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


Fifty-ninth General Assembly
Plenary
65th Meeting (PM)
GA/10309
2 December 2004

GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEFERS DECISION ON HUMAN CLONING,
ADOPTS 24 RESOLUTIONS ON WIDE RANGE OF LEGAL, OTHER MATTERS

Among Other Issues, Adopted Texts Concern Andean Zone of Peace,
Assistance to Palestinians, Fair Globalization, International Criminal Court


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Background

The General Assembly met this afternoon to consider the 19 reports of its Sixth Committee (Legal), one of which contains a recommendation that the Committee meet again in February to conclude consideration of a United Nations Declaration on Human Cloning.

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Also this afternoon, the Assembly was expected to take up draft resolutions on its own agenda items.  Those include on the Andean Zone of Peace; public administration and development; assistance to the Palestinian people; and a report by the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization entitled “A Fair Globalization:  Creating Opportunities for All”.

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Sixth Committee (Legal) Reports

By a draft text on the scope of legal protection under the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel (document A/59/515/Corr.1), also approved on 17 November, the Assembly would urge States to take all necessary measures to prevent crimes against such persons, ensure that the offences did not go unpunished and that perpetrators were brought to justice.  The Assembly would call upon States to become parties to the relevant international instruments and to respect fully their obligations under them, particularly the 1994 Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel. (As at 9 November, 77 countries had ratified or acceded to the Convention, which entered into force on 15 January 1999.

By other terms of the text, the Assembly would recommend that the Secretary-General continue to seek the inclusion of, and that host countries include, key provisions of the Convention in status-of-forces, status-of-missions and host country agreements negotiated between the United Nations and those countries.

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Scope of Legal Protection under the Convention would be asked to reconvene for a week, from 11 to 15 April, with a mandate to expand the scope of the legal protection, possibly by a legal instrument.  Its work would be continued during the Assembly’s sixtieth session within the framework of a working group of the Sixth Committee, the Assembly would further decide.  The topic will be included in the provisional agenda of the Assembly’s sixtieth session in 2005.

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Assembly Drafts

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By a draft resolution on assistance to the Palestinian people (document A/59/L.24), the Assembly would express its grave concern at the deterioration in the living conditions of the Palestinian people throughout the occupies territory, which constitutes a mounting humanitarian crisis, and would therefore call on the international donor community, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to extend as rapidly as possible emergency economic and humanitarian assistance to counter the impact of the current crisis.

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Action on Assembly Drafts

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Next, a draft resolution on assistance to the Palestinian people (document A/59/L.24), was introduced by the representative of the Netherlands (speaking on behalf of the European Union and associated States), who said that by the text, Member States, international financial institutions, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were urged to extend economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people as rapidly as possible.

The text also would have the Assembly express its appreciation for the work of the Secretary-General and his staff in the field of humanitarian assistance and the Middle East Peace process.  He hoped the text would be adopted unanimously, and then reintroduced a new operative paragraph 1:  “Also takes note of the Personal Humanitarian Envoy of the Secretary-General on the humanitarian conditions and needs of the Palestinian people”.

The text was adopted without a vote.

Following the vote, the representative of Israel said his delegation had voted in favour of the draft as a demonstration of Israel’s continued support for humanitarian efforts aimed at relieving the situation of the Palestinian People.  Israel was doing all it could to ensure that their humanitarian needs were met.  And while difficulties remained, Israel worked to ensure that the flows of humanitarian goods went to Palestinian areas as smoothly as possible.  It was also working to upgrade its operating procedures to speed the transfer of humanitarian assistance, ambulances and goods.  He hoped that Israel’s continued efforts might also jumpstart the peace process.

He went on to say that helping to end suffering of all peoples in the Middle East was a crucial component of overall peace efforts in the region.  It was also a priority of the Israeli Government.  Israel welcomed the work of all international agencies and believed that for such work to be effective it should be coordinated with relevant authorities.  He added that terrorist activity affected the measures Israel enacted or its security.  Terrorist activities also had a direct impact on humanitarian workers and aid recipients alike, on both sides.  He stressed that humanitarian issues should be free of politicization, and that Israel’s support for the thrust of the text should not construed as an endorsement of certain terms included therein.  He also stressed the need to acknowledge that civilians on both sides were suffering, as well as the importance of working to ensure that the civilians on both sides lived in security and peace in accordance with the principles of the Road Map peace plan.

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