African, Caribbean, Latin American and Pacific states rejected the granting of additional rights in the UN to the EU



A UN General Assembly resolution proposed by the EU that would have seen the bloc gain special status on a par with member states has been narrowly defeated, with a majority of nations voting to delay the motion. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy will now not be permitted to address the UN chamber in New York this week as the EU had hoped.

The defeat was brought about by African, Caribbean, Latin American and Pacific states who rejected the granting of additional rights in the UN to the EU but not to other regional groupings such as the Caribbean Community, the African Union, or the South American Union.

They appeared to resent the EU requesting special observer status and argued that other groups should be given similar rights.

Suriname's ambassador, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community, said that the Community could “conceivably” request a similar status. “A resolution of such importance ought to be adopted by consensus” following an “in-depth exchange of views”, he said.

Lesotho's UN ambassador, speaking on behalf of the African group, said that the draft resolution tabled by the EU was a “very important matter” that would set a “precedent in the UN system” and that a vote should therefore be deferred to allow for more debate.

Nauru's UN ambassador said during the debate, “we already struggle to make our voice heard”.

* European Voice
* EUobserver