UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. General Assembly committee overwhelmingly approved a plan Friday to develop a new legal framework to restructure national debts and avoid the kind of speculative action that led Argentina to a second default.

The assembly's Economic and Financial Committee adopted a resolution outlining the plan — which was proposed by developing countries and strongly backed by Argentina — by a vote of 128-16 with 34 abstentions. The United States, Britain, Germany and Japan were among those voting "no."

The draft resolution is certain to be approved by the General Assembly later this month. It is a follow-up to the non-binding resolution approved by the assembly on Sept. 9 calling for the 193-member world body to adopt a new legal framework on debt restructuring.

Under the proposed plan, the General Assembly would establish a committee open to participation by all member states to negotiate a legal framework during the current session which ends next September. It invites other U.N. bodies, regional and international financial institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the private sector, civil society and academia to contribute to the committee's work.

Argentina's U.N. Ambassador Maria Cristina Perceval told the committee the draft will be "an enormous step taken by the international community" to enable all countries to negotiate the new framework.

"I am sure no one here in this room would like sovereign debt restructuring to be left to the discretion of speculative agents or to the immoral 'vulture funds,'" she said.

Argentina has been involved in a long legal battle with U.S. creditors over bonds left over from the country's record $100 billion default in 2001.

Argentina defaulted in July for the second time in 13 years after a U.S. judge ruled in favor of holdout creditors demanding some $15 billion in unpaid debts who want payment in full and refuse to provide Argentina with debt relief.

U.S. representative Terri Robl expressed concern that the resolution "would establish a mandate for an expensive U.N. process to address issues that are already being dealt with in other international institutions" including the IMF and the International Capital Markets Association.

Italian diplomat Cecilia Piccioni, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the IMF is the primary forum to discuss sovereign debt restructuring. She warned that the EU and its member states will not participate in discussion on establishing a binding legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring.