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General Assembly

Distr: General
19 December 1983
Original: English

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Thirty-eighth session
Agenda item 78 g

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly

38/161. Process of preparation of the Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and Beyond

The General Assembly,

Recalling the importance it has attached at previous sessions to the development of the Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and Beyond,

Recalling also its request to the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme at its eleventh session to make concrete recommendations to the General Assembly at its thirty-eighth session, through the Economic and Social Council at its second regular session of 1983, on the modalities for preparing the Environmental Perspective,

1. Notes with satisfaction decision 11/3 of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme on the process of preparation of the Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and Beyond, adopted on 23 May 1983;

2. Welcomes the desire of the Governing Council to develop the Environmental Perspective and transmit it to the General Assembly for adoption, benefiting in carrying out that function from its consideration of the relevant proposals made by a special commission;

3. Approves the decision of the Governing Council to establish, in order to assist it in fulfilling its mandate in regard to the Environmental Perspective and to report to it in that respect, an intergovernmental intersessional preparatory committee to articulate to the Special Commission on the Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and Beyond at an early stage in its work the Governing Council's expectations regarding the matters which it hopes will, inter alia, receive consideration by the Commission and, in this connection:

    (a) Notes that the Commission at a preliminary stage in the formulation of its conclusions on matters within the mandate and purview of the United Nations Environment Programme should make them known to the committee with a view to giving consideration to any views of the committee thereon;

    (b) Notes from paragraph 41 of the report of the Governing Council on its eleventh session that the cost of the intergovernmental intersessional preparatory committee will not result in any net increase in the regular budget of the United Nations;

4. Welcomes also the intention of a number of Governments to support the preparation of the Environmental Perspective by facilitating the establishment of the Special Commission, through the provision of voluntary contributions for its financing;

5. Requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme and with Governments, and after such other appropriate consultations as they deem necessary, to appoint the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Special Commission, who will subsequently select the members of that Commission and accordingly establish the Special Commission, which should co-operate closely with the intergovernmental intersessional preparatory committee; the Chairman and Vice-Chairman should have experience of policy making at the highest level, demonstrated interest in environmental and developmental issues and the capacity to attract attention to the work of the Commission, and should represent both developed and developing countries;

6. Expresses its view that the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman, in selecting the members of the Special Commission, should take fully into account the need for appropriate geographical distribution and regional balance in membership and the importance of ensuring that at least half of the members of the Commission are from the developing countries, as well as the need to consult as appropriate with representatives of Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, industry, the scientific community and others concerned with the environment;

7. Requests the Executive Director to establish an interim special account under the financial regulations of the United Nations to which voluntary contributions would be credited and from which disbursements would be made for the purposes of the establishment of the Special Commission, custody over and responsibility for the account to be transferred to that Commission, in accordance with its procedures, upon its establishment;

8. Suggests that the Special Commission, when established, should focus mainly on the following terms of reference for its work:

    (a) To propose long-term environmental strategies for achieving sustainable development to the year 2000 and beyond;

    (b) To recommend ways in which concern for the environment may be translated into greater co-operation among developing countries and between countries at different stages of economic and social development and lead to the achievement of common and mutually supportive objectives which take account of the interrelationships between people, resources, environment and development;

    (c) To consider ways and means by which the international community can deal more effectively with environmental concerns, in the light of the other recommendations in its report;

    (d) To help to define shared perceptions of long-term environmental issues and of the appropriate efforts needed to deal successfully with the problems of protecting and enhancing the environment, a long-term agenda for action during the coming decades, and aspirational goals for the world community, taking into account the relevant resolutions of the session of a special character of the Governing Council in 1982;

9. Further suggests that, in fulfilling its terms of reference, the Special Commission should:

    (a) Maintain an exchange of views with the scientific community, environmentalists and all other sections of public opinion, particularly youth, concerned with the environment, and those concerned with the relationship between development and environment;

    (b) Receive the views of Governments, principally through the Governing Council and its intergovernmental intersessional preparatory committee, and through contacts with national leaders, opinion makers and concerned international figures;

    (c) Maintain links with other intergovernmental bodies within and outside the United Nations system, while however using the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination and the designated officials for environmental matters as the channels of communication with the United Nations system; the willingness of the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination to assist should be communicated to the Commission;

    (d) Take account of the scope of environmental issues as defined by the United Nations system-wide medium-term environment programme and as reflected in the efforts of the United Nations system, including the United Nations Environment Programme, in the field of the environment;

    (e) Make full use of relevant existing reports and material;

10. Considers that the Special Commission should make available a report on environment and the global problamatique to the year 2000 and beyond, including proposed strategies for sustainable development, within a period of two years from its establishment;

11. Decides that, on matters within the mandate and purview of the United Nations Environment Programme, the report of the Special Commission should in the first instance be considered by the Governing Council of the Programme, for transmission to the General Assembly together with its comments, and for use as basic material in the preparation for adoption by the Assembly of the Environmental Perspective;

12. Further decides that, on those matters which are under consideration and/or review by the General Assembly itself, the Assembly will consider the relevant aspects of the report of the Special Commission;

13. Recognizes that the Special Commission may in addition address its report, after consideration by the Governing Council or the intergovernmental intersessional preparatory committee, also to other forums, intergovernmental and non-governmental, or to Governments, individuals and the general public, as it sees fit, it being understood that the report of the Special Commission will not be binding on Governments.

102 plenary meeting
19 December 1983