Fifty-fifth General Assembly
NEW YORK, 14 February (UN Headquarters) -- Expressing its solidarity and support to the Government and people of Bolivia, the General Assembly adopted this morning, without a vote, an orally amended resolution on assistance to Bolivia as a result of the flooding experienced in recent months (document A/55/L.74). By that resolution, the Assembly urged all Member States, specialized agencies and other organizations and organs of the United Nations system, together with international financial institutions and non-governmental organizations, to continue responding generously to Bolivia in its emergency.
The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to make every effort to continue mobilizing and coordinating the humanitarian assistance provided by the specialized agencies and other organizations and organs of the United Nations system.
In introducing the draft resolution, the representative of Costa Rica, speaking on behalf of the Latin American and Caribbean States, said heavy rains over the past few weeks had caused flooding and landslides in the northern part of Bolivia, resulting in heavy loss of human life and immeasurable material destruction. An estimated 40,000 families had lost their homes, and more than 200,000 people were displaced. It was crucial for the international community to provide assistance such as food, tents, water, purification systems, kitchen units and educational material. He also made a plea for international solidarity with the country of El Salvador, which had been struck once again by a violent earthquake.
The representatives of Bolivia and El Salvador expressed their gratitude for Member States’ support and solidarity. The representatives of Sweden, on behalf of the European Union and associated States, and the United States spoke, as well.
Regarding its special session in 2001 for follow-up to the World Summit for Children, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, a decision, recommended by the Preparatory Committee for the special session, on arrangements for the participation of non-governmental organizations (contained in document A/55/L.73).
The Assembly’s President, Harri Holkeri (Finland), informed delegates that Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Mongolia, Nicaragua and Turkmenistan had made the necessary payments to reduce their arrears below the amount specified in Article 19 of the Charter. [Article 19 stipulates that a Member State shall have no vote in the General Assembly if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for the preceding two full years.]
The resolution on assistance to Bolivia was sponsored by Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Austria, Cyprus, Slovenia, Spain, Lithuania, Malta, Turkey, Italy, Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Ireland, Monaco, Finland, Hungary, Luxembourg, Kuwait, Portugal, Egypt, Bhutan, Romania, Netherlands and Germany had joined as co-sponsors.
The Assembly will meet again at a date to be announced in the Journal.
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