Press Releases

    ECOSOC/6134/Corr.1
                                                                            22 July 2004

    Economic and Social Council Acts on Texts Recommended by Subsidiary Bodies on Status of Women, Social Development, Crime Prevention, Narcotic Drugs

    NEW YORK, 21 July (UN Headquarters) -- As the 2004 substantive session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) neared its close, the body today took action on a number of texts recommended by its subsidiary bodies on the status of women, social development, crime prevention and criminal justice, and narcotic drugs.

    The 42 resolutions and decisions adopted by consensus included a decision on enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and a resolution on genetic privacy and non-discrimination.

    The respective annual reports of the Commissions on the Status of Women, Social Development, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and Narcotic Drugs contained the remaining texts adopted by ECOSOC.

    In other business, the representative of Qatar, on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, introduced three draft resolutions on ECOSOC’s ad hoc advisory groups on African countries emerging from conflict (Burundi and Guinea-Bissau), while the representative of South Africa introduced a draft on preparation for the forty-third session of the Commission for Social Development.

    During the discussion of social and human rights questions, which accompanied consideration of the subsidiary bodies’ report, several speakers discussed national initiatives being taken regarding gender equity and the work of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), as well as the need to address important criminal justice issues, such as extradition and mutual judicial assistance and fighting economic and cyber-crimes.

    The representatives of Ukraine, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic and the Russian Federation participated in that discussion, as did a representative of the World Bank.

    During a midday side event, Jeffrey Sachs, Special Adviser for the Secretary-General on the Millennium Development Goals, presented a report on a global business plan to achieve the Goals, expressing his concern about their unequal realization around the world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.  Recalling the commitments that countries had made in the Monterrey Consensus to give 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) to official development assistance (ODA), he stressed that the only reason the world might fail to reach the Goals would be through negligence.

    Developing strategies that responded to the specific needs of communities was critical, he added. In the absence of partnership with developed countries, even developing countries that practised good governance faced structural problems -- including difficult geographical conditions, drought and soil degradation, among others -- which would prevent their development. More concrete investment and less preaching were needed.

    The President of the World Deserts Foundation and a representative of Rotary International also spoke during today’s morning meeting.

    The report of the International Narcotics Control Board was introduced by its President.

    In addition, the representative of Cuba made a statement of position on the texts adopted concerning the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

    The Economic and Social Council will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 22 July, to continue to take action on the recommendations of its subsidiary bodies.

    Background

    The 2004 substantive session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) today continued its general segment with consideration of economic and social questions. (For more background information, see Press Release ECOSOC/6133 of 20 July.) The Council was also expected to start consideration of social and human rights questions and to take action on earlier introduced draft texts, as well as hear introduction of new draft texts.

    On the advancement of women, the Council had before it the report of the Commission on the Status of Women on its forty-eighth session (document E/2004/27, supp.7); the report of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on its thirtieth session (12-30 January) (document A/59/38, part I); as well as the Secretary-General’s report before the Council (document E/2004/59), which assesses the implementation of ECOSOC’s agreed conclusions 1997/2 on gender mainstreaming at the United Nations and intergovernmental levels.

    That document provides an overall analysis of the situation and highlights continuing gaps in and challenges that the Council may wish to focus on. The Secretary-General concludes that further initiatives are needed at all levels to increase more visible use of gender mainstreaming as a complement to women-focused strategies. Commitment, support and accountability at the highest levels are required towards that end.

    According to the report, gender-equality policies and strategies are largely in place throughout the United Nations system. However, although attention has been given to many of the institutional requirements, such as specialist gender resources or networks of focal points, capacity-building activities and the development and use of such tools as sex-disaggregated data, serious challenges remain at the institutional level. These include underdeveloped monitoring mechanisms and reporting requirements; lack of effective accountability mechanisms; inadequate availability and utilization of gender specialist resources; and insufficient capacity to carry out and apply gender analysis.

    Seeking to address those concerns, the Secretary-General provides a number of recommendations directed at various United Nations entities, encouraging them to establish and regularly assess gender-policy frameworks linked to overall organizational priorities; develop action plans and guidelines for implementation; integrate gender perspectives into sectoral policies; and include gender perspectives in medium-term plans, programme budgets and multi-year funding frameworks.

    Further measures to integrate gender perspectives into various bodies’ respective areas include their incorporation into their work programmes, and in the integrated and coordinated follow-up to major conferences. Particular attention should be devoted to the review and appraisal process of the Millennium Declaration in 2005. The Commission of the Status of Women is encouraged to contribute more systematically to the work of other entities, intergovernmental bodies and coordination mechanisms by providing practical guidance on gender mainstreaming.

    Also recommended is increased utilization of gender analysis, incorporation of gender perspectives in all reports, integration of gender mainstreaming into existing monitoring and evaluation processes; dissemination of relevant methodologies and tools; and development of more effective training programmes. To enhance the effectiveness of gender theme groups, the Secretary-General recommends increasing the level of seniority of their members, establishing clear mandates, developing links to other theme groups and providing adequate resources.

    As far as institutional arrangements are concerned, the report suggests establishment of clear mandates, enhancement of decision-making powers and support from senior management for specialist gender resources, including focal points and theme groups in the field. It is also necessary to increase awareness of the responsibilities of all staff for gender mainstreaming. All inter-agency mechanisms are invited to give attention to gender perspectives in their work.

    The Council also had a note by the Secretary General (document E/2004/66) transmitting the report of the revitalization and strengthening of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).

    Regarding social development, the Council had before it the report on the forty-second session of the Commission for Social Development (21 February 2003 and 4-13 and 20 February 2004) (document E/2004/26, supp.6), containing a number of recommendations, draft resolutions and decisions for adoption.

    The Commission recommended that the Council recommend adoption by the General Assembly of a draft resolution entitled “Celebration of the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family and Beyond”.

    By a proposed draft resolution entitled “Comprehensive and integral international convention on protection and promotion of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities”, the Council would request the Commission to continue to contribute to the process of negotiation of the draft international convention and request the Department of Economic and Social Affairs to support the work of the Commission’s Ad Hoc Committee in that regard. The Council would stress the need for additional efforts to ensure accessibility at the United Nations for all persons with disabilities.

    By a draft resolution entitled “Further promotion of equalization of opportunities by, for and with persons with disabilities, and protection of the human rights of persons with disabilities”, the Council would recommend that the General Assembly consider the suggested supplement to the Standard Rules on the Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, contained in the annex of the report of the Special Rapporteur on Disability. The Assembly should thereby take into account the work of the Ad Hoc Committee. The Council would further encourage governments, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector, to continue to contribute to the United Nations Voluntary Fund on Disability.

    By a draft resolution entitled “Implementation of the social objectives of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)”, the Council would urge the international community and the United Nations system to organize support for African countries in accordance with the principles, objectives and priorities of NEPAD. It would urge the United Nations system to foster a coherent response, including through close collaboration with bilateral donors, in response to the needs of individual countries within its larger framework. The Council would call upon the Secretary-General to enhance coordination between the United Nations and its specialized agencies, programmes and funds.

    By the same text, the Council would stress the need for renewed political will at the national, regional and international levels to invest in people and their well-being in order to achieve the objectives of social development. It would also stress the vital need for the United Nations in assisting Member States to achieve the development objectives and targets of the Millennium Declaration. Further, the Council would recognize that illiteracy, poverty, HIV/AIDS, the scourge of malaria and other major communicable diseases add challenges to Africa’s development, and would urge the international community to continue to increase its assistance to African countries in their efforts to address those challenges.

    Also before the Council was the report on the forty-seventh session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (27 November 2003 and 15-19 March 2004) (document E/2004/28, supp.8) containing a number of recommendations, draft resolutions and decisions.

    The Commission recommended that the Council recommend to the General Assembly adoption of draft resolutions on: “Control of cultivation of and trafficking in cannabis”; “Providing support to the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to eliminate illicit opium and foster stability and security in the region”; and on “Follow-up on strengthening the systems of control over chemical precursors and preventing their diversion and trafficking”.

    By a proposed draft resolution on “Drug control and related crime prevention assistance for countries emerging from conflict”, the Council would call upon the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to facilitate the mainstreaming of drug control programmes in the development efforts of countries emerging from conflict, and would request that Office to consider specific strategies to assist such countries in their drug-control and related crime-prevention efforts.

    By a proposed draft resolution entitled “Guidelines for psychosocially assisted pharmacological treatment of persons dependent on opioids”, the Council would invite the World Health Organization (WHO), subject to the availability of voluntary funds, to develop and publish minimum requirements and international guidelines on the subject, taking into account regional initiatives in that field.

    By a proposed draft resolution on “Control of the manufacture of, trafficking in and abuse of synthetic drugs”, the Council would call upon Member States to include, in a multifaceted strategy, action against the illicit manufacture of, trafficking in and abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants and to identify and dismantle clandestine laboratories manufacturing such stimulants. It would request Member States to continue to develop programmes to reduce both the illicit supply of and demand for amphetamine-type stimulants.

    By a proposed draft resolution on “sale of internationally controlled licit drugs to individuals via the Internet”, the Council would encourage Member States to consider new means and strategies to establish avenues of cooperation in order to prohibit the international offering and acquisition by individuals of internationally controlled licit drugs acquired illegally over the Internet. It would call upon Member States to enforce, as appropriate, the provisions of article 30 of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 and article 10 of the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, as they apply to pharmacies within their territory.

    By a proposed draft resolution on “Demand for and supply of opiates used to meet medical and scientific needs”, the Council would urge governments of all producer countries to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 and that Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol and to take effective measures to prevent the illicit production or diversion of opiate raw materials to illicit channels. It would urge governments of consumer countries to communicate their realistically assessed licit needs for opiate raw materials to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). It would further urge all the governments of countries where opium poppy has not been cultivated for licit production to refrain from commercial cultivation of opium poppy.

    By a proposed draft decision, the Council would take note of the report and approve the provisional agenda and documentation for the Commission’s forty-eighth session, on the understanding that inter-sessional meetings would be held in Vienna, Austria, at no additional cost. By another draft decision, the Council would also take note of the INCB.

    The Council was expected to take action on a draft decision -- co-sponsored by Ghana and Romania -- contained in document E/2004/L.19, by the terms of which the Council would take note of the requests to enlarge the membership of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

    The Council would also take action on the draft resolution, sponsored by Chile, on “Genetic privacy and non-discrimination” (document E/2004/L.13/Rev.1), by which the Council would call upon all States to take appropriate specific measures to prevent the misuse of genetic information, including results and interpretations of population-based genetic studies, leading to discrimination against, or stigmatization of, individuals, members of their families or groups in all areas, particularly in insurance, employment, education and other areas of social life.

    The Council would also call upon States to promote, as appropriate, the development and implementation of standards for protection with regard to the collection, storage, disclosure and use of genetic information taken from genetic tests that might lead to discrimination, stigmatization or invasion of privacy.

    By the terms of the same text, the Council would urge States to continue to support research in the area of human genetics, emphasizing that such research and its applications should fully respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and human dignity, as well as the prohibition of all forms of discrimination based on genetic characteristics.

    The Council would decide to continue consideration of the various implications of genetic privacy and non-discrimination for ethical, legal, medical, employment, insurance-related and other aspects of social life, consistent with public international law and the international human rights law.

    The Council was expected to hear introduction of a draft resolution entitled “Assessment of the ad hoc advisory groups of the ECOSOC on African countries emerging from conflict” (document E/2004/L.29), sponsored by Qatar on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, by which the Council would commend the ad hoc advisory groups for their innovative approach and constructive work in support of the countries concerned [Guinea-Bissau and Burundi].

    In order to enhance the effectiveness of their work, the Council would urge the ad hoc advisory groups to take into account: entering into closer contacts and collaboration with regional and subregional organizations, the regional economic communities and regional financial organizations; ensuring the groups’ early contribution to and participation in donor conferences on the countries concerned; fostering the creation of practical recommendations on how to make the transition from relief to development; and continuing to consider the issue of coordinated support of the international community to the countries concerned and provide advice in that regard.

    The Council would stress the need to conclude the mandate of the ad hoc advisory groups, taking into account all aspects of the situation in each case.

    The Council would also hear introduction of a draft resolution -- sponsored by Qatar on behalf of the Group of 77 and China -- on “Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Guinea-Bissau” (document E/2004/L.30), by which the Council would extend the mandate of the Group until its organizational session in 2005. The Council would call on the international community to support Guinea-Bissau in the holding of the presidential elections scheduled for March 2005 in order to complete the second phase of the Transition Charter. It would call on the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to consider resumption of a programme for Guinea-Bissau.

    The Council would also hear introduction of a draft resolution -- likewise sponsored by Qatar on behalf of the Group of 77 and China -- on “Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Burundi” (document E/2004/L.31), by which the Council would request the Group to continue to follow closely the humanitarian situation and economic and social conditions, to examine the transition from relief to development in Burundi and the way in which the international community supports the process and to report to the Council at its organizational session in 2005. The Council would reiterate the importance of maintaining the momentum in consolidating the peace process and call on donor countries to follow up on the outcome of the Forum of Development Partners (Brussels, Belgium, 13-14 January).

    The Council would further hear introduction of a draft resolution -- sponsored by South Africa -- on “Preparations for the forty-third session of the Commission for Social Development” (document E/2004/L.27), by which the Council would recommend to the General Assembly for adoption a text that underlined that the session would mark the tenth anniversary of the adoption of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development. By that text, the Assembly would decide, among other things, to convene a high-level plenary meeting during the Commission’s session on the implementation of the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action and the outcome of the twenty-fourth special Assembly session.

    Statements

    HAMID GHODSE, President of the International Narcotics Control Board, introducing the Board’s annual report, stressed the importance of using all available means to prevent the diversion of chemicals from legitimate trade to illicit drug manufacture. The Board had recommended adoption of a draft resolution in that regard and had launched three international operations to enhance controls over chemicals used in the illicit manufacture of cocaine, heroin and amphetamine-type stimulants.

    Noting that Afghanistan accounted for three quarters of the world’s illicit opium supply, he said last year the Transitional Authority of that country had adopted a national drug-control strategy that addressed key areas, such as institution building, judicial reform, alternative livelihoods and demand reduction. The Board called on the international community to support and assist Afghanistan in its anti-drug efforts.

    CHERIF RAHMANI, President of the World Deserts Foundation, cited a number of famous chroniclers of the desert experience and said the deserts of the world had a great deal to teach humanity. Deserts were places of a specific type of development and full-fledged partners in action for sustainable development.

    The Foundation had developed seven pillars on which to base its action, he said, which included:  positive discrimination for deserts; institutionalization of financing for the Foundation for that positive discrimination; prevention of the negative consequences of certain types of desertification; encouragement of change, while preserving the soul and identity of deserts through sustainable diversity; classification and promotion of deserts; and institutionalization of the wisdom of the chroniclers on the deserts.

    Deserts constituted an essential element of humanity’s heritage, he added. They represented locations in which humankind faced the immensity of the world and realized its own finiteness. The international community must work to ensure the people of the desert, and those who had not yet had the chance to live in a desert, continued to benefit from their assets.

    ROBERT COULTAS, of Rotary International, spoke on behalf of his president and said the organization was proud to be a partner of the United Nations in many matters. The organization would redouble its efforts in 166 nations to eradicate polio, HIV/AIDS and encourage water and sanitation projects around the world. Rotary was also committed to literacy and, in particular, women and girls in developing countries.  He thanked the Council for the special honour it bestowed on it today.

    As this was the centenary of the organization’s founding, JAGDISH KOONJUL (Mauritius), Vice-President of Economic and Social Council, briefly reviewed the history of Rotary International, acknowledging the work of the organization throughout its 100 years and noting its pledge to continue its work on social and humanitarian affairs worldwide.

    Action

    Turning to action, ECOSOC adopted without a vote a decision on “Enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees” (document E/2004/L.19).

    The ECOSOC then adopted without a vote a draft resolution on “Genetic privacy and non-discrimination” (document E/2004/L.13/Rev.1).

    Mr. ONISH CHENKO (Ukraine) said progress had been made in the field, but further efforts were required to ensure the full implementation of the agreed conclusions. The gap between policy and practice remained a major constraint. He welcomed the fact that the number of States parties to the Convention had grown to 177, and 66 States had become parties to the Optional Protocol. At the same time, growth meant more hard work was necessary. Progress had been made in the working methods of the body, and a strategy had been developed to encourage States to submit overdue reports.

    The problem of trafficking women and girls should be considered the most serious at the cross-sectoral level. He reminded States of their commitment made in the Beijing Platform for Action to criminalize trafficking in women and children in all its forms. The Criminal Code of Ukraine provided penalties for trafficking. He welcomed the decision for a special rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

    IMERIA DE ODREMAN (Venezuela) said the international social agenda had been refocused in recent years and oriented for poverty reduction. That move gave primacy to social issues of great priority, in particular, the need for development. Poverty eradication, education, gender equality and health represented the pillars for achievement of the internationally agreed development objectives.  Yet, to effect those goals, there was a need for structural change -- multilaterally, regionally and nationally.

    Empowering the poor had been the watchword of her Government, she said. Committed to achievement of the national development plan for 2001 to 2007, Venezuela was determined to achieve social equilibrium and bring the most excluded segments of society into the picture. To do so, public policy had moved forward on a broad range of fronts, which included elimination of extreme poverty by 2021 and a focus on social development policies aimed at reducing the accumulated social debt. Major national projects included the Bolivar 2000 Plan, which afforded basic services -- including social assistance for health, housing and jobs -- to the disadvantaged. Other programmes had focused upon education, including in the areas of acquiring literacy, promoting advanced studies, and education of the populations in the country’s prison system and rural areas, for indigenous peoples, the disabled and others. Programmes designed to democratize Internet access and to expand the agricultural self-sufficiency of the country had also been undertaken.

    ALVARO SANDOVAL (Colombia) said he welcomed the report and, in particular, efforts to enhance efficiency in the public sector, which served the interests of the people. It was important to strengthen a State based on the rule of law. Fighting corruption was a particularly important subject, which relied on intra-institutional coordination, the promotion of the rule of law, and the involvement of civil society regionally, locally and nationally

    Peace and social development were the watchwords of his Government, he said. Colombia had been hit hard by armed conflict, which was exacerbated by a global drug problem. Building a fair society was fundamental to moving his country forward, and in the 23 months since the current Government took power, its efforts had some success. Achieving economic recovery meant revitalizing the life of society and, while growth of gross national product (GNP) had improved, there was still more work to be done.  His Government was making efforts to ensure social progress. The level of security had been raised, which, in turn, began building confidence and a better entrepreneurial climate. Areas of the national territory, once stricken by the scourge of trafficking of narcotics, had seen improvements and there had been a notable increase in tourism.  Certain types of crimes had declined by some 50 per cent and significant social developments had become a reality.

    CLAUDIA VELASCO OSORIO (Mexico) said her country had reaffirmed its commitment to make strides on women’s rights and welcomed the work being done by INSTRAW in that regard.  The Government had recently contributed backup staff to the work of the Institute and would help defray its operational expenses. Moreover, the Government stood ready to take all possible measures for the elimination of discrimination against women, including through their increased inclusion in planning, implementing and evaluating steps for gender equity.

    Among others measures, the Government had set up the National Women’s Institute in 2001, aimed at bringing about a non-discriminative culture in the short and medium term, she said. Campaigns to raise awareness had also been held on such issues as job equity, including greater respect for domestic workers and caretakers; women’s illnesses, including uterine, cervical and breast cancer; and sensitization and training to move forward in institutionalizing gender equity, including among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the Government. Almost 10 years after the Beijing Conference, the international community must now take steps to broaden and defend the women’s agenda.

    MARIELA SANCHEZ DE CRUZ (Dominican Republic) said that the most important issue was the advancement of women, which was fundamental to the development process nationwide. She recognized the efforts of the national community and realms where the issue had been discussed. The INSTRAW was a key partner and she welcomed efforts to completely rehabilitate the Institute.

    She called for the guaranteed continuity of INSTRAW and its improved advocacy. It had shown that it could do the job and that it was ready. She asked delegates to continue to give it backing, as it was the sole entity developed to provide information on women’s and gender issues.

    VLDIMIR ZHEGLOV (Russian Federation) reminded the Council that the upcoming forty-ninth session of the Commission on the Status of Women would mark the tenth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action, among other important anniversaries. Yet, considering the role the Commission played in the implementation of internationally agreed objectives for women, a worrisome and confrontational trend had characterized the work of that body recently. Some countries had attempted to use the screen of women’s issues to satisfy their political ambitions. Such practices must be brought to an end, as they had had a destructive effect and had made discussions of substantive issues difficult. Another worrisome trend concerned the transfers of information, received within the 1503 framework, from the Commission on Human Rights to the Secretariat’s Division on the Advancement of Women. There was no legal basis for such transfers, which only further politicized the work of the Organization’s bodies.

    The Russian Federation had taken measures to ensure comprehensive protection of women’s rights, he said, including through completion of a new criminal code aimed at trafficking in human beings and the use of slave labour. Women were predominantly the victims of those crimes.

    Among other concerns, he stressed that the Commission for Social Development must adhere strictly to the consensus principle. That should also remain the main coordinating body for improving the situation of socially vulnerable groups. On the prevention of crime, he said there had been alarming attempts to focus the Commission’s work on peripheral issues of international cooperation in fighting crime, while fundamental problems such as extradition and mutual judicial assistance and fighting economic and cyber crimes remained unresolved.  Moreover, the Commission’s expanded bureau had attempted to discuss substantive issues during the inter-sessional period, which would lead to dilution of the regular sessions.

    JUDITH A. EDSTROM, of the World Bank, commended the work of the Commission for Social Development, which focused on improving public sector effectiveness and embracing social development goals and actions. Key issues of good governance, public sector reform, accountability and access to justice must become central elements in the move towards effective development, she said. The World Bank helped countries address their social development challenges by integrating three core principles of social sustainability:  inclusion, cohesion and accountability. Its key priorities were to: increase attention to social development in the Bank’s policy dialogues and policy-based lending; improve the social development effectiveness of Bank-supported investment projects and to improve the Bank’s capacity building and research; and sustain advocacy on social development to build a stronger platform for implementing the first two priorities.

    The strategy embraced and extended work done earlier at the Bank to enunciate a strategy for engendering development. Comprehensive approaches to gender and development issues went hand in hand, and true development could not take place unless women enjoyed equal rights, resources and voice with men.  She said the Bank endorsed the goals in the Beijing Platform for Action. Indigenous people must also move away from vulnerability to empowerment. The Bank had increased its participation in high-level international venues, including the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Population and the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

    Action

    In regard to the report of the Commission on the Status of Women (document E/2004/27, Supp.7), ECOSOC had before it four draft resolutions and one draft decision.

    The first text, on the “Situation of women and girls in Afghanistan”, was adopted without a vote.

    The ECOSOC was then informed that, as the second text, on the “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women”, would entail a vote, action had been postponed until Thursday, 22 July.

    Next, the draft resolution, on “Agreed conclusions of the Commission on the Status of Women on the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality”, was adopted without a vote.

    The ECOSOC then adopted, without a vote, the text on “Agreed conclusions of the Commission on the Status of Women on women’s equal participation in conflict prevention, management and conflict resolution and in post-conflict peace-building”.

    Lastly, it adopted, without a vote, the draft decision on the “Report of the Commission on the Status of Women on its forty-eighth session and provisional agenda and documentation for the forty-ninth session of the Commission”.

    With regard to the report of the Commission for Social Development (document E/2004/26), ECOSOC had before it four draft resolutions and one draft decision.

    The ECOSOC adopted, without a vote, the first draft resolution, on “Celebration of the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family and Beyond”.

    Next, it adopted, without a vote, the text on the “Comprehensive and integral international convention on protection and promotion of the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities”.

    Thirdly, ECOSOC adopted, without a vote, the draft on “further promotion of equalization of opportunities by, for and with persons with disabilities, and protection of the human rights of persons with disabilities”.

    Subsequently, the text, on “Implementation of the social objectives of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development”, was adopted, also without a vote.

    The ECOSOC also adopted without a vote a text on “Agreed conclusions of the Commission for Social Development on improving public sector effectiveness”.

    Lastly, ECOSOC adopted, without a vote, the draft decision on the “Report of the Commission for Social Development on its forty-first session and provisional agenda and documentation for the forty-second session of the Commission”.

    The report on the thirteenth session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (document E/2004/30) contained seven draft resolutions recommended to the Council for adoption by the General Assembly, as well as 12 draft resolutions and one draft decision for adoption by the Council.

    The Council decided by consensus to recommend for adoption to the General Assembly draft resolutions on:

    “Preparations for the Eleventh United nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice”;

    “Assistance to least developed countries to ensure their participation in the sessions of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and the sessions of conferences of States parties”;

    “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 United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime”;

    “International cooperation in the prevention, combating and elimination of kidnapping and in providing assistance to victims”;

    “Action against corruption:  assistance to States in capacity-building with a view to facilitating the entry into force and subsequent implementation of the United Nations convention against Corruption”;

    “Preventing, combating and punishing trafficking in human organs”; and

    “International cooperation in the fight against transnational organized crime:  assistance to States in capacity-building with a view to facilitating the implementation of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the Protocols thereto”.

    By consensus, the Council adopted a resolution entitled “Establishment of an intergovernmental expert group to prepare a draft model bilateral agreement on disposal of confiscated proceeds of crime covered by the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Substances and Psychotropic Substances of 1988”, by which the Council requested the Secretary-General to convene such an open-ended expert group, which should reflect an equitable geographical representation and a diversity of legal systems.

    Also by consensus, the Council adopted a resolution entitled “The rule of law and development: strengthening the rule of law and the reform of criminal justice institutions, with emphasis on technical assistance, including in post-conflict reconstruction”, by which the Council requested the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to consider specific practical strategies to assist in promoting the rule of law, especially in countries emerging from conflict, paying particular attention to the most affected countries in Africa  and with emphasis on vulnerable groups, subject to the availability of extrabudgetary resources.

    By the same text, the Council urged member States providing development assistance to countries emerging from conflict to increase their bilateral assistance in crime prevention and criminal justice. It also urged the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, to be held in Bangkok from 18 to 25 April 2005, to incorporate matters related to the rule of law into its programme of work.

    The Council adopted by consensus a text entitled “International cooperation in the prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of fraud, the criminal misuse and falsification of identity and related crimes”. By that text, the Council requested the Secretary-General to convene, subject to the availability of extrabudgetary resources, an intergovernmental expert group to prepare a study on fraud and the criminal misuse and falsification of identity, including, among other things, the relationship between those crimes and other illicit activities, including organized crime, money-laundering and terrorism, and the particular problems posed by those crimes for developing countries and countries with economies in transition. The Council requested the expert group to take into consideration the relevant work of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and other bodies, bearing in mind the need to avoid duplication.

    The Council further adopted by consensus a resolution entitled “Guidelines on justice for child victims and witnesses of crime”, by which the Council requested the Secretary-General to convene an intergovernmental expert group, with representation based on the regional composition of the Commission, subject to the availability of extrabudgetary resources, to develop such guidelines. It requested the expert group to take into consideration the guidelines in that regard drawn up by the International Bureau for Children’s Rights, annexed to the resolution.

    By adopting a text entitled “United Nations standards and norms in crime prevention and criminal justice”, the Council, taking note THAT the instruments for gathering information on United Nations standards and norms related primarily to persons in custody, non-custodial sanctions and juvenile and restorative justice, as revised by the Intergovernmental Expert Group meeting, requested the Secretary-General to forward those instruments to Member States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and the institutions of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme network and other United Nations entities for their comments.

    By the same text, the Council requested the Secretary-General to report to the Commission’s fifteenth session on the use and application of the instruments, in particular regarding difficulties encountered in application, ways in which technical assistance could be provided to overcome those difficulties, and useful practices in addressing persisting and emerging challenges in crime prevention and criminal justice.

    By the resolution, the Council also requested the Secretary-General to convene a meeting of intergovernmental experts to design information-gathering instruments on standards and norms related to legal, institutional and practical arrangements for international cooperation, as well as those related primarily to crime prevention and victim issues.

    The Council adopted a resolution by consensus on “Strengthening international cooperation and technical assistance in combating money-laundering”, by which it would request the Office on Drugs and Crime to continue its work against money-laundering, subject to the availability of extrabudgetary  resources, through the provision to Member States, upon request, of training, advisory assistance and long-term technical assistance, bearing in mind the 40 recommendations and eight special recommendations on terrorist financing of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering.

    By adopting by consensus a resolution on the “Second World summit of Attorneys General and General Prosecutors, Chief Prosecutors and Ministers of Justice”, to be held in Doha, Qatar, in November 2005, the Council called upon the Summit to ensure that its conclusions and recommendations make a substantive contribution to the work of the Conference of the parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, as well as to advance the ratification process of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the universal instruments against terrorism.

    The Council, by consensus, adopted a resolution entitled “Prevention of urban crime”, by the terms of which the Council requested the Office on Drugs and Crime, subject to the availability of extrabudgetary resources, to provide technical assistance to States, upon request, in the area of urban crime prevention.  The Council once again called on all relevant United Nations organizations and bodies and international financial institutions to give appropriate consideration to the inclusion of urban crime prevention and law enforcement projects in their programmes of assistance.

    Also by consensus, the Council adopted a text on “Implementation of technical assistance projects in Africa by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime”, by which it requested the Office to produce a concept paper to analyse the current situation with respect to major drug and crime issues affecting the African continent and to propose policy directives, strategies and priority focus to gain support for assistance to Africa.

    Also by the text, the Council requested the Office, by organizing an appropriate special event, to discuss ways of reducing impediments to economic growth and sustainable development caused by widespread criminality, to ensure that appropriate responses to drug and crime issues are incorporated as core elements within bilateral and multilateral development assistance policies, and to explore ways of maximizing existing resources that could lead to improvements in the tackling of drugs and crime issues and to the strengthening of criminal justice institutions.

    Through adoption by consensus of a resolution on “Strengthening the technical cooperation capacity of the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime”, the Council requested the Secretary-General to enhance further the resources available within the existing overall budgetary framework of the United Nations for operational activities and, in particular, the interregional advisory services of the Office under section 23, Regular programme of technical cooperation, of the regular budget of the United Nations.

    By adoption of a resolution on “protection against trafficking in cultural property”, by consensus, the Council requested the Secretary-General to direct the Office to convene an expert group meeting to submit relevant recommendations to the fifteenth session of the Commission on protection against trafficking in cultural property, including ways of making more effective the model treaty for the prevention of crimes that infringe on the cultural heritage of people in the form of movable property.

    By the same text, the Council urged Member States to ratify and implement the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and the other relevant conventions.

    The Council adopted by consensus a resolution entitled “Combating the spread of HIV/AIDS in criminal justice pre-trial and correctional facilities”, by which the Council requested the Office to collect information and analyse the situation of HIV/AIDS in pre-trial and correctional facilities, with a view to providing governments with programmatic and policy guidance.  The Council suggested that appropriate training should be given to managers and wardens of pre-trial and correctional facilities to enable them to deal better with HIV/AIDS.

    Adopting the recommended draft decision, the Council took note of the Commission’s report, decided that the prominent theme of the fourteenth session shall be “Conclusions and recommendations of the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice”, and approved the fourteenth session provisional agenda and documentation.

    By another decision, the Council appointed Ann-Marie Begler (Sweden) and Elizabeth G. Verville (United States) to the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute.

    Action

    Before concluding its consideration of the report of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, ECOSOC heard a statement by the representative of Cuba, who said that, while he had agreed to the consensus on the recommendations contained in the Commission’s report, he wished to voice his concern on the practice of conditioning new studies and new activities upon the availability of extrabudgetary resources. Such could prejudice and limit the outcomes to be achieved in dealing with such important issues.

    In regard of the report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (document E/2004/28), ECOSOC had before it eight draft resolutions and two draft decisions.

    The first draft resolution, on “Control of cultivation of and trafficking in cannabis”, was adopted without a vote.

    The second text, also adopted without a vote, concerned “Providing support to the Government of Afghanistan in its efforts to eliminate illicit opium and foster stability and security in the region”.

    Also adopted without a vote was the third draft resolution on “Follow-up on strengthening the systems of control over chemical precursors and preventing their diversion and trafficking”.

    The fourth draft resolution, adopted without a vote, concerned “Drug control and related crime prevention assistance for countries emerging from conflict”.

    The fifth, also adopted without a vote, concerned “Guidelines for psychosocially assisted pharmacological treatment of persons dependent on opioids”.

    The ECOSOC then adopted, without a vote, the sixth draft resolution on “Control of the manufacture of, trafficking in and abuse of synthetic drugs”.

    Next, it adopted, without a vote, the seventh text on “Sale of internationally controlled licit drugs to individuals via the Internet”.

    It then adopted, without a vote, the eighth draft resolution on “Demand for and supply of opiates used to meet medical and scientific needs”.

    Subsequently, it adopted the first of two draft decisions, on the “Report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its forty-seventh session and provisional agenda and documentation for the forty-eighth session of the Commission”, without a vote.

    Finally, it adopted, without a vote, the second draft decision, on the “Report of the International Narcotics Control Board”.

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