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Assistance au peuple palestinien - débat et vote de l'AG - Communiqué de presse (extraits) (16 décembre 2009) Français
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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
16 December 2009


General Assembly
GA/10904

            Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fourth General Assembly
Plenary
64th Meeting (AM)


CRIMINAL ACCOUNTABILITY OF UN OFFICIALS, TERRORISM CONVENTION, UN INTERNAL JUSTICE

AMONG ISSUES, AS GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS 17 TEXTS RECOMMENDED BY LEGAL COMMITTEE

Also Adopts Text on Assistance to Palestinian People,
Defers Resolution on Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force

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Background

The General Assembly met today to consider the reports of its Sixth Committee (Legal), as well as to consider matters related to the Palestinian People, the Counter-Terrorism Strategy and a report of the Credentials Committee.

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Plenary

The General Assembly was also set to take action on two plenary-generated draft resolutions relating to the Palestinian People, and the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, as well as consider a report of the Credentials Committee.

By a draft resolution on Assistance to the Palestinian people (A/64/L.35), the Assembly would express its grave concern at the deterioration in living conditions of the Palestinian people and welcome, in that context, the development of projects, notably on infrastructure, to revive the Palestinian economy.  It would further express its grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and underline the importance of the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza, held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on 2 March, to in addressing that situation.

By other terms, it would welcome the work of the Palestinian Authority to implement the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan for 2008-2010, as well as action by the Special Representative of the Quartet, charged with developing a multi-year agenda to strengthen institutions, promote economic development and mobilize international funds.  Stressing the urgency of reaching a durable solution to the Gaza crisis through full implementation of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009), it would  also note the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and parts of the northern West Bank as a step towards implementing the road map.

Further, the Assembly would urge Member States, international financial institutions of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to extend, as rapidly as possible, economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people.  In that regard, it would call on donors that had not yet converted their budget support pledges into disbursements to transfer funds as soon as possible, encourage all donors to increase their direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority, and call on the international community to provide urgently needed assistance and services to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation of Palestinian women, children and their families.

Also by the text, the Assembly would stress the role that all funding instruments had played in directly assisting Palestinians and urge Member States to open their markets to exports of Palestinian products on the most favourable terms.  It would stress in that context the importance of ensuring free humanitarian access to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods and further, stress the need for the safety and security of humanitarian personnel, premises, facilities and equipment.

Finally by the text, the Assembly would stress the need for continued implementation of the Paris Protocol on Economic Relations (1994), fifth annex to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (1995), including with regard to the full transfer of Palestinian indirect tax revenues. It would request the Secretary-General to submit a report to the Assembly’s sixty-fifth session, through the Economic and Social Council, containing an assessment of assistance actually received by the Palestinian people, as well as one on the needs still unmet.  It would decide to include a sub-item on “Assistance to the Palestinian people” in the provisional agenda of its sixty-fifth session.

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Action on Plenary Texts

The General Assembly then resumed its consideration of agenda item 70, adopting by consensus a draft resolution entitled Assistance to the Palestinian people (A/64/L.35), by which it expressed its grave concern at the deterioration in living conditions of the Palestinian people and welcomed, in that context, the development of projects, notably on infrastructure, to revive the Palestinian economy. It further expressed its grave concern at the humanitarian situation in Gaza and underlined the importance of the International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Economy for the Reconstruction of Gaza, held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on 2 March, in addressing that situation.

By other terms, the Assembly welcomed the work of the Palestinian Authority to implement the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan for 2008-2010, as well as action by the Special Representative of the Quartet, charged with developing a multi-year agenda to strengthen institutions, promote economic development and mobilize international funds.  It urged Member States, international financial institutions of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to extend, as rapidly as possible, economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people.  In that regard, it called on donors that had not yet converted their budget support pledges into disbursements to transfer funds as soon as possible, and encouraged all donors to increase their direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority.

Speaking in explanation of position after action, Israel’s delegate said his Government joined consensus on resolution A/64/L.35. The text was “constructive”, as it sought to assist Palestinians in increasing their economic and development capacity. Israel had supported several issues for years, and, due in part to Israeli measures, economic growth stood at an “impressive” 8 per cent in the West Bank, while construction projects that improved the lives of countless Palestinians moved forward at an exceptional pace.  The Allenby Bridge operated until midnight and various checkpoints had been removed or had expanded their hours of operation to promote the freedom of movement and economic growth.  Israel was exploring additional measures to augment that progress, while ensuring that its serious and legitimate security concerns were not compromised.

He said Israel had reservations about particular aspects of the resolution, notably vis-à-vis the policy of assistance to the Gaza Strip.  Such provisions must reflect Israel’s security needs with regard to delivering assistance. Israel joined consensus on the resolution in order to support the broader principles of assistance and development for Palestinians.  Further, he called on Palestinians to return to negotiations to reach a peace agreement. Only through bilateral negotiations could a vision of two states living side by side in peace and security be achieved.

Speaking in general statement after action, the Observer of Palestine expressed Palestine’s gratitude for the Assembly’s unanimous support for assistance to the Palestinian people, and especially to the Presidency of the European Union for drafting and promoting the text.  International assistance was vital to the steadfastness of Palestinians – both those living under Israel’s occupation and the millions living in exile in the region. Assistance had taken on heightened importance, in light of the severe economic difficulties prevailing in the occupied Territories in recent years.  It had become a “virtual lifeline”, particularly for families in the Gaza Strip, who continued to suffer as a direct result of Israel’s illegal blockade. Direct assistance from the donor community also had helped to alleviate suffering and was central to the development of Palestinians’ “boundless” human potential.  Various development projects supported by donors had greatly enhanced Palestinian efforts to rebuild national institutions.

While the resolution had been adopted by consensus, her delegation could not ignore Israel’s continued obstruction of assistance, she said.  Nine months later, international pledges made at Sharm el-Sheikh had yet to be received by the Palestinian people.  Illegal Israeli policies undermined donor support and that required serious redress.  Although it joined consensus, Israel should not be absolved from its responsibilities and its negative role in obstructing assistance, whether by its blockade or construction of the illegal wall.  Israel had clear obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law. She looked forward to the day when the occupation, begun in 1967, had come to an end and an independent viable, contiguous Palestinian State, with Jerusalem as its capital, was established.

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