Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

Répercussions économiques et sociales de l'occupation israélienne - réunion et vote de l'ECOSOC - Communiqué de presse (extraits) (25 juillet 2008) Français
Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source:
25 July 2008

Economic and Social Council
ECOSOC/6370

        Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Economic and Social Council
2008 Substantive Session
44th & 45th Meetings (AM & PM) /...

By a roll-call vote of 49 in favour to 2 against (Canada, United States) with 2 abstentions (Cameroon, Japan), the Council adopted a resolution on economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan.  By the text, it expressed hope that the resumed peace process will speedily advance to pave the way for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State and the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement.

/...

Action on drafts

/...

The Council then took up the draft resolution entitled economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan contained in document E/2008/L.26.

The Chairman noted that Indonesia, Malaysia and South Africa had joined in co-sponsoring the draft.

The representative of Algeria read a number of amendments to the text, which he said had been made to achieve the broadest possible consensus.  He also said a roll-call vote had been requested.

Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of the United States said his delegation would vote “no” on the resolution because, as drafted, it was unbalanced, expressing concern for one side of a conflict only.  Criticizing Israel, it ignored the purposeful targeting of Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists.

Noting that the United States deeply regretted the deaths of civilians on both sides, he emphasized that his Government was the largest bilateral donor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), with its aid totalling $154 million last year.  It also contributed significant amounts to other organizations, such as International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs that also provided assistance.

While gratified that the current resolution had been amended to promote good governance, his delegation would still vote no on it because it remained unbalanced.  The United States remained committed, however, to working with both sides and the Quartet for the establishment of an independent Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel, he said.

Holding a roll-call vote, the Council then adopted the draft resolution 49 in favour to 2 against (Canada, United States) with 2 abstentions (Cameroon, Japan).

By that text, it expressed its hope that the resumed peace process will speedily pave the way for the establishment of the independent Palestinian State and the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement.  It further called for the lifting of the severe restrictions imposed on the Palestinian people, especially in the Gaza Strip and stressed the need to preserve the national unity and the territorial integrity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

It demanded that Israel comply with the Protocol on Economic Relations between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization signed in Paris on 29 April 1994, calling upon that country to restore and replace civilian properties, vital infrastructure, agricultural lands and governmental institutions that have been damaged or destroyed as a result of its military operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Council also called upon Israel to cease its destruction of homes and properties, economic institutions and agricultural lands and orchards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan. It further called for a halt to the cease if dumping of all kinds of waste in those areas and implementation of critical environmental projects, including the sewage treatment plant in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking in explanation vote after the vote, the representative of Canada said that her delegation noted the positive amendments that had been made to the text, but regretted that it remained one-sided in its criticism of Israel.  Concerned with the situation of the Palestinian people, Canada was working with the Palestinian Authority and other donors and organizations to meet the needs of the Palestinian people.

The representative of Japan expressed appreciation for those delegations who had worked hard on the resolution, but her delegation believed the issue was not suitable for debate in the Council.  It was also regrettable that such a resolution was put to action in contravention of the “24-hour” rule.  That did not contribute to the goals of the Council, nor the long-standing issues the resolution was designed to address.

The representative of Israel said that the Council resolutions were intended to be non-political and deal with economic and social development.  Thus, the resolution, as well as the item under which it was brought, did not belong on the Council’s agenda.  If the conflict was to be considered by the Council, a number of others should be as well.

Noting new elements included in the draft resolution this year -- particularly on the “firing of rockets”, which was done by Palestine and posed dangers to Israeli citizens -- he said the resolution nevertheless remained unbalanced.  Stressing that the situation posed an obstacle to achieving peace, he emphasized that Israel was committed to the peace process.  By seeking to assign blame, the resolution did not support the peace process and those delegations who supported peace should not have voted in favour of it.

The representative of Syria thanked those delegations who had voted in favour of the draft resolution, but emphasized that the new language in preambular paragraph 17 had been speedily presented and his delegation had not been consulted.  That paragraph had put the occupier and the victims on the same par.  But, they were not equal.  Israel exercised State terrorism and perpetrated crimes against the Palestinian people; Israel violated international humanitarian law and the Fourth Geneva Convention, and not vice versa.  Stressing that the Palestinian people had the right to use all means to resist Israel’s occupation, he said his delegation did not support the language in preambular paragraph 17.

The representative of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine thanked all those delegations who had voted in favour of the resolution, saying that the Palestinian people lived and suffered under the occupation of their territory and the resolution highlighted all the obstacles and hardships facing them.  She expressed the hope that the Israeli State would heed the call of the international community and uphold its obligations under various United Nations resolutions and seek peace.

Responding to the comment made by Israel on the politicization of this resolution, she said that her delegation would continue to ask the Organization as a protector of human rights to address the issue as many times and in as many forums as possible.  Finally, she underlined the fact, which she said had been acknowledged within the United Nations, that rockets had recently been fired from illegal settlements onto Palestinian civilians.

The Council then took note of the Note by the Secretary-General on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan (document A/63/74 – E/2008/13).

/...

* *** *

For information media • not an official record

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter