 7 against ( Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 2 abstentions ( Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire) on 26 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)
Addendum 1 of that report (document A/63/414/Add.1) contains a draft on Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. By that text, the Assembly would call upon all stakeholders to take action to ensure effective implementation of and follow-up to the commitments, programmes and time-bound targets adopted at the 2002 World Summit. That draft was approved without a vote on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
Addendum 2 (document A/63/414/Add.2) contains two drafts, the first on follow-up to and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. By its terms, the Assembly would urge all Governments, relevant organizations, United Nations bodies and the Global Environment Facility to take timely action to effectively follow-up and implement the Strategy and the Mauritius Declaration. The Assembly would also call upon the international community to help those States adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change. The Committee approved that text without a vote on 26 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)
The second text, titled Towards the sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea for present and future generations, the Assembly would call upon the United Nations and the international community to help Caribbean countries and regional organizations protect the Caribbean Sea from degradation due to ship pollution, illegal dumping or hazardous wastes. The Assembly would also express deep concern over the severe destruction and devastation in several Caribbean countries caused by heightened hurricane activity in recent years, and urge continued long-term aid to those countries. The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 26 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)
Addendum 3 (document A/63/414/Add.3) contains three drafts, the first on international cooperation to reduce the impact of the El Niï¿½o phenomenon. It would have the Assembly call upon the international community to step up assistance to countries affected by El Niï¿½o and adopt measures to strengthen the International Research Centre on El Niï¿½o in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 18 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3231.)
By a draft on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the Assembly would call upon the international community to step up efforts to fully implement the Hyogo documents, encourage it to continue providing adequate voluntary financial contributions to the United Nations Trust Fund for Disaster Reduction and encourage Member States to make multiannual, non-earmarked contributions as early in the year as possible. The draft was approved by Committee without a vote on 26 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)
A third text, on natural disasters and vulnerability would have the Assembly call upon the international community, particularly developed countries, to provide adequate, predictable resources and technology transfer to developing countries vulnerable to the natural disasters adverse effects. It would express its deep concern over the number and scale of disasters and their consequences for small island developing States, least developed countries and other vulnerable countries in particular. The Committee approved that text without a vote on 26 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)
By a text on protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind (document A/63/414/Add.4), the Assembly would call for urgent global action to address climate change for the benefit of present and future generations, and urge parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Convention to continue using the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in their work. The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 25 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)
A draft resolution on implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (document A/63/414/Add.5) would have the Assembly reaffirm its resolve to address the causes of desertification and land degradation and
the ensuing poverty by mobilizing adequate and predictable financial resources, technology transfer and capacity-building. The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 26 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3234.)
By a text on the Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/63/414/Add.6) the Assembly would encourage developed-country signatories to contribute to its trust funds, and urge transfer technology and fully support and participate in activities for the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010, under the auspices of the Convention’s secretariat. The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
A text on the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its tenth special session (document A/63/414/Add.7) would have the Assembly stress the need to further advance and fully implement the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-Building, and emphasize the need for UNEP to contribute further to sustainable development programmes, implementation of Agenda 21 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
Contained in the report on implementation of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHabitat)(document A/63/415) is a draft resolution by which the Assembly would encourage Governments to promote sustainable urbanization to improve the living conditions of vulnerable populations, including slum-dwellers and the urban poor, and to help mitigate climate change. It would reiterate its call for continued financial support to UN-Habitat and encourage Member States to strengthen or set up broad-based national Habitat committees to mainstream sustainable urbanization and urban poverty reduction in their respective national development strategies. The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
The report on globalization and interdependence (document A/63/416) contains six draft resolutions, beginning with one on the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence (document A/63/416/Add.1). By that text, the Assembly would express deep concern over the negative impact of the current financial crisis and the attendant global economic slowdown on the ability of developing countries to gain access to the financing necessary to achieve their development objectives. The Assembly would also stress the need for increased investment in developing countriesï¿½ agricultural productivity and encourage all development partners to help those nations meet targets in health, nutrition and sanitation. The text was approved without a vote on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
Contained in Addendum 1 of that report was a draft on development cooperation with middle-income countries, by which the Assembly would emphasize that middle-income countries must take primary responsibility for their own development. But is also recognized the significant challenges they still faced and acknowledged their efforts and successes to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. It would also invite the United Nations development system to support those countries and improve field coordination to do so. The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 25 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)
By the terms of another draft resolution in Addendum 1, titled Towards a new international economic order, the Assembly would decide to hold, at its sixty-fourth session, an in-depth consideration of the international economic situation and its impact on development. It would also reaffirm the need to work towards a new international economic order based on the principles of equity, sovereign equality, interdependence, common interest and cooperation among all States. The Committee approved that draft on 11 December by a recorded vote of 115 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 49 abstentions. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
Addendum 2 (document A/63/416/Add.2) contains a draft on international migration and development, which would have the Assembly encourage efforts by Member States and the international community to promote a balanced approach to migration so migrants could reap its benefits. That text was approved without a vote on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
By a draft on preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of assets of illicit origin (document A/63/416/Add.4), the Assembly would express concern about the magnitude of corruption and condemn it in all its forms, including bribery, the laundering of proceeds from corruption and other forms of economic crime. It would also urge all Governments to combat and penalize corruption, stress the need for transparency in financial institutions and urge all Member States to abide by the Conventionï¿½s principles of proper management of public affairs and public property, fairness, responsibility and equality before the law. The Committee approved the text without a vote on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
Addendum 5 (document A/63/416/Add.5) refers to a draft decision on integration of the economies in transition into the world economy, by which the Assembly would take note of the Secretary-General’s report on that subject. The Committee approved that draft decision by consensus on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
The report on groups of countries in special situations (document A/63/417), contains two draft resolutions, the first one on implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 (document A/63/417/Add.1), by which the Assembly would decide to convene, as called for in paragraph 114 of the Brussels Programme, the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries at a high-level meeting in 2011. The
Committee approved the text without a vote on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
By terms of the second text -- Groups of countries in special situations: specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries: outcome of the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation" (document A/63/417/Add.2) -- the Assembly would call upon those countries to take steps to speed up implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action. It would also call upon donors and development institutions to provide those countries with technical and financial assistance, call upon development partners to further integrate the Almaty Programme into their work programmes, and encourage the Office of the High Representative to continue to ensure coordinated follow-up and effective monitoring and reporting on the Programme’s implementation. The Committee approved the text without a vote on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
The report on eradication of poverty and other development issues (document A/63/418) contains three draft resolutions, including one on the role of microcredit and microfinance in the eradication of poverty (document A/62/418/Add.1). By its terms, the Assembly would underline the need for greater access to those tools in developing countries so that small farmers can increase agricultural productivity and rural development, as well as the importance of strengthening domestic financial sectors as a source of capital. The Committee approved that text on 11 December without a vote. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
A second text, on the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017) (document A/62/418/Add.1), would have the Assembly stress the importance of comprehensive, integrated activities to eradicate poverty, in line with the outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits. It would also call upon the international community to continue to give priority to poverty eradication and upon donor countries to provide developing countries with adequate, predictable financial resources on a bilateral or multilateral basis for poverty-eradication efforts. The text was approved without a vote on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
The third draft in that report is on industrial development cooperation (document A/63/418/Add.2). By its terms, the Assembly would emphasize the importance of creating wealth for poverty reduction and pro-poor growth, particularly for women, by developing and strengthening productive capacities in developing countries and those with economies in transition. The Committee approved the text without vote on 25 November. (See Press Release GA/EF/3233.)
Contained in the report on operational activities for development (document A/63/419) are two drafts, one of which would have the Assembly express concern about the continuing imbalance between core and non-core funding and the limited progress towards greater funding predictability and adequacy. It would urge donors to substantially increase their voluntary contributions to the United Nations core and regular budgets, underscore the importance of mobilizing more predictable levels of voluntary funding for core operational programmes, and reiterate its request to the Secretary-General to promote an adequate and expanding base of development assistance, in line with national development priorities. The Committee approved that draft without a vote on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
By the terms of a draft resolution on the High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation the Assembly would request that its President entrust the President of the High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation with undertaking the necessary consultations with Member States to prepare for the proposed Conference, with a view to making a decision during the Assembly’s sixty-third session on its nature, date, budgetary implications, objectives and modalities. The Committee approved the text without a vote on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
Contained in the report on revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/63/420) contains the draft programme of work for the Second Committee for the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly, which the Committee approve without a vote on 11 December. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
The Committee considered the report on programme planning (document A/63/447), but decided on 11 December it that no action on its agenda item on programme planning was needed. (See Press Release GA/EF/3235.)
Action on Plenary Texts
Prior to taking up the Second Committee reports before it, the General Assembly moved to take action on two plenary drafts resolutions, including one on the International Labour Organization Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization (document A/63/L.29/Rev.1), under agenda item 44 -- Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields.
The Assembly adopted that text without a vote.
Speaking after the action, the representative of Norway said the resolution must be placed in the context of the current times. While Member States had been busy negotiating to improve global cooperation and economic governance, outside the building, market failures and mismanagement had played havoc with the global economy. The world was now facing the most
dramatic economic crisis since the Great Depression and, while the epicentre of that economic tsunami was just a few blocks south of the General Assembly Hall, the consequences were felt everywhere.
The world economy is now so interconnected that greed and mismanagement anywhere is a threat to working men and women everywhere, he said. To deal with that interdependence and to protect the livelihoods of ordinary people, new banking and finance regulations were needed, along with public investment and a restoration of trust. Such actions should be guided by the International Labour Organization’s new Declaration on Social Justice for a Fair Globalization. While States bore the primary responsibility for that implementation, all relevant organizations had a crucial role to play. That was why Norway, together with the United Republic of Tanzania, had initiated the process to bring the Declaration on Social Justice to the General Assembly with a draft resolution supporting its call for an integrated approach to the Decent Work Agenda, and based on four strategic objectives: employment creation; observance of fundamental principles and rights at work; social dialogue; and social protection.
Introducing the second plenary draft resolution, on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Pacific Island Forum text (document A/63/L.56), on behalf of the Pacific Island Forum, the representative of Tuvalu said that, by its terms, the Pacific Islands Forum and its associated institutions would reaffirm its commitment to a partnership of cooperation and friendship with the United Nations and its development partners. Such cooperation must be seen through the lens of the serious threats posed to vulnerable island States by climate change and the global economic recession. He expressed the hoped that the United Nations and all Member States could acknowledge that reality and support the region’s efforts to tackle those issues. The strengthened United Nations presence in the region, and the many areas of cooperation between the two bodies, were greatly valued but there was room for significantly more, in particular, to increase the impact of the partnership. The Forum urged all United Nations agencies to revitalize their efforts to improve cooperation and support in the region.
The Assembly then adopted the draft without a vote.
The representative of Turkmenistan then said her delegation had intended to officially co-sponsor draft resolution L.39/Rev.1 under agenda item 114 on cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations, and she wished her statement to be reflected in the official records.
Her request was duly noted.
Action on Second Committee Reports
AWSAN AL-AUD ( Yemen), Rapporteur of the Second Committee, introduced that body’s reports.
Taking up the first 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 (document A/63/410), the Assembly adopted the related draft resolution by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 5 abstentions (Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu). (annex I)
The Assembly then took up the report on information and communication technologies for development (document A/63/411), adopting the related draft resolution without a vote.
Turning next to the report on macroeconomic policy questions (document A/63/412), the Assembly decided to take note of it and consider its addenda.
Taking up addendum 1 (document A/63/412/Add.1), it adopted, without a vote, two draft resolutions, the first on international trade and development and the second on the Report of the twelfth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
Acting again by consensus, the Assembly then adopted texts on the international financial system and development (document A/63/412/Add.2); external debt crisis and development: towards a durable solution to the debt problems of developing countries (document A/63/412/Add.3); and commodities (document A/63/412/Add.4).
The Assembly then took up the two-part report on follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the preparation of the 2008 Review Conference (document A/63/413(Part 1) Corr.1 and (Part II)). Acting without a vote, it adopted five draft decisions contained in Part I of the report on the following Conference-related matters: arrangements and organization of work; provisional rules of procedure; provisional agenda; accreditation of intergovernmental organizations; and accreditation of non-governmental organizations. It also adopted, once again by consensus, a draft on follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International
Conference on Financing for Development and the preparation of the 2008 Review Conference contained in Part 2 of the report.
Taking up the report on sustainable development (document A/63/414), the Assembly took note of the report and adopted, by consensus, a draft resolution on the International Year of Chemistry and a text on reliable and stable transit of energy and its role in ensuring sustainable development and international cooperation.
Following the adoption of the latter text, the representative of Turkmenistan pointed out that it had 50 co-sponsors, but only 27 were listed in the document.
A recorded vote was requested in connection with the draft on the oil slick on Lebanese shores, which the Assembly then adopted by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 2 abstentions (Cameroon, Colombia). (annex II)
Taking up the draft on implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (document A/63/414/Add.1), the Assembly adopted that text without a vote.
It then took up addendum 2 of that report (document A/63/414/Add.2), adopting, also without a vote, the draft resolution on follow-up to and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States and the text titled towards the sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea for present and future generations.
Taking up addendum 3 (document A/63/414/Add.3), the Assembly adopted, without a vote, the draft resolution on international cooperation to reduce the impact of the El Niï¿½o phenomenon; the text on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction; and the draft on natural disasters and vulnerability.
It then took upthe text on implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (document A/63/414/Add.5), adopting it without a vote, as orally revised.
The Assembly then took up and adopted, again by consensus, a text on the Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/63/414/Add.6).
It then took note of the report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme, through its consensus adoption of the text on the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its tenth special session (document A/63/414/Add.7).
Taking up the report on implementation of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (document A/63/415), the Assembly adopted the eponymous draft resolution without a vote.
It then took up the report on globalization and interdependence (document A/63/416). It took up by consensus a text on the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence and another on development cooperation with middle-income countries.
Taking up a draft resolution titled "Towards a new international economic order", the Assembly adopted it by a recorded 123 in favour to 1 against ( United States), with 52 abstentions, as orally corrected. (annex III)
Turning to addendum 2 of that report (document A/63/416/Add.2), it adopted, by consensus, a draft resolution on international migration and development).
The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, a draft on preventing and combating corrupt practices and transfer of assets of illicit origin and returning such assets, in particular to the countries or origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption (document A/63/416/Add.4) and a draft decision on the Report of the Secretary-General on the integration of the economies in transition into the world economy (A/63/416/Add.5).
Taking up the report on groups of countries in special situations (document A/63/417), the Assembly adopted, by consensus, a draft resolution on the implementation of the Brussels Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010 (document A/63/417/Add.1).
It then adopted, also by consensus, the text titled Groups of countries in special situations: specific actions related to the particular needs and problems of landlocked developing countries: outcome of the International Ministerial Conference of Landlocked and Transit Developing Countries and Donor Countries and International Financial and Development Institutions on Transit Transport Cooperation (document A/63/417/Add.2).
Turning to the report on eradication of poverty and other development issues (document A/63/418), the Assembly adopted, without a vote, texts on the role of microcredit and microfinance in the eradication of poverty and the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017) (document A/63/418/Add.1).
It then adopted, once again without a vote, a draft on industrial development cooperation (document A/63/418/Add.2).
The Assembly then took up the report on operational activities for development (document A/63/419), adopting, again without a vote, drafts on operational activities for development and the High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation.
The Assembly then adopted the Committee’s programme of work for the sixty-fourth session, as contained in its report Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/63/420).
It then took note of the Committee’s report on programme planning (document A/63/447).
Vote on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources
The draft resolution 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 (document A/63/410) was adopted by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 8 against, with 5 abstentions, as follows:
In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Against: Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States.
Abstain: Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu.
Absent: Botswana, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lesotho, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Suriname.
Vote on Oil Slick
The draft resolution on the oil slick on Lebanese shores (document A/63/414) was adopted by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 7 against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:
In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cï¿½te dï¿½Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Peopleï¿½s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao Peopleï¿½s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Against: Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States.
Abstain: Cameroon, Colombia.
Absent: Botswana, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lesotho, Micronesia (Federated States of), Philippines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Suriname, Tonga, Turkmenistan.
Vote on New Economic Order
The draft resolution "Towards a new international economic order" (document A/63/416/ADD.1) was adopted by a recorded vote of 123 in favour to 1 against, with 52 abstentions, as follows:
In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao Peopleï¿½s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Against: United States.
Abstain: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
Absent: Belarus, Botswana, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lesotho, Nauru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Turkmenistan.
* *** *
15 December 2008 General Assembly GA/10799
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York Sixty-third General Assembly Plenary 69th Meeting (AM)
CALLING FOR DECISIVE ACTION TO LESSEN IMPACT OF GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS, DEPUTY
SECRETARY-GENERAL TELLS ASSEMBLY: OUR DESTINIES ARE DEEPLY INTERCONNECTED
General Assembly Debates Follow-up to the Millennium Summit; Adopts Text on United Nations Cooperation with Economic Cooperation Organization
As the looming specter of global recession compounded ongoing crises in food, fuel and finance - and threatened to derail hard-won successes in poverty reduction -- United Nations Deputy Secretary-GeneralAshaRose Migiro urged General Assembly delegates today to act decisively to stop any further reversals, as they debated the follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit.
We face heightened challenges as progress slows, Ms. Migiro said. People and countries plagued by poverty would be hit hardest by the crisis and, aid flows had to be sheltered from its impact. While important steps had been undertaken to strengthen international development cooperation, there was a growing fear of setbacks if expected recessions in developed countries deepened.
Commitments to increase the volume of official development assistance (ODA) must be honoured, and a successful conclusion to the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations was essential, she said. Those talks should give new impetus to efforts to realize the Millennium Development Goals, but it must not erode the policy space of developing countries. A new trade agreement must also ensure that poor countries had access to cheaper drugs and to cleaner technologies.
To that end, global solidarity was vital, she said. The financial crisis has made it clear that our destinies are deeply interconnected. The United Nations must continue to mobilize all its mechanisms to maintain and enhance progress towards development. The Economic and Social Council could play an important role, and its Development Cooperation Forum was well-placed to forge greater coherence between aid policies and other development-related policies, such as trade and investment. The Council’s Annual Ministerial Reviews were also important, as they facilitated exchanges of information and lessons learned.
While the global mobilization behind the Millennium Goals had been inspiring, promises must be kept, she said. In 2009, the international community should use every opportunity to ensure that trying times did not distract from commonly shared goals, particularly the goal of peace and prosperity for all.
In other business, the Assembly adopted by consensus a resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization, an intergovernmental regional organization created in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey, for promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the Economic Cooperation Organization Member States.
By the text, the Assembly took note of the 20 October 2007 Heart Declaration, which recommitted the Economic Cooperation Organization Council of Ministers to establishing a free trade area in the region by 2015, and extended the Programme of Action for the Economic Cooperation Organization Decade of Transport and Communications.
Further by the text, the Assembly called for increasing technical assistance of the World Trade Organization, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/World Trade Organization to Economic Cooperation Organization Member States that were at
various levels of development. It also called for increased cooperation between the Economic Cooperation Organization and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, notably to prevent corruption and moneylaundering.
Finally, the General Assembly decided to postpone its recess, scheduled for Tuesday, 16 December, until Monday, 22 December. It also agreed to extend the work of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) until Monday, 22 December.
Also speaking today on the follow-up to the Millennium Summit were the representatives of France (on behalf of the European Union), Honduras, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and Cuba.
The General Assembly will reconvene at a time and date to be announced.
The General Assembly met this morning for a debate on its item Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit: specific meeting focused on development.
Statement by United Nations Deputy Secretary-General
ASHA-ROSE MIGIRO, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, said the multiple crises facing the world -- such as the food, fuel and the finance crises -- threatened to upset poverty reduction efforts and development objectives. The expected recessions in most developed economies were likely to slow the robust growth experienced by developing countries during the past five years. Indeed, there was already evidence that the financial crisis was contagious, as exports from and remittance flows into many developing countries were diminishing.
The prospects for the least developed countries are deteriorating rapidly, she warned, while urging the international community to work together simultaneously on poverty, hunger, disease and finding an acceptable path of sustainable development. Poverty eradication was a top priority, and lack of progress in that area could undermine efforts to realize other Millennium Development Goals. Creating jobs and providing decent work for all was also a crucial target, especially in light of recent International Labour Organization (ILO) statistics which suggested that more than 20 million people would lose their jobs because of the current crisis.
Turning to health, she said there had been significant progress in reducing child mortality, though that progress had been slow and major regional differences remained. There had been little movement on maternal and newborn mortality, and the strengthening of health systems remained an ongoing challenge. Gains in the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria also needed to be sustained. On climate change, she said that there had been some gains in establishing sustainable development as a primary objective of development strategies, while noting that there was now a growing recognition that development was not attainable if not sustainable.
We face heightened challenges as progress slows, she said, adding that ï¿½We must act decisively to stop any further reversals. People and countries plagued by poverty would be hit hardest by the crisis, and as such, aid flows had to be sheltered from its impact. While important steps had been undertaken to strengthen international development cooperation, there was a growing fear of setbacks if the recessions in developed countries deepened.
Commitments to increase the volume of official development assistance (ODA) must be honoured, and a successful conclusion to the Doha Round of trade negotiations was essential. Those talks should give new impetus to efforts to realize the Millennium Goals, but it must not erode the policy space of developing countries, she said. A new trade agreement must also ensure that poor countries had access to cheaper drugs and to cleaner technologies.
In times of crisis, global solidarity is vital, she said. While the pledge of support at last September’s highlevel event on the Millennium Development Goals was heartening, the United Nations must continue to mobilize all its mechanisms to maintain and enhance progress towards development. The Economic and Social Council played an important role in that regard, and its Development Cooperation Forum, convened for the first time in July, had demonstrated its potential role in promoting mutual accountability on aid issues.
In the current crisis, the Forum could also work towards more effective approaches to development cooperation, and it was well-placed to forge greater coherence between aid policies and other development-related policies, such as trade and investment, she said. The Council’s Annual Ministerial Reviews were also important, as they facilitated exchanges of information and lessons learned.
The financial crisis has made it clear that our destinies are deeply interconnected, she said. The global mobilization behind the Millennium Goals had been inspiring, and it was necessary to ensure that promises were kept and gains were not lost. In 2009, the international community should use every opportunity to ensure that trying times did not distract from commonly shared goals, particularly the goal of peace and prosperity for all.
PHILIPPE DELACROIX (France), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the General Assembly’s work in the current session had been marked by the gravity of the financial crisis, the impact of climate change, and the increase in food and fuel prices. Those challenges had put development gains at risk, particularly in the poorest and most vulnerable countries.
At the same time, the Assembly had benefited from the positive results of a number of international meetings held throughout the current year, such as the Forum for Cooperation and Development, the High-Level Meeting on Africa’s Development Needs, and the High-Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals, among others. Those meetings had proven how much work still needed to be done in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
The recently concluded meeting in Doha, Qatar, on financing for development, had been particularly important, he said. The European Union, as one of the top providers of development assistance, had participated actively in the drafting of the Conference’s outcome document, the Doha Declaration, and had taken the opportunity to reaffirm its solidarity with its partners in the South and its commitment to providing ODA. The European Union would continue to work towards ensuring that the international community made good on its promises, in particular those concerning sub-Saharan Africa.
Strengthened cooperation at all levels was indispensable in order to fight climate change and to build sustainable development, he said. Climate change affected environmental, economic and social development objectives, as well as overall peace and security. Therefore, the international community must intensify efforts to fight that phenomenon, and should view it as inseparable from other threats to the environment and sustainable development, such as the loss of biodiversity, desertification and deforestation.
The social aspect of development should never be forgotten, he added, nor the need to provide each individual with the conditions necessary for their full development and enjoyment of human rights. To ensure that such would be the case, the United Nations must conduct its work in the most efficient and effective manner possible. The adoption of consensus resolutions on the operational activities of the United Nations system was, therefore, warmly welcomed, in particular Assembly resolution 62/277 on overall coherence.
Also of note were recent initiatives to improve the work of the Economic and Social Council and to strengthen the partnership between the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions. There was a certain amount of concern, however, over the accumulation of proposals for a number of new summits and high-level meetings in the coming years. The United Nations needed to think more strategically about the areas in which it could really add value to common actions towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the implementation of the texts adopted at the Millennium Summit.
JORGE ARTURO REINA IDIAQUEZ ( Honduras), referring to the current global economic and financial situation, said States would emerge from it well, or not so well, depending on how they acted. The crisis was preventing millions of people from accessing the most basic services, and as victims of inequality in the international market, their situation had been made much worse. The situation required urgent responses, and as such, he called on the Assembly to prepare short- and medium-term strategies to provide viable, lasting solutions.
The economic and financial crises had sent messages that were clear, but States had not known how to read them. He said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank had been created at the dawn of the United Nations history and were dedicated to helping countries progress. However, there was a need to evaluate those two bodies, as their viability depended on their updating and democratization. Democratization had not taken place in the organizations in which democratic countries participated. Experience had taught that while the United Nations had sketched out the Millennium Development Goals, global financial institutions had established policies that contradicted them. Attempting to address such problems with solutions that produced more loss was at odds with ethics.
Those institutions weaknesses pointed to the need for change, he continued. The 15 November "Group of 20" meeting in Washington, D. C., had stressed the need for their reform, and Honduras had joined calls for consultations to be held at the highest levels to strengthen them. Honduras fully supported the Secretary-General’s initiatives to address the situation. He said the Presidents of Central America had raised the need for the Assembly to assess the economic crisisï¿½ consequences on the Millennium Development Goals.
Recalling that a draft resolution had been presented to the Assembly with a view to organizing a world summit, he said there could be no doubt of global consensus on such issues. He called for the support of all nations towards achieving common goals, explaining that reducing trade barriers would allow exports to arrive in markets in more competitive situations. If production subsidies did not distort agricultural trade, the positions of countries relying on that sector would be strengthened.
ASAD M. KHAN ( Pakistan) said crises of finance, food, energy and a looming global recession had seriously threatened efforts of developing countries, such as Pakistan, to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. At the recent conference in Doha, to review development commitments made in Monterrey, Mexico confirmed a serious implementation deficit, reflected in declining official development assistance flows, global trade distortions and the continued exclusion of poor countries from global decision-making. The current crises would only make the implementation shortfalls more pronounced.
Happily, in Doha, the Monterrey spirit had been rekindled, and he welcomed the decision taken there to convene a United Nations summit on the world financial and economic crisis, which would allow States, at the highest political levels, to fully assess the impacts on developing countries efforts to achieve sustained economic growth. Also, Pakistan had long pushed for effective mechanisms to monitor development commitments and was pleased that States had agreed for a more effective intergovernmental process to follow up on implementation of the Doha Declaration.
However, Pakistan would have wished to use the meeting to seriously review the global economic situation and make recommendations on tackling the multiple crises, he said. Pakistan would have favoured holding the meeting at the start of the current General Assembly session, as that would have allowed leaders to reflect on trends and prospects. For its part, Pakistan would continue to closely work with its partners to address global challenges and advance implementation of the global development agenda.
AIDA ALZHANOVA ( Kazakhstan) welcomed the decision to hold the United Nations summit and Economic and Social Council High-Level Meeting on the underlying causes of the financial crisis in 2009, which would help to articulate a policy framework for an inclusive, democratic and development-oriented international financial system. The far-reaching impact and multidimensional effects of the crisis on the global economy and financial system was an issue of concern. The primary responsibility of a State was to engage in the development process by effectively implementing national development strategies and realizing its commitments to its own people.
Kazakhstan, choosing not to wait for the results of international deliberations on global economic and financial governance, had already begun to find solutions to strengthen its own economy, and to maintain national economic growth and sustainable development. A nation’s individual development contributed to the overall international financial and economic well-being, and as such, Kazakhstan had undertaken efforts to stabilize its internal market, through measures including the adoption of a national financial stabilization plan and a series of economic and financial policy and structural reforms.
The 3 F crises and subsequent cuts in foreign direct investment and ODA had impacted the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States more than anyone else, she said. To ensure the stable economic growth of landlocked developing countries in particular, donor countries needed to be more fully engaged in the Midterm Review of the Almaty Programme of Action, through the adoption of new modalities and concrete measures of assistance.
At the national level, Kazakhstan’s business community had been called on to strengthen its engagement in the social and economic policies of the State, and the Government had worked to implement a number of United Nations recommendations, such as the mainstreaming of environmental sustainability into all socially-oriented development policies. In the future, Kazakhstan would continue to use the best foreign practices and technical assistance of United Nations programmes and specialized agencies to elaborate its people-oriented economic policy, to develop a socially responsible private sector and to improve the public administration system.
ILEANA B. NEZ MORDOCHE (Cuba), noting that sustainable development efforts by nations of the global South had been seriously threatened, said the outcome document of the recent Doha Conference on Financing for Development did not offer a comprehensive and accurate diagnosis of the seriousness of the economic and financial situation, or its implications for the poorest countries. Rather, it reiterated old commitments still awaiting the political will of the world’s most powerful to be met.
While there was enough evidence of the negative impacts of climate change, the poorest and most vulnerable countries were the main victims of it, and in the specific case of small island States, recent devastating hurricanes had caused extensive economic loss and set back development by years. Foreign indebtedness continued to deepen the structural crisis of world economies, while stagnating trade talks, which should have been focused on development, completed the discouraging panorama. Regrettably, urgent solutions had not been
provided. The institutions representing rich country interests provided nothing but palliatives.
Indeed, it was more urgent than ever to create an international order based on solidarity, social justice and equity. We need no more empty rhetoric, she said. The question was to know whether those responsible for the chaos would give up at least some of their privileges. Such changes would only take place through a deep transformation of the economic, commercial and financial system. The need to work towards that end had been reaffirmed just days ago by the 115 nations that voted in favour of a resolution presented by the "Group of 77" developing countries and China in the Second Committee (Economic and Financial). Other initiatives would give pre-eminence to the Assembly’s role in the discussion of such issues, notably in the creation of new institutions to respond to peoples needs.
Action on Draft Resolution
The Assembly then moved to consider a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization (document A/63/L.39/Rev.1), which was adopted without a vote.
* *** * PRESS RELEASE MDG Report 2008 Progress in achieving UN anti-poverty goals for 2015 under threat, new report finds Higher food prices likely to deepen poverty in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, 11 September The world has made strong and sustained progress in reducing extreme poverty, the United Nations reports today, but this is now being undercut by higher prices, particularly of food and oil, and the global economic slowdown. Since 2002, rising prices for minerals and agricultural raw materials have contributed to the remarkable run of economic growth in all developing regions, according to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals Report 2008. However, many developing countries are now facing higher import bills for food and fuel, jeopardizing their growth. Improved estimates of poverty from the World Bank show that the number of poor in the developing world is larger than previously thought, at 1.4 billion people. But the new estimates confirm that between 1990 and 2005, the number of people living in extreme poverty has fallen from 1.8 to 1.4 billion and that the 1990 global poverty rate is likely to be halved by 2015. However, these aggregates mask large disparities among regions. Most of the decline occurred in Eastern Asia, particularly China. Other regions have seen much smaller decreases in the poverty rate and only modest falls in the number of poor. In sub-Saharan Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States, the number of poor increased between 1990 and 2005. In a reversal of this previous global downward trend, the prevailing higher food prices are expected to push many people into poverty, the report says, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, already the regions with the largest numbers of people living in extreme poverty. The largely benign development environment that has prevailed since the early years of this decade, and that has contributed to the successes to date, is now threatened, Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon declares in the foreword to the report. The economic slowdown will diminish the incomes of the poor; the food crisis will raise the number of hungry people in the world and push millions more into poverty; climate change will have a disproportionate impact on the poor, the Secretary-General said. The need to address these concerns, pressing as they are, must not be allowed to detract from our long-term efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. On the contrary, our strategy must be to keep the focus on the MDGs as we confront these new challenges. Action on the UN agenda Given the nexus between poverty, climate change, and food and fuel costs, these issues will be taken up as a group as the General Assembly re-convenes at the UN this month. Secretary-General Ban has called for a special high-level event to boost global action to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, on 25 September. Nearly 100 Heads of State and Government are expected to participate, as well as many leaders from the private sector, foundations and civil society organizations. They are expected to announce a number of new initiatives and broaden coalitions to address health, poverty, food and climate change issues, at the meeting itself or during its many side events. (over) . The incoming President of the General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann of Nicaragua, has cited action on the food crisis as a major theme for the new session that kicks off on 16 September. On 22 September, the Assembly holds a high-level meeting on the development needs of Africa, a region facing severe challenges in terms of climate change, agriculture and poverty reduction. Progress and challenges
First agreed at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000, the MDGs set worldwide objectives for reducing extreme poverty and deprivation, empowering women and ensuring environmental sustainability by 2015. The Millennium Development Goals Report, now in its fourth year, assembles statistics from 25 UN and international agencies, and is produced by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA). Looking ahead to 2015 and beyond, there is no question that we can achieve the overarching goal: we can put an end to poverty, Secretary-General Ban states in the foreword to the report. ï¿½But it requires an unswerving, collective, long-term effort. Among the MDG gains noted in the report released today: Primary school enrolment has reached 90 per cent, and is in striking distance of the 2015 goal of 100 per cent, in all but two out of 10 regions of the world. Within primary schools, gender parity (share of girls enrolment as compared to boys) is at 95 per cent in six out of 10 regions. Deaths from measles have been cut in one third between 2000 and 2006, and the vaccination rate among developing world children has reached 80 per cent. More than one and a half billion people have gained access to clean drinking water since 1990 but due to stress on fresh water resources nearly three billion people now live in regions facing water scarcity. With help from the private sector, mobile phone technology and access to essential medicines are spreading in the poorest countries. Thanks in part to debt write-offs from international lenders, spending on social services in developing countries is up: the share of developing countries export earnings spent on external debt servicing fell from 12.5 per cent in 2000 to 6.6 per cent in 2006, freeing up resources that can be devoted to meeting the health and educational needs of the poor. But many of the eight Millennium Development Goals and linked targets are in danger of going unmet by the deadline year of 2015 without redoubled efforts in developing countries, a sustained favourable international environment for development and increased donor support. Among the remaining challenges: More than half a million mothers in developing countries die in childbirth or from pregnancy complications every year. About one quarter of developing world children are undernourished. Almost half of the developing world population still lack improved sanitation facilities. More than one third of the growing urban population in the developing world are living in slums. Almost two thirds of employed women in developing countries hold vulnerable jobs as self-employed or unpaid family workers. Achieving the Goals is feasible, the report says, but it will require a greater financial commitment, including delivery by the developed countries of the increased foreign aid that they have promised in the past few years. Media contacts: Martina Donlon, email@example.com, tel 212-963-6816 Francois Coutu, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel 917-367-8052 Pragati Pascale, email@example.com, tel 212-963-6870 UN Department of Public Information For more information, please see www.un.org/millenniumgoals. Issued by the UN Department of Public Information DPI/2517 B September 2008
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly [without reference to a Main Committee (A/55/L.2)]
INTERVENTION BY THE HOLY SEE DELEGATION AT THE 63rd SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION ON MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS
ADDRESS OF H.E. MSGR CELESTINO MIGLIORE
New York Thursday, 25 September 2008
Mr President, When in the year 2000 the leaders of the world convened in this hall, they took up the commitment to fight extreme poverty by setting specific goals to address hunger, education, inequality, child and maternal health, environmental damage and HIV/AIDS by 2015. This great responsibility was assumed out of international solidarity as well as in the name of human rights. It is, therefore, not a mere coincidence that our meeting is taking place in the same year that we celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A precise relationship exists, in fact, among the Millennium Development Goals as set forth in the UN Millennium Declaration and human rights. What is more, they have in common the objective to preserve and protect human dignity. In addition, the achievement of these goals is closely interrelated with respect for human rights. While the goals are ultimately political commitments, the human rights inherent in each goal make achieving them a social and moral responsibility. It is with this sense of responsibility that the world is reunited today at the highest level of representation to take stock of the situation. The Secretary-General’s Report rightly acknowledges the progress which has been achieved across the spectrum, but it also sounds a strong alarm as the delivery on commitments made by member States remains deficient. Areas such as official development aid, trade, debt relief, assistance for capacity development, access to new technologies and essential medicines continue to fall behind our commitments and our words of support. We are lagging behind in honouring our word, and more importantly, the people of the world who look to us for leadership, are running out of hope and trust. The last eight years have shown that with international, national and local commitment many nations are now more economically independent. Some developing countries have become middle income countries and middle income countries are on the brink of turning into highly developed economies. Several Least Developed Countries have made remarkable progress with some of the MDGs, for example, the elimination of extreme poverty and the achievement of universal access to education. Nonetheless, the recent high rate of economic growth in many LDCs has not contributed sufficiently to tackling the situation of generalized poverty. The LDCs remain behind and are in serious delay for attaining the goals as set out in the Millennium Declaration, and in some cases reaching the goals may prove impossible. A failure in attaining the MDGs in the LDCs and other poor countries would mean a moral failure of the whole international community and have political and economic consequences even beyond the geographic boundaries of the LDCs. It is therefore important that this forum be a moment of reflection on communal responsibility. The MDGs will be achieved if their attainment becomes a priority for all States. Above all, we need to foment a new culture of human relations marked by a fraternal vision of the world, a culture based upon the moral imperative of recognizing the unity of humankind and the practical imperative of giving a contribution to peace and the well-being of all. The money and resources that the LDCs need in terms of direct aid, financial assistance and trade advantages are meager compared to the world-wide military expenses or the total expenses of non-primary necessities of populations in more developed countries. The fact that various LDCs with rather limited resources are obtaining important results should inspire the international community. The effectiveness of civil society, including religious organizations serving poorer populations, is the practical proof of the possibility to achieve the goals by 2015 or in the proximate successive years. Civil society and faith-based organizations remain indispensable actors in the delivery of vital goods and services, and greater efforts should be made to allow them access to populations in need. After all, these organizations are often capable of serving the needs of the most destitute and underprivileged. The Holy See and its affiliated organizations are committed to providing humanitarian as well as development assistance around the world. Mr President, With only seven years remaining until the end of the MDGs campaign, it is important that we focus upon the goals in the Millennium Declaration which were agreed upon by our Heads of State.
To debate and create new targets, such as those on sexual and reproductive health, risks introducing practices and policies detrimental to human dignity and sustainable development, distracting our focus from the original goals and diverting the necessary resources from the more basic and urgent needs. In these days we are witnessing a debate on an economic rescue aimed at resolving a crisis that risks disrupting the economy of the most developed countries and leaving thousands and thousands of families without work. This rescue of enormous proportions, which amounts to many times the whole of international aid, cannot but raise a pressing question. How are we able to find funds to save a broken financial system yet remain unable to find the resources necessary to invest in the development of all regions of the world, beginning with the most destitute? For this reason, the globalization of solidarity through the prompt achievement of the MDGs established by the Millennium Declaration is a crucial moral obligation of the international community. It is also a great and most effective means of giving stability to the global economy and assuring the prosperity and enjoyment of human rights for all. Thank you, Mr President.
INTERVENTION BY THE HOLY SEE AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 61st SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION
STATEMENT OF H.E. MONS. GIOVANNI LAJOLO
New York Wednesday, 27 September 2006 Madam President, Today’s world and the ideology of power 1. Not so long ago it appeared that our world was growing, at a pace beyond our control, into a single global village. Today’s reality, by contrast, appears more and more fractured. The world is divided by culture, faith, wealth and levels of material advancement, and even more by attitudes towards power, authority and cooperation. Our efforts to overcome divisions and to harmonize differences have been hesitant, at times even half-hearted. Attempts to strengthen the United Nations structures and procedures for the new millennium seem thwarted by our own shortcomings. As the recent struggle between Israel and Hezbollah has tragically demonstrated, it is not so much the want of peacemaking and peacekeeping experience and resources which leaves vulnerable non-combatants to suffer and die; prior to this there exists the difficulty of moulding a consistent political will on the part of the international community. In the story of the Tower of Babel, the ancient world has left us an image of our current divided state. The confusion of tongues at Babel is the symbol of the divisions, misunderstandings and hostilities spawned not by nature, but by human pride. Human pride hampers the acknowledgment of one’s neighbour and the recognition of his or her needs and even more makes people distrusting. Today, that same negative fundamental attitude has given rise to a new barbarism that threatens world peace. Terrorists, and their various organizations, are the contemporary version of it, rejecting the best achievements of our civilization. Even in an order of quite a different nature it cannot be denied that also superpowers, regional powers, aspiring powers and oppressed peoples sometimes yield to the temptation to believe, despite the evidence of history, that only force can bring about a just ordering of affairs among peoples and nations. The ideology of power scorns any restraint placed upon the use of force. It can go so far as to regard the possession of nuclear weapons as an element of national pride, and it does not exclude the outrageous possibility of employing nuclear weapons against its adversaries. Currently eight countries ï¿½ and there may be others tempted to join their ranks ï¿½ possess nuclear weapons comprising approximately 27,000 nuclear warheads ï¿½ enough to destroy our planet many times over. Meanwhile, the implementation of the Treaty of Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons appears to be stalled and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty still needs to be ratified by some countries to enter into force. How can we stand still? Old and new challenges of the United Nations 2. This Organization was founded on a very different understanding of human affairs: peace can only be achieved by shared labours aimed at securing a decent and dignified life for all. Due to the East-West struggle, the United Nations was able to achieve only an impoverished sort of peace. After the end of the Cold War, however, and the experience of innovative responses to the conflicts of the 1990s, some of which intertwined with fights for ethnic and religious identity, the birth of a new millennium offered new opportunities for realizing humanity’s hopes for a just and peaceful world in which all people might live in dignity. Recently the Secretary-General’s proposals set this Organization on the path of reform; its lofty goals, however, will be reached only by overcoming the narrow confines imposed by the dominance of national interests so that we may open ourselves to the vision of a world both reconciled and based on solidarity.
In this spirit, the Holy See continues to be an advocate of the United Nations and favours its ongoing reform in the fields of peacebuilding, development and human rights. In the same spirit, the Holy See commends the decision to create the Peacebuilding Commission. The fundamental responsibility of political authority is to promote, defend and safeguard the human rights of its people. Too often international bodies act, if at all, only after war is under way or when innocent populations have long been under assault. When the rights of whole groups of people are violated - grievous examples could be mentioned in Europe, Asia and Africa - or when they go unprotected by their own Governments, it is entirely right and just that this Organization intervene in a timely manner by suitable means to restore justice. The need to improve the system for effective humanitarian interventions in catastrophes brought on by war, civil conflict and ethnic strife will be an important test of the UN reform agenda. Strengthening the capacity of this Organization to foresee a conflict or to resolve conflicts through negotiation and transform them nonviolently before there is resort to force is therefore a goal of primary importance in the renewal of the Organization. In this regard, I regret to say that the Security Council’s Resolution 1701 of 11th August 2006 could have been adopted with the same wording one month previously. If the repeated pleas for an immediate cessation to the violence, made by many, including Pope Benedict XVI, had been acted upon, the killing of thousands of civilians and numerous young soldiers, the flight of peoples and the enormous indiscriminate devastation need not have occurred; meanwhile none of the outcomes that some governments put forward as a reason for the continuation of hostilities in Lebanon has in fact been achieved. As history has shown, for lack of sufficient capacity of intervention and common will, millions have died in needless conflicts: "inutili stragi", that is, "pointless massacres ", to repeat a famous phrase of Benedict XV, Pope during the First World War. The late Pope Paul VI’s appeal, uttered in this Hall on 4th of October 1965 ï¿½ "Jamais plus la guerre", "Never again war" ï¿½ today rings like an accusation in the heart of the collective conscience of humanity. Development as the high road to peace 3. The surest way to prevent war is to address its causes. It must not be forgotten that at the root of war there are usually real and serious grievances: injustices suffered; a lack of development, democracy, human rights and the rule of law; legitimate aspirations frustrated, and the exploitation of multitudes of desperate people who see no real possibility of improving their lot by peaceful means. How can we not be disturbed by the images of countless exiles and refugees living in camps and enduring subhuman conditions, or by those desperate groups who, intent upon seeking a less wretched future for themselves and their children, are driven to face the risks of illegal emigration? And what of the millions of people oppressed by misery and hunger, and exposed to lethal epidemics, who continue to cry out to our sense of humanity? These too are challenges to our desire for peace. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the repeated promises of world leaders to support them have offered the prospect of alleviating such intolerable conditions, but implementation has been lacking. Not all goals will be achieved, just as other important agreements have not always been implemented. Likewise, the expectations that the Doha Round of world trade negotiations would establish a floor of basic equity in world markets have been frustrated. These failures to correct fundamental inequalities in the world economic system are fast becoming lost opportunities to advance a moral alternative to war. But the failures, though painful and distressing, cannot weaken our common will to pursue the high road to peace. We are all aware of this: the present lack of progress in the fields of development aid and trade reform threatens everyoneï¿½s security and well-being. By contrast, fulfillment of the MDGs and the resumption of the latest WTO trade round promise economic progress, the alleviation of poverty, a reduction in terrorism and increased social harmony. Building peace for tomorrow requires doing justice today. Human rights: pillars of peace 4. Like development, the protection of human rights is an essential pillar in the edifice of world peace, for peace consists in people’s unimpeded enjoyment of their God-given rights. The Holy See regards the promotion of human rights as one of the United Nation’s primary forms of service to the world. It hopes the newly formed Human Rights Council will enhance the enjoyment of those rights on the part of every people and the citizens of every nation. The diversity among cultures allows for differences in emphasis and implementation of human rights, but the human nature which is their foundation and is common to the whole of human society, permits no basic human right to be eclipsed or subordinated for the sake of other rights. Every Government must clearly understand: violation of the fundamental rights of the person cannot be removed from the attention of the international community under the pretext of the inviolability of a State’s internal affairs. Among fundamental human rights, I would like to draw attention to three primary rights: a) the right to life: the increasing recognition of the sacredness of life, witnessed also by the growing rejection of the death penalty, needs to be matched by a thorough protection of human life precisely when it is at its weakest, that is, at its very beginning and at its natural end; b) the right to religious freedom: the respect for religious freedom is the respect for the intimate relationship of the believing person with God ï¿½ both in its individual and social aspects ï¿½ of which there is nothing more sacred; c) the right to freedom of thought and expression, including freedom to hold opinions without interference and to exchange ideas and information and the consequent freedom of the press: the observance of this right is necessary for the fulfillment of each person, for the respect of cultures and for the progress of science. We must acknowledge, however, that not all fundamental rights ï¿½ and in particular the three which I have mentioned ï¿½ are adequately protected in every nation, and, in not a few, they are openly denied, even among
States sitting on the Human Rights Council. Dialogue among religions and peace 5. Although in some cases religion continues to be cynically exploited for political ends, it is my delegationï¿½s firm belief that, at its best, truest and most authentic, religion is a vital force for good, for harmony and for peace among peoples. It appeals to the noblest in people’s nature. It feeds the hungry and clothes the naked. It binds up the wounds of war, both physical and psychological. It provides sanctuary to refugees and hospitality to migrants. It cultivates peace in hearts that in turn bring harmony to human society. It weaves bonds of solidarity that overcome every form of mistrust, and through forgiveness it lends stability to once divided societies. Twenty years ago, the late Pope John Paul II brought together the leaders of the world’s religions to pray and to bear witness to peace. That collective witness was renewed in 1993 during the Bosnian war and in 2002 following the barbarous September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. More recently, on the 23rd of July of this year, faced with the spreading war in Lebanon, Pope Benedict XVI invited Christians and all believers to join him in a day of prayer and penitence, imploring God for the gift of peace for the Holy Land and the Middle East. In this last generation, the world’s religions, their leaders and their adherents have shown themselves time and again to be willing to dialogue and to promote harmony among peoples. Together, religions have offered the world the example and the service of dialogue. A sincere dialogue necessarily entails self-critical analysis of the relationship of our traditions to those social, political and economic structures prone to become agents of violence and injustice. The engagement of Benedict XVI for dialogue 6. On Wednesday 20 September last, Pope Benedict XVI repeated his unequivocal support for interreligious and intercultural dialogue, and expressed the hope that what he had said at the University of Regensburg might "be a boost and an encouragement for positive and even self-critical dialogue, both between religions and between modern reason and the faith of Christians". The Pope ï¿½ as is known ï¿½ expressed sadness that some passages in his academic address could have lent themselves to misinterpretation. His real intention was to explain that "not religion and violence, but religion and reason go together", in the context of a critical vision of a society which seeks to exclude God from public life. Two days ago, while receiving the Ambassadors of OIC countries accredited to the Holy See, he added: "The lessons of the past mustï¿½ help us to seek paths of reconciliation, in order to live with respect for the identity and freedom of each individual, with a view to fruitful cooperation in the service of all humanityï¿½respect and dialogue require reciprocity in all spheres, especially in that which concerns basic freedoms, more particularly religious freedom". If, on the one hand, religious motivation for violence, whatever its source, must be clearly and radically rejected, on the other, it must be emphasized that in political life one cannot disregard the contribution of the religious vision of the world and of humanity. In fact ï¿½ as the Pope affirmed ï¿½ were reason to turn a deaf ear to the divine and relegate religion to the ambit of subcultures, it would automatically provoke violent reactions: and violent reactions are always a falsification of true religion. The Holy Father, in defending the openness of political and cultural activity to the Transcendent, did not wish to do anything other than make a decisive contribution to the dialogue between cultures, by helping to open western thought to the riches of the patrimony of all religions. It falls to all interested parties ï¿½ to civil society as well as to States - to promote religious freedom and a sane, social tolerance that will disarm extremists even before they can begin to corrupt others with their hatred of life and liberty. This will be a significant contribution to peace among peoples, because peace can be born only from the hearts of human beings. Conclusion 7. Together with this heartfelt wish, it is my honour to conclude by conveying to you, Madam President, and to the peoples here represented, the cordial greetings of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Upon the deliberations of this General Assembly, he invokes an abundance of Almighty Godï¿½s blessings. Thank you, Madam President.
INTERVENTION BY H.E. MSGR. CELESTINO MIGLIORE AT THE 58th GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS ON THE MILLENNIUM SUMMIT
Thursday, 9 October 2003 Mr. President, Since this is the first time my delegation is taking the floor under your presidency, allow me to join the previous speakers in congratulating you and the other members of the Bureau. Mr. President, when Heads of State and Governments at the 2000 Millennium Summit committed themselves to reaching measurable targets by 2015, they were thinking of it not only as inspirational but also as technically
viable. With twelve years remaining before that target year, my delegation reaffirms its commitment to the millennium goals, believes in their technical viability as effective tools of political mobilization in favor of the marginalized, and unites itself with the Secretary General's call for "taking a hard look at the existing architecture of multilateral institutions". Mr. President, the struggle for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is a struggle for the globalization of ethics, equity, inclusion, human security, sustainability and development. Such goods can be delivered by market forces only if attention is paid to the preservation and enhancement of human, community and environmental resources. The efficiency of the international trade and financial systems should be measured by their effective contribution to the achievement of the MDGs. Thus, the challenge is to find the effective framework of rules and institutions for stronger governance local, national, regional and global to ensure that globalization works for the good of people and not just for profit. The international community should refashion the established ideas about political equality, social justice and liberty and re-design these into a coherent political project robust enough for a world where power is exercised on a transnational scale and where risks are shared by peoples across the world. When we speak about the MDGs we are addressing our immediate future and, thus, we are talking about children. Children are the most precious treasure deserving of the utmost love and respect, and they are given to each generation as a challenge to its wisdom and humanity. The well-being of the world's children depends greatly on the measures taken by States to support and help families fulfill their natural life-giving and formative functions. It is interesting to note that in 1946, when the General Assembly created the UNICEF, this acronym used to be understood as the UN International Emergency Fund. Despite the change in meaning the same sense can be applied now to situations where children are not welcomed, where their rights are tampered and their plight abandoned. It is a real emergency that must be addressed quickly if we want to preserve society. In this regard, my delegation reaffirms the centrality of education. But it should be a knowledge not only of information but knowledge with direction. While global media networks and satellite communications can promote transnational cultural diversity, it should also endeavour to safeguard people's cultural identity. National, along with indigenous culture, should flourish alongside foreign cultures. The feminization of poverty and some historical forms of marginalization of women have deprived the human race of untold resources. A heartening answer to such problems is the gradual increase of women's participation in the formal labor market. Yet, women's hours spent in unpaid work remain high, and most national labor laws do not recognize the vital importance of work or care at home. With the elusive conditions for peace, my delegation is profoundly concerned about security and terrorism. An unwanted effect of technological progress and economic globalization has been the dramatic increase of human traffic, specially women and children, spawning drug related crimes, triggering weapons trade to feed street crime as well as civil strife. In areas affected by economic stagnation, structural adjustment programmes have led to the dismantling of state services. Chronic environmental degradation is becoming today's silent emergency. The irrational exploitation of natural resources is resulting in less biodiversity and fewer forests. Unfortunately, most of the costs are borne by the poor, while the world's rich benefit the most. This leaves without saying that, guided by these MDGs, each society needs to find its own arrangements based on its history and conditions. All societies need to devise a better solution and to make a strong commitment to preserve time and resources for care and the societal bonds that nourish human development. The risk of marginalization does not have to be a reason for despair. It should be a call for more community action, that is, focusing on group access, not just individual ownership; winning peace, not just wars; attending to forgotten health emergencies and not only to deadly pandemics; assuring national developments through fair trade and financial autonomy, and not just by donor short-term aid and debt relief. My delegation appreciates, above all, that in putting flesh to the MDGs, tireless efforts are being exerted by the UN system in guiding governments, assisted by civil societies, to set up mechanisms to make ethical standards and human rights binding for nations, corporations and individuals. In that manner, multilateral agreements help to establish global markets that are consistent with human development. Mr. President, the Holy See understands that the MDGs, noted for their preferential focus for the poor, are not a transitory target-driven goal but a permanent task and commitment. These goals are technically viable if every human being, who is the stakeholder and center of these goals, is also put at the center of the economic thinking and of the "architecture" of all international organizations, including those dealing with finances and trade. Thank you, Mr. President.
55/2. United Nations Millennium Declaration
The General Assembly Adopts the following Declaration: United Nations Millennium Declaration I. Values and principles 1. We, heads of State and Government, have gathered at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 6 to 8 September 2000, at the dawn of a new millennium, to reaffirm our faith in the Organization and its Charter as indispensable foundations of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world. 2. We recognize that, in addition to our separate responsibilities to our individual societies, we have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level. As leaders we have a duty therefore to all the world’s people, especially the most vulnerable and, in particular, the children of the world, to whom the future belongs. 3. We reaffirm our commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, which have proved timeless and universal. Indeed, their relevance and capacity to inspire have increased, as nations and peoples have become increasingly interconnected and interdependent. 4. We are determined to establish a just and lasting peace all over the world in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter. We rededicate ourselves to support all efforts to uphold the sovereign equality of all States, respect for their territorial integrity and political independence, resolution of disputes by peaceful means and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, the right to self-determination of peoples which remain under colonial domination and foreign occupation, non-interference in the internal affairs of States, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for the equal rights of all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion and international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character. 5. We believe that the central challenge we face today is to ensure that globalization becomes a positive force for all the world’s people. For while globalization offers great opportunities, at present its benefits are very unevenly shared, while its costs are unevenly distributed. We recognize that developing countries and countries with economies in transition face special difficulties in responding to this central challenge. Thus, only through broad and sustained efforts to create a shared future, based upon our common humanity in all its diversity, can globalization be made fully inclusive and equitable. These efforts must include policies and measures, at the global level, which correspond to the needs of developing countries and economies in transition and are formulated and implemented with their effective participation. 6. We consider certain fundamental values to be essential to international relations in the twenty-first century. These include: • Freedom. Men and women have the right to live their lives and raise their children in dignity, free from hunger and from the fear of violence, oppression or injustice. Democratic and participatory governance based on the will of the people best assures these rights. •. Equality. No individual and no nation must be denied the opportunity to benefit from development. The equal rights and opportunities of women and men must be assured. • Solidarity. Global challenges must be managed in a way that distributes the costs and burdens fairly in accordance with basic principles of equity and social justice. Those who suffer or who benefit least deserve help from those who benefit most. • Tolerance. Human beings must respect one other, in all their diversity of belief, culture and language. Differences within and between societies should be neither feared nor repressed, but cherished as a precious asset of humanity. A culture of peace and dialogue among all civilizations should be actively promoted. • Respect for nature. Prudence must be shown in the management of all living species and natural resources, in accordance with the precepts of sustainable development. Only in this way can the immeasurable riches provided to us by nature be preserved and passed on to our descendants. The current unsustainable patterns of production and consumption must be changed in the interest of our future welfare and that of our descendants. • Shared responsibility. Responsibility for managing worldwide economic and social development, as well as threats to international peace and security, must be shared among
the nations of the world and should be exercised multilaterally. As the most universal and most representative organization in the world, the United Nations must play the central role. 7. In order to translate these shared values into actions, we have identified key objectives to which we assign special significance. II. Peace, security and disarmament 8. We will spare no effort to free our peoples from the scourge of war, whether within or between States, which has claimed more than 5 million lives in the past decade. We will also seek to eliminate the dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction. 9. We resolve therefore: • To strengthen respect for the rule of law in international as in national affairs and, in particular, to ensure compliance by Member States with the decisions of the International Court of Justice, in compliance with the Charter of the United Nations, in cases to which they are parties. • To make the United Nations more effective in maintaining peace and security by giving it the resources and tools it needs for conflict prevention, peaceful resolution of disputes, peacekeeping, post-conflict peace-building and reconstruction. In this context, we take note of the report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations and request the General Assembly to consider its recommendations expeditiously. • To strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter VIII of the Charter. • To ensure the implementation, by States Parties, of treaties in areas such as arms control and disarmament and of international humanitarian law and human rights law, and call upon all States to consider signing and ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. • To take concerted action against international terrorism, and to accede as soon as possible to all the relevant international conventions. • To redouble our efforts to implement our commitment to counter the world drug problem. • To intensify our efforts to fight transnational crime in all its dimensions, including trafficking as well as smuggling in human beings and money laundering. • To minimize the adverse effects of United Nations economic sanctions on innocent populations, to subject such sanctions regimes to regular reviews and to eliminate the adverse effects of sanctions on third parties. • To strive for the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons, and to keep all options open for achieving this aim, including the possibility of convening an international conference to identify ways of eliminating nuclear dangers. • To take concerted action to end illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons, especially by making arms transfers more transparent and supporting regional disarmament measures, taking account of all the recommendations of the forthcoming United Nations Conference on Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons. • To call on all States to consider acceding to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, as well as the amended mines protocol to the Convention on conventional weapons. 10. We urge Member States to observe the Olympic Truce, individually and collectively, now and in the future, and to support the International Olympic Committee in its efforts to promote peace and human understanding through sport and the Olympic Ideal. III. Development and poverty eradication 11. We will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently subjected. We are committed to making the right to development a reality for everyone and to freeing the entire human race from want. 12. We resolve therefore to create an environment – at the national and global levels alike – which is conducive to development and to the elimination of poverty. 13. Success in meeting these objectives depends, inter alia, on good governance within each country. It also depends on good governance at the international level and on transparency in the financial, monetary and trading systems. We are committed to an open,
equitable, rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory multilateral trading and financial system. 14. We are concerned about the obstacles developing countries face in mobilizing the resources needed to finance their sustained development. We will therefore make every effort to ensure the success of the High-level International and Intergovernmental Event on Financing for Development, to be held in 2001. 15. We also undertake to address the special needs of the least developed countries. In this context, we welcome the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries to be held in May 2001 and will endeavour to ensure its success. We call on the industrialized countries: • To adopt, preferably by the time of that Conference, a policy of duty- and quota-free access for essentially all exports from the least developed countries; • To implement the enhanced programme of debt relief for the heavily indebted poor countries without further delay and to agree to cancel all official bilateral debts of those countries in return for their making demonstrable commitments to poverty reduction; and • To grant more generous development assistance, especially to countries that are genuinely making an effort to apply their resources to poverty reduction. 16. We are also determined to deal comprehensively and effectively with the debt problems of low- and middle-income developing countries, through various national and international measures designed to make their debt sustainable in the long term. 17. We also resolve to address the special needs of small island developing States, by implementing the Barbados Programme of Action and the outcome of the twenty-second special session of the General Assembly rapidly and in full. We urge the international community to ensure that, in the development of a vulnerability index, the special needs of small island developing States are taken into account. 18. We recognize the special needs and problems of the landlocked developing countries, and urge both bilateral and multilateral donors to increase financial and technical assistance to this group of countries to meet their special development needs and to help them overcome the impediments of geography by improving their transit transport systems. 19. We resolve further: • To halve, by the year 2015, the proportion of the world’s people whose income is less than one dollar a day and the proportion of people who suffer from hunger and, by the same date, to halve the proportion of people who are unable to reach or to afford safe drinking water. • To ensure that, by the same date, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling and that girls and boys will have equal access to all levels of education. • By the same date, to have reduced maternal mortality by three quarters, and under-five child mortality by two thirds, of their current rates. • To have, by then, halted, and begun to reverse, the spread of HIV/AIDS, the scourge of malaria and other major diseases that afflict humanity. • To provide special assistance to children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. • By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers as proposed in the "Cities Without Slums" initiative. 20. We also resolve: • To promote gender equality and the empowerment of women as effective ways to combat poverty, hunger and disease and to stimulate development that is truly sustainable. • To develop and implement strategies that give young people everywhere a real chance to find decent and productive work. • To encourage the pharmaceutical industry to make essential drugs more widely available and affordable by all who need them in developing countries. • To develop strong partnerships with the private sector and with civil society organizations in pursuit of development and poverty eradication. • To ensure that the benefits of new technologies, especially information and
communication technologies, in conformity with recommendations contained i n t h e ECOSOC 2000 Ministerial Declaration, are available to all. IV. Protecting our common environment 21. We must spare no effort to free all of humanity, and above all our children and grandchildren, from the threat of living on a planet irredeemably spoilt by human activities, and whose resources would no longer be sufficient for their needs. 22. We reaffirm our support for the principles of sustainable development, including those set out in Agenda 21, agreed upon at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. 23. We resolve therefore to adopt in all our environmental actions a new ethic of conservation and stewardship and, as first steps, we resolve: • To make every effort to ensure the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, preferably by the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 2002, and to embark on the required reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases. • To intensify our collective efforts for the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. • To press for the full implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa. • To stop the unsustainable exploitation of water resources by developing water management strategies at the regional, national and local levels, which promote both equitable access and adequate supplies. • To intensify cooperation to reduce the number and effects of natural and man-made disasters. • To ensure free access to information on the human genome sequence. V. Human rights, democracy and good governance 24. We will spare no effort to promote democracy and strengthen the rule of law, as well as respect for all internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development. 25. We resolve therefore: • To respect fully and uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. • To strive for the full protection and promotion in all our countries of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights for all. • To strengthen the capacity of all our countries to implement the principles and practices of democracy and respect for human rights, including minority rights. • To combat all forms of violence against women and to implement the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. • To take measures to ensure respect for and protection of the human rights of migrants, migrant workers and their families, to eliminate the increasing acts of racism and xenophobia in many societies and to promote greater harmony and tolerance in all societies. • To work collectively for more inclusive political processes, allowing genuine participation by all citizens in all our countries. • To ensure the freedom of the media to perform their essential role and the right of the public to have access to information. VI. Protecting the vulnerable 26. We will spare no effort to ensure that children and all civilian populations that suffer disproportionately the consequences of natural disasters, genocide, armed conflicts and other humanitarian emergencies are given every assistance and protection so that they can resume normal life as soon as possible. We resolve therefore: • To expand and strengthen the protection of civilians in complex emergencies, in
conformity with international humanitarian law. • To strengthen international cooperation, including burden sharing in, and the coordination of humanitarian assistance to, countries hosting refugees and to help all refugees and displaced persons to return voluntarily to their homes, in safety and dignity and to be smoothly reintegrated into their societies. • To encourage the ratification and full implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocols on the involvement of children in armed conflict and on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. VII. Meeting the special needs of Africa 27. We will support the consolidation of democracy in Africa and assist Africans in their struggle for lasting peace, poverty eradication and sustainable development, thereby bringing Africa into the mainstream of the world economy. 28. We resolve therefore: • To give full support to the political and institutional structures of emerging democracies in Africa. • To encourage and sustain regional and subregional mechanisms for preventing conflict and promoting political stability, and to ensure a reliable flow of resources for peacekeeping operations on the continent. • To take special measures to address the challenges of poverty eradication and sustainable development in Africa, including debt cancellation, improved market access, enhanced Official Development Assistance and increased flows of Foreign Direct Investment, as well as transfers of technology. • To help Africa build up its capacity to tackle the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other infectious diseases. VIII. Strengthening the United Nations 29. We will spare no effort to make the United Nations a more effective instrument for pursuing all of these priorities: the fight for development for all the peoples of the world, the fight against poverty, ignorance and disease; the fight against injustice; the fight against violence, terror and crime; and the fight against the degradation and destruction of our common home. 30. We resolve therefore: • To reaffirm the central position of the General Assembly as the chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ of the United Nations, and to enable it to play that role effectively. • To intensify our efforts to achieve a comprehensive reform of the Security Council in all its aspects. • To strengthen further the Economic and Social Council, building on its recent achievements, to help it fulfil the role ascribed to it in the Charter. • To strengthen the International Court of Justice, in order to ensure justice and the rule of law in international affairs. • To encourage regular consultations and coordination among the principal organs of the United Nations in pursuit of their functions. • To ensure that the Organization is provided on a timely and predictable basis with the resources it needs to carry out its mandates. • To urge the Secretariat to make the best use of those resources, in accordance with clear rules and procedures agreed by the General Assembly, in the interests of all Member States, by adopting the best management practices and technologies available and by concentrating on those tasks that reflect the agreed priorities of Member States. • To promote adherence to the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel. • To ensure greater policy coherence and better cooperation between the United Nations, its agencies, the Bretton Woods Institutions and the World Trade Organization, as well as other multilateral bodies, with a view to achieving a fully coordinated approach to the problems of peace and
development. • To strengthen further cooperation between the United Nations and national parliaments through their world organization, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in various fields, including peace and security, economic and social development, international law and human rights and democracy and gender issues. • To give greater opportunities to the private sector, non-governmental organizations and civil society, in general, to contribute to the realization of the Organization’s goals and programmes. 31. We request the General Assembly to review on a regular basis the progress made in implementing the provisions of this Declaration, and ask the Secretary-General to issue periodic reports for consideration by the General Assembly and as a basis for further action. 32. We solemnly reaffirm, on this historic occasion, that the United Nations is the indispensable common house of the entire human family, through which we will seek to realize our universal aspirations for peace, cooperation and development. We therefore pledge our unstinting support for these common objectives and our determination to achieve them. 8th plenary meeting 8 September 2000
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