31st Plenary Meeting - General Assembly 75th Session

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23-Nov-2020 00:34:22
Adopting 10 resolutions on cooperation with regional groups, General Assembly fills subsidiary body vacancies, re-elects High Commissioner for Refugees.

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The General Assembly adopted 10 resolutions today promoting cooperation between the United Nations and a host of regional and international organizations, and re‑elected Filippo Grandi (Italy) as High Commissioner for Refugees until 30 June 2023.

Acting on the recommendations of its Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) and of the Secretary‑General, the Assembly also filled vacancies in several of its subsidiary bodies and postponed the United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities to early 2021 due to the COVID‑19 pandemic.

In a note to the Assembly (document A/75/338), the Secretary‑General said he had intended to request that Member States elect Mr. Grandi for a further five‑year term. He added, however, that the High Commissioner was agreeable, owing to personal reasons, to a shorter term of two and a half years.

The Assembly first elected Mr. Grandi, a former Commissioner‑General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), on 18 November 2015 for a five‑year term, succeeding António Guterres, the current Secretary‑General of the United Nations. (For details, see Press Release GA/11726.)

In other business, the Assembly took up the Secretary‑General’s report on cooperation between the United Nations and 26 regional and other organizations (document A/75/345) and his notes on cooperation between the Organization and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (document A/75/128) and on the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear‑Test‑Ban Treaty Organization (document A/75/153).

The 10 draft resolutions, adopted by consensus, highlighted the Organization’s cooperation with such bodies as the Council of Europe, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

Ukraine’s representative, in an explanation of position, disassociated his delegation from a resolution on United Nations cooperation with the Commonwealth of Independent States, which he said encourages members to violate international law. He also disassociated himself with part of a resolution on the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, asking that body to correct a map on its website that depicts Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.

Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear‑Test‑Ban Treaty Organization, introduced its annual report. Welcoming the entry into force in January 2021 of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, he said the instrument has elevated and widened a discussion on atomic bombs that has not been seen in years. He hoped that the renewed focus on nuclear threats will lead to progress on the entry into force of the Test‑Ban Treaty, adopted by the Assembly in 1996, which has so far been signed by 184 nations, but unable to enter into force until it is ratified by eight of its Annex 2 States.

At the meeting’s outset, the Assembly filled vacancies in: Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions; Committee on Contributions; Investments Committee; Independent Audit Advisory Committee; United Nations Staff Pension Committee; International Civil Service Commission; Committee for Programme and Coordination; and the Committee on Conferences. In addition, it requested Mexico and the United States to recommend candidates for appointment to the Joint Inspection Unit.

Delivering statements today were representatives of Montenegro, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Norway, Mauritania, Romania, Algeria, Viet Nam, United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Singapore, Argentina and Malaysia.

Observers for INTERPOL and the League of Arab States also spoke.

Representatives of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Cyprus and Armenia spoke in exercise of the right of reply.

The Assembly will reconvene on Tuesday, 1 December, at 10 a.m. to consider, among other things, the Secretary‑General’s report on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. It will also hold a commemoration for victims of the Second World War, which ended 75 years ago.

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