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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/53/PV.101
8 June 1999

United Nations
General Assembly
Fifty-third Session
101st plenary meeting
Tuesday, 8 June 1999, 3 p.m.
New York
A/53/PV.101
Official Records



President: Mr. Opertti.......................................(Uruguay)

In the absence of the President, Mr. Ka (Senegal), Vice-President, took the Chair.

The meeting was called to order at 3.35 p.m.

/...


Reports of the Fifth Committee

The Acting President (spoke in French): The General Assembly will now consider the reports of the Fifth Committee on agenda items 17 (e) and (f), 111, 112, 112 and 119, 113, 122 (a) and (b), 123, 124 (a), 125, 126, 127 together with 128, 132 and 134, 130, 131, 133, 136, 138 to 142, 143 (a), 145, 161 and 165.

I request the Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee, Mr. Tammam Sulaiman of the Syrian Arab Republic, to introduce the reports of the Fifth Committee in one intervention.

Mr. Sulaiman (Syrian Arab Republic), Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee (spoke in Arabic): I have the honour today to present to the General Assembly the report of the Firth Committee on the agenda items dealt with during the second resumption of the fifty-third session of the General Assembly, which was held at Headquarters from 10 to 28 May 1999.

Regarding agenda item 111, entitled "Financial reports and audited financial statements, and reports of the Board of Auditors", the report of the Committee is contained in document A/53/738/Add.1. In paragraph 5 of that report, the Committee recommends that the General Assembly defer consideration of the report of the Board of Auditors on the United Nations peacekeeping operations to the main part of its fifty-fourth session. The oral decision was adopted by the Committee without a vote.

Concerning item 112, entitled "Review of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations", the report of the Committee is contained in document A/53/521/Add.3. In that report, there are two decisions adopted by the Fifth Committee, namely the question of procurement reform and the action taken on certain documents. In paragraph 8 of that report, the Committee recommends to the General Assembly to defer consideration of the question of procurement reform to the main part of its fifty-fourth session with a view to concluding it, and to defer consideration of certain documents until its fifty-fourth session. These two oral decisions were adopted by the Committee without a vote.

Under item 113, entitled "Programme budget for the biennium 1998-1999", the Committee considered the question of the Development Account. In this connection, the report of the Committee is contained in document A/53/485/Add.4. In paragraph 12 of that report, the Committee recommends to the General Assembly the adoption of a draft resolution, which was adopted by the Committee without a vote.

Regarding item 119, "Human resources management", the Committee considered the question of management irregularities causing financial losses to the Organization, which was considered also under item 112, "Review of the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations". The report of the Committee is contained in document A/53/533/Add.2, and in paragraph 6 of that report, the Committee recommends to the General Assembly the adoption of a draft resolution, which was adopted by the Committee without a vote.

In accordance with General Assembly resolution 49/233 of 23 December 1994, the Fifth Committee, at its resumed session, was to consider mainly the financing of United Nations peacekeeping operations. In that connection, the Committee considered the financing of peacekeeping missions under the following agenda items: item 122, "Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East" -- (a) "United Nations Disengagement Observer Force" and (b) "United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon"; item 123, "Financing of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola"; item 124, "Financing of the activities arising from Security Council resolution 687 (1991)" -- (a) "United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission"; item 125, "Financing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara"; item 126, "Financing and liquidation of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia"; item 127, "Financing of the United Nations Protection Force, the United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia, the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force and the United Nations Peace Forces headquarters"; item 128, "Financing of the United Nations Operation in Somalia II"; item 130, "Financing of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus"; item 131, "Financing of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia"; item 132, "Financing of the United Nations Mission in Haiti"; item 133, "Financing of the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia"; item 134, "Financing of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda"; item 136, "Financing of the United Nations Mission of Observers in Tajikistan"; item 138, "Financing of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina"; item 139, "Financing of the United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium and the Civilian Police Support Group"; item 140, "Financing of the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force"; item 141, "Financing of the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti, the United Nations Transition Mission in Haiti and the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti"; item 142, "Financing of the Military Observer Group of the United Nations Verification Mission in Guatemala"; and item 161, "Financing of the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic".

The General Assembly has before it the reports of the Fifth Committee on the financing of each of these peacekeeping missions. The draft resolutions on each of them, with the exception of item 122 (b), "Financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon", were adopted by the Committee without a vote.

The report of the Fifth Committee on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon is contained in document A/53/982. In paragraph 11 of that report, the Committee recommends to the General Assembly the adoption of a draft resolution, which was adopted in the Committee by a recorded vote of 132 to 2, with 2 abstentions. It may be recalled that the Committee, in a single separate vote, decided to retain the first preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 2, 3, 10 and 11 of the draft resolution.

/...



Agenda item 122

Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East

(a) United Nations Disengagement Observer Force

Report of the Fifth Committee (A/53/979)

The Acting President (spoke in French): The Assembly will now take a decision on the draft resolution recommended by the Fifth Committee in paragraph 6 of its report.

The Fifth Committee adopted the draft resolution without a vote.

May I consider that the Assembly wishes to do the same?

The draft resolution was adopted (resolution 53/226).

(b) United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon

Report of the Fifth Committee (A/53/982)

The Acting President (spoke in French): The Assembly will now take a decision on the draft resolution recommended by the Fifth Committee in paragraph 11 of its report.

A single separate vote has been requested on the first preambular paragraph and on operative paragraphs 2, 3, 10 and 11 of the draft resolution.

If there is no objection to that request, the Assembly will vote on the first preambular paragraph and on operative paragraphs 2, 3, 10, and 11 of the draft resolution.

I call on the representative of Israel for an explanation of vote before the voting.

Mr. Gold (Israel): First, I would like to reiterate that the State of Israel supports the continued funding and strengthening of United Nations peacekeeping forces in general. Moreover, we point to certain examples, such as the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), as models of the good work that peacekeeping forces can accomplish when the parties concerned share the responsibility for making them successful.

Therefore, it should be clearly understood that our stance regarding those who would wilfully exploit these peacekeepers as a shield for bloodshed and hatred in no way detracts from our positive stance with regard to the mission of peacekeeping operations themselves.

The terrorist group Hezbollah has enjoyed a safe haven in Lebanon from which to launch incessant attacks on civilian towns and villages in northern Israel, all through the 1980s and 1990s. It has taken hostage the citizens of other United Nations Member States. It has also assaulted the diplomatic missions of other Member States. Moreover, Hezbollah's attacks are declaredly aimed against Israel's very existence and against the lives of its civilians, notwithstanding Hezbollah's misuse of the term "resistance" to describe its terrorism.

Indeed, on 6 March 1999, in a statement to Jamhuri-i-Islami, which is published in Tehran, Mr. Hassan Nasrallah stated,
Israel is left with no choice but to respond in self-defence to these attacks against its territory. It is therefore particularly regrettable that Hezbollah not only engages in terrorism, but attempts to hide behind civilians and United Nations areas while doing so. This amounts to a cruel and cynical exploitation of the neutral and innocent in the service of terrorism. And as we have seen, all terrorist tactics lead only to disastrous consequences and excess human suffering.

It was in an effort to avoid these consequences that Israel issued a warning, on 14 April 1996, after days of relentless rocket attacks by Hezbollah on our northern villages. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) informed the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) that it had detected Hezbollah trying to fire rockets from the vicinity of UNIFIL positions in an attempt to escape a defensive response. The IDF requested that UNIFIL prevent Hezbollah from doing so.

On 15 April, Fijian UNIFIL officers spotted Hezbollah attempting to fire rockets from the Fijian battalion. They ordered the Hezbollah terrorists to desist. Instead, the Hezbollah gunmen opened fire. On 17 April, noontime, UNIFIL soldiers, this time Nepalese, again tried to prevent Hezbollah terrorists from using a UNIFIL base to launch rocket attacks. They ordered the Hezbollah to cease its operations there. The Hezbollah responded with a hand-grenade attack.

Later, on 17 April, UNIFIL spokesman Timur Goksel confirmed that rockets had been launched from a site near the Fijian headquarters. Israel once again warned that it would have to defend itself and not allow Hezbollah a safe haven for attack. On 18 April 1996, Israel informed UNIFIL that the IDF would have to respond to a rocket attack launched from a base merely 350 metres from the Qana compound. Only after all this did Israel finally respond in self-defence.

Israel has announced its continued willingness to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978) in its entirety. That resolution calls not only for a withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon, but also for the restoration of international peace and security and for the return of effective Lebanese authority to the area. Israel has repeatedly invited Lebanon to negotiate the implementation of the resolution. Lebanon, however, continues to refuse to negotiate.

Clearly, the responsibility for the consequences of exercising the right of self-defence against armed attack must rest entirely with the perpetrators of such attack and with those who support them. Israel bears no responsibility or blame for taking necessary measures in the legitimate exercise of this right. Israel can, however, negotiate a resolution to the conflict that will restore peace and security to our border and ultimately prevent these incidents. Unfortunately, the Government of Lebanon refuses to consider this option.

The draft resolution moves decidedly further away from reconciliation and resolution, not least because it distracts the Member States from the true culprits. Even worse, it rewards terrorists and their insidious exploitation of the innocent and the neutral. We urge Member States to oppose this confrontational initiative and instead to show good faith in opening a new era of working together to peacefully resolve conflicts. In this light, Israel calls upon the Government of Lebanon to return to the negotiating table and implement resolution 425 (1973) so that we may restore peace to our common borders.

The Acting President (interpretation from French): I now put to the vote the first preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 2, 3, 10 and 11, on which a single separate vote has been requested.

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Against:
Israel, United States of America

Abstaining:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay

The first preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 2, 3, 10 and 11 were retained by 74 votes to 2, with 42 abstentions.

[The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the Secretariat that it had intended to vote in favour.]

The Acting President (interpretation from French): I now put to the vote the draft resolution contained in paragraph 11 of document A/53/982 as a whole.

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Against:
Israel, United States of America

Abstaining:
Iran (Islamic Republic of)

The draft resolution as a whole was adopted by 119 votes to 2, with 1 abstention (resolution 53/227).

[The delegation of the Sudan subsequently informed the Secretariat that it had intended to vote in favour.]

The Acting President (interpretation from French): I now call on those representatives who wish to make statements in explanation of vote on the resolution just adopted.

Mr. Barnwell (Guyana): I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

The Group of 77 and China would like to express its support for the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and to thank those delegations that supported the draft resolution.

Ms. Shearouse (United States of America): While the United States strongly supports the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which is implementing a difficult and important mandate, we were unable to support the adoption of this funding resolution because of the use of it to pursue claims against a Member State, which procedurally is not correct.

That is why we opposed the adoption of General Assembly resolution 52/237 last year and 51/233 the previous year, which decided that the costs stemming from the incident at Qana should be borne by Israel alone. Those resolutions were not consensus resolutions.

Since shortly after the United Nations inception, the procedure which has been followed is that the Secretary-General presents and pursues the settlement of the Organization's claims against a State or States. This procedure was first begun in 1946 in the Middle East and continues for the peacekeeping-related damage claims in the Balkans.

Using a funding resolution to legislate a settlement is inappropriate. It also unnecessarily politicizes the work of the Fifth Committee and should in future be avoided.

The Acting President (spoke in French): I shall now call on those representatives who wish to speak in exercise of the right of reply.

May I remind members that statements in exercise of the right of reply are limited to 10 minutes for the first intervention and to five minutes for the second intervention and should be made by delegations from their seats.

Mr. Najem (Lebanon) (spoke in Arabic): Every time the Fifth Committee considers a draft resolution on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, the representative of the Israeli occupying forces levels accusations at us that are false and have no legal basis.

We have heard the representative of the occupying Israeli forces attack the honourable people who are resisting the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon. He called them terrorists because of their refusal to be subjected to the control of the Israeli occupation forces. But they are fighting for freedom and for the liberation of Lebanon from this shameful scourge. Is it possible that he does not believe that they are attacking Lebanon with criminal resolve, violating its sovereignty and integrity, and brazenly disregarding United Nations resolutions?

What will succeeding generations think when they learn of the contravention by a State Member of this international Organization of resolutions adopted by the General Assembly, Security Council and human rights organizations? That State clearly considers itself above international law and legitimacy. How can those who are resisting Israel's occupation of their land be terrorists? Is the occupation of a territory by force not terrorism? Is the assassination of innocent civilians, women and children, not terrorism? Was the bombing of United Nations headquarters in Qana by the Israeli occupying forces, as well as the murder of 106 innocent civilians, not an act of terrorism?

The statement made by the representative of the occupying forces about the Qana incident is inaccurate. I should like to draw the attention of the Assembly to the report submitted by General Van Kappen, who was sent by the Secretary-General to investigate the Qana incident. That report (S/1996/337), issued on 7 May 1996, condemns the occupying forces and accuses them of bombing the United Nations headquarters even though they knew full well that innocent civilians had taken refuge behind the flag of the Organization.

What the Israeli occupying forces call terrorism is in fact valiant resistance against alien occupation C a right that is safeguarded in all international instruments and laws. That valiant resistance against the forces of occupation will continue, along with political endeavours, until the implementation of resolution 425 (1978), which calls for the unconditional and immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Lebanese territories to internationally recognized boundaries.

I should like here to refer to the first defeat of the occupying forces: their pullout from Jenin. Israel's claim that it is working towards the implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978) is but a lie aimed at misleading international public opinion and diverting attention from the crimes they commit daily. If Israel is so desirous of implementing resolution 425 (1978), the solution is clear-cut: unconditional and immediate withdrawal to international boundaries, as provided for in that resolution and not as interpreted by the Israeli occupying forces.

Israel's conditions for withdrawal are nothing more than an attempt to shirk responsibility, to perpetuate the occupation and to divert attention from its expansionist policies. The Israeli occupying forces are destroying life in southern Lebanon with their repeated attacks on villages populated by innocent civilians. They are impeding the work of schools and the tasks of daily life. The right to life and to security are fundamental human rights, but the occupying forces are seeking to annihilate those rights in southern Lebanon. But they have not succeeded, and they will not succeed.

The Israeli occupying forces have tried all manner of war against my country through violence and through invasion, but they have not succeeded. Lebanon believes in a peace based on resolutions of international legitimacy, the principle of land for peace and, in particular, Security Council resolution 425 (1978).

Let me cite the Torah, where in Habakkuk 2:17, the prophet warns that "The violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you". That is the achievement of resistance.

Mr. Sulaiman (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic): My delegation wishes to respond to what was said by the representative of the Israeli terrorist forces of occupation. Everyone knows that Israel's history is built on war, occupation, aggression, colonization, settling on the land of others C and on State terrorism, which since its foundation Israel has used against Arab civilians and even against the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

The resolution we have just adopted addresses the consequences of Israeli terrorism against UNIFIL headquarters, a symbol of peace, at a time when Israel is trying to speak of peace. What can the international community expect of a State that commits aggression against a United Nations facility established to defend peace, undeterred by its United Nations insignia? The pretext cited by the representative of the terrorist occupying Power has already been rejected by the General Assembly, which has condemned the 1996 terrorism against UNIFIL headquarters at Qana in southern Lebanon. Israeli terrorism is State terrorism, not limited to killing people, taking their lands and creating refugees, but going so far as to attack the headquarters of a United Nations force, UNIFIL.

Today's resolution is a minimal response to the major crime committed by Israel at Qana. In resolutions 51/233 and 52/237, the General Assembly called on Israel to bear the costs of its actions at Qana. But Israel has had no wish to comply, so those resolutions have been added to the list of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions that Israel has consistently flouted. If Israel is serious about seeking peace, then it must unconditionally implement Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978). It must also implement the relevant General Assembly resolutions calling upon it to withdraw from all occupied Arab territories.

The heroic resistance of the valiant Lebanese fighters in southern Lebanon does that people credit, for their land is occupied by Israel.

If Israel seriously wishes peace, it should begin by implementing the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. We have grown used to hearing the unconvincing arguments in favour of peace that the representative of Israel utters, but peace is not merely spoken about: peace has to be made. Israel's history is based on terrorism. How can the international community, as represented in this Assembly, believe that Israel will implement the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly?

Israel's crime at Qana was not its first, and I fear it will not be its last. Resolutions of international legitimacy must be respected. This is the acid test of Israel's intentions: the implementation of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions is the only road to peace.

Mr. Gold (Israel): Orwellian language that has really not been used since the breakup of the Soviet empire is in high gear again in the United Nations. For us to create a new world order based on peace and security, certain basic definitions have to be agreed upon by Member States. That language does not seem to be agreed upon today.

The representative of Syria spoke about State terrorism. Indeed, it is the Syrian Arab Republic that is on the United States Department of State list of countries that are engaged in State support for terrorism. Terrorism is a form of warfare whose purpose is to take aim at innocent civilians. And that is precisely the type of warfare in which Hezbollah engages; it aims at Israeli towns and villages, strikes them not by accident but by intention.

I frankly do not understand how the representative of Lebanon can speak about Hezbollah as honourable people, or as a valiant resistance, when indeed they take aim at Israeli towns and villages by intention.

The problem we face is that the voices we are hearing today coming out of Lebanon are resisting the peace process and are in fact scorning United Nations resolutions. On 5 January 1999, Hassan Nasrallah of Hezbollah stated plainly, "Only resistance will ensure the return of our land, not resolution 425, nor the Security Council, nor the international community".

And rather than being rebuked, the leaders of Hezbollah were in fact praised C for example, on the Voice of Lebanon on 16 February 1999, when Prime Minister Selim Hoss praised the jihad and resistance of Hezbollah. In fact, the policy of scorning Security Council resolution 425 (1978) was continued by the Lebanese Prime Minister when he stated on Saut Al-Arab radio on 14 March 1999, "We are not ready at all to discuss with Israel any security arrangements or the granting of any guarantees".

To create peace and security we need common definitions. We need to rebuke terrorism C terrorism that is not resistance, that targets civilians, seizes hostages and attacks diplomatic missions. That is not resistance. In order to make peace and security work in the Middle East we need to implement United Nations resolutions like resolution 425 (1978) of the Security Council, which seeks not only an Israeli withdrawal, but also the creation of peace and security along Israel's common border with Lebanon and the restoration of Lebanese authority in the south.

Terrorism and peace are incompatible. Dialogue and the implementation of resolutions will create peace.

Mr. Najem (Lebanon) (spoke in Arabic): I apologize for prolonging this discussion, but what we have heard compels us to respond.

First, we do not accept the representative of the occupying forces giving us lessons on how to carry out a political dialogue. We know more than they do on that score. Secondly, the representative of the occupying forces defined terrorism as a war deliberately launched against civilians, which is exactly what Israel engages in. The representative of the occupying forces is credible to no one here representing the international community as a whole.

The facts are quite straightforward: Israel, the occupying State, has occupied southern Lebanon since 1978. Resolution 425 (1978) calls for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of occupying forces from However, the occupying forces have for 21 years refused to implement that resolution.

What law endorses a State's occupation of the territory of another State and its imposition of conditions for withdrawal? And if the State that has suffered the aggression resists it is accused of terrorism. Is it not terrorism for Israel to acquire nuclear weapons and then threaten all its neighbours? Is aggression not committed daily against southern Lebanon?

Qana is the place where the New Testament states that Jesus Christ performed his first miracle by changing water into wine. Yet even the holiness of that place meant nothing to the occupying forces when they violated the integrity of the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) by deliberately bombing it. Any of the Members of the United Nations who followed developments at the time know that there was an Israeli reconnaissance plane flying over the area while the bombing was taking place. The plane was caught on videotape, and that tape was shown on television in a European State, a fact that was reported in newspapers throughout the world. It was on the basis of that information that Major-General van Kappen wrote his report contained in document S/1996/337. So what is the representative of the occupation talking about? Why does he wish to mislead people? His State is occupying the territory of another State by force. It must withdraw from Lebanon today, not tomorrow.

Resistance in Lebanon is supported by all the Lebanese people, not just by a particular segment of the population. Comprising 17 religious communities, all the people of Lebanon support the resistance and respect the martyrs.

We call for the occupying forces to respect international legitimacy like everyone else and to withdraw from southern Lebanon.

Finally, I would like to point out that the representative of the occupying forces said he supported UNIFIL. I do not believe that is true. Recently, on 1 June I believe, UNIFIL forces were bombed by the occupying forces, and one soldier of the Irish battalion was martyred. The Secretary-General issued a statement in this connection in which he referred to the responsibility of Israel's so-called Defence Forces for this incident.

Mr. Sulaiman (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic): My delegation has requested to speak once again in exercise of its right of reply to the representative of the Israeli terrorist occupying forces.

Israel's crimes are as clear as day, regardless of how much it tries to cover them up. The General Assembly will therefore continue to consider those crimes year after year until Israel stops perpetrating them, withdraws from occupied Arab territories and ceases to carry out State terrorism.

Before speaking about a new world order, Israel should remember what that order is. It is an order based on peace C a peace that Israel does not know and which it has never sought. That world order cannot be established without Israel's commitment to implement resolutions of international legitimacy. That is the only way to ensure that the new world order can provide the stability to which the representative of the occupying forces refers.

With regard to his list of so-called terrorism, the representative of the terrorist occupying forces may recall that he is now at the United Nations, which represents 185 Member States. He is not at a forum of another Member State. Perhaps he is forgetting procedures and realities. It is only in his imagination that such a list exists.

History has shown that since the establishment of Israel the words Israel and peace are contradictory C an oxymoron, as they say in English. Those two words simply cannot go together. That is why Israel is a rogue State. It will remain on the periphery of international law until it implements the resolutions of international legitimacy; until it withdraws from occupied Arab territories; until it ends its daily acts of terrorism and until it respects the resolutions of the Security Council and the United Nations. Only then will peace be able to return to the region of the Middle East.

The Acting President (spoke in French): We have thus concluded this stage of our consideration of agenda item 122.


Agenda item 123 (continued)

Financing of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola

Report of the Fifth Committee (A/53/745/Add.1)

The Acting President (spoke in French): The Assembly will now take a decision on the draft resolution recommended by the Fifth Committee in paragraph 6 of its report.

The Fifth Committee adopted the draft resolution without a vote. May I consider that the Assembly wishes to do likewise?

The draft resolution was adopted (resolution 53/228).

The Acting President (spoke in French): We have thus concluded this stage of our consideration of agenda item 123.


/...


The meeting rose at 5.25 p.m.


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