Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dispute Settlement

The General Assembly today exhorted Member States to strictly adhere to their obligations under the United Nations Charter to seek peaceful settlement of disputes to prevent outright conflict, stressing the role of mediation when disagreements arise. In a resolution on strengthening mediation as a tool for dispute and conflict settlement, the Assembly welcomed contributions of Member States to mediation efforts and encouraged them to develop national mediation capacities. It called upon them to promote equal, full and effective participation of women in all forums and at all levels of the peaceful settlement of disputes and conflict prevention and resolution, particularly at the decision-making level. All Member States should also consider providing timely and adequate resources for mediation, in to assure its success, as well as for mediation capacity-building activities of the UN and regional and sub-regional organizations to ensure sustainability and predictability of such efforts.

The Assembly stressed the importance of well-trained, impartial, experienced and geographically diverse mediation processes, and encouraged the appointment of women as lead mediators in UN-sponsored peace processes, to ensure adequate gender expertise for all UN processes. The UN body also recommended that the Secretary-General, in accordance with mandates agreed on by Member States, continues to strengthen the mediation capacities of the UN, particularly the Mediation Support Unit of the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA). It requested that Secretary-General, in consultation with Member States and other relevant actors, to develop guidance for more effective mediation, taking into account lessons learned from past and ongoing mediation processes.

In a separate resolution on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the General Assembly encouraged African countries to accelerate progress towards attaining food security. It welcomed the commitment made by African leaders to raise the share of agriculture and rural development in their budget expenditures, and reaffirmed its support for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme. The Assembly also encouraged African countries to strengthen and expand local and transit infrastructure and to continue sharing best practices to strengthen regional integration. It noted with appreciation the work of the High-level Subcommittee of the African Union on the Presidential Infrastructure Champion Initiative, which seeks to further strengthen the development of infrastructure on the continent in collaboration with development partners.

UN Member States reiterated the need for all countries and relevant multilateral institutions to continue efforts to enhance coherence in their trade policies towards the continent, and acknowledged the importance of efforts to fully integrate African countries into the international trading system and to build their capacity to compete through such initiatives as aid for trade.

(UN Press Release)

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