Adopting a 176-item agenda for its annual session that opened last week the day after the terrorist attacks against the United States, the United Nations General Assembly today decided to move rapidly into a plenary debate on combating terrorism.
The decision that the initial debate on the item "Measures to eliminate international terrorism" would be held "as soon as possible" was taken following a proposal by Belgium, on behalf of the European Union, on the understanding that the technical aspects of the item would continue to be discussed in the Sixth Committee, which deals with legal issues.
The Assembly was also informed by its President, Han Seung-soo of the Republic of Korea, that its general debate, originally scheduled for 24 September to 5 October, would be postponed to later dates.
This year's discussions will include new topics, such as the establishment of an international convention against human cloning, the administration of justice at the UN, observance of the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict, and cooperation between the UN and the Pacific Islands Forum, among others.
In that connection, the Assembly decided that its Main Committees should meet in substantive sessions as soon as possible during the current session. The first item the Assembly would consider in plenary would be the report of Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the work of the Organization, to be taken up on 24 September.
Among other procedures matters, the Assembly decided that its session should recess no later than 11 December and would close on Monday, 9 September 2002.