72nd Plenary Meeting of General Assembly: 50th Session - Part 1

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28-Nov-1995 01:25:30
General Assembly resolution encourages use of `White Helmets' in emergency relief and rehabilitation at the 72nd plenary meeting of the 50th session.

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The General Assembly this afternoon encouraged voluntary actions aimed at making national volunteer corps, the "White Helmets", available to the United Nations system on a stand-by basis for emergency relief and rehabilitation, by the terms of a resolution adopted without a vote.

The Assembly also encouraged the Department of Humanitarian Affairs to make use of the While Helmets and other United Nations Volunteers. Further, the Assembly recognized the operational role of the United Nations Volunteers in the selection, training, deployment and effective utilization of the White Helmets. Finally, it called upon countries in a position to do so to contribute to such activities through the distinct window created for that purpose within the Special Voluntary Fund of the United Nations Volunteers.

Also this afternoon, the discussion began on the Security Council's annual report to the Assembly. Many of this afternoon's speakers said improvement was still needed regarding the transparency of Council deliberations and several expressed their lack of satisfaction with the report. For example, the representative of Malaysia said the report was a mere compendium of meetings and decisions. It would have been ideal to have received an analytical and substantive report, for instance in the format of the report of the Secretary-General on the work of the Organization, he said.

The representative of Brazil said the bulk of the Council's activity was more and more concentrated in informal meetings, "the contents of which only reach the general membership through voluntary briefings by delegations or by the President of the Council". The fact that legally binding decisions, such as those to extend sanctions regimes, were taken in informal consultations remained an anomaly, he said.

More positively, the representative of Japan said the flow of information and exchange of ideas with Member States had improved, and the more frequent formal meetings, orientation discussions and presidential briefings were extremely helpful.

The representative of the United Kingdom said that to make its working more transparent, the sanctions Committees of the Security Council would increase the practice of issuing press releases after meetings. A list of all other decisions by each active committee would be prepared by the Secretariat on a regular basis, available to any delegation that requested it. And an annual report of the Council would be prepared by each committee.

The Security Council report was introduced by the representative of Oman, speaking in his capacity as President of the Council. Statements were also made by the representatives of Ukraine, Indonesia, Austria, Malaysia, China, Algeria and Germany.

Statements on the White Helmets resolution and on related humanitarian issues before the Assembly were made by the representatives of Madagascar, Tunisia, Ethiopia, and the observers of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

The Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. Wednesday, 29 November, to continue consideration of the report of the Security Council.

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