Activities of the Secretariat
Report of the ICAPP Mission to the U.N.
(June 15-18, 2016)
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 15-18, 2016 and had meetings with representatives of 17 Member States, i.e. Argentina, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Republic of Korea, Nepal, Netherlands, Philippines, Russian Federation, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, United States, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
At the meetings, Mr. Chung discussed the ICAPP's initiative to obtain observer status in the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA), which is to be deliberated at the Sixth Committee of the 71st session of the UNGA on October 10, 2016 according to the provisional agenda.
In particular, Mr. Chung stressed the following points to the representatives of the various Member States:
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. Furthermore, the U.N. Secretary General has shown 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, in order to more closely coordinate its activities with the U.N. and create synergy in promoting objectives of both organizations. The draft resolution (A/70/194) to invite the ICAPP to the work of the UNGA in the capacity of observer was once again co-sponsored for the 70th session of the UNGA in 2015 by ten Member States, i.e. Australia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka.
c) The consensus was not reached on the resolution, however, due to reservations expressed by the representatives of two Member States from Latin America. The representatives of these Member States pointed out 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) The co-sponsors stressed that 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 Sixth Committee made the recommendation on November 11, 2015 to the General Assembly to defer a decision on the request for observer status for the ICAPP to the 71st session of the UNGA.
f) Since then, the ICAPP has been consulting with political leaders in various parts of the world to get the support of their respective governments for the ICAPP’s observer status in the UNGA. They all agreed to recommend to their respective governments to make positive decisions in time for consensus at the next deliberations on the request in the UNGA.
g) In view of such developments, the ICAPP Standing Committee decided at its 26th Meeting held in April 2016 to continue to seek its observer status in the UNGA, and reaffirmed its commitment 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.
h) In this regard, the ICAPP successfully hosted the 1st Trilateral Conference among representatives of political parties in Asia, Africa and Latin America in Jakarta in April 2016, which was also attended by observers from a major group of political parties in the European Parliament. At the meeting, the political parties of the three continents agreed to initiate a process to further strengthen the trilateral cooperation in the areas of common interest among political parties in the three continents in a more inclusive way. In particular, they identified poverty and environmental degradation as two most serious common challenges they face. They also agreed to gradually work together toward the goal of developing a global forum of political parties, encompassing all political parties in the world regardless of differences in ideological orientations.
i) 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 as well by aggregating and channeling to the U.N. system the views of our peoples, promoting people’s awareness and support for U.N. activities, and building international consensus on U.N. actions to meet global challenges.
j) In particular, the ICAPP could be an effective tool in delivering the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2015, 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 the following representatives of the Member States which are also represented in the ICAPP Standing Committee:
- H.E. Ambassador Ry Tuy, Permanent Representative of Cambodia
- H.E. Ambassador Oh Joon, Permanent Representative, and H.E. Ambassador Hahn Choong-hee, Deputy Permanent Representative, of the Republic of Korea
- H.E. Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga, Permanent Representative of Vietnam
- H.E. Ambassador Gholam Hossein Dehghani, Deputy Permanent Representative of Iran
- H.E. Ambassador Evgeny T. Zagaynov, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation
- Mr. Guven Begec, First Counsellor and Deputy Permanent Representative of Turkey
In addition, Mr. Chung also had meetings with other representatives of Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
The representatives of all the Member States, which are represented in the ICAPP Standing Committee, expressed their appreciation on the ICAPP mission’s visit to the U.N. prior to the deliberations on the ICAPP’s request for observer status in the Sixth Committee. They said that they would provide all possible support to get the consensus on the item which would be taken up at the Sixth Committee on October 10 this year. They also said that they would need clear instructions from their respective governments to more actively support the ICAPP’s request.
Representatives of some Member States which haven’t co-sponsored the draft resolution mentioned that they would recommend to their governments to join as co-sponsors at the 71st session. They also agreed to closely coordinate with the ICAPP Secretariat on the issue.
In this regard, the Permanent Representative of one Member State informed Mr. Chung that several Member States had expressed their concerns about the possibility of abuse or misuse of the privileges to be given to the ICAPP with the observer status in the UNGA, such as by making statements at U.N. meetings which might not be consistent with the principles or objectives of the U.N., or taking actions, or forming delegations, which might betray the expectations of Member States on the ICAPP’s participation in the U.N. activities.
To this, Mr. Chung suggested that the ICAPP Secretariat would prepare draft “Guidelines for ICAPP’s Participation in the U.N. Activities and Programs”, submit them to the 27th Standing Committee meeting to be held in early September for adoption, and circulate them to concerned Member States in the U.N. prior to their deliberations at the Sixth Committee to ensure that there would be no such abuse or misuse of the privileges to be given to the ICAPP by granting observer status.
Mr. Chung also 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 other Member States which might express reservations in the course of deliberations at the Sixth 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 two 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.
- H.E. Ambassador Martin Garcia Moritan, Permanent Representative of Argentina
- H.E. Ambassador Rafael D. Ramirez C., Permanent Representative, and H.E. Ambassador Henry Suarez, Deputy Permanent Representative of Venezuela
Mr. Chung informed them of the results of the visits by the ICAPP Mission to their countries in 2014, and of the results of the 1st Trilateral Conference among political parties in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the ICAPP’s willingness and readiness to coordinate its participation in the U.N. activities and programs with political parties in Latin America and Africa.
While appreciating the ICAPP’s efforts to coordinate its activities with the U.N. programs, 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. General Assembly Decision of 1994, observer status in the UNGA should be granted to inter-governmental organizations.
They said, however, in consideration of the four exceptions which had been approved by the Sixth Committee since 1999, and in case they receive formal requests from the governments of co-sponsors, they would be willing to seek new instructions from their respective governments on the ICAPP’s request for observer status.
Meetings with Representatives of other key Members States to the UN
Mr. Chung also had meetings with the following representatives of the United States, the Netherlands which holds the Presidency of the European Union (EU), and Sudan which represents Africa in the Bureau of the Sixth Committee.
- Mr. John R. Arbogast, Counsellor and Legal Adviser of the United States
- Mr. Marcel van den Bogaard, First Secretary and Legal Adviser of the Netherlands
- Mr. Idrees Saeed, Minister Plenipotentiary of Sudan
The representatives of the United States and the Netherlands confirmed their support for the ICAPP’s request. They, however, expressed concerns that the positions of a few Member States in Latin America might continue to be negative on the request. The Dutch representative said, although the Netherlands would remain as one of the co-sponsors, the ICAPP should continue to contact other European Member States as well, and, in particular, need to coordinate with the representative of the European Union to the U.N.
The representative of Sudan confirmed its strong support for the ICAPP’s request and said it would join as a co-sponsor of the draft resolution, and could also contact other Member States from Africa to support and co-sponsor, if possible. He also stressed the importance of demonstrating strong solidarity among Member States from Asia.