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3. The Chairperson invited the Committee to take action on draft resolution A/C.2/63/L.5. The draft resolution had no programme budget implications. She informed the Committee that a recorded vote had been requested.
4. Mr. Hijazi (Observer for Palestine) announced, on behalf of the main sponsor (Egypt), that Pakistan had joined in sponsoring the draft resolution.
5. Mr. Ali (Syrian Arab Republic) asked who had requested the recorded vote.
6. The Chairperson said that the representative of the United States of America had requested the recorded vote.
7. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.2/63/L.5.
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), United States of America.
Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Haiti, Nauru.
8. Draft resolution A/C.2/63/L.5 was adopted by 139 votes to 6, with 4 abstentions.*
9. Mr. Ben-Eliezer (Israel) said that his delegation was disappointed that the draft resolution had been adopted by the Committee, as it did not advance prospects for peace or deal adequately with shared natural resources, an issue that had always been negotiated bilaterally between parties to a conflict.
10. Regrettably, the draft resolution contained no reference to the regular attacks on Israeli citizens and border crossings by Hamas and others. Nor was there any mention of the incitement to hatred and violence that took place in Hamas-run schools. The fact that Hamas, a terrorist organization, was opposed to a two-State solution transformed a resolvable national conflict into an eternal ideological struggle.
11. The current draft resolution relied heavily on the language of the previous year’s resolution and did not reflect the substantial progress made on the ground since, thus rendering it irrelevant. As in other resolutions, lambasting Israel seemed to take precedence over an objective reflection of reality. Under agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the latter already had jurisdiction over many natural resources, and interim arrangements had been established for others.
12. Cooperation was critical with regard to the sharing of natural resources, given the close geographic proximity of the two parties. It was crucial to seek out realistic solutions that looked beyond rigid concepts of sovereignty. Yet the draft resolution failed to contribute to a constructive dialogue. The Committee should focus its efforts on urgent global issues that concerned all countries, rather than take up items that singled out Israel for discriminatory treatment, which was an abuse of the Committee’s mandate and ultimately damaged the ideals of the Organization.
13. Mr. Kassianides (France), speaking on behalf of the European Union; the candidate countries Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey; the stabilization and association process countries and potential candidate countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia; and the members of the European Free Trade Association Liechtenstein and Norway, said that the European Union countries had voted in favour of the draft resolution in the belief that the natural resources of any territory seized by force of arms should not be used inappropriately or illegally by the occupying Power. It wished, however, to explain its interpretation of certain aspects of the text.
14. The European Union reaffirmed the applicability to the Occupied Palestinian Territories of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and also reaffirmed that any infringement of the rights of the Palestinian people with regard to that Convention was illegal. However, the issues referred to in the resolution were matters which needed to be dealt with in the framework of the permanent status negotiations of the Middle East peace process.
15. The European Union remained committed — in close cooperation with its partners in the Quartet and in the Arab world — to assisting the parties in their efforts to find a final settlement to the Middle East conflict. The text that had just been adopted must therefore not be considered as prejudicial to the outcome of those negotiations.
16. The position of the European Union regarding the separation barrier and the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory remained unchanged.
17. Mr. Hijazi (Observer for Palestine) expressed appreciation to the Member States that had voted in favour of the draft resolution and thus reaffirmed their commitment to international law. A people’s permanent sovereignty over its natural resources was part of its inalienable right to self-determination, and it must be safeguarded by the international community in the interest of peace and stability.
18. The accusations made by the representative of Israel revealed the fact that his Government had run out of excuses for continuing to snub the international community and the laws by which it lived. It was a moral and legal obligation of Member States to continue raising the issue of shared natural resources until Israel ceased exploiting Palestinian resources and compensated the Palestinian people for the losses that had resulted from its illegal practices.
19. With regard to cooperation on the ground, he said that Israel, as the occupying Power, had an obligation towards the people in the territory it occupied. Fulfilling that obligation, while positive, was not an act of goodwill. In addition, Israel’s allegations of terrorism could not distract from the terrible acts it had committed against the Palestinian people. Such terrorist acts were planned at the highest level in Israel and had contributed to the disintegration of the Palestinian economy.
20. Peace in the region was a necessity, not a luxury. The foremost threat to that peace was the perpetuation of the Israeli occupation and its repressive policies. To bring about peace and security, Israel must cease its violations of international law and respect the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
* The delegations of Belize, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Guinea, Peru, Senegal, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Zambia subsequently informed the Committee that they had intended to vote in favour of the draft resolution.
The meeting rose at 11.05 a.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.