Third Committee Approves 12 Draft Resolutions on Early Marriage, Bullying, Indigenous Peoples, as Children’s Rights Dominate Discussion

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural) sent 12 draft resolutions to the General Assembly today, tackling a range of issues from corruption and crime prevention, social development and children's rights, to the rights of indigenous peoples and racial discrimination.

The day focused heavily on the protection of children's rights, with the approval of three draft resolutions without a vote.

By a draft resolution on child, early and forced marriage, the General Assembly would call on States and relevant stakeholders to develop and implement holistic and coordinated responses and strategies to eliminate those practices, and to support girls and women at risk or subjected to them.

The representatives of Qatar and Guyana - the latter speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community - expressed concern about the term "early marriage", pointing out that it must be applied in line with national laws, as there was no international agreement on the issue. Mexico's representative said he deplored the tense discussions around the inclusion of sexual and reproductive rights, which were crucial for making progress. Recalling that such language had been previously agreed, he expressed concern about replacing references to sexual and reproductive rights with diluted language.

Bullying emerged as another major concern in the protection of children's human rights. The related draft resolution would have the General Assembly call on States to share national experiences and best practices for preventing and tackling bullying, including cyberbullying. It would invite the Secretary-General, within existing resources, to facilitate global efforts to raise awareness of bullying, including through United Nations specialized agencies, funds and programmes.

The traditional "rights of the child" draft resolution would see the Assembly express its profound concern that the situation of children in many parts of the world remained critical. It would call on States to ensure the enjoyment of all human rights for children belonging to minorities and vulnerable groups and in vulnerable situations, including migrant children and indigenous children, as well as children placed in alternative care and within the juvenile justice system and in detention.

Prior to its approval, the Committee rejected an oral amendment to its operative paragraph 36, by recorded vote of 100 against, to 23 in favour, with 33 abstentions. Sudan's representative, introducing the change, said it would replace a reference to the International Criminal Court with the following: "promptly bring them to justice as provided for by national laws and obligations under international law". He cautioned against imposing a legal system on States, stressing that the Court was not the sole instrument to dispense justice at the national, regional, and international levels.

Without a vote, the Committee then approved a draft resolution on the rights of indigenous peoples which would have the General Assembly encourage the engagement of indigenous peoples in implementing the outcome of the high-level Assembly plenary meeting, known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. It would stress the importance of pursuing the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, especially through international cooperation to support national and regional efforts.

Bolivia's representative, introducing the text also on behalf of Ecuador, encouraged Member States to make greater efforts in promoting and protecting the rights of indigenous peoples and to increase their participation in national and international processes.

By a recorded vote of 122 in favour to 10 against (Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United Kingdom and United States), with 44 abstentions, the Committee approved a draft resolution on a global call for concrete action for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action.

Also approved by a recorded vote of 164 in favour, to 0 against, and 2 abstentions (Syria, Lao People's Democratic Republic) was a draft resolution on the human rights treaty body system, by which the Assembly would invite the Chairs of those bodies to address its seventy-second and seventy-third sessions.

The Committee also approved without a vote draft resolutions on the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly; preventing and combating corrupt practices and the transfer of proceeds of corruption; strengthening the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme and in particular its technical cooperation capacity; the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the role of the ombudsman, mediator and other national human rights institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights; and missing persons.

The Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, 23 November, to continue its work.

Action

The Committee took up the draft resolution titled, "Preventing and combating corrupt practices and the transfer of proceeds of corruption, facilitating asset recovery and returning such assets to legitimate owners, in particular to countries of origin, in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption" (document A/C.3/71/L.11/Rev.1).

An official from the Secretariat said the draft resolution would require voluntary funding to carry out its request for a Review Mechanism on the Implementation of the Convention. As that Mechanism had a funding gap of $4,229,100, the draft's adoption would require $435,200 to be added to the programme budget for the biennium 2018?2019, but would not have budgetary implications for the biennium 2016?2017.

The representative of Colombia, introducing the draft resolution, said it promoted the provisions of Chapter 5 of the Convention on preventing and detecting transfers and recovering and returning those assets through international cooperation. Efforts also must be made to mitigate the effects of corruption on societies.

The representative of Nigeria expressed his support for the draft, stressing that returning assets to countries of origin would contribute to infrastructure investment and help eradicate poverty.

The resolution was approved by consensus.

By its terms, the General Assembly would call upon States Parties to the Convention against Corruption to cooperate to recover the proceeds of corruption. It would call on States with practical experience in asset recovery to develop non-binding practical guidelines for that purpose. At the seventy-third session, the Secretary-General would include in his report on crime prevention and criminal justice an analytical section titled "Preventing and combating corrupt practices and the transfer of proceeds of corruption, facilitating asset recovery and returning such assets to legitimate owners, in particular to countries of origin, in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption", and a report of the Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on its seventh session.

The representative of the Russian Federation expressed disappointment at the lack of desire by some States to support an international legal instrument for the return of assets, an issue she hoped to address again in the future.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution titled, "Strengthening the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Program, in particular Its Technical Cooperation Capacity" (document A/C.3/71/L.12/Rev.1).

The representative of Italy, a main sponsor, orally revised operative paragraph 16, adding the words "and artefacts" after the words, "trafficking in cultural property", in recognition of the fact that cultural artefacts were the most trafficked items. The draft resolution's purpose was threefold: to build consensus on the fight against transnational organized crime, promote the implementation of all pertinent United Nations instruments, and confirm the membership's support for the Office on Drugs and Crime. The draft did not address all relevant challenges, only those on which consensus could be reached.

The representative of South Africa said omission of the issue of extremism had weakened the text. Preventive measures were needed to avert extremism from manifesting in violence. In addition, operative paragraph 43 did not go far enough in addressing cybercrime, and it was imperative to elaborate an international normative framework to combat such behaviour. She would continue to engage the sponsors to ensure those issues were considered in the future.

The Committee approved the draft resolution, as orally revised, by consensus.

The representative of the Russian Federation welcomed the approval of the draft, which her delegation had cosponsored. However, she expressed regret that a paragraph pertaining to an international legal instrument to counter cybercrime had not made its way into the final text. She hoped that issue would be considered during the Assembly's seventy-second session.

The Committee then took note of three reports of the Secretary-General: the follow-up to the Thirteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and preparations for the Fourteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (document A/71/94), technical assistance for implementing the international conventions and protocols related to counter-terrorism (document A/71/96), and improving the coordination of efforts against trafficking in persons (document A/71/119).

The Committee then took action on draft resolution titled "Implementation of the outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and of the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly" (document A/C.3/71/L.5/Rev.1).

By its terms, the General Assembly would request the United Nations to continue to support national efforts to achieve inclusive social development in a coherent and coordinated manner. It would urge States to fulfil all their commitments to meet the demands for social development, including social services and assistance that had arisen from the global financial and economic crisis, which particularly affected the poorest. It would also stress the importance of promoting corporate social responsibility and accountability.

The representative of Thailand, on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China, made a small technical change to operative paragraph 4, adding a comma before "and that it serves".

The draft resolution was approved without a vote as orally revised.

The representative of the United States, while joining consensus, expressed concern about outdated language on the global financial crisis and trade-related issues, and thus disassociated from the related six paragraphs. She also considered it unacceptable to include language on debt relief, noting that technology transfer must be voluntary and respect property rights. She stressed the responsibility of all enterprises, regardless of their size and structure.

The representative of Armenia voiced regret about the selective nature of the draft resolution and therefore disassociated from operative paragraph 24.

The Committee then turned to draft resolution titled, "Child, early and forced marriage" (document A/C.3/71/L.13/Rev.1).

By its terms, the General Assembly would call on States and relevant stakeholders - including women and girls, parents and family, religious, traditional and community leaders, civil society, organizations led by girls, women's groups, youth and human rights groups, men and boys, the media and the private sector - to develop and implement holistic and coordinated responses and strategies to eliminate child, early and forced marriage, and to support girls and women at risk or subjected to that practice. The Secretary-General would be requested to submit a report on progress towards ending the practice worldwide.

The representative of Zambia orally revised operative paragraph 4, replacing the word "requiring" with "concerning". In operative paragraph 13, after the first instance of the word "including", he replaced the phrase "their right" with "the right of women, and those girls who have been subjected to child, early and forced marriage".

The draft resolution was approved as orally revised without a vote.

The representative of Mexico expressed concern about the tense discussions on sexual and reproductive rights, which were crucial in order to make progress in that area. Recalling that such language had been previously agreed, he expressed concern about replacing references to sexual and reproductive rights with diluted language.

The representative of Guyana, on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said he had joined the consensus, pointing out that the concept of early marriage referenced in the draft resolution, and others, was subject to the national laws of CARICOM members.

The representative of Qatar expressed her reservation about the term "early marriage", on which there was no international consensus and there existed national discrepancies. National legislation and customs must be respected.

The representative of the Holy See drew attention to the harmful nature of early and child marriage, urging that both spouses have the appropriate age and maturity. He voiced concern about the focus on the individual, saying that because reproductive rights were not recognized as international human rights, he could not affirm what was not in international human rights law. He expressed reservations about sexual and reproductive rights, which must be seen as in the overall context of health. Gender identity encompassed male and female, he added, stressing that parental rights must be protected.

The Committee then took up the draft resolution titled, "Protecting children from bullying" (document A/C.3/71/L.18/Rev.1).

An official from the Secretariat said adoption of the draft resolution would require an additional $37,600 in 2018 for the production of a pre-session document in all six languages.

The representative of Mexico, introducing the draft resolution, said it was a response to requests from children, who according to United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) survey, cited bullying as one of their principle concerns. The text aimed to make the global problem of bullying more visible.

The draft resolution was approved by consensus.

By its terms, the Assembly would call on States to share national experiences and best practices for preventing and tackling bullying, including cyberbullying. It would invite the Secretary-General, within existing resources, to facilitate global efforts to raise awareness of bullying, including through United Nations specialized agencies, funds and programmes, and to submit a report to the Assembly's seventy-third session.

The representative of Slovakia, on behalf of the European Union, said the draft resolution would raise global awareness on an issue that many children and youth dealt with every day. He looked forward to bullying being introduced into the omnibus resolution on the rights of the child, as many children were bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. He expressed regret that that reality had not been incorporated into the text.

The representative of Iceland, on behalf of more than three dozen countries, recalled that children belonging to marginalized or vulnerable groups - including those with disabilities - from indigenous communities, migrants, refugees, or those from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex communities, were at higher risk of bullying. The draft resolution did not specify those groups. No one should face exclusion because of how they were born, he stressed, expressing regret that many Member States disagreed with that principle.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution on the rights of the child (document A/C.3/71/L.20/Rev.1).

By its terms, the Assembly would express its profound concern that the situation of children in many parts of the world remained critical. It would urge States to withdraw reservations incompatible with the Convention on the Rights of the Child or its Optional Protocols, and to protect and promote the children's right to express themselves freely. It would urge States that had not yet done so to ratify the International Labour Organization's Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (No. 182), 32, and the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (No. 138), 33. States would be called on to ensure the enjoyment of all human rights for children belonging to minorities and vulnerable groups and those in vulnerable situations, including migrant children and indigenous children, as well as children placed in alternative care and within the juvenile justice system and in detention.

The representative of Uruguay, on behalf of the Group of Latin American and Caribbean States and the European Union, introduced the draft resolution, praising the New York Declaration on Migrants and refugees for sending a strong message of political commitment to ensure a more humane and compassionate response to movements of people. The draft called for preventing and eliminating all forms of discrimination against migrant children. It incorporated resolutions of the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, and had been drafted following consultations with UNICEF and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict.

The representative of Sudan said that, through the African Group and during informal consultations, his country had rejected the inclusion of a reference to the International Criminal Court. However, their position had been rejected by the facilitators and he therefore had no choice but to introduce an oral amendment to operative paragraph 36. It would delete the phrase, "inter alia, through the International Criminal Court", and replace it with the following: "and calls upon the international community to hold those responsible for violations accountable, and promptly bring them to justice as provided for by national laws and obligations under international law." While he agreed on the importance of the draft resolution, it was crucial not to impose a legal system on States. He expressed regret that certain Assembly resolutions were being exploited to promote the Court. That body was not the sole instrument to dispense justice at the national, regional, and international levels, and he called upon all to support the amendment.

The representative of Uruguay said he regretted that he had not been informed earlier about the proposed amendment, noting that the same language had been approved in earlier resolutions on the rights of the child. He requested a vote on the proposed amendment and urged those who had worked on the draft to vote against the amendment.

The representative of Slovakia, on behalf of the European Union before the vote, expressed disappointment about the amendment. The paragraph in question was a longstanding one and had received strong cross-regional support during informal consultations. The bloc had worked hard to build consensus on the text. He supported the Court, could not accept the amendment and urged others to vote against it.

The representative of Lichtenstein, on behalf of Australia, Canada, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, said the oral amendment sought to change language that had been agreed for more than ten years. The Court played an important role in addressing children in armed conflict, and therefore, reference to it was relevant and appropriate. She expressed regret that consensus had been undermined and called upon all delegations to vote against the amendment.

The Committee rejected the amendment by a recorded vote of 100 against to 23 in favour, with 33 abstentions.

The Committee approved draft resolution L.20/Rev.1 without a vote.

The representative of the United States said her country had joined consensus on the text. Voicing her concerns, she said countries could not be held accountable under international agreements and treaties to which they were not party. She reiterated support for migrant children and their dignity and rights in accordance with applicable national laws. She also expressed concern about the lack of transparency and inclusiveness in negotiations on the draft.

The representative of Ghana, on behalf of the African Group, said the draft resolution was among the most important. However, he had several reservations. Many proposals had been ignored while other critical issues had not been treated in a comprehensive manner, such as food security and children and armed conflict. He had not joined consensus on language about sexual and reproductive services and rights.

The representative of Sudan expressed concern about references to sexual and reproductive health care services, as mentioned in operative paragraph 33, noting that his country had disassociated from such language. He also recalled Sudan's position on the International Criminal Court, as expressed through the amendment.

The representative of the Russian Federation said her Government prioritized children's rights and she deplored that the main sponsors had not conducted negotiations in an open and transparent manner. She could not agree with operative paragraph 36 on the International Criminal Court and had disassociated from that language.

The representative of Saudi Arabia, on behalf of Gulf Cooperation Council, expressed support for the draft resolution and the protection of children's rights, emphasizing that action must consider national, cultural and regional conditions.

The representative of Switzerland expressed support for the draft resolution, stressing the need to protect migrant children and apply all relevant international human rights law.

The representative of Yemen said children's protection must be a priority, especially in emergency situations. He expressed regret about language on sexual and reproductive health care services, which was not in line with national obligations, and he therefore had disassociated from those paragraphs.

The representative of Iran, stressing that his country was committed to implementing all agreed obligations, said the creation of new obligations was unacceptable.

The representative of Singapore, while expressing concern about contentious issues in the draft resolution, nonetheless reiterated her support for the text.

The representative of Morocco said her country had made the strategic choice to work for the protection of children's rights, and thus, had joined consensus. However, language on the International Criminal Court had not achieved consensus.

The Committee then took note of the report of the Committee on the Rights of the Child at its sixty-sixth, sixty-seventh, sixty-eighth, sixty-ninth, seventieth and seventy-first sessions (document A/71/41); and of the Secretary-General on the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (document A/71/413), and on Collaboration within the United Nations system on child protection (document A/71/277).

The Committee went on to take action on draft resolution titled The rights of indigenous peoples (document A/C.3/71/L.17/Rev.1).

By its terms, the Assembly would encourage the engagement of indigenous peoples in the implementation of the outcome of the Assembly's high-level plenary meeting, known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. It would stress the importance of pursuing the objectives of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, especially through international cooperation to support national and regional efforts.

The representative of Bolivia, introducing the draft also on behalf of Ecuador, stressed that greater efforts must be made to implement the relevant international agreements, noting that the high-level meeting planned for the 2017 session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues was beneficial in that regard. Indigenous peoples could not be left behind in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She also expressed hope that more progress could be made in increasing the participation of indigenous peoples at all levels.

The Committee approved the draft resolution without a vote.

The representative of Ecuador reiterated his commitment to advance indigenous peoples' rights. Stressing the importance of implementing the 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, he drew attention to the importance of protecting and promoting indigenous languages.

The representative of France, on behalf of Bulgaria and Romania, recognized individual rights, rather than collective rights, stressing the need for non-discrimination.

The representative of the United Kingdom said there were no collective human rights except for that to self-determination. Individuals must not be left vulnerable.

The representative of the United Republic of Tanzania recalled that there were no indigenous peoples in her country, as internationally defined.

The representative of the Russian Federation said her country supported indigenous peoples and their rights, as well as the draft resolution. The Government also supported greater participation of indigenous peoples at the United Nations, in line with the Organization's rules of procedure.

The representative of Cameroon pointed out that the loss of languages did not only affect indigenous communities. Therefore, languages under threat must be preserved, protected and promoted. The planned high-level event was informal. If it was a formal high-level event, intergovernmental negotiations would have been required. All obligations must be in line with international agreements.

The Committee then took note of the Secretary-General's note transmitting the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the status of the United Nations Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Peoples (document A/71/228).

The representative of Belgium, also speaking on behalf of Slovenia and other co-sponsors, presented a draft resolution titled, "International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination" (document A/C.3/71/L.47). He orally amended three operative paragraphs, noting that the draft addressed several elements that were important for ensuring implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the work of its Committee. He expressed hope the draft would be approved by consensus.

The draft resolution was approved without a vote as orally revised.

By its terms, the General Assembly would invite the Chair of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to present an oral report on its work and engage in an interactive dialogue with the Assembly at its seventy-second and seventy-third sessions.

The Committee then took up a draft resolution titled "A global call for concrete action for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action" (document A/C.3/71/L.48/Rev.1).

By its terms, the Assembly would call upon States that had not done so to consider acceding to and/or ratifying the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It would express its grave concern at the lack of progress in elaborating complementary standards to the Convention and request the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to develop a racial equality index aimed at measuring States' performance in promoting substantive equality and inclusive societies. It would also lay out a series of measures to revitalize international human rights mechanisms.

An official from the Secretariat announced that implementing the requests contained in the draft resolution would require additional recurrent resources starting in 2017 for the travel of five experts for each of the annual sessions of the four Durban follow-up mechanisms. Adoption of the draft would give rise to annual requirements of $90,400 starting in 2017, but would not have programme budget implications for the biennium 2016-2017.

The representative of Thailand, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, orally revised operative paragraph 22 adding the word "previous" before the word "invitation" in the first line. She urged States to support the draft.

The resolution was put to a vote at the request of the delegation of Israel.

The representative of Israel said her country had hoped the Durban Conference would have created a meaningful and unpoliticized instrument to fight racism, xenophobia and related intolerance. That goal had not been achieved because a group of countries had hijacked the proceedings to demonize Israel. Her country therefore had not participated in subsequent meetings to commemorate the adoption of the Durban Programme of Action. Israel had a consistent policy prohibiting discrimination and would leave the door open for future collaboration in an unpoliticized manner.

The representative of Slovakia, on behalf of the European Union, said the bloc was committed to the total elimination of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance but those challenges should be tackled in a balanced and comprehensive way at the national region and international levels through ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The European Union was committed to the objectives of the Durban Conference, but a number of proposals it had put forward during informal consultations had not been reflected in the draft. He said the bloc did not agree with operative paragraph 7 and therefore would not support the draft resolution.

The representative of the United States said her country's commitment to fight racism was rooted in the saddest chapters of its history. The United States would work with countries of goodwill to combat racism and raise the profile of the International Decade for People of African Descent. She underscored the costs the draft resolution would bear on the regular budget and would vote against it.

The representative of the Syria said it was not shocking that Israel had requested a vote because in 2001 it had not been invited to the Durban Conference. Israel, an occupying State, was built on discrimination and the occupation of Palestinian land. Israel continued to erect walls of discrimination separating Palestinians from their land and identity. Syria would vote for the draft resolution.

The draft resolution was approved by a recorded vote of in 122 favour, to 10 against (Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United Kingdom and United States), with 44 abstentions.

The Committee then took note of two notes of the Secretary-General, the first transmitting the report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance (document A/71/301), and the second on the latest developments with regard to the Group of independent experts on the implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (document A/71/288).

The representative of Iceland, speaking on behalf of the Nordic countries, introduced a draft resolution on the "Human rights treaty body system" (document A/C.3/71/L.19/Rev.1), which he said combined two texts traditionally submitted on the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, and on human rights covenants. It also addressed the treaty body system as a whole, continuing efforts to ensure coherence. The draft put in place measures that increased cost efficiency and provided for a new capacity-building component to support State party reporting. He expressed hope it supported the implementation of resolution 68/268 and strengthened the human rights treaty body system.

He then asked who had requested the vote, to which the Secretariat official replied that Syria had requested the vote.

The draft resolution was then approved by a recorded vote of 164 in favour, to 0 votes against, with 2 abstentions (Syria, Lao People's Democratic Republic).

By its terms, the draft resolution would see the General Assembly invite the Chairs of the human rights treaty bodies to address and engage in an interactive dialogue at the seventy-second and seventy-third sessions. The Assembly would encourage all stakeholders to continue their efforts to fully implement resolution 68/268 on the strengthening and enhancing the effective functioning of the human rights treaty body system.

The representative of Austria expressed surprise at having had to vote on the draft resolution, and "in the spirit of working together constructively" questioned why it had been put to a vote.

The representative of Iceland expressed "regret and surprise" at having had to vote on the draft resolution, noting that Syria's delegation had not engaged during negotiations to indicate any problems with the text. That was unacceptable behaviour which was not in line with decorum.

The representative of Syria, on a point of order, confirmed that it had not participated in informal negotiations.

Invited by the Secretariat to finish his statement, the representative of Iceland declined, saying the statement by Syria's representative spoke for itself.

The Committee then turned to a draft resolution on the role of the ombudsman, mediator and other national human rights institutions in the promotion and protection of human rights (document A/C.3/71/L.40/Rev.1).

By its terms, the Assembly would express regret that the Secretary-General once again had not provided a report on the implementation of Assembly resolutions on the role of the ombudsman, mediator and other national human rights institutions, despite the request in resolution 69/168, and called upon him to submit that report at the seventy-second session. It would recall the request that he report in particular on obstacles encountered by States in implementing resolution 69/168, and best practices in the work of the ombudsman, mediator and other human rights institutions.

A representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) took the floor to explain that the report requested by General Assembly resolution 69/193 to be presented during the Assembly's seventy- first session, had not been published. She expressed regret for the misunderstanding with the representative of Morocco.

The representative of Morocco explained that draft resolution L.40/Rev.1 was procedural, intended to put into effect the two preceding resolutions on the topic. She welcomed the willingness of OHCHR to present a report at the next General Assembly session, emphasizing that Morocco was committed to re-establishing the biannual nature of the text.

The draft resolution was approved by consensus.

The Committee took up a draft resolution titled "Missing persons" (document A/C.3/71/L.41/Rev.1).

The draft resolution was approved without a vote.

By its terms, the General Assembly would call on States to take measures to prevent persons from going missing in connection with armed conflict and to determine the identity and fate of those missing. It would also call on States to take steps on the legal situation of missing persons and the needs of their family members in such areas as social welfare, psychological and psychosocial support, financial matters, family law and property rights. The Secretary-General would be called upon to submit a report on the implementation of the resolution.

The representative of Armenia, in a general statement, said her country, traditionally a co-sponsor, and had joined consensus on the text. From a practical, humanitarian perspective, all parties to conflict should cooperate with the International Committee of the Red Cross and play a role in determining the fate of missing persons.

The Committee then took note of numerous reports and notes of the Secretary-General, the Secretariat and relevant Committees under its sub-items 68 (a), (b) and (c).

Source: United Nations.

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