GENERAL ASSEMBLY IS TOLD OF GROWING IMPORTANCE
Delegates Laud Unity of Approach on Promotion of Peace, Economic
NEW YORK, 20 November (UN Headquarters) -- During the course of two meetings today, delegations in the General Assembly emphasized the ever-growing importance of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations for realizing common objectives such as economic growth, poverty reduction, sustainable development, combating terrorism and the promotion of peace and stability.
Cooperation between the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), for example, would contribute to economic growth and sustainable development in the region in order to maximize the benefits of globalization, while reducing its negative effects, as stated by the representative of Cambodia.
Given the cultural, historical and geographic diversity of the Pacific Islands region, stated Fiji's representative, regional cooperation was the key for its inhabitants to attain wider economic and social viability in today’s world. The region was linked through its network of organizations in which Member States worked together on diverse issues such as peace and security, environmental protection, aviation law, education and information and communication technologies.
Iran's representative called for increased assistance from the United Nations system to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, especially technical assistance, and pointed to problems linked to "Islamophobia", as one area for such enhanced cooperation. Action through United Nations channels could have a positive effect to counter such xenophobia, he said.
Emphasizing the importance of strengthened parliamentary involvement in the issues and processes within the United Nations, Norway's representative supported the adoption of the draft resolution inviting the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to participate in the sessions and work of the Assembly as an observer, and allowing the circulation of official IPU documents therein.
While the international community had called for cooperation with the new African Union and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), Algeria's representative favoured waiting for the structure of the new organization to be developed before proceeding to the evaluation of cooperation planned for 2002. The United Nations should play a part in strengthening the institutional capacity of and mobilizing support for NEPAD.
He added that African contingents were increasingly involved in United Nations peacekeeping missions, which pointed to the path for fruitful cooperation in the future, particularly in the area of conflict prevention and settlement. Yet, for such cooperation to be successful, responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security could not be simply transferred to African countries.
Also this morning, the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization and the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons presented the reports of their respective bodies.
The following delegations introduced draft resolutions, the main thrust of which were to intensify cooperation between the United Nations and various organizations: Armenia, Cambodia, Fiji, Turkey, Malta, Uruguay, Republic of Congo, Jamaica, Sudan, Lebanon, Angola, Netherlands, Chile, South Africa, Romania and Nigeria.
Statements were also made by the representatives of Denmark (on behalf of the European Union), Malaysia, Egypt, India, Bangladesh, Senegal, Switzerland, Mauritius, China, Portugal, Mongolia, Venezuela, Brazil, Chad and Indonesia.
In addition, the representatives of Israel and Egypt exercised their right of reply.
At the outset of the meeting, the Assembly President Jan Kavan (Czech Republic) delivered a message on the occasion of Africa Industrialization Day, highlighting the importance of harnessing information and communication technology in for rapid economic development. The tools of such technology, he noted, facilitated human development, accelerated inter-African trade and improved access to markets, thereby helping to achieve the objectives envisioned in the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.
The Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 21 November, to continue its consideration of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations.
The General Assembly met this morning to consider cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations. It had before it a series of Secretary-General's reports and several draft resolutions.
The report reviewing the activities of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (document A/57/122) focuses on its relations with the United Nations system in the biennium 2000-2001 against the backdrop of initiatives and programmes commenced in earlier years of cooperation between the two entities. In particular, it addresses the various initiatives and programmes on different aspects of international law as well as on economic, social and environmental matters undertaken towards strengthening the role of the United Nations and its organs.
A draft resolution (document A/57/L.18) would have the Assembly recommend that, with a view to promoting close interaction between the Consultative Organization and the Sixth Committee, the consideration of the item entitled "cooperation between the United Nations and the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization" be scheduled to coincide with the deliberations of the Committee on the work of the International Law Commission.
The report concerning the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (document A/57/87) provides a brief update of the status of the cooperative relationship between it and various United Nations organizations during 2001 and 2002. United Nations organizations, notably the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), have entered into formal cooperation agreements with it and initiated joint programmes pertaining to fields of common interest. It was recommended that such cooperation be continued and strengthened.
A draft resolution (document A/57/L.11) would have the Assembly invite the United Nations Secretary-General to continue to consult with the Secretary-General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization with a view to promoting cooperation and coordination between the two secretariats.
In addition to regular liaison activities between the Department of Political Affairs and the secretariat of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), many parts of the United Nations system collaborate extensively and regularly exchange information with CARICOM and its constituent parts. The report (document A/57/254) contains details on some of these linkages.
A draft resolution (document A/57/L.26) would have the Assembly, among other things, recommend that the third general meeting between representatives of CARICOM and its associated institutions and of the United Nations system be held in New York in March 2003 to review and appraise progress in the implementation of the agreed areas and issues and to hold consultations on such additional measures and procedures as may be required to facilitate and strengthen cooperation between the two organizations.
The long-standing cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe has continued to improve at all levels. The report (document A/57/225) identifies efforts made to develop practical cooperation at the working level, in the field, and in the areas of conflict prevention, peace-building, human rights and laws, development, the promotion of democracy, and prevention of terrorism, as well as overall cooperation between various Council of Europe and United Nations bodies and in their respective competencies. In order to report more fully on concrete cooperation measures, the Secretary-General believes he should report to the Assembly on such cooperation every other year.
A draft resolution (document A/57/L.23) would have the Assembly, among other things, commend strongly the contribution of the Council to the international action against terrorism, welcome the work of the Council’s Multidisciplinary Group on International Action against Terrorism aimed at, among other, strengthening legal cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and in this context welcome the approval of the content of the Draft Protocol amending the European Convention on Suppression of Terrorism (1977) by the Committee of Ministers at its 111th session.
The United Nations has remained committed to assisting the Economic Community of Central African States (document A/57/266) achieve its goals of promoting sustainable peace and development. To that end, various parts of the United Nations system have been cooperating closely with Economic Community members in several areas, including to promote confidence-building measures, peace, reconstruction and development both within individual member States and at the subregional level. This synergy for peace and development between the Economic Community and the United Nations is certain to continue to grow as Central African States strive, in cooperation with the United Nations, to move away from conflict towards durable peace and development.
A draft resolution (document A/57/L.25) would have the Assembly urge the international community and the United Nations agencies to continue to provide those countries of the Economic Community in which a process of national reconstruction is taking place with appropriate assistance to consolidate their efforts towards democratization and the consolidation of the rule of law and to support their national development programmes. It would also urge the United Nations and the international community to help strengthen the existing means in the region to ensure that the Economic Community has the necessary capacity regarding prevention, monitoring, early warning and peacekeeping operations.
Another report (document A/57/119) provides a brief update on the status of the cooperative relationship between the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and various United Nations organizations during 2001 and 2002. It is recommended that various specialized agencies and other organizations and programmes of the United Nations system and relevant international financial institutions join in their efforts towards implementation of economic programmes and projects of the ECO.
A related draft resolution (document A/57/L.22) would have the Assembly invite the United Nations system, its relevant bodies and the international community to continue to provide technical assistance, as appropriate, to the States members of the ECO and to its secretariat in strengthening their early warning systems, preparedness and capacity for timely response and rehabilitation, with a view to reducing human casualties and mitigating the socio-economic impact in case of natural disasters, including earthquakes, famines and floods.
Cooperation between the United Nations and the International Organization of la Francophonie (document A/57/358) was further strengthened since the submission of the last report. The current report reviews the main initiatives and activities undertaken by the United Nations system and the Organization in the context of their cooperation on preventive diplomacy, peacemaking and peace-building and in the promotion of economic, social and cultural development.
A draft resolution (document A/57/L.29) would have the Assembly recommend to the United Nations and the International Organization of la Francophonie that they should continued and intensify their consultations with a view to ensuring greater coordination in the areas of conflict prevention, peace-building, support for the rule of law and democracy and the promotion of human rights.
The report on cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) (document A/57/375) details the growing cooperation between the two organizations in bringing a parliamentary dimension to the work of the United Nations, including in the areas of peace and security, economic and social development, international law and human rights, democracy and gender issues. The Secretary-General welcomes the growing cooperation between the two organizations and hopes that current discussions on the IPU's status in the Assembly would bear fruit during the current session.
During the period under review, nine organizations maintained various levels of cooperation with the Latin American Economic System (SELA) (document A/57/128), including in information exchanges, reciprocal attendance at meetings, financial contributions to activities carried out by SELA and joint execution of activities. The evolution of ongoing activities, together with the implementation of new mandates and/or new regional strategies by several organizations, appears to indicate that the level of cooperation with SELA could be maintained or increased in the coming years.
A related draft resolution (document A/57/L.24) would have the Assembly urge the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean to continue deepening its coordination and mutual support activities with the Latin American Economic System. It would also urge the specialized agencies and other organizations, funds and programmes of the United Nations system to continue to intensify their support for, and cooperation in the activities of, the System.
The annual report of the Secretary-General (document A/57/386) summarizes the areas of cooperation between the United Nations system and the League of Arab States, including their respective specialized agencies and programmes, for the period from July 2001 to August 2002. Highlights include the visit of the Secretary-General to the Summit Meeting of the League held in Beirut in March, as well as the convening of a sectoral meeting between the two organizations in Cairo in June on the topic of the use of information technology in development.
A note by the Secretary-General on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) (document A/57/576) relays the submission of the report of the OPCW on the implementation of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction for the year 2001.
A draft resolution (document A/57/L.31) would have the Assembly take note of the annual report for 2001 of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Special efforts have been made to improve consultation and cooperation in the field and between the Headquarters of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) (document A/57/217). These steps have resulted in enhanced coordination, with the aim of making better use of the resources of the international community in the interests of the countries being assisted. Currently, the United Nations retains the lead in efforts in Abkhazia, Georgia, and in Tajikistan, while the OSCE has the lead in the Republic of Moldova, South Ossetia, Georgia, and in the resolution of the conflict in and around the Nagorny Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. The United Nations and the OSCE should continue to practice a division of labour based on the comparative advantages of the two organizations.
According to the Secretary-General’s report (A/57/351), the year under review witnessed the final transformation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) into the African Union, as of 10 July. The coming into force of the Union should call for a complete review of the programme of cooperation between the two organizations. Such a review would be best conducted only after its governing bodies had agreed to the structure and functions of the new organization.
The United Nations, the report continues, stands ready to work with the Union in the development of its new structure and programmes and in the implementation of its new agenda, including the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the Conference on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation in Africa. The full integration of the regional economic community into the new Union should also call for a rationalization and the streamlining of the programmes of cooperation between the United Nations and some of the subregional groupings.
The Department of Political Affairs is the focal point for cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS). In addition to regular liaison activities between the Department and the OAS secretariat, many parts of the United Nations system collaborate extensively and regularly exchange information with OAS and its constituent parts. The report (document A/57/267) contains details on some of these linkages.
The report on cooperation with the Organization of the Islamic Conference (document A/57/405) highlights the convening of the general meeting between the United Nations system and the Organization and its specialized institutions held in Vienna in July. Such pressing issues as combating terrorism and the situations in Afghanistan and the Middle East were regularly addressed. The two organizations also sought to better coordinate their efforts in conflict prevention and peacemaking.
A draft resolution (document A/57/L.28) would have the Assembly urge the United Nations and other organizations of the United Nations system, especially the lead agencies, to provide increased technical and other forms of assistance to the Organization of the Islamic Conference and its subsidiary organs and specialized and affiliated institutions to enhance cooperation.
This year is the first time that a report on cooperation with the Pacific Islands Forum has been submitted (document A/57/475). It describes cooperation in the areas of conflict prevention, peace and security. This cooperation is aimed at assisting the efforts by the Forum and its member States to address the existing and new security threats in the region. It also presents an account of various activities pursued by the specialized agencies and other organizations and programmes of the United Nations system with the Forum on economic, social, environmental and other issues.
The view is expressed that there is considerable scope for broadening and deepening cooperation in such areas as good governance, human and indigenous rights, support of democratic processes and the rule of law in the region. As far as conflict prevention and peace-building is concerned, it is considered that joint assessment missions, election and peace monitoring, as well as training, should be explored. It is also recommended that both secretariats develop their contacts along more structured, regular and transparent lines.
A draft resolution (document A/57/L.21) would have the Assembly urge specialized agencies and other organizations and programmes of the United Nations system to cooperate with the Secretary-General to initiate, maintain and increase consultations and programmes with the Pacific Islands Forum and its associated institutions in the attainment of their objectives. It would also call on the relevant United Nations bodies, in consultation with the Forum, to implement the framework for cooperation in peace-building adopted at the fourth high-level meeting between the United Nations and regional organizations in 2001 by developing long-term peace-building programmes to address the security threats in the Pacific Islands Forum region.
A note by the Secretary-General on cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (document A/57/255) relays the submission of the report of the Executive Secretary of the Commission covering the year 2001.
A draft resolution (document A/57/L.40) would have the Assembly take note of both the Secretary-General's note and the report of the Executive Secretary.
According to the reports on cooperation with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) (document A/57/94 and Add.1), since the end of apartheid the international community, particularly the United Nations, have supported SADC efforts to promote sustainable development and regional integration in a broad spectrum of economic and social areas. Relevant United Nations departments have taken steps to initiate and strengthen cooperation with the SADC and its member States in the areas of conflict prevention, conflict resolution, peacekeeping and peace-building. The United Nations stands ready to increase its cooperation with the SADC in these and related areas.
A related draft resolution (document A/57/L.30) would have the Assembly, among other things, call on the international community to continue to support the measures taken by the Community in addressing HIV/AIDS, including commitments and proposals for key future actions on the outcome of the special session of the Assembly on HIV/AIDS. It would also call on the international community, particularly the United Nations, to continue to contribute to the promotion of peace and stability in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and to assist in the rehabilitation and economic reconstruction of that country.
Before the Assembly is a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (document A/57/L.16), by which the Assembly would decide to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-ninth session the sub-item entitled "Cooperation between the United Nations and the Association of South-East Asian Nations" and request the Secretary-General to submit a report on implementation of the present resolution at that session. The Assembly would also encourage both the Association and the United Nations to increase contacts and to further identify areas of cooperation, as appropriate.
Africa Industrialization Day
JAN KAVAN (Czech Republic), President of the Assembly, said that today the United Nations family observed Africa Industrialization Day with a collective spirit of promoting the development of the African continent. It was worth noting that 30 of the world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs) were located in Africa. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) had just launched their recent industrialization report, which highlighted the fact that basic industry and manufacturing industry were indispensable for economic growth.
Harnessing information and communication technology would be key for rapid economic development, he said. The theme for this year’s Africa Industrialization Day was the new information and communication technologies (ICT) for development. The ICT tools facilitated human development, accelerated inter-African trade and improved access to markets. They would help achieve the objectives envisioned in NEPAD. Today was a day to renew the commitment by all parties, including the African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), to the sustainable development of Africa.
Statements on Cooperation
WOLFGANG HOFFMANN, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), presented its report. He said that the Preparatory Commission was established six years ago to carry out the necessary preparations for the effective implementation of the CTBT, and to prepare for the first session of the Conference of the States Parties. The main activity of the Commission and its Provisional Technical Secretariat during the last years was the establishment of the verification regime to monitor Treaty compliance.
The Commission, he continued, organized training programmes and workshops in support of States signatories in the enhancement of national technical capability for the implementation of the Treaty. Those included data analysis, storage and management, on-site inspection technologies and workshops for global communications infrastructure. In addition, it promoted international cooperation among States signatories for them to participate in the fullest possible exchange relating to those verification technologies and the establishment and operation of national data centres.
He said that the Commission and the Agency for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL), which shared the same objective of enhancing international peace and security, had concluded a relationship agreement in Vienna on 18 September. That was the first agreement concluded between the Commission and a regional nuclear-weapon-free zone organization. It would be of great significance for the Assembly to be kept abreast of the rapid development of the Commission on a closer basis.
Since the cooperation agenda item would now be considered biannual, he would look for alternative ways to inform the Assembly about the outcome of the next conference on facilitating the entry into force of the CTBT, to be held in 2003.
ROGELIO PFIRTER, Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said the OPCW was determined to work jointly with the United Nations to achieve effective coordination in the areas where the United Nations Charter and the OPCW Convention could converge to the benefit of disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The OPCW verified the destruction of existing arsenals of chemical weapons, monitored the chemical industry and trade-related activities in listed chemicals, and assisted Member States in reinforcing or creating their own protective capacities, he said. In case of attack or threat of attack with chemical weapons, the organization would stand beside those in need. In that sense, the Chemical Weapons Convention stood as an example of what could be achieved when the political will to tackle questions of global concern through internationally agreed instruments existed.
The work of the organization was technologically and scientifically demanding, he continued, as some of the listed chemicals dealt with had legitimate civilian applications or fell under the label "dual use". For that reason, the Technical Secretariat had to be in a position to uphold the core provisions of the Convention, in the face of the breathtaking pace of progress. Universality of the Convention was important. Some States outside the purview of the Convention were of clear proliferation concern, while for others the overall security scenario prevailing in their region could be a determining, and possibly deterring, factor. In a few months, the first Review Conference would be conducted; its principal purpose would be to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Convention from the legal and technical standpoint. The widest participation from all Member States at the highest possible level was expected.
MOVSES ABELIAN (Armenia) introduced the draft resolution entitled "Cooperation between the United Nations and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation" on behalf of the 11 member States of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC), said that the adoption of the BSEC Charter in 1998 and the transformation into a regional organization in 1999 were key qualitative steps forward in ensuring its role as an important tool for regional cooperation. Granting the organization observer status in the United Nations in 1999 provided it an international legal identity and was a further positive spur to continue pursuing its goals and principles.
He said within that period the BSEC had gained tremendous institutional growth and had successfully completed its formative stage. Creation of a system of related bodies and subsidiary organs had ensured its transformation into a full-fledged international organization, as well as enhanced its effectiveness. All those merits, he noted, proved the viability of the organization, which had become a promising and important institution in the social and economic growth of the concerned countries, reinforcing mutual confidence through cooperation and facilitating their integration with the European structures.
He said the draft resolution before the Assembly was comprehensive and result-oriented and it also incorporated and reflected the major goals, principles and objectives laid down in the BSEC Charter and Declarations adopted at its meetings in 1999 and 2002. It emphasized the strengthening of regional cooperation in various fields and also attached great importance to the enhancement of relations with the European Union and the United Nations system. Further, the draft resolution encouraged the cooperation between the BSEC and other regional organizations and initiatives.
OUCH BORITH (Cambodia), speaking on behalf of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), introduced the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and that body (document A/57/L.16). On 29 July, on the occasion of the thirty-fifth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Brunei Darussalam, ASEAN foreign ministers agreed on the need for enhancing cooperation with the United Nations as a pre-eminent multilateral institution. It was as a follow-up to that declaration that ASEAN was proposing the resolution calling for closer cooperation between the two bodies. Such cooperation was vital to the realization of the basic objectives of ASEAN, which included accelerating economic growth, social progress and cultural development of the region, as well as the promotion of peace and stability.
He said that cooperation between the two bodies would contribute to economic growth and sustainable development in the region in order to maximize the benefits of globalization, while reducing its negative effects. The ASEAN had just successfully concluded its eighth Summit in Phnom Penh, followed by the sixth ASEAN plus three Summits with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea and a separate ASEAN-India Summit. China signed a framework agreement for a free-trade pact with ASEAN, as well as a declaration on the conduct of parties in the South China Sea. Japan concluded an agreement focusing on human resources and investment, with the possibility for a free-trade deal in the future. India offered to negotiate a free-trade area with ASEAN at its very first summit-level meeting with the group.
In the area of peace and security, the Phnom Penh Summit focused on strengthening cooperation to combat terrorism in the wake of the 11 September attacks and the recent attack in Bali, he said. It adopted a Declaration on Terrorism, which expressed the determination of ASEAN to build on measures announced last year in the Declaration on Joint Action to Counter Terrorism to intensify its efforts to prevent, counter and suppress terrorist activities in the region, while urging the international community to support its efforts. Also, ASEAN and the United States signed a Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat International Terrorism. At the same time, ASEAN believed the United Nations was the appropriate forum for international cooperation and, therefore, cooperated, both individually and collectively, with the Counter-Terrorism Committee.
AMRAIYA NAIDU (Fiji), speaking on behalf of the Pacific Islands Forum Group and introducing the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum Group (document A/57/L.21), said that given the cultural, historical and geographic diversity of this region, regional cooperation was the key for its inhabitants to attain wider economic and social viability in today’s world. The region was linked through its network of organizations in which Member States worked together on diverse issues such as peace and security, environmental protection, aviation law, education, information and communication technologies and health.
As the Forum celebrated three decades as the principal multilateral body in the Pacific, its members’ demands and those of the international community had increased, he said. At present, the Forum enjoyed a special relationship with the United Nations through its observer status in the General Assembly and through the strong presence of a number of United Nations funds and programmes operating in the area. The United Nations had provided meaningful assistance in peace-building, peace monitoring and election monitoring.
The United Nations’ specialized agencies and other bilateral partners should work to enhance the coordination of United Nations-related activities in the Pacific, he added. Thus, the recommendation that consultations be undertaken to explore opportunities for further, gainful cooperation was welcomed. Additional co-sponsors of the draft resolution included Chile, Cuba, Greece, Israel, Kiribati, Kuwait, Malaysia, Philippines, Sudan and Thailand.
ALTAY CENGİZER (Turkey), introducing the draft resolution entitled cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) (document A/57/L.22), said that the resolution was designed to further promote the existing cooperation between the United Nations and the ECO and that Turkey, as the organization’s chair for the next two years, would endeavour to achieve that goal.
Among the new member States of the ECO, Afghanistan deserved special attention and Turkey was keen to see that the organization made a concrete contribution to that country’s reconstruction efforts. Towards that end, the ECO was preparing a plan of action based on the proposals of its members, to be forwarded to relevant regional and international organizations in order to raise additional funds for proposed reconstruction projects. He said the ECO had the potential to initiate reconstruction projects for Afghanistan, particularly in those areas where it had accumulated experience. Additionally, contributions by United Nations Member States to the ECO Fund would greatly facilitate efforts in that regard and further cooperation with the United Nations would help it reach its goals.
WALTER BALZAN (Malta) introduced the draft resolution on cooperation with the Council of Europe (document A/57/L.23), describing the Council as "a beacon of hope and a benchmark for human rights". He said that his country's objective as it assumed chairmanship of the Council was to concentrate on two goals. The first would be to pursue the process of political unification of greater Europe, based on the cooperation structures made available by the Council of Europe, and interact with "the major partners" on the European scene. The second would be stronger efforts to strengthen the social and cultural dimensions of European integration on a continent-wide scale.
Regarding the fight against terrorism, he said that a strong Europe in a better-organized international community was increasingly important. He commended the Security Council’s recent adoption of the "guidelines" to help Member States "safeguard fundamental values" in addressing terrorism. He also said, in the context of globalization, the United Nations and Europe must exchange information and seek further coordination in their work, while encouraging the streamlining of activities to ensure the proper use of resources.
He added that the following countries had joined as co-sponsors to the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Council of Europe: Belgium, Colombia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Germany, Greece, Norway, Russian Federation, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Yugoslavia.
The Secretariat announced a correction to operative paragraph 16 of the text, which should now read: "Commends the role of the Council of Europe with regard to the electoral process in Kosovo, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in preparation for the municipal elections on 26 October 2002."
FELIPE PAOLILLO (Uruguay), on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States, introduced the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Latin American Economic System (SELA) (document A/57/L.24). The draft was based on the most recent report of the Secretary-General on the subject, which clearly demonstrated that since the signing of the agreement between the United Nations and SELA in 1991, cooperation between the two entities had evolved and expanded in a satisfactory manner for both parties. The Secretary-General had stated that cooperation had evolved and had become more diversified. That diversification demonstrated that regional affairs were closely interlinked and coordination was required in increasingly complex areas.
BASILE IKOUEBE (Republic of the Congo), speaking on behalf of the Economic Community of Central African States and introducing the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and that organization (document A/57/L.25), said that a new context had emerged for the draft resolution before the Assembly. First, the Security Council had held a public session on strengthening cooperation between the United Nations and Central Africa for the maintenance of peace and security. Second, Africa had undertaken a regional development effort in elaborating NEPAD. With the gradual return of peace to most States in the subregion, Central Africa had to try to live up to its potential and play a major, positive role in international affairs.
The Central African region had suffered from armed conflicts, destabilization, insecurity, and increased poverty for years, he said. But now, glimmers of hope had appeared on the horizon. African heads of State had gathered the political will to launch a new process for regional development, while parties to conflict were finally ready to give peace, reconstruction and development a chance. The report of the Secretary-General on cooperation between the United Nations and the organization reinforced that impression of hope.
That cooperation represented numerous initiatives aimed at building confidence, security and development, he added. Several mechanisms for conflict prevention, management and resolution were in place, while the numerous recommendations and decisions adopted reinforced the impression of a geopolitical space in the process of normalization. Regional efforts had also been demonstrated by activities aimed at consolidating human rights, democracy and good governance. The importance of international support for conflict prevention and settlement, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration could never be overemphasized.
STAFFORD NEIL (Jamaica), who introduced draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) (document A/57/L.26), noted that that cooperation had been growing in such areas as disaster preparedness and risk reduction; drug control; health; the environment and marine affairs. It had been strengthened by inputs from various United Nations bodies and agencies, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He said the contents of the draft resolution were basically non-controversial and sought to enhance the cooperation and collaboration between the United Nations system and the Community. He hoped it would be adopted by consensus.
ELFATIH MOHAMED AHMED ERWA (Sudan) introduced the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (document A/57/L.28).
HOUSSAM ASAAD DIAB (Lebanon), introducing the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the International Organization of la Francophonie (document A/57/L.29), said that Turkey and San Marino should be added as co-sponsors. Lebanon hoped that the cooperation between the two organizations would be strengthened and extended to a more diversified number of fields.
Also introducing the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the League of Arab States (document A/57/L.32), on behalf of the Arab League, he said that cooperation between the two organizations had taken the form of developments in the areas of peace and security, decolonization and disarmament, as well as economic, social and cultural development. New international political realities should lead to an increase in the United Nations’ responsibility for finding solutions to the problems affecting international peace and security.
For example, he said, the United Nations must help put an end to the continued Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people and the occupation. Also, the League of Arab States had cooperated with the initiative that led to Iraq’s agreement on 16 September 2002 to allow the international weapons inspectors to return, without conditions, which represented a first step towards finding a comprehensive solution to the situation.
Briefly summarizing the contents of the resolution, he said that the preambular paragraphs underlined both organizations’ will to further deepen their cooperation, while the operative paragraphs invited strengthened cooperation in the political, economic, social, cultural, and humanitarian fields.
MARGARIDA ROSA DA SILVA IZATA (Angola), introducing the draft resolution entitled "Cooperation between the United Nations and the Southern African Development Community (SADC)", said the resolution emphasized the need for United Nations bodies, the international community, the private sector and civil society to continue to assist and participate in the development of the southern African region. Its purpose was to strengthen and increase cooperation and support between the United Nations and countries in the region, particularly in such major areas of concern as consolidation and maintenance of democracy, peace and security, peace-building and sustainable development.
She said that the updated draft resolution included recent developments such as the adoption of NEPAD, the prospects of peace in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the humanitarian situation in the region. The continued high prevalence of HIV/AIDS and other diseases in the region had also influenced the content of the resolution.
The draft further appealed to the international community to continue to support the measures taken by SADC countries to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic and urged it to extend the much-needed assistance the Community’s members engaged on the processes of national reconstruction, sound economic policy, good governance and the rule of law.
ARJAN PAUL HAMBURGER (Netherlands) introduced the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (document A/57/L.31), saying that once adopted, the text would enable the Assembly to include that topic in its fifty-ninth session.
JUAN GABRIEL VALDES (Chile) introduced the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (document A/57/L.38), which he said marked the culmination of several years of efforts between the United Nations and the Union to introduce a parliamentary dimension in the structures of multilateral cooperation. The world was undergoing wide-ranging changes, which required that people and multilateral organizations grow together and highlighted the need for national parliaments to play a role. The Union was comprised of over 140 world parliaments and could channel cooperation between the United Nations and national parliaments.
The draft resolution was the outcome of extensive consultations among Member States on the basis of the Secretary-General’s recommendations. Among other things, the text would have the Assembly decide to allow the circulation of official documents of the Union in the Assembly, on the understanding that no financial implications result for the United Nations. It would invite the specialized agencies to consider adopting similar modalities for cooperation with the Union. In addition, it would call on the Secretary-General to take steps to ensure that the full implementation of measures aimed at strengthening the relationship between the two bodies.
DUMISANI KUMALO (South Africa), speaking on behalf of the African Union, introduced the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Union (document A/57/L.39), saying it would lay a very solid foundation upon which the relationship between the two organizations could be built and determine the future of the continent and its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals.
In speaking about the significance of the draft resolution for peace and security on the continent, he said the Union had adopted and was currently implementing a Memorandum of Understanding on Security, Stability, Development and Cooperation to enhance and stabilize the continent. The draft resolution highlighted new institutions of the African Union -- the Peace Fund, Panel of the Wise, Military Staff Committee and the Standby Force -- aimed at attaining those objectives.
As part of their fight against terrorism, African States had adopted in September 2002 the Algiers Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism and its Plan of Action. That Convention had been ratified by a sufficient number of African States and should enter into force on 6 December 2002. As a means to improve the human rights situation on the continent, Africa had adopted the protocol establishing an African Court on Human and Peoples Rights and it wanted support to incorporate the problems of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons into national and regional development plans. Africa was also establishing institutions that would enhance a culture of democracy, good governance, respect for human rights and the rule of law on the continent.
ALEXANDRU NICULESCU (Romania) introduced the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) (document A/57/L.40). He said that Romania was committed to the CTBT’s early entry into force. A good relationship between the United Nations and the CTBTO was important to build a more secure world through disarmament and non-proliferation. The resolution was based on the consultations held in Vienna and New York. The draft was a procedural one, and meant to serve as a basis for the CTBTO to inform the General Assembly of its activities at the fifty-ninth session. He hoped that this resolution would be adopted with the broadest possible support.
KANU G. AGABI (Nigeria) introduced the draft resolution entitled "Cooperation between the United Nations and the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization". He said globalization should not be confined to the opening of borders for the free passage of goods. Borders should also be free for the passage of men and women whose objectives were legitimate. That should mean that no nation should be a safe haven for those who were corrupt. That should also mean that the proceeds of corruption should be surrendered to the nations that were victims of that corruption.
Further, he said that should mean corrupt officials from Africa and Asia could be punished and freed wherever they were, not necessarily in the countries they plundered. Such measures would go a long way towards reducing crimes associated with money laundering, terrorism and corruption. Against that background, the Consultative Organization, as a body of mostly developing and least developed countries, strove for a balanced, flexible and responsible approach towards international law. The resolutions and studies of the Consultative Organization on elimination of terrorism and its causes, the responsibilities of States towards arresting the emission of greenhouse gases, and the use of trade as a tool for promoting environmental goals attested to that approach.
He added that operative paragraph 6 of the draft resolution had been deleted.
When the Assembly met again this afternoon, MOHAMMAD FADAIFARD (Iran) said the United Nations and the Islamic Conference had been working on wide-ranging issues; new avenues for cooperation between the two had been explored over the years. He called for increased assistance from the United Nations system, to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), especially technical assistance, and pointed to problems linked to "Islamophobia", as one area for such enhanced cooperation. He said 1.2 billion Muslims were hurt by bigoted remarks that were transmitted by the United States media. There were already suspicions between the West and the Islamic World. Action through United Nations channels could have a positive effect to counter such xenophobia.
He said there was also need for more cooperation between various United Nations agencies and the Economic Cooperation Organization. There should be a regional strategy to combat problems in the cultivation of and trafficking in drugs. An important facet of that strategy would be the development of Afghanistan, which was a priority for that organization. Turning to the relationship between the United Nations and the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization, he said the consultative body was a source of inspiration for Member States in their deliberations on issues before the General Assembly. It was committed to making a positive contribution to the collective efforts aimed at tackling the new challenges facing the international community.
ELLEN MARGRETHE LØJ (Denmark), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that as a participant in the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union supported the "Platform for Cooperative Security". This underlined the importance of cooperation between the OSCE and other international organizations, on the basis of their comparative advantages.
She said the European Union would continue to seek cooperation among the OSCE, the United Nations and other international organizations working towards democracy and human rights in the OSCE region. The European Union was closely following developments in Latin America and South-East Asia, as well as the Caribbean Community and the Pacific Islands Forum.
She said that after the September 11 attacks, the United Nations and the Council of Europe had increased their cooperation in the international fight against terrorism, and the European Union confirmed its support for the European Court of Human Rights and for Europe’s system of human rights protection.
CHEAH SAM KIP (Malaysia) said cooperation between the IPU and the United Nations had begun in 1947 and had been deepened in 1996 with the signing of the cooperation agreement. Welcoming the granting, yesterday, of Observer status to the IPU, he said that status would enable the Union to have a more meaningful, productive and significant relationship with the United Nations.
As for cooperation between the United Nations and the OIC, he said that the general meeting on cooperation in Vienna had identified ten priority areas of cooperation, but as cooperation expanded, new areas of interaction could be considered without prejudice to those priorities. Since the OIC became a Permanent Observer in 1975 important progress had been made in cooperating on political, economic and social issues.
Turning to cooperation between the United Nations and the ASEAN and the African Union, he said several United Nations agencies had provided strong support to ASEAN countries, in which regard the role of UNDP and its longstanding relationship with ASEAN stood out, while cooperation with the African Union should be strengthened as a further development of the close and productive cooperation of the United Nations with the Organization of African Unity. Given the special needs of Africa, NEPAD would require a high level of international support. The forging of close cooperation with such regional organizations testified to the importance of the United Nations as the most pre-eminent and universal international organization.
ABDALLAH BAALI (Algeria) said that while the international community had called for cooperation with the new African Union and NEPAD, his delegation was in favour of waiting for the structure of the new organization to be developed before proceeding to the evaluation of cooperation planned for 2002. The United Nations should play a part in strengthening the institutional capacity of and mobilizing support for NEPAD. Economic and social development in Africa could occur only with stability, peace and security, as recognized by the principal organs of the United Nations and the African countries themselves.
He said African contingents were increasingly involved in United Nations peacekeeping missions, which pointed to the path for fruitful cooperation in the future, particularly in the area of conflict prevention and settlement. Yet, for this cooperation to be successful, responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security could not be simply transferred to African countries.
Welcoming the resolve of the United Nations to help the African Union establish new structures of its own, he highlighted the exemplary cooperation between the United Nations and African organizations on Western Sahara in the area of decolonization. Noting the difficulties faced by African countries in dealing with people displaced by conflict and natural disasters, he urged the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to discharge its mandate carefully, since host countries would be unable to cope alone. Finally, he appealed to the international community to provide assistance to African governments facing the problem of refugees and displaced and returned persons.
AMIN MUBARAK (Egypt), speaking for Egyptian parliamentarians, said globalization was causing Member States to widen their perspective to deal with international challenges. However, he called for the strengthening of national parliaments throughout the world. States, he stressed, must live up to the commitments made by their governments at the international level. Decisions taken at the international level had to be translated at the national level. He referred to the Rio summit to illustrate the symbiosis between the two.
For the outcome of the Rio summit to be realized, he said, there had to be follow-up action, but some countries had not lived up to expectations in that regard. He called for greater and more effective monitoring to ensure the desired results. Likewise the Johannesburg summit required implementation at the national level. The outcome of that summit should not suffer the same fate as the Rio summit. The same applied to the Monterrey conference.
He spoke of the situation of Palestinian parliamentarians, and said they were hindered in carrying out their duties because of Israeli policies. There should be no occupation of territory, he said.
OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) placed great value on the cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations, and expressed satisfaction that such cooperation was being treated as one agenda item. He said that increased participation of the African Union in the United Nations and its specialized agencies should make a valuable contribution to the Organization, and he was encouraged by the Secretary-General’s commitment to improve that cooperation. The strong commitment of African leaders to peace made the United Nations role on the continent a supportive one. Assistance from the United Nations and bilateral partners was still required.
He emphasized the importance of strengthened parliamentary involvement in the issues and processes within the United Nations, and supported the Secretary-General’s report, which showed that cooperation between the IPU and the United Nations had further developed since the last Assembly session. He also supported the adoption of the General Assembly’s resolution inviting the Inter-Parliamentary Union to participate in its sessions and work as an observer, and allowing the circulation of official IPU documents in the General Assembly.
PREM CHAND GUPTA (India) said the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) had an indispensable role to help the Asian and African States in developing enlightened legal policies and positions, and in playing their due role in shaping a just and equitable world order. Towards that end, it must reorganize its mandates and gather necessary funds and infrastructure. The Asian and African States must ensure development of international law expertise through the establishment of specialized institutions of legal learning. Wider dissemination of developments of international law in an easily accessible form to different segments of the community was also essential.
He said the Consultative Organization could contribute immensely with training programmes, and the organization of highly specialized but quality lectures from leading exponents of international law, as well as the institution of fellowship programmes at the university level and exchange of scholars and experts on international law within the two continents. He welcomed the establishment of the Centre for Research and Training at the AALCO, which was an important step towards achieving those objectives. Some of those activities could be pursued only with more funds. The clearance of arrears in contributions, and raising funds through voluntary contributions, could help.
It was heartening to note, he added, that the new permanent home of the Consultative Organization, was beginning to take shape in New Delhi and, hopefully by next year, the Headquarters building along with the residential complex for the Secretary-General should be ready for occupation.
MUNSHI FAIZ AHMAD (Bangladesh) said the IPU played a crucial role in ongoing international efforts in the promotion of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights. As legislators in their respective countries, the actions of the parliamentarians in formulating governmental policies and legislation, as well as supervision of those policies and enforcement of laws, determined and contributed to the direction that the world took in fulfilling the goals and objectives of the United Nations.
For those reasons, he said, it was important that the parliamentarians and legislators from different countries of the world had an effective forum for exchanging views on important issues of the day. The IPU had catered to that need satisfactorily over the years. Hence cooperation between the Union and the United Nations system became especially significant, since it enabled them to have an insight into the workings and activities of the United Nations and its various organs and agencies. It also gave them an opportunity to understand issues from a global perspective, thus allowing them to compare the international demands and the actual national responses through policies and legislation.
He expressed satisfaction that the cooperation between the IPU and the United Nations had finally been institutionalized by granting the Union status in the United Nations, by the adoption of a resolution to that effect by the General Assembly yesterday.
LOUIS FALL (Senegal) said the United Nations was sensitive to the life force of Africa. The continent was concerned with three priorities: combating terrorism; the promotion of peace and development; and the importance of the United Nations. To combat terrorism, which had had its impact in Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania, Africa had adopted the Dakar Declaration on Terrorism in October 2001 and the Algiers Convention. Success in dealing with terrorism, however, depended on support from the United Nations.
Noting that peace was needed for the economic redemption of the continent, he spoke of the vigour with which Africa was responding to conflict situations in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Rwanda and Burundi. African States had made troops available to intervene in trouble spots; police forces were also being utilised for civilian purposes.
To "break the chains" of underdevelopment, he said, Africa had conceived a new partnership that would provide it with access to the commercial world and encourage investment, by local and overseas sources. He said the effectiveness of the new partnership would depend on the United Nations playing a leading role in its activities. He suggested that the vast opportunities for cooperation between the United Nations and Africa had not been fully explored.
ANDREAS GROSS (Switzerland), who said he was speaking on his own behalf and not that of the Government of Switzerland, declared that the effort to bring Switzerland into the United Nations had been worth the time invested, because democracy mobilized the creativity, riches and intellectual potential of people for a common cause.
There was now a need to build a structure recognizing democracy above and beyond the nation State. States could no longer alone handle the existential challenges, transnational in nature, facing their peoples, nor ensure respect for human dignity or meet their social needs. Democracy was a precondition to prevent liberty from being only for the privileged. For these reasons, democracy needed to be globalized, in order to humanize globalization. The United Nations should be at the centre of this common effort, but each region could contribute its experiences.
The Council of Europe should provide an example to the United Nations, he said. A parliamentary foundation was necessary to express the hopes, experiences, ideas and needs of peoples and to enhance the legitimacy, efficacy and capacity of the United Nations. Another lesson to be taken from the Council of Europe was its authority to protect the human rights of each citizen, even those hurt by their own States. Furthermore, as in respect of their financing and their weakness vis-à-vis the power and injustice of the economy, both the Council and the United Nations needed reforming. He recalled the suggestion that an economic security council should be created, to react to financial crises.
JAGDISH KOONJUL (Mauritius) said that the transition from the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union emphasized the need for expertise and assistance to set up the new structures and foundation for building strong institutional capabilities. The African Union, as the OAU before it, would retain conflict prevention and resolution as a high priority; it was an area in which the OAU and United Nations had always cooperated fruitfully. Moreover, the participation of the Secretary-General of the OAU at the January public meeting of the Security Council on the situation in Africa set a good precedent and should be maintained in the future.
On the subject of cooperation between the United Nations and the International Organization of la Francophonie, he said that in addition to contributing to the resolution of conflicts, that body had decided to hold consultations and information exchanges on preventive diplomacy and the consolidation of peace. He also welcomed its contribution to the network of small island developing States in the area of information technology in the Indian Ocean.
He spoke of the "new wave of optimism" sweeping the countries of the SADC region, given the prospects for real peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola. He said the focus now should be on effective disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, in which the SADC could play a significant role. He noted the ongoing cooperation with the United Nations Department of Disarmament Affairs in the fields of small arms and light weapons and the elimination of landmines, and said efforts of the SADC to improve regional living standards were hampered by the prevalence of HIV/AIDS and food shortages. He appealed for international support in these areas.
ZHANG YISHAN (China) said he supported the increasing cooperation between the United Nations and the AALCO, which was the only intergovernmental legal consultative organization for the Asian and African region. Since its establishment, he added, the Organization had devoted its energy to coordination on legal matters among Member States as well as the latest international law developments and legal questions of common concern to African and Asian countries. It had achieved positive results.
He said China had actively participated in and strongly supported the work of the AALCO since becoming a member in 1983. He hoped the United Nations and the that organization would further strengthen cooperation in the promotion of international law and other areas of common concern, to set an example in the relationship between a global international organization and a regional international organization, and their common promotion for world peace and development.
He said the Chinese government would continue making "its due contribution" to strengthening the consultative organization’s influence, and the cooperation between it and the United Nations.
FRANCISCO SEIXAS DA COSTA (Portugal) speaking on behalf of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said the debate on cooperation between the United Nations and the OSCE was important in that it came shortly before that organization’s Ministerial Council meeting, to be held in Porto on 6 and 7 December. Because of the new difficulties and threats facing individual countries, as well as the challenges of collective security, no organization was capable of tackling them on its own.
The reinforcement of cooperation and coordination between international and regional organizations took on a particular relevance in the globalized world, where the concept of indivisible security was more evident than ever to its citizens. In that spirit, the Portuguese chairmanship of the OSCE had been promoting the operational concept of the Platform for Cooperative Security adopted at the OSCE Istanbul summit in 1999, with a view to developing modalities of dialogue and collaboration between the OSCE and other international organizations.
As a regional arrangement under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, he went on, the OSCE had developed over the years a close and fruitful partnership with the United Nations in several key security-related areas, such as conflict prevention, trafficking in human beings, electoral standards, small arms and light weapon, and peace-keeping operations.
JARGALSAIKHANY ENKHSAIKHAN (Mongolia) said he welcomed the input of the Inter-Parliamentary Union towards the Millennium Summit, through the contribution of the first Conference of Presiding Officers of National Parliaments. He also expected that the IPU and national parliaments would be "instrumental" in achieving the Millennium Development Goals in the agreed time frame.
He said that Mongolia was proud to serve in the IPU executive body. Considering the role the IPU could play in promoting the goals of the United Nations, Mongolia had co-sponsored the draft resolution before the plenary. He supported the recommendation that the IPU be given "a standing invitation" to observe United Nations work and circulate documents in the General Assembly.
He expressed satisfaction with the growing cooperation between the AALCO and the United Nations since 1980. Through its programmes, that Organization was helping to strengthen the role of the United Nations and its various organs, including the International Court of Justice.
ADRIANA PULIDO SANTANA (Venezuela) welcomed discussion of cooperation between the United Nations and the IPU because of the great importance her country attached to the work of parliamentarians. They provided a special perspective, she said, on many of the items on the agenda of the Assembly. The IPU was of great importance to Latin America.
In a world of change, there could be no denying the role played by the IPU in promoting peace and development. Parliamentarians played their part in the prevention of conflict situations. They aligned national jurisdictions with international norms. Being an expression of popular will, parliaments reflected the desires of their peoples at the international level. They contributed to the rights and freedoms of peoples. Given the importance of the IPU, she called for relations between the Union and the United Nations to be formalized, and hoped the draft resolution would be adopted by the Assembly.
LUIZ TUPY CALDAS DE MOURA (Brazil) welcomed the granting of Observer status to the IPU and said that this decision reflected the sui generis of the IPU and that its experience, gathered over the last hundred years, could be of benefit to the United Nations. Urging that cooperation between the IPU and the United Nations be further strengthened, he said that deeper cooperation could be accomplished through the participation of IPU parliamentarians in the debates conducted at the United Nations, as well as through IPU efforts to disseminate information about what was being done in the United Nations.
Through these activities, he said, parliamentarians would become even more involved in the major issues facing the world today and help to enrich work of the United Nations. Brazilian parliamentarians, he added, had been involved in the IPU for many years. Often the subject of their debates coincided with the subjects discussed at the United Nations. In addition, parliamentarians often had to reflect the decisions of the United Nations at their national levels. Therefore, he said, in support of efforts to strengthen cooperation as suggested in the Secretary-General’s report, the granting of Observer status to the IPU would make it more active and effective in contributing to the United Nations.
KOUMTOG LAOTEGGUELNODJI (Chad) said his country was at the heart of African culture and civilization, given its geographic position in Africa. Therefore it had to cooperate at regional and subregional levels. Expressing appreciation for the Secretary-General's initiative in holding this debate, he said that the United Nations was the keystone of all cooperation among Member States.
Cooperation was a major focus of his Government’s policy, he added, as reflected by the creation of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and African Integration. He also said that he hoped that the United Nations cooperation with the African Union would have a positive impact on other subregional African organizations. They were the pillars of the NEPAD and must cooperate among themselves.
Finally, he said, cooperation should focus on areas most promising to the fight against poverty. While north-south cooperation was commendable, south-south cooperation must be encouraged and strengthened even more. The economic structures in southern countries were in many respects comparable, so it was pleasing to see that a member of ASEAN had facilitated the finalization of Chad's oil project. Moreover, it was a paradox to say that countries of the south were poor, since they had enormous input in commodities and human resources within their relations with countries of the North. Could they not accomplish as much in south-south cooperation?
T.A. SAMODRA SRIWIDJAJA (Indonesia) supported the draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and ASEAN, and hoped it would be adopted by consensus. He also supported cooperation between the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum, partly because of his country's participation as a post-forum dialogue partner.
Regarding cooperation between the United Nations and the IPU, he endorsed the Sixth Committee's decision to accord the IPU Observer status, and co-sponsored the draft resolution on cooperation between the two.
Indonesia, he said, would continue to make efforts towards the process of ratification of the CTBT. Indonesia was among the countries lacking the technological ability to monitor nuclear tests or monitor the treaty's verification. He trusted in the reliability of the CTBT as a multilateral mechanism to ensure compliance with its provisions.
Right of Reply
Mr. SCHACHAM (Israel), speaking in right of reply, said he could not understand why the representative of Egypt had voiced an extraneous and irrelevant attack against his country, especially as there were ceremonies being held today throughout Israel to mark President Sadat’s courageous visit and the launching of negotiations for the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab state.
As the current agenda item praised cooperation over divisiveness, why had it been necessary to single out Israel for a scathing, politically motivated sideswipe? he asked. And this was not unique, but had occurred time and time again; Egyptian speakers had singled out Israel for attack when discussing universal items having nothing to do with the Middle East. Israel, too, could have taken the rostrum to protest over the lack of legislative power of the rubber stamp Egyptian parliament or the repression of the rights of homosexuals and women in Egypt.
Seeing the attitude of the Egyptian representatives at the United Nations and of the Egyptian Government at home, he said that the Israeli people were asking, where is the peace? Israel had withdrawn from Sinai when promised peace; they had offered to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza when promised land for peace, but what they had received instead of peace was a terror campaign that left many dead and wounded. He asked that how this affected the Israeli people -- who nurtured the hope of peace but saw that for concessions they received only violence and hatred -- be considered.
AMR ATTA (Egypt), also speaking in right of reply, said that he was surprised by the Israeli representative's statement. He had only spoken of irrefutable attacks that were experienced daily. The closure policy had been in place for two years and Palestinian parliamentarians were affected by an additional ban on a daily basis.
True democracy did not consist of occupying the territory of others or of usurping others’ rights, as Israel had done for half a century, he added. Israel was the only State in the twenty-first century which militarily occupied another’s territory.
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