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


Fifty-ninth General Assembly
Plenary
74th Meeting (PM)
GA/10321
20 December 2004

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS 61 RESOLUTIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
 
SOCIAL, HUMANITARIAN ISSUES
 
Approves Texts on Human Rights Situations
In Iran, Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkmenistan


...

Background

The General Assembly met this afternoon to take action on the draft resolutions and draft decisions contained in the reports of its Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural).  It is also expected to take action on a number of other draft resolutions before the Assembly’s plenary body.

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**Children’s Rights

Turning to the report on promotion and protection of the rights of children (document A/59/499), the Assembly will take action on the two draft resolutions and one draft decision included therein.

Draft resolution I, on the situation of and assistance to Palestinian children, would have the General Assembly express deep concern about the negative consequences, including psychological consequences, of the Israeli military actions for the present and future well-being of Palestinian children.  The text would have the Assembly demand that Israel, the occupying Power, respect relevant provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention on Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.  It would also call upon the international community to provide urgently needed assistance and services in an effort to alleviate the dire humanitarian crisis being faced by Palestinian children and their families.

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**Right of Peoples to Self-Determination

A further three draft resolutions are forwarded within the report on the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/59/502), including a text on the Use of mercenaries as a means of violating human rights and impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination, which would have the General Assembly urge all States to take the necessary steps and to exercise the utmost vigilance against the menace posed by the activities of mercenaries.  States should take legislative measures to ensure that their territories and nationals were not used for recruitment, assembly, financing, training and transit of mercenaries for the planning of activities designed to impede the right of peoples to self-determination, to destabilize or overthrow the government of a State or to dismember of impair the territorial integrity or political unity of sovereign and independent States.

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Draft resolution II, on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, would have the General Assembly reaffirm the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine.  Recalling the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the wall in occupied Palestinian territory, and expressing the urgent need for the resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process, it would urge all States, specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination.

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**Human Rights Questions

Also before the Assembly is the report on human rights questions (document A/59/503 and Add.1, Add.2, Add.3, Add.4 and Add.5).  The main report recommends one draft decision for adoption by the Assembly, which would have that body take note of the following reports submitted under the item entitled “human rights questions”:

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Under sub-item (c):

-- Note by the Secretary-General transmitting the interim report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 (document A/59/256);

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Action on Reports

CARLOS ENRIQUE GARCIA GONZALEZ (El Salvador), Vice-Chairperson of the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural), introduced the Committee’s 18 reports.

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**Self-Determination

Subsequently, the Assembly took up the three draft resolutions contained in the report on the Right of peoples to self-determination (document A/59/502), adopting draft resolution I on the use of mercenaries by a recorded vote of 129 in favour to 46 against, with 13 abstentions.  (See annex III.)

Draft resolution II, on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, was also adopted by a recorded vote of 179 in favour to five against (Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with three abstentions (Australia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu).  (See annex IV.)

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ANNEX I

Vote on Assistance to Palestinian Children

Draft resolution I on assistance to Palestinian children (document A/59/499) was adopted by a recorded vote of 117 in favour to 5 against, with 62 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

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

Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu.

Absent:  Central African Republic, Congo, Kiribati, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Timor-Leste.

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ANNEX IV

Vote on Palestinian Self-Determination

Draft resolution II on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination (document A/59/502) was adopted by a recorded vote of 179 in favour to 5 against, with 3 abstentions, as follows:

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

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

Abstain:  Australia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu.

Absent:  Congo, Kiribati, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Tonga.

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For information media - not an official record