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30. The Chair invited the Committee to take action on draft resolution A/C.2/66/L.22, on permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, which had been submitted by the delegation of Egypt on behalf of the sponsors listed in the document and of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Guinea-Bissau, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Turkey and Viet Nam. The draft resolution had no programme budget implications, and a recorded vote had been requested.
31. Ms. Davidovich (Israel), speaking in explanation of vote before the voting, said that the Committee was once again engaged in an annual ritual unbefitting a professional body. Rather than dealing with important global issues such as agriculture and food security, desertification and climate change, the Committee was wasting its valuable time on a politicized draft resolution that undermined the Committee’s credibility as an impartial and professional body. In reality, Israel shared the vital interests of its neighbours in preserving and protecting the natural environment, but the draft resolution overlooked the numerous agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that had already transferred jurisdiction over those issues to the latter. Basic facts were irrelevant to the sponsors of the resolution, indeed stood in the way of the advancement of their political agenda.
32. The outstanding environmental issues could be resolved only through direct negotiations. Israel remained willing to share its knowledge and experience with its neighbours, and ready to work with them on meeting the common challenges of climate change, desertification and land degradation and the growing needs of people in the region. The draft resolution served the interests neither of the Palestinian people nor of any party seeking a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the Middle East. For those reasons, Israel had called for a vote on the resolution, would vote against it, and encouraged other delegations that cared about the peace process and the professional nature of the Committee to do likewise.
33. At the request of the delegation of Israel, a recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.2/66/L.22.
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, 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, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, United States of America.
Australia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, El Salvador, Panama, Saint Lucia, Vanuatu.
35. Mr. White (Australia) said that Australia strongly supported the principle of the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory over their natural resources, which was integral to the independence and viability of a Palestinian State. Australia was taking practical steps in support of that principle, and would be providing humanitarian aid to a value of $300 million to the Palestinian people over the coming five years. In a change from its position in the past, Australia had abstained from voting, in order to reflect its concern that the resolution as framed did not adequately recognize Israel’s legitimate security needs and right to defend itself. Strongly committed to the peace process, Australia urged both parties to the dispute to return to direct negotiations as a matter of urgency.
36. Mr. Yawhara (Syrian Arab Republic) said that Israel had once again accused the Committee of politicization, even though it was focusing on an important subject which fell within its mandate, namely the negative economic and social effects of the illegitimate practices of Israel, the occupying Power, against the population of the occupied Arab territories. Those practices violated the principles of international law and international humanitarian law, as well as repeated United Nations resolutions. They prevented the achievement of the most minimal levels of development and the establishment of decent living standards for the Arab population living under Israeli occupation.
37. The resolution joined the many earlier ones that had expressed the displeasure of the overwhelming majority of the international community at Israel’s lack of respect for its obligations under international law and international humanitarian law. Israel’s lack of compliance with the repeated demands of the international community proved that it considered itself to be above the law and exempt from accountability. Unfortunately, it had the support of a small number of States that placed their own interests above recognition of the rights of people living under occupation, including the right to exercise full sovereignty over their natural resources in order to further their development.
38. The adoption of the present resolution sent a clear message to Israel that it must stop its continued violations of international law and customary norms, in the form of confiscation of agricultural land, construction of illegal settlements and destruction and exploitation of natural resources, which deprived the population of the occupied territories of the benefits of them.
39. Mr. AlHantouli (Observer for Palestine) said that the resolution just adopted once again reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to sovereignty over their natural resources which were one of the main sources of their development and growth. The resolution once again reminded Israel, the occupying Power, of the position of the international community which clearly rejected the continued colonial occupation of the Palestinian territory seized in 1967, including East Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan, and called upon Israel to cease all its violations of international resolutions and norms and end its heinous exploitation, pollution and theft of the Palestinians’ land, water and agriculture.
40. On 15 November, the Palestinian people had celebrated the 23rd anniversary of Palestine’s declaration of independence, embodying its choice and that of leadership to seek a just and permanent peace, based on a two-State solution and on international rules of conduct. However, Israel had reacted to that choice with continued occupation and violations, expropriation of territory and construction of settlements and illegal walls of separation.
41. In voting in favour of the resolution States had renewed their position in line with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions which demanded that Israel end its occupation and recognize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and sovereignty over its territory and natural resources.
The meeting rose at 5.05 p.m.