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UNITED
NATIONS
E

        Economic and Social Council
PROVISIONAL
E/2008/SR.44
3 October 2008

Original: English

Substantive session of 2008
General segment

Provisional summary record of the 44th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Friday, 25 July 2008, at 10 a.m.

President: Mr. Hoscheit (Vice-President) ................................................................. (Luxembourg)



Contents

/...

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 ( continued)

/...



In the absence of Mr. Mérorès (Haiti), Mr. Hoscheit (Luxembourg), Vice-President, took the Chair.

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

/...

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 (continued) (E/2008/13; E/2008/L.26)

Draft resolution entitled “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan” (E/2008/L.26Database 'UNISPAL', View 'Full list', Document 'Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation - ECOSOC Draft resolution (Adopted)')

39. The President said that Indonesia, Malaysia and South Africa had become sponsors of the draft resolution, which, as orally revised, had no programme budget implications.

40. Mr. Benfreha (Algeria) proposed inserting, after the sixteenth preambular paragraph, a new paragraph, which would read, “ Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all civilians, and calling for the cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement, destruction, and all firing of rockets,”. The twentieth preambular paragraph would be revised to read “ Recognizing the efforts being undertaken by the Palestinian Authority, with international support, to rebuild, reform and strengthen its damaged institutions and promote good governance, and emphasizing the need to preserve the Palestinian institutions and infrastructure and to ameliorate economic and social conditions,”. Lastly, the following words should be added at the end of paragraph 5: “and expresses deep concern at any actions which threaten the integrity of the border crossings and the distribution of fuel”.

41. Mr. Heidt (United States of America), speaking in explanation of vote before the voting, said that his delegation would vote against the draft resolution because it was unbalanced, criticizing Israel while ignoring the targeting of civilians by Palestinian terrorists. The United States of America remained deeply concerned about the impact of the current humanitarian crisis on the entire Palestinian population and regretted that both Palestinian and Israeli civilians had lost their lives during the recent clashes in the Gaza Strip.

42. While he appreciated that the draft resolution highlighted the importance of promoting good governance, ensuring the safety and well-being of civilians and halting all acts of violence, it was inconsistent with the universalist values of the Council. Sensitive permanent status issues, such as those involving refugees, must be resolved through negotiations between the parties. The United States was committed to working with the Quartet and with regional States to move both parties forward towards President Bush’s vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. The focus of the international community should be on helping both parties maintain progress towards that shared objective. One-sided resolutions only served to undermine the ability of the United Nations to play a constructive role in furthering peace.

43. At the request of the representative of Algeria, a vote was taken by roll-call.

44. Cuba, having been drawn by lot by the President, was called upon to vote first.

In favour :
Algeria, Angola, Austria, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, China, Congo, Cuba, Czech Republic, El Salvador, France, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Moldova, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay.

Against:
Canada, United States of America.

Abstaining:
Cameroon, Japan.

45. Draft resolution E/2008/L.26, as orally revised, was adopted by 49 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions.

46. Ms. Hulan (Canada) said that her delegation had voted against the resolution even though it strongly supported the Palestinian people and shared the concerns expressed about their difficult living conditions. While some positive changes had been made to the original text of the resolution, it remained one-sided in its criticism of Israel and still did not sufficiently reflect the responsibilities and obligations of the Palestinian Authority to secure the economic and social well-being of its people.

47. Ms. Saito (Japan) said that her delegation had abstained from voting on the resolution because the issues raised therein were political in nature and therefore not suited to debate by the Council. She also regretted that action had been taken without sufficient consultation with the entire membership and in contravention of the 24-hour rule. Adopting such a politically sensitive resolution without due process did not contribute to the goals of the Council and would not promote a long-lasting solution to the issue it was intended to address.

48. Mr. Fluss (Observer for Israel) said that Council resolutions should be non-political, focusing instead on issues of economic and social concern. The resolution dealt with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a biased manner and therefore should not have been considered by the Council. While a few new elements had been introduced at the current session, the text remained unbalanced and politically motivated.

49. Palestinians should have a thriving economy and further opportunities for growth and Israel was committed to facilitating the delivery of necessary humanitarian aid and supplies to the Gaza Strip, despite its growing lawlessness and instability. The terrorist attacks carried out by Palestinians against Israel were obstacles to the social and economic well-being of the Palestinian people. Israel was committed to the peace process and believed that bilateral negotiations were the only way forward. By seeking to assign blame, however, the resolution undermined that bilateral dialogue. Delegations who believed in the future of the peace process should not have supported it and, in the future, should refrain from supporting politically motivated draft resolutions at the Council’s meetings.

50. Mr. Ali (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that the revised text of paragraph 17 of the resolution had been included hastily and his delegation had not been consulted about it during the negotiations. The paragraph placed Israel — the perpetrator — and the Palestinian people — the victims — on an equal footing. It was Israel that was occupying the Palestinian territories and was using tanks and aircraft against defenceless civilians, destroying their homes and carrying out State terrorism and war crimes in violation of international humanitarian law, the Fourth Geneva Convention and the relevant United Nations resolutions.

51. Since the international community and international law, embodied in the United Nations, had thus far been unable to ensure Israel’s respect for the rights of the people of the occupied Palestinian territory and the occupied Syrian Golan, those people had the right, under international law, to resist occupation by all available means.

52. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine) thanked the delegations that had voted in favour of the resolution. The Palestinian people in the occupied territory had been forced to live under a brutal military occupation that imposed untold misery and suffering. After 41 years of occupation, she hoped that Israel would finally heed the calls by the international community, embodied in the draft resolution, to comply with international law by ending its occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people and allowing them to live in their own independent State with East Jerusalem as its capital. Only then could her people develop and prosper.

53. Her delegation would continue to ask the United Nations, as a guardian of human rights, to pronounce on the issue until Israel ended its occupation of the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan. She also called on Israel to take action against the Israeli settlers responsible for the recent injuries and deaths in the West Bank and to hold them accountable for their illegal actions.

54. The President said that if there was no objection, he would that it that the Council wished to take note of the Secretary-General’s note on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan (E/2008/13).

55. It was so decided.

/...

The meeting rose at 11.57 a.m.




Corrections to this record should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza.



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