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

Fifty-Ninth General Assembly
Second Committee
36th Meeting (AM)
24 November 2004
Acting Without Vote, Delegates Approve Six Other
Drafts, Including Texts on Natural Disaster, Protection of Global Climate

Expressing concern over Israel’s extensive destruction of agricultural land and orchards in occupied Arab territories, the General Assembly would call on that country not to exploit, damage, cause loss, deplete or endanger natural resources in those territories, according to one of six draft resolutions approved today by the Second Committee (Economic and Financial).

Approving that draft by a recorded 144 votes in favour, to 4 against (Israel Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the United States), with 8 abstentions (Albania, Australia, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Tuvalu, Vanuatu), the Committee recommended that the Assembly reaffirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land and water.  (See annex.)

Also by that text, on the 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 (document A/C.2/59/L.41), the Assembly would recognize the Palestinian right to claim restitution due to exploitation, damage, loss, depletion, or endangerment of their natural resources, and express hope that the issue would be dealt with in the final status negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.

Speaking after the vote, on behalf of the European Union, the representative of the Netherlands said the violation of Palestinian rights was illegal under the Fourth Geneva Convention.  The European Union was committed to assisting the parties to find a Middle East settlement within the context of the Road Map set forth by the Quartet, and the text approved by the Committee should not be considered prejudicial or pre-emptive of any outcome.


Another draft (document A/C.2/59/L.38), on implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) and strengthening of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) would have the Assembly would call for increased financial support to UN-Habitat, particularly non-earmarked contributions, to the UN-Habitat Foundation and its upgrading facility, and would invite governments to provide multi-year funding to support programme implementation.  It would also call upon the international donor community and financial institutions to contribute generously to the Technical Cooperation Trust Fund and the Special Human Settlements Programme for the Palestinian people.


The Second Committee will meet again at a date and time to be announced in the Journal.


Vote on Draft Resolution on Permanent Sovereignty

The draft resolution on the 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 (document A/C.2/59/L.41) was approved by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 4 against, with 8 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica*, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, United States.

Abstain:  Albania, Australia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

Absent:  Antigua and Barbuda, Bhutan, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gambia, Georgia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan*, Malawi, Mauritania, Nauru, Nicaragua, Niger*, Nigeria, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Moldova*, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sudan*, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.

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*     Denmark’s vote incorrectly reflected as Dominica’s vote; Dominica absent from room.  Kyrgyzstan and the Republic of Moldova indicated that they had intended to vote in favour.  Niger and the Sudan indicated that had they been present, they would have voted against.
For information media - not an official record