Summary: July 12, 2001: European Union Priorities – 56th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The European Union would like to outline its priorities for the 56th session of the General Assembly. This paper is intended to serve as a basis for dialogue with all delegations in order to facilitate the debate and promote common goals. The EU stands ready to discuss these and other issues with all interested Member States.
FOLLOW-UP TO THE MILLENNIUM SUMMIT
PEACE AND SECURITY
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
DISARMAMENT AND NON-PROLIFERATION
1. FOLLOW-UP TO THE MILLENNIUM SUMMIT Top
The EU attaches great importance to the implementation of the Millennium Declaration and all international development targets. The primary purpose of the Summit - to strengthen and revitalize the UN - should be the focus of the follow-up to the Declaration. The follow-up process should be an integral part of the UN work, using existing mechanisms and follow-up processes. At the same time, an integrated approach is needed in order to preserve the comprehensive character of the Declaration. The EU's guiding principles in the follow-up process therefore aim at:
Political reviews aimed at establishing commitments should be decided on a case-by-case basis, when there is a need for new political commitments and in light of new challenges and priorities. Automatic +5 or +10 conference follow-up processes should be avoided. An integrated and coordinated UN follow-up to conferences should be part of the implementation of the Millennium Declaration. The EU would like to see a discussion in the GA where progress can be made on these issues.
Regarding the operational follow-up mechanisms, established by the GA by its resolution 55/162, the EU underlines that both the road map and the annual report for 2001 should be ready for presentation during the autumn of 2001 in order to not lose momentum.
The EU wishes to emphasize the importance of involving civil society in all aspects of the follow-up process.
2. HUMAN RIGHTS Top
The promotion and protection of human rights and the attachment to the principles of democracy and the rule of law represent a key component of the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy and of its development co-operation policy and external relations. The EU will continue to actively work towards strengthening the human rights and fundamental freedoms, inter alia emphasizing the universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated nature of all human rights.
In this spirit, the EU will give support to the Secretary General in his efforts to integrate human rights into the whole range of UN activities. In this context, particular attention will be paid to integrate a gender perspective into these activities and to human rights education.
The EU will strongly encourage co-operation with the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the various UN mechanisms, such as special rapporteurs and representatives, in the field of human rights. The EU will actively engage in efforts to secure that increased resources are allocated from the regular budget of the UN to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The EU will actively participate in the Third Committee of the GA and in particular present a number of initiatives, which will relate to different country situations and themes, such as the right of the child and the non-discrimination of women in the enjoyment of human rights. The EU will pay particular attention to the follow-up to the World Conference on Racism, Racial Discrimination and Xenophobia and to the UNGA Special Session on Children. The EU will continue its policies regarding death penalty and torture by following the respective adopted guidelines.
3. PEACE AND SECURITY Top
The EU will continue to work actively towards a strengthening of UN capacity in peace and security. The EU considers that the Brahimi report offers a unique opportunity to improve the way the international community approaches peace operations, and will continue to contribute to the implementation of its recommendations.
The EU is convinced that a long-term and comprehensive approach is necessary to solve discord, consolidate peace and prevent resurgence of conflict. Long-term efforts of conflict prevention and peace building must be linked together with peacekeeping efforts. The EU recognizes the need for close co-operation and dialogue between the bodies of the UN in support of an effective peace-building and conflict prevention, and recognizes in this context the important responsibility of the GA and the ECOSOC in addressing post-conflict rehabilitation, reconstruction and long term development.
The EU is developing its crisis management capacity. The goal is to contribute effectively to the prevention and resolution of conflicts. Recognizing the primary responsibility of the United Nations for the maintenance of international peace and security, the EU will work actively to further strengthen its co-operation, in a mutually reinforcing manner, with the UN and other international organizations in conflict prevention, crisis management, humanitarian assistance, post-conflict rehabilitation and long term development.
The safety and security of UN personnel carrying out peace missions continues to be of utmost concern to the EU. Further measures in this regard should be developed as a matter of priority.
4. INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT Top
The EU continues to support strongly the ICC and an early entry into force of the Rome Statute. The EU urges all states to ratify the Statute and will continue to support planning and effective preparation for the establishment of the ICC in the Hague. The Union looks forward to setting out further activities for the establishment and coming into operation of the Court during UNGA 56.
5. HUMANITARIAN ISSUES Top
The EU supports a strengthened and improved co-ordination of humanitarian action, particularly at the field level. The EU supports the central functions of the Secretary-General in the area of humanitarian affairs through, inter alia, the Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), and recognizes the need for adequate contributions to ensure the proper functioning of OCHA.
The EU supports reinforced capacity within OCHA and IASC relating to the needs caused by internal displacement.
The EU places particular importance to the safeguarding of unimpeded humanitarian access to affected populations, and the need to respect and ensure respect of human rights and international humanitarian and refugee law. The EU supports, as a matter of priority, a strengthening of arrangements, including legal and financial arrangements, for the safety and security of humanitarian workers.
The EU emphasizes the important role of UNHCR in the protection of the world's refugees, taking into account the gender perspective, and attaches particular importance to a successful outcome of the ongoing global consultations on international protection.
In pursuance to the Brahimi report, the EU supports closer co-operation between peacekeeping, peace-building and humanitarian response whilst also recognizing the need to respect the integrity, neutrality and independence of humanitarian action.
6. REGIONAL ISSUES Top
The EU is firmly committed to building a secure, prosperous and democratic Balkan region and to promoting multi-ethnic societies. The EU remains committed in its support to democracy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). In Kosovo the EU is committed to full implementation of UNSCR 1244 and strongly supports the efforts made by UNMIK to that end. The EU supports a democratic Montenegro in a democratic Yugoslavia; it encourages an early resumption of the dialogue between the new Government in Podgorica and Belgrade with a view to redefining their relations in an agreement acceptable to all parties. Regarding Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EU actively supports the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement and expects all parties to participate in the functioning of the multi-ethnic institutions provided by the Agreement. In the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the EU stresses its strong attachment to the inviolability of the internationally recognized borders and to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of FYROM, as one multi-ethnic State.
The EU will continue to play an active role in the GA on issues concerning the Middle East. The EU is determined to ensure that its commitment to peace and stability in the Middle East is reflected in its work in the GA. The EU reaffirms its view that the basis of negotiations, and of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace, must be UNSC resolutions 242 and 338 and other relevant UN resolutions.
The EU will continue to closely follow the situation in Western Sahara and to support the Secretary-General and his Personal Envoy Mr. Baker in their efforts to contribute to a solution mutually agreeable to the two parties concerned.
The EU considers the status quo in Cyprus to be unacceptable and strongly supports the efforts of the UN Secretary General to achieve a comprehensive settlement on the Cyprus problem consistent with the relevant UNSC resolutions and to arrive at a positive conclusion of the process. The EU regrets that there is currently a standstill in the process and calls on the Turkish Cypriot side to resume the process as soon as possible. The EU reaffirms its commitment to the stability and prosperity of the Mediterranean region.
The EU is determined to improve and strengthen its co-operation with the UN, the OAU and sub-regional organizations as well as civil society organizations to contribute to the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in Africa by enhancing African capacity in these fields. The EU will direct its action to target direct causes of violent conflict as well as addressing the more structural root causes. In recognition of the importance of economic factors in conflicts in Africa, the EU will seek to promote the further integration of Africa into the world economy, as well as actively working to end the illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources in African countries. The EU will also remain an active and supportive partner in the Kimberley process aimed at breaking the link between illicit transactions of diamonds and armed conflict.
The EU will continue to follow very closely and support the peace process in DRC based on the Lusaka agreement and on the resolutions of the UNSC, so that sovereignty, territorial unity and integrity of this country as well as democracy and good governance can be quickly restored and illegal exploitation and misappropriation of natural resources stopped. The EU will continue to support the MONUC operation and the facilitation of the inter-Congolese dialogue, as well as the implementation by the parties of a DDRR operation. It will also try to facilitate the peace process in Burundi, based on the Arusha peace agreement, by supporting the mediator, pressing the parties and the countries, and progressively restoring development assistance in accordance with the conclusions of the Paris donors Conference. The EU will continue to support a complete and just resolution of the conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea, based on Algiers peace agreement and resolutions of UNSC. The EU will also closely monitor the developments in Sierra Leone in support of the UNAMSIL.
The EU strongly supports UNTAET in its efforts to lead East Timor towards independence and will remain committed to supporting East Timor after independence. The EU is conscious of the need for a continuous support by the international community in achieving a peaceful, prosperous and democratic new country that will contribute to the stability of the region.
The EU remains deeply concerned over the fighting in Afghanistan, over the disastrous humanitarian and human rights situation in the country, and over the suffering of Afghan refugees. The EU has fully implemented the sanctions decided by the UNSC and will continue to firmly support the work of UNSMA and UN-led mediation efforts.
The EU will continue to follow-up the work of the CHR on Burma/Myanmar, where it hopes to see the recent contacts between the State Peace and Development Committee and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi lead to early concrete steps towards national reconciliation, democracy and respect for human rights, in the interest of all the peoples of the country.
The EU has for long supported president Kim Dae-Jung's sunshine policy. The EU looks forward to further progress in the process of reconciliation and co-operation, in accordance with GA resolution 55/11, through a strengthened inter-Korean dialogue, including the early holding of the second Summit. The main purpose of the EU visit to Pyongyang and Seoul in May 2001 was to manifest the great importance, which the EU attaches to a continuation of the policy of reconciliation between the two Koreas. The EU will continue its efforts in support of peace, security and freedom on the Korean peninsula.
7. DISARMAMENT AND NON-PROLIFERATION Top
The EU will continue to actively support international, sub-regional and regional efforts within the field of disarmament and non-proliferation. The disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery will continue to draw the greatest attention of the EU.
Bearing this in mind, the EU will work towards the strengthening of the Non-proliferation regime and the full implementation of the Final Document of the 2000 NPT Review Conference.
The immediate launch of the FMCT negotiations, as well as dealing with both nuclear disarmament and the prevention of an arms race in outer space within subsidiary bodies whose mandates shall need to be both pragmatic and substantial in order to be accepted by all - these three parts together constitute the basis today for an agreement to begin work at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament.
The EU attaches great importance to the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty. The EU will actively participate in the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT and urges all states to sign and ratify the Treaty.
The EU reiterates the high priority it attaches to the successful conclusion, this year, of the negotiations on a legally binding Protocol establishing an effective compliance regime to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. These negotiations need to be concluded by the 5th Review Conference to be held in November-December 2001, a deadline set by the 4th Review Conference and agreed upon by all States Parties.
The spread of ballistic missiles capable of carrying weapons of mass destruction requires urgent attention. The EU therefore strongly supports the efforts to develop an international code-of-conduct that has been initiated in the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). The EU will contribute to the work of finalizing that code and to achieve its universal application. The EU will actively pursue a successful follow-up of the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects and the implementation of the plan of action from that Conference.
The EU will work for a successful outcome of this year's Review Conference for the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). The EU hopes that the Review Conference will agree, inter alia, on a negotiation mandate concerning explosive remnants of war.
The EU will continue to pursue a successful outcome and follow-up to the Third Meeting of States Parties to the Ottawa Convention, which will take place in September 2001 in Managua. The EU will also further promote and support the Convention on Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on their destruction with a view to achieve a global ban on these weapons. The EU will continue to actively support UN initiatives with regard to assistance in mine action.
8. ENVIRONMENT Top
The EU welcomes the outcomes of the UNEP Governing Council 21/Global Ministerial Environment Forum, including its decision to establish an inter-governmental group of ministers or their representatives to present options to CSD 10 for strengthened international environmental governance, including the financing of UNEP. This process will feed into preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and has links to broader areas of UN reform.
Regarding the multilateral environment agreements (MEA's), the EU views the role of the GA as complementary to that of the Conferences of the Parties of each MEA. Therefore, the EU recommends that only one omnibus resolution on the further implementation of the MEA's be adopted by the GA at its 56th session, and that this would replace the specific resolutions on each MEA. Selected issues regarding individual MEA's could still be addressed within the broader framework.
9. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Top
The EU believes that issues related to sustainable development should continue to be given high priority on the UN agenda. The EU is firmly committed to the attainment of the international development targets as indicated above in relation to the follow-up to the Millennium Declaration. A central challenge in order to achieve poverty eradication is to link all aspects of sustainable development - economic, social and environmental - in concrete and operational terms. A gender perspective should permeate all these efforts. The outcome of the third Conference on LDC's and the UNGA Special Session on HIV/Aids provide important points of departure in the further efforts to this end.
The EU believes that the FfD-process and its unique character, including the participation of the major stakeholders, offers an important and unprecedented opportunity to discuss and agree on a better mobilization and more effective use of resources, and find ways for more efficient co-operation between all development actors. In this context the EU will pay particular attention to the issue of public-private partnerships. The Conference should adopt a concise and forward-looking political declaration setting out strategic goals of policy coherence, of the integration into the world economy of developing countries at different stages of development, taking into account the key role of the private sector, and secure the holistic approach to development financing. Recognition by key national and international, private and public, financial, trade and development actors that they all contribute to and are concerned with Financing for Development is a key element to achieve the goals and commitments of the Millennium Declaration and other internationally agreed development targets.
The EU is committed to participate actively in the further preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), including the UN ECE regional preparatory meeting, and looks forward to learn from the outcomes of the preparatory meetings of other regions. Since the regional preparatory meetings will take place during the autumn of 2001, the EU proposes that the GA receives early reports and briefings on their outcome during the 56th session so as to facilitate discussions on the agenda for the Summit.
The EU attaches high importance to the upcoming second world assembly on ageing to be held in April 2002 in Madrid as part of a forward-looking approach to the emerging demographic challenges.
Enhancing a sustainable use of oceans and seas is essential and in this context, the EU reiterates its support for GA resolution 54/33, by which the oceans consultative process was established.
10. UN REFORMS Top
The EU continues to support a strengthening and revitalization of the Organization, including its principal organs and UN Funds and Programmes. In this context, the EU sees the following priorities:
The EU believes that the discussions in relation to the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review (TCPR) is critical to further advance the reform process initiated by the Secretary General in 1997.
The UN funds, programmes and bodies should in the light of the Millennium Declaration focus their programmes on areas of comparative advantage and build on each others' strength in helping to achieve established international targets and their concomitant national priorities. The EU trusts that the TCPR discussions would inform member states on achievements made, evolving challenges and obstacles to be addressed to strengthen and enhance the operational activities at the country level by the United Nations. New measures should be outlined based on those discussions.
11. UN FINANCES Top
The EU remains fully committed to improving the finances of the UN, and in this context underlines the importance for all assessed contributions to be paid on time, in full and without conditions. The question of the arrears and of overdue payments to troop-contributing countries will continue to be on the EU agenda.
The most important issue for the Fifth Committee during the main part of the UNGA56 will be to decide upon the priorities and overall level of the UN Programme Budget for 2002-2003. The overriding goal must be to make available the resources to implement the Organization’s agreed objectives, mandates and programmes, while seeking additional savings and redeployment of resources where possible and continuing to pursue budgetary discipline, efficiency and the general concept of value for money. The EU also underlines the need to include time-sensitive reviews or evaluations of the performance of projects and activities agreed within the programme budget. As always, the EU will examine each budget section on its own merit. Two particularly important issues that will be considered during the negotiations are financing of the recommendations in the report of the Panel on UN Peace Operations, the Brahimi report, and safety and security for UN and associated personnel.