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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.4/67/SR.23
30 January 2013

Original: English

Sixty-seventh session
Official Records




Special Political and Decolonization Committee
(Fourth Committee)

Summary record of the 23rd meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Thursday, 15 November 2012, at 10 a.m.

Chair: Mr. Messone ................................................... (Gabon)



Contents

Agenda item 52: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (continued)

Agenda item 53: Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (
continued)

/...




Agenda item 52: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (continued) (A/C.4/67/L.10-L.13)

Agenda item 53: Report of the Special Committee
to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs
of the Occupied Territories
(continued) (A/C.4/67/L.14-L.18)

1. The Chair invited the Committee to consider the draft resolutions submitted under agenda items 52 and 53, noting that they had no programme budget implications.

2. Mr. Khan (Indonesia), introducing the four draft resolutions under agenda item 52 (A/C.4/67/L.10-L.13), said that the texts reflected the strong support of the international community for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and for its mandate. He expressed the hope that they would receive overwhelming support in the Committee.

3. Mr. León González (Cuba), introducing the five draft resolutions under agenda item 53 (A/C.4/67/L.14-L.18), said that the human rights situation of the civilian populations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the occupied Syrian Golan remained critical as a result of Israel’s violations of human rights and international law. The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, still required the attention of the international community, especially in view of Israel’s illegal settlement campaign. Tensions had increased, jeopardizing the possibility of achieving a two-State solution based on pre-1967 borders. The Gaza Strip was also a matter of concern. He called on the members of the Committee to support the draft resolutions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.10: Assistance to Palestine refugees

4. Ms. Herity (Secretary of the Committee) announced that Albania, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Croatia, France, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland had joined the sponsors of the draft resolution.

5. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Against:
Abstaining:
6. Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.10 was adopted by 165 votes to 1, with 6 abstentions 1




Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.11: Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities

7. Ms. Herity (Secretary of the Committee) announced that Brunei Darussalam and Senegal had joined the sponsors of the draft resolution.

8. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Against: Abstaining:
9. Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.11 was adopted by 163 votes to 6, with 4 abstentions 2


Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.12: Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

10. Ms. Herity (Secretary of the Committee) announced that Brunei Darussalam and Senegal had joined the sponsors of the draft resolution.

11. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Against:
Abstaining:
12. Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.12 was adopted by 166 votes to 6, with 1 abstention 3



Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.13: Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues

13. Ms. Herity (Secretary of the Committee) announced that Albania, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Croatia, France, Latvia, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland had joined the sponsors of the draft resolution.

14. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Against:
Abstaining:
15. Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.13 was adopted by 164 votes to 6, with 2 abstentions 4


16. Mr. Hamed (Syrian Arab Republic) said that, as in previous years, his country had strongly supported all the draft resolutions submitted under agenda item 52 owing to the important role that UNRWA played in his country, as well as in Jordan, Lebanon and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. With regard to the deep concern expressed at the situation of Palestine refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic, he said that his country also deeply regretted the casualties among Palestine refugees and UNRWA staff. Without the measures taken by specialized agencies in the Syrian Arab Republic to protect the refugees and staff from armed terrorists, the number of those casualties would have been greater. The Syrian Arab Republic hosted over half a million Palestine refugees and would spare no efforts to protect them and help them lead a dignified life until their return to Palestine.

17. Ms. Arbell (Israel) reiterated her country’s support for the humanitarian aspects of the work carried out by UNRWA. Israel would continue do its utmost to continue that support while maintaining its own security. However, Israel had been obliged to vote against the draft resolutions submitted under agenda item 52 as they were clearly politically driven and did not reflect her country’s close cooperation with the Agency. The Agency’s mandate was designed to perpetuate the Palestinian refugees’ suffering rather than help them lead prosperous and productive lives. The draft resolutions had once again failed to mention the security threats to Israel or the problems that UNRWA faced in Gaza owing to the Hamas reign of terror and the attacks on civilians, including Palestinian refugees, in the Syrian Arab Republic. One-sided resolutions that ignored the culpability of any entity other than Israel served no purpose other than scoring cheap political points at Israel’s expense.

18. Mr. Hamed (Syrian Arab Republic) said that the representative of Israel had tried to distract the Committee’s attention from the Agency’s important work with false allegations. It was ironic that Israel should express concern at the plight of Palestine refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic, when Israel had been responsible for their expulsion from their homeland by violent means over many decades. Israel must stop challenging the unprecedented international consensus in favour of resolutions that condemned it and demanded that it guarantee the return of Palestine refugees to their country. The inhumane siege of Gaza had not satisfied Israel’s hatred of Palestinians but it had attacked the population and killed hundreds of civilians, including women, children and elderly people. By voicing concern at the conditions of Palestine refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic, the representative of Israel undermined the Committee’s work.

Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.14: Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

19. Ms. Herity (Secretary of the Committee) announced that Brunei Darussalam and Senegal had joined the sponsors of the draft resolution.

The meeting was suspended at 11.10 a.m. and resumed at 11.50 a.m.

20. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Against:
Abstaining:
21. Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.14 was adopted by 91 votes to 8, with 71 abstentions.5


Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.15: Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories

22. Ms. Herity (Secretary of the Committee) announced that Brunei Darussalam and Senegal had joined the sponsors of the draft resolution.

23. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Against:
Abstaining:
24. Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.15 was adopted by 163 votes to 6, with 4 abstentions 6

Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.16: Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan

25. Ms. Herity (Secretary of the Committee) announced that Brunei Darussalam and Senegal had joined the sponsors of the draft resolution.

26. Mr. Aquino (Peru), speaking in explanation of vote before the voting, said that Peru would vote in favour of draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.16. In keeping with its consistent position, Peru was in favour of a two-State solution that would guarantee for both parties the right to live in peace within secure and recognized borders and free from threats or acts of force. Peru held the view that the Israeli settlements were illegal, and joined the international call for the peace process to be resumed immediately on the basis of full compliance by all parties with their obligations under previous agreements, especially the Quartet road map, and under international law, including the resolutions adopted in the framework of the United Nations.

27. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Against:
Abstaining:
28. Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.16 was adopted by 163 votes to 6, with 6 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.17: Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

29. Ms. Herity (Secretary of the Committee) announced that Brunei Darussalam and Senegal had joined the sponsors of the draft resolution.

30. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Against:
Abstaining:
31. Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.17 was adopted by 160 votes to 8, with 6 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.18: The occupied Syrian Golan

32. Ms. Herity (Secretary of the Committee) announced that Belarus, Brunei Darussalam and Senegal had joined the sponsors of the draft resolution.

33. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:
Against:
Abstaining:
34. Draft resolution A/C.4/67/L.18 was adopted by 161 votes to 2, with 13 abstentions.

35. Ms. Ventura (Canada) said that her Government supported a two-State solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict, a solution which should be reached through a negotiated settlement between the parties that would guarantee Israel’s right to live in peace and security with its neighbours and lead to the creation of a viable and independent Palestinian State. The Quartet statement of 23 September 2011 provided a good basis on which to move forward.

36. On the issue of both parties having a positive role to play in a lasting peace, Canada had long been concerned by the sheer number of United Nations resolutions critical solely of Israel. No other conflict in the world had absorbed so much time and energy on the part of Member States, even though there were many other longstanding conflicts. The draft resolutions before the Committee did not address the complexities of the issues or the actions and responsibilities of all parties concerned. As a package, they were one-sided and unbalanced, made no reference to terrorist activities carried out by Hamas and others against Israel, and were thus ultimately unhelpful to the cause of a lasting negotiated peace. There were important elements in the draft resolutions that needed to be discussed, but they were drowned out by their unbalanced nature.

37. Mr. Sahraei (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that his delegation had voted in favour of draft resolutions A/C.4/67/L.14-L.18 to show its solidarity with the Palestinian people and stress the importance of international recognition of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to defend themselves from foreign occupation and aggression. Owing to lack of attention to the root causes of the Palestinian crisis, it had remained unresolved for more than six decades, and the illegal occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories by the Israeli regime had continued, as had the persistent violations of the rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination and the right of the Palestine refugees to return to their homeland. His delegation believed that lasting peace could be achieved only through an end to discrimination and to the occupation of all Palestinian territories, the return of all Palestinian refugees to their homeland and the establishment of a democratic Palestinian State with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

38. Ms. Abdelhady-Nasser (Observer for Palestine) thanked all the delegations that had voted in favour of the draft resolutions introduced under agenda items 52 and 53. They had reaffirmed the human rights of the Palestinian people, including the Palestine refugees, and the core principles of international law in the exercise of multilateral diplomacy. They had not scored cheap political points, as the representative of Israel had claimed.

39. Palestine was grateful for the international community’s commitment to UNRWA and, in particular, for the significant support of host nations and the donor community pending a just solution to the plight of Palestine refugees, on the basis of General Assembly resolution 194 (III).

40. The draft resolutions reaffirmed that the right of the Palestine refugees to return had not diminished over time and that the rule of law and international humanitarian law — and not the laws of brutality and power — should prevail. While reaffirming the Palestinian people’s rights, the adoption of the draft resolutions constituted a clear rejection of Israel’s human rights violations, including in the Gaza Strip, where another devastating Israeli onslaught was feared. Her delegation condemned all acts of violence against civilians and stressed the need to protect them in armed conflict. A clear message had been sent to Israel that its violations of international law would not be tolerated.

41, Those who truly supported the cause of peace must remain consistent in their demand for full compliance by Israel, the occupying Power, with all its obligations under international law. Rather than depriving the Palestinian people of their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination, and denying Palestine its freedom as an independent State with East Jerusalem as its capital, Israel must be held accountable to the Charter of the United Nations and the rule of international law.

42. Mr. Hamed (Syrian Arab Republic) said that the support for the draft resolutions adopted under agenda items 52 and 53 reflected the international community’s rejection of human rights violations and of occupation by force. The draft resolutions sent a clear message to Israel to end its occupation of all the occupied Arab territories and to cease its violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. In particular, the adoption by an overwhelming majority of Member States of the resolution on the occupied Syrian Golan (A/C.4/67/L.18) confirmed that Israel’s attempts to annex the occupied Syrian Golan, impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration, build and expand settlements and pursue racist practices against the Syrian people of the Golan, in violation of international law, were null and void and without international legal effect. Those measures recalled the darkest days of modern history when, at the beginning of the Second World War in Europe, a particular State had attacked and annexed parts of other countries.

43. The Israeli delegation had voted against the draft resolution on the occupied Syrian Golan and all the other draft resolutions just adopted. In so doing, it had unequivocally departed from the international consensus, in defiance of the United Nations and international law. He called on those few delegations that had abstained from voting on the draft resolution on the occupied Syrian Golan to join the international consensus and vote in favour when it went before the plenary Assembly. Any failure to condemn the Israeli occupation and annexation would send the wrong message to those who broke the law, suggesting that the law of the jungle had taken the place of international law and that law-breakers enjoyed impunity. He invited delegations that had voted against any of the draft resolutions to put themselves in the position of the Arab civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the occupied Syrian Golan for just one day in order to understand their terrible suffering.

/...


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