In a series of actions on legal matters, the United Nations General Assembly today decided to establish a panel to study the elaboration of an international convention against the reproductive cloning of human beings and called for continued work on a draft accord against terrorism.
Acting on the recommendation of its legal (Sixth) committee, the Assembly approved without a vote a resolution envisaging the start of formal negotiations on an international convention on the issue once agreement was reached on a negotiating mandate. The treaty was proposed by France and Germany, whose representative told a committee debate that the threat posed to human dignity by reproductive cloning was a sufficient reason in itself for the international community to strive for a legally binding instrument against it.
The resolution on cloning was one of 21 decisions and resolutions adopted today on the reports of the Sixth Committee.
By another resolution, the Assembly decided that its own Ad Hoc Committee on terrorism should continue work towards a comprehensive convention on the subject at a session to be held from 28 January to 1 February 2002. The Ad Hoc Committee would also continue its work on a draft convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism.
On the subject of terrorism, the Sixth Committee's rapporteur, Mahmoud Mohmed Al-Naman of Saudi Arabia, told the Assembly the "most important achievement" of the Committee during the current session was its approval, without a vote, of a draft resolution on measures to eliminate international terrorism. The unanimous approach indicated the international community's determination to suppress that dangerous phenomenon, "a position supported by all divine faiths," he said.
By adopting the Sixth Committee's recommendations, the General Assembly strongly condemned all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, wherever and by whomsoever committed. Reaffirming its strong condemnation of the heinous acts of terrorism against the United States on
11 September, the Assembly reiterated its call upon States not to finance, encourage, or provide training for terrorist activities.
Also today, the Assembly adopted and opened for signature or accession the UN Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade and called upon all Governments to become party to it. The text, finalized by the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), was annexed to one of three draft resolutions related to the report of the Commission on its session this year. The main objective of the Convention on the Assignment of Receivables in International Trade is to increase the availability of lower-cost credit to manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and consumers of goods and services.