On 3 May, as acting President of the General Assembly, H.E. Dr. Zahir Tanin chaired the 88th GA plenary meeting which included both agenda items “Culture of Peace” and “Strengthening the United Nations System.”
After 8 months of debates on a stronger recognition of the European Union at the United Nations, draft resolution A/65/L.64/Rev.1 sponsored by the members of the European Union was adopted by the terms of the resolution with 180 in favour to none against, and 2 abstentions. This historic decision was made with the inclusion of oral amendments to the written proposal announced during the meeting and was met with several serious reservations by countries such as Nauru, Iran, and Zimbabwe who expressed concern about the significance of such a resolution. In the end, the European Union was able to garner the overwhelming support of Member States in order to adopt the resolution.
“The resolution will in the future enable EU representatives to present and promote the EU’s positions in the UN as agreed by its Member States” and will further “take account of the institutional changes brought by the Lisbon Treaty,” as EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton stated.
Subsequent to the adoption of the resolution, the EU and its Member States are able to be inscribed on the list of speakers among representatives of major groups as well as be invited to participate in the Assembly’s general debates. In accordance with the rules of procedures of the GA, the EU now has the right to raise points of order and can exercise the right of reply “regarding positions of the European Union.”
The resolution was welcomed by a number of delegates from regional groups.
The Assembly Secretary reported that under operative paragraph 2 of the resolution, additional financial requirements amounting to $10,000 would be required for the installation of the necessary delegate units.
The meeting also included the adoption of the draft resolution A/65/L75 in which delegates in the General Assembly designated 30 July as the International Day of Friendship as a part of the agenda item “Culture of Peace.”