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UN votes for better cooperation with PIF but China, Indonesia abstain

On Pacific Beat with Catherine Graue

Download Pacific: UN votes for better cooperation with PIF (1.98 MB)Download 1.98 MB

With a week to go until the annual Pacific Islands Forum leaders’ meeting in Tuvalu, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution on enhancing the UN’s cooperation with the Pacific Islands Forum — the region’s peak body.

The vote was carried with 137 members in favour, and none voted against it.

But there were 12 abstentions, and among those countries which chose not to vote were China and Indonesia, who are both high-level partners of the Pacific Islands Forum.

The full text of the resolution is yet to be released but in a statement, the UN said the General Assembly urged the UN and the Pacific Islands Forum to strengthen their joint pursuit of sustainable development outcomes, while also underlining the need for coherent approaches to build resilience to to extreme weather in the region.

Similar resolutions have been adopted in the past — the last was in 2017.

The resolution follows the historic visit by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the Pacific in May, when he met with Forum leaders.

According to the UN’s statement on the resolution, China’s representative said the negotiation’s coordinator had failed to consider his delegation’s contributions and the concerns of other states, which is why China abstained.

Indonesia’s representative said his delegation abstained for several reasons, one of which was the resolution’s reference to the 2017 PIF communique.

Indonesia’s representative also said he regretted that one member of the Pacific Islands Forum continued to interfere with Indonesia’s domestic affairs, which is likely a reference to Vanuatu, which is the most vocal supporter of the West Papuan independence cause in the Pacific Islands Forum.Duration: 4min 19secBroadcast: Tue 6 Aug 2019, 6:00am

Source: ABC Net

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