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Promotion and protection of the rights of children
Report of the Third Committee
Rapporteur: Ms. Oksana Boiko (Ukraine)
1. At its 19th plenary meeting, on 20 September 2002, the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the General Committee, decided to include in the agenda of its fifty-seventh session the item entitled “Promotion and protection of the rights of children” and to allocate it to the Third Committee.
2. The Third Committee considered the item at its 17th to 21st, 25th, 28th, 31st, 32nd, 51st and 55th meetings, on 11, 14 to 16, 23, 28 and 31 October and 1, 15 and 20 November 2002. At its 17th to 21st meetings, the Committee held a general discussion on item 105 jointly with item 43, entitled “Follow-up to the outcome of the special session on children”. An account of the Committee’s discussion is contained in the relevant summary records (A/C.3/57/SR.17-21, 25, 28, 31, 32, 51 and 55).
3. For its consideration of the item, the Committee had before the following documents:
(a) Report of the Committee on the Rights of the Child; 1
(b) Report of the Secretary-General on the status of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (A/57/295);
(c) Note by the Secretary-General transmitting the annual report of his Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict (A/57/402).
4. At the 17th meeting, on 11 October, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the Deputy to the Director of the New York Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund made introductory statements (see A/C.3/57/SR.17).
5. At the same meeting, the Committee engaged in a dialogue with the above-mentioned speakers, in which the following delegations took part: Afghanistan, Syrian Arab Republic, Austria, Cuba, Switzerland, Palestine, Israel, Senegal, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Suriname (see A/C.3/57/SR.17).
II. Consideration of proposals
A. Draft resolution A/C.3/57/L.23
6. At the 25th meeting, on 23 October, the representative of Egypt, on behalf of Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, the Sudan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Republic of Tanzania, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe, introduced a draft resolution entitled “ Situation of and assistance to Palestinian children” (A/C.3/57/L.23). Subsequently, Benin, Brunei Darussalam, the Comoros, Lesotho, the Niger, Suriname and the Syrian Arab Republic joined in sponsoring the draft resolution.
7. At its 51st meeting, on 15 November, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.3/57/L.23 by a recorded vote of 95 to 3, with 58 abstentions (see para. 25, draft resolution I). The voting was as follows: 2
In favour :
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Israel, Marshall Islands, United States of America.
Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Yugoslavia.
8. Before the adoption of the draft resolution, statements were made by the representatives of Israel, Egypt and the United States of America; after its adoption, statements were made by the representatives of Denmark (on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the European Union and Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, as well as Iceland and Norway), Australia, Turkey, Canada, Cameroon, the Russian Federation, Switzerland, India and Suriname, as well as the observer for Palestine (see A/C.3/57/SR.51).
III. Recommendations of the Third Committee
25. The Third Committee recommends to the General Assembly the adoption of the following draft resolutions:
Draft resolution I
Situation of and assistance to Palestinian children
The General Assembly,
Recalling the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 5
Recalling also the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and Plan of Action for Implementing the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s adopted by the World Summit for Children, held in New York on 29 and 30 September 1990, 6
Recallingfurther the Declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh special session, 7
Concerned that the Palestinian children under Israeli occupation remain deprived of many basic rights under the Convention,
Concerned also about the recent grave deterioration of the situation of Palestinian children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and about the severe consequences of the continuing Israeli assaults and sieges on Palestinian cities, towns, villages and refugee camps, resulting in the dire humanitarian crisis,
Expressing its condemnation of all acts of violence resulting in extensive loss of human life and injuries, including among Palestinian children,
Deeply concerned about the consequences, including psychological consequences, of the Israeli military actions for the present and future well-being of Palestinian children,
1. Stresses the urgent need for Palestinian children to live a normal life, free from foreign occupation, destruction and fear, in their own State;
2. Demands , in the meantime, that Israel, the occupying Power, respect relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child5 and comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 8 in order to ensure the well-being and protection of Palestinian children and their families;
3. Calls upon the international community to provide urgently needed assistance and services in an effort to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian children and their families and to help in the reconstruction of relevant Palestinian institutions.