Press Releases

    ECOSOC/5994
    21 December 2001

    ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL FILLS VACANCIES
    IN SUBSIDIARY BODIES, ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON CRIME,
    ECONOMIC, ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

    NEW YORK, 20 December (UN Headquarters) -- The Economic and Social Council filled a number of vacancies in its subsidiary bodies and adopted several texts this afternoon, as it concluded its work for 2001.

    Among the actions taken, the Council adopted a text on restructuring and revitalization of the Group of Experts on the United Nations Programme in Public Administration and Finance, as orally amended. Hence, the Group of Experts would be renamed the Committee of Experts on Public Administration and would continue to be a subsidiary body of the Council without change in its mandate.

    Acting on the recommendations of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on its tenth session, the Council approved two draft resolutions for adoption by the General Assembly. Those texts covered the terms of reference for the negotiation of an international legal instrument against corruption, as well as plans of action for the implementation of the Vienna Declaration on Crime and Justice: Meeting the Challenges of the Twenty-first Century.

    Also, the Council adopted the text on the proposed system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women, 2002-2005, as orally revised.

    Further, the Council decided to hold its resumed organizational session from 12 to 15 February 2002.

    The results of this afternoon’s elections are as follows:

    • South Africa, to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs for a four-year term beginning on 1 January 2002;
    • Philippines, to the Commission on Science and Technology for Development for a term to begin today and expire 31 December 2004;
    • Australia and the United Kingdom, to the Executive Board of the World Food Programme (WFP) for a three-year term to begin on 1 January 2002;
    • Trinidad and Tobago, to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Executive Board effective 1 January 2002, to complete Bolivia’s term, which expires on 31 December next year; and
    • Yuji Iwasawa (Japan), Yuri Alexandrovitch Boitchenko (Russian Federation), Njuma Ekundanayo (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Wayne Lord (Canada), Ida Nicolaisen (Denmark), Otilia Lux Garcia de Coti (Guatemala) and Marcos Matias Alonso (Mexico), to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2002.

    In addition, eight expert representatives of non-governmental organizations would be nominated by the Council’s President to participate in the work of the Forum. They were: Antonio Jacanamijoy (Colombia), for the Latin American and Caribbean Region; Ayitegau Kouevi (Togo), for the African Group; Willie Little child (Canada), for the North American Group; Zinaida Strogalschikova (Russian Federation), for the Russian and Eastern European Group; Parshuram Tamang (Nepal), for the Asian Group; Mililani Trask (United States), for the Pacific Group; and Fortunato Turpo Choquehuanca (Peru), of the Latin American and Caribbean Region for the Forum’s "sliding seat".

    Concerning the remaining vacancies on that Commission on Science and Technology for Development, the Council agreed to postpone the election of one member from the Asian States and one member from the Western European and Other States for terms that would begin on the date of election and would expire on 31 December 2004.

    Among the actions taken, the Council took note of the Secretary-General's report on the work of the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals during the biennium 1999-2000, as it adopted a resolution on that item.

    The Council also took note of the report of the Commission for Social Development acting as the preparatory committee for the Second World Assembly on Ageing on its resumed first session.

    In adopting an oral decision, the Council decided to defer to its session in May 2002 consideration of the draft decision contained in section B of the report of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development at its second session.

    Also deferred, until the Council’s 2002 substantive session, was consideration of the report of the Tenth Meeting of the Ad Hod Group of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters.

    The Economic and Social Council will meet next at a time to be announced.

    Background

    The Economic and Social Council met this afternoon to consider remaining matters before its resumed substantive session.

    Elections

    The Council had before it a note by the Secretary-General (document E/2001/L.2/Add.14-19) on the election of eight members to the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. The eight members will be elected according to the following pattern: one member from African States; two members from Asian States; one member from Eastern European and other States; two members from Latin American and Caribbean States; and two members from Western European States. Their term of office will begin on 1 January 2002 and expire on 31 December 2004.

    The candidates are Wayne Lord (Canada), Ida Nicolaisen (Denmark), Ronald Karwofodi (Suriname), Yuji Iwasawa (Japan), Maria Fernanda Espinosa (Ecuador), Otilia Lux Garcia de Coti (Guatemala), Marcos Matias Alonso (Mexico), Yuri Alexandrovitch Boitchenko (Russian Federation), Maria Noguerol Alvarez (Spain) and Njuma Ekundanayo (Democratic Republic of the Congo).

    Economic and Environmental Questions

    The Council was expected to take action on draft resolution III, on strengthening the work of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, contained in the report of the Commission on its fifth session (document E/2001/31 and Corr.1). The text would have the Council decide that the Commission should meet annually. It would also decide to study the feasibility of establishing an international mechanism for supporting and enhancing research and development within the developing countries and in areas critical to the developing countries, especially in the fields of health, education and agriculture.

    In addition, the Council would request the Commission to establish an open-ended working group for the purpose of analyzing ways to improve the role and participation of the Commission in the recommendation and policy-making process of the United Nations system on science and technology issues, with the aim of working towards the strengthening of the Commission. The Working Group should submit to the next session of the Commission concrete measures for adoption.

    Also before the Council is a draft resolution, sponsored by Iran (on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China), on the work of the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (document E/2001/L.52). By its terms, the Council would take note of the Secretary-General's report on the work of the Committee during the biennium 1999-2000, particularly regarding the adoption of new and amended provisions for inclusion in the eleventh revised edition of the Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods: Model Regulations and in the third revised edition of the Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods: Manual of Tests and Criteria.

    The Council would also invite all governments, the specialized agencies, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and other international organizations concerned to transmit to the secretariat of the Committee their views on the Committee's work, together with any comments that they may wish to make on the amended recommendations. It would also invite all interested governments, regional commissions, the specialized agencies and the international organizations concerned, when developing or updating appropriate codes and regulations, to consider taking into account the recommendations of the Committee.

    The Council was also expected to take action on the draft decision on the report of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development on its second session and provisional agenda for the third session of the Committee, contained in the report of the Committee on its second session, held from 14-25 August 2000 (document E/2000/32-E/C.14/2000/11).

    Also submitted by Iran, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, is a draft resolution on restructuring and revitalization of the Group of Experts on the United Nations Programme in Public Administration and Finance (document E/2001/L.46/Rev.2). It would have the Council adopt the text annexed to the resolution on the Group of Experts on the United Nations Programme in Public Administration and Finance. It would also decide to consider, at its organizational session of 2002, the nominations for the membership of the Committee of Experts on Public Administration for Development. In addition, the Council would decide to bring the present resolution to the attention of the Assembly at its fifty-sixth session.

    Social and Human Rights Questions

    The Council had before it a draft decision on the proposed system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women, 2002-2005 (E/2001/L.51), sponsored by Chile, Croatia, Denmark and Japan. It would have the Council adopt the system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women, 2002-2005, taking into account the Commission on the Status of Women resolution 45/3 and the comments of the Committee for Programme and Coordination and the Administrative Committee on Coordination, as well as taking note of comments by some Member States of the Commission as contained in annex IV to the report of the Commission on its forty-fifth session.

    Also before the Council is the report of the Commission for Social Development acting as the preparatory committee for the Second World Assembly on Ageing on its resumed first session (E/2001/71/Add.1).

    The Council also had before it two draft resolutions contained in the report of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on its tenth session, held from 8-17 May and 6 and 7 September (document E/2001/30/Rev.1-E/CN.15/2001/13/Rev.1 Part II). The Commission recommends their approval by the Council for adoption by the Assembly.

    Draft resolution I, on terms of reference for the negotiation of an international legal instrument against corruption, would have the Assembly decide that the ad hoc committee established pursuant to Assembly resolution 55/61 shall negotiate a broad and effective convention which, subject to the final determination of its title, shall be referred to as the "United Nations Convention against Corruption".

    Also, the Assembly would decide that the ad hoc committee shall be convened in Vienna in 2002 and 2003, as required, and shall hold no fewer than three sessions of two weeks each per year, within the overall approved appropriations of the programme budget for the biennium 2002-2003, according to a schedule to be drawn up by its bureau, and request the committee to complete its work by the end of 2003.

    Draft resolution II is on plans of action for the implementation of the Vienna Declaration on Crime and Justice: Meeting the Challenges of the Twenty-first Century. It would have the Assembly request the Secretary-General to ensure the widest possible circulation of the plans of action (annexed to the resolution). It would also invite Governments to consider carefully and use the plans as guidance in their efforts to formulate legislation, policies and programmes in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice, for the purpose of implementing and following up on the commitments undertaken in the Declaration.

    As the Economic and Social Council opened its resumed session this afternoon, it first adopted its agenda and other organizational matters.

    Two of the agenda’s open items remained to be addressed: the dates of the Council’s 2002 organizational session and elections to fill various vacancies in its subsidiary bodies, namely, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

    On the date of the Council’s resumed organizations session, delegations decided to hold that meeting from 12 to 15 February 2002.

    Elections, Nominations and Confirmations

    The Council then took up elections and, following the selection of tellers for the balloting process, made the following decisions:

    For the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Council elected by acclamation Yuri Alexandrovitch Boitchenko (Russian Federation), Yuji Iwasawa (Japan), and Njuma Ekundanayo (Democratic Republic of the Congo).

    While the ballots were being tallied, the Vice-President announced the eight expert representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who would be nominated by the Council’s President to participate in the work of the Forum. Those experts included: Antonio Jacanamijoy (Colombia), for the Latin American and Caribbean Region; Ayitegau Kouevi (Togo), for the African Group; Willie Littlechild (Canada), for the North American Group; Zinaida Strogalschikova (Russian Federation), for the Russian and Eastern European Group; Parshuram Tamang (Nepal), for the Asian Group; Mililani Trask (United States), for the Pacific Group; and Fortunato Turpo Choquehuanca (Peru), of the Latin American and Caribbean Region for the Forum’s "sliding seat".

    Since there were more candidates than there were vacancies from the Latin American and Caribbean, and the Western European and Other States, the Chairman invited the Council to elect two members from each of those groups.

    After the votes were tallied, Wayne Lord (Canada) and Ida Nicolaisen (Denmark) received the required majority and were elected to fill the seats of the Western European and Other Group. Otilia Lux Garcia de Coti (Guatemala) and Marcos Matias Alonso (Mexico) were elected to fill the vacant seats in the Latin American and Caribbean Group.

    Turning next to consider the outstanding vacancy on the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the Vice-President informed the Council that South Africa had been endorsed to fill that group’s seat. The Council elected South Africa by acclamation for a four-year term beginning on 1 January 2002, thus completing the Commission’s membership.

    On the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, the Vice-President announced that the Asian Group had endorsed the Philippines to fill one of that body’s outstanding vacancies. The Council elected the Philippines by acclamation for a term to begin today and expire 31 December 2004.

    With regard to the remaining vacancies on that Commission, the Council agreed to postpone the election of one member from the Asian States and one member from the Western European and Other States for terms that would begin on the date of election and would expire on 31 December 2004.

    The Council then turned to matters related to vacancies on the Executive Board of the World Food Programme (WFP). It was advised that that Australia and the United Kingdom had been endorsed to fill the two outstanding vacancies in the Group of Western European and Other States. The Council elected those States by acclamation to the Executive Board for a three-year term to begin on 1 January 2002.

    The final subsidiary body constituency under consideration this afternoon was the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The Vice-President announced that Bolivia would relinquish its set on the Fund’s Executive Board effective 1 January 2002, and Trinidad and Tobago was a candidate for that vacant seat.

    As that was the case, the Council elected Trinidad and Tobago to the Fund’s Executive Board effective 1 January 2002, to complete Bolivia’s term, which was to expire on 31 December next year.

    Action on Drafts

    The Council next took action on draft resolutions on matters related to economic and environmental questions.

    First, however, the Council adopted an oral decision by which it would take up the matter of the report of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development on its second session in May 2002, at a date to be determined.

    Action on draft resolution III, on strengthening the work of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, contained in the report of the Commission on its fifth session (documents E/2001/31 and Corr.1), was postponed until a later date.

    It next adopted the resolution the work of the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (document E/2001/L.52).

    The Council next adopted a draft decision on the report of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development on its second session and provisional agenda for the third session of the Committee, contained in the report of the Committee on its second session, held from 14 to 25 August 2000 (document E/2000/32-E/C.14/2000/11).

    Also adopted as orally amended this afternoon was a draft resolution on restructuring and revitalization of the Group of Experts on the United Nations Programme in Public Administration and Finance (document E/2001/L.46/Rev.2), to which the Czech Republic, Ukraine and Mexico were added as co-sponsors.

    Before concluding its consideration of drafts on economic and environmental questions, the Council deferred consideration of the report of the Tenth Meeting of the Ad Hod Group of experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, until the Council’s 2002 substantive session.

    Turning next to take action on drafts on matters related to social and human rights questions, the Council considered reports containing three draft texts.

    The Council adopted a draft decision on proposed system-wide medium-term plan for the advancement of women, 2002-2005 (document E/2001/L.51), which was orally amended by Croatia, its main sponsor. Senegal joined as a co-sponsor of that draft.

    The amended preambular section of the text would replace "Administrative Committee on Coordination" with "United Nations System Chief Executive Board on Coordination", and also delete "some" and "... of the Commission".

    The Council next took note of the report of the Commission for Social Development acting as the preparatory committee for the Second World Assembly on Ageing on its resumed first session (document E/2001/71/Add.1).

    The Council also had before it two draft resolutions contained in the report of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on its tenth session, held from 8 to 17 May, and 6 and 7 September (document E/2001/30/Rev.1-E/CN.15/2001/13/Rev.1 Part II).

    It adopted draft resolution I, on terms of reference for the negotiation of an international legal instrument against corruption, and draft resolution II is on plans of action for the implementation of the Vienna Declaration on Crime and Justice: Meeting the Challenges of the Twenty-first Century.

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