Landmark Texts on Protecting Coral Reefs, Mitigating Ill Effects of Chemical Munitions Dumped at Sea

Republished From: Waves of Change

Source: U.N.
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General Assembly Adopts Landmark Texts on Protecting Coral Reefs, Mitigating Ill Effects of Chemical Munitions Dumped at Sea

In Addition to Passing 40 Drafts Recommended By Second Committee, Acts on Two Generated Directly by Plenary

December 21, 2010 (MMD Newswire) -- The General Assembly today adopted landmark draft resolutions setting forth strategies to protect coral reefs and mitigate the ill effects of chemical munitions dumped at sea, while declaring international years and decades for the promotion of sustainable energy, water cooperation and biodiversity.

Acting on the recommendation of its Second Committee (Economic and Financial), the Assembly took action on 17 draft resolutions on sustainable development out of a total 40 development-related texts, in addition to three draft decisions. It also adopted two plenary-generated drafts.

The texts relating to sustainable development reflected the Second Committee's discussions on the plethora of issues and concerns under consideration during the recent Cancun Climate Change Conference, as well as those due to be taken up at the forthcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to be held in 2012 in Rio de Janeiro.

By the text on coral reefs, the Assembly urged States to take comprehensive, integrated approaches to managing and enhancing coral reefs and related ecosystems, as well as immediate action to respond to climate change and ocean acidification. Another text invited the Secretary-General to seek, for discussion during the Assembly's sixty-eighth session, the views of Member States and relevant regional and global organizations on cooperative ways to assess and increase awareness of the environmental impact of waste from munitions dumped at sea. By a third text, the Assembly called on the United Nations to promote ecotourism as a way to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in developing countries.

By another text, the Committee decided to hold, next September, a one-day, high-level meeting on desertification, land degradation and drought in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, in order to help raise awareness of those ills at the highest level while contributing to preparations for the 2012 Rio Conference. Another draft requested the Secretary-General to convene an interactive dialogue to commemorate International Mother Earth Day next April, and to contribute to the Rio Conference by promoting a holistic approach to sustainable development in harmony with nature.

Yet another resolution established 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation, encouraging Member States and United Nations bodies to promote international cooperation to achieve the water-related goals set forth in Agenda 21, the Millennium Declaration and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. Another text, building on the International Year of Biodiversity, 2010, and the goal of significantly reducing biodiversity loss, declared 2011-2020 the Decade on Biodiversity and asked the Secretary-General to coordinate United Nations activities in that regard.

By another text, relating to the oil slick on Lebanese shores, the Assembly requested, for the fifth consecutive year, that Israel expediently and adequately compensate Lebanon for the costs of repairing the environmental damage caused by the Israeli Air Force's destruction of oil storage tanks near the neighbouring country's El-Jiyeh electric power plant, and to do the same for Syria, the shores of which had been partially polluted. The Assembly adopted the measures by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 5 abstentions (Cameroon, Colombia, Niger, Panama, Tonga). (See Annex II for details of the voting)

Keeping the concerns of small island developing States centre stage, the Assembly adopted a resolution that urged the international community to bolster financing, capacity-building and technology transfer to help them adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. It addressed disaster-risk management, another underlying theme during the Committee's deliberations on sustainable development, in two resolutions: one urging the international community to implement the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction; and the other calling on the Secretary-General and United Nations bodies to adopt measures to further strengthen the International Research Centre on the El Niño phenomenon.

Also under the sustainable development umbrella, the Assembly by consensus in adopting texts on a Global Code of Ethics for Tourism; follow-up to the 2008 International Year of Sanitation; and the report of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on its eleventh special session. The latter text called on the Governing Council to convene a plenary meeting to determine modalities and institutional arrangements for the planned Intergovernmental Science Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

Following that action, Egypt's representative stressed the need to reach agreement on such issues before creating the Platform. Bolivia's representative, speaking also on behalf of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, echoed that concern, but noted that such a Platform would create stronger links between science and politics. It would also lead to more efficient strategies and multilateral accords on biodiversity and ecosystems, based on stronger, more independent and inclusive science. However, all actions concerning the resolution must respect the principle of State sovereignty over natural resources, he cautioned.

In addition, the Assembly took consensus action on annual texts relating to: protection of the global climate; the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development; implementing Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development; sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea; implementing the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa; and the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The annual resolution on implementing the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) recalled the importance of the Programme's timely action to respond to natural and man-made disasters, particularly in addressing post-disaster and post-conflict housing and infrastructure needs.

A text on agriculture development and food security - first tabled in the Second Committee in 2009 - gained increased attention during this year's session. By its terms, the Assembly stressed the need to enhance food production and sustainability, while calling for the timely realization of the 2009 G-8 commitment to mobilize $20 billion for sustainable agricultural development over three years. It further stressed the need to achieve those aims through, among other things, better access to markets and credits for smallholder farmers, improved land-use planning, crop diversification, and rural infrastructure development.

Several resolutions illustrated the Committee's intense debate over appropriate solutions to the global financial crisis, the external debt burden borne by developing countries and entrenched disputes over international financial and trade policy. By a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 0 against, with 7 abstentions (Marshall Islands, Mexico, Palau, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey), the Assembly adopted a text that noted with deep concern the severe impact of the ongoing world financial and economic crisis, particularly on developing-country trade.

By other terms, it called on Members States, particularly developed countries, to show the necessary flexibility and political will to break the long-standing impasse in the Doha Round of World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations by, among other things, eliminating agricultural subsidies and enhancing market access to developed-world markets. The Assembly also expressed deep concern about unilateral sanctions against developing countries and other coercive measures that undermined international law, and called for easier accession to WTO for all countries seeking membership. (Annex I)

In another resolution, the Assembly, stressed that the crisis had highlighted the need to reform the global financial system and architecture, reaffirmed the need to continue strengthening developing-country participation in international economic decision-making and norm-setting, and called for swift reform of the voting powers of developing countries, and those with economies in transition, in the World Bank.

By a text on innovative mechanisms of financing for development - the first of its kind tabled in the Committee - the Assembly reaffirmed the Monterrey Consensus and the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development, while recognizing that mobilizing financial resources was central to the global partnership for development.

The Assembly decided, by another resolution, to hold its fifth High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development on 7 and 8 December 2011 at United Nations Headquarters.

Debt sustainability remained a major focus this year, with the Assembly adopting a text that stressed the importance of responsible borrowing and lending. It also urged all lenders and borrowers to integrate debt sustainability analyses into their decisions, and encouraged the promotion of responsible sovereign lending and borrowing. Noting with concern the exclusion of some low- and middle-income countries from existing debt-relief initiatives, the Assembly also called for full implementation of the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Debt Initiative and Multilateral Debt Relief Initiatives, as well as case-by-case consideration of significant debt relief or restructuring for non-HIPC developing countries.

The Assembly also gave priority to development in the context of globalization and interdependence, adopting five resolutions and one decision on that topic. One text - adopted by a recorded vote of 126 in favour to 1 against ( Bosnia and Herzegovina), with 52 abstentions - reaffirmed the need to continue working towards a new international economic order based on equity, sovereign equality, interdependence, common interest, cooperation and solidarity among States. It asked the Secretary-General, in his next report on that subject, to give an updated overview of major global economic and policy challenges to equitable and inclusive sustained economic growth and sustainable development, and the Organization's role in addressing and overcoming them. (Annex III)

By a resolution on culture and development - the first of its kind - the Assembly invited all Member States, intergovernmental bodies, the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations to promote the positive value of cultural diversity through education and media, and effectively to integrate and mainstream culture into their development policies and strategies.

A third development-related text recognized decent work as the best route out of poverty and invited donor countries, multilateral organizations and other development partners to continue helping Member States adopt policies consistent with the International Labour Organization's (ILO) Global Jobs Pact in order to spur a job-intensive recovery and sustainable development.

By a resolution on corruption, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to submit, at its sixty-seventh session, a report on preventing and combating corrupt practices and on recovering and returning assets of illicit origin, particularly to countries of origin, consistent with the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

According to a text on international migration and development, the Assembly emphasized respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants, while expressing concern over national legislation and measures restricting them. The Assembly also urged Member States and relevant international organizations to incorporate a gender perspective into all migration policies, and to renew their commitment to resist unfair and discriminatory treatment.

As in past years, the Assembly adopted a resolution reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and those of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources. That text, adopted by a recorded vote of 167 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, Gabon, Papua New Guinea, Tonga), demanded that Israel stop exploiting, damaging, depleting or endangering those resources. It also recognized the right of those populations to claim restitution for such illegal actions, and called on Israel to cease all actions that harmed the environment and destroyed vital infrastructure. (Annex IV)

Under the poverty-eradication umbrella werethree resolutions adopted by consensus and one draft decision, includinga text on promoting ecotourism to eradicate poverty and protect the environment - the first of its kind tabled in the Committee. In a second resolution, on the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017), the Assembly urged the international community to implement the outcome documents relating to the internationally agreed development goals and the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development, in support of the Decade's objectives. It also called upon donor countries to support national efforts by developing countries to eradicate poverty through adequate, predictable financial resources.

In a text on industrial development cooperation, the Assembly emphasized the need to promote gender equality and women's empowerment in all levels of decision-making processes in the context on industrial development. It stressed the importance of access to modern and renewable energy and advanced energy technology to achieve the Millennium Goals, and called for continued official development assistance (ODA) for sustainable industrial development and industrial development cooperation between developing countries and those with economies in transition.

The Assembly also adopted a draft decision containing the Secretary-General's report on the role of microfinance and microcredit in eradicating poverty.

By a resolution on information and communications technologies, the Assembly extended the mandate of the Internet Governance Forum for five more years and stressed the need for it to improve its working methods and functions.

Two resolutions addressed the issue of countries in special situations. By one text, the Assembly called upon landlocked and transit developing countries to speed up implementation of the Almaty Programme of Action and further mainstream it into their national development strategies. By the other, it decided to hold the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries from 9 to 13 May 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Under the cluster on operational activities for development, the Assembly adopted two resolutions, one recognizing the importance of strengthening strategies for such activities so as to realize the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The second renamed the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to include the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

Other Assembly actions today included its adoption of a draft decision on improving the Second Committee's working methods, and its decision to adopt the Committee's programme of work for its sixty-sixth session.

Paul Empole ( Democratic Republic of the Congo), Rapporteur of the Second Committee, introduced that body's reports.

In other action today, the Assembly adopted two plenary-generated resolutions without a vote. By the first, it reaffirmed its commitment to the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and decided to convene a high-level meeting from 8 to 10 June 2011 for a comprehensive review of progress towards achieving the Declaration's aims. It asked the Assembly President to organize, by April 2011, an informal interactive civil society hearing involving people living with HIV and the broader civil society. It also asked the Secretary-General to submit a comprehensive analytical report on progress, and to recommend sustainable ways to overcome challenges.

By the second text, on the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, the Assembly called upon that country's Government to continue providing the support required to consolidate achievements and overcome challenges to the Commission's work, as well as redouble its efforts to strengthen institutions buttressing the rule of law and defending human rights in Guatemala.

Delivering statements on the final text were representatives of Guatemala, Belgium (on behalf of the European Union), Costa Rica, Spain, Chile, Canada, United States, Germany and Nicaragua.

The Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, 21 December, to take action on the reports of its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural).

Background

The General Assembly met this morning to take action on the reports of its Second Committee (Economic and Financial) resulting from meetings held between 4 October and 1 December.

Covering agenda items under the Committee's consideration during the session, the reports contain draft resolutions on: information and communication technologies for development (item 17); macroeconomic policy questions (item 18); follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2008 Review Conference (item 19); sustainable development (item 20); implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) (item 21).

Others relate to: globalization and interdependence (item 22); groups of countries in special situations (item 23); the eradication of poverty and other development issues (item 24); operational activities for development (item 25); agriculture development and food security (item 26); the 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 60); revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (item 118); and programme planning (item 130).

The Assembly was also expected to take action on two plenary-generated draft resolutions, the first on the Organization of the 2011 comprehensive review of the progress achieved in realizing the Declaration on HIV/AIDS and the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS (document A/65/L.49), and the other on the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (document A/65/L.51).

Action on Second Committee Reports

PAUL EMPOLE ( Democratic Republic of the Congo), Rapporteur of the Second Committee, introduced that body's reports, beginning with one containing a draft resolution on information and communication technologies for development(document A/65/433),whichthe Assembly adopted by consensus.

Turning to the next report, on macroeconomic policy questions(document A/65/434), the Assembly took up addendum 1 (document A/65/434/Add.1),adopting the related draft on international trade and development by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to none against, with 7 abstentions (Marshall Islands, Mexico, Palau, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey). (See Annex I for details of the voting.)

The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, draft resolutions on the international financial system and development(document A/65/434/Add.2)external debt sustainability and development (document A/65/434/Add.3).

Taking up the Second Committee's report on follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2008 Review Conference (document A/65/435), the Assembly adopted, again without a vote, the related draft resolution, as well as a text on innovative mechanisms of financing for development.

The Assembly then took up the report on sustainable development (document A/65/436) as a recorded vote was requested in connection with a draft resolution on the oil slick on Lebanese shores. The Assembly adopted that text by 163 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 5 abstentions (Cameroon, Colombia, Niger, Panama, Tonga). (Annex II)

Acting without a vote, the Assembly then adopted texts on the following topics: protection of coral reefs for sustainable livelihoods and development; cooperative measures to assess and increase awareness of environmental effects related to waste originating from chemical munitions dumped at sea; Global Code of Ethics for Tourism; and the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All.

Taking upaddendum 1 to the report (document A/65/436/Add.1), the Assembly adopted three draft resolutions, respectively 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 the International Year of Sanitation, 2008; and the International Year of Water Diplomacy. It took those actions without a vote.

The Assembly then turned to addendum 2 of the report (document A/65/436/Add.2),adopting, again without a vote, two draft resolutions, respectively titled "Towards the sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea for present and future generations", and "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".

Taking up addendum 3 (document A/65/436/Add.3),it adopted, without a vote, texts on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, and international cooperation to reduce the impact of El Niño phenomenon.

The representative of Chile, speaking in explanation of position on the International Strategy, said the hurricane that had recently hit his country and the 12 January earthquake that had struck - resulting in great loss of life - illustrated that investment in disaster-risk reduction saved human lives. Human life was of universal value, he added.

Subsequently taking up a draft resolution on the protection of global climate for present and future generations on humankind(document A/65/436/Add.4),the Assemblyadopted it by consensus.

Taking up addendum 5 to the report (document A/65/436/Add.5),the Assembly adopted, without a vote, the related text, titled "Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa".

Acting again by consensus, it adopted a text on the Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/65/436/Add.6).

In another consensus action, the Assembly adopted a text relating to the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on its eleventh special session(document A/65/436/Add.7).

Speaking in explanation of position, the representative of Egypt welcomed the resolution, saying it was important to build on what had been agreed at Nagoya, Japan, on the creation of the Intergovernmental Science Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. However, it was necessary first to reach agreement on all modalities and institutional arrangements before establishing that body, he added, noting the many institutional and financial ambiguities concerning that must be addressed.

The representative of Bolivia, speaking also on behalf of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, said the Platform's creation would lead to a more profound link between science and politics that would contribute to more efficient strategies and multilateral agreements on biodiversity and ecosystems, based on stronger, more independent and inclusive science. He stressed the importance of the legal, technical and financial implications of creating the Platform, and emphasized that all action concerning the resolution just adopted must respect the principle of State sovereignty over natural resources.

Bolivia trusted that the Platform would not duplicate or undermine existing platforms on biodiversity, particularly the Convention on Biodiversity, he said, expressing concern about the excessively commercial emphasis heard during debates on the subject. Mother Nature should not be commercialized, he stressed, saying it could become a useful instrument for addressing the real causes of biodiversity loss. Bolivia trusted it would lead to the transfer of technology and financial assistance needed to help developing countries effectively reduce biodiversity loss.

The Assembly went on to adopt, without a vote, drafts on the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development(document A/65/436/Add.8)and on harmony with nature (document A/65/436/Add.9).

It then adopted, again without a vote, a text titled "Implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme" and contained in the eponymous report (document A/65/437).

Taking up the Committee's report on globalization and interdependence(document A/65/438),the Assembly adopted, byconsensus, a text on culture and development. By a recorded vote of 126 in favour to 1 against ( Bosnia and Herzegovina), with 52 abstentions, it also adopted a draft titled "Towards a new international economic order". (Annex III)

The Assembly then turned to addendum 1 of that report (document A/65/438/Add.1),adopting by consensus a draft resolution headed "The role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence", and a draft decision on the report of the Secretary-General concerning the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence.

Turning toaddendum 2 of the report (document A/65/438/Add.2),it adopted by consensus a draft resolution titled "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".

It then took upaddendum 3 (document A/65/438/Add.3),adopting, without a vote, a text on international migration and development.

Turning its attention to the report on groups of countries in special situations(document A/65/439), the Assembly adopted, by consensus, a draft resolution on the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries(document A/65/439/Add.1).

Acting again by consensus, it then adopted a draft headed "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/65/439/Add.2).

Turning to the Committee's report on eradication of poverty and other development issues (document A/65/440), the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a text on promotion of ecotourism for poverty eradication and environment protection.

It then adopted, again without a vote, drafts on the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017),the report of the Secretary-General on the role of microcredit and microfinance in the eradication of poverty(document A/65/440/Add.1), and on industrial development cooperation(document A/65/440/Add.2).

The Assembly then took up the report on operational activities for development(document A/65/441),adopting, once again without a vote, a draft headed "Renaming of the title of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to include the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)" and a text on operational activities for development of the United Nations system.

In another consensus action, the Assembly adopted a draft resolution on agriculture development and food security(document A/65/442).

It then took up a report titled "Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources" (document A/65/443), adopting the related text by a recorded vote of 167 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, Gabon, Papua New Guinea, Tonga). (Annex IV)

Following that action, the representative of Panama said his abstention had not been reflected in the results, whereupon the Assembly President took note of that correction.

The Assembly then adopted the Second Committee's draft programme of work for the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly, as well as a draft decision titled "Improving the working methods of the Second Committee", as contained in its report on the revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/65/444).

It also adopted, by consensus, the Committee's report on programme planning (document A/65/445).

Plenary Action

The Assembly then turned its attention to a plenary-generated draft resolution headed "Organization of the 2011 comprehensive review of the progress achieved in realizing the Declaration on HIV/AIDS and the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS" (document A/65/L.49), adopting that text by consensus.

It then took up a draft resolution on the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (document A/65/L.51) under its agenda item titled "The situation in Central America: progress in fashioning a region of peace, freedom, democracy and development".

Introducing that text, the representative of Guatemala said the International Commission had given rise to two resolutions in the last two years: 63/19 (2008) and 64/7 (2009). In an innovative effort whereby the United Nations and Guatemala joined forces to fight impunity, the Commission's role was to boost national justice and security institutions by providing technical assistance, he said, pointing out that it was an interim arrangement whose functions would ultimately be absorbed by Guatemala. He said his delegation had not intended to bring the issue to the Assembly on a regular basis, but two new developments suddenly needed the Assembly's attention.

First, the Commissioner had resigned, to the Government's regret given his outstanding performance, he said, adding that the designation of his successor had been well-received and the transition orderly. Secondly, the Government had determined that it would be premature for the Commission to withdraw by September 2011, and the President had therefore proposed to the Secretary-General, on 6 October, an extension of its mandate for an additional two years, pursuant to Article 14 of the original agreement, which would allow enough time for the conclusion of its work. With general elections coming up, the Commission should not be subjected to the political calendar of any Government, he stressed.

Recalling that the Government had appointed a new Chief Prosecutor just two weeks ago, he said she had underscored the commitment of the office to coordinating its work with the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala. The draft resolution submitted today took note of those new developments, he said, noting that its overall thrust was to provide for the stability and continuity of the creative partnership between Guatemala and the United Nations, while in no way renouncing the country's sovereign responsibility to strengthen the rule of law.

Speaking on behalf of the European Union, the representative of Belgium said that through its highly professional work and despite the "extremely difficult and dangerous" situation in Guatemala, the Commission had provided, over the last four years, an innovative approach to the very particular challenges confronting the national justice system. It was of the utmost importance that all public institutions, and the entire country at all levels, support the Commission fully, and contribute to combating impunity. The violence suffered by Guatemalans must be adequately addressed, he stressed.

For its own part, the European Union had provided the Commission with political and financial support, he said, recalling that the European Union Election Observation Mission had made a donation in 2007 to enable it to begin its work. Last week, the European Commission had formalized an additional contribution to the Commission's Trust Fund. However, much remained to be done and the European Union therefore supported today's draft resolution, which called for an extension of the Commission's mandate until 2013. Concerned about continuing high levels of violence and impunity in Guatemala, he urged the United Nations Secretariat to ensure that the operational challenges facing the Commission were addressed properly.

The representative of Costa Rica described the International Commission as a "robust and unprecedented" experience in bringing together national and multilateral efforts to deter impunity. Costa Rica's support for it had been enthusiastic and sustained, through the development of human resources and exchanges of best practices, among other non-financial contributions.

Over the past two decades, Central America had embarked on an arduous path to become a region of peace and democracy, anchored on respect for human rights, he noted, emphasizing that its success depended on building institutional strength, the independence of public powers, respect for democracy, and the rejection of de facto actions as a rule for political conduct. Observing such principles was thought to have become an irreversible reality, he noted. "Unfortunately, we were wrong," he said, noting Nicaragua's "incomprehensive and unacceptable actions" that had forced the region to take a "dreadful" step back in overcoming its troubled past.

He then paused to cede the floor to the representative of Nicaragua, who said in a point of order that Costa Rica's delegate was not addressing an issue under the Assembly's consideration. He asked the President to call the delegate to order and request him to address himself solely to the agenda item, emphasizing that the Rules of Procedures were clear and must be observed.

The General Assembly President noted his remarks, saying Nicaragua could respond to any comments at the end of the meeting.

The representative of Costa Rica then resumed, saying his country had been the main victim of Nicaragua's behaviour. Since October, Nicaraguan troops had been stationed on Costa Rican territory in clear violation of its sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity. "This is, simply put, an act of sheer violence," he stressed, adding that his country was facing a military occupation. Costa Ricans were entitled to live without an army, as they had decided in 1949, and to continue on that course they depended on the multilateral system and international law, he said.

He went on to point out that, among other actions, Costa Rica had denounced Nicaragua in the International Court of Justice for violating the 1858 border agreement between the two countries, which had been clarified in 1897, as well as for occupying and damaging part of its territory. Costa Rica had also tried to engage the Ibero-American community in finding a just solution to the conflict, but the President of Nicaragua had not attended the Summit. "We want to sit down with the Government of Nicaragua to discuss the conflict generated by its aggression," he said. "Facing brute force, we have acted with prudence," he added expressing hope that Central Americans would continue to advance to the higher stages of peace, democracy, freedom, integration and security.

The representative of Spain said the changing terminology of the agenda item indicated the progress achieved in Guatemala, where internal armed conflict had ended in 1996 and ambitious efforts to create an equitable society had begun. The Commission had made it possible for Guatemalan citizens to recover their trust in national institutions, and Spain was among its main contributors, he said, adding that its procedural work had reached a decisive phase. In the legal sphere, Congress had approved two decrees on penal reform, he pointed out, emphasizing that in order to continue its progress, cooperation between Guatemala and the United Nations was more needed than ever.

Indeed, organizations whose impunity had been threatened had reacted against the Commission, which must be interpreted as a sign of its success, he continued, recalling that Guatemala had requested an extension of the Commission's mandate on 24 March 2009. It was appropriate to accord it greater support, he said, stressing that particular attention must be paid to juridical problems yet to be resolved, namely immunity and security. Spain fully supported granting an extension, which would make it possible to study the creation of an exit strategy while leaving a useful legacy to Guatemalan institutions.

There were still many challenges in Central America, he said, adding that his country supported a regional approach to overcoming them, especially through regional dispute-settlement mechanisms. More deeply-rooted integration was key to strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law. Spain had supported efforts to bolster civil society institutions, as well as dialogue among countries in the region, he said, adding that if had been, from the beginning, a member of the Group of Friends of the Commission.

The representative of Chile expressed his country's commitment to strengthening peace and development in Central America, adding that Chile's cooperation with several Central American countries was aimed at strengthening public security and democratic institutions. It also provided police officers to the Commission. Expressing support for the Commission as an innovative experiment between Guatemala and the United Nations, he said it also allowed the international community to support a Member State and the improve rule of law. Broad national support for the Commission, especially by civil society, was fundamental to its success, he added.

The representative of Canada said his country staunchly supported the Commission through voluntary contributions, and urged Guatemala to continue to provide it with all possible support to ensure it could successfully carry out its mandate in an increasingly difficult environment. Canada was concerned about the increasingly complex challenges facing Guatemala and Central America, he said, adding that the Commission was an important provider of invaluable technical and political support to advance a range of security and justice reforms. Noting that the Commission had made important progress in prosecuting high-profile cases in the past year, he said it was now being challenged, a sign of its success. Such challenges signalled that individuals and clandestine organizations were being implicated in investigations and prosecutions that sought justice.

The representative of the United States, recalling his country's strong support for the Commission, said its work in investigating clandestine security organizations was critical to strengthening the rule of law. The Commission had shown its success in various areas, especially those relating to narco-traffickers, which had elicited praise, as well as a "defensive response" by those who might be the subject of investigations. Critics had launched disinformation campaigns, among other things. Commending the President for requesting a mandate extension, he said his country stood with the international community and Guatemala in reiterating support for the Commission, adding that since 2008, the United States had provided $12 million to the Commission and urging others to support its work.

The representative of Germany, associating with the European Union, said that as a major donor, his country had until recently coordinated the donor group in Guatemala, a country that had had to cope with high levels of impunity, especially on drug trafficking, which was undermining its institutions and structures. The Government and civil society had lived up to that challenge and fought to rebuild the rule of law. The Commission had become a unique example that Guatemalans did not wish to allow organized crime to destabilize their country, he pointed out, adding that they therefore deserved a message of undivided support from the Assembly.

Urging continued support and financial resources for the Commission, he emphasized that the judiciary must take control after 2013. The transition period would be critical and the Assembly should support a mandate extension. Threats against Commission members had reached an alarming level and visible political support for the Commission should emanate from today's meeting. Also, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) should provide more expertise and personnel to the Commission and the country. Challenges in Guatemala today were unfortunately not unique and there was interest in using the Commission as a model for the future.

The representative of Nicaragua voiced his country's full support for Guatemala's efforts relating to the International Commission, saying that the adoption of the draft resolution would allow an increase in well-deserved international support.

However, he expressed regret over Costa Rica's "attitude of raising a distraction", at this important moment for Guatemala, stressing that the problem between Costa Rica and his own country was a legal one to be resolved in the

International Court of Justice. Indeed, he welcomed Costa Rica's decision to follow at last the road suggested by Nicaragua, saying the problem would be solved in the "appropriate forum".

He said the territory that Costa Rica deemed "invaded" was, in his country's eyes, an area in which Nicaragua enjoyed full sovereignty. Bringing the "Rio San Juan" matter before a political forum would not lead to a solution, he cautioned, pointing out that Nicaragua had started a restoration of its national heritage. Given that unwavering commitment, it emphasized its right, as handed down by the International Court of Justice in 2009, that the Rio San Juan should be cleaned. " Nicaragua has never invaded Costa Rica," he insisted, adding that his people had suffered an intervention and a painful violation of sovereignty.

Emphasizing that Nicaragua would never attack a "brother country", he said Costa Rica claimed not to have an army, yet its military budget was five times that of his own country. It liked to proclaim that it was "peaceable" when in fact it was militarized, he said, expressing concern at the xenophobia directed at Nicaraguans. Costa Rica's delegate had also forgotten to mention that his country ranked fourth in the world in the use of chemical fertilizers. However, he offered a "fraternal embrace" to Costa Rica, saying Nicaragua was willing to hold a bilateral dialogue to resolve all concerns.

The Assembly then adopted the text on the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (document A/65/L.51) without a vote.

ANNEX I

Vote on macroeconomic policy questions

The draft resolution on international trade and development (document A/65/434/ADD.1) was adopted by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 47 against, with 7 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, 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, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

Abstain: Marshall Islands, Mexico, Palau, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey.

Absent: Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Kenya, Kiribati, Namibia, Nauru, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Uganda.

ANNEX II

Vote on sustainable development

The draft resolution on the oil slick on Lebanese shores (document A/65/436) was adopted by a recorded vote of 163 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, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, 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, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States.

Abstain: Cameroon, Colombia, Niger, Panama, Tonga.

Absent: Bhutan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Namibia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Turkmenistan.

ANNEX III

Vote on globalization and interdependence

The draft resolution "Towards a new international economic order" (document A/65/438) was adopted by a recorded vote of 126 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, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, 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, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Abstain: Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, 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, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.

Absent: Bhutan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Nauru, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, Turkmenistan.

ANNEX IV

Vote on 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/65/443) was adopted by a recorded vote of 167 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, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, 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, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, 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, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States.

Abstain: Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Papua New Guinea, Tonga.

Absent: Bhutan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Panama, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis.

 

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Citation

(2010). Landmark Texts on Protecting Coral Reefs, Mitigating Ill Effects of Chemical Munitions Dumped at Sea. Retrieved from http://www.globalhealing.net/view/news/161745

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