Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

English (pdf) ||Arabic||Chinese||Français||Русский||Español||



Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS

UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.3/51/SR.42
13 August 1997

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

FIFTY-FIRST SESSION
Official Records


THIRD COMMITTEE
42nd meeting
held on
Monday, 18 November 1996
at 3 p.m.
New York


SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 42nd MEETING
Chairman: Mrs. ESPINOSA (Mexico)


CONTENTS

AGENDA ITEM 110: HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS (continued)

(a) IMPLEMENTATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS (continued) (A/C.3/51/L.32)

(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)

/...

AGENDA ITEM 109: RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.


AGENDA ITEM 110: HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS (continued) (A/51/3 (Parts I and II), A/51/81, 87, 90, 114, A/51/208-S/1996/543, A/51/210 and A/51/462-S/1996/831; A/C.3/51/9)

(a) IMPLEMENTATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS INSTRUMENTS (continued) (A/C.3/51/L.32)

(b) HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS, INCLUDING ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES FOR IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVE ENJOYMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS (continued) (A/51/153, 170, 201, 290, 395, 453 and Add.1, 457, 480, 506, 539, 542, 555, 561, 641 and 650; A/C.3/51/6)

(c) HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATIONS AND REPORTS OF SPECIAL RAPPORTEURS AND REPRESENTATIVES (continued) (A/51/80-S/1996/194, A/51/189, A/51/203-E/1996/86, A/51/204, 271, 347, 459, 460, 478, 479, 481, 483 and Add.1 and Add.2, 490, 496 and Add.1, 507, A/51/532-S/1996/864, A/51/556, A/51/651-S/1996/902, A/51/657, 660, A/51/663-S/1996/927 and A/51/665-S/1996/931; A/C.3/51/3, 8, and 10-12)

(d) COMPREHENSIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF AND FOLLOW-UP TO THE VIENNA DECLARATION AND PROGRAMME OF ACTION (continued) (A/51/36)

(e) REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (continued) (A/51/36)

1. Mr. HOEY (Ireland), speaking on behalf of the European Union, ...

/...

21. He stressed the need for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to promote compliance with the basic norms of democracy in the areas under their control. Israel should respect the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Respect for human rights and the promotion of democratic institutions were essential in order to maintain the peace process, and would strengthen the foundations of Palestinian self-rule. In seeking ways to improve the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories, cooperation with the Special Rapporteur was of key importance.

/...

AGENDA ITEM 109: RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION (continued) (A/C.3/51/L.25)

Draft resolution A/C.3/51/L.25 on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

113. The CHAIRMAN said that the draft resolution had no programme budget implications, and that the sponsors had been joined by Andorra, Japan, Kyrgzstan, the Lao People's Democratic Republic and the Niger.

114. Mr. MATNAI (Israel), speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, said that in spite of the title of draft resolution A/C.3/51/L.25, the issue in question was not one of self-determination. At issue was the commitment to the agreements signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the essential principles underlying the peace process. Israel had long advocated the principle of direct negotiations without preconditions as the only framework for advancing peace in the Middle East. That principle had formed the basis of the peace process begun in Madrid. Within that framework, Israel and its Arab neighbours had embarked on ongoing bilateral negotiations, Israel and the PLO had signed the Declaration of Principles, and Israel and Jordan had signed a peace treaty. His country looked forward to progress with other parties to the peace process. In the Declaration of Principles, Israel and the PLO had agreed that issues relating to permanent status would be negotiated by the parties themselves at a later stage.

115. Unfortunately, draft resolution A/C.3/51/L.25 was intended to predetermine the outcome of the permanent-status talks and thus ran counter to the obligations undertaken by the PLO in the Declaration of Principles. Support for the draft resolution contradicted the principle of direct negotiations without preconditions, which was the agreed basis of the ongoing peace process. Since the draft resolution called into question the inviolability of the peace process and the agreements which it had produced, Israel would vote against it and urged all Member States that supported the peace process to do the same. His country welcomed the historic progress achieved thus far and looked forward to further steps towards comprehensive peace in the region. Israel remained committed to the peace process and would make every effort to bring it to a successful conclusion. He called upon all parties to the negotiations to do the same.

116. Mr. KEANE (United States of America) said his country was committed to achieving a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East through the negotiation process begun in Madrid. That process had resulted in significant progress, including major agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. The international community should do all in its power to support that process, including providing support for the Palestinians as they built new institutions and a better life. Under the Declaration of Principles the parties to the negotiations had agreed that permanent-status issues should be covered at a later stage in the negotiating process and recognized that some issues were complex and sensitive and required an interim period before they could be dealt with. Since the parties had already agreed to that approach, he did not feel the United Nations should take a position on an issue supported by one party to the negotiations but opposed by the other. The parties themselves should discuss and resolve the permanent-status issues. The international community should promote negotiations, but should not cause controversy by taking positions. Consequently, his delegation would vote against the draft resolution.

117. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining: Argentina, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Norway, Republic of Moldova, Uzbekistan.

118. Draft resolution A/C.3/51/L.25 was adopted by 138 votes to 2, with 11 abstentions.

119. Mr. MEKDAD (Syrian Arab Republic) said that his delegation welcomed the adoption of the draft resolution by a large majority of Member States, demonstrating the resolve of the international community to end the sufferings of the Palestinian people. His delegation's vote in favour of the draft resolution reflected its continued support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people and its desire that the negotiations begun in Madrid should lead to a comprehensive and lasting settlement based on the principle of land for peace and on the relevant Security Council resolutions. With regard to the fourth preambular paragraph, which referred to the developments in the Middle East peace process, his delegation maintained that it was the Israeli side which had impeded further progress by failing to implement the commitments it had undertaken. His delegation wished to express its reservations regarding the fifth preambular paragraph, which did not adequately reflect Security Council resolution 242 (1967). In particular, there was no reaffirmation of the demand, based upon the principle of the inadmissibility of the annexation of land by force, that Israel should withdraw from all the occupied territories.

120. Mr. REZVANI (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that his delegation, which had voted in favour of the draft resolution, wished to register its reservations regarding the fourth preambular paragraph. The agreements referred to therein would not, in its view, enable the Palestinian people to realize their inalienable rights.

121. Mr. WILLE (Norway) said that, while his delegation recognized the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, it had abstained in the voting since it was convinced that the final settlement reached in the Middle East should be arrived at through negotiations between the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Israeli Government, in accordance with the Declaration of Principles. The Committee must not seek to determine the outcome of the peace process.

122. Mr. GARCÍA-MORITÁN (Argentina) said that his delegation had abstained since it wished neither to influence nor undermine the progress of the negotiations.

123. Mrs. BARGHOUTI (Observer for Palestine) expressed her delegation's gratitude to the Member States which had sponsored or voted for the draft resolution. Since the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination was enshrined in numerous international instruments, its recognition by the Committee could in no way jeopardize or prejudge the outcome of the peace process.
The meeting rose at 6.05 p.m.


This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of the publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-794, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.


Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter