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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.4/56/SR.17
11 December 2002

English
Original: Russian

Fifty-sixth Session
Official Records



Fourth Committee

Summary record of the 17th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Friday, 9 November 2001, at 10 a.m.


Chairman: Mr. Hasmy ................................................. (Malaysia)

Contents

Agenda item 87: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (continued)

Agenda item 88: Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

Organization of work


The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.

Agenda item 87: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (continued)

Adoption of draft resolutions A/C.4/56/L.7 to L.13

1. The Chairman said that the Secretariat had informed him that none of the draft resolutions being considered by the Committee had programme budget implications.

2. Mr. Wilkinson (Secretary of the Committee) said that corrections and changes to the wording of some of the draft resolutions before the Committee were needed. Accordingly, in the French-language version of draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.7, entitled “Assistance to Palestine refugees”, the word “ nouvelle” in the penultimate line of operative paragraph 8 should be deleted. In draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.18 on the occupied Syrian Golan, the words “to the occupied Syrian Golan” should be inserted after the date “12 August 1949” in the ninth preambular paragraph. In operative paragraph 3 of the Arabic-language version of that draft resolution, the words “and have no legal effect” had been omitted in error and should be added.

3. Mr. Mekdad (Syrian Arab Republic) said that the words omitted from the Arabic-language version of draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.18 had originally appeared in the text, but had been removed during subsequent drafting work by mistake. The alteration being made was therefore a correction rather than an addition.

4. The Chairman drew attention to the draft resolutions submitted under agenda item 87 (A/C.4/56/L.7 to L.13).

5. Mr. Cockx (Belgium), speaking on behalf of the European Union, introduced draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.7, entitled “Assistance to Palestine refugees”. He hoped that it would be adopted by consensus.

6. Mr. Mollema (Netherlands), introducing draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.8, entitled “Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East”, said that its wording had been slightly altered from the wording used in the resolution adopted at the previous session. The penultimate preambular paragraph included a reference to emergency-related and humanitarian programmes whereas the previous year’s resolution had referred only to emergency-related programmes. His delegation wished to thank the co-sponsors of the draft resolution and hoped that it would be adopted by consensus.

7. Mr. Thayeb (Indonesia) introduced on behalf of their sponsors the following draft resolutions submitted under agenda item 87: draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.9, entitled “Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities”; draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.10, entitled “Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education, including vocational training, for Palestine refugees”; draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.11, entitled “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East”; draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.12, entitled “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues”; and draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.13, entitled “University of Jerusalem (Al-Quds) for Palestine refugees”. The draft resolutions addressed several important principles and issues regarding the Palestine refugees and the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in providing them with the necessary services and assistance. For more than five decades, UNRWA had carried out its essential work under very difficult circumstances and financial constraints which still persisted. The draft resolutions essentially contained the same texts as those adopted at the fifty-fifth session under the item in question, with some technical modifications and changes to reflect recent developments.

8. He drew attention to the operative paragraphs of draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.9, which reaffirmed the right of 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, and expressed concern that the mechanism for that return had not entered into effect. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.10 focused on the importance of education and vocational training for Palestine refugees. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.11 contained new preambular paragraphs referring to the serious difficulties which UNRWA and Palestine refugees were facing because of the worsening situation. A new operative paragraph 9 called upon Israel to cease its policies of closing off territories and of restricting the movement of persons and goods. The operative part of the draft resolution also called on Israel to stop placing obstacles in the way of the operation of UNRWA and to abide by the provisions of the fourth Geneva Convention. In draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.12, he drew particular attention to paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 6, and in draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.13, he drew particular attention to operative paragraphs 1 and 2, which emphasized the need to strengthen the education system in Palestinian territory, and specifically the need for the establishment of the University of Jerusalem “Al-Quds”.

Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.7, entitled “Assistance to Palestine refugees”

9. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.7.

In favour:

Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’ s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yugoslavia.

Against:

Israel.

Abstaining:

Marshall Islands, United States of America.

10. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.7 was adopted by 116 votes to 1, with 2 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.8, entitled “Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East”

11. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.8 was adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.9, entitled “Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities”

12. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.9.

In favour:

Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’ s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Un ited Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yugoslavia.

Against:

Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:

None.

13. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.9 was adopted by 117 votes to 2.

Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.10, entitled “Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education, including vocational training, for Palestine refugees”

14. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.10.

In favour:

Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’ s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia.

Against:

None.

Abstaining:

Israel.

15. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.10 was adopted by 119 votes to none, with 1 abstention.

Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.11, entitled “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East”

16. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.11.

In favour:

Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’ s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia.

Against:

Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Marshall Islands.

17. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.11 was adopted by 117 votes to 2, with 1 abstention.

Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.12, entitled “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues”

18. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.12.

In favour:

Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’ s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia.

Against:

Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:

None.

19. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.12 was adopted by 118 votes to 2.

Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.13, entitled “University of Jerusalem ‘Al-Quds’ for Palestine Refugees”

20. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.13.

In favour:

Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’ s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia.

Against:

Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:

None.

21. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.13 was adopted by 118 votes to 2.

22. Mr. Blazey (Australia), explaining the position of his delegation, said that it was concerned at the worsening socio-economic situation in the occupied territories. The draft resolution on the operations of UNRWA had rightly drawn attention to the social and economic consequences of the restrictions on movement in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It called on the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships to provide maximum freedom of movement for goods, persons and humanitarian assistance, having committed themselves to end the violence which was the greatest threat to the normal functioning of society in the Middle East.

Agenda item 88: Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

Adoption of draft resolutions A/C.4/56/L.14 to L.18

23. The Chairman invited the Committee to take action on the draft resolutions submitted under agenda item 88 (A/C.4/56/L.14 to L.18).

24. Mr. Requeijo (Cuba) introduced draft resolutions A/C.4/56/L.14 to L.18 and said that they demonstrated that the situation in the territories had unfortunately not changed for the better. That lack of improvement was reflected in the harsher terms used by the sponsors of the draft resolutions. He summarized the basic provisions of draft resolutions A/C.4/56/L.14 to L.17. Turning to draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.18, he noted that, although Cuba had participated in drafting it, it was not one of its sponsors. It called on Israel, as the occupying Power, to implement the relevant resolutions regarding the occupied Syrian Golan, in particular Security Council resolution 497 (1981), which stated that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights was null and void and without international legal effect, and demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, should rescind that decision. Many of the resolutions of the Security Council on the situation of Palestinians in the occupied territories remained a dead letter 20 years later, and no steps were being taken to ensure that they were implemented. After reading out paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of the draft resolution, he urged the Committee to approve all the draft resolutions before it as a sign of solidarity with the Palestinian people, even though it was unlikely that a consensus would be reached.

25. Mr. Loedel (Uruguay) said that he had a number of comments on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.17. Firstly, the rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories had nothing to do with that draft resolution. Secondly, it should focus on the human rights of Palestinians in those territories. Thirdly, violence should be condemned under all circumstances, irrespective of whether that perpetrator represented a government, or was a private individual or a group.

26. The Chairman announced that Bahrain and Oman had become sponsors of draft resolutions A/C.4/56/L.14 to L.17 and that Cuba had become a sponsor of draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.18.

Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.14, entitled “Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories”

27. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.14.

In favour:

Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen.

Against:

Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Yugoslavia

28. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.14 was adopted by 73 votes to 2, with 47 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.15, entitled “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”

29. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.15.

In favour:

Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia.

Against:

Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:

None.

30. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.15 was adopted by 121 votes to 2.

Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.16 entitled “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan”

31. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.16.

In favour:

Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia.

Against:

Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Suriname.

32. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.16 was adopted by 119 votes to 2, with 3 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.17, entitled “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem”

33. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.17.

In favour:

Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia.

Against:

Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea.

34. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.17 was adopted by 117 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.18, entitled “The occupied Syrian Golan”

35. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.18.

In favour:

Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia.

Against:

Israel.

Abstaining:

United States of America.

36. Draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.18 was adopted by 120 votes to 1, with 1 abstention.

37. Mr. Cockx (Belgium), explaining the abstention of the European Union members in the vote on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.14, said that the European Union supported the adoption of the other four resolutions under agenda item 88, but it had the same reservations about draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.14 as in previous years. The European Union felt that the mandate and mission of the Special Committee did not adequately reflect the current situation, and that the issues being considered by the Committee should be dealt with in another forum. He reiterated the European Union’s support for a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution of the Middle East question based on compliance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and with the Madrid and Oslo Agreements. It called on the parties to the conflict to act on the recommendations of the Mitchell Report and the Tenet Plan. Reviving the peace process provided the only hope of putting an end to the conflict. The European Union was willing to assist in seeking a final settlement, together with the other interested parties.

38. Mr. Blazey (Australia), explaining the abstention of Australia in the vote on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.14, said that his delegation considered it to be unbalanced in its criticism, blaming only one party for the current situation. Australia continued to condemn the use of violence and excessive force. Both sides were responsible for making efforts to end violence and for taking steps to secure a genuine ceasefire and a return to peace negotiations. It called on the parties to resume as soon as possible talks based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and the principle of land for peace.

39. With regard to draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.16, Australia condemned all illegal acts of violence, irrespective of their perpetrators. It was once again concerned that that general principle, which had been accepted by both sides, was not reflected in an even-handed manner in operative paragraph 5 of the resolution. Australia had voted in favour of draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.17, which on the whole was a clear and important reflection of the international community’s views on that issue. However, it was essential to recognize the responsibility of both parties for ending acts of violence. Australia condemned the use of violence, particularly terrorism and suicide bombings; all the parties had an obligation to act to end the violence and resume peace negotiations.

40. Mr. Hughes (New Zealand) said that his delegation had voted in favour of draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.17 with some hesitation. Although the text continued to be an important manifestation of the international community’s view of the human rights of the Palestinian people, New Zealand would have liked it to reject all acts of violence. His delegation firmly condemned suicide attacks against civilians, and considered that all the parties were responsible for seeking a solution to the problem, ending the cycle of violence and reviving the peace process.

41. Ms. Price (Canada) said that her delegation had once again abstained in the vote on draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.14. It deplored all acts of violence and the deaths and losses on both sides, Palestinian and Israeli. It wished to express the same view in connection with draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.17, for which it had voted. Canada viewed the singling out of violence committed by only one side as counterproductive to the peace process. With regard to the twelfth and thirteenth preambular paragraphs, it wished to point out that a temporary international or foreign presence or third-party monitoring would require the agreement of both sides.

42. Mr. Nylander (Norway) said that his delegation had voted in favour of draft resolution A/C.4/56/L.17, and continued to condemn the acts of violence which had worsened the situation in the Palestinian territories in the previous twelve months. The conflict in the Middle East could not be solved by such means; both sides should make every effort to end the violence. Peace negotiations were the only way to achieve security for the Palestinians and Israelis. That would not be an easy task, but Norway believed that the only possible foundations for settling the conflict were Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973.

43. Mr. Kaid (Yemen) said that, if he had been present during the vote, he would have voted in favour of draft resolutions A/C.4/56/L.7 and L.9.

44. Mr. Sow (Senegal) said that, if he had been present during the vote, he would have voted in favour of the draft resolutions on Palestine.

45. Mr. Tanoh-Boutchoué (Côte d’Ivoire) said that if he had been present during the voting, he would have voted in favour of draft resolutions A/C.4/56/L. 7 to L.13.

Organization of work

46. The Chairman announced that there were four candidates for three posts of Vice-Chairman, but that there were no candidates at all for the post of Rapporteur. There were five posts for Committee officers, so as to ensure representation of the five regional groups.

47. The Committee was required to report to the General Assembly on matters requiring a decision after their consideration had been completed. The reporting was usually one of the responsibilities of the Rapporteur. Unless the vacancy was filled rapidly, he intended to report to the General Assembly in his capacity as Chairman of the Fourth Committee.

48. A rotation of the posts of Chairman, three Vice-Chairmen and Rapporteur could be established, following the English alphabetical order of the regional groups. The advantage of that arrangement was that the regional groups would know in advance for which Committee officer posts they would need to find candidates. The arrangement would also enable the representatives of the regional groups who were due to take up officer posts to familiarize themselves with the issues which the Committee would be considering before it actually began its work.

49. Under that arrangement the post of Chairman should be filled for the next year by a member of the Asian Group and the three posts of Vice-Chairmen by members of the Eastern European, Latin American and Caribbean, and Western European and Other Groups. The African Group should put forward candidates for the post of Rapporteur. If the delegations agreed with his proposal, that arrangement would be put into effect at the following meeting, in order that the Bureau might be in place by the end of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly.

50. Mr. Macedo (Mexico) said that, since delegations had been unable to agree on the composition of the Bureau, he agreed with the Chairman that solutions were needed: firstly, a short-term solution, and second, a long-term solution that prevented the current situation from arising again. The advantage of the arrangement that the Chairman had proposed was that it would ensure a fair rotation of officer posts among the regional groups, provide the regional groups with timely notice of the posts they would be required to fill, and enable them to prepare candidates for those posts. He fully supported the proposed approach and hoped that it would be approved by consensus.

51. Mr. Mekdad (Syrian Arab Republic) thanked the delegations that had voted in favour of the resolutions just adopted, including the resolution on the occupied Syrian Golan. The affirmative votes were a manifestation of the will of most of the international community, an expression of support for international legality of rejection of the occupation of others’ lands and the killing of those lands’ inhabitants. He supported the work of the Special Committee, which gave the Member States a full picture of the situation in occupied territories and should have the support of the delegations. The Syrian Arab Republic was committed to the peace process in the Middle East, and hoped that the voting that had taken place represented a further opportunity for the international community to force Israel to take part in a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the region and to withdraw from all occupied Palestinian and Syrian lands. His delegation fully supported the Chairman’s proposal for a rotation of Committee officers.

52. The Chairman said that, in accordance with its programme of work, the Committee would consider agenda item 89 on 19 November and agenda item 90 on 20 November. He invited those delegations which wished to make statements to add their names to the lists of speakers.

The meeting rose at 11.40 a.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.



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