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Agenda item 68: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued)
Draft resolution A/C.3/66/L.61: The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination
71. The Chair said that the draft resolution contained no programme budget implications.
72. Mr. Gustafik (Secretary of the Committee) said that Albania, Andorra, Austria, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Republic of Moldova, Romania, South Africa, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania and Uzbekistan had joined the sponsors.
73. Mr. Selim (Egypt) said that Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Costa Rica, Croatia, Eritrea, Estonia, Finland, France, Ghana, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Liberia, Mauritius, New Zealand, Paraguay, Portugal, Rwanda, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Suriname, Switzerland, Timor-Leste and Zambia had joined the sponsors. The inalienable right to self-determination was enshrined in international law and international human rights instruments. It was thus not a gift from the international community to be bestowed upon those living under colonialism and foreign occupation. The Palestinian people had been counting on the support of the international community for six decades to ensure their right to full enjoyment of self-determination and put an end to the Israeli occupation and exploitation of their lands.
74. Adoption of the draft resolution by consensus would contribute to enabling the Palestinian people to establish on their land the independent, sovereign and viable State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Statements made in explanation of vote before the voting
75. Ms. Furman (Israel) said that history had shown that peace must be negotiated and could not be imposed from outside. Only Israelis and Palestinians sitting together at the negotiating table could make the difficult compromises necessary to create two States for two peoples living side by side in peace and security. Speaking at the United Nations in September, Prime Minister Netenyahu had issued a clear call to the Palestinians to start direct bilateral negotiations immediately, without preconditions. While Israel had demonstrated its readiness to recognize Palestinian national aspirations for self-determination, the Palestinians must also accept that Israel was the homeland of the Jewish people and recognize the right of Israelis to live in security and peace.
76. The draft resolution one-sidedly affirmed self-determination for Palestinians. While it expressed a general need for resumption of negotiations, it failed to call on the Palestinians to resume direct bilateral negotiations with Israel. The draft resolution brought no direct relief or benefit to the Palestinians. Progress towards realization of the national aspirations of the Palestinian people would come only through genuine negotiations and agreement between the Palestinians and Israel, not through disingenuous draft resolutions such as the one currently before the Committee. Israel had therefore called for a vote and would vote against the draft resolution.
77. At the request of Israel, a recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.3/66/L.61.
79. Mr. Díaz Bartolomé (Argentina) said that he wished to reaffirm his country's commitment to the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to build a viable and independent State. Argentina had voted in favour of the draft resolution, in accordance with the Government's 2010 recognition of Palestine as a free and independent State within the 1967 borders and in line with the outcome of negotiations between the parties.
80. The decision to recognize the Palestinian State was a reflection of its commitment to promoting negotiations that would lead to an end of the conflict, as well as of its desire to see all peoples live together peacefully. Argentina likewise reaffirmed its irrevocable support for Israel's right to be recognized and to live in peace and security within internationally recognized boundaries.
82. Argentina welcomed the adoption of the draft resolution, which would contribute to the self-determination the Palestinian people, including their right to an independent State.
84. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine) said that she wished to thank all of the delegations that had voted in favour of the draft resolution. The massive show of support and the near unanimous votes in favour of the resolution had come at a historic time for the Palestinian people as they sought to realize their inalienable right to self-determination.
85. That overwhelming support made it all the more necessary to reflect on the negative vote cast by Israel, which had continued to pursue its relentless expansion of settlements throughout the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. It served as additional proof that the Israeli Government rejected the possibility of a peace settlement based on the principle of two States living side by side in peace and security. In order for a just peace to be achieved, the basic right to self-determination had to be mutually recognized by both parties. That right was not one of the permanent status issues nor had it ever been. It was not up for negotiation nor would it ever be, but was an inalienable right which belonged to all peoples, including the Palestinian people, who had been deprived of its enjoyment for far too long.
86. Contrary to the statements made by the Israeli representative peace would not be secured through the continued application of illegal Israeli policies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The two-State solution, which enjoyed broad international support, was in serious jeopardy as a result of Israel's illegal policies and practices. Its continued intransigence, which was evident in its colonization of Palestinian lands and its construction of the partition wall, was the main obstacle to peace.
87. The recognition of an independent Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital and within the pre-1967 borders was essential to secure the peace the Palestinian people yearned for. They would continue to appeal to the international community to stand with right above might in their long struggle to end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and to achieve their long-overdue right to self-determination.
The meeting rose at 7.20 p.m.