48th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly 71st Session

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21-Nov-2016 03:27:44
The General Assembly adopted 10 resolutions encouraging stronger ties between regional organizations and the United Nations, at the 48th meeting of the 71st session.

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The General Assembly adopted 10 resolutions, nine of them without a vote, encouraging deeper cooperation between the United Nations and various regional organizations to address emerging challenges in sustainable development, fighting terrorism and economic integration.

One resolution, titled “Cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States”, was adopted by a recorded vote of 84 in favour to none against with five abstentions. By that text’s terms, the Assembly called upon specialized agencies to continue interacting with their counterparts from Arab organizations and institutions and to improve mechanisms for consultation. The Assembly also emphasized the importance of holding the 2017 meeting concerning cooperation on water resources’ preservation and management in the Arab region and called on specialized agencies to inform the Secretary-General by January 2018 of their progress in implementing the multilateral proposals adopted at the general cooperation meeting of the League and the United Nations.

The representative of Syria, who called for a recorded vote on the draft resolution and also abstained from it, cited “dangerous and non-democratic” measures undertaken by the League, including some of its members’ illegal policies aimed at controlling mechanisms of election in the region. The League should defend its people, rather than impose sanctions and exert political pressure, he said.

The European Union’s representative, welcomed the adoption of the resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe. But he regretted that language calling for an end to the use of the death penalty once again had not been taken on board, and the new inclusion of a call for the prevention of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment was “but a small improvement”. The Union hoped to build on the momentum created by the call for a global moratorium at the Sixth World Congress on Abolition of the Death Penalty in June, he said, urging all member States to support the draft resolution on the matter when it was put to the vote in the General Assembly next month.

The representative of Ukraine, speaking on the resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Independent States, said he was disappointed over the Commonwealth’s failure to take steps to respond to the Russian Federation’s actions in Ukraine. “The [group] is still pretending that there is no Russian aggression, no illegal occupation of Crimea, no war crimes committed,” he said, adding that provisions of the text did not fully correspond to the realities on the ground as the Russian Federation had taken illegal, discriminatory steps on trade with Ukraine. While the Commonwealth positioned itself as an active fighter against terrorism and extremism, it had failed to respond to the actions of the Russian Federation - one of its most influential members – which controlled, financed and directed illegal armed groups in certain parts of Ukraine.

Jordan’s representative said the text on cooperation between the United Nations and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) confirmed the latter’s neutral and non-politicized role in combating organized and transnational crime, human trafficking and the illicit trade of small arms as well as the critical work of both organizations in combating terrorism and exchanging information. Jordan’s public security directory, in cooperation with INTERPOL, would launch a border security project in the next few days. Member States had a responsibility to enhance the complementarity between the two organizations to combat organized crime and terrorism, which impeded sustainable development.

The Assembly also heard from representatives of other regional intergovernmental organizations that participated in its work as observers, among them Rashid Alimov, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, who said that synergies of multifaceted cooperation between his organization and the United Nations would help solve the most urgent contemporary problems. “Consolidating and developing effective connections between the United Nations and regional organizations does not only facilitate development of the regional structures, but to a great extent strengthens the United Nations itself,” he added, prior to the Assembly’s adoption of a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and his organization.

The Assembly also adopted texts on cooperation between the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, Economic Cooperation Organization, Central European Initiative, Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization and the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM.

In other business, the Assembly, acting on the recommendation of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), reappointed Maria Gracia Pulido-Tan (Philippines) as a member of the Independent Audit Advisory Committee for a three-year term of office beginning on 1 January 2017 and Eileen Cronin (United States) as a member of the Joint Inspection Unit for a full five-year term of office beginning on 1 January 2017. The latter post was vacated following the resignation of George Bartsiotas (United States).

Also speaking today were the representatives of Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Iran, Estonia, Serbia, Rwanda, Brazil, Thailand, India, Singapore, Spain, Argentina, Switzerland, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Cyprus.

Representatives of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries, Council of Europe, INTERPOL, Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, League of Arab States and the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization also spoke.
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