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Agenda item 60: Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (continued) (A/C.2/69/L.33)
Draft resolution on the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (A/C.2/69/L.33)
25. The Chair said that the draft resolution had no programme budget implications.
26. Mr. Llorentty Solíz (Plurinational State of Bolivia), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said that the Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, had continued to deepen the economic and social hardships of the Palestinian people, including as a result of the illegal exploitation of their natural resources. Reading out paragraphs of the draft resolution, which he had introduced at the previous meeting on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, he expressed concern about the effects of that exploitation, including extensive destruction of agricultural land and orchards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; the widespread destruction of vital infrastructure, including water pipelines, sewage networks and electricity networks, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, in particular in the Gaza Strip during the military operations of July and August 2014; and the dumping of all kinds of waste materials in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.
27. The Group of 77 and China recognized the right of the Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, damage, loss or depletion, or endangerment of their natural resources resulting from illegal measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, and Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The draft resolution stressed the urgent need to advance reconstruction and development projects, especially in the Gaza Strip, and called for support for the necessary efforts in line with commitments made at the Cairo International Conference on Palestine: Reconstructing Gaza, held on 12 October 2014.
28. The Group of 77 and China demanded that Israel cease the exploitation, damage, cause of loss or depletion and endangerment of the natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan. It looked forward to adoption of the resolution by consensus and hoped it would contribute to alleviating the hardships and suffering of the Palestinian people.
29. Mr. Mahmoud (Egypt) said that numerous international reports had recorded the horrendous repercussions of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land, including East Jerusalem, and the Syrian Golan occupied since 1967. According to all of those reports, including the most recent ESCWA report, the Palestinian and Syrian people continued to suffer as a result of the arbitrary measures and policies which constituted a violation of all international instruments. Israeli policies on the natural resources of the occupied Palestinian territories violated the Hague Conventions of 1907 and the Geneva Conventions of 1949, which stipulated that the occupying Power was responsible for safeguarding the natural resources of the occupied State and providing its inhabitants with their needs from those resources.
30. Moreover, Palestinians and Syrians who lived under occupation suffered from discrimination with regard to the water allocations. Palestinians lived with an ongoing major water crisis; lack of water was a matter of critical concern that affected most areas of the Gaza Strip and West Bank, not only because of climatic conditions but also because of Israeli restrictions on inhabitants’ access to water.
31. People living under occupation must not be penalized twice: firstly, because they lived under occupation and secondly, by preventing them from exercising their legitimate rights, including their right to sustainable development. His delegation called upon all Member States to support and vote in favour of the draft resolution regarding the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources.
32. The Chair said that Azerbaijan and Turkey had also become sponsors of the draft resolution.
33. Mr. Santillo (Italy), speaking in explanation of vote before the voting and on behalf of the European Union, said that as in the past, the European Union would support the draft resolution. However, the use of the term Palestine in the resolution could not be construed as recognition of the State of Palestine and was without prejudice to the individual position of Member States on that issue and on the validity of accession by Palestine to the conventions and treaties mentioned therein.
34. Ms. Meitzad (Israel), speaking in explanation of vote before the voting, said that Israel’s position on the one-sided, political and irreparably flawed resolution was well known. Her delegation was disappointed that the Committee had once again chosen to take a detour from its important work. She wondered how a draft resolution which claimed to address challenges faced by Palestinians could be taken seriously if it failed to even mention the real cause impeding their development: the regime of terror in Gaza, the lack of governance and rampant corruption. The draft resolution also neglected to mention that the Palestinian leadership was consistently choosing warfare over its people’s welfare.
35. The draft resolution cast a dark shadow of doubt on the professionalism and impartiality of the United Nations, as it did not enhance cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians, did not encourage dialogue and reconciliation and did not improve the life of Palestinians. Instead, the draft resolution merely fostered division and unilateralism, allowing certain States to pay lip service to Palestinians while they continued to do nothing to improve the situation on the ground. Every one-sided resolution that failed to capture the complexity and overall context of the situation only served those who had no real desire to engage in honest and meaningful dialogue. The draft resolution had no place in the Committee, as its sole purpose was to single out Israel. Her delegation had therefore requested a vote and would vote against the resolution.
36. A recorded vote was taken.
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, 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, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), United States of America.
Australia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Gabon, Honduras, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay
37. Draft resolution A/C.2/69/L.33 was adopted by 153 votes to 5, with 8 abstentions.
38. Mr. Al-Hantuli (Observer for the State of Palestine) said that the adoption of the resolution by an overwhelming majority was a clear indication of the right of the Palestinian people to control their own natural resources for prosperity and development. The resolution renewed the call to Israel, the occupying Power, to cease all violations of international treaties and covenants and to put an end to the exploitation and pollution of Palestinian land and water.
39. Through practical and effective legal measures, the time had come for the international community to ensure the implementation of international laws and to compel Israel to respect the will of the international community, to cease aggression and end its criminal occupation. The world was currently witnessing an escalation in violations of the rights of Palestinians by an extremist Israeli Government that was making giant efforts to abort any genuine endeavour to obtain a just, comprehensive and durable peace based on the two-State solution and the international terms of reference. It was not the draft resolution that was unjustified in the Committee, but the representatives of a country that daily violated the norms of international law and the resolutions of the General Assembly.
40. Ms. Meitzad (Israel) said that taking cheap shots at Israel seemed to be the favourite sport of the Palestinian delegate and in fact, those were the only times when Palestinian delegates were heard in the Second Committee. That was especially disappointing given the large number of recent terrorist attacks against Israel. It was time for the Palestinian delegate to quit the blame game. Out of respect for the Committee’s valuable time, her delegation would not respond any further to baseless accusations. In addition, her delegation was surprised to hear one of its neighbours criticizing Israel, as one did not have to be a geography expert to know that Gaza had two entry points.
41. Mr. Jawhara (Syrian Arab Republic) said that the draft resolution was nothing new, as it reflected issues that had been agreed on in United Nations instruments stressing the need to put an end to all forms of foreign occupation, which was the main obstacle to sustainable development for those living under occupation. The Israeli occupying authorities sought to starve and increase the poverty of the Arab populations living under Israeli occupation. Israel, the occupying Power, refused to comply with United Nations resolutions explicitly calling on it to immediately withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan and occupied Palestine, stop its exploitation and destruction of their natural resources and lift the impediment to people in the occupied Syrian Golan gaining access to those resources.
42. The statement by the representative of Israel, the occupying Power. was unrealistic and had nothing to do with the real situation on the ground. That representative was forgetting, or was not aware, that the key issue the Second Committee had been dealing with for decades had to do with permanent the sovereignty of the Syrian people in the occupied Syrian Golan and the people of the Occupied Palestinian Territory over their natural resources. That was directly related to the need to end Israeli occupation of those lands, and to Israeli practices that did not take international law and the principles of the Charter of the United Nations into account.
43. Perhaps the vote of the majority of Member States in favour of the draft resolution would help open the eyes and mind of the representative of Israel to the fact that the Israeli occupation of the Arab occupied territories in the Golan, Palestine and southern Lebanon and its illegal practices were the key reasons for the condemnation of Israel by the Organization and Member States. He wondered whether the representative of Israel wished Member States to reward Israel’s decades-long occupation of Arab land by adopting a draft resolution that supported its occupation of occupied Arab land or praised its illegal policies and its settlements, its looting of the natural resources of Syrians in the occupied Syrian Golan or in occupied Palestine, its expulsion of inhabitants from their homes in Palestine or its arrest of thousands of people and the confiscation of their houses in Jerusalem or its destruction of Al Aqsa mosque.
44. Ms. Al-Mulla (Qatar) said that her delegation wished to become a sponsor of draft resolution A/C.2/69/L.37.
The meeting rose at 11.40 a.m.