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        Economic and Social Council
23 July 2001

Original: English

Resumed organizational session for 2001

Provisional summary record of the 8th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Thursday, 3 May 2001, at 3 p.m.

President: Mr. Belinga-Eboutou ................................... (Cameroon)


Elections, nominations and confirmations (continued)

Adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters

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


Report of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations on its resumed 2000 session (E/2001/8)

73. Mr. Šimonoviæ (Croatia) said that a consensus had been reached during informal consultations on adopting the report, although diverging views had been expressed regarding the application for consultative status from the non-governmental organization, Hadassah.

Draft decisions I and II

74. Ms. Garghouti (Observer for Palestine), speaking on behalf of the League of Arab States and supported by Mr. Mekdad (Syrian Arab Republic), said that the members of the League wished to express reservations regarding the granting of consultative status to the Hadassah organization. There had been a serious breach of the working methods of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations, which would set an unfortunate precedent. The decision had been taken as a result of considerable pressure which had been brought to bear, and the members of the Committee had not been given sufficient time to verify that Hadassah satisfied the requirements for consultative status.

75. Hadassah took policy positions that were contrary to a number of United Nations resolutions relating to the situation in Palestine and the Middle East, and its goals and activities were inconsistent with those resolutions. It defended Israeli positions and practices in the occupied Arab territories and opposed the Middle East peace process, particularly regarding the question of Jerusalem, which was the focal point of the peace process, and had attacked Member States that were parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention. She wondered how such actions demonstrated the “humanitarian” nature of Hadassah. The organization also considered the holy city of Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, flouting international resolutions and the rights of the Palestinian people.

76. The members of the League of Arab States therefore opposed the granting of consultative status to Hadassah. They would continue to monitor its activities and would inform Member States accordingly.

77. Mr. Rahmtalla (Sudan) said that the usual procedure of the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations had not been followed with regard to the consideration of the application submitted by Hadassah. He failed to understand why the Committee had proceeded to a vote before it had had time to consider Hadassah’s responses to questions posed by certain delegations. He asked the President to advise the Committee on the need to observe the rules of procedure.

78. Draft decision I was adopted.

79. Mr. Williams (United States of America) said he welcomed the decision to grant consultative status to Hadassah and that he was sure the organization would make a positive contribution to the work of the Council, in view of its humanitarian work. While he did not agree with all elements of the report, such as the decision to deny consultative status to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, he nevertheless supported its adoption.

80. Draft decision II was adopted.

81. Mr. Buallay (Bahrain) expressed reservations concerning the granting of consultative status to Hadassah. As a Zionist organization, committed to the idea of racial supremacy and supportive of terrorist activities, its position was clearly inconsistent with the provisions of United Nations resolutions relating to the Middle East peace process. It defended an extremist position on the question of Jerusalem, which constituted a fundamental element of that process. It had suggested that Arab States possessed weapons of mass destruction, whereas only Israel had refused to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, despite owning such weapons itself.

82. Mr. Adam (Observer for Israel) said that the statements just made by some delegations were most regrettable and reminded him and many others of the darkest days of the United Nations. Furthermore, he did not see the relevance of the situation in the Middle East, and of armaments that Israel might or might not possess, to Hadassah. The latter was a Jewish humanitarian organization based in the United States of America, and it helped many Arabs and Palestinians both in the Middle East and elsewhere. His delegation thanked the Council for having granted consultative status to Hadassah.

83. Mr. Kazemi Kamyab (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that his delegation also wished to place on record its reservations regarding the granting of consultative status to Hada ssah.


The meeting rose at 6.35 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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