St. Kitts and Nevis took the lead at the 2009 session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council by introducing the annual resolution on Support to the Non Self-Governing Territories from the United Nations System The session convened in Geneva and adopted a series of resolutions on various issues in the economic and social development sphere. St. Kitts and Nevis Representative Carlisle L. Richardson, who introduced the resolution, also spearheaded the consultations with the aim of future modernisation of the resolution.
St. Kitts and Nevis had previously hosted the UN 2009 Caribbean Regional Seminar last May where a range of political and socio-economic development issues were discussed by governments, representatives of civil society, experts and UN agency officials.
The statement in introduction of the resolution follows:
Statement by Mr. Carlisle L. Richardson
Representative of the Delegation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Introducing the draft resolution entitled “Support to Non-Self-Governing Territories by the specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations” (E/2009/L. 26)
Geneva, 28 July 2009
I have the honor to present to the distinguished members of ECOSOC a draft resolution entitled "Support to Non-Self-Governing Territories by the specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the United Nations" contained in document E/2009/L 26. In addition to the countries mentioned in the document, St. Lucia has joined the list of cosponsors.
The United Nations mandate to provide support to Non Self-Governing territories in their development process is longstanding, and has been adopted in several Resolutions of ECOSOC and the General Assembly for decades. The authority for this support is contained in the work plan of many of the UN agencies.
Since ECOSOC is the main UN body devoted to economic and social matters, and as the resolution addresses economic and social assistance, we feel that this is the appropriate forum to address the issue.
The Special Committee is concerned primarily with providing assistance to Non Self Governing territories within the UN system and with the cooperation of the administering powers. This should be viewed therefore as a collaborative approach. The global financial crisis has shown the interconnectedness of the international community, and brought to the forefront the rationale for a partnership approach to development assistance.
Additionally, issues such as global health permeate all countries, all territories, and every facet of society. The UN’s role is to assist all people, working in consultation with the governments of those people, and in the case of the Non Self Governing territories, with the administering powers. This is what this Resolution aims to ensure.
Furthermore, Mr. President, these Non Self Governing territories are very vulnerable to natural disasters. The small island territories are exposed to the rigors of hurricanes, cyclones, sea level rising, and volcanic eruptions. The UN Specialized agencies are there to work alongside the administering powers in providing a helping hand to those displaced and impacted by these natural disasters.
The draft resolution expresses appreciation to those specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system that have continued to implement the relevant resolutions of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly related to the assistance to the Territories, and urges those specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system that have not yet provided assistance to Non-Self-Governing Territories to do so as soon as possible. In addition, the draft resolution requests that the United Nations information leaflet on assistance programmes available to the Non-Self-Governing Territories be disseminated as widely as possible.
The draft resolution also welcomes the continuing efforts made by the United Nations Development Programme in maintaining close liaison among the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, including the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific; it requests the administering Powers concerned to facilitate the participation of Non-Self-Governing Territories in the relevant meetings and conferences of the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system, so that the Territories may benefit from the related activities of those agencies and organizations; and it recommends that all Governments intensify their efforts in the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system of which they are members to accord priority to the question of providing assistance to the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories.
As in previous years, the draft resolution requests the President of the Council to continue to maintain close contact on these matters with the Chairman of the Special Committee on Decolonization and to report thereon to the Council, and requests the Secretary-General to follow up on the implementation of the present resolution.
These are but some of the issues that this resolution addresses, and it is why the cosponsors of this resolution feel it necessary to bring this matter before the Economic and Social Council.
I therefore invite all members of this august body to adopt the draft resolution before them, by consensus.