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Questions de désarmement, réfugiés, pratiques israéliennes - débat et action de l'AG - Communiqué de presse (extraits) Français
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8 December 2005

General Assembly
GA/10430

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



Sixtieth General Assembly
Plenary
61st & 62nd Meetings (AM & PM)


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS PROTOCOL EXPANDING LEGAL PROTECTION FOR WORKERS
PROVIDING EMERGENCY HUMANITARIAN AID, DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE
Approves Budgets for Democratic Republic of Congo , Sudan Missions;
Acts on Texts Recommended by Disarmament, Special Political Committees


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Background

The General Assembly met this morning to take action on the draft resolutions and decisions recommended by its First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) and Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), as well as several reports from its Fifth (Administrative and Budgetary) and Sixth (Legal) Committees.

First Committee

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A draft resolution on the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East (document A/60/460) would have the Assembly urge all parties directly concerned to consider seriously taking the practical and urgent steps required for the establishment of such a zone in the Middle East in accordance with the relevant General Assembly resolutions.  To promote that objective, the Assembly would invite those countries concerned not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or permit the stationing on their territories, or territories under their control, of nuclear weapons or nuclear-explosive devices.  It would also call upon countries of the region that had not done so, pending the establishment of the zone, to agree to place all their nuclear activities under IAEA safeguards.

By further terms, the Assembly would invite all countries of the region, pending the establishment of such a zone, to declare their support for it, and to deposit those declarations with the Security Council.  A related provision would have the Assembly invite nuclear-weapon States and all other States to assist in the zone’s establishment, and to refrain from any action that ran counter to both the letter and the spirit of the resolution.

The Committee approved the draft resolution on 24 October without a vote.

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A draft resolution on the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East (document A/60/466) would have the Assembly, noting that Israel remained the only State in the Middle East that was not a party to the NPT, would call on it to accede to the Treaty without further delay and not to develop, produce, test or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons, and to renounce possession of nuclear weapons, and to place all its unsafeguarded nuclear facilities under full-scope IAEA safeguards as an important confidence-building measure among all States of the region and as a step towards enhancing peace and security.

The Assembly would also welcome the conclusions on the Middle East of the 2000 NPT Review Conference.  It would ask the Secretary-General to report to the Assembly at its next session on implementation of the present text.

The Committee approved the draft resolution on 24 October by a vote of 149 in favour to 2 against ( Israel, United States), with 4 abstentions ( Australia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, India).

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Fourth Committee

Topics addressed in the reports include assistance in mine action (agenda item 27); the effects of atomic radiation (item 28); international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space (item 29); the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) (item 30); Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories (item 31); comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects (item 32); questions related to information (item 33); and revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (item 116).

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United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees

The Fourth Committee’s report on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) (document A/60/476) recommends that the Assembly adopt four draft resolutions and one draft decision.

By draft resolution I, on assistance to Palestine refugees, the General Assembly would note with regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in its resolution 194 (III) of December 1948 and subsequent resolutions, has not yet been effected and that the situation of the Palestine refugees continues to be a matter of grave concern.  The Assembly would also note with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine has been unable to find a means to achieve progress in implementing that same resolution, and would request the Commission to exert continued efforts in that regard.

Also by that text, the Assembly would affirm the need for the continuation of UNRWA’s work, and the importance of its operations and services for the well-being of the Palestine refugees and the region’s stability, pending resolution of the Palestine refugee question.  The Assembly would call upon all donors to continue to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the Agency’s anticipated needs, including those mentioned in recent emergency appeals.

By draft resolution II, on persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities, the Assembly would reaffirm the right of all those persons to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967.  Deeply concerned that the mechanism agreed upon by the parties (in the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements) for the return of displaced persons has not been complied with, the Assembly would stress the necessity of an accelerated return.

In the meantime, the Assembly would, by further terms, endorse the Commissioner-General’s efforts to provide humanitarian assistance on an emergency basis and as a temporary measure to persons in the area who are currently displaced and in serious need of continuing assistance.  It would strongly appeal to all Governments, organizations and individuals to contribute generously to UNRWA and other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.

Draft resolution III, on operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, would have the Assembly express its appreciation to the Commissioner-General and all Agency staff for their tireless efforts and valuable work.  The Assembly would call upon Israel to comply fully with the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention on protection of civilians in time of war, and urge the Government of Israel to speedily compensate the Agency for damage to its property.  It would also call upon Israel to cease obstructing the movement of UNRWA personnel, vehicles and supplies, and to cease the levying of extra fees and charges.

By other terms, the Assembly would call upon Israel to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the United Nations Charter, and by the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, in order to ensure the safety of UNRWA personnel, the protection of its institutions and the security of its facilities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Affirming that UNRWA’s functioning remains essential in all fields of operation, the Assembly would note the success of the Agency’s microfinance and microenterprise programmes, and call upon the Agency, in close cooperation with the relevant agencies, to continue to contribute towards the development of the economic and social stability of the Palestine refugees in all fields of operation.

By draft resolution IV, on Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues, the Assembly would reaffirm that the refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of equity and justice.  The Assembly would request the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps, in consultation with the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, for the protection of Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel, and call, once again, on Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General in implementing the present resolution.

Further by that text, the Assembly would call upon all the parties concerned to provide the Secretary-General with any pertinent information in their possession concerning Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel that would assist him in implementing the present resolution.  It would urge the Palestinian and Israeli sides to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and revenues in the framework of the final status negotiations of the Middle East peace process.

By a draft decision on the increase in the membership of the Advisory Commission on UNRWA, the Assembly would decide to invite Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland, whose contributions to UNRWA activities have exceeded an annual average of $5 million over the past three years, to become members of that body.  It would also invite the European Community to attend the Commission’s meetings, whereas Palestine and the League of Arab States would be invited to attend the meetings as observers.

Israeli Practices in Occupied Arab Territories

The Fourth Committee’s report on its consideration of the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (document A/60/477) recommends to the Assembly the adoption of five draft resolutions.

By draft resolution I, on the work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices, the Assembly would deplore those policies and practices that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories.  It would express grave concern about the continuing crisis situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000, as a result of Israeli practices and measures, and especially condemn all Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the separation wall, as well as the excessive and indiscriminate use of force against the civilian population, including extrajudicial executions.

The Assembly would, by further terms, request the Special Committee, pending complete termination of the Israeli occupation, to continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, especially Israeli violations of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949.  It would further request the Special Committee to continue to investigate the treatment of prisoners and detainees in those occupied territories.

Draft resolution II, on the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, would have the Assembly reaffirm that the Convention is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, and demand that Israel comply scrupulously with its provisions.  It would call upon all High Contracting Parties to the Convention to continue to exert all efforts to ensure respect for its provisions by Israel in the occupied territories.

By draft resolution III, on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, the Assembly would reaffirm that those settlements are illegal, and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development.

In addition, the Assembly would welcome the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and parts of the northern West Bank, and the dismantlement of the settlements therein as a step towards the implementation of the “Road Map”.  In that regard, it would call upon Israel to comply strictly with its obligations under international law with respect to the alteration of the character and status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.  It would emphasize the need for the parties to speedily resolve all remaining issues in the Gaza Strip, including the removal of rubble.

Further by that text, the Assembly would reiterate its demand for the complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and call for the full implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions.  It would also demand that Israel comply with its legal obligations under international law, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice.  The Assembly would reiterate its calls for the prevention of all acts of violence by Israeli settlers.

The Assembly also had before it draft resolution IV regarding Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.  By its terms, the Assembly would reiterate that all measures and actions taken by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in wartime, and contrary to the relevant Security Council resolutions, are illegal and have no validity.  The Assembly would demand that Israel cease immediately all measures and actions taken in violation and in grave breach of the Convention, including the construction of the separation wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, as well as extrajudicial executions.

The Assembly would, by other terms, demand that Israel cease all practices and actions that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and that it scrupulously abide by its obligations under human rights law.  It would also demand that Israel comply with its legal obligations as mentioned in the advisory opinion of 9 July 2004 rendered by the International Court of Justice and as demanded in resolution ES-10/15 of 20 July 2004, by, among other actions, dismantling the wall and making reparation for all damage caused by its construction.

Other provisions of the text would have the Assembly condemn all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, especially the excessive and indiscriminate use of force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians, and express grave concern at the use of suicide bombing attacks against Israeli civilians.

By draft resolution V, on the occupied Syrian Golan, the Assembly would call upon Israel to comply with the relevant resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan, in particular Security Council resolution 497 (1981), by which the Council decided that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void and without international legal effect, and demand that Israel rescind its decision.

The Assembly would also call upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, and to desist from the establishment of settlements.  It would further call upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan and from its repressive measures against the population.

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Action on First Committee Texts

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Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted the resolution contained in the report on establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the region of the Middle East (document A/60/460).

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Next, the Assembly turned to the draft resolution contained in report A/60/466 on the risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.  It took a separate recorded vote on preambular paragraph 6, deciding to retain it by 162 in favour to 2 against ( India, Israel), with 6 abstentions ( Bhutan, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Pakistan, United States) (Annex XXXII).

It adopted the draft as a whole by a vote of 164 in favour to 5 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 5 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, India, Tonga) (Annex XXXIII).

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Action on Fourth Committee Texts

MUHAMMAD SHAHRUL NIZZAM UMAR (Brunei Darussalam), Rapporteur of the Fourth Committee, introduced that body’s reports, saying the Committee had held in-depth interactive dialogue sessions with the Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information on the item “Questions relating to information”, and with the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations on the item “Comprehensive review of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects”.  The Committee had also benefited from the interactive dialogue session with the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).  That format had allowed for the active participation of delegations in the Committee’s deliberations and it should be improved in the future.

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Turning to the four draft resolutions contained in the Fourth Committee’s report on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (document A/59/476), it adopted draft resolution I, on “Assistance to Palestine refugees”, by a recorded vote of 161 in favour to 1 against ( Israel), with 11 abstentions (Annex XXXV).

It then adopted draft resolution II, “Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities”, by a recorded vote of 161 in favour to 6 against (Grenada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 5 abstentions (Albania, Dominican Republic, Tuvalu, Uganda, Vanuatu) (Annex XXXVI).

Taking up draft resolution III, “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East”, the Assembly adopted it by a recorded 159 votes in favour to 6 against (Grenada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 3 abstentions (Albania, Cameroon, Uganda) (Annex XXXVII).

By a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 6 against (Israel, Grenada, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 3 abstentions (Albania, Cameroon, Uganda), the Assembly then adopted draft resolution IV, “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” (Annex XXXVIII).

Acting by consensus, the Assembly then adopted the draft decision on expansion of the Advisory Commission on UNRWA.

The Assembly then took up the Fourth Committee’s report on the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (document A/60/477), adopting draft resolution I, “Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories”, by a recorded vote of 86 in favour to 10 against (Australia, Canada, Grenada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, United States), with 74 abstentions (Annex XXXIX).

Taking up draft resolution II, “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”, the Assembly then adopted it by a recorded vote of 158 in favour to 6 against (Grenada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Albania, Australia, Cameroon, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Haiti, Uganda) (Annex XL).

The Assembly then took up draft resolution III, “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan”, adopting that text by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Grenada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 10 abstentions (Albania, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga) (Annex XLI).

Taking up draft resolution IV, “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, the Assembly adopted that text by a recorded a vote of 148 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Grenada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 17 abstentions (Annex XLII).

By a recorded vote of 156 in favour to against 1 ( Israel), with 15 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted draft resolution V, “The occupied Syrian Golan” (Annex XLIII).

Explanation of Vote

HOSSEIN MALEKI (Iran), speaking in explanation of position after the vote, said he had joined others in voting for the text in hopes of easing the plight of the Palestinian people, which was caused by the occupying Israeli regime.  Their situation could be resolved through justice, an end to discrimination, an end to the occupation of all Palestinian territories, the return of refugees and the establishment of a democratic Palestinian State, with Al Quds Al Sharif as its capital.

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