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Summary record of the 12th meeting : 3rd Committee, held on Tuesday, 17 October 1995, New York, General Assembly, 50th session.

UN Document Symbol A/C.3/50/SR.12
Convention Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Document Type Summary Record
Session 50th
Type Document

14 p.

Subjects Ageing Persons, Persons with Disabilities, Family, Crime Prevention, Criminal Justice, Drug Traffic, Drug Control, Organized Crime

Extracted Text

General Assembly
Official Records
12th meeting
held on
Tuesday, 17 October 1995
at 10 a.m.
New York
Chairman: Mr. TSHERING (Bhutan)
This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the
delegation concerned within one week of the date of the publication to the Chief of the Official Records
Editing Section, room DC2-794, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.
4 December 1995
95-81632 (E) /...
Page 2
The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.
(continued) (A/50/84-E/1995/12, A/50/114, A/50/156, A/50/163, A/50/181-
E/1995/65, A/50/215-S/1995/475, A/50/254-S/1995/501, A/50/370, A/50/374,
A/50/425-S/1995/787, A/50/454, A/50/473, A/CONF.166/9)
A/50/375, A/50/432, A/50/254-S/1995/501, A/50/433, A/CONF.169/16)
A/50/215-S/1995/475, A/50/407, A/50/425-S/1995/787, A/50/461)
1. Mr. AL-HITTI (Iraq), speaking on agenda item 105, said that since the end
of the cold war there had been renewed interest throughout the world in social
development, particularly for the least developed countries. The maintenance of
international security and stability depended on such development. What was
needed was to break the vicious circle of poverty, hunger and economic
backwardness and to usher in a phase of development and prosperity for the
benefit of all.
2. At the World Summit for Social Development held in Copenhagen in early
1995, the States in attendance had adopted new decisions and had renewed their
commitment to social development for all the peoples of the world. They had
also called on the international community to initiate multilateral cooperation
activities and meaningful follow-up programmes in order to translate those
decisions and commitments into concrete action.
3. Development required both material and human resources. With regard to the
former, for several decades a marked imbalance had existed between economic
growth rates in the countries of the North and South. On the one hand, those
excluded from economic and social progress laboured under the burdens of
increasing debt, economic backwardness and poverty, while, on the other, the
technologically advanced countries used their monopoly of wealth and technology
to exploit the raw materials of the developing countries. Against that
background, the social development situation continued to deteriorate in many
countries of the world.
4. The situation with regard to human resources was just as alarming.
Development was hardly possible in the face of illiteracy, epidemics and
discrimination against entire populations. The fiftieth anniversary of the
United Nations should provide the occasion for reviewing many of the bilateral
and multilateral practices that were obstacles to progress in the developing
countries, such as the sanctions which certain organs of the United Nations
imposed on a number of countries, including Iraq, and which had completely
negative consequences for the population of the targeted countries. The
Secretary-General had stated that sanctions were contrary to the Organization’s
developmental objectives, since they had adverse long-term effects and could
cause serious harm to neighbouring countries. For their part, in a statement
issued at the conclusion of the ministerial meeting held in Bandung in 1995, the
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non-aligned countries had expressed the view that the consequences of economic
sanctions on third States and neighbouring countries were such that compensation
on humanitarian grounds should be granted to the countries concerned.
5. The defect inherent in the Charter of the United Nations, which authorized
unlimited recourse to sanctions, had a totally negative impact on the
fundamental rights of affected populations, including their right to obtain food
and medicines and their right to education. It permitted certain member States
of the Security Council to use the sanctions regime to starve entire populations
and to jeopardize the development plans of the targeted countries. In so doing,
those States were serving their own political interests. They were, for
example, preventing the Iraqi people from exercising their right to development.
They denied Iraq the right to import tires and even pencils for children under
the pretext that those items could strengthen the country’s infrastructure.
Such sanctions as were enforced against Iraq diminished the Organization’s
credibility and were contrary to the spirit of the Charter. They must therefore
be eased or lifted.
6. Even a cursory review of the reports of United Nations humanitarian
organizations clearly showed the destructive consequences of the sanctions on
development in general and on the lives of ordinary people. Available
statistics for Iraq showed that the country was stagnating. Large numbers of
children had been forced to interrupt their schooling because the cost had
become too high, thereby jeopardizing their future in order to assist their
families in their struggle against hunger, whereas not long before schooling had
been compulsory and free for all from kindergarten to post-graduate studies.
The sanctions also prevented the functioning of the literacy centres which had
been established throughout the country to eliminate illiteracy and illiteracy
had gained ground on education in the same way as hunger and malnutrition had
replaced happiness, self-realization and hope.
7. Mr. LAGHMARI (Morocco) said that, as the Secretary-General had stated in
his interim report on the world social situation (A/50/84), the scope of the
international debate on that subject had been unprecedentedly broad. That
renewal of interest was clearly a result of both the growing awareness of the
deterioration of the social situation, the incapacity of current models to come
up with solutions to the problems of social development, and the genuine desire
of Governments to mobilize national and international energies to tackle the
8. The rapidly accelerating process of globalization and interdependence and
the greater opening up of economies to trade in goods and services and to
capital transfers had highlighted the great diversity of situations and served
to exacerbate inequalities and deepen poverty. In many developing countries,
the salutary effects of structural adjustment programmes had been slow to
manifest themselves. The main questions concerned the pace of reforms, the time
frame for their implementation and the severity of the measures needed in
structural reform programmes. High unemployment remained a general feature of
1994 and the current distribution of income was less equitable than it had been
15 years previously. The most intractable problem was how to reconcile measures
to stimulate growth with strategies that placed emphasis on an equitable
distribution of income. The World Health Organization had indicated in an aide-
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mémoire published just previously that there were currently 1.3 billion people
living in poverty in the world and that the number was increasing. The Moroccan
delegation hoped that the following report of the Secretary-General would give
prominence to the subject of poverty among the nine subjects which had been
9. On the subject of older persons, his delegation supported the theme
proposed in the Secretary-General’s report on the conceptual framework of a
programme for the preparation and observance of the International Year of Older
Persons in 1999 (A/50/114), namely, "towards a society for all ages", because it
incorporated the four dimensions described in the conceptual framework. Since
population aging was destined to become a global phenomenon, each country must
incorporate responses to the attendant problems in its development programme, in
a manner consistent with the global targets on aging for the year 2001.
10. His delegation welcomed the action taken to implement the World Programme
of Action concerning Disabled Persons in the three areas of prevention,
rehabilitation and equalization of opportunities in order to offer disabled
persons genuine prospects of integration at all levels of society. It commended
the approach taken by the Special Rapporteur of the Commission for Social
Development to monitoring the implementation of the Standard Rules on the
Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, including the
emphasis on helping developing countries implement the Rules.
11. In March 1994, Morocco had set up a High Commission for Disabled Persons
which was responsible for coordinating the activities of the various departments
concerned with the question of disabilities. The High Commission also
cooperated with a number of international organizations in drawing up programmes
designed to improve the situation of disabled persons in specific spheres. It
had disseminated the Standard Rules widely and had launched a pilot community
project for integrating persons with disabilities, drawn up in collaboration
with UNDP, WHO and UNFPA.
12. Morocco attached particular importance to protecting the family; it was
deeply committed to the precepts of Islam and considered the family to be the
basic unit of society and the institution of marriage to be a partnership
entered into in order to create a lasting social unit. Moroccan legislation
sought to prevent the break-up of the family. However, increased material wellbeing
had not shielded the institution from the damaging effects of family
break-up. Maintaining the family as a basic social unit was essential to the
long-term cohesion and progress of society.
13. Morocco welcomed the proposal to increase the membership of the Commission
for Social Development, which had a leading role to play in monitoring the
various declarations and programmes of action in the social sphere and
considered it desirable that the Commission should meet on an annual basis.
14. Mr. TRAORE (Guinea) said that the five major conferences organized by the
United Nations in recent years on questions relating to social development and
the conference on human settlements to be held in Istanbul bore witness to the
renewed interest and intensive mobilization of the international community in
connection with those issues.
Page 5
15. That upsurge of interest was motivated by the far-reaching social and
political changes occurring throughout the world and by the reordering of
priorities which public authorities had been forced to undertake in response to
the problems of poverty, unemployment and economic decline which developing
countries, particularly those in Africa, had been facing for over 20 years.
16. Social development would become a reality only when all members of society
had access to basic services, including education, health and drinking water.
Unfortunately, the rigours of structural adjustment, which international
institutions had failed to accompany with back-up measures, had exacerbated the
situation of the most vulnerable sectors of society in developing countries,
particularly in Africa. Aware of the harmful effects of economic crisis, Guinea
had introduced a social policy and an action programme which had met with
success in the spheres of basic education for all by the year 2000, primary
health care, immunization coverage, family planning, schooling for girls,
establishment of literacy centres, expansion of productive employment and access
to drinking water. Programmes had also been launched to improve the situation
of the family and of disabled, young and older persons.
17. His delegation was grateful to the Department for Policy Coordination and
Sustainable Development of the United Nations Secretariat for the considerable
assistance which it had given to the Guinean Government in organizing, in
conjunction with the West African Federation of Associations of Persons with
Disabilities, the Sub-regional Seminar on Legislation concerning Disabled
Persons held in Conakry in September 1995. The Fédération guinéenne pour la
promotion des associations de personnes handicapées currently held the
presidency of the West African Federation, which served the 16 countries of the
Economic Community of West African States and represented over 15 million
disabled persons. With the assistance of the Division for Social Policy and
Development of the above-mentioned Department, the Seminar had formulated
directives which African Governments and associations of disabled persons could
take as a starting point for harmonizing the relevant legislation by the end of
18. His delegation called on the Secretariat and the Special Rapporteur
responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Standard Rules on the
Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities to strengthen the
advisory services for African countries. It suggested that the Special
Rapporteur should go out and meet with representatives of the authorities and of
associations of disabled persons in order to advise them on how best to apply
the Rules in keeping with the specific characteristics of each country.
19. Guinea had long considered the difficult situation faced by older persons
to be a major challenge and therefore welcomed the General Assembly’s decision,
in its resolution 47/5, to observe the year 1999 as the International Year of
Older Persons. That should provide an opportunity not only to evaluate the
situation of older persons but also to take stock of the implementation of the
International Plan of Action on Ageing.
20. In 1990, his Government had adopted a youth policy which emphasized
training, development of the association movement, jobs, support for the
establishment of businesses by young people and the creation of a fund for the
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integration of young people, with a view to solving problems arising from
delinquency, lack of occupation, illiteracy and lack of training in that fragile
but dynamic sector of the population. It supported the draft world programme of
action for youth to the year 2000 and beyond formulated on the occasion of the
tenth anniversary of the International Youth Year.
21. His delegation supported the proposals contained in the Secretary-General’s
report on observance of the International Year of the Family (A/50/370)
concerning follow-up measures to enhance the protection of the world’s oldest
22. Mr. AL-DAKHAIL (Saudi Arabia) said that his country was working for social
justice and solidarity, in accordance with the teachings of Islam. His
Government had instituted a social security programme for older persons and
those on low incomes; more than $9 billion had been spent on it since its
creation in 1962. Loans and direct and indirect assistance were also made
available to families, particularly in the area of housing.
23. Dozens of hospitals and clinics had been opened in Saudi Arabia and infant
mortality had fallen from 148 per 1000 in 1969 to 30 per 1000 in 1994. Persons
with disabilities were provided with free prosthetic devices, reduced-fare
travel passes and special education programmes. Firms employing more than 50
people were required by law to recruit 2 per cent of their personnel among
disabled persons who had received appropriate training.
24. The State devoted about 18 per cent of its budget to education, which was
recognized as a universal right and was provided free of charge at every level.
Grants were paid to all students.
25. His Government’s approach to social development, which was fully consistent
with the aims and objectives set out in the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme
of Action, had both an economic and a social dimension, leading to a favourable
environment both within the national economy and internationally. Thus, Saudi
Arabia had provided approximately $70 billion in aid to developing countries, in
the form of concessionary and unconditional loans or of equity investments in
development projects. Some 70 countries in various regions had benefited from
that aid.
26. Saudi Arabia attributed great importance to the family as the basic unit of
society, and to the institution of marriage as the framework within which
parents brought up their children in accordance with the precepts of Islam,
teaching them not only social, moral and cultural values but also the sense of
civic responsibility which was necessary for their development as individuals
and as citizens.
27. The CHAIRMAN said that the Committee had concluded its consideration of
agenda item 105. He invited the Committee to consider items 106 and 108, on the
understanding that delegations could, if they so wished, refer to each of those
items separately.
28. Mr. GIACOMELLI (Executive Director of the United Nations International Drug
Control Programme (UNDCP) and Director-General of the United Nations Office at
Page 7
Vienna), introducing agenda item 106, said that the fiftieth anniversary of the
United Nations offered an opportunity for Governments to assess the role of the
Organization in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice. At the
current session, the Third Committee was expected, among other things, to review
the progress made in the implementation of the Naples Political Declaration and
Global Action Plan against Organized Transnational Crime and to take a decision
on the planned upgrading of the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch
into a division.
29. The General Assembly, in its resolution 49/158, had requested that the
United Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme, particularly its
technical cooperation capacity, should be strengthened. The Assembly had noted
that the workload in that area continued to increase and that the programme had
neither the institutional capacity nor the necessary resources to carry out its
mandated activities. The Assembly had therefore called for action to rectify
the situation and had requested the Secretary-General to report to it on the
measures taken. Accordingly, the Secretary-General had presented a report
(A/50/432) providing an overview of the programme’s activities over the previous
12 months and emphasizing the inadequacy of the resources available to deal with
the tasks ahead.
30. The Secretary-General’s report on the implementation of the Naples
Political Declaration and Global Action Plan against Organized Transnational
Crime (A/50/433) provided an overview of the steps taken by the Commission on
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, at its fourth session, to strengthen
international cooperation in that area. The next stage was for States to
specify what activities should be undertaken to implement the Plan, to agree on
its pace and to devote their energies to the achievement of the common goals
identified at Naples. Their input should enable the Commission to undertake
rational and effective planning. On the issue of financing, regular budget
resources could provide only a minimum framework and would have to be
supplemented by extrabudgetary resources.
31. In accordance with paragraph 7 of General Assembly resolution 49/156, the
Secretary-General had submitted a fourth report (A/50/375) on the United Nations
African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders,
which emphasized the need to put the Institute on a sound financial footing.
32. The aforementioned reports, and also the report on the Ninth United Nations
Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, gave an idea
of what had been accomplished in the field of crime prevention and what tasks
the international community would have to face in the coming years.
33. The Ninth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the
Treatment of Offenders had been truly innovative, not only because it had been
the first such event to be held in Africa, but also because of the emphasis
placed on practical activities such as the demonstration workshops organized
during the Congress. It had also been the first major United Nations conference
to use electronic distance translation. The wide consensus achieved in Cairo
attested to the determination of the 138 States taking part to combat crime and
to put into practice the theme of the Congress: "Less crime, more justice:
security for all".
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34. The Ninth Congress, like the World Ministerial Conference on Organized
Transnational Crime held at Naples, had emphasized the globalization of crime,
especially organized crime. As the world approached the next millennium, crime
was becoming a major threat to national and international security. With the
growing trend towards regional integration and increased movement across
borders, joint action by States was becoming absolutely imperative.
35. General Assembly resolution 49/158 had requested the Commission on Crime
Prevention and Criminal Justice to give priority attention to the conclusions of
the Ninth Congress with a view to recommending appropriate follow-up by the
General Assembly at its fiftieth session. Accordingly, the Commission had
produced a draft resolution on the implementation of the recommendations of the
Ninth Congress, which had been adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its
1995 session and was currently before the General Assembly.
36. It should be emphasized that the Commission on Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice, as the main functional organ of the Economic and Social
Council in that field, had established close coordination with other bodies of
the United Nations system, particularly the Commission on Narcotic Drugs. It
was aware of the need to make the United Nations crime prevention and criminal
justice programme more action-oriented, in response to the emergence of new
technological developments and complex organizational forms. Terrorism and
other forms of violence created a climate of insecurity, jeopardizing not only
internal stability but also relations among States. Security was increasingly
in view not only as the absence of war but also as the maintenance of social
peace. The new concept of security emphasized by the Secretary-General placed
crime prevention and criminal justice on a par with other major international
concerns, which was why the Secretary-General had decided to place the United
Nations crime prevention and criminal justice programme under the direct
authority of the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna.
37. Unfortunately the resources available to the programme had not increased at
the same pace as the demands made on it, despite numerous resolutions of the
General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council calling for an appropriate
share of budgetary resources to be allocated to it. In his introduction of the
programme budget for 1996-1997, the Secretary-General had proposed that the
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch should be upgraded to a division.
That proposal included the creation of two new administrative posts at the P-3
level, which represented a very modest staffing increase. Moreover, in the
Statement of Principles and Programme of Action for the United Nations crime
prevention and criminal justice programme, annexed to General Assembly
resolution 46/152, Member States had declared that the growing
internationalization of crime should generate new and commensurate responses.
They had also called on the international community to increase its support for
technical cooperation and assistance for the benefit of all countries. Member
States now had to translate those declarations into tangible financial support.
In order to enable the programme to respond to the increased requests for
assistance, it had to be given a stable human and financial resource base. The
increased demand for the services of the two interregional advisers in crime
prevention and criminal justice reflected the extent of the need. It was an
area in which technical assistance had a crucial role to play.
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38. Mr. MAYRHOFFER-GRUNBUHEL (Austria), speaking on agenda item 106 in his
capacity as Chairman of the fourth session of the Commission on Crime Prevention
and Criminal Justice, defined the four main areas on which he intended to
concentrate: the role and format of the Ninth Congress, the working methods of
the Commission, the question of resources, and the need to create a better
linkage between the Commission’s activities and other activities of the
39. The reorientation of the programme as decided in General Assembly
resolution 46/152, entitled "Creation of an effective United Nations crime
prevention and criminal justice programme", was intended to make the programme
function more effectively by emphasizing technical cooperation, the exchange of
expertise and the use of innovatory and pragmatic approaches. The new format of
the Congress could certainly have been further improved, and perhaps a highlevel
meeting should be envisaged where ministers of justice and the interior
would be able to concentrate on the practical tasks, but, all things considered,
it had to be admitted that the Ninth Congress represented a very promising
40. There had been a good deal of discussion during the fourth session of the
Commission on its working methods and the many problems which hindered the
progress of its work. It should be pointed out that in 1992 the Economic and
Social Council had determined the programme priorities for the Commission,
laying particular emphasis on national and transnational organized crime, crime
prevention in urban areas, juvenile crime and violence, and the efficiency,
fairness and improvement of the administration of criminal justice. Any new
initiative must therefore take those priorities into account. The Commission’s
working methods were not aimed at discouraging new initiatives but rather at
ensuring that it carried out its work in an orderly way and made the best use of
the available resources.
41. The Secretary-General’s proposal to upgrade the Crime Prevention and
Criminal Justice Branch to a division and to allocate some modest additional
resources to it was intended to allow the Director-General of the United Nations
Office at Vienna, who was also Executive Director of the United Nations
International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), to carry out effectively the
responsibilities entrusted to him by the Secretary-General and to correct an
anomaly. That anomaly lay in the fact that the Commission on Crime Prevention
and Criminal Justice was the only United Nations body in its category that was
serviced by an entity which was not at the level of a division. The proposed
strengthening applied to a programme that used less than 0.2 per cent of the
United Nations budget.
42. At the fourth session of the Commission, the emphasis had been on the need
to help developing countries and countries in transition to face up to the
growing incidence and sophistication of crime, to ensure that development
efforts would not be derailed by organized crime and to protect the rule of law
and democratic institutions, especially in countries recovering from civil war
or where democracy had just been restored. That was why the Commission should
strengthen its cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme,
financial institutions, the Department of Peace-keeping Operations, the Centre
for Human Rights, the Department of Humanitarian Affairs and other bodies, as it
Page 10
had already done successfully with UNDCP. Efforts at international and national
level to encourage development, democracy and respect for human rights and to
rid the world of drugs should logically be extended to crime prevention and
criminal justice.
43. Mr. IZQUIERDO (Ecuador), speaking on agenda item 108 in his capacity as
coordinator of the Permanent Mechanism for Consultation and Policy Coordination
(Rio Group), said that the member countries of the Rio Group were alarmed by the
ever-increasing size of the drug problem and by the amount of resources they
constantly had to sacrifice to combating that scourge. He recalled that at
their ninth summit meeting, held in Quito on 4 and 5 September 1995, the Heads
of State and Government of the Rio Group had decided to continue the fight
against the use, production and illicit trafficking of drugs and other related
crimes. They had decided to address themselves to the social and economic
aspects of the scourge of drugs, to make reciprocal commitments that would lead
to a significant and verifiable decline in consumption as well as a sharp
reduction in supply, and to adopt energetic measures against money-laundering,
distribution organizations, arms trafficking and illicit trafficking in chemical
precursors. To that end, they had decided to work together on the preparation
of an inter-American convention on money-laundering and to study the possibility
of establishing a centre for combating drug trafficking and related crimes. The
Heads of State and Government of the Rio Group had also affirmed their support
for the convening of a world conference on the production and trafficking of
narcotic drugs. They also believed that joint strategies in that area should be
reinforced and that the time had come for the international community to
evaluate the results of United Nations action on drug control and to adopt a
dynamic international strategy capable of beating the new networks of drug
traffickers. They attached great importance to the current negotiations on the
conference; their delegations intended to take part in those negotiations in a
spirit of cooperation and understanding, in the hope that they would be brought
to a successful conclusion.
44. Mr. BARRETO (Peru), speaking on agenda item 108, said that with the United
Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
Substances and the Global Programme of Action against the production, supply,
demand, trafficking and distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic
substances, the international community had provided itself with a framework for
action which, as complete as it was, still needed to be improved from time to
time. Rather than create new mechanisms for action, existing instruments and
mechanisms simply needed to be adjusted as changing circumstances required. All
Member States should cooperate in such efforts.
45. On the national level, Peru had had major successes in recent years, as a
result of a programme of action which it had financed itself. It had managed to
dismantle several drug trafficking networks, intercept large quantities of
cocaine, put a stop to the use of planes in transporting illicit drugs and - by
strengthening the penal regime applicable to trafficking in coca leaves and
poppy seeds, the diversion of raw materials towards illicit drug production, and
money-laundering - push the price of a coca leaf down from $70 to $7 and
encourage Peruvian peasant farmers to change from growing coca to legal crops.
In order to combat drug trafficking effectively, suppression was not enough -
positive economic and social measures also had to be adopted. Peru was planning
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other forms of development which would allow the persons concerned, the peasant
farmers, to replace illegal crops with legal ones.
46. Finally, he pointed out that greater bilateral and multilateral cooperation
was necessary to combat drug trafficking and invited countries and donor
agencies to mobilize resources for that purpose.
47. Mr. TELLO (Mexico), speaking on agenda item 108, said that despite the fact
that Governments had never before devoted so many human and economic resources
to the fight against drug trafficking, the enormous power of drug traffickers
continued to grow.
48. Clearly, the growth and changing nature of the problems posed by drug
control required Governments to meet once again to discuss the problem.
Convinced that such an initiative was necessary, the President of Mexico,
Mr. Ernesto Zedillo, had proposed the holding of an international conference to
evaluate international cooperation in drug control and to study ways of
defeating the new networks of dealers. The tenth anniversary of the United
Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic
Substances was undoubtedly a particularly opportune moment to hold such a
49. Mexico had already begun discussions with the countries concerned. Its
initiative had been supported by all the Heads of State and Government who had
participated in the Summit of the Americas held in Miami in December 1994, and
had also been approved by the heads of State and Government of the Rio Group
during their recent meeting in Quito. Mexico was of the opinion that the
members of the international community could discuss international problems
together, and must do so if they hoped to arrive at consensus-based decisions
which would encourage cooperation. An international conference against drug
trafficking would have every chance of achieving tangible results and the
proposals made by the United Nations International Drug Control Programme and by
various conferences held in the recent past, such as the Naples Conference on
organized transnational crime, could provide a starting-point for the
discussions. In addition, in order to keep costs as low as possible, his
delegation proposed holding the conference at the United Nations Office at
Vienna, and that it should last only one week and be preceded by two or three
meetings of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, which could then serve as a
preparatory committee. Such an event would be not only a summit meeting but
also a conference in which the government agencies directly involved in the
control of drugs and drug addiction could participate, and would not replace
specific actions at the national level.
50. Efforts at the national level alone would not suffice to guarantee victory
in the fight against the scourge of drugs. He hoped that such a conference
would be successful and was confident that it would make the fight against drugs
much more effective.
51. Mrs. BUCK (Canada), speaking on behalf of New Zealand, Australia and Canada
on agenda item 106, said that those three countries, which had participated in
the Ninth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment
of Offenders, held recently in Cairo, were of the opinion that the meeting, in
Page 12
accordance with its new mandate, had given participating delegations an
opportunity to exchange information and consult each other on new trends in
crime and the steps to be taken. The holding of workshops on current issues had
contributed greatly to the practical orientation of the Congress. Future
congresses should also have the same concrete focus but the number and nature of
the questions to be submitted to workshops should be defined more clearly.
52. Notwithstanding its accomplishments at previous sessions, the Commission on
Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, at the beginning of its fourth session,
had not yet succeeded in defining its priorities. It was gratifying therefore
that, at its fourth session, the Commission had adopted a resolution asking
States proposing any new initiative to provide background information on how the
initiative was to be executed. In accordance with the plan for strategic
management adopted at its first session, the Commission should have before it
all relevant information in order to assist it in determining and carrying out
its priorities.
53. Canada, Australia and New Zealand had recently made a joint statement
before the Fifth Committee on the proposed programme budget for the biennium
1996-1997. In that statement they had stressed that in the face of severe
budget constraints the United Nations had to focus on key objectives and
increase efficiency in order to protect priority programmes. The plan for
strategic management of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
would help the Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Branch make a stronger case
in its call for allocation of sufficient resources to implement existing United
Nations standards of crime prevention and criminal justice and to provide
technical assistance to Member States which needed and requested it. However,
with the level of resources currently available, it would be very difficult for
the Branch to fulfil its growing mandate. Sufficient resources should therefore
be allocated to the crime prevention and criminal justice programme.
54. Committed to combating international organized crime, Australia, Canada and
New Zealand were pleased with the results of the World Ministerial Conference on
Organized Transnational Crime held in November 1994 in Naples. They were
especially satisfied with the follow-up that the Commission intended to
undertake on the issue of violence against women. On the occasion of the Fourth
World Conference on Women, Governments had reaffirmed their commitment to
eliminate violence against women and had set out a comprehensive range of
measures to eliminate, notably, gender-based violence, its causes and
consequences. The plan of action to be developed at the fifth session of the
Commission would help to translate the commitments made in Beijing into concrete
action in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.
55. The misuse of firearms was both a crime and a danger to society. The
Commission had decided to include that question in the agenda for its fourth and
following sessions. The work of the Commission in that area would be supported
by the delegations of Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
56. The primary goal of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
was now to organize its priorities in accordance with the strategic management
plan that it had agreed upon. It also needed to address the growing threat of
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increasingly sophisticated forms of transnational crime and the need to respect
and promote human rights in the administration of justice.
57. Mrs. ANDAYANI (Indonesia), speaking on agenda item 106, said that the
breadth of organized criminal activity, its transnational character and its
ability to exploit opportunities presented by a world in transition had made
cooperation among States at all levels essential. In that context she welcomed
the great strides made by the international community in recent years, such as
the International Conference on Preventing and Controlling Money Laundering and
the Use of the Proceeds of Crime: a Global Approach, convened in June 1994, and
the World Ministerial Conference on Organized Transnational Crime, convened in
Naples. She also welcomed the outcome of the Ninth United Nations Congress on
the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, which had provided a
good forum for an exchange of views and experience. She was encouraged by the
determination of Member States to cooperate in undertaking effective action.
The Congress had underlined the importance of the technical assistance and
advisory services provided by the United Nations, both in terms of law
enforcement and the treatment of offenders. In that respect enhancement of the
national capacities of countries, particularly the developing countries, was
especially significant. Her delegation therefore hoped that the international
community, having recognized the seriousness of the crime problem, as well as
the human and material costs inflicted, would find the requisite resources to
provide such services to countries in need of assistance. Recalling that, under
its resolution 49/158, the General Assembly had accorded priority to operational
activities and technical assistance in crime prevention and criminal justice,
she welcomed the establishment of a second post of interregional adviser in
crime prevention and criminal justice in the context of that programme. She
likewise noted with interest the proposals of the Commission on Crime Prevention
and Criminal Justice for improving the clearing-house capacity. In the region
of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) the establishment of a
database system within the ASEAN Criminal Police Organization (ASEANPOL) had
proved extremely beneficial. At the international level, the establishment of a
reliable criminal data network system should be encouraged.
58. Her delegation was interested by the proposal made at the Naples
Ministerial Conference concerning the development of a convention against
organized transnational crime. The subjects listed in the annex to
resolution III of the Ninth United Nations Congress for the Prevention of Crime
and the Treatment of Offenders provided a good basis for initiating
deliberations on that important issue.
59. The deliberations undertaken at the Ninth Congress on the subject of
juvenile delinquency and violent crime were productive. In particular, she
thought that repressive measures should be implemented hand in hand with social
policies with a view to eliminating the root causes of crime. She also welcomed
the recommendations produced at the Ninth Congress during the workshop organized
on the subject of the mass media and crime prevention.
60. In conclusion, she stated that her country had, in response to United
Nations guidelines, taken certain measures to combat crime. A commission on
crime prevention and criminal justice had been established at the Ministry of
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Justice and provisions on terrorism had been incorporated into the Indonesian
penal code.
61. She underlined the need to address the underlying socio-economic causes of
crime and make a concerted effort to reduce poverty, hunger and malnutrition
through sustainable development.
62. Mr. AHMAD (Malaysia), speaking on agenda item 108, said that his delegation
was firmly of the view that the scourge of drugs could be contained and reduced
only through concerted efforts and cooperation among nations. The problem
should be addressed in a comprehensive manner by simultaneously reducing supply
and demand, according priority to programmes for the social reintegration of
drug addicts and monitoring and preventing the international movement of drugs.
The strategy for waging war against drugs should be constantly re-evaluated in
view of the ever-changing face of the drug menace. Vigilance was therefore
necessary, as was the adoption of a comprehensive, continuous, balanced and
multidisciplinary approach.
63. His delegation was happy to note that the Commission on Narcotic Drugs,
having identified the weaknesses in the Global Programme of Action aimed at
combating drugs, had, during 1995, adopted resolutions intended to create a
cohesive strategy in that domain, enhance regional and international
cooperation, particularly between customs authorities, and prevent the diversion
of psychotropic substances for illicit purposes.
64. Committed to the war against the drug menace, Malaysia had signed the
Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs of 1961, as well as the United Nations
Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances
of 1988. It also remained committed to implementation of the Comprehensive
Multidisciplinary Outline of Future Activities in Drug Abuse Control, adopted at
Vienna in 1987. At the national level, Malaysia had initiated an education
programme to create public awareness and reduce the impact of illicit drug
trafficking. A programme for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts,
together with social reintegration measures, had also been implemented. The
Government had introduced an integrated project for the eradication and
prevention of drug abuse focusing on high-risk areas. A national drug
information system had also been established. In addition, Malaysia had
collaborated actively at the regional level to combat the drug menace. It was
the site of the ASEAN Regional Training Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation
and had identified education, treatment, rehabilitation, law enforcement and
research as among the priority areas for the containment and reduction of drug
abuse and trafficking. In that fight it benefited from cooperation with
non-governmental organizations, local community-based organizations, the private
sector and the media.
The meeting rose at 1 p.m.