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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.3/54/SR.43
30 November 1999

Original: English

General Assembly
Fifty-fourth session
Official Records



Third Committee

Summary record of the 43rd meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Thursday, 11 November 1999, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. Galuška ............................................(Czech Republic)

Contents

Agenda item 112: Promotion and protection of the rights of children (continued)

Agenda item 116: Human rights questions (continued)

(a) Implementation of human rights instruments (continued)

(b) Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms (continued)

(c) Human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives (continued)

(d) Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (continued)

(e) Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 3.25 p.m.

/...

Agenda item 116: Human rights questions (continued)

(a) Implementation of human rights instruments (continued) (A/C.3/54/L.53)

(b) Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms (continued) (A/54/93, 137, 216, A/54/222 and Add.1, A/54/303, 319, 336, 360, 386, A/54/399 and Add.1, A/54/401, 439 and 491)

(c) Human rights situations and reports of special rapporteurs and representatives (continued) (A/54/188, 302, A/54/330-S/1999/959, A/54/359, 361, 365, 366, 387, A/54/396-S/1999/1000, A/54/409, 422, 440, 465-467, A/54/482, A/54/493 and A/54/499; A/C.3/54/3 and 4)

(d) Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (continued)

(e) Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (continued) (A/54/36)

/...

31. Mr. Oron (Israel) said that references to Israel had been made in some of the reports and during the consideration of sub-items (b) and (d), some in good faith and some in bad. Certain basic facts had been ignored in some of the remarks. A serious peace process was taking place between the Israelis and the Palestinians. An ambitious timetable for resolving the outstanding issues had been set, and intense negotiations were taking place. Over 90 per cent of the Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank lived under the Palestinian Authority. A safe passage corridor was in operation between Gaza and the West Bank. Palestinian prisoners, many of whom had been involved in attacks on innocent civilians, had been released. Further redeployment in the West Bank was expected in the upcoming days.

32. Decisions taken by his Government regarding the dismantling of illegal settlements had been implemented. The Prime Minister of Israel had pledged to withdraw Israeli troops from Lebanon by the summer of 2000, which, it was hoped, would occur in the framework of an agreement between the parties concerned. Israel’s Supreme Court played a leading role in protecting human rights and individual freedoms, as in the recent ruling on the interrogation methods of the Israeli security agency. The Israeli Ministry of Justice had proposed legislation to strengthen a 1997 law prohibiting Government agents from using threats, pressure or humiliation to extract information.

33. The Israeli Minister of the Interior had said, on 17 October 1999, that that fact that an East Jerusalemite resided abroad for a number of years would not be cause for revoking his permanent residency status. Human rights had been at the centre of public debate, both in the media and in the education system. Dozens of non-governmental organizations, working freely and without hindrance, had played a central role in promoting and protecting human rights. Lastly, a certain delegation which had praised itself for its impeccable human rights record should at least comply with the basic requirement to submit its reports under article 40 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Its report was 14 years overdue.

/...

49. Ms. Barghouti (Observer for Palestine), speaking in exercise of the right of reply in response to the statement made by Israel, said that her delegation was committed to the successful conclusion of the peace negotiations. The Palestinian people had been denied their most basic rights and fundamental freedoms under Israeli occupation and continued to suffer from the harsh living conditions arising therefrom. Israel continued to violate the rights of the Palestinian people through its repressive policies and practices. While it had dismantled a handful of illegal settlements, it had also sanctioned wide-scale construction of new settlements in occupied Palestine, including in Jerusalem (Al-Quds).

50. Israel continued to impede the free movement of the Palestinian people, through its apartheid-like policies and sought to alter the demographic and historical character of Jerusalem (Al-Quds) in order to establish a Jewish majority in that Palestinian city, systematically depriving Jerusalem Palestinians of their residency cards to that end. As for Israel’s claim that 90 per cent of Palestinians lived under the Palestinian National Authority, both the West Bank, including Jerusalem (Al-Quds), and the Gaza Strip were still occupied territories. Israeli tanks could currently be found in the town of Ramalla and the surrounding area. Moreover, it was not possible to bring even a tin of baby milk powder into the West Bank or the Gaza Strip without the consent of the Israeli authorities.

51. The Israeli Government should take concrete action to implement the relevant Security Council resolutions, together with the provisions of the peace agreements that it had signed. The United Nations had an abiding responsibility to find a solution to all outstanding issues, insisting on a complete cessation of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory, and assuring the Palestinian people their right to self-determination.

/...

The meeting rose at 5.40 p.m.


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