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Souveraineté permanente du peuple palestinien sur ses ressources naturelles - débat et actions de l'AG - Communiqué de presse (extraits) Français
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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
General Assembly
22 December 2005

General Assembly

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixtieth General Assembly
68th Meeting* (AM)


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The General Assembly met this morning to follow up on implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, and to consider the reports of its Second Committee (Economic and Financial).


Reports of the Second Committee

Before the Assembly were reports relating to sovereignty of occupied Arab peoples over their natural resources; information and communication technologies; macroeconomic policy questions; financing for development; sustainable development; human settlements; globalization and interdependence; countries in special situations; eradication of poverty; operational activities for development; training and research; and humanitarian and disaster relief.

Permanent Sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab Population in the Occupied Syrian Golan over their Natural Resources

The Second Committee’s report on that agenda item (document A/60/484) contains a draft resolution entitled permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, which the Committee approved on 2 December by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 9 abstentions (Albania, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu).

By the terms of that draft, the Assembly would call on Israel not to exploit, damage, cause loss or depletion of, or endanger natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the occupied Syrian Golan.  The Assembly would recognize the Palestinian people’s right to claim restitution as a result of such actions, resulting from illegal measures by Israel, expressing the hope that the issue would be dealt with in final negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.

Also by that text, the Assembly would stress that the wall being constructed by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is contrary to international law and is seriously depriving the Palestinian people of their natural resources, and call for full compliance with legal obligations mentioned in the 9 July 2004 advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice and General Assembly resolution ES-10/15.

By further terms, the Assembly would call upon Israel to cease the dumping of waste materials in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the occupied Syrian Golan, which gravely threatens their water and land resources, and poses an environmental hazard and health threat to the civilian populations.  It would call on Israel to comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, with respect to altering the character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.


Sustainable Development


A draft on the International Year of Deserts and Desertification, 2006, approved on 16 December by a recorded vote of 111 in favour to 1 against (United States), with 42 abstentions, would have the Assembly reiterate its call to Member States and international organizations to support activities related to desertification, including land degradation, to be organized by affected countries, in particular African and least developed countries.  The Assembly would also reiterate its call to countries to contribute to the Convention to Combat Desertification, and to undertake special initiatives in observance of the Year.  Further, it would request the Executive Secretary of the Convention to make available to the Parties to the Convention and to observers, a consolidated list of all activities reported, including lessons learned and best practices, in order to coordinate information and avoid overlapping of activities.

By a related draft resolution, approved on 16 December by a recorded vote of 83 in favour to 34 against, with 30 abstentions, the Assembly would amend the related draft with a new preambular paragraph, welcoming the decision of the Government of Israel to host an international conference on “Deserts and Desertification:  Challenges and Opportunities”, at Be’er Sheva in November 2006.

Another related text, approved on 16 December by a recorded vote of 48 in favour to 29 against, with 74 abstentions would have the Assembly add a new preambular paragraph, after the third preambular paragraph, reading:  “Deeply concerned also at the extensive destruction by Israel, the occupying Power, of agricultural land and orchards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the uprooting of a vast number of fruit-bearing trees.”


Action on Second Committee Reports

ABDULMALIK ALSHABIBI ( Yemen), Rapporteur of the Second Committee, introduced the Committee’s reports.

The Assembly first took up the Second Committee’s report on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (document A/60/484).  It adopted the related draft resolution by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 6 against (Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 8 abstentions (Albania, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu).  (See Annex I.)

Speaking after the vote, the representative of Israel expressed regret over the adoption of the resolution, which presented a one-sided, unbalanced and inaccurate view of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and abused the Committee’s mandate.  It addressed issues that did not enhance the Committee’s work or offer a solution, serving no purpose for any party.  It also undermined the effectiveness, fairness and integrity of the United Nations, as well as an important process that had been agreed upon by the Quartet, calling for bilateral negotiations towards a lasting peace agreement.  As in previous years, Israel had voted against the resolution.

The representative of Syria said the Assembly had again reaffirmed the rights of the Palestinian people and heard representatives state that the occupying Power had ignored the international community’s call for justice and peace.  The Assembly had also expressed the international community’s concern over the occupying Power’s abuse of the region’s natural resources.

The Observer for Palestine said the vote sent an important message of international support to a people living without access to their own resources, giving them hope that their rights would be restored.  The international community had an obligation to protect people who had been deprived of their rights, by legal and all other means.


By a recorded vote of 54 in favour to 33 against, with 68 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted preambular paragraph 4 of the draft on the International Year of Deserts and Desertification, 2006.  (See Annex V.)

The representatives of Brazil and Myanmar said their votes in favour of that preambular paragraph had not been reflected on the board.

It then adopted preambular paragraph 7 of the desertification draft by a recorded vote of 97 in favour to 27 against, with 25 abstentions, before adopting, the entire text by a recorded vote of 120 in favour to 1 against (Syria), with 47 abstentions.  (See Annexes VI and VII respectively.)

Speaking after those actions, the representative of the United States said he had abstained because the text, which should have been a positive measure, had been flawed by the politicizing of preambular paragraph 4, relating to Palestinian lands, and preambular paragraph 7 regarding an international conference to be hosted by Israel.

The representative of Israel said that the language in preambular paragraph 7, regarding the conference that his country would hold, made clear that it was being held in support of the upcoming International Year.  It was regrettable that one party had rejected such an important initiative for political reasons.  Those who had voted in favour of the resolution had sent a strong message supporting measures contained in the resolution.

The representative of Syria said he had voted against the resolution because of the politicization of the text by one party, and because the text was unacceptable.  It was hypocritical of Israel to hold a conference on desertification while it was destroying the desert with its tanks and settlement activities, as well as nuclear activities.  The sovereignty of the Palestinian people had been affirmed, as had their sovereign right to resources on their property.  The insertion of the paragraph on Israel’s destruction of Palestinian resources was appropriate and a conference on the issue would be held in Algeria.

The representative of Guatemala said preambular paragraph 4 on Israel’s destruction of land was irrelevant to the resolution.   Guatemala had voted for the earlier resolution regarding the Palestinian people and their sovereign right to their natural resources.  The issue belonged in that resolution and was out of place in the present text.

The representative of the Sudan said he had voted “yes” on paragraph 7, but had intended to vote “no”.  He had abstained on the resolution as a whole.

The representative of Saudi Arabia said he supported paragraph 4, but was against paragraph 7.  That should be clarified in the record.

The representative of Colombia said he had voted in favour of paragraph 4, but it appeared as an abstention.

The representative of Qatar said he did not have the text in Arabic and would have voted “no” on paragraph 7.

The representative of Namibia said she had missed the vote.

The representative of Nigeria said that while his country was committed to the International Year, he had abstained from voting on paragraph 4, but that did not mean he had shifted position on the question of Israel and Palestine -- the two should exist side by side as equals.

The Observer for Palestine said it was regrettable that consensus could not be reached on a resolution of such importance.  The Palestinian vote against the paragraph referring to the conference in Israel was not a political statement but rather a balancing out of an imbalanced resolution.  The same applied to the Arab Group’s sponsorship of paragraph 4.  The Palestinian position was a matter of principle and not a political attitude.

By a recorded vote of 168 in favour to 2 against (Japan, United States), and no abstentions, the Assembly then adopted operative paragraph 18 of the draft on implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa  .(See Annex VIII.)

Following that action, the representative of Paraguay said she had missed the vote.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly then approved the draft as a whole.



Vote on Permanent Sovereignty over Natural Resources

The draft resolution on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (document A/60/484) was adopted by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 6 against, with
8 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States.

Abstain:  Albania, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu.

Absent:  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Honduras, Kiribati, Malawi, Niger, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Vanuatu.


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For information media • not an official record

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