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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/59/PV.46
29 October 2004

Official Records

General Assembly
Fifty-ninth session
46th plenary meeting
Friday, 29 October 2004, 10 a.m.
New York
President:Mr. Ping ......................................................................(Gabon)

The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.

...

Agenda item 8 ( continued)

Organization of work, adoption of the agenda and allocation of items

...

The President ( spoke in French ): I should like to inform members that the item entitled “The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan” becomes item 163 on the agenda of the current session.

In paragraph 5 of the same document, the General Committee recommends to the General Assembly that agenda item 36, “The situation in the Middle East”, and agenda item 37, “Question of Palestine”, be considered separately.

May I take it that the General Assembly decides to consider agenda item 36, “The situation in the Middle East”, and agenda item 37, “Question of Palestine”, separately?

It was so decided.

The President ( spoke in French): I call on the representative of Israel.

Mr. Cohen (Israel): Allow me to express my disappointment over the decision of the General Committee to recommend that the Assembly split its consideration of agenda item 36, on the situation in the Middle East, and item 37 on the question of Palestine, which had been scheduled, according to a previous decision, to be considered jointly. Progress demands efficiency and this is simply not a decision built on efficiency.

Just a few weeks ago, this Assembly held a joint debate on agenda item 52, “Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly”, and agenda item 54, “Strengthening of the United Nations system”. Those initiatives, as well as others, such as those set out in the Millennium Declaration, call for a more efficient approach to our work whereby redundancies and duplicate processes are eliminated. As the Secretary-General wrote in “Strengthening of the United Nations: an agenda for further change”, the General Assembly


Great improvements are possible, however, if duplicative items can be combined and closely-related issues clustered into a single discussion, leading to outcomes of greater policy relevance and impact.

In many areas, those goals are being implemented. For example, it was an efficient decision this year to jointly consider agenda item 11, “Report of the Security Council”, and agenda item 53, “Question of equitable representation In many areas, those goals are being implemented. For example, it was an efficient decision this year to jointly consider agenda item 11, “Report of the Security Council”, and agenda item 53, “Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and related matters”. It is unfortunate, however, that one of the only subjects that is immune from streamlining, revitalization and reform is the Arab-Israeli conflict. A total of 20 General Assembly meetings were devoted to Israel at the fifty-eighth session. By way of contrast, none was devoted to world hunger and only two were devoted to HIV/AIDS. That does not do the credibility and reputation of the United Nations any good, nor does it help the General Assembly to play a constructive role in world affairs, including in the Middle East.

As we have amply demonstrated over the years, we are quite willing to debate the issues presented by our region’s difficult situation. At least by streamlining the debate, however, we could have addressed the issues in a more determined, more serious and more effective manner. It is for that reason that we believe the decision of the General Committee is imprudent and contrary to the goals of revitalization and reform that should guide the work of this body in all its aspects. Rather than break the consensus, however, we merely dissociate ourselves from this decision.

The President (spoke in French ): The Assembly has thus concluded this stage of its consideration of the fourth report of the General Committee.

...


The meeting rose at 12.35 p.m.



This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.


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