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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
General Assembly
5 November 2013



General Assembly
GA/SHC/4085

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-eighth General Assembly
Third Committee
40th Meetings (AM)



SELF-DETERMINATION INTEGRAL TO BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS, FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS,

THIRD COMMITTEE TOLD AS IT CONCLUDES GENERAL DISCUSSION

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Background

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) met this morning to continue its general discussion on the elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, as well as the right of peoples to self-determination. For background information, see Press Release GA/SHC/4084 of 4 November.

Statements

SACHA SERGIO LLORENTTY SOLIZ (Bolivia), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, ... On self-determination, he said respect for that principle was a precondition for the enjoyment of other human rights, and for that reason, Bolivia demanded the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from all occupied Arab territories, including Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights. ...

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FATHIMATH NAJWA ( Maldives) ... On Palestine, the Maldives supported a two-State solution, in accordance with the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine.

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ALIA AL DHAHERI (United Arab Emirates), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, ... On self-determination, she pointed out that the Palestinian people were deprived of that universal right. Israel’s illegal settlement and expansion policies required the United Arab Emirates to call upon the Security Council to take serious measures towards the establishment of a Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, she said, requesting full United Nations membership for the State of Palestine.

AMJAD MOHAMMED SALEH AL-MOUMANI (Jordan), echoed other speakers in emphasizing that the right to self-determination was one of the most important ones because none could be enjoyed without it. Also, the International Court of Justice had reiterated the need for “granting the right of people to self-determination”. In that context, the Palestinian right to self-determination was a core issue in the Middle East, he emphasized, calling for the establishment of a Palestinian State, within the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as it capital. Jordan also called upon Israel to stop building illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

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NADYA RASHEED, observer for the State of Palestine, said Israel had deliberately ignored the universally recognized International Bill of Human Rights, as well as all aspects of international and humanitarian law, for more than four decades. The obvious manifestation of that was its construction of settlements and related infrastructure in Occupied Palestine. Although the international community was united in its view that the settlements were illegal and posed a serious obstacle to the realization of peace, Israel continued to carry out its colonial expansionist measures, she said, identifying the illegal settlements as settler colonialism. It was rooted in racism and racial discrimination since it negated the most basic rights of the indigenous people, their national rights and even their very existence. “Speaking of peace while engaging in its destruction makes a mockery of the international community’s support for the two-State solution and diminishes the viability of two States, obstructing a real peace agreement from materializing,” she stressed. Welcoming the General Assembly’s decision to accord Palestine non-member observer State status in the United Nations, she called upon the international community to undertake more serious, practical measures to compel Israel to halt its illegal settlement activities and all other unlawful polices in Occupied Palestine.

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Right of Reply

The representative of Israel, speaking in exercise of the right of reply, said the history of the Middle East showed that peace could not be negotiated from the outside, and that only the countries involved needed to sit at the peace table. Israel’s peace talks with Jordan and Egypt had resulted in positive and peaceful agreements, he noted. Ongoing negotiations with the Palestinians had produced positive results thus far, he said, reiterating his country’s readiness and ability to make the difficult concessions it was required to make. Only the two parties involved could find the right way to create two States living next to each other, he said, underlining his Government’s willingness to recognize Palestinian aspirations, but calling upon Palestine to recognize Israel.

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The observer for the State of Palestine said it was convenient for Israel not to admit that it was an occupying Power, but despite Palestine’s aspirations for peace, the occupation existed and inflicted suffering on millions of people. “The right to self-determination belongs to all, and doesn’t come after negotiations,” she emphasized, asking how genuine the peace talks could be when the reality on the ground showed the theft of Palestinian territory, indiscriminate arrest and detention, displacement of families, and the imprisonment of more than 1.7 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. By claiming to make genuine peace policies and to support Palestinian aspirations, Israel was making a mockery of the United Nations, she stressed.

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The representative of Israel called for an end to the “blame-game”. Recalling the 2001 United Nations resolution on the right to self-determination, he pointed out that throughout the 20 years from 1947 to 1967, when the territory had been under Arab control, no attempt had been made to establish a Palestinian State. Only now was a serious attempt being made to address that issue, he added.

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