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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/57/PV.77
18 December 2002

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-seventh session
77th plenary meeting
Wednesday, 18 December 2002, 10 a.m.
New York

President:Mr. Kavan ...............(Czech Republic)

In the absence of the President, Mr. Pfanzelter (Austria), Vice-President, took the Chair.

The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.

/...

Agenda item 105

Promotion and protection of the rights of children

Report of the Third Committee (A/57/552)

The Acting President : The Assembly will now take a decision on the three draft resolutions recommended by the Third Committee in paragraph 25 of the report and on the draft decision recommended by the Committee in paragraph 26 of the same report.

We now turn to draft resolution I, entitled “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian children”.

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Yugoslavia.

Draft resolution I was adopted by 108 votes to 5, with 60 abstentions (resolution 57/188).

/...

Agenda item 108

Right of peoples to self-determination

Report of the Third Committee (A/57/555)

The Acting President: The Assembly will now take a decision on the three draft resolutions recommended by the Third Committee in paragraph 19 of its report.

/...

The Acting President: Draft resolution III is entitled “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination”.

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Micronesia (Federated States of), Tonga, Vanuatu.

Draft resolution III was adopted by 172 votes to 4, with 3 abstentions (resolution 57/198).

The Acting President: I call on the observer of Palestine.

Mr. Al-Kidwa (Palestine): At this time, I would like to take the opportunity to say a few words on the issue of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, particularly as my delegation did not do so after the vote on the draft resolution related to that issue in the Third Committee. However, before doing so, I wish to express our thanks and appreciation to all those who voted in favour of the resolution entitled “The situation of and assistance to Palestinian children”. We maintain the hope that those who abstained on that important and timely resolution will join the majority on this critical issue in the future as long as the conditions of Palestinian children continue to warrant such a resolution.

We are pleased with and very proud of the results of the vote on the resolution entitled “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” , as well as with the impressive number of sponsors of that resolution. The right to self-determination remains a central issue for our people, and the continuous reaffirmation of that right by the international community — such as its support for the resolution — is essential until the actual realization of that right.

Nevertheless, it is imperative that we express our deep concern at the negative vote cast by Israel on the resolution. Such a vote serves only as additional proof that the Israeli Government indeed rejects a real peace settlement based on the existence of two States, Israel and Palestine. Even worse, the vote is inconsistent with the mutual recognition achieved at the beginning of the Oslo peace process between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Reneging by one side on that mutual recognition not only is dangerous and tragic but, if established, would lead to the recognition’s nullification, not only by one side but in its entirety.

The vote by the delegation of the United States is also very disappointing and unfortunate. That is particularly so in the light of the special responsibilities of the United States and the role that it plays in international politics, including in the Middle East. In fact, it is impossible to reconcile statements made by the President of the United States concerning his vision of a region with two States, Israel and Palestine, on the one hand, and the negative vote by the United States on this resolution, on the other. Indeed, it is extremely difficult for the Palestinian people — and, I would imagine, even for the Israeli people — to take such a position and vision seriously while, at the same time, witnessing a negative vote by the United States on such a resolution.

If we are to achieve peace in the Middle East, we need a solution that recognizes and guarantees the basic and national rights of both peoples. The recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to an independent State of Palestine, is the first step in that direction. It is our hope that we will see a unanimous vote on this resolution next year.

The Acting President: May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to conclude its consideration of agenda item 108?

It was so decided.

/...

The meeting rose at 12.55 p.m.

This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.



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