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Répercussions économiques et sociales de l’occupation israélienne sur les conditions de vie du peuple palestinien dans le territoire palestinien occupé - Réunion de conseil économique et social - Communiqué de presse (extraits) Français
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Source: Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
26 July 2012


Economic and Social Council
ECOSOC/6544

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

Economic and Social Council
2012 Substantive Session
46th & 47th Meetings (AM & PM)


ON PENULTIMATE DAY OF SUBSTANTIVE SESSION, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ADOPTS

TEXTX ON SOCIAL, HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES SUBMITTED BY SUBSIDIARY BODIES

Adopts by Recorded Votes Texts on Socioeconomic Impact of Israeli Occupation
On Palestinian Territory; United Nations Support to Non-Self-Governing Territories

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Background

The Economic and Social Council continued its general segment today, with discussion and action expected on a host of issues forwarded to it by its subsidiary bodies in their periodic reports.

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The Council was expected to act on a draft resolution entitled “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan” (document E/2012/L.21).


Action on Texts

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Next, the Council took note of the Secretary-General’s report on “Assistance to the Palestinian people”.

Following that, the Council turned to a draft resolution on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan (document E/2012/L.21).

Prior to action on that text, the representative of Algeria sought to include Palestine as a co-sponsor of the draft resolution as it was a member of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China. The Council took note of the request.

Speaking in explanation of position before action, the delegate of the United States said her Government could not support the resolution, which was “one-sided” and “biased” and included numerous “deficiencies”. Further, the text failed to take a constructive approach. The United States sought a just, lasting, peaceful solution to the matter and it was important to measure action based on whether it would advance the welfare of the Palestinian people, particularly children.

There was a need to create an environment conducive to renewed peace talks, rather than to take a step to further undermine the process. She went on to describe how the United States had supported Palestinian people through financial contributions and other measures. She expressed disappointment at the Council’s insistence on pursuing one-sided measures and said that future energy should not be wasted. As a friend to both parties, her delegation had no choice but to vote against the resolution.

The resolution was then adopted by a recorded vote of 45 in favour to 2 against ( Canada, United States), with 3 abstentions ( Australia, Cameroon, El Salvador).

By its terms, the Council expressed “grave concern” at Israel’s accelerated settlement construction and implementation of related measures in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It was further gravely concerned at the serious repercussions on the economic and social conditions of Palestinians caused by Israel’s building of the separation wall and its associated regime, as well as the resulting violation of Palestinians’ economic and social rights to work, health, property and adequate living standards. The Council demanded that Israel comply with the 1994 Protocol on Economic Relations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. It also emphasized the importance of United Nations agencies in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

Speaking after the vote, Australia’s delegate said his Government had moved from a negative vote on the text to an abstention this year, as it recognized the adverse effects of the impasse in peace negotiations on the well-being of the Palestinian people. Australia supported the development of Palestinian institutions and recognized the serious humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories, especially Gaza. It supported Palestinians’ right to self-determination and shared concerns about the expansion of Israeli settlements, having consistently spoken out against them.

Australia also was conscious of the need to recognize and address Israel’s security concerns, he said, noting that Israel had suffered from rocket attacks and that weapons were being smuggled through Gaza. Those actions must stop. The text did not adequately recognize those concerns. Australia would continue to support a negotiated two-State solution and urged both sides to resume direct negotiations as a matter of urgency.

Speaking on behalf of the European Union, Ireland’s delegate commended the flexibility shown by the Palestinian delegation. At same time, political aspects of the problem were best addressed in the General Assembly. The European Union supported a two-State solution and an independent Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security, and mutual recognition. Recognizing Israel’s security needs, he called for opening the crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid and other goods to and from Gaza.

Mexico’s delegate reiterated her Government’s deep concern at the Israeli occupation and joined the international call for immediate renewal of the peace process between the two sides. That could be achieved only through direct negotiations. She called on the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East peace process to re-establish direct negotiations.

Canada’s delegate said his Government had long been concerned at imbalanced resolutions on the Middle East that singled out Israel. He had voted against the current text, reflecting Canada’s opposition to the unbalanced nature of the process.

Algeria’s delegate thanked all delegations that had voted in favour of the text.

The observer for Palestine said the Council’s support for Palestinians and other Arab populations under Israeli occupation had come at a crucial stage, when the world was witnessing an escalation of Israel’s illegal policies and practices, and its contempt for the rule of law. Adherence to principles such as those outlined in the text just adopted would help alleviate grave inequities imposed on Palestinians for years.

That resolve had helped Palestinians reserve hope for a two-State solution, she said, despite, among other things, Israel’s illegal settlement campaign throughout the occupied territories. It was imperative that the international community demand the cessation of the illegal Israeli campaign and that Israel respect Palestinian rights and abide fully by its international law obligations, including the Fourth Geneva Convention. She reaffirmed Palestinians’ gratitude for the overwhelming support for today’s text, which provided a glimpse into the tragedy inflicted on Palestinians by Israel.

Speaking next, Israel’s delegate said she was disappointed that the Council had again been “exploited”. Each year, it convened to discuss global economic and social issues, but Israel was the only country singled out for biased treatment. That seriously undermined the organization’s credibility. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had reported Gaza’s per capital gross domestic product had grown in 2011. Gaza’s unemployment also had dropped to the lowest point in 10 years. “There is a crisis in Gaza”, she said, explaining that it was the rule of Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization that attacked crossings used to carry humanitarian aid only to later complain about shortages and delays. Hamas also terrorized the Israeli people, and more that 200 rockets had been fired into Israel in the last two months alone. Even amid rocket fire, Israel had ensured that humanitarian aid was reaching Gazans.

She wondered how many other Governments provided aid to areas from which their citizens were being attacked. A thriving Palestinian economy was in Israel’s interests, yet the resolution ignored Israel’s efforts to assist Palestinians. In fact, economic growth in the West Bank had accelerated and, if the resolution genuinely sought balance or accuracy, it would mention such shared concerns. Joint working groups and capacity-building programmes on agriculture and women’s empowerment, among other issues, could move forward more effectively if Palestinians cooperated more with Israel or lived up to bilateral agreements. She called for direct negotiations. The sponsors sought only to “demonize” Israel. States that had voted in favour did not serve the interests of Palestinians or broader peace in the Middle East. She strongly objected to the agenda item and the resolution.

Responding to Israel’s comments, the observer for Palestine said Israel persisted in distorting the context of the occupation. Israel was the only occupying Power in the world today. When it ended its occupation, the resolutions would cease.

The Council then took note of the Secretary-General’s note containing a report of on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan (document A/67/91-E/2012/13).

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For information media • not an official record

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