101st Plenary Meeting of General Assembly 73rd Session

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25-Jul-2019 01:44:24
General Assembly, adopting 5 texts, establishes 2021 International Year for Ending Child Labour, promotes cooperation between United Nations, regional organizations at 101st meeting.

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The General Assembly today adopted five resolutions, establishing an international year to end child labour, fostering cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, and promoting a culture of peace.

Declaring 2021 the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour, the Assembly invited all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, other international and regional organizations and civil society, including non‑governmental organizations (NGOs), individuals and other relevant stakeholders, to observe the International Year, as appropriate, through activities aimed at raising awareness of the importance of the eradicating child labour, and to share best practices in this regard.

Two drafts focused on cooperation between the United Nations and partner organizations. The first text — on cooperation with the Economic Cooperation Organization — was adopted by a recorded vote of 134 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 3 abstentions (Armenia, Brazil, Papua New Guinea). By its terms, the Assembly encouraged all the relevant international financial and specialized institutions, taking into account the key role played by the railway and road networks of the region as land bridges between Asia and Europe, to consider participating in the implementation of the decision of the Ministers for Transport of the Economic Cooperation Organization at their ninth meeting. Such decisions focus on addressing investment gaps in the transport infrastructure networks and the need for mobilization of concessional financial resources for supporting regional transport corridors and connectivity in the Organization region.

The Assembly also invited the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Trade Centre to develop strategies for the member States of the Economic Cooperation Organization for trade liberalization and the promotion of foreign direct investment to facilitate the global and regional integration of their economies.

The United States representative, explaining his delegation’s request for a recorded vote, said his country has deep concerns about potential United Nations collaboration with the Economic Cooperation Organization because of Iran’s role as its Chair and host. As Iran has a clear track record of undermining regional security and has destabilized its neighbours, it must be held accountable, he said, asking Member States to vote against the text.

Finland’s representative, speaking on behalf of the European Union, expressed support for the resolution and encouraged closer cooperation. Regarding the text’s references to the Baku Declaration, he said such language is without any endorsement of resolutions or decisions adopted by the European economic fora. The provisions of the Baku Declaration related to Cyprus are not consistent with existing Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, he said, urging the Economic Cooperation Organization to refrain from adoption positions that may undermine international law and the United Nations Charter.

In another text concerning partner organizations, the Assembly invited increased cooperation and coordination among the specialized agencies and programmes of the United Nations system and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, as well as the development of their direct contacts in areas of mutual interest. It also encouraged both organizations to continue to examine possible ways to further strengthen their interaction in the area of peacekeeping.

The representative of Ukraine, who did not support the text, explained his delegation’s position following the adoption. While expressing support for cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations, he said that, in today’s world, the role of the latter in preventing conflicts is varied. While the African Union has succeeded in its efforts, the Collective Security Treaty Organization has completely failed to address the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine, with members voting against any measures to deal with this aggression. Indeed, it has become the Russian Federation’s policy tool.

The representative of Mexico, spotlighting the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and two of its protocols — related, respectively, to the trafficking of women and children, and the illicit trafficking of migrants by land, sea and air — rejected attempts to equate illegal migration with the trafficking of drugs of weapons. Stressing that those phenomena are separate crimes falling under separate international protocols and require different responses, he disassociated himself from operative paragraph 2 of the resolution which seeks to put illegal migration on the same footing as threats to international peace and security, such as terrorism and drug trafficking.

The Assembly also adopted two draft resolutions without a vote under its agenda item on the culture of peace. In one text, on promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue and tolerance in countering hate speech, the Assembly condemned any advocacy of hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audiovisual or electronic media, social media or any other means. It also called upon Member States to engage with all relevant stakeholders to promote the virtues of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, respect and acceptance of differences, tolerance, peaceful coexistence and cohabitation and respect for human rights, to reject the spread of hate speech, that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence.

The Assembly then adopted a text on promoting a culture of peace with love and conscience, by which it declared 5 April the International Day of Conscience. By the text, the Assembly invited all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as the private sector and civil society, to build such a culture in line with the culture and other appropriate circumstances or customs of their local, national and regional communities, including through quality education and public awareness‑raising activities, thereby fostering sustainable development.

The General Assembly will meet again at a date and time to be determined.

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