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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
31 December 1998



December 1998


Volume XXI, Bulletin No. 8

Contents

Page
I.
    General Assembly adopts four resolutions on the question of Palestine
1
II.
    General Assembly adopts two resolutions on the situation in the Middle East
7
III.
    General Assembly adopts seven resolutions on the United Nations Relief and Works
    Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
9
IV.
    General Assembly adopts five resolutions on the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli
    Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories
18
V.
    General Assembly adopts resolution on assistance to the Palestinian people
25
VI.
    General Assembly adopts resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination
28
VII.
    General Assembly adopts resolution on the right of the Palestinian people over their natural resources
29
VIII.
    United States of America increases support to UNRWA
30
IX.
    About $68.5 million pledged for UNRWA’s 1999 programmes in support of Palestine refugees
31
X.
    European Union issues statement on the Middle East peace process
32
XI.
    Excerpt from the Final Communiqué adopted by the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council
32


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I. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS FOUR RESOLUTIONS ON THE
QUESTION OF PALESTINE


The General Assembly considered item 39, entitled “Question of Palestine,” at four plenary meetings held on 30 November and 1 and 2 December 1998. Submitted under agenda item were the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (A/53/35) and the report of the Secretary-General (A/53/652). For an excerpt from the Committee report and the text of two statements introducing the debate on the item,see the November 1998 issue of this Bulletin. For the verbatim records of the plenary consideration of the item, see A/53/PV. 73, 74, 75 and 76.

The Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People introduced draft resolutions A/53/L.48 to 51 in a statement he made at the 73rd plenary meeting, on 30 November. See the November 1998 issue of this Bulletin for the text of the statement (A/53/PV.73).

The four resolutions adopted by the General Assembly on 2 December under the item are reproduced below, with the indication of the vote. Voting details will be given in a document to be issued by the Division for Palestinian Rights under the symbol A/AC.183/L.2/Add.20.


Resolutions on the question of Palestine

53/39. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

The General Assembly,

Recalling 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, ES7/2 of 29 July 1980, 35/169 A and C of 15 December 1980, 36/120 A and C of 10 December 1981, ES7/4 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, 49/62 A of 14 December 1994, 50/84 A of 15 December 1995, 51/23 of 4 December 1996 and 52/49 of 9 December 1997,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, 1/

Recalling 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, D.C., on 13 September 1993, 2/ as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, 3/

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 2/ and to mobilize international support for and assistance to the Palestinian people during the transitional period;

3. Endorses the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee contained in chapter VII of its report; 1/

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-fourth session and thereafter;

6. Requests the Committee to continue to extend its cooperation and support to Palestinian and other non-governmental organizations in order to mobilize international solidarity and support for the achievement by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and for a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, and to involve additional non-governmental organizations in its work;

7. Requests the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, established under General Assembly 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.

Adopted on 2 December 1998
by 110 votes to 2,
with 48 abstentions.


___________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-third Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/53/35).
2/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
3/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.



53/40. 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, 1/

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, 49/62 B of 14 December 1994, 50/84 B of 15 December 1995, 51/24 of 4 December 1996 and 52/50 of 9 December 1997,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Secretary-General in compliance with its resolution 52/50;

2. Considers that the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat continues to make a useful and constructive contribution;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Division with the necessary resources and to ensure that it continues to carry out its programme of work as detailed in the relevant earlier resolutions, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and under its guidance, including, in particular, the organization of meetings in various regions with the participation of all sectors of the international community, the further development and expansion of the documents collection of the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine, the preparation and widest possible dissemination of publications and information materials on various aspects of the question of Palestine, the provision of assistance in completing the project on the modernization of the records of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, and the provision of the annual training programme for staff of the Palestinian Authority;

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 extend 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, requests them to continue to give the widest possible publicity to the observance, and requests the Committee and the Division 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.
Adopted on 2 December 1998
by 111 votes to 2,
with 48 abstentions.

___________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-third Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/53/35).



53/41. Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the 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, 1/

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

Recalling its resolution 52/51 of 9 December 1997,

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, D.C., on 13 September 1993, 2/ and of the subsequent implementation agreements, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, 3/ and their positive implications,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat in compliance with resolution 52/51;

2. Considers that the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department is very useful in raising the awareness of the international community concerning the complexities of the question of Palestine 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 for the biennium 1998-1999 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 prospects for peace;

(c) To expand its collection of audio-visual material on the question of Palestine and to continue the production of such material, including the updating of the exhibit in the Secretariat;

(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 seminars or encounters for journalists;

(f) To continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the field of media development, in particular to strengthen the training programme for Palestinian broadcasters and journalists initiated in 1995.

Adopted on 2 December 1998
by 111 votes to 2,
with 48 abstentions.


____________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-third Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/53/35).
2/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
3/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.



53/42. Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolutions adopted at the tenth emergency special session,

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

Aware that 1997 marked fifty years since the adoption of resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 and thirty years since the occupation of Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General 1/ submitted pursuant to the request made in its resolution 52/52 of 9 December 1997,

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 embodied in 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,

Recalling 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, D.C., on 13 September 1993, 2/ as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, 3/

Recalling also the withdrawal of the Israeli army, which took place in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area in 1995 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 in 1996,

Noting with satisfaction the successful holding of the first Palestinian general elections,

Noting with appreciation the work of the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories and its positive contribution,

Welcoming the convening of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace in Washington, D.C., on 1 October 1993, as well as all follow-up meetings and the international mechanisms established to provide assistance to the Palestinian people,

Concerned about the serious difficulties facing the Middle East peace process, and expressing the hope that the Wye River Memorandum, signed in Washington, D.C., on 23 October 1998, will be fully implemented towards full compliance with the existing agreements,

1. Reaffirms 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 full support for the ongoing peace process which began in Madrid and the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993, 2/ as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 1995, 3/ and expresses the hope that the process will lead to the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

3. Stresses the necessity for commitment to the principle of land for peace and the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which form the basis of the Middle East peace process, and the need for the immediate and scrupulous implementation of the agreements reached between the parties, including the redeployment of the Israeli forces from the West Bank and the commencement of the negotiations on the final settlement;

4. Calls upon the concerned parties, the co-sponsors of the peace process and other interested parties, as well as the entire international community to exert all the necessary efforts and initiatives to bring the peace process back on track and to ensure its continuity and success;

5. 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;

6. Also stresses the need for resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948;

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

8. 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;

9. 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.
Adopted on 2 December 1998
by 111 votes to 2,
with 48 abstentions.


________
1/ A/53/652-S/1998/1050; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-third Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1998, document S/1998/1050.
2/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
3/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.




II. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS TWO RESOLUTIONS ON THE
SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST


The General Assembly considered agenda item 40, entitled “The situation in the Middle East,” at two plenary meetings, held on 1 and 2 December 1998. Under the item, the Secretary-General issued two reports on the implementation of the previous session’s resolutions on Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan containing information received from Member States (A/53/550), and on developments during the last year of the Middle East peace process (A/53/652), containing replies from the Security Council and parties concerned as well as his observations. For the verbatim record of the meetings, see documents A/53/PV.75 and 76.

On 2 December 1998, the General Assembly adopted two resolutions, reproduced below with an indication of the vote. Voting details will be given in a document to be issued by the Division for Palestinian Rights under the symbol A/AC.183/L.2/Add.20.


53/37. 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, 49/87 A of 16 December 1994, 50/22 A of 4 December 1995, 51/27 of 4 December 1996 and 52/53 of 9 December 1997, in which it determined that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have 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 which had established diplomatic missions at Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,1/

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-fourth session on the implementation of the present resolution.
Adopted on 2 December 1998
by 149 votes to 1,
with 7 abstentions.

__________
1/ A/53/550.



53/38. The situation in the Middle East: 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, 1/

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

Reaffirming the fundamental principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming once more the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 2/ 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,

Stressing the illegality of the Israeli settlement construction and activities in the occupied Syrian Golan since 1967,

Noting with satisfaction the convening at Madrid on 30 October 1991 of the Peace Conference on the Middle East, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and the formula of land for peace,

Expressing grave concern over the halt in the peace process on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks, and expressing the hope that peace talks will soon resume from the point they had reached,

1. Declares that Israel has failed so far to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981);

2. Declares also that the Israeli decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void and has no validity whatsoever, as confirmed by the Security Council in its resolution 497 (1981), and calls upon Israel to rescind it;

3. Reaffirms its determination that all relevant provisions of the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention of 1907, 3/ and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 2/ 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 continued 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. Calls upon Israel to resume the talks on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks and to respect the commitments and undertakings reached during the previous talks;

6. 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;

7. Calls upon all the parties concerned, the co-sponsors of the peace process and the entire international community to exert all the necessary efforts to ensure the resumption of the peace process and its success;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth session on the implementation of the present resolution.
Adopted on 2 December 1998
by 97 votes to 2,
with 58 abstentions.


_________
1/ A/53/550.
2/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
3/ See Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915).



III. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS SEVEN RESOLUTION ON THE UNITED
NATIONS RELIEF AND WORKS AGENCY FOR PALESTINE REFUGEES
IN THE NEAR EAST


On 3 December 1998, the General Assembly considered the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) on agenda item 83, entitled “United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (A/53/597). For the verbatim record of the plenary consideration of the item, see document A/53/PV.78; for a description of the report submitted under the item, see the November 1998 issue of this Bulletin.

The seven resolutions adopted by the General Assembly under agenda item 83, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee, are reproduced below with an indication of the vote, where appropriate. Voting details will be given in a document to be issued by the Division for Palestinian Rights under the symbol A/AC.183/L.2/Add.20.


53/46. Assistance to Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 52/57 of 10 December 1997 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 1997 to 30 June 1998,1/

Welcoming the signature in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993 by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the people of Palestine, of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements 2/ and the subsequent implementation agreements, and also the signature of the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995,3/

Encouraging the Multilateral Working Group on Refugees of the Middle East peace process to continue its important work,

Welcoming the completion of the transfer of the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to Gaza, to its area of operations,

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 General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and requests the Commission to exert continued efforts towards the implementation of that paragraph and to report to the Assembly as appropriate, but no later than 1 September 1999;

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,2/ and stresses the importance that contributions to this Programme are not at the expense of the General Fund;

5. Welcomes strengthened cooperation between the Agency and the World Bank and other specialized agencies, and calls upon the Agency to
make a decisive contribution towards giving a fresh impetus to the economic and social stability of the occupied territories;

6. 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;

7. Reiterates its deep concern regarding the persisting critical financial situation of the Agency, as outlined in the report of the Commissioner-General;1/

8. Commends the efforts of the Commissioner-General to move towards budgetary transparency and internal efficiency, and hopes that such moves will continue;

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

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

11. Decides to extend the mandate of the Agency until 30 June 2002, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III).

Adopted on 3 December 1998
by 157 votes to 1,
with 2 abstentions.


___________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-third Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/53/13).
2/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex: see Official Records of the Security council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December, document S/26560.
3/ A/51/188-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May June 1997, document S/1997/357.



53/47. 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, 52/58 of 10 December 1997 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, 1/

Having considered the report of the Working Group, 2/

Taking into account the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for the period from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998, 3/

Deeply concerned about the persisting critical financial situation of the Agency, which has affected and affects the continuation of the provision of the necessary Agency services to 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; 2/

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.

Adopted on 3 December 1998.


____________
1/ A/36/866 and Corr.1; see also A/37/591.
2/ A/53/569.
3/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-third Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/53/13).



53/48. 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 and 2341 B (XXII) 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 52/59 of 10 December 1997,1/

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 for the period from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998,2/

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, D.C., on 13 September 1993 by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization,3/ with regard to the modalities for the admission of persons displaced in 1967, and concerned that the process agreed upon has not yet been effected,

1. Reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 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/

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-fourth session on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the present resolution.
Adopted on 3 December 1998
by 156 votes to 2,
with 1 abstention.


__________
1/ A/53/471.
2/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-third Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/53/13).
3/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.




53/49. 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, 49/35 D of 9 December 1994, 50/28 D of 6 December 1995, 51/127 of 13 December 1996 and 52/60 of 10 December 1997,

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

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,1/

Having also considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for the period from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998,2/

1. Urges all States to respond to the app (A/53/13). eal 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 on this question;

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 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-fourth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted on 3 December 1998
by 160 votes to 0,
with 1 abstention.


__________
1/ A/53/472.
2/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-third Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/53/13).



53/50. 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 for the period from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998,1/

Taking note of the letter dated 28 September 1998 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,2/

Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolutions 48/40,3/ 48/40 H 4/ and 48/40 J 5/ of 10 December 1993 and 49/35 C of 9 December 1994,6/

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,7/

Affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,8/ to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem,

Aware of the fact that Palestine refugees have, for over five 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,

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 work of the new Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency,

Recalling the signing in Washington, D.C., 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,9/ and the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995,10/

Taking note of the agreement reached on 24 June 1994, embodied in an exchange of letters between the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization,11/

Aware of the establishment of a working relationship between the Advisory Commission of the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization in accordance with General Assembly decision 48/417 of 10 December 1993,

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. Also expresses its appreciation to the Advisory Commission of the Agency, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed of its activities, including the full implementation of decision 48/417;

3. Welcomes the completion of the transfer of the headquarters of the Agency to Gaza and the signing of the Headquarters Agreement between the Agency and the Palestinian Authority;

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

5. 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 1949,8/ and to abide scrupulously by its provisions;

6. 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 7/ 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;

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

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

9. 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 9/ 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;

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

11. Notes further the significant success of the Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency;

12. Expresses concern over the remaining austerity measures which have affected the quality and level of some of the services of the Agency;

13. Requests the Commissioner-General to consider the possibility of modernizing the archives of the Agency;

14. 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.

Adopted on 3 December 1998
by 157 votes to 2,
with 2 abstentions.


__________
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-third Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/53/13).
2/ Ibid.,p.ix.
3/ A/49/440.
4/ A/49442.
5/ A/49443.
6/ A/50/451.
7/ Resolution 22 A (I).
8/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
9/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eight Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
10/ A/51.889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.
11/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/49/13), annex I.




53/51. Palestine refugees' properties and their revenues

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 submitted in pursuance of its resolution 52/62 of 10 December 1997,1/

Taking note also of the report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine for the period from 1 September 1997 to 31 August 1998,2/

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 3/ and the principles of international law uphold the principle that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her property,

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 report,4/ 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,

Recalling that, in the framework of the Middle East peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Government of Israel agreed, in the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993,5/ to commence negotiations on permanent status issues, including the important issue of the refugees, and calling for the commencement of those negotiations,

1. Reaffirms 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;

2. 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, expresses its appreciation for the work done to preserve and modernize the existing records of the Commission, and requests the Secretary-General to complete this task;

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

4. Calls upon all the parties concerned to provide the Secretary-General with any pertinent information in their possession concerning Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel that would assist him in the implementation of the present resolution;

5. Urges the Palestinian and Israeli sides, as agreed between them, to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues in the framework of the final status negotiations of the Middle East peace process;

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

Adopted on 3 December 1998
by 156 votes to 2,
with 1 abstention.


__________
1/ A/53/644.
2/ A/53/518 and Corr. 1, annex.
3/ Resolution 217 A (III).
4/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Nineteenth Session, Annexes, Annex No. 11, document A/5700.
5/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eight Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.



53/52. 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, 49/35 G of 9 December 1994, 50/28 G of 6 December 1995, 51/130 of 13 December 1996 and 52/63 of 10 December 1997,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,1/

Having also considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for the period from 1 July 1997 to 30 June 1998,2/

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. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth session on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted on 3 December 1998
by 156 votes to 2,
with 2 abstentions.

__________
1/ A/53/551.
2/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-third Session, supplement No. 13 (A/53/13).




IV. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS FIVE RESOLUTIONS OF THE REPORT
OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE ISRAELI
PRACTICES AFFECTING THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE
PALESTINIAN PEOPLE AND OTHER ARABS OF THE
OCCUPIED TERRITORIES


On 3 December 1998, the General Assembly considered the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) on agenda item 84, 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” (A/53/598). For the verbatim record of the plenary consideration of the item, see document A/53/PV.78; for a description of the reports submitted under this item, see the November 1998 issue of this Bulletin.

The five resolutions adopted by the General Assembly under the item, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee, are reproduced below with an indication of the vote. Voting details will be given in a document to be issued by the Division for Palestinian Rights under the symbol A/AC.181/L.2/Add.20.


53/53. Work 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,

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 1949,1/ as well as international standards of human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 2/ and the International Covenants on Human Rights,3/

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 lasting impact of the uprising (intifada) 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 4/ and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,5/

Recalling 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 in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993,6/ as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995,7/

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/

4. Expresses concern about the deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, as a result of Israeli practices and measures and the difficulties confronting the Middle East peace process;

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, especially Israeli lack of compliance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,1/ and 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, including Jerusalem;

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 the Special Committee with all necessary facilities, 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-fourth session on the tasks entrusted to him in the present resolution;

9. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-fourth 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”.

Adopted on 3 December 1998
by 86 votes to 2,
with 67 abstentions.


___________
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2/ Resolution 217 A (III).
3/ Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
4/ See A/53/136 and Add.1 and A/53/661.
5/ A/53/259, A/53/264, and A/53/660.
6/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.



53/54. 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 the other occupied Arab 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 1/ and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General, 2/

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,

Noting the convening of the meeting of experts of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 3/ at Geneva, from 27 to 29 October 1998, at the initiative of the Government of Switzerland in its capacity as the depository of the Convention, concerning general problems of application of the Convention in general and, in particular, in occupied territories,

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 1949,3/ 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,4/ 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. Reiterates the need for speedy implementation of the recommendation contained in its resolutions ES-10/3 of 15 July 1997, ES-10/4 of 13 November 1997 and ES-10/5 of 17 March 1998 with regard to the convening of a conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on measures to enforce the Convention in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and to ensure its respect in accordance with common article 1;

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

Adopted on 3 December 1998
by 155 votes to 2,
with 2 abstentions.

___________
1/ See A/53/136 and Add.1 and A/53/661.
2/ A/53/259, A/53/260, A/53/264 and A/53/660.
3/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
4/ Ibid, Nos. 970-973.



53/55. Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan

The General Assembly,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at its tenth emergency special session, as well as relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Aware of the Middle East peace process started at Madrid and the agreements reached between the parties, in particular the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993 2/ and the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 28 September 1995, 3/

Expressing grave concern about the decision of the Government of Israel to resume settlement activities, including the construction of the new settlement in Jabal Abu Ghneim, in violation of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions and the agreements reached between the parties,

Gravely concerned in particular about the dangerous situation resulting from actions taken by the illegal armed Israeli 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,

1. Reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development;

2. Calls upon Israel 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, 1/ to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan and to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the Convention, in particular article 49;

3. Demands complete cessation of the construction of the new settlement in Jabal Abu Ghneim and of all Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

4. Stresses the need for full implementation of 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;

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

Adopted on 3 December 1998
by 150 votes to 3,
with 2 abstentions.

___________
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
3/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.



53/56. Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people
in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at its tenth emergency special session, and the resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, the most recent of which are resolutions 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994 and 1073 (1996) of 28 September 1996,

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 1/ and the reports of the Secretary-General, 2/

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, 3/ to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Recalling 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 in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, 4/ as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, 5/

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,

Noting also the redeployment of the Israeli army from six cities in the West Bank,

Concerned about the continuing violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, especially 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, including Jerusalem,

Expressing its deep concern in particular about the closure by the Israeli authorities of the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, which prevents the freedom of movement of persons and goods and is the cause of great economic and social hardship, in violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and the agreements reached between the two sides,

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,

Convinced of the need for the full implementation of Security Council resolutions 904 (1994) and 1073 (1996),

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 1949,3/ and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, are illegal and have no validity and that such measures should cease immediately;

2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all practices and actions which violate the human rights of the Palestinian people;

3. Stresses the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all of the occupied Palestinian territory and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods within the Palestinian territory, including the removal of restrictions on movement into and from East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world;

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 occupied territory;

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

Adopted on 3 December 1998
by 151 votes to 3,
with 4 abstentions.

__________
1/ See A/53/136 and Add.1 and A/53/661.
2/ A/53/259, A/53/260, A/53/264 and A/53/660.
3/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
4/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
5/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.



53/57. The occupied Syrian Golan

The General Assembly,

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, 1/

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 resolution 52/68 of 10 December 1997,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of resolution 52/68, 2/

Recalling 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 international law, including 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, 3/ 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 expressing grave concern about the stalling of the peace process on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks,

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 decision;

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, 3/ and have no legal effect;

4. 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-fourth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted on 3 December 1998
by 150 votes to 1,
with 6 abstentions.

___________
1/ See A/53/136 and Add.1 and A/53/661.
2/ A/53/260.
3/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.



V. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON ASSISTANCE TO
PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

The General Assembly considered the question of assistance to the Palestinian people under agenda item 20, entitled “Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance: assistance to the Palestinian people,” on 7 December 1998. For the verbatim records of the plenary consideration of the item, see document A/53/PV.81.

The Secretary-General issued under the item a report on assistance to the Palestinian people (A/53/153-E/1998/75). The final report of the United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, held at Cairo on 27 and 28 April 1998 under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, was also circulated under this item (A/53/152-E/1998/71).

On 7 December 1998, the General Assembly adopted under the item a resolution entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian people,” without a vote. The text of the resolution is reproduced below:


53/89. Assistance to the Palestinian people

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 52/170 of 16 December 1997,

Recalling also previous resolutions on the question,

Welcoming the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993 between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, 1/ as well as the signing of the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 1995, 2/

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 recent developments in the peace process, the great economic and social challenges 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,

Noting the convening of the United Nations Seminar on Assistance to the Palestinian People, entitled "Facing the challenges of the year 2000: promoting Palestinian national development", 3/ held at Cairo on 27 and 28 April 1998,

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, D.C., 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,

Welcoming also the establishment by the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee of the Joint Liaison Committee, which provides a forum in which economic policy and practical matters related to donor assistance are discussed with the Palestinian Authority,

Welcoming further the fifth meeting of the consultative group in Paris on 14 and 15 December 1997, in particular the pledges of the international donor community and the presentation of the first Palestinian Development Plan for the years 1998-2000,

Welcoming the results of the Ministerial Conference to Support Middle East Peace and Development, held in Washington, D.C., on 30 November 1998, and expressing appreciation for the pledges of the international donor community,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General, 4/

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General; 4/

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 work done by 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 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 of Palestinian products 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. Suggests the convening in 1999 of a United Nations-sponsored seminar on the Palestinian economy;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fourth 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-fourth 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".

81st plenary meeting
7 December 1998.

__________
1/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Forty-eighth Year, Supplement for October, November and December 1993, document S/26560.
2/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex; see Official Records of the Security Council, Fifty-second Year, Supplement for April, May and June 1997, document S/1997/357.
3/ A/53/152-E/1998/71, annex.
4/ A/53/153-E/1998/75.



The General Assembly also adopted a decision on assistance to the Palestinian people, with 131 in favour to 4 against. The text is reproduced below.

Assistance to the Palestinian people

The General Assembly requests that the Secretary-General continue to use the term Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, when appropriate, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions, in relevant reports to the General Assembly, including the report under the item entitled "Assistance to the Palestinian people", bearing in mind the need to take account of future relevant General Assembly resolutions and progress in the Middle East peace process.



VI. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON THE RIGHT OF THE
PALESTINIAN PEOPLE TO SELF-DETERMINATION


On 9 December 1998, the General Assembly considered a report of the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (Third Committee) contained in document A/53/624, on agenda item 109, entitled “Right of peoples to self-determination,” and adopted the resolution reproduced below. For the verbatim record of the Assembly consideration, see A/53/PV.85.


53/136. The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

The General Assembly,

Aware that the development of friendly relations among nations, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, is among the purposes and principles of the United Nations, as defined in the Charter,

Recalling the International Covenants on Human Rights, 1/ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 2/ the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples 3/ and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993, 4/

Recalling also the Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations,5/

Expressing deep concern about the difficulties facing the Middle East peace process, and expressing the hope for rapid progress in the peace process and the achievement of a final settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides within the agreed time,

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

1. Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, without excluding the option of a State;

2. Expresses the hope that the Palestinian people will soon be exercising their right to self-determination in the current peace process;

3. Urges all States and the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in their quest for self-determination.

Adopted on 9 December 1998
by 162 votes to 2,
with 6 abstentions.
___________
1/ Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
2/ Resolution 217 A (III).
3/ Resolution 1514 (XV).
4/ A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.
5/ See resolution 50/6.



VII. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON THE RIGHT OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
OVER THEIR NATURAL RESOURCES


On 15 December 1998, upon the recommendation of the Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) (see A/53/612), the General Assembly adopted a resolution on the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, under agenda item 97, entitled “Report of the Economic and Social Council.” For the verbatim record of the plenary consideration of the meeting, see document A/53/PV.91. The resolution is reproduced below:


53/196. Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian
territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied
Syrian Golan over their natural resources

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 52/207 of 18 December 1997 and Economic and Social Council resolution 1998/32 of 29 July 1998,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and recalling relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ to the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Expressing its concern at the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of the natural resources of the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Aware of the additional, detrimental economic and social impact of the Israeli settlements on Palestinian and other Arab natural resources, especially the confiscation of land and the forced diversion of water resources,

Expressing its concern at the difficulties facing the Middle East peace process which started at Madrid on 30 October 1991 and which is based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and the principle of land for peace,

1. Takes note of the report transmitted by the Secretary-General; 2/

2. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land and water;

3. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, to cause loss or depletion of or to endanger the natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

4. Recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, loss or depletion of, or danger to, their natural resources, and expresses the hope that this issue will be dealt with in the framework of the final status negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to it at its fifty-fourth session on the implementation of the present resolution, and decides to include in the agenda of its fifty-fourth session the item entitled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources.”

Adopted on 15 December 1998
by 144 votes to 2,
with 12 abstentions.


__________
1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.
2/ A/53/163E/1998/79, annex.


VIII. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA INCREASES SUPPORT TO UNRWA


The following is the text of press release issued by UNRWA in Gaza on 14 December 1998 (see PAL/1868):

The First Lady of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton, announced that the Government of the United States has pledged an increase of 4.5 per cent in its 1999 annual contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The 1999 contribution will thus be $73 million for UNRWA's General Fund.

The announcement came in an address by Mrs. Clinton at UNRWA's Women's Programme Centre in Beach Camp in Gaza, where she recommended that other donor countries increase their contribution to UNRWA. During her visit, Mrs. Clinton sat in on a legal literacy class for Palestine refugee women and spoke to a group of women who had received loans to start up or expand micro-enterprise projects which generate income. Mrs. Clinton remarked on the difficulties faced by women in Gaza over the years and congratulated the women present on the work they had done in building their businesses, while continuing to raise their families. She spoke about the benefits of the micro-enterprise programme, how it can empower women, help to improve the education of their children and lead to a better economic future.

The United States has been the largest single donor to UNRWA's regular programmes since 1994. Mrs. Clinton praised UNRWA's work over the past decades in providing education, health and relief and social services to some 3.5 million registered Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.



IX. ABOUT $68.5 MILLION PLEDGED FOR UNRWA’S 1999 PROGRAMMES
IN SUPPORT OF PALESTINE REFUGEES


The following is an excerpt from a press release issued by UNRWA on 3 December 1999 (see GA/9524-PAL/1866):

Donor countries pledged $68.5 million in support of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) this morning, during the meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee of the General Assembly for the Announcement of Voluntary Contributions to UNRWA.

Didier Opertti (Uruguay), President of the Assembly, said the international community had to face the fact that it had not, in recent years, fully lived up to its responsibilities to the Palestinian refugees. That responsibility was to ensure the maintenance of UNRWA's humanitarian services at acceptable levels, both in quantity and quality, as defined by the needs of the refugee community. It was also to see to it that the annual resolutions adopted by the Assembly were translated into measures to ensure the continuation of the Agency on a secure financial basis.

A widening gap had emerged between the international community's recognition of its responsibility to the Palestinian refugees and its support for UNRWA's work, on the one hand, and a willingness to provide the resources with which that commitment could be met and the work could be facilitated, on the other, he continued. A way had to be found to translate the support heard in the debate on UNRWA and in the annual ad hoc meeting into a level of financial support which would enable the Agency to live up to the commitment which it symbolized, and the mandate which it was given.

The Commissioner-General of UNRWA said the expected extension by the Assembly of the Agency's mandate for another three years, until June 2002, would help to reduce the fears of the refugees that they were being abandoned by the international community. They could not, however, survive on a mandate. The Agency's working capital now stood at about $400,000, when $20 million to $25 million per month was needed to keep programmes running.

The greatest risk for them was not the untimely discontinuation of UNRWA, but the slow bleeding of the quality programmes which the Agency delivered, some of which were being phased down, if not phased out, he said. In the past five years, UNRWA's financial crisis had become chronic and structural. The deficit position translated into a reduction by one third of the Agency's expenditure compared to what was provided some 20 years ago.

The general fund cash budget for 1999 was $322 million, he went on to say. What was needed now was continuing support to enable UNRWA to stem the erosion of vital services which it continued to provide and to demonstrate that the international community had not forgotten the needs of 3.5 million Palestinians refugees whom UNRWA served.



X. EUROPEAN UNION ISSUES STATEMENT ON THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS

The following is the text of the statement issued by the European Union on 9 December 1999 (see A/53/735):

The European Union strongly supports the Wye Memorandum as a welcome step forward in the peace process, and welcomes the implementation of the first phase of the Memorandum by both sides.

The European Union believes it is essential that further implementation proceeds in good faith and in accordance with the time line established at Wye.

The European Union is therefore greatly concerned by the recent announcement by the Government of Israel that it will not proceed with further implementation unless the Palestinians give additional assurances which go beyond the Wye Memorandum.

An important achievement of the Wye Memorandum was to establish a series of measures to address both sides’ legitimate security concerns. In that context, the European Union deplores the recent violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, which can only damage confidence in both communities. The right response is for both sides to exercise restraint both in their actions and in their public statements. It is not an appropriate response to introduce new conditions for the implementation of the Wye Memorandum.

The European Union, therefore, stresses the need for the obligations in the Wye Memorandum to be fulfilled as signed.



XI. EXCERPT FROM FINAL COMMUNIQUE ADOPTED BY THE SUPREME
COUNCIL OF THE GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL

The Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council held its nineteenth meeting in Abu Dhabi from 7 to 9 December 1998 and adopted a final communiqué (document A/53/772-S/1998/1222), an excerpt of which is reproduced below:


The Middle East peace process

The Supreme Council considered developments in the Middle East peace process and welcomed the Wye River Memorandum signed on 23 October 1998 by the Palestinian and Israeli sides. This represents an important and positive step that must be followed by further steps towards carrying out all the agreements signed by the parties concerned, upholding all Arab rights and laying the foundations for security, stability and a comprehensive and lasting peace in the best interests of all the peoples of the region. It also expressed its appreciation of the significant efforts made by the President of the United States, Mr. William Clinton, to ensure that the Palestinian and Israeli sides had concluded that agreement. In this context, the Supreme Council demands that the Israeli Government should, without procrastination, honour its obligation to implement the Memorandum in a faithful and scrupulous fashion.

The Supreme Council reaffirmed that the peace which is sought can only be achieved through the restoration of legitimate Arab rights and commitment to the resolutions of international legitimacy, the central themes of the Madrid Peace Conference and the principle of land for peace, pursuant to Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 425 (1978) and 426 (1978). It also reiterated its affirmation that peace will only be just, lasting and comprehensive when the Palestinian people obtains its legitimate national rights, foremost of which is the establishment of an independent State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital; that Israel must completely withdraw from all occupied Arab territory, including the Syrian Arab Golan, to the boundary line that existed on 4 June 1967, and from southern Lebanon and the western Bekaa, pursuant to Security Council resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978), without imposing conditions or restrictions, and that the United Nations should remain seized of the matter.

The Supreme Council expressed its absolute rejection and condemnation of the settlement policy pursued by Israel in the occupied Arab territories and of the Israeli Government's decision to expand the geographical boundaries of the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and change its demographic composition, considering that decision to be a violation of the provisions of international law and the resolutions of international legitimacy. It reaffirmed its commitment to the resolutions of international legitimacy which stipulate that situations resulting from Israeli settlement activity in the occupied Arab territories should not be recognized or accepted, and demanded that such activities should cease and that Israel should refrain from any action that could have a negative impact on the final status negotiations with the Palestinian side.

While it appreciates the efforts made by the United States Administration, the Russian Federation, the European Union and its member States to help put the peace process back on track, the Supreme Council urges those States to continue to expand their effective role and bring pressure to bear on Israel to honour its undertakings and carry out its commitments, and to insist on the need for negotiations to be resumed on the Syrian track from the point at which they broke off, as well as on the Lebanese track, in order to achieve peace, security and stability for the region and its peoples.


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