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        General Assembly
31 December 2010

Original: English

Sixty-fifth session
Official Records

Third Committee

Summary record of the 37th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 1 November 2010, at 3 p.m.

Chair: Mr. Tommo Monthe ..................................................................... (Cameroon)



Agenda item 67: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 3.25 p.m.

Agenda item 67: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued) (A/65/286 and 325)


23. Ms. Gendi (Egypt) ...


24. Turning to the issue of self-determination, she said that despite efforts to end decolonization and to implement the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, there were still peoples living under colonial rule, hence the need for greater efforts from the international community. The existence of colonialism in any form, including economic exploitation, was incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations and international human-rights instruments. The international community must also provide economic assistance to non-self-governing territories, in addition to full compensation for the economic, social and cultural consequences of their occupation. Moreover, the United Nations must ensure that economic and other activities carried out by the administering Powers would not adversely affect the interests, cultural heritage, or identity of peoples living in such territories.

25. Her delegation expressed the hope that the Secretary-General would include in his forthcoming report on the right of peoples to self-determination specific recommendations that would enable the Human Rights Council to investigate and deal with Israel’s human-rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly in light of the findings contained in the Report of the Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict and the report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. Those violations, committed by Israel in contravention of its obligations as an occupying Power under the Geneva Convention, severely undermined the ability of the Palestinian people to realize their aspiration to the establishment of an independent State, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

26. For its part, Egypt aspired to a broader United Nations engagement in order to ensure respect of the human rights of the Palestinian people and of other Arab peoples suffering under occupation. The United Nations must also participate actively, through its role in the Quartet and confidence-building efforts, in the attainment of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace founded on the principle of “land for peace”, the Arab Peace Initiative and the road map to Mideast peace.


27. Ms. Liu Lingxiao (China) ...


28. Affirming the right of all peoples to resist foreign aggression and encroachments on their independence and national dignity, she called on the international community, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and international law, to protect and promote the right to self-determination and to work for coordinated progress in the areas of peace, development and human rights. China supported the Palestinian people in its untiring struggle for self-determination and urged the international community to play a more active role in seeking a comprehensive and just settlement of the question of Palestine, so that lasting peace and stability could be achieved in the Middle East.

29. Mr. Al Nsour (Jordan) expressed his delegation’s solidarity with the people of Turkey in the aftermath of the deadly attack on that country and reiterated Jordan’s rejection of all forms of terrorism. As a Middle Eastern country, Jordanians were well aware of the importance of the right to self-determination and of ensuring the security of peoples living under foreign occupation. Nevertheless, the realization of that right remained a fantasy for the Palestinian people, which had been attempting in vain to establish a State on its own land for over 60 years. Great strides had been made in enshrining recognition of fundamental rights in international law, but that progress did not extend to the right to self-determination, a condition for the realization of all other rights.

30. In that connection, he noted the failure on the part of the international community to facilitate the realization of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, despite its drive to promote human rights in general. Such neglect would lead to a flawed understanding of other rights by peoples in the region.

31. Jordan, which had signed a bilateral peace agreement with Israel, renewed its call on that country to resume negotiations and cease illegal unilateral measures such as settlement activity and forced expulsion of civilian populations, in addition to guaranteeing the right of return or compensation to millions of Palestinian refugees.

32. Ms. Alsaleh (Syrian Arab Republic) ...


34. Racist resolutions passed by Israel had led to an increase in discriminatory practices and an overall deterioration of the situation in the region, the most recent being the declaration of allegiance to the Jewish State, a clear instance of Israeli fascism. Another instance of Israeli barbarism in dealings with non-Jews was the recent killing of two Palestinian children by the vehicle of the head of a Zionist settler association in the occupied Palestinian territory and the thoroughly documented sadistic treatment of a blindfolded and bound Palestinian woman prisoner by Israeli occupation forces. Such crimes demanded immediate action on the part of the international community, and they attested to the racist reality of Israel’s colonialist settler apartheid system, which was founded on religious legends and superstition. Failure to act would result in increased human rights violations and the transformation of Israel into a racist entity by official constitutional decree.

35. Turning to the right to self-determination, she noted with dismay the arbitrary measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in violation of that right. It was indeed regrettable that the United Nations had been unable to use all means at its disposal to guarantee that sacred and inalienable right of peoples living under colonial rule, and that Israel continued — with the assistance of world Powers — to prevent millions of Palestinians from exercising that right. The international community had a moral and political obligation and, indeed, a debt to the Palestinian people in that regard, as their suffering dated as far back as the United Nations itself.


61. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine) said that the work of the United Nations in supporting liberation from colonial and foreign rule remained incomplete as long as the Palestinians’ right to self-determination was violated by the Israeli occupation.

62. For more than 40 years there had been systematic human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. The Palestinians had been deprived of self-determination and sovereignty over their land and subjected to displacement, killing, injury and other affronts. The situation in the Gaza Strip was especially deplorable. For more than three years, Israel had collectively punished more than 1.5 million Palestinians in occupied Gaza. Furthermore, more than half of Palestinians existed as stateless refugees, deprived of their right to return for more than six decades.

63. As Israel’s military occupation had become entrenched, its illegality and apartheid-like nature had deepened. That was evident in its expansion — especially in Occupied East Jerusalem — of more than 120 illegal settlements, its expansionist Wall and its hundreds of checkpoints. Israel had pursued those policies in contravention of international law, United Nations resolutions and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), at a time of tremendous efforts to foster genuine peace negotiations.

64. The Palestinians’ human rights were still being violated by the nearly 500,000 illegal settlers, many of them armed and fanatical. Israel’s constant failure to hold them accountable for their crimes had ultimately encouraged further attacks with complete impunity.

65. Israel also continued its illegal construction of the Wall with a view to advancing its land grab. Its route, 85 per cent on occupied Palestinian territory, set the stage for further annexation of territory containing most of the settlers and key aquifers. The International Court of Justice had concluded that the Wall and other previous measures severely impeded the Palestinians’ right to self-determination.

66. Israel’s illegal settlements and the Wall were unquestionably fragmenting Palestinian territory and making the two-State solution and the Palestinians’ right to self-determination nearly impossible to achieve. She appealed for real international efforts to end those violations.

67. The Palestinians wanted a decent future free of occupation, violence and pain. They remained resolute in defending their rights: self-determination, an end to Israel’s occupation and an independent Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

68. Mr. Zeidan (Observer for Palestine) said that since 1948 the Palestinian people had suffered racism at the hands of Israel and their individual rights had been desecrated simply because they were not Jewish.

69. The longest-standing discrimination was against refugees, who had been denied their right to return to their homes since 1948. Since then, Palestinian refugees had been living in camps while Israel had brought Jews to the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.

70. Palestinian citizens of Israel — one fifth of the population — had been targeted by racist laws. Non-Jews seeking citizenship were obliged to swear a fascist “loyalty oath” to the “democratic and Jewish character” of the State. He wondered how a State could identify itself as democratic when that law only applied to certain groups. For seven years, Palestinian citizens of Israel had also been banned from marrying non-citizens. The discriminatory laws included the “anti-Nakba bill”, presented by the party led by Israel’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, who had frequently called for the expulsion of Palestinian citizens from Israel. A further racist law would allow a community to reject tenants for not fitting into its social fabric; that would create solely Jewish villages from which Arabs would be excluded, while Palestinians in Israel had been prevented from developing their own communities since 1948.

71. Israel had demolished the tents and huts of Bedouin Arabs in a village in the Negev and in East Jerusalem, in total disregard for their way of life. Israeli settlers received funding while Palestinians and Bedouins suffered from underfunding and lack of services.

72. For 43 years Israel had violated international law in the occupied Palestinian territory by attempting, among other things, to Judaize Jerusalem and its surroundings. Israelis had been transferred to settlements on confiscated Palestinian land; Palestinian homes had been demolished and hundreds of Palestinians deported to make way for the settlers.

73. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1996 and the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid of 1973 criminalized actions seeking the “domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons”. Israel’s violation of those conventions provided ample proof of its apartheid policies.

74. The past two years had seen an unprecedented rise in settler attacks on Palestinians and their property and crops. Most worrying were the increasingly cowardly hate crimes in which Israeli settlers — under the protection of occupying forces — burned Palestinian mosques, churches and schools, leaving behind racist slurs and slogans.

75. He called on the international community to redouble its efforts to combat racism in all its forms. The time had come to end all Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians and seek justice for them.


80. Mr. Yahiaoui (Algeria) ...


82. The right of peoples to self-determination was a founding principle of the United Nations, which he urged to persevere in its decolonization efforts. Supporting self-determination by referendum was a key principle of Algeria’s foreign policy. It was worrying that the right to self-determination remained inaccessible to the Palestinians and to the peoples of the 16 non-autonomous territories on the United Nations decolonization list, including the Saharawi people.

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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