Tag Archives: MilleniumGoals

General Assembly Takes Action on Second Committee Reports by Adopting 41 Texts, also Passes Overhaul of United Nations Peace, Security Pillar

Increasing Official Development Assistance, Updating Bank Policies to Support 2030 Agenda among Resolutions Approved

Gearing up to implement the international community’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the General Assembly today adopted 41 resolutions and two related decisions aimed at strengthening nations’ efforts to reach agreed goals.

At the meeting’s outset, the Assembly also adopted, without a vote, a resolution on restructuring the United Nations peace and security pillar, presenting what several delegates described as “sweeping” proposals to overhaul it.

By the resolution’s terms, the Assembly took note of a Secretary‑General’s report containing five proposals, including the creation of a single political‑operational structure under Assistant Secretaries‑General with regional responsibilities, and establishment of a “Standing Principals’ Group” of the Under‑Secretaries‑General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and for Peace Operations.

Focusing then on the Second Committee, the Assembly turned to macroeconomic policy questions, adopting a resolution on international financial system and development in a recorded vote of 180 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly stressed that development banks should make optimal use of their resources and balance sheets, updating their policies to support of the 2030 Agenda.

By further terms, the Assembly committed to substantially curb illicit financial flows by 2030 by combating tax evasion, transnational organized crime and corruption through strengthened national regulation and increased international cooperation and reducing opportunities for tax avoidance.

Adopting another resolution on external debt sustainability and development, the Assembly stressed creditor and debtor responsibility in avoiding build‑up of unsustainable debt to diminish the risk of crisis.  By further terms, it urged countries to direct resources freed by debt relief to sustained economic growth and internationally agreed development goals.

By a resolution on commodities, adopted in a recorded vote of 182 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions, the Assembly directed the international community to address factors creating structural barriers to international trade, impeding diversification and limiting access to financial services.  By other terms, it called on relevant stakeholders to address low industrialization and diversification of economies of some commodity‑dependent developing countries.

Other resolutions on macroeconomic policy questions concerned unilateral economic measures, international trade, financial inclusion, illicit financial flows and financing for development.

Focusing on special groups of countries, the Assembly adopted a draft on Follow‑up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries.  By that text, the Assembly underlined the urgent need to reverse the decline in official development assistance (ODA) to least developed countries, urging nations that had not met commitments to increase their contribution and make concrete efforts towards ODA targets.

By another resolution on Development cooperation with middle‑income countries, it encouraged shareholders in multilateral development banks to develop a graduation process (from a nation’s lesser developed status) that was sequenced, phased and gradual.

Addressing sustainable development, the Assembly adopted several resolutions, including one on disaster risk reduction, emphasizing that preventing and reducing such risk would provide exponential returns and significantly curtail response costs.  It also emphasized the importance of increasing the availability of multi‑hazard early warning mechanisms in ensuring early action.

According to another draft, the Assembly called for ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, adopting it in a recorded vote of 183 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Venezuela).  It also called on Governments to expand the use of renewable energy beyond the power sector to industry, heating and cooling, infrastructure and the transport sector.

Adopting a further draft on combating sand and dust storms, it recognized that such weather had inflicted substantial economic, social and environmental damage on the inhabitants of the world’s arid, semi‑arid and dry subhumid areas, underscoring the need to treat and promptly take measures to address them.

Other sustainable development resolutions spotlighted development of the Semipalatinsk region of Kazakhstan, sustainable tourism development in Central America, agricultural technology, desertification, biological diversity, education, camelids and World Bee Day.

Turning to a related item, the Assembly adopted a resolution on agriculture development, food security and nutrition in a recorded vote of 185 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions. By that text, the Assembly stressed the need to increase sustainable agricultural production globally by improving markets and trading systems as well as increasing responsible public and private investment in agriculture, land management and rural development.

By further terms, it stressed that a universal, rules‑based, open, non‑discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system promoted rural development and contributed to world food security and nutrition.  It urged national, regional and international strategies to promote the participation of farmers, fishers and fish workers in their various markets.

The Assembly also adopted a resolution concerning natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Syrian Golan in a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, United States) with 11 abstentions, which called for Israel to cease exploitation of natural resources in those territories.

Further to the text, the Assembly called on Israel to comply with international law and cease all policies and measures to alter the character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  It also called on Israel to stop harming the environment, cease destruction of vital infrastructure, remove obstacles to the implementation of critical environmental projects, and cease efforts impeding Palestinian development.

Resolutions were also adopted on transport links, agricultural technology, small islands, global climate, harmony with nature, oil slick on Lebanese shores, human settlements, globalization, science and technology, culture, landlocked developing countries, poverty eradication, women, human resources, operational activities, South‑South cooperation and family farming.

Committee Rapporteur Theresah Chipulu Luswili Chanda introduced its reports.

Also adopted, without a vote, was a plenary resolution on a world against violence and violent extremism.  Introducing that text, Iran’s representative urged Member States to avoid associating violent extremism with any single religion or nationality, adding that the Assembly could provide a platform to address the roots of that phenomenon.

The resolution spotlighted international efforts to combat violent extremism and reaffirmed the importance of the Secretary‑General’s Plan of Action on the matter.

In other business, the Assembly took note of a report of its General Committee and several appointments to the Committee on Conferences.  Botswana, France and the Russian Federation were appointed to serve three‑year terms on the Committee beginning on 1 January 2018.  The Assembly also noted that the Asia‑Pacific Group had recommended China’s appointment to fill a vacancy on the Committee for a term of office beginning on the date of appointment and ending on 31 December 2019.

Introduction of Draft Resolution and Reports

MIROSLAV LAJČÁK (Slovakia), President of the General Assembly, introducing a draft resolution titled “Restructuring of the United Nations peace and security pillar” (document A/72/L.33), said the Organization must be able to respond to today’s challenges “in the best way it can”.  However, there were new conflicts today that were harder to identify, as in the case of online recruitment of terrorist groups.  “Different threats require different responses,” he said, calling for adjustments to the Organization’s seventy‑year‑old mechanisms.  “We must evolve,” he stressed, noting that the resolution before the Assembly today would assist in that process, as it called for a second comprehensive report on the United Nations peace and security pillar.  Thanking the facilitators, he urged Member States to adopt the text by consensus.

The representative of Colombia, speaking in explanation of position on that item, said the resolution was critical to help make the United Nations more modern and transparent.  It contained a “visionary proposal” by the Secretary‑General, who had been chosen specifically “for this important task”.  Today’s peace and security challenges required bold measures to save lives, he said, adding that the resolution marked an important step forward in transparency.  It would also provide more feedback on “what is working and what is not working on the ground” in the United Nations efforts to enhance sustainable international peace.

The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution without a vote.

The representative of the United States said the United Nations would be better able to address the needs of those on the ground with more focused, effective and efficient operations.  Any reform that was implemented must advance political solutions and enable the Organization to tailor its responses to the needs of countries in conflict or transition.  The resolution demonstrated that the Secretary‑General had wide‑reaching endorsement from Member States for his vision to make the United Nations a stronger and more relevant institution that could prevent and respond to conflicts and atrocities.

The representative of Mexico said his country had joined consensus on the resolution, as it supported the Secretary‑General in his vision to make the United Nations a stronger organization.  It was critical to have the full backing of the Assembly so that the proposal could be implemented as soon as possible.  However, it seemed contradictory that the resolution on the reform of peace and security did not include references to sustainable development or the 2015 review process.  He expressed hope that the Secretary‑General’s report would be substantive in helping the Organization move towards greater understanding and the paradigm shift that peace required.

The representative of Argentina, welcoming the Secretary‑General’s initiative to reform the United Nations peace and security pillar, said the Organization should adopt a holistic and comprehensive approach to conflict prevention, building sustainable peace and development.  The text would help decrease the fragmentation in the Organization’s work, she said, adding that the “sweeping” proposal would help the United Nations focus more closely on the root causes of conflict, ensure national ownership, enhance conflict prevention and implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Voicing support for efforts to make the Peacebuilding Office a “liaison” between the various relevant organs of the United Nations, she stressed that “we must move forward”, and expressed hope that the upcoming work would reflect an active exchange of ideas between all Member States.

The representative of China voiced support for the United Nations efforts to better implement the responsibilities entrusted in it by its Charter, as well as to enhance multilateralism.  Also welcoming efforts aimed at integrating the Organization’s resources and improving its efficiency, thereby allowing it to better respond to today’s peace and security challenges, he said the restructuring of the United Nations peace and security architecture would also require greater consultation between Member States.

The representative of the Russian Federation, noting that his delegation had joined in the consensus, said the changes proposed would also impact the Organization’s political dimensions.  Voicing his delegation’s commitment to engage in all discussions going forward, he expressed full respect for the points of view of various Member States, and said the final analysis must help them reach a “mutual understanding”.  While the interlinked relationship between the United Nations three pillars underpinned the Organization’s work, that did not mean that they must be carried out in the same way.  In that regard, he expressed support for the Secretary‑General’s efforts to avoid duplication of labour as well as ensure geographical representation.

The representative of Egypt agreed that the non‑traditional challenges emerging in global peace and security issues required new ideas and a more efficient use of the United Nations toolkit.  Stressing that the Assembly and its organs were the only entities that could adopt any of the restructuring proposals — and that such an adoption must be undertaken with full respect for the mandates of all the United Nations organs without any amendments to those mandates — he warned against including controversial elements which had not been fully agreed by Member States.  In addition, he said, Egypt considered sustainable development to be a right and a standalone objective in itself, which must be achieved without any preconditions.

The representative of Brazil said the United Nations needed to be nimbler if it was to implement all initiatives under the pillars of peace and security, development and human rights.  His country supported reform of the peace and security pillar and welcomed efforts to overcome fragmentation in focusing on restructuring peacebuilding.  However, he said reform would not be complete without reference to the work methods of the Security Council.

The representative of Estonia, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the Assembly had expressed strong support for the Secretary‑General and reform of the Secretariat’s peace and security pillar.  He looked forward to a detailed report of all aspects of the new pillar.  The Secretariat must act as one while taking into account specificities of all facets on the ground, as through such efforts it could improve on efforts to maintain peace.  The Secretary‑General had the authority and now full political endorsement in proceeding with the first steps of implementing his vision.  With adoption of the resolution, the Assembly had set in motion not only reform but also a good precedent for other reforms.

THERESAH CHIPULU LUSWILI CHANDA (Zambia), Rapporteur of the Second Committee, introduced that body’s reports and the draft resolutions or decisions within, noting oral revisions for some.  She began with Strengthening of the United Nations system; United Nations reform: measures and proposals (document A/72/L.33); Information and communications technologies for development (document A/72/417); Macroeconomic policy questions (document A/72/418); International trade and development (document A/72/418/Add.1); International financial system and development (document A/72/418/Add.2); External debt sustainability and development (document A/72/418/Add.3); Commodities (document A/72/418/Add.4); Financial inclusion for sustainable development (document A/72/418/Add.5); Promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows in order to foster sustainable development (document A/72/418/Add.6); and Follow-up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development (document A/72/419).

Turning then to reports focusing on sustainable development, she introduced Sustainable development (document A/72/420); Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (document A/72/420/Add.1); Follow‑up to and implementation of the SIDS [small islands developing States] Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (document A/72/420/Add.2); Disaster risk reduction (document A/72/420/Add.3); Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind (document A/72/420/Add.4); Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (document A/72/420/Add.5); Sustainable development: Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/72/420/Add.6); Education for sustainable development (document A/72/420/Add.7); Harmony with Nature (document A/72/420/Add.8); Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (document A/72/420/Add.9); and Combating sand and dust storms (document A/72/420/Add.10).

Next, she introduced reports on Implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conferences on Human Settlements and on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN‑Habitat) (document A/72/421); Globalization and interdependence (document A/72/422); Role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence (document A/72/422/Add.1); Science, technology and innovation for development (document A/72/422/Add.2); and Culture and sustainable development (document A/72/422/Add.3).

Next, she introduced reports on Development cooperation with middle‑income countries (document A/72/422/Add.4); Groups of countries in special situations (document A/72/423); Follow‑up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (document A/72/423/Add.1); Follow‑up to the second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (document A/72/423/Add.2); Eradication of poverty and other development issues: report of the Second Committee (document A/72/424); Implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008‑2017) (document A/72/424/Add.1); Women in development (document A/72/424/Add.2); and Human resources development (document A/72/424/Add.3).

Finally, she introduced reports on Operational activities for development (document A/72/425); Operational activities for development of the United Nations system (document A/72/425/Add.1); South‑South cooperation for development (document A/72/425/Add.2); Agriculture development, food security and nutrition (document A/72/426); Towards global partnerships (document A/72/427); Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (document A/72/428); Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/72/479); and Programme planning (document A/72/484).

Action on Draft Resolutions

The Assembly then turned to draft resolutions in the reports, beginning with a text on information and communications technologies for development (document A/72/417), which it adopted without a vote.

By that text, the Assembly called on all stakeholders to make bridging digital divides a priority, put into effect sound strategies contributing to the development of e‑government and continue to focus on pro‑poor information and communications technology policies and applications.

Next, it took up Macroeconomic policy questions, taking note of the report and adopting a resolution on Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries (document A/72/418/Add.1) in a recorded vote of 130 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States) with 48 abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly would call for the elimination of such measures against those States.

It then adopted a resolution on International trade and development (document A/72/418/Add.1) in a recorded vote of 182 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly promoted a universal, rules‑based, open, transparent, predictable, inclusive, non‑discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization (WTO) as well as meaningful trade liberalization.

Following that, the Assembly adopted a text on International financial system and development (document A/72/418/Add.2) in a recorded vote of 180 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly resolved to strengthen the coherence and consistency of multilateral financial, investment, trade and development policy and environment institutions and platforms.

Next, it adopted, without a vote, a resolution on External debt sustainability and development (document A/72/418/Add.3), by which it stressed the responsibilities of creditor and debtor nations in avoiding the build‑up of unsustainable debt to diminish the risk of crisis.  By further terms, it urged countries to direct resources freed by debt relief to sustained economic growth and internationally agreed development goals.

The Assembly then adopted a draft on Commodities (document A/72/418/Add.4) in a recorded vote of 182 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions.  By that draft, the Assembly would have the international community address factors that created structural barriers to international trade, impeded diversification and limited access to financial services, particularly for developing countries.

By other terms, it called on relevant stakeholders to address the issue of the low industrialization and diversification of the economies of some commodity‑dependent developing countries.

Next, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a text on Financial inclusion for sustainable development (document A/72/418/Add.5), by which it encouraged Member States to adopt and pursue national financial inclusion and gender‑responsive strategies to end structural barriers to women’s equal access to economic resources.

It then adopted, without a vote, a resolution on Promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows in order to foster sustainable development (document A/72/418/Add.6).  By that draft, the Assembly expressed concern that cryptocurrencies were increasingly being used for illicit activities.  It called for greater international cooperation and sustained dialogue to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return.

The representative of Nigeria said efforts by his country and Norway had led to the establishment of the interlink between achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and combating illicit financial flows, which had been endorsed in numerous fora including the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.  While his delegation had expected a more robust outcome, the adopted resolution was sufficient, he said, and appealed to Member States to further request a report by the Secretary‑General on how the issue was central to achieving the 2030 Agenda.  The Assembly setting up an intergovernmental body would be key to coordinating relevant mandates, he said, adding that most developing countries supported that idea.  The African Union’s annual theme would in 2018 be “Winning the fight against corruption:  A sustainable path to Africa’s Transformation”.  Nigeria stood ready to contribute toward holding the high‑level conference on illicit financial flows and asset recovery which would be convened by the President of the seventy‑third General Assembly.  Urging Member States to share information to combat illicit financial flows, he underscored that returning stolen assets had a more positive impact than focusing on conditionalities hindering developing countries’ progress.

Following that, the Assembly adopted a draft, without a vote, on Follow‑up to and implementation of the outcomes of the International Conferences on Financing for Development (document A/72/419).

Turning to sustainable development, the Assembly adopted a resolution on Oil slick on Lebanese shores (document A/72/420) in a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 9 abstentions (Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Tonga, Vanuatu).  By that text, it noted that the oil slick damage to Lebanon amounted to $856.4 million in 2014, and the Assembly requested the Government of Israel to provide compensation to Lebanon for the damage and to other countries directly affected by the oil slick, such as Syria.

The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, a text on International Year of Camelids, 2024 (document A/72/420), by which it encouraged all Member States, the United Nations system and other actors to take advantage of the International Year to promote awareness among the public of the economic and cultural importance of camelids.

Following that, it adopted, without a vote, a resolution on World Bee Day (document A/72/420), by which the Assembly decided to designate 20 May as World Bee Day to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats that they face and their contribution to sustainable development.

Next, the Assembly adopted a draft, without a vote, on strengthening the links between all modes of transport to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (document A/72/420).  By that text, it called for efforts to promote regional and interregional economic cooperation, including by improving the planning of transportation infrastructure and mobility, enhancing connectivity and facilitating trade and investment.

It then adopted, without a vote, a text on international cooperation and coordination for the human and ecological rehabilitation and economic development of the Semipalatinsk region of Kazakhstan (document A/72/420).  By that text, the Assembly urged the international community to assist Kazakhstan in implementing special programmes and projects to treat and care for the affected population, as well as efforts to ensure economic growth and sustainable development in the Semipalatinsk region.

Following that, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a resolution on sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central America (document A/72/420), by which it stressed the need to promote the further development of sustainable tourism and strengthen the development of ecotourism, maintaining the culture and environmental integrity of indigenous and local communities.

Next, it adopted a draft on Agricultural technology for sustainable development (document A/72/420) in a recorded vote of 152 in favour to 1 against (Syria), with 29 abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly urged stakeholders to strengthen efforts to improve the development of sustainable agricultural technologies and their transfer and dissemination to developing countries.

The representative of Slovenia said that after three years of effort, the resolution on World Bee Day had received its final endorsement.  In the last three years, since the beginning of the initiative of the Slovenian Beekeeper’s Association in 2014, his country had been intensively notifying States around the world on a political as well as an expert level.  In the frame of the official procedures, the initiative had been unanimously adopted by the Conference of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations at its fortieth session in Rome in July.  After that endorsement, it was transmitted to the Assembly, and on 17 November the resolution was adopted by the Second Committee.  Global food security was a key social issue and an important priority in the development of agriculture.  A third of all food produced in the world depends on pollination, and bees had an important role to play in the preservation of ecological balance and biodiversity.  They were also good bioindicators of environmental conditions.

The Assembly then adopted a text, in a recorded vote of 131 in favour to 48 against, with 4 abstentions (Liberia, New Zealand, Norway, Turkey), on Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (document A/72/420/Add.1).

Next, the Assembly adopted a draft, without a vote, on follow‑up to and implementation of the SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (document A/72/420/Add.2).

Following that, it adopted, without a vote, a text on Disaster risk reduction (document A/72/420/Add.3), by which the Assembly emphasized that preventing and reducing such risk would provide exponential returns and significantly curtail response costs.  It also emphasized the importance of increasing the availability of and access to multi‑hazard early warning mechanisms in ensuring early action.

The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, a draft on Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind (document A/72/420/Add.4).  By that text, it emphasized that mitigation of and adaptation to climate change represented an immediate and urgent global priority.  It also urged Member States to strengthen mechanisms and provide adequate resources towards achieving the full and equal participation of women in decision‑making at all levels on environmental issues.

Next, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a text on Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (document A/72/420/Add.5).

Following that, it adopted a draft, without a vote, on implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (document A/72/420/Add.6), by which the Assembly called on Governments and all stakeholders to take appropriate measures to mainstream consideration of socioeconomic impacts and benefits of conserving and sustainably using biodiversity and its components, as well as ecosystems providing essential services, into relevant programmes and policies at all levels.

The Assembly then adopted a text, without a vote, on Education for sustainable development in the framework of the 2030 Agenda (document A/72/420/Add.7).  By that draft, it called on the international community to provide inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels — early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary and distance education, including technical and vocational training — so that all people had access to lifelong learning opportunities that help them exploit opportunities to participate fully in society and contribute to sustainable development.

Following that, it adopted, without a vote, a text on Harmony with Nature (document A/72/420/Add.8), by which the Assembly decided to continue observing International Mother Earth Day annually.  It also called for holistic and integrated approaches to sustainable development in its three dimensions that guided humanity to live in harmony with nature and led to efforts to restore the health and integrity of the planet’s ecosystems.

Next, it adopted a draft on Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (document A/72/420/Add.9) in a recorded vote of 183 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 1 abstention (Venezuela).  By that text, the Assembly called for ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.  It also called on Governments to expand the use of renewable energy beyond the power sector to industry, heating and cooling, construction and infrastructure, and in particular the transport sector.

The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, a draft on Combating sand and dust storms (document A/72/420/Add.10), by which it recognized that that meteorological phenomenon had inflicted substantial economic, social and environmental damage on the inhabitants of the world’s arid, semi‑arid and dry subhumid areas, underscoring the need to treat them and take measures to address those challenges.

Next, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a draft on Implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conferences on Human Settlements and on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN‑Habitat) (document A/72/421).

It then adopted a text on the Role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence (document A/72/422/Add.1) in a recorded vote of 184 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions.  By that draft, the Assembly underlined that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 Agenda depended on means of implementation, particularly finance, international trade, technology and capacity‑building, calling for sincere and effective follow‑up on global commitments.

The Assembly then took note of the Second Committee’s report on “Promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence”.

Following that, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a draft on Science, technology and innovation for development (document A/72/422/Add.2), by which it called for strengthened support to those areas, particularly in developing countries.  It would also proclaim 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements to enhance global awareness of and education in the basic sciences.

Next, it adopted, in a recorded vote of 185 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with no abstentions, a text on Culture and sustainable development (document A/72/422/Add.3).  By that draft, the Assembly encouraged all relevant stakeholders to cooperate in supporting developing country efforts to develop, strengthen and consolidate cultural industries, tourism and related microenterprises.

It then adopted, without a vote, a text on Development cooperation with middle‑income countries (document A/72/422/Add.4), by which the Assembly encouraged shareholders in multilateral development banks to develop a graduation process (from a nation’s lesser developed status) that was sequenced, phased and gradual.

The Assembly then took note of the Second Committee’s report on “Groups of countries in special situations”.

Following that, it turned to a draft on Follow-up to the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (document A/72/423/Add.1), adopting it without a vote.  By that text, the Assembly underlined the urgent need to reverse the decline in official development assistance (ODA) to least developed countries, urging nations that had not met commitments to increase their ODA and make concrete efforts towards the ODA targets.

Next, it adopted, without a vote, a draft on Follow-up to the Second United Nations Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (document A/72/423/Add.2).  By that text, the Assembly stressed that cooperation on fundamental transit policies, laws and regulations between landlocked developing countries and their neighbours was crucial for the effective and integrated solution of cross‑border trade and transit transport problems.

The Assembly then took note of the Committee’s report on “Eradication of poverty and other development issues”.

It then adopted, without a vote, a draft on Implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008‑2017) (document A/72/424/Add.1).  By that text, the Assembly emphasized the importance of structural transformation leading to inclusive and sustainable industrialization for employment creation and poverty reduction.

Following that, it adopted, without a vote, a draft on Women in development (document A/72/424/Add.2), by which the Assembly emphasized the need to link policies on economic, social and environmental development to ensure that all people, in particular women and children living in poverty and in vulnerable situations, benefited from inclusive economic growth and development.

The representative of Sudan, explaining his delegation’s position on the “women and development” resolution, said it had joined the consensus.  However, he expressed concern over the wording of some of the resolution’s paragraphs, including false criticisms of particular national legal systems, and disassociated himself from that text.

Next, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a text on Human resources development (document A/72/424/Add.3), taking note of the report on the same topic.  By that text, it called on the international community to place human resources development at the core of economic and social development as educated, skilled, healthy, capable, productive and adaptable workforces were the foundation for achieving sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth and development.

The Assembly then turned to a draft on Operational activities for development of the United Nations system (document A/72/425/Add.1), adopting it without a vote.  By that text, it took note of the Secretary‑General’s report on “Repositioning the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda: ensuring a better future for all”.

The Assembly then took note of the Second Committee’s report “Operational activities for development”.

Following that, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a text on South‑South cooperation for development (document A/72/425/Add.2), by which it stressed that such assistance was not a substitute for, but rather a complement to, North‑South cooperation.  It also called on the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other relevant organizations to assist developing countries in implementing projects of South‑South cooperation.

Next, the Assembly adopted, in a recorded vote of 185 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions, a draft on Agriculture development, food security and nutrition (document A/72/426).  By that text, it stressed the need to increase sustainable agricultural production globally by improving markets and trading systems as well as increasing responsible public and private investment in sustainable agriculture, land management and rural development.

By further terms, the Assembly stressed that a universal, rules‑based, open, non‑discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system promoted agriculture and rural development in developing countries and contributed to world food security and nutrition.  It urged national, regional and international strategies to promote the participation of farmers, fishers and fish workers in community, national, regional and international markets.

It then adopted, without a vote, a draft on the United Nations Decade of Family Farming (document A/72/426), by which the Assembly proclaimed 2019‑2028 the Decade of Family Farming, and called on FAO and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to lead implementation of the initiative.

The Assembly then adopted a draft decision to postpone discussion of the agenda item on “Towards global partnerships” until the General Assembly’s seventy‑third session.

Following that, it adopted, in a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 11 abstentions, a text on Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (document A/72/428).  By that draft, the Assembly called on Israel to cease exploitation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Syrian Golan.

Further to the text, the Assembly called on Israel to comply with its obligations under international law and cease all policies and measures aimed at the alteration of the character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  It also called on Israel to halt all actions harming the environment, cease destruction of vital infrastructure, remove obstacles to the implementation of critical environmental projects, cease efforts impeding Palestinian development and export of discovered oil and natural gas reserves.

The Assembly then adopted a draft decision to approve the Second Committee’s programme of work for its seventy‑third session.

Finally, it took note of a report on programme planning.

The Assembly then took up a draft resolution titled “A world against violence and violent extremism” (document A/72/L.32).

The representative of Iran, introducing that text, said it was a follow‑up to Assembly resolutions 68/127 and 70/109, both of which had been adopted by consensus.  That unity demonstrated the pressing need to act to combat violent extremism, especially through the principles of tolerance and moderation.  Calling for collective international action in that regard — especially in the wake of the atrocities committed over the last few years by extremist groups in Iraq and Syria, including by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Daesh) — he stressed that “dialogue, moderation and tolerance are the most effective antidote to violent extremism”.  Urging Member States to avoid associating violent extremism with any particular religion or nationality, he said doing so “played right into the terrorists’ hands” and further spread extremist ideology.  Noting that the Assembly could provide a strong platform to help address the roots of that phenomenon, he said the text also reaffirmed measures taken at the international level such as the Assembly’s high‑level 2016 meeting on the topic, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) 2016 conference on youth and the Internet.  It also spotlighted the Secretary‑General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism and requested him to report on the implementation of the present resolution at the Assembly’s seventy‑fourth session.

The Assembly then adopted that draft resolution without a vote.

Speaking following the adoption, the representative of Canada said her delegation strongly condemned all violent extremism, including violence committed on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  The rights of all people must be respected, she stressed, noting that the Secretary‑General’s Plan of Action recognized the important link between social exclusion and violent extremism.  All States — especially the resolution’s main sponsor — should comply with their international obligations to protect human rights.

The representative of Israel said her delegation had joined in the consensus, but voiced concern not with “the message but the messenger”.  Iran, the text’s main sponsor, was in fact the “nerve‑centre” of violent extremism and terrorist incitement around the globe, as well as its main sponsor.  Iran’s proxies butchered innocent people and violated human rights, she said, adding that members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Iran were hanged from cranes, journalists were arrested, girls as young as 12 were married off and prisoners were tortured.  In Syria, Iran’s continued support for the Assad regime had allowed it to use chemical weapons against its own people, and next door in Lebanon it had helped Hizbullah increase its weapons arsenal.  With the adoption of the present text, it was critical for the international community to focus on Iran’s own actions, she stressed, noting that that country had already violated the very resolution it was sponsoring.

The representative of Saudi Arabia said his country had joined consensus on the resolution based on its belief in a comprehensive effort to combat violence and extremism.  It supported all efforts aimed at fighting violent extremism, but must address contradictions concerning security.  It was clear that Iran, the sponsor of the resolution, was also the main sponsor of violence and violent extremism across the world.  Iran had worked to destroy Yemen and was continuing to do so through violations of international law.  Several of its militias had wreaked havoc in Syria and Lebanon, and it was supporting extremist groups with weapons and other prohibited items.  He condemned Iranian support for those groups, stressing the need to prevent and counter all forms of violent extremism.

The representative of the United States noted that the Assembly had on 19 December adopted a resolution condemning Iran for continuing to violate international law and voicing concern over the targeting of minority religious communities.  Yet, 24 hours later, Iran was sponsoring a resolution against violence and extremism.  It had often acted in clear violation of its international obligations, which ran counter to the spirit of the resolution.  Her country had joined consensus on the resolution, as it believed in a comprehensive effort to counter extremism.  While Iran urged countries to unite against violence, its Government actively fomented violence across the Middle East.  Its support for Hizbullah had expanded the group’s arsenal, directly challenging Lebanese sovereignty and threatening Israel.  Iran abused its own people, supported political opponents of other Member States and imprisoned journalists and tourists on trumped up charges.

The representative of the Russian Federation said her country had joined consensus, as it believed in the resolution’s potential.  It viewed extremism as separate from terrorism, although it was a breeding ground for it.  Efforts to counter violent extremism must be based on international law and the United Nations Charter.  That was important when vague terms were being used to put forth dubious concepts.  She noted that extremist propaganda could, without violence, lead to undermining of the rule of law, destabilization of society and mass violations of human rights.

The representative of the European Union delegation rejected any form of discrimination, including on the grounds of sex, race, colour, language, genetic features, religion, membership in a minority group or sexual orientation or any other.  All nations must respect international human rights, promote good governance and uphold the rule of law.  She therefore urged all States — including the resolution’s main sponsor — to respect the rights of all their people, including ethnic, sexual and religious minorities.

Right of Reply

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply, the representative of Iran responded to the statement delivered by the delegate of the “Israeli regime”, who had levied baseless allegations and lies against his country.  Israel’s anger over the resolution adopted today was understandable, as it was an occupying entity that had created an apartheid system in the territories it controlled.  The representative of Israel had clearly deemed the resolution to be “against itself”, he said, noting that it pursued one of the most extreme policies in the modern world and denied the people living under its occupation their most basic rights.  In contrast, Iran had done everything in its power to combat violent extremism.

Responding to the representative of the United States, he said that country had for almost a year pursued a new policy which included levying baseless allegations and lies against Iran.  It was also working to advance the interests of the Israeli regime in the Middle East and was taking advantage of some regional countries by creating a “local bogeyman”.  It was not a coincidence that the United States had gone into high gear in its false allegations against Iran following the massive condemnation it received on its decision to recognize Al‑Quds [Jerusalem] as Israel’s capital.  The United States Government’s regime change project inflicted severe suffering across the Middle East, he said, adding that that country supported, armed and trained known terrorist groups in Syria.  The United States’ own past aggressions and interventions in the region had created fertile ground for recruitment by those advocating the violent takfirist ideology.

Turning to the representative of Saudi Arabia, he said that that country was a main sponsor of violent extremism worldwide, having lavishly financed the export of its fanatical ideology to poorer nations over the last three decades.  Saudi Arabia remained a critical support base for Al‑Qaida, the Taliban and other terrorist groups, and it supported any group that would fight the Government in Syria.  Noting that ISIL/Daesh was a product of Saudi support and financing, he said that country’s ideology propagated hatred and sought to spread it abroad.

Secretary-General Calls for Greater Security Council Focus on Emerging Situations, Systematic Pursuit of Conflict Prevention as Sound Investment in Future

Following are UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ remarks at the Security Council open debate on “Addressing Complex Contemporary Challenges to International Peace and Security”, in New York today:

I thank Japan for using its presidency of the Security Council to focus on the increasingly complex drivers of armed conflict and instability.  Let me also express my appreciation to the Government and people of Japan for their hospitality during my visit to the country last week.

I would like to make three main points today.  First, we are seeing not only a quantitative but also a qualitative change in threats to international peace and security.  The perils of nuclear weapons are again front and centre, with tensions higher than they have been since the end of the cold war.

Climate change has emerged as a threat multiplier.  Water scarcity is a growing concern, as demand for freshwater is projected to grow by more than 40 per cent by the middle of the century.

Inequality and exclusion feed frustration and marginalization.  Cybersecurity dangers are escalating, as some of the same advances in technology that have generated so many gains have also made it easier for extremists to communicate, broadcast distorted narratives of grievance, recruit followers and exploit people.  The number of armed conflicts has declined over the long-term, but in the Middle East and parts of Africa, conflicts have surged.

Conflicts are becoming more intractable.  They are longer — more than 20 years on average — meaning that the people they displace are spending ever‑increasing amounts of time away from their homes and communities.  They are more complex, as armed groups compete for control over State institutions, natural resources and territory — and as extremist groups with absolutist demands leave little room for diplomacy.  We are seeing a multiplication of political factions and non-State armed groups — with hundreds of armed groups in Syria alone.

There is also an increase in the regionalization and internationalization of conflicts.  External military and financial support to conflict parties prolongs civil wars — and fuels wider tensions as local fights become proxies for larger rivalries.  Conflicts are more linked with each other, and with the worldwide threat of terrorism.  And transnational drug smugglers and human traffickers perpetuate the chaos and prey on refugees and migrants.

Second, the changing nature of conflict means rethinking our approaches — both how we work and how we work with others.  Our efforts must be coherent, coordinated and context-specific.  We must work across pillars, and across the peace continuum, towards integrated action.

It was with this goal in mind that I initiated three interlinked reform efforts aimed at repositioning the United Nations development system, streamlining our internal management and strengthening the Secretariat’s peace and security architecture.

I have also sought to forge closer links with regional partners, including the African Union, the European Union and others.  The Joint Force created by the G5 Sahel Member States is an important step in this regard, as is the United Nations-African Union framework agreement earlier this year.

Third, prevention must be at the centre of everything we do.  It is better to prevent conflict than to manage it.  It avoids tragic human suffering and it even saves money.  Though hard to quantify and typically undertaken far from the media spotlight, prevention is a sound investment that brings ample, visible dividends.

Development is one of our best instruments of prevention, and the 2030 Agenda [for Sustainable Development] gives us enormous potential.  Development is an objective in its own right, and should not be misused in pursuit of other aims.  But, the steps we take towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will also help build peaceful societies.

Respect for all human rights — not only civil and political, but also economic, social and cultural — is an essential element of prevention.  In the lead-up to the outbreak of widespread violence, we often see increases in repression, the closing of space for civil society and the rise of sectarianism.  We must invest in social cohesion, so that all people feel they have a stake in society.

We also know that gender equality is closely linked with resilience, and that women’s participation is crucial to success, from conflict prevention to peacemaking and sustaining peace.  Where women are empowered, societies flourish and peace processes have a better chance of taking hold.  We must also do more to address the systematic violence faced by women before, during and after conflict, and to pursue justice for perpetrators as an essential part of post-conflict healing and recovery.

Prevention also includes preventive diplomacy — efforts to respond promptly to signs of tension and to forge political solutions.  The newly established High-Level Advisory Board on Mediation has met for the first time to assess opportunities for engagement, and I expect it to begin its first formal, but discreet, undertaking soon.  My own good offices are of course available to you at all times.

The concept of human security is a useful frame of reference for this work, and I thank Japan for its long-standing advocacy.  Human security is people-centred and holistic; it stresses the need to act early and prioritize the most vulnerable.

These must all be touchstones for our work.  I welcome the efforts by the Council to explore new ways to monitor and address the risks of conflict.  Let us work together to enhance the Council’s focus on emerging situations, expand the toolbox, increase resources for prevention, and be more systematic in avoiding conflict and sustaining peace.

Finally, let me emphasize the need for unity on the part of the Security Council.  Without it, the parties to conflict may take more inflexible and intransigent positions, and the drivers of conflict will push situations to the point of no return, again and again.  But, with unity, we can advance security and well-being for all.

Draft agenda – Monday, 15 January 2018 – Strasbourg

Draft agenda
Strasbourg Monday, 15 January 2018 – Thursday, 18 January 2018  213k
Monday, 15 January 2018   Version: Tuesday, 19 December 2017, 14:28

17:00 – 21:00   Debates
     
Speaking time
1     point Resumption of session and order of business
    point Joint debate – Clean energy
42 Deadline ***I Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources
Report:  José Blanco López (A8-0392/2017)
Report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (recast)

[COM(2016)0767 – C8-0500/2016 – 2016/0382(COD)]
Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
The vote will be held on Wednesday
40 Deadline ***I Energy efficiency
Report:  Miroslav Poche (A8-0391/2017)
Report on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency

[COM(2016)0761 – C8-0498/2016 – 2016/0376(COD)]
Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
The vote will be held on Wednesday
45 Deadline ***I Governance of the Energy Union
Report:  Michèle Rivasi, Claude Turmes (A8-0402/2017)
Report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Governance of the Energy Union, amending Directive 94/22/EC, Directive 98/70/EC, Directive 2009/31/EC, Regulation (EC) No 663/2009, Regulation (EC) No 715/2009, Directive 2009/73/EC, Council Directive 2009/119/EC, Directive 2010/31/EU, Directive 2012/27/EU, Directive 2013/30/EU and Council Directive (EU) 2015/652 and repealing Regulation (EU) No 525/2013

[COM(2016)0759 – C8-0497/2016 – 2016/0375(COD)]
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
Committee on Industry, Research and Energy

The vote will be held on Wednesday
46 Deadline ***I point Conservation of fishery resources and protection of marine ecosystems through technical measures
Report:  Gabriel Mato (A8-0381/2017)
Report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the conservation of fishery resources and the protection of marine ecosystems through technical measures, amending Council Regulations (EC) No 1967/2006, (EC) No 1098/2007, (EC) No 1224/2009 and Regulations (EU) No 1343/2011 and (EU) No 1380/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Council Regulations (EC) No 894/97, (EC) No 850/98, (EC) No 2549/2000, (EC) No 254/2002, (EC) No 812/2004 and (EC) No 2187/2005
[COM(2016)0134 – C8-0117/2016 – 2016/0074(COD)]
Committee on Fisheries
21 Deadline if requested ***I point Management, conservation and control measures applicable in the Convention Area of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation
Report:  Linnéa Engström (A8-0377/2017)
Report on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down management, conservation and control measures applicable in the Convention Area of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO)
[COM(2017)0128 – C8-0121/2017 – 2017/0056(COD)]
Committee on Fisheries
31 Deadline if requested   point Implementation of EU macro-regional strategies
Report:  Andrea Cozzolino (A8-0389/2017)
Report on the implementation of EU macro-regional strategies
[2017/2040(INI)]
Committee on Regional Development
    point Short presentations of the following reports:
30 Deadline   International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
Report:  José Inácio Faria (A8-0399/2017)
Report on international ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans in the context of the 2030 SDGs

[2017/2055(INI)]
Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety
35 Deadline   Women, gender equality and climate justice
Report:  Linnéa Engström (A8-0403/2017)
Report on women, gender equality and climate justice

[2017/2086(INI)]
Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
2     point One-minute speeches (Rule 163)
17:00 – 21:00   Debates     item on the agenda
Commission (including replies) 35′
Rapporteurs
 
(7×6′)
42′
Rapporteurs for opinion
 
(8×1′)
8′
Rapporteurs (Rule 52(2))
 
(2×4′)
8′
“Catch the eye”
 
(6×5′)
30′
Members 18′
42 item on the agenda point Promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources
José Blanco López
(A8-0392/2017) 
    Amendments; rejection Wednesday, 10 January 2018, 13:00
40 item on the agenda point Energy efficiency
Miroslav Poche
(A8-0391/2017) 
    Amendments; rejection Wednesday, 10 January 2018, 13:00
45 item on the agenda point Governance of the Energy Union
Michèle Rivasi, Claude Turmes
(A8-0402/2017) 
    Amendments; rejection Wednesday, 10 January 2018, 13:00
46 item on the agenda point Conservation of fishery resources and protection of marine ecosystems through technical measures
Gabriel Mato
(A8-0381/2017
    Amendments; rejection Wednesday, 10 January 2018, 13:00
21 item on the agenda point Management, conservation and control measures applicable in the Convention Area of the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation
Linnéa Engström
(A8-0377/2017
    (if requested) Amendments; rejection Wednesday, 10 January 2018, 13:00
31 item on the agenda point Implementation of EU macro-regional strategies
Andrea Cozzolino
(A8-0389/2017
    (if requested) Amendments Wednesday, 10 January 2018, 13:00
30 item on the agenda point International ocean governance: an agenda for the future of our oceans in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
José Inácio Faria
(A8-0399/2017) 
    Amendments by the rapporteur, 76 MEPs at least; Alternative motions for resolutions Wednesday, 10 January 2018, 13:00
    Joint alternative motions for resolutions Monday, 15 January 2018, 19:00
35 item on the agenda point Women, gender equality and climate justice
Linnéa Engström
(A8-0403/2017) 
    Amendments by the rapporteur, 76 MEPs at least; Alternative motions for resolutions Wednesday, 10 January 2018, 13:00
    Joint alternative motions for resolutions Monday, 15 January 2018, 19:00
Separate votes – Split votes – Roll-call votes
Texts put to the vote on Tuesday Friday, 12 January 2018, 12:00
Texts put to the vote on Wednesday Monday, 15 January 2018, 19:00
Texts put to the vote on Thursday Tuesday, 16 January 2018, 19:00
Motions for resolutions concerning debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law (Rule 135) Wednesday, 17 January 2018, 19:00

Human Cost of Arms Trafficking ‘Runs Deep’, Disarmament Chief Stresses as Security Council Debates Halting Illicit Trade on ‘Dark Web’

At a time of deepening regional tensions, expanding terrorist and criminal networks, and traditional and non‑traditional conflicts wreaking havoc on communities, the pressing issue of the spread of small arms, light weapons and their ammunition were key determinants of crises, demanding swift action to curb their illicit trade, the High Representative for Disarmament Affairs told the Security Council this afternoon.

Introducing the Secretary‑General’s report on the matter (document S/2017/1025), Izumi Nakamitsu said the multidimensional and cross‑cutting nature of small arms was indisputable — from arms embargoes, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, child soldiers, counter‑terrorism and the protection of civilians in armed conflict to transnational crime.

“The human cost of the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms runs deep,” she said, adding that the increased links among transnational organized crime, illicit small arms trafficking and terrorism, as well as the mounting use of the Internet, including the “dark web”, were of growing concern.  Nearly all violent deaths were caused by firearms, and the rate of firearms‑related homicides in post‑conflict societies frequently outnumbered battlefield deaths.  Small arms were also key determinants in the lethality and longevity of conflicts, and their rampant spread contributed to violations of international humanitarian and human rights, often playing a role in the deaths of United Nations peacekeepers and humanitarian workers.

“To invest in effective management of small arms and light weapons, including their ammunition, is to invest in conflict prevention,” she said, noting that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development had acknowledged the inextricable link between peace and development.

In the ensuing debate, delegates agreed that the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons constituted a serious threat to peace and security around the world, contributing to instability, violence and insecurity while undermining development efforts.  Their spread also contributed to terrorism and international organized crime.

Representatives also suggested ways to disrupt the network of transnational organized crime syndicates, including by controlling arms trafficking online, in particular through the “dark web”.  They urged for mainstreaming the issue into all relevant Council discussions and called for coordinated action to tackle the problem at the national, regional and international levels.

The representative of Italy, recalling that arms trafficking usually began with legally produced weapons, emphasized the importance of implementing the International Tracing Instrument.  In addition, the Arms Trade Treaty was a crucial instrument carrying the potential to mitigate risks.

Several delegates said Africa and the Middle East were regions deeply affected by the illegal arms trade.  Egypt’s representative noted that the core of the current challenge was due to the deliberate contributions of some countries that provided illicit weapons to terrorists and armed movements.

Bolivia’s representative said the seriousness of the problem had its roots in the breadth of the illicit trade, which reached $6 billion in 2014 alone.  At the same time, trafficking produced parallel profits in the financial system and tax havens, he said, adding that the global arms trade required international controls.

The representatives of Kazakhstan, China, Ethiopia, United States, Sweden, United Kingdom, Senegal, Russian Federation, Uruguay, France, Ukraine and Japan also spoke.

Taking the floor a second time were the representatives of Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

The meeting started at 3:06 p.m. and ended at 5:06 p.m.

Briefing

IZUMI NAKAMITSU, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, said that at a time of deepening regional tensions, expanding terrorist and criminal networks, and traditional and non‑traditional conflicts wreaking havoc on communities, small arms, light weapons and their ammunition were key determinants of crises.

Introducing the Secretary‑General’s report on the matter (document S/2017/1025), she said the multidimensional and cross‑cutting nature of small arms was indisputable — from embargoes, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, child soldiers, counter‑terrorism and civilian protection in armed conflict to transnational crime.

She said the impact of their wide availability, misuse and destabilizing accumulation was well documented.  Nearly all violent deaths were nowadays caused by firearms, and the rate of firearms‑related homicides in post‑conflict societies frequently outnumbered battlefield deaths.  Small arms were force multipliers and key determinants in the lethality and longevity of conflicts.

High levels of illicit arms also contributed to violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and were often used in killing, maiming, rape, torture and recruiting children, she said.  Small arms often played a role in the deaths of United Nations peacekeepers and humanitarian workers.  “The human cost of the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms runs deep,” she said.

Listing growing concerns, Ms. Nakamitsu pointed out the increased links among transnational organized crime, illicit small arms trafficking and terrorism, as well as the mounting use of the Internet, including the “dark web”, and the issue of improvised explosive devices manufactured with diverted ammunition.  Weapons and ammunition management had become a critical component of United Nations peacekeeping operations, she said, citing examples of operations in the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mali.

She said that the Secretary‑General had made 48 concrete recommendations to the Council on how to best address small arms, light weapons and ammunition, including on their management, peacekeeping, embargoes, community safety and law enforcement, civilian protection and armed violence.  Consideration had also been given to gender mainstreaming.  The Secretary‑General had also examined best practices from various mechanisms in United Nations field missions.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development had acknowledged the inextricable link between peace and development, she continued, adding that target 16.4 closely connected adequate arms regulation with properly functioning institutions and would create security conditions conducive to social and economic development.  Arms regulation should be pursued through the concept of measurability.  The sixth Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects had noted that the illicit trade had implications on the realization of several Sustainable Development Goals, including those related to poverty reduction, economic growth and health.  “To invest in effective management of small arms and light weapons, including their ammunition, is to invest in conflict prevention,” she said.

Statements

INIGO LAMBERTINI (Italy) said the illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons constituted a serious threat to peace and security around the world, contributing to instability, violence and insecurity while undermining development efforts.  Security Council resolution 2220 (2015) underscored the need to implement urgent measures.  Addressing arms disposal efforts was critical in post‑conflict situations, he said, noting how illegal trafficking could contribute to institutional instability.  In that vein, he highlighted actions and tools that could be deployed by Member States.  Turning to the Programme of Action on Small Arms, he said its third Review Conference in June 2018 was an opportunity to achieve concrete progress by mobilizing stakeholders.  Recalling that illegal arms usually began with legally produced weapons, he emphasized the importance of the implementation of the International Tracing Instrument.  Meanwhile, the Arms Trade Treaty was a crucial instrument with the potential to mitigate risks.  Pointing at the acute impact of small arms and light weapons in Africa, he expressed support for any initiative taken by those States, including the Central African Convention for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, their Ammunition and all Parts and Components that can be used for their Manufacture, Repair and Assembly (Kinshasa Convention).

BARLYBAY SADYKOV (Kazakhstan), emphasizing that the spread of illicit weapons impeded the goal of sustainable development, called for the universal application of measures such as improved stockpile management and the protection of military arsenals.  Raising other issues of concern, he said it was equally necessary to take a range of actions, including those aimed at disrupting the network of transnational organized crime syndicates and eliminating their weapons storage sites.  In addition, efforts should aim at controlling arms trafficking online, in particular through trading platforms of the “dark Internet”.  For its part, Kazakhstan had been actively implementing the Programme of Action on Small Arms and had put in place strict export, manufacture and supply control measures to mitigate any possible illicit proliferation of small arms and light weapons, he said.

WU HAITAO (China) said the illicit arms trade fuelled regional conflicts and facilitated the spread of terrorism while being detrimental to efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  China had proposed that the international community must commit to implementing diplomatic solutions to achieve peace and stability.  There was also a need to strengthen peacekeeping in order to swiftly restore stability.  Only a multi‑pronged approach could root out the problem of small arms.  China paid great attention to the Secretary‑General’s latest report and supported his efforts, various United Nations organs and Interpol in playing an active role in combating the illicit weapons trade.

IHAB MOUSTAFA AWAD (Egypt) said illicit trafficking and supply of small weapons had a great security and economic impact, especially if such weapons fell into the hands of terrorist groups and armed movements.  The Middle East and Africa were most affected by the rise of that phenomenon, he said, noting an increase in a number of civilian and security force injuries in that regard, stemming from some countries who deliberately supplied illicit arms to terrorist and criminal organizations.  He called upon the international community to spare no effort to combat that dangerous trend.  On the Secretary‑General’s report, he said many recommendations, which were directed to the Security Council, should be directed to the General Assembly and the Review Conference on the Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

MAHLET HAILU GUADEY (Ethiopia) underscored the devastating consequences of small arms and light weapons in her region.  Such weapons enabled international conflict and civil war, resulting in major harm to civilians.  Concerned about the risk of such weapons falling into the hands of domestic and transnational terrorist groups, she supported mainstreaming the issue into all relevant Council discussions and called for coordinated action to tackle the problem at the national, regional and international levels.  Highlighting the African Union’s strategy on combating the illicit trafficking of such arms and its corresponding action plans, she called on Member States to support such regional efforts.  Already, positive progress had been made at the national level in confidence‑building measures, she said, also underscoring the importance of addressing resources and capacity constraints.

MICHELE J. SISON (United States) said her country remained committed to the landmark Programme of Action on Small Arms and the International Tracing Instrument.  The United States was a leading donor in the field, including through its conventional weapons destruction programme.  However, challenges persisted and more needed to be done.  Instead of trying to identify every gap, the international community needed more countries to sign up to existing commitments.  Turning to the Secretary‑General’s report, she said it went beyond its remit in discussing domestic misuse in countries that are not in conflict, and the United States did not support its reference to the International Small Arms Control Standards, as they were not in fact standards, and had been created by a small group of self‑selected experts.  She expressed hope that future reports would more accurately describe the control standards as voluntary guidelines and not practical recommendations.  The United States was taking concrete steps to combat the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons and urged all countries to strengthen the implementation of existing related obligations.

PEDRO LUIS INCHAUSTE JORDÁN (Bolivia) said his was a peaceful State that did not produce, store or export weapons, and that mitigation in the trafficking of light weapons was vital for stabilizing countries in conflict.  The fight against illicit trafficking had not been won by the United Nations or the international community, and the use of such weapons promoted terrorism and transnational organized crime.  The seriousness of the problem had its roots in the trade of those weapons, which amounted to $6 billion in 2014, as highlighted in the Secretary‑General’s report.  Illicit trafficking produced parallel profits in the financial system and tax havens.  Further, non‑State actors to whom weapons were provided illegally helped to worsen conflicts, leading to war crimes and massive violations of human rights.  The global arms trade required international controls to make progress on reducing the risk of small arms proliferation, which endangered the lives of millions of people.  Also important were effective mechanisms to prohibit the supply of those weapons.

CARL ORRENIUS SKAU (Sweden) said preventing armed conflict and building sustainable peace hinged on addressing the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.  For that reason, the issue must be mainstreamed into all relevant discussions on the Council’s agenda.  Welcoming the inclusion in the Secretary‑General’s report, he underlined the complex linkages between illicit trafficking and the vulnerabilities of post‑conflict States.  Improved arms control was also necessary to achieve the goals set out in the 2030 Agenda.  Welcoming the report’s focus on gender, she noted Sweden’s support for projects aimed at increasing women’s participation in disarmament work.  Underlining the importance of controlling ammunition as well as weapons, she noted the issue’s inclusion in the European Union’s strategy.  He also pledged Sweden’s continued commitment to combating the illicit small arms trade.

JONATHAN GUY ALLEN (United Kingdom) said the majority of deaths in conflict situations in developing countries were the result of small arms and light weapons.  They facilitated the most heinous human rights violations, and in many countries were the preferred instrument of war.  He cited South Sudan as an example, where local disputes were resolved with guns, and small arms had become the norm.  In a culture of weapons, such disputes escalated faster and resulted in widespread casualties, he noted, adding that the transfers of weapons only spread that threat to other States.  To tackle those challenges, the international community must strengthen arms control, with the Arms Trade Treaty being one of the most powerful tools in that fight.  Its universalisation was a priority.  However, such efforts must go hand in hand with the implementation of existing commitments.  He praised the Programme of Action on Small Arms, while encouraging States to devote resources for stockpile security and destruction efforts.  If the world embraced action and quelled conflict, 1.2 million lives could be saved by 2030, a fitting goal for the body charged with upholding international peace and security.

GORGUI CISS (Senegal) said arms control was crucial for the maintenance of international peace and security.  Given current tensions around the world, the Secretary‑General’s report had come at an opportune time, especially in Africa and the Middle East.  Achieving peace and stability was a battle that was far from over.  West Africa and the Sahel could not escape the scourge and faced many threats, such as the proliferation and trafficking of conventional weapons and drugs, as well as terrorist attacks.  Small arms and light weapons also fuelled conflict.  Such challenges were an obstacle to sustainable development, which depended on peace and security.  Nevertheless, the last two years witnessed success in the management of conventional weapons, he said, citing among other steps the outcome document from the sixth Biennial Meeting of States to Consider the Implementation of the Programme of Action on Small Arms and the recommendation of confidence‑building measures.  Highlighting the importance of the Arms Trade Treaty, he called for universalization of the instrument and its firearms‑related protocol.

PETR V. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said that his country had spoken in favour of enhancing the role of the United Nations to tackle the illicit arms trade.  The pace of implementing the Programme of Action on Small Arms remained insufficient at a time when the black and grey markets supplied terrorist groups and street gangs and fuelled conflicts.  It was time to add to the Programme of Action on Small Arms; to provide, for example, controls over States for brokerage activity in areas of their jurisdiction related to exports.  There should also be a ban on the re‑export of small arms without the consent of the initial State.  The Russian Federation had very developed legislation in that area and stood ready to provide assistance to States wishing to draft their own legislation.  Turning to the Arms Trade Treaty, he said the openly weak document failed to tackle all the tasks it contained and did not include a direct ban on provisions regulating the re‑export of military goods.

LUIS HOMERO BERMÚDEZ ÁLVAREZ (Uruguay), noting that the Secretary‑General’s report highlighted the negative consequences of the unjust use of small weapons, said his country was committed to disarmament and had joined relevant regional and international treaties.  The proliferation of small arms was a fundamental part of armed conflict and a means of perpetuating them.  Selling small arms to warring parties had a direct impact on the suffering of civilians.  Access to small arms and light weapons and the lack of adequate controls negatively affected human rights and sustainable development, he said, citing the Secretary‑General’s report and noting that the illegal trade had topped $6 billion in 2014.  To combat that trade, international cooperation and the provision of assistance should be strengthened, with particular emphasis on developing national capacity.  States should adopt national standards to strengthen arms controls, and weapon‑producing countries must honour their responsibilities.  In that regard, the Arms Trade Treaty was a game changer toward the international regulation and responsible trade of small arms.

FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) said small arms and light weapons led to the highest number of victims in the world and were responsible for 90 per cent of conflict casualties and more than 500,000 deaths every year.  The illicit trade also fuelled conflict, organized crime and terrorism.  Like others, France had faced terrorist attacks, he said, urging Member States to mobilize.  Potential areas of collaboration included the development of national legislation, reduction of stockpiles, improving the security and physical management of stocks, and police and customs controls.  Increasing international cooperation on marking and tracing small arms was also essential, as was the exchange of information.  Moreover, international assistance was needed and must be adapted to the needs of beneficiaries.  Looking at the challenges ahead, he called on Member States to strengthen efforts and accede to all relevant instruments, including the Arms Trade Treaty.  Concerning the Programme of Action on Small Arms, he said France would preside over its third Review Conference in 2018, which was a unique opportunity to move forward and take steps toward mobilizing actors in various areas and tap into existing synergies.

YURIY VITRENKO (Ukraine) said that while fuelling armed conflicts, the illicit arms trade had a wide range of negative human rights, humanitarian and socioeconomic consequences, in particular for the security of civilians.  Armed conflicts driven by the spread of those weapons also served as the main cause of people fleeing their homes in search of a more secure environment.  There was an increased link among transnational organized crime, illicit arms trafficking and terrorism.  Ukraine was facing a challenge with regard to the spread of illicit conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons, as a result of the Russian Federation’s military aggression against his country, including the occupation of Crimea and a part of the Donbas region.  His delegation had drawn the Council’s attention to the continued illicit supplies of deadly weapons, ammunition and gunmen to Ukraine by the Russian Federation through the uncontrolled sections of the Ukrainian‑Russian border.

KORO BESSHO (Japan) said that small arms and light weapons prolonged and intensified conflicts, hindering the delivery of humanitarian aid and reconstruction and development efforts, even in post‑conflict areas.  The Secretary‑General’s call for “disarmament that saves lives” represented an important vision, he said, welcoming the latest report’s recommendations and best practices.  Especially in post‑conflict areas, he called for a focus on capacity‑building for national institutions.  For its part, Japan had provided approximately $3 million to Côte d’Ivoire from 2015 to 2017 and had, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme, provided capacity‑building assistance for the national commission in charge of the collection and disposal of such weapons, and helped to set up arms control guidelines.  While emphasizing the importance of the Arms Trade Treaty and expressing Japan’s support in universalizing the instrument, he pointed out that since its entry into force in 2014, only 93 States had joined, including just 6 in the Asia‑Pacific region.

Mr. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) took the floor a second time, saying the implementation of the Minsk agreements was being hampered by general instability in certain areas.  Tracing the turnover of weapons was something that the authorities were incapable of doing.

Mr. VITRENKO (Ukraine), also taking the floor a second time, noted that given the number of deadly weapons used by Russian separatists, including the famous missile that took down an airplane, killing almost 300 people on board, the Russian Federation had no right to lecture any Council member.

Mr. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said that Canada had publicly stated that it would issue its companies licenses to supply arms to Ukraine.  Companies from the United States, particularly manufacturers of electronic grenade launchers, were already providing Kyiv with weapons, even though the United States had said there had been no official decision on that matter.  Pumping Ukraine with American and Canadian weapons of war was sabotaging the Minsk agreements, he said.

Mr. VITRENKO (Ukraine)said his Russian counterpart had forgotten to mention that Ukraine was defending its territorial integrity against the Russian Federation’s aggression.  His counterpart had very seriously prepared for the meeting and for making his statement, which had sounded ominous, as though the Russian Federation was preparing another stage of its military aggression against Ukraine.

Mr. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said that his delegation prepared very carefully for every single session.

United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament in Asia, Pacific to Host Illicit Trafficking of Small Arms, Light Weapons Seminar, 19-20 December

NEW YORK, 18 December (Office for Disarmament Affairs) — The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific and the Government of Cambodia are jointly organizing a Regional Seminar on Illicit Trafficking and Diversion of Small Arms and Light Weapons and Other Conventional Arms and Ammunition in South‑East Asia.  The Seminar will be held from 19 to 20 December in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

This capacity‑building seminar is a response to requests made by several Member States in South‑East Asia to organize a sub‑regional meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) States and Timor‑Leste with the ASEAN Association of Chiefs of Police secretariat to find ways to address diversion and illicit trafficking of small arms and their ammunition.

The Seminar will foster regional dialogue among South‑East Asian States and explore possibilities for strengthening sub‑regional cooperation and coordination in this area.  Experts from national law enforcement agencies will engage with representatives from the ASEAN Association of Chiefs of Police, the secretariat of the Arms Trade Treaty, the Office for Disarmament Affairs, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the World Customs Organization, research institutions and non‑governmental organizations to identify ways and means to effectively address small arms and light weapons diversion, and reduce illicit arms flows to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Target 16.4 (“by 2030 significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen recovery and return of stolen assets, and combat all forms of organized crime”).

The Seminar is made possible with financial support from the Government of Germany.

For further information, please contact Yuriy Kryvonos, Director of the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, at e-mail:  info@unrcpd.org.