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        General Assembly
11 December 2002

Original: Spanish

Fifty-sixth session
Official Records

Third Committee
Summary record of the 47th meeting

Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 21 November 2001, at 10 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. Al-Hinai ....................................................................... (Oman)



Agenda item 118: Right of peoples to self-determination


The meeting was called to order at 10.25 a.m.


Agenda item 118: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued)


Draft resolution A/C.3/56/L.33: The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

34. The Chairman informed the Committee that draft resolution A/C.3/56/L.33 had no programme budget implications. He announced that Chile and Guinea had become sponsors at the time when the resolution was introduced and that subsequently China, the Congo, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Suriname had also become sponsors.

35. Mr. Roshdy (Egypt), speaking as the main sponsor of the draft resolution, said that many other States wished to become sponsors, namely Argentina, Belize, Cameroon, Croatia, India, Madagascar and Poland. He was aware that the pressure on members of the Committee created by the fact that its meetings coincided with the general debate of the General Assembly had prevented some States from taking part in the preparation of the draft resolution, which he nevertheless hoped would be adopted by consensus, since it represented a message from the Third Committee of the General Assembly and the United Nations regarding the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the peaceful co-existence of the peoples of the region.

36. The Chairman announced that Armenia, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Swaziland and Togo had become sponsors of the draft resolution.

37. Mr. Zoumanigui (Guinea) reminded the Committee that his delegation had been one of the original sponsors of the draft resolution.

38. Mr. Mun Jong Chol (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), referring to the vote on paragraph 1 of draft resolution A/C.3/56/L.29, said that his delegation had voted in favour and not against.

39. The Chairman said that the Committee would take note of that fact and that the necessary correction would be made.

40. Ms. Booto (Democratic Republic of the Congo) said that, had she been present during the voting on paragraph 1 of draft resolution A/C.3/56/L.29, she would have voted in favour.

41. The Chairman said that the Committee would take note of her remark.

42. At the request of the United States of America, a recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.3/56/L.33 on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’ Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, 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, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Israel, United States of America.



43. Draft resolution A/C.3/56/L.33 was adopted by 152 votes to 2.

44. Mr. Millo (Israel) said that Israel recognized the right of peoples to self-determination. The wishes of the Palestinian people could be realized through negotiations, but they must decide whether they wished to negotiate with Israel or with the United Nations. Just values could not prevail if bombs became an acceptable means of non-compliance with an agreed process. Israel would continue to oppose resolutions that tended to prejudge the outcome of negotiations.

45. Mr. Laurin (Canada) said that, while he fully supported the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people and the establishment of a Palestinian State, it would benefit both the Palestinian people and the other peoples of the region if that right were exercised via the peace process. Canada had voted in favour of the draft resolution because the latter supported the right of the Palestinian people and stressed the importance of the negotiating process for the exercise of that right. He also welcomed the fact that it affirmed the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders and echoed the call for an immediate resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process.

46. Ms. Taracena (Guatemala) said that, although she had voted in favour of the draft resolution because it recognized the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the need for that goal to be achieved through the establishment of their own State, she believed that the exercise of that right should not interfere with the right to self-determination of the State of Israel, which meant that it would have to be achieved within the framework of agreements between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

47. Mr. Rogov (Russian Federation) said that he supported the draft resolution and was in favour of the Middle East process, which was based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), and on other agreements which provided for the exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their own State, in secure conditions for all peoples of the region.

48. Mr. Heyward (Australia) said that he had voted in favour of the draft resolution because as a whole it represented a clear restatement of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. However, had a vote been taken by paragraph, he would have abstained on paragraph 1, because he believed that the only just, lasting and comprehensive solution must come from the parties themselves and be the outcome of a process of peaceful negotiations based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the principle of “land for peace”. Under the current circumstances, an end to violence and an early resumption of negotiations were more important than ever.

49. Ms. Barghouti (Observer for Palestine) said that the adoption of the draft resolution was highly important, particularly at the current juncture, since it affirmed clearly the right of the Palestinian people to their own independent State. It was also significant because of the firm and broad support it had commanded, in terms of both sponsors and votes. She regretted that the United States had again opposed the draft resolution and hoped that it would change its approach in the near future in line with the new stance taken by its Government, as announced by President Bush during the general debate in the General Assembly and confirmed by the United States Secretary of State, Mr. Powell, who had recently expressed his firm support for the establishment of a viable Palestinian State and had asked Israel to end its occupation.

50. The real problem continued to be the stance on the issue taken by Israel, especially with regard to the need to settle the question within the context of the Middle East peace process. The Palestinian Authority took the opposite point of view, believing in other words that, by opposing the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, Israel was violating an essential aspect of the agreements, namely the mutual recognition of the two parties, and was thus jeopardizing the foundations of the peace process. That process was not a vehicle that would allow Israel to continue oppressing the Palestinian people and occupying their territory, but one that would lead to a lasting peace and co-existence based on equality and respect for the right to self-determination, which did not derive from any agreements but was a natural and inalienable right under the Charter of the United Nations and many other relevant instruments.

51. Mr. Roshdy (Egypt) expressed the hope that the Committee had deliberated on the matter for the last time and that the following year the Palestinian people would be able to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination as part of the peace process.

52. Mr. Maartens (Belgium), speaking on behalf of the European Union, the associated countries Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey, and, in addition, Iceland and Norway, said he had voted in favour of the draft resolution because the European Union upheld the unconditional right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the possibility of establishing their own State. He called on the parties to seek a negotiated solution in good faith on the basis of existing agreements and in accordance with the conditions laid down in the Mitchell Report, without prejudice to the aforementioned right, which could not be subject to any veto. The establishment of a Palestinian State offered Israel’s best guarantee of security and acceptance as an equal partner within the region.


The meeting rose at 1.15 p.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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