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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


ECOSOC/5931
28 July 2000


Economic and Social Council
2000 Substantive Session
45th Meeting (PM)
and Round-up of Session

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL, WINDING UP 2000 SUBSTANTIVE SESSION, DECIDES

TO ESTABLISH INFORMATION, COMMUNICATION, TECHNOLOGY TASK FORCE


Adopts 70 Texts, Nine By Recorded Vote

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By a recorded vote of 41 in favour to one against (United States) and one abstaining (Croatia), the Council adopted a resolution on the effects of Israeli occupation on the Palestinian people. (See Annex VIII.) It also adopted a resolution on assistance to Palestinian women, by a recorded vote of 42 in favour to one against (United States) and two abstentions (Canada and Norway). (See Annex VI.) A resolution on implementing the Declaration on granting independence to colonial countries and people was adopted by a recorded vote of 27 in favour to none against with 18 abstentions. (See Annex VII.)

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The other decisions adopted by recorded vote, based on the Commission’s report, concerned human rights situations. One on the situation of human rights in Southern Lebanon and western Bekaa was adopted by a vote of 43 in favour to one against (United States) with no abstentions. (See Annex II.). Another on the human rights situation in Iraq was adopted by a vote of 26 in favour to none against, with 17 abstentions. A resolution on the situation in the Republic of Chechnya was adopted by a vote of 21 in favour to six against (Belarus, China, Cuba, India, Russian Federation and Viet Nam). (See Annex V.).

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In addition, the Council was expected to take action on draft resolutions, decisions and recommendations on: social and human rights questions; integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to major United Nations conferences and summits; the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples; Economic and social repercussions of the Israel occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory; non-governmental organizations (NGOs); economic and environmental questions; and adoption of the agenda and other organizational matters.

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International cooperation in the field of informatics

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By terms of a text entitled “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in occupied Palestinian territory -- including Jerusalem -- and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan”, (document E/2000/L.16), the Council would call on Israel, the occupying Power, to cease its measures against the Palestinian people, in particular the closure of the occupied Palestinian territory, the enforced isolation of Palestinian towns, the destruction of homes and the isolation of Jerusalem. Also, the Council would urge Member States to encourage private foreign investment in the occupied Palestinian territory in infrastructure, job-creation, projects and social development in order to alleviate the hardship of the Palestinian people and improve living conditions.

Among the text's other provisions, the Council would reaffirm the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan to all their natural and economic resources, and call upon Israel not to exploit, endanger or cause loss or depletion of these resources.

The text is co-sponsored by Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cuba, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and the observer for Palestine.

Also before the Council is a draft entitled “The implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and institutions associated with the United Nations”, (document E/2000/L.17), whereby the Council would request the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations and regional organizations to strengthen existing measures of support for the Non-Self-Governing Territories, in order to accelerate progress in the economic and social sectors of those Territories.

It would reaffirm that the recognition by the General Assembly, Security Council and other United Nations organs of the legitimacy of the aspirations of the peoples of the Territories entailed, as a corollary, the extension of all appropriate assistance to those peoples. Among the text's other provisions, the Council would encourage the Territories to take steps to establish and/or strengthen disaster preparedness and management institutions and policies.

The text was co-sponsored by Antigua and Barbuda, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Mali, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Syria.

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The Council adopted draft decision 8, entitled "The human rights situation in southern Lebanon and western Bekaa", in a recorded vote of 43 in favour to
1 against (United States), with no abstentions.

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The Council took up consideration of draft resolution II, entitled "Palestinian women", contained in the report of the Commission on the Status of Women.

The United States requested a recorded vote.

The Council adopted the resolution with a recorded vote of 42 in favour, 1 against (United States) and 2 abstentions (Canada, Norway).

In explanation of his vote after the vote, the representative of Syria said his country supported the Palestinian people in its struggle against colonization and supported the rights of Palestinian women. The overwhelming majority of the vote in the Council had expressed the same support. He hoped the resolution would offer a basis for peace in the region.

The representative of Canada said he continued to be concerned by the situation of Palestinian women, but had abstained because at this, the present delicate juncture in the peace process, everything should be done to encourage the parties to reach peace.

The representative of Norway said that her country’s concern for the difficult situation of Palestinian women and their families had been the underlying basis for the considerable efforts made in providing assistance to the Palestinian people. Norway had abstained, however, because the Commission on the Status of Women was not the right forum for addressing problems pertaining to the Middle East peace process.

The Council then adopted the draft resolution entitled “Revitalization and strengthening of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW)” (document E/2000/L.23), which Austria and Italy had joined as co-sponsors, without a vote.

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The draft on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people (document E/2000/L.16) was then taken up. In addition to the sponsors listed in the draft, Indonesia, Qatar and Libya had become co-sponsors.

A recorded vote was requested. The draft was adopted by a vote of 41 in favour and one against (United States) with one abstention (Croatia).

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ANNEX II


Vote on human rights in Southern Lebanon

The decision on the human rights situation in southern Lebanon and western Bekaa (draft decision 8 in document E/2000/23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 43 in favour to one against, with no abstentions, as follows:

Against: United States.

Abstain: None.

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ANNEX VI


Vote on assistance to Palestinian women

The draft resolution on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian women, reaffirming that the Israeli occupation remains a major obstacle to the advancement of Palestinian women (draft resolution II in document E/2000/27) was adopted by a recorded vote of 42 in favour to 1 against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:


ANNEX VIII


Vote on effects of Israeli occupation on Palestinian people

The draft resolution on the 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 (draft resolution document E/2000/L.16) by a recorded vote of 41 in favour to one against, with one abstention, as follows:

Against: United States.

Abstain: Croatia.


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For information media - not an official record