Press Releases

    GA/SHC/3827
    24 October 2005

    Third Committee Approves Six Draft Resolutions on Disabled Persons, Ageing, Violence against Women, Crime Prevention, Drug Control

    Drafts Introduced on Palestinian Children, Girl Child

    NEW YORK, 21 October (UN Headquarters) -- The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) today adopted without a vote six draft resolutions, including on questions relating to disabled persons; follow-up to the International Year of Older Persons:  Second World Assembly on Ageing; the advancement of women; crime prevention and criminal justice; and international drug control.

    It first adopted a draft on "Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons: realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities", which would have the General Assembly call upon Governments to both strengthen ways to promote disability issues, allocate sufficient resources to fully implement existing plans and initiatives, and, in partnership with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, provide special protection to disabled persons from marginalized sectors, particularly women and children.

    Then it adopted a draft on "Follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing", which would have the General Assembly stress the need to increase national capacity-building -- by consulting and utilizing the Research Agenda on Ageing for the Twenty-First Century, among other tools -- to implement the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing 2002 and would encourage Governments to support the United Nations Trust Fund for Ageing.

    The Committee then adopted a draft on the "In-depth study on all forms of violence against women", which would request that the Secretary-General raise awareness of the study and solicit contributions, as well as to continue to strengthen cooperation with relevant non-governmental organizations to prepare it.

    After adoption of the resolution, France's representative, its main sponsor, said the fact that both developed and developing countries had co-sponsored the document was evidence of the international community's resolve to address violence against women.  He expressed hope that it would be a guiding light for Member States to change the mindset of future generations to end violence against women.

    Next, the Committee adopted a draft on the "United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders", which would have the Assembly call upon Member States and non-governmental organizations to adopt concrete measures to support development of the Institute's requisite capacity and implementation of its programmes and activities aimed at strengthening crime prevention and criminal justice systems in Africa.  The Assembly would also request that the Secretary-General step up efforts to mobilize all necessary financial and technical support for the Institute.

    The Committee then adopted a draft on "Follow-up to the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice", which would have the Assembly invite Governments to identify areas covered in the Bangkok Declaration that needed further attention, as well as seek proposals by Member States to ensure appropriate follow-up to the Declaration for consideration and action during the fifteenth session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

    After adoption of that resolution, Thailand's representative, its main sponsor, said that with the political will of Member States, the Declaration would serve as a solid foundation and guide for future measures and actions to prevent and combat crime.

    Next, the Committee adopted a draft on "International cooperation against the world drug problem", which would have the Assembly call upon Member States to strengthen efforts to end the world drug problem, provide additional reporting analysis on women-specific data relating to illicit drug use and access to appropriate treatment services, and transmit voluntarily information on emerging substances of abuse to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

    After adoption of the resolution, Cuba's representative asked the Committee Secretary to distribute a written version of his statement on the draft's budget so that the Committee members could fully understand its financial implications.  The United States' representative said the Secretary-General had given assurance that the resolution's adoption should not create any requirements for additional financial appropriations.  Meanwhile, Venezuela's representative said that while combating drug trafficking was a top Government priority for Venezuela, his delegation had not sponsored the draft because paragraph 2 contained a reference to the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit which it deemed null and void.

    The Committee also heard the introduction of two draft resolutions on assistance to Palestinian children and on the girl child.

    The Committee will meet again at a time and date to be announced.

    Background

    The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met today to take action on draft resolutions on social development, including questions relating to the world social situation and to youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family; follow-up to the International Year of Older Persons:  Second World Assembly on Ageing; the advancement of women; crime prevention and criminal justice; and international drug control.

    That included a draft resolution on the Implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning disabled persons:  realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities (document A/C.3/60/L.3/Rev.1), which would have the General Assembly call upon Governments to take necessary measures to advance beyond the adoption of national plans for people with disabilities by creating or reinforcing arrangements to promote disability issues and by allocating sufficient resources to fully implement existing plans and initiatives.

    Further to the draft, the Assembly would also urge Governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to provide special protection to disabled persons from marginalized sectors of society, particularly women and children with disabilities, and to continue to support the United Nations Voluntary Fund on Disability.

    The Committee also was expected to take action on draft resolution on Follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing (document A/C.3/60/L.2), which would have the General Assembly call on Governments, organizations, bodies of the United Nations system and non-governmental organizations to reinforce advocacy campaigns about the Assembly's decisions, as well as ensure their programmes adequately incorporate challenges of ageing populations and concerns of older persons.

    Further to the draft, the Assembly would stress the need to increase national capacity-building to implement the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing 2002 and would encourage Governments to support the United Nations Trust Fund for Ageing.

    Also, the Assembly would call upon Governments to consult and utilize the Research Agenda on Ageing for the Twenty-First Century to help strengthen national capacity to implement and appraise the Madrid Plan of Action.

    Further, it would request that the United Nations system continue to strengthen the capacity of focal points on ageing and provide them with adequate resources to further implement the Madrid Plan.  The Assembly would also stress the importance of collecting data and population statistics disaggregated by age and sex on policy formulation.

    The Committee had before it a draft resolution on the In-depth study on all forms of violence against women (document A/C.3/60/L.12), which requests the Secretary-General to seize all opportunities to raise awareness on the conduct of the study and solicit contributions, as well as to continue to strengthen cooperation with relevant non-governmental organizations in the preparation of the study.

    The Assembly would also decide to extend to its sixty-first session the deadline for submission of the report in subparagraph (d) of its resolution 58/185, in time for its in-depth consideration at that session, at the latest by early September 2006, and to consider the report at its sixty-first session under the item entitled "advancement of women".

    In addition, before the Committee was a draft resolution on the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (document A/C.3/60/L.10), which calls upon all Member States and non-governmental organizations to adopt concrete measures to support the Institute in the development of requisite capacity and to implement its programmes and activities aimed at strengthening crime prevention and criminal justice systems in Africa.

    Also, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to intensify efforts to mobilize all relevant entities of the United Nations system to provide the necessary financial and technical support to the Institute, and to enhance the promotion of regional cooperation, coordination and collaboration in the fight against crime.

    Also before the Committee was a draft resolution on Follow-up to the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (document A/C.3/60/L.11/Rev.1), which invites Governments to consider the Bangkok Declaration and the recommendations adopted by the Eleventh Congress in formulating legislation and policy directives, and to identify areas covered in the Declaration where further tools and training manuals based on international standards and best practices are needed.

    Further, the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to distribute the report of the Eleventh Congress and to seek proposals by Member States on ensuring appropriate follow-up to the Bangkok Declaration for consideration and action by the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its fifteenth session.

    In addition, the Committee had before it a draft resolution on International cooperation against the world drug problem (document A/C.3/60/L.9/Rev.1), which urges all States to ratify or accede to, and States parties to implement all the provisions of, the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971 and the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988.

    Further to the text, the Assembly would call upon all States to strengthen efforts in the fight against the world drug problem; to consider providing additional reporting analysis on women-specific data relating to the use of illicit substances and access to appropriate treatment services; and to transmit voluntarily information on emerging substances of abuse to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

    The draft resolution also includes provisions on judicial cooperation, countering money-laundering; international cooperation in illicit crop eradication and alternative development; and specific action to be taken by the United Nations system.

    The Committee also met to hear the introduction of two draft resolutions on promotion and protection of the rights of children, including the girl child (document A/C.3/60/L.18) and the situation of and assistance to Palestinian children (document A/C.3/60/L.19).

    Introduction of draft resolutions

    HESHAM AFIFI (Egypt), introducing a draft resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian children (document A/C.3/60/L.19), said that as everyone was aware, the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories continued to remain dire, and affected the entire Palestinian population, especially the children.  As a result of that severe situation, the resolution was being presented.  It included minor changes from the resolution of the previous session, and its main point was to state the concern that the Palestinian children under occupation remained deprived of many rights.  It also called upon the international community to provide urgently needed assistance and service in an effort to alleviate the dire emergency.  In addition, the resolution sent a strong message of hope to Palestinian children.

    MORINA MUUONDJO (Namibia) introduced a draft resolution on the girl child (document A/C.3/60/L.18).  The girl child deserved special attention, and, therefore, the intention of the resolution was aimed at keeping the girl child high on the agenda of the United Nations.  The girl child was still facing persistent forms of inequality, she said.  The text was still being negotiated, and she added that it would be appreciated if more delegations participated in the negotiations.  She also expressed hope that the resolution would be adopted by consensus.

    Action on Draft Resolutions

    The Committee adopted without a vote draft resolutions on social development, including questions relating to the world social situation and to youth, ageing, disabled persons and the family; follow-up to the International Year of Older Persons:  Second World Assembly on Ageing; the advancement of women; crime prevention and criminal justice; and international drug control.

    They included a draft, as orally revised, on implementation of the World Programme of Action concerning Disabled Persons:  realizing the Millennium Development Goals for persons with disabilities (document A/C.3/60/L.3/Rev.1).

    After adoption of the resolution, the representative of Venezuela said he had not co-sponsored it due to reservations in operative paragraph 3 concerning the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit which did not generate any mandate.

    The Committee then adopted without a vote a draft, as orally revised, on follow-up to the Second World Assembly on Ageing (document A/C.3/60/L.2) and a draft, as orally revised, on an in-depth study on all forms of violence against women (document A/C.3/60/L.12).

    After adoption of the draft resolution on violence against women, the representative of France, its main sponsor, said he was encouraged to see that both developed and developing countries had co-sponsored that draft, which had been introduced by France and the Netherlands.  That was evidence of the resolve of countries to deal with violence against women and would lead to a new international consensus to end that violence.  He expressed hope that it would be a guiding light for Member States to change the mindset of generations to come and that there would be political support for future resolutions on the same issue.

    The Committee, at the request of the representative of Norway, the main sponsor of the draft on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (document A/C.3/60/L.17), then postponed taking action on that draft as an amendment to it was not yet available.

    It then adopted a draft on the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (document A/C.3/60/L.10).

    Then it adopted a draft, as orally revised, on follow-up to the Eleventh United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (document A/C.3/60/L.11/Rev.1).

    After adoption of that resolution, its main sponsor, the representative of Thailand, said with the political will of all Member States, the Bangkok Declaration would have the power to serve as a solid foundation and guide for future measures and actions to prevent and combat crime.  She appealed to all Member States to co-sponsor and adopt the draft by consensus in order to maximize its impact on preventing and combating global crime and terrorism.

    The representative of Mexico, the main sponsor of a draft on international cooperation against the world drug problem (document A/C.3/60/L.9/Rev.1), then explained changes in the document and said the Secretary-General had been requested to prepare a follow-up report on the issue.

    The Committee then adopted that draft, as orally amended by the Committee Secretary regarding relevant financial provisions, without a vote.

    After adoption of the resolution, the representative of the United States said the Secretary-General had given assurances that the resolution's adoption should not create any requirements for additional financial appropriations.  She expressed hope that the General Assembly's Fifth Committee would give that due consideration when the issue arose.

    Then the representative of Venezuela said combating drug trafficking was a top Government priority for Venezuela, which had adopted special policies to control all chemical substances and educate citizens, particularly school children, about drugs' damaging effects.  However, Venezuela did not sponsor the draft because paragraph 2 contained a reference to the Outcome Document of 2005 World Summit which he deemed null and void.

    Then the representative of Cuba asked the Committee Secretary to distribute a written version of his statement on the draft's budget so that the Committee members could fully understand its financial implications.

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