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Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development (decision 14/4)

77. At the 16th meeting of the session, on 19 June, the Council had before it a draft decision on this subject submitted by the Bureau (UNEP/GC.14/L.18), together with the text of a draft resolution on this subject suggested for consideration and adoption by the General Assembly (UNEP/GC.14/L.48).

78. The draft decision, including, as an annex, the suggested draft resolution for submission to the General Assembly for consideration and adoption, was adopted by consensus.

79. The representative of Australia said that, while his delegation had been actively involved in the preparation of the draft decision and the draft resolution proposed for adoption by the General Assembly and many of its concerns had been taken care of in the text adopted for the latter, it continued to have problems regarding two points. First, in regard to the role envisaged in the draft resolution for the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination (ACC) in the follow-up to the recommendations on sustainable development of the World commission on Environment and Development, his delegation strongly believed that ACC should not be diverted from its primary functions in the way suggested. Second, although the Government of Australia shared the desire of many others to ensure that momentum on the World Commission’s report was maintained, it was still unhappy with the ideas of three consecutive debates on the subject in the General Assembly, as envisaged in paragraphs 18 and 19 of the suggested draft resolution. At a time of severe resource constraints in the United Nations system, his delegation considered that the environment and related matters should be dealt with under one single heading and within the biennial frame work already established for consideration of environment issues, which would mean that they should be scheduled for consideration by the General Assembly at its forty-second and forty-fourth sessions. However, the Australian delegation noted with satisfaction that apart from the introduction of the World Commission’s report at the forty-second session of the General Assembly and the scheduling of a new item on sustainable development at the forty-third session, the procedure envisaged in paragraphs 16 and 17 of the suggested draft resolution would, in fact mean that the major follow-up discussion would be held at the forty-fourth session of the General Assembly in 1989.

80. The representative of Japan said that his delegation had joined the consensus, but continued to have different views with regard to the parts of the World Commission’s report dealing with energy and political issues in particular.