Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

L'Assemblée générale adopte résolutions sur l'UNRWA et les pratiques israéliennes dans le TPO – Vote de l’AG (Séance plénière) – Communiqué de presse (extraits) Français
Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter

Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
General Assembly
11 December 2013


General Assembly
GA/11469

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

Sixty-eighth General Assembly
Plenary
65th Meeting (AM)

GENERAL ASSEMBLY, TAKING UP REPORTS OF FOURTH COMMITTEE, ADOPTS NEW RESOLUTION

ON SPECIAL POLITICAL MISSIONS, TEXTS ON OUTER SPACE, PALESTINE REFUGEES

Draft on Global Public Health, Foreign Policy
Calls for Accelerated Transition towards Universal Health Coverage

A mix of consensus and recorded votes characterized the General Assembly’s consideration today of Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) drafts, which culminated in the adoption of 29 resolutions and decisions, including a new one on special political missions and a range of texts on, among others, the Palestine refugee agency, effects of atomic radiation, and national legislation relevant to the peaceful exploration and use of outer space.

The resolution on special political missions, under consideration for the first time, gathered universal support with the Assembly acknowledging the significant increase in the missions’ number and complexity and requesting the Secretary-General to hold regular, inclusive and interactive dialogue on the overall policy matters pertaining to them.

Traditional texts on the Middle East required recorded votes, including the resolution on the work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices affecting the Human Rights of the People of the Occupied Arab Territories. By a vote of 95 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, Panama, United States), with 75 abstentions, the Assembly deplored those policies and practices of Israel that violated the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories and expressed grave concern about the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, especially in Gaza.

According to the terms of a related text, adopted by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, Panama, United States), with 8 abstentions (Cameroon, Honduras, Kiribati, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Vanuatu), the Assembly condemned all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, especially the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, particularly in the Gaza Strip, while at the same time, expressed grave concern at the firing of rockets against Israeli civilian areas resulting in loss of life and injury.

Also requiring votes were draft resolutions on the applicability of the Geneva Convention; occupied Syrian Golan; and on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, as well as the raft of resolutions on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

The Assembly, deeply concerned about UNRWA’s extremely critical financial situation, urged all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to urgently increase their contributions. It called on Israel to cease obstructing the movement and access of Agency staff, vehicles and supplies and encouraged the Agency to provide increased assistance to affected Palestine refugees in Syria, as well as those who had fled to neighbouring countries.

It was adopted by a recorded vote of 170 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 6 abstentions (Cameroon, Kiribati, Malawi, Paraguay, South Sudan, Vanuatu).

Related resolutions also requiring recorded votes were on assistance to Palestine refugees; persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities; and Palestine refugees’ properties and revenues.

/...


Background

The General Assembly met this morning to take action on draft resolutions and decisions contained in the reports of its Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization). It was also expected to consider an item on global health and foreign policy.

Consideration of Fourth Committee Reports

First, a member of the Secretariat reminded delegations that according to paragraph 7 of decision 34/401, the Assembly agreed that “when the same draft resolution is considered in a Main Committee and in plenary meeting, a delegation should, as far as possible, explain its vote only once, that is, either in the Committee or in plenary meeting, unless that delegation’s vote in plenary meeting is different from its vote in the Committee.”

MICHAL KOMADA ( Slovakia), Rapporteur of the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), introduced the following reports and the draft texts contained therein in one intervention.

Action on Texts

/...

Moving forward on its work, the Assembly next considered the document A/68/424, which contained four resolutions.

Draft I, on assistance to Palestine refugees (document A/C.4/68/L.12), was adopted by a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 1 against ( Israel), with 8 abstentions ( Cameroon, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Paraguay, South Sudan, United States). Amongits terms, the Assembly called on all donors to strengthen their efforts to meet the Agency’s anticipated needs, including increased expenditures arising from the serious socioeconomic and humanitarian instability in the region.

The Assembly next adopted Draft II on persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities (document A/C/68/L.13) by a recorded vote of 170 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Palau, Marshall Islands, United States), with 6 abstentions (Cameroon, Kiribati, Panama, Paraguay, South Sudan, Vanuatu), thereby endorsing the recommendations of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which encouraged continuing humanitarian assistance on an emergency basis and as a temporary measure to currently displaced persons and those in serious need of aid as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities in the occupied territories. It also reaffirmed their right of return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967.

Next, by a recorded vote of 170 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 6 abstentions (Cameroon, Kiribati, Malawi, Paraguay, South Sudan, Vanuatu), the Assembly adopted Draft III on UNRWA’s Operations (document A/C.4/68/L.14), by which it called on Israel to cease its restrictions on the Agency’s staff and vehicles and its movement of supplies across the occupied territories. It demanded that Israel desist from levying taxes, extra fees and charges on the Agency, which detrimentally affected its work. Among its other provisions, it urged all United Nations Member States, its specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to urgently increase their contributions to UNRWA in order to address its persistent and serious underfunding.

Draft IV on Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues (document A/C.4/68/L.15) was adopted by a recorded vote of 172 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 5 abstentions (Cameroon, Kiribati, Paraguay, South Sudan, Vanuatu). By that text, the Assembly urged the Palestinian and Israeli sides, as agreed between them, to deal with that important issue within the framework of the final status negotiations of the Middle East peace process.

The Assembly then turned to the five resolutions contained in its report A/68/425. It first considered Draft I (document A/C.4/68/L.16) on the work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories, which it adopted by a recorded vote of 95 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, Panama, United States), with 75 abstentions.

Among its terms, the Assembly requested the Special Committee to continue its effort to investigate Israeli violations of the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 pertaining to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967.

Next, the Assembly took up Draft II on the 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 (document A/C.4/68/L.17), adopting it by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Vanuatu).

Under that resolution, the Assembly demanded Israel accept the de jure requirements of — and scrupulously comply with — the provisions of the 1949 Geneva Convention. It also issued a call upon all parties to that Convention make every effort to ensure Israel respect the provisions set forth within the agreement.

Moving forward, the Assembly took up Draft III on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan (document A/C.4/68.L.18), adopting it by a recorded vote of 167 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 9 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Honduras, Kiribati, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Vanuatu).

By its terms, the Assembly reiterated its demand for the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in all of the occupied territories. Furthermore, it called for the prevention of all acts of violence, destruction, harassment and provocation by Israeli settlers, as they pertained to Palestinian civilians and their properties, including historic and religious sites.

The Assembly then adopted Draft Resolution IV regarding Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem (document A/C.4/68/L.19) by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, Panama, United States), with 8 abstentions (Cameroon, Honduras, Kiribati, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, South Sudan, Vanuatu). By so doing, the Assembly called on Israel to cease construction of its wall, dismantle it and make reparation for all the physical and economic damage it had caused. The resolution further required Israel to halt its prolonged closures, as well as economic and movement restrictions on the Gaza Strip, followed by the sustained and regular movement of persons and goods for the area’s long overdue reconstruction.

Draft Resolution V on the occupied Syrian Golan (document A/C.4/68/L.20), adopted by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 12 abstentions, had the Assembly call on Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with Security Council resolution 497 (1981), which declared that Israel’s imposition of its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan were null, void and without international legal effect. The Assembly also required Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship, Israeli identity cards and other repressive measures on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan.

/...
* *** *

For information media • not an official record


Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter