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        Economic and Social Council
14 October 2002

Original: English

Substantive session for 2002

Coordination, operational activities and humanitarian affairs segments

Provisional summary record of the 23rd meeting

Held at Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 15 July 2002, at 10 a.m.

President: Mr. Šimonovic (Croatia)

later: Mr. Buallay (Vice-President) (Bahrain)


Strengthening further the Economic and Social Council, building on its recent achievements, to help it fulfil the role ascribed to it in the Charter of the United Nations as contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration (continued)

Special economic, humanitarian and disaster relief assistance

The meeting was called to order at 10.25 a.m.


Special economic, humanitarian and disaster relief assistance (A/57/77-E/2002/63)


57. Mr. Gamaleldin (Egypt) ...


59. In considering humanitarian assistance, the Council must not overlook conflicts arising from foreign occupation. In that connection, he appealed to the international community to address the humanitarian catastrophe being faced by the Palestinian people, both to afford protection to that people and to save the peace process in the Middle East. Israel’s actions in the Palestinian territories had led to a humanitarian disaster there, bringing about the complete collapse of territories’ political, economic, humanitarian and environmental infrastructure. An enormous number of civilians had been killed, buildings had been demolished, the population displaced and property destroyed. The delivery of international assistance had also been thwarted. The Palestinian people merely sought to enjoy its natural right to independence and freedom and the implementation of the resolutions of the Security Council, the principles agreed at the Madrid Conference and the principle of land for peace. The establishment of a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on the equal right to security and on respect for international resolutions was the only way to end the bloodshed on both sides and to ensure a better future for the Palestinian and Israeli people. He paid a tribute to the work being done by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and urged donor countries to increase their support to the efforts of UNRWA and other organizations that were working to assist the Palestinian people. He further appealed to donors to oppose efforts to prevent assistance from reaching those for whom it was intended, including the Syrian population in the occupied Golan.

60. OCHA should coordinate with UNRWA in monitoring the humanitarian situation of civilians under foreign occupation, and he hoped that the Secretary-General’s report to the Council the following year would include an analysis of the efforts made by the Organization to that end, the situation in the occupied territories and the difficulties encountered in the provision of international humanitarian assistance, together with proposals on ways of resolving those difficulties, so that the General Assembly could adopt appropriate resolutions on the matter.


The meeting rose at 1.15 p.m.

Corrections to this record should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza.

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