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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/68/424
19 November 2013

Original: English

Sixty-eighth session
Agenda item 51



United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East


Report of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee)


Rapporteur: Mr. Michal Komada (Slovakia)


I. Introduction

1. At its 2nd plenary meeting, on 20 September 2013, the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the General Committee, decided to include in the agenda of its sixty-eighth session the item entitled “United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” and to allocate it to the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee).

2. The Fourth Committee considered the item at its 21st, 22nd and 25th meetings, on 6, 7 and 14 November 2013. The Committee held a general debate on the item at its 21st and 22nd meetings and took action on the item at its 25th meeting (see A/C.4/68/SR.21 , 22 and 25).

3. For its consideration of the item, the Committee had before it the following documents:

(a) Report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East ( A/68/13 and Add.1);

(b) Report of the Secretary-General on Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues ( A/68/343 );

(c) Report of the Secretary-General on persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities ( A/68/347 );

(d) Report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East ( A/68/388 );

(e) Note by the Secretary-General transmitting the report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine ( A/68/335 ).

4. At its 21st meeting, on 6 November, the Committee heard a statement by the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), who introduced his report (see A/C.4/68/SR.21 ).

5. At the same meeting, the observer for the State of Palestine made a statement (see A/C.4/68/SR.21 ).

6. Also at the same meeting, the representative of Norway, in her capacity as Rapporteur of the Working Group on the Financing of UNRWA, made a statement (see A/C.4/68/SR.21 ).


II. Consideration of proposals


7. At its 25th meeting, on 14 November, the Committee was informed that the draft resolutions contained in documents A/C.4/68/L.12 to L.15 had no programme budget implications.


A. Draft resolution A/C.4/68/L.12

8. At the 25th meeting, on 14 November, the representative of Indonesia, on behalf of Afghanistan, Algeria, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, the Comoros, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, the Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Yemen and the State of Palestine, introduced a draft resolution entitled “Assistance to Palestine refugees” ( A/C.4/68/L.12 ). Subsequently, Albania, Liechtenstein, Mauritania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Ukraine joined in sponsoring the draft resolution.

9. At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.4/68/L.12 by a recorded vote of 165 to 2, with 6 abstentions (see para. 17, draft resolution I). The voting was as follows:1

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, 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, Tonga, 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.

Against:

Cameroon, Israel.

Abstaining:

Canada, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, South Sudan, United States of America, Vanuatu.


B. Draft resolution A/C.4/68/L.13

10. At the 25th meeting, on 14 November, the representative of Indonesia, on behalf of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brunei Darussalam, the Comoros, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Nicaragua, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, the Sudan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Yemen and the State of Palestine, introduced a draft resolution entitled “Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities” ( A/C.4/68/L.13 ). Subsequently, Mauritania joined in sponsoring the draft resolution.

11. At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.4/68/L.13 by a recorded vote of 162 to 6, with 5 abstentions (see para. 17, draft resolution II). The voting was as follows:2

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, 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, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, 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, Tonga, 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.

Against:

Cameroon, Canada, Israel, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Nauru, Panama, Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, Vanuatu.


C. Draft resolution A/C.4/68/L.14

12. At the 25th meeting, on 14 November, the representative of Indonesia, on behalf of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brunei Darussalam, the Comoros, Cuba, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Nicaragua, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, the Sudan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Yemen and the State of Palestine, introduced a draft resolution entitled “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” ( A/C.4/68/L.14 ). Subsequently, Mauritania and Nigeria joined in sponsoring the draft resolution.

13. At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.4/68/L.14 by a recorded vote of 164 to 6, with 3 abstentions (see para. 17, draft resolution III). The voting was as follows:3

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, 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, Tonga, 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.

Against:

Cameroon, Canada, Israel, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, Vanuatu.


D. Draft resolution A/C.4/68/L.15

14. At the 25th meeting, on 14 November, the representative of Indonesia, on behalf of Afghanistan, Algeria, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, the Comoros, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, the Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Yemen and the State of Palestine, introduced a draft resolution entitled “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” ( A/C.4/68/L.15 ). Subsequently, Albania, Liechtenstein, Mauritania, Nigeria, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Ukraine joined in sponsoring the draft resolution.

15. At the same meeting, the Committee adopted draft resolution A/C.4/68/L.15 by a recorded vote of 163 to 7, with 3 abstentions (see para. 17, draft resolution IV). The voting was as follows: 4

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, 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, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, 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, Tonga, 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.

Against:

Cameroon, Canada, Israel, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Papua New Guinea, South Sudan, Vanuatu.

16. The representative of the Syrian Arab Republic and the observer for the State of Palestine made statements (see A/C.4/68/SR.25 ).


III. Recommendations of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee)


17. The Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) recommends to the General Assembly the adoption of the following draft resolutions:


Draft resolution I
Assistance to Palestine refugees


The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question, including resolution 67/114 of 18 December 2012,

Recalling also its resolution 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949, by which, inter alia, it established the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,

Recalling further the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Aware of the fact that, for more than six decades, the Palestine refugees have suffered from the loss of their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

Affirming the imperative of resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees for the achievement of justice and for the achievement of lasting peace in the region,

Acknowledging the essential role that the Agency has played for over 60 years since its establishment in ameliorating the plight of the Palestine refugees through the provision of education, health, relief and social services and ongoing work in the areas of camp infrastructure, microfinance, protection and emergency assistance,

Taking note of the report of the Commissioner-General of the Agency covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2012,5

Aware of the continuing needs of the Palestine refugees throughout all the fields of operation, namely, Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Expressing grave concern at the especially difficult situation of the Palestine refugees under occupation, including with regard to their safety, well-being and socioeconomic living conditions,

Expressing grave concern in particular at the critical humanitarian situation and socioeconomic conditions of the Palestine refugees in the Gaza Strip, and underlining the importance of emergency and humanitarian assistance and urgent reconstruction efforts,

Noting the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements on 13 September 19936 by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and the subsequent implementation agreements,

1. Notes with regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), has not yet been effected, and that, therefore, the situation of the Palestine refugees continues to be a matter of grave concern and the Palestine refugees continue to require assistance to meet basic health, education and living needs;

2. Also notes with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine has been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III), and reiterates its request to the Conciliation Commission to continue exerting efforts towards the implementation of that paragraph and to report to the Assembly on the efforts being exerted in this regard as appropriate, but no later than 1 September 2014;

3. Affirms the necessity for the continuation of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and the importance of its unimpeded operation and its provision of services for the well-being, protection and human development of the Palestine refugees and for the stability of the region, pending the just resolution of the question of the Palestine refugees;

4. Calls upon all donors to continue to strengthen their efforts to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency, including with regard to increased expenditures arising from the serious socioeconomic and humanitarian situation and instability in the region, particularly in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and those needs mentioned in recent emergency appeals and in the regional crisis response plans to address the situation of Palestine refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic and those Palestine refugees who have fled to countries in the region;

5. Commends the Agency for its provision of vital assistance to the Palestine refugees and its role as a stabilizing factor in the region and the tireless efforts of the staff of the Agency in carrying out its mandate;

6. Decides to extend the mandate of the Agency until 30 June 2017, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III).


Draft resolution II
Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and
subsequent hostilities


The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2252 (ES-V) of 4 July 1967, 2341 B (XXII) of 19 December 1967 and all subsequent related resolutions,

Recalling also Security Council resolutions 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967 and 259 (1968) of 27 September 1968,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolution 67/115 of 18 December 2012,7

Taking note also of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2012,8

Concerned about the continuing human suffering resulting from the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities,

Taking note of the relevant provisions of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 19939 with regard to the modalities for the admission of persons displaced in 1967, and concerned that the process agreed upon has not yet been effected,

Taking note also of its resolution 67/19 of 29 November 2012,

1. Reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Stresses the necessity for an accelerated return of displaced persons, and calls for compliance with the mechanism agreed upon by the parties in article XII of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 19933 on the return of displaced persons;

3. Endorses, in the meantime, the efforts of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis, and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are currently displaced and in serious need of continued assistance as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities;

4. Strongly appeals to all Governments and to organizations and individuals to contribute generously to the Agency and to the other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned for the above-mentioned purposes;

5. Requests the Secretary-General, after consulting with the Commissioner-General, to report to the General Assembly before its sixty-ninth session on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the present resolution.


Draft resolution III
Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East


The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, 212 (III) of 19 November 1948, 302 (IV) of 8 December 1949 and all subsequent related resolutions, including its resolution 67/116 of 18 December 2012,

Recalling also the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Having considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2012,10

Taking note of the letter dated 17 June 2013 from the Chair of the Advisory Commission of the Agency to the Commissioner-General,11

Deeply concerned about the extremely critical financial situation of the Agency, caused in part by the structural underfunding of the Agency, as well as its rising expenditures resulting from the deterioration of the socioeconomic and humanitarian conditions and the rising instability in the region and their significant negative impact on the provision of necessary Agency services to the Palestine refugees, including its emergency-related and development programmes in all fields of operation,

Recalling Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations,12

Recalling also the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel,13

Affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949,14 to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem,

Aware of the continuing needs of the Palestine refugees in all fields of operation, namely, Jordan, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Gravely concerned about the extremely difficult socioeconomic conditions being faced by the Palestine refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, particularly in the refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, as a result of the continuing prolonged Israeli closures, the construction of settlements and the wall, and the severe economic and movement restrictions that in effect amount to a blockade, which, despite measures taken by Israel in 2012 and 2013, have deepened unemployment and poverty rates among the refugees, with potentially lasting, long-term negative effects,

Gravely concerned also about the continuing negative repercussions of the military operations in the Gaza Strip between December 2008 and January 2009, which caused extensive loss of life and injury, particularly among Palestinian civilians, including children and women; widespread destruction and damage to Palestinian homes, properties, vital infrastructure and public institutions, including hospitals, schools and United Nations facilities; and internal displacement of civilians, including refugees,

Deploring the loss of civilian lives, including women and children, as a result of the hostilities that affected the Gaza Strip and Israel in November 2012,

Commending the extraordinary efforts by the Agency to provide emergency relief, medical, food, shelter and other humanitarian assistance to needy and displaced families in the Gaza Strip,

Recalling, in this regard, its resolution ES-10/18 of 16 January 2009 and Security Council resolution 1860 (2009) of 8 January 2009,

Expressing regret over the continued restrictions that impede the Agency’s efforts to repair and rebuild thousands of damaged or destroyed refugee shelters, and calling upon Israel to ensure the unimpeded import of essential construction materials into the Gaza Strip and to reduce the burdensome cost of importation of Agency supplies, while taking note of recent developments regarding the situation of access there,

Expressing concern about the severe classroom shortage in the Gaza Strip and the consequent negative impact on the right to education of refugee children as a result of the constraints on the ability of the Agency to construct new schools due to Israel’s ongoing restrictions impeding the entry of necessary construction materials into the Gaza Strip,

Stressing the urgent need for the advancement of reconstruction in the Gaza Strip, including by ensuring the timely facilitation of construction projects and by sustaining the swift entry of construction materials needed for projects managed by the Agency, and the need for the accelerated implementation of other urgent United Nations-led civilian reconstruction activities,

Urging the timely disbursement of remaining pledges made at the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza, held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on 2 March 2009, to accelerate the reconstruction process,

Noting with appreciation the completion of the first phase and near-completion of the second phase of the project to rebuild the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp, commending the Government of Lebanon, donors, the Agency and other concerned parties for the important progress made and for the continuing efforts to assist affected and displaced refugees, and emphasizing the need for additional funding to complete the reconstruction of the camp and end the displacement of its 27,000 residents without delay,

Expressing deep concern at the critical situation of Palestine refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic and at the impact of the crisis on the Agency’s ability to deliver its services, and regretting profoundly the loss of life among refugees and the killing of eight staff members of the Agency during the crisis since 2012,

Emphasizing the need for increased assistance to Palestine refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic as well as those who have fled to neighbouring countries, and emphasizing the necessity of ensuring open borders for Palestine refugees fleeing the crisis in the Syrian Arab Republic, consistent with the principles of non-discrimination and non-refoulement under international law,

Aware of the valuable work done by the Agency in providing protection to the Palestinian people, in particular Palestine refugees, and recalling the need for the protection of all civilians in situations of armed conflict,

Deploring the endangerment of the safety of the Agency’s staff and the damage and destruction caused to the facilities and properties of the Agency during the period covered by the report of the Commissioner-General, and stressing the need to maintain the neutrality of and safeguard the inviolability of United Nations premises, installations and equipment,

Deploring also the extensive damage and destruction of Agency facilities in the Gaza Strip caused during the military operations between December 2008 and January 2009, including schools where civilians were sheltered and the Agency’s main compound and warehouse, as reported in the summary by the Secretary-General of the report of the Board of Inquiry15 and in the report of the United Nations Fact-finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict,16

Deploring further, in this regard, the breaches of the inviolability of United Nations premises, the failure to accord the property and assets of the Organization immunity from any form of interference and the failure to protect United Nations personnel, premises and property,

Deploring the killing and injury of Agency staff members by the Israeli occupying forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since September 2000,

Deploring also the killing and wounding of refugee children in the Agency schools by the Israeli occupying forces during the military operations between December 2008 and January 2009,

Deeply concerned about the continuing imposition of restrictions on the freedom of movement and access of the Agency’s staff, vehicles and goods, and the injury, harassment and intimidation of the Agency’s staff, which undermine and obstruct the work of the Agency, including its ability to provide essential basic and emergency services,

Aware of the agreement between the Agency and the Government of Israel,

Taking note of the agreement reached on 24 June 1994, embodied in an exchange of letters between the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization,17

1. Reaffirms that the effective functioning of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East remains essential in all fields of operation;

2. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the Agency, as well as to all the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work, particularly in the light of the difficult conditions, instability and crises faced during the past year;

3. Expresses special commendation to the Agency for the essential role that it has played for over 60 years since its establishment in providing vital services for the well-being, human development and protection of the Palestine refugees and the amelioration of their plight;

4. Expresses its appreciation for the important support and cooperation provided by the host Governments to the Agency in the discharge of its duties;

5. Also expresses its appreciation to the Advisory Commission of the Agency, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed of its activities;

6. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Working Group on the Financing of the Agency18 and the efforts to assist in ensuring the financial security of the Agency, and requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary services and assistance to the Working Group for the conduct of its work;

7. Commends the Agency’s six-year Medium-Term Strategy, which commenced in January 2010, and the continuing efforts of the Commissioner-General to increase the budgetary transparency and efficiency of the Agency, as reflected in the Agency’s programme budget for the biennium 2014-2015;19

8. Also commends the Agency for sustaining its reform efforts, despite difficult operational circumstances, and urges it to continue to apply maximum efficiency procedures to reduce operational and administrative costs and to maximize the use of resources;

9. Takes note with appreciation of the report of the Secretary-General on the strengthening of the management capacity of the Agency,20 and urges all Member States to carefully consider the conclusions and recommendations contained therein, including the continued provision of financial resources from the regular budget of the United Nations;

10. Endorses the efforts of the Commissioner-General to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis, and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are internally displaced and in serious need of continued assistance as a result of recent crises in the Agency’s fields of operation;

11. Encourages the Agency to provide increased assistance, in accordance with its mandate, to affected Palestine refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic as well as those who have fled to neighbouring countries, as detailed in the Syria regional crisis response plans, and calls upon donors to urgently ensure sustained support to the Agency in this regard;

12. Welcomes the progress made thus far by the Agency in rebuilding the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon, and calls for the expeditious completion of its reconstruction, for the continued provision of relief assistance to those displaced following its destruction in 2007 and for the alleviation of their ongoing suffering through the timely fulfilment of pledges made at the International Donor Conference for the Recovery and Reconstruction of the Nahr el-Bared Palestine Refugee Camp and Conflict-affected Areas of Northern Lebanon, held in Vienna on 23 June 2008;

13. Encourages the Agency, in close cooperation with other relevant United Nations entities, to continue making progress in addressing the needs and rights of children, women and persons with disabilities in its operations in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child,21 the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women22 and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,23 respectively;

14. Commends, in this regard, the Agency’s initiatives that provide recreational, cultural and educational activities for children during the summer, including in the Gaza Strip, and, recognizing their positive contribution, calls for full support of such initiatives, expressing regret that financial constraints led to the cancellation of the Summer Games in 2012;

15. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply fully with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;13

16. Also calls upon Israel to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations11 in order to ensure the safety of the personnel of the Agency, the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of its facilities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; 17. Urges the Government of Israel to expeditiously reimburse the Agency for all transit charges incurred and other financial losses sustained as a result of delays and restrictions on movement and access imposed by Israel;

18. Calls upon Israel particularly to cease obstructing the movement and access of the staff, vehicles and supplies of the Agency and to cease the levying of taxes, extra fees and charges, which affect the Agency’s operations detrimentally;

19. Reiterates its call upon Israel to fully lift the restrictions impeding or delaying the import of necessary construction materials and supplies for the reconstruction and repair of thousands of damaged or destroyed refugee shelters, and for the implementation of suspended civilian infrastructure projects in refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, while noting the commencement of several projects in this regard;

20. Requests the Commissioner-General to proceed with the issuance of identification cards for Palestine refugees and their descendants in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

21. Notes with appreciation the completion of the Palestine Refugee Records Project and its contribution to the modernization of the Agency’s archives;

22. Also notes with appreciation the success of the Agency’s microfinance programme, and calls upon the Agency, in close cooperation with the relevant agencies, to continue to contribute to the development of the economic and social stability of the Palestine refugees in all fields of operation;

23. Reiterates its appeals to all States, the specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to augment the special allocations for grants and scholarships for higher education to Palestine refugees in addition to their contributions to the regular budget of the Agency and to contribute to the establishment of vocational training centres for Palestine refugees, and requests the Agency to act as the recipient and trustee for the special allocations for grants and scholarships;

24. Welcomes the conclusions endorsed by the special meeting of a group of supporters of the Agency, held on 26 September 2013 on the margins of the general debate of the General Assembly at its sixty-eighth session, and calls for serious follow-up efforts by the Agency and the donor community to meet the goals set forth therein;

25. Urges all States, the specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to urgently increase their contributions to the Agency in order to address the persistent, growing and serious financial constraints and underfunding, especially with respect to the Agency’s regular budget deficit, noting that financial shortfalls have been exacerbated by the current humanitarian situation and instability on the ground that have resulted in rising expenditures, in particular with regard to emergency services, and to support the Agency’s valuable and necessary work in assisting the Palestine refugees in all fields of operation.


Draft resolution IV
Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues


The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 194 (III) of 11 December 1948 and 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted pursuant to its resolution 67/117 of 18 December 2012,24 as well as that of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine for the period from 1 September 2012 to 31 August 2013,25

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights26 and the principles of international law uphold the principle that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her property,

Recalling in particular its resolution 394 (V) of 14 December 1950, in which it directed the Conciliation Commission, in consultation with the parties concerned, to prescribe measures for the protection of the rights, property and interests of the Palestine refugees,

Noting the completion of the programme of identification and evaluation of Arab property, as announced by the Conciliation Commission in its twenty-second progress report,27 and the fact that the Land Office had a schedule of Arab owners and a file of documents defining the location, area and other particulars of Arab property,

Expressing its appreciation for the preservation and modernization of the existing records, including the land records, of the Conciliation Commission, and stressing the importance of such records for a just resolution of the plight of the Palestine refugees in conformity with resolution 194 (III),

Recalling that, in the framework of the Middle East peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Government of Israel agreed, in the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993,28 to commence negotiations on permanent status issues, including the important issue of the refugees,

1. Reaffirms that the Palestine refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of equity and justice;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps, in consultation with the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, for the protection of Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel;

3. Calls once again upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General in the implementation of the present resolution;

4. Calls upon all the parties concerned to provide the Secretary-General with any pertinent information in their possession concerning Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel that would assist him in the implementation of the present resolution;

5. Urges the Palestinian and Israeli sides, as agreed between them, to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues within the framework of the final status negotiations of the Middle East peace process;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-ninth session on the implementation of the present resolution.

Notes
1The delegation of Cameroon subsequently indicated that it had intended to abstain.
2The delegation of Cameroon subsequently indicated that it had intended to abstain.
3The delegation of Cameroon subsequently indicated that it had intended to abstain.
4Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/68/13); and ibid., Supplement No. 13A (A/68/13/Add.1).
5A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
6A/68/347.
7Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/68/13); and ibid., Supplement No. 13A (A/68/13/Add.1).
8A/48/486-S/26560, annex.
9Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/68/13); and ibid., Supplement No. 13A (A/68/13/Add.1).
10Ibid., Supplement No. 13 (A/68/13/Add.1), pp. vi-viii.
11Resolution 22 A (I).
12United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 2051, No. 35457.
13Ibid., vol. 75, No. 973.
14See A/63/855-S/2009/250.
15A/HRC/12/48.
16Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 13 (A/49/13), annex I.
17A/68/388.
18Official Records of the General Assembly, Sixty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 13A (A/68/13/Add.1).
19A/65/705.
20United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
21Ibid., vol. 1249, No. 20378.
22Ibid., vol. 2515, No. 44910.
23A/68/343.
24A/68/335, annex.
25Resolution 217 A (III).
26Official Records of the General Assembly, Nineteenth Session, Annexes, Annex No. 11, document A/5700.
27A/48/486-S/26560, annex.



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