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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
31 December 1999



December 1999

Volume XXII, Bulletin No. 7


Contents



Page
I.General Assembly adopts four resolutions on the question of Palestine
1
II.General Assembly adopts two resolutions on the situation in the Middle East
7
III.General Assembly adopts seven resolutions on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
9
IV.General Assembly adopts five resolutions on the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories
18
V.General Assembly adopts resolution on assistance to the Palestinian people
25
VI.General Assembly adopts resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination
27
VII.General Assembly adopts resolution on the right of the Palestinian people over their natural resources
28
VIII.UNRWA marks its fiftieth year of service to Palestine refugees; donor countries pledge $172 million
29
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http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.nsf, as well as at the following location
on the Internet http://www.un.org/Depts/dpa/qpal/pub_bltn.htm.

The General Assembly considered item 44, entitled “Question of Palestine,” at four plenary meetings, held on 29 and 30 November and 1 December 1999. Submitted under the agenda item were the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (A/54/35) and the report of the Secretary-General (A/54/457). For an excerpt from the Committee report and the text of the two statements introducing the debate on the item, see the November 1999 issue of this Bulletin, or see A/54/PV.65. For the verbatim records of the plenary consideration of the item, see A/54.PV.65, 66, 67 and 68

The Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People introduced draft resolutions A/54/L.42-45 in the statement he made at the 67th plenary meeting, on 29 November (see above).

The four resolutions adopted by the General Assembly on 1 December under the item are reproduced below, with the indication of the vote. Voting details will be given in a document to be issued by the Division for Palestinian Rights under the symbol A/AC.183/L.2/Add.21.


Resolutions on the question of Palestine

54/39. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, 3375 (XXX) and 3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1975,31/20 of 24 November 1976, 32/40 A of 2 December 1977, 33/28 A and B of 7 December 1978, 34/65 A of 29 November 1979 and 34/65 C of 12 December 1979, ESB7/2 of 29 July 1980, 35/169 A and C of 15 December 1980, 36/120 A and C of 10 December 1981, ES-7/4 of 28 April 1982, 37/86 A of 10 December 1982, 38/58 A of 13 December 1983, 39/49 A of 11 December 1984, 40/96 A of 12 December 1985, 41/43 A of 2 December 1986, 42/66 A of 2 December 1987, 43/175 A of 15 December 1988, 44/41 A of 6 December 1989, 45/67 A of 6 December 1990, 46/74 A of 11 December 1991, 47/64 A of 11 December 1992, 48/158 A of 20 December 1993, 49/62 A of 14 December 1994, 50/84 A of 15 December 1995, 51/23 of 4 December 1996, 52/49 of 9 December 1997 and 53/39 of 2 December 1998,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, 1/

Recalling the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, including its Annexes and Agreed Minutes, by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, 2/ as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, 3/ and the Memorandum signed at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on 4 September 1999,

Reaffirming that the United Nations has a permanent responsibility with respect to the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner in accordance with international legitimacy,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly;

2. Considers that the Committee can continue to make a valuable and positive contribution to international efforts to promote the Middle East peace process and the full implementation of the agreements reached and to mobilize international support for and assistance to the Palestinian people during the transitional period;

3. Endorses the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee contained in chapter VII of its report; 1/

4. Requests the Committee to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly or the Security Council, as appropriate;

5. Authorizes the Committee to continue to exert all efforts to promote the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, to make such adjustments in its approved programme of work as it may consider appropriate and necessary in the light of developments, to give special emphasis to the need to mobilize support and assistance for the Palestinian people and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session and thereafter;

6. Requests the Committee to continue to extend its cooperation and support to Palestinian and other non-governmental organizations in order to mobilize international solidarity and support for the achievement by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and for a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, and to involve additional non-governmental organizations in its work;

7. Requests the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, established under General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and other United Nations bodies associated with the question of Palestine to continue to cooperate fully with the Committee and to make available to it, at its request, the relevant information and documentation which they have at their disposal;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to circulate the report of the Committee to all the competent bodies of the United Nations, and urges them to take the necessary action, as appropriate;

9. Also requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Committee with all the necessary facilities for the performance of its tasks.
Adopted on 1 December 1999
by 105 votes to 3,
with 48 abstentions.

_________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/54/35).
2/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
3/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.


54/40. Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, 1/

Taking note in particular of the relevant information contained in chapter V.B of that report,

Recalling its resolutions 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, 33/28 C of 7 December 1978, 34/65 D of 12 December 1979, 35/169 D of 15 December 1980, 36/120 B of 10 December 1981, 37/86 B of 10 December 1982, 38/58 B of 13 December 1983, 39/49 B of 11 December 1984, 40/96 B of 12 December 1985, 41/43 B of 2 December 1986, 42/66 B of 2 December 1987, 43/175 B of 15 December 1988, 44/41 B of 6 December 1989, 45/67 B of 6 December 1990, 46/74 B of 11 December 1991, 47/64 B of 11 December 1992, 48/158 B of 20 December 1993, 49/62 B of 14 December 1994, 50/84 B of 15 December 1995, 51/24 of 4 December 1996, 52/50 of 9 December 1997 and 53/40 of 2 December 1998,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Secretary-General in compliance with its resolution 53/40;

2. Considers that the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat continues to make a useful and constructive contribution;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Division with the necessary resources and to ensure that it continues to carry out its programme of work as detailed in the relevant earlier resolutions, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and under its guidance, including, in particular, the organization of meetings in various regions with the participation of all sectors of the international community, the further development and expansion of the documents collection of the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine, the preparation and widest possible dissemination of publications and information materials on various aspects of the question of Palestine, the provision of assistance in completing the project on the modernization of the records of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine and the provision of the annual training programme for staff of the Palestinian Authority;

4. Also requests the Secretary-General to ensure the continued cooperation of the Department of Public Information and other units of the Secretariat in enabling the Division to perform its tasks and in covering adequately the various aspects of the question of Palestine;

5. Invites all Governments and organizations to extend their cooperation to the Committee and the Division in the performance of their tasks;

6. Notes with appreciation the action taken by Member States to observe annually on 29 November the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, requests them to continue to give the widest possible publicity to the observance, and requests the Committee and the Division to continue to organize, as part of the observance of the Day of Solidarity, an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations.

Adopted on 1 December 1999
by 107 votes to 3,
with 47 abstentions
________
1/ A/54/457-S/1999/1050; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-fourth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1999, document S/1999/1050.



54/41. Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, 1/

Taking note in particular of the information contained in chapter VI of that report,

Recalling its resolution 53/41 of 2 December 1998,

Convinced that the worldwide dissemination of accurate and comprehensive information and the role of non-governmental organizations and institutions remain of vital importance in heightening awareness of and support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,

Aware of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements signed by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, 2/ and of the subsequent implementation agreements, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, 3/ and the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum of 4 September 1999, and their positive implications,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat in compliance with resolution 53/41;

2. Considers that the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department is very useful in raising the awareness of the international community concerning the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East in general, including the achievements of the peace process, and that the programme is contributing effectively to an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and supportive of the peace process;

3. Requests the Department, in full cooperation and coordination with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to continue, with the necessary flexibility as may be required by developments affecting the question of Palestine, its special information programme for the biennium 2000-2001, in particular:

(a) To disseminate information on all the activities of the United Nations system relating to the question of Palestine, including reports on the work carried out by the relevant United Nations organizations;

(b) To continue to issue and update publications on the various aspects of the question of Palestine in all fields, including materials concerning the recent developments in that regard, in particular the prospects for peace;

(c) To expand its collection of audiovisual material on the question of Palestine and to continue the production of such material, including the updating of the exhibit in the Secretariat;

(d) To organize and promote fact-finding news missions for journalists to the area, including the territories under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority and the occupied territories;

(e) To organize international, regional and national seminars or encounters for journalists, aiming in particular at sensitizing public opinion to the question of Palestine;

(f) To continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the field of media development, in particular to strengthen the training programme for Palestinian broadcasters and journalists initiated in 1995;

4. Requests the Department of Public Information to promote the Bethlehem 2000 Project, within existing resources and until the Bethlehem 2000 commemoration comes to a close, including the preparation and dissemination of publications, audiovisual material and the establishment of a “Bethlehem 2000” site on the United Nations Internet home page.

Adopted on 1 December 1999
by 151 votes to 3,
with 2 abstentions


__________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/54/35).
2/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
3/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.


54/42. Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolutions adopted at the tenth emergency special session,

Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973,

Aware that it has been more than fifty years since the adoption of resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 and thirty-two years since the occupation of Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, in 1967,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General 1/ submitted pursuant to the request made in its resolution 53/42 of 2 December 1998,

Reaffirming the permanent responsibility of the United Nations with regard to the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects,

Convinced that achieving a final and peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is imperative for the attainment of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Aware that the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples is among the purposes and principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations,

Affirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,

Affirming also the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the territory occupied since 1967 and of Israeli actions aimed at changing the status of Jerusalem,

Affirming once again the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

Recalling the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, and the signing by the two parties of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, 2/ as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, 3/

Recalling also the withdrawal of the Israeli army, which took place in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area in 1995 in accordance with the agreements reached by the parties, and the initiation of the Palestinian Authority in those areas, as well as the subsequent redeployments of the Israeli army in the rest of the West Bank,

Noting with satisfaction the successful holding of the first Palestinian general elections,

Noting with satisfaction also the signing of the Memorandum at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on 4 September 1999,

Noting the appointment by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, and its positive contribution,

Welcoming the convening of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace in Washington, D.C., on 1 October 1993, as well as all follow-up meetings and the international mechanisms established to provide assistance to the Palestinian people, including the donor meeting held at Tokyo on 14 October 1999,

Expressing the hope that the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum signed on 4 September 1999 will be fully implemented towards full compliance with the existing agreements and the conclusion of the final settlement by the agreed time of September 2000,

1. Reaffirms the necessity of achieving a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in all its aspects;

2. Expresses its full support for the ongoing peace process which began in Madrid and the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993, 2/ as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 1995 3/ and the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum of 1999, and expresses the hope that the process will lead to the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

3. Stresses the necessity for commitment to the principle of land for peace and the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which form the basis of the Middle East peace process, and the need for the immediate and scrupulous implementation of the agreements reached between the parties, including the redeployment of the Israeli forces from the West Bank, and takes note with satisfaction of the commencement of the negotiations on the final settlement;

4. Calls upon the concerned parties, the co-sponsors of the peace process and other interested parties, as well as the entire international community to exert all the necessary efforts and initiatives to ensure the continuity and success of the peace process, and its conclusion by the time agreed upon;

5. Stresses the need for:

(a) The realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination;

(b) The withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967;

6. Also stresses the need for resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948;

7. Urges Member States to expedite the provision of economic and technical assistance to the Palestinian people during this critical period;

8. Emphasizes the importance for the United Nations to play a more active and expanded role in the current peace process and in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles;

9. Requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned, and in consultation with the Security Council, for the promotion of peace in the region and to submit progress reports on developments in this matter.

Adopted on 1 December 1999
by 149 votes to 3,
with 2 abstentions


_________
1/ A/54/457-S/1999/1050; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-fourth Year, Supplement for October, November and December, document S/1999/1050.
2/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560. 3/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.


II. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS TWO RESOLUTIONS ON THE
SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST


The General Assembly considered agenda item 43, entitled “The situation in the Middle East,” at three plenary meetings, held on 30 November and 1 December 1999. Under the item, the Secretary-General issued two reports on the implementation of the previous session’s resolution on Jerusalem containing information received from Member States (A/54/495), and on developments during the last year of the Middle East peace process (A/54/457), containing replies from the Security Council and parties concerned as well as his observations. For the verbatim record of the meetings, see documents A/54/PV. 66, 67 and 68.

On 1 December 1999, the General Assembly adopted two resolutions, reproduced below with an indication of the vote. Voting details will be given in a document to be issued by the Division for Palestinian Rights under the symbol A/AC.183/L.2/Add.21.

54/37. Jerusalem

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 36/120 E of 10 December 1981, 37/123 C of 16 December 1982, 38/180 C of 19 December 1983, 39/146 C of 14 December 1984, 40/168 C of 16 December 1985, 41/162 C of 4 December 1986, 42/209 D of 11 December 1987, 43/54 C of 6 December 1988, 44/40 C of 4 December 1989, 45/83 C of 13 December 1990, 46/82 B of 16 December 1991, 47/63 B of 11 December 1992, 48/59 A of 14 December 1993, 49/87 A of 16 December 1994, 50/22 A of 4 December 1995, 51/27 of 4 December 1996, 52/53 of 9 December 1997 and 53/37 of 2 December 1998, in which it, inter alia, determined that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purported to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, in particular the so-called “Basic Law” on Jerusalem and the proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, were null and void and must be rescinded forthwith,

Recalling also Security Council resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, in which the Council, inter alia, decided not to recognize the "Basic Law" and called upon those States which had established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General, 1/

1. Determines that the decision of Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem is illegal and therefore null and void and has no validity whatsoever;

2. Deplores the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem in violation of Security Council resolution 478 (1980) and their refusal to comply with the provisions of that resolution;

3. Calls once more upon those States to abide by the provisions of the relevant United Nations resolutions, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted on 1 December 1999
by 139 votes to 1,
with 3 abstentions

_________
1/ A/54/495.



54/38. The Syrian Golan

The General Assembly,

Having considered the item entitled "The situation in the Middle East",

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General, 1/

Recalling Security Council resolution 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming the fundamental principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming once more the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 2/ to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Deeply concerned that Israel has not withdrawn from the Syrian Golan, which has been under occupation since 1967, contrary to the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions,

Stressing the illegality of the Israeli settlement construction and activities in the occupied Syrian Golan since 1967,

Noting with satisfaction the convening at Madrid on 30 October 1991 of the Peace Conference on the Middle East, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and the formula of land for peace,

Expressing grave concern over the halt in the peace process on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks, and expressing the hope that peace talks will soon resume from the point they had reached,

1. Declares that Israel has failed so far to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981);

2. Declares also that the Israeli decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void and has no validity whatsoever, as confirmed by the Security Council in its resolution 497 (1981), and calls upon Israel to rescind it;

3. Reaffirms its determination that all relevant provisions of the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention of 1907, 3/ and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 2/ continue to apply to the Syrian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, and calls upon the parties thereto to respect and ensure respect for their obligations under those instruments in all circumstances;

4. Determines once more that the continued occupation of the Syrian Golan and its
de facto annexation constitute a stumbling block in the way of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region;

5. Calls upon Israel to resume the talks on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks and to respect the commitments and undertakings reached during the previous talks;

6. Demands once more that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions;

7. Calls upon all the parties concerned, the co-sponsors of the peace process and the entire international community to exert all the necessary efforts to ensure the resumption of the peace process and its success;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session on the implementation of the present resolution.
Adopted on 1 December 1999
by 92 votes to 2,
with 53 abstentions
_________
1/ A/54/495.
2/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
3/ See Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915).


III.
    GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS SEVEN RESOLUTIONS ON THE
    UNITED NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR
    PALESTINE REFUGEES IN THE NEAR EAST


On 6 December 1999, the General Assembly considered the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) on agenda item 88, entitled “United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (A/54/575). For the verbatim record of the plenary consideration of the item, see document A/54/PV.71; for a description of the report of the UNRWA Commissioner-General (A/54/13) submitted under the item, see the November 1999 issue of this Bulletin.

The seven resolutions adopted by the General Assembly under agenda item 88, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee, are reproduced below with an indication of the vote, where appropriate. Voting details will be given in a document to be issued by the Division for Palestinian Rights under the symbol A/AC.183/L.2/Add. 21.


54/69. Assistance to Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 53/46 of 3 December 1998 and all its previous resolutions on the question, including resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948,

Taking note of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999, 1/

Welcoming the signature in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993 by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the people of Palestine, of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements 2/ and the subsequent implementation agreements, and also the signature of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, 3/

Welcoming also the signing of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on 4 September 1999,

Encouraging the Multilateral Working Group on Refugees of the Middle East peace process to continue its important work,

1. Notes with regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of its resolution 194 (III), has not yet been effected and that, therefore, the situation of the refugees continues to be a matter of concern;

2. Also notes with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine has been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and requests the Commission to exert continued efforts towards the implementation of that paragraph and to report to the Assembly as appropriate, but no later than 1 September 2000;

3. Expresses its thanks to the Commissioner-General and to all the staff of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, recognizing that the Agency is doing all it can within the limits of available resources, and also expresses its thanks to the specialized agencies and to private organizations for their valuable work in assisting refugees;

4. Notes the significant success of the Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency since the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, 2/ and stresses the importance that contributions to this Programme not be at the expense of the General Fund;

5. Welcomes the increased cooperation between the Agency and international and regional organizations, States and relevant agencies and non-governmental organizations, which is essential to enhancing the contributions of the Agency towards improved conditions for the refugees and thereby the social stability of the occupied territory;

6. Urges all Member States to extend and expedite aid and assistance with a view to the economic and social development of the Palestinian people and the occupied territory;

7. Reiterates its deep concern regarding the persisting critical financial situation of the Agency, as outlined in the report of the Commissioner-General; 1/

8. Commends the efforts of the Commissioner-General to move towards budgetary transparency and internal efficiency, and welcomes in this respect the new, unified budget structure for the biennium 2000-2001, which can contribute significantly to improved budgetary transparency of the Agency;

9. Welcomes the consultative process between the Agency, host Governments, the Palestinian Authority and donors on management reforms;

10. Notes with profound concern that the continuing shortfall in the finances of the Agency has a significant negative influence on the living conditions of the Palestine refugees most in need and that it therefore has possible consequences for the peace process;

11. Calls upon all donors, as a matter of urgency, to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency, including the remaining costs of moving the headquarters to Gaza, encourages contributing Governments to contribute regularly and to consider increasing their contributions, and urges non-contributing Governments to contribute.

Adopted on December 1999
by 155 votes to 1,
with 2 abstentions.

____________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 13 and addendum (A/54/13 and Add.1).
2/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
3/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.



54/70.Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2656 (XXV) of 7 December 1970, 2728 (XXV) of 15 December 1970, 2791 (XXVI) of 6 December 1971, 53/47 of 3 December 1998 and the previous resolutions on this question,

Recalling also its decision 36/462 of 16 March 1982, by which it took note of the special report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, 1/

Having considered the report of the Working Group, 2/

Taking into account the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999, 3/

Deeply concerned about the continuing critical financial situation of the Agency, which has affected and affects the continuation of the provision of necessary Agency services to Palestine refugees, including the emergency-related programmes,

Emphasizing the continuing need for extraordinary efforts in order to maintain, at least at the current minimum level, the activities of the Agency, as well as to enable the Agency to carry out essential construction,

1. Commends the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for its efforts to assist in ensuring the financial security of the Agency;

2. Takes note with approval of the report of the Working Group; 2/

3. Requests the Working Group to continue its efforts, in cooperation with the Secretary-General and the Commissioner-General, to find a solution to the financial situation of the Agency;

4. Welcomes the new, unified budget structure for the biennium 2000-2001, which can contribute significantly to improved budgetary transparency of the Agency;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary services and assistance to the Working Group for the conduct of its work.

Adopted on 6 December 1999


________
1/ A/36/866 and Corr.1; see also A/37/591.
2/ A/54/477.
3/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 13 and addendum (A/54/13 and Add.1).




54/71. Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2252 (ES-V) of 4 July 1967 and 2341 B (XXII) of 19 December 1967 and all subsequent related resolutions,

Recalling also Security Council resolutions 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967 and 259 (1968) of 27 September 1968,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolution 53/48 of 3 December 1998, 1/

Taking note also of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999, 2/

Concerned about the continuing human suffering resulting from the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities,

Taking note of the relevant provisions of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, signed in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993 by
the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, 3/ with regard to the modalities for the admission of persons displaced in 1967, and concerned that the process agreed upon has not yet been effected,

1. Reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Expresses the hope for an accelerated return of displaced persons through the mechanism agreed upon by the parties in article XII of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements; 3/

3. Endorses, in the meanwhile, the efforts of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis, and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are currently displaced and in serious need of continued assistance as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities;

4. Strongly appeals to all Governments and to organizations and individuals to contribute generously to the Agency and to the other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned for the above-mentioned purposes;

5. Requests the Secretary-General, after consulting with the Commissioner-General, to report to the General Assembly before its fifty-fifth session on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted on 6 December 1999
by 154 votes to 2,
with 2 abstentions.

_________
1/ A/54/377.
2/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 13 and addendum (A/54/13 and Add.1).
3/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.



54/72.Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education,
oincluding vocational training, for Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 212 (III) of 19 November 1948 on assistance to Palestine refugees,

Recalling also its resolutions 35/13 B of 3 November 1980, 36/146 H of 16 December 1981, 37/120 D of 16 December 1982, 38/83 D of 15 December 1983, 39/99 D of 14 December 1984, 40/165 D of 16 December 1985, 41/69 D of 3 December 1986, 42/69 D of 2 December 1987, 43/57 D of 6 December 1988, 44/47 D of 8 December 1989, 45/73 D of 11 December 1990, 46/46 D of 9 December 1991, 47/69 D of 14 December 1992, 48/40 D of 10 December 1993, 49/35 D of 9 December 1994, 50/28 D of 6 December 1995, 51/127 of 13 December 1996, 52/60 of 10 December 1997 and 53/49 of 3 December 1998,

Cognizant of the fact that the Palestine refugees have, for the last five decades, lost their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General, 1/

Having also considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999, 2/

1. Urges all States to respond to the appeal in its resolution 32/90 F of 13 December 1977 and reiterated in subsequent relevant resolutions in a manner commensurate with the needs of Palestine refugees for higher education, including vocational training;

2. Strongly appeals to all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to augment the special allocations for grants and scholarships to Palestine refugees, in addition to their contributions to the regular budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East;

3. Expresses its appreciation to all Governments, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations that responded favourably to its resolutions on this question;

4. Invites the relevant specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system to continue, within their respective spheres of competence, to extend assistance for higher education to Palestine refugee students;

5. Appeals to all States, specialized agencies and the United Nations University to contribute generously to the Palestinian universities in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including, in due course, the proposed University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds" for Palestine refugees;

6. Appeals to all States, specialized agencies and other international bodies to contribute towards the establishment of vocational training centres for Palestine refugees;

7. Requests the Agency to act as the recipient and trustee for the special allocations for grants and scholarships and to award them to qualified Palestine refugee candidates;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session on the implementation of the present resolution.
Adopted on 6 December 1999
by 158 votes to none,
with 1 abstention.

________
1/ A/54/376.
2/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 13 and addendum (A/54/13 and Add.1).



54/73. Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 212 (III) of 19 November 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and all subsequent related resolutions,

Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions,

Having considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999, 1/

Taking note of the letter dated 30 September 1999 from the Chairperson of the
Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General, contained in the report of the Commissioner-General, 2/

Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolutions 48/40 E, 3/ 48/40 H 4/ and 48/40 J 5/ of 10 December 1993 and 49/35 C 6/ of 9 December 1994,

Recalling Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, 7/

Affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 8/ to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem,

Aware of the fact that Palestine refugees have, for over five decades, lost their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

Also aware of the continuing needs of Palestine refugees throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the other fields of operation, namely, in Lebanon, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic,

Further aware of the valuable work done by the refugee affairs officers of the Agency in providing protection to the Palestinian people, in particular Palestine refugees,

Deeply concerned about the continuing critical financial situation of the Agency and its effect on the continuity of provision of necessary Agency services to the Palestine refugees, including the emergency-related programmes,

Aware of the work of the new Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency,

Recalling the signing in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993 of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, 9/ and the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, 10/ as well as the signing of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on 4 September 1999,

Taking note of the agreement reached on 24 June 1994, embodied in an exchange of letters between the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization, 11/

Aware of the establishment of a working relationship between the Advisory Commission of the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization in accordance with General Assembly decision 48/417 of 10 December 1993,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the United Nations
Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as to all the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work;

2. Also expresses its appreciation to the Advisory Commission of the Agency, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed of its activities, including the full implementation of decision 48/417;

3. Welcomes the completion of the transfer of the headquarters of the Agency to Gaza and the signing of the Headquarters Agreement between the Agency and the Palestinian Authority;

4. Acknowledges the support of the host Governments and the Palestine Liberation Organization for the Agency in the discharge of its duties;

5. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 8/ and to abide scrupulously by its provisions;

6. Also calls upon Israel to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations 7/ with regard to the safety of the personnel of the Agency, the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of the facilities of the Agency in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem;

7. Calls once again upon the Government of Israel to compensate the Agency for damages to its property and facilities resulting from actions by the Israeli side;

8. Requests the Commissioner-General to proceed with the issuance of identification cards for Palestine refugees and their descendants in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

9. Notes that the new context created by the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization 9/ and subsequent implementation agreements has had major consequences for the activities of the Agency, which is henceforth called upon, in close cooperation with the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, the specialized agencies and the World Bank, to continue to contribute towards the development of economic and social stability in the occupied territory;

10. Notes also that the functioning of the Agency remains essential in all fields of operation;

11. Notes further the significant success of the Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency;

12. Expresses concern about the remaining austerity measures due to the financial crisis, which have affected the quality and level of some of the services of the Agency;

13. Reiterates its request to the Commissioner-General to consider the possibility of modernizing the archives of the Agency;

14. Urges all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to increase their contributions to the Agency so as to ease current financial constraints and to support the Agency in maintaining the provision of the most basic and effective assistance to the Palestine refugees.

Adopted on 6 December 1999
by 154 votes to 2,
with 1 abstention

____________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 13 and addendum (A/54/13 and Add.1).
2/ Ibid., p. ix.
3/ A/49/440.
4/ A/49/442.
5/ A/49/443.
6/ A/50/451.
7/ Resolution 22 A (I).
8/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
9/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
10/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.
11/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/49/13), annex I.



54/74. Palestine refugees' properties and their revenues

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General in pursuance of resolution 53/51 of 3 December 1998, 1/

Taking note also of the report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine for the period from 1 September 1998 to 31 August 1999, 2/

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 3/ and the principles of international law uphold the principle that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her property,

Recalling in particular its resolution 394 (V) of 14 December 1950, in which it directed the Conciliation Commission, in consultation with the parties concerned, to prescribe measures for the protection of the rights, property and interests of the Palestine Arab refugees,

Taking note of the completion of the programme of identification and evaluation of Arab property, as announced by the Conciliation Commission in its twenty-second progress report, 4/ and of the fact that the Land Office had a schedule of Arab owners and file of documents defining the location, area and other particulars of Arab property,

Recalling that, in the framework of the Middle East peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Government of Israel agreed, in the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993, 5/ to commence negotiations on permanent status issues, including the important issue of the refugees,

1. Reaffirms that the Palestine Arab refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of justice and equity;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps, in consultation with the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, for the protection of Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel, expresses its appreciation for the work done to preserve and modernize the existing records of the Commission, and requests the Secretary-General to complete this task;

3. Calls once more upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General in the implementation of the present resolution;

4. Calls upon all the parties concerned to provide the Secretary-General with any pertinent information in their possession concerning Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel that would assist him in the implementation of the present resolution;

5. Urges the Palestinian and Israeli sides, as agreed between them, to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees' properties and their revenues in the framework of the final status negotiations of the Middle East peace process;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted on 6 December 1999
by 154 votes to 2,
with 2 abstentions


_________
1/ A/54/345.
2/ A/54/338, annex.
3/ Resolution 217 A (III).
4/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Nineteenth Session, Annexes, Annex No. 11, document A/5700.
5/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.



54/75. University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds" for Palestine refugees


The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 36/146 G of 16 December 1981, 37/120 C of 16 December 1982, 38/83 K of 15 December 1983, 39/99 K of 14 December 1984, 40/165 D and K of 16 December 1985, 41/69 K of 3 December 1986, 42/69 K of 2 December 1987, 43/57 J of 6 December 1988, 44/47 J of 8 December 1989, 45/73 J of 11 December 1990, 46/46 J of 9 December 1991, 47/69 J of 14 December 1992, 48/40 I of 10 December 1993, 49/35 G of 9 December 1994, 50/28 G of 6 December 1995, 51/130 of 13 December 1996, 52/63 of 10 December 1997 and 53/52 of 3 December 1998,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General, 1/

Having also considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999, 2/

1. Emphasizes the need for strengthening the educational system in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 5 June 1967, including Jerusalem, and specifically the need for the establishment of the proposed university;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take all necessary measures for establishing the University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds", in accordance with General Assembly resolution 35/13 B of 3 November 1980, giving due consideration to the recommendations consistent with the provisions of that resolution;

3. Calls once more upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cooperate in the implementation of the present resolution and to remove the hindrances that it has put in the way of establishing the University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds";

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.
Adopted on 6 December 1999
by 155 votes to 2,
with 1 abstention

________
1/ A/54/385.
2/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 13 and addendum (A/54/13 and Add.1).




IV.
    GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS FIVE RESOLUTIONS ON THE
    REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE
    ISRAELI PRACTICES AFFECTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF
    THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE AND OTHER ARABS OF THE
    OCCUPIED TERRITORIES


On 6 December 1999, the General Assembly considered the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) on agenda item 89, entitled “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/54/576). For the verbatim record of the plenary consideration of the item, see document A/54/PV.71.

The five resolutions adopted by the General Assembly under the item, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee, are reproduced below with an indication of the vote. Voting details will be given in a document to be issued by the Division for Palestinian Rights under the symbol A/AC.181/L.2/Add. 21.



54/76.Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting
the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the
Occupied Territories

The General Assembly,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Guided also by the principles of international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1/ as well as international standards of human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 2/ and the International Covenants on Human Rights, 3/

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolution 2443 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968, and relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling also relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Aware of the lasting impact of the uprising (intifada) of the Palestinian people,

Convinced that occupation itself represents a gross violation of human rights,

Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories 4/ and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,5/

Recalling the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993,6/ as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995,7/ and the recent signing of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on 4 September 1999,

Expressing the hope that, with the progress of the peace process, the Israeli occupation will be brought to an end and therefore violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people will cease,

1. Commends the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly and for its impartiality;

2. Demands that Israel cooperate with the Special Committee in implementing its mandate;

3. Deplores those policies and practices of Israel which violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, as reflected in the reports of the Special Committee covering the reporting period; 4/

4. Expresses concern about the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, as a result of Israeli practices and measures;

5. Requests the Special Committee, pending complete termination of the Israeli occupation, to continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, especially Israeli lack of compliance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ to consult, as appropriate, with the International Committee of the Red Cross according to its regulations in order to ensure that the welfare and human rights of the peoples of the occupied territories are safeguarded, and to report to the Secretary-General as soon as possible and whenever the need arises thereafter;

6. Also requests the Special Committee to submit regularly to the Secretary-General periodic reports on the current situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem;

7. Further requests the Special Committee to continue to investigate the treatment of prisoners in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

8. Requests the Secretary-General:

(a) To provide the Special Committee with all necessary facilities, including those required for its visits to the occupied territories, so that it may investigate the Israeli policies and practices referred to in the present resolution;

(b) To continue to make available such additional staff as may be necessary to assist the Special Committee in the performance of its tasks;

(c) To circulate regularly to Member States the periodic reports mentioned in paragraph 6 above;

(d) To ensure the widest circulation of the reports of the Special Committee and of information regarding its activities and findings, by all means available, through the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat and, where necessary, to reprint those reports of the Special Committee that are no longer available;

(e) To report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session on the tasks entrusted to him in the present resolution;

9. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-fifth session the item entitled "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the. Occupied Territories.”

Adopted on 6 December 1999
by 84 votes to 2,
with 67 abstentions.

________
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2/ Resolution 217 A (III).
3/ Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex
4/ A/54/73 and Add.1 and A/54/325.
5/ A/54/181-185.
6/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
7/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.



54/77.Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of CivilianPersons
in time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including
Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories 1/ and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General, 2/

Considering that the promotion of respect for the obligations arising from the Charter of the United Nations and other instruments and rules of international law is among the basic purposes and principles of the United Nations,

Noting the convening of the meeting of experts of the high contracting parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 3/ in Geneva from 27 to 29 October 1998, at the initiative of the Government of Switzerland in its capacity as the depositary of the Convention, concerning general problems of application of the Convention in general and, in particular, in occupied territories,

Noting also the convening on 15 July 1999 for the first time of a Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, as recommended by the General Assembly in its resolution ES-10/6 of 9 February 1999, on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and to ensure respect thereof in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, 4/ and aware of the statement adopted by the Conference,

Stressing that Israel, the occupying Power, should comply strictly with its obligations under international law,

1. Reaffirms that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 3/ is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Demands that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and that it comply scrupulously with the provisions of the Convention;

3. Calls upon all States parties to the Convention, in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, 4/ to exert all efforts in order to ensure respect for its provisions by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

4. Reiterates the need for speedy implementation of the recommendations contained in its resolutions ES-10/3 of 15 July 1997, ES-10/4 of 13 November 1997, ES-10/5 of 17 March 1998 and ES-10/6 of 9 February 1999 with regard to ensuring respect by Israel, the occupying Power, for the provisions of the Convention;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted on 6 December 1999
by 154 votes to 2,
with 1 abstention.
________
1/ A/54/73 and Add.1 and A/54/325.
2/ A/54/181-185.
3/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
4/ Ibid., Nos. 970-973.



54/78.Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including
Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan


The General Assembly,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at its tenth emergency special session, as well as relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Aware of the Middle East peace process started at Madrid and the agreements reached between the parties, in particular the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993 2/ and the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 28 September 1995, 3/

Expressing grave concern about the continuation by Israel of settlement activities, including the ongoing construction of the new settlement at Jebel Abu-Ghneim, in violation of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions and the agreements reached between the parties,

Taking into consideration the detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies, decisions and activities on the Middle East peace process,

Gravely concerned in particular about the dangerous situation resulting from actions taken by the illegal armed Israeli settlers in the occupied territory, as illustrated by the massacre of Palestinian worshippers by an illegal Israeli settler at Al-Khalil on 25 February 1994,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General, 4/

1. Reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development;

2. Calls upon Israel to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan and to abidescrupulously by the provisions of the Convention, in particular article 49;

3. Demands complete cessation of the construction of the new settlement at Jebel Abu-Ghneim and of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

4. Stresses the need for full implementation of Security Council resolution 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994, in which, among other things, the Council called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to continue to take and implement measures, including confiscation of arms, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers, and called for measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted on 6 December 1999
by 149 votes to 3,
with 3 abstentions.
____________
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
3/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.
4/ A/54/183.



54/79.Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people
in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem


The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at its tenth emergency special session, and the resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, the most recent of which are resolutions 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994 and 1073 (1996) of 28 September 1996,

Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories 1/ and the reports of the Secretary-General, 2/

Aware of the responsibility of the international community to promote human rights and ensure respect for international law,

Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming also the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 3/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Recalling the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, 4/ as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, 5/ and the signing of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on 4 September 1999,

Noting the withdrawal of the Israeli army, which took place in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, and the subsequent Israeli redeployments in accordance with the agreements reached between the parties,

Concerned about the continuing violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, including the use of collective punishment, closure of areas, annexation and establishment of settlements and the continuing actions by it designed to change the legal status, geographical nature and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem,

Convinced of the positive impact of a temporary international or foreign presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the safety and protection of the Palestinian people,

Expressing its appreciation to the countries that participated in the Temporary International Presence in Hebron for their positive contribution,

Convinced of the need for the full implementation of Security Council resolutions 904 (1994) and 1073 (1996),

1. Determines that all measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 3/ and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, are illegal and have no validity and that such measures should cease immediately;

2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all practices and actions which violate the human rights of the Palestinian people;

3. Stresses the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods within the Palestinian territory, including the removal of restrictions on movement into and from East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world;

4. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to accelerate the release of all remaining Palestinians arbitrarily detained or imprisoned, in line with agreements reached;

5. Calls for complete respect by Israel, the occupying Power, of all fundamental freedoms of the Palestinian people;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted on 6 December 1999
by 150 votes to 2,
with 3 abstentions.

___________
1/ A/54/73 and Add.1 and A/54/325.
2/ A/54/181-185.
3/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
4/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
5/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.



54/80. The occupied Syrian Golan

The General Assembly,

Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, 1/

Deeply concerned that the Syrian Golan occupied since 1967 has been under continued Israeli military occupation,

Recalling Security Council resolution 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Recalling also its previous relevant resolutions, the last of which was resolution 53/57 of 3 December 1998,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of resolution 53/57, 2/

Recalling its previous relevant resolutions in which, inter alia, it called upon Israel to put an end to its occupation of the Arab territories,

Reaffirming once more the illegality of the decision of 14 December 1981 taken by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan, which has resulted in the effective annexation of that territory,

Reaffirming that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible under international law, including the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming also the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 3/ to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Bearing in mind Security Council resolution 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967,

Welcoming the convening at Madrid of the Peace Conference on the Middle East on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 aimed at the realization of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, and expressing grave concern about the stalling of the peace process on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks,

1. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan, in particular Security Council resolution 497 (1981), in which the Council, inter alia, decided that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and without international legal effect, and demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, rescind forthwith its decision;

2. Also calls upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan and in particular to desist from the establishment of settlements;

3. Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken or to be taken by Israel, the occupying Power, that purport to alter the character and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan are null and void, constitute a flagrant violation of international law and of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 3/ and have no legal effect;

4. Calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan, and to desist from its repressive measures against the population of the occupied Syrian Golan;

5. Deplores the violations by Israel of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;

6. Calls once again upon Member States not to recognize any of the legislative or administrative measures and actions referred to above;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted on 6 December 1999
by 150 votes to 1,
with 5 abstentions.
________
1/ A/54/73 and Add.1 and A/54/325.
2/ A/54/184.
3/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.


V. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON ASSISTANCE TO
THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE


The General Assembly considered the question of assistance to the Palestinian people under agenda item 20(e), entitled “Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance: assistance to the Palestinian people,” on 15 December 1999. For the verbatim records of the plenary consideration of the item, see document A/54/PV.80.

The Secretary-General issued under the item a report on assistance to the Palestinian people (A/54/134-E/1999/85).

On 15 December 1999, the General Assembly adopted under the item a resolution entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian people,” without a vote. The text of the resolution is reproduced below:


54/116. Assistance to the Palestinian people

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 53/89 of 7 December 1998,

Recalling also previous resolutions on the question,

Welcoming the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993 between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, 1/ as well as the signing of the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 1995, 2/ and the recent signing of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on 4 September 1999,

Gravely concerned about the difficult economic and employment conditions facing the Palestinian people throughout the occupied territory,

Conscious of the urgent need for improvement in the economic and social infrastructure of the occupied territory and the living conditions of the Palestinian people,

Aware that development is difficult under occupation and best promoted in circumstances of peace and stability,

Noting the great economic and social challenges facing the Palestinian people and their leadership,

Conscious of the urgent necessity for international assistance to the Palestinian people, taking into account the Palestinian priorities,

Noting the convening of the United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, entitled "Facing the challenges of the year 2000: promoting Palestinian national development", 3/ held at Cairo on 27 and 28 April 1998,

Stressing the need for the full engagement of the United Nations in the process of building Palestinian institutions and in providing broad assistance to the Palestinian people, including assistance in the fields of elections, police training and public administration,

Noting the appointment by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority,

Welcoming the results of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace, convened in Washington, D.C., on 1 October 1993, and the establishment of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee and the work being done by the World Bank as its secretariat, as well as the establishment of the consultative group,

Welcoming also the work of the Joint Liaison Committee, which provides a forum in which economic policy and practical matters related to donor assistance are discussed with the Palestinian Authority,

Welcoming further the results of the Ministerial Conference to Support Middle East Peace and Development, held in Washington, D.C., on 30 November 1998, and expressing appreciation for the pledges of the international donor community,

Welcoming the meeting of the consultative group in Frankfurt on 4 and 5 February 1999, in particular the pledges of the international donor community and the presentation of the Palestinian Development Plan for the years 1999-2003,

Welcoming also the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee held at Tokyo on 14 and 15 October 1999, and the signing of the updated Tripartite Action Plan, and welcoming also the proposal to hold the next meeting in Lisbon,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General, 4/

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General; 4/

2. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his rapid response and efforts regarding assistance to the Palestinian people;

3. Also expresses its appreciation to the Member States, United Nations bodies and intergovernmental, regional and non-governmental organizations that have provided and continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people;

4. Stresses the importance of the work of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority and of the steps taken under the auspices of the Secretary-General to ensure the achievement of a coordinated mechanism for United Nations activities throughout the occupied territories;

5. Urges Member States, international financial institutions of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and regional and interregional organizations to extend, as rapidly and as generously as possible, economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people in close cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization and through official Palestinian institutions;

6. Calls upon relevant organizations and agencies of the United Nations system to intensify their assistance in response to the urgent needs of the Palestinian people in accordance with Palestinian priorities set forth by the Palestinian Authority, with emphasis on national execution and capacity-building;

7. Urges Member States to open their markets to exports of Palestinian products on the most favourable terms, consistent with appropriate trading rules, and to implement fully existing trade and cooperation agreements;

8. Calls upon the international donor community to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance to the Palestinian people to meet their urgent needs;

9. Suggests the convening in 2000 of a United Nations-sponsored seminar on the Palestinian economy;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly at its
fifty-fifth session, through the Economic and Social Council, on the implementation of the present resolution, containing:

(a) An assessment of the assistance actually received by the Palestinian people;

(b) An assessment of the needs still unmet and specific proposals for responding effectively to them;

11. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-fifth session, under the item entitled "Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance", the sub-item entitled "Assistance to the Palestinian people".

Adopted on 15 December 1999,
without a vote.

__________
1/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
2/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.
3/ A/53/152-E/1998/71, annex.
4/ A/54/134-E/1999/85.



VI.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON THE RIGHT
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE TO SELF-DETERMINATION

On 17 December 1999, the General Assembly considered a report of the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (Third Committee) contained in document A/54/640, on agenda item 115, entitled “Right of peoples to self-determination,” and adopted the resolution reproduced below. For the verbatim record of the Assembly consideration, see A/54/PV.83.


54/152. The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

The General Assembly,

Aware that the development of friendly relations among nations, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, is among the purposes and principles of the United Nations, as defined in its Charter,

Recalling the International Covenants on Human Rights, 1/ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 2/ the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples 3/ and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993, 4/

Recalling also the Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations, 5/

Expressing hope for rapid progress in the peace process and the achievement of a final settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides by the agreed time of September 2000,

Affirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

1. Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the option of a State;

2. Expresses the hope that the Palestinian people will soon be exercising their right to self-determination, which is not subject to any veto, in the current peace process;

3. Urges all States and the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in their quest for self-determination.

Adopted on 17 December 1999
by 156 votes to 2,
with 1 abstention.
_________
1/ Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
2/ Resolution 217 (A) III.
3/ Resolution 1514 (XV).
4/ A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.
5/ See resolution 50/6.



VII.
    GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON THE RIGHT OF
    THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE OVER THEIR NATURAL RESOURCES

On 22 December 1999, on the recommendation of the Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) (see A/54/591), the General Assembly adopted a resolution on the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, under agenda item 103, entitled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources”. For the verbatim record of the plenary consideration of the meeting, see document A/54/PV.87. The resolution is reproduced below:


54/230.Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied
Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab
Population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 53/196 of 15 December 1998 and Economic and Social Council resolution 1999/53 of 29 July 1999,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and recalling Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 2/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Expressing its concern at the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of the natural resources of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Aware of the additional, detrimental economic and social impact of the Israeli settlements on Palestinian and other Arab natural resources, especially the confiscation of land and the forced diversion of water resources,

Expressing the hope that the Middle East peace process, which started at Madrid on 30 October 1991, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and the principle of land for peace, will reach a final settlement within the agreed time-frame, and that final settlement will be reached on all tracks,

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General; 3/

2. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land and water;

3. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, to cause loss or depletion of or to endanger the natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

4. Recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, loss or depletion of, or danger to, their natural resources, and expresses the hope that this issue will be dealt with in the framework of the final status negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to it at its fifty-fifth session on the implementation of the present resolution, and decides to include in the agenda of its fifty-fifth session the item entitled "Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources".

Adopted on 22 December 1999
by 145 votes to 3,
with 6 abstentions.

_________
1/ The delegation of Panama subsequently indicated that, had it been present, it would have voted in favour.
2/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
3/ A/54/152-E/1999/92, annex.



VIII.
UNRWA MARKS ITS FIFTIETH YEAR OF SERVICE TO PALESTINE
REFUGEES; DONOR COUNTRIES PLEDGE $172 MILLION

The following is an excerpt from a press release issued on 8 December 1999 (see GA/9680-PAL/1874).

Donor countries pledged some $172 million in support of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), at a meeting this morning of the Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly for the Announcement of Voluntary Contributions to UNRWA.

Theo-Ben Gurirab (Namibia), President of the General Assembly, said that the basic education services, health care and relief and social programmes provided by UNRWA were a visible reminder, particularly to the refugees, of the international community’s responsibility for their day-to-day needs. In recent years, UNRWA had added to those basic services a range of developmental programmes, focusing on job creation and income generation.

He said, however, that the gap between the resources provided by the international community to continue offering those services and the needs of the refugee community had steadily widened, resulting in an unavoidable negative effect on both the level and the quality of the Agency’s services. The Agency should be put on a firmer financial footing to enable it to fulfil its mandate. Delegates were asked to demonstrate to the more than 3.5 million Palestine refugees that their faith in the Organization had not been misplaced. (For full text of the statement of the President of the General Assembly, see GA/SM/137-PAL/1876).

Peter Hansen, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, said the Agency would require $360 million in 2000 and $375 million in 2001 to carry out its mandate efficiently and to meet minimum refugee needs and donor expectations. Included in those amounts were $59 million and $65 million, respectively, for badly needed capital improvements. The Agency’s new budget aimed at dealing once and for all with the chronic deficit problems of recent years, which had necessitated measures that had negatively impacted on UNRWA’S service delivery.

With spending per refugee now down to about $70 a year, from as high as $200 a year just a few years ago, a shift must be made from ideals to realities, he said. A chronically weak cash position had plagued the Agency in recent years, and funding required for outstanding costs had remained as a liability in UNRWA’s accounts. Financial deficits over the last few years had eroded the Agency’s working capital. The cash position remained critical, with a shortfall of $11.1 million likely by the end of this month. That was compounded by the non- payment of more than $37 million owed to UNRWA.

As pledges were made, delegates welcomed the Agency’s new budget format, saying it was more transparent and would improve UNRWA’s management.


Below is text of the statement of the Secretary-General which was delivered at a briefing at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 8 December 1999 (See SG/SM/7252 – PAL/877):

Fifty years ago today, in one of the first humanitarian undertakings of the United Nations, the General Assembly gave UNRWA a mandate to provide emergency relief and other assistance to three quarters of a million Palestine refugees.

It is no cause for celebration that the need for that assistance continues to be felt today. But it is a source of pride for the Organization that millions of refugees have received vital assistance and the basics of life directly from an agency of the United Nations. No other United Nations programme has been so closely linked, for so long, with the history of a people. Today, the United Nations flag flies over 650 UNRWA schools, 122 UNRWA health centres, and dozens of UNRWA community centres and other facilities across the Middle East.

In a region frequently beset by conflict and upheaval, UNRWA has been an important source of stability. UNRWA opened the Arab world's first vocational training centre for young men, in the West Bank. UNRWA carries out programmes for young people in tolerance and conflict resolution. UNRWA has also helped to preserve the cultural identity of the Palestinian people.

Despite this record, and despite the urgent need to create economic and social conditions that are conducive to peace, UNRWA today finds itself in a state of financial strangulation. Since assuming his responsibilities in 1996, Commissioner-General Peter Hansen has shown great dynamism and creativity in leading UNRWA through a difficult period in the Agency's existence. He and his team have now put forward a no-frills budget for the next two years that will deliver value for money and enable UNRWA to get away from the austerity measures of the past six years.

It is essential that donors respond. UNRWA must have the resources it needs to deliver the services that refugees require and deserve.

I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the tens of thousands of dedicated staff members of UNRWA, almost all of whom are Palestine refugees themselves. Thousands have served the Agency for 40 years or more. We are proud of these members of the United Nations family. We know that it has been dedication to the United Nations, as well as a sense of commitment to their own people, that has motivated and defined their hard work.

I would also like to thank UNRWA's donor community, and the countries that continue to host the Agency's operations, for their crucial support. Thank you very much. Commissioner-General Hansen would now like to say a few words and then will be pleased to take your questions.

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