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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.2/46/SR.58
2 December 1991

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

SECOND COMMITTEE
58th meeting
held on
Wenesday, 11 December 1991
at 3 p.m.
New York

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 58th MEETING


Chairman: Mr. BURKE (Ireland)


CONTENTS

AGENDA ITEM 12: REPORT OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (continued)

AGENDA ITEM 77: DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION (continued)

/...

(g) Human settlements (continued)

/...



*This record is subject to correction.
Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Official Records Editing Section, room E.4108, Palais des Nations, Geneva.
Any corrections to the records of the public meetings of the Committee at this session will be consolidated in a single corrigendum, to be issued shortly after the end of the session.


The meeting was called to order at 3.45 p.m.


AGENDA ITEM 12: REPORT OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (continued) (A/46/19, A/46/132-E/1991/58, A/46/558 and Corr.1; A/C.2/46/L.8 and Corr.1, L.12, L.21, L.31, L.34, L.41, L.64, L.65, L.83, L.86, L.101, L.114, L.120 and L.122)

Draft resolution on Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, the Syrian Golan and the other occupied Arab territories (A/C.2/46/L.8 and Corr.1)

Draft resolution on adverse economic effects of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied since 1967 (A/C.2/46/L.120)

1. The CHAIRMAN drew attention to draft. resolution A/C.2/46/L.120, which had been prepared on the basis of informal consultations on draft resolution A/C.2/46/L.8 and Corr.1. The new draft resolution had been submitted after the formal deadline for the submission of draft proposals under agenda item 12. However, if he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee was prepared to consider it.

2. It was so decided.

3. Mr. MAHMOUD (Lebanon) introduced draft resolution A/C.2/46/L.120, whose title was different from that of draft resolution A/C.2/46/L.8. The new draft took all views into account, and he recommended it for adoption by consensus.

4. Mr. MARKS (United States of America) said that the introduction of the profoundly political draft resolution in the Second Committee was inappropriate. It did not contribute to the peace process currently under way or to peace-making in the world in general.

5. Immigration and settlement in Israel were two separate issues. His delegation supported Jewish immigration to Israel from the Soviet Union and elsewhere; at the same time it believed that settlements were an obstacle to peace and that the final status of the occupied territories must be resolved in the context of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. That goal could be achieved through the current peace process, which would not be furthered by the draft resolution.

6. The American Secretary of State had laboured hard to bring about direct negotiations between the parties to the Middle East conflict.. His delegation's long-standing policy had been that the negotiations should be based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and on the principle of exchanging territory for peace in order to ensure Israel’s security and the legitimate political rights of the Palestinian people.

7. The CHAIRMAN reminded the Committee that rule 120 of the rules of procedure of the General Assembly stipulated that the text of a draft resolution must be circulated one day prior to the meeting at which action was to be taken. However, if he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee was prepared to waive the application of that rule.

8. It was so decided.

9. The CHAIRMAN announced that the representatives of Israel and the United States of America had requested that a recorded vote should be taken on the draft resolution.

10. Mr. ELIASHIV (Israel) speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, said that, in recent weeks, many delegations had made a genuine effort to refrain from debate and defer action on the draft resolution. The highly sensitive issues it raised were being dealt with by the Security Council and by the General Assembly in plenary meeting; they were thus extraneous to the work of the Committee. Moreover, they were not conducive to the Middle East peace process and could even prejudice the outcome of the direct negotiations.

11. The sponsors of the draft resolution had singled out ostensible economic issues, but these issues could not be divorced from the complex Middle East political situation as a whole. His delegation's views on the political issues raised in the draft resolution had been stated in countless debates over the years in the General Assembly and the Security Council; those issues would be dealt with in bilateral negotiations between Israel and its neighbours.

12. The draft resolution was nothing more than an attempt to frustrate the peace process and divert attention from the real threat to international peace and security. Indeed, had its sponsors been willing to recognize the State of Israel and live in peace with it, the draft resolution would not have been submitted through the back door of the Second Committee. The draft raised serious doubts as to whether its sponsors had really had a change of heart.

13. The Madrid peace conference on the Middle East had marked a turning point in Arab-Israeli relations. The United Nations must not remain detached from the new political realities in the Middle East by adopting a resolution which ran counter to the fundamental principles of the current peace process, namely direct negotiations without preconditions.

14. At the request of the representatives of Israel and the United States of America, a recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.2/46/L.120.

15. Draft resolution A/C.2/46/L.120 was adopted by 112 votes to 2, with 17 abstentions.

16. Mr. VALENZUELA (Honduras) said that his delegation’s vote in favour of the draft resolution had not been recorded.

17. Mr. HOLTHE (Norway), explaining the vote of the Nordic countries, said that those countries continued to have serious doubts about the appropriateness of a resolution which coincided with the peace negotiations currently in progress - negotiations which the international community should firmly support. Moreover, the resolution was clearly political in nature and outside the Committee’s mandate. Nevertheless, the Nordic countries had voted for it in recognition of the sponsors’ willingness to compromise on acceptable wording.

18. Mr. KOIKE (Japan) said that his delegation had voted in favour of the draft resolution in the belief that Israeli settlements in the occupied territories were an obstacle to the achievement of peace and that the permanent occupation by one nation of the territory of another could never be justified. However, since the issue had already been dealt with by the General Assembly in plenary meeting and in the Special Political Committee, it should not have been raised in the Second Committee or in the Economic and Social Council.

19. Mr. TANLAY (Turkey) said that, while his delegation had voted in favour of the draft resolution, it welcomed the diplomatic efforts by the United States of America and the Soviet Union that had culminated in the Madrid peace conference. His delegation firmly supported the peace process and hoped that it would contribute to a comprehensive, firm and lasting peace in the Middle East. Under no circumstances should the deliberations of the Second Committee be political in nature. It would have been preferable if the Committee, moved by the spirit which had led to the peace negotiations themselves, had adopted a consensus resolution.

20. Miss ULLOA (Ecuador) said that her delegation’s vote in favour of the draft resolution had not been recorded.

21. The CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objection, he would take it that, in the light of the adoption of draft resolution A/C.2/46/L.120, the Committee did not wish to take action on draft resolution A/C.2/46/L.8 and Corr.1.

22. It was so decided.

Draft resolution on assistance to the Palestinian people (A/C.2/46/L.12)

23. Mr. BARAC (Romania), Vice-Chairman, reporting on the informal consultations, said that no consensus had been reached on draft resolution
A/C.2/46/L.12.

24. Mr. ELIASHIV (Israel) referred to the statement made by his delegation during the debate on agenda item 12 at the 16th meeting. He wished to reiterate that his delegation not only welcomed assistance to Palestinian Arabs for constructive purposes, through proper and legitimate channels, but also fully cooperated with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other international organizations in implementing professional, non-political programmes to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. However, Israel firmly opposed any form of assistance to or cooperation with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The draft resolution was based entirely on misleading assertions and distortions of fact and did not seek to improve the welfare of the inhabitants of those areas. Rather, it sought to advance political warfare against Israel and was not conducive to the ongoing peace process and direct negotiations.

25. Mr. MARKS (United States of America) said that the amalgam of objectives contained in the draft resolution did not contribute to the Middle East peace process. His delegation fully supported all programmes of assistance to the Palestinian people and had contributed significantly to those programmes, both directly and through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). However, the introduction of political elements in the draft resolution prevented it from being constructive. He therefore urged delegations to consider the broader issues and to vote against the resolution or abstain.

26. At the request of the representative of Israel and the United States of America, a recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.2/46/L.12.

27. Draft resolution A/C.2/46/L.12 was adopted by 135 votes to 2, with 3 abstentions.

28. Mr. BABINGTON (Australia), speaking in explanation of vote, said that his delegation attached importance to assisting the economic development of the Palestinian people; Australia had in fact provided such aid. However, his delegation was unable to accept the reference in the draft resolution to Palestinian certificates of origin issued by the Palestinian chamber of commerce (para. 5), since Australian law only recognized certificates of origin issued by competent State authorities. He also wished to reiterate his delegation’s support for the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including an independent State.

29. Ms. FREUDENSCHUSS (Austria) said that her delegation had voted for the resolution, although Austrian national legislation did not permit the acceptance of the Palestinian certificates of origin mentioned in paragraph 5. With regard to the preferential measures mentioned in the same paragraph, she noted that the occupied Palestinian territories were included on a list annexed to the Austrian law relating to preferential customs treatment.

30. Mr. MAJOOR (Netherlands), speaking on behalf of the European Community and its twelve member States, said that, while those States had supported the resolution, they interpreted the sixth preambular paragraph as referring to the economy in the occupied Palestinian territories. The European Community and its member States had provided substantial humanitarian economic assistance to the Palestinian people, including 60 million ECUs (approximately $US 70 million) following the Gulf crisis. With regard to paragraph 3, assistance from the European Community would continue to be channelled through the appropriate organs and institutions, such as UNRWA, UNDP and non-governmental organizations.

31. In the area of trade, the Palestinian people benefited from autonomous tariff arrangements with the European Community, including duty-free access for Palestinian industrial products and preferential treatment for certain agricultural products. The European Community recognized the competence of chambers of commerce in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to issue certificates of origin and ensure administrative cooperation in trade. The Community had repeatedly stressed to the Israeli authorities the importance it attached to the effective implementation of. its trade measures without administrative or other obstacles to Palestinian exports. Finally, the Community interpreted paragraph 8 of the resolution to mean the establishment of a network of local banks in the occupied territories.

32. The States members of the European Community would continue to grant aid and development assistance to the Palestinian people and attached great importance to the Madrid peace conference, a process which they hoped would make the resolution just adopted and others like it unnecessary in the future.

33. Mr. HOLTHE (Norway) said that his delegation had voted in favour of the draft resolution on the understanding that paragraph 3 did not impair or restrict its ability to provide assistance to the Palestinian people through the channels of its choice, including non-governmental organizations. Norway continued to be a major contributor to international assistance to the Palestinian people.

34. Mr. MOUSSA (Cameroon) said that had his delegation been present during the voting, it would have voted in favour of the draft resolution.

35. Mr. KJELLEN (Sweden) said that. his delegation fully supported efforts to improve the condition of the Palestinian people, to whom it provided humanitarian assistance. Sweden also promoted the import of Palestinian products. However, paragraphs 4 and 5 of the draft resolution gave rise to formal and technical difficulties which were being reviewed by the appropriate Swedish authorities.

36. Mr. KAARIA (Finland) said that his delegation continued to be concerned about the issue of certificates of origin to cover Palestinian imports and exports. Had there been a separate vote on paragraphs 4 and 5 of the draft resolution, his delegation would have abstained. It nevertheless continued to support assistance to the Palestinian people.

...

AGENDA ITEM 77: DEVELOPMENT AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION (continued)

/...

(g) Human settlements (continued) (A/46/8 and Add.l; A/C.2/46/L.58 and L.100)

Draft resolution on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory (A/C.2/46/L.58)

114. The CHAIRMAN drew attention to the programme budget implications of draft resolution A/C.2/46/L.58, which were contained in document A/C.2/46/L.100.

115. Mr. BARAC (Romania), Vice-Chairman, reporting on the informal consultations, said that no consensus had been reached on draft resolution
A/C. 2/46/L.58.

116. Mr. UMER (Pakistan) proposed, on the basis of the consultations held by the sponsors, that, in the third line of paragraph 6 the words, “pending the exercise of their right to self-determination," should be inserted after the word “and,” and that everything after the word “system” in the fourth line should be deleted. In the second line of paragraph 7, the word “forty-seventh” should read “forty-eighth”. The sponsors hoped that, with those amendments, the draft resolution would be adopted by the widest possible margin of votes.

117. Mr. LEV (Israel), speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, said that Israel’s policies aimed at improving the living standard of the Arab population in the administered territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza could be described at some length. The International Peace Conference on the Middle East was a historic turning point in the Arab-Israeli conflict, yet the Committee was about to adopt the same resolution as two years previously as if nothing had changed. His delegation called on all countries which wished to contribute to the peace effort to vote against the draft resolution; a vote against it would be a vote in support of the peace process and its continuation in direct negotiations.

118. Mr. MARKS (United States of America) said that for the third time his delegation was obliged to explain its position on what was essentially the same issue. The substance of the draft resolution was unfortunate because it mixed political concerns with some legitimate human and social concerns in an inappropriate way. The context also made the draft resolution unfortunate, since momentous historic events were under way and the long awaited peace process had started. Delegations should demonstrate their commitment to the peace process by voting against the draft resolution or abstaining so that the process could proceed unhindered without attacks from the side.

119. At the request of the representatives of Israel and of the United States of America, a recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.2/46/L.58.

120. Draft resolution A/C.2/46/L.58, as amended, was adopted by 133 votes to 2, with 4 abstentions.

121. Mr. ISAKOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), speaking in explanation of vote on resolutions A/C.2/46/L.12, L..58 and L.120, said that the resolutions had been taken up at a time of rising hopes for a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, which for many years had had a destabilizing effect on the Middle East region and on the international situation as a whole. The end of that confrontation at the global level had made it possible to find approaches in line with the new political thinking and realities and to convene a peace conference on the Middle East on the basis of the formula worked out by the USSR and the United States. That conference offered prospects for a comprehensive settlement of the problems of the Middle East region; its preparation had required the good will of the parties to the conflict and intensive diplomatic efforts. At a time when the negotiating process was under way, his delegation believed that it was useful to create an atmosphere around it. that would be as favourable as possible to the development and intensification of Arab—Israeli dialogue, and of Palestinian-Israeli dialogue. His delegation, representing a country which was co-chairman of the conference, therefore believed that it was inappropriate to adopt resolutions concerning matters of substance, including the Palestinian problem, that were under consideration at the peace conference. It had therefore abstained in the vote on resolutions A/C.2/46/L.120 and A/C.2/46/L.58. On humanitarian grounds and because of the need to continue existing programmes, it had voted in favour of resolution A/C.2/46/L.12. which it had also supported at the latest session of the Economic and Social Council.

122. Mr. BEZEREDI (Canada) said that his delegation had abstained in t.he vote on resolutions A/C.2/46/L.120 and L.58 and had voted in favour of resolution A/C.2/46/L.12. Canada supported the economic well-being of the Palestinian people and believed that United Nations assistance could help realize that goal. However, the resolutions included political elements which were outside the scope of the Committee; some passages were neither balanced nor comprehensive; and resolution A/C.2/46/L.120 was not opportune given the more hopeful prospects for progress towards peace. The International Conference on the Middle East had opened up opportunities to make progress on some of the problems raised in the resolutions in the context of movement towards a just and durable resolution of the Middle East conflict.

123. Mr. SZEDLAÇSKO (Hungary), speaking on behalf of the delegations of Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary, said that they had voted in favour of draft resolutions A/C.2/46/L.120, L.12 and L.58; they wished to stress, however, that they believed that consideration of certain issues in the draft resolutions was inappropriate at the current time and was not conducive to the ongoing peace process.

...

The meeting rose at 9 p.m.

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