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2 November 2000
Agenda item 40
The situation in the Middle East
The situation in the Middle East
Report of the Secretary-General
1. The present report is submitted in pursuance of General Assembly resolutions 54/37 and 54/38 of 1 December 1999. The Assembly, in its resolution 54/37, which deals with the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem in violation of Security Council resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, called once more upon those States to abide by the provisions of the relevant United Nations resolutions. In Assembly resolution 54/38, which deals with Israeli policies in the Syrian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, the Assembly demanded once more that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan in implementation of the relevant Council resolutions.
2. The Secretary-General, in order to fulfil his reporting responsibility under the above-mentioned resolutions, on 7 August 2000 addressed notes verbales to the Permanent Representative of Israel and to the Permanent Representatives of other Member States requesting them to inform him of any steps their Governments had taken or envisaged taking concerning implementation of the relevant provisions of those resolutions. As of 26 October 2000, replies have been received from Denmark, Israel, Namibia and Qatar. Those replies are reproduced in section II of this report.
II. Replies from Member States
The Danish Government has nothing to report on the issue.
1. As the Secretary-General is aware, Israel voted against these resolutions, as well as against similar resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, in previous sessions. At this particular sensitive time in the Middle East peace process, Israel wishes to put on record, once again, its position on this matter. This response should not in any way be construed as an acceptance of the legitimacy of these resolutions.
2. Israel views the aforementioned General Assembly resolutions not only as being unbalanced, but also as an undue interference in matters that lie at the very core of the bilateral negotiations between Israel and her neighbours. As stated in the letters of invitation to the Madrid Peace Conference on the Middle East of October 1991, and reaffirmed in numerous legal undertakings, the Middle East peace process is predicated upon direct bilateral negotiations between the parties concerned.
3. The one-sided approach reflected in these resolutions threatens to prejudge the outcome of these negotiations and to undermine the prospects of achieving a just and lasting peace settlement based upon directly negotiated and mutually agreed solutions.
4. Israel expresses its hope that the General Assembly will, in respect of the negotiations currently under way, offer its unwavering and impartial support for the peace process. This is especially important now, as the Middle East peace process stands at a crucial juncture which will determine its future.
1. On General Assembly resolution 54/37: to ensure the implementation of the aforesaid resolution, greater political and diplomatic pressure should be put on those countries that do not comply with the provisions stipulated in the resolution. The Israeli position on the proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel has been declared null and void by a series of United Nations resolutions over the past years. Secondly, no agreement has been reached yet between the Palestinians and the Israelis on the status of Jerusalem. Given the aforesaid scenario, Namibia is of the opinion that the only way to solve the issue of Jerusalem is for the Palestinians and the Israelis to exercise greater political will and commitment in order to achieve peace.
2. On General Assembly resolution 54/38: Namibia is deeply concerned about the fact that Israel has not yet withdrawn from the Syrian Golan Heights contrary to the relevant Security Council and Assembly resolutions. The aforesaid area has been under Israeli occupation since 4 June 1967. Hence, our continual demands that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 in accordance with the relevant Council resolutions. Namibia will continue to help and assist the two parties to restart the peace negotiations in order to achieve goals through peaceful means.
The State of Qatar, as a co-sponsor of those resolutions related to the Al-Quds and the Syrian Golan Heights, hopes that those two resolutions could be implemented.
* In accordance with General Assembly resolution 54/248, sect. C, para.1, this report is being submitted on 2 November 2000 so as to include as much updated information as possible.