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        Economic and Social Council
30 June 2010

Original: English

Substantive session of 2009
General segment
Later: Coordination segment

Provisional summary record of the 45th meeting
Held at Palais des Nations, Geneva, on Friday, 31 July 2009, at 10 a.m.

President: Mr. Ali (Vice-President) .......................................................................... (Malaysia)

The President proposed that the Council take note of the report of the Secretary-General on assistance to the Palestinian people, contained in document A/64/78-E/2009/66.
It was so decided.


Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan (continued) (E/2009/13, E/2009/L.42)

Draft resolution E/2009/L.42: Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan

Mr. Hamza (Sudan), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, introduced draft resolution E/2009/L.42.

The President asked if any delegation wished to comment on the draft resolution, which had no programme budget implications.

Mr. Sammis (United States of America) expressed his concern at the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territory and at the loss of lives, both Palestinian and Israeli. The draft resolution now before the Council contained some extreme language which his delegation was unable to accept. He would therefore vote against it, and urged other members to do likewise. President Obama had restarted the peace process in the Middle East, with the goal of achieving a two-State solution through which Israel and Palestine could live peacefully side by side. Resolutions such as the present one contributed nothing to the collective effort to take the peace process forward.

Mr. Herrström (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said the intention of those negotiating the text of the draft resolution had been to achieve consensus. That goal had been shared by the delegation of Palestine, and he expressed appreciation of the highly constructive atmosphere of the negotiations. Unfortunately, the reinsertion at the last minute of a number of paragraphs unacceptable to the European Union had made it impossible for its members to support the text before the Council.

Mr. Morrill (Canada) said that his country strongly supported the Palestinian people, and had expended 300 million dollars over the past five years to assist development in the territory. It would continue to work with other donors to improve the living conditions of the Palestinians. However, the present draft resolution was one-sided and ignored the efforts of the Palestinian authorities to secure the well-being of the people.

Mr. Fautua (New Zealand) expressed concern at the increasing humanitarian problems among the Palestinian population, and especially among children. His country was supporting the work of United Nations agencies in meeting their needs. The text of the draft resolution went beyond the question of the living conditions of the Palestinian people. For that reason, his delegation intended to abstain in the vote.

A vote was taken by roll-call on draft resolution E/2009/L.42.

Poland, having been drawn by lot by the President, was called upon to vote first.

In favour:

Against: Abstaining:
Draft resolution E/2009/L.42 was adopted by 25 votes to 5, with 17 abstentions.

The President asked whether any delegation wished to make a general statement.


Mr. Iwasaki (Japan) said that the situation in the Middle East was fraught with difficulty. The entire international community had long sought stability in the region. He expressed great respect for all those endeavouring to achieve peace. Japan was also committed to confidence-building in the region, through dialogue and assistance to help improve livelihoods in the Palestinian territories. However, the draft resolution was political and unbalanced in nature, and was not suitable for debate in the Council. It was also regrettable that such a complicated resolution should have been put to the vote without sufficient consultation with the full membership of the Council. His delegation had therefore abstained in the voting.

Ms. Atout (Observer for Palestine) said she hoped that in future any similar resolution could be adopted by consensus. There had been a good spirit of cooperation during the negotiations on the resolution, and it was only on certain points that agreement had proved to be unattainable. In spite of the efforts of United Nations agencies to alleviate conditions for the Palestinian people, their aspiration to meaningful statehood, in the sense intended by the Charter of the United Nations, was close to being denied. She hoped that Israel, as the occupying Power, would comply with its obligations under international law and international humanitarian law, as well as the decisions of the United Nations, so that the aspiration of the Palestinian people for “better standards of life in larger freedom” could be achieved.

Mr. Khabbaz-Hamoui (Observer for Syrian Arab Republic) expressed his disappointment that the resolution did not mention the loss of life and damage to infrastructure caused by the occupation. Israel had used banned weapons of war, including white phosphorus. The resolution was moreover silent on the request to lift the blockade which affected a million people living in Gaza and the West Bank, where the occupation forces were preventing the ordinary movements of people. Nor did it mention the piracy practised by Israel in seizing on the high seas vessels bringing humanitarian aid and medicine intended for the people of Gaza. It did not mention, either, the obstacles placed by the occupation forces to Syrian farmers in the Golan, who were unable to export their harvests. Israel was seeking to starve them out of the Golan in order to make way for its settlers. His delegation had however sponsored the resolution for the sake of solidarity with the Group of 77 and China.

Mr. Adam (Observer for Israel) expressed his appreciation of the efforts made by the delegation of Sweden to achieve a consensus on the resolution, and of the goodwill shown by the delegation of Palestine. The resolution was entirely political, not economic, in nature. It was to be hoped that peace in the region could soon be achieved, and that people on the ground would decide on the future of the two-State solution.

The President said he took it that the Council wished to take note of the note by the Secretary-General on economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan (A/64/77-E/2009/13).

It was so decided.


The meeting rose at 12.52 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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