Activities of the Secretariat
Report of the ICAPP Mission to the United Nations
A. ICAPP Mission’s visit to the United Nations
The Special ICAPP Mission, consisted of seven SC Members from Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Korea, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines, visited the United Nations Headquarters and met with H.E. Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary General, on October 11, 2012 and reported him on various activities of the ICAPP and, in particular, the recent initiatives for promoting peace and reconciliation in Asia.
In this regard, Hon. Jose de Venecia, Jr., Founding Chairman and Co-Chairman of the ICAPP Standing Committee, handed a letter, co-signed by the Co-Chairmen of the Standing Committee, to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in which the ICAPP proposed to create an Inter-Faith Council within the U.N. system and reported on the establishment of the Asian Peace and Reconciliation Council(APRC). The copy of the letter is attached as Appendix XII.
Secretary General Ban complimented the ICAPP’s development as the important political forum to achieve peace, stability and prosperity in Asia. He also welcomed the ICAPP’s recent initiatives, in particular, ICAPP’s support to achieve U.N. objectives, including the Millennium Development Goals, and further mentioned that the United Nations would continue to cooperate with the ICAPP to meet the global challenges, such as extremism, human rights and climate change.
B. ICAPP’s bid for observer status in the U.N. General Assembly
Hon. Chung Eui-yong, Co-Chairman of the Standing Committee and Secretary General of the ICAPP, attended the of the Sixth Committee of the U.N. General Assembly(UNGA) held on October 16, 2012. At the meeting, the item regarding the ICAPP’s application for observer status in the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) was considered for the second time, following the first consideration of the item at the same Committee of the 66th session of the UNGA on October 3, 2011.
The representative of the Philippines to the United Nations tabled the draft resolution to grant observer status to the ICAPP on behalf of other cosponsors of the resolution, i.e. Cambodia, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines and Vietnam. The representatives of other co-sponsors also emphasized that the ICAPP, which now represents more than 340 political parties in 53 countries, can be an effective channel to promote and support the U.N.'s main objectives of peace, security and human rights, and requested for the consensus of the Sixth Committee to invite the ICAPP as UNGA observer.
The consensus was, however, not reached on the item due to reservations expressed by four delegations from other regions on the ground that the ICAPP does not meet the criteria laid out in the UNGA’s decisions of December 9, 1994 and of December 17, 1999 that “granting observer status will be confined to States and inter-governmental organizations.” Cosponsors of the draft resolution responded that there had been exceptions to the criteria since 1999 and four non inter-governmental organizations have been granted observer status, including Global Fund for AIDS and the Inter-Parliamentarian Union. They also pointed out, among others, that the unique nature of the ICAPP which represents both ruling and opposition political parties should also be given special consideration.
Under the circumstances, the Chairman of the Sixth Committee concluded deliberations on the item by inviting State Members to continue discussions among themselves and revert to the item at later stage. In this regard, it is very important that more State Members in the U.N. which are represented in the ICAPP not only to participate in the draft resolution as co-sponsors, but also to express their support in future deliberations at the UNGA on the item.
In this regard, the SC Members are also requested to note that, by obtaining observer status in the UNGA, the ICAPP will raise not only its visibility but also its relevance in the international community, especially among the Member States of the U.N.