Agenda item 48 (continued)
Follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the preparation of the 2008 Review Conference
Members will recall that at its 74th plenary meeting, on 23 December 2008, the Assembly decided to consider agenda item 48 directly in plenary meeting. Members will further recall that, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 63/239, of 24 December 2008, and 63/277, of 7 April 2009, the Assembly decided to hold a Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development from 1 to 3 June 2009 at United Nations Headquarters.
In that connection, members have received a letter from my Chef de Cabinet dated 21 May 2009 recalling the alert I brought to the Assembly’s attention in my letter of 1 April 2009, namely, that the dates of 1 to 3 June for the holding of the Conference would no longer be appropriate. In the past few days, a large number of representatives from the various regions have requested a brief deferral of the Conference, to 24 to 26 June, to facilitate the participation of their Governments at the highest level. At the same time, some representatives have also indicated that the intergovernmental negotiations on the draft outcome document are proving to be most challenging and may need more time to arrive at an agreement among Member States.
Given the ongoing dire and critical financial and economic situation of the world and the utmost urgency for Member States and the United Nations system as a whole to find a common and lasting solution soon, and on the request of Member States, I would like to propose to reschedule the holding of the Conference to 24 to 26 June, which appears to enjoy wide acceptance.
Before proceeding further, I wish to inform Member States that, after extensive consultations with representatives of negotiating groups and regional groups, we arrived at a consensus late on the evening of 22 May. I also made available a letter on that day informing Member States of this. I will shortly read out that letter for the record.
May I take it that the Assembly wishes to reconsider the dates for the holding of the Conference? There appears to be no objection.
May I also take it that the General Assembly wishes to hold the Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development from 24 to 26 June 2009?
As I said earlier, I will now read out for the record the letter that was made available to all Member States on Friday evening, 22 May. Hard copies are available at the Secretariat table.
“It is our common endeavour to ensure the success of the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development. We believe that success will depend on a positive and forward-looking outcome document and the active engagement of the political leadership of the Member States at the highest possible level.
“With this in view, I have carried out extensive consultations with the Permanent Representatives representing all the regional groups and negotiating groups and with the heads of State and Government of several countries. In the coming days I shall continue to do so.
“I have heard the concerns expressed by some Member States. I would like to reiterate that this process will be open, comprehensive, transparent and inclusive and, above all, driven by Member States. I am therefore committed to ensuring that the draft outcome document, at all stages of its evolution, will be negotiated and approved by Member States by consensus, consistent with resolution 63/277.
“I appeal to all Member States to agree on this document no later than Monday, 15 June. I am confident that Member States will demonstrate the necessary political will and good faith towards this end, and I will empower the two facilitators to play their role independently in coordination and cooperation with Member States.
“On this basis and for the sake of both a good outcome document and high level attendance, I believe there would be consensus on the Conference being rescheduled to 24 to 26 June 2009.”
On behalf of the European Union, I would like to express our satisfaction about the fact that we have been able to join in this decision based on consensus among all Member States to reschedule the Conference to 24 to 26 June 2009. As you have yourself pointed out, Mr. President, we were the last Group to join that consensus. We did so even though we still have certain concerns about the transparency of the process that has brought us here. We certainly want to use this opportunity as a new beginning to put the intergovernmental process back on track and to do everything possible to ensure the success of the Conference, which will discuss the most important and urgent issues of our time.
The new dates, to which we have agreed, were decided in a process that, in our view, was not transparent enough. However, we are ready to accept that decision. We certainly welcome the President’s letter dated 22 May, in which we have been given assurances that the process will be transparent, open, comprehensive and inclusive and, above all, driven by Member States. I would like to assure you, Mr. President, on behalf of the European Union, that we will be a very constructive and transparent partner in this process.
I would also like to express our strong support to the two facilitators. I would also like to say that we have had a very positive experience working with them in recent weeks. We are ready to continue to work with them in the days and weeks to come.
Once again, the European Union accepts this decision. We will work in a spirit of cooperation and inclusiveness. We hope that this process will produce a consensus outcome document and a successful Conference.
I have taken the floor to say how pleased the Group of 77 and China is about the consensus reached on rescheduling to 24 to 26 June the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development.
We take this opportunity to reaffirm the importance of the Conference. We trust that the constructive spirit that prevailed during the recent negotiations will have a positive impact on the coming deliberations and consultations, with a view to ensuring the success of the Conference, for which the international community has such high hopes.
We express our support to you, Mr. President, and our appreciation for your wise leadership. We also place on record our full confidence in the facilitators; we will spare no effort to work with them in an atmosphere of transparency and openness to make the Conference a success.
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the States members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). CARICOM continues to attach great importance to the upcoming Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and Its Impact on Development. CARICOM considers that event to be a very important step towards addressing the global financial crisis, which has had a serious impact on various sectors of our economies and which has the potential to further undermine important gains achieved over the years.
It is important to note that the Conference — for which, we recall, developing countries fought long and hard in Doha — offers small island developing States such as ours a unique opportunity to contribute to the discussions on reform of the international economic system, an opportunity which would otherwise elude us.
It is against that background that CARICOM wishes to express its disappointment at the proposal to postpone the Conference until 24 to 26 June 2009. As members know, many of our heads of State or Government, based on discussions held on the margins of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Havana in May and following discussion of the Conference at the recently concluded meeting of the CARICOM Council of Foreign Ministers, had committed themselves to attending the Conference on the dates previously agreed upon by the General Assembly, that is 1 to 3 June.
Nevertheless, as you know, Mr. President, CARICOM heads held a special meeting on the economic crisis in Trinidad and Tobago last Sunday. On that occasion, your special envoy to that meeting delivered your letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow of Belize in his capacity as Chair of CARICOM. Our heads were very concerned about the proposed postponement, the state of preparation and the general approach. They were also worried about the level of participation of the Group of Twenty (G-20), in particular the developed countries, and about the level of participation in general. They took the view that, despite their disappointment, they needed to try and rescue the Conference. Therefore, they agreed that they would accept the new dates and seek to maintain their attendance, and that they would ask you, Sir, to write to all heads of State or Government of the G-20 to urge them to attend. They expressed the hope that you would use your good offices to encourage maximum participation.
Member States will soon be informed of the first meeting of the intergovernmental negotiations on the draft outcome document. I will be opening that meeting, and I invite all Permanent Representatives to attend.
The General Assembly has thus concluded this stage of its consideration of agenda item 48.
Agenda item 7 (continued)
Organization of work, adoption of the agenda and allocation of items
The General Assembly has before it a report of the Fifth Committee on sub-item (b) of agenda item 105 entitled “Appointment of members of the Committee on Contributions”, document A/63/529/Add.1. In order for the Assembly to consider the report of the Fifth Committee under that sub-item, it will be necessary to reopen consideration of sub-item (b) of agenda item 105.
May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to reopen consideration of sub-item (b) of agenda item 105?
To enable the General Assembly to take up expeditiously the report of the Fifth Committee, may I further take it that the Assembly agrees to proceed immediately to the consideration of sub-item (b) of agenda item 105?
I see no objection. Accordingly, the General Assembly will now resume consideration of sub-item (b) of agenda item 105, “Appointment of members of the Committee on Contributions”.
Agenda item 105 (continued)
Appointments to fill vacancies in subsidiary organs and other appointments
(b) Appointment of members of the Committee on Contributions
Report of the Fifth Committee (A/63/529/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 Fifth Committee that is before the Assembly today.
Statements will therefore be limited to explanations of vote. The positions of delegations regarding the recommendation of the Fifth 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 remind delegations that, also in accordance with General Assembly decision 34/401, explanations of vote are limited to 10 minutes.
Before we begin to take action on the recommendation contained in the report of the Fifth Committee, 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 Fifth Committee.
The Fifth Committee recommends in paragraph 4 of its report that the General Assembly appoint Ms. Gönke Roscher of Germany as a member of the Committee on Contributions for a term of office beginning today, 26 May 2009, and ending on 31 December 2011.
May I take it that it is the wish of the Assembly to appoint Ms. Gönke Roscher of Germany as a member of the Committee on Contributions for a term of office beginning on 26 May 2009 and ending on 31 December 2011?
May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to conclude its consideration of sub-item (b) of agenda item 105?