4 October 2001


Committee Adopts Agenda, Defers Election of Officers

NEW YORK, 3 October (UN Headquarters) -- The Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) adopted its agenda and approved its programme of work and timetable for the fifty-sixth General Assembly session this morning. It deferred the election of its Bureau, as consultations on the posts of the three Vice-Chairpersons and the Rapporteur had not yet been completed.

Committee Chairman Hasmy Agam of Malaysia began by expressing condolences to the host country following the recent terrorist attacks, as well as to families of the victims who, he noted, came from scores of countries around the world. A minute of silence was observed.

According to the work programme approved this morning (document A/C.4/56/L.1), the Committee will consider issues relating to implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (item 18) from 8 to 16 October.

Those issues include information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the United Nations Charter (item 91); and economic and other activities affecting the interests of the peoples of the Territories (item 92). Others are implementation of the decolonization Declaration by United Nations specialized agencies and associated international institutions (item 93); report of the Economic and Social Council (item 12); and offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories (item 94).

The Committee is expected to examine effects of atomic radiation (item 85) from 17 to 19 October and international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space (item 86) from 22 to 26 October. It will take up the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (item 87) on 29 October, and 1 to 2 November. On 5, 8 and 9 November it will consider the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (item 88).

On 12 and 13 November, the Committee will begin considering questions relating to information (item 90) and from 13 to 16 November it will take up the comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects (item 89).

Speaking this morning, the representatives of Egypt, Syria and Zambia as well as the Observer for Palestine expressed concern over gaps in the scheduling of some agenda items.

Mr. Hasmy, Committee Chairman, took note of the their remarks and said efforts would be made to rearrange the timetable as far as was possible.

The Fourth Committee will meet again at 3 p.m. on Monday, 8 October, to take up issues relating to implementation of the decolonization Declaration.

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