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GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION

A draft resolution on the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (A/C.2/49/L.37) was first tabled by Algeria, on behalf of the G-77 and China, on 22 November 1994. After additional consultations, a revised version of the draft (A/C.2/49/L.37/Rev.1) was tabled on 1 December 1994, with the additional co-sponsorship of: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

The Second Committee took action on L.37/Rev.1 on Friday, 9 December 1994. A number of countries questioned the programme budget implications (PBI) of the resolution, as contained in document A/C.2/49/L.60. Algeria, on behalf of the G-77, said that the posts requested to carry out the responsibilities of the SIDS unit within the DPCSD (two professional-level positions (one P-5 and one P-4) and one general service position) are not on a par with the importance of the tasks to be allocated. He proposed that a director-level position (D-1) be called for to fulfill the functions of the post. Trinidad and Tobago, on behalf of AOSIS, echoed this concern. Germany, on behalf of the EU, said that adoption of this resolution will be a step forward in the implementation of the Programme of Action, however, all activities must be cost-effective. The PBI should be reconsidered because it is not sufficiently cost-effective. The Chair noted that this matter would be taken up by the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly, which is reponsible for budgetary matters.

Before the resolution was adopted, the US commented that with implementation of the Conference barely underway, it is premature to discuss another follow-up Conference. As a result, the US cannot co-sponsor this resolution. Nevertheless, the US will continue to pursue its coral reef initiative and other efforts aimed at implementing the Programme of Action. After the Committee adopted the resolution, Trinidad and Tobago, on behalf of AOSIS, thanked delegates for adopting this resolution by consensus and reiterated AOSIS"s commitment to implementing the Programme of Action. He called for continued support from the international community. The resolution and the PBI are expected to be adopted by the Plenary of the General Assembly after the Fifth Committee approves the PBI. Although the PBI may be amended, the resolution (L.37/Rev.1) should not change.

The operative section of the resolution notes the report of the Conference and the summary of the high-level segment and endorses the Declaration of Barbados and the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. The resolution calls upon Governments, as well as the UN system and other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to implement all commitments reached and recommendations made at the Conference and to take the necessary action to give effective follow-up to the Programme of Action, including ensuring the necessary means of implementation.

With regard to the activties of the UN system, the resolution:

The resolution also calls on the Commission on Sustainable Development to:

The resolution also requests the Secretary-General to enable relevant regional commissions and UNCTAD to support activities to coordinate the implementation of the Conference outcomes. The Secretary-General is also asked to ensure the wide and effective dissemination of the Programme of Action.

Finally, the resolution requests the Secretary-General to establish within the Department of Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development a "clearly identifiable, qualified and competent entity with the resources and number of professionals and support staff that are necessary to undertake its broad range of functions in support of the system-wide implementation of the Programme of Action, relying on the most efficient and cost- effective use of resources, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 123 of the Programme of Action."

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