Resolution approved in Second Committee calls upon UN to support new international centre for study of El Niño phenomenon

Another Recommends Review of South-South Cooperation for Development
Fifty-seventh General Assembly
Second Committee
40th Meeting (PM)

The General Assembly would call upon the United Nations to support the creation and planned opening next month of the International Centre for the Study of the El Niño Phenomenon in Guayaquil, Ecuador, according to one of two draft resolutions approved by consensus in the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) this afternoon.

By the same terms of that draft, on international cooperation to reduce the impact of the El Niño phenomenon (document A/C.2/57/L.54), the Assembly would call upon the Secretary-General and relevant United Nations bodies, particularly participants in the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, to support the Centre, and invite the international community to provide it with scientific, technical and financial assistance, as well as to strengthen other centres devoted to studying the El Niño phenomenon.

The Assembly would, by other terms, encourage the new Centre to strengthen its links with national meteorological and hydrologic services in Latin America as well as those of the Permanent Commission for the South Pacific, the Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research, and the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction. It would also urge stronger links with other relevant regional and global climate-study bodies, such as the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, the African Centre of Meteorological Applications for Development, the Drought Monitoring Centre and the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research.

By other terms, the Assembly would invite the Secretary-General, alongside the Inter-Agency Task Force for Disaster Reduction, to consider measures necessary to more effectively address extreme meteorological and hydrologic events, such as the El Niño phenomenon, during the 2004 review of the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World: Guidelines for Natural Disaster Prevention, Preparedness and Mitigation and its Plan of Action.

According to the second text, on economic and technical cooperation among developing countries (document A/C.2/57/L.53), the General Assembly would recommend that the High-level Committee on the Review of Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries review all development aspects of South-South cooperation.

40th Meeting (PM)

The Assembly would reiterate, by other terms, the emphasis placed in the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development, on the need for multilateral and bilateral financial and development institutions to intensify efforts to strengthen South-South and triangular cooperation as tools for the delivery of assistance to developing countries and those with economies in transition. Further, the Assembly would call upon all relevant United Nations groups and multilateral institutions to step up efforts to incorporate South-South cooperation policies and goals into their own development programmes and increase human, technical and financial resources for such programmes.

Also by that text, the Assembly would take note of the September 2002 decision by the Executive Boards of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to allocate $3.5 million dollars annually to UNDP's Special Unit for Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries. Moreover, the Assembly would invite all countries, particularly developed countries, to contribute to the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund for Economic and Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries and the Voluntary Trust Fund for the Promotion of South-South Cooperation. The Voluntary Fund would be permanently included in the United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities.

Approved by consensus, as orally amended, the two texts were introduced by the representatives of the Czech Republic and Belgium respectively.

The Second Committee will meet again at a date and time to be announced in the United Nations Journal.