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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


Fifty-seventh General Assembly
Second Committee
24th Meeting (AM)
GA/EF/3013
4 November 2002



UNITED NATIONS HUMAN SETTLEMENTS PROGRAMME NEEDS MORE PREDICTABLE

FUNDING FOR LONG-TERM WORK, SECOND COMMITTEE TOLD


While the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) was increasingly dependent on partnerships and franchises, it still needed budgetary commitments from Member States for its long-term work, the Programme’s New York Director told the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) this morning as it began its consideration of Human Settlements.

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Statements

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IHAB GAMALELDIN (Egypt) ...

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He commended Habitat’s efforts to address the serious and dangerous situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, a situation that had grave repercussions on the fundamental human rights of the Palestinian people to shelter and basic services and called for the speedy implementation by the international community of its commitments to the rights of peoples living under foreign occupation.  Noting that the applicability of the Geneva Convention to the peoples of all Arab and Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967 had been repeatedly reaffirmed by the Security Council and General Assembly, he called for the speedy implementation of international commitments to assist civilians under foreign occupation and to help refugees to return voluntarily to their homes in safety and dignity.  He commended the visit by a Habitat team to assess the situation in the Jenin refugee camp in May.

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ABDULLAH KHAMIS AL-SHAMSI (United Arab Emirates) ...

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He noted that while the United Nations worked to improve the living conditions of millions of people in developing countries, the global community was witnessing the killing of Palestinian people and destruction of their cities and villages by Israeli forces.  He called for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and implementation of United Nations resolutions concerning the Palestine question.  The United Arab Emirates was providing financial and humanitarian aid to many poor countries in crisis for the reconstruction of home, hospital, school, and mosque infrastructure, including the Jenin Refugee Camp and a residential city in the Gaza Strip.

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ABDOU AL-MOULA NAKKARI (Syria) ...

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He said the occupying Power in the Palestinian territories and the Syrian Arab Golan, which had destroyed homes, schools, hospitals and religious buildings, were in violation of United Nations human settlements policies and all the Organization’s human rights conventions.  He called for an end of the premeditated destruction of Palestinian villages and for compliance with United Nations resolutions regarding the question of Palestine. 

Right of Reply

Exercising the right of reply, the representative of Israel said terrorism was indiscriminate and had been felt by all States in the Middle East region.  The current predicament facing the Palestinian people was a conscious decision on their own part to forego negotiations aimed at resolving the land dispute in favour of terrorism.

In response, the representative of Syria dismissed the Israeli representative’s claims as invalid and largely discredited by the international community.  The real cause of the Middle East conflict was the occupation, he said, pointing out that the recent destruction by Israeli forces of the Jenin refugee camp was one of the most flagrant examples of human rights violations committed by the occupying Power.


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