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        General Assembly
5 December 2003

Original: English

Fifty-eighth session
Agenda item 116

Right of peoples to self-determination

Report of the Third Committee

Rapporteur : Mr. Abdulla Eid Salman Al-Sulaiti (Qatar)

I. Introduction

1. At its 2nd plenary meeting, on 19 September 2003, the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the General Committee, decided to include in the agenda of its fifty-eighth session the item entitled “Right of peoples to self-determination” and to allocate it to the Third Committee.

2. The Third Committee considered the item at its 24th to 29th , 36th, 39th, 43rd and 53rd meetings, from 24 to 31 October and on 7, 11, 13 and 20 November 2003. At its 24th to 29th meetings, the Committee held a general discussion on item 116 jointly with item 115. An account of the Committee’s discussion is contained in the relevant summary records (A/C.3/57/SR.24-29, 36, 39, 43 and 53).

3. For its consideration of the item, the Committee had before it the following documents:


(c) Letter dated 2 October 2003 from the Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, transmitting the declaration and the statement on Palestine adopted by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Non-Aligned Movement at their meeting held at United Nations Headquarters on 26 September 2003 (A/58/420);

(d) Letter dated 3 October 2003 from the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, transmitting the final communiqué of the annual coordination meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, held at United Nations Headquarters on 30 September 2003 (A/58/415-S/2003/952).


II. Consideration of proposals


C. Draft resolution A/C.3/58/L.35

20. At the 36th meeting, on 7 November, the representative of Egypt, on behalf of Algeria, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, the Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, the Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, the Sudan, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia and Palestine, 3 introduced a draft resolution entitled “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” (A/C.3/58/L.35). Subsequently, Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, the Comoros, Croatia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Eritrea, Estonia, the Gambia, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, the Netherlands, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine and Zimbabwe joined in sponsoring the draft resolution.

21. At its 43rd meeting, on 13 November, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.3/58/L.35 by a recorded vote of 159 to 2, with no abstentions (see para. 25, draft resolution III). The voting was as follows:

In favour:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Israel, United States of America.



22. Before the draft resolution was adopted, a statement was made by the representative of Italy (on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the European Union and Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, as well as Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey) (see A/C.3/58/SR.43).

23. After the draft resolution was adopted, statements were made by the representatives of Israel, Canada, Australia, Egypt and Yemen.

24. The observer of Palestine also made a statement3 (see A/C.3/58/SR.43).

3In accordance with General Assembly resolution 52/250.


III. Recommendations of the Third Committee

25. The Third Committee recommends to the General Assembly the adoption of the following draft resolutions:


Draft resolution III
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 the 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 at 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

Recalling further the United Nations Millennium Declaration, 6

Expressing the urgent need for the resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process on its agreed basis and for the speedy achievement of a final settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

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 right to their independent State of Palestine;

2. Urges all States and the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination.

1Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
2Resolution 217 A (III).
3Resolution 1514 (XV).
4A/CONF.174 (Part I), chap. III.
5See resolution 50/6.
6See resolution 55/2.


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