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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
31 December 2000
YEARBOOK
OF THE UNITED NATIONS 2000




VOLUME 54


DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK


...

Chapter VI

MIDDLE EAST

In 2000, the work of the United Nations in the Middle East was affected two major events, one of which was positive the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon in June. The other the escalation of violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in late September-resulted in the breakdown of the peace process between Israel and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Despite that setback, the United Nations continued, through its peace-keeping operations, the good offices of the Secretary-General and programmes of economic, social and other forms of assistance, as well as active participation in multilateral negotiations, to support and promote peace and economic development in the region.

Throughout the year, the international community made strenuous efforts to break the stalemate in the Middle East peace process by building on the 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt) Memorandum, signed by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. Although no comprehensive agreement between the two parties was reached at the July Middle East Peace Summit, held at Camp David, Maryland, under the auspices of United States President William J. Clinton, Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat committed themselves to continue their efforts to conclude an agreement on permanent status issues.

The Palestinian intifada (uprising) erupted at the end of September following the visit of Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon to a holy Islamic site in the Old City of Jerusalem. In an effort to end the violence, high-level meetings took place in early October in Paris and sharm el-Sheikh but no agreement was reached. In the face of the continuing crisis, President Clinton and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt convened the Sharm el-Sheikh Middle East Peace Summit on 16 and 17 October, which produced understandings aimed at ending the confrontation and established a Fact-Finding Committee, chaired by former United States Senator George Mitchell, to investigate the causes of the violence. Nevertheless, the security situation deteriorated further at the end of the year, with hundreds of civilians, the majority Palestinians, either killed of injured.

Following the September uprising, the Security Council convened in a three-day emergency meeting. In a 7 October resolution, the council called for the immediate cessation of violence and for Israel to abide by its obligations under the 1948 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention). In December, a draft resolution, by which the Council would have expressed its determination to establish a UN observer forces in the territories occupied by Israel was not adopted as it did not obtain the required number of votes.

In October, the General Assembly resumed its tenth emergency special session, which first convened in 1997, to discuss the item, "Illegal Israeli actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory". It condemned the violence that erupted in late September and the excessive use of force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians and, among other things, urged all parties concerned to implement the understanding reached at the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit.

In southern Lebanon, guns fell silent after more than two decades as the United Nations confirmed the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the area on 16 June 2000 in compliance with Security Council resolution 425(1978) [YUN 1978, p. 312]. An international boundary line between Israel and Lebanon, the so-called Blue Line, was established by the United Nations for the sole purpose of confirming the withdrawal. Although both parties undertook to respect that boundary, violations and attacks across the Blue Line occurred during the second half of the year. The Secretary-General visited regional leaders in June to discuss the situation. He also appointed Rolf G. Knuttson as his Personal Representative for southern Lebanon to coordinate UN activities in the area. The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) pursued efforts to limit the conflict and protect inhabitants from its consequences and, following the Israeli withdrawal, was reinforced and redeployed in the vacated areas. Although the Lebanese Government re-established its effective authority in the area. Lebanese security forces did not operate close to the Blue Line, where control was left to the paramilitary group Hezbollah.

The mandates of UNIFIL and of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights were extended twice during the year, and the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) continued to assist both peace-keeping operations in their tasks.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), despite ongoing financial difficulties, continued to provide a wide-ranging programme of education, health, relief and social services to 3.7 million Palestinian refugees living both in and outside camps in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as in Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. Following the September escalation of violence, UNRWA launched an urgent appeal to fund a three-month contingency plan to buy food and medical supplies for Palestinian refugees.

During the year, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories reported to the Assembly on the situation in the West Bank including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People continued to mobilize international support for the Palestinians.

By decision 55/431 of 14 December, the General Assembly deferred consideration of the agenda item "Armed Israeli aggression against the Iraqi nuclear installations and its grave consequences for the established international system concerning the peaceful use of nuclear energy, the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and international peace and security" and included in the provisional agenda of its fifty-sixth (2001) session. The item had been inscribed yearly on the Assembly's agenda since 1981, following the bombing by Israel of a nuclear research centre near Baghdad [YUN 1981, p. 275].


Peace process
Overall situation


During the first nine months of 2000, Israel and the PLO continued to implement the 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum [YUN 1999, p. 401]. Actions included the further redeployment of Israeli troops from parts of the West Bank, an agreement on the release of Palestinian prisoners, the opening of a southern safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the resumption of negotiations on permanent status issues.

The resumed negotiations between Israel and the PLO took place in the United States in March/April at Boiling Air Force Base near Washington, B.C., and at the Middle East Peace Summit, held in July under the auspices of President dent William J. Clinton, at Camp David, Maryland. Although Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat failed to reach a comprehensive agreement, they committed themselves, in the trilateral statement made at the conclusion of the Summit, to continue their efforts to conclude an agreement on all permanent status issues as soon as possible.

The eruption of the Palestinian intifada (uprising) in protest over the visit of Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon, accompanied by Likud Knesset members and hundreds of security personnel and police, to the holy Islamic site of Al-Haram Al-Sharif (the Dome of the Rock) compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on 28 September marked the end of peace negotiations and the beginning of a spiral of violence, which had devastating effects on the security and economic situation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

In an effort to stop the violence, Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister Barak met in Paris on 4 October with United States Secretary of State Madeleine Al-bright, French President Jacques Chirac and the Secretary-General. A further meeting took place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on 5 October but Prime Minister Barak did not attend. Following the adoption of a Security Council resolution on 7 October and in order to bring about an end to the crisis, President Clinton and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak convened the Sharm el-Sheikh Middle East Peace Summit on 16 and 17 October, which was also attended by King Abdullah II of Jordan, Prime Minister Barak, Chairman Arafat, President Javier Solana of the European Union (EU) and the Secretary-General. The Summit produced understandings in three areas—security cooperation, establishment of a fact-finding committee and renewal of the peace process aimed at ending the confrontation and restoring calm in the region. The further escalation of violence following the Summit made the achievement of those objectives all but impossible, with the exception of the establishment in November of the Fact-Finding Committee, which was expected to report in 2001.

In a November report [A/55/639-S/2000/1113], the Secretary-General said that the quest for a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians reached a crucial stage at the Camp David Summit in July. Though an overall agreement was not reached, for the first time the most difficult issues were seriously addressed. However, following Mr. Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount/Al-Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem, protests and violence erupted in which more than 230 people were killed, the vast majority Palestinians. The crisis held the potential for further escalation with dangerous consequences for the entire Middle East. The Israelis and Palestinians had to live side by side with each other and had to reconcile their differences through dialogue and co-operation. The question was how to respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to personal dignity and national independence and to the legitimate security concerns of Israel.

In resolution 55/55 of 1 December (see p. 440), the General Assembly noted the signing of the 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum and continued to express its full support for the peace process, which began in Madrid in 1991 [YUN 1991, p. 221], the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements [YUN 1993, p. 521] and the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip [YUN 1995, p. 626]. However, the Assembly stressed its deep concern over the clashes between the Israeli forces and the Palestinian police in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 28 September, which had resulted in a high number of deaths and injuries.

Committee on Palestinian Rights. In its annual report (A/55/35), the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (Committee on Palestinian Rights) expressed grave concern over the violent confrontations between Israeli security forces and Palestinians in the Old City of Jerusalem that had erupted on 28 September, and noted that excessive force had been used by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) against the Palestinian protesters. The Committee reiterated that those events were a direct result of the policies and practices of the Israeli occupation and Israel's failure to respect its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the provisions of relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions. Israel's persistent refusal to live up to those principles, as well as the continued lack of progress in the peace negotiations, jeopardized the peace process and increased volatility in the region. The Committee viewed the understandings reached at Sharm el-Sheikh as a useful step towards halting the violence.

Responding on 31 March [A/54/821-S/2000/276], the United Arab Emirates, as Chairman of the Arab Group for the month of March, said that Israel's statement deliberately overlooked the fact that the fundamental reason for the condemnation of Israel was the shelling and bombing of civilians in Lebanon and the consequent destruction of Lebanese infrastructure. Israel also sought to cloak its acts of aggression, as illustrated by the fact that occupation, the building of settlements, the expropriation of land, the attempted Judaization of Jerusalem and repressive practices against Arab citizens in the Occupied I Palestinian Territory continued.
By a 29 June follow-up letter [A/54/98O-S/2000/637] to tire Secretary-General and the Security Council President, the Permanent Observer said that unusual military movements and preparations were being carried out by the Israeli forces in the occupied Gaza Strip. Such preparations were related to the verbal threats of force made by Israeli officials.

On 30 June [A/54/932-S/2000/644], the Permanent Observer said that Israel's Attorney-General had stated that UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territories were not applicable to the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

By a 7 September letter to the Secretary-General [A/55/378-S/2000/868], Malaysia transmitted the final communique and recommendations adopted by the Al-Quds Committee at its eighteenth session (Agadir, Morocco, 28 August). The Committee, among other things, supported Palestinian sovereignty over Al-Quds Al-Sharif (Jerusalem), including the Mosque of Al-Hararo Al-Sharif and all other Christian and Islamic sanctuaries situated inside the city.


Escalation of violence By a 2 October follow-up letter to the Secretary-General and the Security Council President [A/55/437-S/2000/930], the Permanent Observer said that Israel had continued its campaign against the Palestinians. As at 1 October and since the visit to Al-Haram Al-Sharif by Mr. Sharon, Israeli soldiers had killed 28 Palestinians and injured at least 800 others. Israel had deployed snipers and used high-velocity ammunition, as well as antitank missiles, rockets, grenades and helicopter gunships. Israeli tanks had moved towards several Palestinian cities and some posts manned by Palestinian police. The Permanent Observer called for an immediate meeting of the Council to consider the situation.

In a 2 October letter to the Secretary-General [A/55/440-S/2000/936], the Chairman of the Committee on Palestinian Rights expressed concern at the continued confrontation in the Old City of Jerusalem and throughout the West Bank and Gaza. According to media reports, 40 Palestinians had died and 1,500 others had been wounded since 28 September. The Committee was of the view that the events of the past several days were a direct result of the policies and practices of the Israeli occupation; Israel continued to violate its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and the provisions of Security Council and Genera] Assembly resolutions.

Responding on 2 October [A/55/441-S/2000/937], Israel said that the events of 28 September on the Temple Mount represented a further escalation of Palestinian violence. Muslim worshippers hurled rocks at Jewish worshippers gathered at the Western Wall on the eve of the Jewish New Year, and then attempted to force their way out of the Temple Mount area and through the Mughrabim gate to the Western Wall plaza. At that point, Israeli forces were compelled to enter the area to push back the charging crowd. Since then, the Palestinian violence had continued un-Abated and there had been numerous instances of live fire emanating from within protesting crowds. Israeli security personnel returned fire only when absolutely necessary and exercised all possible restraint in their efforts to restore calm and security. Israel stressed that the responsibility for the escalation lay with the Palestinian Authority (PA) because of, among other things, its incitement of the population through inflammatory rhetoric and calls to violence. Furthermore, PA policemen and security forces had taken an active role in the events, including the use of live ammunition against Israelis.
On 3 October, the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that Mr. Sharon's provocative visit to Al-Haram Al-Sharif and the subsequent Israeli forced entry into Al-Haram Al-Sharif resulted in a large number of injuries and touched off massive protests by Palestinian civilians throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Israeli forces reacted by using considerable military power, including snipers, live ammunition, hand grenades, anti-tank missiles, helicopters and tanks. The Palestinian police, having witnessed first-hand the severity of the Israeli forces' attacks against Palestinian civilians, engaged in clashes with those forces. That exchange of fire did not change the basic nature of the events in question, which were in essence acts of oppression and brutality by Israel against Palestinians. In addition, Israeli Arabs, who had staged demonstrations inside Israel in solidarity with their brethren in the Palestinian territories, were killed and injured by Israeli forces. The Permanent Observer stated that the Council had to put an immediate end to Israel's brutal campaign and to its violation of international law.

Israel said that although some were inclined to assign exclusive responsibility to Israel for the latest acts of provocation, the reality was far less simplistic. The Palestinian escalation dated back to well before the Temple Mount disturbances, when, on 13 September, stones and Molotov cocktails were thrown at Israeli positions in the vicinity of the Netzarim junction in Gaza. That was followed by a number of increasingly violent attacks against Israeli security forces. The events on the Temple Mount escalated the violence even further. Israel was not faced with peaceful demonstrators but, rather, with a coordinated escalation of violent confrontation throughout the West Bank and Gaza. In a phenomenon that had become a commonplace occurrence, there had been numerous instances of live fire emanating from within rioting crowds. Israel stressed that the responsibility for the escalation of violence lay with the PA, not only because of its failure to take action to halt those events, but also because it incited the population through inflammatory rhetoric and calls to violence. Furthermore, PA security forces and paramilitary groups, such as Fatah's Tanzim, had taken a leading role in the events. Even more disturbing for Israel was the violation of signed agreements regarding the use of weapons by Palestinian policemen. Israel called on the PA to put an end to the use of gunfire by Palestinian police, to collect the illegal weapons in the hands of the Tanzim and to keep Palestinian protesters at a distance from Israeli positions.

The United States said that President Clinton and his administration were involved in ongoing consultations with the parties in a search for ways to end the violence. The parties were expected to meet on 4 October in Paris with the United States Secretary of State and on 5 October in Cairo, Egypt, with President Mubarak. As soon as conditions permitted, the United States would chair an Israeli-Palestinian meeting for the purpose of fact-finding.

France condemned the visit by Mr. Sharon on 28 September to the sacred site of the Mosque Plaza, undertaken for reasons of domestic politics and at the most sensitive time in the peace negotiations. It noted that at issue was the responsibility of those who were in charge of maintaining order and that the disproportionate use of armed force violated the Fourth Geneva Convention. Speaking on behalf of the EU, France stated that the EU supported the creation of an objective fact-finding international commission.

Malaysia, as Chairman of the Islamic Group, condemned the actions of the Israeli security forces against Palestinian civilians, as well as the visit of the Likud Party leader to Al-Haram Al-Sharif in disregard of the religious sensitivities of the Palestinians. His visit at a delicate juncture in the peace process was intended to provoke a Palestinian reaction. Malaysia called on the Israeli authorities to put an end to the high-handed actions of their security forces and to bring to justice those directly responsible for violence. It reaffirmed its position that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace could be achieved only with the complete withdrawal of Israel from all Arab and Palestinian land occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem and occupied Syrian Golan. It also stated that the establishment of an independent State of Palestine, with Jerusalem as its capital, along with the implementation of all international resolutions on the Palestinian issue, were the only guarantees for lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.

Egypt questioned the position of the Israeli Government, which, while claiming to be working towards peace, allowed Mr. Sharon to undertake the provocative visit to Al-Haram Al-Sharif. Egypt viewed that situation as an attempt to bring pressure to bear on the Palestinians with regard to the issue of sovereignty over Jerusalem's holy sites. In fact, Egypt said that the crux of the crisis remained the question of Jerusalem—East Jerusalem and the Old City in particular, which had been occupied by Israel since 1967. Egypt called on the Council, among other things, to take measures to guarantee the non-entry by the Israeli armed forces, including security and army troops, into the courtyard of Al-Haram Al-Sharif; to investigate the events that had occurred since 28 September; and to condemn Mr. Sharon's visit.

On 5 October, Israel said that, whatever its motives and implications, Mr. Sharon's visit was undertaken in full compliance with the principles of Israeli democracy, thus Prime Minister Barak could not impede Mr. Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount. In addition, it affirmed that the Temple Mount, sacred to Islam on the side where Al-Haram Al-Sharif was located, was equally sacred to Judaism for its ancient layers, on which Jewish identity and history were based. Only if the two sides were able to consider and accept each other's symbolic and political systems could peace be achieved.

The Permanent Observer of Palestine replied that violence continued in the occupied territories, despite the efforts deployed in Paris and in Sharm el-Sheikh. At the 4 October meeting in Paris, no agreement was reached because Israel rejected the idea of an international commission of inquiry. In addition, Prime Minister Barak did not go to Sharm el-Sheikh on 5 October, despite the fact that Chairman Arafat and the United States Secretary of State did attend. Therefore, the four-party meeting was not held. The Permanent Observer reaffirmed that Al-Haram Al-Sharif was part of East Jerusalem, which was part of the occupied Palestinian land. It belonged to the Muslims and had to be under Palestinian-Arab-Muslim sovereignty, and the Palestinian people would not accept any claim of Israeli sovereignty over that part. At the same time, the Palestinians were ready to accept the control of Israel over the Wailing Wall.


SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION (7 October)


On 7 October [meeting 4205], the Security Council adopted resolution 1322(2000) by vote (14-0-1). The draft text [S/2000/963] was submitted by Bangladesh, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mali, Namibia, Tunisia and Ukraine.
Recalling its resolutions 476(1980) of 30 June 1980, 478(1980) of 20 August 1980, 672(1990) of 12 October 1990 and 1073(1996) of 28 September 1996, and all its other relevant resolutions,

Deeply concerned at the tragic events that have taken place since 28 September 2000, which have led to numerous deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinians,

Reaffirming that a just and lasting solution to the Arab and Israeli conflict must be based on its resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973, through an active negotiating process,

Expressing its support for the Middle East peace process and the efforts to reach a final settlement between the Israeli and Palestinian sides, and urging the two sides to cooperate in those efforts,

Reaffirming the need for full respect of the Holy Places of the City of Jerusalem by all, and condemning any behaviour to the contrary,

1. Deplores the provocation carried out at Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem on 28 September 2000, and the subsequent violence there and at other Holy Places, as well as in other areas throughout the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, resulting in over eighty Palestinian deaths and many other casualties; 2. Condemns acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force against Palestinians, resulting in injury and loss of human life;

3. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and its responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949;

4. Calls for the immediate cessation of violence, and for all necessary steps to be taken to ensure that violence ceases, that new provocative actions are avoided, and that the situation returns to normality in a way that promotes the prospects for the Middle East peace process;

5. Stresses the importance of establishing a mechanism for a speedy and objective inquiry into the tragic events of the last few days with the aim of preventing their repetition, and welcomes any efforts in this regard;

6. Calls for the immediate resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process on its agreed basis with the aim of achieving an early final settlement between the Israeli and Palestinian sides;

7. Invites the Secretary-General to continue to follow the situation and to keep the Council informed;

8. Decides to follow the situation closely and to remain seized of the matter.

VOTE ON RESOLUTION 1322 (2000)

In favour: Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, China, France, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mali, Namibia, Netherlands, Russian Federation, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Kingdom.

Against: None,

Abstaining: United States.


Further developments

Communications (4-16 October). In a 4 October letter [A/55/450-S/2000/957], the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that Israeli security forces continued to increase their presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, had reoccupied parts of the area under Palestinian jurisdiction and had actually used tanks to fire against Palestinian targets.

On 7 October [A/55/460-S/2000/970], Israel said that during the course of rioting in the West Bank, the Jewish holy site of Joseph's Tomb became a target of gunfire and violent attacks by Palestinian civilians and by armed militia and members of the Palestinian police, which had led to the death of an Israeli police officer. With a view to reducing tension, an agreement was reached on 6 October, between IDF and the Palestinian police, whereby Israeli personnel on duty at the Tomb would be removed from the site as a temporary measure, while the PA was to ensure its continued protection and preservation. However, with the removal of the Israeli personnel, Palestinians entered the site, set the Tomb ablaze and commenced dismantling the structure.

In identical letters of 9 October to the Secretary-General and the Security Council President [A/55/466-S/2000/971], the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that Israel had effectively transformed Youssef's Tomb into a military post. Israeli security forces had killed 18 Palestinians there since 29 September, which explained why the population, enraged over the killings, destroyed the place after the withdrawal of the Israeli personnel. The Palestinian side had already taken action to repair the original part of the site and to provide for effective protection. The observer pointed out that acts had been committed against Israeli Arabs in Israel itself, like the desecration of a mosque in Tiberias, Galilee, and that Israeli settlers had been committing crimes against Palestinians in the occupied territories.

In an 11 October letter [A/55/470-S/2000/980], Israel said that during the course of the violence and rioting in the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian leadership had continually violated the concept of peaceful resolution of disputes and had breached explicit agreement between the two sides in an effort to bring the peace process to a halt. Israel listed a number of violations committed by the PA, including incitement, incidents of mob violence the release of convicted terrorists from prisons and the desecration of religious sites.

In identical letters of 12 October to the Secreatry-General and the Council President [A/55/474-S/2000/984], the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that Israel had taken military actions that were tantamount to a declaration of war against the Palestinians. Israeli forces had dramatically increased their presence in the vicinities of Palestinian cities, and fired rocket from helicopter gunships and Israeli military ships to destroy several official PA locations in Ramallah and near Gaza City.

On the same day, in identical letters to the Secretary-General and the Council President [S/2000/985], Israel stated that two Israeli reserve soldiers were brutally murdered after they mistakenly entered the Palestinian town of Ramallah. The soldiers were brought by Palestinian police to the police headquarters, following which a Palestinian mob infiltrated the complex and killed them. In responding to that attack, Israel exercised restraint, taking care to prevent the loss of life as much as possible. In fact, in attacking the Palestinian police headquarters, where the soldiers were murdered, IDF took steps to prevent damage to surrounding areas and provided advance warning to the PA to evacuate personnel from the building. Chairman Arafat had inaccurately labelled those retaliatory strikes as a declaration of war. Israel had no interest in declaring war on the Palestinian people and, in fact, was meeting its obligation under international law to maintain order in the area and to protect its citizens. In another development, the PA freed a number of Hamas prisoners who had been convicted in Palestinian courts of committing violent acts against Israelis. Members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups were invited to participate in a meeting of the Palestinian Cabinet, an act which legitimized their commitment to terrorism as an alternative to peaceful negotiations.

In three letters dated 10 October [A/55/483-S/2000/988, A/55/484-S/2000/989, A/55/485-S/2000/090], the EU expressed concern over the violent clashes in Jerusalem and in the occupied territories. It considered that the disproportionate recourse to force could only further aggravate the situation and supported the forming of an international commission to establish objectively what had actually happened since 28 September.

On 16 October [A/55/490-S/2000/993], the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that Israel had imposed a virtual siege on the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. The siege included the shutting down of the airspace of Gaza International Airport, as well as the closure of other international crossing points.

Sharm el-Sheikh Summit

Presidents Clinton and Mubarak co-chaired a Middle East Peace Summit in Sharm el-Sheikh on 16 and 17 October. Participants included Jordanian King Abdullah II, Israeli Prime Minister Barak, PA Chairman Arafat, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and EU President Solana.

The primary objective of the Summit was to end the cycle of violence in order to resume the peace process. The leaders agreed on three steps to achieve that objective. First, both sides agreed to issue public statements unequivocally calling for an end to violence and to take immediate, concrete measures to end the confrontation, eliminate points of friction, ensure an end to violence and incitement, maintain calm and prevent a recurrence of recent events. To accomplish that, both sides would act immediately to return the situation to that which existed prior to the current crisis, in areas such as restoring law and order, redeploying forces, eliminating points of friction, enhancing security cooperation and ending the closure of, and reopening, the Gaza airport. The United States undertook to facilitate security cooperation between the parties as needed. Second, it was agreed that the United States would develop with the Israelis and the Palestinians, as well as in consultation with the UN Secretary-General, a committee to undertake fact-finding on the events since 28 September and to seek ways to prevent their recurrence. President Clinton would share the committee's report with the Secretary-General and the parties prior to publication. A final report would be submitted under the auspices of the President for publication. Third, it was agreed that, in order to address the underlying roots of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there had to be a pathway back to negotiations and resumption of efforts to reach a permanent status agreement based on resolutions 242(1967) [YUN 1967. p. 257] and 338(1973) [YUN 1973, p. 213] and subsequent understandings. President Clinton announced that, towards that end, the leaders had agreed that the United States would consult with the parties within the next two weeks about how to move forward.
By a 20 October letter to the Secretary-General [A/55/508-S/2000/1007], Israel submitted an update regarding its compliance with the understandings reached at the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit, as well as an assessment of the situation on the ground. Israel noted that while it had immediately issued a public statement that unequivocally called for a complete end to all violence, as agreed at the Summit, it took the RA over 24 hours to reciprocate. During that time, Palestinian gunmen continued provoking Israel's security forces throughout the territories and in Jerusalem. That outbreak of violence was carried out by the Tanzim paramilitary armed group, sponsored by the Fatah organization. Israel said that it would fully cooperate with the fact-finding committee, and that IDF troops and armoured vehicles had been redeployed, the Gaza airport had been reopened and the closure within the territories had been removed, as agreed at the Summit.


Emergency special session


In accordance with General Assembly resolution ES-10/6 [YUN 1999, p. 402] and at the request of Iraq [A/ES-l0/36], on behalf of the League of Arab States, supported by the Coordinating Bureau of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries [A/ES-10/37], the tenth emergency special session of the Assembly resumed on 18 October to discuss "Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory". The session was first convened in April 1997 [YUN 1997. p. 394] and resumed in July and November of that year, as well as in March 1998 [YUN 1998, p. 425] and February 1999 [YUN 1999, p. 402].


General Assembly Action


On 20 October [meeting 14], the General Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/7 [draft: A/ES-10/l.6] by recorded vote (92-6-46) [agenda item 5].

Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and
the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory

The General Assembly,


Reaffirming the resolutions of the tenth emergency special session and the necessity of full implementation of those resolutions,

Welcoming the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 1322(2000) of 7 October 2000, and stressing the urgent need for full compliance with the resolution,

Expressing its deep concern over the provocative visit to Al-Haram Al-Sharif on 28 September 2000, and the, tragic events that followed in Occupied East Jerusalem and other places in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which resulted in a high number of deaths and injuries mostly among Palestinian civilians,

Expressing its deep concern also over the clashes between the Israeli army and the Palestinian police and the casualties on both sides,

Reaffirming that a just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict must be based on Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973, through an active negotiation process which takes into account the right of security for all States in the region, as well as the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination,

Expressing its support for the Middle East peace process and the efforts to reach a final settlement between the Israeli and the Palestinian sides, and urging the two sides to cooperate in these efforts,

Reaffirming the need for full respect by all for the Holy Places of Occupied East Jerusalem and condemning any behaviour to the contrary,

Reaffirming also the need for the full respect by all for the Holy Places in the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, as well as in Israel, and condemning any behaviour to the contrary,

Determined to uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international humanitarian law, and all other instruments of international law, as well as relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and Security Council,

Reiterating the permanent responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine until it is solved in all its aspects,

Conscious of the serious dangers arising from persistent violations and grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and the responsibility arising therefrom,

Stressing the urgent need for providing protection for the Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Noting the convening on 15 July 1999 for the first time 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 the United Nations Office at Geneva, and welcoming also the statement adopted by the participating High Contracting Parties,

1. Condemns the violence that took place on 28 September 2000 and the following days at Al-Haram Al-Sharif and other Holy Places in Jerusalem as well as other areas in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, resulting in the deaths of over 100 people, the vast majority of whom were Palestinian civilians, and many other casualties;

2.Condemns also acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force by the Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians;

3. Expresses support for the understandings reached at the summit convened at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and urges all parties concerned to implement these understandings honestly and without delay;

4. Demands the immediate cessation of violence and the use of force, calls upon the parties to act immediately to reverse all measures taken in this regard since 28 September 2000 and acknowledges that necessary steps have been taken by the parties in this direction since the summit of Sharm el-Sheikh;

5. Reiterates that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, are illegal and are an obstacle to peace, and calls for the prevention of illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers;

6. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and its responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, which is applicable to all territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

7. Strongly supports the establishment of a mechanism of inquiry into the recent tragic events, with the aim of establishing all the precise facts and preventing the repetition of these events, and in this regard the understanding reached in Sharm el-Sheikh on a committee of fact-finding, and calls for its establishment without delay;

8. Supports the efforts of the Secretary-General, including his efforts for the establishment of the above-mentioned committee, and requests him to report to the Assembly on the progress made in these efforts;

9. Calls upon the members of the Security Council to closely follow the situation, including the implementation of Council resolution 1322(2000) of 7 October 2000, in fulfilment of the Council's primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security;

10. Invites the depository of the Fourth Geneva Convention to consult on the development of the humanitarian situation in the field, in accordance with the statement adopted on 15 July 1999 by the above-mentioned Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Convention, with the aim of ensuring respect for the Convention in all circumstances in accordance with common article 1 of the four Conventions;

11. Supports the efforts towards the resumption of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations within the Middle East peace process on its agreed basis, and calls for the speedy conclusion of the final settlement agreement between the two sides;

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


RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION ES-10/7:


In favour: Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Tuvalu, United States.

Abstaining: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Barbados, Benin, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Germany, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Romania, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, The former Yugoslav, Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, United Kingdom.

Speaking before the vote [A/ES-1O/PV.13], the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that in response to the Palestinian protest over Mr. Sharon's visit to Al-Haram AlSharif and the storming of Al-Haram by IDF, Israel had used its war machine to launch a bloody campaign of repression, which caused many civilian deaths, in eluding many children, and also imposed severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods. A number of Palestinian cities and villages had been placed under siege by Israeli forces. Contrary to Israel's allegations, there had not been any large-scale exchanges of fire between the Palestinian police and Israeli forces. The Observer condemned the damage caused by Palestinian civilians to Joseph's Tomb near Nablus, and the killing of two Israeli soldiers at the police station in Ramallah. Palestinian authorities had issued instructions to repair Joseph's Tomb and to apprehend those who had committed I the killing. Nevertheless, those issues and others could not change the real nature of what was happening—namely, the excessive and unjustifiable t use of force by Israel against the Palestinians, a people that expressed their anger and frustration because of the occupation. Despite the adoption of resolution 1322(2000), the situation on the ground had not changed, and Israel had failed to comply with any of its provisions. Israel had in fact escalated the level of violence by shelling, on 12 October, some Palestinian locations in Ramallah and Gaza, which was tantamount to a declaration of war against the Palestinian people. A new attempt to rescue the situation and to revive the peace process was made by the convening of the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit on 16 and 17 October. The Observer welcomed the participation of the Secretary-General at the Summit, as well as all the efforts he made during his visit to the region. It was hoped that the United Nations would participate in the mechanism of inquiry into what happened, as called for in resolution 1322 (2000) and as agreed upon by the parties in Sharm el-Sheikh. The Observer said that the speedy establishment and immediate work of that committee of inquiry would be effective in ending the situation created since 28 September.

Israel expressed the hope that the statement made in Sharm el-Sheikh would succeed in restoring calm and quiet to the region, but noted that the deliberations of the Assembly's special session threatened, and were contrary to, the spirit of that declaration and had the potential to aggravate and disrupt efforts to bring an end to the violence. The killing of the two Israeli reserve soldiers inside the Palestinian police headquarters in Ramallah was not the first instance in which official PA organs had tolerated, encouraged or even directly engaged in violent actions against Israelis. In fact, Palestinian policemen, security personnel and armed militias had participated in many clashes with Israeli soldiers and civilians. In particular, Israel referred to the attack and dismantling of Joseph's Tomb, a site holy to both Jews and Muslims, by Palestinian civilians and police. The PA, rather than using its position to prevent violence and urge restraint, had allowed its official television and radio to be used for purposes of incitement, calling on its people to carry out attacks on Israeli citizens. The PA had also freed terrorist prisoners who had been convicted in Palestinian courts of committing violent acts against Israelis. Allegations that Israel used excessive force in confrontations with the Palestinians were unfounded. Israel had permitted, and would continue to permit, the passage of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the territories. Its actions were intended not to harm but to maintain order in the area, and were in full accordance with international law. Only a negotiated solution, arrived at in an atmosphere free from violence, could put a permanent end to bloodshed and unrest in the Middle East. Israel called on Chairman Arafat to order his security forces and his people to stop the confrontations and the provocations, to disarm the militias as he had previously agreed, and to rearrest members of Hamas and other terrorist organizations who were still at large. Israel was opposed to the draft resolution because, apart from being one-sided, unfair and biased, it demanded the unilateral condemnation of Israel. The text as it stood did not mention Palestinian excesses of any kind. Palestinians and Israelis had to rely on their own resources and on mutual assistance rather than on a draft resolution that was a repository of indignation for some and of bitterness for others.

The Chairman of the Committee on Palestinian Rights said that deadly violence had been raging in all Palestinian areas since Mr. Sharon's visit to Al-Haram Al-Sharif. In the ensuing flashes, more than 110 people, mostly Palestinians, were killed and some 3,000 injured. IDF reacted to the demonstrations with disproportionate force, often making use of metal bullets, life ammunition and tanks. Another disturbing development involved armed Jewish settlers, authorized to move within the towns and villages controlled by the PA, and able to use their fire-arms. To compound the situation, the Israelis proceeded to seal off Palestinian territory, immobilizing almost 3 million inhabitants and preventing them from working. The Committee welcomed all the efforts by the international community to bring an end to the violence, in particular the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit. For its part, the Committee, at a meeting on 10 October, adopted a declaration in which it reaffirmed that the United Nations had to continue to shoulder its permanent responsibility regarding all aspects of the question of Palestine, including Jerusalem, until that issue was resolved in a satisfactory manner.

The Secretary-General said that he had just returned from the Middle East region where he met with the principal players, attended the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit, and visited Lebanon to discuss regional issues and the capture of three Israeli soldiers from the Shaba area of the occupied Golan. His main purpose was to try to help the Israelis and Palestinians to resolve the crisis that had developed since 28 September by reaching an agreement with the following elements: disengagement, an end to violence and a return to normalcy; a resumption of the peace process; and the establishment of a mechanism to inquire into recent events and ways of avoiding a recurrence. Throughout his visit, the situation on the ground in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza was extremely tense. While he was in the region, more than 50 Palestinians were killed and two Israeli reservists were lynched in Ramallah. That was the backdrop against which his peace efforts were set. The situation had, in his view, reached the brink of the abyss. His primary objective was therefore to get the two principal players, Prime Minister Barak and Chairman Arafat, to address public appeals to their respective populations for calm, and to ask them to indicate some specific measures that they were prepared to take in order to de-escalate the tension. Unfortunately, it became apparent that the rapidly deteriorating situation on the ground and the consequent hardening of public opinion on both sides had made it impossible for both leaders to make conciliatory statements. Despite initial reluctance to attend the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit, especially on the part of Chairman Arafat, both parties agreed to attend and reached agreement on three main objectives (see p. 420). The Secretary-General said that the Sharm el-Sheikh agreement were a vital first step back from the brink and towards a resumption of the peace process. It was essential that they should be faithfully implemented in their entirety by both sides. Both parties needed to demonstrate good faith—above all by their actions.

Communications (23 October-24 November). On 23 October [A/55/5l3/-S/2000/l010], Egypt transmitted to the Secretary-General the final communique of the Extraordinary Arab Summit (Cairo, 21-22 October). The Arab leaders held Israel responsible for returning the region to tension and violence as a result of its practices, assaults and blockade of the Palestinian people in violation of its obligations as the occupying Power under the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention. They affirmed that the Palestinian uprising had broken out as a result of the maintenance and perpetuation of the occupation and because of Israel's encroachment on Al-Haram Al-Sharif and other Holy Places in the occupied territories. In response to a proposal by Saudi Arabia, the Arab leaders decided to establish two funds. The Al-Aqsa Fund would be allocated a sum of $800 million to fund projects designed to preserve the Arab and Islamic identity of Jerusalem and prevent its loss and to enable the Palestinian people to disengage from their subordination to the Israeli economy. The Al-Quds Intifada Fund would have a capital of $200 million to be disbursed to the families of Palestinians who had fallen in the intifada and to provide for the care and education of their children. The Arab leaders called for the formation, within the frame-work of the United Nations, of an impartial international commission of inquiry to report to the Security Council and the Commission on Human Rights on the causes of and responsibility for the deterioration in the occupied territories and the acts committed by Israel against Palestinian, Lebanese and other Arab residents. They called on the Council and the General Assembly to provide protection to the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation by considering the establishment of a force or an international presence for that purpose. Since the halt in the peace process caused by Israel's policy and practices made talk of a common future in the region untimely, the leaders decided not to resume or participate in any official or informal activity in the multilateral framework, to suspend all measures and activities for regional economic cooperation with Israel, and to link their resumption to the attainment of tangible progress towards a comprehensive peace on all tracks of the peace process.

In a series of communications dated between 23 and 30 October [A/ES-10/39-S/2000/1015, A/ES-10/40-S/2000/1025, A/ES-10/41-S/2000/1046] the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that Israel continued its terror campaign and the imposition of restrictive blockades on the movement of persons and goods into, out of and throughout the Occupied territories and, once again, had shut down the Gaza airport. He called on the Council to convene a meeting to consider the situation in the region and to establish a UN protection force for the occupied territories, including Jerusalem. On 25 October [S/2000/1027], Iraq, in its capacity as Chairman of the Arab Group for October, requested a meeting of the Council to consider the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the establishment of a UN protection force.

In a 2 November letter to the Secretary-General [A/55/540-S/2000/1065], Israel said that on that day a car bomb exploded near the market-place of Mahane Yehuda, killing two civilians and injuring several others. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. Israel held the PA responsible as it had released Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners in recent weeks. The attack occurred less than 24 hours after an agreement was reached between Chairman Arafat and Israel's Minister for Regional Cooperation, Shimon Peres, to resume security cooperation and take steps to implement the provisions of the Sharm el-Sheik understanding.
On 20 November [A/55/634-S/2000/1108], Israel said that three Palestinian terrorists had carried out an attack on a bus carrying children and their chaperones near Kfar Darom, south of Gaza, killing two civilians and injuring 10 others, including children as young as seven. Israel held the PA responsible for the attack, which served as proof of Chairman Arafat's lack of credibility in claiming to combat Palestinian violence.

In a 22 November letter to the Secretary-General [A/55/641-S/2000/1114], Israel said that on that day a bomb was detonated near a local bus in the town of Hadera, killing two Israeli civilians and wounding over 41 others.

Also on 22 November, in a letter to the Security Council President [S/2000/1111]. Qatar, as Chairman of the Ninth Islamic Summit Conference, and in compliance with the final communique of the Summit at which a Ministerial Committee was formed, requested the Council to convene to discuss the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. On 24 November [S/2000/1112], Malaysia, as a member of the delegation of the Ministerial Committee of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), supported Qatar's request.


SECURITY COUNCIL CONSIDERATION (22 November)


At the request of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya [S/2000/1109], the Security Council, on 22 November, discussed the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question [meeting 4231]. With the Council's consent, the Council President invited, among others, Israel, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and South Africa, at their request, to participate in the discussion without the right to vote. The President also invited the Permanent Observer of Palestine to participate, at his request [S/2000/112]. The 22 November meeting was preceded on 10 November by private meetings with Chairman Arafat [meeting 4217] and the representative of Israel [meeting 4218].

The Permanent Observer of Palestine said that, since 29 September, Israel had made excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate use of its war machine, causing the death and injury of many Palestinians, as well as the destruction of infrastructure. Those actions had been accompanied by a stalemate in the peace process imposed by Israel's Government. Israeli policies and practices stemmed from the presence of Israeli occupiers and the policy of settlements policy that had continued even after the beginning of the peace process. Since 25 October, the Palestinians had been requesting the establishment of a UN observer force. At his private meeting with the Council on 10 November, Chairman Arafat requested 2,000 military observers who would operate under the UN emblem, auspices and supervision. Their only objective would be to ensure the safety and security of Palestinian civilians. Israel's approval was not a prerequisite for the Council measures to be enacted, said the Observer, as the Council was not dealing with a domestic situation of one Member State, but with a Member State that the Council had recognized as an occupying Power. The Council agreed to entrust the Secretary-General with conducting the necessary consultations on that issue.

Israel said that the situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories continued to deteriorate. Point of friction that had previously been localized and contained in certain areas had spread, engulfing the streets of Jerusalem and other Israeli towns and cities. A car bomb that had exploded on that day in the city of Hadera, causing the deaths of two Israeli citizens and injuries to 41, was the result of the release of prisoners from PA jails. Despite that attack and others against Israelis, the international community had failed to condemn Palestinian actions, thus encouraging the Palestinians to continue along a violent route. Moreover, the international community had not called for the establishment of a commission of inquiry to investigate Palestinian wrongdoing. In calling for the deployment of a UN protection force, the Palestinians were seeking to depart from bilateral negotiations and to pursue their goals unilaterally. An international force was not needed to stop the violence, nor was it clear that such a force would even be successful. The direct way to end the bloodshed was for the international community to call on the Palestinian leadership to exert every effort to stop the violence, the rioting, the use of live ammunition, the use of machine guns, the sending of children to the front and the use of terror against civilians.

The United States said that the violence in the Middle East had escalated again with the bombing of another bus-load of Israeli citizens, while a number of Palestinians were killed by IDF in circumstances that were still unclear. In consultation with the Secretary-General, the United States had worked towards establishing the Fact-Finding Committee agreed to at Sharm el-Sheikh (see p. 420). Former United States Senator George Mitchell, the Committee's Chairman, had met with the Secretary-General on 9 November and had outlined the Committee's mandate, which was to investigate the recent violence with the objective of preventing its recurrence. The Committee was to meet at the end of November in New York. The United States added that the United Nations, instead of lending support for efforts undertaken at Sharm el-Sheikh, had taken actions that undermined bilateral efforts at reaching peace. The Economic and Social Council had endorsed a resolution condemning Israel and calling for the creation of an inquiry commission and the dispatch of rapporteurs (see p. 434), an unnecessary measure that was supported by less than half the Council membership. Regarding a UN observer or military presence in the region, the United States said that the proposal required the agreement of the parties to the conflict.

The Libyan Arab Jamahiria, on behalf of the Arab Group, called for an international observer force to protect the Palestinian people in the occupied territories; for the establishment of a fact-finding mission to inquire into all acts of violence perpetrated against the Palestinians, whose conclusions should be submitted to the International Criminal Court; and for the relevant Security Council resolutions to be implemented.

South Africa, on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, called on Israel to stop subjecting Palestinian civilians to collective punishment. The question of Palestine constituted the nucleus of the Middle East conflict and the achievement of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to an independent State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, was pivotal to the achievement of a sustainable peace. The condition of land for peace was essential if meaningful progress in the peace process was to be attained, and negotiations towards final status issues had to be in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions and international legitimacy.

In response to statements made, Israel said that Prime Minister Barak had committed himself at the July Camp David Summit (see p. 415) to an innovative peace policy. Through a negotiated solution at the Summit, Chairman Arafat could have given rise to a Palestinian State and to the beginning of true reconciliation between the two peoples; instead, he had opted to achieve his political ends through violence.

The Permanent Observer of Palestine replied that it was Prime Minister Barak who had brought the situation to the brink of catastrophe, and that the occupation of Palestinian land and the violation of international law on the part of Israel were the real causes for the escalation of violence.

Communications (24 November-13 December). In a series of letters dated between 24 November and 13 December [A/ES/10/47-S/2000/1116, A/ES-10/48-A/2000/1129, A/ES-10/49-S/2000/1154, A/ES-10/50-S/2000/1173, A/ES/10/51-S/2000/1185], the Permanent Observer of Palestine stated that the killing and injuring of Palestinians by Israeli forces continued; he submitted lists of the names of those killed.

In identical letters of 26 November to the Secretary-General and the Security Council President [S/2000/lll9], Iraq requested the Council to allocate to the Palestinian people part of the oil export revenue governed by the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Iraq and the UN Secretariat on 20 May 1996 [YUN 1996. p. 226], in order to support the Palestinians in defence of their land. In a series of subsequent communication [S/2000/1216, S/2000/1217, S/2000/1218], Iraq requested that a billion euros from its oil export revenues be allocated to the Palestinian people. On 4 December [s/2000/1152], Tunisia called on the Council to pay particular and benevolent attention to Iraq's request.

On 6 December [S/2000/1159], South Africa, as Chairman of the Coordinating Bureau of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, called on the Council to consider the adoption of a draft resolution prepared by the Movement's Security Council caucus pertaining to the deployment of a UN observer force in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (see below).


SECURITY COUNCIL CONSIDERATION (18 DECEMBER)


On 18 December [meeting 4248), the Security Council discussed the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine question, and considered the text of a draft resolution [S/2000/1171] submitted by Bangladesh, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mali, Namibia and Tunisia. By that draft, the Council would have expressed its determination to establish a UN force of military and police observers to be dispatched throughout the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, with the aim of contributing to the implementation of the Sharm el-Sheikh agreements, the cessation of violence and the enhancement of the safety and security of Palestinian civilians.

With the Council's consent, the Council President invited the Permanent Observer of Palestine, at his own request [S/2000/1206], to participate in the discussion. The President also invited Israel to participate without the right to vote.

On 27 November, the Council had held private meetings on the subject with the Ministerial Committee of OIC [meeting 4233] and with the representative of Israel [meeting 4234].

Speaking before the vote, Israel said that it was opposed to the draft resolution, but not to some form of international presence, provided it was established within the context of a comprehensive bilateral agreement, as that had always been the accepted sequence. An international presence had to be used to cement an agreement and not as an alternative to one. Sending a UN force into the region had the potential to escalate the violence as it would send a message to the Palestinians that there was no need to negotiate or coordinate with Israel and no need to compromise. Furthermore, international intervention did not appear necessary. Chairman Arafat had the ability to protect the lives of his people by relinquishing the path of confrontation, disarming the militias and controlling Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups, all of which he had already committed himself to do. Israel assured the Council that the violence would cease if the PA was to take those steps. The draft resolution was a recipe for long-term instability in the region, and Israel therefore urged the members of the Council not to support it.

Namibia, speaking on behalf of the members of the Non-Aligned Movement and Ukraine, said that the violence continued and the Council had not taken any action to address the situation. It was in that regard that the Movement's caucus had proposed the establishment of a protection force for Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories. The Movement did not believe that the consent of the parties was required to establish the force, but it agreed that their cooperation was needed.

France said that, together with the United Kingdom, it had argued in favour of an agreement on creating an observer mission. But France considered that it was not the most suitable time for adopting the draft resolution, in the light of ongoing efforts by the Secretary-General and the resumption of bilateral negotiations.

Speaking after the Council's vote (8-0-7) on the draft resolution, which was not adopted because it did not obtain the required number of votes, the United States said that the Council had acted wisely; if there had been a chance for the draft resolution to be adopted, the United States would have cast a veto. The United States supported the renewal of negotiations and dialogue, but was against action that did not advance the cause of peace. Negotiations would resume the following day, 19 December, in Washington, D.C., between the Israeli and Palestinian delegations.

The Permanent Observer of Palestine expressed his regret that the draft resolution had not been adopted. The Palestinian people and the Arab countries, as well as the members of OIC and the Non-Aligned Movement, had requested adequate protection for the Palestinian people through the establishment of a UN observer force. Negotiations scheduled for the next day should not have precluded action in the Council, and the Palestinians would not accept Israel's approval as a precondition for the Council's assumption of its responsibilities. The Permanent Observer said that the defeat of the draft resolution had only one explanation—the position of the United States, which was openly linked to that of Israel, and the pressure exerted by the United States on all the other members of the Council. The Council's action had persuaded the Palestinians and other Arabs that they could not rely on the Council.

Communications (19-28 December). In letters dated 19 [A/ES-10/52-S/2000/1215] and 28 [A/ES-10/53-S/2000/1247] December, the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that the killing and injuring of Palestinians by Israeli forces continued, and submitted lists of names of those killed.

On 21 December [A/55/7l6-S/2000/1236], Qatar transmitted to the Secretary-General the documents of the ninth session of the Islamic Summit Conference, Session of Peace and Development I (Doha, Qatar, 12-14 November), which the Secretary-General attended. The documents included the text of the final communique; the Declaration of the Summit on the Al-Aqsa intifada—Palestinian independence intifada, the Doha Declaration and resolutions. The Conference, among other things, reiterated the necessity to put an end to all Israeli settlement activities, requested the Council to set up an international commission of inquiry to investigate Israel actions; called on Member States to sever relations with Israel; reaffirmed the immutable responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine; and called on all States to recognize the State of Palestine with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

On 28 December [A/55/719-S/2000/1252], Israel said that on that day two bombs exploded in a bus in Tel Aviv, injuring 12 people. It was the latest in a string of such attacks. Despite various agreements calling for an end to violence and the resumption of security cooperation between the sides, the PA had failed to call for an end to the violence and to reincarcerate released terrorist prisoners—steps that could have prevented those attacks.

Special Committee on Israeli Practices. In its thirty-second report [A/55/453], the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (Special Committee on Israeli Practices) stated that the confiscation of Palestinian-owned land, as well as Israeli settlement activity, continued. Unofficial estimates placed the percentage of the West Bank land that had been confiscated at 41 per cent in 1984 and 73 per cent in 1998. Since the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip [YUN 1995, p. 626], confiscation had continued at a rate of about 37 square kilometres (0.6 percent of the West Bank) a year. The number of Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip totalled 19, some of which were inhabited by no more than 10 people, while the total population of those settlements was about 5,000 settlers. The settlements were located in the most strategic areas of the Gaza Strip and included within their territories the most fertile land and most important water sources in the area. The election of a new Government in Israel in May 1999 had not changed the situation. In fact, in October 1999, the Israeli Ministerial Committee on Settlements adopted a proposal by the Minister of Housing to establish 2,600 settlement units in the West Bank.

Report of Secretary-General. On 4 August [A/55/263] the Secretary-General informed the Assembly that Israel had not replied to his July request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement the relevant provisions of resolution 54/78 [YUN 1999, p. 407], demanding that Israel, among other things, cease all construction of new settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 8 December [meeting 83], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth (Special Political and Decolonization) Committee [A/55/571], adopted resolution 55/132 by recorded vote (152-4) [agenda item 85).

Israeli settlements in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem,
and the occupied Syrian Golan

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 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, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Aware of the Middle East peace process started at Madrid and the agreements reached between the parties, in particular the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993, and the subsequent implementation agreements,

Expressing grave concern about the continuation by Israel of settlement activities, including the ongoing construction of the settlement in Jabal Abu-Ghneim, in violation of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions and the agreements reached between the parties,

Taking into consideration the detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies, decisions and activities on the Middle East peace process,

Gravely concerned in particular about the dangerous situation resulting from actions taken by the illegal armed Israeli settlers in the occupied territory, as illustrated by the massacre of Palestinian worshippers by an illegal Israeli settler in AI-Khalil on 25 February 1994, and during recent weeks,

1. Reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including 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, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan and to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the Convention, in particular article 49;

3. Demands complete cessation of the construction of the settlement in Jabal Abu-Ghneim and of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

4. Stresses the need for full implementation of Security Council resolution 904(1994; of 18 March 1994, in which, among other things, the Council called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to continue to take and implement measures, including, inter alia, 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;

5. Reiterates its call for the prevention of illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers, particularly in the light of recent developments;

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


RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/132:


In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalsm, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, 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, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg. Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldavia, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands. South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
East Jerusalem, where most of the city's Arab inhabitants Jived, remained one of the most sensitive issues in the Middle East peace process and a focal point of concern for the United Nations in 2000. The visit on 28 September by Mr. Sharon, leader of the opposition Likud Party in Israel, to the holy Islamic site of Al-Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem and the subsequent escalation of violence led to the convening of a three-day Security Council emergency meeting and to the resumption of the General Assembly’s tenth emergency special session (see pp. 417 and 421).

Special Committee on Israeli Practices. In its annual report [A/55/453], the Special Committee on Israeli Practices described restrictions imposed by Israeli authorities on Jerusalem's Palestinian population and Israeli violations of their human rights.

The general situation with respect to housing seemed to have remained very much as it had been in previous years. The Special Committee was informed that Israel was investing a large amount of resources in building Jewish neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem while curtailing Palestinian development, the Palestinian population being viewed as a demographic threat to Israeli control of the city. Over a third of East Jerusalem lacked town-planning schemes, which made construction impossible, and those planning schemes that existed defined vast land tracts as green area, where building was forbidden. While some green areas were designed to protect the environment, others held land in reserve for the Jewish population, as in the case of the Jabal Abu-Ghneim, which, although originally defined as a green area, was later rezoned for residential construction of the Jewish neighbourhood of Har Homa. Palestinian building was only allowed in 7 per cent of East Jerusalem, and already-existing Palestinian neighbourhoods comprised most of that area. Israel had succeeded in creating an enormous Jewish population in East Jerusalem while reducing the Palestinian population. Israeli policies had created a housing shortage in Palestinian neighbourhoods and exacerbated overcrowding by denying building permits. The housing shortage among Palestinians in Jerusalem exceeded 20,000 housing units. In addition, land owned by an absentee was not given a building permit. That was a particularly harsh situation in East Jerusalem, where the term absentee included those with West Bank resident status.


Transfer of diplomatic missions


Report of Secretary-General. On 2 November [A/55/538], the Secretary-General reported that four Member States, including Israel, had replied to his request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement General Assembly resolution 54/37 [YUN 1999, p. 409], which addressed the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem in violation of Security Council resolution 478(1980) [YUN 1980.p 426] and called on them to abide by the relevant UN resolutions. Israel said that the one-sided approach reflected in those resolutions threatened to prejudge the outcome of bilateral negotiations between the parties concerned and undermined the prospects of achieving a just and lasting peace settlement based on directly negotiated and mutually agreed solutions.

Committee on Palestinian Rights. In its annual report [A/55/35], the Committee on Palestinian Rights said that Israel's settlement policy and actions continued to damage the peace process. According to figures from Israel's Ministry of Construction and Housing, construction in settlements increased by 96 per cent in the first half of 2000. In fact, work began on 1,067 residential units in the first six months of the year (860 of which were located in settlements in the Jerusalem district), compared to 545 during the same period in 1999. In particular, the Committee was appalled by the intensified construction at the Jabal Abu-Ghneim and Ras al-Amud neighbourhoods of East Jerusalem. The Committee also stressed the inadmissibility and illegality of the Israeli policy of revoking the residency rights of Palestinian Jerusalemites. Although the Israeli Minister of the Interior declared the cessation of the revocation-of-residency policy in October 1999, no clear procedures had been introduced regarding the new policy, and the rules applied by the Ministry officials in East Jerusalem remained unclear.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 1 December [meeting 78], the General Assembly adopted resolution 55/50 [draft: A/55/L.49 & Add.1] by recorded vote (145-1-5) [agenda item 40].
Jerusalem
Recalling its resolutions 36/120 E of 10 December 1981,37/123 C of 16 December 1982,38/180 C of 19 December 1983,39/146 C of 14 December 1984,40/168 C of 16 December 1985, 41/162 C of 4 December 1986, 42/209 D of 11 December 1987,43/54 C of 6 December 1988, 44/40 C of 4 December 1989, 45/83 C of 13 December 1990,46/82 B of 16 December 1991,47/63 B of 11 December 1992, 48/59 A of 14 December 1993, 49/87 A of 16 December 1994, 50/22 A of 4 December 1995, 51/27 of 4 December 1996, 52/53 of 9 December 1997.53/37 of 2 December 1998 and 54/37 of 1 December 1999, 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 also Security Council 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,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,

1. Determines that the decision of Israel to impose its laws, jurisdication and administration on n the Holy City of Jerusalem is illegal and therefore null and void and has 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 their refusal to comply with the provisions of that resolution;

3. 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;

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

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/50:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros. Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea. Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden. Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Economic and social situation

A June report on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of Palestinians in the occupied territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan [A/55/84-E/2000/16] was prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1999/53 [YUN 1999, p. 410] and General Assembly resolution 54/230 [ibid., p. 411]; it covered the period since ESCWA's previous report [ibid., p. 409],

The report stated that the delays in implementing the agreements reached between Israel and the PLO, together with Israeli practices, particularly the settlement expansion and the closure of passage routes from areas controlled by the PA to Israel, continued to aggravate the Palestinians living conditions. Approximately 200,000 Israelis resided in East Jerusalem and 7,000 settlers lived in 16 settlements in Gaza. In the Golan Heights, 17,000 settlers resided in 33 settlements. By the end of 2000, more than 400,000 Israelis would be living in over 200 communities established since 1967 in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In East Jerusalem, Israel had expropriated more than 5,845 acres of mostly Palestinian-owned land – one third of East Jerusalem – for the construction of 10 Israeli settlement neighbourhoods holding Jerusalem identity documents issued by Israel was generally believed to number almost 200,000, putting the Palestinian percentage of the entire city at 30 per cent. Investigations undertaken by Palestinian officials suggested that the number of Palestinians actually residing in the city was half that number. According to a study by the Badil Resource Centre for Palestinian Refugee Rights, 8 per cent of Jerusalem residents were forced to leave Jerusalem and reside in the West Bank every year owing to Israeli discriminatory measures in the city. The revocation of residency rights of Palestinians in Jerusalem continued to be a problem, while requests of those who had appealed in the past to register births and marriages went unfulfilled, forcing many Arabs (estimated at some 30,000) to live in East Jerusalem without identity cards.

The Israeli occupation was affecting and undermining the supply of drinking water to Palestinians, as Israel controlled permits for drinking water networks and for drilling wells. In addition, Palestinians were faced with the growing problem of water waste coming from Israeli settlements.

Israel's control of the Occupied Palestinian Territory also had negative repercussions on the environment. Approximately 260 Israeli-owned industrial concerns existed in the West Bank, located either in Israeli-operated industrial zones or inside settlements. Environmental regulations on soil, air and water quality, and restrictions on industrial development were generally less comprehensive and much less assiduously enforced in the occupied territory compared with in Israel itself.

The Israeli occupation had inhibited investment and growth due to the continued ambiguity of the legal and political situation. There was no basic investment code nor a settled legal code in the areas controlled by the PA. In nominal terms, Palestinian registered exports to Israel amounted to $222.6 million, while registered imports from Israel totalled $843.5 million in the first half of 1999. Beginning in March 2000, Israel imposed a number of restrictions on Palestinian economic transactions, including suspending the "convoy system", which allowed vehicles from Gaza to pass through Israeli territory under military escort for the purpose of export and import. Restrictions on the movement of goods contributed to a further decline in economic growth.

Israeli settlement expansion in the Golan Heights continued, while employment opportunities and access to education for the Arab population remained limited.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ACTION

On 28 July [meeting 45], the Economic and Social Council adopted resolution 2000/31 [draft: E/2000/I.16] by recorded vote (41-1-1) [agenda item ll].

Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli
occupation on the living conditions of the
Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian
territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab
population in the occupied Syrian Golan

Recalling General Assembly resolution 54/230 of 22 December 1999,

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, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Stressing the importance of the revival of the Middle East peace process on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967), 338(1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425( 1978) of 19 March 1978, and the principle of land for peace as well as the full and timely implementation of the agreements reached between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,

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

Convinced that the Israeli occupation impedes efforts to achieve sustainable development and a sound economic environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan,

Gravely concerned about the deterioration of economic and living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan, and the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of their natural resources,

Aware of the important work being done by the United Nations and the specialized agencies in support of the economic and social development of the Palestinian people,

Conscious of the urgent need for the development of the economic and social infrastructure of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and for the improvement of the living conditions of the Palestinian people as a key element of a lasting peace and stability,

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

2. Also stresses the vital importance of the construction and operation of the seaport in Gaza and safe passage to the economic and social development of the Palestinian people;

3. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease its measures against the Palestinian people, in particular the closure of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the enforced isolation of Palestinian towns, the destruction of homes and the isolation of Jerusalem;

4. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan to all their natural and economic resources, and calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, endanger or cause loss or depletion of these resources;

5. Also reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, are illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development;

6. Stresses the importance of the work of the organizations and agencies of the United Nations, and 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;

7. Urges Member States to encourage private foreign investment in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, in infrastructure, job-creation projects and social development, in order to alleviate the hardship of the Palestinian people and improve living conditions;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-sixth session, through the ; Economic and Social Council, a report on the implementation mentation of the present resolution and to continue to include, in the report of the Special Coordinator, an update on the living conditions of the Palestinian people, in collaboration with relevant United Nations agencies;

9. Decides to include the item entitled "Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan" in the agenda of its substantive session of 2001.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 2000/31 : By decision 2000/293 of the same date, the Council took note of the ESCWA report.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION


On 20 December [meeting 87], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Second (Economic and Financial) Committee [A/55/585],adopted resolution 55/209 by recorded vote (147-2-3) [agenda item 98].
Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab
population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources


Recalling its resolution 54/230 of 22 December 1999, and taking note of Economic and Social Council resolution 2000/31 of 28 July 2000,

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 the 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, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including 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 Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Aware of the additional detrimental economic and social impact of the Israeli settlements on Palestinian and other Arab natural resources, especially the confiscation of land and the forced diversion of water resources,

Reaffirming the need for an immediate resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338( 1973) of 22 October 1973, and the principle of land for peace, and for the achievement of a final settlement on all tracks,

1. Takes note of the report transmitted by the Secretary-General;

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

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

4. 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;

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

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/209:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andora, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso. Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary. Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahinya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel. United States.
Other aspects

Special Committee on Israeli Practices. On 5 October, the Special Committee on Israeli Practices reported for the thirty-second time to the General Assembly on events in the territories it considered to be occupied—the Golan Heights, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip [A/55/4531] In addition to that annual report, the Special Committee, in response to a request by the Assembly in resolution 54/76 [YUN 1999, p. 414], submitted two periodic reports in 2000, one covering the period from 21 August 1999 to 29 February 2000 [A/55/373] and the other covering the period from 1 March to 31 July 2000 [ A/55/373/Add.1]. The three reports contained information obtained from the Arab and Israeli press; testimony I from persons from the occupied territories; and communications and reports from Governments, organizations and individuals. The Committee benefited from the cooperation of Egypt, Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Palestinian representatives, the UN resident coordinator/United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Syria, and representatives from the International Labour Organization. As in the past, the Committee received no response from Israel to its request for cooperation and was unable to obtain access to the occupied territories, which had been the case since 1968, when the Committee was established [YUN 1968, p. 556]. However, the Special Committee was pleased that a number of Israeli nationals working in the field of human rights appeared before the Committee to speak about their work with Palestinians. The Special Committee was informed that restrictions in the occupied territories of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, with respect to land, housing and water, severely affected the Palestinians, and the confiscation of Palestinian-owned land continued, as well as the establishment of new and expansion of existing settlements. Demolition of Palestinian houses had also continued throughout the period under review. The building of bypass roads to ensure the safety of the Israeli settlers in the West Bank often resulted in confiscation of land and house demolition.

The extremely sensitive and tense relations between settlers and Palestinians one of the most unfortunate consequences of the occupation-reached higher levels of intensity and violence in times of crisis. The condition of those relations was caused by the confiscation of land, the uprooting of olive trees, the scarcity of water and the privileged position Israeli settlements had with respect to water, the fact that settlers carried arms and lived in barrier-enclosed areas, and the support provided by Israeli authorities and their army.

As Israeli settlements in the occupied territories were usually located on hilltops, spring water used by Palestinians had often been polluted by sewage water from the settlements or army centres. In addition, factories and industrial centres established within the settlements were trying to pump their wastes into adjacent Palestinian areas, without taking into consideration the consequences on the environment and on the Palestinians living nearby. Many of those factories had been established in Israeli settlements because they were not able to obtain permission to operate in Israel, due to their harmful impact on the environment and the threat they posed to the health of the population.

The permanent state of closure of the occupied territories continued to be applied and the movement of the population within the territories continued to be regulated by the Israeli authorities. Access to Israel and movement between the occupied territories were blocked during Jewish holidays and when security incidents occurred in Israel. A new development regarding the freedom of movement was the construction of a checkpoint near Bethlehem, which would de facto separate the northern part of the West Bank from the southern part. Furthermore, Israel had imposed restrictions on movement between areas that were under the PA's rule.

A positive development was the decline in the number of Palestinian administrative detainees. At the beginning of 1999, about 100 Palestinian detainees were under administrative detention in Israeli prisons; at the end of 1999, that number had been reduced to 14. Amendments were also introduced to the law governing administrative detention, making it possible, during the first 10 days of administrative detention, to bring the detainee before a committee under a military judge in order to ascertain whether the order, or the time period of the detention, was legal. However, the Israeli intelligence service did not respect the committee's decisions and could override the decisions of judges concerning extensions of detention. It was estimated that some 1,500 Palestinian detainees were held in Israeli jails, some of whom were not allowed to receive family visits for periods of up to a year. In 1999, the Israeli prison administration had adopted measures against Palestinian lawyers members of the Palestinian Union of Lawyers. Their visits to clients had to be in the presence of an Israeli policeman who listened in on the conversation. Although that measure contravened all laws governing legal representation, Israeli authorities argued that Palestinian lawyers did not have the right to defend before Israeli courts and therefore should be considered as family members visiting the detainee.

In September 1999, the Israeli Supreme Court of Justice ruled that the interrogation methods used by the General Security Service (CSS) were illegal and forbidden. It stated, however, that if the State wished to enable GSS investigators to use physical means of interrogation, it should seek the enactment of legislation for that purpose. Thus, the decision banned the practices because of the lack of a legal text that could be invoked. The Special Committee was informed that, following that decision, there had been continuous efforts to enact legislation to allow physical force to be used during interrogations, and the Israeli Government had pledged to confer immunity on investigators who used torture.

Administrative security measures hampered the development of industrial and commercial activities by Palestinian employers. The Israeli authorities continued to impede the movement of trucks carrying Palestinian goods and products, resulting in products being spoiled owing to long periods spent at checkpoints. Driven by the need to earn a decent income or even to find a job, a large number of Palestinian workers in the occupied territories had turned to the Israeli labour market. However, Palestinian workers continued to be humiliated at Israeli checkpoints; on some occasions, workers had also been arrested. In Gaza, Palestinian fishermen were allowed to fish only within a perimeter of 20 nautical miles out to sea and, among other restrictions, were not allowed to sell their products in the West Bank or in Israel. The Israelis had also hampered the work of Palestinian journalists by limiting their freedom of movement or preventing them

The Special Committee visited the Syrian Arab Republic and reported on the Israeli occupied Syrian Golan Heights (for details, see p. 477).

The Special Committee observed that the Israeli authorities had put in place a comprehensive and elaborate system of laws and regulations that affected all aspects of the lives of the Palestinian and Syrian peoples in the occupied territories. The rigorous implementation of laws and regulations and administrative measures created a sense of fear and despondency among the inhabitants. Bitterness at their treatment by the authorities and the sense of dispossession, hopelessness and despair of the people in the occupied territories, caused to a large extent by lack of progress in the peace process and a lack of tangible benefits for the Palestinians, made the situation in the region one of the greatest urgency. The Committee called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in consultation with the Secretary-General, to establish a system of continuous communication with the Israeli authorities with a view to improving the difficult circumstances under which the Palestinian and Syrian peoples of the occupied territories lived.

In a later report [A/56/428], the Committee presented updated information on the human rights situation in the occupied territories during the last five months of 2000, providing details on restrictions relating to land, housing and water, as well as those affecting movement of Palestinians within and between the occupied territories, and the manner of implementation of restrictions and their economic, social and cultural effects on the Palestinian population. Information was provided on the escalation of violence in the occupied territories following the 28 September visit by Mr. Sharon to the Temple Mount. Also included was information on the occupied Syrian Arab Golan.

Report of Secretary-General. On 4 August [A/55/264], the Secretary-General informed the Assembly that Israel had not replied to his July request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement Assembly resolution 54/79; [YUN 1999, p. 413] demanding that Israel, among other things, cease all practices and actions that violated the human rights of the Palestinian people and accelerate the release of all remaining Palestinians arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

Commission on Human Rights. In October, the Commission on Human Rights held a special session on grave and massive violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel and adopted a resolution on the subject (see p. 776). By decision 2000/311 of 22 November, the Economic and Social Council endorsed the Commission's decisions to establish a human rights inquiry commission to gather and compile information on Israel's human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories; to request 3 the High Commissioner for Human Rights to undertake an urgent visit to the territories; and to request rapporteurs, the Representative of the Secretary-General on internally displaced persons and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to carry out immediate missions to the territories.

The High Commissioner for Human Rights undertook a visit to the Middle East in November (see p. 776).

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

" On 8 December [meeting 83], following consideration of the Special Committee's annual and periodic reports and five reports of the Secretary-General on specific aspects of the situation in the occupied territories [A/55/261–265], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/55/571], adopted resolution 55/133 by recorded vote (150-3-1) (agenda item 85).

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, the most recent of which are resolutions 904(1994) of 18 March 1994, 1073(1996) of 28 September 1996 and 1322(2000) of 7 October 2000,

Having considered the reports 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 reports of the Secretary-General,

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, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Stressing the need for compliance with the Israeli-Palestinian agreements reached within the context of the Middle East peace process,

Noting the withdrawal of the Israeli army, which look place in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area, and the subsequent Israeli redeployments in accordance with the agreements reached between the parties, and noting that the third agreed-upon phase of redeployment has not been implemented,

Concerned about the continuing violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, including the use of collective punishment, closure of areas, annexation and establishment of settlements and the continuing actions by it designed to change the legal status, geographical nature and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem,

Deeply concerned by the tragic events that have occurred since 28 September 2000 and have led to numerous deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinians,

Gravely concerned about the severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinian persons and goods,

Expressing support for the understandings reached at the summit convened at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, and urging all parties concerned to implement those understandings honestly and without delay,

Convinced of the positive impact of a temporary international or foreign presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the safety and protection of the Palestinian people,

Expressing its appreciation to the countries that participated in the Temporary International Presence in Hebron for their positive contribution,

Convinced of the need for the full implementation of Security Council resolutions 904(1994), 1073(1996) and 1322(2000),

1. Determines that all measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including 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, and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, are illegal and have no validity and that such measures should cease immediately;

2. Condemns acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force against Palestinian civilians, resulting in injury and loss of human life;

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

4. 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;

5. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to accelerate the release of all remaining Palestinians arbitrarily detained or imprisoned, in line with agreements reached;

6. Calls for complete respect by Israel, the occupying Power, of all fundamental freedoms of the Palestinian people;

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

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/133:

In Favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay. Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
By resolution 55/87 of 4 December, the Assembly reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to a State, and urged all States, as well as UN specialized agencies and organizations, to continue to support the Palestinian people in their quest for self-determination (see p. 662).



In an August report [A/55/261], the Secretary-General stated that all necessary facilities were provided to the Special Committee on Israeli Practices, as requested in General Assembly resolution 54/76 [YNU 1999. p. 414). Arrangements were made for it to meet in March, May and August, and a field mission was carried out to Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic in May. Two periodic reports [A/55/373 & Add.l] and the thirty-second annual report of the Special Committee [A/55/453] were circulated to Member States. The UN Department of Public Information continued to provide press coverage of Special Committee meetings and to disseminate information materials on its activities (see p. 446).


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION


On 8 December [meeting 83], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/55/571], adopted resolution 55/130 by recorded vote (91-2-61) (agenda item 85].

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

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

Guided also by the principles of international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, as well as international standards of human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights,
Aware of the lasting impact of the uprising (intifada) of the Palestinian people,

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

Gravely concerned about the recent 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 numerous deaths and injuries,

Having considered the reports 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 relevant reports of the Secretary-General,

Recalling the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, and the signing of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on 4 September 1999,

Expressing the hope that, with the progress of the peace process, the Israeli occupation will be brought to an end and therefore 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. Demands that Israel cooperate with the Special Committee in implementing its mandate;

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

4. Expresses grave concern about the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, as a result of Israeli practices and measures, and especially condemns the excessive use of force in the past few weeks which has resulted in more than one hundred and sixty Palestinian deaths and 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 Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, especially Israeli lack of compliance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 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;
Requests the Secretary-General:
(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;
9. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-sixth 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".
Fourth Geneva Convention

Report of Secretary-General. In August [A/55/262], the Secretary-General informed the General Assembly that Israel had not replied to his July request for information envisaged to implement Assembly resolution 4/77 [YUN 1999, p. 416] demanding that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and that it comply scrupulously with its provisions. Also in July, the Secretary-General noted, he had drawn the attention of all States parties to the Convention to paragraph 3 of resolution 54/77 calling on them to exert all efforts to ensure respect by Israel for the Convention's provisions.

The high contracting parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention had reaffirmed the applicability of the Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory at their meeting in 1999 [YUN 1999, P. 415].


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 8 December [meeting 83], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/55/571], adopted resolution 55/131 by recorded vote (152-2-2) (agenda item 85].


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,
1. Reaffirms that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including 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 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 States parties to the Convention, in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, to exert all efforts in order to ensure respect for its provisions by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

4. Reiterates the need for speedy implementation of the recommendations contained in its resolutions ES-10/3 of 15 July 1997, ES-10/4 of 13 November 1997, ES-10/5 of 17 March 1998, ES-10/6 of 9 February 1999 and ES-10/7 of 20 October 2000 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-sixth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/131:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, 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, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela. Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Palestinian women

The Secretary-General, in a report [E/CN.6/2000/2] to the Commission on the Status of Women on follow-up to and progress in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action [YUN 1995, p. 1170), reviewed, in response to Economic and Social Council resolution 1999/15 [YUN 1999, p 418], the situation of Palestinian women and described assistance provided by UN organizations during the period September 1998 to September 1999. He stated that the overall improvement of the economic performance in the e West Bank and Gaza since 1997 had led to an increase in employment and higher household incomes in the occupied territories. Although women's unemployment rate in 1998 declined by 21.3 per cent, to 16.9 per cent, women's wages remained consistently below those of men. An increase in household income in 1998 was due to a real increase in average wages, and household expenditures declined by 21.1 per cent during the same period. Also in 1998, income and productivity were enhanced by fewer comprehensive and internal closure days in the West Bank and Gaza. The expansion of existing Israeli settlements and the building of new ones, as well as the construction of bypass roads, continued to affect the socioeconomic life of Palestinians. Ceases of confrontations between Palestinian women and Israeli settlers were reported.

Organizational mechanisms had been created to fulfil the goals of the Beijing Platform for Action. At the governmental level, a coordination framework (the International a coordiCommittee) was formed of representatives from the women's affairs departments in ministries and State institutions with a view to promoting the national status of Palestinian women. According to the PA activities were undertaken in accordance with the Platform with particular emphasis on the eight priority areas. Traditions notwithstanding, the gender concept was currently accepted in Palestinian society and the stereotypical image of women had begun to change. More education and employment were available for women, and their capacity to work and participate in the production and use of modern technologies was expected to grow.

The UN system continued to support Palestinian women and sought to maintain a gender perspective in its assistance programmes and funds. That assistance ranged across areas such as education, income-generation activities, capacity-building and institution-building. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights supported the establishment of a Women's Human Rights Unit in a local non-governmental organization (NGO) and assisted legislators and civil society organizations in a review of personal status legislation. It also participated in the United Nations Gender Task Force, which organized a campaign on the prevention of violence against women ESCWA provided, among other things, technical assistance and advisory services to the National committee for Palestinian Women for Follow-up to Beijing in preparation of the Palestinian national report on implementation of the Platform for Action. In 1998, the World Food Programme began a two-year project that supported the social safety net programme of the Ministry of Social Affairs, addressing the urgent food security needs of poor households.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ACTION


On 28 July [meeting 45], the Economic and Social Council, on the recommendation of the Commission on the Status of Women [E/2000/27], adopted resolution 2000/23 by recorded vote (42-1-2) [agenda item 14 (a)].


Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women
Having considered with appreciation the section concerning the situation of Palestinian women and assistance provided by organizations of the United Nations system of the report of the Secretary-General on follow-up to and implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women,

Recalling the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, and the Beijing Platform for Action,

Recalling also its resolution 1999/15 of 28 July 1999 and other relevant United Nations resolutions,

Recalling further the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women as it concerns the protection of civilian populations,

Stressing the need for full implementation of the Memorandum signed at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on 4 September 1999 and full compliance with the existing agreements, as well as the need for the conclusion of the final settlement by the agreed time of September 2000,

Concerned about the continuing difficult situation of Palestinian women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and about the severe consequences of continuous illegal Israeli settlement activities, as well as the harsh economic conditions and other consequences for the situation of Palestinian women and their families resulting from the frequent closures and isolation of the occupied territory,

1. Calls upon the concerned parties, as well as the entire international community, to exert all the necessary efforts to ensure the continuity and success of the peace process and its conclusion by the agreed time of September 2000 and the achievement of tangible progress in the improvement of the situation of Palestinian women and their families;

2. Reaffirms that the Israeli occupation remains a major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration in the development planning of their society;

3. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Regulations annexed to The Hague Convention IV, of 18 October 1907 and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in order to protect the rights of Palestinian women and their families;

4. Calls upon Israel to facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced Palestinian women and children to their homes and properties, in compliance with the relevant United Nations resolutions;

5. Urges Member States, financial organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and other relevant institutions to intensify their efforts to provide financial and technical assistance to Palestinian women, especially during the transitional period;

6. Requests the Commission on the Status of Women to continue to monitor and take action with regard to the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, and the Beijing Platform for Action;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to review the situation and to assist Palestinian women by all available means, and to submit to the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-fifth session a report on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 2000/23: Issues related to Palestine

General aspects

The General Assembly again considered the question of Palestine in 2000. Having discussed the annual report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (Committee on Palestinian Rights) [A/55/35], the Assembly adopted four resolutions, reaffirming, among other things, the necessity of achieving a peaceful settlement of the Palestine question—the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict—and stressing the need for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinians, primarily the right to self-determination, for Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 and for resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees.

In commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, celebrated annually on 29 November, in accordance with Assembly resolution 32/40 B [YUN 1077. p.304], the Committee held a solemn meeting and other activities. Under the Committee's auspices, an exhibit entitled "The Land" was presented by the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine.

Report of Secretary-General. In a November report on the question of Palestine [A/55/639-S/2000/1113] the Secretary-General made observations on the Middle East peace process (see p. 415).

By a 9 August note verbale, the Secretary-General sought the positions of the Governments of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as the PLO, regarding steps taken by them to implement the relevant provisions of resolution 54/42 [YUN 1909, p. 420]. As at 16 November, only Israel and the PLO had responded.

Israel said that it viewed the resolution as unbalanced and an undue interference in the Israeli-Palestinian bilateral negotiations. Since both Israeli and Palestinian leaders had agreed that their differences would be resolved only by good-faith negotiations, the one-sided approach reflected in the resolution threatened to prejudge the outcome of that process. A comprehensive solution to the conflict could be based only on directly negotiated and mutually agreed solutions.

The Permanent Observer of Palestine said that the resolution provided support for the peace process and implementation of the agreements reached between the two sides, and also provided the basis for the just settlement of the Palestine question. The resolution also emphasized the importance of a more active and expanded role for the United Nations in that process. As such, the resolution should serve as an acceptable basis for all parties to work on those issues. The Permanent Observer stated that Israel had failed to implement most of the overdue provisions and commitments agreed upon in the 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum [YUN 1999, p. 401], including the third redeployment of its occupying forces, the release of Palestinian prisoners and the return of Palestinian displaced persons. It had also failed to adhere to the agreed timetable. The optimistic expectations for a positive change in the status of the peace process in the Middle East and the conclusion of a final settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides had not been fulfilled. Instead, the region had witnessed a dramatic deterioration of the situation and an unprecedented level of aggression against the Palestinian people since the 28 September visit by Ariel Sharon to Al-Haram Al-Sharif.

The Secretary-General visited the region in October and attended the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit (see p. 420). Of the three major understandings reached at the Summit (security cooperation, establishment of a fact-finding committee, renewal of the peace process), progress had been made only in relation to the establishment of the committee. On 7 November, United States President William J. Clinton announced the membership of the Fact-Finding Committee, chaired by former United States Senator George Mitchell, which was developed with the parties and in consultation with the Secretary-General. The Secretary-General remained concerned that the other understandings remained un-implemented and stressed that the full and good-faith implementation of those understandings was vital to restore calm and to create the right atmosphere for the resumption of peace talks. In his view, there was no alternative to a return to the negotiating table. He also participated in the Summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) (see p. 427), where he discussed the crisis in the Middle East with heads of State and Foreign Ministers. All of them expressed grave concern at the situation and many deplored the excessive use of force by Israel.

The crisis in the region had led to a serious deterioration of the humanitarian and economic situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In order to improve the coordination of the UN humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians, a task force had been established, chaired by the UN Special Coordinator in Gaza. Also, UNRWA had launched an urgent appeal for $39 million to fund a three-month contingency plan to buy food and medical supplies. As the Assembly had underscored on many occasions, achieving a final and peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine was imperative for the attainment of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East. The Secretary-General hoped that there would also be movement on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks so that peace, security and stability could be achieved on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) [YUN 1967, p. 257] and 338(1973) [YUN 1973, p. 213).

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 in the Middle East,

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

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

Affirming also the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the territory occupied since 1967 and of Israeli actions aimed at changing the status of Jerusalem,

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, and the signing by the two parties of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, B.C., on 28 September 1995,

Recalling also the withdrawal of the Israeli army, which took place in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area in 1995 in accordance with the agreements reached by the parties, and the initiation of the Palestinian Authority in those areas, as well as the subsequent redeployments of the Israeli army in the rest of the West Bank,

Voting with satisfaction the successful holding of the first Palestinian general elections,

Noting the signing of the Memorandum at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on 4 September 1999,

Noting the appointment by the Secretary-General 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 its positive contribution,

Welcoming the convening of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace in Washington, D.C., on 1 October 1993, as well as all follow-up meetings and the international mechanisms established to provide assistance to the Palestinian people, including the donor meeting held in Tokyo on 15 October 1999,

Expressing its deep concern over the tragic events in Occupied East Jerusalem and the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 28 September 2000, which have resulted in a high number of deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinian civilians, and concerned also about the clashes between the Israeli armed forces and the Palestinian police and the casualties on both sides,

Expressing its deep concern also over the serious deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the difficulties facing the Middle East peace process,

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;

2. Expresses its full support for the ongoing peace process which began in Madrid and the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of 1995 and the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum of 1999, and expresses the hope that the process will lead to the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

3. Stresses the necessity for commitment to the principle of land for peace and the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) and 338(1973), which form the basis of the Middle East peace process, and the need for the immediate and scrupulous implementation of the agreements reached between the parties, including the redeployment of the Israeli forces from the West Bank, and calls for the speedy conclusion of the final settlement agreement between the two sides;

4. Calls upon the concerned parties, the cosponsors of the peace process and other interested parties, as well as the entire international community to exert all the necessary efforts and initiatives to reverse immediately all measures taken on the ground since 28 September 2000, in implementation of the Sharm el-Sheikh understandings and in order to ensure a successful and speedy conclusion of the peace process;
(a) The realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination;

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

6. Also stresses the need for resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with its resolution 194(111) of 11 December 1948;

7. Urges Member States to expedite the provision of economic and technical assistance to the Palestinian people during this critical period;

8. Emphasizes the importance for the United Nations to play a more active and expanded role in the current peace process and in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles;

9. Requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned, and in consultation with the Security Council, for the promotion of peace in the region and to submit progress reports on developments in this matter.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/55:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, 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, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana. Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait. Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Speaking before the vote, the United States said that the draft resolution presented the position of only one party to the negotiations a position that was unacceptable to the other party. Direct negotiations between the parties had yielded significant progress and the draft resolution could only complicate efforts to achieve a settlement.

Israel stated that all diplomatic breakthroughs in the Middle East were arrived at exclusively through direct negotiations between the parties. The draft resolution sought to predetermine the issues to be resolved by those negotiations, violated existing agreements and undermined the foundations of the peace process.

Speaking after the vote, the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that the resolution was of great importance to the Middle East region and to the Palestinian people, and affirmed the responsibility of the United Nations vis-a-vis the question of Palestine.

By decision 55/458 of 23 December, the Assembly decided that the agenda items entitled "Question of Palestine" and "The situation in the Middle East" would remain for consideration during its resumed fifty-fifth (2001) session.

Committee on Palestinian Rights

As mandated by General Assembly resolution 54/39 [YUN 1999, p.424], the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People continued to review the situation relating to the Palestine question, reported on it and made suggestions to the Assembly or the Security Council.

The Committee's Bureau continued its consultations with NGO representatives on the future shape of cooperation with civil society during the course of the UN seminar on prospects for Palestinian economic development and the Middle East peace process, held in Cairo, Egypt, in June 2000 (see p. 448). The Bureau urged NGOs to focus their initiatives on the most crucial issues at stake and to mobilize solidarity movements in support of Palestine refugees.

The Committee continued to follow the Palestine-related activities of inter-governmental bodies, such as the Organization of African Unity, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and the Group of 77 developing countries, and, through its Chairman, participated in a number of high-level meetings of those bodies. Through its Bureau, the Committee continued to cooperate on the question of Palestine with the EU. The Committee took part in the United Nations Asian Meeting on the Question of Palestine( Hanoi, Viet Nam, 1-3 March). The Hanoi Declaration, the meeting's final document, supported the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State.

In cooperation with OIC and the League of Arab States, the Committee organized the International Conference on Palestine Refugees (Paris, 26-27 April). The Conference stressed that the social and economic conditions of some 3.7 million Palestine refugees required urgent intervention on the part of the international community. It stated that the multilateral track of negotiations remained an essential part of the peace process and reaffirmed the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to return to their land and property. Immediately following the Conference, the United Nations NGO Meeting on Palestine Refugees was convened (Paris, 28 April). Issues discussed included the role of NGOs in promoting a just settlement of the Palestine refugee problem, the experience of NGOs in delivering basic social services to refugee communities and promoting stronger support to UNRWA.

The Committee sponsored the United Nations International Meeting in Support of a Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine and the Establishment of Peace in the Middle East (Athens, Greece, 23-24 May). The Final Statement called on the parties concerned to achieve interim and final settlement agreements, and noted that the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations had been offset on a number of occasions by Israeli actions and statements, incompatible with the spirit and letter of the peace process.

In its annual report to the Assembly [A/55/35] covering the period from 12 November 1999 to 10 October 2000, the Committee said that it had observed with hope a series of actions taken on the ground in implementation of the 1999 Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum [YUN 1999, p. 401]. They included the further redeployment of Israeli troops from parts of the West Bank, the agreement on the release of Palestinian prisoners, the opening of a southern safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the resumption of negotiations on permanent status issues. The Committee welcomed the signing, on 7 June, of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement on the implementation of economic issues, as well the agreement concerning the Gaza seaport, signed on 20 September. It supported the September 2000 Palestinian Central Council decisions to postpone the establishment of a Palestinian State and on steps to be taken in preparation for statehood, including the completion of work on the constitutional declaration and laws for presidential and parliamentary elections, and the submission of an application by Palestine for membership in the United Nations. The Committee welcomed the negotiations on permanent status issues conducted in March/April 2000 at Boiling Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., and the intense discussions at the Middle East Peace Summit, held in July at Camp David, Maryland (seep. 415). The Committee was of the view that with the meetings at Camp David the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations had reached a high-water mark. It was troubled, therefore, by the failure of the parties to bridge the gaps in their positions and reach a comprehensive agreement. It welcomed, however, the final trilateral statement made at the conclusion of the Summit, in which both parties committed themselves to continue their efforts to conclude an agreement on all permanent status issues as soon as possible. The Committee observed with much concern, however, the failure to create the necessary momentum for the conclusion of a final agreement on 15 September 2000, as stipulated by the provisions of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum. In that regard, the Committee noted the determined effort of the United States President to re-engage the two sides on specific elements of the final settlement, in particular on the question of Jerusalem, in the course of the meetings held on the sidelines of the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000. Despite that optimism, the confrontation and escalation of violence that developed following Mr. Sharon's visit 10 Al-Haram Al-Sharif on 28 September placed the peace process in considerable jeopardy and led to increased volatility on the ground.

The Committee was alarmed by the fact that the Israeli settlement drive in the course of the year under review had been as vigorous as it had been in previous years. In July, Israel's Ministry of the Interior announced that the number of settlers in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip had risen in the past year by 13,600 to some 200,000. The Committee reiterated its concern over the provocative and often violent actions of extremist settlers occupying Palestinian land, erecting makeshift houses and engaging in violent confrontations with Palestinians. During the year, settlers were collecting donations in Israel and abroad to purchase special military and rescue equipment. According to the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the equipment was purchased in coordination with the Israel Defence Forces.

The Committee expressed concern that, although a number of Palestinian prisoners had been released, some 1,650 of them still remained imprisoned Israel. It was especially alarmed by, among other things, reports of administrative detention of Palestinians without charge or trail; overcrowded confinement conditions; solitary confinement as a means of sever punishment; inadequate medical care; and deprivation of basic facilities, such as a place to practice religion. The Palestinian economic remained beset by a number of restrictions on Palestinian economic transactions, limited passage between the West Bank and Gaza, and persisted unemployment. There was also a pressing need to improve the physical underdeveloped infrastructure, including water, energy, transportation and the sewage system. The Committee stressed the urgency of assisting the Palestinian people in meeting their social and economic development needs.

The Committee, in its conclusions and recommendations, said that illegal “facts on the ground” continued to be created in violation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, jeopardizing the possibility of making tangible progress in the peace negotiations. The Committee considered it unacceptable that, on the threshold of the third millennium, the Palestinian people were still carrying the heavy weight of occupation. A core issue in the permanent status negotiations was the question of Jerusalem, which, according to the Committee, should be resolved based on Council resolution 242 (1967) [YUN 1967, p. 257] and other relevant UN resolutions, the exercise by the Palestinian people of their inalienable rights, and with due regard to the universal spiritual meaning of Jerusalem for all humankind. Among other permanent status issues, the question of Palestine refugees remained a difficult one. Generation as of Palestinians had grown up as refugees, living in dismal conditions in refugee camps or under occupation, many away from their homeland, denied their natural right to self-determination, with bleak economic prospects, their freedom of movement restricted, their hopes for a better future dependent on the outside world. If that problem was not resolved with due care and in accordance with international law, the potential for peace and stability in the region would be seriously jeopardized. The Committee reiterated that the solution to the problem should be based on Assembly resolution 194 (III) [YUN 1948-49, p. 174]. In addition, the illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967 had changed the geography of the area and had devastated the livelihood of individual Palestinian households and the Palestinian economy in general. The Committee strongly believed that the United Nations should continue to exercise its? permanent responsibility towards all aspects of the question of Palestine until it was resolved in a satisfactory manner, in conformity with relevant, UN resolutions and international legitimacy, and until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people were fully realized. The Committee shared the view that the work carried out by UNRWA should be continued and supported the view that the reactivation of the work of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine (UNCCP), established by Assembly resolution 194(111), and the use of the Commission's records related to land ownership in Palestine should be considered. The Committee planned to continue to review and assess its programme of activities with a view to making it more focused and responsive to developments in the peace process and on the ground. Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,

Recalling the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-government Arrangements, including its Annexes and Agreed Minutes, by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, and the Memorandum signed at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on 4 September 1999,
6. Requests the Committee to continue to extend its cooperation and support to Palestinian and other non-governmental 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 non-governmental organizations in its work;

7. Requests the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, established under General Assembly resolution 194(111), and other United Nations bodies associated with the question of Palestine to continue to cooperate fully with the Committee, and expresses appreciation for the cooperation between the Commission and the Committee with regard to the modernization and preservation of the records of the Commission;

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

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

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/52:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Antigua Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia. Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan. Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Abstaining: Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.

Speaking before the vote, Israel said that the Committee on Palestinian Rights, since its inception, had obstructed dialogue and understanding through a preset, one-sided portrayal of the Arab-Israeli situation.

Speaking after the vote, the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that the resolution affirmed the responsibility of the United Nations vis-a-vis the question of Palestine, including through the Committee on Palestinian Rights.

Division for Palestinian Rights

Under the guidance of the Committee on Palestinian Rights, the Division for Palestinian Rights of the UN Secretariat continued to function as a centre of research, monitoring, preparation of studies, and collection and dissemination of information on all issues related to the Palestine question. The Division continued to respond to requests for information and to prepare and disseminate the following publications: a monthly bulletin covering action by the Committee, UN bodies and agencies, and inter-governmental organizations concerned with Palestine; a monthly chronology of events relating to the question of Palestine, based on media reports and other sources; reports of meetings organized under the auspices of the Committee; a special bulletin on the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (29 November) and an annual compilation of relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, decisions and statements.

The Committee, in its annual report [A/55/35], noted that the Division continued to develop the electronic United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL), as mandated by Assembly resolution 46/74 B [YUN 1991, P 228]. The Division completed the coordination and supervision of the electronic conversion by contractor of the records of UNCCP, in accordance with Assembly resolution 51/129 (YUN 1996, p.42.)

The Division maintained the Internet web site entitled "NGO Network on the Question of Palestine" and, in consultation with NGOs, developed it into a permanent tool of mutual information and cooperation between the Committee on Palestinian Rights and civil society. The Division also continued to issue its periodic newsletter entitled NGO Action News covering the activities of civil society on the various aspects of the question of Palestine.

The Committee requested the Division to continue its publications programme and other activities, including the updating of UNISPAL. on a day-to-day basis and the completion of work on UNISPAL's collection of documents previously unavailable in machine-readable form.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 1 December (meeting 78], the General Assembly adopted resolution 55/53 [draft: A/55/L.46 & Add.l] by recorded vote (107-2-48) [agenda item 41]. Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,

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

Recalling its resolutions 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, 33/28 C of 7 December 1978, 34/65 D of 12 December 1979, 35/169 D of 15 December 1980, 36/120 B of 10 December 1981, 37/86 B of 10 December 1982, 38/58 B of 13 December 1983, 39/49 B of 11 December 1984, 40/96 B of 12 December 1985, 41/43 B of 2 December 1986, 42/66 B of 2 December 1987, 43/175 B of 15 December 1988, 44/41 B of 6 December 1989, 45/67 B of 6 December 1990, 46/74 B of 11 December 1991, 47/64 B of 11 December 1992, 48/158 B of 20 December 1993, 49/62 B of 14 December 1994, 50/84 B of 15 December 1995, 51/24 of 4 December 1996, 52/50 of 9 December 1997, 53/40 of 2 December 1998 and 54/40 of 1 December 1999,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Secretary-General in compliance with its resolution 54/40;

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 programme of 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 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 of Palestine, the preparation and widest possible dissemination of publications and information materials on various aspects of the question of Palest ne, 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 Committee and the Division in the performance of their tasks;

6. Notes with appreciation the action taken by Member States to observe annually on 29 November the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, requests them to continue to give the widest possible publicity to the observance, and requests the Committee and the Division to continue to organize, as part of the observance of the Day of Solidarity, an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/53

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Vente, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamehiriya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco. Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay. Venezuela, Viet Nam Vemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
As in previous years, a major focus of the United Nations information centres was the promotion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People through extensive print and electronic media coverage. Throughout the year, many UNICs dealt with the Palestine question and organized special outreach activities related to the issue.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 1 December [meeting 78], the General Assembly adopted resolution 55/54 [draft: A/55/L.47 Add.l] by recorded vote (151-2-2) [agenda item 41].
Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,
Recalling its resolution 54/41 of 1 December 1999,

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

Aware of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements signed by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, and of the subsequent implementation agreements, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, and the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum of 4 September 1999, and their positive implications,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat in compliance with resolution 54/41

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 in general, including the achievements of the peace process, 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 2000-2001, 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 organizations;

(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 audiovisual material on the question of Palestine and to continue the production of such material, including the updating of the exhibit in the Secretariat;

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

(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;

4. Requests the Department of Public Information to promote the Bethlehem 2000 Project, within existing resources and until the Bethlehem 2000 commemoration comes to a close, including the preparation and dissemination of publications, audiovisual material and further development of the "Bethlehem 2000" site on the United Nations Internet home page. In his annual report on the work of the Agency (1 July 1999-30 June 2000) [A/55/13]the UNRWA Commissioner-General said that the Agency's performance during the reporting period was satisfactory, given the constraints on funding. In general, UNRWA managed to maintain the standard of its education and health services, although staff and infrastructure were increasingly under pressure, with unacceptably high teacher/student and doctor/patient ratios, over-crowding in clinics and classrooms and a shortage of funds to carry out essential maintenance.

The Agency continued to seek greater efficiency through an internal restructuring and reform programme. Donor funding was used to continue technical assistance in three areas: reform of the Agency's financial systems; improving educational planning mechanisms; and improving procurement policies and procedures. By mid-2000, the Agency had selected a new financial system, which was intended to be operational by mid-2001.

Palestine refugees remained anxious about their future status. UNRWA's continuing financial difficulties were interpreted by some as politically motivated, signalling a weakening in the international community's commitment to the refugee issue The withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon in May (see p. 461) was welcomed in the region and led to a period relative calm.

The strife that broke out in late September following the visit of Mr. Sharon to the Temple Mount/Al-Haram Al-Sharif in Jerusalem undermined several years of economic progress and infrastructure development, with profound effects on the refugees in terms of lives, livelihoods and shelter lost. UNRWA launched a flash emergency appeal on 4 October for $4.83 million, concentrating on the provision of medical supplies. That was followed by the first consolidated emergency appeal on 8 November for $39.1 million to provide refugees with food and cash assistance, among other forms of aid, for the period from December 2000 through February 2001.

OIOS report. The General Assembly had before it a report by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) on the investigation into the UNRWA field office in Lebanon [A/54/367]. The Office had investigated allegations of financial impropriety, the embezzlement of medical supplies and bribery by construction contractors. With regard to the bribery allegations, OIOS found them to be unsubstantiated but made recommendations for improving UNRWA tendering procedures to reduce the risk of fraud and suspicion of corruption. The allegations of financial impropriety and embezzlement of medical supplies were found to be without merit.

By resolution 54/257 of 7 April, the Assembly took note of the OIOS report.

Advisory Commission. By a 28 September letter to the Commissioner-General, which he included in his report [A/55/13], the Advisory Commission of UNRWA recognized that the Agency's services to the refugees over the past 50 years had contributed to their socio-economic well-being and, thus, to stability in the region, and in that light recognized the need to mobilize an adequate level of resources for the Agency's core budget. It noted with appreciation the new format of the Agency's budget that had been welcomed by the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). The Commission noted with concern the imminent cash crisis that UNRWA was facing and called on donors to provide adequate, predictable and early payments to alleviate that situation. It welcomed UNRWA's efforts to improve the efficiency, productivity and effectiveness of its programmes, as well as the introduction of new administrative reform measures. It noted with concern the difficulties faced by the Agency due to the restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities and called for measures to remove them.

Peace Implementation Programme

In its seventh year of operation, UNRWA's Peace Implementation Programme (PIP) remained the main channel for extra-budgetary funding of activities associated with the Agency's education, health and relief and social services programmes, as well as income generation. Since its inception n October 1993 [YUN 1993, p. 569] PIP had improved the refugees’ overall living conditions, created employment opportunities and developed infrastructure. Following the adoption of the 2000-2001 programme-based biennium budget, which divided the Agency's budget into regular budget and projects budget sections, all new non-core contributions were credited to the projects budget. A new "Projects 2000-2002" programme was introduced in January 2000 to track all contributions to the biennium projects budget.

Between mid-1999 and mid-2000, with PIP funding, UNRWA completed the construction of 12 schools, 32 additional classrooms, one vocational education room, two water reservoirs and eight latrine units, a polyclinic, a health centre and the upgrading of a second, the expansion of a mother and child health centre, and a youth activities centre. PlP funds also enabled the Agency to rehabilitate 154 shelters of special hardship families. Several elements of the environmental health scheme in the Gaza Strip were completed, while some other components were still ongoing. Camp infrastructure projects ongoing at mid-2000 included the construction of a public health laboratory in the West Bank; the construction of several schools and additional classrooms Agency-wide; a women's programme centre and two community rehabilitation centres; and a major sewerage and drainage project for eight refugee camps in Lebanon. Other PIP activities included a slow learners' programme in Jordan; the integration of visually impaired children into the regular school system; and care for the destitute aged. PlP also helped to sustain regular Agency programmes by funding the running costs of two health centres in Gaza, the cost of university scholarships for refugee students and the procurement of medical supplies. Further funding went into the upgrading of facilities and courses at several of the Agency's vocational training centres. Cash expenditure under PIP amounted to $25.8 million during the reporting period, not including expenditures on the European Gaza Hospital.

UNRWA received $8.1 million in pledges and contributions for PIP projects during the reporting period. Of the new funding, $5.8 million went to projects in the education sector, while $0.9 million was allocated for the health sector and $1.4 million for the relief and social services sector. No funding was received for income generation activities.

Lebanon appeal

Most of the over 370,000 registered Palestine refugees in Lebanon continued to face deplorable living conditions and depended almost entirely on UNRWA for basic services. By mid-2000, the Agency had received $9.2 million of the $11 million sought in additional contributions under the special emergency appeal, launched in 1997 to support essential health, education, relief and social services activities for Palestine refugees in Lebanon. Completed projects included the construction of a secondary school and a computer laboratory and the procurement off textbooks required under the new curriculum.

Major service areas

UNRWA continued to provide educational, health, and relief and social services to, and carried out income-generation activities for, Palestinian refugees throughout the occupied territories.

During the 1999/2000 school year, the 637 UNRWA schools across the region accommodated f 466,955 pupils, most of whom were in elementary and preparatory cycles, apart from 1,696 students at the three Agency secondary schools in Lebanon. Total enrolment increased by 2.1 percent, or 9,606 pupils, over the 1998/99 school year. The Jordan and Gaza fields each accounted for approximately one third of total Agency pupil enrolment, while the other three fields (Lebanon, Syria, West Bank) together accounted for the remaining third UNRWA's school system continued to maintain full gender equity, with 50 per cent of pupils being female. The education pro, gramme, which was run in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), remained the largest single area of UNRWA activity, with the 14,485 education personnel representing 66 per cent of all Agency staff. The proposed education budget for the 2000-2001 biennium was established at $328.3 million for regular programmes, or 54 percent of UNRWA's regular budget for the period, The policy of operating schools on a double-shift basis (housing two schools in a single building) continued due to financial constraints and steadily rising student enrolment. Also due to financial constraints, the Agency remained unable to carry out the extension of the basic education cycle in the West Bank and Gaza from 9 to 10 years, which widened the gap between the Agency's and the host authorities' education systems. In June 2000, the Agency began a donor-funded project aimed at strengthening and supporting UNRWA's efforts to promote concepts and principles of basic human rights, raise awareness of the importance of tolerance and train Palestine refugee children and youth in non-violent means of conflict resolution. Total enrolment in the eight UNRWA vocational and technical training centres was 4,635 in the 1999/2000 school year, a decrease of 20 over the previous year. Overall, women accounted for 31.7 per cent of all trainees. UNRWA also provided placement and career guidance and continued with project funding to support some scholars until they graduated. In coordination with a United Kingdom consultancy team and senior education staff at both headquarters (Amman, Jordan) and in the field, a five-year development plan (2000-2004) was completed, covering educational planning, staff and management development, vocational and technical education, education management information system, personnel and finance.

UNRWA's health-care programme remained focused on comprehensive primary health care, including a full range of maternal and child health and family planning services; school health services, health education and promotion activities; outpatient medical care services; prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases; and specialist care with emphasis on gynecology and obstetrics, pediatrics and cardiology. Dental and basic support services, such as radiology and laboratory facilities, were also provided. Services were delivered through a network of 123 primary health-care facilities located in and outside refugee camps. UNRWA participated in two rounds of national immunization campaigns for the eradication of poliomyelitis in the context of a World Health Organization (WHO) regional strategy. Funding shortfalls continued to threaten the sustainability of hospitalization services, making the effective management of scarce resources a top priority. The Agency continued to emphasize the development of human resources for health through basic, inservice and postgraduate training as a key element to improve the quality of care. Approximately 1.2 million Palestine refugees in 59 official camps in the five fields of operation, representing 32 per cent of the total registered population, benefited from environmental health services provided by UNRWA, including sewage disposal, provision of safe drinking water, collection and disposal of refuse, and control of insect and rodent infestation. The proposed health budget for the 2000-2001 biennium was established at $107.7 million under the regular programme, representing 17.0 per cent of the Agency's total operating budget. UNRWA continued its cooperation with the PA, the EU and other UN agencies.

The relief and social services programme supported those Palestine refugees who were unable to meet basic needs for food, shelter and other essentials. It also maintained records on Palestine refugees in order to determine eligibility for all UNRWA services. Further progress was made on the unified registration system, which aimed to integrate two existing computerized databases—the registration database and the socio-economic database—with the family files archives. The principal means of assistance to special hardship case (SHC) families were food support, shelter rehabilitation, selective cash assistance, hospitalization subsidies and preferential access to UNRWA training centres. The number of refugees in households that met the eligibility criteria—no male adult medically fit to earn an income and no other identifiable means of financial support above a defined threshold—increased by 3.5 per cent, from 200,078 at 30 June 1999 to 207,150 at 30 June 2000. The percentage of refugees enrolled in the programme was highest in Lebanon (10.8 per cent) and the Gaza Strip (8.6 percent) and lowest in Jordan (2.6 per cent). The regular budget allocation for selective cash assistance, which was frozen in August 1997, was partially reinstated in January 2000. During the first half of 2000, small grants averaging $140 were provided on a case-by-case basis to 1,766 SHC families facing emergency situations. UNRWA also rehabilitated a total of 217 shelters of SHC families, as compared to 1,305 in the previous reporting period. The poverty alleviation programme continued to address poverty at the micro level. Most loans under the group guaranteed lending schemes and to SHC families were for between $500 and $10,000. UNRWA sponsored centres within the refugee camps, or community-based organizations (CBOs), increased from 131 at mid-1999 to 133 at mid-2000, with a total of 71 women's programme centres, 27 youth activity centres and 35 community rehabilitation centres for the physically and mentally challenged. CBOs offered social development activities, including skills-training opportunities for women and disabled people. UNRWA's role in the implementation of social services programmes continued to evolve from that of service provider to that of facilitator, with emphasis on a community development approach that promoted, among other things, participation, self-reliance, revenue generation, and implementation and management skills. The proposed 2000-2001 budget of the relief and social services programme was $62.4 million for regular programmes, representing just over 10 per cent of UNRWA's total regular budget.

UNRWA's income-generation programme supported small and micro-enterprises within the refugee community by providing technical assistance, as well as capital investment and working capital loans through field-based revolving loan funds. The programme's objective was to create employment, generate income, reduce poverty and empower refugees, particularly women, through socio-economic growth. During the porting period, the programme provided 10,875 loans worth $13.2 million to Palestinian-owned i enterprises. UNRWA's income-generation activities continued to be concentrated in the Gaza Strip, although the programme in the West Bank was rapidly reducing the outreach gap between the two programmes. The programme targeted formal business enterprises that had the capacity to create jobs for the unemployed and the informal and micro-enterprises that could generate income for poor families. Although no additional capital funds were received during the reporting period, the number of loans disbursed increased from 7,014, valued at $8.33 million during the previous reporting period, to 8,135 valued at $10.2 million during 1999/2000. The Gaza income-generation programme was composed of four sub-programmes, three of which provided credit to various target groups and the fourth provided business training services. The micro-enterprise credit (MEC) subprogramme targeted working capital loans to the more than 20,000 micro-enterprises operating in Gaza. The solidarity group lending sub-programme also provided short-term working capital loans, but they were targeted at women working in micro-enterprises or women micro-enterprise owners. The small-scale enterprise sub-programme provided both working capital and capital investment loans to new and established businesses in the industry and service sectors to promote job creation, exports and import substitution. The small and micro-enterprise training sub-programme provided non-financial services to the business community and encouraged entrepreneurship through business training. The MEC sub-programme in the West Bank was the fastest growing of UNRWA's credit sub-programmes. In the second half of 2000, UNRWA formally changed the name of its income-generation programme in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the micro-finance and micro-enterprise programme.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 8 December [meeting 83], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/55/570], adopted resolution 55/123 by recorded vote (156-1-3) [agenda item 84].

Assistance to Palestine refugees

The General Assembly, Recalling its resolution 54/69 of 6 December 1999 and all its previous resolutions on the question, including resolution 194(111) of 11 December 1948,

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 1999 to 30 June 2000,

Stressing the importance of the Middle East peace process,

Welcoming the signature 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 people of Palestine, of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements 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(111), has not yet been effected and that, therefore, the situation of the 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(111), 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 2001;

3. Expresses its thanks to the Commissioner-General and to all the staff of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, recognizing that the Agency is doing all it can within the limits of available resources, and also expresses its thanks to the specialized agencies and to private organizations for their valuable work in assisting refugees;

4. Notes the significant success of the Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency since the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, and stresses the importance that contributions to this Programme not be at the expense of the General Fund;

5. Welcomes the increased cooperation between the Agency and international and regional organizations, States and relevant agencies and non-governmental organizations, which is essential to enhancing the contributions of the Agency towards improved conditions for the refugees and thereby the social stability of the occupied territory;

6. Urges all Member States to extend and expedite aid and assistance with a view to the economic and social development of the Palestinian people and the occupied territory;

7. Reiterates its deep concern regarding the persisting critical financial situation of the Agency, as outlined in the report of the Commissioner-General;

8. Commends the efforts of the Commissioner-General to move towards budgetary transparency and internal efficiency, and welcomes in this respect the new, unified budget structure for the biennium 2000-2001, which can contribute significantly to improved budgetary transparency of the Agency;

9. Welcomes the consultative process between the Agency, host Governments, the Palestinian Authority and donors on management reforms;

10. Notes with profound concern that the continuing shortfall in the finances of the Agency has a significant negative influence on the living conditions of the Palestine refugees most in need and that it therefore has possible consequences for the peace process;

11. Calls upon all donors, as a matter of urgency, to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency, including the remaining costs of moving the headquarters to Gaza, encourages contributing Governments to contribute regularly and to consider increasing their regular contributions, and urges non-contributing Governments to contribute.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/123:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados. Belarus, Belgium Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, 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, Gabon, Georgia., Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain. Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
The Assembly, on the same date [meeting 83] and also on the Fourth Committee's recommendation [A/55/570], adopted resolution 55/127 by recorded vote (157-2-2) [agenda item 84].
Recalling its resolutions 194(111) of 11 December 1948, 212(111) of 19 November 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and all subsequent related resolutions,

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 1999 to 30 June 2000,

Taking note of the letter dated 28 September 2000 from the Chairman of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General, contained in the report of the Comnussioner-Geneial,

Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolutions 48/10 E, 18/40 H and 48/40 J of 10 December 1993 and 49/35 C of 9 December 1994,

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,

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

Deeply concerned of the fact that Palestine refugees have, for over five decades, lost their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

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

Further 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 loss of life and injury during the recent tragic events in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem,

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

Aware of the work of the Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency.

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

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

Aware 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,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near Fast, as well as to all the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work;

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 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;

4 Acknowledges the support of the host Governments and the Palestine Liberation Organization for the Agency in the discharge of its duties;
5. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, 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 and to abide scrupulously by its provisions;

6. 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 with regard to the safety of the personnel of the Agency and the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of the facilities of the Agency in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem;

7. Further calls upon Israel to particularly cease obstructing the movement of the personnel, vehicles and supplies of the Agency, which has a detrimental impact on the Agency's operations;

8. Calls once again upon the Government of Israel to compensate the Agency for damages to its property and facilities resulting from actions by the Israeli side;

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

10. Notes that the new context created by the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and subsequent implementation agreements has had major consequences for the activities of the Agency, which is henceforth called upon, in close cooperation with 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, the specialized agencies and the World Bank, to continue to contribute towards the development of economic and social stability in the occupied territory;

11. Notes also that the functioning of the Agency remains essential in all fields of operation;

12. Notes further the significant success of the Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency;

13. Expresses concern about those remaining austerity measures due to the financial crisis, which have affected the quality and level of some of the services of the Agency;

14. Reiterates its request to the Commissioner-General to proceed with the modernization of the archives of the Agency;

15. Urges all States, specialized agencies and nongovernmental organizations to continue and to increase their contributions to the Agency so as to ease current financial constraints and to support the Agency in maintaining the provision of the most basic and effective assistance to the Palestine refugees.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/127:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, 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, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahihya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand. Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Marshall Islands, Micronesia.

By decision 55/458 of 23 December, the Assembly decided that the item "United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East" would remain for consideration during its resumed fifty-fifth (2001) session. In 2000, UNRWA continued to face a difficult financial situation, characterized by large funding shortfalls in the regular budget, depleted working capital and cash reserves, and cumulative deficits in certain project accounts. The structural deficit—representing the inability of income to keep pace with needs arising from natural growth in the refugee population and inflation, which increased the cost of maintaining a constant level of services—remained a problem. However, through a combination of ad hoc additional donor contributions and prudent financial management, UNRWA was making some progress in reducing the deficit. Nevertheless, a budget deficit was expected by the end of 2000 unless additional contributions were made during the year.At mid-2000, the cash position remained extremely weak, forcing the Agency to live from hand to mouth in terms of balancing incoming funds and outgoing payments. Expected cash expenditure in the regular programme was $280.4 million, as against expected cash income of $250 million. Working capital, defined as the difference between assets and liabilities in the regular-budget for the calendar year, was for all practical purposes nonexistent, making UNRWA vulnerable to any change in expected income or expenditure. Estimates indicated that the Agency's regular budget for 2000 would face a deficit of $30.4 million by year's end.

The Agency's biennium budget for 2000-2001 [A/54/13 Add.1] was well received by donors and ACABQ for the clarity of its presentation and objectives. A new preparation process and format sought to enhance the budget's usefulness as a planning, management and fund-raising tool. By mid-2000, an Agency-wide exercise was under way to monitor expenditure against budget proposals.

Working Group. The Working Group on the Financing of UNRWA held two meetings in 2000, on 11 September and 6 October. In its report to the General Assembly [A/55/456], the Working Group said that the critical financial situation of 1999 had continued in 2000. In 1999, UNRWA received income of $260.7 million against a cash budget of $322.1 million, leaving a deficit of some $61.4 million. In cash terms, the Agency ended the year with a balance of $14 million in its General Fund, although that amount included $12 million advanced from year 2000 pledges in order to enable the Agency to meet its December payroll.

Deficits in the cash budgets for previous years had been covered out of working capital, a reserve that had been virtually depleted by the beginning of 1999. At the end of 1999, outstanding and unpaid pledges amounted to $36.9 million: $12.7 million pertaining to the regular budget and $24.2 million to project funding. Further strain was exerted by the non-reimbursement by the PA of the value-added tax that the Agency had paid in the course of its operations in Gaza and the West Bank, which totalled some $ 18.5 million as at June 2000. In addition, some $4.5 million for port charges remained to be recovered. There also was a shortfall in funding for the European Gaza Hospital, and a deficit of $5.2 million in the account set up to fund the costs of transferring UNRWA headquarters from Vienna to Gaza and Amman.

The Working Group noted that UNRWA had made significant progress towards eliminating the structural deficit problem that plagued the Agency in previous years, in particular through the use of contract teachers, reductions in international staffing and other reforms. Nevertheless, it expressed alarm that austerity measures continued to prevent UNRWA's programmes from expanding at a rate commensurate with the growth in the refugee population.

The Working Group stressed that UNRWA services had to be viewed as the minimum required to enable the refugees to lead decent human lives. Any further reduction in those services would not only deprive the refugees of the minimum level of support to which they were entitled, but could also have a destabilizing effect on the entire region. The Group urged Governments to continue contributing generously and to consider additional contributions to finance deficit amounts so that services could continue uninterrupted.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION


On 8 December [meeting 83], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/55/370], adopted resolution 55/124 without vote [agenda item 84]
Working Group on the Financing of the
United Nations Relief and Works Agency
for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
5. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary services and assistance to the Working Group for the conduct of its work.


Displaced persons


In a September report [A/55/391] on compliance with General Assembly resolution 54/71 [YUN 1999, p. 438], which called for the accelerated return of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, the , Secretary-General said that since UNRWA was not involved in arrangements for the return of either refugees or displaced persons not registered with it, the Agency's information was based on requests by returning registered refugees for the transfer of their entitlements to their areas of return. Displaced refugees known by UNRWA to have returned to the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967 numbered 19,876. Records indicated that, between 1 July 1999 and 30 June 2000, 1,278 refugees had returned to the West Bank and 218 to Gaza. Some of the refugees might not have been displaced in 1967, but might be family members of a displaced registered refugee whom they either had accompanied on return or had joined later.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 8 December [meeting 83], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/55/570], adopted resolution 55/125 by recorded vote (156-2-2) [agenda item 84].
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 1999 to 30 June 2000,

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, signed in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993 by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, 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 concern that the mechanism agreed upon by the parties in article XII of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements on the return of displaced persons has not been effected, and expresses the hope 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 continued 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 inter-governmental 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-sixth session on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the present resolution.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/125:

In favour: Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso. Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, 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, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal. Qatar. Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal. Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Mam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Marshall Islands, Micronesia.

Education, training and scholarships

In a September report [A/55/402], the Secretary-General transmitted responses to the General Assembly's appeal in resolution 54/72 [YUN 1999, p. 439] for States, specialized agencies and NGOs to augment special allocations for scholarships and grants to Palestine refugees, for which UNRWA acted as recipient and trustee.

In the 2000 fiscal year, Japan awarded 12 fellowships to Palestine refugees who were employed by UNRWA as vocational training staff at the eight vocational training centres in the Agency's area of operations. In 1999, owing to the cancellation of the portion of the university scholarship Fund for secondary school graduates financed from UNRWA's General Fund budget and the fact that financing was not forthcoming from donors to fund the sub-programme, UNRWA's Education Department used funds already available from the Japanese contribution, as well as from contributions made by Switzerland, to finance the studies of some students through their graduation. UNESCO granted 25 scholarships to Palestinian students in 1999 2000, while WHO provided 55 fellowships/study tours for qualified Palestinian candidates. The United World Colleges offered one scholarship for 1998/99 and one for 1999/2000.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 8 December [meeting 83], the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee (A/55/570), adopted resolution 55/126 by recorded vote (160-0-1) (agenda item 84).

Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships for higher education, including vocational training, for Palestine refugees 5. Appeals to all States, specialized agencies and the United Nations University to contribute generously to the Palestinian universities in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including, in due course, the proposed University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds" for Palestine refugees;

6. Appeals to all States, specialized agencies and other international bodies to contribute towards the establishment of vocational training centres for Palestine refugees;

7. Requests the Agency to act as the recipient and trustee for the special allocations for grants and scholarships and to award them to qualified Palestine refugee candidates;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to report 10 the General Assembly at its fifty-sixth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/126:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, 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, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras. Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan. Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marina Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: None.

Abstaining: Israel.

Proposed University of Jerusalem "AI-Quds"

In response to General Assembly resolution 54/75 [YUN 1999, p. 440], the Secretary-General submitted a September report on the proposal to establish a university for Palestine refugees in Jerusalem [A/55/425]. First mentioned by the Assembly in resolution 35713 B [YUN 1980, p. 443], the issue had been the subject of annual reports by the Secretary-General.

To assist in the preparation of a feasibility study and at the Secretary-General's request, the Rector of the United Nations University again asked expert Mihaly Simai to visit the area and meet with Israeli officials. In response to the Secretary-General's note verbale of 8 August, requesting Israel to facilitate the visit, Israel, in a 6 September reply, stated that it had consistently voted against the resolution on the proposed university and that its position remained unchanged. It charged that the resolution's sponsors sought to exploit higher education for political purposes extraneous to genuine academic pursuits. Accordingly, Israel was of the opinion that the proposed visit would serve no useful purpose. The Secretary-General reported that it had not been possible to complete the study as planned.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION


On 8 December [meeting 83], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/55/570], adopted resolution 55/129 by recorded vote (156-2-2) [agenda item 84].
Recalling its resolutions 36/146 G of 16 December 1981 37/120 C of 16 December 1982, 38/83 K of 15 December 1983, 39/99 K of 14 December 1984, 40/165 D and K of 16 December 1985, 41/69 K of 3 December 1986, 42/69 K of 2 December 1987, 43/57 J of 6 December 1988, 44/47 J of 8 December 1989, 45/73 J of 11 December 1990,46/46 J of 9 December 1991,47/69 J of 14 December 1992,48/401 of 10 December 1993,49/35 G of 9 December 1994, 50/28 G of 6 December 1995, 51/130 of 13 December 1996, 52/63 of 10 December 1997,53/52 of 3 December 1998 and 54/75 of 6 December 1999,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,

Having also 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 1999 to 30 June 2000.

1. Emphasizes the need for strengthening the educational system in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 5 June 1967, including Jerusalem, and specifically the need for the establishment of the proposed university;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take all necessary measures for establishing the University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds", in accordance with General Assembly resolution 35/13 B of 3 November 1980, giving due consideration to the recommendations consistent with the provisions of that resolution;

3. Calls once more upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cooperate in the implementation of the present resolution and to remove the hindrances that it has put in the way of establishing the University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds";

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-sixth session on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution. RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/129:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, 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, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Mam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Property rights

In response to General Assembly resolution 54/74 [YUN 1999, p. 441], the Secretary-General submitted a September report [A/55/428] on steps taken to protect and administer Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel and to establish a fund for income derived therefrom, on behalf of the rightful owners. He indicated that he had transmitted the resolution to Israel and all other Member States, requesting information on any steps taken or envisaged with regard to its implementation.

In a 6 September reply, reproduced in the report, Israel stated that its position on the resolutions on Palestine refugees had been set forth in successive annual replies, the latest of which had been included in the Secretary-General's 1999 report on the subject [YUN 1999, p. 441]. Israel regretted that the resolutions regarding UNRWA remained rife with political issues irrelevant to the Agency's work and detached from the reality in the area. While Israel believed that UNRWA could play an important role in promoting the social and economic advancement foreseen in agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, it called on the Assembly to consolidate the resolutions on UNRWA into one directly related to the Agency's humanitarian tasks. No replies were received from other Member States.

Report of Conciliation Commission. The United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, in its fifty-fourth report covering the period from 1 September 1999 to 31 August 2000 [A/55/329], noted that, pursuant to Assembly resolution 51/129 [YUN 1996, p 423], the project to preserve and modernize its records was completed.


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 8 December [meeting 84], the General Assembly. on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee (A/55/570), adopted resolution 55/128 by recorded vote (156-2-2) (agenda item 84).


Palestine refugees' properties and their revenues

Recalling its resolutions 194(111) 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 54/74 of 6 December 1999,

Taking note also of the report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine for the period from 1 September 1999 to 31 August 2000,

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 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, m consultation with the parties concerned, to prescribe measures for the protection of the rights, property and interests of the Palestine Arab refugees,

Noting the completion of the programme of identification and evaluation of Arab property, as announced the Conciliation Commission in its twenty-second progress report, 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,

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, to commence negotiations on permanent status issues, including the important issue of the refugees,

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

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. Expresses its appreciation for the work done to preserve and modernize the existing records of the Commission;

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

5. 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;

6. 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;

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

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/128:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, 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, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras. Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia. Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali. Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea. Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia. Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Peace-keeping operations

In 2000 the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), originally set up to monitor the cease-fire called for by the Security Council in resolution S/801 of 29 May 1948 (YUN 1947-48, p. 427) in newly partitioned Palestine, continued its work. UNTSO's unarmed military observers fulfilled changing mandates—from supervising the original four armistice agreements between Israel and its neighbours (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic) to observing and monitoring other cease-fires, as well as performing a number of additional tasks, During the year, UNTSO personnel worked with the two remaining UN peace-keeping forces in the Middle East—the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

On 13 March [S/2000/223], the Secretary-General informed the Council of his intention to appoint Major-General Franco Ganguzza (Italy) as the new Chief of Staff of UNTSO, replacing Major-General Timothy Roger Ford (Australia). On 17 March [S/2000/224], the Council took note of the appointment.

Lebanon

The United Nations confirmed the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon as at 16 June 2000, in compliance with Security Council resolution 425(1978) [YUN 1978, p. 312]. Both Lebanon and Israel undertook to respect the line of withdrawal—the so-called Blue Line—identified by the United Nations on the ground. Nevertheless, numerous violations and attacks across the line by both sides occurred throughout the second half of the year.

In August, the Secretary-General appointed Rolf G. Knuttson as his Personal Representative for southern Lebanon, responsible for coordinating UN activities in the area. Mr. Knuttson completed his assignment in mid-December. Staffan de Mistura was named to succeed him in January 2001.
In a series of monthly communications [A/54/703-S/2000/ll, A/54/756-S/2000/126, A/54/786-S/2000/193, A/54/843-S/2000/299, A/54/871-S/2000/447, A/54/928-S/2000/626, A/54/961-S/2000/794, A/55/678-S/2000/1172, A/55/707-S/2000/1223, A/55/721-S/2000/1258], Lebanon detailed Israeli attacks on southern Lebanon and the Western Bekaa, as well as Israel's violations of Lebanese sovereignty.

Communications (25 January-3 March). On 25 January [A/54/723-S/2000/55), Israel informed the Secretary-General that Lebanon continued to openly support a terror campaign against a neighbouring State, while endorsing opposition to any peace agreement. Lebanon also refused to respond to Israel’s repeated invitations to negotiate a solution to restore peace and security along their common border. In addition, organizations operating on Lebanese soil practised terrorist operations against Israel, and Lebanon took no action to prevent or restrain them. Lebanon's policies left Israel with no alternative but to exercise its sovereign right of self-defence in accordance with international law.
Responding on 9 February [A/54/745-S/2000/99], Israel said that it was its intention to pull its troops from the security zone by the end of July 2000, preferably within the framework of an agreement. Contrary to the Lebanese allegations, the Israeli army was not engaged in any activity aimed at redrawing the boundaries between Israel and Lebanon; its activities in the area were part of the preparations for pulling troops out, pending a decision of the Israeli Government.

On the same day [A/54/744-S/2000/98], Israel said that it had witnessed an escalation of attacks launched by Hezbollah from villages in Lebanon, which resulted in the killing of six Israeli soldiers and the wounding of 12 others. No restraining action had been undertaken by either the Lebanese or the Syrian Government. Against that background, the Israeli air force carried out strikes against a Hezbollah arms depot and three infrastructure targets. Since Hezbollah command posts and other terrorist targets were located within Lebanese villages, Israel had chosen not to strike at those targets in order to curtail injury to civilians. Israel said that it would continue to defend and protect residents of northern Israel and would take all necessary measures to strike at terrorists and those who supported them. At the same time, the negotiations between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic were in a I state of uncertainty. Israel expected Syria to exert I restraint upon the Hezbollah and its aggression.

Responding on 14 February [A/54/753-S/2000/121], the Syrian Arab Republic said that Israel's letter characterized the actions of the Lebanese national resistance as terrorism that had to be curbed by the Lebanese and Syrian Governments. Israel sought to ignore the fact that resistance to foreign occupation was a legitimate right enshrined in international covenants and exercised by the peoples of the world throughout history. The international community addressed the volatile situation in southern Lebanon and for that purpose established a group to monitor the understanding of April 1996 between Israel and Lebanon [YUN 1996, p. 428]. Syria, which was a member of the monitoring group, together with France, Israel, Lebanon and the United States, continued to support the understanding and held Israel responsible for impeding the work of the group.

In a 9 February statement [S/2000/114], the EU said that it was concerned by the escalation of hostilities in southern Lebanon. It noted that in response to attacks on its forces, Israel had launched air attacks against the Lebanese infrastructure. In that context, the EU recalled that the April 1996 understanding aimed, in particular, at protecting civilians from attack. The EU called on all sides to show restraint and to observe the terms of the cease-fire understanding of April 1996; it also called for the early convening of the monitoring group to secure a de-escalation of tension and prevent further violations of the understanding.

On 18 February [A/54/759-S/2000/l35], Lebanon said that while international efforts were being made to secure the resumption of the meetings of the monitoring group, Israel had decided to escalate the situation with the announcement that an Israeli ministerial troika, headed by Prime Minister Barak, had been given the authority to decide on strikes against Lebanese civilians and Lebanon's infrastructure.

Responding on 29 February [A/54/772-S/2000/163], Israel said Lebanon's letters obscured the fact that the continuation of violence in southern Lebanon was the direct result of the policies of the Lebanese and Syrian Governments in supporting and encouraging terrorism by Hezbollah and other organizations. In its campaign against Israel, Hezbollah had resorted to using civilian areas to provide a human shield for its terrorist activity. Lebanese sovereignty as a whole was undermined by the fact that Syrian forces were deployed and active inside its borders, using Hezbollah as a prflxy, and thereby perpetuating a conflict that sabotaged the chances for bringing peace to the area.

By a 3 March letter to the Secretary-General [A/54/783-S/2000/184], Burkina Faso, as Chairman of the Islamic Group, submitted the text of a statement adopted by the Group at its meeting concerning the Israeli attacks against Lebanon (New York, 3 March). The Group expressed grave concern over the attacks reiterated its solidarity with the Government and people of Lebanon in their struggle for the liberation of the southern part of their country and the Western Bekaa, and reaffirmed Lebanon's right to resist the occupation in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and its relevant resolutions and international Jaw and norms.
On 17 April [S/2000/322], the Secretary-General transmitted to the President of the Security Council the formal notification by Foreign Minister Levy of Israel's decision to withdraw If its forces from Lebanon by July 2000. The Secretary-General initiated preparations to enable the United Nations to carry out its responsibilities under Council resolutions 425(1978) and 426(1978) [YUN 1978, p. 312]. He also intended to consult with the parties and interested Member States, including those contributing troops to UNIFIL. Towards that end, he requested his Special Envoy, Terje Roed-Larsen, to travel to the region for consultations.
On 20 April [meeting 4131], the President of the Security Council made statement S/PRST/ 2000/13 on behalf of the Council members:
The Council endorses the decision of the Secretary-General to initiate preparations to enable the United Nations to carry out its responsibilities under resolutions 425 (1978) and 426 (1978), as described in his letter dated 17 April 2000.

The Council shares the view expressed by the Secretary-General in his letter dated 6 April 2000 that cooperation by all parties concerned will be required in order to avoid a deterioration of the situation. It welcomes his decision to send his Special Envoy to the region as soon as practicable and encourages all parties to cooperate fully in the complete implementation of resolutions 425(1978) and 426(1978).
Report of Secretary-General (May). In May (S/2000/460), the Secretary-General submitted to the Security Council a report on his conclusions and recommendations regarding the plans and requirements for the implementation of resolutions 425(1978) and 426(1978) and all other relevant resolutions. The Special Envoy, together with the UNIFIL Commander and a team of experts, travelled to the region from 26 April to 9 May and reviewed with the Governments of Israel and Lebanon and other concerned Member States in the region, including Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic, the requirements established under those resolutions for their full implementation.

The Secretary-General said that for the practical purpose of confirming the Israeli withdrawal, the United Nations needed to identify a line to be adopted conforming to the internationally recognized boundaries of Lebanon based on the best available cartographic material. The United Nations stressed in its consultations with all parties that it was not seeking to establish an international border, as that was a matter for States to undertake in accordance with international law and practice. Rather, it was requesting the help of the parties and others in the purely technical exercise of identifying a line for the purpose of confirming compliance with resolution 425(1978).

The international boundary between Israel and Lebanon was established pursuant to the 1923 Agreement between France and the United Kingdom entitled "Boundary Line between Syria and Palestine from the Mediterranean to El Hamme”. Concerning the portion of Lebanon’s border that it shared with the Syrian Arab Republic relevant to the Israeli withdrawal, there seemed to be no official record of a formal international boundary agreement between Lebanon and Syria that could easily establish the demarcation line. On 4 May, Lebanon informed the Secretary-General's Special Envoy that certain farmlands in the Shab'a area located outside UNIFIL's zone of operation as defined since 1978 would be claimed by Lebanon in the context of Israel's withdrawal. Lebanon subsequently provided the United Nations with title deeds of Lebanese ownership of farmlands in that area, as well as with documentation that indicated that Lebanese governmental and religious institutions had enjoyed, at various points in time, jurisdiction over those farmlands. Lebanon also informed the United Nations of a joint understanding between Lebanon and Syria that the farmlands were Lebanese. In May, the United Nations received documentation and a map, dated 1966, from the Lebanese Government [A/54/870-S/2000/443 & Add.1,2], which reflected Lebanon's position that those farmlands were located inside its territory. However, the United Nations possessed 10 other maps issued after 1966 by various Lebanese government institutions that placed the farmlands inside Syrian territory. On the basis of the 1974 Agreement on Disengagement between Israeli and Syrian forces of and its Protocol concerning UNDOK [YUN 1974, P 198), the Shab'a farmlands fell within the scope of UNDOF's area of operations. It followed that in adopting resolutions 425(1978) and 426(1978), the Security Council could not have included as part of UNIFIL's area of operations a zone that had already formed part of UNDOF's area of operations. It was worth noting that, notwithstanding the conflicting evidence, those farmlands were in the area occupied by Israel since 1967 and were therefore subject to resolutions 242(1967) and 338(1973) calling for an Israeli withdrawal from occupied territory.

In the light of all the documents in UN possession, the Secretary-General recommended that a viable solution, which was without prejudice to the positions of Lebanon and Syria concerning their international boundaries, would be to proceed on the basis of the line separating the areas of operation of UNIFIL and UNDOF along the relevant portions of the Lebanese-Syrian boundary. The adoption of that line by the United Nations for the practical purpose of confirming the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon was without prejudice to any internationally recognized border agreement that Lebanon and Syria might wish to conclude in the future, stressed the Secretary-General. The UNIFIL-UNDOF line coincided with the border line most commonly found on maps issued by the Government of Lebanon and had also been accepted by Lebanon for 22 years in the context of the UNIFIL area of operations. In addition, that same line was approved by Israel and Syria in their 1974 Disengagement Agreement and had thus defined the UNDOF area of operations for 26 years. Finally, that line would not prejudice the existing areas of operation of UNIFIL and UNDOF as approved by the Council.

The Secretary-General defined the main requirements that Israel would have to meet in order for the United Nations to confirm that the Israeli withdrawal had been completed in full compliance with relevant Council resolutions. They included the withdrawal of Israel's military and civilian personnel from Lebanon; the dismantling by Israel of the South Lebanon Army (SLA) command structure, the cessation of logistical support and supplies from Israel to SLA and the removal of its heavy weapons; and the handing over of prisoners in Al-Khiam detention centre. The full cooperation of Israel would also be required in identifying the withdrawal line.

From Lebanon, the Secretary-General requested full cooperation in the process of identifying, on the ground, the line to be used for the purpose of confirming the Israeli withdrawal. The return of effective Lebanese authority over the area would require decisive action by the Government of Lebanon to resume public services, as well as law and order functions, in order to resume its responsibility for providing for security and safety throughout the area. From Syria, the United Nations would require full cooperation on all relevant matters, including in identifying on the ground that portion of the Lebanese-Syrian boundary necessary to confirm the withdrawal. Lebanese and other armed groups in Lebanon, and Member States having influence over them, had to provide their cooperation and support to UNIFIL. The Secretary-General emphasized that before, during and after the withdrawal, all interested parties should exercise maximum restraint both in their actions and in their public statements. In that connection, the security of UN personnel was a central concern.

For the purpose of confirming the withdrawal, UNIFIL would dispatch verification teams protected by infantry detachments in armoured vehicles and supported by helicopters. The teams would also be accompanied by engineers to deal with unexploded ordnance and mines in the area. The Secretary-General welcomed the commitment given by Israel to provide detailed information on the location of mines. The verification teams would move throughout the area to confirm whether the positions held by Israeli forces and SLA had been vacated and whether Israel had withdrawn its military forces and civilians from Lebanon.

Before the reinforcement and redeployment of UNIFIL, the Secretary-General would confirm to the Council that a full Israeli withdrawal had taken place in fulfilment of the relevant resolutions. Following the redeployment, UNIFIL's area of operations would include the area between the eastern and western parts of its current area of deployment and the stretch of land along the international boundary. UNIFIL would use its best efforts to help prevent recurrence of fighting and to create conditions for the restoration of effective Lebanese authority in that area. As soon as the United Nations had confirmed that the Israeli withdrawal had been completed, the Government of Lebanon should resume the normal responsibilities of a State throughout the area. The Government had informed the United Nations that it would reestablish local civilian administration functions, which would include the assumption of law and order responsibilities through the reestablishment of civilian police forces. The United Nations could not assume law and order functions that were properly the responsibility of the Government. The Lebanese armed forces had to ensure that all national territory fell under the effective authority of the Government. With those actions taken, UNIFIL would complete its mission in Lebanon, said the Secretary-General. The Government of Lebanon had assured the United Nations that in reestablishing its authority in the area previously controlled by Israel and SLA, it would treat the inhabitants of the formerly occupied zone as equal citizens of Lebanon, in accordance with Lebanese law and in respect for the principles of the rule of law and international human rights standards. The Lebanese Government, together with UNDP, had developed a plan for the reconstruction of southern Lebanon. The United Nations would give its full support to that plan and called on donor countries to help Lebanon through the provision of necessary financial and technical assistance. The Secretary-General envisaged an increase in the civilian staff of UNIFIL to facilitate that work.

In order to carry out its responsibilities under resolution 425(1978) and taking into account the additional territory that UNIFIL would have to cover following the Israeli withdrawal, UNIFIL would require phased reinforcement. To enable the Force to carry out its tasks related to confirmation of Israeli withdrawal, the existing six infantry battalions were being increased and provided with additional armoured personnel carriers. UNIFIL would also require two additional helicopters with their crews and a number of engineer detachments specialized in explosive ordnance disposal, mine reconnaissance and mine-clearing operations. Additional logistics capability would also be required to support that increase. The total troop strength for carrying out the tasks related to confirming the 'withdrawal would thus increase from the current level of 4,513 to approximately 5,600. Once the withdrawal was confirmed and if the security situation permitted, UNIFIL would have to be immediately reinforced with two mechanized infantry battalions, and the engineer component of the Force would have to be increased to regimental level. Monitoring equipment, including that for airspace and territorial waters, would also be required at that time. With those reinforcements, the strength of UNIFIL would be brought to a total of eight battalions plus appropriate support units, or approximately 7,935 peacekeepers. Owing to constraints of time, the troop reinforcements would be required to possess a high degree of self-sufficiency and the capability to deploy to the mission area using their own national assets.

The Secretary-General said that if the Council agreed with his recommendations, the Special Envoy and his team would then return to the region to pursue the implementation of the plan outlined in his report.

SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION (May)

On 23 May [meeting 4146], the President of the Council made statement S/PRST/2000/18 on behalf of the Council members:

The Security Council welcomes and strongly endorses the report of the Secretary-General of 22 May 2000. The Council stresses again the importance of, and the need for, achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973.

The Council welcomes the intention of the Secretary-General to take all necessary measures to enable the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon to confirm that a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon has taken place in compliance with resolution 425(1978), and to take all necessary steps in order to deal with any eventuality, bearing in mind that the cooperation of all parties will be essential. The Council welcomes the intention of the Secretary-General to report on the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon, in accordance with resolution 425(1978).

The Council fully endorses the requirements put forward by the Secretary-General for confirming the compliance of all parties concerned with resolution 425(1978), calls upon all parties concerned to cooperate fully in implementing the recommendations of the Secretary-General, and requests the Secretary-General to report on their fulfilment of the requirements when he reports on the withdrawal.

The Council calls upon the States and other parties concerned to exercise utmost restraint and to cooperate with the Force and the United Nations to ensure the full implementation of resolutions 425 (1978) and 426( 1978). The Council shares the view of the Secretary-General that it is crucial that the States and other parties concerned do their part to calm the situation, ensure the safety of the civilian population, and cooperate fully with the United Nations in its efforts to stabilize the situation, restore international peace and security, and assist the Government of Lebanon in ensuring the return of its effective authority in the area following confirmation of withdrawal.
On 9 June [A/54/914-S/2000/564], the President of Lebanon, Emile Lahoud, drew the Secretary-General's attention to a number of issues pertaining to the UN delimitation of the boundary lines between Lebanon and Israel, as well as between Lebanon and Syria. In particular, President Lahoud said that some.discrepancies had emerged between the boundary lines defined in the Secretary-General's 22 May report and statements made by UN representatives during meetings with Lebanese authorities. In addition, President Lahoud called for the immediate release of Lebanese detainees held in Israeli prisons and raised the issue of the diversion of water from Lebanese territory.

On 14 June [S/2000/598], the Secretary-General informed the President of the Security Council that Ukraine had offered an engineering battalion and Sweden a unit specialized in the destruction of explosives and ammunition as part of the reinforcements needed by UNIFIL. to perform its functions after the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon. He proposed that Ukraine and Sweden be added to the list of States providing contingents to UNIFII. On 19 June [S/2000/599], the Council took note of the Secretary-General's proposal.

Report of Secretary-General (June). In a June report [s/2000/590 & Corr.1], the Secretary-General informed the Security Council that Israel had met the requirements defined in his report of 22 May and, therefore, he confirmed that Israeli forces had withdrawn from Lebanon as at 16 June, in compliance with resolution 425(1978).

On the return of the Secretary-General's Special Envoy and his team to Lebanon on 24 May, the question of translating the boundary line identified by the United Nations from a map to a line on the ground was discussed with the parties. Notwithstanding reservations of both Israel and Lebanon about the withdrawal line, both countries confirmed that identifying that line was solely the responsibility of the United Nations and that they would respect it. On 16 June, UNIFIL confirmed that Israeli forces had withdrawn; that SLA was disbanded, and thus supply lines no longer existed; Israel's heavy weapons were removed or destroyed or were in the hands of the Lebanese Government; and detainees were no longer held at the Al-Khiam prison, which was opened by the local inhabitants on 22 May. The Lebanese Government cooperated with the United Nations in the implementation of the report of 22 May and had moved quickly to reestablish its effective authority in the area through the deployment of security forces; no acts of vengeance against the inhabitants of southern Lebanon were reported by UNIFIL. following the withdrawal of Israeli forces. On : 12 June, Lebanon informed the United Nations that it would send a composite unit composed of army and internal security personnel to be based in Marjavoun. Although the Government had not yet deployed the armed forces throughout southern Lebanon, it had stated that it would consider doing so as soon as the Secretary-General had confirmed Israel's withdrawal. The Syrian Government was very cooperative throughout the latest mission of the Special Envoy, as were other interested Member States in the region and elsewhere.
The Secretary-General said that the first phase of UNIFIL's reinforcement was currently under way; he expected that the Force would reach the level of 5,600 troops in early July. However, he stressed that no firm commitments had been made for the further reinforcement with two mechanized infantry battalions, as requested in his 22 May report, and, therefore, he was not in a position to state when they would be available and deployed. In the meantime, UNIFIL. would use its available resources to extend its deployment in those areas that it did not cover. To that end, the Force would establish patrol bases in a number of locations, set up temporary observation posts as appropriate and undertake active patrolling throughout those areas, as well as continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the local population. UNIFIL would use its best efforts to help prevent the recurrence of fighting and to create the conditions for the restoration of effective Lebanese authority in that area.

SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION (June)

On 18 June [meeting 4160), the President of the Council made statement S/PRST/2000/21 on behalf of the Council members:

The Security Council welcomes the report of the Secretary-General of 16 June 2000 and endorses the work done by the United Nations as mandated by the Council, as well as the conclusion of the Secretary-General that, as of 16 June 2000, Israel has withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in accordance with resolution 425(1978) of 19 March 1978 and met the requirements defined in the report of the Secretary-General of 22 May 2000. In this regard, the Council notes that Israel and Lebanon have confirmed to the Secretary-General, as stated in his report of 16 June 2000, that identifying the withdrawal line was solely the responsibility of the United Nations and that they would respect the line as identified. It notes with serious concern reports of violations that have occurred since 16 June 2000 and calls upon the parties to respect the line identified by the United Nations.

The Council welcomes the steps already taken by the parties to implement the recommendations of the Secretary-General contained in his report of 22 May 2000.

The Council calls upon all parties concerned to continue to cooperate fully with the United Nations and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and to exercise utmost restraint. The Council reemphasizes the need for strict respect for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries.

The Council, recalling its resolutions 425(1978) and 426(1978) of 19 March 1978, calls upon the Government of Lebanon to ensure the restoration of its effective authority and presence in the south. The Council notes that the United Nations cannot assume law and order functions, which are properly the responsibility of the Government of Lebanon. In this regard, the Council welcomes the first steps taken by the Government of Lebanon and calls upon it to proceed with the deployment of the Lebanese-Armed Forces as soon as possible, with the assistance of the Force, in the Lebanese territory recently vacated by Israel.

The Council welcomes the measures taken by the Secretary-General and the troop-contributing countries relating to augmentation of the Force, in accordance with paragraph 32 of the report of the Secretary-General of 22 May 2000. The Council stresses that the redeployment of the Force should be conducted in coordination with the Government of Lebanon and with the Lebanese Armed Forces, as stated in paragraph 21 of the report of the Secretary-General of 16 June 2000. In that context, the Council invites the Secretary-General to report back on the measures taken to that effect and those taken by the Government of Lebanon to restore its effective authority in the area, in accordance with resolutions 425(1978) and 426(1978). The Council looks forward to the completion of the mandate of the Force and will review, by 31 July 2000, the need to extend its present mandate, taking into account the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of resolutions 425(1978) and 426(1978), including the actions taken by the Government of Lebanon to restore its effective authority in the area.

The Council expresses its appreciation and fully,support for the continuing efforts of the Secretary-General, his Special Envoy to the region, the Chief Cartographer and their staff. It commends the troops of the Force and the troop-contributing countries for their commitment to the cause of international peace and security under difficult circumstances. The Council calls upon all parties concerned to continue to cooperate with the United Nations, and reiterates the relevant principles contained in the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel of 9 December 1994.

The Council stresses again the importance of, and the need for, achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973.

Communications (24 June-31 December). On 24 June [A/54927-S/2000/624], Lebanon said that Israeli troops had opened fire that day on a Jordanian trade union delegation that was visiting the Lebanese border, wounding four of its members.

Responding on 29 June [A/54/931-S/2000/638], Israel said that Lebanon had refused to fulfil its responsibilities under resolution 425(1978) and to establish its effective authority in southern Lebanon. As a result, the area was witnessing an escalating wave of violence on the Lebanese side of the border, directed against Israel. On 24 June, when dozens of Lebanese hurled stones and objects at passing Israelis and two individuals from the Lebanese side actually infiltrated into Israel, Israeli soldiers were faced with no alternative but to use force to stop the intruders. Israel called on the Lebanese Government to take all necessary steps to prevent the continued flare-ups, infiltrations and provocations.

In a series of communications between 6 July and 23 October [A/54/936-S/2000/66, A/54/9S9-S/2000/689, A/54/957-S/2000/769, S/2000/803, S/2000/ 1002, S/2000/1011], Israel detailed Lebanese territorial encroachments on Israeli territory, as well as hostile acts committed from the Lebanese side of the border against Israelis. The violations included the forced abduction of three Israeli soldiers and an Israeli businessman.

Responding on 24 October [S/2000/1020] to Israel's 7 October letter [S/2000/969] stating that Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic were directly responsible for acts of aggression at the border between Israel and Lebanon, Syria said that it held Israel directly responsible for the escalation of the situation in the Middle East. It cited Israel's persistence in ignoring the resolutions of international legitimacy, its failure to complete its withdrawal from south Lebanon, including the Shab'a farmlands, and its continued occupation of Arab lands seized in June 1967.

In a series of communications between 2 and 26 November [S/2000/1066, S/2000/1071, S/2000/1087, S/2000/1102, S/2000/1118], Lebanon transmitted details of Israeli violations of Lebanese territorial boundaries. In addition, Lebanon said that on 26 November the Israeli army fired 90 artillery shells on the Kfar Shuba area and carried out an aerial attack on the hills in the same region.

In two separate letters [S/2000/1121, S/2000/1145], Israel responded to the Lebanese allegations. In particular, it noted that on 26 November a roadside charge was detonated against an Israeli patrol by terrorists who had infiltrated from Lebanon, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding two others.

On 31 December [S/2001/l], Lebanon said that on 30 December an Israeli patrol opened fire and killed a Lebanese citizen inside Lebanon's territory.


UNIFIL

The Security Council twice extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon in 2000, in January and July, each time for a six-month period.

UNIFIL, which was established by Council resolution 425(1978) following Israel's invasion of Lebanon [YUN 1978, p. 296], was originally entrusted with confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restoring international peace and security, and assisting the Lebanese Government in ensuring the return of its effective authority in southern Lebanon. Following a second Israeli invasion in 1982 [YUN 1982, p. 428], the Council, in resolution 511(1982) [ibid., p. 450], authorized the Force to carry out, in addition to its original mandate, the interim task of providing protection and humanitarian assistance to the local population, while maintaining its positions in the area of deployment.

The Force headquarters, based predominantly in Naqoura, provided command and control, as well as liaison with Lebanon and Israel, UNDOK, UNTSO and a number of NCOs.

Composition and deployment

As at 30 December 2000, UNIFIL comprised 5.800 troops from Fiji (594), Finland (645), France (254), Ghana (787), India (791), Ireland (609), Italy (68), Nepal (723), Poland (633) and Ukraine (650). The Swedish component (45) left on 27 December, as planned. The Force was assisted in its task by 51 military observers of UNTSO. In addition, UNIFIL employed 480 civilian staff, of whom 130 were recruited internationally and 350 locally. Major-General Seth Kofi Obeng (Ghana) continued as Force Commander.

Since the establishment of UNIFIL, 235 members of the Force had lost their lives: 78 as a result of firings or bomb explosions, 99 in accidents and 58 from other causes. A total of 344 were wounded by shooting or by mine or bomb explosions.

Activities Welcoming and encouraging efforts by the United Nations to sensitize peace-keeping personnel in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases in all its peace-keeping operations,

Taking note of the letter dated 28 December 1999 from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General,

Responding to the request of the Government of Lebanon,
2. Reiterates its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries;

3. Reemphasizes the terms of reference and general guidelines of the Force as stated in the report of the Secretary-General of 19 March 1978, approved by resolution 426(1978), and calls upon all parties concerned to cooperate fully with the Force for the full implementation of its mandate;

4. Condemns all acts of violence committed in parts particular against the Force, and urges the parties to put an end to them;

5. Reiterates that the Force should fully implement its mandate as defined in resolutions 425(1978), 426(1978), and all other relevant resolutions;

6. Encourages further efficiency and savings provided they do not affect the operational capacity of the Force;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to continue consultations with the Government of Lebanon and other parties directly concerned with the implementation of the present resolution and to report to the Council thereon.

At the same meeting, the Council President made statement S/PRST/2000/3 on behalf of the Council:

The Security Council has noted with appreciation the report of the Secretary-General of 17 January 2000 on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, submitted in conformity with resolution 125-1(1999) of 30 July 1999.

The Council reaffirms its commitment to the full sovereignty, political independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries. In this context, the Council asserts that all States shall refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

As the Council extends the mandate of the Force for a further interim period on the basis of resolution 425(1978), the Council again stresses the urgent need for the implementation of that resolution in all its respects. It reiterates its full support for the Taif Agreement of 22 October 1989 and for the continued efforts of the Lebanese Government to consolidate peace, national unity and security in the country, while successfully carrying out the reconstruction process. The Council commends the Lebanese Government for its successful effort to extend its authority in the south of the country in full coordination with the Force.

The Council expresses its concern over the continuing violence in southern Lebanon, regrets the loss of civilian life, and urges all parties to exercise restraint.

The Council takes this opportunity to express its appreciation for the continuing efforts of the Secretary-General and his staff in this regard. The Council notes with deep concern the high level of casualties the Force has suffered and pays a special tribute to all those who gave their lives while serving in the Force. It commends the troops of the Force and troop-contributing countries for their sacrifices and commitment to the cause of international peace and security under difficult circumstances.

Report of Secretary-General (July). In a report on developments from 17 January to 17 July [S/2000/718], the Secretary-General said that after more than two decades the guns had fallen silent in southern Lebanon. The Israeli forces had left the area, their local Lebanese auxiliary had been disbanded and the risks inherent in such a with withdrawal did not, for the most part, materialize. He noted, in particular, that the fighters of the Lebanese resistance conducted themselves in a controlled manner that deserved to be acknowledged; no act of vengeance had taken place as they reclaimed the region vacated by the Israeli forces. The Lebanese authorities had assured his Special Envoy that those who cooperated with Israel during the years they lived under its control would be treated in accordance with the rule of law. Both sides, despite their misgivings, had undertaken to respect the line of withdrawal identified by the United Nations on the ground.
Following the verification of the Israeli withdrawal, UNIFIL confirmed a number of violations pertaining to the crossing of the withdrawal line by Israeli forces. Lebanon stated that it would consent to UNIFIL deployment in the vacated areas only after the Israeli violations had been corrected. For its part, Israel had committed itself to the removal of all Israeli violations by the end of July. At the time of reporting, Israeli authorities had corrected all but two of the violations identified by UNIFIL.

Since the end of May, the situation in the area of operation had remained generally calm. Signs of tensions had been reported between members of the militia groups Hezbollah and Amal over the elections that were to be held in Lebanon at the end of August or early September 2000. The Lebanese army, gendarmerie and police established checkpoints in the vacated area, controlling movement, maintaining law and order and retrieving heavy weapons abandoned by IDF and their Lebanese auxiliary. UNIFIL patrolled the area and, together with the Lebanese authorities, provided humanitarian assistance by supplying water, medical treatment and food to needy families.

The situation had been calm along the withdrawal line, except for sporadic incidents. UNIFIL monitored that line for possible violations on a daily basis by means of ground and air patrols. The Force's liaison arrangements provided a constant link with IDF's Chief of Operations and the Director of Lebanese General Security, as well as with the normal chain of command on each side. Armed elements continued to maintain a presence in the area and on a number of occasions had not allowed UNIFIL patrols to continue. The Lebanese authorities had promised that such incidents would stop.

The reintegration of the relatively underdeveloped area vacated by Israel imposed a heavy burden on the Lebanese economy. UNDP had been leading the efforts of the UN system in working with the Lebanese authorities on a programme for the development and rehabilitation of the area, with emphasis on rebuilding infrastructure, loans to small enterprises, vocational training and reactivating the municipalities. Immediate needs included the provision of drinking water to villages that used to be supplied from Israel, the rehabilitation of medical services, electricity and sewage systems, housing and road networks. The clearing of mines and unexploded ordnance was an urgent task. IDF had provided UNIFIL with maps of mined areas known to them, but the majority remained unmarked. In June, the Force established a regional mine action coordination cell to conduct mine awareness educational activities.

The Secretary-General said that the first phase of UNIFIL's reinforcement, required to carry out its tasks under resolutions 425(1978) and 426 (1978), was under way. In June, UNIFIL's mine-clearance capacity was reinforced with two units from Sweden and Ukraine. In addition, an engineer battalion of 600 all ranks from Ukraine would arrive by the end of July. Finland was providing an additional 64 armoured personnel carriers, of which 42 had arrived in theatre. The units from Finland, Ghana, Ireland and Nepal had been reinforced Fiji and India had also undertaken to reinforce their units. Two additional helicopters from Italy were expected to arrive by the end of July. The United Nations had yet to receive commitments for the additional two infantry battalions that would meet the requirements set by the Secretary-General in his May report (see p. 462), namely a high degree of self-sufficiency and the capability to deploy to the mission area using national assets. In the absence of those reinforcements, the Force Commander had devised a deployment plan using existing resource and reinforcements to cover the area vacated by IDF, through a combination of mobile patrols, patrol bases and temporary observation posts. Five Force members had lost their lives during the reporting period.

The Secretary-General planned to submit to the General Assembly, during its fifty-fifth (2OOO) regular session, the revised budget proposals for UNIFIL, since the Assembly's appropriation of $146.8 million gross for the Force's maintenance for the period 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 (resolution 54/267 below) did not take into account the additional requirements needed by UNIFIL to carry out its responsibilities iindft resolutions 425(1978) and 426(1978). In the interim. ACABQ had concurred with the use of the approved initial 12 month budget for the Force for the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 to meet the cost of the most immediate operational requirements. As at 30 June 2000, unpaid assessments to the Special Account for UNIFIL for the period from the inception of the Force to 30 June 2000 amounted to $117.8 million.

While an enormous improvement compared to the past, the situation in the Israel-Lebanon sector fell well short of peace and the potential for serious incidents persisted. The Secretary-General stressed that both sides should maintain effective liaison with UNIFIL and take prompt action to rectify any violations or incidents brought to their attention. Therefore, he recommended that the Force's mandate be extended for another six months, until 31 January 2001, as requested by Lebanon on 11 July [S/2000/674], on the understanding that UNIFIL would be enabled to deploy and function throughout its area of operation and that the Lebanese authorities would strengthen their own presence in the area by deploying additional troops and internal security forces. Since there was a good chance of achieving the objectives of resolution 425(1978) and for the Force to complete the tasks originally assigned to it, the Secretary-General planned to report to the Council at the end of October 2000 so that it might review developments and consider any steps it might wish to take, in the light of the I progress achieved in the restoration of the effective authority of the Government of Lebanon in the area. In that regard, it was essential that the , redeployment of UNIFIL be closely coordinated with the Lebanese forces. Member States were encouraged to cooperate with Lebanese authorities and UN agencies and programmes in support of the reconstruction and development of southern Lebanon. In addition, in order to help coordinate UN activities in the area, the Secretary-General planned to appoint a senior official as his personal representative for southern Lebanon, who would work closely with the Special Envoy.

Communication (24 July). By a 24 July letter [S/2000/731] to the President of the Security Council, the Secretary-General said that the Israeli authorities had removed all violations of the line of withdrawal. Further, in a meeting with the Special Envoy, Lebanon's President Lahoud and Prime Minister Salim Hoss gave their consent to the full deployment of UNIFIL. The Force's deployment would take place on 26 July and was to be immediately followed by the deployment of the composite Lebanese unit referred to in the Secretary-General's June report (see p. 465).

SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION (July)

On 27 July (meeting 4177), the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1310(2000).

The draft [S/2OOO/741] was prepared in consultations among Council members.
Recalling its resolutions 425(1978) and 426(1978) of 19 March 1978, 501(1982) of 25 February 1982, 508(1982) of 5 June 1982, 509(1982) of 6 June 1982 and 520(1982) of 17 September 1982, as well as its resolutions on the situation in Lebanon and its resolution 1308(2000) of 17 July 2000,

Recalling also the statements by its President of 20 April, 23 May and 18 June 2000 on the situation in Lebanon, in particular its endorsement of the work done by the United Nations as mandated by the Council including the conclusion of the Secretary-General that, as of 16 June 2000, Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in accordance with resolution 425(1978) and met the requirements defined in the report of the Secretary-General of 22 May 2000,

Welcoming the report of the Secretary-General of 20 July 2000 on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and its observations and recommendations mentioned therein,

Emphasizing the interim nature of the Force, Recalling the relevant principles contained in the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel of 9 December 1994,

Responding to the request of the Government of Lebanon, as stated in the letter dated 11 July 2000 from the Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General,

1. Endorses the understanding, expressed in the report of the Secretary-General of 20 July 2000, that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon will deploy and function fully throughout its area of operations and that the Government of Lebanon will strengthen its presence in that area, by deploying additional troops and internal security forces;

2. Decides, in this context, to extend the present mandate of the Force for a further period of six months, until 31 January 2001;

3. Reiterates its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries;

4. Welcomes the statement in the letter dated 24 July 2000 from the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council that, as of that date, the Government of Israel had removed all violations of the withdrawal line;

5. Calls upon the parties to respect that line, to exercise utmost restraint and to cooperate fully with the United Nations and with the Force;

6. Calls upon the Government of Lebanon to ensure the restoration of its effective authority and presence in the south, in particular to proceed with a significant deployment of the Lebanese Armed Forces as soon as possible;

7. Welcomes the establishment of checkpoints by the Government of Lebanon in the vacated area, and encourages the Government of Lebanon to ensure a calm environment throughout the south including through the control of all checkpoints;

8. Welcomes also the measures taken by the Secretary-General and the troop-contributing countries regarding military personnel of the Force and their deployment, as agreed to in the above-mentioned statements by its President, and reaffirms that the expected redeployment of the Force should be conducted in coordination with the Government of Lebanon and the Lebanese Armed Forces;
13. Decides to review the situation, by early November 2000, and to consider any steps it deems appropriate regarding the Force, on the basis of this report, the extent of the deployment of the Force and f he actions taken by the Government of Lebanon to restore its effective authority and presence in the area, in particular through a significant deployment of the Lebanese Armed Forces;

14. Stresses the importance of, and the need of achieving, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973.

Communications (4-8 August). On 4 August (S/2000/778), the Secretary-General informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Rolf G. Knuttson (Sweden) as his Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon. He would take up his assignment in Beirut as soon as possible for an initial period of six months. On 8 August [S/2000/7791, the Council took note of the Secretary-General's decision.

Report of Secretary-General (October). In October (S/2000/1049), the Secretary-General submitted to the Security Council an interim report on UNIFIL. He said that from the end of July until early October, the situation in the UNIFIL area of operations had remained calm, except for numerous minor violations of the line of withdrawal, the so-called Blue Line. Those violations were attributable mainly to Israeli construction of new military positions and fencing along the line; they were corrected in each case after intervention by UNIFIL. Minor Lebanese violations also took place, Two serious incidents occurred on 7 October. In the context of the tension in the occupied territories and Israel, about 500 Palestinians and supporters approached the line to demonstrate against Israel. As they attempted to cross the fence, Israeli troops opened fire, killing three and injuring 20. In the other incident, Hezbollah launched an attack across the Blue Line and took three Israeli soldiers prisoner. Hezbollah stated that its operation had been planned for some time in order to obtain the release of 19 Lebanese prisoners who were still held by Israel. The Secretary-General, who had been pursuing the question of those prisoners with the Israeli authorities, remained ready to work with the Governments of Israel and Lebanon with a view to resolving that matter.

Lebanese administrators, police, security and army personnel were carrying out their functions throughout the area and their presence and activities continued to grow. They reestablished local administration in the villages and had made progress in reintegrating the communications, infrastructure, health and welfare systems with the rest of the country. In late August, the former Israeli-controlled area participated for the first lime since 1972 in a parliamentary election. However, near the Blue Line the authorities had, in effect, left control to Hezbollah. Its members worked in civilian attire and were normally unarmed. They maintained good discipline and were under effective command and control. They monitored the Blue Line, maintained public order and, in some villages, provided social, medical and educational services. On several occasions, Hezbollah personnel restricted UNIFIL's freedom of movement. Two serious incidents took place in October when Hezbollah forced UNIFIL. personnel at gunpoint to hand over vehicles and military hardware they had found on the terrain. Lebanon had taken the position that, so long as there was no comprehensive peace with Israel, the army would not act as a border guard for Israel and would not be deployed to the border.

UNIFIL monitored the area through ground and air patrols and a network of observation posts. It acted to correct violations by raising them with the side concerned and used its best efforts, through continuous, close liaison with both sides, to prevent friction and limit incidents. By early August, the Force had redeployed south-wards and up to the Blue Line. The redeployment proceeded smoothly, and the Lebanese authorities assisted in securing land and premises for new positions. In order to free the capacity needed for the move south, UNIFIL vacated an area in the rear and handed it over to the Lebanese authorities. However, UNIFIL had not been able to persuade the Lebanese-authorities to assume their full responsibilities along the Blue Line. UNIFIL also assisted in demining activities and set up an information management system for mine action. In Tyre, Lebanon, a regional mine action cell was established with the help of the United Nations Mine Action Service, which cooperated closely with the Lebanese national demining office.

UNDP continued to lead the efforts of the UN system in working with the Lebanese Government on a plan of action for the development and rehabilitation of the area vacated by Israel. In that regard, UNDP cooperated closely with the UN Special Coordinator, who led the efforts at the international level with the KU and the World Bank, and with the Secretary-General's Personal Representative. On 27 and 28 September, UNDP organized in Beirut a conference of NGOs, funded by the Italian Government.

The Secretary-General observed that, while much remained to be done to restore the full range of government services to a standard comparable to that in the rest of Lebanon, there had been tangible progress in that direction. The sequence of steps foreseen in resolution 425(1978) was clear and logical: the Israeli forces had to withdraw, there had to be no further hostilities, and the effective authority of the Lebanese Government had to be restored. Thereafter, Israel and Lebanon were to be fully responsible for preventing any hostile acts from their respective territory against that of their neighbour.

The Secretary-General believed that the time had come to establish the state of affairs envisaged in the resolution. That required, first and foremost, that the Lebanese Government should take effective control of the whole area vacated by Israel and assume its full international responsibilities, including putting an end to the dangerous provocations that had continued on the Blue Line. The Secretary-General had discussed those matters with the President and Prime Minister of Lebanon during his visit to Beirut in June. He had also discussed Lebanon's need for international assistance to address long-standing problems, in particular the reintegration of the area that had been occupied by Israel. He appealed to donors to help Lebanon meet urgent needs for relief and economic revival in the south, pending the holding of a full-fledged donor conference. The Secretary-General added that his interim report was being written at a time of high tension in Arab-Israeli relations and continuing confrontations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Under the circumstances, he deemed it prudent not to submit suggestions for the reconfiguration of the UN presence in south Lebanon, as requested by resolution 1310(2000). He proposed to address that subject in the report to be submitted prior to the expiration of UNIFIL's mandate.

Further developments
The overall security situation in UNIFIL's area of operation had remained good and showed further improvement since October. Those residents who had left the area during the Israeli occupation continued to return, and members of the former de facto forces and their families, about 1,600 in all, had returned to Lebanon. As before, the Lebanese army and security forces did not operate close to the Blue Line, where control was left to Hezbollah. UNIHL continued to assist the civilian population in the form of medical care, water projects, equipment or services for schools and orphanages, and supplies of social services to the needy. The large number of mines and unexploded ordnance remained a matter of concern. Since July, a total of five persons had died and 26 were injured as a result of exploding mines and ordnance. UNDP continued its support to the Lebanese Council for Development and Reconstruction for a programme of socio-economic rehabilitation and development in southern Lebanon.

Communications (6 December). On 6 December [S/2000/1167], the Secretary-General informed the Security Council of his intention to appoint Staffan de Mistura (Sweden) as his Personal Representative for Southern Lebanon, who would be -succeeding Mr. Knutsson. On 8 December (S/2000/1168), the Council took note of the Secretary-General's decision.

Financing

Reports of Secretary-General and ACABQ (January-April)

In a January report [A/54/708], the Secretary-General submitted the financial performance report of UNIFIL. for the period July 1998 to 30 June 1999. Expenditures for the period totalled $134,655,200 gross ($131,048,500 net), resulting in an unencumbered balance of $8,329,300 gross ($8,084,600 net), compared to the amount appropriated for the maintenance of UNIFIL by the General Assembly in resolution 52/237 [YUN. 1998, p. 478]. The unencumbered balance was due largely to actual troop strength being lower than budgeted; a high vacancy rate for civilian staff caused by the temporary assignment of experienced UNIFIL, international staff to assist in other peace-keeping missions; savings under purchase of vehicles because of better unit cost rates; and receipt of other vehicles, equipment and supplies from the UN Logistics Base in Brindisi, Italy, and other peace-keeping missions, which reduced budgeted expenditures.

Also in January [A/54/724], the Secretary-General submitted the proposed budget for UNIFIL for the period July 2000 to 30 June 2001, in the amount of $139,547,600 gross ($135,721,900 net), inclusive of $180,000 of budgeted voluntary contributions.

The comments and recommendations of ACABQ were contained in an April report [A/54/84l/Add.2].

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 15 June [meeting 98] the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fifth (Administrative and Budgetary) Committee (A/54/897), adopted resolution 54/267 by recorded vote(11-0-2) (agenda item 128 (b).
Reaffirming its resolutions 51/233 of 13 June 1997, 52/237 of 26 June 1998 and 53/227 of 8 June 1999,

Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and the related reports of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions,

Bearing in mind Security Council resolution 425(1978) of 19 March 1978, by which the Council established the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, and the subsequent resolutions by which the Council extended the mandate of the Force, the latest of which was resolution 1288(2000) of 31 January 2000,

Recalling its resolution S-8/2 of 21 April 1978 on the financing of the Force and its subsequent resolutions thereon, the latest of which was resolution 53/227,

Reaffirming that the costs of the Force are expenses of the Organization to be borne by Member States in accordance with Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter of the United Nations

Recalling its previous decisions regarding the fact that, in order to meet the expenditures caused by the Force, a different procedure is required from that applied to meet expenditures of the regular budget of the United Nations,

Taking into account the fact that the economically more developed countries are in a position to make relatively larger contributions and that the economically less developed countries have a relatively limited capacity to contribute towards such an operation,

Bearing in mind the special responsibilities of the States permanent members of the Security Council, as indicated in General Assembly resolution 1874(S-IV) of 27 June 1963, in the financing of such operations,

Noting with appreciation that voluntary contributions have been made to the Force,

Mindful of the fact that it is essential to provide the Force with the necessary financial resources to enable it to fulfil its responsibilities under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Concerned that the Secretary-General continues to face difficulties in meeting the obligations of the Force on a current basis, including reimbursement to current and former troop-contributing States,

Concerned also that the surplus balances in the Special Account for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon have been used to meet expenses of the Force in order to compensate for the lack of income resulting from nonpayment and late payment by Member States of their contributions,

1. Takes note of the status of contributions to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon as at 30 April 2000, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of 122.5 million United States dollars, representing some 4 per cent of the total assessed contributions from the inception of the Force to the period ending 30 June 2000, notes that some 18 per cent of the Member Slates have paid their assessed contributions in full, and urges all other Member States concerned, in particular those in arrears, to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions;

2. Expresses its deep concern that Israel did not comply with General Assembly resolutions 51/233, 52/237 and 53/227;

3. Stresses once again that Israel should strictly abide by General Assembly resolutions 51/233, 52/237 and 53/227;

4. Expresses its appreciation to those Member States which have paid their assessed contributions in full;

3. Expresses concern about the financial situation with regard to peace-keeping activities, in particular as regards the reimbursements to troop contributors that bear additional burdens owing to overdue payments by Member States of their assessments;

6. Urges all other Member Slates to make every possible effort to ensure payment of their assessed contributions to the Force in full and on time;

7. Expresses concern at the delay experienced by the Secretary-General in deploying and providing adequate resources to some recent peace-keeping missions, in particular those in Africa;

8 Emphasizes that all future and existing peace-keeping missions shall be given equal and non-discriminatory treatment in respect of financial and administrative arrangements;

9 Also emphasizes that all peace-keeping missions shall be provided with adequate resources for the effective and efficient discharge of their respective mandates;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to make the fullest possible use of facilities and equipment at the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, in order to minimize the costs of procurement for the Force, and for this purpose requests the Secretary-General to speed up the implementation of the asset management system at all peace-keeping missions in accordance with General Assembly resolution 52/1 A of 15 October 1997;

11. Endorses the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to take all necessary action to ensure that the Force is administered with a maximum of efficiency and economy;

13. Also requests the Secretary-General, in order to reduce the cost of employing General Service staff, to continue efforts to recruit local staff for the Force against General Service posts, commensurate with the requirements of the Force;

14. Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to ensure the full implementation of paragraph 8 of General Assembly resolution 51/233, paragraph 5 of resolution 52/237 and paragraph 11 of resolution 53/227, stresses once again that Israel shall pay the amount of 1,284,633 dollars resulting from the incident at Qana on 18 April 1996, and requests the Secretary-General to report on this matter to the Assembly at its fifty-fifth session;

15. Decides to appropriate to the Special Account for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon the amount of 146,833,694 dollars gross (141,889,841 dollars net) for the maintenance of the Force for the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 inclusive of the amount of 6,967,059 dollars gross (5,895,590 dollars net) for the support account for peace-keeping operations and the amount of 1,089,216 dollars gross (969,161 dollars net) for the United Nations Logistics Base;

16. Decides also, as an ad hoc arrangement, to apportion among Member States the amount of 12,236,141 dollars gross (11,824,153 dollars net) for the period from 1 to 31 July 2000, in accordance with the composition of groups set out in paragraphs 3 and 4 of General Assembly resolution 43/232 of 1 March 1989, as adjusted by the Assembly in its resolutions 44/192 B of 21 December 1989, 45/269 of 27 August 1991, 46/198 A of 20 December 1991, 47/218 A of 23 December 1992, 49/249 A of 20 July 1995, 49/249 B of 14 September 1995, 50/224 of 11 April 1996, 51/218 A to C of 18 December 1996 and 52/230 of 31 March 1998 and its decisions 48/472 A of 23 December 1993, 50/451 B of 23 December 1995 and 54/456 to 54/458 of 23 December 1999, and taking into account the scale of assessments for the year 2000, as set out in its resolutions 52/215 A of 22 December 1997 and 54/237 A of 23 December 1999;

17. Decides further that, in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 973(X) of 15 December 1955, there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 16 above, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated staff assessment income of 411,988 dollars approved for the Force for the period from 1 to 31 July 2000;

18. Decides that, for Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force, there shall be set off against the apportionment, as provided for in paragraph 16 above, their respective share of the unencumbered balance of 8,329,300 dollars gross (8,084,600 dollars net) in respect of the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

19. Decides also that, for Member States that have not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force, their share of the unencumbered balance of 8,329,300 dollars gross (8,084,600 dollars net) in respect of the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999 shall be set off against their outstanding obligations;

20. Decides further, as an ad hoc arrangement, to apportion among Member States the amount of 134,597,553 dollars gross (130,065,688 dollars net) for the period from 1 August 2000 to 30 June 2001, at a monthly rate of 12,236,141 dollars gross (11,824,153 dollars net), in accordance with the scheme set out in the present resolution, and taking into account the scale of assessments for the year 2000, as set out in its resolutions 52/215 A and 54/237 A, and for the year 2001, subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the mandate of the Force beyond 31 July 2000;

21. Decides that in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 973(X), there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 20 above, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated staff assessment income of 4,531,864 dollars approved for the Force for the period from 1 August 2000 to 30 June 2001;

22. Emphasizes that no peace-keeping mission shall be financed by borrowing funds from other active peace-keeping missions;

23. Encourages the Secretary-General to continue to take additional measures to ensure the safety and security of all personnel under the auspices of the United Nations participating in the Force;

24. Invites voluntary contributions to the Force in cash and in the form of services and supplies acceptable to the Secretary-General, to be administered, as appropriate, in accordance with the procedure and practices established by the General Assembly;

25. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-fifth session, under the item entitled "Financing of the United Nations peace-keeping forces in the Middle East", the sub-item entitled "United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon".

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 54/267:

In favour: Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway. Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Mam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

The Assembly and the Committee each had adopted the first preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 2, 3 and 14 by a single recorded vote of, respectively, 64 to 2, with 43 abstentions, and 59 to 2, with 40 abstentions.

Speaking before the vote in the Assembly, Israel said that it was forced to vote against the resolution because it singled out and faulted Israel unfairly and entirely for the April 1996 incident at Qana, Lebanon [YUN 1996, p. 420), which was initiated by a terrorist group using human shields. Moreover, Israel noted that it was the only time a 5 draft resolution called for one particular party to pay damages for the property of UN peacekeepers as a result of a clash.

Speaking after the vote, Lebanon said that the resolution confirmed that it was the responsibility of the occupying State—Israel—to assume full responsibility for its acts of aggression against Lebanon, especially since the aggression was deliberate and directed against the United Nations. Reports of Secretary-General and AC ABQ (October). In a 13 October report [A/55/482], the S Secretary-General submitted the revised budget of UNIFIL. for the period 1 July 2000 to 30 June 1 2001, which amounted to $225,715,700 gross ($221,506,300 net), inclusive of budgeted voluntary contributions in kind amounting to $180,000. The new budget incorporated additional requirements for the expansion of the Force as proposed in the Secretary-General's May report (see p. 462).
Financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon Reaffirming also that the costs of the Force are expenses of the Organization to be borne by Member Sates in accordance with Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling its previous decisions regarding the fact that, in order to meet the expenditures caused by the Force, a different procedure is required from that applied to meet expenditures of the regular budget of the United Nations,

Taking into account the fact that the economically more developed countries are in a position to make relatively larger contributions and that the economically less developed countries have a relatively limited capacity to contribute towards such operations,

Bearing in mind the special responsibilities of the States permanent members of the Security Council, as indicated in General Assembly resolution 1874(S-IV) of 27 June 1963, in the financing of such operations,

Noting with appreciation that voluntary contributions have been made to the Force,

Mindful of the fact that it is essential to provide the Force with the necessary financial resources to enable it to fulfil its responsibilities under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Concerned that the Secretary-General continues to face difficulties in meeting the obligations of the Force on a current basis, including reimbursement to current and former troop-contributing States,

Concerned also that the surplus balances in the Special Account for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon have been used to meet expenses of the Force in order to compensate for the lack of income resulting from non-payment and late payment by Member States of their contributions,

1. Takes note of the status of contributions to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon as at 31 October 2000, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of 139.4 million United States dollars, representing some 3.9 per cent of the total assessed contributions from the inception of the Force to the period ending 31 December 2000, notes that some 21 per cent of the Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, and urges all other Member States concerned, in particular those in arrears, to ensure the payment of their outstanding assessed contributions;

2. Express its deep concern that Israel did not comply with its resolutions 51/233, 52/237, 53/227 and 54/267;

3. Stresses once again that Israel should strictly abide by its resolutions 51/233, 52/237, 53/227 and 54/267;

4. Expresses its appreciation to those Member States which have paid their assessed contributions in full:

5. Expresses concern about the financial situation with regard to peace-keeping activities, in particular as regards the reimbursements to troop contributors that bear additional burdens owing to overdue payments by Member States of their assessments;

6. Urges all other Member States to make every possible effort to ensure payment of their assessed contributions to the Force in full and on time;

7. Expresses concern at the delay experienced by the Secretary-General in deploying and providing adequate resources to some recent peace-keeping missions, in particular those in Africa;
10. Requests the Secretary-General to make the fullest possible use of facilities and equipment at the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, in order to minimize the costs of procurement for the Force, and for this purpose requests the Secretary-General to speed up the implementation of the asset management system at all peace-keeping missions in accordance with its resolution 52/1 A of 15 October 1997;
12. Requests the Secretary-General to take all necessary action to ensure that the Force is administered with a maximum of efficiency and economy;
14. Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to I take the necessary measures to ensure the full implementation of paragraph 8 of its resolution 51/233, paragraph 5 of its resolution 52/237, paragraph 11 of its resolution 53/227 and paragraph 14 of its resolution i 54/267, stresses once again that Israel shall pay the amount of 1,284,633 dollars resulting from the incident at Qana on 18 April 1996, and requests the Secretary-General to report on this matter to the Assembly at its resumed fifty-fifth session;

15. Decides to appropriate to the Special Account for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon the amount of 86,758,400 dollars gross (86,301,300 dollars net) for the expansion of the Force for the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001, in addition to the amount of 146,833,694 dollars gross (141,889,841 dollars net) already appropriated by the Assembly in its resolution 54/267;

16. Decides also, as an ad hoc arrangement, taking into account the amount of 85,652,987 dollars gross 4 (82,769,071 dollars net) already apportioned in accordance with its resolution 54/267 for the period from 1 July 2000 to 31 January 2001, to apportion among Member States the additional amount of 50,609,069 dollars gross (50,342,425 dollars net), in accordance with the composition of groups set out in paragraphs 3 and 4 of its resolution 43/232 of 1 March 1989, as adjusted by the Assembly in its resolutions 4 4/192 B of 21 , December 1989, 45/269 of 27 August 1991, 46/198 A of 20 December 1991, 47/218 A of 23 December 1992, 49/249 A of 20 July 1995, 49/249 B of 14 September 1995, 50/224 of 11 April 1996, 51/218 A to C of 18 December 1996 and 52/230 of 31 March 1998 and its decisions 48/472 A of 23 December 1993, 50/451 B of 23 December 1995 and 54/456 to 54/458 of 23 December 1999. the scale of assessments for the year 2000 to be applied against a portion thereof, that is, 43,379,202 dollars gross (43,150,650 dollars net), which is the amount pertaining to the period ending 31 December 2000, and the scale of assessments for the year 2001, to be applied against the balance, that is, 7,229,867 dollars gross (7,191,775 dollars net) for the period from 1 to 31 January 2001.

17. Decides further that, in accordance with the provisions of its resolutions 973(X) of 15 December 1955, there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 16 above, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated additional staff assessment income of from 1 July 2000 to 31 January 2001, 228,552 dollars being the amount pertaining to the period ending 31 December 2000 and the balance, that is 38,092 dollars pertaining to the period from 1 to 31 January 2002;

18. Decides.as an ad hoc arrangement, and taking into account the amount of 61,180,707 dollars gross (59,120,770) dollars net) already apportioned in accordance with its resolution 54/267 for the period from 1 February to 30 June 2001, to apportion among Member States the additional amount of 36,149,331 dollars gross (35,958,875 dollars net), at a monthly rate of 7,229,867 dollars gross (7,191,775 dollars net), in accordance with the scheme set out in the present resolution, taking into account the scale of assessments for the year 2001, subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the mandate of the forces beyond 31 January 2001;

19. Decides also that, in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 973(X) there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated additional staff assessment income of 190,456 dollars approved for the Force for the period from 1 February to 30 June 2001;

20. Emphasizes that no peace-keeping mission shall be financed by borrowing funds from other active peace-keeping missions;

21. Encourages the Secretary-General to continue to take additional measures to ensure the safety and security of all personnel under the auspices of the United Nations participating in the Force;

22. Invites voluntary contributions to the Forces in cash and in the form of services and supplies acceptable to the Secretary-General, to be administrated, as appropriate, in accordance with the procedure and practices established by the General Assembly;

23. Decides to keep under review during its fifty-fifth session, under the item entitled “Financing of the United Nations peace-keeping forces in the Middle East”, the sub-item entitled “United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon”.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/180 A:

In favour: Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, china, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, lativia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiria, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua Guinea. Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.

Against: Israel, Marshall Islands, United States.

The Assembly and the Committee each had adopted the fourth preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 2, 3 and 14 by a single recorded vote of, respectively, 85 to 3, with 47 abstentions, and 68 to 3, with 35 abstentions.

Speaking before the vote, Israel recalled the established practice that resolutions relating to budgetary questions were to be adopted by consensus. Due to the introduction of political elements in the resolution, that practice had been broken. The decision to place on Israel alone the burden of the cost of the damage resulting from the Qana incident was an unprecedented and one-sided initiative. Israel supported funding of UN peace-keeping operations but because of the fourth preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 2, 3 and 14 it would vote against the draft resolution.

Speaking after the vote, Egypt, on behalf of the Arab Group, said that it supported the resolution because the sanctity of the principle of maintaining the security and safety of peace-keeping personnel was the cornerstone of the funding of peace-keeping operations. Any hesitation in the implementation of that principle would send the wrong message to States that violated UN resolutions and would allow them to circumvent their responsibility for the safety and security of UN peace-keeping personnel. The Arab Group expressed concern vis-a-vis Israel's disregard of the Secretary-General's letters, in which he sought reimbursement of the costs incurred as a result of Israel's attack on the UN compound in Qana. That sum had been recorded as a debit in UNIFIL's Special Account.

By decision 55/455 of 23 December, the Assembly decided that the Fifth Committee should continue consideration of UNIFIL's financing at the resumed fifty-fifth (2001) session.
In 2000, the General Assembly again called for Israel's withdrawal from the Golan Heights in the Syrian Arab Republic, which it had occupied since 1967. The area was effectively annexed by Israel when it extended its laws, jurisdiction and administration to the territory towards the end of 1981 [YUN 1981, p. 309]

Israeli policies and measures affecting the human rights of the population in the Golan Heights and other occupied territories were monitored by the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (Committee on Israeli Practices) and were the subject of resolutions adopted by the Commission on Human Rights (see PART TWO, Chapter III) and the Assembly.

Special Committee on Israeli Practices. In its annual report [A/54/453], the Committee on Israeli Practices stated that it had visited Damascus and the Quneitra province, which bordered the occupied area, where it received information from witnesses on the current situation in the Syrian Arab Golan. The Committee was informed that there had been no change in Israeli policy regarding the occupied Golan, that the number of settlers had increased and that existing settlements had been expanded during the period under review, though no new ones were established. The human rights situation also did not improve. Relations between the settlers and the Arab population of the occupied Golan were tense and often of a violent nature. The attention of the Committee was drawn to the fact that all settlers were armed, while the Arab inhabitants were not allowed to carry weapons.

The Committee received information on the widespread nature of the consequences of the occupation: the intention of the Israeli authorities to increase the number of settlers, persistent Judaization of life in the occupied Golan and falsification of history at the expense of the Arab population. The economic constraints exercised by Israel were reflected in the lack of equal employment opportunities, heavy taxes, fixed low prices imposed on apples, the main agricultural produce, arbitrary arrest and detention and inadequate health care. In addition, the uprooting of trees, burning of forests, chemical residue from Israeli factories and waste from settlements had caused environmental deterioration. Settlers competed with Syrians in economic terms in the area of agriculture, the principal activity of the Arab population. The competition was rendered more uneven by the restricted access of the Syrian inhabitants to water compared with the settlers.

The separation of families who lived on either side of the valley constituting the demarcation line remained one of the principal negative impacts of the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan. However, n positive development was the issuance by the Israeli authorities of permits for Syrians from the occupied Golan to travel to Jordan for five days to meet their family and relatives living in the Syrian Arab Republic. The Committee called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, in consultation with the Secretary-General, to establish a system of communication with the Israeli authorities with a view, among other things, to permit long-separated families in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the Syrian Golan to meet freely and often.

Reports of Secretary-General. On 4 August [A/55/265], the Secretary-General reported that no reply had been received from Israel to his July request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement General Assembly resolution 54/80 [YUN 1999, p 451], which called on Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the Golan, and from its repressive measures against the population.

By a 2 November report [A/55/538], the Secretary-General transmitted replies received from four Member States, including Israel, in response to his request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement Assembly resolutions 54/38 [YUN 1999, p. 450], which dealt with Israeli policies in the Syrian territory occupied since 1967, and 54/37 [YUN 1999, p. 409] on the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem (see p. 429).


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION


On 1 December [meeting 78)] the General Assembly adopted resolution 55/51 (draft: A/55/L.50 & Add.l) by recorded vote (96-2-55) [agenda item 40].

The Syrian Golan
Having considered the item entitled "The situation in the Middle East", 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, 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 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, and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 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 and 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 cosponsors 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-sixth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/51 :

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brunei Oarussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic. Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea. Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda. United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States.

Abstaining: Andorra, Angola, Australia Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia. Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Yugoslavia.

On 8 December [ meetings:], the Assembly, under the agenda item on the report of the Committee on Israeli Practices and on the Fourth Committee's recommendation [A/35/571], adopted resolution 55/134 by recorded vote (150-1-4) (agenda item 85).
Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories,

Deeply concerned that the Syrian Golan occupied since 1967 has been under continued Israeli military occupation,

Recalling Security Council resolution 497( 1981) of 17 December 1981,
Reaffirming once more the illegality of the decision of 14 December 1981 taken by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan, which has resulted in the effective annexation of that territory,

Reaffirming that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible under international law, including the Charter of the United Nations,

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

Bearing in mind Security Council resolution 237(1967) of 14 June 1967,

Welcoming the convening at Madrid of the Peace Conference on the Middle East on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973 aimed at the realization of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, and expressing grave concern about the stalling of the peace process on all tracks,

1. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan, in particular Security Council resolution 497(1981), in which the Council, inter alia, decided that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and without international legal effect, and demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, rescind forthwith its decision;

2. Also calls upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan and in particular to desist from the establishment of settlements;

3. Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken or to be taken by Israel, the occupying Power, that purport to alter the character and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan are null and void, constitute a flagrant violation of international law and of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and have no legal effect;

4. Calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan and from repressive measures against the population of the occupied Syrian Golan;

5. Deplores the violations by Israel of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;

6. Calls once again upon Member States not to recognize any of the legislative or administrative measures and actions referred to above;

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

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/134:


In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalarn Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi. Camboda, Canada, Cape Verde. Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Entree, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya. Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives. Mali, Malta, Mauritania. Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal. Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan. Panama, Papua, New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
UNDOF

The mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, established by Security Council resolution 350(1974) [YUN 1974, p. 205] to supervise the observance of the cease-fire between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic in the Golan Heights area and ensuring the separation of their forces, was renewed twice in 2000, in May and November, each time for a six-month period.

UNDOF maintained an area of separation, which was some 80 kilometres long and varied in width between approximately 10 kilometres in the centre to less than 1 kilometre in the extreme south. The area of separation was inhabited and policed by the Syrian authorities, and no military forces other than UNDOF were permitted within it.

Composition and deployment

As at 30 October 2000, UNDOF comprised 1,039 troops from Austria (369), Canada (188), Japan (30). Poland (359) and Slovakia (93). It was assisted by 78 UNTSO military observers. Major-General Bo Wranker (Sweden) became Force Commander on 14 August, taking over from Major-General Cameron Ross (Canada), who completed his tour of duty on 7 July. The Secretary-General informed the Security Council on 6 July [S/2000/664] of his intention to appoint General Wranker; the Council took note of that intention on 10 July (S/2000/665). The Force was entirely deployed within and close to the area of separation, with two base camps, 44 permanently manned positions and 11 observation posts. UNDOF's headquarters was located at Camp Faouar and an office was maintained in Damascus.
Activities

UNDOF continued in 2000 to supervise the area of separation between Israeli and Syrian troops in the Golan Heights, to ensure that no military forces of either party were deployed there, by means of fixed positions and patrols. The Force, accompanied by liaison officers from the party concerned, carried out fortnightly in inspections of armament and force levels in the areas of limitation. As in the past, both sides denied inspection teams access to some of their positions and imposed some restrictions on the Force's freedom of movement. UNDOF assisted the International Committee of the Red Cross with facilities for mail and the passage of persons through the area of separation. Within the means available, medical treatment was provided to the local population on request.

Reports of Secretary-General. The Secretary-General reported to the Security Council on UNDOF activities between 16 November 1999 and 19 May 2000 [S/2000/459] and between 23 May and 21 November 2000 [S/2000/I103]. Both reports noted that UNDOF continued to perform its functions effectively, with the cooperation of the parties. In general, the cease-fire in the Israel-Syria sector was maintained without serious incident, and the UNDOF area of operation remained calm. Minefields, especially in the area of separation, continued to be a concern. In consultation with Syrian authorities, UNDOF instituted a minefield security and maintenance programme in the area of separation to identify and mark all minefields. The Secretary-General observed that, despite the quiet in the Israel-Syria sector, the situation in the Middle East continued to be potentially dangerous and was likely to remain so unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem could be reached. He hoped for determined efforts by all concerned to tackle the problem in all its aspects, with a view to arriving at a just and durable peace settlement, as called for by Council resolution 338(1973) [YUN 1973, p 213]. Stating that he considered the Force's continued presence in the area to be essential, the Secretary-General, with the agreement of both Syria and Israel, recommended that UNDOF's mandate be extended fora further six months, until 30 November 2000 in the first instance and 31 May 2001 in the second.


SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION


On 31 May (meeting 4148), the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1300(2000). The draft [S/2000/482] was prepared during consultations among Council members.

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 22 May 2000 on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force,

Welcoming and encouraging efforts by the United Nations to sensitize peace-keeping personnel in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS and other communicable diseases,
(a) To call upon the parties concerned to implement immediately Security Council resolution 338(1973) of 22 October 1973;

(b) To renew the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for another period of six months, that is, until 30 November 2000;

(c) To request the Secretary-General to submit, at the end of this period, a report on the development in the situation and the measures taken to implement resolution 338(1973).

On 27 November [meeting 4235], the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1328(2000). The draft [S/2000/1124] was prepared during consultations.
Having considered the report of the Secretary-General of 17 November 2000 on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, and reaffirming Security Council resolution 1308(2000) of 17 July 2000,

1. Calls upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973;

2. Decides to renew the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for another period of six months, that is until 31 May 2001;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to submit, at the end of this period, a report on the development in the Situation and the measures taken to implement resolution 338(1973).

After the adoption of each resolution, the resident made statements S/PRST/2000/19 [meeting 4235] and S/PRST/2000/36 [meeting 4235] an behalf of the Council:

In connection with the resolution just adopted on the renewal of the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, have been authorized to make the following complementary statement on behalf of the Security Council:

On 14 January, the Secretary-General presented a report on UNDOF's financial performance for the period 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999 [A/54/707 & Corr.1]. On 1 February, he also submitted UNDOF's proposed budget for the period 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 [A/54/732], totalling $34,946,700 gross ($34,195,300 net), which reflected a 5.1 per cent increase in gross terms compared with the , resources approved for the preceding 12 months.

ACABQ's comments and recommendations on the two reports were contained in an April report to the Assembly [A/54/841/Add.l].

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 15 June [meeting 98], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fifth Committee [A/54/896], adopted resolution 54/266 without Vote [agenda item 128 (a)].
Financing of the United Nations
Disengagement Observer Force

Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General on the financing of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force and the related reports of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions,

Recalling Security Council resolution 350(1974) of 31 May 1974, by which the Council established the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, and the subsequent resolutions by which the Council extended the mandate of the Force, the latest of which was resolution 1300(2000) of 31 May 2000,

Recalling also its resolution 3211 B (XXIX) of 29 November 1974 on the financing of the United Nations Emergency Force and of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, and its subsequent resolutions thereon, the latest of which was resolution 53/226 of 8 June 1999,

Reaffirming that the costs of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force are expenses of the Organization to be borne by Member States in accordance with Article 17, paragraph 2, of the Charter of the United Nations,

Recalling its previous decisions regarding the fact that, in order to meet the expenditures caused by the Force, a different procedure is required from that applied to meet expendi tures of the regular budget of the United Nations,

Taking into account the fact that the economically more developed countries are in a position to make relatively larger contributions and that the economically less developed countries have a relatively limited capacity to contribute towards such an operation,

Bearing in mind the special responsibilities of the States permanent members of the Security Council, as indicated in General Assembly resolution 1874(S-IV) of 27 June 1963, in the financing of such operations,

Noting with appreciation that voluntary contributions have been made to the Force,

Mindful of the fact that it is essential to provide the Force with the necessary financial resources to enable it to fulfil its responsibilities under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Concerned that the surplus balances in the Special Account for the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force have been used to meet expenses of the Force in order to compensate for the lack of income resulting from non-payment and late payment by Member States of their contributions,

Bearing in mind the reported hardships incurred by the local staff upon relocation of the headquarters of the Force from Damascus to Camp Faouar,

1. Notes that some of the concerns regarding the improvement of the working conditions of the local staff in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force have been addressed;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to continue the process of improving the working conditions of the local staff, including by making allowance for difficulties resulting from the relocation of the headquarters of the Force from Damascus to Camp Faouar, through mutual and fruitful dialogue;

3. Takes note of the status of contributions to the Force as at 30 April 2000, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of 17 million United States dollars, representing some 1.4 per cent of the total assessed contributions from the inception of the Force to the period ending 31 May 2000, notes that some 24 per cent of the Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, and urges all other Member States concerned, in particular those in arrears, to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions;

4. Expresses its appreciation to those Member States which have paid their assessed contributions in full;

5. Expresses concern about the financial situation with regard to peace-keeping activities, in particular as regards the reimbursements to troop contributors that additional burdens owing to overdue payments by Member States of their assessments;

6. Urges all other Member States to make every possible effort to ensure payment of their assessed contributions to the Force in full and on time;

7. Expresses concern at the delay experienced by the Secretary-General in deploying and providing adequate resources to some recent peace-keeping missions, in particular those in Africa;

8. Emphasizes that all future and existing peace-keeping missions shall be given equal and non-discriminatory treatment in respect of financial and administrative arrangements;

9. Also emphasizes that all peace-keeping missions shall be provided with adequate resources for the effective and efficient discharge of their respective mandates;

10. Requests the Secretary-General to make the fullest possible use of facilities and equipment at the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, in order to minimize the costs of procurement for the Force, and for this purpose requests the Secretary-General to speed up the implementation of the asset management system at all peacekeeping missions in accordance with General Assembly resolution 52/1 A of 15 October 1997;

11. Endorses the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to take all necessary action to ensure that the Force is administered with a maximum of efficiency and economy;

13. Also requests the Secretary-General, in order to reduce the cost of employing General Service staff, to continue efforts to recruit local staff for the Force against General Service posts, commensurate with the requirements of the Force;

14. Decide also appropriate to the Special Account for the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force the amount of 36,975,496 dollars gross (35,924,037 dollars net) for the maintenance of the Force for the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001, inclusive of the amount of 1,754,501 dollars gross (1,484,675 dollars net) for the support account for peacekeeping operations and the amount of 274,295 dollars gross (244,062 dollars net) for the United Nations Logistics Base;

15. Decides also, as an ad hoc arrangement, to apportion among Member States the amount of 36,975,496 dollars gross (35,924,037 dollars net) for the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001, at a monthly rate of 3,081,291 dollars gross (2,993,670 dollars net), in accordance with the composition of groups set out in paragraphs 3 and 4 of General Assembly resolution 43/232 of 1 March 1989, as adjusted by the Assembly in its resolutions 44/192 B of 21 December 1989, 45/269 of 27 August 1991, 46/198 A of 20 December 1991, 47/218 A of 23 December 1992, 49/249 A of 20 July 1995, 49/249 B of 14 September 1995, 50/224 of 11 April 1996, 51/218 A to C of 18 December 1996 and 52/230 of 31 March 1998 and its decisions 48/472 A of 23 December 1993. 50/451 B of 23 December 1995 and 54/456 to 54/458 of 23 December 1999, and taking into account the scale of assessments for the year 2000, as set out in its resolutions 52/215 A of 22 December 1997 and 54/237 A of 23 December 1999, and for the year 2001, subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the mandate of the Force;

16. Decides further that in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 973(X) of 15 December 1955, there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 15 above, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated staff assessment income of 1,051,459 dollars approved for the Force for the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001;

17. Decides that, for Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force, there shall be set off against the apportionment, as provided for in paragraph 15 above, their respective share in the unencumbered balance of 1,737,600 dollars gross (1,590,300 dollars net) in respect of the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999;

18. Decides also that, for Member States that have not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force, their share of the unencumbered balance of 1,737,600 dollars gross (1,590,300 dollars net) in respect of the period from 1 July 1998 to 30 June 1999 shall be set off against their outstanding obligations;

19. Decides further, pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 13 of its resolution 53/226, to credit back to Member States the amount of 4,022,162 dollars during the fifth-fourth session of the General Assembly, according to the procedures set out in paragraphs 15 to 18 above, the net surplus balance of 8,022,162 dollars held in the suspense account for the Force;

20. Emphasizes that no peace-keeping mission shall be financed by borrowing funds from other active peace-keeping missions;

21. Encourages the Secretary-General to continue to take additional measures to ensure the safety and security of all personnel under the auspices of the United Nations participating in the Force;

22. Invites voluntary contributions to the Force in cash and in the form of services and supplies acceptable to the Secretary-General, to be administered, as appropriate, in accordance with the procedure and practices established by the General Assembly;

23. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fiftyfifth session, under the item entitled "Financing of the United Nations peace-keeping forces in the Middle East", the sub-item entitled "United Nations Disengagement Observer Force".
On 23 December, the Assembly decided that the Fifth Committee would continue consideration of the item on the financing of UNDOF at the resumed fifty-fifth (2001) session (decision 55/455).

By decision 55/458 of the same date, the Assembly decided that the agenda item "Financing of the United Nations peace-keeping forces in the Middle East" would remain for consideration during the resumed fifty-fifth session.

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HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

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Rights of Palestinians

On 7 April lies. 2000/41, the Commission, by a roll-call vote of 44 to 1, with 6 abstentions, reaffirmed the permanent and unqualified Palestinian right to self-determination, including the option of a State. It requested the Secretary-General to transmit its resolution to Israel and all other Governments, to disseminate it as widely as possible, and to make available to the Commission, prior to its 2001 session, information pertaining to its implementation by the Government of Israel.

The Commission had before it a report of the Secretary-General [E/CN.4/2000/13] stating that he had received no reply to his request to Israel for information on the implementation of its 1999 resolution on the situation in occupied Palestine [YUN 1999, p. 622].


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 4 December [meeting 81], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Third Committee (A/55/601), adopted resolution 55/87 by recorded vote (170-2-5) [agenda hem 113).


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, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993,

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

Recalling further the United Nations Millennium Declaration,

Expressing hope for an immediate 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 their right to a State;

2. Expresses the hope that the Palestinian people will soon be exercising their right to self-determination which is not subject to any veto, in the current peace process;

3. Urges all States and the specialized agencies and the organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in their quest for self-determination.


RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 55/87:


In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamtt, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Domenican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland. France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahinya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg. Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia. Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

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Lebanon

Commission action. On 18 April [res. 2000/16], by a roll-call vote of 51 to 1, with 1 abstention, the Commission deplored continued Israeli violations of human rights in southern Lebanon and western Bekaa and called on Israel to end those practices. Israel was also called on to comply with the Geneva Conventions of 1949, particularly the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention), and to release all Lebanese who had been imprisoned and held as hostages for bargaining purposes, as well as others arbitrarily detained in the occupied territories. The Commission asked the Secretary-General to bring its resolution to Israel's attention and to invite Israel to provide information on its implementation. He was asked to report to the General Assembly in 2000 and to the Commission in 2001.


ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ACTION


On 28 July, the Economic and Social Council, on the recommendation of the Commission on Human Rights [E/2000/23 & Con.1], adopted decision 2000/249 by recorded vote (43-1) [agenda item 14 (g)]



At its 45th plenary meeting, on 28 July 2000, the Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 2000/16 of 18 April 2000, approved the Commission's request to the Secretary-General

(a) To bring Commission resolution 2000/16 to the attention of the Government of Israel and to invite it to provide information concerning the extent of its implementation thereof;

(b) To report to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session and to the Commission at its fifty-seventh session on the results of his efforts in this regard.

RECORDED VOTE ON DECISION 2000/249:

In favour: Algeria, Angola, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Fiji, France. Germany, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Viet Nam.
In September [A/55/400], the Secretary-General informed the General Assembly that he had asked Israel for information on the implementation of the Commission's 2000 resolution (see p. 773) and had received no reply.

During the year, the question of human rights violations in the territories occupied by Israel as a result of the 1967 hostilities in the Middle East was again considered by the Commission on Human Rights. In addition to considering the matter at its fifty-sixth session in March/April, the Commission held a special session to discuss the matter in October following an escalation of violence. Political and other aspects were considered by the General Assembly, its Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (Committee on Israeli Practices) and other bodies (see PART ONE, Chapter VI).

Reports of Secretary-General. Pursuant to a 1999 Commission resolution [YUN 1999, p. 738], the Secretary-General reported that he had brought that resolution, which concerned the occupied Syrian Golan, to the attention of all Governments, the Committee on Israeli Practices, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (Committee on Palestinian Rights), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the specialized agencies, regional inter-governmental organizations and in ' international humanitarian organizations [E/CN.4/2000/23]. The UN Department of Public Information provided press coverage for all meetings of the Committee on Israeli Practices and distributed information through documents, press releases, briefings and UN information centres and services.

Also in response to a 1999 Commission resolution [YUN 1999, p. 737], the Secretary-General stated that he had brought that resolution, dealing with violations of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, to the attention of the Government of Israel and all other Governments, the Committee on Israeli Practices and the Committee on Palestinian Rights, as well as to the attention of the specialized agencies, UNRWA, regional intergovernmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations, requesting information pertaining to Israel's implementation of the resolution [E/CN.4/2000/22]. He had received no reply. By a March addendum to that report [E/CN.4/2000/227Add.l], the Secretary-General transmitted a reply from the League of Arab States (LAS), which contained information on Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied territories, on the suffering of the Lebanese from occupation and the Israeli aggression in southern Lebanon, and on Israeli practices affecting die human rights of Syrian citizens in the occupied territories.

The Secretary-General submitted to the Commission, in February, a list of all General Assembly and other reports issued since 30 April 1999 on the situation of the population living in the occupied Arab territories [E/CN.4/2000/24].

Report of Special Rapporteur. In March [E/CN.4/2000/25], Special Rapporteur Giorgio Giacomelli (Italy) discussed the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. The principal concerns included the right of return of persons residing in those territories; forced eviction of Palestinians; demolition of Palestinian homes; the implantation of Israeli settlers in the territories; practices that affected the natural environment of the occupied territories (degradation of the infrastructure, land confiscation, water depletion, uprooting of trees, dumping of toxic wastes and other pollution); closures of the occupied territories and their impact on the freedoms of movement, education, religion, expression and information; collective punishment; and discrimination against Palestinian workers. In addition, the Special Rapporteur discussed human rights violations against children, women and the family, violations of the rights of Palestinian prisoners and the application of double standards regarding the administration of justice. In East Jerusalem, where violations continued to be particularly intense, he pointed to the wholesale imposition of Israeli domestic law in the city, and the special discrimination practised by Israel's arbitrary denial and revocation of residency, which divided families. The Special Rapporteur recommended rigorous implementation of the relevant international norms, which implied the reversal of illegal trends, correction and, where appropriate, restitution.

Commission action. On 17 April [res. 2000/0], by a roll-call vote of 31 to 1, with 19 abstentions, the Commission condemned the continued human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories, and called on Israel to cease those acts immediately. Condemning the expropriation of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem, the revocation of identity cards, the imposition of exorbitant taxes aimed at forcing Palestinians out of Jerusalem and the use of torture against Palestinians during interrogation, the Commission called on Israel to end those practices. The Commission also called on Israel to cease its policy of enforcing collective punishments; desist from all forms of human rights violations in the Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories and respect the bases of international law, the principles of international humanitarian law and its international commitments and agreements; and withdraw from the Palestinian territories. The Secretary-General was asked to bring the Commission's resolution to the attention of the Government of Israel and all other Governments, competent UN organs, the specialized agencies, regional inter-governmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations, to disseminate it as widely as possible and to report in 2001 on its implementation by Israel. He was also asked to provide the Commission with all UN reports issued between its sessions that dealt with conditions in which the Palestinians were living under Israeli occupation.

Also on 17 April [res. 2000/7] and by the same roll-call vote, the Commission called on Israel to comply with UN resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan and demanded that it rescind its decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on that occupied territory. It also called on Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan and to desist from imposing Israeli identity cards on Syrian citizens of the Syrian Golan and from its repressive measures against them. The Secretary-General was asked to bring the Commission's resolution to the attention of all Governments, UN organs, specialized agencies, regional inter-governmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations, to give the resolution wide publicity and to report in 2001.

On the same date [res. 2000/8], by a roll-call vote y of 50 to 1, with 1 abstention, the Commission, ex pressing grave concern at Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Arab territories, including East Jerusalem, and condemning all acts of terrorism, called on all parties not to allow those acts to affect the ongoing peace process negatively. The Commission urged Israel to comply fully with the Commission's previous resolutions to cease its policy of expanding the settlements and related activities in the occupied territories; and to forgo and prevent any new installation of settlers.

Communications. During the year, the Commission received a number of communications regarding the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, including from I. .AS summarizing Israeli practices from January to July [E/CN.4/2001/108] and from Palestine describing violent acts by Israel and Jewish settlers [E/CN.4/2000/136, E/CN.4/2000/146, E/CN.4/2001/7, E./CN.4/2001/109-112, E/CN.4/2001/118]. It also received from Palestine a statistical table of the human and material losses from 29 February to 29 December [E/CN.4/2001/130].

The Commission on Human Rights held its fifth special session in Geneva from 17 to 19 October [E/2000/112 & Add.l] (see next page). The session was requested by Algeria (E/CN.4/S-5/2) on behalf of the Council of Arab Permanent Representative, members of LAS, to discuss "the grave and massive violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupying Power".

Report of Special Rapporteur. The Commission had before it a report on Israel's violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (E/CN.4/S-5/3) by the Special Rapporteur, who, in response to recent developments and the acute situation in the territories (see p. 416), had undertaken a mission to the region from 11 to 15 October.

He stated that the full range of human rights violations reported earlier (see p. 774) had remained constant. However, a number of violations from that spectrum had shown a dramatic upsurge since late September. The Special Rapporteur reported that Israel had dramatically escalated the use of lethal force against civilians, in response to demonstrations that began in Jerusalem and spread throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since 28 September, Israeli forces had killed at least 85 Palestinians, of whom more than 20 were under the age of 18, in the occupied Palestinian territories, and an estimated 2,000 to 3,700 were wounded. Israeli forces had obstructed, beaten and/or shot emergency medical personnel on duty, thus denying emergency medical aid to victims and wounding medical personnel. The level and number of casualties had strained local medical services beyond capacity. Israel's current closure of the occupied territories was characterized also by the sealing off of Palestinian populated areas, preventing free movement of people and material, and creating shortages and a sense of isolation. Freedom of movement was denied to businessmen and other professionals. Other economic losses included those resulting from the demolition of physical structures, including homes and apartments, the damaging and burning of vehicles, including ambulances, and vandalism of homes. The Special Rapporteur remained convinced that the current conflict had its roots in accumulated grievances and resentment at the continuing violations of human rights and humanitarian norms under Israeli occupation. He recommended that Israel issue orders to all its forces consistent with international humanitarian norms and that those orders be rigorously implemented. He supported the idea of establishing a mechanism for a speedy and objective inquiry into the ongoing crisis, and recommended establishing an observer and/or guarantor body to build up a sense of security and confidence on both sides.

Communication. On 19 October [E/CN.4/S-5/4], Israel stated that the Special Rapporteur's report was biased and selective. The allegations against Israel were unsubstantiated, the sources were never identified and those aspects that might have given a more balanced picture were ignored or otherwise curtailed. Attention should have been given to the continued Palestinian violations of written commitments, particularly to fighting terrorism and preventing incitement.

Commission action. On 19 October 19 [E/2000/112 [res. S-5/1)], by a roll-call vote of 19 to 16, with 17 abstentions, the Commission strongly condemned the use of force by Israel against Palestinians, causing the death of 120 civilians, and called on Israel to end the use of force against unarmed civilians and to abide by its legal obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention. It called on the international community to secure the cessation of violence by Israel and end the ongoing violations of the Palestinians' human rights.

The Commission decided to establish a human rights inquiry commission to gather information on violations of human rights that constituted grave breaches of humanitarian law by Israel. It further decided to request the High Commissioner to undertake an urgent visit to the occupied territories and to request several of the Commission's special rapporteurs, the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and others to visit the occupied territories ) and to report to the Commission in 2001 and to the General Assembly in 2000. Those and other f requests of the Commission were endorsed by the Economic and Social Council in the decision below.


ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ACTION


On 22 November, the Economic and Social Council, on the recommendation of the Commission on Human Rights [E/2000/112 & Add.1], adopted decision 2000/311 by recorded vote (21-19-11) [agenda item 14 (g)]

Grave and massive violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel

At its 48th plenary meeting, on 22 November 2000 the Economic and Social Council, taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution S-5/1 of 19 October 2000, endorsed the Commission's decisions:

(a) To establish, on an urgent basis, a human rights inquiry commission, whose membership should be based on the principles of independence and objectivity, to gather and compile information on violations of human rights and acts that constituted grave breaches of international humanitarian law by the Israeli occupying Power in the occupied Palestinian territories and to provide the Commission with its conclusions and recommendations, with the aim of preventing the repetition of the recent human rights violations;

(b) To request the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to undertake an urgent visit to the occupied Palestinian territories to take stock of the violations of the human rights of the Palestinian people by the Israeli occupying Power, to facilitate the activities of the mechanisms of the Commission in implementation of the present decision, to keep the Commission informed of developments and to report to the Commission at its fifty-seventh session and, on an interim basis, to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session;

(c) To request the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Representative of the Secretary-General on internally displaced persons, the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture, the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, the Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance, the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to carry out immediate missions to the occupied Palestinian territories and to report the findings to the Commission at its fifty-seventh session and, on an interim basis, to the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session.

Report of High Commissioner. In accordance with the Commission's request, as endorsed by the Economic and Social Council, the High Commissioner visited the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel, Egypt and Jordan (8-16 November) [E/CN.4/2001/I14].

In the occupied Palestinian territories, the most persistent allegation brought to the High Commissioner's attention was the excessive use of force by Israeli security forces. The Minister of Health of the Palestinian Authority (PA) estimated that between 29 September and 9 November, some 6,958 persons (3,366 in the West Bank and 3,592 in the Gaza Strip) had been wounded and 1,016 Palestinians had been injured in Israel. Senior Israel Defence Forces (IDF) officers told the High Commissioner that the methods and weapons used were carefully calibrated according to the nature of the threat being faced and that live fire, whether from small arms or heavier weapons, had been directed only at those who had used firearms or petrol bombs in attacks against Israeli forces. The destruction of housing had left more than 1,000 children without homes, often in situations of food shortage and without access to medical care. Since the beginning of October, more than 40 schools had been closed or were unable to operate owing to curfews or closures. Many children suffered from psychological and social problems due to the current situation. Very serious allegations were made of attacks by Israeli security forces on medical personnel and ambulances. According to IDF, clearances and demolition of property had taken place as a matter of military necessity—meaning that compensation was not payable—because the structures or plantations had been used as cover by Palestinian gunmen. In response to the High Commissioner's call for lifting or easing the closures, which heavily restricted freedom of movement, IDF drew a link between the closures and the release in October by the 1'A of some 80 prisoners whom Israeli authorities considered a major security threat (see p. 420). Should the 80 prisoners be reincarcerated then the closures would be lifted the same day.
Some 128,000 Palestinian workers, normally employed in Israel, were barred from travelling to their workplaces due to closure. UN studies reported a 50 per cent reduction in normal economic activity within the territories. Access was a major preoccupation for all humanitarian organizations, affecting emergency evacuation of seriously injured civilians and the import of donations of humanitarian goods and equipment from abroad. The Ministry of Defence indicated that it was doing everything possible to facilitate humanitarian access.

Following her visits to Gaza, Hebron and Ramallah, the High Commissioner visited Israel where, among other things, she discussed with the Israeli authorities the use of force by IDF. IDF officers described as typical a situation that commenced with stone-throwing but quickly escalated into armed attacks. It was stated that out of 5,085 attacks on Israeli settlements, some 1,400 had involved live fire. According to IDK rules of engagement, attackers who used live ammunition could be shot by soldiers and sharp-shooters deployed for that purpose. New weapons systems, they said, were being developed, which, IDF hoped, would be deployed to control crowds effectively at longer ranges with little or no risk of injury. The High Commissioner pursued with IDF the issue of how the use of lethal force was investigated, what punishments were available for improper or excessive use of such force, and how many investigations had been conducted to date and with what result.

Most of the Arab Israelis whom the High Commissioner met described their situation as one of exclusion, prejudice, official hostility and routine humiliation. Since 28 September, however, the threat of violence had become their primary concern. On 11 November, the Government of Israel decided to establish a State commission of inquiry to look into the clashes, since 29 September, between the security forces and Israeli citizens in which 13 Arabs were killed and hundreds of people injured. The Minister of Justice reiterated his commitment to establish a human rights commission and mentioned that research had been carried out on national human rights institutions. The High Commissioner offered the services of her Special Adviser on National Human Rights Institutions to assist the Government to establish a national commission.

In Egypt, the High Commissioner discussed with senior government officials and the I.AS Secretary-General the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and the follow-up to the Commission's special session.

The High Commissioner was received in Jordan by His Royal Majesty King Abdullah II, who expressed deep concern about recent developments and said that Jordan was sparing no efforts to assist both parties in implementing decisions agreed upon in Sharm el-Sheikh in 1999 [YUN 1999, p. 401]

The High Commissioner recommended peaceful negotiation, exploring the feasibility of establishing an international monitoring presence and assistance by the international community through the task force established under the terms of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum. She outlined specific steps to stop the escalation of violence. The High Commissioner would continue to assist the PA to build up its institutional capacity in the area of the rule of law, offer the services of her Special Adviser on National Human Rights Institutions to assist Israel, provide secretariat support to the Commission and its mechanisms to implement resolution S-5/1, be ready to facilitate dialogue between the human rights bodies of Israel and the PA, Palestinian and Israeli NGOs and other representatives of civil society, and urge the international community to support the work of UN agencies in the occupied Palestinian territories and to contribute to the various resource mobilization initiatives.

By a December note [A/55/684/], the Secretary-General transmitted the High commissioner’s report to the General Assembly.

Communication. In identical reports to the Assembly [A/55/800] and to the commission [E/CN.4/201/133], Israel presented its views on the High Commissioner’s report. It described what it claimed were the shortcomings of the report an presented its views on the current violence and Palestinian and Israeli politics and practices.


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