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    For information only - not an official document.
      UNIS/GA/1704
        28 September 2000
    General Committee Recommends Plenary Consideration of Items on 
    Crime Prevention, UN-ECCAS Cooperation
     

     NEW YORK, 27 September (UN Headquarters) -- The General Committee, at its third meeting, this morning recommended the inclusion of the item entitled "Cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Community of Central African States" on the agenda of the General Assembly's fifty-fifth session.  It also recommended that the new item be considered directly in the plenary.

     In another action, the General Committee recommended that the item entitled "Crime prevention and criminal justice" also be considered directly in plenary. 

     Brunella Borzi Cornacchia (Italy), presenting the request, recalled that the General Assembly had in 1998 established an ad hoc committee to elaborate a comprehensive international convention against transnational organized crime.  The committee would meet next month to finalize the text.  Italy had offered to host a signing conference in Palermo next December.  She was requesting that the agenda item, originally scheduled for consideration by the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), be dealt with directly in the plenary to ensure that action was taken on the adoption of the draft United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its draft protocols.

     In a letter to the President of the General Assembly, Italy said that early action on the text should be scheduled by the General Assembly to provide, among other things, for the timely transmission of the draft Convention and its additional international instruments to the high-level political signing conference, now scheduled for 12 December in Palermo, Italy. 

     The additional instruments are:  international legal instrument against illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, their parts and components and ammunition; international legal instrument against trafficking in persons, especially women and children; and international legal instrument against illegal trafficking in and transporting of migrants.  The ad hoc committee that had been preparing the instruments will hold its eleventh session from 2 to  27 October to finalize and approve them.

     NTUGU ABESO (Equatorial Guinea) said that the heads of State of Central Africa had demonstrated through their actions their firm intention of bringing about subregional integration.  Unfortunately, the social and political reality in the region posed difficulties to the attainment of that goal and made it impossible to carry out efforts in the economic sphere.  The new socio-political  reality in Central Africa had required the restructuring of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), which now included a body that carries out consultations on peace and security, a multinational force, a subregional parliament and a centre for human rights and democracy.  The ECCAS had been working closely with the United Nations on security issues and now wished to formalize and extend that relationship.  Doing so would allow the ECCAS to establish direct contact with all Member States and all the institutions and agencies of the United Nations system. 

     The President of Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, in a letter addressed to the Secretary-General, said the inclusion of the item on "Cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Community of Central African States" would make it possible for the development of multisectoral cooperation between the two bodies, along the lines of similar links between the United Nations and the other regional economic communities.

     It would also help the establishment of a true partnership for addressing, in a rational and coordinated manner, the issues affecting Central Africa, including security activities.  Consequently, the issues currently dealt with by the United Nations Standing Advisory Committee on Security Questions in Central Africa would be integrated into the new framework for direct cooperation between the two bodies, President Mbasogo, who is current Chairman of the Community, said.

     He also wrote that the strengthening of relations would enhance the General Assembly's ability to identify the nature and scope of the support which the international community and the United Nations system could provide to the States members of the Community in order to build lasting development and peace in Central Africa.

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