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Substantive session of 2001
PROVISIONAL SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 42nd MEETING
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,
on Wednesday, 25 July 2001, at 3 p.m.
ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTIONS ( continued)
(a) SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
(f) WOMEN IN DEVELOPMENT
(g) TRANSPORT OF DANGEROUS GOODS
(h) INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY FOR DISASTER REDUCTION
(j) ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES FOR DEVELOPMENT
(n) UNITED NATIONS FORUM ON FORESTS
(o) ASSISTANCE TO THIRD STATES AFFECTED BY THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS
(p) GLOBAL CODE OF ETHICS FOR TOURISM
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECLARATION ON THE GRANTING OF INDEPENDENCE TO COLONIAL COUNTRIES AND PEOPLES BY THE SPECIALIZED AGENCIES AND THE INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE UNITED NATIONS (continued)
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS OF THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION AND THE LIVING CONDITIONS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY, INCLUDING JERUSALEM, AND THE ARAB
POPULATION IN THE OCCUPIED SYRIAN GOLAN (continued)
SOCIAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS ( continued)
(a) ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN (continued)
(b) SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ( continued)
(e) UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (continued)
(i) PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES (continued)
Vice-President, took the Chair
The meeting was called to order at 3.15 p.m.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL REPERCUSSIONS OF THE ISRAELI OCCUPATION AND THE LIVING CONDITIONS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY, INCLUDING JERUSALEM, AND THE ARAB POPULATION IN THE OCCUPIED SYRIAN GOLAN
(agenda item 11) (continued)
Draft resolution on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem,
and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan (E/2001/L.26)
Mr. ABDEL-HAMID (Egypt), introducing the draft resolution on behalf of its sponsors, said that the preamble was based on previous resolutions of the United Nations and the relevant principles of the Charter and reaffirmed the applicability of the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967. The draft resolution was, in fact, a repetition of the resolution adopted by the Council in 2000 (2000/31) apart from the insertion of a ninth preambular paragraph expressing the Council’ s grave concern over the continuation of the recent tragic and violent events that had led to so many deaths and injuries.
Mr. DAVISON (United States of America), speaking in explanation of vote before the voting, said that his delegation considered the draft resolution to be lacking in balance. It politicized the work of the Council and took up issues and themes that were the subject of negotiations on permanent status between the parties themselves. It also contained language which did not contribute to the peace process. His delegation therefore asked for a vote to be taken by roll-call and would vote against the draft resolution. It believed that the only correct way of addressing the issues taken up in the resolution was an end to the violence and the resumption of negotiations.
Mr. PAYOT (Observer for Belgium), said that the members of the European Union and associated countries that were members of the Council, would vote in favour of the resolution. Given the trends emerging in the Middle East, the Union was anxious to see a renewal of the peace process. It believed that the recommendations of the Fact-Finding Commission offered a way to restore calm and resume the peace process. The Union stressed the need to ensure the protection of the civilian population of the area and called on the parties to do their utmost to end the violence and resume negotiations. The Union had in the past called for the lifting of the measures against the population of the occupied territories. That was one of the central recommendations of the Fact-Finding Commission’s report.
At the request of the representative of the United States of America, a vote was taken by roll-call.
Norway, having been drawn by lot by the President, was called upon to vote first.
In favour : Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Italy, Japan, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Venezuela.
Against: United States of America.
Abstaining: Angola, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Fiji, Honduras.
The resolution was adopted by 42 votes to 1, with 5 abstentions.
Mr. AARDAL (Norway) said that the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem had had a profoundly negative impact on economic activity in those territories and on the living standards of the Palestinians. In the last nine months of violence the situation had deteriorated dramatically. The extensive use of internal and external closures had resulted in a significant reduction in Palestinian domestic economic activity. Of particular concern was the sharp drop in tax revenues and its impact upon the institutional stability of the Palestinian governing bodies and their ability to deliver essential public services, thus threatening civil order. There was also growing unemployment among Palestinian workers.
Since the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, the international community had invested considerable resources in promoting good governance and building strong Palestinian institutions, including the capacity to deliver much needed health and education services. The effects of the current crisis imperilled the significant progress of the past several years and undermined the prospects for peace in the long term.
His Government believed that positive economic development for Palestinians was an important prerequisite for peace. To that end, it had committed some US$ 150 million for Palestinian development projects in the period 1998-2003 in order to offset the negative social, economic and political impact of the budgetary crisis on the Palestinian Authority. Over the last nine months Norway had provided an additional $200 million for project support and other emergency purposes. In its capacity as Chairman of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee his delegation had undertaken fund-raising missions to major donors in the spring of 2001 to raise budgetary support for the Palestinian Authority. An immediate solution needed to be found to the Palestinian financial crisis through an end to hostilities, the cessation of the policy of closures and the transfer of outstanding funds from Israel to the Palestinian Authority. He urged Israel to adopt measures to that end.
His Government believed that the only long-term solution was a negotiated peace agreement based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), other relevant United Nations resolutions and the Oslo Agreements. It strongly urged the parties to implement the recommendations of the Mitchell Report. Violence and military activity had escalated over the last months and it was high time to return the initiative to the political leaders for a strategic decision in favour of peace.
Mr. HIRATA (Japan) said that his delegation had voted in favour of the draft resolution. It wished to point out once again, however, that the agenda item was essentially a political issue that had been discussed in other United Nations forums, such as the General Assembly and the Security Council. In the interest of avoiding duplication and improving the efficiency of the United Nations, it was not appropriate for the topic to be discussed repeatedly in the Economic and Social Council.
Mr. KAMIAB (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that the fact that his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution, should not be construed as recognition of Israel.
Mr. KOLESNIKOV (Russian Federation) said that his delegation had voted in favour of the draft resolution out of the conviction that the issue should be approached primarily on the basis of existing General Assembly resolutions which affirmed, inter alia , the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan to their natural resources, including land and water. The full range of issues must be included in final-status negotiations. Thus far, international efforts to stabilize the situation in the occupied territories had not succeeded. Opponents of the peace process continued to exacerbate tensions.
Maximum political will was vital if confidence measures were to be built at the political and economic levels and if existing agreements were to be implemented on the basis of the recommendations of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee (contained in the Mitchell Report ). Those recommendations - which had a real potential to ease the stalemate - had been reached thanks to the concerted efforts of international mediators, including the Russian Federation.
In discussing the worsening crisis, in particular the need for a cessation of the violence and terrorism, the Group of Eight (G-8) Summit had stressed the importance of the presence of third-party observers acceptable to both parties. The time had come for the international community to act.