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      UNIS/GA/1709
        17 October 2000
     General Committee Recommends Agenda Items on Chemical Weapons Organization, Millenium Summit Follow Up, Korean Penninsula
     
     

    NEW YORK, 16 October (UN Headquarters) – The General Assembly's General Committee this morning recommended to the Assembly the inclusion of three additional items in the agenda of the fifty-fifth session:  “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons”; “Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit”; and “Peace, security and reunification on the Korean peninsula”.  It further recommended that the items be considered directly in plenary.

     The request for inclusion of “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons” was submitted by the representative of the Netherlands, who also requested that the item be considered directly in plenary meeting and remain on the agenda of all subsequent Assembly sessions.  In an explanatory memorandum, he wrote that the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons were scheduled to sign the Agreement on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization on 17 October.  It was befitting for the Assembly to react to that important event.

     The representative of the Netherlands said that the reasons for asking the floor were in the letter his country had written (document A/55/234)).  As the host country of the Organization, he felt it was appropriate to support the request.  Tomorrow an agreement would be signed between the United Nations and the Organization.  The Organization’s Director-General would be in New York to sign.  It would be appropriate if the General Assembly would consider the matter in plenary as soon as possible after signing the agreement, which would give the Director-General an opportunity to address the plenary.

     The representative of Brazil, not a co-sponsor of the initiative, agreed with and seconded the proposal.

     The new agenda item on the “Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit” (document A/55/235) was submitted by the representatives of Algeria, Finland, Namibia, Poland, Singapore and Venezuela.  In an explanatory memorandum, the representatives drew attention to the fact that the Millennium Summit, the largest ever United Nations gathering, had adopted a forward-looking and ambitious Millennium Declaration, which had set a demanding agenda for the Organization for the new millennium.  The item was proposed in order to maintain the moment created by the Millennium Summit.

     The representative of France, supporting the request, suggested a correction in the French version of the letter.

    The additional item entitled "Peace, Security and Reunification on the Korean Peninsula" was requested by the following member States: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belize, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, Fiji, Finland, France, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United States and Viet Nam.  

    An explanatory memorandum, contained in Annex I, states that the item relates to the inter-Korean summit meeting held in Pyongyang in June 2000 and the announcement of the joint declaration, the first of its kind since Korea's division, paving the way for peaceful reunification.  Under the circumstances, a resolution adopted by the General Assembly in support of the inter-Korean summit and the joint declaration should greatly encourage the efforts to bring durable peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula and also contribute to peace and security in the rest of the world.  

    The request also includes a draft resolution, in Annex II, by which the Assembly would welcome and support the inter-Korean Summit and encourage the two countries to fully implement the joint declaration and other agreements. 

    The representative of the Republic of Korea thanked the President for convening the meeting today and for considering the inclusion of the item "Peace, security and reunification".  He expressed gratitude to the 46 countries that had joined in the request for the inclusion of the item.  He hoped the draft resolution would be submitted in due course and that it would be adopted by consensus in the General Assembly.  If adopted, the resolution should greatly encourage the efforts to bring durable peace and reunification on the Korean peninsula and also contribute to peace and security in the rest of the world.  At the same time, it would encourage similar endeavours around the world and provide other countries with an exemplary case of how differences could be resolved peacefully through dialogue. 

     The representative of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea said that the North-South Summit Meeting held in Pyongyang last June and its resulting Joint Declaration constituted epochal-making contributions for peace, security and reunification on the Korean peninsula and greatly contributed to ensuring peace and security in North East Asia and the rest of the world.  To that end, both sides had agreed to jointly request the inclusion of the above-mentioned item in the agenda of the current session.  It was of great significance that the North and South of Korea were making such joint efforts in the United Nations for the first time.  The representative thanked those Member States that had already rendered full support to the North-South initiative and looked forward to full cooperation of all Member States in recommending the inclusion of the proposed additional item and adopting the draft resolution by consensus during the current session. 

     The representative of Singapore said those present this morning were fortunate to witness an historic event and, because of its significance, he wanted to speak in support.  The first ever inter-Korean summit had been held in June.  The initiative, however, had gone beyond that and the beneficial effects had been felt in the region as a whole.  The fact that the peoples of both the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Republic of Korea had agreed to support a draft resolution was a significant development.

    The General Assembly will consider the Committee’s report at 3 p.m., Tuesday, 17 October.

     The General Committee will meet again at a date to be announced.

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