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General Assembly - 16 novembre 1982

16 November 1982

Pattern of conferences


Report of the Committee on Conferences

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Committee on Conferences,

1. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Committee on Conferences;

2. Authorizes the Advisory Committee on the United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law to hold its future sessions in December in even years and in October in uneven years;

3. Authorizes the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research to meet each year during the week preceding the beginning of the regular session of the General Assembly;

4. Approves the draft revised calendar of conferences and meetings of the United Nations for 1983 as submitted by the Committee on Conferences.


Secretariat organization for United Nations special conferences

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 35/10 C of 3 November 1980 and 36/117 D of 10 December 1981,

1. Approves the guidelines on Secretariat organization for United Nations special conferences contained in the annex to the present resolution;

2. Decides that, following acceptance of the invitation to act as host to a special conference, the Government of the host country may, at its option, decide to make an advance payment to the United Nations of part of the estimated total additional cost to be borne by the Government in order to cover early preparatory expenses, including in particular the cost of the planning and review mission.


Guidelines on Secretariat organization for United Nations special conferences

1. Once an intergovernmental organ has decided to convene a special conference, the Secretary-General should establish at the Secretariat level a conference Management Committee.The Committee should guide and co-ordinate all Secretariat activities during the preparatory phase of the conference and, after the conclusion of the conference, prepare a comprehensive and critical evaluation of the success and problems of the conference.

2. The Committee should be composed of representatives of all Secretariat departments and offices involved in the preparation and organization of the conference, including its logistical arrangements, and should meet regularly throughout the preparatory period under the chairmanship of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General or, where appointed, the Secretary-General or Executive Secretary of the Conference.

3. In its planning for the preparatory process, the Committee should institute disciplined management techniques for the detailed planning, scheduling, monitoring and co-ordination of both departmental activities and the conference preparations as a whole.

4. Early provision should be made for inter-agency consultations to ensure that interested and concerned organizations of the United Nations system will contribute to the substantive preparations for the conference.

5. The Committee should be responsible for the preparation and submission of progress reports to intergovernmental organs on the status of preparations for the conference, including all financial, administrative and organizational arrangements and substantive and programme matters.

6. The Committee should, where appropriate, formulate proposals for the involvement of non-Secretariat participants in order to increase international support for the objectives of the conference and the likelihood of effective follow-up action outside the framework of the United Nations.

7. The Committee should, at an early date, also formulate proposals in line with General Assembly resolution 36/117 D of 10 December 1981 for harmonizing documentation needs with the design of the conference, taking into account all existing rules and instructions on the control and limitation of documentation. The Committee should further monitor, on a regular basis, the implementation of all documentation plans, particularly with regard to the timely submission of documents.

8. After completion of the conference, the Committee should submit a report to the Committee on Conferences, assessing its experience in the preparation and holding of the conference and, where appropriate, submitting recommendations for future improvement. Such evaluation should also take into account, in the case of conferences held at the invitation of a host country, views offered or reports prepared by host country authorities.

9. If it is proposed that the conference should take place at a venue away from established United Nations headquarters, at the invitation of a host country in accordance with General Assembly resolution 31/140 of 17 December 1976, the Committee should ensure that a planning and review mission, whose composition would be determined in consultation with the host country, is dispatched to that country at the earliest possible time.Based on the findings of the misson, detailed cost and servicing estimates should be prepared and discussed with the Government concerned, prior to the date when an offer to act as host is formally made and accepted.

10. The Committee should, where applicable, ensure that early

arrangements are made for the conclusion of an agreement between the United Nations and the host country.

11. All servicing requirements for the conference should be as economical as possible and determined on a realistic and detailed basis, preferably by the Committee, as soon as it is established, in consultation with the host country.

12. In line with General Assembly resolution 35/10 C of 3 November 1980, the secretariats for conferences should, to the extent possible, be provided by existing Secretariat machinery, with such temporary strengthening as may be required for their effective functioning, allowing for the necessary mix of technical, substantive, administrative and conference-servicing skills.

13. In consultation with the competent intergovernmental organs,standards of staffing requirements should be developed for all Secretariat units involved in the preparation and servicing of conferences and should be kept under constant review.

14. In the case of United Nations conferences dealing with economic and social matters, the Director-General for Development and International Economic Co-operation may also set up a steering committee, under his chairmanship and with the participation of the heads of all the United Nations entities most directly concerned, to provide guidance on major policy issues affecting the substantial direction of conference preparations and, in particular, to ensure conformity of the preparatory work with the general strategies and priorities established by the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, as well as the substantive co-ordination of such work with related activities undertaken within the United Nations system.


Meeting records and documentation for subsidiary organs

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2292 (XXII) of 8 December 1967, 2538 (XXIV) of 11 December 1969, 3415 (XXX) of 8 December 1975, 34/50 of 23 November 1979,

35/10 B of 3 November 1980 and 36/117 A and D of 10 December 1981 and its decision 33/419 of 15 December 1978,

Mindful of the action taken by the Economic and Social Council in its resolution 1979/69 of 2 August 1979 and its decision 1982/105 of 4 February 1982,

1. Reaffirms that no United Nations body or organ shall have both verbatim and summary records for the same meeting;

2. Confirms the present arrangements in regard to the provision of meeting records for the General Assembly, its Main Committees and the General Committee;

3. Decides that, for an experimental period of three years, no subsidiary organ of the General Assembly shall be entitled to summary records, with the exception of the following:

(a) Ad Hoc Committee on the Indian Ocean;

(b) Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the

Palestinian People;

(c) International Law Commission;

(d) Legal Sub-Committee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space;

(e) Special Committee against Apartheid;

(f) United Nations Commission on International Trade Law;

(g) United Nations Council for Namibia;

4. Decides that summary records shall continue to be provided to

regular and special sessions of governing bodies of United Nations organs and programmes listed in paragraph 1 of the annex to the present resolution and to pledging conferences or meetings of ad hoc bodies established for the announcement of voluntary contributions by States and determines that this entitlement shall not extend to any of their subsidiary organs;

5. Further decides that the exceptions granted to the subsidiary organs listed in paragraphs 3 and 4 above shall not apply to any of their subsidiary organs;

6. Reaffirms that any further exception shall require the explicit approval of the General Assembly in a pertinent resolution or decision;

7. Requests all its subsidiary organs entitled to written meeting records to keep their requirements for such records to a reasonable minimum,to dispense with them whenever possible, and to make wider use of sound recordings;

8. Confirms that summary records shall not be provided to special conferences and their preparatory organs, with the exception of legal codification conferences, for which the needs will be determined in each case;

9. Decides that those subsidiary organs that are entitled to receive written meeting records for all or some of their meetings shall receive them when meeting away from recognized United Nations conference centres only if there is a specific decision by the General Assembly for each case;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to arrange for sound recordings, in the appropriate working languages, for all proceedings of those organs no longer entitled to written meeting records in accordance with the present resolution, so that such tapes may be made available with easy access to interested delegations in accordance with the established practice of the Secretariat;

11. Confirms the present entitlements for verbatim records of its subsidiary organs as set out in paragraph 2 of the annex to the present resolution and reiterates that no subsidiary organ shall be entitled to receive verbatim records unless the General Assembly has explicitly so approved in a relevant resolution;

12. Urges all its subsidiary organs not entitled to written meeting records to observe more widely the present guidelines on the format and contents of their reports, as approved by the General Assembly in its resolution 34/50, which are aimed at fostering the clear and succinct presentation of such information which the Assembly needs for a meaningful review of the work of its subsidiary organs and for taking action on their recommendations, by confining the contents of such reports to the following elements:

(a) Draft resolutions and draft decisions recommended for adoption by the General Assembly with, as necessary, concise statements supporting or opposing the recommendations;

(b) Matters meriting the Assembly's special attention;

(c) Details of voting, where appropriate;

(d) Decisions relevant to the subsidiary organ's own activities and procedures, which do not require action by the Assembly;

(e) Organization of work and, where applicable, brief mention of opening statements;

13. Requests those subsidiary organs that receive written meeting records to avoid including summaries of the discussions in their reports,unless such summaries are indispensable as a part of the statements referred to in paragraph 12 (a), (b) and (d) above, by referring instead to the relevant meeting records;

14. Reiterates that in preparing their reports subsidiary organs,particularly those receiving written meeting records, should strive to keep such reports within the desirable limit of thirty-two pages;

15. Requests all subsidiary organs whose reports exceed thirty-two pages to submit to the Committee on Conferences, prior to its next session, reasons for non-compliance;

16. Requests the Committee on Conferences to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-eighth session on improving the effective implementation of the thirty-two page rule;

17. Requests the Committee on Conferences to examine further the measures listed in paragraph 27 of its report and make concrete recommendations to the General Assembly at its thirty-eighth session on the possible implementation of these measures designed to relieve the overloading of conference services;

18. Invites the Secretary-General to continue to make use of contractual services for the translation and printing of United Nations documents, when it is the most effective and economical method;

19. Requests its subsidiary organs and recommends to other United Nations bodies to consider the recommendations of the Committee on Conferences contained in paragraph 85 of its report at their meetings, and through it, to submit their comments on the implementation of those recommendations for the consideration of the General Assembly at its thirty-eighth session.


Organs entitled to summary or verbatim records

1. The following governing bodies of United Nations organs and programmes are entitled to receive summary records:

(a) Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (in English only);

(b) Executive Board of the United Nations Children's Fund;

(c) Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;

(d) Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme;

(e) Industrial Development Board;

(f) Trade and Development Board.

2. The following subsidiary organs of the General Assembly are entitled to receive verbatim records:

(a) Committee on Applications for Review of Administrative Tribunal Judgements;

(b) Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space;

(c) Disarmament Commission;

(d) Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples;

(e) Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories (when hearing witnesses);

(f) United Nations Administrative Tribunal (when holding hearings, only in the language of the speaker).

Verbatim records are further provided to the Committee on Disarmament (on the understanding that the Committee receives verbatim records from full statements as delivered and checked by the delegations concerned but without the use of verbatim reporters) and to subsidiary organs of the General Assembly when holding meetings in the observance of international days of solidarity proclaimed by the Assembly.


Control and limitation of documentation

The General Assembly,

Takes note of the report of the Joint Inspection Unit on control and limitation of documentation in the United Nations system together with the comments of the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination and the Secretary-General thereon.


Electronic equipment in the conference rooms at United Nations Headquarters

The General Assembly,

1. Endorses the programme of systematic and progressive replacement and upgrading of the electronic equipment in the conference rooms at United

Nations Headquarters, as contained in the report of the Secretary-General;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to submit further proposals for a

phased programme of equipment replacement and upgrading during the next


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