Issue No. 89, Winter 2008
2008 First Committee Resolutions
Summary and Explanations
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Below is a comprehensive summary and analysis of the 54 resolutions and four decisions introduced to the 63rd UNGA First Committee. Voting is given as: for-against-abstention. The votes in the First Committee took place from 28-31 October 2008. The General Assembly adopted all but one of the texts on 2 December 2008.
Resolutions are organized using the clusters (topics) used in the First Committee, with one additional cluster for nuclear weapon free zones, and appear in the order in which they were introduced to the First Committee. Summaries and assessments for each resolution are also provided. The summaries-appearing in italicized text-attempt to characterize the contents of the resolutions, providing basic information, noting updates and changes, portraying its object and purpose, and summarizing the its key provisions. The assessments-appearing in roman text below the voting figures-provide contextual and background information, summarize any discussions relating to the resolution in the First Committee, and identify key issues.
Relating to the draft (L) number of the texts, "Rev" denotes a substantively revised version of the resolution which was circulated subsequent to its introduction as an official UN draft resolution. An asterisk following the draft number indicates that the text was introduced and then reissued during the Committee's session due to technical reasons-typically involving incorrect citations. We identify the state that introduced each resolution-normally this state would have taken the lead in drafting, consulting, and negotiating with others on the text. For lists of co-sponsors, see the UN documents.
There may be discrepancies in voting figures due to requests by delegations for their votes to be recorded after missing or making mistakes during the electronic voting procedure. The vote tallies contained below are derived from UN records for the First Committee taking into account delegations that subsequently recorded or modified their vote from the floor during the voting sessions. "Without a vote" indicates that the text was adopted by consensus without a recorded vote. In some instances, delegations declare that they will not participate in the consensus, while others prefer not to vote at all and to be counted absent.
On some resolutions, delegations request that separate votes be recorded on specific paragraphs or parts of paragraphs. In these cases, PP refers to preambular paragraph and OP refers to operative paragraph. Preambular paragraphs generally provide background and context on the subject of a resolution, identify and apply general principles of international law, and can broadly indicate the object and purpose of a resolution. Operative paragraphs contain decisions and requests, identifying action to be taken. General Assembly resolutions are not legally binding on UN member states.
For all statements, resolutions, and other documents from the First Committee, see the Reaching Critical Will website: www.reachingcriticalwill.org/political/1com/1com08/statements.html
For summaries of each week of the proceedings, see the First Committee Monitor: www.reachingcriticalwill.org/political/1com/FCM.html
Resolutions Introduced the 63rd UNGA First Committee
For each text, the table indicates its resolution and draft numbers, full title, introducing state or lead sponsor, and voting results in the First Committee and General Assembly.
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