Universal Congress on the Panama Canal, G.A. res. 50/12, U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 49) at 19, U.N. Doc. A/50/49 (Vol. I) (1995).
The General Assembly, Recalling its resolutions 49/28 of 6 December 1994 on the law of the sea, 49/99 of 19 December 1994 on international trade and development and 49/131 of 19 December 1994 on the declaration of 1998 as International Year of the Ocean, and resolutions 2.5 of 16 November 1993, adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization at its twenty-seventh session, and 1994/48 of the Economic and Social Council of 29 July 1994, both on the International Year of the Ocean, Bearing in mind that on 7 September 1977 Mr. Jimmy Carter, President of the United States of America, and General Omar Torrijos, Head of Government of the Republic of Panama, signed in Washington the Treaty concerning the Permanent Neutrality and Operation of the Panama Canal and the Panama Canal Treaty, known as the Torrijos-Carter treaties, which stipulate that, at noon on 31 December 1999, the Canal, including all improvements, is to come under the control of the Republic of Panama, which shall assume total responsibility for its management, operation and maintenance, Emphasizing the significance of the Washington Declaration, signed on 7 September 1977 by the heads of State, heads of Government and representatives of the American republics, which recognizes "the importance for the hemisphere, for trade and for world shipping of the agreements designed to ensure the accessibility and continued neutrality of the Panama Canal", Welcoming the plans of the Government of Panama to hold a Universal Congress on the Panama Canal in Panama City in September 1997, with the participation of Governments, international bodies, public and private academic institutions, maritime users and international shipping companies, to examine jointly the role which the Panama Canal should play in the twenty-first century, Underlining the fact that the International Congress for Study of the Interocean Canal (Congres international d'etudes du canal interoceanique) was convened by the Societe de geographie de Paris, met from 15 to 29 May 1879 in the French capital, under the presidency of Count Ferdinand de Lesseps, builder of the Suez Canal, and culminated in the resolution that the canal should be built along the route traced between the Gulf of Limon on the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Panama on the Pacific Ocean, Cognizant of the fact that, in keeping with the spirit of a new global alliance for sustainable development, it is necessary to formulate a balanced, integrated approach to environmental, trade and development issues, Convinced, therefore, that the Universal Congress on the Panama Canal will promote international cooperation towards ensuring an orderly, sustainable development of the uses and resources of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the rational exploitation and development of the Canal watershed and coastal areas, bearing in mind that Panama's coastline on the two oceans stretches for 2,988.3 kilometres in all, of which 1,700.6 kilometres are on the Pacific Ocean and 1,287.7 are on the Caribbean Sea, Noting with appreciation the progress of the Tripartite Commission, consisting of the Republic of Panama, the United States of America and Japan, in the plans for the construction in the Isthmus of Panama of a sea-level canal or the enlargement of the present lock canal, Reaffirming its resolution 31/142 of 17 December 1976, on the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Amphictyonic Congress of Panama, in which it recalled that Simon Bolivar, the Liberator, referred on several occasions to the need for a possible opening of a canal in Panama, which "will shorten distances throughout the world, strengthen commercial ties" between the continents and promote the exchange of products "from the four corners of the globe", Noting with satisfaction that by its resolution 49/131, 1998 was proclaimed International Year of the Ocean, during which year the Lisbon World Exposition is to be held, Emphasizing that the Universal Congress on the Panama Canal has among its priority aims the promotion of international cooperation with a view to achieving an orderly, sustainable development of the uses and resources of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, 1. Supports the initiative of the Government of Panama in convening the Universal Congress on the Panama Canal, with the participation of Governments, international bodies, public and private academic institutions, maritime users and international shipping companies, to examine jointly the role which the Panama Canal should play in the twenty-first century; 2. Requests Member States to assist generously in this undertaking; 3. Urges the competent organs, programmes and specialized agencies of the United Nations system, in particular, the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Maritime Organization, to study the possibility of providing assistance from within existing resources for the organization of the Universal Congress on the Panama Canal; 4. Emphasizes the importance of the Universal Congress on the Panama Canal and expresses the hope that its results will contribute to the growth of world trade and to sustained economic growth and sustainable development throughout the world; 5. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session a report on the implementation of the present resolution; 6. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-first session the item entitled "Universal Congress on the Panama Canal".