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UNITED
NATIONS

S/PV.4842
14 October 2003

Provisional

Security Council
Fifty-eighth year
4842nd meeting
Tuesday, 14 October 2003, 10.45 p.m.
New York


President:Mr. Negroponte (United States of America)
Members:Angola Mr. Gaspar Martins
Bulgaria Mr. Tafrov
Cameroon Mr. Belinga-Eboutou
Chile Mr. Maquieira
China Mr. Cheng Jingye
France Mr. De La Sablière
Germany Mr. Pleuger
Guinea Mr. Sow
Mexico Mr. Aguilar Zinser
Pakistan Mr. Akram
Russian Federation Mr. Lavrov
Spain Mr. Menéndez
Syrian Arab Republic Mr. Mekdad
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Sir Emyr Jones Parry

Agenda

The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

Letter dated 9 October 2003 from the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2003/973)


The meeting was called to order at 10.45 p.m.

Adoption of the agenda

The agenda was adopted.

The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question

Letter dated 9 October 2003 from the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/2003/973)

The President: In accordance with the decision taken today at the 4841st meeting, I invite the representative of Israel to take a seat at the Council table.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Gillerman (Israel) took a seat at the Council table.

The President: Also in accordance with the decision taken at the 4841st meeting, I invite the Permanent Observer of Palestine to take a seat at the Council table.

At the invitation of the President, Mr. Al-Kidwa (Palestine) took a seat at the Council table.

The President: The Security Council will now continue its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.

Members of the Council have before them document S/2003/980, which contains the text of a draft resolution submitted by Guinea, Malaysia, Pakistan and the Syrian Arab Republic.

It is my understanding that the Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it. Unless I hear any objection, I shall put the draft resolution to the vote now.

There being no objection, it is so decided.

A vote was taken by show of hands.

In favour:

Angola, Chile, China, France, Guinea, Mexico, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic

Against:

United States of America

Abstaining:

Bulgaria, Cameroon, Germany, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The President: The result of the voting is as follows: 10 votes in favour, 1 against and 4 abstentions. The draft resolution has not been adopted, owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the Council.

I shall now give the floor to those members of the Council who wish to make statements following the voting.

As no other members wish to take the floor, I shall now make a statement in my capacity as the representative of the United States.

The draft resolution put forward today was unbalanced and did not condemn terrorism in explicit terms. It failed to address both sides of the larger security context of the Middle East, including the devastating suicide attacks that Israelis have had to endure over the past three years. A Security Council resolution focused on the fence does not further the goals of peace and security in the region. We believe that all resolutions on Israeli-Palestinian peace should reflect the kind of balance of mutual responsibilities embodied by the Quartet’s road map. That draft resolution did not do so.

All parties have responsibilities in bringing peace to the Middle East, to prevent outrages such as the Haifa attack and to deny perpetrators safe haven in their territory. Ending terrorism must be the highest priority.

The United States and our Quartet partners have engaged intensively to encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take concrete steps towards the implementation of a road map to peace that has broad support within the international community and the United Nations. The destructive impact of terrorist bombings and the failure to dismantle the organizations and infrastructure that encourage those acts have slowed progress on the road map, but we will not be deterred.

We have repeatedly urged Israel and the Palestinian Authority to avoid actions that can lead to a further heightening of tension in the Middle East and to think carefully about the consequences of their actions. In addition, senior United States Administration officials are engaging directly with Israel on the matter of the fence.

For its part, the United States, with its Quartet partners, remains committed to the implementation of President Bush’s vision of a two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as set forth in the road map.

I now resume my function as President of the Council.

The Permanent Observer of Palestine has asked for the floor to make a statement. I give him the floor.

Mr. Al-Kidwa (Palestine) (spoke in Arabic): What has happened today in their Chamber is very regrettable. The inability of the Security Council to take a firm stand on a matter of strategic importance — namely, the expansionist separation wall — is very alarming in the context of the fate of the region and the possibilities of achieving a Palestinian-Israeli peace. Consequently, we must urgently find a way to redress what has taken place within the framework of the United Nations system. Of course, with the help of our friends, we will try to do just that.

Regardless of the outcome, we would like to express our thanks to the sponsors of the draft resolution that was voted on today, as well as to all the members of the Council who voted in its favour. They have indeed voted for peace.

The President: I now give the floor to the Ambassador of Israel.

Mr. Gillerman (Israel): The Security Council has yet again proved today that it is not a rubber stamp for incessant and hypocritical Palestinian and Syrian whims.

The Palestinian Observer has spent a lot of time blaming others today. He has blamed Israel; he has blamed the Council, and he has blamed a permanent member of the Council that has done more to support the cause of peace than any other State. The Palestinian Observer is indignant that the Council would not swallow whole his distorted portrayal of this conflict. The Palestinian Observer is also indignant that the nakedly one-sided, biased resolution that failed to draw attention to the Palestinian terrorism that is at the heart of the problem and that has been the very cause of

Israeli defensive measures could not garner the support of the Council, which was acting in full consistency with its own rules of procedure and with the United Nations Charter. And he is indignant, despite the fact that he continues to consider it unacceptable for a resolution to condemn the murder of innocent civilians by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and call for their dismantlement, as required by the road map.

Perhaps for once the Palestinian Observer should stop looking for someone else to blame, for once stop this charade in the United Nations, where high-minded rhetoric is matched with resolutions designed to malign and distort, when all the while the Palestinian side refuses to do the one thing it is required to do – fight terrorism.

The Palestinian Observer has already indicated that he will now pursue the ritual emergency special session of the General Assembly, in violation of each and every condition for such a procedure. That way, we can all spend more time listening and considering how everyone but the Palestinian side is responsible for the present predicament.

Is it not time that we stopped these games? Instead of looking to Israel, to the Council, to the General Assembly, to the international community, to the Quartet for someone to blame, is it not time that the Palestinian side looked in the mirror, however unpleasant that image may be?

The President: The Observer for Palestine has asked for the floor.

Mr. Al-Kidwa (Palestine): This is just a personal note; I want to put on the record that I am indeed disgusted at the low level of the interventions made by the Israeli representative, including the last one.

The President: There are no further speakers inscribed on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.

The meeting rose at 10.55 p.m.

This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the Official Records of the Security Council . 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.



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