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United Nations: Draft Resolutions on Humanitarian Assistance, Draft Decisions on Two International Tribunals

(Jan. 2, 2015) On December 23, 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted, without a vote, three draft resolutions aimed at enhancing the international body’s emergency humanitarian responses.

The draft resolution on international cooperation on humanitarian assistance in the field of natural disasters, from relief to development, according to Bolivia’s U.N. representative, not only “recognized the clear relationship between emergency response, rehabilitation and development,” but also reaffirmed the importance of providing emergency assistance “supportive of short-term and medium-term recovery leading to long-term development” so as “to ensure a smooth transition,” while stressing “the fundamentally civilian character of humanitarian assistance.” (Press Release, GA/11606, General Assembly Adopts Resolution to Reinforce United Nations Emergency Humanitarian Response, Decisions on International Criminal Tribunals (Dec. 23, 2014), U.N. website.)

The resolution took note of the fact that the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters is coming to an end in 2015 and welcomed the initiative the U.N. Secretary-General to hold the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in 2016. (International Cooperation on Humanitarian Assistance in the Field of Natural Disasters, from Relief to Development, A/69/L.49 & Add. 1, (Dec. 22, 2014), at 1 & 11, respectively, U.N. General Assembly website; Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters – Full Text (2007), United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction website [scroll down to link to full document].)

On December 12, also without a vote, the General Assembly had adopted draft resolutions on the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations (A/69/L.40 & Add. 1) and on the safety and security of humanitarian personnel and protection of United Nations personnel (A/69/L. 33 & Add. 1). (Resolutions: 69th Session, U.N. General Assembly website (last visited Dec. 31, 2014) [scroll down page to view].)

International Criminal Tribunal Draft Documents

The General Assembly also adopted two draft decisions on December 23 that extended the terms of office of the judges and reappointed the prosecutors for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and for the Former Yugoslavia. Some of the judges’ terms will be extended until July 31, 2015, others until December 31, 2015; the prosecutors are appointed for another year, until December 31, 2015. (Press Release, supra; Draft Decision Submitted by the President of the General Assembly: International Criminal Tribunal for … the Territory of Rwanda …, A/69/L.47 (Dec. 19, 2014), U.N. website; Draft Decision Submitted by the President of the General Assembly: International Tribunal for … the Former Yugoslavia …, A/69/L. 48 (Dec. 22, 2014), U.N. website.) Draft resolutions on the financing of each tribunal (A/C.5/69/L.20 and A/C.5/69/L.21, respectively) were adopted on December 29, 2014, also without a vote. (Press Release, GA/11608, General Assembly, on Fifth Committee’s Recommendation, Adopts Raft of Texts on 2014-2015 Biennium Budget Appropriations, Common System, Peacekeeping (Dec. 29, 2014), U.N. website.)

Some Other General Assembly Actions in December

The General Assembly adopted 16 resolutions and two draft decisions in all on December 29. (Id.) Earlier in the month, on December 18, the body had adopted 61 resolutions and seven decisions “across a landscape of issues” that included “crime, refugees, intolerance, women’s advancement, and post-2015 sustainable development matters.” (Press Release, GA/11604, Adopting 68 Texts Recommended by Third Committee, General Assembly Sends Strong Message Towards Ending Impunity, Renewing Efforts to Protect Human Rights (Dec. 18, 2014), U.N. website.) Among the 50 draft texts that were adopted without a vote were a group of texts concerning youth, with specific attention to literacy, early or forced marriage, and the rights of the child. (Id.)