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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP)
12 January 2005



September-December 2003

Volume XXVI, Bulletin No. 2

Bulletin
on action by the United Nations system and
intergovernmental organizations
relevant to the question of Palestine





The bulletin can be found in the United Nations Information System
On the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) on the Internet at:
http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.nsf



I. UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN SUPPORT OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

The Conference was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, on 4 and 5 September 2003, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolutions 57/107 and 57/108 of 3 December 2002. The theme of the Conference was “End the Occupation!” At the close of the Conference, participating NGOs adopted a Plan of Action and also addressed a letter to the Secretary-General and to the Presidents of the General Assembly and the Security Council.


Non-governmental Organizations /Civil Society Plan of Action

We come together today, non-governmental and civil society organizations, to broaden and reaffirm our commitment to ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory, and to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. We stand for international law, human rights, United Nations resolutions and United Nations centrality in ending the occupation, as well as the obligations of the international community to provide protection for Palestinians living under occupation, as called for by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The crisis caused by occupation and settlement, by militarization and escalating repression, is more desperate than ever before. That crisis is symbolized by the construction of The Wall, as it confiscates Palestinian land, water and resources, cuts off and separates Palestinian towns and cities, and isolates Palestinians themselves.

We are resolved to work with Governments, parliaments, multinational organizations, and especially the United Nations itself, to mobilize against The Wall and its inherent violations of international law.

To that end, we commit ourselves to the following actions:


BRING DOWN THE WALL CAMPAIGN
UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTIONS

We will work to pressure our own Governments to raise in the United Nations Security Council and the General Assembly resolutions condemning The Wall as part of Israel’s pattern of illegal settlement activity, and as a specific violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. We will aim specifically for resolutions to be tabled in conjunction with the annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People declared by the United Nations on November 29th of each year.


RESOURCES ON THE WALL

We will combine our resources, including resources from Palestine and Israel, within our own countries and internationally to educate the public and thereby increase pressure on Governments to condemn the illegality of The Wall and to demand its immediate destruction. To that end, we will produce shared literature exposing the illegality of The Wall, to be translated and produced in countries around the world, highlighting the global nature of our opposition.


WEEK OF ACTION AGAINST THE WALL

We will mobilize in our own countries and internationally to build support for an International Week of Action against The Wall from November 9 to 16, 2003. This mobilization will strengthen our joint campaign and build the Palestine component of the broader global peace movement. Working with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, we will provide maps, speakers, and other resources to help build these events.

Letter addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations


We, non-governmental and civil society organizations gathered in this international forum, commit to joining our efforts and resources to uphold international law, end the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and provide international protection for the Palestinian people.

We will work with our Governments and parliaments to ensure that the United Nations Security Council and/or the General Assembly authorize an international protection force as a first step to ending the occupation and implementing outstanding United Nations resolutions regarding a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Such a force, with a well-defined mandate and within a clear timeline for an end to occupation, will spare Palestinian civilians further death and destruction at the hands of the occupying Israeli military forces and the illegal acts of successive Israeli Governments in the occupied Palestinian territory. It will also protect Israeli civilians from acts of violence which are a consequence of the brutal 36-year-old occupation. At the same time, we will continue to support and participate in the important work of the international citizens movement to provide protection for and solidarity with Palestinians living under occupation.

We recognize that Israel’s occupation, and particularly its settlement process, has escalated significantly with the creation of the Wall in Palestinian territory, effectively confiscating thousands of acres of Palestinian land and separating Palestinians from their farms and orchards. We condemn the construction of the Wall, and its violation of international law. We are committed to work with our Governments and parliaments to mobilize against the Wall. We urge each of you to use all the resources available to you, including the power of your voices on the international stage, to demand that Israel dismantle the illegal Wall. We attach for your attention our Plan of Action for this year, which focuses on mobilizing international opposition to the Wall.


II. SECRETARY-GENERAL HOPES PALESTINIAN PRIME MINISTER’S RESIGNATION WILL NOT DERAIL PEACE EFFORTS

The following statement was issued on 8 September 2003 by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General very much hopes that the resignation of Palestinian Prime Minister Abu Mazen will not derail efforts, embodied in the Quartet Road Map, to forge peace between Israelis and Palestinians. He believes it is important that the democratically elected Palestinian institutions reach consensus on the appointment of a credible and fully empowered Prime Minister, with all the necessary authority and means to implement Palestinian obligations under the Road Map.

III. SECRETARY-GENERAL URGES ISRAEL TO RECONSIDER
DECISION TO EXPEL PA PRESIDENT

The following statement was issued on 12 September 2004 by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General strongly urges the Israeli Government to reconsider the Security Cabinet’s decision in principle to expel President Yasser Arafat. The forcible transfer of President Arafat is dangerous and counterproductive in a situation of tension and instability in the region.

The Secretary-General notes that the trend of developments on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in recent weeks has been increasingly grim. He urges both sides to live up to their responsibilities under the Quartet’s Road Map and to exercise the utmost restraint and statesmanship.


IV. TENTH EMERGENCY SPECIAL SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESUMES, ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON THE SAFETY OF PA PRESIDENT

At the request of the Group of Arab States (see A/ES-10/237) and the Non-Aligned Movement (see A/ES-10/238) the General Assembly, on 19 September 2003, resumed its tenth emergency special session. The Assembly considered agenda item 5, entitled “Illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory”. On the same day, by a vote of 133 to 4, with 15 abstentions, the General Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/12. For the verbatim record of the meeting, see A/ES-10/PV.20.

ES-10/12. Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory

The General Assembly,

Recalling the previous resolutions adopted at its tenth emergency special session,

Recalling also Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, 1402 (2002) of 30 March 2002, 1403 (2002) of 4 April 2002, 1405 (2002) of 19 April 2002 and 1435 (2002) of 24 September 2002,

Reiterating its grave concern at the tragic and violent events that have taken place since September 2000 which have caused enormous suffering and many innocent victims throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in Israel,

Condemning the suicide bombings and their recent intensification, and recalling in that regard that in the framework of the road map, 1/ the Palestinian Authority has to take all necessary measures to end violence and terror,

Deploring the extrajudicial killings and their recent escalation, and underlining that they are a violation of international law and international humanitarian law and compromise the efforts to relaunch the peace process and must be stopped,

Reaffirming the illegality of the deportation of any Palestinian by Israel, the occupying Power, and affirming its opposition to any such deportation,

Reiterating the need for respect, in all circumstances, of international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949; 2/

1. Reiterates its demand for the complete cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terrorism, provocation, incitement and destruction;

2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, desist from any act of deportation and cease any threat to the safety of the elected President of the Palestinian Authority;

3. Expresses its full support for the efforts of the Quartet, and demands that the two sides fully implement their obligations in accordance with the road map, and emphasizes in this context the importance of the forthcoming meeting of the Quartet in New York;

4. Decides to adjourn the tenth emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the current President of the General Assembly to resume its meeting upon request from Member States.

20th plenary meeting
19 September 2003

1/ S/2003/592.

2/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.


V. QUARTET ISSUES STATEMENT

Following is the text of the Quartet statement that was issued following the meeting of the Quartet principals — representing the United States of America, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United Nations — at United Nations Headquarters on 26 September 2003 (S/2003/951).

Representatives of the Quartet — United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, United States Secretary of State Colin Powell, High Representative for European Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and European Commissioner for External Affairs Chris Patten — met today in New York.

The Quartet members view with great concern the situation in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, which has stalled implementation of the road map. The Quartet reminds both parties of the need to take into account the long-term consequences of their actions, and the obligation for both parties to make rapid progress towards full implementation of the road map for peace. They reaffirm their commitment to President Bush’s vision — shared by Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security; and call on both Israelis and Palestinians to fulfil their obligations and resp The Quartet members view with great concern the situation in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, which has stalled implementation of the road map. The Quartet reminds both parties of the need to take into account the long-term consequences of their actions, and the obligation for both parties to make rapid progress towards full implementation of the road map for peace. They reaffirm their commitment to President Bush’s vision — shared by Russia, the European Union and the United Nations — of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security; and call on both Israelis and Palestinians to fulfil their obligations and responsibilities under the road map and the commitments both sides made to President Bush at the Red Sea summit meeting in Aqaba.

The Quartet members remind all sides that they have obligations and responsibilities to each other that must be performed. Each party must do more to immediately and simultaneously address the core concerns of the other, as described in the road map. The Quartet members reaffirm their commitment to the road map and to resumed progress by the parties towards its rapid implementation.

They condemn the vicious terror attacks of August and September carried out by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. They again affirm that such actions are morally indefensible and do not serve the interests of the Palestinian people. They call on Palestinians to take immediate, decisive steps against individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks. Such steps should be accompanied by Israeli supportive measures, including resumption of full security cooperation. They further call on all States to end the harbouring and support, including fund-raising and financial assistance, of any groups and individuals that use terror and violence to advance their goals.

The Quartet members affirm that the Palestinian Authority security services must be consolidated under the clear control of an empowered Prime Minister and Interior Minister and must be the sole armed authority in the West Bank and Gaza. Noting that the first Palestinian Prime Minister has resigned his post, they urge that the new Palestinian Prime Minister form a cabinet as soon as possible, and ask that Cabinet to recommit itself to the pledges made in the road map and at Aqaba. The Palestinian Authority must ensure that a “rebuilt and refocused Palestinian Authority security apparatus begins sustained, targeted, and effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure”.

The Quartet members recognize Israel’s legitimate right to self-defence in the face of terrorist attacks against its citizens. In this context and in the context of international humanitarian law, they call on the Government of Israel to exert maximum efforts to avoid civilian casualties. The Government of Israel must “take no action undermining trust, including deportations, confiscation and/or demolition of Palestinian homes and property, destruction of Palestinian institutions and infrastructure; and other measures specified in the Tenet Work Plan”. The Quartet members call on the Government of Israel to take immediate steps to ease the humanitarian and economic plight of the Palestinian people, including through easing the movement of people and goods and ensuring access to international humanitarian organizations. The Quartet members reaffirm that, in accordance with the road map, settlement activity must stop, and note with great concern the actual and proposed route of Israel’s West Bank fence, particularly as it results in the confiscation of Palestinian land, cuts off t he movement of people and goods and undermines Palestinians’ trust in the road map process, as it appears to prejudge the final borders of a future Palestinian State.

The Quartet calls upon the international and regional community to continue to provide well-coordinated assistance to the Palestinian Authority for the implementation of reforms and institution-building and to consider steps that could be taken with respect to the socio-economic development of the region. The Quartet members will continue to follow closely the implementation by the parties of their obligations. The Quartet members will coordinate their efforts through regular meetings of Quartet representatives, as well as through discussion among the Quartet principals. The principals will next meet prior to the end of the year.

The Quartet members look forward to continuing to work closely together, as well as in association with regional parties, to help achieve progress, both between Israelis and Palestinians and towards the goal of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.


VI. OIC ADOPTS COMMUNIQUE

Excerpts from the final communiqué of the Annual Coordination Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 30 September 2003, are reproduced below (A/58/415-S/2003/952).

/…

5. The Meeting reaffirmed its support for the right of the Palestinian people to national independence and the exercise of sovereignty in their State, Palestine, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital. It reaffirmed the rights of the Palestine refugees in accordance with international law and General Assembly resolution 194 (1948). The Meeting reiterated its solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle under their legitimate national leadership.

6. The Meeting reaffirmed the centrality of the cause of Al-Quds Al-Sharif for the whole Islamic Ummah. It affirmed the Arab nature of East Jerusalem and the need to defend the sanctity of Islamic holy places as well as Christian holy places. It reiterated its condemnation of Israeli attempts to change the status and the character of the City. It also condemned the recent Israeli provocations, such as the decision to allow by force the entry of non-Muslims, including hostile extremists, to Al-Haram Al-Sharif.

7. The Meeting reaffirmed its support for a comprehensive peace process, based on relevant United Nations resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002) as well as agreed principles, which call for Israel’ s complete withdrawal from the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the City of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and all other occupied Arab territories. In this context, the Meeting reiterated its endorsement of the Arab Peace Initiative as approved by the Fourteenth Arab Summit, held in Beirut, Lebanon, on 28 March 2002.

8. The Meeting also reiterated its support to the efforts made by the Palestinian Authority in implementing the Road Map, and warned against Israeli acts aimed at derailing its implementation and even its destruction. It called upon the Quartet to increase its efforts to resuscitate the Road Map and to pursue its implementation towards its stated goals.

9. The Meeting strongly condemned Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif. It condemned in particular the willful killings of Palestinian civilians, including extrajudicial executions; the wanton destruction of homes, infrastructure and agricultural lands; the detention and imprisonment of thousands of Palestinians; and the imposition of collective punishment on the entire Palestinian population, including severe restrictions of the movement of persons of goods and prolonged curfews. The Meeting reiterated the legal obligations of the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention vis-à-vis the above-mentioned acts, in particular to those constituting war crimes.

10. The Meeting also further strongly condemned the illegal Israeli policy and practice of settler colonialism, as well as the building of the expansionist wall, involving the confiscation of thousands more dunums of Palestinian land, the isolation of dozens of Palestinian villages, towns and cities and the destruction of property and the livelihood of thousands of Palestinians.

11. The Meeting directed the Permanent Missions of the OIC Member States in New York to increase their efforts at the United Nations to uphold OIC positions on Palestine. It called for ensuring that the Israeli representation in the work of the United Nations General Assembly and international conferences be in conformity with international law, and that the Israeli credentials do not cover the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem.

12. The Meeting condemned the decision of the Israeli Government on 11 September 2003 to expel President Yasser Arafat, the elected President of Palestine. It welcomed the adoption on 19 September 2003 by the United Nations General Assembly of resolution ES-10/12, which demanded that Israel desist from any action of deportation, and to cease any threat to the safety of the elected President of the Palestinian Authority.

13. The Meeting also strongly condemned Israel’s policy of refusing to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981) concerning the occupied Syrian Golan and its policies of annexation, building of colonial settlements, confiscation of land, diversion of water sources and imposition of Israeli nationality upon Syrian citizens. It also demanded that Israel completely withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan to the June 4th, 1967 lines in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the principle of land for peace, the Madrid Peace Conference terms of reference and the Arab Peace Initiative, adopted by the Beirut Arab Summit.

/…

VII. SECRETARY-GENERAL STRONGLY CONDEMNS
HAIFA SUICIDE BOMBING

Following is a statement issued by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 4 October (SG/SM/8917):

The Secretary-General strongly condemns the horrific suicide bombing that killed at least 18 people in Haifa, Israel, today. His thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims. The Secretary-General reiterates yet again his utter repugnance at all acts of terror, from whatever quarter. He calls on the Palestinian Authority to do everything in its power to halt these vicious attacks, which only harm the Palestinian cause.

The Secretary-General urges all parties to show the utmost restraint during this extremely dangerous and difficult period.


VIII. THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE REPORTS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY


The following are the conclusions and recommendations of the report of the Committee to the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly, adopted at the Committee’s meeting on 9 October 2003 (see A/58/35)

71. During the period under review, and especially since the presentation of the Road Map, the Committee has remained concerned about the lack of serious headway in the political process. The Committee has also been dismayed by the absence of any tangible improvement in the security area. It noted with much regret that the initial positive steps aimed at creating confidence between the parties had collapsed, stalling the political process. The Committee remained hopeful that the situation could be redressed through the efforts of the Quartet, its individual members and other regional and international players. It also emphasized that the United Nations should maintain its permanent responsibility with respect to all aspects of the question of Palestine until it is resolved in a satisfactory manner, in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions, in accordance with international legitimacy and until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are fully realized. The Committee also stressed the critical peacemaking role played by the Security Council. It was of the view that the Council could and should, inter alia, encourage steps towards creating an effective mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the Road Map and for protection of the Palestinian population, including through authorizing the deployment of international observers.

72. In all its activities, the Committee intends to continue to promote support for the Road Map and the important work of the Quartet in pursuance of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of the question of Palestine based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002) and other relevant resolutions and the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights.

73. The Committee stresses its strong opposition to the illegal construction by the occupying Power of the wall in the Occupied West Bank and in areas close to East Jerusalem. The Committee reminds the Government of Israel that this construction has devastating immediate and longer-term implications for the livelihood of the Palestinian people. The construction also endangers international efforts aimed at resolving the conflict and realizing the vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, would live side by side in peace and security, as outlined in the Road Map. With these concerns in mind, the Committee calls upon the international community, most notably the Security Council and the General Assembly, to attach the necessary importance to this issue, with a view to stopping the de facto annexation of Palestinian land and the construction of the wall by the occupying Power.

74. The Committee considers that its programme of international and regional meetings and conferences helps to promote a constructive analysis and discussion of the various aspects of the question of Palestine and mobilize international assistance to the Palestinian people as well as contributing to heightening awareness of the root cause of the conflict, namely the occupation by Israel of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem. The programme is also aimed at mobilizing international efforts to resolve the conflict by peaceful means. The Committee highly appreciates the involvement in these meetings of Governments, intergovernmental organizations and civil society. It will continue its programme of meetings to foster support for the attainment by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights in accordance with international law and the resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly. In its meetings next year, the Committee intends to address such issues as the status of the peace process and the implementation of the Road Map, the security situation and the importance of protecting the Palestinian people, the illegal construction of the wall and its implications, the humanitarian and socio-economic situation, including the plight of Palestinian women, and the further involvement of civil society.

75. The Committee commends civil society organizations for their efforts at upholding international legitimacy with regard to the question of Palestine through advocacy and the mobilization of public opinion, as well as for their unremitting initiatives to provide relief and assistance to the Palestinian people. It encourages NGOs to enhance cooperation and coordination of their activities on the ground, as well as at the national and international levels, through forming national platforms or campaigns and international coordinating mechanisms. The Committee invites accredited civil society organizations, academic institutions, think tanks and the media to share their insights into and reports on the situation on the ground and other relevant initiatives, including at meetings organized under the Committee’s auspices. In its programme of meetings, the Committee will pay special attention to enhancing the involvement of parliamentarians and their regional and international organizations.

76. The Committee stresses the essential contribution of the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat in support of the Committee’s objectives and requests it to continue its programme of publications and other informational activities, including the further development of the UNISPAL documents collection. The Committee also considers that, in spite of the difficulties on the ground, the annual training programme for staff of the Palestinian Authority has continued to demonstrate its usefulness and requests that it be continued.

77. The Committee is of the view that the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information has made an important contribution to informing the media and public opinion on the relevant issues. The Committee requests the programme’s continuation, with the necessary flexibility, as warranted by developments relevant to the question of Palestine.

78. Wishing to make its contribution to the achievement of a just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, and in view of the many difficulties facing the Palestinian people and besetting the peace process, the Committee calls on all States to join in this endeavour and invites the General Assembly once again to recognize the importance of its role and to reconfirm its mandate with overwhelming support.


IX. SECURITY COUNCIL CONSIDERS THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST, INCLUDING THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION, DRAFT RESOLUTION VETOED

In response to a letter dated 9 October 2003 from the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the President of the Security Council (S/2003/973), the Council convened on 14 October 2003 to consider the agenda item "The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question". The Council took action on the draft resolution contained in document S/2003/980, which is reproduced below. The result of the voting was 10 to 1 against, with 4 abstentions. The draft resolution was not adopted, owing the negative vote of a permanent member of the Security Council. For the verbatim record of the meeting, see S/PV.4842.

Guinea, Malaysia, Pakistan and Syrian Arab Republic: draft resolution

The Security Council,

Recalling its resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 267 (1969) of 3 July 1969, 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 452 (1979) of 20 July 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980, 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994, 1073 (1996) of 28 September 1996 and 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002,

Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming its vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders,

Condemning all acts of violence, terror and destruction,

Stressing the urgency of ending the current violent situation on the ground, the need to end the occupation that began in 1967 and the need to achieve peace based on the vision of two States mentioned above,

Reiterating its call upon Israel, the occupying Power, to fully and effectively respect the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949,

Reiterating its opposition to settlement activities in the Occupied Territories and to any activities involving the confiscation of land, disruption of the livelihood of protected persons and the de facto annexation of land,

1. Decides that the construction by Israel, the occupying Power, of a wall in the Occupied Territories departing from the armistice line of 1949 is illegal under relevant provisions of international law and must be ceased and reversed;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the compliance with this resolution periodically, with the first report to be submitted within one month;

3. Decides to remain seized of the matter.


X. TENTH EMERGENCY SPECIAL SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESUMES, ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON THE WALL

At the request of the Group of Arab States (see A/ES-10/242) the Non-Aligned Movement (see A/ES-10/243) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (see A/ES-10/244), the General Assembly, on 20 October 2003, resumed its tenth emergency special session. The Assembly considered agenda item 5, entitled “Illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory. On 21 October 2003, by a vote of 144 to 4, with 12 abstentions, the General Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/13. For the verbatim record of the meeting see A/ES-10/PV.21-22.

ES-10/13. Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolutions of the tenth emergency special session,

Recalling also Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967, 267(1969) of 3 July 1969, 298(1971) of 25 September 1971, 446(1979) of 22 March 1979, 452(1979) of 20 July 1979, 465(1980) of 1 March 1980, 476(1980) of 30 June 1980, 478(1980) of 20 August 1980, 904(1994) of 18 March 1994, 1073(1996) of 28 September 1996 and 1397(2002) of 12 March 2002,

Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming also its vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders,

Condemning all acts of violence, terrorism and destruction,

Condemning in particular the suicide bombings and their recent intensification with the attack in Haifa,

Condemning the bomb attack in the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the death of three American security officers,

Deploring the extrajudicial killings and their recent intensification, in particular the attack on 20 October 2003 in Gaza,

Stressing the urgency of ending the current violent situation on the ground, the need to end the occupation that began in 1967, and the need to achieve peace based on the vision of two States mentioned above,

Particularly concerned that the route marked out for the wall under construction by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, could prejudge future negotiations and make the two-State solution physically impossible to implement and would cause further humanitarian hardship to the Palestinians,

Reiterating its call upon Israel, the occupying Power, to fully and effectively respect the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, 1/

Reiterating its opposition to settlement activities in the Occupied Territories and to any activities involving the confiscation of land, disruption of the livelihood of protected persons and the de facto annexation of land,

1. Demands that Israel stop and reverse the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which is in departure of the Armistice Line of 1949 and is in contradiction to relevant provisions of international law;

2. Calls upon both parties to fulfil their obligations under relevant provisions of the road map, 2/ the Palestinian Authority to undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks, and the Government of Israel to take no actions undermining trust, including deportations and attacks on civilians and extrajudicial killings;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to report on compliance with the present resolution periodically, with the first report on compliance with paragraph 1 above to be submitted within one month and upon receipt of which further actions should be considered, if necessary, within the United Nations system;

4. Decides to adjourn the tenth emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the current President of the General Assembly to resume its meeting upon request from Member States.


22nd plenary meeting
21 October 2003

1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.

2/ S/2003/529, annex


XI. SECRETARY-GENERAL WELCOMES “GENEVA ACCORD”

The following statement was issued on 5 November 2004 by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan (SG/SM/8985).

The Secretary-General welcomes the “Geneva Accord” drafted by prominent Israelis and Palestinians, which outlines comprehensive and detailed steps to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Such private initiatives, while not a substitute for official diplomatic negotiations between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, deserve praise and encouragement as courageous attempts to break the stalemate on both sides and to generate the popular support needed for peace in the Middle East.

The Secretary-General considers the “Geneva Accord” both consistent and compatible with the Quartet’s Road Map, the last phase of which calls for agreement on such sensitive final status issues as Jerusalem, settlements and refugees.

It is now of paramount importance that the parties start implementing the Road Map provisions without delay.


XII. EU WELCOMES NEW PALESTINIAN GOVERNMENT


On 12 November 2003, Javier Solana, European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, welcomed the ratification by the Palestinian Legislative Council of the new Palestinian Government headed by Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia.

I welcome today's approval by the Palestinian Legislative Council of the formation of the new Palestinian government. I know Prime Minister Qureia well and have trust in his ability and determination to lead his Government in the present difficult conditions.

I expect the new Government to honour the Palestinian Authority's commitments under the Road Map and to pursue the process of reforms. The security situation should be addressed as a matter of priority, with a view to bringing to an end all attacks against Israelis.

The EU will discuss with partners in the Quartet, as well as with Israel, in order to ensure that the most favourable conditions are created for the new Palestinian Government to carry out these important tasks.



XIII. SECURITY COUNCIL ADOPTS RESOLUTION 1515 (2003),
ENDORSES ROAD MAP

The Council convened on 19 November 2003 to consider the agenda item entitled "The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question". The Council unanimously adopted resolution 1515 (2003), the full text of which is reproduced below. For the verbatim record of the meeting, see S/PV.4862.

The Security Council,

Recalling all its previous relevant resolutions, in particular resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and the Madrid principles,

Expressing its grave concern at the continuation of the tragic and violent events in the Middle East,

Reiterating the demand for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of terrorism, provocation, incitement and destruction,

Reaffirming its vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders,

Emphasizing the need to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Lebanese tracks,

Welcoming and encouraging the diplomatic efforts of the international Quartet and others,

1. Endorses the Quartet Performance-based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict 1/;

2. Calls on the parties to fulfil their obligations under the Roadmap in cooperation with the Quartet and to achieve the vision of two States living side by side in peace and security;

3. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

---

1/ S/2003/529.

XIV. BUREAU OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE ISSUES STATEMENT

On 19 November 2003, the Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People issued the following statement concerning the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 1515 (GA/PAL/934): .

The Bureau of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People welcomes today’s unanimous adoption by the Security Council of resolution 1515 (2003), in which the Council endorsed the Quartet’s performance-based Road Map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and called on the parties to fulfill their obligations under the Road Map in cooperation with the Quartet and to achieve the vision of two States living side by side in peace and security.

The Bureau of the Committee is hopeful that the renewed expression of support for the Road Map by all members of the Council would provide the necessary impetus to the stalling political process and would send a clear and powerful signal to the leadership on both sides that concrete steps should be taken without further delay and without conditions in order to resume the peace dialogue and move forward vigorously with the implementation of the Road Map.

In the wake of the adoption of resolution 1515 (2003), we urge the Israelis and the Palestinians to do everything in their power to carry out fully their obligations under the Road Map and respect the letter and the spirit of the plan. The Quartet, for its part, should assist the parties in all aspects of implementation of the Road Map.

This resolution is also a strong indication of the Council’s intention to remain fully engaged in efforts towards achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. In this regard, the Bureau reiterates the long-standing position of the Committee that the United Nations should continue to maintain its permanent responsibility with respect to all aspects of the question of Palestine until it is resolved in a satisfactory manner, in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions, in accordance with international legitimacy, and until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are fully realized.


XV. SECRETARY-GENERAL’S MESSAGE ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

Following is the text of the message by Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, commemorated on1 December 2003 (SG/SM/904):

I wish to thank the Committee for the invitation to this observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. I congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, and the members of the Committee for your hard work and devotion to the cause of peace in the Middle East.

I join with those from around the world who today express the deepest solidarity with the Palestinian people in their continued suffering. They remain stateless and oppressed. In expressing solidarity with them, I do not ignore the suffering of the people of Israel. They remain insecure and terrorized. The terrible events of the past three years, and the dire situation on the ground today, should be proof to all that the more each side harms the other, the more it wounds itself, and the more it jeopardizes the chances for a peaceful settlement.

Israeli actions -- such as extrajudicial killings, use of heavy weapons against civilians, demolition of houses, continued expansion of settlements, and the building of a barrier that cuts deep into Palestinian territory -- have enhanced misery and feelings of helplessness among Palestinians. They have undermined efforts to curb violence and fuelled hatred and anger towards Israel. They have pushed back the day when Israel will live without fear within secure and recognized borders.

Palestinian suicide bombings, on the other hand, have indiscriminately killed innocent Israeli civilians in acts of wanton and deliberate terrorism. These heinous acts can have no justification and must be consistently and unreservedly condemned. They have destroyed efforts at building bridges of reconciliation and trust between the two peoples. They have pushed back the day when Palestinians will live in peace and security within their own State.

The violence over the past three years has claimed thousands of lives. The majority of them have been Palestinians, but there have also been many Israelis. However, there is no military solution to the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. The only solution lies in a political process -- one that results in a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement based on two States, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace within secure and recognized borders.

Recent initiatives of civil society have made that point with courage and clarity. I refer, in particular, to the Geneva initiative in which Palestinians and Israelis negotiated and agreed to a detailed plan to comprehensively resolve the conflict, and to the Ayalon-Nusseibeh statement of principles. These efforts show the capacity of Palestinians and Israelis to act with reason and restraint, and to agree on terms to live side-by-side in peace. They have caught the imagination of both peoples. They should inspire in all the burning conviction that a settlement can be achieved.

The efforts of civil society are, however, no substitute for official action. The Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority have made solemn commitments, and they must act to meet them, rather than waiting for the other to act first. Recently, there has been a period of relative calm, and there have been indications that we may begin to see steps in the right direction. The Government of Israel has declared its readiness to carry out its Road Map obligations. A new Cabinet of the Palestinian Authority is in place with the declared intention of taking steps to establish law and order, control violence and combat terrorism. There is hope that the two Prime Ministers may meet soon, and of another ceasefire. These tender shoots must be nourished. At the same time, the parties must be judged not by their stated intentions but by their actions on the ground.

The international community needs to be prepared to take bold action itself. I welcome the endorsement of the Quartet's Road Map by the Security Council in resolution 1515 (2003). It provides a strong platform for the Quartet and other members of the international community to assist the parties to implement the Road Map, and to hold them to their obligations and commitments under it. As I have stated to the Quartet, I believe these efforts should be bolstered by an international presence on the ground.

Meanwhile, great efforts are needed to address the humanitarian emergency and economic devastation experienced by the Palestinian people. Abject poverty, unemployment, children out of school, and a strong overall sense of frustration and despair -- all these are part of the day-to-day life of Palestinians under occupation. So too is the hardship caused by the severe restrictions on the movement of people and goods, closures and curfews, roadblocks and checkpoints, and the construction of the separation barrier about which I have just reported to the General Assembly. The Palestinian Authority's institutions and its capacity to work with its people have been seriously undercut since September 2000.

The international donor community needs to contribute generously in this time of great need. And the Government of Israel must allow the fullest access by humanitarian convoys and relief missions to the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territory.

Under difficult conditions, the United Nations provides a wide range of assistance to the Palestinian people, through the work of OCHA, WFP, UNDP, UNICEF and other agencies. In spite of a funding crisis, UNRWA continues to play a vitally important role in addressing the critical needs of Palestinian refugees, and should be given all the political and financial support it needs. In the framework of the Quartet, the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Terje Roed-Larsen, who is my Personal Representative to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, remains intensively engaged with all parties to support the political process and coordinate international assistance.

For my part, I pledge to continue to work with all parties for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and 1515 (2003), and on the principle of land for peace.

As we express today our solidarity with the Palestinian people, let us also reaffirm our conviction that peace is possible, and that we can achieve an end to occupation for Palestinians and security for Israelis. Let us also remember that the parties hurt their own cause by harming the other or by waiting for the other to act first. And let us resolve not to rest until the Palestinian people finally obtain what is rightfully theirs -- the exercise of their inalienable rights in a sovereign and independent State of Palestine.


XVI. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS FOUR RESOLUTIONS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

The General Assembly considered agenda item 38 of its fifty-eighth session entitled “Question of Palestine”, at three plenary meetings, held from 1 to 3 December 2003. For the verbatim record of the plenary’s consideration of agenda item 38, see A/58/PV.65-68.

Draft resolutions A/58/L.23, A/58/L.24, A/58/L.25 and A/58/L.26/Rev.1 were introduced by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The four draft resolutions were debated by the Assembly and adopted on 3 December 2003 as resolutions 58/18, 58/19, 58/20 and 58/21. The resolutions are reproduced below with the indication of the vote. .

58/18. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, 3375 (XXX) and 3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1975, 31/20 of 24 November 1976 and all subsequent relevant resolutions, including those adopted by the General Assembly at its emergency special sessions and resolution 57/107 of 3 December 2002,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, 1/

Recalling the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, as well as the existing agreements between the two sides and the need for full compliance with those agreements,

Welcoming the official presentation by the Quartet of the performance-based road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 2/

Reaffirming that the United Nations has a permanent responsibility towards the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner in accordance with international legitimacy,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly, and takes note of its annual report,1 including the conclusions and recommendations contained in chapter VII thereof ;

2. Requests the Committee to continue to exert all efforts to promote the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, to support the Middle East peace process and to mobilize international support for and assistance to the Palestinian people, and authorizes the

Committee to make such adjustments in its approved programme of work as it may consider appropriate and necessary in the light of developments and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session and thereafter;

3. Also requests the Committee to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly, the Security Council or the Secretary-General, as appropriate;

4. Further requests the Committee to continue to extend its cooperation and support to Palestinian and other civil society organizations in order to mobilize international solidarity and support for the achievement by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and for a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, and to involve additional civil society organizations in its work;

5. Requests the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, established under General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and other United Nations bodies and entities working on various aspects of the question of Palestine to continue to cooperate fully with the Committee and to make available to it, at its request, the relevant information and documentation which they have at their disposal;

6. Invites all Governments and organizations to extend their cooperation to the Committee in the performance of its tasks;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to circulate the report of the Committee to all competent bodies of the United Nations, and urges them to take the necessary action, as appropriate;

8. Also requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Committee with all necessary facilities for the performance of its tasks.

Adopted by 90 votes to 7, with
60 abstentions
68th plenary meeting
3 December 2003
-----

1 / Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/58/35).

2/ S/2003/529, annex.

58/19. Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, 1/

Taking note in particular of the relevant information contained in chapter V.B of that report,

Recalling its resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977 and all subsequent relevant resolutions, including resolution 57/108 of 3 December 2002,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Secretary-General in compliance with its resolution 57/108;

2. Considers that the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat continues to make a useful and constructive contribution;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Division with the necessary resources and to ensure that it continues to carry out its work as detailed in the relevant earlier resolutions, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and under its guidance, including, in particular, the organization of meetings and conferences in various regions with the participation of all sectors of the international community, the further development and expansion of the documents collection of the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine, the preparation and widest possible dissemination of publications and information materials on various aspects of the question of Palestine and the provision of the annual training programme for staff of the Palestinian Authority;

4. Also requests the Secretary-General to ensure the continued cooperation of the Department of Public Information and other units of the Secretariat in enabling the Division to perform its tasks and in covering adequately the various aspects of the question of Palestine;

5. Invites all Governments and organizations to extend their cooperation to the Division in the performance of its tasks;

6. Requests the Committee and the Division, as part of the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November to continue to organize an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, and encourages Member States to continue to give the widest support and publicity to the observance of the Day of Solidarity.

Adopted by 98 votes to 6, with
63 abstentions
68th plenary meeting
3 December 2003

-----
1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/58/35).

58/20. Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat

The General Assembly,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, 1/

Taking note in particular of the information contained in chapter VI of that report,

Recalling its resolution 57/109 of 3 December 2002,

Convinced that the worldwide dissemination of accurate and comprehensive information and the role of civil society organizations and institutions remain of vital importance in heightening awareness of and support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,

Recalling the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, as well as the existing agreements concluded between the two sides and the need for full compliance with those agreements,

Welcoming the official presentation by the Quartet of the road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 2/

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat in compliance with resolution 56/35 of 3 December 2001;

2. Considers that the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department is very useful in raising the awareness of the international community concerning the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East and that the programme is contributing effectively to an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and supportive of the peace process;

3. Requests the Department, in full cooperation and coordination with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to continue, with the necessary flexibility as may be required by developments affecting the question of Palestine, its special information programme for the biennium 2004–2005, in particular:

(a) To disseminate information on all the activities of the United Nations system relating to the question of Palestine, including reports on the work carried out by the relevant United Nations entities;

(b) To continue to issue and update publications on the various aspects of the question of Palestine in all fields, including materials concerning the recent developments in that regard, in particular the prospects for peace;

(c) To expand its collection of audio-visual material on the question of Palestine and to continue the production and preservation of such material and the updating of the exhibit in the Secretariat;

(d) To organize and promote fact-finding news missions for journalists to the area, including the territory under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority and the Occupied Territory;

(e) To organize international, regional and national seminars or encounters for journalists, aiming in particular at sensitizing public opinion to the question of Palestine;

(f) To continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the field of media development, in particular to strengthen the training programme for Palestinian broadcasters and journalists initiated in 1995.


Adopted by 159 votes to 6, with
6 abstentions
68th plenary meeting
3 December 2003

-----

1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/58/35).

2/ S/2003/529, annex.

58/21. Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at the tenth emergency special session,

Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003,

Welcoming the affirmation by the Security Council of the vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders,

Noting that it has been fifty-six years since the adoption of resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 and thirty-six years since the occupation of Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, in 1967,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General submitted pursuant to the request made in its resolution 57/110 of 3 December 2002, 1/

Reaffirming the permanent responsibility of the United Nations with regard to the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects,

Convinced that achieving a final and peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is imperative for the attainment of a comprehensive and lasting peace and stability in the Middle East,

Aware that the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples is among the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,

Affirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,

Reaffirming the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the territory occupied since 1967 and of Israeli actions aimed at changing the status of Jerusalem, and affirming that the construction by Israel of a wall inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, is in contravention of relevant provisions of international law,

Affirming once again the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

Recalling the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,2 and the existing agreements concluded between the two sides, and the need for full compliance with those agreements,

Welcoming the endorsement by the Security Council, in resolution 1515 (2003), of the Quartet performance-based road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 3/ and stressing the need for its implementation and compliance with its provisions,

Noting with satisfaction the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, and recognizing the urgent need to rebuild, reform and strengthen its damaged institutions,

Welcoming the positive contribution of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority to the peace process, including in the framework of the activities of the Quartet,

Welcoming the convening of international donor meetings, as well as the establishment of international mechanisms to provide assistance to the Palestinian people,

Expressing its grave concern over the tragic events in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000 and the continued deterioration of the situation, including the rising number of deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinian civilians, the deepening humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people and the widespread destruction of Palestinian property and infrastructure, both private and public, including many institutions of the Palestinian Authority,

Expressing its grave concern also over the repeated incursions into Palestinian-controlled areas and the reoccupation of many Palestinian population centres by the Israeli occupying forces,

Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all civilians in the whole Middle East region, and condemning all acts of violence and terror against civilians on both sides, including the suicide bombings and extrajudicial executions,

Gravely concerned over the increased suffering and casualties on both the Palestinian and Israeli sides, the loss of confidence on both sides and the dire situation facing the Middle East peace process,

Aware of the urgent need for revitalized and active international involvement to support both parties in overcoming the current dangerous impasse in the peace process,

Affirming the urgent need for the parties to cooperate with all international efforts, including the efforts of the Quartet, to end the current tragic situation and to resume negotiations towards a final peace settlement,

Welcoming recent initiatives and efforts undertaken by civil society in pursuit of a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine,

1. Reaffirms the necessity of achieving a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in all its aspects and of intensifying all efforts towards that end;

2. Reaffirms also its full support for the Middle East peace process, which began in Madrid, and the existing agreements between the Israeli and Palestinian sides, stresses the necessity for the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and welcomes in this regard the efforts of the Quartet;

3. Welcomes the Arab Peace Initiative adopted by the Council of the League of Arab States at its fourteenth session, held in Beirut on 27 and 28 March 2002;4

4. Calls upon both parties to fulfil their obligations in implementation of the road map3 by taking parallel and reciprocal steps in this regard, and stresses the importance and urgency of establishing a credible and effective third-party monitoring mechanism including all members of the Quartet;

5. Stresses the necessity for a commitment to the vision of the two-State solution and the principle of land for peace, and the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and 1515 (2003);

6. Also stresses the need for a speedy end to the reoccupation of Palestinian population centres and for the complete cessation of all acts of violence, including military attacks, destruction and acts of terror;

7. Calls upon the concerned parties, the Quartet and other interested parties to exert all efforts and undertake initiatives necessary to halt the deterioration of the situation and to reverse all measures taken on the ground since 28 September 2000, and to ensure a successful and speedy resumption of the peace process and the conclusion of a final peaceful settlement;

8. Stresses the need for:

(a) The withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967;

(b) The realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination and the right to their independent State;

9. Also stresses the need for resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948;

10. Urges Member States to expedite the provision of economic, humanitarian and technical assistance to the Palestinian people and the Palestinian Authority during this critical period to help to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people, rebuild the Palestinian economy and infrastructure and support the restructuring and reform of Palestinian institutions;

11. Requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned, and in consultation with the Security Council, towards the attainment of a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine and the promotion of peace in the region and to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session a report on these efforts and on developments on this matter.


Adopted by 160 votes to 6, with 5 abstentions
68th plenary meeting
3 December 2003

-----

1/ A/58/416-S/2003/947.

2/ See A/48/486-S/26560, annex.

3/ S/2003/529, annex.

4/ A/56/1026-S/2002/932, annex II, resolution 14/221


XVII. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS TWO RESOLUTIONS ON THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST

The General Assembly considered under agenda item 37 of its fifty-eighth session two draft resolutions on the situation in the Middle East, A/58/L.27 and A/58/L.28, which were adopted on 3 December 2003 as resolutions 58/22 on Jerusalem and 58/23 on the Syrian Golan. For the verbatim record, see A/58/PV.68. The two resolutions are reproduced below with an indication of the vote.

58/22. Jerusalem

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, in particular its provisions regarding the City of Jerusalem,

Recalling also its resolution 36/120 E of 10 December 1981 and all subsequent resolutions, including resolution 56/31 of 3 December 2001, in which it, inter alia, determined that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purported to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, in particular the so-called “Basic Law” on Jerusalem and the proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, were null and void and must be rescinded forthwith,

Recalling further Security Council resolutions relevant to Jerusalem, including resolution 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, in which the Council, inter alia, decided not to recognize the “Basic Law” and called upon those States which had established diplomatic missions in Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City,

Expressing its grave concern at any action taken by any body, governmental or non-governmental, in violation of the above-mentioned resolutions,

Reaffirming that the international community, through the United Nations, has a legitimate interest in the question of the City of Jerusalem and the protection of the unique spiritual, religious and cultural

dimension of the city, as foreseen in relevant United Nations resolutions on this matter,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,1/

1. Reiterates its determination that any actions taken by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever;

2. Deplores the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem in violation of Security Council resolution 478 (1980), and calls once more upon those States to abide by the provisions of the relevant United Nations resolutions, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations;

3. Stresses that a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of the City of Jerusalem should take into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and Israeli sides and should include internationally guaranteed provisions to ensure the freedom of religion and of conscience of its inhabitants, as well as permanent, free and unhindered access to the holy places by the people of all religions and nationalities;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted by 155 votes to 8, with
7 abstentions
68th plenary meeting
3 December 2003
-----

1/ A/58/278.

58/23. The Syrian Golan

The General Assembly,

Having considered the item entitled “The situation in the Middle East”,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General, 1/

Recalling Security Council resolution 497(1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming the fundamental principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming once more the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 2/ to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Deeply concerned that Israel has not withdrawn from the Syrian Golan, which has been under occupation since 1967, contrary to the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions,

Stressing the illegality of the Israeli settlement construction and other activities in the occupied Syrian Golan since 1967,

Noting with satisfaction the convening in Madrid on 30 October 1991 of the Peace Conference on the Middle East, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and the formula of land for peace,

Expressing grave concern over the halt in the peace process on the Syrian track, and expressing the hope that peace talks will soon resume from the point they had reached,

1. Declares that Israel has failed so far to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981);

2. Also declares that the Israeli decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void and has no validity whatsoever, as confirmed by the Security Council in its resolution 497 (1981), and calls upon Israel to rescind it;

3. Reaffirms its determination that all relevant provisions of the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention of 1907, 3/ and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 2/ continue to apply to the Syrian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, and calls upon the parties thereto to respect and ensure respect for their obligations under those instruments in all circumstances;

4. Determines once more that the continued occupation of the Syrian Golan and its de facto annexation constitute a stumbling block in the way of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region;

5. Calls upon Israel to resume the talks on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks ad to respect the commitments and undertakings reached during the previous talks;

6. Demands once more that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions;

7. Calls upon all the parties concerned, the co-sponsors of the peace process and the entire international community to exert all the necessary efforts to ensure the resumption of the peace process and its success by implementing Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973);

8. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted by 104 votes to 5, with
61 abstentions
68th plenary meeting
3 December 2003
--------

1/ A/58/264.

2/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.

3/ See Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915).

XVIII. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS FIVE RESOLUTIONS ON
THE REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE
TO INVESTIGATE ISRAELI PRACTICES

At its 72nd plenary meeting, convened on 9 December 2003, the General Assembly considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories and the report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) (A/58/473). The Assembly adopted five resolutions, the texts of which are reproduced below. For the verbatim record of the meeting, see A/58/PV.72. For the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices see A/58/310 and A/58/311 .

58/96. Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

The General Assembly,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Guided also by international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ as well as international standards of human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 2/ and the International Covenants on Human Rights, 3/

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 2443 (XXIII) of 19 December 1968 and 57/124 of 11 December 2002, and the relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling also relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Convinced that occupation itself represents a gross and grave violation of human rights,

Gravely concerned about the continuation of the tragic events that have taken place since 28 September 2000, including the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries,

Having considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories 4/ and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General, 5/

Recalling the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993 6/ and the subsequent implementation agreements between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Expressing the hope that the Israeli occupation will be brought to an early end and that therefore the violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people will cease,

1. Commends the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly and for its impartiality;

2. Reiterates its demand that Israel, the occupying Power, cooperate with the Special Committee in implementing its mandate;

3. Deplores those policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, as reflected in the report of the Special Committee covering the reporting period;

4. Expresses grave concern about the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000, as a result of Israeli practices and measures, and especially condemns the excessive and indiscriminate use of force against the civilian population, including extrajudicial executions, which has resulted in more than 2,600 Palestinian deaths and tens of thousands of injuries;

5. Requests the Special Committee, pending complete termination of the Israeli occupation, to continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, especially Israeli violations of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ and to consult, as appropriate, with the International Committee of the Red Cross according to its regulations in order to ensure that the welfare and human rights of the peoples of the occupied territories are safeguarded and to report to the Secretary-General as soon as possible and whenever the need arises thereafter;

6. Also requests the Special Committee to submit regularly to the Secretary-General periodic reports on the current situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

7. Further requests the Special Committee to continue to investigate the treatment of prisoners and detainees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

8. Requests the Secretary-General:

(a) To provide the Special Committee with all necessary facilities, including those required for its visits to the occupied territories, so that it may investigate Israeli policies and practices referred to in the present resolution;

(b) To continue to make available such additional staff as may be necessary to assist the Special Committee in the performance of its tasks;

(c) To circulate regularly to Member States the periodic reports mentioned in paragraph 6 above;

(d ) To ensure the widest circulation of the reports of the Special Committee and of information regarding its activities and findings, by all means available, through the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat and, where necessary, to reprint those reports of the Special Committee that are no longer available;

(e) To report to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session on the tasks entrusted to him in the present resolution;

9. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-ninth session the item entitled “Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories”.

Adopted by 87 votes to 7, with
78 abstentions
72nd plenary meeting
9 December 2003

----

1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.

2/ Resolution 217 A (III)

3/ Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

4/ A/58/311.

5/ A/58/155, A/58/156, A/58/263, A/58/264 and A/58/310.

6/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex.



59/97. Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Recalling the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention IV of 1907, 1/ the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 2/ and relevant provisions of customary law, including those codified in Additional Protocol 1 3/ to the four Geneva Conventions, 4/

Having considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories 5/ and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General, 6/

Considering that the promotion of respect for the obligations arising from the Charter of the United Nations and other instruments and rules of international law is among the basic purposes and principles of the United Nations,

Noting the convening of the meeting of experts of High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, at Geneva from 27 to 29 October 1998, at the initiative of the Government of Switzerland in its capacity as the depositary of the Convention, concerning problems of application of the Convention in general and, in particular, in occupied territories,

Noting also the convening for the first time, on 15 July 1999, of the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, as recommended by the General Assembly in its resolution ES-10/6 of 9 February 1999, on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to ensure respect thereof in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, and aware of the statement adopted by the Conference,

Welcoming the reconvening of the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on 5 December 2001 in Geneva and stressing the importance of the Declaration adopted by the Conference, and underlining the need for the parties to follow up the implementation of the Declaration,

Welcoming and encouraging the initiatives by States parties to the Convention, both individually and collectively, according to article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, aimed at ensuring respect for the Convention,

Stressing that Israel, the occupying Power, should comply strictly with its obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law,

1. Reaffirms that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 2/ is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Demands that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and that it comply scrupulously with the provisions of the Convention;

3. Calls upon all High Contracting Parties to the Convention, in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, 4/ to continue to exert all efforts to ensure respect for its provisions by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

4. Reiterates the need for speedy implementation of the relevant recommendations contained in its resolutions of the tenth emergency special session with regard to ensuring respect by Israel, the occupying Power, for the provisions of the Convention;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted by 163 votes to 6, with
4 abstentions
72nd plenary meeting
9 December 2003

-----

1/ See Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915).

2/ United Nations, Treaty Series , vol. 75, No. 973.

3/ Ibid., vol. 1125, No. 17512.

4/ Ibid., vol. 75, Nos. 970-973.

5/ See A/58/311.

6/ A/58/155, A/58/156, A/58/263, A/58/264 and A/58/310.

58/98. Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan

The General Assembly,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at its tenth emergency special session, as well as relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980, 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981 and 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Taking note of the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, 2/

Recalling the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993 3/ and the subsequent implementation agreements between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Welcoming the presentation by the Quartet to the parties of the road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 4/ and noting its call for a freeze on all settlement activity,

Aware that Israeli settlement activities have involved, inter alia, the transfer of nationals of the occupying Power into the occupied territories, the confiscation of land, the exploitation of natural resources and other illegal actions against the Palestinian civilian population,

Bearing in mind the detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies, decisions and activities on efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East,

Expressing grave concern about the continuation by Israel of settlement activities in violation of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions and the agreements reached between the parties, including the construction and expansion of the settlements in Jabal Abu-Ghneim and Ras Al-Amud in and around Occupied East Jerusalem,

Expressing grave concern also about the construction by Israel of a wall inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and expressing its concern in particular about the route of the wall in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949, which could prejudge future negotiations and make the two-State solution physically impossible to implement and would cause the Palestinian people further humanitarian hardship,

Reiterating its opposition to settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to any activities involving the confiscation of land, the disruption of the livelihood of protected persons and the de facto annexation of land,

Recalling the need to end all acts of violence, including acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction,

Gravely concerned about the dangerous situation resulting from actions taken by the illegal armed Israeli settlers in the occupied territory, as illustrated in the recent period,

Taking note of the relevant reports of the Secretary-General, 5/

1. Reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development;

2. Calls upon Israel to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan and to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the Convention, in particular article 49;

3. Reiterates its demand for the complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

4. Demands that Israel stop and reverse the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which is in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949 and is in contradiction to relevant provisions of international law;

5. Stresses the need for full implementation of Security Council resolution 904(1994), in which, among other things, the Council called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to continue to take and implement measures, including confiscation of arms, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers, and called for measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory;

6. Reiterates its calls for the prevention of all acts of violence by Israeli settlers, particularly in the light of recent developments;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted by 156 votes to 6, with
13 abstentions
72nd plenary meeting
9 December 2003


----

1/United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.

2/ E/CN.4/2004/6.

3/A/48/486-S/26560, annex.

4/ S/2003/529, annex.

5/ A/58/155, A/58/156, A/58/263, A/58/264 and A/58/310.

58/99. Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem

The General Assembly,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at its tenth emergency special session, and the resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Having considered the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories 1/ and the reports of the Secretary-General, 2/

Taking note of the report of the Human Rights Inquiry Commission established by the Commission on Human Rights 3/ and the report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, 4/

Aware of the responsibility of the international community to promote human rights and ensure respect for international law,

Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming also the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 5/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Reaffirming further the obligation of the States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention 5/under articles 146, 147 and 148 with regard to penal sanctions, grave breaches and responsibilities of the High Contracting Parties,

Stressing the need for full compliance with the Israeli-Palestinian agreements reached within the context of the Middle East peace process and the implementation of the Quartet road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 6/

Concerned about the continuing systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, including the use of collective punishment, the reoccupation and closure of areas, the confiscation of land, the establishment and expansion of settlements, the construction of a wall inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949, the destruction of property and all other actions by it designed to change the legal status, geographical nature and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Gravely concerned about the tragic events that have occurred since 28 September 2000 and that have led to thousands of deaths and injuries among Palestinian civilians,

Gravely concerned also about the use of suicide bombing attacks against Israeli civilians resulting in extensive loss of life and injury,

Expressing deep concern about the extensive destruction caused by the Israeli occupying forces, including the destruction of homes and properties, of religious, cultural and historical sites, of vital infrastructure and institutions of the Palestinian Authority, and of agricultural land throughout Palestinian cities, towns, villages and refugee camps,

Also expressing deep concern about the Israeli policy of closure and the severe restrictions, including curfews, imposed on the movement of persons and goods, including medical and humanitarian personnel and goods, throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the consequent impact on the socio-economic situation of the Palestinian people, which has resulted in a dire humanitarian crisis,

Expressing concern that thousands of Palestinians continue to be held in Israeli prisons or detention centres, and also expressing concern about the ill-treatment and harassment of any Palestinian prisoners and all reports of torture,

Convinced of the need for an international presence to monitor the situation, to contribute to ending the violence and protecting the Palestinian civilians and to help the parties to implement agreements reached, and, in this regard, recalls the positive contribution of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron,

Stressing the necessity for the full implementation of all relevant Security Council resolutions,

1. Determines that all measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 5/ and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, are illegal and have no validity;

2. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 5/ and cease immediately all measures and actions taken in violation of the Convention, including the extrajudicial executions;

3. Condemns all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, especially the excessive use of force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians, resulting in extensive loss of life, vast numbers of injuries and massive destruction;

4. Also condemns the events that have occurred in the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002, including the loss of life, injury, destruction and displacement inflicted on many of its civilian inhabitants;

5. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all practices and actions that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people;

6. Stresses the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods within the Palestinian territory, including the removal of restrictions on movement into and from East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session on the implementation of the present resolution.


Adopted by 150 votes to 6, with
19 abstentions
72nd plenary meeting
9 December 2003

-----

1/ A/58/311.

2/ A/58/155, A/58/156, A/58/263, A/58/264 and A/58/310.

3/ E/CN.4/2001/121.

4/ E/CN.4/2004/6.

5/ United Nations, Treaty Series , vol. 75, No. 973.

6/ S/2003/529, annex

XIX. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS ON UNRWA

At its 72 nd plenary meeting, convened on 9 December 2003, the General Assembly considered and adopted, under agenda item 83 of its fifty-eighth session, five resolutions recommended by the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) (A/58/472). The resolutions adopted are reproduced below. For the verbatim record of the meeting, see A/58/PV.72. For the annual report of the Commissioner-General of UNRWA for the period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003, see A/58/13.

58/91. Assistance to Palestine refugees

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question, including resolution 57/117 of 11 December 2002,

Recalling also its resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, by which, inter alia, it established the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,

Recalling further relevant Security Council resolutions,

Aware of the fact that the Palestine refugees have, for more than five decades, lost their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

Affirming the imperative of resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees for the achievement of justice and for the achievement of lasting peace in the region,

Acknowledging the essential role that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East has played for more than fifty-three years since its establishment in ameliorating the plight of the Palestine refugees in the fields of education, health and relief and social services,

Taking note of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003, 1/

Aware of the continuing needs of Palestine refugees throughout all the fields of operation, namely Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Expressing grave concern at the especially difficult situation of the Palestine refugees under occupation, including with regard to their safety, well-being and living conditions, and the continuous deterioration of those conditions during the recent period,

Noting the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements on 13 September 1993 by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization 2/ and the subsequent implementation agreements,

Aware that the Multilateral Working Group on Refugees of the Middle East peace process has an important role to play in the peace process,

1. Notes with regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of its resolution 194 (III), has not yet been effected and that, therefore, the situation of the Palestine refugees continues to be a matter of concern;

2. Also notes with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine has been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and requests the Commission to exert continued efforts towards the implementation of that paragraph and to report to the Assembly as appropriate, but no later than 1 September 2004;

3. Affirms the necessity for the continuation of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the importance of its operation and services for the well-being of the Palestine refugees and for the stability of the region, pending the resolution of the question of the Palestine refugees;

4. Calls upon all donors to continue to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency, including those mentioned in recent emergency appeals.

Adopted by 167 votes to 1, with
7 abstentions
72nd plenary meeting
9 December 2003

----

1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13 and corrigendum and addendum (A/58/13 and Corr.1 and Add.1).

2/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex.

58/92. Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2252 (ES-V) of 4 July 1967, 2341 B (XXII) of 19 December 1967 and all subsequent related resolutions,

Recalling also Security Council resolutions 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967 and 259 (1968) of 27 September 1968,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolution 57/119 of 11 December 2002, 1/

Taking note also of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003, 2/

Concerned about the continuing human suffering resulting from the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities,

Taking note of the relevant provisions of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993 3 / with regard to the modalities for the admission of persons displaced in 1967, and concerned that the process agreed upon has not yet been effected,

1. Reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Expresses deep concern that the mechanism agreed upon by the parties in article XII of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 19933 on the return of displaced persons has not been effected, and stresses the necessity for an accelerated return of displaced persons;

3. Endorses , in the meanwhile, the efforts of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are currently displaced and in serious need of continuing assistance as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities;

4. Strongly appeals to all Governments and to organizations and individuals to contribute generously to the Agency and to the other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned for the above-mentioned purposes;

5. Requests the Secretary-General, after consulting with the Commissioner-General, to report to the General Assembly before its fifty-ninth session on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the present resolution.


Adopted by 168 votes to 5, with
3 abstentions
72nd plenary meeting
9 December 2003
-----

1/ A/58/119.

2/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13 and corrigendum and addendum (A/58/13 and Corr.1 and Add.1).

3/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex.

58/93. Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 212 (III) of 19 November 1948, 302(IV) of 8 December 1949 and all subsequent related resolutions, including resolution 57/121 of 11 December 2002,

Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions,

Having considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003, 1/

Taking note of the letter dated 25 September 2003 from the Chairperson of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General, 2/

Deeply concerned about the continuing critical financial situation of the Agency and its effect on the continuing provision of necessary Agency services to the Palestine refugees, including its emergency-related programmes and its development programmes,

Recalling Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, 3/

Affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 4/ to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,

Aware of the continuing needs of Palestine refugees throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the other fields of operation, namely, in Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic,

Also aware of the valuable work done by the refugee affairs officers of the Agency in providing protection to the Palestinian people, in particular Palestine refugees,

Gravely concerned about the increased suffering of the Palestine refugees, including the loss of life, injury and destruction and damage to their shelters and properties, during the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Expressing grave concern about the continuing impact of the events that occurred in the Jenin refugee camp in April 2002, including the loss of life, injury, destruction and displacement inflicted on many of its civilian inhabitants,

Aware of the extraordinary efforts being undertaken by the Agency for the repair and rebuilding of thousands of destroyed and damaged refugee shelters,

Gravely concerned about the safety of the Agency’s staff and about the damage caused to facilities of the Agency as a result of Israeli military operations during the reporting period,

Deploring the killing of six Agency staff members by the Israeli occupying forces during the reporting period,

Expressing deep concern about the continuing policies of closure and severe restrictions, including the curfews, that have been imposed on the movement of persons and goods throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and which have had a grave impact on the socio-economic situation of the Palestine refugees and have greatly contributed to the dire humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people,

Deeply concerned about the continuing restrictions on the freedom of movement of the Agency staff, vehicles and goods, including the harassment of personnel, which adversely affect the ability of the Agency to provide its services, including its education, health and relief and social services,

Recalling the signing, on 13 September 1993, of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization 5/ and the subsequent implementation agreements,

Aware of the agreement between the Agency and the Government of Israel,

Aware also of the establishment of a working relationship between the Advisory Commission of the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization in accordance with General Assembly decision 48/417 of 10 December 1993,

Taking note of the agreement reached on 24 June 1994, embodied in an exchange of letters between the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization, 6/

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as to all of the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work, particularly in the light of the increasingly difficult conditions throughout the past year;

2. Also expresses its appreciation to the Advisory Commission of the Agency, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed of its activities, including the full implementation of decision 48/417;

3. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, 7/ for its efforts to assist in ensuring the financial security of the Agency, and requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary services and assistance to the Working Group for the conduct of its work;

4. Commends the continuing efforts of the Commissioner-General to increase the budgetary transparency and efficiency of the Agency, as reflected in the Agency’s programme budget for the biennium 2004-2005; 8/

5. Acknowledges the support of the host Governments for the Agency in the discharge of its duties;

6. Takes note of the functioning of the headquarters of the Agency in Gaza City on the basis of the Headquarters Agreement between the Agency and the Palestinian Authority;

7. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949; 4/

8. Also calls upon Israel to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations 3/ with regard to the safety of the personnel of the Agency, the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of its facilities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

9. Urges the Government of Israel to compensate the Agency for damage to its property and facilities resulting from actions by the Israeli side, particularly during the reporting period;

10. Calls upon Israel particularly to cease obstructing the movement of the personnel, vehicles and supplies of the Agency and to cease the levying of extra fees and charges, which have a detrimental effect on the Agency’s operations;

11. Requests the Commissioner-General to proceed with the issuance of identification cards for Palestine refugees and their descendants in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

12. Affirms that the functioning of the Agency remains essential in all fields of operation;

13. Notes the success of the Agency’s microfinance and microenterprise programme, and calls upon the Agency, in close cooperation with the relevant agencies, to continue to contribute towards the development of the economic and social stability of the Palestine refugees;

14. Reiterates its request to the Commissioner-General to proceed with the modernization of the archives of the Agency through the Palestine Refugee Records Project, and to indicate progress in his report to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session;

15. Reiterates its previous appeals to all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to augment the special allocations for grants and scholarships for higher education to Palestine refugees in addition to their contributions to the regular budget of the Agency and to contribute towards the establishment of vocational training centres for Palestine refugees, and requests the Agency to act as the recipient and trustee for the special allocations for grants and scholarships;

16. Urges all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to increase their contributions to the Agency so as to ease the ongoing financial constraints, exacerbated by the current humanitarian situation on the ground, and to support the Agency’s valuable work in assistance to the Palestine refugees.

Adopted by 162 votes to 5, with
8 abstentions
72nd plenary meeting
9 December 2003
----

1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13 and corrigendum and addendum (A/58/13 and Corr.1 and Add.1).

2/ Ibid., Supplement No. 13 and corrigendum (A/58/13 and Corr.1), p. viii.

3/ Resolution 22 A (I).

4/ United Nations, Treaty Series , vol. 75, No. 973.

5/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex.

6/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/49/13), annex I.

7/ A/58/450.

8/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13, addendum (A/58/13/Add.1).

58/94. Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolution 57/122 of 11 December 2002;

Taking note also of the report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine for the period from 1 September 2002 to 31 August 2003, 2/

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 3/ and the principles of international law uphold the principle that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her property,

Recalling in particular its resolution 394 (V) of 14 December 1950, in which it directed the Conciliation Commission, in consultation with the parties concerned, to prescribe measures for the protection of the rights, property and interests of the Palestine refugees,

Noting the completion of the programme of identification and evaluation of Arab property, as announced by the Conciliation Commission in its twenty-second progress report, 4/ and the fact that the Land Office had a schedule of Arab owners and file of documents defining the location, area and other particulars of Arab property,

Expressing its appreciation for the work done to preserve and modernize the existing records, including the land records, of the Conciliation Commission and the importance of such records for a just resolution of the plight of the Palestine refugees in conformity with General Assembly resolution 194 (III),

Recalling that, in the framework of the Middle East peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Government of Israel agreed, in the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993, 5/ to commence negotiations on permanent status issues, including the important issue of the refugees,

1. Reaffirms that the Palestine refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of equity and justice;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps, in consultation with the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, for the protection of Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel;

3. Calls once again upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General in the implementation of the present resolution;

4. Calls upon all the parties concerned to provide the Secretary-General with any pertinent information in their possession concerning Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel that would assist him in the implementation of the present resolution;

5. Urges the Palestinian and Israeli sides, as agreed between them, to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues in the framework of the final status negotiations of the Middle East peace process;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Adopted by 164 votes to 5, with
4 abstentions
72nd plenary meeting
9 December 2003


----

1/ A/58/206.

2/ A/58/256, annex.

3/ Resolution 217 A (III).

4/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Nineteenth Session, Annexes, Annex No. 11, document A/5700.

5/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex.

58/95. Assistance to Palestine refugees and support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 212 (III) of 19 November 1948, on assistance to Palestine refugees, and 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, by which, inter alia, it established the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,

Recalling also all its subsequent resolutions on the question, including resolution 56/52 of 10 December 2001,

Recalling further relevant Security Council resolutions,

Acknowledging the essential role that the Agency has played for more than fifty years since its establishment in ameliorating the plight of the Palestine refugees in the fields of education, health and relief and social services,

Aware of the continuing needs of Palestine refugees throughout all the fields of operation, namely the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic,

Gravely concerned about the increased suffering of the Palestine refugees, including the loss of life, injury and destruction and damage to refugee shelters and properties, as well as the safety of the staff and the damage to the facilities of the Agency,

Regretting the death of six Agency staff members during the reporting period,

Deeply concerned about the continuing restrictions on the freedom of movement of the Agency’s staff, vehicles and goods, which adversely affect the ability of the Agency to provide its services, including its educational, health and relief and social services,

Stressing the necessity for compliance with Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations 1/ with regard to the safety of the personnel of the Agency, the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of its facilities, including throughout the occupied territories,

Stressing also the need for respect of international humanitarian law,

Emphasizing the obligations of all parties in accordance with the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 2/

Having considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2002 to 30 June 2003, 3/ the report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, 4/ the letter dated 25 September 2003 from the Chairperson of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General, 5/ and the report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine for the period from 1 September 2002 to 31 August 2003, 6/

Deeply concerned about the continuing financial situation of the Agency, which has affected and affects the continuing provision of necessary Agency services to Palestine refugees, including the emergency-related and humanitarian programmes,

1. Affirms the necessity for the continuation of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the importance of its operation and services for the well-being of the Palestine refugees and for the stability of the region, pending the resolution of the question of the Palestine refugees;

2. Calls upon all States to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency, including those mentioned in recent emergency appeals, and to support the Agency’s valuable work in providing assistance to the Palestine refugees;

3. Takes note with approval of the report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, 4/ for its efforts to assist in ensuring the financial security of the Agency, and requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary services and assistance to the Working Group for the conduct of its work;

4. Endorses the efforts of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are currently displaced and in serious need of continuing assistance as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities;

5. Strongly appeals to all Governments and to organizations and individuals to contribute generously to the Agency and to the other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned for the above-mentioned purposes;

6. Reiterates its previous appeals to all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to augment the special allocations for grants and scholarships to Palestine refugees, in addition to their contributions to the regular budget of the Agency;

7. Appeals to all States, specialized agencies and other international bodies to extend assistance for higher education to Palestine refugee students and to contribute towards the establishment of vocational training centres for Palestine refugees, and requests the Agency to act as the recipient and trustee for the special allocations for grants and scholarships;

8. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the Agency, as well as to all of the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work, particularly in the light of the increasingly difficult conditions throughout the past year;

9. Also expresses its appreciation to the Advisory Commission of the Agency, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed of its activities, including the full implementation of Assembly decision 48/417 of 10 December 1993;

10. Commends the efforts of the Commissioner-General to increase the budgetary transparency and efficiency of the Agency, as well as the support of the host Governments for the Agency in the discharge of its duties;

11. Calls upon all relevant parties to take effective measures to ensure the safety of the personnel of the Agency, the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of its facilities;

12. Notes the success of the Agency’s microfinance and enterprise programmes, and calls upon the Agency, in close cooperation with the relevant agencies, to continue to contribute towards the development of the economic and social stability of the Palestine refugees.

Adopted by 133 votes to 0, with
32 abstentions
72nd plenary meeting
9 December 2003

-----

1/Resolution 22 A (I).

2/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.

3/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13 and corrigendum and addendum (A/58/13 and Corr.1 and Add.1).

4/ A/58/450.

5/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13 and corrigendum (A/58/13 and Corr.1), p. viii.

6/A/58/256, annex.

XX. UNITED NATIONS MEETING FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, PUBLIC FORUM IN SUPPORT OF MIDDLE EAST PEACE, BEIJING

The United Nations Meeting for Asia and the Pacific on the Question of Palestine, under the theme “Mobilizing international support for a peaceful solution of the question of Palestine”, was convened in Beijing on 16 and 17 December 2003 by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. It was followed, on 18 December 2003, by a Public Forum in Support of Middle East Peace, which was co-sponsored by the United Nations and Peking University. The main points of the discussion were highlighted in the Final Document of the Meeting (see below).

FINAL DOCUMENT

1. The United Nations Meeting for Asia and the Pacific on the Question of Palestine was held in Beijing, on 16 and 17 December 2003, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Participants in the Meeting included international experts, representatives of Governments, Palestine, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations system entities, parliaments, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the media.

2. The Meeting was convened by the Committee with a view to mobilizing international support for a peaceful solution of the question of Palestine. In the course of the Meeting, the participants have reviewed the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and expressed grave concern about its deterioration. The participants discussed the Road Map and emphasized that it remained the principal mechanism for moving towards a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They welcomed recent civil society initiatives, such as the Geneva and People’s Voice initiatives, as important steps to stimulate the necessary debate among Palestinians and Israelis on the factors that must be resolved to end the conflict.

3. The Meeting was held following the appointment of a new Palestinian Government and renewed efforts by the Quartet to promote the performance-based Road Map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The participants also welcomed the unanimous adoption by the Security Council of resolution 1515 (2003), in which the Council endorsed the Road Map and called on the parties to fulfil their obligations under the plan in cooperation with the Quartet and to realize the vision of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. The participants were hopeful that the expression of support for the Road Map by all members of the Council would provide the much-needed impetus to the stalled political process and would send a clear and powerful message to the leadership on both sides that concrete steps should be taken without further delay and conditions put in place in order to resume the peace dialogue and move forward vigorously with the implementation of the Road Map.

4. The participants viewed the adoption of resolution 1515 (2003) as a strong indication of the Security Council’s intention to remain fully engaged in efforts towards achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. In that regard, the participants called upon the United Nations to continue to maintain its permanent responsibility with respect to all aspects of the question of Palestine until it is resolved in a satisfactory manner, in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions, in accordance with international legitimacy, and until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people were fully realized.

5. The participants agreed that the continuing occupation by Israel of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, remained the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, threatening the security and stability of the entire region. The constantly expanding illegal settlement activities, throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and new Israeli-only roads and security zones cutting through the Palestinian land, were described by the participants as illegal facts which also jeopardized the chances for a political settlement and the eventual establishment of a sovereign, contiguous Palestinian State.

6. The participants voiced serious concern about the suffering and dispossession of the Palestinian people caused by the occupation. They noted that since September 2000 more than 2,700 Palestinians and 800 Israelis had been killed and many more had been injured, and participants deplored the loss of innocent lives. In that connection, the participants strongly emphasized that there could be no military solution to the conflict, and that a lasting settlement could only be reached through a peaceful dialogue and political process between the two parties based on international legitimacy.

7. The construction of the separation wall in the occupied West Bank and around East Jerusalem was seen as an extension of the illegal annexation by Israel of Palestinian land in violation of its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention. The participants welcomed the resolutions of the resumed tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly and the subsequent report of the Secretary-General, and called upon the Security Council to take steps to make Israel comply with the General Assembly’s demand to stop and reverse the construction of the wall. The participants considered the request by the General Assembly to the International Court of Justice to determine the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall an important step towards upholding international law in efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

8. The participants called on the Government of Israel to lift the siege it had imposed on the Chairman of the Executive Committee and President of the Palestinian Authority H.E. Mr. Yasser Arafat. They expressed concern that the elected leader of the Palestinian people remained confined to his headquarters, the muqataa , in Ramallah. As a result, the Palestinian people have been deprived of his leadership and guidance, especially at this critical time. The participants felt that the situation was utterly unacceptable and should be redressed by the occupying Power without delay.

9. The participants noted that because of an exceptionally high level of mistrust between the parties, the best hope was seen therefore in a continued international oversight and stewardship of the political process, in particular through the Quartet, working closely with other international and regional actors. The participants also underscored the need for the establishment of an effective formal mechanism on the ground to monitor the implementation of the Road Map and encouraged the Security Council to work towards the setting up of such a mechanism.

10. The Meeting commended the international donor assistance to the Palestinian people and emphasized its vital importance especially in view of the growing humanitarian crisis, virtual collapse of the Palestinian economy and large-scale destruction on the ground. The participants noted that harsh restrictions on the movement of people and goods, prolonged withholding by Israel of the Palestinian tax and customs revenues, and other measures of collective punishment had a disastrous effect on the Palestinian economy as a whole, as well as on the livelihood of individual Palestinian households. The participants stressed the responsibility of the occupying Power for facilitating the efforts by the donor community. Donor assistance was considered key to alleviating the humanitarian crisis and supporting the political process.

11. The Committee delegation expressed its deep appreciation for the active and constructive role played by China, a permanent member of the Security Council and an observer in the Committee, in the search for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region. Members of the Committee delegation welcomed the constructive efforts by H.E. Mr. Wang Shijie, China’s Special Envoy for Middle East Affairs, towards the resumption of the political dialogue between the parties.

12. The participants also expressed gratitude to the Minister for Foreign Affairs and to the Government of China for hosting the Meeting and for the assistance and support extended to the Committee and the United Nations Secretariat in its preparation.


XXI. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON ASSISTANCE TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

On 17 December 2003, at the 75th plenary meeting of its fifty-eighth session, the General Assembly considered agenda item 40 (e) on assistance to the Palestinian people and adopted resolution 58/113 under the same title by 170 votes to none, with 2 abstentions. The text of the resolution is reproduced below. For the verbatim record of the meeting, see A/58/PV.75. For the Secretary-General’s report on assistance to the Palestinian people, see A/58/88-E/2003/84.

58/113. Assistance to the Palestinian people

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 57/147 of 16 December 2002, as well as previous resolutions on the question,

Recalling also the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, 1/ and the subsequent implementation agreements concluded by the two sides,

Gravely concerned at the deterioration in the living conditions of the Palestinian people throughout the occupied territory, which constitutes a mounting humanitarian crisis,

Conscious of the urgent need for improvement in the economic and social infrastructure of the occupied territory,

Aware that development is difficult under occupation and is best promoted in circumstances of peace and stability,

Noting the great economic and social challenges facing the Palestinian people and their leadership,

Conscious of the urgent necessity for international assistance to the Palestinian people, taking into account the Palestinian priorities,

Welcoming the results of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace, convened in Washington, D.C., on 1 October 1993, the establishment of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee and the work being done by the World Bank as its secretariat and the establishment of the Consultative Group, as well as all follow-up meetings and international mechanisms established to provide assistance to the Palestinian people,

Welcoming also the work of the Joint Liaison Committee, which provides a forum in which economic policy and practical matters related to donor assistance are discussed with the Palestinian Authority,

Stressing the continued importance of the work of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee in the coordination of assistance to the Palestinian people,

Noting the convening of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meetings, held in London on 18 and 19 February 2003 and in Rome on 10 December 2003, to review the state of the Palestinian economy,

Stressing the need for the full engagement of the United Nations in the process of building Palestinian institutions and in providing broad assistance to the Palestinian people, and welcoming in this regard the support to the Palestinian Authority by the Task Force on Palestinian Reform established by the Quartet in 2002,

Noting , in this regard, the active participation of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority in the activities of the Special Envoys of the Quartet,

Welcoming the endorsement by the Security Council, in its resolution 1515(2003) of 19 November 2003, of the performance-based road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 2/ and stressing the need for its implementation and compliance with its provisions,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General, 3/

Expressing grave concern at the continuation of the recent tragic and violent events that have led to many deaths and injuries,

1. Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General; 3/

2. Also takes note of the report of the Personal Humanitarian Envoy of the Secretary-General on the humanitarian conditions and needs of the Palestinian people; 4/

3. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his rapid response and efforts regarding assistance to the Palestinian people;

4. Also expresses its appreciation to the Member States, United Nations bodies and intergovernmental, regional and non-governmental organizations that have provided and continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people;

5. Stresses the importance of the work of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority and of the steps taken under the auspices of the Secretary-General to ensure the achievement of a coordinated mechanism for United Nations activities throughout the occupied territories;

6. Urges Member States, international financial institutions of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and regional and interregional organizations to extend, as rapidly and as generously as possible, economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, in close cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization and through official Palestinian institutions;

7. Calls upon relevant organizations and agencies of the United Nations system to intensify their assistance in response to the urgent needs of the Palestinian people in accordance with Palestinian priorities set forth by the Palestinian Authority;

8. Urges Member States to open their markets to exports of Palestinian products on the most favourable terms, consistent with appropriate trading rules, and to implement fully existing trade and cooperation agreements;

9. Calls upon the international donor community to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance to the Palestinian people to meet their urgent needs;

10. Stresses , in this context, the importance of ensuring the free passage of aid to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods;

11. Urges the international donor community, United Nations agencies and organizations and non-governmental organizations to extend as rapidly as possible emergency economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people to counter the impact of the current crisis;

12. Stresses the need to implement the Paris Protocol on Economic Relations of 29 April 1994, fifth annex to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, 5/ in particular with regard to the full and prompt clearance of Palestinian indirect tax revenues, and welcomes the progress made in this regard;

13. Suggests the convening in 2004 of a United Nations-sponsored seminar on assistance to the Palestinian people;

14. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session, through the Economic and Social Council, on the implementation of the present resolution, containing:

(a) An assessment of the assistance actually received by the Palestinian people;

(b) An assessment of the needs still unmet and specific proposals for responding effectively to them;

15. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-ninth session the sub-item entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian people”.


75th plenary meeting
17 December 2003
-------

1/ A/48/486-S/26560, annex.

2/ S/2003/529, annex.

3/ A/58/88-E/2003/84 and Corr.1.

4/Available on the Internet at http://domino.un.org/bertini rpt.htm.

5/ A/51/889-S/1997/357, annex


XXII . GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON THE RIGHT OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE TO SELF-DETERMINATION


On 22 December 2003, at the 77th plenary meeting of its fifty-eighth session, the General Assembly considered draft resolution III contained in the report of the Third Committee (A/58/507) and adopted it as resolution 58/163 on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, by a vote of 169 to 53, with no abstentions. The text of the resolution is reproduced below. For the verbatim record of the Assembly’s consideration, see A/58/PV.77.

58/163. The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

The General Assembly,

Aware that the development of friendly relations among nations, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, is among the purposes and principles of the United Nations, as defined in the Charter,

Recalling the International Covenants on Human Rights, 1/ the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 2/ the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples 3/ and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993, 4/

Recalling also the Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations, 5/

Recalling further the United Nations Millennium Declaration, 6/

Expressing the urgent need for the resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process on its agreed basis and for the speedy achievement of a final settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,

Affirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

1. Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine;

2. Urges all States and the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination.


77th plenary meeting
22 December 2003

-----

1/ Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.

2/ Resolution 217 A (III).

3/ Resolution 1514 (XV).

4/ A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.

5/ See resolution 50/6.

6/ See resolution 55/2.

XXIII. TENTH EMERGENCY SPECIAL SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESUMES, REQUESTS AN INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE ADVISORY OPINION


At the request of the Group of Arab States (see A/ES-10/249) and the Non-Aligned Movement (see A/ES-10/251), the General Assembly, on 8 December 2003, resumed its tenth emergency special session. The Assembly considered agenda item 5, entitled “Illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory”. The Assembly had before it a report of the Secretary-General prepared pursuant to resolution ES-10/13 (A/ES-10/248). On the same day, by a vote of 90 to 8, with 74 abstentions, the General Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/14. For the verbatim record of the meeting, see A/ES-10/PV.2.

ES-10/14. Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory

The General Assembly,

Reaffirming its resolution ES-10/13 of 21 October 2003,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Aware of the established principle of international law on the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Aware also that developing friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples is among the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling relevant General Assembly resolutions, including resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, which partitioned mandated Palestine into two States, one Arab and one Jewish,

Recalling also the resolutions of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly,

Recalling further relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 267 (1969) of 3 July 1969, 298 (1971) of 25 September 1971, 446 (1979) of 22 March 1979, 452 (1979) of 20 July 1979, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980, 476 (1980) of 30 June 1980, 478 (1980) of 20 August 1980, 904 (1994) of 18 March 1994, 1073 (1996) of 28 September 1996, 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002 and 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention 1/ as well as Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions 2/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem,

Recalling the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land of 1907, 3/

Welcoming the convening of the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, at Geneva on 15 July 1999,

Expressing its support for the declaration adopted by the reconvened Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention at Geneva on 5 December 2001,

Recalling in particular relevant United Nations resolutions affirming that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development as well as those demanding the complete cessation of settlement activities,

Recalling relevant United Nations resolutions affirming that actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to change the status and demographic composition of Occupied East Jerusalem have no legal validity and are null and void,

Noting the agreements reached between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the context of the Middle East peace process,

Gravely concerned at the commencement and continuation of construction by Israel, the occupying Power, of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, which is in departure from the Armistice Line of 1949 (Green Line) and which has involved the confiscation and destruction of Palestinian land and resources, the disruption of the lives of thousands of protected civilians and the de facto annexation of large areas of territory, and underlining the unanimous opposition by the international community to the construction of that wall,

Gravely concerned also at the even more devastating impact of the projected parts of the wall on the Palestinian civilian population and on the prospects for solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and establishing peace in the region,

Welcoming the report of 8 September 2003 of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, 4/ in particular the section regarding the wall,

Affirming the necessity of ending the conflict on the basis of the two-State solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security based on the Armistice Line of 1949, in accordance with relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions,

Having received with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General, submitted in accordance with resolution ES-10/13, 5/

Bearing in mind that the passage of time further compounds the difficulties on the ground, as Israel, the occupying Power, continues to refuse to comply within international law vis-à-vis its construction of the above-mentioned wall, with all its detrimental implications and consequences,

Decides , in accordance with Article 96 of the Charter of the United Nations, to request the International Court of Justice, pursuant to Article 65 of the Statute of the Court, to urgently render an advisory opinion on the following question:

What are the legal consequences arising from the construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as described in the report of the Secretary-General, considering the rules and principles of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, and relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions?

23rd plenary meeting
8 December 2003
-----

1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.

2/ Ibid., vol 1125, No. 17512.

3/ See Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915).

4/ E/CN.4/2004/6.

5/ A/ES-10/248.


XXIV. QUARTET TASK FORCE ON PALESTINIAN REFORM ISSUES STATEMENT

The Task Force on Palestinian Reform issued the following statement on 11 December 2004.

The Task Force on Palestinian Reform, composed of representatives of the Quartet (U.S., EU, Russia and the UN Secretary-General), Norway, Japan, Canada, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, met in Rome on December 11, 2003, to review the status of continuing Palestinian reform efforts. Chaired by the EC, the meeting reviewed progress achieved since the last Task Force meeting in February 2003. It discussed these developments, as well as prospects for further progress, with high-level Israeli and Palestinian delegations. The Task Force considers this work critical to building the foundations of a viable, independent, and democratic Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel, as envisaged in the Quartet’s Road Map to Middle East peace.

The Task Force recognized the establishment of the office of a Palestinian Prime Minister as a major political reform achievement in 2003. It also commended the significant efforts by the Palestinian side in the fields of structural, administrative, financial, and economic reform. The Finance Minister now publishes the Palestinian Authority’s budget on the internet, including monthly spending reports. Commercial monopolies have been audited, state security courts abolished, and the workings of the PA Cabinet are being comprehensively reformed. The Task Force commended the 2004 Draft Budget Law, which will further consolidate Palestinian finances under the PA Ministry of Finance, augmenting the accountability and transparency of PA fiscal management. The Palestinian efforts to establish a centrally coordinated and proactive approach to reform, through the PA Reform Coordination Support Unit under the auspices of the Prime Minister, are also welcomed. Equally, the establishment of the Palestinian National Reform Committee, composed of representatives from the Government, the legislature, the business community and civil society, is recognized as a positive step towards ensuring broader Palestinian public participation in setting and supervising reforms and towards developing an even more comprehensive reform agenda.

At the same time, the Task Force expressed deep concern that the reform process has been largely stalled over the past four months. Many key reform benchmarks have not been met, and require the urgent attention of the PA. The extension of direct deposit salary payments to all PA personnel, without exception, should be a top priority; the donor community considers this measure to be a bellwether of Palestinian will and PA empowerment. Other key reform measures that must be addressed include the overdue submission of the PA Auditor-General’s report to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) according to the Basic Law, the need to make the many non-ministerial government agencies accountable to the PLC, and the adoption of laws that are key to the reform process, including for an efficient market economy.

Looking ahead, the Task Force welcomed the recent establishment of a new Palestinian Cabinet under Prime Minister Qureia and its declared commitment to reform as a top priority. It examined the new Cabinet’s reform plan presented by the Palestinian delegation and stressed the need for concrete, rapid and visible results on key reform areas in the coming period in order to re-establish momentum recently lost. Focus should be on further progress related to financial accountability, continued judicial reform, and the passing of priority legislation. The PA needs to strengthen the separation of powers by establishing an independent and fully functioning judiciary that obtains the confidence of the public by providing a viable mechanism for dispute resolution; and by urgently improving the effectiveness and the speed of the legislative process. In pursuit of establishing a viable Palestinian State respecting fundamental democratic principles, the rule of law and human rights, the reform process will also need to challenge internal resistance to change. In this regard, the Task Force noted the Palestinian objective to hold elections by summer 2004, stressed the need for an immediate passage of the election law following consideration and debate in the PLC, and encouraged all related preparatory activities to be advanced by the concerned Palestinian authorities, with appropriate facilitation from the Israeli side, in accordance with the Road Map.

The Task Force acknowledged that progress on reform is enhanced by a favorable security and political context, as attested by the positive progress made during the period of relative quiet under the Government of Prime Minister Abbas in the summer of 2003. The Task Force also observed that success in the reform process is impossible without the active facilitation of the Israeli Government. The Task Force welcomed the continued regular Israeli transfers of Palestinian tax revenues to the PA. At the same time, it strongly encouraged Israel to better promote Palestinian reform efforts in accordance with the Road Map. While acknowledging Israel’s legitimate security concerns, there was consensus in the Task Force that Israel can do much more. The reluctance to grant predictable and long-term freedom of movement to governmental and non-governmental Palestinian reformers, as well as parliamentarians, combined with continued access obstacles for donor staff working on supporting reform, represents a significant impediment to further progress on the PA’s reform agenda. The Task Force on Palestinian Reform urged Israel to take immediate steps to allow such freedom of movement and also to remove access obstacles encountered by donors.

The Task Force concluded by expressing its expectation that renewed commitment by all parties to advance Palestinian reforms should result in progress over the months ahead, and underscored that a favorable security and political environment would greatly enhance the prospects for achieving visible results. The Task Force expressed its continued willingness to support the Palestinian reform agenda through donor assistance and effective monitoring.



XXV. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON THE SITUATION OF AND ASSISTANCE TO PALESTINIAN CHILDREN

On 23 December 2003, at the 77 th plenary meeting of its fifty-eighth session, the General Assembly considered agenda item 113 based on the report of the Third Committee (A/58/504) and adopted resolution 58/155, the text of which is reproduced below, by a vote of 106 to 5, with 55 abstentions. For the verbatim record of the meeting see A/58/PV.77.


58/155. Situation of and assistance to Palestinian children

The General Assembly,

Recalling the Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1/

Recalling also the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and the Plan of Action for Implementing the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children in the 1990s, adopted by the World Summit for Children, held in New York on 29 and 30 September 1990, 2/

Recalling further the Declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the General Assembly at its twenty-seventh special session, 3/

Concerned that the Palestinian children under Israeli occupation remain deprived of many basic rights under the Convention,

Concerned also about the continued grave deterioration of the situation of Palestinian children in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and about the severe consequences of the continuing Israeli assaults and sieges on Palestinian cities, towns, villages and refugee camps, resulting in the dire humanitarian crisis,

Emphasizing the importance of the safety and well-being of all children in the whole Middle East region,

Expressing its condemnation of all acts of violence, resulting in extensive loss of human life and injuries, including among Palestinian children,

Deeply concerned about the severe consequences, including psychological consequences, of the Israeli military actions for the present and future well-being of Palestinian children,

1. Stresses the urgent need for Palestinian children to live a normal life free from foreign occupation, destruction and fear in their own State;

2. Demands, in the meanwhile, that Israel, the occupying Power, respect relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1/ and comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 4/ in order to ensure the well-being and protection of Palestinian children and their families;

3. Calls upon the international community to provide urgently needed assistance and services in an effort to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian children and their families and to help in the reconstruction of relevant Palestinian institutions.

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1/ Resolution 44/25, annex.

2/ A/45/625, annex.

3/ See resolution S-27/2, annex.

4/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.

XXVI. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS RESOLUTION ON PERMANENT SOVEREIGNTY OVER NATURAL RESOURCES


On 23 December 2003, at the 78th plenary meeting of its fifty-eighth session, the General Assembly considered agenda item 103 based on the report of the Second Committee (A/58/493), and adopted resolution 58/229, by a vote of 157 to 4, with 10 abstentions. The text of the resolution is reproduced below.

58/229. Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 57/269 of 20 December 2002, and taking note of Economic and Social Council resolution 2003/59 of 24 July 2003,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and recalling relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967, 465 (1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497 (1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 1/ to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Expressing its concern at the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of the natural resources of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Expressing its concern also at the extensive destruction by Israel, the occupying Power, of agricultural land and orchards in the Occupied Palestinian Territory during the recent period, including the uprooting of a vast number of olive trees,

Aware of the detrimental impact of the Israeli settlements on Palestinian and other Arab natural resources, especially the confiscation of land and the forced diversion of water resources, and of the dire economic and social consequences in this regard,

Aware also of the detrimental impact on Palestinian natural resources of the wall being constructed by Israel inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and of its grave effect on the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people,

Reaffirming the need for the immediate resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973, 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 and 1397 (2002) of 12 March 2002, the principle of land for peace and the Quartet performance-based road map to a permanent two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 2/ as endorsed by the Security Council in its resolution 1515 (2003) of 19 November 2003, and for the achievement of a final settlement on all tracks,

Recalling the need to end all acts of violence, including acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction,

Taking note of the note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia 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 of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan,3/

1. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land and water;

2. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, cause loss or depletion of or endanger the natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

3. Recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, loss or depletion of, or danger to, their natural resources, and expresses the hope that this issue will be dealt with in the framework of the final status negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to it at its fifty-ninth session on the implementation of the present resolution, and decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-ninth session the item entitled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources”.

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1/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 973.

2/ See S/2003/529, annex.

3/ A/58/75-E/2003/21.


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