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Source:
31 December 1995
YEARBOOK
OF THE
UNITED NATIONS

1995



Volume 49




Department of Public Information
United Nations




Middle East

During 1995, the Arab-Israeli peace process which was launched in October 1991 in Madrid, Spain, proceeded despite a number of difficulties. An important further step in that process was the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in September. In accordance with this and previous accords, the Palestinian Authority pursued its efforts to establish and maintain central institutions of administration, not only in the self-rule areas of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank area of Jericho, but throughout the West Bank.

The United Nations continued to support the overall peace process and remained involved in the Middle East in a number of ways—through its peace-keeping operations, through the good offices of the Secretary-General and its active participation in the multilateral negotiations on regional issues, and through significantly broadened programmes of economic, social and other assistance. The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories reported to the General Assembly on situations in the Golan Heights, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People continued to mobilize support and assistance to the Palestinians, expanding its cooperation with non-governmental organizations.

The Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories served as the focal point for United Nations assistance to the Palestinians. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) continued to provide a wide-ranging programme of education, health, relief and social services to Palestinian refugees. On various occasions throughout the year, UN bodies expressed their support for the ongoing negotiations, which were sometimes hampered by repeated delays and acts of violence, reaching a critical juncture with the assassination on 4 November of Yitzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister of Israel.

The ongoing construction and expansion of settlements in the occupied territories, and Israel's orders in April to expropriate 53 hectares of land in East Jerusalem, caused an outcry in many quarters. The Security Council met in February and again in May to consider those matters, but did not adopt resolutions in either case. Both the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly discussed the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian people.

The situation in southern Lebanon remained both tense and volatile. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) continued efforts to limit the conflict and protect inhabitants from its consequences. Upon Lebanon's request, the Security Council in 1995 twice extended the UNIFIL mandate. It also extended the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights. The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, headquartered in Jerusalem, continued to assist both peace-keeping operations in their tasks.

On 18 September, the General Assembly deferred (decision 49/500) consideration of the agenda item entitled "Armed Israeli aggression against the Iraqi nuclear installations and its grave consequences for the established international system concerning the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and international peace and security", and placed it on the provisional agenda of its fiftieth session. On 21 December, the Assembly again deferred (decision 50/444) the item and included it in the provisional agenda of its fifty-first (1996) session. The item had been inscribed yearly on the Assembly's agenda since 1981, following the bombing by Israel of a nuclear research centre near Baghdad.a

aYUN 1981, p. 275.


_____________

Peace process
_____________
Overall situation

A further step in the peace process was taken on 28 September 1995, in Washington, D.C., with the signing of the historic Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,(1) which superseded all earlier agreements in implementation of the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements.(2) On 27 August 1995, the parties had signed in Cairo, Egypt, the Protocol on Further Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities.

The September accord, which set out self-government arrangements in its 31 articles and six annexes, provided for the dissolution of the Israeli civil administration and the withdrawal of the Israeli military government, with a scheduled transfer of powers and responsibilities to the Palestinian Interim Self-Governing Authority, which was to replace the Palestinian Authority established under the May 1994 Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area.(3) The new Interim Self-Governing Authority was to be composed of an 82-member Council and the Head of its Executive Authority both elected in January 1996 for a transitional period until May 1999 at the latest. The new Agreement further contained modalities for participation in the elections by the Palestinians of the West Bank Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and made provision for international observation of the election process.

Prior to the elections, Israeli military forces were scheduled to be redeployed, first from the cities of Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm, Kalkiliya, Ramallah and Bethlehem, and then from 450 towns, villages, refugee camps and hamlets. Redeployment would also take place in Hebron, with special security arrangements, including a temporary international presence. The Agreement provided for the gradual assumption of civil powers and responsibilities by the Palestinian Council. Further Israeli military redeployments were to take place at six-month intervals (for a period of 18 months) following the Council's inauguration, with concomitant extensions of the territorial jurisdiction of the Council except for areas subject to final-status negotiations. Arrangements were set out for the transfer of agreed-upon powers and responsibilities from the Israeli civil administration to the Council; the establishment of a Palestinian police force; and other provisions regarding legal matters, religious sites, human rights, water, a phased release of Palestinian detainees and prisoners, and cooperation in the areas of environment, economics, technology and science, and in fostering dialogue and mutual understanding.

The Agreement reaffirmed the parties' understanding that the interim self-government arrangements provided therein were an integral part of the whole peace process and that the negotiations on the permanent status, scheduled to start no later than 4 May 1996, would lead to the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242(1967)(4) and 338(1973).(5)

Throughout 1995, the Palestinian Authority pursued its efforts to establish and maintain central institutions of administration, not only in the self-rule areas of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank area of Jericho, but throughout the West Bank, in five key delegated spheres: civil administration, including education and culture, health, social welfare, tourism and direct taxation.

The peace process was affected throughout the year by acts of violence and terrorist incidents.

Terrorist acts

On 22 January 1995, the fundamentalist organization Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for two explosions, several minutes apart, at a crowded bus stop at the Sharon Junction (Beit Lid) in central Israel. Rescuers assisting victims of the first explosion themselves became victims of the second. Some 19 people were killed and another 66 wounded. Israel reporting the incident to the Secretary-General on 23 January,(6) said that 110 Israelis had been killed by Palestinian terrorists in 49 separate incidents since the signing of the Declaration of Principles in 1993.(2)

SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION

After consultations of the Security Council held on 24 January 1995, the President of the Council made the following statement to the media on behalf of the Council members:(7)

The members of the Security Council strongly condemn the terrorist attack which took place in Nordiya, Israel, last Sunday, 22 January 1995, with the clear purpose of trying to undermine the Middle East peace efforts.

The members of the Security Council extend their condolences to the families of those who died as a consequence of the explosions and wish a speedy recovery of the wounded.

The members of the Security Council call upon all parties to continue their efforts to consolidate the peace process. The members of the Security Council believe that common ground can only be found through the practice of dialogue, respect and tolerance.

Rabin assassination

On 4 November, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated at a pro-Government rally in Tel Aviv. In a statement on the same day, the Secretary-General strongly condemned the assassination as an outrageous act of terror which had struck one of the greatest leaders in Israel's history. The General Assembly and its Third (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) Committee, on 6 November, paid tribute to Prime Minister Rabin and, on 5 December, the Assembly held a special meeting in his memory. The assassination was also condemned by the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (Committee on Palestinian Rights).

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ACTION

On 28 July, the Economic and Social Council adopted resolution 1995/52.
Middle East peace process

The Economic and Social Council,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 49/88 of 16 December 1994,

Reaffirming its resolution 1994/44 of 29 July 1994,

Recalling the convening of the Peace Conference on the Middle East at Madrid on 30 October 1991, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973, and the subsequent bilateral negotiations, as well as the meetings of the multilateral working groups, and noting with satisfaction the broad international support for the peace process,

Noting the continuing positive participation of the United Nations as a full extraregional participant in the work of the multilateral working groups,

Bearing in mind the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, signed by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, on 13 September 1993, and the subsequent Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, signed by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, at Cairo on 4 May 1994,

Also hearing in mind the Agreement between Israel and Jordan on the Common Agenda, signed in Washington, on 14 September 1993, the Washington Declaration signed by the Governments of Jordan and Israel on 25 July 1994, and the Treaty of Peace signed by the Governments of Jordan and Israel on 26 October 1994,

Welcoming the Declaration of Casablanca, adopted at the Middle East/North Africa Economic Summit, held at Casablanca from 30 October to 1 November 1994,

1. Welcomes the peace process started at Madrid, and supports the subsequent bilateral negotiations;

2. Stresses the importance of, and need for, achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

3. Expresses its full support for the achievements of the peace process thus far, in particular the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, signed by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the subsequent Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, signed by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, their 29 August 1994 agreement on the preparatory transfer of powers and responsibilities, the Agreement between Israel and Jordan on the Common Agenda, the Washington Declaration, signed by Jordan and Israel on 25 July 1994, and the Treaty of Peace signed by the Governments of Jordan and Israel on 26 October 1994, which constitute important steps in achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and urges all parties to implement the agreements reached;

4. Also expresses its support for the ongoing negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on modalities for elections in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the redeployment of Israeli forces and the further transfer of responsibilities in the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, and urges the parties to conclude these negotiations as soon as possible;

5. Welcomes the results of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace, convened in Washington, on 1 October 1993, including the establishment of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, and the subsequent work of the World Bank Consultative Group, welcomes also the appointment by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories, and urges Member States to expedite and to increase economic, financial and technical assistance to the Palestinian people during the interim period;

6. Stresses the need to achieve rapid progress on the other tracks of the Arab-Israeli negotiations within the peace process;

7. Calls upon all Member States to extend economic financial and technical assistance to parties in the region and to render support for the peace process;

8. Welcomes the Middle-East/North Africa Economic Summit to be held at Amman from 29 to 31 October 1995, and expresses the hope that this Summit will contribute to the promotion of regional and international cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa;

9. Considers that an active United Nations role in the Middle East peace process and in assisting in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles can make a positive contribution;

10. Encourages regional development and cooperation in the areas where work has already begun within the framework of the Madrid Conference.

Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/52
28 July 1995 Meeting 57 47-1-1 (roll-call vote)
34-nation draft (E/1995/L.39); agenda item 7.

Meeting numbers. ESC 45, 46, 49, 57.

Roll-call vote in Council as follows:

In favour: Australia, Bahamas, Belarus, Bhutan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.

Against: Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

Abstaining: Malaysia.

Speaking before the vote, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya objected to the text on the grounds that it was a purely political matter unrelated to the Council's terms of reference. With regard to the declarations signed in Casablanca and Washington, it noted that not all the States in the region had been present. The Syrian Arab Republic remarked that paragraph 3 lacked any mention of two basic principles on which the Peace Conference on the Middle East had been based: the principles of land for peace, and Israel's immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon. The Sudan explained that it would not participate in the vote as it had reservations concerning what it called loopholes in the peace process that did not serve the purposes of peace in the region.

After the vote, Israel stated that the resolution did what the Council should be doing, namely, putting its weight and that of the international community behind the peace process. Israel hoped that States which had not yet done so would join the multilateral, regional track of that process which, as underlined in paragraphs 6 and 10, was designed to bring the parties closer by dealing with social and economic issues of concern to all.

Report of the Secretary-General. On 7 November, the Secretary-General reported(8) to the General Assembly on his efforts to promote peace in the Middle East. Pursuant to a request made in a 1994 Assembly resolution on the peaceful settlement of the Palestine question,(9) he had in September sought the views of the Security Council and the parties concerned—i.e., Egypt, Israel Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)—on continuing efforts to advance the search for peace. On 25 September, the Security Council stated that it continued to be determined to provide the necessary backing to the Middle East peace process, giving full support to its achievement, including the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements between Israel and PLO, as well as subsequent implementation agreements. The Council believed that the parties should be further encouraged to adhere to and fully implement those agreements.

On 11 September, Israel recalled that it had voted against the 1994 resolution (49/62 D) and that its position remained unchanged. It had long advocated direct negotiations without preconditions, freely agreed on by all parties, as the only framework to advance peace. The peace process begun in Madrid was based on that principle and, within its framework, Israel and PLO had signed the 1993 Declaration of Principles, the May 1994 Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area and the August 1994 Agreement on Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibility.(3) In addition, Israel and Jordan had signed a peace treaty on 26 October 1994.(10) Bilateral and multilateral negotiations between Israel and its neighbours continued, and Israel looked forward to progress on all tracks of the peace process.

Israel believed that resolution 49/62 D stood in direct contradiction to the principle of direct negotiations without preconditions; moreover, its paragraph 5 (stressing the need for resolving the problem of the Palestinian refugees in conformity with Assembly resolution 149(III) of 11 December 1948(11) was intended to predetermine the outcome of the final-status talks agreed upon in the Declaration of Principles, as well as the results of the negotiations on the other tracks, and was therefore contrary to any notion of genuine negotiations.

Conveying the position of the PLO leadership and the Palestinian National Authority, the Permanent Observer of Palestine on 16 October noted that the sponsors of the 1994 resolution, while retaining essential principles, had introduced important changes to accommodate the positions of some Member States and, as a result, received overwhelming support from the Assembly Members. The resolution provided support for the peace process, a more active and expanded UN role in that process, and the basis for a just settlement of the Palestine question. Since the adoption of that resolution, further positive developments had taken place, in particular the signing on 28 September 1995 of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (the second implementation agreement of the Declaration of Principles), which provided for the extension of the self-government arrangements to the rest of the West Bank and the holding of general and democratic Palestinian elections.

There had been various delays in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles and some lack of compliance with the provisions of the September agreement; both sides, however, had recently indicated their firm commitment to implementing the agreement in good faith, fully and according to the agreed timetable. They had also reaffirmed their intention to enter into the final status negotiations in accordance with the Declaration of Principles.

The Palestine side strongly believed that the international community and the Assembly should always uphold the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international law, international humanitarian law and the validity of Security Council resolutions. The Assembly had to uphold its positions with regard to the inalienable rights of the Palestinians and should maintain its positions related to the final-status issues, where Israel had already created illegal, de facto situations until negotiations on those issues took place and a final settlement was achieved.

The Palestinian side hoped that the United Nations would become more involved in the peace process itself. In that context, it regarded United Nations participation in the steering committee of the multilateral working groups as a normal step forward; another step would be United Nations participation in the supervision of the upcoming Palestinian elections, and further involvement of the Security Council would be a very important element.

Finally, the Secretary-General, in the 7 November report, observed that the past year had seen important progress in the Middle East peace process. The September 1995 Interim Agreement had been a significant step forward and provided a solid basis for the realization of Palestinian rights a long-sought goal of the United Nations. He hoped that the resolve and dedication to peace shown by Israeli and Palestinian leaders would continue to guide them through the transitional stage until a permanent settlement on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) and 338(1973) was reached.

The Secretary-General further hoped that those developments, together with the ongoing implementation of the October 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace accord, would generate momentum for progress on the Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Lebanese tracks of the peace talks, leading to a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The United Nations, he added, would continue to support the peace process, politically and economically, in order to reinforce what was achieved in the negotiations and to help build the foundations for a new post-conflict Middle East. It already participated actively in the multilateral negotiations on regional economic, security, environment, water and refugee issues. Its agencies and programmes were doing their utmost to assist the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. The United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories and his Office (UNSCO) were instrumental in supporting and facilitating those peace-building activities and during the transitional period would continue to serve as a focal point for United Nations economic, social and other assistance to the Palestinians throughout the occupied territories.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 4 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/21.
Middle East peace process

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 49/88 of 16 December 1994 and Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/52 of 28 July 1995,

Stressing that the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East conflict will constitute a significant contribution to strengthening international peace and security,

Recalling the convening of the Peace Conference on the Middle East at Madrid on 30 October 1991, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973, and the subsequent bilateral negotiations, as well as the meetings of the multilateral working groups, and noting with satisfaction the broad international support for the peace process,

Noting the continuing positive participation of the United Nations as a full extraregional participant in the work of the multilateral working groups,

Bearing in mind the Declaration of Principles on interim Self-Government Arrangements, signed by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, in Washington on 13 September 1993, and the subsequent Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, signed by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization at Cairo on 4 May 1994, their 29 August 1994 Agreement on the Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities, the Protocol on Further Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities signed by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization at Cairo on 27 August 1995, and the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, signed by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington on 28 September 1995,

Also bearing in mind the Agreement between Israel and Jordan on the Common Agenda, signed in Washington on 14 September 1993, the Washington Declaration, signed by Jordan and Israel on 25 July 1994, and the Treaty of Peace between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, of 26 October 1994,

Welcoming the Declaration of the Middle East/North Africa Economic Summit held at Casablanca from 30 October to 1 November 1994, as well as the Declaration of the Middle East/North Africa Economic Summit held at Amman from 29 to 31 October 1995,

1. Welcomes the peace process started at Madrid, and supports the subsequent bilateral negotiations;

2. Stresses the importance of, and need for, achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

3. Expresses its full support for the achievements of the peace process thus far, in particular the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, signed by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian People, the subsequent Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, signed by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, their 29 August 1994 Agreement on the Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities, the Protocol on Further Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities signed by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization at Cairo on 27 August 1995, the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip, signed by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington on 28 September 1995, the Agreement between Israel and Jordan on the Common Agenda, the Washington Declaration, signed by Jordan and Israel on 25 July 1994, and the Treaty of Peace between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, of 26 October 1994, which constitute important steps in achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and urges all parties to implement the agreements reached;

4. Stresses the need to achieve rapid progress on the other tracks of the Arab-Israeli negotiations within the peace process;

5. Welcomes the results of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace, convened in Washington on 1 October 1993, including the establishment of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, and the subsequent work of the World Bank Consultative Group, welcomes also the appointment by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories", and urges Member States to expedite economic, financial and technical assistance to the Palestinian people during the interim period;

6. Calls upon all Member States to extend economic, financial and technical assistance to parties in the region and to render support for the peace process;

7. Considers that an active United Nations role in the Middle East peace process and in assisting in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles can make a positive contribution;

8. Encourages regional development and cooperation in areas where work has begun within the framework of the Madrid Conference.

General Assembly resolution 50/21
4 December 1995 Meeting 79 148-4-1 (recorded vote)

76-nation draft (A/50/L.24 & Add.1); agenda item 44.
Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: plenary 76, 77, 79.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Iran, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Syrian Arab Republic.

Abstaining: Sudan.

Explaining its vote, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya said the contents of the text did not include the full prerequisites of a just and comprehensive Middle East peace, failing to call on Israel to withdraw from southern Lebanon in accordance with Security Council resolution 425(1978).(12) Also, the text did not mention the return of the Palestinians to their country and homes. The Syrian Arab Republic noted that the text did not refer to Council resolutions 425(1978), 242(1967)(4) and 338(1973),(5) the foundations on which the peace process was built. France considered the omission of references to resolution 425(1978) regrettable, as it attached particular importance to the principles enshrined in it.

Introducing the draft on behalf of sponsors, Norway said the past year had seen great achievements in the Middle East peace process. The Interim Agreement was a major accomplishment and produced remarkable results. Important consequences had been the Palestinian elections to be held on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip in January 1996, as well as the Israeli redeployment from the West Bank town of Jenin. It was hoped that the final-status negotiations would begin as scheduled in spring 1996. Another milestone along the road to comprehensive peace was the Economic Summit held in October in Amman, Jordan, in which 1,500 international businessmen and politicians, including those from the Middle East and North Africa, had participated. The new climate of coexistence and cooperation must be protected and expanded. The tragic death of Prime Minister Rabin was a reminder that the peace process demanded not only commitment and a clear job vision of the future, but also considerable courage.

Israel declared that despite the pain of Mr. Rabin's assassination, the Government of Prime Minister Shimon Peres was determined to push forward and achieve a comprehensive peace; terrorists would not be allowed to stop that process. The peace which was being created would translate into full regional cooperation that had begun last year with the convening in Casablanca, Morocco, of the first Middle East/North Africa economic summit, followed by the second summit in Amman.

From such tragic times, said the United States, must come a renewed determination to go forward on the path of peace.

In the view of the Observer of Palestine, Mr. Rabin's assassination was proof that terrorism had grown in a climate nurtured by Israeli parties. The Committee on Palestinian Rights hoped that that tragic act would not lead to a setback in the peace process; the outpouring of support by the international community, as well as by Israeli public opinion, showed that the path which the parties were following was the correct one.
Jerusalem

Since ancient times, Jerusalem has been a city at the heart of three major world religions—Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The November 1947 General Assembly plan for partition had specified that Jerusalem was to be placed under international status, with Palestine to be partitioned into an Arab State and an Israeli State. The plan was not accepted by the Palestinian Arabs and the Arab States, and hostilities ensued after Israel declared its independence on 14 May 1948. During the early fighting in Jerusalem, a neutral zone was established in the area of the building and grounds of Government House—the headquarters of the former British Mandatory Administration—which later became the headquarters of the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO). On 7 October 1948, following renewed fighting, during which the status of the neutral zone was violated by both Israeli and Jordanian forces, Government House and its surrounding grounds were transferred to United Nations protection by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which had been holding the area in trust for a successor administration. Both States parties were informed of those arrangements and did not raise any objections. A cease-fire agreement of 30 November 1948 left that arrangement in place. The General Armistice Agreement concluded between Israel and Jordan on 3 April 1949 provided that in the Jerusalem sector the Armistice Demarcation Lines should correspond to the lines defined in the cease-fire agreement of 30 November 1948, and therefore the status of Government House and the neutral zone remained unaltered.

On 5 June 1967, after fighting erupted in Jerusalem during the six-day war, Israeli forces occupied Government House and escorted UNTSO staff out of its premises. When a cease-fire went into effect on 10 June, Israel was occupying parts of the Sinai Desert, the Golan Heights, the West Bank the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. After negotiations, Israel agreed on 22 August 1967 that UNTSO personnel could return to their headquarters at Government House.

Jerusalem since the 1967 six-day war has been the subject of many UN resolutions, with the Security Council and the General Assembly calling on Israel to rescind measures to alter the status of the Holy City and not to take further actions which might alter its status, and declaring as invalid any changes in its status. Demonstrations, outbreaks of violence, excavations at holy sites and, most recently, expropriation of land for residential construction in East Jerusalem have been the subject of discussion and action at the UN. Questions centring on Jerusalem are considered a "final status" negotiation issue in the ongoing Middle East peace process, and the status of the Holy City in 1995 continued to be a central focal point of United Nations concern.

Report of the Secretary-General. On 24 October 1995, the Secretary-General submitted a report(13) containing replies of tour Member States to his request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement a 1994 General Assembly resolution(14) dealing with the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem and calling on them to abide by the relevant UN resolutions. Of the responding States, Austria and Mexico said they maintained embassies in Tel Aviv. Cape Verde stated that it had not taken any action contrary to the 1994 resolution. Japan expressed support of that resolution, as it had adhered to previous resolutions on the subject.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 4 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/22 A.
Jerusalem

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 36/120 E of 10 December 1981, 37/123 C of 16 December 1982, 38/180 C of 19 December 1983, 39/146 C of 14 December 1984, 40/168 C of 16 December 1985, 41/162 C of 4 December 1986, 42/209 D of 11 December 1987, 43/54 C of 6 December 1988, 44/40 C of 4 December 1989, 45/83 C of 13 December 1990, 46/82 B of 16 December 1991, 47/63 B of 11 December 1992, 48/59 A of 14 December 1993 and 49/87 A of 16 December 1994, in which it determined that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which had altered or purported to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, in particular the so-called "Basic Law" on Jerusalem and the proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, were null and void and must be rescinded forthwith,

Recalling also Security Council resolution 478(1980) of 20 August 1980, in which the Council, inter alia, decided not to recognize the "Basic Law" and called upon those States that had established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 24 October 1995,

1. Determines that the decision of Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem is illegal and therefore null and void and has no validity whatsoever;

2. Deplores the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem in violation of Security Council resolution 478(1980), and their refusal to comply with the provisions of that resolution;

3. Calls once more upon those States to abide by the provisions of the relevant United Nations resolutions, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session on the implementation of the present resolution.

General Assembly resolution 50/22 A
4 December 1995 Meeting 79 133-1-13 (recorded vote)

19-nation draft (A/50/L.37 & Add.1); agenda item 44.
Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: plenary 76, 77, 79.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados Belarus, Belgium, Belize Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel.

Abstaining: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominica, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, United States.

After the vote, the United States said it had abstained, as Jerusalem had to remain undivided the Assembly should not interject itself into that most complex issue when the parties themselves had decided to defer its discussion to their already scheduled permanent-status negotiations. Swaziland held the view that resolutions which sounded harsh and reprimanding were no longer rewarding or productive.

In Palestine's view, the resolution sent a clear message to the international community to the effect that all parties must refrain from taking measures that would introduce changes on the ground which might influence the negotiation process on Jerusalem.

Iran expressed reservations on the parts of the resolution which might be construed as any recognition of Israel. Iraq noted that the text was incomplete, as it ignored the United States' decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem in 1999, which it called a provocation. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya also regarded that decision as a flagrant violation of international legality, as embodied in Security Council and Assembly resolutions.

(For the question of Israeli settlements and land expropriation in East Jerusalem, see below, under "Occupied territories".)

Occupied territories

Special Committee on Israeli Practices

The situation in territories occupied by Israel as a result of armed conflicts in the Middle East continued to be of concern to the United Nations in 1995. The three-member Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, established in 1968,(15) reported for the twenty-seventh time to the General Assembly on events in those territories it considered to be occupied, namely the Golan Heights of the Syrian Arab Republic, the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip.

In addition to that annual report,(16) two periodic reports were also prepared in 1995 by the Special Committee at the request of the General Assembly,(17) one in May,(18) the other in July.(19) The three reports, which covered developments between 26 August 1994 and 18 August 1995, contained information obtained from: the Arab and Israeli press; testimony given at hearings held in Amman (Jordan), Cairo (Egypt) and Damascus (Syrian Arab Republic) between 13 and 23 May 1995; Israeli government policy statements; and other communications and reports. The Committee reported that the Governments of Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic had provided information. As in the past, it said, Israel had not responded to requests for cooperation with the Committee.

Chairman Herman Leonard de Silva of Sri Lanka said the Special Committee presented a composite picture of the realities in the occupied territories as they affected the human rights of the civilian population. Recent historic events—the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, on 13 September 1993,(2) and the Israel-PLO Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, on 4 May 1994,(20) and the subsequent establishment of the Palestinian National Authority, as well as the September 1995 agreement on the West Bank and Gaza—had given rise to very high expectations concerning the improvement of the human rights situation in the occupied territories among their population, he said. It was expected that those agreements would usher in a new era, with the establishment of peace, justice, understanding and respect for human rights in the region. The information in the twenty-seventh report showed, however, that the general situation of human rights in the territories still remained very serious and a matter for grave concern.

A major factor contributing to the lack of improvement in the human rights situation was the repeated closures of the territories by the Israeli authorities after serious security incidents in Israel, caused by groups on both sides opposed to the peace process, the Chairman stated.

The closures had entailed a significant deterioration in the economic and social situation in the occupied territories, in particular the Gaza Strip, he went on, and had resulted in a significant reduction in the number of Palestinians allowed to work in Israel. Restrictions on freedom of movement had also had adverse consequences in the fields of health and education, and on freedom of worship.

A continuing source of tension was the existence of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories the Chairman declared. The situation regarding expropriation of Arab-owned land and the expansion of the settlements was particularly serious in Jerusalem. While the overall level of violence and number of deaths had declined, the nature of the violence perpetrated by the Israel Defence Forces was of an aggravated kind. Also, situations of prisoners and conditions at places of detention had not improved. Deficiencies continued to be noted in the administration of justice by Israeli authorities.

The Committee welcomed several positive developments: the transfer to the Palestinians of additional responsibilities in the fields of statistics, fuel, insurance, commerce and industry, labour and local government; the allocation of additional water resources to the territories' inhabitants; the decrease in demolition orders for Palestinian-owned houses; the increase in approvals of requests for family reunification; and the approval of a number of requests, made by Palestinians expelled by the security forces before the intifadah, to return to their homes in the West Bank.

Unless progress was made with regard to the enjoyment of human rights by all the inhabitants of the occupied territories, the Chairman declared, support for the peace process would erode further and give way to despair. All parties concerned must endeavour to build a truly meaningful culture of respect for human rights in the occupied territories so that the recent significant achievements might enable the people of the region to live together in dignity, peace, security and mutual respect. Progress in the peace process, he concluded must go hand in hand with full compliance with all relevant UN resolutions and all universally accepted standards of human rights.

The Committee, in its report, stated that it hoped its findings would be taken into account when concrete measures were drawn up in order to give life to the spirit of the recent important developments. In the meantime, it recommended once more measures for safeguarding the basic human rights of the Palestinians and other Arabs in the territories, including full application by Israel of the fourth Geneva Convention and compliance with all UN resolutions pertinent to the territories; Israeli cooperation with UNSCO and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and full support by Member States of the activities of UNRWA and ICRC; access by ICRC representatives to detained persons; renewed efforts to convince Israel of the need for increased human rights protection through international monitoring; and Israeli cooperation with the UN Centre for Human Rights with regard to implementation of human rights advisory assistance in areas falling under the Interim Self-Government Arrangements.

The Committee appealed to Israel to act in conformity with the spirit animating the peace process, by giving serious consideration to the following concrete measures: (a) establishing clear rules of engagement for its security forces; exercising restraint in responding to outbreaks of violence and investigating all shooting incidents; and ending immediately the activities of undercover units, in particular, extrajudicial and summary executions; (b) controlling violence and abuses by settlers and bringing those responsible to justice; (c) reviewing its settlements policy, halting the expansion of settlements and ending land confiscation; and ending pressure on Arabs in East Jerusalem to sell their houses; (d) enforcing the law equitably and ensuring all legal safeguards for the Arab population and prompt and impartial administration of justice; (e) ending torture and ill-treatment and investigating those responsible; making guidelines concerning interrogation procedures transparent and conforming them to international human rights standards; (f) reviewing the situation of Palestinian and Arab prisoners, especially political detainees or those having committed nonviolent crimes, and expediting their release, refraining from detaining residents of the territories within Israel; and improving conditions of detention, to conform with the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners adopted in 1955 by the first United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders;(21) (g) allowing all deported or expelled persons to return to the territories and have their properties restored; and (h) ending all measures of collective punishment which affected adversely the economic and social situation of the population of the territories and hindered the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms of movement, education, religion and expression; and refraining from imposing curfews and closures, destroying property, demolishing houses and uprooting trees, as well as from discriminatory measures concerning the use of water resources.

During consideration by the General Assembly's Fourth Committee, the representative of Israel and the Observer from Palestine made statements on 17 November regarding the Special Committee report.

Israel said the Fourth Committee should note that certain resolutions adopted when the Arab-Israeli conflict was at its height did not reflect the new reality in the Middle East. Israel considered that the Special Committee on Israeli Practices wasted the limited financial resources of the UN without bringing any benefit at all to the Palestinian people.

Palestine expressed regret regarding the refusal of the Israeli authorities to cooperate with the Special Committee, believing the current situation warranted the continued work of the Committee. It hoped the report for next year would reflect further progress and positive change on the ground.

During the year, Israel had reported a number of terrorist incidents to the Secretary-General, including three bomb attacks against Israeli public buses, on 9 April,(22) on 24 July(23) and on 21 August.(24) On 10 April, Israel stated(22) that since the signing of the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, 125 Israelis had been killed by Palestinian terrorists in 52 separate attacks, most committed by Islamic fundamentalist organizations which received support and guidance from like-minded States in the region, especially Iran.

On 12 April, Iran, in a letter to the Secretary-General,(25) rejected that allegation, stressing that the course of events and developments in the occupied territories had nothing to do with Iran, but rather stemmed from the inherent expansionist agenda of the Zionist regime which had serious repercussions for the peace and security of the region.

Report of the Secretary-General. On 20 October 1995, the Secretary-General reported(26) that all necessary facilities had been provided to the Special Committee on Israeli Practices, as requested by the General Assembly in 1994.(17) Arrangements had been made for meetings in March, May and August, and field missions to Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic were carried out in May. Committee reports were circulated to Member States, and press releases in English and French had been issued.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

Following consideration of the reports of the Committee on Israeli Practices, the General Assembly on 6 December 1995 adopted four resolutions under the general title "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories", among them resolution 50/29 A.

The General Assembly,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Guided also by the principles of international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, as well as international standards of human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolution 2443(XXIII) of 19 December 1968, and relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling also relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Aware of the uprising (intifadah) of the Palestinian people,

Convinced that occupation itself represents a primary violation of human rights,

Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,

Noting the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, including its Annexes and its Agreed Minutes, by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, on 13 September 1993, as weld as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area signed at Cairo on 4 May 1994 and the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington on 28 September 1995,

Expressing the hope that, with the progress of the peace process, the Israeli occupation will be brought to an end and therefore violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people will cease,

1. Commends the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly and for its impartiality;

2. Demands that Israel cooperate with the Special Committee in implementing its mandate;

3. Deplores those policies and practices of Israel which violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, as reflected in the reports of the Special Committee covering the reporting period;

4. Expresses the hope that, in the light of the recent positive political developments, those policies and practices will be brought to an end immediately;

5. Requests the Special Committee, pending complete termination of the Israeli occupation, to continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, to consult, as appropriate, with the International Committee of the Red Cross according to its regulations in order to ensure that the welfare and human rights of the peoples of the occupied territories are safeguarded and to report to the Secretary-General as soon as possible and whenever the need arises thereafter;

6. Also requests the Special Committee to submit regularly to the Secretary-General periodic reports on the current situation in the occupied Palestinian territory;

7. Further requests the Special Committee to continue to investigate the treatment of prisoners in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

8. Requests the Secretary-General:

(a) To provide all necessary facilities to the Special Committee, including those required for its visits to the occupied territories, so that it may investigate the Israeli policies and practices referred to in the present resolution;

(b) To continue to make available such additional staff as may be necessary to assist the Special Committee in the performance of its tasks;

(c) To circulate regularly to Member States the periodic reports mentioned in paragraph 6 above;

(d) To ensure the widest circulation of the reports of the Special Committee and of information regarding its activities and findings, by all means available, through the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat and, where necessary, to reprint those reports of the Special Committee that are no longer available;

(e) To report to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session on the tasks entrusted to him in the present resolution;

9. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-first session the item entitled "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories".

General Assembly resolution 50/29 A
6 December 1995 Meeting 82 69-2-80 (recorded vote)

Approved by Fourth Committee (A/50/606) by recorded vote (63-2-65), 30 November (meeting 25); 12-nation draft (A/C.4/50/L.18), agenda item 85.

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: 4th Committee 24, 25; plenary 82.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu.

Fourth Geneva Convention

Committee report. The Special Committee on Israeli Practices, in its annual report,(16) reiterated that the relevant provisions of the fourth Geneva Convention remained the main international instrument in humanitarian law that applied to the occupied territories, and its applicability to those territories had repeatedly been reaffirmed by the Security Council, the General Assembly and other UN organs.

Report of the Secretary-General. On 20 October, the Secretary-General informed(27) the General Assembly that Israel had not replied to his May request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement a 1994 Assembly resolution(28) demanding that Israel accept de jure applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention and comply scrupulously with its provisions.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 6 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/29 B under the general title "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories".

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,

Considering that the promotion of respect for the obligations arising from the Charter of the United Nations and other instruments and rules of international law is among the basic purposes and principles of the United Nations,

Stressing that Israel, the occupying Power, should comply strictly with its obligations under international law,

1. Reaffirms that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, is applicable to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Demands that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Convention in the occupied Palestinian territory including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and that it comply scrupulously with the provisions of the Convention;

3. Calls upon all States parties to the Convention, in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, to exert all efforts in order to ensure respect for its provisions by Israel, the occupying Power in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session on the implementation of the present resolution.

General Assembly resolution 50/29 B
6 December 1995 Meeting 82 147-2-4 (recorded vote)
Approved by Fourth Committee (A/50/606) by recorded vote (127-2-4), 30 November (meeting 25); 12-nation draft (A/C.4/50/L.19); agenda item 85.

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: 4th committee 24, 25; plenary 82.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nicaragua, Russian Federation.


Palestinian prisoners

Committee report. According to the annual report of the Special Committee on Israeli Practices,(16) the release of Palestinian prisoners in accordance with the May 1994 agreement had fallen behind schedule, with some 5,400 Palestinians still in Israeli detention centres, a fact that remained a considerable source of tension. The so-called "exceptional dispensations" accorded to the Israeli General Security Service were a source of particular concern to the Committee, which also noted deficiencies in the administration of justice notably in the severity of sentences handed down to Palestinians as compared with those given to Israelis.

Large-scale arrests of members of the Hamas movement had been undertaken in the wake of suicide bombings and other attacks on Israeli civilians and military personnel. More than 4,000 Hamas activists were reported to have been apprehended since a suicide bus bombing in Tel Aviv in October 1994. Members of the Islamic Jihad had also been arrested during similar operations, with several hundred of those arrested reportedly placed in administrative detention. On 5 February 1995, the maximum period of administrative detention was extended from six months to one year, on a renewable basis. At the end of 1994, there were 239 persons in administrative detention. The maximum period that a person could be held before being brought before a judge was officially reduced from 18 to 11 days. According to Amnesty International, detainees were held without access to lawyers for up to 30 class, and without access to families for up to 140 days.

Conditions of detention and treatment of detainees in Israeli prisons had deteriorated during the period under review, the Committee reported. Aggravated forms of torture were frequently used during interrogations of persons arrested for security reasons, sometimes resulting in their deaths. Torture had become more severe after the October 1994 suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, the Committee stated.

Report of the Secretary-General. In a 20 October report,(29) the Secretary-General stated that he had not received any response from Israel to his May request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement relevant provisions of a 1994 General Assembly resolution(30) calling on Israel to accelerate the release of all remaining Palestinians arbitrarily detained or imprisoned, in line with agreements reached, and to facilitate the return of the remaining deportees to the occupied territories.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

In resolution 50/29 C, under the general title "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories", the General Assembly called on Israel to accelerate the release of all remaining Palestinians arbitrarily detained or imprisoned, in line with agreements reached.


Palestinian women

Report of the Secretary-General. In March 1995, the Secretary-General reported(3) to the Commission on the Status of Women on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women, as requested by the Commission in 1994.(32) The report addressed the problem of violence related to occupation as it affected women, and monitored the participation of women in development and political decision-making, as well as women's situation in health, education and employment.

Women were victims of violence by Israeli soldiers and settlers, and experienced violence during interrogation and imprisonment. In addition, Palestinian women were confronted with various kinds of physical, sexual or psychological violence from the family or from society in general, the report stated. With the launching of Palestinian self-rule, however, women's contribution to institution building and legislation had gained importance and public awareness of women's status had increased. Respect for and acceptance of the work of women's organizations was high and women were prepared to play an active role in government. The number of women in leadership positions was growing. After implementation of the self-rule agreement, a woman had been appointed Minister for Social Affairs of the Palestinian Authority and another had become head of the 70-strong women's police force. At the request of women's organizations, the Palestinian Authority had established a women’s affairs technical committee, with the objective of ensuring equal participation in future legislative, executive and judicial structures.

The report concluded that, as the peace process in the occupied territories and the self-rule area of Jericho and the Gaza Strip was being consolidated, the importance of integrating the gender perspective in all areas of legislation, infrastructure development and human resource and economic development was being recognized. Preparing for de facto and de Jure equality between men and women was of primary importance at this juncture. Palestinian women needed practical support and assistance at all levels, from inside and outside the territories. There was potential for development, and resources and support had to be made available immediately in order to create the necessary infrastructure, especially in education, health and employment.

Action by the Commission on the Status of Women. The Commission on the Status of Women, in 1995, adopted a resolution on the integration of women in the Middle East peace process,(33) emphasizing that the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace was vital for the implementation of the human rights of women in the area. The Commission urged Governments, intergovernmental bodies and NGOs to include women in the peace process, to support the Declaration of Principles and to help ensure Palestinian women's political development and participation. It urged Member States to expedite economic, financial and technical assistance to Palestinian women.

The Commission also recommended a draft resolution on Palestinian women for adoption by the Economic and Social Council (see below).

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ACTION

On 25 July, the Economic and Social Council adopted resolution 1995/30.
Palestinian women

The Economic and Social Council,

Having considered with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women,

Recalling the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children,

Recalling also Commission on the Status of Women resolution 38/4 of 18 March 1994 and other relevant United Nations resolutions,

Further recalling the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women as it concerns the protection of civilian populations,

Welcoming the signing by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, in Washington, on 13 September 1993, as well as the implementation of the agreements reached between the two sides,

Deeply concerned about the continuing deterioration of all aspects of the situation of the Palestinian women in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem,

Gravely concerned about the severe consequences of the continuous Israeli illegal settlements activities, as well as the measures which isolate Jerusalem from the West Bank and Gaza Strip, on the situation of Palestinian women and their families,

1. Reaffirms that the Israeli occupation constitutes a major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development plan of their society;

2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention IV of 18 October 1907 and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 in order to protect the rights of Palestinian women and their families;

3. Calls upon Israel to facilitate the return of all refugee and displaced Palestinian women and children and those who are political deportees to their homes and properties in the occupied Palestinian territory, in compliance with the relevant United Nations resolutions;

4. Urges Member States, international financial organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and other relevant institutions to intensify their efforts to provide financial and technical assistance to Palestinian women for the creation of projects responding to their needs, especially during the transitional period;

5. Requests the Commission on the Status of Women to continue to monitor and take action with regard to the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to review the situation and to assist Palestinian women by all available means, and to submit to the Commission, at its fortieth session, a report on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/30
25 July 1995 Meeting 51 43-1-4 (roll-call vote)

Draft by Commission on women (E/1995/26); agenda item 5 (e).
Meeting numbers. ESC 49-51.

Roll call vote in Council as follows:

In favour: Australia, Bahamas, Bhutan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Uganda, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.

Against: United States.

Abstaining: Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Norway, Ukraine.

Explaining its vote, the United States said it believed that Council consideration of issues which the parties to the peace process should address only distracted from those efforts and complicated the ongoing search for peace. Spain, on behalf of the European Union (EU), noted that some language did not properly reflect recent developments; it would have been more appropriate to examine the text in conjunction with the consensus resolution adopted by the Commission on the Status of Women on the integration of women in the Middle East peace process (see above). Iran said it was concerned over both the continuing deterioration of the situation of Palestinian women and the major obstacle which Israeli occupation constituted for Palestinian women with regard to advancement, self-reliance and integration into the development plans of their society.


Israeli settlements

Committee report. In its annual report,(6) the Special Committee on Israeli Practices stated that Israel's policy of establishing Jewish settlements in the occupied territories had been, since its inception in 1968, at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Although Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had declared, when his Government came to power in 1992, that no new settlements would be built, the expansion of existing ones had continued unabated, the Committee stated. Israel, it was stated, had circumvented its pledge not to build new settlements by withholding official financial support but not preventing private funding. The time-frame for the completion of most projects was three to five years, i.e., before the negotiations on the final status of the territories. It had been reported that an average 1,500 acres of Arab land had been confiscated each month since the signing of the September 1994 Oslo agreement on the economic and social development of the Palestinians.(3)

The situation regarding expropriation of Arab land and the expansion of settlements was considered particularly serious in East Jerusalem, where intensive priority construction was taking place The Committee felt Israel's policy was aimed at reducing the number of Arabs there and creating a new demographic, geographic and political situation. If completed, it went on, "Greater Jerusalem" would stretch to Jericho, converting the Palestinian villages in its vicinity into isolated islands. It had been estimated that some 50,000 Palestinians had ceased to live within Jerusalem's municipal boundaries since 1967.

The largest settlement in the occupied territories was Maaleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem in the West Bank, with an estimated population of 20,000. In December 1994, it was reported that the Ministry of Housing and Construction was building 2,000 housing units there and that others were in the planning stage. As a result, some 800 members of the Jahalin Bedouin tribe faced forcible eviction, having already been evicted in 1950 from the Arad area.

An additional problem linked to the settlements as the behaviour of their inhabitants, who had become, the Committee said, more violent and aggressive, in both harassing the Arab population and stalling claims on land. The tension was particularly felt in Hebron where settlers lived in the centre of that West Bank town. Settlers from Hebron and Kiryat Arba had repeatedly attacked Palestinians and vandalized their property with complete impunity, the Committee stated.

Committee report. The Committee on Palestinian Rights, in its annual report,(1) had noted with concern that the presence of large numbers of armed Israeli settlers in the immediate vicinity of densely populated Palestinian areas generated tension often resulting in acts of violence. According to the Committee, the campaign launched by settlers in opposition to the new agreements added to the sense of insecurity and lack of protection felt by Palestinians living near the settlements. Further, the Committee noted plans for the construction of additional settler housing and for roads linking the settlements that would lead to the fragmentation of the West Bank and the isolation of East Jerusalem.

The Committee noted Israel's positive decision, in May, to suspend the planned confiscation of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem. It also reaffirmed that the settlement policy was in contradiction to Israel's obligations as the occupying Power under the fourth Geneva Convention and called on the Government to end that policy once and for all.

SECURITY COUNCIL CONSIDERATION

The situation in the occupied Arab territories was discussed in the Security Council in February and again in May. A debate was held on 28 February centring on Israel's settlement policy; no action was taken. Following debate held between 12 and 17 May on expropriation of land in East Jerusalem, the Council voted on a draft resolution calling the expropriation action invalid. The text was not adopted due to the negative vote of a permanent member.

28 February debate

Djibouti, in its capacity as Chairman of the Arab Group, on 22 February requested(34) a Council meeting to consider the question of "the establishment of Israeli settlements in the territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and the dangerous consequences of those activities on the Palestinian people and on the Middle East peace process."

Sixteen States—Algeria, Brunei Darussalam, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates—were invited under Council provisional rude 37b to participate in the debate. Under provisional rule 39c, the Permanent Observers of Palestine and of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), as well as the Chairman of the Committee on Palestinian Rights, were also invited to participate.

Leading off the debate on 28 February, the Observer from Palestine stated that throughout recent history the Palestinian people had been subjected to grave injustices, including the uprooting of a large proportion of them from their land and homes and the subjugation of those who remained to occupation, repression and the denial of their right to self-determination.

One of the harshest things endured was the campaign of settler colonialism waged on Palestinian lands occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, Palestine said. Since the early days of occupation, Israel had confiscated Palestinian and State-owned land for the purpose of constructing many settlements, and had transferred large numbers of Israeli settlers to those settlements in an obvious campaign to change the land's demographic structure, thus paving the way to total or partial annexation.

The failure of the Council to impose its will. Palestine continued, had allowed Israel to pursue its settlement policy—resulting in approximately 140 settlements inhabited by about 300,000 settlers, including those brought to East Jerusalem. The settlers were a major source of repression, injustice and outright harassment, stealing land and water from the Palestinians and interfering in and even destroying their daily lives, the Observer maintained.

The minimum requirement for negotiations in good faith was that the parties desist from creating facts on the ground that affect and pre-empt the negotiating process. Any settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, including

bRule 37 of the Council's provisional rules of procedure states: "Any Member of the United Nations which is not a member of the Security Council may be invited, as the result of a decision of the Security Council, to participate, without vote, in the discussion of any question brought before the Security Council when the Security Council considers that the interests of that Member are specially affected or when a Member brings a matter to the attention of the Security Council in accordance with Article 35(1) of the Charter."

cRule 39 of the Council’s provisional rules of procedure states: “The Security Council may invite members of the Secretariat or other persons, whom it considers competent for the purpose, to supply it with information or to give other assistance in examining matters within its competence."


Jerusalem, constituted a flagrant violation of the letter and spirit of the 1993 Declaration of Principles, the fourth Geneva Convention and relevant Security Council resolutions, Palestine declared.

Djibouti, speaking for the Arab Group, said that a widespread and pervasive mood of mounting disenchantment had begun to permeate the Arab world—the direct consequence of the near-total lack of progress in negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israeli authorities since 1993. Few impediments to progress were more implacable and emotional than that of Israeli settlers. For the peace process to resume in a meaningful way, settlements in the West Bank must be immediately frozen and those in Gaza dismantled.

Israel considered the PLO initiative to discuss the issue of settlements in the Council as incompatible with its signed commitments to resolve all permanent-status issues, such as settlements and Jerusalem, in direct and bilateral negotiations with Israel. T he present Government, formed in July 1992, had substantially changed Israel's settlement policy, based on its profound belief that the best alternative was peace based on security, understanding and cooperation. Therefore, no new settlements had been established in the territories since then, nor would they be. The Government had stopped allocating public resources to support the extension of existing settlements. No land had been or would be confiscated to establish new settlements. Yes, Israel said, it had continued to build in Jerusalem, as the Arabs had. "They have not stopped building, and this is their right. We have not stopped building, and this is our right."

Direct dialogue was the only way "to solve the issues that divide us", Israel declared. Military conflict and solutions imposed from the outside had not solved the Arab-Israeli conflict. New problems did not distinguish between Arab and Israeli: economic, environmental, humanitarian and so on. "We can solve them only by working together."

Terrorism was now the main obstacle to peace. Radical fundamentalists with ties to Iran had the goal of derailing the peace process. Their strategy was to provoke a cycle of violence and sow anger, hatred and resentment toward further progress Israel stated. Their method was to kill Israeli men women and children going about their daily lives, Israel could not view such attacks with indifference. Morally and humanly, it was obligated to protect its people's lives. Within Israel, the most important task before all supporters of peace was credibly to address the growing sense in Israeli public opinion that the Palestinians were unable to meet their commitments to fighting terrorism. Israel expected the Palestinian Authority to disarm all those who were forbidden to possess arms, and to do all in its power to combat terrorism and to bring to justice all those involved in murderous activities.

Israel believed that great progress, irreversible progress, had been made with its Palestinian partners; their shared goals and hopes had to be pursued in a commitment to a comprehensive peace.

During the debate, many speakers called into question Israel's settlement policy. It was stated that the policy was hampering the ongoing peace process and seriously compromising recent agreements reached between major parties, including the 1993 Declaration of Principles, the May 1994 Gaza-Jericho Agreement, the August 1994 Agreement on the Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities, and the October 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan.

Some speakers stressed that the settlement activity was undermining not only the confidence of the Palestinians in the peace process, but the process as a whole. The continued construction of settlements not only would jeopardize ongoing negotiations between Israel and PLO, but would also threaten and jeopardize the overall peace process in the region. An end to the settlement policy, it was generally felt, could be a determining factor in a successful progression towards the achievement of a just and lasting peace. It was stated that if progress to remove the settlements was not made, support for the anti-peace camps on both sides would increase.

Some countries of the region charged that Israel was using the issue of security as a pretext for continuing its settlement policy; it was stated that Israel had no justification for continuing to build and expand its settlements. Many others stated that the issue was just one aspect of the complex relations between Israel and the Palestinians and should be left to bilateral negotiations, outside the spotlight of international attention.

Still other nations felt the debate might provide an appropriate forum for expressing support for the peace process; they called for redoubled efforts to attain peace.

Views of permanent Council members. China expressed concern over the suddenly sharpened discord between the parties regarding Israeli settlements. With the peace process at a very critical moment, both sides must exercise restraint, build mutual trust, continue removing obstructions and persist in settling disputes through negotiations.

France encouraged Israel to find a way to halt work on expanding the settlements, which was being carried out by private interests and with private financing. It understood that Israeli public opinion was traumatized by the resurgence of terrorism, and called on the Palestinian Authority to do all it could to prevent and punish such acts. Later, speaking for EU, France vigorously condemned blind violence, and stated that the question of security must not become an obstacle to progress in the negotiations.

The Russian Federation said it believed in timely and complete compliance, in good faith, with He letter and spirit of the 1993 Declaration of Principles. The parties should refrain from any acts to disturb the status quo and prejudice a Palestinian-Israeli settlement.

The United Kingdom understood the frustration felt by the Palestinians over Israel's settlement activity, which it considered illegal. The Declaration of Principles had defined settlements as a final-status issue, and the implication of that was that the status quo would remain in the meantime. Any expansion, therefore, went against the spirit of the Declaration. At the same time, the United Kingdom did not underestimate or seek to belittle Israel's legitimate security concerns.

The United States said that Israel and Palestinian negotiators were seeking a balance to address both Israeli security concerns and Palestinian political and economic concerns. Council debate at such a sensitive time could only sour the atmosphere and deflect the parties from the need to work on the path they had set for themselves. The United States opposed any activity that would only complicate efforts to spur the negotiation process.

Views of non-permanent members. Argentina wanted the Israeli and Palestinian authorities to speed up the joint quest for a solution to the sensitive question of settlements. Botswana said that whatever action might be taken should in no way accentuate the complications or difficulties currently encountered by the negotiations. The Czech Republic, which considered the settlements to be illegal and not conducive to the peace process, nevertheless conceded that Israel had effected important changes in its policy.

Germany said both sides had to understand the other's concerns and fears and should redouble their efforts through direct negotiations: increased acts of terrorism legitimately concerned Israelis; settlement activities were of major concern to Palestinians. Honduras declared that the achievement of peace in the region had to be based on the principle of "land for peace" and withdrawal from all occupied territories. Indonesia called for a speedy dismantlement of settlements, leading to a mutually supportive and positively reinforcing approach, such as that which had resulted in important breakthroughs in the past.

Italy said the debate ought not to interfere with ongoing negotiations between Israel and PLO, but rather provide an opportunity for a constructive exchange of thoughts. Nigeria warned that the continued settlement activities could lead to an entrenchment of extremist views within radical sections of Middle East society. In Oman's opinion, there could be no potential breakthrough in the course of bilateral or other negotiations unless Israel ended its settlement policy immediately and resolved the question of existing settlements through peaceful negotiations.

Meeting number. SC 3505.

May meetings

Morocco, as Chairman of the Islamic Group,(35) and the United Arab Emirates(36) on 8 May requested an urgent Council meeting, to discuss in particular a recent Israeli confiscation order in respect of Palestinian land in East Jerusalem. Urgent measures by the Council had been called for earlier by Palestine, which had reported, in a 28 April letter to the Secretary-General,(37) that on the previous day Israel had ordered the confiscation of 53 hectares of Palestinian land within East Jerusalem.

At meetings held on 12, 15, 16 and 17 May, the Council considered the situation in the occupied Arab territories. Twenty-six nations were invited, under Council provisional rule 37 b to participate in the debate without vote: Algeria, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Under provisional rule 39c, the Observer from Palestine and the Acting Chairman of the Committee on Palestinian Rights also were invited to participate.

Opening the debate on 12 May, the Observer from Palestine said the Council was addressing a dangerous Israeli action: the recent order to confiscate 53 hectares of land in the area of occupied East Jerusalem. Under Security Council resolution 181(II),(33) a demilitarized Jerusalem had been designated as a corpus separatum under the UN Trusteeship Council. The land confiscated by Israel in an expanded East Jerusalem through the years added up to 2,400 hectares, on which 35,000 units for settlement had been built and allocated to Jewish settlers; by 1993, Jewish settlers in Jerusalem numbered 150,000. The Palestinians had been left with minimal land—14 per cent of East Jerusalem in its expanded municipal boundaries.

Negotiation in good faith required that the parties did not make changes on the ground that would prejudge the results of the negotiations or influence it, Palestine said. By ordering the confiscation and announcing plans for constructing more residential units for settlers, Israel had violated international law, as well as its obligations under recent agreements.

Israel could not go on with its occupation mentality; it could not achieve peace and demand normal relations with its neighbours and their friends while continuing to maintain its grip on Jerusalem. The Council must guarantee the rescinding of the confiscation orders through adopting a clear resolution and make Israel understand the importance of not repeating such acts in the future, Palestine concluded.

Israel responded that its recent decision to expropriate, not confiscate, barren land for construction, not for settlements, was based on its long-standing policy to ensure that development in Jerusalem kept pace with the changes that were a natural feature of any living city. Construction and development for all residents had always been regular features of Jerusalem life and would continue to be in the future. The people of the city—Jews and Arabs alike—could not be deprived of sufficient schools, roads, housing and workplaces. Some of the designated land was under Jewish ownership. All owners had the right to appeal the expropriation orders. If expropriation was upheld, owners would be compensated.

Jerusalem had been established by King David as the capital of Israel 3,000 years ago. Its centrality had sustained the Jews as a people in their darkest days. Israel was sensitive to the importance of Jerusalem to Christians and Moslems and in 1967 had opened the city, for the first time, to pilgrims and worshippers of all religions.

There was, in Israel's view, no contradiction between the peace process and continued development in Jerusalem for the benefit of all its residents, both Jewish and Arab. The 1993 Declaration of Principles did not prohibit development activity in the city. If the PLO leadership felt otherwise, the issue should be addressed in bilateral negotiations; any attempts to do so outside the agreed-upon framework contradicted the letter and spirit of agreements between both parties. Israel called on the Council not to take any action.

During the course of the debate, most speakers considered that the expropriation orders contravened the spirit of UN resolutions and recent agreements between Israel and PLO. Many, while expressing concern over their effect on the peace process called on Israel to rescind its recent decision and make the necessary compromises with the Palestinians in order to accelerate implementation of the relevant agreements.

On 17 May, the Council did not adopt, due to the negative vote of a permanent member, a draft resolution(39) submitted by Botswana, Honduras, Indonesia, Nigeria, Oman and Rwanda. By that text, the Council, stating its awareness of the negative impact of the expropriation on the Middle East peace process, would have: confirmed that the expropriation of land in East Jerusalem by Israel was invalid and violated relevant Council resolutions and the fourth Geneva Convention; called on Israel to rescind the expropriation orders and refrain from such action in the future; expressed full support for the peace process and its achievements, including the 1993 Declaration of Principles and subsequent agreements; and urged the parties to adhere to them and follow up with their full implementation.

The vote was 14 in favour (Argentina, Botswana, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Honduras, Indonesia, Italy, Nigeria, Oman, Russian Federation, Rwanda, United Kingdom) to 1 against (United States).

In explanation of vote, the United States, noting that it was the first time in five years that it had cast a veto, said it was compelled to oppose the resolution because the Council had sought to declare itself on a permanent-status issue— Jerusalem—and had thus violated the principle that the only path to achieving a just and lasting peace was through direct talks between the parties.

Meeting numbers. SC 3536, 3538.

Palestine, in identical letters of 24 May to the Secretary-General and to the Security Council President,(40) referred to the unanimous expression of disagreement, during Council debate, by all members, including the United States, with Israel's confiscation orders. It noted an Israeli Cabinet decision on 22 May to suspend the expropriation of 53 hectares of land in Jerusalem, and cited a 15 May statement by Israel that the Cabinet had no intention of carrying out additional expropriation of land in Jerusalem for housing purposes. While those could be considered as steps in the right direction, they were hardly enough to satisfy previous Council resolutions and international law. Palestine believed that the Council should remain seized of the matter and keep itself apprised of any further Israeli measures with regard to the land in question, to ensure that the confiscation orders were not being carried out and no building would take place on that or any other land in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem.

Report of the Secretary-General. In a 20 October report, the Secretary-General informed the General Assembly that no reply had been received from Israel to his Clay request for information on steps it had taken or envisaged to implement the 1994 Assembly resolution(30) reaffirming that Israeli settlements in the territories, including Jerusalem, were illegal and an obstacle to a comprehensive settlement.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 6 December, the Assembly adopted resolution 50/29 C under the general title "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories".

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions and the resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, the most recent of which is resolution 904(1994) of 18 March 1994,

Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories and the reports of the Secretary-General,

Aware of the responsibility of the international community to promote human rights and ensure respect for international law,

Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming also the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Welcoming the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, including its Annexes and its Agreed Minutes, by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington on 13 September 1993, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area signed at Cairo on 4 May 1994 and the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington on 28 September 1995,

Noting the withdrawal of the Israeli army, which took place in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area in accordance with the agreements reached between the parties, and the initiation of the Palestinian Authority in those areas,

Concerned about the continuing violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, especially in the use of collective punishment, closure of areas, annexation and establishment of settlements, and the continuing actions by it designed to change the legal status, geographical nature and demographic composition of the occupied Palestinian territory,

Concerned in particular about the dangerous situation resulting from actions taken by the illegal, armed Israel; settlers in the occupied territory, as illustrated by the massacre of Palestinian worshippers by an illegal Israeli settler in Al-Khalil on 25 February 1994,

Convinced of the positive impact of a temporary international or foreign presence in the occupied Palestinian territory for the safety and protection of the Palestinian people,

Expressing its appreciation to the countries that participated in the Temporary International Presence in Hebron for their positive contribution,

Also convinced of the need for the full implementation of Security Council resolution 904(1994),

1. Determines that all measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council are illegal and have no validity, and demands that Israel desist forthwith from taking any such measures or actions;

2. Reaffirms in particular that the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967 are illegal and an obstacle to achieving comprehensive peace;

3. Notes with satisfaction the return of a number of deportees to the occupied Palestinian territory and calls upon Israel to facilitate the return of the remainder;

4. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to accelerate the release of all remaining Palestinians arbitrarily detained or imprisoned, in line with agreements reached;

5. Calls for complete respect by Israel, the occupying Power, of all fundamental freedoms of the Palestinian people, pending the extension of the self-government arrangements to the rest of the West Bank;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session on the implementation of the present resolution.

General Assembly resolution 50/29 C
6 December 1995 Meeting 82 144-2-7 (recorded vote)

Approved by Fourth Committee (A/50/606) by recorded vote (122-2-8), 30 November (meeting 25); 12-nation draft (A/C.4/50/L.20); agenda item 85.

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: 4th Committee 24, 25; plenary 82.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark Djibouti, Dominica, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Argentina, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nicaragua, Panama, Russian Federation, Uruguay.


Economic and social repercussions

A report (41) prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and submitted in July by the Secretary-General, in accordance with 1994 requests of the Economic and Social Council(42) and the General Assembly,(43) dealt with the economic and social repercussions of Israeli settlements on the Palestinians in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, occupied since 1967, and on the Arab population of the Syrian Golan.

The report stated that construction activities in West Bank settlements had proceeded at an unprecedented rate during the review period from April 1994 to March 1995, in contrast to the policy adopted by the Israeli Government. A study by Israeli experts had determined that building operations were being carried out by private companies, without government financing but with permits from the local councils and Israeli ministry officials. The study's findings showed that the Government was facilitating the sale of privately built housing units and continued to provide the necessary public utilities and infrastructure.

ESCWA reported that the stepped-up settlement policy and relocation of thousands of Jews to Jerusalem were at the expense of the Palestinian residents. Many of them had had to build homes without permits owing to the limited land allocated for construction by Arabs, and the Israeli authorities continued to destroy about 50 such homes each year.

In the Golan Heights, a new Israeli settlement in August 1994 brought the total built since 1967 to 33; total inhabitants numbered 13,160 in March 1994.

The use of water resources in the territories had negatively affected the lives of Palestinians, with per capita water consumption among Palestinians in the West Bank ranging between 22 and 28 cubic metres as compared with 165 cubic metres for the Israeli population. The disparity, it was stated, was due to military orders restricting the use of water by Palestinians and preventing them from drilling new wells or developing existing ones, while allowing Israeli settlers to do so and to pump large quantities of water without restriction.

According to Palestinians, the Israeli water policy in the Gaza Strip had led to a dangerous and distressing situation. Water experts believed that the depletion of water reserves in the Gaza Strip and sea-water intrusion had caused the salinity of the water to be six times higher than the internationally accepted level, with 60 per cent of the water no longer suitable for drinking or irrigation.

The uprooting of fruit trees was a daily Israeli practice in the West Bank, as it had been previously in the Gaza Strip. During the intifadah, an estimated 117,000 olive trees had been uprooted for construction and security reasons. Sewage leaking from Israeli settlements had spoilt more than 500 dunums of vineyards in the West Bank. The resulting annual loss was an estimated $1.5 million, with the overall loss exceeding $10 million.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ACTION

On 28 July, the Economic and Social Council adopted resolution 1995/49.
Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli
settlements on the Palestinian people in the
Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem,
occupied since 1967, and on the Arab
population of the occupied Syrian Golan

The Economic and Social Council,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 49/132 of 19 December 1994,

Recalling also its resolution 1994/45 of 29 July 1994,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of people under foreign occupation over their national resources,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and recalling Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 497(1981) of 17 December 1981,

Recalling Security Council resolution 465(1980) of 1 March 1980 and other resolutions affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Recalling also Security Council resolution 904(1994) of 18 March 1994, in which among other things, the Council called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to continue to take and implement measures, including, inter alia, confiscation of arms, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers, and called for measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory,

Aware of the negative and grave economic and social repercussions of the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, occupied since 1967, and on the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan,

Welcoming the ongoing Middle East peace process started at Madrid, in particular the signing at Cairo, on 4 May 1994, by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, of the first agreement on the implementation of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, namely, the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area,

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General;

2. Reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 are illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development;

3. Recognizes the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967, and on the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan;

4. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the population of the Syrian Golan to their natural and all other economic resources, and regards any infringement thereof as being illegal;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session, through the Economic and Social Council, a report on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/49
28 July 1995 Meeting 57 45-1-5 (roll-call vote)
6-nation draft (E/1995/L.42), orally corrected; agenda item 8.

Sponsors: Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates.

Meeting numbers. ESC 53, 56, 57.

Roll-call vote in Council as follows:

In favour: Australia, Bahamas, Bhutan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, Uganda, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Zimbabwe.

Against: United States.

Abstaining: Belarus, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Russian Federation, Ukraine.

Alter the vote, the United States said the intemperate and unbalanced criticism of Israel was unhelpful to the search for a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict; it was the Council's duty to promote peace, not to adopt inflammatory resolutions. The Russian Federation considered that issues such as those contained in the text would be more appropriately discussed in other forums. In Israel's view, the resolution reflected the thinking of those opposed to the peace process.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 20 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/129.
Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli
settlements on the Palestinian people in the
Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem,
occupied since 1967, and on the Arab
population of the occupied Syrian Golan

The General Assembly,

Recalling Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/49 of 28 July 1995,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of people under foreign occupation over their national resources,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and recalling Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 497(1981) of 17 December 1981,

Recalling Security Council resolution 465(1980) of 1 March 1980 and other resolutions affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Recalling also Security Council resolution 904(1994) of 18 March 1994, in which, among other things, the Council called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to continue to take and implement measures, including, inter alia confiscation of arms, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers, and called for measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory,

Aware of the negative and grave economic and social repercussions of the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territory, occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and on the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan,

Welcoming the ongoing Middle East peace process started at Madrid, hi particular the two implementation agreements embodied in the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and Jericho Area, of 4 May 1994, and the interim agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip of 28 September 1995,

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General;

2. Reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 are illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development;

3. Recognizes the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli settlements on the Palestinian people in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 including Jerusalem, and on the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan;

4. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan to their natural and all other economic resources, and regards any infringement thereupon as illegal;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session, through the Economic and Social Council, a report on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

General Assembly resolution 50/129
20 December 1995 Meeting 96 126-2-28 (recorded vote)

Approved by Second Committee (A/50/615/Add.1) by recorded vote (91-2-22), 30 November (meeting 40); 5-nation draft (A/C.2/50/L.13); agenda item 12.

Sponsors: Bangladesh, Cuba, Egypt (as Chairman of Arab Group), (Indonesia, Malaysia.

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: 2nd Committee 15, 16, 29, 32, 40; plenary 96.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Djibouti, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands,* South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominica, El Salvador, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Hungary, Latvia, Marshall Islands, Nepal, Panama, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Suriname, Ukraine, Uruguay.

*Later advised the Secretariat it had intended to abstain.


Speaking before the vote, Israel urged that the text be deferred, since the criteria for adopting resolutions on the Middle East should reflect the positive developments in the peace process and the hopes for a better future in the region.

The United States considered that rather than participating in a meaningless exercise, it would be more appropriate for Member States to express their strong support for the peace process and encourage the parties as they proceeded with their negotiations. The resolution was flawed because it purported to deal with an issue which, in accordance with the 1993 Declaration of Principles, was to be covered in negotiations no later than the third year of the interim period, or May 1996.

In Australia's view, any infringement of Palestinian water rights, as mentioned in paragraph 4, was illegal, but the matter should be resolved in negotiation.

Iran emphasized that its positive vote should not be construed as recognition of the State of Israel. Similarly, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya expressed reservations on all points of the text that could be taken as recognition of Israel or the Middle East peace process; the only way to achieve peace, it added, was by repatriating the Palestinian people.

According to the Observer for Palestine, the illegal settlements were a major obstacle to peace and their mere presence would lead to extremism and violence. Adoption of the resolution was not a meaningless exercise since the text reaffirmed the international community's position with regard to a dangerous element that might jeopardize the peace process.
REFERENCES

(1)A/50/35 (2)YUN 1993, p. 521. (3)YUN 1994, p. 616. (4)YUN 1967, p. 257, SC res. 242(1967), 22 Nov. 1967. (5)YUN 1973, p. 213, SC res. 338(1973), 22 Oct. 1973. (6)A/50/67-S/1995/64. (7)S/PRST/1995/3. (8)A/50/725-S/1995/930. (9)YUN 1994, p. 619, GA res. 49/62 D, 14 Dec. 1994. (10)A/50/73-S/1995/83. (11)YUN 1948-49, p. 174, GA res. 194(III), 11 Dec. 1948. (12)YUN 1978, p. 312, SC res. 425(1978), 19 Mar 1978. (13)A/50/574. (14)YUN 1994, p. 624, GA res. 49/87 A, 16 Dec. 1991. (15)YUN 1968, p. 555, GA res. 2443(XXIII), 19 Dec. 1968. (16)A/50/463. (17)YUN 1994, p. 646, GA res. 49/36 A, 9 Dec. 1994. (18)A/50/170. (19)A/50/282. (20)YUN, 1994, p. 614. (21)YUN, 1955, p. 209. (22)A/50/133-S/1995/282. (23)A/50/305-S/1995/608. (24)A/50/359- S/1995/718. (25)A/50/135-S/1995/293 (26)A/50/657. (27)A/50/658. (28)YUN 1994, p. 655, GA res. 49/36 B, 9 Dec. 1994. (29)A/50/659. (30)YUN 1994, p. 646, GA res. 49/36 C, 9 Dec. 1994. (31)E/CN.6/1995/8. (32)YUN 1994, p. 1191. (33)E/1995/26-E/CN.6/1995/14 (res. 39/3). (34)S/1995/151. (35)S/1995/367. (36)S/1995/366. (37)A/50/168-S/1995/341. (38)YUN 1947-48, p. 247, GA res. 181(II) A, 29 Nov. 1947. (39)S/1995/394. (40)A/50/191-S/1995/418. (41)A/50/262-E/1995/59. (42)YUN 1994, p. 651, ESC res. 1994/45, 29 July 1994. (43)Ibid., p. 652, GA res. 49/130, 19 Dec. 1994.



___________________________

Issues related to Palestine
___________________________
General aspects

During 1995, the General Assembly continued to grapple with the question of Palestine. Following consideration of the annual report of the Committee on Palestinian Rights, the Assembly in December adopted four resolutions, reaffirming, among other things, the necessity of achieving a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine—the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict—in all its aspects and again stressing the need for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinians, primarily the right to self-determination, as well as for Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.

In commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, celebrated annually in accordance with a 1977 Assembly resolution,(1) the Committee held a solemn meeting on 29 November to which all Member States, specialized agencies and observers were invited.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 15 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/04 D.
Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions,

Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions including resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 7 November 1995, submitted pursuant to the request made in its resolution 49/62 D of 14 December 1994,

Convinced that achieving a final and peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is imperative for the attainment of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East,

Aware that the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples is among the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Affirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,

Affirming also the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the territory occupied since 1967 and of Israeli actions aimed at changing the status of Jerusalem,

Affirming once again the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

Aware of the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, and the signing by the two parties of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements in Washington on 13 September 1993, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington on 28 September 1995,

Noting with satisfaction the withdrawal of the Israeli army, which took place in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area in accordance with the agreements reached by the parties, and the initiation of the Palestinian Authority in those areas, as well as the beginning of the redeployment of the Israeli army in the rest of the West Bank,

Aware also that the United Nations has participated as a full, extraregional participant in the work of the multilateral working groups of the Middle East peace process,

Noting the appointment of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories by the Secretary-General, and the positive contribution in this regard,

Welcoming the convening of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace at Washington on 1 October 1993 and all follow-up meetings,

1. Reaffirm the necessity of achieving a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in all its aspects;

2. Expresses its support of the ongoing peace process which began in Madrid and the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, and expresses the hope that the process will lead to the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

3. Calls for the timely and scrupulous implementation of the agreements reached between the parties towards the negotiation of the final settlement;

4. Stresses the need for:

(a) The realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination;

(b) The withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967;

5. Stresses also the need for resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with its resolution 194(III) of 11 December 1948;

6. Urges Member States to expedite the provision of economic and technical assistance to the Palestinian people during this critical period;

7. Emphasizes the importance for the United Nations to play a more active and expanded role in the current peace process and in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles, including the monitoring of the forthcoming Palestinian elections;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned, and in consultation with the Security Council, for the promotion of peace in the region and to submit progress reports on developments in this matter.

General Assembly resolution 50/84 D
15 December 1995 Meeting 93 143-3-3 (recorded vote)

17-nation draft (A/50/L.50 & Add.1): agenda item 42.

Meeting numbers: GA 50th session plenary 74, 75, 93.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Prance, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, Micronesia, United States.

Abstaining: Costa Rica, Marshall Islands, Russian Federation.

In the View of the United States, it was both in appropriate and unhelpful for the General Assembly to take a position and speak conclusively on issues under direct negotiation between the parties. The Assembly should support the negotiation process rather than focus on divisive and polarizing issues and statements. Three of the texts adopted under the agenda item were remnants of an earlier time and had been overtaken by events. They promoted institutions and activities whose approach to Middle East peace was both unbalanced and outdated and did little to support the negotiations under way; nor did those texts reflect, except in perfunctory ways, the remarkable progress that had been achieved. Those institutions and activities, which absorbed about $7 million worth of financial and human resources, could tee better used in another way, for example through UNSCO for programmes directly benefiting Palestinians.

Speaking after the vote, Palestine expressed regret over the positions taken by Israel and the United States which, it said, appeared to aim principally at setting aside international law and at forcing the Palestinians to accept the results of illegal Israeli policies that had been condemned by the international community for many years, subjecting the final settlement to an imbalance of power in favour of Israel.

The Syrian Arab Republic said its favourable vote did not mean that it supported or opposed the Declaration of Principles referred to in the text. Iran expressed reservations on those parts of the resolutions adopted under the agenda item which might be construed as any recognition of Israel. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya stated similar reservations; it also reserved its position on the provisions welcoming or supporting the current peace process. That process, it felt, did not provide a just, comprehensive and final solution.

The right of the Palestinians to self-determination was reaffirmed by the Commission on Human Rights (see PART THREE, Chapter II) and by the Assembly in resolution 50/140. The Assembly expressed the hope that they could soon be exercising that right within the peace process and urged for continued support in their quest for self-determination.

Committee on Palestinian Rights

As mandated by the General Assembly in 1994,(2) the Committee on Palestinian Rights, established in 1975,(3) kept under review the situation relating to the Palestine question, reported on it and made suggestions to the Assembly or the Security Council. The Committee continued to promote the exercise of the rights of the Palestinians and heighten international awareness of the facts relating to the question, making adjustments in its approach and work programme as necessary in order to promote implementation of the agreements reached and to mobilize support and assistance to the Palestinians. In carrying out its mandate, the Committee also expanded its cooperation with non-governmental organizations (NGOs). During the year, it organized regional seminars and meetings and oversaw the preparation of studies and publications. As in the past, it invited Palestinian and Israeli personalities to participate in all events organized under its auspices, with a view to promoting constructive debate and analysis of the most important issues relating to the Palestine question, the transition period and the peace process.

In establishing its 1995 work programme, the Committee decided not to hold any North American seminar and to devote some of the resulting savings to the North American NGO symposium. It also decided to devote resources earmarked for a European seminar to one on Palestinian administrative, managerial and financial needs and challenges (see Committee report below, under "Assistance to Palestinians"). The Committee initiated consultations with regard to identifying a venue for an Asian seminar and NGO symposium that event and an event in Africa, however, could not be held during 1995.

The Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 20-23 March), held in support of the peace process, was attended by 17 panellists from that region, as well as Palestinians and Israelis, representatives of 17 Governments, 3 United Nations organs and intergovernmental organizations, 16 NGOs, media representatives, and faculty and students of universities and institutes. A regional NGO symposium on the same theme was held in conjunction with that seminar, as were workshops on mobilizing NGOs to promote assistance to the Palestinians and on NGO activities to mobilize public opinion for a just and lasting solution to the Palestine question.

The twelfth United Nations North American NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine (New York, 19-21 June), held in cooperation with the North American Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine, was attended by 73 NGOs, 18 panellists and workshop leaders. It Governments and 2 intergovernmental organizations. Panel topics included: Jerusalem and settlements, the situation of the refugees, securing respect for international humanitarian law, building civil society; advancing women's concerns; promoting social development; and the continuing commitment of NGOs to the Palestine question.

The twelfth United Nations International NGO Meeting and Ninth European NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine were combined (Vienna, 29 August-1 September) and attended by 26 panellists and workshop leaders, 51 NGOs, 37 Governments, 10 UN agencies and bodies, 3 intergovernmental organizations, 5 NGO coordinating committees and a delegation from Palestine. Participating NGOs adopted a communiqué, welcoming the positive developments in the Middle East peace process as a result of the 1993 Declaration of Principles,(4) noting with concern the delays in implementing the agreement and exhorting Israel to honour its commitments in a timely manner.

In its 1995 report to the Assembly,(5) the Committee continued to stress that a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestine question—the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict—had to be based on the relevant United Nations resolutions and the following principles: Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other occupied Arab territories; respect for the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized boundaries; and recognition and exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinians, primarily the right to self-determination.

The Committee noted with satisfaction that the peace process continued despite many difficulties and that the parties had affirmed its irreversibility. As an important further step in that process, the Committee welcomed the signing in September of the Interim Agreement.

The Committee expressed its commitment to continue and intensify its support for the Palestinian people and its leadership during the transition. It reaffirmed that the United Nations had a permanent responsibility with respect to the Palestine question until a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement was reached, and reiterated that the involvement of the United Nations in the peace process, both as guardian of international legitimacy and in mobilizing and providing international assistance, was essential for the successful outcome of the peace efforts. During the interim period, the Committee believed, Israel had to recognize and respect its obligations as the occupying Power under the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (fourth Geneva Convention).

Despite positive developments, the Committee noted that the situation in the areas still under Israeli occupation gave reason for concern and continued to create facts on the ground that had potential negative effects on the future exercise of Palestinian rights and the peace process itself. Of utmost importance was the issue of land confiscation and settlements, including in East Jerusalem (see above, under "Occupied territories").

The Committee expressed profound concern at the repeated closures, for security reasons, of the occupied territory and the self-rule areas and at the isolation of East Jerusalem, which had a devastating effect on the overall livelihood of the Palestinian population in an economy much intertwined with that of Israel, as well as on Palestinian education and health. The Committee was also concerned that thousands of Palestinian prisoners and detainees remained in Israeli prisons, under conditions that had been repeatedly decried by human rights organizations. It called on Israel to implement the planned releases speedily and work to ameliorate conditions of detention (see above).

The Committee voiced concern at the continued deterioration of the living conditions of the Palestinians in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and particularly in the Gaza Strip. It stressed that the destruction of the Palestinian economic infrastructure as a result of the prolonged occupation required the urgent attention of the international community.

An important first step towards integrating the Palestinian economy into a wider regional economic framework was, in the Committee's view, the first Middle East/North Africa Economic Summit (Casablanca, Morocco, 30 October-1 November 1994) and the adoption of the Declaration of Casablanca,(6) as a dynamic economy and prosperity were important underpinnings of peace and stability, ideas that were reaffirmed in a joint communiqué issued on 12 February 1995 by the United States, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority. The Committee welcomed the convening of the Second Middle East/North Africa Economic Summit (Amman, 29-31 October) which, it believed, would facilitate the expansion of investment in the region and enhance regional cooperation and development, thereby promoting stability and an atmosphere conducive to peace.

The Committee expressed great appreciation to those States that had supported its work and facilitated the organization of events held under its auspices; it believed that the time had come for all States to recognize its contribution as a valuable forum for dialogue, analysis, exchange of expertise, mobilization of public opinion and action in support of the peace efforts and the rights of the Palestinians, as well as their socio-economic development. The Committee considered that a broadening of its membership to include countries that supported its objective but had not hitherto participated in its work would greatly enhance the contribution of the United Nations to promote peace.

The Committee further considered that its seminars on economic and social issues confronting the Palestinians in the occupied territory had been particularly useful in bringing together experts, donor countries, UN departments, agencies and organizations, NGOs and others. In view of the new situation created by the 1993 Declaration of Principles and subsequent implementation agreements and mindful of the measures taken by the Palestinian Authority to establish an effective administration, which required continued international support, the Committee felt that an event under its auspices should be held as soon as possible to address various aspects of the transition period.

The Committee stressed the value of its role as a catalyst in bringing together and developing a network of NGOs interested in the Palestine question, and in promoting solidarity activities as well as concrete assistance. Noting the increasing interest and participation of Governments, in particular of donor countries, and UN organizations and agencies in NGO events organized under its auspices, the Committee also intended to continue its meetings in the various regions seeking to structure them for maximum usefulness and to cooperate with NGOs with a view to developing effective follow-up mechanisms and encouraging a wider and more active participation of NGOs.

The Committee also made recommendations regarding the activities of the UN Division for Palestinian Rights and the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information (DPI) (see below).

Finally, the Committee said it would continue to strive to achieve maximum effectiveness in implementing its mandate and to adjust its work programme in the light of developments, in order to continue to contribute, to the extent possible, to the realization of the common UN objective of achieving a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 15 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/84 A.
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights
of the Palestinian People

The General Assembly,

Calling its resolutions 181(II) of 29 November 1947, 194(III) of 11 December 1948, 3236(XXIX) of 22 November 1974, 3375(XXX) and 3376(XXX) of 10 November 1975, 31/20 of 24 November 1976, 32/40 A of 2 December 1977, 33/28 A and B of 7 December 1978, 34/65 A of 29 November 1979 and 34/65 C of 12 December 1979, ES-7/2 of 29 July 1980, 35/169 A and C of 15 December 1980, 36/120 A and C of 10 December 1981, ES-7/4 of 28 April 1982, 37/86 A of 10 December 1982, 38/58 A of 13 December 1983, 39/49 A of 11 December 1984, 40/96 A of 12 December 1985, 41/43 A of 2 December 1986, 42/66 A of 2 December 1987, 43/175 A of 15 December 1988, 44/41 A of 6 December 1989, 45/67 A of 6 December 1990, 46/74 A of 11 December 1991, 47/64 A of 11 December 1992 48/158 A of 20 December 1993 and 49/62 A of 14 December 1994,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,

Welcoming the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, including its Annexes and Agreed Minutes, by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington on 13 September 1993, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, in particular the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, signed at Cairo on 4 May 1994, and the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington on 28 September 1995,

Reaffirming that the United Nations has a permanent responsibility with respect to the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner, in accordance with international legitimacy,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly;

2. Considers that the Committee can continue to make a valuable and positive contribution to international efforts to promote the effective implementation of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements and to mobilize international support for and assistance to the Palestinian people during the transitional period;

3. Endorses the recommendations of the Committee contained in chapter VII of its report;

4. Requests the Committee to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly or the Security Council, as appropriate;

5. Authorizes the Committee to continue to exert all efforts to promote the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, to make such adjustments in its approved programme of work as it may consider appropriate and necessary in the light of developments, to give special emphasis to the need to mobilize support and assistance for the Palestinian people, and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session and thereafter;

6. Also requests the Committee to continue to extend its cooperation to non-governmental organizations in their contribution towards heightening international awareness of the facts relating to the question of Palestine and promoting support and assistance to meet the needs of the Palestinian people, and to take the necessary steps to involve additional non-governmental organizations in its work;

7. Requests the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, established under resolution 194(III) and other United Nations bodies associated with the question of Palestine to continue to cooperate fully with the Committee and to make available to it, at its request, the relevant information and documentation which they have at their disposal;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to circulate the report of the Committee to all the competent bodies of the United Nations and urges them to take the necessary action, as appropriate;

9. Also requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Committee with all the necessary facilities for the performance of its tasks.

General Assembly resolution 50/84 A
15 December 1995 Meeting 93 95-2-52 (recorded vote)

17-nation draft (A/50/L.47 & Add.1); agenda item 42.
Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: plenary 74, 75, 93.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan.


Division for Palestinian Rights.

Under the guidance of the Committee on Palestinian Rights, the Division for Palestinian Rights of the UN Secretariat continued to function as a centre for research, monitoring, preparation of studies, and collection and dissemination of information on all issues related to the Palestine question. In cooperation with relevant technical services of the Secretariat, the Division had made progress towards establishing a UN computer-based information system on the question of Palestine (UNISPAL), as requested by the Committee and endorsed by the General Assembly The Committee stressed the usefulness of UNISPAL for its own work and for that of the United Nations, as well as for other members of the international community, and called for intensified efforts to advance towards the full operation of the system and its further expansion as required.

The Committee requested the Division to continue its programme of publications, with particular attention to preparing or updating studies on various issues subject to final status negotiations. It noted with satisfaction the progress made in incorporating into UNISPAL documentation on relevant activities of the UN system and NGOs, as well as other information material, including documents related to the peace process.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 15 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/84 B.
Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,

Taking note in particular of the relevant information contained in chapter V.B of that report,

Recalling its resolutions 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, 33/28 C of 7 December 1978, 34/65 D of 12 December 1979, 35/169 D of 15 December 1980, 36/120 B of 10 December 1981, 37/86 B of 10 December 1982, 38/58 B of 13 December 1983, 39/49 B of 11 December 1984, 40/96 B of 12 December 1985, 41/43 B of 2 December 1986, 42/66 B of 2 December 1987, 43/175 B of 15 December 1988, 44/41 B of 6 December 1989, 45/67 B of 6 December 1990, 46/74 B of 11 December 1991, 47/64 B of 11 December 1992, 48/158 B of 20 December 1993 and 49/62 B of 14 December 1994,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Secretary-General in compliance with its resolution 49/62 B;

2. Consider that the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat continues to make a useful and constructive contribution through the organization of seminars and meetings of non-governmental organizations as well as through its research and monitoring activities, the preparation of studies and publications and the collection and dissemination of information in printed and electronic form on all issues pertaining to the question of Palestine;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Division with the necessary resources, including for the further development of the United Nations information system on the question of Palestine, and to ensure that it continues to discharge the tasks detailed in paragraph 1 of resolution 32/40 B, paragraph 2 (b) of resolution 34/65 D, paragraph 3 of resolution 36/120 B, paragraph 3 of resolution 38/58 B, paragraph 3 of resolution 40/96 B, paragraph 2 of resolution 42/66 B, paragraph 2 of resolution 44/41 B, paragraph 2 of resolution 46/74 B and paragraph 2 of resolution 48/158 B, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and under its guidance;

4. Also requests the Secretary-General to ensure the continued cooperation of the Department of Public Information and other units of the Secretariat in enabling the Division to perform its tasks and in covering adequately the various aspects of the question of Palestine;

5. Invites all Governments and organizations to lend their cooperation to the Committee and the Division in the performance of their tasks;

6. Notes with appreciation the action taken by Member States to observe annually on 29 November the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and requests them to continue to give the widest possible publicity to the observance, and requests the Committee to continue to organize, as part of the observance of the Day of Solidarity, an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations.

General Assembly resolution 50/84 B
15 December 1995 Meeting 93 96-2-53 (recorded vote)

17-nation draft (A/50/L.48 & Add.1); agenda item 42.
Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: plenary 74, 75, 93.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, Prance, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan.


Public information activities

As requested by the General Assembly in 1994,(7) DPI continued its special information programme on the Palestine question, with particular emphasis on public opinion in Europe and North America. In doing so, it provided press coverage of all meetings of the Committee on Palestinian Rights, as well as of seminars and symposia. It cooperated with the Division for Palestinian Rights in media promotion and other arrangements for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, held annually on 29 November. The Department distributed various publications covering Palestinian issues, including Prerequisites for Peace in the Middle East: An Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue, based on the proceedings of a 1994 international encounter for journalists.(8)

DPI's Public Inquiries Unit responded to requests for information on Palestine and the Middle East. The subject was included in presentations made to visitors taking guided tours of the United Nations, and the DPI Group Programme Unit organized seven briefings on the question.

A wide range of information material was disseminated through the Internet and other electronic networks.

A video with the working title "Palestine: Fifty Years On" was produced by the Media Division and distributed to all UN information centres (UNICs) and services and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) libraries. DPI's Video Section produced four "UN in Action”/CNN World Report segments on: the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation in Jericho; training of the Palestinian police force; Palestinian women setting up business in the West Bank; and a UNDP-assisted banana plantation in Jericho.

The Radio Section produced a number of feature programmes and covered various aspects of the Palestine question in news and current affairs radio programmes in official and non-official languages worldwide.

The global network of UNICs continued to disseminate information on the Palestine question to mass media, academics, NGOs and the general public, through newsletters, press releases and briefings.

In cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and with the support of the Institute for Cooperation with the Arab World of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DPI organized a Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People in the Field of Media Development (Madrid, Spain, 29-31 March). Palestinian media practitioners participated, together with representatives of international media organizations, training institutions and foundations, with the aim of strengthening Palestinian media capability. DPI also organized a training programme for Palestinian media practitioners at Headquarters (7 October-22 November).

The Committee on Palestinian Rights, in its 1995 report,(5) stated that DPI's special information programme was very useful in raising the awareness of the international community concerning the complexities of the Palestine question and the Middle East situation. The Committee believed that the programme was contributing effectively to an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and supportive of the peace process, and should follow and reflect the new realities, assist Palestinian media development and continue to inform about the cause of the Palestinians, in addition to supporting dialogue in the effort to build peace.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 15 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/84 C.
Department of Public Information of the Secretariat

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,

Taking note in particular of the information contained in chapter VI of that report,

Recalling its resolution 49/62 C of 14 December 1994,

Convinced that the worldwide dissemination of accurate and comprehensive information and the role of non-governmental organizations and institutions remain of vital importance in heightening awareness of and support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,

Aware of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements signed by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington on 13 September 1993, and of the subsequent implementation agreements, in particular the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington on 28 September 1995, and their positive implications,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat in compliance with resolution 49/62 C;

2. Considers that the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information is very useful in raising the awareness of the international community concerning the complexities of the question and the situation in the Middle East in general, including the achievements of the peace process, and that the programme is contributing effectively to an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and supportive of the peace process;

3. Requests the Department, in full cooperation and coordination with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to continue with the necessary flexibility as may be required by developments affecting the question of Palestine, its special information programme on the question of Palestine for the biennium 1996-1997, with particular emphasis on public opinion in Europe and North America and, in particular:

(a) To disseminate information on all the activities of the United Nations system relating to the question of Palestine, including reports on the work carried out by the relevant United Nations organizations;

(b) To continue to issue and update publications on the various aspects of the question of Palestine in all fields, including materials concerning the recent developments in that regard and, in particular, the achievements of the peace process;

(c) To expand its audiovisual material on the question of Palestine, including the production of such material;

(d) To organize and promote fact-finding news missions for journalists to the area, including the territories under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority and the occupied territories;

(e) To organize international, regional and national encounters for journalists;

(f) To provide, in cooperation with specialized agencies of the United Nations system, particularly the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, assistance to the Palestinian people in the field of media development.

General Assembly resolution 50/84 C
15 December 1995 Meeting 93 142-2-7 (recorded vote)

17-nation draft (A/50/L.49 & Add.1); agenda item 42.
Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: plenary 74, 75, 93.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon,
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Côte d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Grenada,* Lesotho, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Russian Federation.

*Later advised the Secretariat it had intended to vote in favour.
Assistance to Palestinians

UN involvement

Report of the Secretary-General. On 13 July, the Secretary-General reported(9) on assistance to the Palestinians, specifying needs, ongoing programmes and proposals for additional assistance. According to the report, the Palestinian Authority faced growing financial difficulties, with a projected budget deficit of $136 million. On 27 April in Paris, the Palestinian Authority, Israel and, on behalf of the donors, the Chair of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (the main donor-led body overseeing the assistance effort) concluded a Tripartite Plan of Action elaborating commitments and responsibilities for each party to bridge the budget deficit.

At that meeting, a joint Liaison Committee was re-established to provide a forum for discussing with the Palestinian Authority economic policy and practical matters related to donor assistance. That Committee was comprised of: the Palestinian Authority as gavel holder, Norway, in its capacity as Chair of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, as shepherd; the United Nations and the World Bank as joint secretariat, as well as the United States and EU. Japan was also asked to take part in the meetings. In addition to taking up bilateral issues relating to donor assistance, the Joint Liaison Committee was to discuss progress in implementing the Tripartite Programme of Action. The Joint Liaison Committee, which began meeting on 15 May, decided to create a Task Force on Project Implementation—comprised of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction as gavel holder, the United States and the European Commission as co-shepherds UNSCO as secretariat, and the World Bank, UNDP and UNRWA—to examine technical and other obstacles to timely project implementation and to seek solutions for addressing such obstacles. The Task Force reported to the Joint Liaison Committee, which then would discuss obstacles with the appropriate party, whether the Palestinian Authority, Israel, donors or the implementing agencies.

Terje Roed Larsen (Norway), the Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories, appointed in June 1994,(10) convened a second inter-agency meeting in Gaza in June 1995 to examine the evolving role of the United Nations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and to review progress made in implementing the UN coordinating mechanisms agreed on at the first inter-agency meeting, held in December 1994. A central objective of the meeting was to discuss draft sectoral strategy papers under preparation by the priority sector focal points in consultation with interested UN organizations. Those sectoral papers and accompanying project documents were to form the core of a strategy coordinated, targeted and unified by the UN to expand its ongoing programmes and undertake new initiatives for the benefit of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. More than 20 UN agencies and programmes participated. The sectoral papers and project documents were also to provide a basis for fund-raising by the Special Coordinator, on behalf of and in coordination with implementing agencies.

Among the ongoing assistance programmes (see below), UNDP's was oriented towards water supply, sanitation, agriculture, industry and housing, while UNRWA had provided basic infrastructure facilities for more than 450,000 Palestinian refugees in camps throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Under its Peace Implementation Programme (PIP), launched in 1993, UNRWA carried out environmental and health projects, constructed and improved educational institutions, and rehabilitated shelters. Some 5,000 UNRWA teachers provided primary, preparatory and vocational schooling to 145,000 students. The Agency offered basic health and social services to more than 1 million registered refugees, operating 230 outpatient facilities and employing more than 500 health-care workers, including 100 doctors. In the Gaza Strip UNRWA provided monthly in-kind support to almost 100,000 of the poorest refugees.

The United Nations also assisted the Palestinian Authority in institution-building. UNDP gave public-sector support at municipal and local levels. It supported rural infrastructure investments, and provided start-up funding and procurement support to the 14 ministries of the Palestinian Authority, as well as to the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the Palestinian Computer Centre, the Civil Defense Department, Palestinian TV and the Palestinian Environmental Protection Agency. A key starting point in public administration development was the May 1995 UNDP mission to work with the Palestinian Authority to identify needs for action in public administration development and to begin the process of formulating an overall national strategy.

Since early 1995, UNDP had managed TOKTEN (Transfer of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals Programme), which sponsored the return of Palestinian expatriates living abroad for short-term missions to provide advisory services, consultancy studies and training to the Palestinian Authority ministries and private-sector institutions.

In late 1994, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) developed a programming strategy for services to the Palestinian people, to provide technical assistance in the areas of private-sector development, development of small-and medium-scale enterprises, human resources development for the industrial sector, acquisition and application of technology to enhance competitiveness and industrial regional cooperation and integration.

The International Labour Organisation's (ILO) ongoing activities included reintegration, through employment, of ex-detainees, assistance in the creation of a Ministry of Labour and the development of labour policy and legislation; capacity-building for the Federation of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce and for the Palestinian trade union federation; an income-generating programme for the disabled, assistance to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, including a regular labour force survey; and technical assistance for labour-intensive infrastructure.

UNRWA also increased its job creation activities, from $1 million to $2 million per year prior to September 1993 to about $35 million in 1994 while UNDP's activities doubled to $22 million. Under its income generation programme UNRWA supplied credit to small businesses, 170 of them in the Gaza Strip alone. Working closely with the Agency, the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction was managing over $15 million worth of infrastructure projects.

Based on consultations with the Ministry of Education, a United Nations inter-agency meeting (Gaze, 15-16 June) agreed on principles for a UN education strategy, which included: UN compliance with the strategies and priorities established by the Ministry of Education, cooperation among UN agencies, in close coordination with the Special Coordinator, the donor community and NGOs; consultations among agencies to emphasize complementarily of programmes; sharing of expertise and experiences between UN agencies and the Palestinian Authority; and coordinated fund-raising efforts.

The activities of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) focused on four key areas: primary health care, primary education, early childhood development, and youth and community development. Since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, those priorities had shifted towards a long-term institution-building approach. UNICEF supported the Palestinian Authority in developing a national programme of action for the Palestinian child, to provide a broad policy framework for addressing children's issues.

In partnership with the Palestinian Authority; UNESCO developed a programme of assistance consisting of more than 20 priority projects which included strengthening of the Ministries of Education and Culture.

As a result of several missions, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and ESCWA jointly recommended an action programme for the restructuring, development and strengthening of the Palestinian public agricultural institutions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) focused principally on institutional development and building infrastructure for primary and secondary health care and environmental health, particularly in the Gaza Strip. It provided resources for the establishment and operation of a number of departments of the Palestinian Health Authority and assisted in the transfer of health services from the Palestinian Council for Health to the Palestinian Authority.

The Department for Development Support and Management Services of the Secretariat undertook two needs assessment missions at the invitation of the Palestinian Authority, one on strengthening the capacities of the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Local Government Affairs, and another on developing the institutional capacity of the Palestinian Authority in terms of civil service training and strengthening the administrative functioning of the various ministries. The Special Coordinator oversaw the training of and other assistance to the Palestinian Police Force (see below).

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) designed a training programme on the use of information system techniques for map production. During an April mission to the occupied territories, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) emphasized the need to restructure the Palestinian Civil Aviation Authority and to establish a comprehensive training programme with the technical assistance of ICAO.

The Economic and Social Council, by decision 1995/314 of 28 July, took note of the Secretary-General's report. In resolution 1995/30 (see above) the Council called for intensified financial and technical assistance to Palestinian women. The situation of and assistance to Palestinian women was the subject of a March report at the Secretary-General to the Commission on the Status of Women (see above under Occupied territories).

Committee report. In its annual report,(5) the Committee on Palestinian Rights noted with satisfaction that a coordination mechanism for international assistance had been established and a plan of action elaborated. The Committee called all the international donor community to increase assistance as a matter of high priority and urgency. It noted with appreciation the contribution of funds by donor countries and EU to the Palestinian Police Force, as well as to various development projects.

The Committee noted the diversified assistance to the Palestinians by the UN system, which had significantly widened over the years. It expressed appreciation for the efforts by the Special Coordinator to mobilize and coordinate such assistance. It continued to give priority to promoting international assistance to the Palestinians in order to meet their socio-economic and development needs and to support the Palestinian Authority in its institution-building efforts. The Committee structured its programme of regional meetings to that end and convened at UNESCO headquarters a seminar On Palestinian administrative, managerial and financial needs and challenges (Paris, 28-30 June 1995). It was attended by donor countries, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, UN bodies and agencies, as well as by Palestinian, Israeli and other experts. The final report of the seminar was submitted to the Economic and Social Council in July.

In closing remarks, the Chairman said the Committee would continue to act primarily in the international political arena and address such fundamental issues as the question of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, and Palestine refugees. At the same time, the Committee increasingly felt the need to contribute to promoting international assistance for reconstruction and development and for strengthening Palestinian institutions on the ground during the transition period. Meeting the needs of the Palestinians in establishing a viable and effective administration in the area under the Palestinian Authority was an essential stepping-stone in the struggle for self-determination, he said. Well-functioning government institutions, a developing economy, the creation of employment opportunities and the effective provision of social services were interrelated issues which, if addressed satisfactorily, would provide solid foundations for the new stages of the peace process.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 20 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/58 H.
Assistance to the Palestinian people

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 49/21 N of 20 December 1994,

Recalling also previous resolutions on the question,

Welcoming the signing at Cairo on 4 May 1994 by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, of the first implementation agreement of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, namely the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, and the Agreement on the Preparatory Transfer of Powers and Responsibilities of 29 August 1994, and the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 28 September 1995,

Gravely concerned about the difficult economic and employment conditions facing the Palestinian people throughout the Occupied Territory,

Conscious of the urgent need for improvement in the economic and social infrastructure of the Occupied Territory and the living conditions of the Palestinian people,

Aware that development is difficult under occupation and best promoted in circumstances of peace and stability,

Noting, in the light of the recent developments in the peace process, the great economic and social challenges and needs facing the Palestinian people and their leadership,

Conscious of the urgent necessity for international assistance to the Palestinian people, taking into account the Palestinian priorities,

Voting the convening of the United Nations Seminar on Palestinian Administrative, Managerial and Financial Needs and Challenges in the light of the new developments, held at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization from 28 to 30 June 1995,

Welcoming the signing of the agreements between the Palestine Liberation Organization and the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the International Labour Organization,

Stressing the need for the full engagement of the United Nations in the process of building Palestinian institutions and in providing broad assistance to the Palestinian people, including assistance in the fields of elections, police training and public administration,

Noting the appointment by the Secretary-General in June 1994 of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories,

Welcoming the results of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace, convened in Washington on 1 October 1993, and the establishment of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee and the work being done by the World Bank as its secretariat, as well as the establishment of the consultative group and the convening of an international conference on economic assistance to the Palestinian people to be held in Paris,

Welcoming also the results of the meetings of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee on 29 and 30 November 1994 at Brussels, and on 27 April 1995 in Paris,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 13 July 1995,

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General;

2. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his rapid response and efforts regarding assistance to the Palestinian people;

3. Also expresses its appreciation to the Member States United Nations bodies and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations that have provided and continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people;

4. Stresses the importance of the appointment of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories and of the steps taken under the auspices of the Secretary-General to ensure the achievement of a coordinated mechanism for United Nations activities throughout the Occupied Territories;

5. Urges Member States, international financial institutions of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and regional and interregional organizations to extend, as rapidly and as generously as possible, economic and social assistance; to the Palestinian people in order to assist in the development of the West Bank and Gaza, and to do so in close cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization and through official Palestinian institutions;

6. Calls upon relevant organizations and agencies of the United Nations system to intensify their assistance in response to the urgent needs of the Palestinian people in accordance with the Palestinian priorities set forth by the Palestinian Authority, with emphasis on national execution and capacity-building;

7. Urges Member States to open their markets to exports from the West Bank and Gaza and on the most favourable terms, consistent with appropriate trading rules;

8. Calls upon the international donor community to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance to the Palestinian people to meet their urgent needs;

9. Suggest the convening in 1996 of a United Nations-sponsored seminar on building the Palestinian economy;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session, through the Economic and Social Council, on the implementation of the present resolution, containing:

(a) An assessment of the assistance actually received by the Palestinian people;

(b) An assessment of the needs still unmet and specific proposals for responding effectively to them;

11. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-first session, under the item entitled "Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance", the sub-item entitled "Assistance to the Palestinian people".

General Assembly resolution 50/58 H
20 December 1995 Meeting 96 Adopted without vote

16 nation draft (A/50/L.54 & Add.1): agenda item 20 (b).

UNDP action

In March 1995, the UNDP Administrator reported(12) on activities during 1994 within the framework of the UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP). He noted that after the signing of the May 1994 Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, which established Palestinian self-rule, the Programme had placed high priority on providing start-up support to the Palestinian Authority and its various sectoral departments and supporting institutions. The Programme strategy in 1994, formulated in full collaboration with the Authority, had focused on four broad objectives: protection and management of the environment; encouragement of sustainable human development; support of economic development; and strengthening of public administration. UNDP continued to play a major role in placing its experience at the disposal of the Special Coordinator.

Taking note of the report, the UNDP/United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Board in April(3) encouraged the international donor community to increase contributions to the Programme and to take full advantage of its unique and effective delivers capacity.

In 1995, PAPP was enlarged considerably in response to the developments in the peace process between Israel and PLO.(14) The Programme strategy in 1995 was to mobilize and target bilateral donor contributions to meet rapidly emerging priorities, emanating from the changes in Palestinian society and institutions. It was aimed at translating those changes into immediate and tangible impacts. Within that context, PAPP activities in 1995 had three overriding objectives: to support the Palestinian Authority's institution- and capacity-building; to progress from direct PAPP programme execution, which had been necessary before the establishment of the Authority, to a new generation of projects where PAPP's role centred on technical support, supervision and facilitation; and to focus on poverty elimination by helping create employment opportunities, especially in Gaza, where widespread unemployment was the primary obstacle impeding economic growth.

In extensive consultations with the Authority, bilateral donors, UN agencies, EU and the World Bank, PAPP formulated a comprehensive and forward-looking framework to guide its activities over the coming three years (1996-1998), providing strategies and concrete initiatives in six key areas: public administration management; gender in development; agricultural development; private-sector development; employment- generating public works programme; and environmental and social infrastructure. The total programme was projected at $94 million for the three-year period.

Total PAPP expenditures in 1995 were estimated at $34 million, an increase of more than 50 per cent over 1994 expenditures of $22 million, made possible through large-scale bilateral contributions. During 1995, PAPP received contributions from various donors for programme activities in 1996: $11 million from Japan; $4 million from Norway; $2.1 million from Italy; $1.75 million from Sweden; $350,000 from Finland; $20,000 from the Netherlands; $400,000 from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID); $1.5 million from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF); and $35,000 from UNFPA. In addition, eight donors (USAID, Canada, Finland, France, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States) pledged a total of an additional $25 million.

In order to deliver its greatly expanded programme, PAPP's operational capacity was considerably strengthened during 1995, primarily through the recruitment of highly skilled Palestinian technical, engineering and programming professionals. Two new technical sections, in public administration management and rural development, were added. The Gaza Office was given a large degree of delegated responsibility and was also significantly reinforced, as 60 per cent of ongoing PAPP programme activities were based in the Gaza Strip. Another important trend in the latter half of 1995 was the integration of UNDP-financed expertise into the emerging Palestinian public administration.

Despite increased expenditures, PAPP was still hindered in its programme delivery during the year two primary reasons: frequent closures of the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, which at times severely restricted a free flow of goods and persons and the difficulty experienced by many newly established counterpart Palestinian institutions to define clearly their mandates, priorities and needs for technical cooperation and capital assistance, an aspect UNDP attempted to mitigate through advisory services in public administration management.

A multi-project employment-generation programme, begun as an emergency scheme in 1994 primarily to provide immediate employment opportunities in the Gaza Strip, had become a major infrastructure rehabilitation programme involving numerous Palestinian contractors. In 1995, donors committed a total of $19 million to that programme. PAPP's large-scale infrastructure development programme included construction, rehabilitation and extension of water-supply systems in rural villages and cities in the West Bank and Gaza; continued construction of two main West Bank hospitals; the launching of a small-scale infrastructure rehabilitation and maintenance programme in partnership with the Municipality of Gaza; and construction and renovation work at the Jericho school and sports complex.

PAPP's gender-in-development programme, aimed at promoting the role of Palestinian women in decision-making processes and empowering them through leadership and gender training, continued to expand in 1995. A number of advocacy initiatives were carried out, including a comparative review of existing legislation from a gender perspective with suggested refinements to make the legal system more gender sensitive, and support for a coalition of Palestinian women's health professionals working on women's health policy.

PAPP also initiated activities in 1995 related to formulating a human development profile in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a crucial step towards defining long-term development goals and facilitating dialogue between the Palestinian Authority, civil society, the United Nations and donors. As part of its capacity-development efforts, PAPP responded to the most urgent needs of the Palestinian Authority by providing emergency start-up support of more than $10 million to more than 20 major institutions, primarily the ministries PAPP subsequently launched a public administration development programme to support further the Palestinian Authority institutions in operational, administrative and human resources management tasks. The PAPP water resources action programme provided key technical support to facilitate the establishment of a central Palestinian Water Authority in April 1995. Two new programmes in 1995 aimed primarily at developing the capacities of Palestinian institutions. In private-sector development, in close consultation with the Special Coordinator, PAPP sponsored a pioneering mission to help the Palestinian Authority define its strategy for establishing industrial parks. An integrated rural development programme, introduced in 1994, continued to expand in the poorest area of the West Bank, utilizing participatory development planning and implementation tools and focusing on strengthening village-level planning, financial and project management capacities.

In an effort to support the progressive integration of the West Bank and Gaza Strip into the region, PAPP promoted Palestinian participation in regional conferences and training seminars. UNDP facilitated implementation of a regional project against desertification, involving experts from the Palestinian Authority, Israel and Jordan. It also initiated an exchange of experts in agricultural research and extension.

PAPP supported UNFPA in preparatory work for a population and housing census, to provide essential data and information for developing economic and social policies. In addition, PAPP worked with FAO to provide policy advisory support in the field of agriculture, with collaborative relationships with UNICEF, UNRWA, UNIDO and ILO.


UNCTAD activities

In July, the secretariat of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reported(5) on developments in the economy of the occupied Palestinian territory and proposed a programme of technical assistance. Once Israel had granted UNCTAD staff access to the Palestinian territory in March, its secretariat consulted with the Palestinian Authority, as well as with UNDP and the Special Coordinator. During a follow-up mission in May, consultations were held on substantive issues related to private investment.

The programme aimed to provide Palestinians with support in the areas of trade, finance and transport, and specifically to help them: strengthen the technical, managerial and information capacities of the public and private-sector institutions responsible for formulating and implementing policies; formulate policy and strategy options; enhance the capacity of the commodity-producing sectors; establish the necessary infrastructures for an efficient transport system for trade, reform the overall legal and regulatory framework, along with institutional capacities, for mobilizing financial resources, promoting investments and improving the performance of public utilities; and strengthen technical and institutional capacities in management of financial flows and maximization of insurance resources and their efficient allocation. Ultimately, the programme would be presented to the Palestinian Authority for approval and then to potential bilateral and multilateral sources for funding.

The Trade and Development Board, at its September session, took note(16) of the report and the proposed programme of technical assistance.

Financing of the Palestinian Police Force

On 6 April, the Secretary-General reported(17) that UNRWA would continue to be responsible for disbursing donor contributions for salaries and other start-up costs of the Palestinian Police Force, with the cooperation of the Special Coordinator and UNDP. From September 1994, when a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in Gaza by representatives of the Palestinian Police Force and UNRWA,(18) through March 1995, seven donor countries (Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, United Kingdom) and EU contributed funds, channelled through UNRWA.

Under the May 1994 Agreement on the Gaza Strip end Jericho Area, the Force had an authorized strength of 9,000 policemen. The cost for their net salaries, from September through March, the Secretary-General reported, was $30.2 million, of which $29.8 million had been funded.

Although the Memorandum of Understanding included other recurrent costs of about $1.9 million per month, there were not always sufficient donor contributions for them. UNRWA reviewed monthly expenditures by the Force only when funds were available to offset them.

Total costs incurred by UNRWA, acting as the disbursement mechanism, amounted to $134,000 by March 1995. The Agency had received, either as reimbursement for costs or in programme support costs or earned interest, about $521,000.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 13 April 1995, following consideration of the Secretary-General s report, the General Assembly adopted resolution 49/21 O, under the general title “Special economic assistance to individual countries or regions”.
Financing of the Palestinian Police Force


The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 49/21 B of 2 December 1994 on the financing of the Palestinian Police Force,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General of 6 April 1995 and his designation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in pursuance of paragraph 1 of resolution 49/21 B,

1. Requests the Secretary-General to designate once again the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to disburse, with due attention to the need for thorough accounting, the voluntary contributions given by donors in light of the activities of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee for salaries and other start-up costs of the Palestinian Police Force for a period ending not later than 31 December 1995;

2. Encourages all Member States to contribute funds for this purpose through the Agency;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the present resolution.

General Assembly resolution 49/210
13 April 1995 Meeting 101 Adopted without vote
19-nation draft (A/49/L.65 & Add.1); agenda item 37 (b).

Before the vote, the United States said the UN mechanism had been a crucial and effective instrument in facilitating much needed support to the Palestinian Police Force which was in the mutual interest of both Israel and the Palestinians and was critical to the successful implementation of the Declaration of Principles and its follow-on agreements.

Report of the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General on 17 November 1995 reported(19) that at his request, pursuant to Assembly resolution 49/21 O (see above), UNRWA, in coordination with the Special Coordinator, had effected payment of salaries to the Palestinian Police Force for the month of July. Contributions for the months April through June had not been received, nor had they for months after July. UNRWA had therefore not been involved in disbursing Palestinian police salaries during those months. The July disbursements was for contributions from the Netherlands ($3,434,066 net of UNRWA programme support costs), Norway ($1,995,335 net) and Greece ($89,286 net). Of those contributions, UNRWA disbursed $4,508,091 in net salaries for 9,000 policemen and $375,264 in salary deductions for the Police Force pension, health and social security funds. The unutilized surplus of $635,332 was paid to the Police Force to cover other running costs for July as agreed to by the donors.

In August, an independent review was conducted, on behalf of the European Commission of the 10 million European currency units disbursed by UNRWA for salaries and running costs of the Police Force for December 1994 and January 1995. The report concluded that those funds had been disbursed in accordance with relevant agreements and that controls and procedures continued to be implemented effectively by the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA in months when donor funds were involved.
The UN and Palestine refugees

In 1995, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) marked 45 years of humanitarian service to persons displaced from their homes and property as a result of four major conflicts in the Middle East. In June, more than 3 million refugees were registered with UNRWA, living both in and outside camps in the West Bank and the new Self-Rule Area of Jericho (517,000) and Self-Rule Area of the Gaza Strip (683,000), as well as in Jordan (1.3 million), Lebanon (346,000) and the Syrian Arab Republic (337,000).

The future of UNRWA was under discussion as the Palestinian Authority, headquartered in the Gaza Strip, took over some of the services previously provided by UNRWA, which took steps to move its headquarters from Vienna to Gaza in 1995. Major areas of service by UNRWA continued to be in the areas of education, health, and relief and social services.

Introducing his annual report(20) on the work of the Agency (1 July 1991-30 June 1995) to the General Assembly's Fourth Committee on 30 October, the UNRWA Commissioner-General said that the Agency was in the contradictory position of planning for its own eventual dissolution while expanding its programmes and operations. UNRWA had been closely associated with the fate of the Palestine refugees for 45 years, trying to mitigate their sufferings, helping them preserve their cultural identity, educating their children, providing them with primary health care and hospitalization, creating employment opportunities and assisting their poorest.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians had served as UNRWA staff over the years with exceptional dedication to their own community and to the United Nations, he said. Now, the Palestine refugees among them the 21,000-strong staff of UNRWA, eagerly awaited a solution to the refugee problem as foreseen in the agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. They were feeling the inevitable strain of a transition period and of the imponderables of a not-yet-defined future. The situation facing UNRWA in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was evolving rapidly. As the Palestinian Authority had taken greater responsibilities for education, health and social services, it had become UNRWA’s exclusive interlocutor in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At the same time, the effective running of Agency operations required the support of the Israeli authorities which remained in control of borders, customs, security and movement into and out of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Restrictions on movement and security measures by Israeli authorities had affected UNRWA operations, in particular causing delays in receiving equipment and supplies. However, in comparison to the previous year, there had been a marked reduction in the number of incursions into Agency installations by members of the Israeli security forces.


The work of UNRWA

The UNRWA Commissioner-General, in his annual report, observed that during the ongoing Middle East peace process, UNRWA had broadened its efforts to substantively improve the socio-economic conditions of Palestine refugees in the transitional period. UNRWA had entered into a close working relationship with the new Palestinian Authority, focusing on harmonizing mutual activities in education, health, and relief and social services in preparation for an eventual handover of the administration of those areas. As the seat of both the Chairman of PLO and the Palestinian Authority, the Gaza Strip was the focal point of UNRWA relations with the Palestinian leadership.

Palestine refugees in the self-rule areas, comprising 22 per cent of all refugees registered with UNRWA, benefited from the absence of daily tension that had characterized the period prior to the Israel-PLO agreements. UNRWA schools, clinics and community centres functioned with minimal disruption for the first time since the intifadah and Israeli countermeasures, which began in December 1987. UNRWA established coordination mechanisms with Palestinian Authority counterparts in the education, health, and relief and social services sectors. In education, the focus was on the admission of returnee children to UNRWA schools the introduction of a tenth year in the basic education cycle, teacher training and vocational programmes. In health, priority issues included medical insurance, treatment of refugee patients in Palestinian Authority hospitals, school health services and immunization policies. Coordination in relief and social services was sought in the areas of direct relief assistance, housing and land use in Gaza camps, housing for returnees, and national plans for youth and children.


Peace Implementation Programme

By mid-1995, most projects UNRWA had introduced through its Peace Implementation Programme (PIP) were under way.(21) A comprehensive investment programme begun in 1993 to improve infrastructure and stabilize socioeconomic conditions, PIP aimed at making the results of the peace process felt at the local level. Its main focus was infrastructure development—through construction and renovation of schools, clinics and community centres, rehabilitation of shelters, and provision of adequate sewage and drainage systems in camps. PIP also gave priority support to the Palestinian private sector through income-generation initiatives. It was estimated that during the first phase of PIP, which ended in September 1994, more than 5,500 jobs had been created in the Gaza Strip alone, each for an average period of four months. The Programme's second phase (PIP II) consisted of projects valued at $311 million in mid-1995, including $78 million in unfunded projects transferred from PIP I. PIP II was developed in conjunction with relevant ministries of the Palestinian Authority, as well as with the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR).

Special emphasis was placed on assisting the Palestinian Authority in addressing the needs of returnees, particularly additional schools and classrooms. In conjunction with local municipalities, UNRWA developed comprehensive project proposals for internal sewage and storm-water drainage systems, treatment plants and pumping stations for 11 camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, valued at more than $124 million. By 30 June 1995, the Agency had received $29.5 million in funds and pledges for PIP II, of which $24.5 million was for the Gaza Strip, $l million for the West Bank and $4 million for the Agency's other three fields of operation.

A separately funded project, well under way by the end of 1995, was the construction of the 232-bed European Gaza Hospital, an UNRWA initiative financed by EU. Construction also began on the Gaza College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences, to be affiliated with the Gaza Hospital. UNRWA also was improving and expanding infrastructure newly taken over by the Palestinian Authority from the Israeli civil administration, building one secondary school, renovating 14 Palestinian Authority schools, upgrading municipal garbage depository sites and undertaking maintenance on existing water and sewerage systems.


Major service areas

Education

The UNRWA education programme, covering schools, vocational training and teacher education, in 1995 remained UNRWA’s largest single activity accounting for about half of the Agency's regular budget. More than 408,000 elementary, preparatory and secondary school pupils attended UNRWA’s 644 schools, an increase of 10,000 pupils over the preceding school year. Vocational training, comprising two-year, post-preparatory trade courses and two-year, post-secondary technical courses, was available to some 4,500 persons, with some new courses introduced. UNRWA schools followed the host Governments' curricula and operated with assistance from UNESCO.

To improve academic achievement levels, UNRWA had developed remedial plans, including diagnostic tests, curriculum enrichment materials and self-learning kits. The Agency worked closely with the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Education in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area, with the Authority assuming control in 1995 of the school system formerly run by the Israeli civil administration. Following the establishment of the Authority, thousands of refugees had returned to the Gaza Strip from other countries in the region markedly increasing the student population there. An UNRWA proposal to provide in-service training for 12,000 teaching staff in West Bank and Gaza Strip public schools was withdrawn after the Palestinian Authority undertook its own initiative in that regard. A joint study with the Palestinian Authority identified areas for improvement in vocational and technical training programmes in the West Bank and Gaza.

In Jordan, 202 UNRWA schools provided basic education to 149,932 pupils, 1,675 fewer than in the preceding year. The decrease was attributed to the transfer of refugee pupils to new government schools opened in or near refugee camps at the beginning of the academic year, which offered smaller class sizes, superior facilities and a five-day school week. By contrast, severely overcrowded UNRWA schools operated on a six-day week, with 93 per cent running on a double shift, effectively depriving pupils of extracurricular activities. A quarter of UNRWA schools were still using rented premises, usually with inadequate classroom space, laboratories, libraries and playgrounds. In 1995, UNRWA constructed a 20-classroom girls' school in Baqa'a camp and work progressed on six other schools, the last to be replaced by UNRWA in Jordan. All new schools were being provided with fully equipped computer laboratories. Special classes for children with learning difficulties were established in schools at the Marka and Souf camps. Some 600 disabled and slow learners were integrated into the regular education programme after attending remedial classes. In-service training was given to 365 UNRWA teachers, and pre-service teacher training was also provided. UNRWA’s Amman and Wadi Seer training centres offered places to 1,224 students in trades and semiprofessional courses. UNRWA awarded scholarships to 231 Palestine refugee students, including 89 women, to universities in Jordan.

The improved security situation in Lebanon allowed the 75 UNRWA schools there to open without disruption, with no days lost owing to strikes and disturbances. A total of 35,207 pupils were enrolled in UNRWA elementary; preparatory and secondary schools, 1,560 pupils more than the preceding year. That unusually high increase was attributed to transfers from tuition-based private schools. The Siblin Training Centre provided vocational and technical instruction to 624 trainees. UNRWA in 1995 awarded 54 university scholarships to Palestine refugees in Lebanon.

Some 60,000 students were enrolled in 108 UNRWA elementary and preparatory schools in the Syrian Arab Republic in the 1994-1995 school year, a decrease of 520 pupils from the preceding year. Overcrowding remained a serious problem, with 98 per cent of elementary classes and 91 per cent of preparatory classes operating on a double-shift basis. UNRWA’s Damascus Training Centre offered vocational courses and semi-professional courses to 767 trainees The Agency provided university scholarships to 208 Palestine refugee students, including 74 women, to study at Syrian universities.

In the West Bank, 100 UNRWA schools served 44,573 pupils, about 2,000 more than during the preceding school year. The return of families to the West Bank after the establishment of the Palestinian Authority was considered the principal reason for the increase.

UNRWA reported that schools within the municipal boundary of Jerusalem were adversely affected by movement restrictions imposed in February 1994 on Palestinians holding West Bank identity cards. As a result, many West Bank residents employed as teachers or education staff at Jerusalem-area schools could not reach their place of work. To help compensate for lost teaching time and improve achievement levels, UNRWA offered remedial classes, particularly in core subjects such as reading, writing, mathematics and English. Three UNRWA training centres in the West Bank provided 1,248 vocational and technical training places. At the Ramallah Women's Training Centre, courses were offered in hairdressing, clothing production, business administration, ceramics production, social work and computer studies, as well as programmes to prepare for jobs as laboratory technicians, assistant pharmacists, physiotherapy assistants and executive secretaries. The Ramallah Men's Training Centre provided instruction in business administration, computer science, financial management and marketing. The Kalandia Training Centre offered training in the building, electrical and mechanical trades and post-secondary technical courses for construction technicians and land surveyors. A new workshop was constructed for a diesel engine and heavy equipment mechanics course. UNRWA awarded university scholarships to 150 West Bank students, including 88 women, to attend universities in the region.

In the Gaza Strip, UNRWA’s 159 elementary and preparatory schools served 118,406 pupils, some 8,000 more than the preceding year. That sizeable increase was due to returning refugee families. To accommodate the increase, the Agency hired 276 extra teachers on one-year contracts.

UNRWA schools in the Gaza Strip continued to be overcrowded, with classes averaging 47.2 pupils, the highest classroom occupancy rate in UNRWA’s five fields of operation. Many schools were still housed in cement-brick buildings dating from the 1950s and 1960s, originally built as temporary structures. Three schools operated on a triple-shift basis after some premises were declared unsafe.

Donor countries provided $27.7 million through PIP for expanding and upgrading educational infrastructure and other projects in Gaza. During the reporting period, construction was completed on 7 new school buildings and 2 specialized rooms; work was under way on an additional 21 schools and 86 more classrooms. At the Gaza training centre, 629 men and 25 women were enrolled in 16 two-year vocational and semi-professional courses. In response to growing demand for skilled labour in the local construction sector, the centre offered 12-week vocational courses in aluminium fabrication, concrete forming and plumbing. UNRWA awarded university scholarships to 220 Palestine refugee students from Gaza, including 102 women.

For the first time in more than 15 years, UNRWA teachers participated in administering secondary (tawjihi) examinations in cooperation with colleagues from the Palestinian Authority.


Health

The Agency's network of 123 health centres or points provided a full range of preventive, curative, support and community health services, including paediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology and ophthalmology. Special care was available for treatment of chest diseases and ear, nose and throat illnesses, as well as for the management of diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Maternal and child health programmes and family-planning services were available. Seventy-six centres offered comprehensive dental care; 84 had medical laboratories.

Some 6.5 million patient visits a year were handled by the Agency, with a relatively high average of 94 consultations per doctor per day and a continuing heavy workload for dental consultations and other support services. The UNRWA health programme employed 3,296 professional and support staff, the majority locally recruited Palestinians. UNRWA continued to cooperate with WHO, which provided staff, including the Director of Health.

In spring 1995, UNRWA participated in a national immunization campaign against poliomyelitis throughout its areas of operations, implemented according to a WHO regional strategy in coordination with UNICEF and local health authorities. In all, 200,000 refugee children received oral polio vaccines. UNRWA also developed a special curriculum on HIV/AIDS prevention for schools in coordination with WHO, and it developed a youth-centred programme against tobacco use.

More than 205,000 children under three years of age, 73,000 pregnant women and 31,000 family-planning acceptors received health care at UNRWA mother and child health and family-planning clinics. Supplementary nutritional assistance was provided to 74,000 pregnant and nursing women and 121,000 children under the age of two; immunization and growth monitoring were provided to children under the age of three. An expanded maternal health and family-planning programme in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, under joint implementation since 1992 by UNRWA and UNFPA, was deemed successful upon completion of its implementation.

The Agency participated in a tripartite mission in March 1995 to assess the needs of the Palestinian health authorities. As a result, a strategic plan and operational framework for a sustainable women's health programme, including reproductive health and family planning, was developed.

To ensure acceptable environmental health standards within refugee communities, UNRWA provided services related to sewage disposal, storm water run-off, safe drinking water, refuse disposal, insect control and rodent infestation. Feasibility studies and preliminary designs for improving sewerage, drainage and solid-waste management were completed for 11 camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. UNRWA undertook efforts to strengthen primary health-care facilities and sought more economical options for provision of essential hospital care.

In preparing for an eventual handover of UNRWA’s health-care system to the Palestinian Authority, the Agency focused on maintaining and upgrading infrastructure at the primary level, coordinating and harmonizing health policies and services with those of the Palestinian Authority, and gradually re-deploying resources to Palestinian Authority hospitals. Significant progress was achieved during the reporting year in the construction of Gaza General Hospital and other health facilities which would become part of the Palestinian health infrastructure.


Relief and social services

UNRWA’s relief and social services programme continued to provide direct relief to those refugees unable to meet their own life-sustaining needs. Under the UNRWA special hardship programme, more than 181,000 refugees were receiving basic bimonthly food rations, shelter rehabilitation, subsidized medical care, preferential access to vocational training and assistance in establishing income-generating projects. Many other families were reported as facing extreme socio-economic difficulties but were ineligible for the programme, since their problem stemmed not from the absence of an employable male adult, but from the lack of employment opportunities. especially in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. Moreover, for the first time in several years there was marked growth in demand for welfare assistance from refugees in Jordan. Cash assistance was provided on an ad hoc basis to special hardship families facing extreme difficulty.

More than 4,000 shelters were upgraded—mostly in the West Bank and Gaza Strip—as part of UNRWA’s multi-million dollar programme to rehabilitate substandard refugee housing. The funds were provided under PIP, which as at 30 June 1995 had received a total of $31.2 million for that purpose. The Agency continued to cooperate with the Palestinian Authority in studying how to harmonize direct relief assistance programmes, and they were coordinating other issues such as shelter rehabilitation, land use and housing for returnees.

In Lebanon, UNRWA’s main concern was the rehousing of displaced refugees evicted from properties where they had been illegally squatting. Under the Palestinian Women’s Initiative Fund, four new projects provided for functional literacy classes in Lebanon, training in maintenance and repair of sewing and knitting machines in Gaza, a community-run kindergarten at a women's programme centre in the West Bank, and a food production unit in a refugee camp in Jordan. A fund-raising campaign was launched in February for phase two of the Fund, which supported projects aimed at self-reliance for women and women’s institutions.

Activities within UNRWA community centres included promotion of legal literacy, civic education and early childhood development through women's programme centres; linking community rehabilitation programmer with mainstream UNRWA services, especially the integration of disabled children into the regular school education system; and participation in such multi-disciplinary campaigns as the Agency’s HIV/AIDS awareness Campaign. UNRWA refugee community centres provided training, technical assistance and partial financial support to 17,000 persons in 71 women's programme centres and 29 community rehabilitation centres in the five fields of operation, as well as 27 youth activity centres in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Increasing attention was given to income-generation initiatives UNRWA reported that as a result of the Persian Gulf War remittances from expatriate workers to their families had dwindled, eroding household purchasing power and causing local economies to stagnate. Simultaneously, growing domestic pressure on Governments of the region had significantly reduced employment opportunities for refugees, particularly in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. UNRWA’s revolving loan fund for small businesses, initiated in 1991, created employment for Palestine refugees by making finance capital available at reasonable interest rates to be used to expand existing enterprises or establish new ones. The programme aimed to support small-scale entrepreneurs in the formal and informal sectors of the economy producing goods for sale locally and abroad. Often ineligible for formal banking credit, most entrepreneurs raised investment capital from individual and family savings. Since 1991, the revolving loan fund had made loans to more than 800 small-scale enterprises and had acquired a total capital base of $7.2 million. In many cases, enterprises were owned and managed by skilled labourers who had previously been unemployed. The leading field-based income-generation programme was in Gaza, which utilized more capital than the other three fields served by UNRWA combined. Its capital base was more than $4 million; the overall loan recovery rate was 98 per cent.

In Gaza, UNRWA also operated a solidarity-group lending programme, providing credit to women working in micro-enterprises and as street vendors. Some 400 loans averaging $400 were provided to individual women organized in 74 solidarity groups.

UNRWA’s poverty alleviation programme was established in 1993 for special hardship cases of working age. While the revolving loan fund was intended to generate employment opportunities within the refugee community at large, the poverty elimination programme specifically sought to raise the income of the neediest families so they could be removed from the special hardship rolls. The programme included skill-training, apprenticeships and access to credit. Low-interest loans averaging $3,000 were provided on an individual family or group-guaranteed basis for the establishment of self-support projects. To assist loan applicants, courses on starting a business were offered in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jordan. Special attention was devoted to the needs of women income-earners and to the development of sustainable income-generating enterprises to support affiliated community organizations.

In the wake of the restrictions on movement in the Gaza Strip in early 1995, UNRWA reported serious hardship to many families, and distributed Hour rations to 26,000 families in the West Bank and 14,000 families in the Gaza Strip. In Lebanon, some basic commodities and cash assistance were given to refugee families with emergency needs.

Future of UNRWA

At an informal meeting with major donor and host Governments, held in Amman, Jordan, in March 1995, UNRWA proposed a five-year financial and planning horizon, coinciding with the interim period set out in the Declaration of Principles, to establish for donors, host countries and the Palestinian Authority a financial framework for UNRWA services during the interim period. A clear consensus arose that UNRWA services would continue to be required until a political solution to the refugee problem was found. Participants considered it premature to place a time limit on UNRWA’s existence, as the period for which its services would be required could not be predicted until there was such an agreed solution. Participants concurred that the eventual transfer of UNRWA operations to the Palestinian Authority should be made when political, economic and financial conditions so permitted and at the Authority s request. Until then, UNRWA should focus on harmonization of services and coordination and cooperation with other agencies operating in the field. (See also "UNRWA financing" below.)

Move to Gaza

UNRWA took steps to relocate its Vienna headquarters to Gaza, in accordance with a decision of the Secretary-General(22) endorsed by the General Assembly in December 1994.(23) UNRWA developed a budget and plan for the move, including the design of a new headquarters building in Gaza town. The Agency estimated the move would cost $13.5 million, to be funded through special voluntary contributions. By mid-1995, over $4 million in pledges or contributions having been received, construction of the new headquarters was begun.


General Assembly resolutions
related to Palestine refugees

On 6 December, the General Assembly adopted seven resolutions relating to Palestine refugees: assistance to Palestine refugees (50/28 A); financing of UNRWA (50/28 B); displaced persons (50/28 C); scholarships for higher education and vocational training (50/28 D); operations of UNRWA (50/28 E); revenues from Palestinian refugee properties (50/28 F); and the proposed University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds" for Palestine refugees (50/28 G).

By an 8 June note,(24) Israel stated that its position on the resolutions on Palestine refugees had been set forth in successive annual replies, the latest of which was included in a 1994 report by the Secretary-General.(25) Israel also said that while the number of resolutions regarding UNRWA had been reduced in the previous year from 10 to 7 their content remained occupied with political issues irrelevant to the Agency's work. While Israel believed that UNRWA could play an important role in promoting the social and economic advancement foreseen in agreements between Israel and PLO, and accordingly looked forward to continuing cooperation with UNRWA, it considered it essential that the Assembly consolidate the UNRWA resolutions into one directly related to the Agency's humanitarian tasks.


General aspects

The General Assembly on 6 December adopted resolution 50/28 E.
Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works
Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194(III) of 11 December 1948, 212(III) of 19 November 1948, 302(IV) of 8 December 1949 and all subsequent related resolutions,

Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions,

Having considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995,

Taking note of the letter dated 4 October 1995 from the Chairman of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General, contained in the report of the Commissioner-General,

Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolutions 48/40 E, 48/40 H and 48/40 J of 10 December 1993 and 49/35 C of 9 December 1994,

Recalling Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations,

Affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem,

Aware of the fact that Palestine refugees have, for over four decades, lost their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

Also aware of the continuing needs of Palestine refugees throughout the occupied Palestinian territory and in the other fields of operation, namely in Lebanon, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic,

Expressing its appreciation for the role which has been played by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East over the years in the service of the Palestine refugees, and aware of the importance of its presence and the increase in its work in the new circumstances,

Further aware of the valuable work done by the refugee affairs officers of the Agency in providing protection to the Palestinian people, in particular Palestine refugees,

Deeply concerned about the critical financial situation of the Agency and its effect on the continuity of provision of necessary Agency services to the Palestine refugees, including the emergency-related programmes,

Aware of the initiation of the new peace implementation programme of the Agency,

Convinced of the necessity of the transfer of the headquarters of the Agency to the occupied Palestinian territory as part of the area of operation of the Agency,

Welcoming the signing in Washington on 13 September 1993 of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Agreement on the Gaza Strip and the Jericho Area signed at Cairo on 4 May 1994 and the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington on 28 September 1995,

Taking note of the agreement reached on 24 June 1994, embodied in an exchange of letters between the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization,

Recalling its decision 48/417 of 10 December 1993 on the establishment of a working relationship between the Advisory Commission of the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as to all the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work;

2. Expresses its appreciation also to the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed on its activities, including the full implementation of decision 48/417;

3. Acknowledges the support of the host Governments and the Palestine Liberation Organization for the Agency in the discharge of its duties;

4. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and to abide scrupulously by its provisions;

5. Also calls upon Israel to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations with regard to the safety of the personnel of the Agency and the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of the facilities of the Agency in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem;

6. Calls once again upon the Government of Israel to compensate the Agency for damages to its property and facilities resulting from actions by the Israeli side;

7. Requests the Commissioner-General to proceed with the issuance of identification cards for Palestine refugees and their descendants in the occupied Palestinian territory;

8. Notes that the new context created by the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and subsequent implementation agreements has had major consequences for the activities of the Agency, which is henceforth called upon, in close cooperation with the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories, the specialized agencies and the World Bank, to continue to contribute towards the development of economic and social stability in the occupied territory;

9. Notes also that the functioning of the Agency remains essential in all fields of operation;

10. Notes further the significant success of the peace implementation programme of the Agency during the first year following the signing of the Declaration of Principles;

11. Urges all states, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to increase their contributions to the Agency so as to ease current financial constraints and to support the Agency in maintaining the provision of the most basic and effective assistance to the Palestine refugees.

General Assembly resolution 50/28 E
6 December 1995 Meeting 82 146-2-3 (recorded vote)

Approved by Fourth Committee (A/50/605) by recorded vote (138-2-31, 30 November (meeting 25); 10-nation draft (A/C.4/50/L.15); agenda item 84.

Sponsors: Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Senegal, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session; 4th Committee 12 13, 25; plenary 82.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netheriands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Russian Federation.

Explaining its abstention, the Russian Federation said in the Committee that the text went beyond UNRWA's strictly humanitarian mandate.

On 6 December 1995, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/28 A.
Assistance to Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 49/35 A of 9 December 1994 and all its previous resolutions on the question, including resolution 194(III) of 11 December 1948,

Taking note of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995,

Welcoming the signature by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements in Washington on 13 September 1993,

Welcoming also the signature by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in Washington on 28 September 1995,

Commending the work of the Multilateral Working Group on Refugees of the Middle East peace process,

1. Notes with regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of its resolution 194(III), has not yet been effected and that therefore, the situation of the refugees continues to be a matter of concern;

2. Expresses its thanks to the Commissioner-General and to all the staff of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East recognizing that the Agency is doing all it can within the limits of available resources, and also expresses its thanks to the specialized agencies and to private organizations for their valuable work in assisting refugees;

3. Notes with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine has been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the implementation of paragraph 11 of resolution 194(III), and requests the Commission to exert continued efforts towards the implementation of that paragraph and to report to the General Assembly as appropriate, but not later than 1 September 1996;

4. Notes the significant success of the peace implementation programme of the Agency since the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements;

5. Urges all Member States to extend and expedite aid and assistance with a view to the economic and social development of the Palestinian people and the occupied territories;

6. Also notes the progress achieved to date in the transfer of the Agency's headquarters to its area of operations, and requests the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Commissioner-General, to present to the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East an updated plan for the transfer;

7. Reiterates its concern about the continuing seriousness of the financial position of the Agency, as outlined in the report of the Commissioner-General;

8. Notes with profound concern that the structural deficit problem confronting the Agency portends an almost certain decline in the living conditions of Palestine refugees and therefore has possible consequences for the peace process;

9. Calls upon all Governments, as a matter of urgency, to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency, including the costs of moving the headquarters to Gaza, and urges non-contributing Governments to contribute regularly and contributing Governments to consider increasing their regular contributions;

10. Decides to extend the mandate of the Agency until 30 June 1999, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of resolution 194(III).

General Assembly resolution 50/28 A
6 December 1995 Meeting 82 145-1-1 (recorded vote)

Approved by Fourth Committee (A/50/605) by recorded vote (140-1-1), 30 November (meeting 25); 11-nation draft (A/C.4/50/L.11); agenda item 84.

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: 4th Committee 12, 13, 25: plenary 82.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel.

Abstaining: United States.

In the Committee, Spain, on behalf of EU, said that members voted for the text as UNRWA was in a prominent position to complement and consolidate the peace process. Unfortunately, support for the renewal of UNRWA’s mandate had not been unanimous and therefore EU had not been able to submit the draft resolution as in previous years.

The United States, saying that it would continue to support important educational, health, social and humanitarian programmes of UNRWA, was disappointed that efforts to reach a consensus on the renewal of the Agency mandate had not been successful. Sponsors had chosen to introduce the text in a manner that had forced the United States to abstain. UNRWA’s mission should not be tied to a political agenda.

Israel said it had voted against the text, as it had addressed political issues which had nothing to do with UNRWA and were contrary to the spirit of the agreements between Israel and Palestinians. However, it was important for UNRWA to continue providing humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugees and Israel supported the proposed extension of the Agency's mandate.


Displaced persons

The Secretary-General reported(24) on 20 September on compliance with a 1994 General Assembly resolution(26) calling for the accelerated return of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to their hones or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967.

He said that since the Agency was not involved in arrangements for either refugees or displaced persons not registered with it. UNRWA information was based on requests by returning registered refugees for transfer of their entitlements for services to their areas of return. The Agency was unable to estimate the total number of displaced inhabitants who had returned, as it kept records only of registered refugees, which might be incomplete particularly with regard to the location of such refugees. Displaced refugees known by UNRWA to have returned to the Vest Bank and the Gaza Strip since June 1967 numbered about 14,170. Between 1 July 1994 and 30 June 1995, 244 registered refugees had returned to the West Bank, and 726 to the Gaza Strip. Some of the refugees might not have been displaced in 1967, but might be family members of a displaced registered refugee whom they either had accompanied on return or joined later.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 6 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/28 C.
Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967
and subsequent hostilities

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2252(ES-V) of 4 July 1967, 2341 B(XXI) of 19 December 1967 and all subsequent related resolutions,

Recalling also Security Council resolutions 237(1967) of 14 June 1967 and 259(1968) of 27 September 1968,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolution 49/35 C of 9 December 1994,

Taking note also of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995,

Concerned about the continuing human suffering resulting from the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities,

Taking note of the relevant provisions of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, signed in Washington on 13 September 1993 by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, with regard to the modalities for the admission of persons displaced in 1967,

1. Reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of theJune 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Expresses the hope for an accelerated return of displaced persons through the mechanism agreed upon by the parties in article XII of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements;

3. Endorses, in the meanwhile, the efforts of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis, and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are currently displaced and in serious need of continued assistance as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities;

4. Strongly appeals to all Governments and to organizations and individuals to contribute generously to the Agency and to the other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned for the above purposes;

5. Requests the Secretary-General, after consulting with the Commissioner-General, to report to the General Assembly before its fifty-first session on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the present resolution.

General Assembly resolution 50/28 C
6 December 1995 Meeting 82 147-2 (recorded vote)

Approved by Fourth committee (A/50/605) by recorded vote (140-2-0), 30 November (meeting 25); 10-nation draft (A/C.4/50/L.13); agenda item 54.

Sponsors: Brunei Darussalam, Djibouti, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: 4th committee 12, 13, 25; plenary 62.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States


Education, training and scholarships

In September, the Secretary-General reported(27) on responses to the General Assembly's 1994 appeal(28) to augment special allocations for scholarships and grants to Palestine refugees, for which UNRWA acted as recipient and trustee.

In the 1994/95 academic year, Japan offered 10 vocational fellowships for study in that country to Palestine refugees in UNRWA’s employ. Under a five-year grant of $400,000 made by Japan in 1992, 205 Palestinian students were participating in the UNRWA university programme in 1994/95. Contributions from Switzerland in 1994 and 1995 totalling nearly $500,000 allowed some 250 Palestinians to pursue university studies. UNRWA and the United World Colleges provided four scholarships in 1995.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 6 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/28 D.
Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships
for higher education, including vocational
training, for Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 212(III) of 19 November 1948 on assistance to Palestine refugees,

Recalling also its resolutions 35/13 B of 3 November 1980, 36/146 H of 16 December 1981, 37/120 D of 16 December 1982,38/83 D of 15 December 1983, 39/99 D of 14 December 1984, 40/165 D of 16 December 1985, 41/69 D of 3 December 1986, 42/69 D of 2 December 1987, 43/57 D of 6 December 1988, 44/47 D of 8 December 1989, 45/73 D of 11 December 1990, 46/46 D of 9 December 1991, 47/69 D of 14 December 1992, 48/40 D of 10 December 1993 and 49/35 D of 9 December 1994,

Cognizant of the fact that the Palestine refugees have for the last four decades, lost their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,

Having also considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995,

1. Urges all States to respond to the appeal in its resolution 32/90 F of 13 December 1977 and reiterated in subsequent relevant resolutions in a manner commensurate with the needs of Palestine refugees for higher education, including vocational training;

2. Strongly appeals to all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to augment the special allocations for grants and scholarships to Palestine refugees, in addition to their contributions to the regular budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East;

3. Expresses its appreciation to all Governments, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations that responded favourably to its resolutions 41/69 D, 42/69 D, 43/57 D, 44/47 D, 45/73 D, 46/46 D, 47/69 D, 48/40 D and 49/35 D;

4. Invites the relevant specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system to continue within their respective spheres of competence, to extend assistance for higher education to Palestine refugee students;

5. Appeals to all States, specialized agencies and the United Nations University to contribute generously to the Palestinian universities in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including, in due course the proposed University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds" for Palestine refugees;

6. Appeals also to all States, specialized agencies and other international bodies to contribute towards the establishment of vocational training centres for Palestine refugees;

7. Requests the Agency to act as the recipient and trustee for the special allocations for grants and scholarships and to award them to qualified Palestine refugee candidates;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session on the implementation of the present resolution.

General Assembly resolution 50/28 D
6 December 1995 Meeting 82 150-0-1 (recorded vote)

Approved by Fourth Committee (A.50/605) by recorded vote (142-0-1), 30 November (meeting 25); 12-nation draft (A/C.4/50/L.14); agenda item 84.

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: 4th Committee 12, 13, 25; plenary 82.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: None.

Abstaining: Israel.


Proposed University of Jerusalem “Al-Quds"

In keeping with a General Assembly request of 1994,(29) the Secretary-General reported(30) in October 1995 on the proposal to establish a university for Palestine refugees at Jerusalem. First considered by the Assembly in 1980,(31) it had been the subject of annual reports by the Secretary-General.

To assist in the preparation of a feasibility study and at the Secretary-General's request, the Rector of the United Nations University asked Dr. Mihaly Simai to visit the area and meet with competent Israeli officials. By a note verbale of 11 September, the Secretary-General requested Israel to facilitate the expert's visit.

Israel replied on 18 September that its position remained unchanged. It had voted consistently against resolutions on the proposed university, whose sponsors, it said, sought to exploit higher education for political purposes extraneous to genuine academic pursuits. Accordingly, Israel was of the opinion that the proposed visit would serve no useful purpose.

The Secretary-General reported that it had not been possible to complete the feasibility study as planned.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 6 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/28 G.
University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds"
for Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 36/146 G of 16 December 1981, 37/120 C of 16 December 1982, 38/83 K of 15 December 1983, 39/99 K of 14 December 1984, 40/165 D and K of 16 December 1985, 41/69 K of 3 December 1986 42/69 K of 2 December 1987, 43/57 J of 6 December 1988, 44/47 J of 8 December 1989, 45/73 J of 11 December 1990, 46/46 J of 9 December 1991, 47/69 J of 14 December 1992, 48/40 I of 10 December 1993 and 49/35 G of 9 December 1994,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,

Having also considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995,

1. Emphasizes the need for strengthening the educational system in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 5 June 1967, including Jerusalem and specifically the need for the establishment of the proposed university;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take all necessary measures for establishing the University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds", in accordance with General Assembly resolution 35/13 B of 3 November 1980, giving due consideration to the recommendations consistent with the provisions of that resolution;

3. Calls once more upon Israel, the occupying Power to cooperate in the implementation of the present resolution and to remove the hindrances that it has put in the way of establishing the University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds";

4. Also requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

General Assembly resolution 50/28 G
6 December 1995 Meeting 82 148-2-2 (recorded vote)

Approved by Fourth Committee (A/50/605) by recorded vote (138-2-1), 30 November (meeting 25); 12-nation draft (A/C.4/50/L.17); agenda item 84.

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: 4th Committee 12, 13, 25; plenary 82.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China Colombia, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, 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, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Russian Federation, Swaziland.

The Russian Federation said the text contained provisions that went beyond UNRWA’s strictly humanitarian mandate.


Property rights

Report of the Secretary-General. In response to a 1994 General Assembly resolution,(32) the Secretary-General in September 1995 reported(33) on steps taken to protect and administer Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel and to establish a fund for income derived therefrom on behalf of the rightful owners. He indicated that he had transmitted the resolution to Israel and to all other Member States, requesting information on any steps taken or envisaged with regard to its implementation.

In an 8 June reply, reproduced in the report Israel stated its view that while the number of resolutions regarding UNRWA had been reduced from 10 to 7, their content remained occupied with political issues irrelevant to the Agency’s work. While it believed that UNRWA could play an important role in promoting the social and economic advancement foreseen in agreements between Israel and PLO, and accordingly looked forward to continuing cooperation with UNRWA, Israel considered it essential that the Assembly consolidate its resolutions into one directly related to UNRWA’s humanitarian tasks.

In 1995, UNRWA reported that no progress had been made with regard to various claims against Governments.

Report of the Conciliation Commission. The United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, in its forty-ninth report, covering the period from 1 September 1994 to 31 August 1995,(34) stated that it had nothing new to report since the submission of its October 1994 report. (35)

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 6 December; the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/28 F.
Revenues derived from Palestine
refugees' properties

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194(III) of 11 December 1948, 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General in pursuance of resolution 49/35 F of 9 December 1994,

Taking note also of the report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine covering the period from 1 September 1994 to 31 August 1995,

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles of international law uphold the principle that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her private property,

Considering that the Palestine Arab refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of justice and equity,

Recalling in particular its resolution 394(V) of 14 December 1950, in which it directed the Conciliation Commission, in consultation with the parties concerned, to prescribe measures for the protection of the rights, property and interests of the Palestine Arab refugees,

Taking note of the completion of the programme of identification and evaluation of Arab property, as announced by the Conciliation Commission in its twenty-second progress reports and of the fact that the Land Office had a schedule of Arab owners and file of documents defining the location, area and other particulars of Arab property,

1. Requests the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps, in consultation with the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, for the protection of Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel and to establish a fund for the receipt of income derived therefrom, on behalf of the rightful owners;

2. Calls once more upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General in the implementation of the present resolution;

3. Calls upon the Governments of all the other Member States concerned to provide the Secretary-General with any pertinent information in their possession concerning Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel which would assist the Secretary-General in the implementation of the present resolution;

4. Also requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session on the implementation of the present resolution.

General Assembly resolution 50/28 F
6 December 1995 Meeting 82 98-2-48 (recorded vote)

Approved by Fourth Committee (A/50/605) by recorded vote (91-2-48); 30 November (meeting 25); 12-nation draft (A/C.4/50/L.16); agenda item 84.

Meeting numbers. GA 5Oth session: 4th Committee 12, 13, 25; plenary 82.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Gabon, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

Explaining its abstention, Canada said the text might prejudice the outcome of the multilateral negotiations under way. The Russian Federation felt that the resolution contained provisions that went beyond UNRWA's strictly humanitarian mandate.


UNRWA financing

Voluntary contributions remained the principal means of financing UNRWA's operations, accounting for 97 per cent of Agency funding. The remaining 3 per cent represented the core of UNRWA's international staff costs—92 international posts during the period from 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995, funded by the United Nations. Most contributions were received in cash although 12.5 per cent of UNRWA's total funding was received in kind, usually in the form of food for distribution to needy refugees.

The Commissioner-General reported(20) that UNRWA's ability to provide expanded services was constrained by financial shortfalls for the third consecutive year. The inability of some donors to increase their contributions commensurate with the Agency's annual budget growth rate of 5 per cent—needed to offset natural population growth and inflation—was a matter of concern.

At the end of the 1994-1995 budget biennium, UNRWA recorded a deficit of $8.4 million in its General Fund budget, which covered its core programmes. In December 1994, the Agency had a deficit of $6 million, which had reduced working capital from $22.6 million at the beginning of 1994 to $16.6 million. By June 1995, working capital had again been reduced, standing at $8.2 million, and the 1995 deficit was projected at $16 million—which, if realized, would virtually eliminate its working capital. An accumulated deficit of $17.8 million in the fund for Extraordinary Measures in Lebanon and the Occupied Territory (EMLOT) could, however, be accommodated only by drawing on the working capital.

Furthermore, the estimated shortfall did not include the cost of lifting the remaining austerity measures, which would require an additional $11.2 million. The lack of working capital would mean reduced services, not merely a freeze on growth. The Agency's budget had to expand over time even to maintain current levels of services. Austerity measures included a general salary freeze and cuts in the budget for additional teacher posts. Funding requirements for 1996 would be $342.3 million, including $2.25 million for EMLOT, as well as the value of needed in-kind donations.

In response to changing political circumstances and the prospect of an eventual handover of Agency services, a five-year financial and policy planning framework was adopted to establish the Agency's minimum financial requirements for the period 1995-1999. The framework provided for an unavoidable 5 per cent annual increase. In addition, a certain sum was to be set aside each year towards payment of an estimated $127 million in termination indemnities accruing to area staff upon dissolution of the Agency. Project funding was not covered by the framework. The five-year planning horizon had been endorsed by the major donor and host Governments at an informal meeting in Amman in March (see "Future of UNRWA" above). The 1996-1997 biennial budget was prepared in accordance with those basic assumptions. The move of UNRWA's Vienna headquarters to the area of operations—primarily the Gaza Strip with some units in Amman—was budgeted at $13.5 million. In approving relocation of the headquarters, major donors stipulated that the move should not be financed from the regular budget. Consequently, UNRWA tool; steps to raise the required funds directly from donors.

Working Group on financing. The Working Group on the Financing of UNRWA held two meetings in 1995, on 14 September and 13 October. In its 19 October report to the General Assembly,(36) the Working Group noted that by the end of 1994 UNRWA's recorded financial balance for the year showed expenditures of $265.8 million on regular programmes, against income from contributions of $298.2 million, leaving a boor; surplus of $32.4 million. Included in that book surplus, however were late contributions of $38.4 million, received and recorded in 1994 but intended for the 1993 regular programme. If applied to the 1994 accounts, that amount would account for the resulting deficit of $6 million and the reduction in working capital of $16.6 million (see above). In addition, some $13.4 million had been spent on EMLOT activities in 1994, against a total income of $7.9 million, leaving a deficit of $5.5 million which had to be funded from working capital. The Agency also operated three extrabudgetary project funds in 1994: the Expanded Programme of Assistance (EPA), the European Gaza Hospital fund and PIP. EPA, which had become redundant with the establishment of PIP, was being phased out as projects were completed.

Having begun 1995 with such a deficit, the Agency's financial prospects for the year were not favourable, the Working Group stated. The growth of contributions was not keeping pace with the rising number of UNRWA beneficiaries and cost increases due to inflation. Unexpected emergency needs required additional funds. Austerity measures were having a negative impact on the quality of UNRWA services. By the last quarter of 1995, UNRWA's estimated deficit was $4 million, but if one included the $12 million reserve for salary increases for 21,000 area staff which was frozen as a result of the deficit, that figure would be $16 million.

In meetings with major donors and other concerned government representatives, the Commissioner-General had once again appealed for help in finding ways to alleviate the structural deficit problem. While some additional and special contributions were received by the Agency for its regular budget during the year, they fell short of the amounts required to address the Agency's current requirements and projected future needs and the situation remained serious.

The Working Group noted that the past year had continued to see dramatic political developments in UNRWA's area of operations. Donors had supported the ongoing peace process by devoting unprecedented resources to projects benefiting Palestinians, particularly in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. PIP had met with a particularly generous response from donors. The budgets for PIP projects included programme support costs, which alleviated some of the burden on UNRWA's own resources and infrastructure. Nevertheless, some of the additional tasks which the Agency was asked to carry out would inevitably have financial implications. The prospect of eventually phasing out UNRWA, which would become more apparent as the political process unfolded, also raised the issue of termination indemnities that would have to be paid to the area staff once the Agency began to cease operations and handed over its functions to other authorities; donors had agreed that UNRWA should begin to include a provision for those termination indemnities in its budget, beginning with $25.4 million in the 1996-1997 biennium. The planned relocation of UNRWA’s headquarters also had potential financial implications, as it could not be financed out of the regular budget. However contributions to the special fund established for that purpose had fallen considerably short of the budget for the move arrived at in consultation between UNRWA and the United Nations Secretariat. While proceeding with the first phases of the move as funds became available, the Commissioner-General had appealed to donors to help make up that shortfall.

The Working Group expressed concern that UNRWA had been able to carry out its regular activities once again only by drawing on its working capital reserves in 1994 and expected again to sustain a budget deficit in 1995. The Group voiced special concern about the negative cumulative effect of austerity measures, but commended the Commissioner-General for his fund-raising efforts particularly those for PIP, which had succeeded in attracting financial support from some donors surpassing their previous contributions. The Working Group shared the Commissioner-General's concern that UNRWA's core activities—education health care, and relief and social services—were increasingly threatened by chronic deficits, and stressed that it would be unfortunate if the substantial social and economic benefits promised by programmes such as PIP were undermined by the inability of the international community to provide the resources needed to preserve those regular services. The Group urged Governments to continue contributing generously and consider additional contributions in support of both emergency-related and special programmes, as well as current and future phases of PIP, the operating costs of the European Gaza Hospital and the special fund for the relocation of UNRWA's headquarters.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 6 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/28 B.
Working Group on the Financing of the
United Nations Relief and Works Agency
for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2656(XXV) of 7 December 1970, 2728(XXV) of 15 December 1970, 2791(XXVI) of 6 December 1971, 49/35 B of 9 December 1994 and the previous resolutions on this question,

Recalling also its decision 36/462 of 16 March 1982, by which it took note of the special report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,

Having considered the report of the Working Group,

Taking into account the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995,

Deeply concerned about the critical financial situation of the Agency, which has affected and affects the continuation of the provision of the necessary Agency services to the Palestine refugees, including the emergency-related programmes,

Emphasizing the continuing need for extraordinary efforts in order to maintain, at least at the current minimum level, the activities of the Agency, as well as to enable the Agency to carry out essential construction,

1. Commends the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for its efforts to assist in ensuring the financial security of the Agency;

2. Takes note with approval of the report of the Working Group;

3. Requests the Working Group to continue its efforts, in cooperation with the Secretary-General and the Commissioner-General, for the financing of the Agency for a further period of one year;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary services and assistance to the Working Group for the conduct of its work.

General Assembly resolution 50/28 B
6 December 1995 Meeting 82 Adopted without vote

Approved by Fourth Committee (A/50/605) without vote, 30 November (meeting 25); 18-nation draft (A/C.4/50/L.12); agenda item 84.

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: 4th Committee 12, 13, 25; plenary 82.

Iran expressed reservations concerning any provisions in this and other UNRWA resolutions that could be construed as indicating recognition of Israel.
REFERENCES

(1)YUN 1977, p. 304, GA res. 32/40 B, 2 Dec. 1977. (2)YUN 1994, p. 620, GA res. 49/62 A, 14 Dec. 1994. (3)YUN 1975 p. 248, GA res. 3376(XXX), 10 Nov. 1975. (4)YUN 1993, p. 521. (5)A/50/35. (6)A/49/645, annex. (7)YUN 1994, p. 622, GA res. 49/62 C, 14 Dec. 1994. (8)YUN 1994, p. 622. (9)A/50/286-E/1995/113. (10)YUN 1994, p. 624. (11)A/50/278-E/1995/114. (12)DP/1995/20/Rev.1. (13)E/1995/34 (dec. 95/8). (14)DP/1996/15. (15)TD/B/42(1)/8. (16)TD/B/42(1)/l9 (Vol. 1). (17)A/49/885. (18)YUN 1994, p. 628. (19)A/50/763. (20)A/50/13 & Add.1 & Add.1/Corr.1. (21)YUN 1993, p. 569. (22)YUN 1994, p. 656. (23)Ibid., p. 660, GA res. 49/35 A, 9 Dec. 1994. (24)A/50/451. (23)YUN 1994, p. 667. (26)YUN 1994, p. 667, GA res. 49/35 C, 9 Dec. 1994. (27)A/50/450. (28)YUN 1994, p. 668, GA res. 49/35 D, 9 Dec. 1994. (29)Ibid., p. 669, GA res. 49/35 G, 9 Dec. 1994. (30)A/50/531. (31)YUN 1980, p. 443, GA res. 35/13 B, 3 Nov. 1980. (32)YUN 1994, p. 670, GA res. 49/35 F, 9 Dec. 1993. (33)A/50/428. (34)A/50/500. (35)YUN 1994, p. 670. (36)A/50/491.

________________________

Peace-keeping operations
________________________

UN peace-keeping operations were born in the Middle East, with the establishment in May 1948 of the Organization's first and oldest operation—the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) originally established to monitor the cease-fire called for by the Security Council in May 1948 in newly partitioned Palestine. Over the course of nearly four decades, its unarmed military observers have fulfilled changing mandates—from supervising the original four armistice agreements between Israel and its Arab neighbors—Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria—to observing and monitoring other cease-fires, as well as other tasks. In the wake of regional wars in 1956, 1967 and 1973, its functions have been adapted to changing circumstances. UNTSO headquarters are located at Government House in Jerusalem.

In 1995, UNTSO personnel worked with the two remaining UN peace-keeping forces in the Middle East—its Observer Group Golan (OGG) with the UN Disengagement Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights, and Observer Group Lebanon (OGL) with the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). UNTSO observers in 1995 also maintained a presence in the Sinai peninsula—Observer Group Egypt (OGE), with headquarters in Ismailia. In addition, UNTSO in 1995 had offices in Amman, Beirut and Gaza. The Amman office was closed in July following the Israeli-Jordanian peace agreement of October 1994.
Lebanon

A report(1) by the Secretary-General described the situation at the end of 1995 as tense and volatile, with Israel continuing to maintain its occupation of parts of south Lebanon. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) and their local Lebanese auxiliary, the so-called de facto forces (DFF), continued to be targets of attacks in that area by groups proclaiming their resistance to the occupation. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), established in 1978(2) to confirm the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restore international peace and security, and assist the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area, maintained its efforts in 1995 to limit the conflict and to protect the inhabitants from the fighting. The Secretary-General stated that the Force, through a network of checkpoints and observation posts and active patrolling, was doing its best to prevent its area of operations from being used for hostile activities. It also was deployed as necessary to provide a measure of protection to the villages and to farmers working in the fields. Its mandate, although repeatedly reaffirmed over the years, nevertheless remained unfulfilled.

In notes issued on 17 January(3) and on 10 July,(4) both requesting the extension of the mandate of UNIFIL (see below), Lebanon declared that national reconstruction and rehabilitation were proceeding (see PART FOUR, Chapter III). Efforts to rebuild the new commercial centre in downtown Beirut and to modernize the nation's infrastructure were ongoing, with priority given to such basic services as electricity, telecommunications, transportation, waterworks, schools and hospitals. Despite those positive developments and coordinated efforts by UNIFIL and the Lebanese authorities to deploy the Lebanese army throughout the southern part of the country, Lebanon said that Israel's occupation and its continued aggression against Lebanon and its citizens remained the major obstacle to national recovery. Constant shelling of villages and towns in the south and aerial bombardments of different parts of the country continued to result in deaths and injuries of many civilians and the destruction of property. Furthermore, Lebanon said, Israel still refused to allow ICRC to visit hundreds of Lebanese detainees held for years in Israeli jails and detention camps in Al-Khiam and Marjayoun, in violation of the fourth Geneva Convention.

In view of Israel's continued aggressions, Lebanon went on, and the threat to the peace process, implementation of resolution 425(1978) remained the only way to stop the violence. By taking long-overdue measures towards that end, the Security Council could play a positive role in securing peace for the region and enabling the Lebanese Government to extend its authority up to its internationally recognized boundaries and to re-establish law and order throughout the entire south of the country.

On 1 March, Lebanon reported(5) that an Israeli naval blockade had spread to all southern Lebanese port cities. In addition, Israeli naval patrols were preventing Lebanese fishermen from fishing in Lebanese territorial waters. Daily artillery shelling and air raids had resulted in numerous civilian casualties and considerable material damage. Lebanon requested(6) that the Security Council take all necessary action to bring about the lifting of the illegal blockade, cessation of bombarding civilians, and respect be Israel of Lebanon's sovereignty, territorial integrity and territorial waters, in accordance with Council resolutions 425(1978)(2), 426(1978)(7) and 509(1982).(8) Throughout the year, Lebanon continued to report Israeli attacks and other operations against southern Lebanon and the Bekaa.

In a 5 July letter,(9) the Foreign Minister of Lebanon called for the release of 225 Lebanese detainees held in Israeli detention camps since 1984, in defiance of resolution 425(1978), against whom he said, no legal charge had been brought while they continued to be subjected to inhumane treatment and torture. He specifically called for the closure of the Al-Khiam camp.

Israel, in an 18 January letter,(10) had confirmed its position on the situation in southern Lebanon, as previously outlined in August 1994,(11) when it had stated that its measures there had to be viewed in the light of its right to self-defence and were intended solely to prevent acts of terror against the Israeli population. Terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and others were openly intent on undermining the peace process; they functioned with impunity in Lebanon where they were free to plan and carry out their attacks, Israel declared.

By a 7 March resolution,(12) the Commission on Human Rights deplored the continued Israeli violation of human rights in the occupied zone of southern Lebanon and the western Bekaa, demonstrated in particular by the kidnapping and arbitrary detention of civilians, the destruction of their dwellings, confiscation of their property, expulsion from their land, and the bombing of villages and civilian areas. It called on Israel immediately to end such practices, which were manifested recently by an escalation of air raids and the use of prohibited weapons such as fragmentation bombs, and to release immediately all kidnapped and detained Lebanese.

The Economic and Social Council, by decision 1995/278, approved the Commission's request that the Secretary-General bring its resolution to Israel's attention and invite Israel to provide information concerning the extent of its implementation.


UNIFIL

The Security Council in 1995 twice extended the mandate of UNIFIL, in January and July, each time for a six-month period.

Established by the Council in March 1978(2) following Israel's invasion of Lebanon,(3) UNIFIL originally was entrusted with confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restoring international peace and security, and assisting the Lebanese Government in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area. A second Israeli invasion in June 1982(4) radically altered the situation in which UNIFIL had to function. Shortly thereafter, the Council authorized the Force to carry out, in addition to its original mandate, the interim tasks of providing protection and humanitarian assistance to the local population, while maintaining its positions in its area of deployment.(5) During 1995, UNIFIL continued to carry out its mandated tasks.

The Force maintained close contact and cooperated with the Lebanese authorities on matters of mutual concern. Those authorities provided valuable assistance in connection with the rotation of troops and the increasing volume of logistic activities in Beirut. The Lebanese army was particularly helpful in defusing confrontations with armed elements. UNIFIL also continued to cooperate with the Lebanese gendarmerie on matters pertaining to the maintenance of law and order.

In January 1995, UNIFIL's military personnel numbered 5,001. They were provided by nine countries: Fiji, Finland, France, Ghana, Ireland. Italy, Nepal, Norway and Poland. Civilian support was provided by a staff of 521, of whom 136 were recruited internationally and 385 locally. By July, at the beginning of the second 1995 mandate period, troop strength had decreased slightly, to 4,967, and civilian staff numbers had changed to 524, 159 and 365, respectively.

Major-General Trond Furuhovde of Norway ended his tour of duty as Force Commander on 22 February and was succeeded on 1 April by Major-General Stanislaw F. Wozniak of Poland.

UNIFIL was assisted by 59 military observers of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) organized as Observer Group Lebanon, under the operational control of the UNIFIL Commander. UNTSO observers manned five observation posts along the Lebanese side of the Israel-Lebanon armistice demarcation line and operated five mobile teams in the part of the area of operation controlled by Israel (ICA, Israeli-controlled area).

Activities

Report of the Secretary-General (January). In a 23 January reports(16) on developments from 21 July 1994 to 20 January 1995 in the UNIFIL area of operation, the Secretary-General stated that Israel continued to control an area, manned by IDF and DFF, whose boundaries were not clearly defined but determined by the forward positions of those forces. ICA included territory adjacent to the armistice demarcation line, parts of the Fijian, Finnish, Ghanaian, Irish and Nepalese battalion sectors, and the entire Norwegian battalion sector, as well as sizeable areas to the north of the UNIFIL area. Within those areas, IDF/DFF manned 69 military positions. Within ICA, Israel maintained a civil administration and a security service. Movement between ICA and the rest of Lebanon was strictly controlled; crossings were closed frequently. ICA remained economically dependent on Israel. An estimated 3,000 jobs in Israel were held by Lebanese from ICA; access to those jobs was controlled by DFF and the security services. There were continued reports of forced recruitment to DFF, including that of persons under the age of 18, the Secretary-General reported.

During the period under review, UNIFIL observers reported 87 operations against IDF/DFF by armed elements who had proclaimed their resistance against Israeli occupation. Numerous attacks took place against IDF/DFF positions north of the Litani River. The armed elements employed roadside bombs, rockets, mortars, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles. IDF/DFF continued their attacks and retaliatory firing against armed elements. UNIFIL recorded more than 16,000 artillery, mortar and tank rounds fired by IDF/DFF, compared to 10,500 during the previous SIX months.

In some cases, IDF/DFF fire was directed at villages, causing damage and casualties. In two incidents, armed elements reportedly responded by firing rockets into northern Israel. On 4 October, an Israeli aircraft bombed a village near the town of Nabatiyeh, killing and injuring several civilians; the bombing, which Israeli authorities said was a mistake, was followed by the firing of several rockets into northern Israel, injuring three civilians. On 20 October, IDF/DFF artillery and tank fire killed seven civilians and wounded six others in villages near Nabatiyeh, to the north of the UNIFIL area of deployment. The shelling was strongly protested to Israeli authorities. Several rockets were fired into northern Israel in response to that shelling.

During the period under review, there were 197 instances of firing by IDF/DFF at or close to UNIFIL positions and personnel; all such firings were routinely protested to the Israeli authorities.

UNIFIL continued to oppose attempts by armed elements to use its area for hostile purposes. At times, that led to friction at UNIFIL checkpoints followed by harassment and threats directed at Force members. Such cases were generally resolved through negotiations. There were 17 instances of firing at or close to UNIFIL positions by Lebanese armed elements; they were protested through the Lebanese army. On 22 September, three Fijian soldiers were wounded and their vehicle seriously damaged by a roadside bomb explosion. In a similar incident on 7 November, south of the village of Al Hinniyah in the Nepalese sector, two Polish soldiers were lightly wounded and their vehicle seriously damaged.

As in the past, UNIFIL detonated mines, roadside bombs and unexploded remnants of war and dismantled ordnance of various types in the area of deployment; a total of 412 controlled explosions were carried out.

Within available resources, UNIFIL continued to extend humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in its area, in the form of medical supplies, water, clothes, blankets, food, fuel and electricity. Engineering work was executed and repairs severe made to buildings damaged by firing. Force personnel escorted farmers to their fields within range of IDF/DFF positions. Troop-contributing Governments made available resources for water projects, equipment or services for schools, and supplies for social services and needy people. UNIFIL medical centres and mobile teams provided care for about 2,500 civilian patients per month. Some 500 patients per month were treated under a field dental programme. In those areas, UNIFIL cooperated closely with the Lebanese authorities, UN agencies and programmes operating in Lebanon, ICRC and NGOs.

Also during the period under review, two Ghanaian soldiers died of natural causes. Since UNIFIL's establishment, 202 military members of the Force had died, 76 as a result of firing or mine or bomb explosions, 82 in accidents and 44 from other causes. A total of 312 were wounded by firing or by mine or bomb explosions.

The Secretary-General concluded that, although there had been no progress towards implementation of the UNIFIL mandate, the Force's contribution to stability in the area and protection for the inhabitants remained important. He therefore recommended that the Security Council accept Lebanon's request and extend UNIFIL's mandate for another six months, until 31 July 1995.

SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION (January)

Following consideration of the Secretary-General's report, the Security Council on 30 January adopted resolution 974(1995).

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolutions 425(1978) of 19 March 1978, 426(1978) of 19 March 1978, 501(1982) of 25 February 1982, 508(1982) of 5 June 1982, 509(1982) of 6 June 1982 and 520(1982) of 17 September 1982, as well as all its resolutions on the situation in Lebanon,

Having studied the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon of 23 January 1995, and taking note of the observations expressed therein,

Taking note of the letter dated 16 January 1995 from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General,

Responding to the request of the Government of Lebanon,

1. Decides to extend the present mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon for a further interim period of six months, that is, until 31 July 1995;

2. Reiterates its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries;

3. Re-emphasizes the terms of reference and general guidelines of the Force as stated in the report of the Secretary-General of 19 March 1978, approved by resolution 426(1978), and calls upon all parties concerned to cooperate fully with the Force for the full implementation of its mandate;

4. Reiterates that the Force should fully implement its mandate as defined in resolutions 425(1978), 426(1978) and all other relevant resolutions;

5. Endorses the Secretary-General's intention to pursue the possibilities for streamlining and achieving economies in the areas of maintenance and logistic support;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to continue consultations with the Government of Lebanon and other parties directly concerned with the implementation of the present resolution and to report to the Security Council thereon.

Security Council resolution 974(1995)
30 January 1995 Meeting 3495 Adopted unanimously

Draft prepared in consultations among Council members (S/1995/81).

In a 30 January statement(7) complementing the resolution on the mandate extension for UNIFIL, the Council reaffirmed its commitment to Lebanon's full sovereignty, independence, integrity and national unity within its internationally recognized boundaries. In that contexts any State should refrain from the threat or use of force against the political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations, the statement said. In extending UNIFIL's mandate, the Council again stressed the urgent need for implementing resolution 425(1978) in all its aspects. It reiterated its full support for the 1989 Taif Agreement and for the continued efforts of the Lebanese Government to consolidate peace, national unity and security in the country while successfully carrying out the reconstruction process. The Council commended the Government for its successful effort to extend its authority in the south of the country in full coordination with UNIFIL.

The Council again expressed concern over the continuing violence in southern Lebanon, regretted the loss of civilian life and urged all parties to exercise restraint. Finally, it expressed appreciation for the continuing efforts of the Secretary-General and his staff in that regard, and commended UNIFIL's troops and troop-contributing countries for their sacrifices and commitment to the cause of international peace and security under difficult circumstances.

Report of the Secretary-General (July). In a 19 July report(18) to the Security Council on developments during the period from 21 January to 20 July 1995 the Secretary-General noted that the level of hostilities in the UNIFIL area had increased and that civilians on both sides had been killed or injured. Exchanges were sparked by indiscriminate fire or the targeting of populated areas by IDF/DFF, followed by the firing of rockets into Israel, for which a group known as the Islamic Resistance claimed responsibility. In some instances, armed elements launched attacks from the vicinity of villages in the UNIFIL area of deployment, drawing retaliatory fire. There had been 51 instances of firing at or close to UNIFIL positions and personnel by armed elements, compared to 17 during the July-to-January reporting period just past. Such firings had been reported to the Lebanese army and, where possible, were protested to the leadership of the groups involved. On 19 March, a Nepalese soldier was seriously injured when an anti-personnel mine exploded at a newly established observation post at Yatar. A similar mine was found at the same location a few days later. There were 208 instances of firing by IDF/DFF at or close to UNIFIL positions and personnel, which were protested to the Israeli authorities.

UNIFIL observers reported on 129 operations against IDF/DFF by armed elements who had proclaimed their resistance against Israel's occupation. There were also numerous reports of attacks against IDF/DFF positions north of the Litani River, mostly carried out by the Islamic Resistance. IDF/DFF continued their attacks and retaliatory firing against armed elements; UNIFIL recorded more than 16,500 artillery, mortar and tank rounds fired by them. IDF also stepped up night-time ambushes and long-range patrolling and increasingly made use of assault helicopters. While air attacks were less frequent than during the previous periods, flights by Israeli military aircraft over Lebanese territory continued. From February on, Israel imposed restrictions on the movement of Lebanese fishermen in southern Lebanese territorial waters, enforcing those restrictions by naval vessels—which, at times, involved firing at fishing boats and temporary detention of fishermen.

In its efforts to detonate mines, roadside bombs and unexploded remnants of war, UNIFIL carried out 105 controlled explosions during the period under review. It also continued to protect and assist the population, helping to execute a school project financed by UNICEF and UNESCO, and assisting UNDP in its South Lebanon Emergency Rehabilitation Programme (see PART FOUR, Chapter III), among many other activities.

On 16 April, Israel deported to Lebanon two Palestinians who had just been released from prison. However, they were denied entry into the country by the Lebanese authorities and were subsequently turned over to UNIFIL. Since 18 April, the two men had been accommodated at UNIFIL headquarters, the report stated, and efforts continued to arrange passage to a country or territory willing to accept them.

Expressing particular concern at the targeting of civilians and the number of those killed or injured, the Secretary-General said he had urged the parties to exercise restraint. He was also conscious of the risk of escalation inherent in the exchanges of hostilities, observing that UNIFIL continued to make every effort to limit the conflict. Although there had been no progress towards implementation of its mandate, the Force's contribution to stability in the area and the protection it afforded the inhabitants remained important. The Secretary-General recommended that the Council accept Lebanon's request and extend the UNIFIL mandate for another six months, until 31 January 1996.

SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION (July)

On 28 July, the Security Council adopted resolution 1006(1995).

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolutions 425(1978) and 426(1978) of 19 March 1978, 501(1982) of 25 February 1982, 508(1982) of 5 June 1982, 509(1982) of 6 June 1982 and 520(1982) of 17 September 1982, as well as all its resolutions on the situation in Lebanon,

Having studied the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon of 19 July 1995 and taking note of the observations expressed therein,

Taking note of the letter dated 10 July 1995 from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General,

Responding to the request of the Government of Lebanon,

1. Decides to extend the present mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon for a further period of six months, that is, until 31 January 1996;

2. Reiterates its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries;

3. Re-emphasizes the terms of reference and general guidelines of the Force as stated in the report of the Secretary-General of 19 March 1978, approved by resolution 426(1978), and calls upon all parties concerned to cooperate fully with the Force for the full implementation of its mandate;

4. Reiterates that the Force should fully implement its mandate as defined in resolutions 425(1978),426(1978) and all other relevant resolutions;

5. Condemns the increase in acts of violence committed in particular against the Force and urges the parties to put an end to them;

6. Concurs with the streamlining of the Force described in paragraph 11 of the report of the Secretary-General, and stresses that its implementation will not affect the operational capacity of the Force;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to continue consultations with the Government of Lebanon and other parties directly concerned with the implementation of the present resolution and to report to the Security Council thereon.

Security Council resolution 1006(1995)
28 July 1995 Meeting 3558 Adopted unanimously

Draft prepared in consultations among Council members (S/1995/619).

Also on 28 July, complementing the Council's extension of UNIFIL, its President made a statement(19) similar to that made on 30 January (see above).

Financing

Report of the Secretary-General (May). In May 1995, the Secretary-General provided financial information(20) on UNIFIL for the period from 1 February 1994 to 31 January 1995 which reflected an overall unencumbered balance of $1,755,000 gross ($16,000 net), due mainly to savings from lower military personnel costs. As at 31 March 1995, outstanding assessments for UNIFIL from its inception in 1978 to 31 January 1995 amounted to $206.6 million. The Secretary-General proposed that the General Assembly credit Member States with the unencumbered net balance of $16,000 against their assessments in respect of any future mandate periods. The Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), in a June report,(21) concurred with the proposal.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION (July)

Following consideration of reports by the Secretary-General and ACABQ, the General Assembly on 12 July (decision 49/483) decided that there should be set off against the apportionment among Member States, in respect of future mandate periods of UNIFIL as might be approved by the Security Council, their respective shares in the unencumbered balance of $1,755,000 gross ($16,000 net) for the period from 1 February 1994 to 31 January 1995. The Assembly's decision was adopted without vote, after the Fifth (Administrative and Budgetary) Committee, on 23 June, had approved, also without vote, a draft(22) submitted by its Chairman following informal consultations.

Report of the Secretary-General (October). In an 11 October report,(23) the Secretary-General presented cost estimates of $53,874,000 gross ($52,448,000 net) for the maintenance of UNIFIL from 1 February to 30 June 1996, conforming with the new budget cycle from 1 July to 30 June decided on by the General Assembly in 1994.(24) Those cost estimates provided for a phased reduction of contingent personnel from 5,015 to 4,513 by May 1996, as well as for a reduction of 37 civilian staff, down to 143 internationally recruited and 193 locally recruited staff.

Those reductions resulted in a decrease of 4.1 per cent on a monthly basis in gross terms; monthly requirements were estimated at $10,774,800 gross ($10 489,600 net), down from $11,234,500 gross ($10,870,830 net) authorized by the Assembly in December 1994.(25)

The Secretary-General noted that as at 30 September 1995, a total of $2,575.6 million had been appropriated for UNIFIL from its inception to 31 January 1996. Assessed contributions received for the same period amounted to $2,312.8 million, leaving an outstanding balance of $232 million. As a result of the withholding or delay in payment of assessed contributions, UNIFIL was unable to meet its obligations on a current basis or in full, in particular those due to the troop-contributing countries. However, full reimbursement had been made to them up to the period ending 31 January 1995.

ACABQ(26) concurred with the Secretary-General's proposal that the Assembly authorize entering into commitments not to exceed $10,774,800 gross ($10,489,600 net) per month. The Advisory Committee noted that, as at 31 August, $30.7 million was due to troop-contributing countries.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION (December)

On 19 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/89 A.
Financing of the United Nations
Interim Force in Lebanon

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, and the related report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions,

Bearing in mind Security Council resolution 425(1978) of 19 March 1978, by which the Council established the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, and the subsequent resolutions by which the Council extended the mandate of the Force, the latest of which was resolution 1006(1995) of 28 July 1995,

Recalling its resolution S-8/2 of 21 April 1978 on the financing of the Force and its subsequent resolutions and decisions thereon, the latest of which were resolution 49/226 of 23 December 1994 and decision 49/483 of 12 July i995,

Reaffirming that the costs of the Force are expenses of the Organization to be borne by Member States in accordance with Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling also its previous decisions regarding the fact that, in order to meet the expenditures caused by the Force, a different procedure is required from the one applied to meet expenditures of the regular budget of the United Nations,

Taking into account the fact that the economically more developed countries are in a position to make relatively larger contributions and that the economically less developed countries have a relatively limited capacity to contribute towards such an operation,

Bearing in mind the special responsibilities of the States permanent members of the Security Council, as indicated in General Assembly resolution 1874(S-IV) of 27 June 1963, in the financing of such operations,

Mindful of the fact that it is essential to provide the Force with the necessary financial resources to enable it to fulfil its responsibilities under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Recalling its resolution 34/9 E of 17 December 1979 and the subsequent resolutions in which it decided that the provisions of regulations 5.2 (b), 5.2 (d), 4.3 and 4.4 of the Financial Regulations of the United Nations should be suspended, the latest of which vitas resolution 49/226,

Concerned that the Secretary-General continues to face difficulties in meeting the obligations of the Force on a current basis, including reimbursement to current and former troop-contributing States,

Concerned also that the surplus balances in the Special Account for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon have been used up for meeting expenses of the Force in order to compensate for the lack of income resulting from non-payment and late payment by Member States of their contributions and have consequently been exhausted,

1. Takes note of the status of contributions to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon as at 13 December 1995, including the contributions unpaid in the amount of 216,216,752 United States dollars, representing 9 per cent of the total assessed contributions from the inception of the Force to the period ending 31 January 1996 notes that some 22 per cent of the Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, and urges all other Member States concerned, particularly those in arrears, to ensure the payment of their outstanding assessed contributions;

2. Expresses concern about the financial situation with regard to peace-keeping activities, particularly as regards the reimbursement of troop contributors, notably those troop-contributing Member States that have paid their assessed contributions in full, which bear an additional burden owing to overdue payments by Member States of their assessments;

3. Urges all Member States to make every possible effort to ensure the payment of their assessed contributions to the Force promptly and in full;

4. Endorses the observations and recommendations contained in the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to take all necessary action to ensure that the Force is administered with a maximum of efficiency and economy;

6. Decides to appropriate to the Special Account for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon the amount of 67,407,000 United States dollars gross (65,224,980 dollars net) authorized and apportioned by the General Assembly in paragraph 10 of its resolution 49/226 for the operation of the Force from 1 August 1995 to 31 January 1996, inclusive;

7. Authorizes the Secretary-General to enter into commitments for the operation of the Force at a rate not to exceed 10,774,800 dollars gross (10,489,600 dollars net) per month for a period of up to five months beginning 1 February 1996, and to assess the amount of 32,324,400 dollars gross (31,468,800 dollars net) on Member States in accordance with the scheme set out in the present resolution, should the Security Council decide to continue the Force beyond the period of six months authorized under its resolution 1006(1995);

8. Decides, as an ad hoc arrangement, to apportion the amount referred to in paragraph 7 above among Member States in accordance with the composition of groups set out in paragraphs 3 and 4 of General Assembly resolution 43/232 of 1 March 1989, as adjusted by the Assembly in its resolutions 44/192 B of 21 December 1989, 45/269 of 27 August 1991, 46/198 A of 20 December 1991 and 47/218 A of 23 December 1992 and its decision 48/472 A of 23 December 1993, and taking into account the scale of assessments for the year 1996, subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the mandate of the Force beyond 31 January 1996 and the mandate periods to be decided upon by the Council;

9. Decides also that there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 8 above, their respective share in the estimated income of 4,800 dollars other than staff assessment income for the period from 1 February to 30 April 1996, inclusive;

10. Decides further that, in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 973(X) of 15 December 1955, there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 8 above, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated staff assessment income of 850,800 dollars for the period from 1 February to 30 April 1996, inclusive;

11. Invites voluntary contributions to the Force in cash and in the form of services and supplies acceptable to the Secretary-General, to be administered, as appropriate in accordance with the procedure established by the General Assembly in its resolutions 43/230 of 21 December 1988, 41/192 A of 21 December 1989 and 45/258 of 3 May 1991;

12. Decides to keep the sub-item entitled "United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon" under the agenda item entitled "Financing of the United Nations peace-keeping forces in the Middle East" under review during its fiftieth session.

General Assembly resolution 50/89 A
19 December 1995 Meeting 95 Adopted without vote

Approved by Fifth committee (A/50/824) without vote, 17 December (meeting 41); draft by Chairman (A/C.5/50/L.11), orally amended by Latvia; agenda item 122 (b).

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: 5th committee 26, 41; plenary 95.

By decision 50/469 of 23 December, the General Assembly decided that the Fifth Committee should continue its consideration of agenda item 122, the financing of UN peace-keeping forces in the Middle East, at its resumed fiftieth session.
The Syrian Arab Republic

The General Assembly in 1995 continued to call for Israel's withdrawal from the Golan Heights, an area in the southern part of the Syrian Arab Republic near its borders with Israel and Lebanon. Israel occupied the Golan Heights following the 1967 war, effectively annexing that area when it extended its laws, jurisdiction and administration to the territory towards the end of 1981.(27) The annexation was confirmed by the Israeli Knesset in November 1991.(28)

Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the population in the Golan Heights and other occupied territories have been monitored by the Special Committee on Israeli Practices since 1960 (see below) and have also been the subject of resolutions adopted by the Commission on Human Rights (see PART THREE, Chapter III) and the General Assembly.

The Golan Heights

Committee report. In its annual report,(29) the Special Committee on Israeli Practices noted that the situation in the Syrian Arab Golan did not change significantly during the period under review (August 1994-August 1995), despite continuing negotiations. The problems linked to the affirmation by the citizens of the Golan of their Syrian national identity continued, and a number of persons were arrested in that connection. Practices amounting to administrative harassment also continued. Israel, it was stated, had relentlessly pursued its settlement policy and continued to impose restrictions on the use of water, the consumption of which was said to be subjected to full Israeli control and was reportedly managed through a quota system, with settlers receiving an annual per capita volume of 600 cubic metres, while Syrian citizens were allocated 120 cubic metres. Orders were issued to demolish rainwater reservoirs used for irrigation. Meanwhile, settlers from the Golan Heights had launched a campaign aimed at sensitizing Israeli opinion to the need for the Golan to remain under Israeli control, and investment in both housing and industry was increasing.

The Special Committee recalled the position taken by the General Assembly and the Security Council that the annexation by Israel of the occupied Golan was illegal, and therefore, null and void. It hoped for further progress in the near future in the negotiations concerning the Golan within the framework of the Middle East peace process.

Report of the Secretary-General. In October, the Secretary-General reported(30) that he had received no reply from Israel to his May request for information on steps it had taken or envisaged to implement a 1994 Assembly resolution(3) calling on Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, and in particular to desist from establishing settlements.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 6 December, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/29 D under the general title "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories".

The General Assembly,

Deeply concerned that the Syrian Golan occupied since 1967 has been under continued Israeli military occupation,

Recalling Security Council resolution 497(1981) of 17 December 1981,

Recalling also its previous relevant resolutions, the last of which was 49/36 D of 9 December 1994,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 20 October 1995,

Recalling further its previous relevant resolutions in which, inter alia, it called upon Israel to put an end to its occupation of the Arab territories,

Reaffirming once more the illegality of the decision of 14 December 1981 taken by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan, which has resulted in the effective annexation of that territory,

Reaffirming that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible under the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming also the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Bearing in mind security Council resolution 237(1967) of 14 June 1967,

Welcoming the convening at Madrid of the Peace Conference on the Middle East on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973 aimed at the realization of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, and stressing the need for rapid progress in all bilateral negotiations,

1. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan, in particular Security Council resolution 497(1981), in which the Council, inter alia, decided that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and without international legal effect, and demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, should rescind forthwith its decisions;

2. Also calls upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan and in particular to desist from the establishment of settlements:

3. Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken or to be taken by Israel, the occupying Power, that purport to alter the character and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan are null and void, constitute a flagrant violation of international law and of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and have no legal effect;

4. Further calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan, and to desist from its repressive measures against the population of the Occupied Syrian Golan;

5. Deplores the violations by Israel of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;

6. Calls once again upon Member States not to recognize any of the legislative or administrative measures and actions referred to above;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session on the implementation of the present resolution.

General Assembly resolution 50/29 D
6 December 1995 Meeting 82 139-1-13 (recorded vote)

Approved by Fourth Committee (A/50/606) by recorded vote (121-1-11), 30 November (meeting 25); 12-nation draft (A/C.4/50/L.21); agenda item 85.

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: 4th Committee 24, 25; plenary 82.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel.

Abstaining: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, El Salvador, Kenya, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, United States, Uruguay.

Report of the Secretary-General. On 24 October, the Secretary-General issued a report(32) reproducing replies from States responding to his 31 August notes verbales requesting information from Israel and other Member States on steps taken or envisaged to implement a 1994 General Assembly resolution(33) demanding Israel’s withdrawal from all the occupied Syrian Golan. In the report, Austria expressed the hope that the question of Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights would be resolved in the near future through intensified negotiations. Japan stated that it did not recognize the occupation of the Syrian Golan by Israel as legitimate, and hoped to see a peaceful solution of the problem. In that connection, the Japanese Prime Minister had encouraged direct negotiations on the occasion of his visit to both countries in September 1995.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 4 December 1995, under the agenda item on the situation in the Middle East, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/22 B.
The Syrian Golan

The General Assembly,

Having considered the item entitled "The situation in the Middle East",

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General of 24 October 1995,

Recalling Security Council resolution 497(1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming the fundamental principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming once more the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Deeply concerned that Israel has not withdrawn from the Syrian Golan, which has been under occupation since 1967, contrary to the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions,

Noting with satisfaction the convening at Madrid of the Peace Conference on the Middle East on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973, with the hope that substantial and concrete progress will be achieved on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks for the realization of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region,

1. Declares that Israel has failed so far to comply with Security Council resolution 497(1981);

2. Declares also that the Knesset decision of 11 November 1991 annexing the occupied Syrian Golan constitutes a grave violation of resolution 497(1981) and therefore is null and void and has no validity whatsoever, and calls upon Israel to rescind it;

3. Reaffirms its determinations that all relevant provisions of the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention of 1907, and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, continue to apply to the Syrian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, and calls upon the parties thereto to respect and ensure respect for their obligations under those instruments in all circumstances;

4. Determines once more that the occupation of the Syrian Golan and its de facto annexation constitute a stumbling-block in the way of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region;

5. Demands once more that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-first session on the implementation of the present resolution.

General Assembly resolution 50/22 B
4 December 1995 Meeting 79 66-2-79 (recorded vote)

20-nation draft (A/50/L.38 & Add.1); agenda item 44.

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: plenary 76, 77, 79.

Recorded vote in Assembly as follows:

In favour: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Cyprus, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Sri Lanka Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Botswana, Brazil Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela.

Explaining its vote, the United States said the text served only to complicate the achievement of a mutually acceptable outcome and made the goat of a comprehensive peace much more difficult to attain, as Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic were engaged in a negotiating process to resolve their differences and achieve a lasting agreement. Among those abstaining, Canada regretted not only that the text remained largely unchanged from previous years, but also that a reference to a specific boundary had been added to it (see paragraph 5). In Australia's view, the resolution's new language did not sufficiently reflect the importance of both parties redoubling their efforts to reach agreement on a lasting peace and could complicate their negotiations. Argentina could have voted in favour, had the text not included new elements, such as the reference to the line of 4 June 1967. On behalf of EU, Spain expressed regret over the new wording in paragraph 5, which it felt tried to prejudice the peace negotiations between the parties. Swaziland held the view that harsh-sounding and reprimanding resolutions were no longer rewarding or productive.

Iraq, while supporting the objectives of the resolution, voiced reservations with regard to the last preambular paragraph of the text. Iran had reservations on parts of the text which might be construed as any recognition of Israel. Similarly, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya stressed that its positive vote should not be construed as any recognition of what was called Israel.

UNDOF

The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), established by the Security Council in 1974,(34) as called for under the Agreement on Disengagement of Forces between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic concluded that year,(35) was charged with supervising the observance of the cease-fire between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights area and ensuring the Separation of their forces. Assisting UNDOF as required Were observers from UNTSO.

The Force's mandate was renewed twice in 1995, in May and November, each time for a six-month period.

Composition and deployment

In November 1995, UNDOF personnel numbered 1,038 troops (down from 1,041 in May) from Austria, Canada and Poland, plus four military observers from UNTSO. In addition, it was assisted by more than 80 observers of the Observer Croup Golan of UNTSO assigned to the Israel-Syria Mixed Armistice Commission. By a 6 December letter,(36) the Secretary-General proposed that Japan be added to the list of Member States providing troops to UNDOF. The Security Council President, in a reply on 8 December,(37) expressed the Council members' agreement with the proposal.

UNDOF headquarters were at Camp Faouar, with an office in Damascus. The Force was deployed within, and close to, the area of separation, with base camps and a logistics unit. The Austrian battalion, deployed in the northern part of the area, maintained 16 positions and nine outposts. The Polish battalion, in the southern part maintained 14 positions and eight outposts. Both battalions conducted mine-clearing under the operational control of headquarters. The Canadian logistics unit—based, like the Polish battalion, in Camp Ziouani—had a detachment at Camp Faouar and performed second-line general transport tasks, rotation transport, control and management of goods received by UNDOF and maintenance of heavy equipment. First-line logistic support, which included the transport of supplies to the positions, was internal to the contingents. Third-line support was provided through normal supply channels by the United Nations. Damascus International Airport served as UNDOF's airhead, with Tel Aviv International Airport also being used. In-theatre air support was provided by UNTSO on request. The ports of Latakia and Haifa were used for shipments by sea.

On 17 January, Major-General Johannes C. Kosters of the Netherlands assumed command of UNDOF, taking over from Colonel Jan Kempara of Poland, who had been acting Force Commander since the departure of Major-General Roman Misztal, also of Poland in November 1994.

Activities

UNDOF in 1995 continued to supervise the area of separation between Israeli and Syrian troops in the Golan Heights, to ensure that no military forces of either party were deployed there, by means of permanently manned positions and observation posts and by foot and mobile patrols operating at irregular intervals on predetermined routes by both day and night. In addition, temporary outposts were established and patrols conducted as necessary. UNDOF made fortnightly inspections of armament and force levels in the areas of limitation. Liaison officers from the party concerned accompanied the inspection teams, whose movements were, however, restricted by both sides and which were denied access to some positions.

The Force Commander and his staff-maintained close contact with the military liaison staff of Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic. Both parties cooperated with the Force in the execution of its tasks.

UNDOF also assisted ICRC with mail facilities and the passage of persons through the area of separation. Within the means available, medical treatment was provided on request to the local population.

Reports of the Secretary-General (May and November). Before the expiration on 31 May and again on 30 November of the UNDOF mandate, the Secretary-General reported to the Security Council on UNDOF activities which had taken place since 22 November 1994,(38) and again from 17 May to 17 November 1995.(39) Both reports noted that UNDOF continued to fulfill its functions effectively, with the cooperation of the parties.

In concluding observations, the Secretary-General noted that despite the quiet in the Israel-Syria sector, the situation in the Middle East continued to be potentially dangerous and was likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem could be reached. He hoped for determined efforts by all concerned to tackle the problem in all its aspects, with a view to arriving at a just and durable peace settlement, as called for by the Security Council in resolution 338(1973).(40) Stating that he considered UNDOF's continued presence in the area to be essential, the Secretary-General, with the agreement of both Syria and Israel, each time recommended that the UNDOF mandate be extended for a further six months, until 30 November 1995 in the first instance and 31 May 1996 in the second.


SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION (May and November)

Meeting on 30 May, the Security Council, without debate, adopted resolution 996(1995).

The Security Council,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force of 17 May 1995,

Decides:

(a) To call upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338(1973) of 22 October 1973;

(b) To renew the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for another period of six months, that is, until 30 November 1995;

(c) To request the Secretary-General to submit, at the end of this period, a report on the development in the situation and the measures taken to implement Security Council resolution 338(1973).

Security Council resolution 996(1995)
30 May 1995 Meeting 3541 Adopted unanimously

Draft prepared in consultations among Council members (S/1995/430).

On 28 November, the Council, also without debate, adopted resolution 1024(1995).

The Security Council,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force of 17 November 1995,

Decides:

(a) To call upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338(1973) of 22 October 1973;

(b) To renew the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for another period of six months, that is, until 31 May 1996;

(c) To request the Secretary-General to submit, at the end of this period, a report on the development in the situation and the measures taken to implement Security Council resolution 338(1973).

Security Council resolution 1024(1995)
28 November 1995 Meeting 3599 Adopted unanimously

Draft prepared in consultations among Council members (S/1995/990).

After the adoption of each resolution, the President made the following statement on behalf of the Council:(4)

As is known, the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force states, in paragraph 18 [14 in the November report]: "Despite the present quiet in the Israel-Syria sector the situation in the Middle East continues to be potentially dangerous and is likely to remain so, unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem can be reached". That statement of the Secretary-General reflects the view of the Security Council.


Financing

Report of the Secretary-General (April). In April 1995, the Secretary-General provided information(42) on the financial performance of UNDOF for the period from 1 December 1993 to 30 November 1994, reflecting overall savings of $805,000 gross ($891,000 net), due mainly to savings from lower personnel costs. As at 31 March 1995, for the period from UNDOF's inception in 1974 to 30 November 1994, outstanding assessments amounted to $61.4 million.

The Secretary-General proposed that the General Assembly credit Member States with the unencumbered net balance of $891,000 against their assessments in respect of any future mandate period. ACABQ, in a June report,(2) concurred with the proposal.

Following consideration of those reports from the Secretary-General and the Advisory Committee, the General Assembly on 12 July decided that there should be set off against the apportionment among Member States, in respect of future mandate periods of UNDOF as might be approved by the Security Council, their respective share in the unencumbered balance of $891,000 net for the period from 1 December 1993 to 30 November 1994. The Assembly adopted decision 49/413 B without vote, after the Fifth Committee, on 23 June, had approved, also without vote, the draft(43) submitted by its Chairman following informal consultations.

Report of the Secretary-General (September). In a 7 September report,(44) the Secretary-General presented cost estimates of $18,753,000 gross ($18,221,000 net) for the maintenance of UNDOF from 1 December 1995 to 30 June 1996, conforming with the new budget cycle from 1 July to 30 June decided on by the General Assembly in 1994.(24) The cost estimates provided for the continuation of an average mission strength of 1,036 military personnel, 36 international civilian staff and 84 locally recruited staff.

Those estimates reflected an increase of 0.4 per cent over the monthly commitments of $2,677,583 gross authorized in December 1994 by the Assembly(45) for the period from 1 June 1995.

The Secretary-General noted that as at 3I July 1995, a total of $1,116.6 million had been appropriated for UNDOF and the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) from inception to 30 November 1995. Assessed contributions for the same period amounted to $1,083.5 million, while contributions received totalled $1,015.5 million, leaving an outstanding balance of $68 million. Troop contributors had been fully reimbursed through 31 May 1995.

ACABQ in October recommended(46) that the Assembly appropriate $16,065,498 gross ($15,564,000 net) for the period from 1 June to 30 November 1995. Additionally, should the Security Council decide to continue the Force beyond that date, the Committee recommended that the Secretary-General be authorized to enter into monthly commitments of $2,679,000 gross ($2,603,000 net) for the period from 30 November 1995 to 30 June 1996, and that the Assembly assess such amounts.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION (December)

On 1 December 1995, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/20 A.
Financing of the United Nations
Disengagement Observer Force

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the financing of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force and the related report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions,

Bearing in mind Security Council resolution 350(1974) of 31 May 1974, by which the Council established the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, and the subsequent resolutions by which the Council extended the mandate of the Force, the latest of which was resolution 996(1995) of 30 May 1995,

Recalling its resolution 3211 B(XXIX) of 29 November 1974 on the financing of the United Nations Emergency Force and the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, and its subsequent resolutions thereon, the latest of which was resolution 49/225 of 23 December 1994, and decision 49/413 B of 12 July 1995,

Reaffirming that the costs of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force are expenses of the Organization to be borne by Member States in accordance with Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling also its previous decisions regarding the fact that, in order to meet the expenditures caused by the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, a different procedure is required from the one applied to meet expenditures of the regular budget of the United Nations,

Taking into account the fact that the economically more developed countries are in a position to make relatively larger contributions and that the economically less developed countries have a relatively limited capacity to contribute towards such an operation,

Bearing in mind the special responsibilities of the States permanent members of the Security Council, as indicated in General Assembly resolution 1874(S-IV) of 27 June 1963, in the financing of such operations,

Mindful of the fact that it is essential to provide the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force with the necessary financial resources to enable it to fulfil its responsibilities under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Concerned that the Secretary-General continues to face difficulties in meeting the obligations of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force on a current basis, including reimbursement to current and former troop-contributing States,

Concerned also that the surplus balances in the Suspense Account for the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force have been used to meet expenses of the Force in order to compensate for the lack of income resulting from non-payment and late payment by Member States of their contributions,

1. Takes note of the status of contributions to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force as at 20 November 1995, including the contributions unpaid in the amount of 64,565,741 United States dollars, representing 6 per cent of the total assessed contributions from the inception of the Force to the period ending 30 November 1995, notes that some 30 per cent of the Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, and urges all other Member States concerned, particularly those in arrears, to ensure the payment of their outstanding assessed contributions;

2. Expresses concern about the financial situation with regard to peace-keeping activities, particularly as regards the reimbursement of troop contributors, owing to overdue payments by Member States of their assessments;

3. Urges all Member States to make every possible effort to ensure the payment of their assessed contributions to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force promptly and in full;

4. Endorses the observations and recommendations contained in the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to take all necessary action to ensure that the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force is administered with a maximum of efficiency and economy;

6. Decides to appropriate to the Special Account for the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force the amount of 16,065,498 dollars gross (15,564,000 dollars net), authorized and apportioned by the General Assembly in paragraph 11 of its resolution 49/225 for the operation of the Force for the period from 1 June to 30 November 1995, inclusive;

7. Authorizes the Secretary-General to enter into commitments for the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force at a rate not to exceed 2,679,000 dollars gross (2,603,000 dollars net) per month for a period up to seven months from 1 December 1995, should the Security Council decide to continue the Force beyond the period of six months authorized under its resolution 996(1995), the said amount to be apportioned among Member States in accordance with the scheme set out in the present resolution;

8. Decides, as an ad hoc arrangement, to apportion the amount referred to in paragraph 7 above among Member States in accordance with the composition of groups set out in paragraphs 3 and 4 of General Assembly resolution 43/232 of 1 March 1989, as adjusted by the Assembly in its resolutions 44/192 B of 21 December 1989, 45/269 of 27 August 1991, 46/198 A of 20 December 1991 and 47/218 A of 23 December 1992 and its decision 48/472 A of 23 December 1993, and taking into account the scale of assessments for the years 1995 and 1996, subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force beyond 30 November 1995 and the mandate periods to be decided upon by the Council;

9. Decides also that, in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 973(X) of 15 December 1955, there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 8 above, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated staff assessment income of 532,000 dollars for the period from 1 December 1995 to 30 June 1996, inclusive;

10. Decides further that there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 8 above, their respective share in the estimated other income of 9,000 dollars for the period from 1 December 1995 to 30 June 1996, inclusive;

11. Decides that there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 8 above, their respective share in the unencumbered balance of 805,000 dollars gross (891,000 dollars net) for the period from 1 December 1993 to 30 November 1994, inclusive, pursuant to General Assembly decision 49/413 B;

12. Invites voluntary contributions to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in cash and in the form of services and supplies acceptable to the Secretary-General, to be administered, as appropriate, in accordance with the procedure established by the General Assembly in its resolutions 43/230 of 21 December 1988, 44/192 A of 21 December 1989 and 45/258 of 3 May 1991;

13. Decides also to keep the sub-item entitled "United Nations Disengagement Observer Force", under the agenda item entitled "Financing of the United Nations peace-keeping forces in the Middle East", under review during its fiftieth session.

General Assembly resolution 50/20 A
1 December 1995 Meeting 76 Adopted without vote

Approved by Fifth Committee (A/50/792) without vote, 29 November (meeting 33); draft by Chairman (A/C.5/50/L.5), based on informal consultations; agenda item 122 (a).

Meeting numbers. GA 50th session: 5th Committee 26, 33; plenary 76.

By decision 50/469 of 23 December, the General Assembly decided that the Fifth Committee should continue its consideration of agenda item 122, the financing of UN peace-keeping forces in the Middle East, at its resumed fiftieth session.
REFERENCES

(1)S/1996/45. (2)YUN 1978, p. 312, SC res. 425(1978), 19 Mar. 1978. (3)S/1995/45 & Corr.1. (4)S/1995/554. (5)A/50/88-S/1995/167. (6)S/1995/170. (7)YUN 1978, p. 312, SC res. 426(1978), 19 Mar. 1978. (8)YUN 1982, p. 450, SC res. 509(1982), 6 June 1982. (9)A/50/283-S/1995/570. (10)S/1995/58. (11)YUN 1994, p. 629. (12)E/1995/23- E/CN.4/1995/176 (res. 1995/67). (13)YUN 1978, p. 296. (14)YUN 1982, p. 428. (15)Ibid., p. 450, SC res. 511(1982), 18 June 1982. (16)S/1995/66. (17)S/PRST/1995/4. (18)S/1995/595. (19)S/PRST/1995/35. (20)A/49/644/Add.1. (21)A/49/785/Add.1 & Add.1/Corr.1. (22)A/C.5/49/L.52. (23)A/50/543. (24)YUN 1994, p. 1338, GA res. 49/233 A, 23 Dec. 1994. (25)Ibid., p. 636, GA res. 49/226, 23 Dec. 1994. (26)A/50/694. (27)YUN 1981, p. 309. (28)YUN 1992, p. 415. (29)A/50/463. (30)A/50/660. (31)YUN 1994, p. 654, GA res. 49/36 D, 9 Dec. 1994. (32)A/50/574. (33)YUN 1994, p. 638, GA res. 49/87 B, 16 Dec. 1994. (34)YUN 1974, p. 205, SC res. 350(1974), 31 May 1974. (35)Ibid., p. 198. (35)S/1995/1022. (37)S/1995/1023. (35)S/1995/398. (39)S/1995/952. (40)YUN 1973, p. 213, SC res. 338(1973), 22 Oct. 1973. (41)S/PRST/1995/29, S/PRST/1995/59. (42)A/49/553/Add.1. (43)A/C.5/49/L.51. (44)A/50/386 & Corr.1. (45)YUN 1994, p. 642, GA res. 49/225, 23 Dec. 1994. (46)A/50/694.

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