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        General Assembly
23 December 2003

Official Records

General Assembly
Fifty-eighth session
78th plenary meeting
Tuesday, 23 December 2003, 3 p.m.
New York

President:The Hon. Julian R. Hunte .................. (Saint Lucia)

The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m.

Reports of the Second Committee

The President : The General Assembly will consider the reports of the Second Committee on agenda items 91 to 104 and 12.

I request the Rapporteur of the Second Committee, Mr. José Alberto Briz Gutiérrez of Guatemala , to introduce the reports of the Second Committee in one intervention.

Mr. Briz Gutiérrez (Guatemala ), Rapporteur of the Second Committee (spoke in Spanish): I have the honour to present for consideration the following reports of the Second Committee on the agenda items allocated to it by the General Assembly at its fifty-eighth session.


Under agenda item 103, 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”, the Second Committee recommends, in paragraph 9 of document A/58/493, the adoption of one draft resolution.


Agenda item 103

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

Report of the Second Committee (A/58/493)

The President : I now call on the representative of Israel, who wishes to speak in explanation of vote before the voting.

Mr. Sermoneta (Israel): My delegation deeply regrets that the substantive debate in the Second Committee this year was once again used as a platform from which to level accusations against Israel and to adopt a draft resolution which is completely one-sided, inaccurate and, ultimately, counterproductive.

The draft resolution before us has nothing to do with the issues addressed by the Second Committee, and it shifts the focus of our work from those activities identified by Member States as priorities. Its adoption will only invite the further politicization of the work of the Second Committee by the Palestinians, as well as by others, and will further distract us from the important work on our agenda.

As we sought this year to strengthen the Organization by aligning the work of the Second Committee with the priorities outlined in the outcomes of the major international conferences, it appears that this politically motivated item, whose impact is dubious, might have been an appropriate place from which to start the process of rationalizing and harmonizing our work.

Moreover, the draft resolution will contribute nothing to the achievement of a lasting peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, as it prejudges issues that the sides had agreed would be addressed through direct bilateral negotiations, thus undermining the bilateral spirit of the peace process.

As in past years, Israel will vote against this biased and counterproductive draft resolution. We urge other delegations to do the same.

The President : The Assembly will now take a decision on the draft resolution recommended by the Second Committee in paragraph 9 of its report.

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

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


Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), United States of America


Australia, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nauru, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga

The draft resolution was adopted by 157 votes to 4, with 10 abstentions (resolution 58/229).

The President : May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to conclude its consideration of agenda item 103?

It was so decided.


The meeting rose at 5.05 p.m.

This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

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