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Press Release
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York

Fifty-eighth General Assembly
Second Committee
35th Meeting (PM)
17 November 2003



The General Assembly would call on Israel not to exploit, cause loss, deplete or endanger natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, according to one of six draft resolutions introduced to the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) this afternoon.

Further to that draft (document A/C.2/58/L.36), introduced by Egypt’s delegate, the Assembly would reaffirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land and water.  It would also recognize the Palestinian right to claim restitution, as a result of any exploitation, loss or depletion of, or danger to, their natural resources.

Speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, Morocco’s delegate introduced a second draft on commodities (document A/C.2/58/L.38).  By that text, the Assembly would endorse the report of the Meeting of Eminent Persons on Commodity Issues, and emphasize the importance of implementing its recommendations.  It would also call on donors and organizations to increase financial and technical support for activities addressing commodity issues, particularly those addressing the needs of commodity-dependent countries.

According to a third draft, introduced by the representative of the United States, on the follow-up to the International Conference on Financing for Development (document A/C.2/58/L.40), the Assembly would request the Secretary-General to strengthen the Financing for Development Office of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, by redeploying resources to enhance its activities to mobilize support for the Monterrey Consensus.

A fourth draft, on the World Summit on the Information Society (document A/C.2/58/L.42), was introduced by Morocco’s representative, again on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China.  By the terms of that draft, the Assembly would call on Summit stakeholders to establish partnerships in efforts to reduce the digital divide and harness the potential of information and communication technology, and ensure that the Summit’s second phase, to be held in Tunis from 16 to 18 November 2005, adopts an outcome fostering digital solidarity at the global level, and an agenda encompassing national and regional action plans.

Drafts were also introduced by Saint Lucia’s representative on the High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development (document A/C.2/58/L.39), and by the representative of Morocco, speaking on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, on the role of the United Nations in promoting development in the context of globalization and interdependence (document A/C.2/58/L.41).

Also during the meeting, Malta’s representative noted that the Economic and Social Council’s Ad Hoc Working Group on Informatics had continuously been improving information technology (IT) services and training for United Nations delegates.  The Group’s activities had included providing and maintaining personal computers in conference areas; making official documents available via the Internet; providing Web site hosting services; increasing access for States to specialized databases; and developing training programmes on various IT services.

One of the latest projects, he said, was a publication called “Internet Services for Delegates”, which provided information about various Secretariat IT services.  The Group was also preparing a software program, initiated by the Andorran delegation, which would allow delegates to download United Nations information on personal digital assistance devices (PDAs).  A presentation and training session on the project would be held on Wednesday, 19 November, in Conference Room 8.

The Committee also discussed implementation of the General Assembly resolution A/RES/57/270B on reforming the Committee’s programme of work.

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

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