Magazine article UN Chronicle

Charter Committee Reports Progress regarding UN Fact-Finding Process

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Charter Committee Reports Progress regarding UN Fact-Finding Process

Article excerpt

The Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization, at its 1990 session, reported progress in its work on fact-finding by the UN and approved recommendations on rationalization of existing UN procedures.

During a three-week session (New York, 12 February-2 March), the Committee also considered issues related to peaceful settlement of disputes among States, including progress on a draft handbook prepared by the Secretariat on the issue.

The session was marked by an intensified search for practical ways to enhance the effectiveness of the Organization. A number of new ideas were put forward, including a working paper A/AC.182/L.65) in which the USSR made several new proposals, including how to expand co-operation between the UN and regional organizations and broaden the peace-making efforts by the Secretary-General.

Carl-August Fleischhauer, UnderSecretary-General for Legal Affairs and the UN Legal Counsel, said the Committee's mission was extremely important, as the Soviet proposals

The Soviet working paper calls for expanding co-operation with regional organizations in efforts to create a healthier political climate". Mechanisms and safeguards of regional security should be developed. The permanent members of the Security Council could act as "guarantors" in that respect by committing themselves never to use force or the threat of force and by renouncing such practices as military "demonstrations" and supplying arms to parties in conflict.

To broaden his peace-making efforts, the Secretary-General could submit information, including confidential information, to the Security Council on a regular basis about developments in any area of conflict, and more frequently exercise his right under Article 99 of the UN Charter to bring to the Council's attention any matter threatening international peace and security.

The Special Committee could also examine the SecretaryGeneral's proposal on establishing, under UN auspices, a centre for reducing the risk of war.

Other tasks suggested for the Special Committee:

* Elaborating a draft general instrument on peaceful settlement of disputes, as well as a long-term programme on developing international within the framework of the UN Decade of International Law (the 1990s).

Considering enforcement actions against a State breaching the peace or failing to comply with Security Council resolutions.

Exploring how to broaden the sphere of application of preventive UN activities, including prevention of potentially explosive situations caused by internal socio-economic and other factors.

Forming, under UN auspices, an extensive network to monitor, collect and process information on the situation in areas of conflict.

Considering ways to strengthen the collective security regime provided for in the UN Charter. UN procedures

After six years of work, the Special Committee completed a draft document on rationalization of existing UN procedures.

It was recommended, inter alia, that:

Before an Assembly session ends, the General Committee should formulate observations on the organization of the session's work to facilitate the work of future sessions.

The Assembly agenda should be simplified by grouping or merging related items and setting an interval of two or more years for the discussions of some issues. …

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