8 November 2001


NEW YORK, 7 November (UN Headquarters) -- The General Committee of the General Assembly this morning recommended to the Assembly that the report of the Economic and Social Council, as a whole, be considered directly in plenary meeting.

It did so with the understanding that the Second (Economic and Financial), Third (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) and Fifth (Administrative and Budgetary) Committees would remain seized of the report's chapters already allocated to them for their usual consideration.

The recommendation came as a result of a letter dated 26 October from the President of the Economic and Social Council to the Assembly's President (document A/56/517), in which he wrote that, unlike to the reports of the other principal organs, the Assembly had not devoted adequate attention to the Economic and Social Council's report. He pointed out that the Economic and Social Council had, in recent years, made substantial progress in strengthening the importance of its work under the Charter. It would be appropriate if the Assembly considered the whole report of the Council in its plenary and requested reasonable time for introduction and consideration of the report.

The representative of Portugal said that as the Millennium Declaration had recognized the importance of the Economic and Social Council, and as a more thorough discussion in the plenary could strengthen that important organ, he strongly supported the proposal.

The General Committee also recommended to the Assembly that agenda item 169, "Administration of justice at the United Nations", be allocated to the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary), on the understanding that any decision requiring amending the statute of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal or relating to the establishment of a higher level jurisdiction would be subject to the advice of the Sixth Committee (Legal).

The General Committee also took note of a request by the representative of India to consider allocating agenda item 21(f), "Cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union", to the Sixth Committee.

The General Committee will meet again at a date to be announced. The Assembly will consider the Committee's report at 3 p.m. Friday, 9 November.

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