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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/C.4/54/SR.19
23 November 1999

Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee)

Summary record of the 19th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Thursday, 4 November 1999, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. Zackheos .................................................. (Cyprus)

Contents

/...

Agenda item 88: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Agenda item 89: Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

The meeting was called to order at 3.20 p.m.

Agenda item 88: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (continued) (A/54/13 and Add.1, A/54/338, A/54/345, A/54/376, A/54/377, A/54/385, A/54/477, A/C.4/54/L.13 to L.19)

1. Mr. Tekaya (Tunisia) thanked the Commissioner-General of UNRWA for his report and commended the tireless efforts made by all Agency personnel to alleviate the suffering of the Palestine refugees. He also thanked the host countries for the care they provided and the financial burden they bore. The tragedy of the Palestine refugees who had been dispossessed of their homes and expelled from their homeland had been continuing for decades, and there was still no solution to the question of Palestine. Any such solution must take into account the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of the Palestine refugees to return and to be paid compensation, in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolution 194 (III). The international community had a particular responsibility towards the Palestine refugees. UNRWA had played a major role in alleviating the sufferings of the Palestine refugees by providing all kinds of services. It must continue to provide the same volume and quality of service until such time as a final and just solution to the problem of the Palestine refugees had been reached. The financial difficulties facing the agency had a negative impact on the services it could provide, and the refugee community was apprehensive about the Agency’s future and the international community’s continued concern for their plight. He urged the international community to continue to provide and, where possible, to increase support for the Agency budget, thereby enabling it to continue to supply the necessary services. Tunisia, fully conscious of the important role played by UNRWA, had always supported the Agency and would renew its contributions to its budget. As the Palestinian and Israeli parties began final status negotiations, it was essential that the question of the refugees should receive the consideration it deserved: the solution of that problem was one of the prerequisites for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East which would permit all parties to devote their resources to development.

2. Mr. Lamdan (Israel) said that Israel’s policy was to be supportive of UNRWA, and to be as helpful as conditions permitted, even though it was not a host country. It regarded UNRWA as a major force for stability among a significant segment of Palestinian society, which was understandably nervous about its future as serious negotiations began over permanent status issues, including refugee questions.

3. His delegation shared the concern of other delegations about the deepening financial crisis of UNRWA. It agreed that continuing austerity measures could be detrimental to the activities of UNRWA, and was aware that further cuts were liable to be misinterpreted by the refugees, or exploited by certain Arab elements which were not in sympathy with the peace process.

4. His delegation commended the Commissioner-General for his tenacity in carrying out internal restructuring and reforms with a view to achieving greater efficiency and improved operational performance. It also welcomed the modernized budgetary process and the new format for presenting the budget estimates for the next biennium. Israel found it regrettable, however, that funding for the Peace Implementation Programme was declining rapidly; it attached particular importance to that Programme, whose vital time was yet to come. It hoped that UNRWA would achieve full funding for the 2000-2001 budget.

5. His delegation would have welcomed a new format for the Commissioner-General’s report making it absolutely clear that all Palestine refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were in areas under full Palestinian control or Palestinian civilian control. There was only one camp left in an area under full Israeli control. As a result, Israel’s relationship with UNRWA had been greatly simplified and would become even simpler if the current trend in the peace process continued.

6. One result of such a format would be greater balance in the report and a corresponding reduction in the verbiage about Israel. Such problems as remained on the Israeli side, generally in connection with the movement of UNRWA staff and goods, were the product of a sui generis situation on the ground, and in practical terms were not significant. The “safe passage” route between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would ease certain matters. Israel had also increased the number of permits for authorized UNRWA drivers. Moreover, as of March 2000, there would be changes in the routing of goods into the Gaza Strip.

7. It was very easy to disparage Israel’s sovereign right to be cautious, for security reasons, about who and what passed through its territory. However, Israel had been exposed to incessant terror over the past three decades.

8. No UNRWA staff from Gaza had been detained by Israel during the reporting period, and the two staff members who had previously been arrested had long since been released. Meanwhile, 40 staff members had been detained by the Palestinian Authority, and 10 remained in detention at the close of the reporting period. In the West Bank, the number of UNRWA staff members detained briefly by Israel had decreased from 14 to 10, whereas those arrested by the Palestinian Authority had increased slightly. All of them had been released by the end of the reporting period. The need for a new format also applied to the presentation of statistics, for example in table 11 entitled “Staff members arrested or detained”.

9. An exhibit mounted by the United Nations Staff Union in the conference building included a text signed by the President of the Staff Union claiming that the largest number of detained UNRWA colleagues were detained or imprisoned by the Israeli authorities, and urgently appealing to Israel for their release. Since Israel was not holding any UNRWA staff members, it requested that the panel bearing the text be removed by the Staff Union forthwith.

10. It had been claimed several times in the debate that the Palestine refugee problem had been created by Israeli “aggression” in 1948 and subsequent “occupationist” policies. In reality, the Palestinian refugee problem was a direct consequence of Arab rejection of General Assembly resolution 181 (II) and of the concerted invasion of Israel by six Arab armies on the day Israel had been established in May 1948. It was that attack, and the war which had followed, which had forced some 600,000 Palestinians to flee their homes. Thus it was the Arab States and their armies which must bear responsibility for the tragedy inflicted on the Palestinian people.

11. The Arab States had created a second refugee problem, which was sometimes overlooked: in 1948 and the years immediately thereafter, 600,000 Jews from Arab lands had also become refugees. The vast majority had been taken in and rehabilitated by Israel, but they had left behind considerable property, assets and resources.

12. His Government was heartened by the widespread support which had been expressed for the Wye and Sharm el-Sheikh agreements and for the new phase of the permanent status negotiations. Those negotiations were based solely on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). Aspects of the Palestine refugee problem had already been discussed at Sharm el-Sheikh; Israel was serious in its intention to abide by the time framework which had been established, and in its commitment to tackle and resolve outstanding issues.

13. Once again, Israel would not be able to support the resolutions on item 88, with the exception of draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.14. That was because the draft resolutions were loaded with political elements, in an attempt to pre-empt positions and unilaterally prejudge the outcome of the peace negotiations. A lasting, comprehensive peace would emerge only from agreements reached directly between the parties, and not from any resolutions adopted by the Committee. For the same reasons, Israel would oppose all the draft resolutions on item 89.

14. Ms. Naidoo (South Africa) commended the Commissioner-General of UNRWA and his staff for their efforts to provide essential services to Palestine refugees during the long occupation by Israel. By working to restore those refugees’ fundamental human rights and dignity, UNRWA was a force for stability and contributed to the pursuit of peace. It was incumbent on the international community to ensure respect for human dignity as enshrined in the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at all times. The peace process in the Middle East was the only means of ensuring lasting peace, security and stability in the region and the realization of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence was essential for a sustained and comprehensive peace. In that context, she welcomed the signing of the Sharm el-Sheikh memorandum and the first positive steps towards implementation of that agreement and she encouraged full and timely compliance with the letter and spirit of commitments made under the peace process.

15. At the twelfth summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in 1998 in Durban, South Africa, the Heads of State and Government had called for the implementation of all United Nations resolutions regarding refugees and reaffirmed their position on occupied East Jerusalem, the illegal Israeli settlements and the applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 to all the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem. They had also urged the international community to reaffirm its determination and commitment to preserve the fundamental values centred on respect for the human being as entrenched in the relevant international instruments.

16. Until a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement was achieved, it remained the permanent responsibility of the United Nations to ensure that the basic principles of international humanitarian law were not forgotten during the peace negotiations. Her delegation would support the draft resolutions before the Committee and called on other delegations to do the same. Endorsing those resolutions would send a clear message to the Palestine refugees that, until such time as a just solution was reached, their plight would not be forgotten.

17. Ms. Abdelhady-Nasser (Observer for Palestine), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, expressed surprise at the statement by the representative of Israel that the majority of Palestine refugees were currently living under Palestinian control. She stressed that the occupying Power remained responsible for the occupied territories, whether the Israeli military were actually present or not. In addition, 95 per cent of the territories occupied in 1967 were still under the control of the Israeli military. Israel’s attempt to absolve itself of responsibility for the Palestinians was regrettable since recognition by the occupying Power of its legal, moral and financial responsibilities was the essential starting point for a just and equitable resolution of the situation.

18. The Palestine refugees had not been allowed to exercise their right to return to their homes in spite of the wishes of the international community and relevant United Nations resolutions. Israeli intransigence in that matter had aggravated the seriousness of the refugee problem. Israel was still not in compliance with General Assembly resolution 181 (II) and had not allowed the return of those who had fled Palestinian areas which had fallen under Israeli military control subsequently. It was not true that Israel had accepted, while the Arab States had rejected, General Assembly resolution 181 (II). Israel had in fact accepted only those provisions in resolution 181 (II) referring to the legitimacy of the Israeli State but had violated the provisions concerning, inter alia, borders and the status of Jerusalem.
19. Mr. Mekdad (Syrian Arab Republic), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, expressed dismay at the remarks of the representative of Israel concerning the origins of the Palestinian tragedy in 1948. Israel continued to flout international opinion and international instruments in the areas of human rights, humanitarian law and the rights of refugees. The United Nations had often reaffirmed the right of refugees to return to their homeland, in Kosovo for example, and he wondered why the Palestine refugees had still not been able to return to their homeland. Israel continued to invent pretexts to prevent their return. With regard to the situation in 1948, he said that the Arab forces had intervened to save Palestinians from Israeli crimes and policies, including ethnic cleansing.

20. He pointed out that Arab had long lived in harmony with Jew in many parts of the world. The representative of Israel had wondered why Jews had left Arab territories to immigrate to Israel. It was his personal opinion that Israel had engineered terrorist acts to coerce them into moving to Israel. He stressed that Palestinians should be allowed to return to their homeland and wondered whether Israel would allow Jews who had left the Arab countries under duress to return to their Arab homelands.

21. The only solution to the Palestine refugee problem was implementation of the relevant United Nations resolutions, especially resolution 194 (III). He regretted that the Israeli language and attitude relative to the peace process did not seem to have changed and that Israel continued to impose difficult conditions for the implementation of the relevant United Nations resolutions.

22. He hoped that the Palestinian problem would be resolved and that the relevant resolutions would be implemented. The Arab parties supported the peace process. If that process failed, the responsibility would lie with Israel.

23. Mr. Zaki (Egypt), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that, since the representative of Israel had given his interpretation of historical events, it was only fitting that his delegation should present its interpretation of those same crucial moments. With reference to the general framework of the situation before, during and after the hostilities of 1948, he referred to the laudable efforts of current Israeli officials and intellectuals who had had the courage to make an objective analysis of the circumstances surrounding the establishment of the State of Israel and the tragic actions of Israeli forces at that time. There was growing awareness in Israel that Israel was not as blameless as it had been painted to be.

24. Like the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic, he expressed surprise at the statement by the representative of Israel that after 1948 some 600,000 Jews had fled Arab territories to move to Israel. That was the first time he had heard such a statistic. He could say only that, in the case of Egypt, there had been some Jewish emigration from Egypt in 1956 when certain acts by Jewish citizens in Egypt had shown that their primary allegiance was to Israel and that they were a threat to Egyptian security. Those persons had left with all their belongings and it was his impression that they seemed to have prospered after leaving Egypt.

25. He called on the delegation of Israel to look to the future rather than dwell on the errors of the past and expressed the hope that the remaining problems would be overcome so that peace could be established.

26. Mr. Najem (Lebanon), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that the Palestinian tragedy was a purely Israeli responsibility. It had been the crimes of Zionist groups in 1948 which had led to the expulsion of the Palestinians during the creation of the State of Israel. That was perfectly obvious from the memoirs of the Israeli leaders of the time.

27. The representative of Israel had said that Israel was not a host country to the Palestine refugees. That was not surprising since the occupying forces sought to expel the Palestinians into neighbouring countries, including Lebanon. With regard to the question of terrorism, his own small country was a perfect example of State terrorism by Israel in southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley.

28. He looked forward to a just and lasting peace based on the relevant United Nations resolutions and the principles of the Madrid conference, including the principle of land for peace and respect for international legal instruments.

29. Mr. Lamdan (Israel), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said he would not be drawn into a pointless debate. The Committee should deal only with the humanitarian aspects of the Palestinian question. Like his colleague from Egypt, he looked forward to a peace settlement but stressed that the Palestinian question could be resolved only as part of the final status negotiations, not in the Special Committee. He urged delegations which seemed interested in the question to return to the negotiating table.

30. Mr. Mekdad (Syrian Arab Republic), speaking again in exercise of the right of reply, said that it was false to speak of an exodus of Jews from Arab countries after the 1948 hostilities. He stressed that it was essential to implement all relevant United Nations resolutions and he looked forward to the conclusion of the peace negotiations. He pointed out that his Government had played a leading role in starting the peace process in the Middle East but in 1996 Israel had stopped negotiations. Israel was currently attempting to impose conditions and restart talks at zero, a position rejected by the other parties, who wished to resume talks at the point where they had stalled. He re-emphasized that the basic principle for the talks was that of land for peace, which was still rejected by Israel.

31. Ms. Lewis (Chief, Central Planning and Coordination Service, Department of General Assembly Affairs and Conference Services), responding to Committee members’ complaints of late receipt of documentation, observed that agenda item 89 had been scheduled for consideration on 11 October 1999. A total of eight documents had been submitted under the item. Six of them had been circulated more than a month before the consideration of the item. The two remaining documents , totalling 200 pages, had been submitted in early September and issued within four weeks, though only one day before consideration of the item.

32. Agenda item 88 had been scheduled for consideration on 2 November 1999. A total of nine pre-session documents had been submitted under the item. Six of them had been issued by 13 October, that is three weeks before consideration. The remaining three, totalling 200 pages, had been issued within four weeks, again only one day before consideration of the item.

33. A total of approximately 18,000 pages of pre-session documentation had been forecast for the main part of the fifty-fourth session of the General Assembly. As of that week, the Secretariat had issued close to 14,000 pages — 10,000 of which had been issued in September and October alone. That was approximately 1,500 pages more than had been issued in the same period in 1998.

34. The Secretariat was very mindful of the concerns of Member States with regard to the late issuance of documentation, cognizant of the need to do better and committed to finding ways to improve. Unfortunately, for the most part, pre-session documents for the General Assembly and its Main Committees were still produced relatively late, with the result that a significant portion of pre-session documentation for the plenary and each of the Main Committees was available only a few days before the item was scheduled for consideration. It was thus difficult to consider a few documents in isolation from the overall task, namely to produce a very large amount of pre-session documentation in a relatively short period of time and simultaneously produce high-priority in-session documentation, such as draft resolutions. The best way to meet that obligation was to prioritize the work based largely on date of consideration.

35. The Chairman invited the Committee to take action on draft resolutions A/C.4/54/L.13 to L.19.

36. Ms. Silfverberg (Finland), speaking on behalf of the European Union, the largest UNRWA donor, introduced draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.13 on assistance to Palestine refugees. The European Union believed that UNRWA was not only providing essential services but, in managing much of the infrastructure available to the registered Palestinian refugees and thus contributing to stability in the region, was also advancing the peace process. In view of the Agency’s financial difficulties, the draft resolution called for political and financial support by Member States and welcomed the increased cooperation between UNRWA and international and regional organizations, States and other relevant agencies and organizations. It also commended UNRWA for the new approaches it had introduced in connection with programme activities, cost-effectiveness, the budgetary process and management reforms. The European Union hoped that its draft resolution would be supported by an overwhelming majority.

37. UNRWA had been established to provide only temporary assistance and it was to be hoped that after five decades, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the area would soon allow the transfer of the Agency’s functions to the Palestinian Authority.

38. Ms. van Daalen (Netherlands) introduced draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.14 on the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, on behalf of the European Union and Norway and Turkey. It was clear that the Agency’s financial position was precarious and that again in 1999 it had had difficulty performing even its basic tasks. The draft resolution was similar to that adopted the previous year, with an updated fifth preambular paragraph and the addition of the new paragraph 4 welcoming budgetary transparency. She hoped it would be adopted without a vote.

39. Mr. Pohan (Indonesia) introduced the following proposals: draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.15 on persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities; draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.16 on offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education, including vocational training, for Palestine refugees; draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.17 * on operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East; draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.18 on Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues; and draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.19 on University of Jerusalem “al-Quds” for Palestine refugees.

40. The draft resolutions were essentially like those of the previous year, with the addition of references to recent developments. He drew particular attention to paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.15, and to paragraphs 1 and 2 of draft resolution A/ C.4/54/L. 16. Not i ng that dr aft r esol ut i on A/C.4/54/L.17* dealt with the major aspects of the daily operations of UNRWA, he singled out the third, fourth, ninth and eleventh preambular paragraphs and operative paragraphs 1, 3, 6, 9, 10, 12 and 14. Underscoring paragraphs 1 and 2 of draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.18, he said that both the preambular and operative parts recalled the forthcoming permanent status negotiations and urged both sides to deal there with the question of property rights. He drew particular attention to paragraphs 1 and 2 of draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.19.

41. The draft resolutions represented the Committee’s annual reaffirmation of the rights of Palestine refugees and displaced persons and its recognition of the work of UNRWA under difficult circumstances. He hoped that, if consensus was not possible, the Committee would give them its strongest possible support.

42. Mr. Islam (Pakistan) sought clarification from the sponsors of draft resolutions A/C.4/54/L.13, L.14 and L.17 as to whether there was any reason for the omission of the usual final paragraph requesting the Secretary-General to submit a report at the next session of the General Assembly.

43. The Chairman informed the Committee that the following delegations had become sponsors of the following draft resolutions under agenda item 88: Brunei Darussalam of draft resolutions A/C.4/54/L.15, L.16, L.18 and L.19; and Bangladesh and Malaysia of draft resolutions A/C.4/54/L.15 to L.19.

44. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.13.

In favour:
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, 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:
United States of America.

45. The draft resolution was adopted by 120 votes to 1, with 1 abstention.*

46. Draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.14 was adopted without a vote.

*The delegations of Jordan and the Sudan subsequently
informed the Committee that they had intended to vote in
favour of the draft resolution.

47. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.15.

In favour:
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, 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, United States of America.

Abstaining:
None.

48. The draft resolution was adopted by 121 votes to 2.**

**The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the
Committee that it had intended to vote in favour of the draft
resolution.

49. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.16.

In favour:
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, 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:
None.

Abstaining:
Israel.

50. The draft resolution was adopted by 123 votes to none, with 1 abstention.**

**The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the
Committee that it had intended to vote in favour of the draft
resolution.

51. A recorded vote vas taken on draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.17.**

In favour:
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, 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, United States of America.

Abstaining:
None.

52. The draft resolution was adopted by 121 votes to 2.*

*The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the
Committee that it had intended to vote in favour of the draft
resolution.

53. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.18.

In favour:
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, 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, United States of America.

Abstaining:
None.

54. The draft resolution was adopted by 122 votes to 2.*

*The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the
Committee that it had intended to vote in favour of the draft
resolution.

55. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.19.

In favour:
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, 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, United States of America.

Abstaining:
None.

56. The draft resolution was adopted by 122 votes to 2.*

*The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the
Committee that it had intended to vote in favour of the draft
resolution.


Agenda item 89: Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (continued) (A/C.4/54/L.8,* L.9/Rev.1, L.10,* L.11* and L.12)

57. Mr. Dausá (Cuba), introducing draft resolutions A/C.4/54/L.8,* L.9/Rev.1, L.10,* L.11* and L.12 on behalf of the sponsors, said that draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.8* contained an important preambular paragraph which expressed the hope that, with the progress of the peace process, the Israeli occupation would be brought to an end and therefore violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people would cease. In its operative paragraphs, the draft resolution deplored those policies and practices of Israel which violated the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, demanded that Israel cooperate with the Special Committee in implementing its mandate, requested the Special Committee to continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, and requested the Secretary-General to provide the Special Committee with all necessary facilities so that it might investigate the Israeli policies and practices referred to in the draft resolution.

*The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the
Committee that it had intended to vote in favour of the draft
resolution.

58. Draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.9/Rev.1 reaffirmed that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, was applicable to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967. The draft resolution contained a new preambular paragraph referring to the convening of the meeting of experts of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention in Geneva from 27 to 29 October 1998. In its operative part, the draft resolution demanded that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Convention and that it comply scrupulously with its provisions, called upon all States parties to the Convention to exert all efforts to ensure respect for its provisions by Israel, and requested the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session on the implementation of the resolution.

59. Draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.10* referred to the dangerous situation of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan. The draft resolution expressed grave concern about the continuation by Israel of settlement activities, including the continuing construction of a new settlement in Jebel Abu-Ghneim, in violation of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions and the agreements reached between the parties. In its operative part, the draft resolution reaffirmed that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan were illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development, and demanded complete cessation of the construction of the new settlement in Jebel Abu-Ghneim and of all Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.

*The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the
Committee that it had intended to vote in favour of the draft
resolution.

60. Draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.11* focused on the policies and practices of Israel that violated the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem. Reaffirming the applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention, the draft resolution recalled agreements between the parties, including the signing of the Sharm el-Sheikh memorandum on 4 September 1999. In its operative part, the draft resolution determined that all measures and actions taken by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, in violation of the fourth Geneva Convention and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, were illegal, had no validity and should cease immediately. It stressed the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all the occupied Palestinian territory, and called upon Israel to accelerate the release of all remaining Palestinians arbitrarily detained or imprisoned, in line with agreements reached.

*The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the
Committee that it had intended to vote in favour of the draft
resolution.

61. Draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.12, reaffirming once more the illegality of the decision of 14 December 1981 taken by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan and reaffirming the applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention to the occupied Syrian Golan, called upon Israel to comply with the relevant resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan, in particular Security Council resolution 497 (1981). The draft resolution also called upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan.

62. He hoped that the draft resolutions would be adopted by the Committee with the greatest possible support.

63. The Chairman informed the Committee that Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia had become sponsors of all five draft resolutions, while Pakistan had become a sponsor of draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.12 and Brunei Darussalam had become a sponsor of draft resolutions A/C.4/54/L.8,* L.10,* L.11* and L.12.

*The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the
Committee that it had intended to vote in favour of the draft
resolution.

64. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.8.*

In favour:
Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:
Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:
Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

65. The draft resolution was adopted by 70 votes to 2, with 49 abstentions.

*The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the
Committee that it had intended to vote in favour of the draft
resolution.

66. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.9/Rev.1.

In favour:
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, 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, United States of America.

Abstaining:
Swaziland.

67. The draft resolution was adopted by 122 votes to 2, with 1 abstention.

68. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.10.*

In favour:
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, 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, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:
Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:
Swaziland, Uruguay.

69. The draft resolution was adopted by 120 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions.

*The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the
Committee that it had intended to vote in favour of the draft
resolution.

70. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.11.*

In favour:
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambi que, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal , Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, 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, United States of America.

Abstaining:
Swaziland.

71. The draft resolution was adopted by 119 votes to 2, with 1 abstention.

*The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the
Committee that it had intended to vote in favour of the draft
resolution.

72. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/54/L.12.

In favour:
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, 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, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:
Israel.

Abstaining:
Swaziland, United States of America, Uruguay.

73. The draft resolution was adopted by 119 votes to 1 with 3 abstentions.

*The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the
Committee that it had intended to vote in favour of the draft
resolution.

74. Ms. Silfverberg (Finland), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that while it had been able to support the adoption of the other draft resolutions under agenda item 89, the Union had the same difficulty as in previous years with the draft resolution on the work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (A/C.4/54/L.8*), and had therefore abstained in the vote. The European Union viewed with concern some of the policies applied by the Israeli Government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. However, it considered that the mandate and functions of the Special Committee failed to take account of present realities and that the issues it covered could be better dealt with in another framework.

75. She reiterated the European Union’s firm commitment to a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement in the Middle East based on the Madrid and Oslo Accords. The European Union warmly welcomed the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum and reaffirmed its readiness to be fully associated with the implementation of that agreement, if the parties so wished, through a significant political and economic contribution, and to contribute to the issues to be negotiated between the parties under the permanent status negotiations.

76. Mr. Dedouchkine (Russian Federation) said that his delegation had voted in favour of the draft resolutions under agenda items 88 and 89. It had been pleased to note the growing understanding in the Middle East of the need to establish lasting peace and security as well as mutually advantageous cooperation, but it was concerned that a complicated political and humanitarian situation still existed in the Palestinian territories. The Russian Federation believed that the fate of the occupied territories, Jerusalem and the Israeli settlements should be resolved during the Palestinian-Israeli permanent status negotiations in the context of the Middle East process. As a co-sponsor of the peace process, the Russian Federation welcomed the revival of the negotiations and would do everything to facilitate their success.

77. As far as the Golan Heights were concerned, the Russian Federation had consistently favoured their return to the Syrian Arab Republic in keeping with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the principle of land for peace.

78. The Russian Federation expressed its full support for the humanitarian activities of UNRWA, and considered that it was necessary to emphasize its role in implementing the provisions of the Palestinian-Israeli agreements in the context of the socio-economic development of the Palestinian territories. The Russian Federation advocated maintaining the existing voluntary funding of UNRWA

79. Ms. Abdelhady-Nasser (Observer for Palestine) thanked all those who had expressed support for Palestine under the agenda item. Such consistent support for the resolutions on UNRWA served as an important reminder of the extent to which the question of the Palestine refugees remained central to the concerns of the international community, and of the necessity of providing assistance to them until a just resolution of their plight was achieved.

80. Unfortunately, Israel had remained the only Member State casting a negative vote or abstaining on two of the UNRWA resolutions, thereby preventing their adoption by consensus.

81. The support expressed by delegations for the draft resolutions under agenda item 89 were indicative of the importance attached by Member States to the issue. The annual reaffirmation by the Committee of the applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention to the occupied Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories was crucial, as was the attention given to the continuing violations by Israel throughout the territories occupied since 1967, including illegal settlement activities.

82. Mr. Wehbe (Syrian Arab Republic) thanked those Member States that had co-sponsored draft resolutions regarding Palestine and the draft resolution on the occupied Syrian Golan (A/C.4/54/L.12). Member States supporting those draft resolutions had thereby supported the just and fair position of the Syrian Arab Republic which called for a just and comprehensive peace and for implementation by all parties of the provisions of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) and of the principle of land for peace. He urged those Member States which had abstained from voting to follow the correct path in future.

The meeting rose at 5.25 p.m.


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