|Date||6 June 2006|
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Agenda item 7 (continued)
Organization of work, adoption of the agenda and allocation of items: reopening of the consideration of sub-item (c) of agenda item 54
I would like to draw the attention of the General Assembly to the report of the Secretary-General contained in document A/60/871, which has been circulated under sub-item (c) of agenda item 54, "International migration and development".
Members will recall that the General Assembly concluded its consideration of sub-item (c) of agenda item 54 at its 69th plenary meeting, on 23 December 2005. In order to enable the General Assembly to consider the report of the Secretary-General, it will be necessary to reopen the consideration of sub-item (c) of agenda item 54. May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to reopen its consideration of sub-item (c) of agenda item 54?
Members will recall that, at its 17th plenary meeting, on 20 September 2005, the General Assembly decided to allocate sub-item (c) of agenda item 54 to the Second Committee. In order for the General Assembly to proceed expeditiously with its consideration of the sub-item, may I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to consider sub-item (c) of agenda 54 directly in plenary meeting under heading B of the agenda, namely, "Promotion of sustained economic growth and sustainable development in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and recent United Nations conferences"?
May I further take it that the Assembly agrees to proceed immediately to the consideration of sub-item (c) of agenda item 54?
Agenda item 54 (continued)
Globalization and interdependence
(c) International migration and development
Report of the Secretary-General (A/60/871)
Today the General Assembly will embark on a series of events in preparation for the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, which will take place on 14 and 15 September, at the beginning of the sixty-first session.
International migration is a global issue that affects us all. Today there are more than 191 million migrants in the world. International migration has an impact both on countries of destination and on countries of origin, in developing and developed countries alike. We can all learn from each other's experience and engage in a dialogue to widen our common understanding of the interrelationship between international migration and development.
At the 2005 World Summit, our heads of State or Government acknowledged the important nexus between international migration and development and the need to deal with the challenges and opportunities that migration presents to countries of origin, destination and transit. They recognized that international migration brings benefits as well as challenges to the global community.
They also welcomed the High-level Dialogue as an opportunity to discuss the multidimensional aspects of international migration and development in order to identify appropriate ways and means to maximize their development benefits and minimize their negative impact. The path leading to the High-level Dialogue has not always been an easy one. The issue of international migration in relation to development began to gain visibility at the time of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, held in Cairo.
One year later, the Second Committee of the General Assembly considered the first report on international migration and development (E/1995/69). Furthermore, most of the conferences and summits that followed the Cairo Conference devoted attention to international migration and development.
As a result, the United Nations has already a fairly comprehensive set of principles, objectives and recommendations in regard to international migration. In addition, the Global Commission on International Migration issued a report just last year, and also presented a set of principles and recommendations, as members know. Shortly, I will invite the Secretary-General to introduce his report entitled "International migration and development", which will provide a comprehensive overview of studies on the multidimensional aspects of migration and development as well as highlight the developmental potential of migration.
Before doing so, I would like to remind members of a number of upcoming General Assembly events in preparation for the High-level Dialogue, so that they may note them in their calendars. On Thursday, 8 June, the first of two panel discussions on international migration and development will take place here in New York. In that regard, I wish to refer to my letter of 31 May; another letter with further details will be sent from my Office later this afternoon. The second panel discussion will take place in Geneva on 4 July. On 12 July there will be an informal interactive hearing with representatives from non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector, here in New York. I encourage members to actively and constructively participate in those events, which will be an important contribution to the successful organization and outcome of the High-level Dialogue in September.
I now warmly welcome the Secretary-General to the General Assembly, and invite him to introduce his report.
In preparation for the High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, which the General Assembly is to hold on 14 and 15 September 2006, I have the honour to submit the report (A/60/871) that the Assembly requested from me in resolution 59/241, which was reiterated by resolution 60/227.
The report offers a comprehensive review of recent trends in international migration, focusing particularly on the impact that it has both on countries of destination and on countries of origin. It draws on many previous studies, including the very valuable one undertaken by the Global Commission on International Migration, which presented its report and recommendations to me last year.
In the report before the Assembly today, I focus on the aspects of international migration that are most relevant to development. The report makes a strong case that international migration, supported by the right policies, can be highly beneficial for the development both of the countries that migrants come from and of those in which they arrive. But it also stresses that those benefits are contingent on the rights of migrants themselves being respected and upheld. It shows that, contrary to some received opinion, migration involves women and men in almost equal numbers. It therefore considers the role of gender in international migration and the impact on gender-related issues.
Perhaps most important, the report explores new ways by which Governments are seeking to manage the flows and skills of people in order to make the greatest use of migration's development potential. It surveys existing intergovernmental cooperation in this field, including the normative framework, the various global and regional initiatives that have been taken and the bilateral approaches that are being tried, such as agreements on the portability of pensions and health benefits. It points out that international cooperation is also crucial in the struggle to protect people against the odious crime of human trafficking.
Member States will of course draw their own conclusions from the facts set out in the report. But I have ventured, in the foreword to the report, to make some tentative suggestions, which I will summarize for the Assembly now.
First, I should like to congratulate the Assembly on its decision to hold a High-level Dialogue on this subject, preceded by high-level panels and a hearing with representatives of civil society. The report shows very clearly that we are in the midst of a new era of migration, and that international migration today is indeed a global phenomenon. Large numbers of people migrate in search of a better life, not only between neighbouring countries or within a region but to and from the uttermost ends of the Earth. If anyone harbours doubts on that point, a stroll through this city of New York should quickly put them right.
There can be very few countries that are not affected by international migration in one way or other. Policy-makers are increasingly recognizing its importance for development. Therefore, a global discussion on international migration and development could hardly be more timely. To ensure that its importance is fully appreciated at the highest level, Peter Sutherland -- who, as the Assembly knows, was the founding Director-General of the World Trade Organization -- has kindly agreed to serve as my Special Representative for Migration. He is already engaged in intensive consultations with Governments, and he will continue to urge them to bring their best ideas to the Dialogue in September.
My second point is that evidence of the benefits brought about by international migration is accumulating. It is no coincidence, and it should be no surprise, that many countries that not so long ago were primarily sources of migrants -- for instance Ireland, several countries in southern Europe, the Republic of Korea and Chile -- have developed spectacularly, and now boast thriving economies which make them attractive destinations for migrants. Benefits, both to countries of origin and to countries of destination, are highly relevant to development, since both categories include many developing countries. Indeed, some developing countries, such as Malaysia and Thailand, are at this moment making the transition from one category to the other.
Yet -- and this is my third point -- it would clearly be naive to pretend that all is for the best in the best of all migratory worlds. We are all too familiar with the abuses to which many migrants are subjected, whether in transit, where they fall prey to smugglers and traffickers, sometimes with fatal consequences, or in the countries where they settle, where they are often exposed to exploitation by unprincipled employers, as well as to xenophobic reactions from parts of the resident population, including sometimes even representatives of public authority.
By the same token, we must all be aware of the social and cultural tensions that have arisen in many countries where there are large and recently established populations of foreign origin, especially when those populations have traditions or beliefs sharply different from those that long-term residents of the country are used to. The benefits that migrants bring to a country as a whole, and over time, are often eclipsed by more immediate and local grievances, whether well-founded or not. Most of us must also now be aware of negative effects felt in some countries of origin, particularly when workers with badly needed skills, for instance in the health sector, are drained away by better conditions and higher salaries abroad.
For all those reasons, it seems clear that few, if any, countries would be willing, so to speak, to lie back and enjoy the benefits of migration without seeking to manage it. But it would be equally foolish to try to stop it altogether, as that could be achieved only by an application of State power so draconian that it would threaten the freedom, as well as the prosperity, of any country that resorted to it.
It is therefore not surprising that more and more Governments are seeking to channel the flow of migrants, whether out of or into their own countries, in ways that maximize the benefits while minimizing the adverse side effects. For instance, countries of destination seek to select migrants whose skills are most needed and have experimented with various policies aimed at promoting harmony and mutual respect between new communities and established citizens. Meanwhile, countries of origin seek more and more to spread the benefits of remittances among their populations and to work with communities of migrants abroad and give them incentives to invest their acquired skills and capital back home.
Many of those policies require, or can be facilitated by, cooperation between the Governments concerned. Even where that is not the case, there is much to be gained from sharing experiences, both positive and negative, and from exchanging ideas. That of course is precisely the point of the Dialogue that Governments will hold in September. Those two days, and the preparations for them -- to which I hope my report will prove a useful contribution -- promise to be a very rich learning experience for all concerned.
My only fear is that two days will not be enough. It seems to me that this topic will not be soon exhausted. International migration is likely to be with us as long as human societies continue to develop. It has increased significantly in recent decades, as it did in previous periods of economic integration, such as the one preceding the First World War. In all probability, it will continue to rise in the decades ahead. Both the opportunities and the challenges associated with this most dynamic phenomenon will continue to evolve. Humankind's response will need to be constantly reinvented in ways that will no doubt require Governments to intensify their cooperation. That is why in my report I have suggested that Governments may wish the High-level Dialogue to mark not the end but the beginning of serious global cooperation on this issue.
I do not for one minute suggest, or imagine, that Governments would relinquish any control of their borders or of their policies in an area so central to national identity and sovereignty. But, I do suggest that, if they find the High-level Dialogue as valuable as I believe they will, they may wish to establish a permanent forum of a voluntary and consultative nature, with a view to continuing the debate, the sharing of experience and the exchange of ideas.
If they do so wish, it goes without saying that the United Nations is available as a venue, and that its staff are ready to give Member States whatever assistance they may require in organizing and servicing such a forum. Indeed, that would be a highly appropriate role for the Organization, dedicated as it is by its Charter to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.
I thank the Secretary-General for his important and illuminating statement.
We know we are dealing with a very important, and in some regards complicated, subject. I think it is very good that we have these events in preparation for the High-level Dialogue in September. I trust that members will participate as much as possible in the panel discussions this week, on 8 June, and in Geneva on 4 July, which is an important date for one delegation, as well as in the 12 July informal interactive meeting in New York with representatives from non-governmental organizations and civil society. Let us go to work.
The General Assembly has thus concluded this stage of its consideration of sub-item (c) of agenda item 54.
Agenda item 32 (continued)
Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects
Report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) (A/60/478/Add.1)
If there is no proposal under rule 66 of the rules of procedure, I shall take it that the General Assembly decides not to discuss the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) that is before the Assembly today.
Statements will therefore be limited to explanations of vote or position. The positions of delegations regarding the recommendation of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee have been made clear in the Committee and are reflected in the relevant official records.
May I remind members that under paragraph 7 of decision 34/401, the General Assembly agreed that
"When the same draft resolution is considered in a Main Committee and in plenary meeting, a delegation should, as far as possible, explain its vote only once, i.e., either in the Committee or in plenary meeting, unless that delegation's vote in plenary meeting is different from its vote in the Committee".
May I also remind delegations that, also in accordance with decision 34/401, explanations of vote are limited to 10 minutes and should be made by delegations from their seats.
Before we begin to take action on the draft resolution, I should like to advise representatives that we are going to proceed to take a decision in the same manner as was done in the Special Political and Decolonization Committee, unless notified otherwise in advance.
The General Assembly has before it a draft resolution recommended by the Special Political and Decolonization Committee in paragraph 8 of its report. We will now take a decision on the draft resolution. The Special Political and Decolonization Committee adopted the draft resolution without a vote. May I take it that the Assembly wishes to do the same?
The General Assembly has thus concluded this stage of its consideration of agenda item 31.
Agenda item 7 (continued)
Organization of work, adoption of the agenda and allocation of items: reopening of the consideration of sub-item (i) of agenda item 97
I would like to draw the attention of the General Assembly to document A/60/L.55, which has been circulated under sub-item (i) of agenda item 97, entitled "Convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament".
Members will recall that the General Assembly concluded its consideration of agenda item 97 at its 69th plenary, on 23 December 2005. In order to enable the General Assembly to consider draft decision A/60/L.55, it will be necessary to re-open the consideration of sub-item (i) of agenda item 97. May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to re-open its consideration of sub-item (i) of agenda item 97?
Members will recall also that, at its 17th plenary meeting, on 20 September 2005, the General Assembly decided to allocate sub-item (i) of agenda item 97 to the First Committee. In order for the General Assembly to proceed expeditiously with its consideration of the draft decision issued as document A/60/L.55 under this sub-item, may I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to consider sub-item (i) of agenda 97 directly in plenary meeting under heading G of the agenda, namely, "Disarmament"?
May I further take it that the Assembly agrees to proceed immediately to the consideration of sub-item (i) of agenda item 97?
Agenda item 97 (continued)
General and complete disarmament
(i) Convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament
Draft decision (A/60/L.55)
I give the floor to the representative of Indonesia to introduce draft decision A/60/L.55.
I am speaking on behalf of the States members of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Before I proceed, allow me to make a small correction on the title of draft decision A/60/L.55. The title of the draft decision should read "Convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament".
In accordance with resolution 59/71, adopted by the General Assembly on 3 December 2004, the Open-ended Working Group on the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament was supposed to hold an organizational session, to be followed by three substantive sessions on the dates that had been scheduled for 2006. However, due to the fact that a chairperson for the Open-ended Working Group could not be found at the time that the substantive session was to start, we decided to postpone the work of the Open-ended Working Group to a later date.
In that regard, following informal consultations with delegations, and for the purpose of reporting to the General Assembly before the end of the sixtieth session, as requested by the aforementioned resolution, we would like to introduce the draft decision contained in document A/60/L.55, as orally corrected, for consideration and adoption by the Assembly.
We shall now proceed to consider draft decision A/60/L.55, as orally corrected by the representative of Indonesia.
The Assembly will now take action on draft decision A/60/L.55, as orally corrected, entitled "Convening of the fourth special session of the General Assembly devoted to disarmament". May I take it that the Assembly decides to adopt draft decision A/60/L.55, as orally corrected?
The General Assembly has thus concluded this stage of its consideration of sub-item (i) of agenda item 97.
Agenda item 7 (continued)
Organization of work, adoption of the agenda and allocation of items: request for the inclusion of an additional item on the agenda
Note by the Secretary-General (A/60/238)
As indicated in the Secretary-General's note, the current term of the permanent judges of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda comes to an end on 24 May 2007. The Statute of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda does not provide for extending the term of office of the permanent judges. In the absence of such a provision, the approval of the Security Council, as the parent organ of the Tribunal, and of the General Assembly, as the organ that elects its judges, would be needed in order to extend the term of office of the permanent judges of the Tribunal until 31 December 2008.
In that connection, the Secretary-General has the honour to request, pursuant to rule 15 of the rules of procedure of the General Assembly, the inclusion in the agenda of the sixtieth session of the General Assembly of an additional item entitled "Extension of the term of the permanent 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".
Owing to the nature of the item, unless there is any objection, may I take it that the General Assembly agrees that the relevant provision of rule 40 of the rules of procedure, which would require a meeting of the General Committee on the question of the inclusion of that item on the agenda, can be waived?
May I take it that the General Assembly, on the proposal of the Secretary-General, wishes to include on the agenda of the current session an additional item entitled "Extension of the term of the permanent 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" under heading I of the agenda, entitled "Organizational, administrative and other matters"?
The item is therefore included as item 161.
In his note, the Secretary-General further requests that the item be considered directly in plenary meeting. May I take it that the General Assembly, as requested by the Secretary-General, wishes to consider this item directly in plenary meeting?