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    Round-up

    ECOSOC/5989
    27 July 2001

    ECOSOC ADJOURNS SUBSTANTIVE SESSION

    Adopts Resolutions on Genetic Privacy, Colonial Peoples,
    HIV/AIDS, Tourism Ethics, Disaster Reduction, Other Topics

    (Reissued as received.)

    GENEVA, 26 July (UN Information Service) -- The Economic and Social Council this evening adjourned its 2001 substantive session at the Palais des Nations in Geneva after approving a series of resolutions, decisions and measures -- all but one without a vote -- on topics ranging from genetic privacy and the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues to implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.

    Outstanding matters on the Council's agenda will be taken up at a resumed session to be convened in New York in the fall. The date for that meeting was not set.

    In a resolution on genetic privacy and non-discrimination, the Council urged States to ensure that no one shall be subjected to discrimination based on genetic characteristics.

    In a resolution on implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations, adopted by a roll-call vote of 30 in favour to none opposed, with 19 abstentions, the Council recommended that all States intensify their efforts in such agencies and institutions to ensure full and effective implementation of the Declaration. Several of the countries abstaining on the vote said the topic was political and inappropriate for consideration by the Council.

    The Council, in a resolution on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, expressed deep concern at the increasing number and scale of natural disasters, which had resulted in massive losses of life and long-term negative social, economic and environmental consequences for vulnerable societies worldwide, in particular in developing countries. And in a resolution on the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the Council urged all organizations and bodies of the United Nations system, in particular the co-sponsors and secretariat of the Joint Programme, to give priority to full implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS through support to governments in their extended national responses to the epidemic; and it called on the United Nations system to further strengthen coordinated action at the country level.

    In a resolution on the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, the Council emphasized the need for the promotion of a responsible and sustainable tourism that could be beneficial to all sectors of society. On the revitalization and strengthening of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, the Council recommended that the General Assembly consider the approval of a supplement for the year 2002 in order to provide the Institute with one more year of financial security so that it could finalize the implementation of the Gender Awareness and Information Networking System and the special research and training projects that were being tested through the system, and could implement its fund-raising strategies.

    In a measure on a Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Council decided to convene the first annual session of the Forum at United Nations Headquarters from 6 to 17 May 2002 without prejudice to any future venue of the forum. And in a resolution on implementation of the plan of action for the eradication of tsetse flies from Africa, the Council called attention to the seriousness of the tsetse and trypanosomiasis problem and its increasing significance as a constraint to Africa's sustainable development and the alleviation of rural poverty; and called upon all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and the international community to fully support this initiative.

    The Council, in a resolution on protection against products harmful to health and the environment, requested the Secretary-General to continue to disseminate the Consolidated List of such products as widely as possible and to look at the possibility of using on-line dissemination in collaboration with the World Trade Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme.

    The Council, among other things, also adopted measures on informatics; the work of the Committee on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals; confidentiality of the Commission on Human Rights' 1503 (confidential communications) procedure; the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries; the need for the Habitat Secretariat to participate in all aspects of the Administrative Committee on Coordination and its subsidiary machinery; and themes for the high-level and coordination segments of the 2002 substantive session of the Council.

    Council President Martin Belinga-Eboutou, in closing remarks, said that each of the session's segments -- high-level, operational activities for development, humanitarian affairs, coordination, and general -- had been a success in that they had given rise to high political debate and had encouraged effective resolutions and decisions; that everyone would recognize that the substantive session had reaffirmed the role of the Council as a dynamic forum that brought to the forefront new initiatives; and that the session was truly representative in that it had been strategically minded and had helped coordinate dialogue through all important players.

    Patrizio Civili, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, said lessons learned by the Secretariat during this session included the resounding message by developing countries, including African countries, that they should control their own development programmes; and that partnerships had to be forged and strengthened to achieve development goals within the United Nations system and with all public and private actors in development in order to realize Millennium Summit goals.

    Action on Resolutions, Decisions and Measures

    In a measure (E/2001/L.44) on the themes for the high-level and coordination segments of the substantive session of 2002 of the Economic and Social Council, adopted without a vote, the Council decided to adopt the following themes for the high-level and coordination segments of its substantive session of 2002: the high-level segment would be the contribution of human resources development, including the area of health and education, to the process of development, and the coordination segment would be strengthening further the Economic and Social Council, and building on its recent achievements, to help fulfil the role ascribed to it in the Charter of the United Nations as contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

    In a measure (E/2001/L.38) on the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, adopted without a vote, the Council decided to recall paragraph 111 of the Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the decade 2001-2010, adopted by the Third United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Brussels on 20 May 2001, and decided to revert to this issue at its resumed substantive session.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.41) on integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits, adopted without a vote, the Council recalled that the goals and targets in the economic, social and related fields contained in the Millennium Declaration and the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits, supplemented by the outcomes of their reviews, constituted a comprehensive basis for actions at the national, regional and international levels; underlined the specific responsibilities of the relevant functional commissions and, as appropriate, other relevant bodies of the United Nations system, in reviewing and assessing progress achieved, lessons learned and problems encountered in the implementation of the outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits; and recommended that the General Assembly examine how best to address the reviews of the implementation of the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits of the 1990s, including their format and periodicity.

    The Council also decided to strengthen the links with relevant functional commissions and other relevant bodies of the United Nations system, including regional commissions, in follow-up to conferences and summits, by reviewing progress in the implementation of cross-cutting issues, and to strengthen links with the General Assembly by bringing to its attention overall policy issues that might emerge from such follow-up and might require the Assembly's consideration; encouraged the participation of all relevant stakeholders, including the private sector, in maintaining and strengthening momentum for building partnerships in pursuit of the goals of the Millennium Summit and other conferences; and requested the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Council at its substantive session of 2002 on the implementation of the present resolution, ensuring full integration between the review and follow-up processes of the Millennium Summit and of other conferences and summits.

    In a resolution on coordinated implementation of the Habitat agenda, adopted without a vote, the Council reiterated once again the need for Habitat as the United Nations focal point for the implementation of the Habitat agenda to participate in all aspects of the Administrative Committee on Coordination and on its subsidiary machinery.

    In a measure (E/2001/L.43) on an annual overview report of the Administrative Committee on Coordination, the Council invited the Committee to ensure that the reform of its subsidiary machinery strengthened inter-agency bodies and processes which had specific mandates from intergovernmental bodies, particularly those related to the coordinated implementation of outcomes of United Nations conferences and summits; and encouraged the Committee to keep the Council informed on its reform process.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.28) on the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, adopted without a vote, the Council urged all organizations and bodies of the United Nations system, in particular the co-sponsors and secretariat of the Joint Programme, to give priority to full implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS through support to governments in their expanded national responses to the epidemic; urged the co-sponsors, other participating organizations and the secretariat of the programme to refine their respective strategic objectives in light of the goals of the Special Session of the General Assembly on HIV/AIDS and to monitor progress in implementation; called on the United Nations system to further strengthen coordinated action at the country level; and encouraged the Executive Director of the Programme to draw upon the administrative and financial support systems of all co-sponsors so as to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of support provided by the secretariat of the Programme.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.39) on the need to harmonize and improve United Nations informatics systems for optimal utilization and accessibility by all States, adopted without a vote, the Council stressed the need to ensure complementarities between the mandates of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Informatics and of the Information and Communication Technologies Task Force; requested the President of the Economic and Social Council to convene the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Informatics for one more year to enable it to carry out, from within existing resources, its work of facilitating the successful implementation of the initiatives being taken by the Secretary-General with regard to the use of information technology and of continuing the implementation of measures required to achieve its objectives; supported the efforts of the Working Group to keep intact the network of national focal points that was established in connection with the year 2000 problem as a vehicle for the diffusion of best practices and lessons learned; requested the Secretary-General to extend full cooperation to the Working Group and to give priority to implementing its recommendations; and also requested the Secretary-General to report to the Council at its substantive session of 2002 on the action taken to follow-up the present resolution, including the findings of the Working Group.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.35) on the long-term programme of support for Haiti, adopted without a vote, the Council took note of the comprehensive report of the Secretary-General on the long-term programme of support for Haiti; and requested the Secretary-General to report to it at its substantive session of 2002 on progress achieved in elaborating a long-term programme of support for Haiti and on the practical modalities for its implementation.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.34) on implementation of the plan of action for the eradication of tsetse flies from Africa, adopted without a vote, the Council called attention to the seriousness of the tsetse and trypanosomiasis problem and its increasing significance as a constraint to Africa's sustainable development and the alleviation of rural poverty; took note of the decision of the Assembly of heads of State and government of the Organization of African Unity to free Africa of tsetse flies; and called upon all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and the international community to fully support this initiative.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.22) on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations, adopted by a roll-call vote of 30 for to none against, with 19 abstentions, the Council recommended that all States intensify their efforts in such agencies and institutions to ensure full and effective implementation of the Declaration; reaffirmed that the recognition by the General Assembly, the Security Council and other United Nations organs of the legitimacy of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to exercise their right to self-determination entailed, as a corollary, the extension of all appropriate assistance to those peoples; requested the specialized agencies and other institutions of the United Nations system to examine and review conditions in each Territory so as to take appropriate measures to accelerate progress in the economic and social sectors; requested them to strengthen existing measures of support and formulate appropriate programmes of assistance; and recommended that the executive heads of the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system formulate concrete proposals for the full implementation of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and submit the proposals to their governing and legislative organs.

    The Council also encouraged the Non-Self-Governing Territories to take steps to establish and/or strengthen disaster preparedness and management institutions and policies; requested the administering Powers concerned to facilitate, when appropriate, the participation of appointed and elected representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories in relevant United Nations meetings and conferences; recommended that all governments intensify their efforts in the specialized agencies and other United Nations organizations to accord priority to the question of providing assistance to the peoples of Non-Self-Governing Territories; and requested the President of the Council to organize a joint meeting of the Council with the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in order to discuss issues related to the implementation of the Declaration by the specialized agencies and United Nations programmes.

    In favour: Angola, Argentina, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Uganda and Venezuela.

    Against: None.

    Abstentions: Andorra, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Italy, Japan, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.15/Rev.1) on a Europe-Africa permanent link through the Strait of Gibraltar, adopted without a vote, the Council welcomed the cooperation on the project established between the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the Governments of Morocco and Spain and specialized international organizations; welcomed the organization by the International Tunnelling Association of the seminar held in April 1999 on modelling of tunnel costs; welcomed the progress achieved on the project studies; renewed its invitation to the competent organizations of the United Nations system and to non-governmental organizations, in particular the International Tunnelling Association and the International Union of Railways, to participate in the studies and work on the permanent link; and renewed its invitation to the European Commission to consider the possibility of participating in the consolidation of the studies and the development of the project, both institutionally and financially, within the framework of the Euro-Mediterranean Transport Cooperation being developed under the Barcelona process.

    The Council adopted without a vote two resolutions and two decisions recommended to it by the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (E/2001/31) on its fifth session.

    The first resolution on science and technology for development took note with appreciation of the Secretary-General's synthesis report on the Commission panels on national capacity-building in biotechnology; and took note of the Plan of Action adopted by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development which noted the widening technology gap between developed and developing countries.

    The second resolution on the Special Trust Fund for Activities in the Area of Science and Technology for Development recommended that a Special Trust Fund for Activities in the Area of Science and Technology for development be established within the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development; and recommended that resources currently available in the Trust Fund for Special Activities in Science and Technology for Development be transferred to the newly created trust fund.

    One decision on the report of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development on its fifth session and the provisional agenda and documentation for its sixth session took note of the report and endorsed the resolutions and decisions adopted by the Commission; and approved the provisional agenda and documentation for the sixth session of the Commission.

    The second decision referred to the Gender Advisory Board, which decided to extend the mandate of the Gender Advisory Board for a further four years in order to allow it to complete its programme of work within the extrabudgetary resources allocated for this purpose.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.19/Rev.1) on the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, adopted without a vote, the Council took note of the Plan of Action for Least Developed Countries, adopted in Brussels in May 2001; expressed deep concern at the increasing number and scale of natural disasters, which had resulted in massive losses of life and long-term negative social, economic and environmental consequences for vulnerable societies worldwide, in particular in developing countries; endorsed the proposal of the Secretary-General, within the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction programme, to launch a review of the implementation of the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World: Guidelines for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation and its Plan of Action; decided that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Disaster Reduction should continue to perform the functions as indicated in the report of the Secretary-General; recognized that the framework of action for the implementation of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, as endorsed by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Disaster Reduction, constituted the basic guide for the implementation of the Strategy; this framework shall be periodically reviewed, according with the evolving needs in the field of natural disasters reduction; requested the Secretary-General to provide and ensure financial and administrative facilities for the optimal functioning of the Task Force and the Strategy secretariat, under the direct authority of the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat; and also requested the Secretary-General to strengthen the regional outreach of the Strategy secretariat in order to ensure appropriate support for national platforms for disaster reduction.

    The Council also urged the international community to provide the Trust Fund for the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction with the necessary financial support, including improved support for the Strategy secretariat and for the Task Force and its working groups; requested the relevant organizations of the United Nations system to support the International Strategy in the implementation of its goals, including by seconding technical staff to the Strategy secretariat; also requested the Secretary-General to submit a report on disaster reduction, as an important element of sustainable development, to the preparatory process for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, to be held in Johannesburg in 2002; decided to maintain the annual observance of the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction on the second Wednesday of October, as an important vehicle to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction, including prevention, mitigation and preparedness; and requested the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-sixth session a report on the implementation of the present resolution, under the item entitled "Environmental and sustainable development".

    In a resolution on the report of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development, adopted without a vote, the Council decided to transmit the report to the Committee on Sustainable Development; and decided to defer the approval of the provisional agenda of the third session of the Committee to its next resumed session.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.32) on the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, adopted without a vote, the Council emphasized the need for the promotion of a responsible and sustainable tourism that could be beneficial to all sectors of society; invited governments and other stakeholders in the tourism sector to consider introducing, as appropriate, the contents of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism in relevant laws, regulations and professional practices, and in this regard, recognized with appreciation the efforts made and measures already undertaken by some States; encouraged the World Tourism Organization to promote effective follow-up of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, with the involvement of relevant stakeholders in the tourism sector; and requested the Secretary-General to follow-up developments related to the implementation of the present resolution based on the reports of the World Tourism Organization and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.3) on human rights education, adopted without a vote, the Council invited all governments to promote the development of national strategies for human rights education that were comprehensive, participatory and effective, and which could be embodied in a national plan of action for human rights education as part of their national development plan; invited United Nations inter-governmental organizations, especially the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and other relevant inter-governmental organizations, to develop a wide approach to the United Nations Decade for Human Rights Education; and invited regional and national organizations, agencies, networks and non-governmental organizations to develop human rights education programmes and strategies for a wide distribution of material on human rights education in all possible languages; and requested non-governmental organizations to develop and implement strategies to encourage and assist governments upon request to integrate human rights education into all levels of education and to help in the assessment of those strategies.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.24) on genetic privacy and non-discrimination, adopted without a vote, the Council urged States to ensure that no one shall be subjected to discrimination based on genetic characteristics; urged States to protect the privacy of those subject to genetic testing and to ensure that genetic testing was done with the prior, free, informed and express consent of the individual or authorization obtained in the manner prescribed by law and in accordance with public international law and the international law of human rights; called upon States to promote, as appropriate, the development and implementation of standards providing greater protection with regard to the collection, storage, disclosure and use of genetic information taken from genetic tests that might lead to discrimination or invasion of privacy; urged States to continue to support research in the area of human genetics and biotechnology, subject to accepted scientific and ethical standards and to the potential benefit of all, especially the poor; and requested the Secretary-General to bring the present resolution to the attention of all governments and relevant international organizations and functional commissions in order to collect the information and comments received pursuant to it, and to submit a report thereon to the Council at its substantive session of 2003.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.25) on revitalization and strengthening of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), adopted without a vote, the Council appreciated the support of Member States in approving to advance INSTRAW up to $800,000 for 2001, pending receipt of voluntary contributions, on a one-time, exceptional and emergency basis; recommended that the General Assembly consider the approval of a supplement for the year 2002, similar to the one approved by the Assembly in its resolution 55/219, in order to provide the Institute with one more year of financial security so that it could finalize the implementation of the Gender Awareness and Information Networking System and the special research and training projects that were being tested through the system, and could implement its fund-raising strategies; decided to amend article V of the statute of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, with regard to the approval of focal points; urged the Secretary-General to continue to encourage Member States to contribute to the United Nations Trust Fund for the Institute so that it could continue to operate at an adequate level during 2002; continued to encourage other relevant sources of funding within the United Nations to contribute to the restructuring of the Institute; and requested the Secretary-General to report to the Council at its substantive session of 2002 on the implementation of the present resolution.

    In a measure (E/2001/L.27) on a Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, adopted without a vote, the Council decided to convene the first annual session of the Forum at United Nations Headquarters from 6 to 17 May 2002 without prejudice to any future venue of the Forum; decided that the election of the eight government expert members of the Forum would reflect the distribution of seats among the regional groups with due regard to the distribution of indigenous people among the countries of each regional group, with one seat for African States, one seat for Asian States, one seat for Eastern European States, one seat for Latin American and Caribbean States, one seat for Western European and Other States, and three seats to rotate among the five regional groups; decided that the first election and appointments to the Forum would be held at an appropriate time to be announced by the President of the Council but not later than 15 December 2001; and decided that the General Assembly at its fifty-sixth session would take action on the proposed programme budget for 2002-2003 in order to secure an adequately funded and well-functioning Forum.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.29) on mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes of the United Nations system, adopted without a vote, the Council decided to establish under its agenda item "Coordination, programme and other questions" a regular sub-item on the topic; called upon the Secretary-General, in future reports to the Commission on the Status of Women, the Economic and Social Council, and the General Assembly to assess progress made on the matter within the United Nations system; and called upon him and all bodies reporting to the Economic and Social Council to address the gender aspects of issues before the Council in their reports.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.42) on the global campaign for poverty eradication, adopted without a vote, the Council decided to keep the matter under review and invited the Secretary-General to report to the Council in 2002 on the matter.

    In a resolution (E/2001/L.37) on protection against products harmful to health and the environment, adopted without a vote, the Council took note of the fact that an increasing number of countries had participated in the preparation of the Consolidated List; requested the Secretary-General to prepare each of the two issuances of the Consolidated List, pharmaceuticals and chemicals, in all official languages; invited multi-lateral and bilateral agencies to continue to strengthen and coordinate their activities for improving the capacity-building of developing countries, particularly least developed countries, including innovative methodologies for earmarking, assessing and monitoring technical assistance in the area of the sound management of hazardous chemicals and dangerous pharmaceutical products; emphasized the need to continue to utilize the work being undertaken by relevant organizations of the United Nations system and other intergovernmental organizations in this area, as well as that being carried out under international agreements and conventions in related areas in updating the Consolidated List; requested the Secretary-General to continue to report every three years; and requested the Secretary-General to continue to disseminate the list as widely as possible and to look at the possibility of using on-line dissemination in collaboration with the World Trade Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme.

    Statements

    KENJI HIRATA (Japan), speaking on behalf of Andorra, Australia, Canada, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Switzerland and the United States, said the countries welcomed agreement on the themes for the 2002 substantive session of the Council, but regretted that the process had not been transparent; that the countries on behalf of which the statement was made had not been able to participate in negotiations on the matter at all levels; and that the Bureau of the Council should look into such actions to ensure that in future such activities were completely fair and transparent.

    ARMAN AARDAL (Norway) said his country hoped that the report of the Secretary-General on Habitat would continue to contribute to the work of Habitat, and would further the Habitat agenda.

    MEHDI MIRAFZAL (Iran) said the Group of 77's understanding of the resolution on the Habitat agenda was that the Secretary-General would include in his report on the matter the actions taken in relation to the Habitat Secretariat's participation in the Administrative Committee on Coordination.

    JOHN DAVISON (United States) said on the resolution on implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations that the agencies did not require guidance beyond that which was in their specific mandates. The United States reaffirmed that the move towards independence was a process to be negotiated between the territories and the administrative Powers, and for this reason, the United States would abstain.

    C. PAYOT (Belgium), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said draft resolution L.22 on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations dealt with issues that were not within the competence of the Council, and European Union countries would abstain in the vote on the measure.

    SARAH MACINTOSH (United Kingdom) said her country believed that the right of Non-Self-Governing Territories to participate in United Nations bodies, conferences and institutions should be applied on the basis of equality and non-discrimination.

    N. CHOULKOV (Russian Federation) said his country would abstain on draft resolution L.22 on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations; the Russian Federation’s approach to decolonization was well-known; at the same time it believed this was a political issue that distracted the Council from performing its main duties.

    KENJI HIRATA (Japan) said his delegation had abstained because the resolution on the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations did not have a balanced content, since it did not mention the major progress in decolonization. Further, the issue was basically political. The delegation found it inappropriate to consider issues like this in the Council.

    T. CHOULKOV (Russian Federation) said the resolution on the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements (Habitat) adopted at the last session of the Council greatly defined the tasks for the international community for providing relevant assistance to transition countries. However, there were financial constraints to the resolution that violated principles of equality of use of resources and cooperation with transition countries.

    C. PAYOT (Belgium), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that concerning the draft resolution on INSTRAW, the European Union welcomed United Nations efforts to enhance the position of women; last year the European Union had approved, exceptionally, financial assistance to INSTRAW; in spite of the clear terms of that decision, the European Union did not oppose the consensus on the present resolution. It was, however, perfectly clear that for the European Union, it was voluntary contributions and not the regular budget of the United Nations that should be the sole support of the Institution.

    YUKI SAKAI (Japan) said that his delegation had joined the consensus on the resolution on INSTRAW in the spirit of cooperation. However, it believed that INSTRAW’s revitalization should not come through United Nations budgetary items, but by expanding its donor base.

    Concluding Statements

    PATRIZIO CIVILI, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs, said lessons learned by the Secretariat during this session included a resounding message by developing countries, including African countries, that they should control their own development programmes; that partnerships had to be forged and strengthened to achieve development goals within the United Nations system and with all public and private actors in development in order to realize Millennium Summit goals; that the Economic and Social Council could make a crucial contribution to promoting harmonious and sustained implementation of the results of major conferences and summits; that it was necessary to consolidate the role of the Economic and Social Council as the broadest forum for economic and social debate within the United Nations system -- it was a privileged forum where agencies met with governments in pursuit of common goals in a globalizing world; and that it was necessary to ensure that the connections made at the Economic and Social Council continued throughout the year in all United Nations agencies and programmes.

    MARTIN BELINGA-EBOUTOU, President of the Economic and Social Council, said each of the segments of the Council had been a success -- they had given rise to high political debate and had encouraged effective resolutions and decisions. Everybody would recognize that this session reaffirmed the role of the Council as a dynamic forum that brought to the forefront new initiatives. This year's session had been truly representative and had been strategic minded, and had helped coordinate dialogue through all important players. The major event had been without a doubt the high-level segment. This had become stronger and stronger over the past few years. The high-level debate had been gratifying -- it concerned Africa. During this segment, the Council had been able to continue giving greater strength to the spirit of the Millennium Summit. The New African Initiative had been placed at the centre of the segment's concerns. The ministerial declaration had ensured that the Council was at the centre of the United Nations support of the New African Initiative and the African Union.

    Participating in the high-level segment, he said, had been senior African leaders, including former South African President Nelson Mandela and the Prime Minister of Namibia. The Secretary-General had also participated in the general discussion, and in the forum on investment. This was the first time that the Council had set up an African Forum for the Promotion on Investment. Many interesting and practical proposals and ideas had been raised in the forum, and there were calls for follow-up. Two panels took place -- one on the relationship between peace and development, and the other on the New African Charter for Public Service. These allowed for a strengthening of links between the private sector, governments, and international organizations. The Ministerial Declaration had called for a special session of the General Assembly devoted to the New African Initiative. It had also emphasized the importance of the partnership between the public and private sectors. The major challenge still remained -- the political gain should be followed by adequate follow-up.

    The coordination segment, he said, investigated the role of the United Nations system in the area of development, particularly about new technologies. It was hoped that the Council would lend its full support to the study group on information technology, which would be organized in September in New York. There had also been discussions about the coordination of the United Nations system in

    the role of development. The country teams from the United Republic of Tanzania and China also had addressed the segment. The humanitarian segment had reaffirmed the importance of the Council in defining the guidelines on humanitarian assistance. The Council had expressed hope that activities could be strengthened in the area of development financing. It was hoped that the practice of concerted conclusions would resume in 2002. The general segment had confirmed the Council’s coordination role. There had been talk about the follow-up to the Millennium Declaration, and the role of the Council's subsidiary bodies. It had been repeatedly emphasized that there was a real need to further integrate certain agenda items. There had also been talk about the reduction of natural disasters and the follow-up to major conferences.

    In conclusion, he said the Council had to study an ever-increasing number of questions, and the Millennium Summit had confirmed that this was the Council's role. It was time for the Council to have available appropriate resources so that it could even more successfully fulfil its exalted mission. At this point, the promises for a new development paradigm should be recalled. The message heard from Africa had been clear and eloquent. He was confident that the international community would respond with the same sense of responsibility and energy.

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