UN: Second Committee Opens Seventy-Sixth Session, Approving Organization of Work

UNITED NATIONS, New York Oct 1 – The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) of the United Nations General Assembly held its first meeting of the seventy‑sixth session today, introducing the Bureau and approving its organization of work.

Opening the meeting, Committee Chair Vanessa Frazier (Malta) welcomed members of the new Bureau: Vice‑Chairs Nadja Micael (Eritrea), Karolina Krywulak (Poland) and Claudia Mansfield LaRue (Dominican Republic) as well as its Rapporteur Prathma Uprety (Nepal).

Noting that about 100 delegations have subscribed to the Committee’s general debate, which runs from 5 to 8 October, Ms. Frazier urged all speakers to deliver statements in person, rather than through less effective pre-recorded videos.

During its session, she said the Committee will be holding a joint meeting with the Economic and Social Council on 20 October, with a focus on productive capabilities. Another joint gathering will be held on 18 October with the regional economic commissions to address inequality and resilience in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. A side event is scheduled for 19 October to outline the importance of action in combating various effects of climate change.

On resolutions, she reminded delegations of the General Assembly’s decision that they should be more concise and action‑oriented than in previous years, with preambular paragraphs kept to a minimum. Adding that action on resolutions is scheduled to take place during the second half of November, she urged delegations to complete their drafts in a timely manner.

The representative of the Russian Federation pointed to the Committee’s record in achieving consensus on drafts, acting as an example for other Assembly bodies. Lamenting that consensus was now being undermined at a time when the Committee’s role is vital in addressing COVID‑19, he underlined the need for unity as well as Bureau intervention to ensure its smooth and effective functioning.

Speaking for the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, Guinea’s delegate emphasized the utmost importance of delivering on the global development agenda and addressing all issues relevant to today’s world. This includes the ongoing impact of COVID‑19 and the need for strengthened internal cooperation in support of national recovery plans and strategies.

A lively discussion ensued on whether the Second Committee should include in its agenda budget issues the Committee for Programme and Coordination were unable to reach consensus on. Several delegations objected to the notion, citing time and workload restraints, while others were in favour, stressing the importance of discussing programme planning, especially when they led to fulfilling mandates.

Chair Frazier said the Bureau would take note of statements made concerning programme planning and budget issues, bearing in mind the Committee’s timeline and workload.

The Committee will meet again on Tuesday, 5 October, to begin its general debate and take up information and communications technologies (ICTs) for Sustainable Development as well as Globalization and Interdependence.

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