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UN GA adopts landmark resolutions in bid to promote recovery from global economic crisis, tackle challenges to long-term growth

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Sixth-fourth General Assembly
66th Meeting (PM)

Taking 38 Development-related Actions, Members Pass First-ever Texts On Food Security, Legal Rights for Poor, Humankind's Relationship with Earth

In a bid to boost recovery from the global financial and economic crisis and tackle entrenched policy challenges to long-term growth, trade and sustainable development, the General Assembly today laid the groundwork for in-depth consideration of those issues by unanimously adopting -- out of 38 development-related actions put forward by its Second Committee (Economic and Financial) -- several comprehensive resolutions, as well as landmark texts on food security, legal rights for the poor, and principles governing humankind's relationship with the earth.


Agriculture and technology gained increased attention within the development realm, according to some of the resolutions adopted this session. For example, the Assembly adopted -- by a recorded vote of 146 in favour to 1 against (Somalia), with 32 abstentions -- a text that urged relevant United Nations bodies to use agricultural technology, research and development to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and called for more efforts by everyone to make agricultural technologies available and affordable to smallholder farmers. (Annex V)

By a related text on agriculture development and food security -- the first of its kind tabled in the Second Committee-- the Assembly stressed the need for direct action to immediately tackle hunger for the most vulnerable, and for medium- and long-term sustainable agricultural, food security, nutrition, and rural development programmes to eliminate the root causes of hunger and poverty, as well as new financial resources to fund them. It further stressed that the core element of efforts to achieve food security for all was strengthening and revitalizing developing-world agricultural sectors.

In a text on commodities, the Assembly expressed concern over the large-scale land acquisitions by, among others, transnational corporations in developing countries that incurred risk to development efforts. It also stressed the importance of responsible investment in agriculture and coherent international policy action to address excessive price volatility and mitigate its negative impact on commodity-dependent developing countries.

Under the poverty-eradication umbrella were four resolutions, among them a text on legal empowerment of the poor and the eradication of poverty -- the first of its kind tabled in the Second Committee, which developing countries had presented as a concept that should be broadly applied to ensure protection for all vulnerable groups. By its terms, the Assembly called upon the international community to empower poor people through adequate, predictable financial resources or technical assistance, and for action to improve and expand education and training -- critical tools for empowerment, as well as administration of justice, identity and birth registration systems, awareness-raising regarding existing legal rights, and entrepreneurship.

By a second resolution, on the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017), the Assembly called upon donor countries to give adequate, predictable financing for developing countries trying to combat or erase that social ill, and reaffirmed the need for all nations to fulfil all their ODA-related commitments. It also called on Member States to take ambitious steps to create a more inclusive, equitable, balanced, stable and development-oriented sustainable socio-economic model to overcome poverty and inequality.