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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.4/51/SR.22
4 September 1997

ENGLISH
ORIGINAL: RUSSIAN

General Assembly
FIFTY-FIRST SESSION
Official Records
SPECIAL POLITICAL AND
DECOLONIZATION COMMITTEE
(FOURTH COMMITTEE)
22nd meeting
held on
Wednesday, 27 November 1996
at 10 a.m.
New York


SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 22nd MEETING


Chairman:
Mr. KITTIKHOUN
(Lao People's Democratic Republic)
later:
(Ms. CARAYANIDES)
(Vice-Chairman)
(Australia)
later:
Mr. KITTIKHOUN
(Lao People's Democratic Republic)


CONTENTS

AGENDA ITEM 85: REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE ISRAELI PRACTICES AFFECTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE AND OTHER ARABS OF THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

AGENDA ITEM 84: UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST (continued)

/...


The meeting was called to order at 10.05 a.m.


AGENDA ITEM 85: 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/50/915, A/51/99 and Add.2, A/51/310, A/51/407, A/51/411, A/51/429, A/51/514, A/51/516, A/51/517, A/51/518; A/C.4/51/L.19, L.20, L.21/Rev.1, L.22, L.23/Rev.1)

1. Mr. SAMADI (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that he information contained in the twenty-eighth report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (A/51/99/Add.2) showed that "the situation of human rights in the occupied territories has deteriorated remarkably". The occupying power had continued to implement various measures which amounted to violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people. For the first time the occupied territories had been completely sealed off, which had occasioned considerable hardships in the day-to-day life of the inhabitants. The closure had had a negative effect on the economic and social situation of the occupied territories with at least 10 per cent of the population living below the poverty line and the losses resulting from the current closure estimated at more than US$6 million a day, which was more than the financial assistance provided by foreign donors. One of the most serious consequences of the closure had been the severe restrictions placed on freedom of movement. On several occasions those restrictions had had a catastrophic effect on the lives and health of the population of the occupied territories. The restrictions imposed on the freedom of movement in connection with the introduction of the isolation policy had also limited access by worshippers to Moslem and Christian holy sites, especially in Jerusalem.

2. The expansion of settlements, the construction of bypass roads and the confiscation of land in the occupied territories had also continued during the period under consideration. Statistics showed that there were currently 145,000 settlers as compared with 96,000 in 1992, which indicated that during the past four years the number of settlers had significantly increased in comparison with any previous period. Killings, detentions and ill-treatment of detainees were other aspects of the inhumane actions of the occupying forces in the occupied territories. The report of the Special Committee stated that the conditions of detention of Palestinian prisoners had further deteriorated in recent years. Palestinian prisoners continued to be subjected to interrogation methods that could best be described as torture.

3. According to the report, some 400 Arab-owned houses had been demolished since 1987. The situation regarding the demolition of houses had recently been aggravated in East Jerusalem; the demolitions appeared to be part of the process of eliminating the Palestinian presence there.

4. His delegation wished to reiterate that a comprehensive and just solution to the question of Palestine lay in the restoration of all rights of the Palestinian people, including the return of all Palestinian refugees and displaced persons to their homeland, the full and free exercise of their right to self-determination, and the liberation of all the occupied territories.

5. Ms. Carayanides (Australia), Vice-Chairman, took the Chair.

6. Mr. ADWAN (Jordan) thanked the Special Committee for its report and said that the inhabitants of the Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories had entertained high hopes of the peace process. However, those hopes had not been realized owing to the actions of Israel, specifically the blockade of the territories, the destruction of homes, the expansion of existing settlements and the construction of new ones, administrative delays and the imposition of restrictions on the freedom of movement of people and goods in the Palestinian territories. All of those factors had had a negative impact on the living conditions and humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people. The severe measures violated principles of justice and standards of international law and were at variance with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and other relevant conventions. They were also inconsistent with the spirit of peace and efforts to normalize relations and strengthen trust between peoples in the region after decades of unrest, conflict and instability.

7. The report stated that the most significant cause of tension was the ongoing construction of settlements on the West Bank, including Jerusalem, and in other occupied Arab territories. In that connection his delegation wished to stress that the relevant United Nations resolutions clearly stated that the construction of settlements in the Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories was illegal and a serious obstacle to the peace process. Despite the decision pursuant to the peace accords signed by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel to postpone discussion of certain items, including the matter of settlements, pending negotiations on final status, the illegal confiscation of Arab lands by the Israeli Government in order to build settlements was incompatible with the achievement by all parties of the common goal of economic and social stability.

8. For many years his Government had fought for the establishment of peace in the region, as evidence by Jordan's participation in the Madrid talks. Those efforts had culminated in the signing in October 1994 of an agreement between Jordan and Israel. His Government believed that the agreement would be a further step towards a comprehensive, lasting and just peace and a model for regional cooperation in the Middle East. Jordan's commitment to the cause of peace also entailed compliance with established principles and a pledge to resist anything that threatened to jeopardize, undermine or torpedo the peace process. Experience had shown that peace could only be preserved through dialogue and a sober analysis of all aspects of violence and tension. It was important to refrain from emotional reactions and the desire for vengeance, which could only deepen the gulf between the peoples of the region. The issue under consideration could not be resolved without settling the Palestinian problem as a whole, so as to end the occupation and give the Palestinians the opportunity to exercise their right to self-determination in their national territory.

9. Mr. CORVIN (Ireland), speaking on behalf of the European Union and the Czech Republic, Iceland, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, said that the past year had not been an easy one for the peace process in the Middle East. Towards the end of September there had been an increase in tension which had led to an outbreak of violence in the region. The European Union deplored the violence, regarding it as a culmination of the frustration felt by many Palestinians at the lack of progress in the peace process. The situation had been aggravated by a number of factors, including Israel's failure to meet its commitments under the Madrid and Oslo Agreements, particularly with regard to the redeployment of its troops in and from Hebron. The European Union hoped that the negotiations on that problem would be brought to a successful conclusion in the near future.

10. The Israeli policy of closures had dealt a particularly damaging blow to the local economy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The number of unemployed throughout the occupied territories had risen dramatically, and that could prove to be a source of further violence. While recognizing Israel's security concerns, the European Union urged the Israeli Government to lift completely the remaining restrictions in that regard. The fact that an unwarranted number of Arab dwellings had been declared illegal and been demolished by the Israeli authorities while, on the other hand, there appeared to be a de facto policy of encouraging the expansion of existing settlements and the creation of new ones had provoked a justifiable feeling of grievance. The European Union reiterated that it considered all such settlements to be illegal and an obstacle to achieving comprehensive peace.

11. The European Union had great difficulties with many of the policies which the Israeli Government was pursuing in the West Bank and Gaza. Nevertheless, it continued to believe that, once the Interim Agreement had been fully implemented, the issues covered by the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories could be better dealt with in another framework, one which might lend itself more readily to the spirit of compromise and mutual understanding without which true peace in the region would never be achieved.

12. The current atmosphere of Arab-Israeli relations was, regrettably, characterized more by mutual distrust than understanding. The European Union therefore called on all parties to exercise the utmost restraints in their words and actions. His delegation urged all parties to implement the Madrid and Oslo Agreements fully, since there could be no alternative to a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement to the Palestinian question and to the Arab-Israeli conflict as a whole. Any such settlement must be based on Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978), and should be in accordance with the standards of international law. The European Union reaffirmed its commitment to such a solution and its readiness to participate and assist in every way possible in order to achieve that objective.

13. Mr. ZAKI (Egypt) said that the nature of Israeli practices in the occupied territories and the number of violations had not changed since the establishment of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories. Israel had continued to arrest Palestinian citizens indiscriminately, demolish houses in order to terrorize the population, pursue a policy of confiscating Palestinian lands, change the demographic and geographic status of Jerusalem, seal off the Palestinian territories and pursue a policy of colonization and establishment of new settlements. All of those examples demonstrated that Israeli practices in the occupied territories were no different in times of peace than in times of war. Such policies and practices had not changed despite the launching of the peace process five years previously and despite the numerous agreements signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

14. His Government was using all the means at its disposal to promote the peace process; it had taken an objective approach in dealing with events in the region and had striven to avoid radical positions. His delegation viewed the resumption by the Israeli Government of a policy of building new settlements or expanding existing ones in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as a direct violation of all the resolutions passed by international bodies. The continuation of such a policy on the part of the Israeli Government, despite statements by its leaders about their commitment to the peace process, raised questions about the real attitude of the Israeli Government towards the peace process and the genuineness of its commitment thereto. By pursuing its policy of establishing and expanding settlements, the Israeli Government was reneging on the principle of land for peace, which was the fundamental principle on which the peace process was based. Israeli practices in the occupied territories only served to complicate the negotiations and undermine their results. His Government believed that the international community should take all possible steps to halt such practices.

15. Mr. AL-SAUD (Saudi Arabia) said that the report gave a clear picture of Israeli practices and of serious human rights violations. Such revelations were all the more perplexing given that they had occurred after the start of the peace process and the signing of agreements between Israel and the Palestinian authorities. The Israeli blockade of Palestinian territories, which offended the very spirit and basic principles of peace, was one of the main reasons why the situation had deteriorated. The suspension of trade in the Gaza Strip and the replacement of Palestinians by foreign workers had placed Palestinians in an extremely difficult position by depriving them of the means to support themselves.

16. The measures taken by the Israeli authorities in violation of the agreements were disrupting trade and leading to shortages of day-to-day necessities in the occupied Palestinian territories. Another very serious problem was the establishment of settlements. The Israeli authorities had declared that approximately 68 per cent of the land in the West Bank belonged to the State. An equally serious problem was the construction of bypass roads to link settlements of 300-500 families, which turned out to be wide motorways. At the same time, Palestinian towns with a population of 400,000 people had no roads at all, even very bad ones. The fact that Israel was pursuing a policy which encroached upon the Palestinians' fundamental human rights could only aggravate the deprivations suffered by the Palestinian people and lead to a breakdown of the peace process. Israel should put a stop to that practice and comply with the provisions of the peace agreements it had concluded with the Palestinians.

17. The Special Committee had urged the parties to cooperate in the interests of advancing the peace process and establishing a lasting and just peace in the region. The peace process should continue while ensuring that the provisions of all United Nations resolutions and the principles of respect for human rights were complied with. The time had come to bring about peace in the Middle East, and the international community should support efforts to achieve that objective.

18. The CHAIRMAN said that Senegal wished to be included on the list of speakers for the agenda item under discussion and took it that the Committee would approve the request.

19. It was so decided.

20. Mr. DEGUÈNE KA (Senegal) said that his delegation had examined the periodic reports contained in documents A/51/99 and Add.1 and the twenty-eighth report of the Special Committee (A/51/99/Add.2), and supported the conclusions and recommendations contained therein relating to the defence of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in accordance with the resolutions adopted by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the Commission on Human Rights and other relevant United Nations bodies. His country had always welcomed the efforts made by the parties concerned to bring about a just and lasting peace in the Middle East region. The strengthening and continuation of the peace process initiated in 1993 required the will of all the parties directly involved - Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the international community - which had co-sponsored the agreements.

21. As the Special Committee had noted in document A/51/99/Add.2, "The Israeli-Palestinian peace process has reached a decisive stage. If the momentum of the peace negotiations is not maintained and the agreements that have already been reached not fully implemented, the spectre of the vicious circle of recurrent violence and conflict would loom over the whole area of the Middle East". That concern was evoked by the fact that the situation in the occupied territories was growing worse each day, as shown by the total blockade of the territories and the restrictions imposed on freedom of movement, which, in turn, had a catastrophic impact on the economic and social situation, health care, education and freedom of religion. While Israel had a right to live within internationally recognized borders and to ensure the safety of its population, its actions should not infringe upon the Palestinians' freedom to exercise their inalienable rights.

22. Lastly, he called upon all the parties concerned to make serious efforts to advance the peace process. In order not to lose what had already been achieved, both sides must assume responsibility for implementing the peace agreements. The international community as a whole must take steps to safeguard the momentum and spirit of the peace process, with a view to achieving a just and lasting settlement of the crisis in the region, through the establishment of a human rights culture based on respect for the dignity of the inhabitants of the occupied territories.

23. Mr. KITTIKHOUN (Lao People's Democratic Republic) resumed the Chair and declared a suspension for the purpose of holding consultations.

The meeting was suspended at 10.55 a.m. and resumed at 11.05 a.m.

Draft resolutions A/C.4/51/L.19, L.20, L.21/Rev.1, L.22 and L.23/Rev.1

24. Mr. RIVERO ROSARIO (Cuba) introduced draft resolutions A/C.4/51/L.19, L.20, L.21/Rev.1, L.22 and L.23/Rev.1.

25. Mr. KHAN (Secretary of the Committee) said that the Programme Planning and Budget Division had informed the Committee that draft resolutions A/C.4/51/L.19, L.20, L.21/Rev.1, L.22 and L.23/Rev.1 had no programme budget implications.

26. Mr. MACEDO (Mexico) drew attention to the fact that in paragraph 1 of the Spanish version of draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.21/Rev.1 the word "coloniales" had been retained in reference to the Israeli settlements; he requested the Secretariat to correct that error.

Statements in explanation of vote

27. Mr. AYALON (Israel) said that the question of settlements related exclusively to the permanent-status issue between Israel and the Palestinians. Accordingly, that question should be resolved in the framework of direct negotiations between the parties themselves. Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.21/Rev.1 constituted an attempt to predetermine the outcome of such negotiations and thus ran directly counter to the principles on which the peace process was based, such as the principle of direct negotiations between the parties concerned without preconditions. As such, the draft resolution might have an adverse effect on the negotiations. His country therefore intended to vote against the draft resolution and urged all Member States which supported the Middle East peace process to do likewise.

28. Mr. KEENE (United States of America) said that draft resolutions A/C.4/51/L.19, L.20, L.21/Rev.1, L.22 and L.23/Rev.1 contained stale formulations and did not make a constructive contribution to the current peace process. The resolutions did not reflect the numerous successes achieved to date by the negotiating parties. They contained virtually no references to the progress made in the region since the holding of the Madrid Conference five years earlier, and ignored the efforts of the parties involved to settle their disputes peacefully. Moreover, the stock formulations used in the draft resolutions were one-sided and were growing mustier by the year. At a time when his country and other States were calling for structural reforms and limits on the Organization's budget, the resources devoted to the Special Committee could be directed towards other purposes which would be of direct benefit to the Palestinian people. Those resources should be utilized to support Palestinian self-government and economic development in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. That would make it possible to promote the peace process, improve the well-being of the Palestinian people and demonstrate serious intentions with regard to the reform of the United Nations. He urged the members of the Committee to refrain from making their standard request to the Special Committee to continue its work and submit reports in the following year. The time had come to recognize that the existence of the Special Committee did not contribute to the joint efforts being made by Israel and Palestine to settle their differences. As on previous occasions, his country would vote against the use of such phrases as "the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem". Such formulations bore no relationship to the issues of sovereignty and prejudged the nature of future political arrangements in the territories, which could only be determined through direct negotiations between the parties. It was necessary to support the efforts of the parties and to promote progress within the framework of the peace process.

Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.19

29. A recorded vote was taken.

30. Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.19 was adopted by 69 votes to 2, with 59 abstentions.*

____________
*The delegation of Venezuela subsequently informed the Committee that, had it had been present during the vote, it would have voted in favour of the draft resolution.



Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.20

31. A recorded vote was taken.

32. Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.20 was adopted by 129 votes to 2, with 4 abstentions.*

____________
*The delegation of Venezuela subsequently informed the Committee that, had it had been present during the vote, it would have voted in favour of the draft resolution.



Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.21/Rev.1

33. Mr. HOLTER (Norway) suggested that the words "Aware of" in the fourth preambular paragraph of the draft resolution should be replaced by "Welcoming".

34. A recorded vote was taken on the draft resolution as orally amended.

35. Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.21/Rev.1, as orally revised, was adopted by 126 votes to 3, with 6 abstentions.*

____________
*The delegation of Venezuela subsequently informed the Committee that, had it had been present during the vote, it would have voted in favour of the draft resolution.



Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.22

36. A recorded vote was taken.

37. Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.22 was adopted by 125 votes to 2, with 7 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.23/Rev.1

38. A recorded vote was taken.

39. Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.23/Rev.1 was adopted by 127 votes to 1, with 6 abstentions.

Statements in explanation of vote

40. Mr. GATILOV (Russian Federation) said that the Russian Federation, which was closely following the developments in the situation in the Palestinian territories, strongly supported respect for human rights in those territories and condemned any terrorist methods utilized by members of extremist groups.

41. The Russian Federation was guided by the desire to create the most favourable political environment possible around the Middle East peace process, so as to promote the resolution of difficult issues in the Arab-Israeli negotiations and the observance by each side of the agreements reached. It was important to ensure observance of the human rights of refugees under the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, freedom of movement of persons and a solution to the problem of settlements.

42. In taking that approach, the Russian Federation did not prejudge the final resolution of the issues which were the subject of the bilateral agreements between the sides. Taking that into account, his delegation had been able to vote in favour of the draft resolutions contained in documents A/C.4/51/L.20, L.21/Rev.1, L.22 and L.23/Rev.1.

43. Ms. CARYANIDES (Australia) said that Australia supported strict adherence to universal international human rights standards. Her delegation was concerned at the sufferings the regime of isolation was causing for the Palestinian people, and also did not believe that the principles underlying the draft resolution contained in document A/C.4/51/L.22 would undermine Israel's security or limit its right to take measures to ensure that security.

44. Ms. MAWHINNEY (Canada) said that, in her delegation's view, the introduction of new resolutions on issues discussed in other committees did not facilitate the work of the United Nations and its agencies.

45. With regard to the question of the status of Jerusalem, her delegation believed that it could only be resolved in the context of a general settlement of Arab-Israeli differences.

46. Canada reiterated its strong support for the international human rights instruments referred to in draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.22, and regretted that during the drafting of the draft resolution, no account had been taken of other considerations, especially Israel's legitimate interest in ensuring its security.

47. Mr. MARSICO (Argentina) said that Argentina's position regarding the occupied territories had not changed; however, his delegation had abstained from the vote on draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.22, since, in its view, the text as a whole prejudged several aspects of the issue of Israeli occupation.

48. Mr. SAMADI (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that although his delegation had voted in favour of the resolutions under agenda item 85, it had reservations on those parts of the draft resolutions that could be interpreted as constituting recognition of Israel.

49. Mr. CORVIN (Ireland), speaking on behalf of the European Union in explanation of vote on draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.19, said that, although the European Union was concerned at many actions of the Israeli Government, it believed that the mandate and functions of the Special Committee failed to take account of contemporary realities. The European Union hoped that Israeli troops would be withdrawn from all the occupied territories, after which there would be no further need to maintain the Special Committee.

50. The European Union confirmed its firm intention to promote the continuation of the peace process and its readiness to support and participate in it.

51. Mr. APUNTE (Ecuador) said that his delegation had voted in favour of the draft resolutions under agenda item 85, since Ecuador's policy had always been based on condemnation of threats of the use of force and occupation of foreign territory. It was of the view that a settlement of the situation in the Middle East could be achieved only through renewed negotiations and dialogue.

52. Mr. HIROSE (Japan), speaking in explanation of vote on draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.21/Rev.1 as orally amended, said that Japan was concerned at the continuing Israeli policy of establishing settlements on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, since those settlements were, in principle, illegal, and called for an end to their expansion. At the same time, in the view of Japan, the problem of settlements should be decided in the context of negotiations on permanent status.

53. The CHAIRMAN said that the Committee had thus completed its consideration of agenda item 85.



AGENDA ITEM 84: UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST (continued) (A/51/13, A/51/369, A/51/370, A/51/371, A/51/439, A/51/476, A/51/495, A/51/509, A/59/915-S/1996/235; A/C.4/51/L.12 to L.18)

Draft resolutions A/C.4/51/L.12 to L.18

54. Mr. HOLOHAN (Ireland), speaking on behalf of the European Union, introduced draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.12 by saying that it reflected a balanced and pragmatic approach which should be applied to all resolutions concerning UNRWA.

55. The European Union was concerned by the grave financial situation of the Agency, and once again urged all States to offer all possible political and financial support to enable it to continue its operations in an appropriate manner.

56. Ms. van DAALEN (Netherlands), introducing draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.13, said that because of the grave financial situation in which the Agency found itself during the current year, it might not be able to carry out its main functions. Her delegation believed that the draft resolution currently before the Committee should be adopted by consensus.

57. Mr. SRIYONO (Indonesia) introduced draft resolutions A/C.4/51/L.14-L.18 on behalf of the sponsors.

58. The CHAIRMAN invited the Committee to follow the procedure he had used in taking up draft resolutions under agenda item 85, since the draft resolutions under agenda item 84 had no programme budget implications.

59. It was so decided.

60. The CHAIRMAN said that Morocco had joined the list of sponsors of draft resolutions L.12, L.15, L.16 and L.18, Turkey had joined the list of sponsors of draft resolution L.13, and Senegal had joined the list of sponsors of draft resolutions L.15-L.18.

61. Mr. KEENE (United States of America), speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, said that his Government, which was the largest donor to UNRWA, would have preferred to have had one resolution adopted by consensus. There was no need to link UNRWA's work with political questions or drag the Agency into the issue of permanent status. His delegation believed that attempts to use UNRWA or the draft resolutions currently before the Committee for political ends were incompatible with progress in the negotiations between the parties.

62. His delegation had joined the consensus on draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.15, but it had reservations regarding the proposal to make contributions to the financing of the University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds", which went beyond the sphere of education. His delegation also opposed the use of the expression "Palestinian territory occupied since 1967".

Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.12

63. A recorded vote was taken.

64. Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.12 was adopted by 139 votes to 1, with 2 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.13

65. Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.13 was adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.14

66. A recorded vote was taken.

67. Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.14 was adopted by 137 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.15

68. A recorded vote was taken.

69. Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.15 was adopted by 142 votes to none, with 1 abstention.

Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.16

70. A recorded vote was taken.

71. Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.16 was adopted by 137 votes to 2, with 3 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.17*

72. A recorded vote was taken.

73. Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.17* was adopted by 128 votes to 2, with 8 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.18

74. A recorded vote was taken.

75. Draft resolution A/C.4/51/L.18 was adopted by 137 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions.

76. Mr. GATILOV (Russian Federation) said that his Government fully supported the humanitarian work of UNRWA, which was particularly important during the current crucial period of establishing Palestinian self-rule. Mindful of the important tasks facing the Agency in the field of promoting the social and economic development of the Palestinian territories, his delegation had felt able to vote for the draft resolutions contained in documents A/C.4/51/L.16-L.18, taking into account their exclusively humanitarian orientation.

77. Mr. SAMADI (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that although his delegation had joined the consensus on the draft resolution contained in document A/C.4/51/L.13 and had voted for the draft resolutions contained in document A/C.4/51/L.12 and A/C.4/51/L.14-L.18, such actions should not be construed as recognition of Israel.

78. Mr. HIROSE (Japan) said that his Government supported the Middle East peace process both in the context of the multilateral negotiations and through the provision of assistance to the Palestinian people. Although his delegation had voted for the draft resolution contained in document A/C.4/51/L.17*, that in no way predetermined Japan's position with regard to the permanent status negotiations.

79. Ms. MAWHINNEY (Canada) said that her delegation had voted for the draft resolution contained in document A/C.4/51/L.17*, since it reflected her Government's view that the question of Palestinian refugees' property and the income derived therefrom should be dealt with on the basis of cooperation in the framework of the permanent status negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

80. The CHAIRMAN said that the Committee had concluded its consideration of agenda item 84.

/...

The meeting rose at 1.15 p.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 the publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-794, 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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