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UNGA Wraps Up 2013 With $5.33 Billion Budget, 41 Second Committee Resolutions

UNGA27 December 2013: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) concluded the year of 2013 at UN Headquarters in New York with consensus approval of the 2014-2015 biennium budget of US$5.33 billion. It also wrapped up the main work of its 68th Session with approval of 259 Resolutions, including 41 from the Second Committee (Economic and Financial), and 66 decisions.Acting on recommendations from the Second Committee, the UNGA adopted 41 resolutions pertaining to sustainable development, globalization, and countries in special situations. Many also pertain to the ongoing efforts to devise a post-2015 development agenda. One resolution on the development of middle-income countries (MICs) stressed that such states will need special consideration in the post-2015 period, while another highlighted the special needs of least developed countries (LDCs). A resolution titled 'Towards Global Partnerships' addressed interaction between the UN and global stakeholders, and invited the UN system to develop a more coherent means of partnering with the private sector and civil society.

On sustainable development and the implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcome document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), one resolution: looks forward to the first meeting of the High-level Political Forum on sustainable development (HLPF) under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 2014; decides to hold four one-day dialogues to consider possible arrangements for a facilitation mechanism to promote the development, transfer and dissemination of clean and environmentally sound technologies; and welcomes the establishment of the ten-member board of the ten-year framework of programmes (10YFP) on sustainable consumption and production (SCP). Also welcomed were the UN Secretary-General's reports on mainstreaming the three dimensions of sustainable development, the UN Decade on Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), and accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Other resolutions emphasized the importance of: information and communications technology (ICT) for development; sustainable tourism in Central America; agricultural technology for development; an international strategy for disaster reduction; the second UN Decade for the eradication of poverty (2008-2017); women in development; science, technology, and innovation; and the implementation of the environmental pillar of sustainable development.

A decision on the resolution to define modalities and a programme of work for the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), to be held in Samoa in 2014, was postponed to allow for the issuance of the resolution's programme budget implications by the UNGA's Fifth Committee.

In a statement, John Ashe, UNGA President, recalled highlights of the 68th session including the inauguration of the HLPF, the adoption of an outcome document on the way forward for the post-2015 development agenda, and the resolution to strengthen ECOSOC. Despite these accomplishments, he underscored the "need to adapt" the working methods of the UNGA as its work becomes more challenging. [UN Press Release] [Meeting Summary 27 December] [Meeting Summary 20 December] [Statement of UNGA President]