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        General Assembly
12 December 2001

Original: English

Second Committee

Summary record of the 36th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Tuesday, 4 December 2001, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. Seixas da Costa ............................................ (Portugal)



Agenda item 101: Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (continued)


The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.


Agenda item 101: Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

Draft resolution A/C.2/56/L.29

20. The Chairman , after noting that Djibouti, not Denmark, should have been listed among the original sponsors of the draft resolution and that Senegal had subsequently joined the sponsors, informed the Committee that informal consultations had been held on the draft and no consensus had been reached. In light of that fact, he took it that the Committee wished to put the draft resolution to a vote.

21. It was so decided.

22. Mr. Megiddo (Israel) said that the draft resolution was completely one-sided, inaccurate and politically motivated. His delegation regretted that the debate was being used as a platform from which to level accusations against Israel. The issues referred to in the report of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) were matters that the parties had agreed would be dealt with through direct bilateral negotiations and therefore had no place in the Committee’s discussions. Those references served to prejudge the outcome of negotiations and would do nothing to further the cause of peace in the Middle East.

23. At that very moment, the people of Israel were grieving for 28 of their sons and daughters who had been slaughtered in the last 72 hours, and for the hundreds more who were nursing their wounds. The campaign of violent terrorism that had been ongoing for some 14 months had boiled over at precisely the moment when the parties concerned were renewing their efforts, with the help of the United States, to reach a long sought-after end to violence and a return to dialogue.

24. His delegation had repeatedly made clear that its objective was a negotiated peace settlement that would bring calm and security to all the people of the region. Once calm had been restored and negotiations could be resumed, the subject of natural resources would be discussed within that context, as agreed by the parties. His delegation would vote against the draft resolution and he urged others to do likewise.

25. Mr. Jilani (Observer for Palestine) pointed out that the general debate on the item had already concluded. The representative of Israel had accused the sponsors of the draft resolution of politicizing the Committee and then had proceeded to make a highly political and incorrect statement. The concepts and principles contained in the draft resolution were well established principles of international law. The fact that there had been a peace process and an agreed framework for bilateral discussions on the issues dealt with in the draft resolution did not negate or undermine well-established principles of international law. Israel’s continued exploitation and confiscation of Palestinian land to build more settlements, in violation of international humanitarian law was a war crime and merited consideration by the Committee because of the socio-economic impact of those actions on the Palestinian people.

26. The representative of Israel had said that his Government was ready to renew efforts to return to dialogue. He would remind members of the Committee that the United States mission to the Middle East had been greeted by the extra-judicial assassination by Israel of a Palestinian in Nablus, together with seven people in his car and the killing of five children by a booby trap placed by the Israeli army on a route for school children. While he was not trying to justify what had happened, he pointed out that the groups which opposed not only Israel but also the Palestinian Authority and the peace process had committed their attacks after the Israeli actions.

27. He apologized to the Committee for reopening the debate and thanked the sponsors for submitting the draft resolution.

28. At the request of the representative of the United States, a recorded vote was taken.

In favour :
Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Israel, Micronesia (Federated States of), United States of America.

Cameroon, Nicaragua.

29. The draft resolution was adopted by 131 votes to 3, with 2 abstentions,*

* The delegations of Mozambique, Uganda and Bangladesh subsequently informed the Committee that they had intended to vote in favour of the draft resolution.

30. Mr. Charlier (Belgium) said that the European Union had voted in favour of draft resolution A/C.2/56/L.29 because it believed that the natural resources of any territory seized by force of arms should not be used inappropriately or illegally by the occupying Power.

31. He wished, however, to take the opportunity to reaffirm the interpretation of the members of the European Union with respect to the applicability of the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention to the occupied territories. Any infringement of the rights of the Palestinian people with regard to that Convention was illegal. The draft resolution raised issues that should be dealt within the framework of the permanent status negotiations; it should not, therefore, be considered as undermining or prejudging the outcome of those negotiations.

32. Mr. Iwai (Japan) said that his Government had been gravely concerned over ongoing clashes between the Israelis and Palestinians, and deeply saddened at the loss of civilian lives. Japan strongly urged the parties concerned to break the cycle of violence and build mutual confidence so that the peace negotiations could resume in accordance with the recommendations of the Mitchell report. Japan was of the view that the only way to solve all outstanding issues and achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region was through negotiations. Japan would continue to support the parties concerned in their efforts to that end. It was in that spirit that Japan had voted in favour of draft resolution A/C.2/56/L.29.

33. Regarding the hope, expressed in paragraph 4, that the issues would be dealt with in the framework of the final status negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides, he emphasized that his delegation’s support for the resolution was not intended to prejudge the outcome of those negotiations and that its acceptance of the words “permanent sovereignty” as used in the text, did not imply any change in Japan’s position on the legal status of “occupied territories”.


The meeting rose at 4.20 p.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.

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