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        Security Council
S/PV.4589 (Resumption 1)
25 August 2002

Security Council
Fifty-seventh year
4589 th meeting
Thursday, 25 July 2002, 3 p.m.
New York

President:Sir Jeremy Greenstock (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
Members:Bulgaria Mr. Tafrov
Cameroon Mr. Chungong
China Mr. Wang Yingfan
Colombia Mr. Franco
France Mr. Doutriaux
Guinea Mr. Boubacar Diallo
Ireland Ms. Murnaghan
Mauritius Mrs. Huree-Agarwal
Mexico Mr. Aguilar Zinser
Norway Mr. Kolby
Russian Federation Mr. Karev
Singapore Mr. Mahbubani
Syrian Arab Republic Mr. Mekdad
United States of America Mr. Rosenblatt


Women, peace and security.

The meeting was resumed at 3 p.m.


Mr. Negroponte (United States): ...

It is clear that in any conflict, women on both sides are vulnerable. It is regrettable that my Syrian colleague has again used the Security Council to raise the impact of the conflict in the Middle East on Palestinian women, without acknowledging the impact of that conflict —in particular, dozens of homicide bombings that have taken place in the past year — on the women of Israel. As I said last night, we must be mindful of the responsibility of each and every United Nations Member State to cease providing safe haven for Palestinian groups that finance, plan, support or commit terrorist acts.


Mr. Mekdad (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic ): Allow me to express our great satisfaction at the manner in which you have presided over this meeting, as well as for the final remarks you just made and the accurate summation you gave of this meeting’s deliberations, a meeting we described as very important at the very beginning of our first statement.

I should like to comment briefly on the statement made by Ambassador Negroponte with regard to my statement this morning, in which I took up the suffering of Syrian and Palestinian women under Israeli occupation. The entire world — and in particular people who have suffered occupation — is familiar with the suffering of women, especially under occupation. We have always hoped that armed women would not participate with the Israeli Defence Forces in acts of repression against Arab women under occupation. Nevertheless, I should like to stress that there can be no comparison between an occupying Power and a people languishing under occupation, enduring occupation and fighting to rid itself of occupation.

The entire world knows that Syria — for well-known historical and geographic reasons and because of the expulsion of large numbers of Palestinians — has had to host many Palestinian refugees since 1948. Those Palestinian refugees, like all other human beings in the world, have the right to express their views, to have their own aspirations and to return to the land where they once lived but from which they were expelled. I believe that is clearly stated in United Nations resolutions. We in Syria have stressed, and we now reiterate, that the groups in Syria are not armed. There are information officers in Syria, not training camps. There are camps of refugees who have been uprooted from their land by Israel and whose return Israel refuses to allow, as it refuses to comply with General Assembly resolution 194 (III).

With regard to the implementation of resolution 1373 (2001) and the responsibility of States — in particular Security Council members — you know full well, Mr. President, as Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, that Syria was one of the first countries to respond to that resolution. It is the duty of Council members to defend international peace and security. We believe that it is a fundamental responsibility of those members — in particular the permanent five — to ensure the implementation of Council resolutions. No one denies that 28 resolutions adopted by the Council concern one of the parties that I mentioned in my statement: the aggressor party that has refused to heed any of those 28 resolutions. In no way can that aggressor be compared to the victim.

Furthermore, if they really want peace and security to prevail in the Middle East region and truly want a better life for all women in the Middle East, all United Nations Member States, including Security Council members and in particular permanent members of the Council — and here, I would stress Ambassador Negroponte’s statement — have the duty not to provide weapons of destruction to Israel, especially the sophisticated weapons used by Israel to kill innocent people, and they ought not to provide to Israel hundreds of millions of dollars that are then used to carry out occupation.

I do not believe, Mr. President, that I departed from the agenda item.

The President: I give the floor to the representative of the United States.

Mr. Rosenblatt (United States): I regret that this meeting should end on a note of discord. Let me just say that I certainly agree with what was just said about the importance and usefulness of this meeting. But I must also say that we stand by the observation that Ambassador Negroponte made earlier concerning the lack of balance in addressing the effect on women of one particular conflict, along with the statement of concern regarding what is in fact a case of non-implementation, on the part of one Government represented here, of provisions of an important Security Council resolution: resolution 1373 (2001).

The President: There are no further speakers left on my list. The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.

The meeting rose at 4.40 p.m.

This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the Official Records of the Security Council . 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-178.

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