Press Releases

    23 May 2002

    General Assembly Invites East Timor to Participate -- Without Vote -- in Sustainable Development Summit, Preparatory Process

    Also Endorses Continued Review of Peacekeeping Operations by Special Political Committee

    NEW YORK, 22 May (UN Headquarters) -- Welcoming the attainment of independence by East Timor on 20 May, the General Assembly this afternoon invited that country to participate as a State in the World Summit on Sustainable Development and its preparatory process.

    By adopting, without a vote, a resolution to that effect, the Assembly stipulated that East Timor would participate in the World Summit without a vote. The Summit will be held from 26 August to 4 September in Johannesburg, South Africa. The fourth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, acting as the preparatory committee for the World Summit, will be held from 26 May to 7 June in Bali, Indonesia.

    Taking note of the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee), the Assembly adopted, also without a vote, the resolution contained therein. By the terms of that text, it decided that the Special Committee should continue its efforts for a comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects. The Special Committee should also review the previous proposals and consider any new proposals so as to enhance the capacity of the United Nations to fulfil its responsibilities in that field.

    The Assembly also endorsed the proposals, recommendations and conclusions of the Special Committee contained in its report A/56/863. [For more background information on that report, see Press Release GA/SPD/230 of 26 April.]

    The Assembly urged Member States, the Secretariat and relevant bodies of the United Nations to take all necessary steps to implement the proposals, recommendations and conclusions of the Special Committee.

    The report was introduced by the Rapporteur of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, Graham Maitland (South Africa).

    In other business, the Assembly appointed Kenshiro Akimoto (Japan) to fill the remaining part of the term of office (that is, until 31 December 2003) of Kazua Watanabe (Japan) in the Committee on Contributions, on the recommendation of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

    The Assembly was informed that the Democratic Republic of the Congo had made the necessary payments to reduce its arrears below the amount specified in Article 19 of the United Nations Charter. [That Article stipulates that a Member of the United Nations which is in arrears of its financial contribution to the Organization exceeding the amount of the contributions due from it for the preceding two full years shall not have a vote in the Assembly.]

    The Assembly will meet again at a date to be announced.

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