Press Releases

    9 September 2002


    NEW YORK, 6 September (UN Headquarters) -- The General Assembly authorized its working group on Security Council reform to continue negotiations as it met this morning to consider a number of items that remained on its agenda.

    In the decision, adopted without a vote, that was contained in the report of the Open-ended Working Group on the Question of the Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council (document A/56/47), the Assembly welcomed the progress so far on a large number of issues but noted that substantial differences remained on other issues.

    Also, the President of the Assembly, Han Seung-Soo (Republic of Korea), announced that Uzbekistan had made the necessary payment to reduce its arrears below the amount specified in Article 19 of the Charter.

    As to other issues, the Assembly decided to defer consideration of the following items and include them on the draft agenda of its fifty-seventh session: Peace, security and reunification on the Korean peninsula; the Question of Cyprus; Improving the financial situation of the United Nations; Financing of the United Nations Mission in East Timor; Financing of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan; Financing and liquidation of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia; Financing of the United Nations Operation in Mozambique; Financing of the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia; Financing of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda; and, Financing of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic.

    The Assembly also included the following items on its next agenda: Strengthening of the United Nations system; and, Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly.

    The Assembly concluded its consideration of the following biennial items, starting with the fifty-sixth session, on its agenda: The situation of democracy and human rights in Haiti; United Nations reform: measures and proposals; and, Restructuring and revitalization of the United Nations in the economic, social and related fields. Also concluded was its consideration of the agenda item on the appointment of members of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal.

    The Assembly will meet next on Monday, 9 September at 3 p.m. to consider the remaining items on its agenda.

    Background on Documents

    The report of the Open-ended Working Group on the Question of the Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council (document A/56/47) notes that the Group was established in 1993 to consider all aspects of the question of increase of the Security Council's membership and other related matters.

    With the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration in September 2000, heads of State and government resolved to intensify efforts to achieve a comprehensive reform of the Council.

    The Working Group, which held four meetings during the fifty-sixth session, concluded its work for the current session in June 2002.

    The Working Group recommended that consideration of the item be continued at the Assembly's fifty-seventh session to build upon work done during previous sessions and to facilitate the process of reaching general agreement.

    By the terms of the draft decision, the Assembly would welcome progress achieved so far in consideration of the issues dealing with the Council's working methods, as provisional agreement has been recorded on a large number of issues. Noting, however, that substantial differences of view remain on other issues, the Assembly would urge the Working Group to continue work during the fifty-seventh session to achieve progress in consideration of the matter.

    Also according to the text, the Assembly would decide that the Question of Equitable Representation on and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council should be considered during the fifty-seventh session. It would further decide that the Working Group should continue its work, taking into account the progress achieved during the forty-eight through the fifty-seventh sessions, as well as views to be expressed during that session, and submit a report to the Assembly before the conclusion of the fifty-seventh session.

    Under the agenda item entitled "Peace, security and reunification on the Korean peninsula", the Assembly had before it a letter from the Permanent Representatives of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea to the Secretary-General (document A/56/1029). In the letter, the Permanent Representatives inform the Secretary-General of their agreement to keep that item on the agenda of the Assembly's fifty-seventh session.

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