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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/50/PV.79
4 December 1995

United Nations

General Assembly Official Records
Fiftieth Session
79th plenary meeting
Monday, 4 December 1995, 3 p.m.
New York
________________________________________________________________________________________

President: Mr. Diogo Freitas do Amaral.................. (Portugal)

The meeting was called to order at 3.30 p.m.

Agenda item 44 (continued)

The situation in the Middle East

Report of the Secretary-General (A/50/574)

Draft resolutions (A/50/L.24, A/50/L/37 and A/50/L.38)

The President: This afternoon, the General Assembly will continue its consideration of agenda item 44 for the purpose of taking action on the draft resolutions submitted under the item.

I call on the representative of Norway as one of the sponsors of draft resolution A/50/L.24.

Mr. Aass (Norway): I wish to announce that since the introduction of draft resolution A/50/L.24, the following countries have become co-sponsors of the draft resolution: Albania, Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Djibouti, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Honduras, Iceland, India, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Federated States of Micronesia, Morocco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Samoa, Senegal, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The President: Before we proceed to take action on draft resolution A/50/L.37, I wish to announce that, since the introduction of that draft resolution, Bahrain and Oman have become co-sponsors.

Moreover, before we proceed to take action on draft resolution A/50/L.38, I wish to announce that, since the introduction of that draft resolution, the following countries have become co-sponsors: Bahrain, Djibouti, Mauritania, Morocco and Oman.

We will now proceed to consider draft resolutions A/50/L.24, A/50/L.37 and A/50/L.38.

Several representatives wish to make statements in explanation of vote before the voting.

May I remind delegations that explanations of vote are limited to 10 minutes and should be made by delegations from their seats.

Mr. Moubarak (Lebanon): As it did last year, my delegation will vote against the draft resolution contained in document A/50/L.24.

Lebanon, which wholeheartedly participated in the Middle East peace process launched in Madrid on 30 October 1991, is the country which has suffered the most from the Arab-Israeli conflict. Thus we feel that we have much to gain from the conclusion of the just, lasting and comprehensive peace that we seek to attain in the region.

However, the draft resolution before us, despite our efforts with its sponsors, failed to address our particular concern, which is the implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978) calling for Israel to withdraw forthwith its forces from all Lebanese territory to the internationally recognized boundaries of Lebanon. Real peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved without this prerequisite. We have reiterated this point time and again, whether in Madrid, in the bilateral peace talks held at Washington, or in every other international forum.

Once again, I should like to recall that Lebanon participated in the Madrid Peace Conference and the subsequent bilateral talks in Washington on the basis of Security Council resolution 425 (1978) in order to end the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon. This was based on the clear understanding that the Middle East peace process would provide the framework for Israel finally to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978), which it has refused to do for the last 17 years and, in particular, since the beginning of the peace process four years ago.

Furthermore, the continuation of the Israeli occupation of Southern Lebanon, the daily acts of aggression committed by the Israeli forces against Lebanese civilians and the declarations of Israeli officials at the highest level do not give us any assurances on Israeli compliance with the terms of the resolution.

The violent situation prevailing in South Lebanon stresses the complete failure of the concept of the security zone established by Israel. Moreover, the numerous attacks launched by the Israeli army in the north of that zone underline again, and eloquently, the failure of that concept.

We firmly believe that only the implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978) will be conducive to peace and security in South Lebanon.

Security Council resolution 425 (1978) is a clear-cut resolution. Indeed, the Security Council, since 1978, has constantly renewed the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). No peace in the Middle East will prevail as long as Israel occupies South Lebanon and the Golan. Israel must withdraw fully from South Lebanon in conformity with Security Council resolution 425 (1978), and from the Golan up to the 4 June 1967 line in conformity with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), if there is to be a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region.

As an essential participant in the Middle East peace process, Lebanon is casting a negative vote on the draft resolution before us. The international community will measure fully the meaning and the importance of our vote, which underlines clearly and without any shadow of a doubt that our position in the bilateral peace talks remains constant and unshakeable. We reiterate our firm demand for the full implementation of Security Council 425 (1978).

Furthermore, my delegation has reservations regarding the third, fourth and seventh preambular paragraphs and operative paragraphs 5 and 8 of the draft resolution, which mention the multilateral talks. I wish to reiterate once again Lebanon's well-known and consistent position on this subject. Lebanon considers that no multilateral talks should be held until the bilateral talks have resulted in complete agreement among all the participants in the Peace Conference. We continue to believe firmly that the multilateral talks being held today are premature and cannot but be inconclusive.

Finally, I should like to emphasize that Lebanon remains fully committed to the Madrid Peace Conference, with a view to achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. My country will continue to ask for the full implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978) in order to meet that challenge.

Mr. Hasan (Iraq) (interpretation from Arabic): My county's delegation supports the objectives of resolution contained in document A/50/L.37, on Al-Quds, as it does those of draft resolution A/50/L.38, on the occupied Syrian Golan. These draft resolutions are submitted to us under the agenda item The situation in the Middle East.

Had we not been deprived of our vote because of the comprehensive sanctions imposed on us and the freezing of our assets abroad, we would have voted in support of these two draft resolutions. However, my delegation wishes nonetheless to put on record its reservations concerning the last preambular paragraph of draft resolution A/50/L.38. Furthermore, we believe that draft resolution A/50/L.37, on Al-Quds has neglected to refer to a grave development that has a bearing on the future of the Holy City, namely the latest decision by the American Congress to move the American embassy to Al-Quds in 1999. That decision contravenes a number of General Assembly resolutions, beginning with General Assembly resolution 181 (II) and contravenes also a number of Security Council resolutions, including
resolutions 250 (1968), 252 (1968), 267 (1969), 271 (1969), 298 (1971), 476 (1980), 478 (1980) and 672 (1990).

All those resolutions take the view that Israel's steps to change the legal status of the Holy City of Jerusalem are null and void, and they call on all States to comply with their provisions. Furthermore, the decision by the United States Congress is contrary to the commitments undertaken by the United States, which calls itself the sponsor of peace. These commitments include the letter of assurance to the Palestinian party of 24 October 1991, which states that

The United States opposes the annexing of East Jerusalem, the imposition of Israeli law in that part of the town and the extension of the limits of the municipality.

That decision by the Congress is an act of provocation that offends both Muslims and Christians in the Arab world and in the Islamic world at large, as was noted in the 25 October 1995 communiqué of the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States.

For these reasons, my delegation takes the view that the fact that the draft resolution ignores this grave development weakens it and makes it incomplete.

The President: We have heard the last speaker in explanation of vote before the voting.

Before we proceed to take action on the draft resolutions, I should like to announce that since the introduction of draft resolution A/50/L.24 Benin has become a co-sponsor.

The Assembly will now take a decision on the three draft resolutions under agenda item 44: A/50/L.24, A/50/L.37 and A/50/L.38.

We turn first to draft resolution A/50/L.24, entitled Middle East peace process.

We shall now begin the voting process.

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against:
Iran (Islamic Republic of), Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Syrian Arab Republic

Abstaining:
Sudan

Draft resolution A/50/L.24 was adopted by 148 votes to 4, with 1 abstention (resolution 50/21).

[Subsequently, the delegations of Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria informed the Secretariat that they had intended to vote in favour.]

The President: We turn next to draft resolution A/50/L.37, entitled Jerusalem.

We shall now begin the voting process.

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against:
Israel

Abstaining:
Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominica, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, United States of America

Draft resolution A/50/L.37 was adopted by 133 votes to 1, with 13 abstentions (resolution 50/22 A).

[Subsequently, the delegation of Italy informed the Secretariat that it had intended to vote in favour; the delegation of Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria had intended to abstain.]

The President: We come now to draft resolution A/50/L.38, entitled The Syrian Golan.

We shall now begin the voting process.

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Jordan, Kazakstan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against:
Israel, United States of America

Abstaining:
Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru,
Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Venezuela

Draft resolution A/50/L.38 was adopted by 66 votes to 2, with 79 abstentions (resolution 50/22 B).

[Subsequently, the delegation of Nigeria informed the Secretariat that it had intended to vote in favour; the delegation of Guinea-Bissau had intended to abstain.]

The President: Several representatives wish to make statements in explanation of vote.

May I remind delegations that explanations of vote are limited to 10 minutes and should be made by delegations from their seats.

Mr. Hizlan (Turkey): My delegation voted in favour of all three draft resolutions before the Assembly today, as we have done in the past in the case of similar draft resolutions. However, I would like to clarify the position of my delegation on one aspect of the situation in the Middle East.

In our opinion, the success of the Middle East peace process will to a great extent depend on putting an end to terrorism in the region. Therefore, the countries of the region should, by all means, refrain from encouraging terrorists groups directly or indirectly. It is hoped that this will be done by all States concerned.

Mr. Valencia Rodríguez (Ecuador) (interpretation from Spanish): The delegation of Ecuador voted in favour of draft resolutions A/50/L.24, A/50/L.37 and A/50/L.38 because it is convinced that it is necessary to contribute in the most efficient manner possible to strengthening of the process of negotiations currently under way with a view to reaching a comprehensive, fair and lasting solution to the difficult and dangerous conflict in the Middle East. We acknowledge with special satisfaction that essential steps have been taken to achieve that objective, and we applaud these fundamental achievements. We fervently hope that this process will continue, and even more intensely, so that it may soon culminate in the result we all desire.

This vote, based on the reasons I have indicated, reflects Ecuador's unswerving position of rejecting and
refusing to recognize the territorial occupation or annexation of territory by force, or violations of human rights. The vote also reflects Ecuador's firm conviction that a peaceful and negotiated settlement must be found to the existing territorial problems among the States concerned in conformity with the principles established in the Charter and the rules of international law.

Mr. Gaussot (France) (interpretation from French): My delegation of course associates itself with draft resolution A/50/L.24, just adopted by the General Assembly. We voted in favour of it and we unreservedly support its contents. The new developments in the peace process deserve to be welcomed, and those participating in that peace process should be encouraged to persevere in their efforts.

In this regard, we would like once again to pay tribute to the late Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, who paid with his life for his commitment to peace. As was the case last year with a similar draft resolution, France did not want to co-sponsor draft resolution A/50/L.24, for reasons that are well known to the General Assembly. We believe that the omission of references to Security Council resolution 425 (1978) is regrettable. France attaches particular importance to the principles enshrined in that text and would have liked the United Nations on this occasion to reaffirm its dedication to Lebanon's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

Ms. Mawhinney (Canada): In voting on the draft resolution entitled The Syrian Golan Canada has maintained its position of last year and has abstained. We very much regret that the text has remained largely unchanged from previous years. Moreover, we regret the addition of a reference to a specific boundary in this year's resolution. Canada believes that this is an issue which should be discussed and ultimately resolved by the interested parties in the wider context of the Middle East peace process. We cannot therefore lend our support to a draft resolution which might prejudge the outcome of those negotiations and eventual agreement between the parties involved.

Mr. Kirkland (United States of America): My Government's views are well known on resolutions that seek to address issues that can only realistically be resolved through negotiations by the parties in the region. This forum does not encourage or support that process of negotiation by continuing to promote resolutions that are clearly divisive, that clearly take sides in the negotiations
and that attempt to set out specific outcomes that must be reached by the parties themselves. The Middle East successes of the last two years have repeatedly shown us that only negotiations by the parties can make peace a reality.

We are convinced that draft resolution A/50/L.38, like others that deal with the long-standing Arab-Israeli dispute, serves only to complicate the achievement of a mutually acceptable outcome and makes the sought-after goal of a comprehensive peace that much more difficult to achieve.

Syria and Israel are engaged in a negotiating process to resolve their differences and achieve a lasting peace agreement. The two parties are deeply involved in this delicate process and we would hope that this forum would avoid resolutions that only complicate their efforts. The United States strongly supports this process as integral to the goal of achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace. We are firmly committed to this goal in our role as a full partner and active intermediary in the Arab-Israeli peace process.

As has been our practice in the past, the United States abstained in the vote on the draft resolution concerning Jerusalem. Jerusalem must remain undivided, and its future should be decided through permanent status negotiations, as agreed by the parties in the 13 September 1993 Declaration of Principles. This Assembly should not interject itself into this most complex and emotional issue when the parties themselves have decided to defer discussion concerning Jerusalem to their permanent status negotiations, which are scheduled to begin in May 1996.

Mr. Amer (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (interpretation from Arabic): Our delegation voted in favour of the draft resolution on the Golan which appears in document A/50/L.38. However, this vote should not be construed as recognition of what is called Israel. On the same basis, my delegation voted in favour of draft resolution A/50/L.37 on Al-Quds. In this connection, my delegation wishes to draw attention to the gravity of the decision by the United States Congress to move the United States Embassy to Al-Quds. This decision is a flagrant violation of international legality as embodied in Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. It also constitutes a legal precedent that establishes a principle of non-adherence with regard to Security Council resolutions, as the decision lays the rule that implementation of Security Council resolutions is not an obligation dictated by adherence to the United Nations Charter but a matter that is based on selectivity and on pursuance of a policy of double standards. Therefore, the decision throws the doors wide open for every State that wishes to disregard every resolution it deems to run counter to its interests, to do so, let alone those unjust resolutions that have no basis in international law such as those adopted by the Security Council in the case of my country.

The delegation of my country has voted against draft resolution A/50/L.24 on the Middle East peace process as the contents of that draft resolution do not constitute the full prerequisites of a just comprehensive peace in the Middle East region. How could such a resolution serve the cause of a just comprehensive peace while it ignores a principal element of peace and, thereby, fails to call upon Israel to withdraw from southern Lebanon in accordance with Security Council resolution 425 (1978)? How could such a resolution ensure a just peace when it is devoid of any mention of the return of the Palestinian people to its country and to its homes from which it was expelled by the Israeli occupiers under the very eyes of the United Nations which, subsequently, adopted numerous resolutions on the right of return of the Palestinian people?

My country is not against peace. However, the peace we support is not this minefield sort of peace which is a time-bomb that may explode at any moment. The peace we support is one that would spare the lives of Arabs and Jews alike, and which can be reached only through full recognition and implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of return, after which the Palestinians have aspired for more than 50 years, the right to self-determination, independence, national sovereignty and the establishment of a democratic State throughout the Palestinian territory in which Palestinians, Arabs and Jews alike would live, as has happened in South Africa.

Mr. Samadi (Islamic Republic of Iran): My delegation voted in favour of the draft resolutions contained in documents A/50/L.37 and A/50/L.38. However, I would like to express my delegation's reservations on the parts of those resolutions which might be construed as any recognition of Israel.

Mr. Pérez-Griffo (Spain) (interpretation from Spanish): I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union. The European Union continues to support fully the peace process in the Middle East and has committed itself to supporting it through joint action that mobilizes the political, economic and financial resources of the Union. Within the multilateral framework, the European Union pursues the goal of consolidating peace through its support for regional cooperation.

We are following with great interest the situation in Lebanon, where, in the absence of a comprehensive settlement for the entire Middle East region, stability remains fragile. We continue to advocate full respect for the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Lebanon.

In this context, the European Union wishes to reaffirm its insistence on the full implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978). We call on the parties to make progress in the bilateral negotiations and to bring them to a successful conclusion.

With regard to draft resolution A/50/L.38, entitled The Syrian Golan, we urge the parties to negotiate seriously and constructively towards a comprehensive and lasting settlement on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), in the framework of the Madrid Peace Conference.

The European Union furthermore reiterates its well-known position that the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan and the extension of Israeli law, jurisdiction and administration to this territory are illegal. It is our view that a solution has to be found between the parties, in accordance with international law and taking into account the legitimate concerns of both sides.

In this respect, the European Union regrets the new wording contained in operative paragraph 5 of the resolution on the Golan. The wording is not helpful, as it tries to prejudice the outcome of peace negotiations between the parties.

Mr. Dlamini (Swaziland): My delegation voted in favour of draft resolution A/50/L.24 and opted to abstain in respect of draft resolutions A/50/L.37 and A/50/L.38. This is in keeping with our old policy as far as Middle East issues are concerned.

The Kingdom of Swaziland has been standing side by side with the State of Israel for a long time. In this period, we are prepared to maintain that spirit and the principle of persuasive engagement in the Middle East. My delegation holds the view that resolutions which sound harsh and reprimanding are no longer rewarding or productive. My delegation wishes to appeal to all peace-loving States to support all the peace initiatives in the Middle East. It is our duty to herald the steps which Israel has taken to show that it is prepared to walk for miles and miles to reach the destination of peace.

Therefore, we are of the view that if we want to assist the people in the Middle East, it is our duty as the United Nations to give encouragement and exercise good offices so that peace can indeed be realized in the Middle East.

The people of Israel have recently lost a son, a father, a leader. This, again, is indicative of the fact that they have enemies both within and outside Israel because of their continuing preparedness to engage in peaceful negotiations. Recently, Prime Minister Peres assured the world that he was prepared to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor. Let us therefore do everything in our ability in this body to support his efforts. In doing so, we shall be true not only to ourselves but also to the real situation in the Middle East.

Mr. Hallak (Syrian Arab Republic) (interpretation from Arabic): My delegation has voted against resolution A/50/L.24, entitled Middle East peace process because in it there is no mention of Security Council resolution 425 (1978), or of resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), while, together those three resolutions represent the foundations upon which the peace process has been built. Furthermore, Syria can welcome such resolutions only when comprehensive and lasting peace has been achieved in the region on the basis of the implementation of the resolutions of international legality and on the basis of the land-for-peace formula.

Ms. Carayanides (Australia): Australia abstained in the voting on draft resolution A/50/L.38, entitled The Syrian Golan. We regret that the resolution on this issue was not modified this year in order better to build on the peace process in the Middle East. In this context, we regret that the new language contained in the resolution does not sufficiently reflect the importance of Israel and Syria's redoubling their efforts to reach agreement on a lasting peace. This new language may also complicate the peace negotiations between the parties. We again urge the parties to find a solution on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

Mr. Verdier (Argentina) (interpretation from Spanish): The delegation of Argentina abstained in the voting on draft resolution A/50/L.38.

We are convinced that a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East is close at hand. In this respect, we hope that substantive progress will soon be achieved on the Syrian-Israeli track. The Argentine Republic would have preferred that the text of the resolution on the Syrian Golan not include such new elements as the reference in paragraph 5 to the line of 4 June 1967. Had it not included this new element, Argentina could have voted in favour of draft resolution A/50/L.38, since it reflects our firm belief that Israel should withdraw from the Syrian Golan in compliance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

The President: The Observer of Palestine has asked to make a statement. I now call on him, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 3237 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974 and 43/177 of 15 December 1988.

Mr. Al-Kidwa (Palestine) (interpretation from Arabic): We should like to convey our warm thanks to all the Member States that voted in favour of the resolution contained in document A/50/L.37 on Jerusalem. We are profoundly grateful that the General Assembly adopted it by an overwhelming majority, while only one State voted against it. Unfortunately, that State was Israel.

The resolution sends a clear message from the international community on this essential topic, Jerusalem. It recalls the basic position of the United Nations in opposition to the annexation and any demographic or legal change in the status of the occupied territories as a whole. It also conveys the importance which the international community attaches to the Jerusalem, given the capital importance of the city to the Islamic Umma and to Christians and Jews in the modern world. The resolution also sends a clear message to the effect that all parties must refrain from taking measures that would introduce changes on the ground which might eventually influence the negotiation process with regard to the city.

We attach exceptional importance to the position thus expressed by the international community on this question of principle, a position that is and can only be in favour of the peace process and the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace in the region. We hope that all the parties will draw the necessary lessons from this and thereby take this resolution seriously into account in their work for peace in the region and throughout the world.

The President: We have heard the last speaker in the debate on this item.

May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to conclude its consideration of agenda item 44?

It was so decided.

Agenda item 24 (continued)

Implementation of the United Nations New Agenda for the Development of Africa in the 1990s

...

The meeting rose at 5.55 p.m.


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