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Souveraineté permanente sur les ressources naturelles dans les territoires palestiniens occupés - Débat de la Deuxième Commission de l’AG - Compte rendu (extraits)

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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.2/68/SR.39
13 December 2013

Original: English

Sixty-eighth session
Official Records





Second Committee

Summary record of the 39th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Tuesday, 3 December 2013, at 3 p.m.

Chair: Mr. Diallo ...................................................................... (Senegal)



Contents
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Agenda item 19: Sustainable development (continued) ( A/C.2/68/L.23 , A/C.2/68/L.30 , A/C.2/68/L.31/Rev.1 , A/C.2/68/L.38/Rev.1 and A/C.2/68/L.48 )

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Draft resolution on agricultural technology for development ( A/C.2/68/L.38/Rev.1 )

15. The Chair said that he took it that the Committee wished to waive the 24-hour requirement in rule 120 of the rules of procedure in order to consider the draft resolution, which had no programme budget implications.

16. It was so decided.

17. Ms. Levavi (Israel) announced minor drafting changes to the draft resolution and said that the sponsors had been joined by Angola, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Montenegro, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia and South Sudan.

18. Mr. Aldrees (Saudi Arabia), speaking on behalf of the Group of Arab States in explanation of vote before the voting, said that there was no substantive need for the draft resolution, as its subject matter was already covered by draft resolution A/C.2/68/L.28 on agriculture development, food security and nutrition, which had been submitted by Fiji on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. The draft resolution did not preserve a balance between the interests of developed and developing countries; it failed to mention technology transfer, financing for development or the obstacles to developing countries’ access to world markets.

19. Moreover, the Group was concerned that Israel was exploiting the topic for political purposes. The report of the Secretary-General on economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan (A/68/77-E/2013/13), which the Committee had discussed at its twenty-sixth meeting (A/C.2/68/SR.26), had detailed Israel’s repeated violations of the Charter of the United Nations and the relevant resolutions. Israel, the occupying Power, was undermining agricultural development in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan. Its illegal activities included uprooting olive trees, building settlements, preventing the movement of people and goods, building an illegal wall that separated farmers from their land, selectively denying access to water resources and maintaining a blockade on the Gaza Strip.

20. Israel therefore had no genuine interest in agricultural development; it was blatantly exploiting and politicizing that important topic. To vote in favour of the draft resolution would merely encourage Israel to persist in undermining agricultural development. The Group of Arab States had therefore requested a vote and would abstain.

21. Mr. Jawhara (Syrian Arab Republic), speaking in explanation of vote before the voting, said that draft resolution A/C.2/68/L.28 on agriculture development, food security and nutrition had garnered consensus in informal consultations and reflected the concerns of developing and developed countries alike. It was unfortunate that, instead of supporting that draft resolution, the delegation of the Israeli occupation had submitted a different text that would dissipate the focus of the Committee and, moreover, ignored the technology transfer commitments of developed countries.

22. Despite numerous international resolutions, Israel had maintained its brutal occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the occupied Syrian Golan and parts of south Lebanon. In so doing, it systematically undermined agriculture, which was the main source of livelihood in the occupied territories. In the occupied Syrian Golan, it had confiscated land, withheld access to water, depleted natural resources, destroyed farmland, uprooted olive trees, expelled Syrian farmers and imposed an economic blockade. Syrian farmers were prevented from selling their apple harvest, which was regularly bought by the Syrian Government in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross. At the same time, the Israeli occupation authorities marketed crops from the occupied Syrian Golan as Israeli produce, contravening the relevant international instruments, particularly the Geneva Conventions. Similar racist and inhumane policies were applied in the other occupied Arab territories.

23 In submitting the draft resolution, the Israeli occupation sought to affect concern for developing countries and to promote the role of Israeli companies in technology transfer. His delegation would therefore abstain.

24. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour: Against: Abstaining:
25. Draft resolution A/C.2/68/L.38/Rev.1 was adopted with minor drafting changes by 138 votes to 1, with 34 abstentions.

26. Mr. Prosor (Israel) said that agriculture was also one of the most profitable commercial sectors and the second largest global source of employment. Investors around the world had their eyes on the stock exchange, but their ears to the ground. However, over 1.4 billion farmers were trapped in a cycle of extreme poverty; given the right conditions, they could break free and unleash a sustainable development revolution. In view of the need to feed a growing population, the draft resolution would foster ingenuity, imagination and innovation.

27. Women comprised the majority of the agricultural workforce in many developing countries, but their productivity was 30 per cent lower than that of men. While men received extensive training on how to care for their crops, women were cropped out of the picture. The developing world was seeking to cultivate its natural resources but wasting its human resources. No business could make healthy margins by marginalizing half of the population. The draft resolution also focused on the struggle of rural youth, who were increasingly leaving their fields for the bright lights of the big city, thereby contributing to over-urbanization and unemployment.

28. Technology was making it easier for farmers to share vital information. Smart phones could be used to receive payments and weekly updates on market prices.

29. The Group of Arab States alone had stood in the way of consensus on the draft resolution; yet few regions could benefit more from agricultural technology. People across the Arab world were hungry for change and thirsty for progress, but their Governments were stubbornly determined to put politics before people. Rather than seeking to steer the conversation off course, the Government of Saudi Arabia would be better advised to allow women to drive.

30. Developing countries held in their hands the seeds of the future. The time had come to plant those seeds and reap the rewards. When the State of Israel had been established, its young pioneers had taken control of their own destiny and made the desert bloom. Their message of commitment and cooperation continued to resonate as Israel reached out to the developing nations of the world.

31. Mr. Alhantouli (Observer for the State of Palestine) said that, while the draft resolution had no programme budget implications, it had moral implications for the Committee. The Israeli occupation impeded Palestinian farmers’ access to land and water, so the seeds to which the representative of Israel had referred were tainted with the blood of the Palestinian people. The delegation of Israel had made opportunistic use of the Committee’s time. Hypocrisy could afford to be magnificent in its promises; for, never intending to go beyond promise, it cost nothing.

32. Mr. Aldrees (Saudi Arabia), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that, while the creative rhetoric of the representative of Israel might impress a feeble-minded listener, anyone endowed with reason could see that it was hollow and futile. The representative of Israel had referred to a ban on women driving in Saudi Arabia. The country was characterized by political stability above all else, and it was flourishing and developing in every area. It had its own Muslim scientists, and had no need of Israel’s technology to develop its agriculture. It was committed to sustainable agricultural development, notwithstanding the spurious claims that had been made.

33. Speaking on behalf of the Group of Arab States, he reiterated that the purpose underlying the draft resolution was clear. The text submitted by Fiji on behalf of the Group of 77 and China was more comprehensive and worthy of consensus than a few words thrown together by Israel to describe its idea of progress.

34. Mr. Golan (Israel), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that taking cheap shots at Israel appeared to be the favourite sport of the Palestinian delegate. The time had come for that delegate to end the blame game and focus on his own side. He had conveniently failed to mention the numerous human rights abuses committed by the security apparatus in the West Bank, not to mention the appalling record of the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian delegation insisted on raising baseless accusations and politicizing the agenda item in order to inflame hostilities. That approach was unfortunate, but unsurprising; under the Palestinian Authority, incitement and intolerance had become a hallmark of Palestinian society. The time had come to speak truthfully about the problems facing the region, but the Palestinian delegation was heavy on criticism and light on facts.

35. Mr. Alhantouli (Observer for the State of Palestine), speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said that the Palestinian people would not surrender to the lies of the occupying Power; the practices of the occupation were too egregious to be covered up by such fabrications. Sooner or later, the occupying Power would pay the legal price for its exploitation of Palestinian resources and its violations of international law, international humanitarian law and United Nations resolutions.

/...


The meeting rose at 4.55 p.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent as soon as possible, under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned, to the Chief of the Documents Control Unit (srcorrections@un.org), and incorporated in a copy of the record.
Corrected records will be reissued electronically on the Official Document System of the United Nations (http://documents.un.org/).


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