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        General Assembly
1 November 2001

Original: English

General Assembly
Fifty-sixth session
Official Records
Third Committee
Summary record of the 28th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Thursday, 1 November 2001, at 10 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. Al-Hinai ............................................................ (Oman)


Agenda item 118: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 10.20 a.m.

Agenda item 118: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued) (A/56/224, A/56/295 and A/56/462-S/2001/962)

1. Mr. Ferrer (Cuba) said that, in addition to the continuing colonial domination of 17 countries and territories and the Israeli occupation of Palestine, the developing world was threatened by pernicious violations of the right to self-determination stemming from a new policy of domination in a unipolar world and theories which supported the right of intervention disguised as humanitarian concerns. Those interventionist doctrines and practices reflected double standards and strategies of domination which had never been put into practice in the past to liberate the people of South Africa from apartheid or end the massacre of the Palestinian people.

2. New dangers with unforeseeable consequences threatened the right to self-determination when the world’s only super-power could be heard to proclaim, in the prevailing atmosphere of bellicosity following the terrorist atrocity against the United States, that the right to development was an illusion and that the capitalist model was the sole valid means of obtaining access to financing for development. The preservation of peace depended on respect for the right of nations to a plurality of political, economic and social systems in exercise of their right to self-determination, independence and territorial integrity. Globalization could not become an instrument for standardizing the world on the basis of a single model designed in the major centres of power which did not reflect the economic, political or cultural particularities of most of the world’s peoples.

3. Where issues of self-determination were concerned, his Government felt deep concern at Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestinian territory and the new spiral of violence it had unleashed against defenceless Palestinian civilians, in breach of the recognition by the General Assembly of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. Similarly, the illegal usurpation of Cuban territory by the American naval base of Guantánamo was a violation of Cuban sovereignty, while the colonial occupation of Puerto Rico had still not been resolved, despite the numerous resolutions adopted by the General Assembly over the past 30 years.


6. Mr. Ahmed (Sudan) said that misinterpretation of the right to self-determination posed the greatest threat to the political unity, stability and territorial integrity of States, thereby exacerbating conflicts, endangering regional and international peace and security and increasing economic and social hardship. His country shared the view espoused by the Organization of African Unity that the right to self-determination was restricted to peoples under colonial domination or foreign occupation. In that connection, he referred to the ongoing events in the occupied Palestinian territory and to the coercion and arbitrary acts to which the Palestinian people were daily subjected under the Israeli occupation. Implementation of the United Nations resolutions which accorded to the Palestinian people the right to self-determination was therefore imperative with a view to ending its suffering and attaining its legitimate aspiration for an independent State with Jerusalem as its capital.


The meeting rose at 10.40 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.

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