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Periodicity and duration of sessions of the Governing Council (decision 14/4)

40. At the 15th meeting of the session, on 18th June, the Council had before its draft decision on this subject submitted by the Bureau (UNEP/GC.14/L.26).

41. The special working group composed of the bureau, which had been establish by the council at its 14th meeting in accordance with rule 71 of the rules of procedure, reported that, having examined the proposed amendments to the Council rules of procedure contained in the draft decision, it recommended their adopt by the Council.

42. The representative of France, referring to paragraph 3 of the draft decision, said that the Committee of Permanent Representatives established by Council decision 13/2, if institutionalized, should be provided with full interpretation services. At his request, a roll-call vote was taken on that paragraph.

Paragraph 3 was adopted by 36 votes to 2, with 9 abstentions. The voting was a follows:-

For the text of the decisions adopted by the Governing Council at is fourteenth session, see annex I to the present report.

In favour: Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia,

Denmark, Germany Federal Republic of, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic

Republic of ), Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United States of America, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.

Against: Senegal, Zambia.

Abstaining: Bulgaria, Congo, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Mauritania, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Zaire.

43. The representative of Mexico, speaking in explanation of vote, said he had voted in favour of the decision because of the importance he attached to the Committee of Permanent Representatives. However, his delegation agree with the principle implicit in the representative of France that all United Nations official languages should be used in all official United Nations forums.

44. The representative of France, speaking in explanation of vote, said he had abstained because consultations with the Executive Director had revealed that interpretation services would not be made available to the Committee of Permanent Representatives. That was in his view discriminatory against those delegations not fluent in English which used other official languages. The multiplication of such situations might impede the full participation of those delegations in the meetings involved. That matter was not strictly about the use of the French language, but rather about the use of all official languages in the United Nations. He expressed the hope that the secretariat would take steps to put an end to such situations.

45. The Executive Director said that he appreciated the position of France and would be the first to advocate the use of all United Nations languages in official United Nations forums. The secretariat, however, could not take a decision on that matter since it pertained to the allocation of resources under the United Nations regular budget. The present practice of using English in the Committee of Permanent Representatives to UNEP would have to be continued at least until the next regular session of the Governing Council simply because no resources were available to make other languages available to it. Given the financial crisis of the United Nations, it was questionable whether the General Assembly would approve an additional $500,000 for the biennium for the provision of language services to the meetings of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to UNEP.