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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


Fifty-ninth General Assembly
Plenary
75th Meeting (AM)
GA/10322
22 December 2004

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS 40 RESOLUTIONS, Five DECISIONS
 
ON WIDERANGE OF ECONOMIC, FINANCIAL ISSUES
 
Importance of Open, Transparent, Inclusive Trading System Emphasized;
Poverty, Corruption, Disaster Relief, Sustainable Development also Addressed


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Background

The General Assembly met this morning to consider the reports of its Second Committee (Economic and Financial).

Reports of the Second Committee

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Implementation of the Outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and the Strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (United Nations-HABITAT)

The Committee’s report on “Implementation of the Outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and the Strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (United Nations-HABITAT)” (document A/59/484) contains a draft resolution on implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), which was approved by the Committee without a vote on 24 November.  By its terms, the Assembly would call for increased financial support to UN-Habitat, particularly non-earmarked contributions, to the UN-Habitat Foundation and its upgrading facility, and would invite governments to provide multi-year funding to support programme implementation.  It would also call upon the international donor community and financial institutions to contribute generously to the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund and the Special Human Settlements Programme for the Palestinian people.

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Permanent Sovereignty of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab Population in the Occupied Syrian Golan over their Natural Resources

The Committee’s report on “Permanent Sovereignty of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab Population in the Occupied Syrian Golan over their Natural Resources” (document A/59/489) contains a draft resolution on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab Population in the Occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources.  The text was approved by the Committee on 24 November in a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 4 against (Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, the United States), with 8 abstentions (Albania, Australia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Tuvalu, Vanuatu).

By the terms of that draft, the Assembly would call on Israel not to exploit, damage, cause loss, deplete or endanger natural resources in those territories.  It would also reaffirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land and water.  Further, it would recognize the Palestinian right to claim restitution due to exploitation, damage, loss, depletion, or endangerment of their natural resources, and express hope that the issue would be dealt with in the final status negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

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Action on Second Committee Reports

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Next, the Assembly took up the Committee’s report on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian People in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab Population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (document A/59/489).  In a recorded vote of 156 in favour, to five against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, the United States), with eleven abstentions, it adopted the draft.  (See annex IV.)

After the vote, the representative of Israel said his delegation was dismayed that extensive debate in the Committee had once again devolved into a forum for acrimony and accusation, with the presentation of a text that was one-sided, misleading and unproductive.  That had been especially disappointing this year, when there appeared to be a window of opportunity for real pursuit of peace in the region.

He stressed that such efforts could be ensured only through concerted action on the ground, not by acrimony in the Assembly.  The issue that had formed the basis of the text was only tenuously connected to the work of the Second Committee, and was an attempt to shift focus away from its priorities and the overall reform efforts of the Assembly.  The draft also added nothing to peace negotiations.  For those reasons Israel had voted against the text.

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ANNEX IV

Vote on Palestinian Sovereignty

The draft resolution on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people over their natural resources (document A/59/489) was adopted by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 5 against, with 11 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States.

Abstain:  Albania, Australia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nauru, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

Absent:  Bhutan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Tajikistan.

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