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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.5/55/SR.65
22 May 2001

Original: English

Fifth Committee

Summary record of the 65th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Tuesday, 22 May 2001, at 10 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. Rosenthal .............................................................(Guatemala)
Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions: Mr. Mselle



Contents

Agenda item 167: Financing of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Agenda item 138: Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East (continued)

(b) United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.

/...


Agenda item 138: Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East (continued)


(b) United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (continued) (A/C.5/55/L.77)


Draft resolution A/C.5/55/L.77

5. Mr. Mirmohammad (Islamic Republic of Iran), introducing draft resolution A/C.5/55/L.77 on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said that in the fourth line of paragraph 22 the words “the scheme set out in” should be replaced by “paragraph 20 of” and that the same change should be made in the fifth line of paragraph 24.

6. Mr. Wittmann (United States of America) said that his delegation objected to the language of the fourth preambular paragraph and of paragraphs 2, 3 and 15, which was political in nature and did not belong in a draft resolution on the financing of a United Nations peacekeeping operation.

7. Mr. Assaf (Lebanon) said that the paragraphs in question addressed financial, not political issues. The General Assembly resolutions referred to therein simply stated that Israel should cover the costs resulting from the aggression against the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) at Qana.

8. Mr. Lenefors (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that his delegation shared the concerns just expressed by the representative of the United States.

9. Mr. Adam (Israel) said that there was no precedent for deciding that one Member State should bear sole financial responsibility for damage sustained by United Nations forces in the context of a peacekeeping operation. When the Organization deployed peacekeepers in conflict areas, it did so in full knowledge of the inherent dangers. Any damage sustained should therefore be absorbed by the general peacekeeping budget, in accordance with the principle of collective responsibility.

10. Mr. Assaf (Lebanon) said that there was also no precedent for a State attacking the headquarters of a United Nations peacekeeping force. In order to ensure that no State would dare to commit such an act in future, Israel should be made to cover the costs of the damage inflicted.

11. Mr. Nakkari (Syrian Arab Republic) said that his delegation endorsed the statements made by the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and by the representative of Lebanon. Israel must cover the costs resulting from its deliberate act of aggression against the headquarters of UNIFIL at Qana, in accordance with its obligations to the United Nations and the international community.

12. Mr. Ahmed (Iraq) said that his delegation fully supported the statements made by the representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic and Lebanon.

13. Mr. Adam (Israel) said that he was not convinced that even the representative of the Syrian Arab Republic believed that Israel had deliberately targeted the headquarters of UNIFIL. The Qana incident had occurred because Hezbollah had deliberately used a United Nations camp as a base from which to launch rockets at Israel. No country could stand idly by as rockets fell on its towns and cities.

14. Mr. Nakkari (Syrian Arab Republic) said that he agreed that any country attacked by another country must respond. In the Qana incident, however, it was Lebanon that had been the victim of the aggression. It was not a matter of believing that Israel had deliberately targeted the headquarters. That fact had been established beyond doubt, and it was on that basis that Israel had been asked to indemnify the United Nations for the damage sustained.

15. Mr. Assaf (Lebanon) said that it had been proved that no rockets had been launched from the area in Qana targeted by Israel.

16. The Chairman said that the Committee would take a decision on the draft resolution at a later date.

The meeting rose at 10.40 a.m.



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