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Agenda item 53: Sustainable development (continued)
(a) Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development ( continued)
(a) Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (continued) (A/C.2/64/ L.21/Rev.1)
Draft resolution on agricultural technology for development
15. Mr. Al Bayati (Iraq), speaking on behalf of the Arab Group, said that the Arab Group had requested a vote on the resolution and that its members would abstain. Agricultural technology for development had already been covered in the resolution on agriculture development and food security submitted by the Group of 77 and China under agenda item 60, and the Israeli draft resolution failed to address issues of concern to developing countries, such as technology transfer and market access.
16. In any case, as the world’s most prominent violator of United Nations resolutions, Israel had no standing to submit resolutions of its own, especially when it came to agriculture. Numerous reports from the Secretary-General, including one just considered by the Committee under agenda item 40, had demonstrated clearly how the policies of the Israeli occupation held back agricultural development in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the occupied Syrian Golan. In the West Bank, the separation wall had affected tens of thousands of acres of fertile land accounting for close to 10 per cent of total Palestinian agricultural output. According to the World Bank, 17 per cent of cultivated land in the Gaza Strip had been destroyed in the recent Israeli war. The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict had reported that Gaza’s economy had been further severely affected by the reduction of the fishing zone open to Palestinian fishermen and the establishment of a “buffer zone” along the border between Gaza and Israel. A recent survey conducted by the World Food Programme and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East estimated that over a third of Palestinians suffered from food insecurity. In the occupied Syrian Golan, Israeli land and water policies discriminated against Syrian farmers in favour of Israeli settlers.
17. Israel was using its resolution on agricultural technology for development to distract attention from policies deliberately designed to destroy agriculture in the territories it occupied. A vote in favour would only serve as an encouragement to Israel as it continued to uproot the olive trees whose very branches were a symbol of peace.
18. The Chairman informed the Committee that a recorded vote had been requested.
19. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.2/64/L.21/Rev.1.
Albania, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Gr eat Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam.
Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Yemen, Zambia.
20. Draft resolution A/C.2/64/L.21/Rev.1 was adopted by 131 votes to 0, with 37 abstentions.
21. Ms. Davidovich (Israel) said that the broad spectrum of sponsors and supporters of the resolution, which included developing countries as well as developed countries from both North and South, demonstrated the importance and wide appeal of the issue. It was troubling that the Arab Group, motivated by political considerations, had called for a vote on the resolution, which was in fact apolitical. However, it was gratifying that the Second Committee had recognized those unconstructive efforts for what they were, and not a single country had voted against the resolution. The resolution encouraged and promoted initiatives that harnessed the power of agriculture. Agricultural technology could bolster sustainable development in a manner that uplifted and empowered communities.
The meeting rose at 1.05 p.m.
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Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.