Press Releases

     

    GA/SHC/3750
    24 October 2003

    THIRD COMMITTEE APPROVES 7 DRAFT RESOLUTIONS ON
    TRANSNATIONAL CRIME, DRUG CONTROL, SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT;
    CONCLUDES DISCUSSION OF INDIGENOUS ISSUES

    NEW YORK, 23 October (UN Headquarters) -- Draft resolutions on crime prevention and criminal justice, stressing the need to strengthen international cooperation, were approved as the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met this afternoon.  The Committee also approved drafts on international drug control and social development.

    Also this afternoon, the Committee concluded its discussion of indigenous peoples’ issues, with delegations stressing the importance of recognizing the rights of indigenous peoples through strong national legislation.  Several speakers highlighted initiatives taken nationally in order to protect and promote the rights of indigenous peoples and children, including programmes on education, health, food security and land rights.

    Over the past few weeks, delegations had expressed concern about the spread of trafficking in human beings and children, especially for the purpose of sexual exploitation.  It was therefore fitting that the Committee approved a draft resolution on international cooperation in preventing and combating trafficking in persons and in protecting victims of trafficking, which would have the General Assembly call upon States to collaborate to prevent such trafficking especially for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

    Trafficking would be fought through strengthened local and national institutions; information campaigns on the techniques and methods of traffickers; education programmes aimed at prospective targets; and by focusing on post-conflict regions where patterns of human trafficking were emerging as a new phenomenon.  Furthermore, States would be urged to ensure that measures taken against trafficking in persons were consistent with internationally recognized principles of non-discrimination and respected the human rights of victims.

    Another draft resolution approved by the Committee related to international cooperation and terrorism.  Entitled “strengthening international cooperation and technical assistance in promoting the implementation of the universal conventions and protocols related to terrorism”, it would have the General Assembly request the Centre for International Crime Prevention to prepare guidelines on technical assistance, in coordination with the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, for the ratification and implementation of universal conventions and protocols related to terrorism.

    Other draft resolutions approved this afternoon also dealt with cooperation in the implementation of conventions, as well as the strengthening of crime prevention programmes.  A draft approved on international cooperation in the fight against transnational organized crime focused on assistance in capacity-building to facilitate the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

    In a draft resolution approved on the strengthening of the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme, States would be urged to include a crime prevention component in their funding policies for development assistance.

    According to a draft approved on the preparations of the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the General Assembly would decide that it be held from 18 to 25 April 2005.

    The need for international cooperation was also stressed in a draft resolution approved on the world drug problem.  The text would have the General Assembly urge States, in order to achieve a significant and measurable reduction of drug abuse by 2008, to implement comprehensive demand-reduction policies and programmes; enhance early intervention programmes that dissuaded children and young people from the use of drugs; and provide services to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases associated with drug abuse.

    The Committee also approved a draft resolution on cooperatives in social development, which would have the General Assembly request the Secretary-General to support Member States in their efforts to create an environment for the development of cooperatives through conferences, workshops and seminars at regional and international levels.

    During the general debate on indigenous issues, the representative of the International Labour Organization (ILO) said that indigenous and tribal peoples were still not effectively protected by existing laws and policies since national laws often did not address their specific situations, characteristics or needs.  In fact, ILO’s two Conventions on Indigenous and Tribal Populations No.107 and No.169 were the only international and legal instruments protecting indigenous peoples’ rights.  Concern was also raised about child labour such as debt bondage in South Asia, migratory agricultural wage labour in Central America and Mexico, and trafficking in South-East Asia.

    Speaking this afternoon were representatives of the following countries: Philippines, Myanmar, Peru, Russian Federation and China.

    A representative of the Food and Agricultural Organization also spoke.

    The Committee will reconvene tomorrow, at 3 p.m., when it will begin its consideration of issues related to racism, follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action, as well as self-determination.

    Background

    The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) is expected to take action on draft resolutions concerning social development, crime prevention and international drug control.

    Also today, the Committee is expected to continue its discussion of issues concerning indigenous peoples.

    For further background information on indigenous issues please see Press Release GA/SHC/3749 of 22 October.

    Social development, including questions relating to the world social situation and to youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family

    Before the Committee is a draft resolution on cooperatives in social development recommended for action by the Committee (document A/C.3/58/L.7) which would have the General Assembly urge governments and relevant international organizations to give due consideration to the role and contribution of cooperatives in the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit for Social Development and other international conferences.

    The draft also invites governments to continue to observe annually the International Day of Cooperatives on the first Saturday of July, and would have the General Assembly request the Secretary-General to support Member States in their efforts to create a supportive environment for the development of cooperatives and to promote an exchange of experience and best practices through conferences, workshops and seminars at the national and international levels.

     

    Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

    The Committee has before it a draft resolution on International cooperation in the fight against transnational organized crime, recommended for action by the Economic and Social Council (document A/C.3/58/L.3).  The text would have the General Assembly recommend that the Centre for International Crime Prevention, in its capacity as secretariat of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols, undertake in 2004 all activities necessary to ensure the efficient preparation of the inaugural session of the Conference.  It would also have the Assembly recommend that the Centre develop a guide containing elements useful to States parties in meeting their reporting requirements to the conference. 

    The draft would also have the General Assembly ask the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Centre with the necessary resources to enable it to effectively promote the Convention’s implementation and to discharge its functions as the secretariat of the Conference of the Parties in accordance with its mandate.

    Also before the Committee is a draft resolution on strengthening international cooperation and technical assistance in promoting the implementation of the universal conventions and protocols related to terrorism within the framework of the activities of the Centre for International Crime Prevention, recommended for action by the Economic and Social Council, (document A/C.3/58/L.4).  The draft would have the General Assembly call upon Member States, that have not yet done so, to become parties to and implement the universal conventions and protocols related to terrorism and, where appropriate, to request assistance to that end from the Centre for International Crime Prevention.

    The text would further have the General Assembly request the Centre for International Crime Prevention to prepare guidelines on technical assistance according to which the Centre, in coordination with the Counter-Terrorism Committee, would provide assistance in promoting the ratification of and implementation of the universal conventions and protocols concerning terrorism.  It would also call on the General Assembly to request that the Centre intensify its efforts to provide technical assistance in preventing and combating terrorism through the implementation of the universal conventions and protocols related to terrorism.

    The Committee also has before it a draft resolution on strengthening international cooperation in preventing and combating trafficking in persons and protecting victims of such trafficking (document A/C.3/58/L.5), recommended for action by the Economic and Social Council.  The draft would have the General Assembly call upon Member States to collaborate to prevent trafficking in persons, especially for the purpose of sexual exploitation, through:  improved technical cooperation to strengthen local and national institutions; information campaigns on the techniques and methods of traffickers and programmes of education aimed at prospective targets; and focusing on post-conflict regions where patterns of human trafficking are emerging as a new phenomenon. 

    The General Assembly would also urge Member States to ratify or accede to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and implement it by criminalizing trafficking in persons; promoting cooperation among law enforcement authorities; and establishing the offences of trafficking in persons as a predicate offence for money-laundering offences.  By the terms of the text, the General Assembly would also urge Member States to ensure that measures taken against trafficking in persons, especially women and children, are consistent with internationally recognized principles of non-discrimination and that they respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of victims.

    In addition, the General Assembly would encourage Member States to target the link, where appropriate, between trafficking in persons for purposes of sexual of other forms of exploitation and further types of crime.

    A draft resolution, recommended for adoption by the Economic and Social Council, on the preparations for the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (document A/C.3/58/L.6) would have the General Assembly decide to hold the Congress from 18 to 25 April 2005 and approve the provisional agenda.  The General Assembly would also decide that the following issues be considered by workshops within the framework of the Congress:  enhancing international law enforcement cooperation; enhancing criminal justice reform; strategies and best practices for crime prevention; measures to combat terrorism; measures to combat economic crime; and measures to combat computer-related crime. 

    By the text, the Assembly would also invite donor countries to cooperate with developing countries to ensure full participation in the workshops and request the Secretary-General to appoint a Secretary-General and an Executive Secretary of the Congress.

    The Committee also has before it a draft resolution on strengthening the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme, in particular its technical cooperation capacity (A/C.3/58/L.14), which would have the General Assembly urge States and funding agencies to review their funding policies for development assistance and to include a crime prevention and criminal justice component in such assistance.  The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to take all necessary measures to provide adequate support to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, as the principal policy-making body in this field, in performing its activities, including cooperation and coordination with the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network of Institutes and other relevant bodies. 

    Under the draft’s terms, States and regional economic organizations that had not yet done so, would be urged to ratify, or accede to, as soon as possible the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime so as to participate in the conference of the States parties at its inaugural session, to be held at Vienna from 28 June to 9 July 2004.  The Secretary-General would be requested to take all necessary measures and provide adequate support to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime so as to enable it to promote the speedy entry into force of the Convention against Corruption.  The Assembly would also encourage States to make adequate and voluntary contributions for the entry into force of the Convention against Corruption.

    International Drug Control

    The Committee has before it a draft resolution on international cooperation against the world drug problem (A/C.3/58/L.15) which would have the General Assembly urge all Member States to put into effect the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Declaration on the Guiding Principles of Drug Demand Reduction and to strengthen their national efforts to counter the abuse of illicit drugs among their population.  The General Assembly would also urge States, in order to achieve a significant and measurable reduction of drug abuse by 2008, to further implement comprehensive demand-reduction policies and programmes; to further develop and implement comprehensive demand-reduction policies; to enhance early intervention programmes that dissuade children and young people from the use of illicit drugs; and to provide a comprehensive range of services for preventing the transmission of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases associated with drug abuse.

    Under the text, States would also be urged to renew efforts, at the national, regional and international levels, to implement the comprehensive measures covered in the Action Plan against Illicit Manufacture, Trafficking and Abuse of Amphetamine-type Stimulants and Their Precursors.  In addition, States would be called upon to consider including provisions in their national drug control plans for the establishment of national networks to enhance their respective capabilities to prevent, monitor, control and suppress serious offences connected with money-laundering and the financing of terrorist acts.

    The same draft resolution also calls for action by the United Nations system.  By the terms of the text, the General Assembly would request the United Nations International Drug Control Programme to continue to strengthen dialogue with Member States and also to ensure continued improvement in management; to increase its assistance, within the available voluntary resources, to countries that are deploying efforts to reduce illicit crop cultivation by adopting alternative development programmes, and to explore new and innovative funding mechanisms. 

    The Programme would also be requested to publish the World Drug Report, with comprehensive and balanced information about the world drug problem; and to provide technical assistance to those States identified by relevant international bodies as the most affected by the transit of drugs, in particular developing countries in need of such assistance and support.  Governments would also be urged to provide the fullest possible financial and political support to the Programme by widening its donor base and increasing voluntary contributions.

    Action on Draft Resolutions

    Before the Committee there was a draft resolution on cooperatives in social development recommended for action by the Committee (document A/C.3/58/L.7).

    The draft resolution was approved, without a vote, as orally amended by the delegation of Mongolia.

    The Committee then considered draft resolutions on crime prevention and criminal justice. 

    Before the Committee was a draft resolution on international cooperation in the fight against transnational organized crime, recommended for action by the Economic and Social Council (document A/C.3/58/L.3). 

    The draft resolution was approved without a vote. 

    Also approved without a vote was a draft resolution on strengthening international cooperation and technical assistance in promoting the implementation of the universal conventions and protocols related to terrorism within the framework of the activities of the Centre for International Crime Prevention (document A/C.3/58/L.4). 

    The Committee then took action on a draft resolution on strengthening international cooperation in preventing and combating trafficking in persons and protecting victims of such trafficking (document A/C.3/58/L.5). 

    Before the adoption of the draft, the representative of the United States said he was pleased with the adoption of this draft resolution.  It indicated that trafficking in persons was a modern form of slavery.  The United States set a high priority on preventing and combating trafficking and had been pleased in playing a leading role in the drafting of this resolution. 

    The draft resolution was approved without a vote. 

    Before the Committee there was also a draft resolution on the preparations for the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (document A/C.3/58/L.6). 

    The Committee adopted the draft resolution without a vote. 

    Finally, the Committee had before it a draft resolution on strengthening the United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme, in particular its technical cooperation capacity (A/C.3/58/L.14). 

    The draft resolution was approved without a vote, as orally revised at the time of its introduction by the representative of Italy. 

    After the adoption, the representative of the United States said that his country was pleased with the globally negotiated draft corruption convention, as well as the recent entry into force of the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.  However, there were two operative paragraphs in the draft resolution that urged States to adopt these conventions.  The General Assembly must only urge States to consider adopting conventions in order to respect State sovereignty. 

    The Committee had before it a draft resolution under the item of international drug control on international cooperation against the world drug problem (A/C.3/58/L.15). 

    The draft resolution was approved without a vote as orally amended by the representative of Mexico.

                                                                                                                                                 

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