Press Releases

    GA/EF/3033
    12 December 2002

    SECOND COMMITTEE TEXT CALLS FOR APPLICATION OF
    ENHANCED INDEBTED COUNTRIES PLAN, CANCELLATION
    OF OFFICIAL BILATERAL DEBT

    Approves 21 Draft Resolutions, Decisions as it Concludes Session

    NEW YORK, 11 December (UN Headquarters) -- The General Assembly would reiterate the call for industrialized countries to implement the enhanced programme of debt relief for heavily indebted poor countries without further delay, and agree to cancel their official bilateral debt in return for those countries demonstrably committing themselves to poverty reduction, by the terms of a draft resolution approved without a vote in the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) today.

    According to a text on enhancing international cooperation towards a durable solution to the external debt problem of developing countries -- one of 19 draft resolutions and two draft decisions on which the Committee took action -- the Assembly would call, in turn, upon the heavily indebted poor countries to take the policy measures necessary to become eligible for the enhanced debt relief programme.

    By other terms, the Assembly would stress the importance of continued flexibility with regard to the eligibility criteria for the enhanced debt relief initiative, particularly for countries in post-conflict situations, and emphasize the need to help bring about initial recovery in heavily indebted poor post-conflict countries, in order to help clear those countries' arrears vis-à-vis international financial institutions.

    Another text, on international trade and development would have the Assembly express concern that several unilateral actions inconsistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules would harm developing country exports and have considerable bearing on ongoing WTO negotiations and development. It would work to ensure that the concerns of developing countries, particularly issues relating to implementation, as well as special and differential treatment, were properly and effectively addressed, according to last year's Doha Ministerial Declaration.

    Also by that draft, the Assembly would stress the importance of facilitating WTO accession for all developing nations, as well as clarifying and improving procedures under existing WTO provisions for regional trade agreements. It would also emphasize the importance of the Doha mandate for non-agricultural product market-access negotiations aimed at reducing or eliminating tariffs, tariff peaks, tariff escalations and non-tariff barriers, particularly those that negatively impacted exports from developing countries.

    By the terms of a third text, on protection of global climate for present and future generations, the Assembly would urge all parties to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, stressing the importance of providing technical and financial assistance to countries requiring it. It would also emphasize the need to strengthen technology transfer, including through concrete projects and capacity-building in all sectors from energy through biodiversity and waste management.

    Further by that draft, the Assembly would stress the need for adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change as a high priority requiring urgent action by all countries. It would also stress the need to support results-based measures, approaches developed for all levels of vulnerability and adaptation, as well as capacity-building to integrate adaptation concerns into sustainable development strategies.

    The Committee also approved a draft resolution on further implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, by which the General Assembly would convene an international meeting in 2004, and welcome the offer by the Government of Mauritius to host it. Also by that text, the Assembly would establish a voluntary fund to assist small island developing States, including the least developed among them, to participate effectively in the meeting and its preparatory processes.

    By a fourth draft, on high-level international intergovernmental consideration of financing for development, the General Assembly would stress that the United Nations, the Bretton Woods institutions, the WTO and governments should urgently promote equitable and broad sharing in the benefits of globalization. It would encourage all governments to combat corruption, bribery, money-laundering, the transfer of the illicitly acquired funds and assets and work for their return to their countries of origin.

    Among other texts approved today were draft resolutions on the creation of a global culture of cybersecurity; the report on the seventh session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); preparations for the International Year of Freshwater; the World Summit on Sustainable Development; the World Climate Change Conference; and the Human Development Report.

    Other draft resolutions approved included texts relating to implementation of the first United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (1997-2006); the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR); the promotion of development in the context of globalization and interdependence; and implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa.

    The Committee also approved draft decisions on natural disasters and vulnerability, and on United Nations pledging mechanisms and resource mobilization for operational development activities.

    In several oral decisions taken today, the Committee took note of the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on the involvement of civil society organizations other than non-governmental organizations and the private sector in technical cooperation activities: experiences and prospects of the United Nations system (document A/57/118); and of the Secretary-General's report on integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits, including the United Nations Millennium Summit (document A/57//75-E/2002/57).

    The Committee also took note, through oral decisions, of three notes of the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on United Nations support for science and technology in Latin America and the Caribbean and the comments of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination thereon (document A/56/370 and Add.1); the report of the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund on the United Nations Population Award (document A/57/354); and the report on the activities of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (documents A/57/125).

    In other oral decisions, the Committee took note of the Secretary-General's report on measures to promote and facilitate South-South cooperation (document A/57/155); the Report of the Trade and Development Board on its twenty-eighth executive session (document A/57/15 (Part I)); the Report of the Trade and Development Board on its nineteenth special session (document A/57/15 (Part II)); and the Report of the Trade and Development Board on its forty-ninth session (document A/57/15 (Part III)).

    The Committee also adopted its draft biennial programme of work for 2003-2004.

    Speaking after the conclusion of the Committee's work, Nitin Desai, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, highlighted important features of its current session, particularly its work in sustainable development and macroeconomics carried out in the context of the World Summit and Monterrey Conference. He said the Committee had successfully met the challenge of integrating conference outcomes into its work, rather than the usual practice of remitting issues to subsidiary bodies and commissions.

    Also speaking today were the representatives of the United States, Denmark (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), Canada, China, Russian Federation, Japan, Norway, Samoa (on behalf of Small Island Developing States), Venezuela (on behalf of the "Group of 77" developing countries and China) and Tuvalu.

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