Resolutions for Sustainable Development voted on in the UN General Assembly

The developing world’s vulnerability to the prevailing multiple global crises and preparations for the June 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development were prominent among the concerns of the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) as the 42 draft resolutions and 4 draft decisions it had recommended for action by the General Assembly were adopted today. 

Among the texts adopted — all but four without a vote — were two brand new texts, the first titled “Towards global partnerships”, which called on the international community to continue promoting multistakeholder approaches to development. The second, “People’s empowerment and a peace-centric development model”, noted theproposal by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to host an international conference on the subject during the first half of 2012. 

However, the focus fell on sustainable development ahead of the upcoming Conference on Sustainable Development, known as “Rio+20”, with the Assembly adopting 16 draft resolutions and 2 draft decisions on the subject. One new text dealt with international cooperation and coordination for the rehabilitation and economic development of the Semipalatinsk region of Kazakhstan. Another noted the failure of donors to meet their commitments on official development assistance (ODA), stressing the vital importance of aid to financing for development, and of greater South-South cooperation. 

Another adopted text stressed the challenges posed by desertification, land degradation and drought, including to food security in developing countries, and emphasized the need for financial resources, technology transfer and capacity-building to meet them. 

Recorded votes were requested before action on two draft resolutions dealing with sustainable development. By the terms of one text, the Assembly requested for the sixth consecutive year that Israel compensate Lebanon and Syria for the pollution of their shores that followed the destruction of oil storage tanks near Lebanon’s El-Jiyeh power plant. Compensation was expected promptly and to be adequate to restore the marine environment and repair the environmental damage. The Assembly adopted that draft by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 6 abstentions (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Gabon, Panama, Tonga). (See Annex II for voting details) 

Adopted by a recorded vote of 141 in favour to 2 against (South Africa, Venezuela), with 33 abstentions was a text on agricultural technology for development. By its terms, the Assembly urged the strengthening of international efforts to develop sustainable agricultural technologies, and their transfer to developing countries under fair terms. It also requested that the United Nations promote, support and facilitate the exchange of experiences among Member States on ways to augment sustainable agriculture and management practices. (Annex III) 

On the subject of the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the Assembly adopted a draft resolution that expressed deep concern over the number and scale of disasters and their impact on sustainable development, especially in developing countries.

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**NGOs and other Major groups’ organisations that are NOT yet accredited to the United Nations and wish to participate in the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) will be offered a one time opportunity to become accredited to Rio+20. Click here to start the accreditation for new groups.The deadline for new accreditation is 20 February 2012. Once your registration is approved, your organization can preregister representatives until the general deadline of 20 May 2012.


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