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        General Assembly
23 December 2013

Sixty-eighth session
Official Records

Official Records
General Assembly
Sixty-eighth session
72nd plenary meeting
Monday, 23 December 2013, 3 p.m.
New York

President: Mr. Ashe ...........................................................(Antigua and Barbuda)

The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.


Agenda item 138 (continued)

Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations

The President: The Assembly has before it a draft decision recommended by the Fifth Committee in paragraph 7 of its report. For the time being, the text of the draft decision is contained in document A/C.5/68/L.10.

We will now take action on the draft decision. The Fifth Committee adopted it without a vote. May I take it that the Assembly wishes to do the same?

The draft decision was adopted (decision 68/548).

The President: I now give the floor to the representative of Israel, who wishes to speak in explanation of position following the adoption of the decision.

Mr. Goren (Israel): Israel regrets and objects to the use of the misleading terminology “State of Palestine” in decision 68/548, adopted under agenda item 138, entitled “Scale of assessments for the apportionment of the expenses of the United Nations”. It is counterproductive to use that term when no such State exists and when such a State can be established only through direct negotiations, as has been affirmed repeatedly by the international community and agreed between the parties.

There is only one route to Palestinian statehood. That route does not run through this Hall in New York, but only through direct negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah. In that regard, Israel reiterates the position expressed at the General Assembly by Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations on 29 November 2012 (see A/67/PV.44), and on 23 January 2013 in the Security Council (see S/PV.6906), and is compelled to disassociate itself from this decision. I ask that this disassociation be noted in the official records of this meeting.

The President: The Assembly has thus concluded this stage of its consideration of agenda item 138.


Statement by the President


The sixty-eighth session has also had some other noteworthy firsts. For the first time, Palestine was accorded the privileges of a State in the general debate and cast its first vote in the General Assembly.


I now give the floor to the observer of the Observer State of Palestine.

Mr. AlHantouli (Palestine) (spoke in Arabic): At the outset, and briefly, I would like to convey my delegation’s appreciation for your work, Mr. President, in presiding over the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session.

A short while ago, the Assembly adopted some very important resolutions and decisions that required considerable effort on everyone’s part. Here, on behalf of the State of Palestine, I would like to express our deep appreciation and thanks to His Excellency Ambassador Janne Taalas for his wise and skilful leadership of the Fifth Committee, and for his valuable efforts in presenting the draft decision on the contributions of the State of Palestine to the regular budget of the United Nations. By the same token, I would like to express our thanks and appreciation to Member States for their support for that decision and for its adoption by consensus. We would also like to thank the Group of 77 and China and its Chair, and the Group of Arab States, for their support and efforts.

We hope that the State of Palestine’s contributions to the regular budget of the United Nations will constitute a decisive and positive step towards our acquisition of full-fledged membership in the Organization. We hope that, with the support of the whole of the Assembly, this goal will be achieved soon.

In conclusion, I hope that 2014 will be a happy and peaceful year for everyone, particularly my people, the people of Palestine, who are doing their best to make this the year that the Israeli occupation ends, freeing our people and our land and achieving the independence of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.


The meeting rose at 5 p.m.

This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room U-506. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.

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