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ECOSOC ADOPTS TEXTS ON SOCIAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS
Adopts One Text on Economic and Environmental Questions
25 July 2013

The Economic and Social Council this morning adopted one text on economic and environmental questions and a substantial number of texts on social and human rights questions.  It also heard the presentation of a number of reports on social and human rights questions, held a general discussion on that agenda item, and heard a statement by the Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. 

The Council adopted one resolution on the transport of dangerous goods under the agenda item on economic and environmental questions.  On social and human rights questions, the Council adopted resolutions on the social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development; the International Year of the Family; mainstreaming disability in the development agenda; and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing.   On crime prevention and criminal justice, the Council adopted texts on crime statistics; illicit trafficking in precious metals, economic fraud and identity-related crime, illicit trafficking in wild fauna and flora, and the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.  The Council also adopted a text on support to non-self-governing territories by the specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations (E/2013/L.24), which was adopted by a roll-call vote of 24 in favour, none against and 19 abstentions.  

The Council adopted decisions on the Commission for Social Development; the Board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development; the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice; the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; and the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.   

ECOSOC adopted a number of draft texts to be recommended by it for adoption by the General Assembly on the enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (E/2013/L.25); seven draft resolutions contained in the report of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its twenty-second session (7 December 2012 and 22-26 April 2013) (E/2013/30), on the follow-up to the Twelfth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and preparations for the Thirteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, on strengthening crime prevention and criminal justice responses to protect cultural property, especially with regard to its trafficking; on technical assistance for implementing the international conventions and protocols related to counter-terrorism; on the rule of law, crime prevention and criminal justice in the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015; on model strategies and practical measures on the elimination of violence against children in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice; on standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners; and on taking action against gender-related killing of women and girls; and a draft resolution contained in the report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs Report at its fifty-sixth session (E/2013/28), on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Alternative Development.

Consideration of the report of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its twelfth session (20-31 May 2013) (E/2013/43) was postponed to the next session of ECOSOC.

The United States spoke in an explanation of the vote after the vote, and Brazil spoke after the vote.  Belarus, Afghanistan and India also took the floor to make comments on draft texts.

The Council also took note of a number of reports. 

At the beginning of the meeting, the Council heard the presentation of a number of reports on social and human rights questions and then heard a general discussion on that agenda item.  

Daniela Bas, Director for Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, presented the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on preparations for and observance of the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2014, which reviewed good practices in family policy making.  She said the report emphasized that family policies were cross-cutting and should aim at empowering families rather than substituting their functions.   

Taous Feroukhi, Board of Trustees of the United Nations International Crime and Justice Research Institute to the Economic and Social Council, presented the report of the Board of Trustees to the Council, and spoke about the work of the International Crime and Justice Research Institute, which welcomed new partnerships with United Nations and international partners, civil society and the private sector in the fields of security and crime prevention in urban settings, countering environmental crime, and countering trafficking in precious metals and gemstones.  

Raymond Yans, President of the International Narcotics Control Board, presented the International Narcotics Control Board Annual Report for 2012, which listed weaknesses in drug control and proposed remedies.  He highlighted key areas of concern including opium poppy and cannabis cultivation in Afghanistan, abuse of prescription drugs and new psychoactive substances often sold via the Internet. 

Janet Lim, Assistant High Commissioner for Operations in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, provided an oral report on the coordination aspects of the Office’s activities in partnership with Governments, non-governmental organizations, sister United Nations agencies, and beneficiaries.   Coordination with partners was absolutely essential in refugee emergencies since the desire to do more sometimes led organizations to duplicate efforts.  The Syria and Mali operations provided successful examples of coordination.   

Marcia Kran, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, presented the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the damaging impact of austerity measures on economic, social and cultural rights, with a specific focus on women, migrants and older persons.  Austerity measures not only negatively impacted on fundamental human rights, they had also failed to contribute to economic recovery: a human rights-based response to the economic crisis was recommended. 

In the general discussion States raised issues including links between social development and human rights, discrimination against indigenous persons, anti-drug strategies and challenges presented by illegal narcotics, organized crime, and trafficking in persons.

States speaking in the general discussion were Lithuania on behalf of the European Union, United States, Bulgaria, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Austria, Venezuela, Belarus, South Africa, Denmark, Indonesia, Russia, Bolivia, El Salvador and Mexico. 

Anders B. Johnsson, Secretary- General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, took the floor to speak about his organization’s work in implementing a General Assembly resolution on providing a parliamentary contribution to the human rights treaty body system and to the Human Rights Council, and the work of the Inter-Parliamentary Union with parliaments on democracy and rule of law, children’s rights, freedom of expression, discrimination and violence against women and more. 

The Council will next meet on Friday, 26 July at 10 a.m. to consider remaining draft texts before closing its 2013 substantive session. 

Action on Resolution under Economic and Environmental Questions

Action on Resolution on the Transport of Dangerous Goods

In a resolution on work of the Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods and on the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (E/2013/51), the Council requests the Secretary-General to circulate the new and amended recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods to the Governments of Member States, the specialized agencies, the International Atomic Energy Agency and other international organizations concerned, to publish the eighteenth revised edition of the Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods: Model Regulations and amendment 2 to the fifth revised edition of the Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods: Manual of Tests and Criteria in all the official languages of the United Nations, in the most cost-effective manner, no later than the end of 2013, and to make those publications available on the website of the Economic Commission for Europe, which provides secretariat services to the Committee, in book format and also as a CD-ROM; invites all Governments, the regional commissions, the specialized agencies, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the other international organizations concerned to transmit to the secretariat of the Committee their views on the work of the Committee, together with any comments that they may wish to make on the recommendations on the transport of dangerous goods; and invites all interested Governments, the regional commissions, the specialized agencies and the international organizations concerned to take into account the recommendations of the Committee when developing or updating appropriate codes and regulations; and requests the Committee to study, in consultation with the International Maritime Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the regional commissions and the intergovernmental organizations concerned, the possibilities of improving the implementation of the Model Regulations on the transport of dangerous goods in all countries for the purposes of ensuring a high level of safety and eliminating technical barriers to international trade, including through the further harmonization of international agreements or conventions governing the international transport of dangerous goods.

Social and Human Rights Questions

Documentation

The Council had before it the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on preparations for and observance of the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2014 (A/68/61–E/2013/3), which focuses on good practices in family policymaking in the areas of confronting family poverty and social exclusion, ensuring work-family balance and advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity.

 The Council has before it the report of the Commission for Social Development at its fifty-first session (10 February and 20 December 2012 and 6-15 February 2013) (E/2013/26).

The Council has before it the report of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its twenty-second session (7 December 2012 and 22-26 April 2013) (E/2013/30); and an addendum to the report of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on the reconvened twenty-first session
(6-7 December 2012) (E/2012/30/Add.1).

The Council had before it a note by the Secretariat on the report of the Board of Trustees on major activities of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice
Research Institute (E/2013/80).

The Council has before it the report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs
Report at its fifty-sixth session (7 December 2012 and 11-15 March 2013) (E/2013/28); and an addendum to the report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs Report on the reconvened fifty-fifth session (6-7 December 2012) (E/2012/28/Add.1)

The Council has before it a note verbale dated 12 February 2013 from the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (E/2013/10).

The Council has before it a letter dated 2 April 2013 from the Permanent Representative of Belarus to the United Nations addressed to the President of the
Economic and Social Council (E/2013/49).

The Council has before it a note verbale dated 16 May 2013 from the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (E/2013/76).

The Council has before it a note verbale dated 5 June 2013 from the Permanent Mission of Slovakia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (E/2013/83).

The Council has before it a note verbale dated 28 May 2013 from the Permanent Mission of Peru to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (E/2013/85).

The Council has before it a note verbale dated 21 June 2013 from the Permanent Mission of Senegal to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (E/2013/86).

The Council has before it a note verbale dated 2 July 2013 from the Permanent Mission of Latvia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General (E/2013/89).

The Council has before it the report of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at its fifth session (11–15 April 2011), sixth session (19–23 September 2011) seventh session (16–20 April 2012), and eighth session (17–28 September 2012) (A/68/55).

The Council has before it the report of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at its forty-eighth and forty-ninth sessions (30 April–18 May 2012, 12–30 November 2012) (E/2013/22).

The Council has before it the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (E/2013/82), submitted pursuant to General Assembly resolution 48/141, and which considers the impact of austerity measures on economic, social and cultural rights, in particular on the right to work and the right to social security, with a specific focus on women, migrants and older persons. It also lays out the criteria States should apply when considering the adoption of austerity measures.

The Council has before it the report of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at its twelfth session (20-31 May 2013) (E/2013/43).

Presentation of Reports

DANIELA BAS, Director for Social Policy and Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, presenting the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on preparations for and observance of the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2014, said the report reviewed good practices in family policy making.  To reduce family poverty and intergenerational transfer of poverty, many Governments had focused on social protection programmes including cash transfers for households, child grants and training opportunities for women to enter the labour market.  Within work-family balance, parental leave, flexible working arrangements and employer-provided quality childcare were increasingly seen as investments in productivity and employment retention.  More innovative intergenerational solidarity initiatives had also been seen, such as support for caregivers and multigenerational living arrangements, as well as family and parental education.  The report emphasized that family policies were cross-cutting and should aim at empowering families rather than substituting their functions.  The report recommended better cooperation between all stakeholders leading to more effective family-orientated policies as well as wider sharing of good practices. 

TAOUS FEROUKHI, Board of Trustees of the United Nations International Crime and Justice Research Institute to the Economic and Social Council, presenting the report of the Board of Trustees to the Council, said that the International Crime and Justice Research Institute had six thematic areas of work: countering the threat of organized crime to security and development; increasing the efficiency of criminal justice systems; promoting international criminal law and practice; sharing best practice and promoting human rights; security governance and countering the appeal of terrorism; and training and advanced education.  Ms. Feroukhi highlighted various key projects of the Institute, including an initiative to counter gender-based violence and trafficking of women and children; and an initiative to protect the human rights and well-being of participants in clinical drug trials, a particular problem faced by many African countries.  She also referred to a programme on security at high-visibility major events, such as the Olympic Games or high-level summits, which were targets for organized crime and terrorism.  Looking to the future, the Institute welcomed new partnerships with United Nations and international partners, civil society and the private sector in the fields of addressing security and crime prevention in urban settings, countering environmental crime, and countering trafficking in precious metals and gemstones.  

RAYMOND YANS, President of the International Narcotics Control Board, presenting the International Narcotics Control Board Annual Report for 2012, said it listed weaknesses in drug control and proposed remedies.  Highlighting some key areas in the report, Mr. Yans said the Board remained deeply concerned about the small progress made in ending the illicit cultivation of opium poppy in Afghanistan, and the continued increase in illicit cannabis cultivation there which meant Afghanistan had become the world’s major source of cannabis resin.  The Board welcomed steps taken by the Government of Afghanistan to update its drug control policies.  Significant disparities in the levels of availability of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances prevailed, with the greater part of global consumption accounted for by a limited number of countries in Europe, North America and Oceania.  Furthermore, the increasing level of abuse of prescription drugs was becoming a major health and social concern in many countries.  To counter that, the Board recommended education of health professionals and awareness raising among the public.  The Board was developing an electronic tool to assist Member States in their control of the illicit distribution of drugs.  The emergence of a number of new psychoactive substances was a matter of increasing concern for the Board and around the world.  Such substances were not under international control and the Internet played an enormous role in their marketing and sale.  The Board encouraged Governments to monitor and share information about their emergence and spread.  Mr. Yans concluded that work to promote the implementation of the drug control treaties was ultimately humanitarian.  They were working to reduce human suffering – the suffering caused by inadequate access to controlled medicines for the treatment of pain and illness, the suffering caused by drug abuse, and the crime and violence associated with illicit drug markets. 

JANET LIM, Assistant High Commissioner for Operations in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, provided an oral report on the coordination aspects of the Office’s activities implemented in cooperation and partnership with Governments, national and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), sister United Nations agencies, and beneficiaries, including in the areas of the inter-agency humanitarian reform platform, in the search for durable solutions to refugee problems, and in partnership and coordination with NGOs.  In 2012, together with partners, the Office responded to emergencies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Myanmar, South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt and Syria.  Coordination with partners was absolutely essential in refugee emergencies since the desire to do more sometimes led organizations to duplicate efforts, and collaboration with United Nations operational agencies was also essential for delivering effective protection and assistance in both refugee and complex emergencies.  The Office had been actively involved in the on-going effort of humanitarian reform through the Transformative Agenda, which sought to strengthen the collective emergency response capacity of the humanitarian community, and the Syria and Mali operations provided successful examples whereby the establishment of a Regional Humanitarian Coordinator was complemented by the appointment of a Regional Refugee Coordinator, establishing direct senior counterparts for both cooperation mechanisms. 

The Office had begun engaging more intensively with development actors and the private sector on increased self-reliance, including displaced persons in development initiatives and bringing about solutions.  The Office recognised the high importance of consulting and involving refugees and stateless persons.  NGOs remained the backbone of protection and assistance activities.  In 2012 the Office channelled $709 million of its expenditure through 760 NGO partners from across the globe, 600 national and 160 international.  The High Commissioner launched a joint review of the quality of the Office’s partnership with NGOs which culminated in a Structured Dialogue event in December 2012, and a number of recommendations had been made to strengthen operational collaboration in the field through stronger mutual respect and trust.  The Office firmly believed that in these trying times, the value of effective coordination and strong leadership as well as a greater focus on field presence and delivery would be critical in meeting challenges and Ms. Lim renewed the call for a strong and sustained engagement by the international community in solidarity with those countries who were in the frontline of an emergency.     

MARCIA KRAN, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, presenting the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said it considered the impact of austerity measures on economic, social and cultural rights.  In particular the report analyzed the right to work and the right to social security, with a specific focus on women, migrants and older persons.  In 2008 the world suffered what was considered to be the worst global economic crisis since the ‘Great Depression’ of the 1930s.  The origins of the crisis were complex and reflected systematic flaws in national and international financial architecture.  Many States responded to the financial crisis with austerity measures, cutting public sector employment and social safety nets, with consequences on the human rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups in society, including women, children, minorities, migrants, and the poor, who suffered from decreasing access to work and social welfare as well as reduced affordability of food, housing, water, medical care and other basic necessities.  The report also noted that while negatively impacting the realization of fundamental human rights, austerity measures had also failed to contribute to economic recovery.  States that pursued austerity measures saw their economic growth and employment rates deteriorating.  The report outlined criteria that States should follow when considering adoption of austerity measures, once other alternatives had been exhausted.  A human rights-based response to the economic crisis would call for accountability in the public and private sectors, social investment, improved job training and job creation policies, and a sound social security system.  That approach derived from the right of all persons to an adequate standard of living. 

General Discussion

Lithuania, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that as the Council turned to the agenda item on social development, the European Union welcomed the focus of the Commission on Social Development on the empowerment of people, which was essential to sustainable development, including to the goals of poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work, to which the European Union remained deeply committed.  Social protection was a human right and should be seen as an infrastructure for human development, without which sustainable and inclusive growth would not be possible.  Efforts should be intensified to promote economic, social and cultural rights, and to ensure universal and non-discriminatory access to basic services.

United States appreciated the efforts of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the face of concurrent humanitarian emergencies and increasing insecurity faced by its staff.  Partnerships, particularly with non-governmental organizations, were critical to the Office of the High Commissioner’s programming and implementation.  Regarding the report of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the United States said that since the report had only been available for a few days, action should be deferred on the decisions contained in the report, and offered some preliminary views in anticipation of future informal consultations on these recommendations.     

Bulgaria, concerning the report of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, pointed out that its high-level inter-ministerial delegation that participated in the consideration of the periodic reports submitted by the Committee had been satisfied with the frank, open and constructive way in which the dialogue was conducted.  It had been regrettable however to find later on that the detailed replies of the Bulgarian delegation to more than 70 questions posed by the Committee had not been taken into account in the concluding observations of the Committee, which should make additional efforts to further improve its working methods, particularly those related to the consideration of reports and information provided by States.   

Republic of Korea said crime had a significant impact on the environment and the trade in illicit drugs was linked to money laundering and corruption.  Efforts to effectively deal with the dire situation had to be integrated in a global manner, and authorities needed to share information.  To that end the Korean Government actively participated in regional and international cooperation, while in April the Criminal Act was amended to introduce a new specific provision on trafficking in persons.  Separately, the Republic of Korea said it highly appreciated the work of the United Nations Refugees Agency and emphasized that asylum-seekers and refugees must not be denied the international protection they were entitled to, especially under the principle of non-refoulement

Thailand supported efforts to set standard rules on criminal justice in response to violence against women and children and said expert meetings to study measures to prevent gender-related killings of women and children would take place in Thailand in 2014.  Thailand was pleased that Brazil, part of the core group with Thailand and Argentina in the resolution ‘Standard minimum rules for the treatment of prisoners’, would host an expert meeting later this year on the situation of prisoners, including those in vulnerable situations needing particular care.  Thailand was ready to share its experiences in adapting sustainable alternative development to reduce drugs and transnational organized crime.

Austria said violence, crime and corruption severely limited human well-being and development; in order to counter the negative effects of those, Austria actively promoted the rule of law and anti-corruption measures.  As with crime, corruption negatively affected human development by creating a culture of impunity or by diverting resources.  Austria strongly promoted the establishment of the international Anti-Corruption Academy in 2010, which was located near Vienna.  A recent event held by the Academy looked at the crucial interplay between governments and an independent media to combat corruption. 

Venezuela, regarding social issues and human rights, recalled that in the Summit on Social Development, States had committed to eradicate poverty and ensure social inclusion, full employment and decent work.  Venezuela regretted that the international community continued to pose the same objectives which seemed increasingly utopian.  There were 2.8 billion human beings living in poverty, on less than $2 a day, and less than 1 per cent of the world’s population controlled over 40 per cent of global assets.  Venezuela had taken the path of poverty reduction and the elimination of inequality and, while inequality persisted, it was proud to have the lowest gini coefficient in the region which reflected Venezuela’s commitment and the multidimensional approach.

Belarus was satisfied with the efforts of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the visit of its Director to Belarus.  Concerning trafficking in persons, Belarus expressed satisfaction about the meeting held in New York earlier this year to address this issue.  The effectiveness of efforts to combat trafficking depended on coordination by all stakeholders and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime had an important role to play in the implementation of the roadmap and the administration of the voluntary trust fund, to which Belarus had also made contributions.  Belarus had also organized a seminar addressing compliance with aspects of human rights in the context of anti-trafficking measures and in which representatives from United Nations bodies had participated.

South Africa said that transnational organized crime was a multidimensional and ever-increasing global threat and it capitalized on the advantage of globalization and the convenience of the internet services.  South Africa recognized the United Nations conventions and protocols on transnational organized crime and, among other measures taken, along with Russia, had sponsored at the twenty-second session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice a resolution on transnational crime and its possible links to illicit trafficking in precious metals, which was a new emerging crime.  The attainment of the Millennium Development Goals remained first and foremost one of the key development priorities and was also crucial to the post-2015 agenda.

Denmark spoke against the possible postponement of the adoption of the report of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues on its twelfth session.  Denmark acknowledged the need by some States parties for more time to assess the report, but was concerned that a deferral of the adoption of the report may have an impeding effect on the valuable work of the Permanent Forum, in particular preparation of the thirteenth session of the Forum, as well as the high-level plenary meeting to be known as the World Conference of Indigenous Peoples.  Denmark strongly encouraged the President of ECOSOC to work actively towards an adoption of the report without further delays. 

Indonesia underlined its strong commitment to the work of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which it took part in earlier this year, but expressed concern that the report, which contained 20 lengthy recommendations, was only made available to States at a late stage, preventing them from studying the recommendations in depth.  In view of the critical importance of the issue, Indonesia and other Member States strongly believed that they should have time to consult with their capitals, and that further consultations with relevant stakeholders should be pursued and thus adoption of the report should be deferred to the next ECOSOC session.

Russia said the link between social development security and human rights was its national priority.  Despite the economic crisis Russia was firmly committed to its social commitments, including a growth in wages and pensions and a social welfare programme to alleviate poverty.  A key area was support for the elderly and their inclusion in society.  Russia recently became a State party to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was another key area.  Creating opportunities for youth was a further priority.  Furthermore Russia was upholding its commitments under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Bolivia highlighted the historic mistake of discrimination against indigenous peoples and Bolivians, which concerned the criminalisation of coca leaves.  The problem concerned the anti-drug strategies focus on supply, using a military and repressive approach, privileged by a number of States.  Bolivia had pursued an alternative model which focused on a number of strategies, which had achieved a historic record on the eradication of surplus coca leave crop and showed that it was possible to face the problem of drugs without foreign interference or the presence of foreign forces, in a participatory process and without human rights violations.  Bolivia also expressed concerns about the request to postpone consideration of the report of the Forum on Indigenous Issues. 

El Salvador said that its Government paid significant attention to the work of the Commissions in the social sphere and was committed to the drug control treaties, as reflected in its national strategy in this field.  El Salvador said that a dialogue needed to exist between the Board and States and in 2011 El Salvador had received a field visit, these actions created synergies that promoted coordinated actions on the basis of the specificities of countries and regions.  El Salvador highlighted the importance of the work carried out by the Commissions and said it remained committed to actively participating in the work done.

Mexico expressed support for the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the prompt adoption of its report, bearing in mind future work ahead.

Statement by the Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union

ANDERS B. JOHNSSON, Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, said promoting and protecting human rights was a core objective of the Inter-Parliamentary Union because parliament was the State institution at the very heart of human rights.  Last year the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus a landmark resolution which encouraged the Inter-Parliamentary Union to provide a parliamentary contribution to the human rights treaty body system and to the Human Rights Council.  Work to implement that resolution was well under way, as seen in the panel discussion held at the last session of Human Rights Council on the contribution of parliaments to the work of the Council, which spawned three key recommendations.  First, that it was essential to raise awareness among members of parliaments about the existence of the Human Rights Council and its Universal Periodic Review.  Second, that it was important to promote greater involvement of members of parliament in the Universal Periodic Review.  Third, that it was crucial that the Human Rights Council take concrete steps to engage with parliaments and take their work into account.  Mr. Johnsson outlined ways in which the Inter-Parliamentary Union was implementing those recommendations, and suggested ways the Human Rights Council could reach out to parliaments.  He said the Inter-Parliamentary Union already worked with parliaments on many topics addressed by the Human Rights Council, such as democracy and the rule of law, children’s rights, freedom of expression and assembly, persons with disabilities, integration of a gender perspective, and discrimination and violence against women, although it was open to provide a parliamentary perspective on other issues as well.

Action on Texts under Social and Human Rights Questions

Action on Decision on the Enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Belarus, with co-sponsors, presented a draft decision entitled ‘Enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (E/2913/L.25).  The motivation behind the decision was to show commitment to the work of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and to further support that work around the world, which included the protection of stateless persons, internally displaced persons, and complex situations involving refugees. 

In a decision on the enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (E/2013/L.25), the Council takes note of the requests to enlarge the membership of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees contained in the note verbale dated 12 February 2013 from the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, the letter dated 2 April 2013 from the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Belarus to the United Nations to the President of the Economic and Social Council, the note verbale dated 16 May 2013 from the Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, the note verbale dated 28 May 2013 from the Permanent Mission of Peru to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, the note verbale dated 5 June 2013 from the Permanent Mission of Slovakia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, the note verbale dated 21 June 2013 from the Permanent Mission of Senegal to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, and the note verbale dated 2 July 2013 from the Permanent Mission of Latvia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General; and recommends that the General Assembly, at its sixty-eighth session, decide on the question of enlarging the membership of the Executive Committee from eighty-seven to ninety-four States.

Afghanistan, speaking with regard to the draft decision entitled Enlargement of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (E/2913/L.25), said over the past three decades, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had provided leadership on the well-being of and support for Afghanistan’s refugees all over the world.  Afghanistan was dedicated to the improvement of the situation of refugees through cooperation at international, regional and national levels.  Afghanistan was strongly interested in and devoted to the support of refugees and internally displaced persons.  Afghanistan was ready to cooperate fully with members of the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Action on Texts on the Commission for Social Development

In a resolution on social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (E/2013/26), the Council requests the Commission for Social Development to discuss in its annual programme of work those regional programmes that promote social development so as to enable all regions to share experiences and best practices, with the agreement of concerned countries, and in this regard requests that the work programmes of the Commission include priority areas of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, as appropriate; invites engagement in intergovernmental efforts to continue to improve the coherence and effectiveness of the United Nations system in support of Africa and to examine the social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, and requests the United Nations system to assist the Economic Commission for Africa and relevant partners in ensuring that the post-2015 development agenda takes into account Africa’s social development priorities; decides that the Commission for Social Development should continue to give prominence to and raise awareness of the social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development at its fifty-second session; and requests the Secretary-General, in collaboration with the Office of the Special Adviser on Africa and the Economic Commission for Africa, taking into consideration General Assembly resolutions 62/179 of 19 December 2007, 63/267 of 31 March 2009, 64/258 of 16 March 2010, 65/284 of 22 June 2011, and 66/286 of 23 July 2012, entitled “New Partnership for Africa’s Development: progress in implementation and international support”, to submit to the Commission for Social Development, for its consideration at its fifty-second session, a report on the social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, including, in cooperation with relevant United Nations bodies, an overview of current processes related to the New Partnership, including recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of the work of United Nations bodies while preserving the social dimensions of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development.

In a resolution on preparations for and observance of the twentieth anniversary of
the International Year of the Family (E/2013/26), the Council requests the Commission for Social Development to continue reviewing the preparations for the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family as part of its agenda and of its multi-year programme of work until 2014 and to hold a panel discussion in observance of the twentieth anniversary of the Year at its fifty-second session; also requests the Commission for Social Development to continue to apply the following themes to guide the preparations for the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family: poverty eradication: confronting family poverty and social exclusion; full employment and decent work for all: ensuring work-family balance; and social integration: advancing social integration and intergenerational solidarity.  The Council also recommends that United Nations agencies and bodies, including the regional commissions, and invites relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and research and academic institutions to work closely with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the Secretariat in a coordinated manner on family-related issues, including the preparations for the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family.

In a resolution on mainstreaming disability in the development agenda: towards
2015 and beyond (E/2013/26), the Council takes note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary-General entitled “Mainstreaming disability in the development agenda: towards 2015 and beyond”; calls upon Member States, relevant regional organizations and United Nations bodies and agencies to include disability issues, persons with disabilities and the rights of persons with disabilities in their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and, in reviewing progress towards the achievement of the Goals, to assess the extent to which persons with disabilities have benefited from those efforts; requests the Special Rapporteur to submit to the Commission at its fifty-second session an annual report on his activities on mainstreaming disability in the development agenda; and requests the Secretary-General to prepare a report on the implementation of the present resolution for submission to the Commission at its fifty-second session.

In a resolution on the second review and appraisal of the Madrid International Plan of
Action on Ageing, 2002 (E/2013/26), the Council recommends that the situation of older persons be taken into account in the ongoing efforts to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including those set out in the United Nations Millennium Declaration and considered in the discussions on the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015; requests the Secretary-General to follow up on the outcomes of the second review and appraisal of the Madrid Plan of Action, and in particular the relationship between development, social policy and the human rights of older persons to, inter alia, better inform the future work of relevant United Nations entities and bodies, including the Open-ended Working Group on Ageing; and requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Commission for Social Development at its fifty-second session, in 2014, a report on the implementation of the present resolution.

In a decision on the report of the Commission for Social Development on its fifty-first session and provisional agenda and documentation for the fifty-second session (E/2013/26), the Council takes note of the report of the Commission for Social Development on its fifty-first session; and approves the provisional agenda and documentation for the fifty-second session of the Commission.

In a decision on the nomination of members of the Board of the United Nations
Research Institute for Social Development (E/2013/26), the Council confirms the eight candidates for membership in the Board of the United Nations Research Institute for Social: Jìmí O. Adésínà (Nigeria), Asef Bayat (United States of America), David Hulme (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), Joakim Palme (Sweden) and Onalenna Doo Selolwane (Botswana) for a four-year term beginning on the date of confirmation by the Council and expiring on 30 June 2017; and  Bina Agarwal (India), Evelina Dagnino (Brazil) and Julia Szalai (Hungary), for an additional two-year term beginning on the date of confirmation by the Council and expiring on 30 June 2015.

Action on Decision on the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

In a decision on the report of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on its reconvened twenty-first session (E/2012/30/Add.1), the Council takes note of the report of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on its reconvened twenty-first session.

Action on Texts on the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

The Council adopted seven draft resolutions to be recommended by the Economic and Social Council for adoption by the General Assembly contained in the report of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its twenty-second session (7 December 2012 and 22-26 April 2013) (E/2013/30), on the follow-up to the Twelfth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and preparations for the Thirteenth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, on strengthening crime prevention and criminal justice responses to protect cultural property, especially with regard to its trafficking; on technical assistance for implementing the international conventions and protocols related to counter-terrorism; on the rule of law, crime prevention and criminal justice in the United Nations development agenda beyond 2015; on model strategies and practical measures on the elimination of violence against children in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice; on standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners; and on taking action against gender-related killing of women and girls.

In a resolution on improving the quality and availability of statistics on crime and criminal justice for policy development, (E/2013/30), the Council requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to continue developing technical and methodological tools to assist countries in producing and disseminating accurate and comparable statistics on crime and criminal justice, and to continue providing technical assistance, upon request, to Member States in order to enhance their capacity to collect, analyse and report data on crime and criminal justice; also requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to continue its mandated activities to regularly collect and disseminate statistics on crime and criminal justice and to provide analyses and studies on trends and patterns on the basis of information produced by Member States or, alternatively and where possible and appropriate, by extracting data from existing official publications; requests the Secretary-General to report to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its twenty-third session on the implementation of the present resolution

In a resolution on combating transnational organized crime and its possible links to illicit trafficking in precious metals (E/2013/30), the Council calls upon Member States that have not yet done so to consider becoming parties to the Convention; requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to invite Member States and interested international organizations, including regional organizations, to share their experiences with other Member States and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on the possible gaps and vulnerabilities faced in tackling transnational organized crime and its possible links to illicit trafficking in precious metals; and requests the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to report to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its twenty-fourth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

In a resolution on international cooperation in the prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of economic fraud and identity-related crime (E/2013/30), the Council requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to continue its efforts, in consultation with the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, to promote mutual understanding and the exchange of views and expertise Invites the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to continue to cooperate with other international and intergovernmental organizations and academic institutions active in this field by enabling their participation and active involvement in the future work of the core group of experts on identity-related crime; invites Member States and other donors to provide extrabudgetary resources for these purposes, in accordance with the rules and procedures of the
United Nations; and requests the Secretary-General to report to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its twenty-third session on the implementation of the present resolution

In a resolution on crime prevention and criminal justice responses to illicit trafficking in protected species of wild fauna and flora (E/2013/30), the Council requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in coordination with other members of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime, to support Member States in the implementation of the Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit to analyse the capacity of national wildlife and forest law enforcement authorities and the judiciary in investigating, prosecuting and adjudicating cases of wildlife and forest offences, with the aim of developing technical assistance and capacity-building activities and enhancing the capacity of Member States to address transnational organized wildlife and forest crimes; requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in consultation with Member States and in cooperation with other competent intergovernmental organizations, such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the World Customs Organization, INTERPOL, the World Bank and the United Nations Environment Programme, to undertake case studies that focus on organized crime networks involved in the illicit trafficking of specific protected species of wild fauna and flora, their parts and derivatives; invites Member States and other donors to provide extrabudgetary resources for these purposes; and requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to report on the implementation of the present resolution at the twenty-fourth session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

In a resolution on the implementation of the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons (E/2013/30), the Council requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to continue integrating the Global Plan of Action into its programmes and activities and continue providing, at the national and regional levels, technical assistance to countries, upon their request, aimed at strengthening their ability to ensure full an effective implementation of the Global Plan of Action; invites the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other relevant agencies of the United Nations system, in coordination with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in its capacity as coordinator of the Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Trafficking in Persons, to increase the Inter-Agency Coordination Group’s activities related to the implementation of the Global Plan of Action; requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in its capacity as fund manager of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, to continue to encourage contributions by States and all other relevant stakeholders to the Trust Fund; Requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to gather evidence-based data on patterns, forms and flows of trafficking in persons for the purpose of removal of organs, and include those data in the future editions of the Global Report on Trafficking in Persons; also requests the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime to include cases of trafficking in persons for the purpose of removal of organs in the human trafficking case law database; and requests the Secretary-General to report to the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice at its twenty-third session on the implementation of the present resolution.

In a decision on improving the governance and financial situation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: extension of the mandate of the standing open-ended intergovernmental working group on improving the governance and financial situation of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (E/2013/30), the Council decides that the working group shall hold formal and informal meetings in line with current practice; requests that the relevant documentation be provided to the working group not later than 10 working days before a meeting; reiterates the importance of the development of an indicative annual workplan by Member States, taking into account input from the Secretariat and providing, as appropriate, for review of the format and organization of work of the working group with a view to improving its effectiveness, and approves the provisional agenda of the working group.

In a decision on the report of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on its twenty-second session and provisional agenda for its twenty-third session (E/2013/30), the Council takes note of the report of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice on its twenty-second session; recalling its decision 2010/243 of 22 July 2010, decides that the prominent theme for the twenty-third session of the Commission will be “International cooperation in criminal matters”; recalling its decision 2012/238 of 26 July 2012, takes note of
Commission decision 22/2, approves the provisional agenda and documentation for the twenty-third session of the Commission.
Action on Texts on the Commission on Narcotic Drugs

In a decision on the report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its reconvened fifty-fifth session (E/2012/28/Add.1), the Council takes note of the report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its reconvened fifty-fifth session.

The Council adopted a draft resolution to be recommended by the Economic and Social Council for adoption by the General Assembly, contained in the report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs Report at its fifty-sixth session (7 December 2012 and 11-15 March 2013) (E/2013/28), on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Alternative Development.

In a decision on the report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its fifty-sixth session and provisional agenda for its fifty-seventh session (E/2013/28), the Council takes note of the report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its fifty-sixth session; also takes note of Commission decision 55/1 of 7 December 2012; and approves the provisional agenda for the fifty-seventh session.

In a decision on the report of the International Narcotics Control Board (E/2013/28), the Council takes note of the report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 2012.

India, referring to the Report of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs on its reconvened fifty-fifth session (E/2013/28/Add.1), said it wished to reiterate its request to the Bureau of the International Commission on Narcotic Drugs to publish details on its assertions about the manufacture of new forms of narcotic drugs in India, in order to allow the delegation to respond.  India also spoke about forms of alternative development to farmers.  India was of the firm opinion that measures of alternative development should not end up providing incentives to farmers to cultivate illicit crops. 

Economic and Social Council Takes Note of Reports

The Council took note of the note by the Secretariat transmitting the result of the 51st, 52nd, and 53rd sessions of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (E/2013/75); the report of the Commission for Social Development at its fifty-first session (10 February and 20 December 2012 and 6-15 February 2013) (E/2013/26); the report of the United Nations Secretary-General on preparations for and observance of the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2014 (A/68/61–E/2013/3); the note by the Secretariat on the report of the Board of Trustees on major activities of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (E/2013/80); the report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 2012 (E/INCB/2012/1); the report of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at its fifth session (11–15 April 2011), sixth session (19–23 September 2011) seventh session (16–20 April 2012), and eighth session (17–28 September 2012) (A/68/55); the report of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at its forty-eighth and forty-ninth sessions (30 April–18 May 2012, 12–30 November 2012) (E/2013/22); the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (E/2013/82), which considers the impact of austerity measures on economic, social and cultural rights, in particular on the right to work and the right to social security, with a specific focus on women, migrants and older persons; and the report of the Secretary-General on assistance to the Palestinian people item 70 and item 9 (A/68/76-E/2013/65), which contains an assessment of the assistance received by the Palestinian people, needs still unmet and proposals for responding to them.

Action on Resolution on Support to Non-Self-Governing Territories

In a resolution on support to Non-Self-Governing Territories by the specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations (E/2013/L.24), adopted by a roll-call vote of 24 votes in favour, none against and 19 abstentions, the Council recommends that all States intensify their efforts within the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system of which they are members to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, contained in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV); requests the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system and international and regional organizations to examine and review conditions in each Non-Self-Governing Territory so that they may take appropriate measures to accelerate progress in the economic and social sectors of those Territories on a case-by-case basis; requests the specialized agencies and other organizations and bodies of the United Nations system and regional organizations to strengthen existing measures of support and to formulate appropriate programmes of assistance to the remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories on a case-by-case basis, in order to accelerate progress in the economic and social sectors of those Territories; requests the administering Powers concerned to facilitate, when appropriate, the participation of appointed and elected representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories in the relevant meetings and conferences of the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, in accordance with relevant resolutions and decisions of the United Nations; requests the President of the Council to continue to maintain close contact on those matters with the Chair of the Special Committee and to report thereon to the Council; requests the Secretary-General to follow up on the implementation of the present resolution, and to report thereon to the Council at its substantive session of 2014; and decides to keep the above questions under continuous review.

United States, in a comment on resolution E/2013/L.24 after the vote, said the resolution voted by the Council, despite minor amendments, was essentially the same as resolutions that had been voted on by the Council since 2006.  The United States believed in principle that United Nations bodies could provide support to territories that were not United Nations Member States, but that ultimate responsibility lay with the administrative power.  The United States was concerned that the language in the resolution impinged on United States constitutional arrangements, therefore, it could not vote for it. 

Brazil, speaking after the vote on resolution L.24, said it had not been present during the vote but associated itself with the adoption of the resolution.


For use of information media; not an official record

ECOSOC13/037E


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