66th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly 71st Session

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SIX OFFICIAL 21-Dec-2016 03:48:54
General Assembly takes action on Second Committee reports by adopting 37 texts at 66th plenary meeting.
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Resolution Establishing International Mechanism Concerning Syria Passed in Direct Plenary Action
Reaffirming the role of the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) in promoting sustainable development, the General Assembly today adopted 36 resolutions and one decision forwarded by that Committee.

Five of those took a recorded vote, including a 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” by the terms of which the Assembly demanded that Israel stop exploiting, damaging, depleting or endangering natural resources in that Territory. Further, it recognized the Palestinians’ right to claim restitution for damage, loss, depletion or endangerment of natural resources due to illegal measures taken by Israel and its settlers.

The Assembly approved the text in a recorded vote of 168 in favour and 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 11 abstentions.

The Assembly also adopted a resolution titled “Oil slick on Lebanese shores” by a recorded vote of 166 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, Tonga, Vanuatu).

By that text, the Assembly considered that the oil slick had heavily polluted the shores of Lebanon and partially polluted Syrian shores and consequently had serious implications for the Lebanese economy. It reiterated its request to the Government of Israel to assume responsibility for prompt and adequate compensation to the Government of Lebanon for that damage as well as to other countries directly affected by the oil slick, such as Syria.

Also by recorded vote, of 131 in favour to 49 against, with 4 abstentions (Palau, Republic of Korea, Tonga, Turkey), the Assembly adopted a resolution on “Towards a New International Economic Order” by which it called for fulfilling the commitment to pursue policy coherence and an enabling environment for sustainable development at all levels and by all actors and to reinvigorate the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development.

Adopted by a recorded vote of 147 in favour and 26 against, with 7 abstentions (China, Ecuador, Guinea, Mali, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey) was a resolution on “Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development”. By that text, the Assembly encouraged Governments to take a coordinated and inclusive approach to promoting entrepreneurship involving all stakeholders, and to develop policies addressing the legal, social and regulatory barriers to equal, effective economic participation. It also called upon the relevant United Nations organizations and bodies to further recognize and integrate entrepreneurship in its various forms into their policies, programmes and reports, as appropriate.

The Committee also took up a resolution on “Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development” which was adopted by a recorded vote of 134 in favour to 44 against, with 7 abstentions (Australia, Canada, Iceland, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Switzerland, Turkey).

By the terms of that resolution, the General Assembly stressed the importance of seeking innovative and coordinated approaches in integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development — economic, social and environmental — at the global, regional and national levels, and requested the Organization to further mainstream and integrate the three dimensions throughout the United Nations system.

Promoting sustainable development in different regions of the world was a key concern in many other resolutions adopted today including “Towards the sustainable development of the Caribbean Sea for present and future generations” and “Sustainable mountain development”, both of which were adopted without a vote.

The Assembly also adopted a resolution titled “Quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system” by which it called upon the United Nations development system to continue to support developing countries in their efforts to achieve internationally agreed development goals and their development objectives. Further, it requested the system to address the special challenges facing the most vulnerable countries and the need for special attention to countries in conflict and post-conflict situations and countries and peoples under foreign occupation, as well as the specific challenges facing the middle-income States.

Prior to its adoption, the Assembly voted on a draft amendment, which proposed deleting the reference to “countries and peoples under foreign occupation” in the text of the resolution. That draft was defeated by a recorded vote of 8 in favour (Australia, Belize, Canada, Israel, Palau, Seychelles, South Sudan, United States) to 114 against, with 46 abstentions.

In other business today, the Assembly also adopted a draft resolution on “International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism to Assist in the Investigation and Prosecution of Those Responsible for the Most Serious Crimes under International Law Committed in the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011”.

By the terms of that text, adopted by a recorded vote of 105 in favour and 15 against, with 52 abstentions, the Assembly decided to establish that Mechanism under the auspices of the United Nations to closely cooperate with the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic to collect, consolidate, preserve and analyse evidence of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights violations and abuses and to prepare files in order to facilitate and expedite fair and independent criminal proceedings, in accordance with international law standards, in national, regional or international courts or tribunals that have or may in the future have jurisdiction over these crimes, in accordance with international law.

Presenting the Second Committee’s reports was Glauco Seoane (Peru), its Rapporteur.

Speaking during action today were the representatives of Thailand (on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China), Turkey, France (also on behalf of Bulgaria and Romania), Liechtenstein, Syria, Russian Federation, Venezuela, Cuba, Ecuador, South Africa, Iran, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, China, Viet Nam, Indonesia, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Singapore, Iraq, Mexico, Thailand, Paraguay and Belize.

The General Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m., Thursday, 22 December to take up the agenda items on culture of peace and cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
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