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        General Assembly
19 November 1998

Original: Arabic

Fifty-third session
Agenda item 109

Right of peoples to self-determination

Report of the Third Committee

Rapporteur: Mr. Hassan Kassem Najem (Lebanon)

I. Introduction

1. At its 3rd plenary meeting, on 15 September 1998, the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the General Committee, decided to include in the agenda of its fifty-third session the item entitled “Right of peoples to self-determination” and to allocate it to the Third Committee.

2. The Third Committee considered the item jointly with item 108 at its 23rd to 26th meetings, on 23, 26 and 27 October, and took action at its 31st, 36th, 37th and 47th meetings, on 2, 5, 6 and 16 November 1998. An account of the Committee’s discussion of the item is contained in the relevant summary records (A/C.3/53/SR.23–26, 31, 36, 37 and 47).


II. Consideration of proposals


C. Draft resolution A/C.3/53/L.26

11. At the 37th meeting, on 6 November, the representative of Egypt, on behalf of Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guinea, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Portugal, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, the Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Togo, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe and Palestine, introduced a draft resolution entitled “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” (A/C.3/53/L.26). Subsequently Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Malta, Mozambique and Niger joined in sponsoring the draft resolution.

12. At the 47th meeting, on 16 November, the Committee adopted the draft resolution by a recorded vote of 146 to 2, with 7 abstentions (see para. 14, draft resolution III). The voting was as follows:

In favour:
Afghanistan, Albania, 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, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, 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, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, 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, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Israel, United States of America.

Fiji, Georgia, Kenya, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nicaragua, Uruguay.

13. Before the adoption of the draft resolution, statements were made by the representatives of the United States of America and Israel. After the adoption of the draft resolution, statements were made by the representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Russian Federation and Austria (on behalf of the States Members of the United Nations that are members of the European Union) (see A/C.3/53/SR.47).

III. Recommendations of the Third Committee

14. The Third Committee recommends to the General Assembly the adoption of the following draft resolutions:


Draft resolution III

The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

The General Assembly,

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,26 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,27 the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples28 and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action adopted at the World Conference on Human Rights on 25 June 1993,29

Recalling also the Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations,30

Expressing deep concern over the difficulties facing the Middle East peace process, and expressing the hope for rapid progress in the peace process and the achievement of a final settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides within the agreed time,

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, without excluding the option of a State;

2. Expresses the hope that the Palestinian people will soon be exercising their right to self-determination in the current peace process;

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


26 Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
27 Resolution 217 A (III).
28 Resolution 1514 (XV).
29 A/CONF.157/24 (Part I), chap. III.
30 See resolution 50/6.

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