Activities of the Secretariat
Report of the ICAPP Mission to the U.N.
(June 10-12, 2015)
Hon. Chung Eui-yong, Co-Chairman of the Standing Committee and Secretary General of the ICAPP, visited the U.N. headquarters in New York during June 10-12, 2015 and had meetings with representatives of 16 Member States and discussed the ICAPP's initiative to obtain observer status in the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA).
During the meetings, Mr. Chung stressed the following points to the representatives of the various missions:
a) The ICAPP has been a staunch supporter of the United Nations and its activities. The ICAPP Charter declares unequivocal commitment to the principles and objectives of the U.N. Charter. Furthermore, the U.N. Secretary General has showed strong support for the ICAPP activities by sending congratulatory messages to all major meetings of the ICAPP, including the General Assemblies and Special Conferences.
b) Against a backdrop of such developments, the ICAPP applied for observer status in the UNGA in 2011. The draft resolution (A/C.6/68/L.3) to invite the ICAPP to the work of the UNGA in the capacity of observer was co-sponsored by Cambodia, Japan, Nepal, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka and Vietnam and introduced at the 66th session in August 2011.
c) The consensus, however, was not reached on the resolution due to reservations expressed by the representatives of three Latin American countries. These representatives argued that the ICAPP did not meet the first of the two following requirements for UNGA’s observers, as laid out in the UNGA’s Decision 49/426 of December 9, 1994 which says “Granting observer status will be confined to States and the Inter-governmental Organizations.”
d) There have been four exceptions to the criteria since the resolution was adopted in 1999, and, in consideration of the unique nature of the organization which is open to all political parties across political spectrum, the ICAPP deserves special consideration by Member States.
e) In the absence of consensus, the Chairman of the Sixth Committee concluded that consultations should continue and that the Committee should revert to the issue at a later stage. Under such circumstances, the representatives of the co-sponsors submitted on November 13, 2013 the following statement to the Chairman of the Sixth Committee: “the co-sponsors of the draft resolution decided not to pursue the request for GA Observer status for ICAAP at this session, while reserving the right to present it at a future session.”
f) Since then, the ICAPP has sent its missions to the Latin American countries for extensive meetings with leaders of governing political parties, parliaments and governments. The leaders all agreed to ensure that their respective governments would make positive decisions in time for consensus at the next deliberations of the item in the UNGA.
g) In view of such developments, the ICAPP Standing Committee decided at its 24th Meeting held in March 2015 to recommend all the governments in the region to include the item of granting observer status to the ICAPP in the provisional agenda for the 70th session of the UNGA.
h) The ICAPP will continue to play a key role not only in Asia’s movement to build an Asian community, but also in the global quest for a more peaceful and prosperous world. Once granted observer status in the works of the UNGA, the ICAPP will forge closer cooperation between the U.N. and the political parties in Asia and in other continents by aggregating and channeling to the UN system the views of our peoples, promoting people’s awareness and support for UN activities, and building international consensus on UN actions to meet global challenges.
i) In particular, the ICAPP could be an effective tool in delivering post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) of the U.N., by strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the global partnership for sustainable development.
Meetings with Representatives of Member States which are represented in the ICAPP Standing Committee
Mr. Chung had separate meetings with H.E. Ambassador Oh Joon, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN, and H.E. Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of China to the UN. Both Ambassadors confirmed their support for the ICAPP’s observer status in the UNGA.
Mr. Chung also had a meeting with Mr. Sergey Leonidchenko, Adviser of the Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN and informed him of the results of his recent visit to Moscow and the meetings with the senior government officials and political leaders. The Russian representative appreciated prior consultation with the ICAPP and confirmed that it would closely coordinate with the ICAPP Secretariat on the issue.
In addition, Mr. Chung invited representatives of all twenty-three Member States which are represented in the ICAPP Standing Committee to two separate working lunches, and the following representatives of eight Member States attended.
- Ms. Julia O’Brien, First Secretary of Australia
- Mr. Koteswara Rao Madimi, Counsellor of India
- Mr. Abbas Yazdani, First Secretary of Iran
- Mr. Haruka Sawada, Adviser of Japan
- Mr. Lee Ja-hyung, Counsellor of the Republic of Korea
- Ms. Ulziibayar Vangansuren, Counsellor of Mongolia
- Ms. Nang Phyu Sin Than Myint, First Secretary of Myanmar
- Ms. Nguyen Ta Ha Mi, Third Secretary of Vietnam
They all confirmed that their missions would support the reintroduction of the item of granting observer status for the ICAPP in the UNGA on the provisional agenda of the 70th session of the UNGA which will start in September 2015. They also said that they would provide all possible support to get the consensus on the item which would be taken up at the Sixth Committee in early October.
Mr. Chung, in particular, stressed the need for all twenty-three Member States, which are represented in the ICAPP Standing Committee, to demonstrate solidarity on this initiative by co-sponsoring the draft resolution, persuading some Members States which might express reservations in the course of deliberations at the Sixthe Committee and taking floor during the deliberations at the Sixth Committee.
Meetings with Representatives of Latin American Missions to the UN
Mr. Chung also had meetings with the following representatives from three Member States from Latin America, which had expressed their reservations to the draft resolution to invite the ICAPP to the UNGA as an observer in the previous sessions.
- Ms. Fernanda Millicay, Minister Plenipotentiary of Argentina
- Ms. Tanieris Dieguez Lao, Third Secretary of Cuba
- Mr. Isaias Medina, Minister Counsellor of Venezuela
Mr. Chung also had a separate meeting with Ms. Alina Julia Arguello Gonzalez, Minister Counsellor of Nicaragua.
All four representatives appreciated the ICAPP’s efforts to coordinate its activities with the U.N. programs and made clear that their governments do not have any objection to such efforts. They explained that the reservations of their governments on granting observer status to the ICAPP were purely on legal ground, and once again pointed out that, according to the U.N. Decision of 1994, observer status in the UNGA should be granted to inter-governmental organizations.
Mr. Chung informed them of the results of the visits by the ICAPP Mission to the four countries in 2014. He also said that the ICAPP had agreed with the COPPPAL to share the observer status, and eventually with the Council of African Political Parties (CAPP), such as by forming joint delegations to U.N. meetings once it is granted observer status.
The representatives of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela responded that, although they have not yet received any clear instructions from their capitals, they would recommend their respective governments to give due consideration to the ICAPP’s request.
The representative of Argentina, however, maintained that the position of her government on the issue of granting the ICAPP observer status in the UNGA would remain unchanged for the same reason. She, in particular, mentioned that her government’s main concern was that granting observer status to the ICAPP would constitute a bad precedent for granting non-intergovernmental organizations observer status in the UNGA which might take contrary positions on the issue of Malvinas (Falklands) Islands in the UNGA against the position of the Argentinian government.
Meetings with Representatives of other key Members States to the UN
Mr. Chung also had meetings with the following representatives of the United States, Luxembourg which holds the Presidency of the European Union(EU), and Zimbabwe which holds the Presidency of the African Union(AU).
- Mr. John R. Arbogast, Counsellor and Legal Officer of the United States
- Mr. Olivier Maes, First Counsellor and Deputy Permanent Representative of Luxembourg, Presidency of the European Union
- Mr. Vusumuzi Ntonga, Minister Counsellor and Deputy Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe, Presidency of the African Union
The representatives of the EU and the AU said, although they should consult with other Members States in their regions, they didn’t expect that any one of them would block the consensus during the deliberations at the Sixth Committee. The U.S. representative also confirmed that the U.S. would not block the consensus and requested the ICAPP Secretariat to provide information if there is any development in its efforts to obtain observer status.