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Le quatrième comite approuve neuf projets de résolution sur le Moyen-Orient, y compris l'UNRWA et les pratiques israéliennes dans les territoires palestiniens occupés (TPO) - Communiqué de presse Français
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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
General Assembly
13 November 2014


13 NOVEMBER 2014
General Assembly
GA/SPD/576

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

Sixty-ninth General Assembly
Fourth Committee
25th Meeting (AM)



Fourth Committee, Concluding Work, Sends Raft of Resolutions to General Assembly
on Information, Israeli Practices Committee, Middle East Refugee Relief Agency

Concluding its work for the session, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) today approved 12 draft resolutions and three draft decisions, on special political missions, information, Middle East and organization of work, bringing to 28 the total number of draft texts it forwarded to the General Assembly for adoption.

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Nine draft resolutions related to the Middle East were approved today, each requiring a recorded vote. Those included four on the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and five texts relevant to the report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories.

The draft resolution on assistance to Palestine refugees was approved by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 9 abstentions (Cameroon, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Paraguay, United States).

According to that text, the General Assembly would affirm the need for the continuation of the work of UNRWA and the importance of its unimpeded 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.

Other drafts in that group concerned persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities; the operations of UNRWA; and Palestinian refugees’ properties and revenue.

The Committee then proceeded to take recorded votes on the five draft resolutions relating to the report of the Special Committee. The first, on that body’s work, would have the Assembly deplore Israeli policies and practices that violated the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, and ask the Special Committee to continue to investigate those violations, especially those of the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949.

It was approved by a recorded vote of 90 in favour to 9 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States), with 75 abstentions.

The other texts were on the applicability of the Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories; Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory; Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people; and the occupied Syrian Golan.

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The four draft resolutions on UNRWA were introduced by the representative of Indonesia, on behalf of the co-sponsors. The draft resolution on Special Political Missions was introduced by the representative of Finland.

Speaking in a general statement on that cluster was the representative of Brazil. The representative of Italy, on behalf of the European Union, spoke in explanation of vote.

The representative of Cuba introduced, on behalf of the co-sponsors, the draft resolutions on the Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices.

Making general statements on that group of texts were the representative of Syria and the observer for the State of Palestine.

The representative of Israel spoke on a point of order, following which interventions were made by Canada, United States, Germany, Israel and Australia

Rights of reply were then exercised by the representatives of Syria and Israel.

General statements on questions of information were made by representatives of Bolivia, Cuba, Argentina, Iran and El Salvador.

Explanations of position were made by representatives of Italy (on behalf of European Union), Japan, Canada, Australia, United States, and Republic of Korea.

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Middle East

Introducing four draft resolutions on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) on behalf of its co-sponsors, YUSRA KHAN (Indonesia) said the texts were based on previous ones with appropriate updates. They affirmed fundamental principles and rights of Palestinian refugees and reaffirmed the international community’s strong support for the Agency, pending a just solution to the Palestinian question. The UNRWA had provided major support in the aftermath of the Israeli aggression on Gaza, he said, urging the international community for funds commensurate with its needs. He hopes the drafts would receive overwhelming support.

OSCAR LEÓN GONZÁLEZ (Cuba) introduced the draft resolutions on the Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories on behalf of the co-sponsors. He expressed regret at the deterioration of the human rights and humanitarian plight of the Palestinian people and the continuation of Israeli aggressions against them. He hoped that Member States would give their strong support to the important texts that addressed serious issues and would act collectively to uphold the principles of justice and rule of international law to promote the rights of the Palestinian people and a just, lasting and peaceful solution to the conflict.

General Statement

JOAO PAULO SOARES ALSINA (Brazil) said it was an honour for his country to have been invited to join the advisory committee of UNRWA. The Agency’s continued efforts to help the Palestinian refugees had a crucial role in ending poverty and promoting social and economic development in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Action on Texts

Draft resolution “L.9” on Assistance to Palestine Refugees was approved by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 9 abstentions (Cameroon, Canada, Cote d’Ivoire, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Paraguay, United States).

By its provisions, the General Assembly would affirm the need for the continuation of the work of UNRWA and the importance of its unimpeded 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. It would call on all donors to strengthen their efforts to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency and those needs mentioned in connection with the recent emergency, recovery and reconstruction.

Draft resolution “L.10” on Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities was approved by a recorded vote of 161 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and United States), with 4 abstentions (Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Paraguay, Vanuatu).

By its terms, the Assembly would endorse the efforts of the UNRWA Commissioner General to provide humanitarian assistance to persons displaced and in serious need of continued help as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities. It would strongly appeal to all Governments, organizations and individuals to contribute generously to the Agency and to the other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned for the above-mentioned purposes.

Draft resolution “L.11” on Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East was approved by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 4 abstentions (Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Paraguay, Vanuatu).

By its terms, the Assembly would call on 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; and to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the United Nations Charter as well as the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations in order to ensure, at all times, the safety of Agency personnel, the protection of its institutions and facilities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

It would also call for a full and transparent investigation into all of the incidents affecting the Agency’s facilities during the conflict in the Gaza Strip in July and August 2014, with a view to ensuring accountability for all international law violations. It would urge 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. It would also call on Israel to, among others, cease obstructing the movement and access of Agency staff, vehicles and supplies and to cease the levying of taxes, extra fees and charges, which impede the Agency’s operations.

By the terms of draft resolution “L.12” on Palestine refugees’ properties and revenues, the Assembly would urge 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 peace negotiations.

That text was approved by a recorded vote of 165 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 4 abstentions (Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Paraguay, Vanuatu).

The representative of Italy, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that, while reconfirming its voting pattern on the drafts under consideration, the Union as a whole had not expressed a legal qualification with regard to the term “forced displacement” used in a number of texts. Furthermore, the use of the term “Palestine” could not be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine and was without prejudice to individual positions of the Member States on the issue and, hence, on the issue of the validity of accession to the conventions and treaties mentioned therein.

The Committee then turned its attention to draft resolution “L.13” on the Work of the Special Committee, approving it by a recorded vote of 90 in favour to 9 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States), with 75 abstentions.

By its terms, the Assembly, deploring Israeli policies and practices that violated the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, would request the Special Committee to continue to investigate those violations, especially those of the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, and to consult, as appropriate, with the International Committee of the Red Cross in order to ensure that the welfare and human rights of the peoples of the occupied territories were safeguarded, as well as to report to the Secretary-General as soon as possible and whenever the need would arise.

Draft resolution “L.14”, on the Applicability of the Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories was approved by a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 9 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Rwanda, South Sudan, Togo, Vanuatu).

That draft would have the Assembly demand that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and that it comply scrupulously with the Convention’s provisions. It would call on all High Contracting Parties to the Convention, in accordance with article 1, common to the four Geneva Conventions and as mentioned in the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 9 July 2004, to exert all efforts to ensure respect for its provisions by Israel.

By a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and United States), with 11 abstentions, the Committee approved “L.15” on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan.

According to that text, the Assembly, reaffirming that the Israeli settlements were illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development, would reiterate its demand for the immediate and complete cessation of all such activities there. It would stress that a complete cessation of settlement activities was essential for salvaging the two-State solution on the basis of the pre-1967 borders.

The draft resolution on Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, “L.16”, was approved by a recorded vote of 155 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 11 abstentions.

The Assembly, by that text, would condemn all acts of violence, including the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, particularly in the Gaza Strip, which had caused extensive loss of life and vast numbers of injuries, including among thousands of children and women, massive damage and destruction to homes, economic, industrial and agricultural properties, vital infrastructure — including water, sanitation and electricity.

The draft would demand that Israel cease all practices and actions that violated the human rights of the Palestinian people, and that it fully comply with its legal obligations in that regard. It would also demand that Israel cease all activities and measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the occupied territories, including in and around East Jerusalem, which gravely and detrimentally affected the Palestinian people’s human rights.

The Committee then turned to draft resolution “L.17” on the occupied Syrian Golan, approving it by a recorded vote of 158 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 16 abstentions.

By its terms, the Assembly would call on Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan, in particular, Security Council resolution 497 (1981), in which the Council decided that Israel’s imposition of its laws, jurisdiction and administration were null and void and without international legal effect. It would also call on Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan.

General Statements

FEDA ABELHADY-NASSER, observer for the State of Palestine expressed deep appreciation and gratitude to all delegations that voted in favour of the nine resolutions. She also conveyed sincere appreciation to the co-sponsors. The overwhelming majority of votes garnered constituted a strong reaffirmation of the rights of the Palestinian people, which had not diminished with the passage of time. The votes also reflected the indispensable role and support of UNRWA for international humanitarian law. Expressing gratitude to host and donor countries, she appealed for the support of both traditional and new donors in next month’s UNRWA pledging conference. She also stressed the role of the Special Committee and affirmed the applicability in the Occupied Palestinian Territory of the Geneva Convention.

BASHAR JA’AFARI (Syria) said Member States, through their support for the resolutions, had sent a clear message to Israel to end its occupation of Arab territories and serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law. On the Syrian Golan, Member States had overwhelmingly rejected Israel’s occupation. Everyone was aware that Israel’s violations of international law were also violations against humanity.

During the Syrian delegate’s statement, the representative of Israel, on a point of order, said that representative’s attempts to hint at Nazi Germany — he also done so last year in the same meeting of the Fourth Committee — were absolutely intolerable. It was downright anti-Semitic and absolutely contemptuous of the memory of the Holocaust and there was no place for it in this or any discussion, certainly not the platform of the United Nations. Since that was a provocation, he asked the chair not to allow such rhetoric again within this forum.

Then, the representative of Syria, saying he wished to finish his statement, said that Israel, the occupying Power, backed terrorism, which had led to a pullback of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) from their positions in the Golan. Those terrorists had also kidnapped some personnel. The most recent report of the Secretary-General on UNDOF clearly indicated that Israel was cooperating with terrorists of the al-Nusra Front, facilitating its passage across borders through the area of operation of UNDOF. What he said there in no way pointed to anti-Semitism, Judea-phobia, or the Holocaust.

He said that Israel was the only country to have voted against the resolution on the occupied Syrian Golan. That suggested its lack of concern for international consensus or international law, or for the United Nations. A country that claimed it was created through the United Nations did not heed the Organization’s decisions. Any hesitation to condemn occupation and annexation sent a wrong signal to those who considered themselves “beyond the pale of the law”. He saw in Israel’s statement a desire to adopt a resolution glorifying its occupation of Arab territories.

The Israeli delegate, like all Israelis, he said, was removed from reality and unaware that Israel was occupying territory. If Israel did not want to see its policies compared to Nazi policies, it had to conform to international law. Once Israel stopped illegally occupying land, the Committee would no longer have to meet on the question. Israel’s representatives acted as if they were messengers of peace, whereas they were “monsters violating the interests of others”.

The representative of Canada said the Syrian representative’s efforts to compare Israel with Nazi Germany were unacceptable.

The representative of the United States deeply regretted and condemned Syria’s characterization of Israel as akin to Nazi Germany.

The representative of Germany said the Syrian representative had made a highly regrettable abuse of history in drawing parallels between Nazi Germany and Israel.

The representative of Israel said it was shameful that such rhetoric was being heard in the United Nations. It was remarkable that the Syrian delegate considered that he had any standing to lecture others on human rights. He represented a country that massacred its own people. Further, Syria shed crocodile’s tears on Palestinian refugees, while mistreating them in its own territory. The Syrian Army had fled the field from Al Nusra and left UNDOF vulnerable. Israel had stepped in on humanitarian grounds.

The representative of Australia recorded his delegation’s deep regret at the manner in which Syria had hinted at comparisons between Israel and Nazi Germany, which were historically inaccurate and completely unhelpful.Right of Reply

Exercising his right of reply, the representative of Syria said some delegates had not correctly comprehended his country’s statement. Israel’s violations and annexations had reminded Syria of dark periods of history. Any other interpretation was not correct and was the product of the critics’ imagination. The Israeli representative made his own interpretations of events regarding UNDOF in order to malign Syria. Israel belonged in the Guinness Book of Records for the number of its violations against Arabs. Further, treating terrorists in Israeli hospitals and sending them back into Syria to fight did not constitute humanitarian assistance.

Also exercising his right of reply, the representative of Israel said the Syrian representative’s systematic lying was shameful and unacceptable. The death toll in Syria spoke volumes about its Government’s record.

Responding, the representative of Syria said it was strange how Israel had chosen to deflect international criticism of its policies by levelling accusations against Syria. Israel’s crimes must stop and be accounted for.


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For information media • not an official record

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