73rd Plenary Meeting of General Assembly 72nd Session

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19-Dec-2017 03:06:26
General Assembly adopts 59 Third Committee Draft resolutions, defers action on 4 closely watched texts, amid discord over agreed language at 73rd plenary meeting.

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Acting on the recommendations of its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), the General Assembly adopted 59 resolutions and six decisions today on a range of issues, from women’s rights, terrorism and refugees, to self‑determination and the human rights situations in individual countries.

The Assembly deferred action, however, on some of the more closely‑watched questions, including a draft resolution on the human rights situation in Myanmar, which would have had it request the Secretary‑General to appoint a special envoy on Myanmar and to offer assistance to that Government.

Most of the resolutions adopted today were adopted by consensus and without discussion, whereas they in Committee were subjects of intensive debate, as was the case with a resolution on policies and programmes involving youth. By that text, the Assembly urged States to address gender stereotypes that perpetuated discrimination and violence against girls and young women, notably by encouraging men and boys to take responsibility for their behaviour.

The Assembly’s votes on other texts revealed enduring divisions between Member States, such as on four country‑specific resolutions taking up the rights situations in Syria, Iran, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Assembly deferred action on a fifth such text on human rights in Myanmar to allow time for the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) to review its programme budget implications.

The Assembly adopted without a vote the resolution on the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, yet several countries took care to disassociate themselves with that outcome. Pyongyang’s representative called the text a product of the political and military confrontation, plot and conspiracy pursued by the United States and other hostile forces against his country. Calling for sincere dialogue and cooperation to resolve outstanding issues, he said his country would not call for a vote on the text, “which is not worth consideration”. Instead, he called on delegates to oppose the text’s adoption by disassociating from consensus.

As in the Committee, Sudan’s representative took issue with resolutions mentioning the International Criminal Court, proposing oral amendments to remove those references. The General Assembly, by subsequent recorded votes, overwhelmingly rejected all three attempts at deletion, retaining the references to the International Criminal Court in resolutions on torture and on assistance to internally displaced people.

Also speaking today were the representatives of Denmark, Norway, Mexico, Estonia, Iran, China, Syria, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Cuba, Venezuela and Indonesia.

Speaking in exercise of the right to reply were representatives of Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Syria.

The General Assembly will reconvene at a date and time to be announced.
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