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        General Assembly
15 December 2002

Original: French

Fifty-seventh session
Official Records

Third Committee

Summary record of the 45th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Tuesday, 12 November 2002, at 10 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. Wenaweser ................................................................... (Liechtenstein)


Agenda item 109: Human rights questions (continued)

(b) Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms (continued)

(c) Human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives (continued)

(e) Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.

Agenda item 109: Human rights questions (continued)

(b) Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms (continued) (A/57/134, A/57/138, A/57/140, A/57/182, A/57/205 and Add.1, A/57/274, A/57/275, A/57/277, A/57/283, A/57/311 and Add.1, A/57/323, A/57/356, A/57/357, A/57/369, A/57/371, A/57/384, A/57/385, A/57/394, A/57/446, A/57/458-S/2002/1125, A/57/484, A/C.3/57/7)

(c) Human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives (continued) (A/57/230, A/57/284, A/57/290 and Corr.1, A/57/292, A/57/309, A/57/325, A/57/326, A/57/345, A/57/349, A/57/366 and Add.1, A/57/433, A/57/437, A/C.3/57/5)

(e) Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (continued) (A/57/36, A/57/446)


5. Canada was deeply concerned by the continuing violence in the Middle East and by the indiscriminate attacks against the civilian population which violated both humanitarian and international law. It urged Israel and all Palestinians to pursue actions consistent with the common goal of two independent, viable and democratic States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. ...


20. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine), stressing the importance her delegation attached to the issue of human rights and commending the international community’s progress in promoting recognition of human dignity and of the equal rights of all human beings, said it was necessary to continue to reaffirm individual and collective rights, including the rights of the deprived and poor, and the rights to life, development, freedom and independence, and to make them a reality for all.

21. Since the Palestinian people was denied its most basic rights and fundamental freedoms, her delegation deemed it necessary to address before the Third Committee a matter which was also before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee), under agenda item 77.

22. For 35 years the Palestinian people had been subjected to Israel’s occupation of its land and the denial of its natural and inalienable rights, in flagrant violation of international legitimacy, international law and international humanitarian law. Moreover, Palestinian refugees, uprooted and forced to live in the diaspora, continued to be deprived of their most basic human and national rights.

23. Her delegation welcomed the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/57/36) and that of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 (A/57/366 and Add.1), whose tireless efforts attested to the international community’s determination to address the plight of the Palestinian people.

24. Since 28 September 2000, the war crimes, State terrorism and systematic human rights violations committed by the Israeli occupying forces had been the daily lot of the Palestinian people. In the space of two years, nearly 2,000 Palestinians, including women, children, and elderly people, had been killed and over 35,000 others injured.

25. Throughout the period under consideration, the Israeli occupying forces had waged a large-scale military assault, unprecedented in its scope and intensity, against the Palestinian people. They had reoccupied or raided towns, villages and refugee camps and had collectively punished the entire Palestinian population, using the excessive and indiscriminate force of all their heavy weaponry to attack and in some cases, bombard heavily populated areas, subjecting the Palestinian people to extensive loss not only of life, but also of property. The Israeli occupation forces had also continued the practice of extrajudicial executions and often wilfully killed innocent bystanders and civilians, many of them children.

26. The military siege and the curfews had further exacerbated the socio-economic situation. During the period in question, over 700,000 Palestinians had been unable to go to work or attend school, buy food or receive medical care or even humanitarian aid intended for them, and the Israeli occupying forces had constantly subjected the Palestinian people to humiliation and harassment at roadblocks and checkpoints.

27. The basic rights of Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons continued to be violated, including through administrative detention, mistreatment and torture. To arrest 7,000 Palestinians, humiliate them and subject them to inhuman treatment was to deliberately punish the entire Palestinian population, including children. Moreover, as the Special Rapporteur had stated in his report (A/57/366 and Add.1), the occupying forces had also resorted to the reprehensible practice of using human shields while carrying out military operations in Palestinian cities, villages and refugee camps.

28. Stressing that Israel’s 35-year settlement campaign throughout the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, was a flagrant violation of international law and international humanitarian law, her delegation referred to the illegal establishment of over 400,000 Israeli settlers, the confiscation of land and property, and the exploitation and theft of natural resources, thus undermining Palestine’s territorial integrity and establishing a form of colonization. The violence of illegal armed settlers, especially during the previous two years, had caused many deaths and injuries among the Palestinian population and sometimes threatened their means of subsistence.

29. Her delegation emphasized the urgent need to end Israel’s violations of the basic rights of the Palestinian people, a need the Special Rapporteur had pointed out after his visit to the occupied territory. Only an end to the occupation and colonization, and the establishment of a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital would assure the Palestinian people of the rights for which they had yearned for so many years. A comprehensive solution to the current situation called for a just peace, and only such a peace could become the genuine expression of the ultimate right of humankind as a whole: the right to a quality of life founded on security, dignity and freedom.

30. In conclusion, she asked what the international community was waiting for in order to intervene.


The meeting rose at 11.30 a.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.

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