Press Releases

                                                                                                    21 May 2004

    General Committee Recommends Inclusion in General Assembly Agenda of Items on Year of Physics, Appointment of Member of International Civil Service Commission

    NEW YORK, 20 May (UN Headquarters) -- The General Committee recommended this morning that an item entitled “International Year of Physics, 2005” and a sub-item entitled “Appointment of a member of the International Civil Service Commission” be included in the agenda of the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly.

    The Committee, chaired by General Assembly President Julian Hunte (Saint Lucia), also recommended that the item on the Year of Physics (document A/58/237), which was requested by the delegations of Brazil, France, Lesotho, Monaco, Portugal and the United Kingdom, be considered directly in plenary meeting. The Year was proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the thirty-second session of its General Conference.

    Supporting the recommendation, France’s delegate said the Year aimed to underscore the importance that physics and physical research played in people’s daily lives. The purpose of its inclusion was to support UNESCO’s proclamation, and to ask the United Nations and UNESCO, along with international physics societies and groups worldwide, to contribute to the Year’s success.

    Stating that the recommendation had taken him by surprise, the representative of the Netherlands asked its sponsors why the United Nations as a whole should declare 2005 the Year of Physics when UNESCO had already done so, especially in view of the need to reform the General Assembly’s agenda.

    Responding, Monaco’s delegate said UNESCO had requested that the Year be included on the General Assembly agenda to strengthen the impact it would have on the general population.  He added that it should not pose any major challenges to the agenda.

    The Netherlands’ delegate observed that international years were always being proclaimed, leading to their devaluation.  He was not totally satisfied, but if the Committee wished to recommend the inclusion, he would not block consensus.

    In reply to that comment, Egypt noted that UNESCO had requested the General Assembly to proclaim 2000 as the International Year of Cultural Heritage, after it had already done so. Therefore, precedent existed for the practice of transferring a UNESCO proclamation to the General Assembly.

    The Committee also recommended inclusion on its agenda of a sub-item entitled “Appointment of a member of the International Civil Service Commission” (document A/58/238), which was requested by the Secretary-General. The sub-item would be listed under the item on “Appointments to fill vacancies in subsidiary organs and other appointments”, and allocated to the Fifth Committee.

    The General Assembly will meet to consider the report of the General Committee on action just taken, on Friday, 21 May.

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