|Date||22 May 2003|
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Expression of sympathy to the Governments and peoples of Sri Lanka and Algeria in connection with the recent flooding and earthquake
Before turning to the items on our agenda, I should like, on behalf of all the members of the General Assembly, to extend our deepest sympathy to the Governments and peoples of Sri Lanka and Algeria for the tragic loss of life and the extensive material damage that have resulted from the recent flooding in Sri Lanka and from the earthquake in Algeria. May I also express the hope that the international community will show its solidarity and respond promptly and generously to any requests from Sri Lanka and Algeria for assistance in their present plights and to any appeal for aid.
Agenda item 18 (continued)
Election of judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Prosecution of Persons Responsible for Genocide and Other Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law Committed in the Territory of Rwanda and Rwandan Citizens Responsible for Genocide and Other Such Violations Committed in the Territory of Neighbouring States between 1 January and 31 December 1994
Letter from the Secretary-General (A/57/790)
Letter from the President of the Security Council (A/57/814)
The General Assembly will now resume its consideration of agenda item 18. In this connection, I wish to refer to the letter from the Secretary-General dated 16 April 2003, contained in document A/57/790 and to which is annexed a letter dated 26 March 2003 from the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. In her letter, the President of the International Criminal Tribunal requests that the terms of office of both Judge Pavel Dolenc and Judge Yakov Arkadyevich Ostrovsky be extended so that they might finish the Cyangugu case, that is, for an additional nine months. She also requests that the term of office of Judge Winston Churchill Matanzima Maqutu be extended so that he might finish the Kajelijeli, Kamuhanda and Butare cases, that is, for a total of two years and seven months. She further requests that her own term of office be extended so that she might finish the Media case, that is, for an additional seven months.
In a letter dated 19 May 2003 addressed to the President of the General Assembly and contained in document A/57/814, the President of the Security Council transmits the text of Council resolution 1482 (2003) of 19 May 2003, whereby the Council, inter alia:
"1. Decides in response to the request by the Secretary-General that:
"(a) Judge Dolenc, once replaced as a member of the Tribunal, finish the Cyangugu case which he has begun before expiry of his term of office;
"(b) Judge Maqutu, once replaced as a member of the Tribunal, finish the Kajelijeli and Kamuhanda cases which he has begun before expiry of his term of office;
"(c) Notwithstanding Article 11, paragraph 1, of the Statute of the Tribunal and on an exceptional basis, Judge Ostrovsky, once replaced as a member of the Tribunal, finish the Cyangugu case which he has begun before the expiry of his term of office;
"(d) Judge Pillay, once replaced as a member of the Tribunal, finish the Media case which she has begun before expiry of her term of office;
"2. Takes note in this regard of the intention of the Tribunal to finish the Cyangugu case before the end of February 2004 and the Kajelijeli, Kamuhanda and Media cases before the end of December 2003".
I now call on the representative of the Secretariat.
I would like to inform members that, should the General Assembly decide to extend the term of office of Judges Pillay and Maqutu to 31 December 2003 and Judges Dolenc and Ostrovsky to 29 February 2004, as endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 1482 (2003), additional costs provisionally estimated at $1,281,500 would arise. It is anticipated that of that amount the cost pertaining to the year 2003, estimated at $975,470, could be met within the appropriations for 2002-2003, as adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 56/248 B. The remainder for the year 2004, in the amount of $306,030, would be reported to the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session in the context of the proposed budget for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda for 2004-2005.
If there is no objection, I propose that the Assembly decide to endorse those recommendations of the Secretary-General that were endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 1482 (2003) of 19 May 2003.
The General Assembly has thus concluded this stage of its consideration of agenda item 18.
Agenda item 42 (continued)
Follow-up to the outcome of the twenty-sixth special session: implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS
Draft resolution (A/57/L.78)
We shall now proceed to consider draft resolution A/57/L.78. The Assembly will now take a decision on the draft resolution contained in document A/57/L.78, entitled "High-level plenary meetings devoted to the follow-up to the outcome of the twenty-sixth special session: implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS".
May I take it that the Assembly decides to adopt draft resolution A/57/L.78?
On behalf of the General Assembly and its President, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ambassador Manalo of the Philippines for having so ably conducted the negotiations on the resolution just adopted.
The General Assembly has thus concluded this stage of its consideration of agenda item 42.
Agenda item 169
Global road safety crisis
Draft resolution (A/57/L.77)
I now give the floor to the representative of Oman to introduce draft resolution A/57/L.77.
At the outset, my delegation would like to join the Acting President in expressing sincere condolences to the Governments and the peoples of Algeria and Sri Lanka for the tragic loss of life in the flooding in Sri Lanka and the earthquake in Algeria.
As I stand before the Assembly, somewhere in the world, in countries represented here, road accidents are taking place. A number of people are getting killed, and an even greater number of people are getting injured, some of whom will go on to have life-long disabilities. Globally, road traffic accidents cause 1.2 million deaths and injure 10 to 15 million people every year. It is projected that by 2020 road traffic injuries will account for about 2.3 million deaths worldwide, with more than 90 per cent of those deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 1998 road traffic crashes accounted for 2.8 per cent of all global deaths, and ranked ninth among the leading causes of disease burden. By the year 2020, road traffic injuries could take third place in the ranking of disease burden. The annual cost of road traffic accidents is a staggering $500 billion, with Africa alone bearing one fifth of that cost, funds badly needed for development projects.
Yet, the issue of road traffic safety is not significantly on the international public policy agenda at all. The leadership of the international community largely ignores road safety. Take, for example, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which was held at Johannesburg last September. The Plan of Implementation adopted at the Summit included a number of specific goals and targets related to the environmental impact of transport. But the Plan does not specifically mention road safety even once. The thousands of deaths occurring daily around the world do not receive the same media attention as, say, a single aircraft crash with a loss of about 200 lives. Given the expected increase in the level of motor vehicle use and the resulting growth in road traffic deaths and injuries, action to reduce this dramatic rise in casualties should now be a significant priority for the international community.
An excellent start has been made with the decision of the General Assembly to include an item on road safety on the agenda of the fifty-seventh session. The General Assembly will, for the very first time, discuss road safety. Another welcome development is the decision of the World Health Organization to dedicate World Health Day in 2004 to the theme of safer roads. There is still much more that needs to be done to raise awareness of the issue of road safety and to develop prevention strategies based on effective approaches to road safety management.
Valuable work on road safety is being undertaken by WHO, the World Bank, the United Nations Children's Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Global Road Safety Partnership, the Bone and Joint Decade and the Task Force for Child Survival and Development, just to name a few. What is lacking, unfortunately, is coordination between them. Work undertaken by United Nations agencies lacks defined goals set at the political level by the international community. That lack of a clearly established mandate prevents the development of a coherent strategy for road safety management. The sponsors of the draft resolution before the Assembly this morning therefore believe that there is an urgent need for a new initiative that can pull together the various efforts of different agencies and provide a single focal point for global road safety.
I have the honour to introduce the draft resolution contained in document A/57/L.77, entitled "Global road safety crisis", on behalf of the following other sponsors: Algeria, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Gabon, Greece, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen and Zambia.
The preambular paragraphs of the draft resolution recognize the magnitude of the problem and its contributing factors. In its operative part, paragraph 4 will request the Secretary-General to submit a report containing the views expressed by Member States and United Nations agencies that will form the basis for discussion during the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly.
I commend to the General Assembly the adoption of draft resolution A/57/L.77. By adopting it, we would be starting, in small way, to move towards making our roads safe for ourselves and for generations to come.
I have the honour to inform the General Assembly that Australia and Costa Rica have become sponsors of draft resolution A/57/L.77.
May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to conclude its consideration of agenda item 169?