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


ECOSOC/5988
25 July 2001


ECOSOC ADOPTS RESOLUTIONS, DECISIONS ON SOCIAL, HUMAN RIGHTS,

ECONOMIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES


Approves Resolution on Economic and Social Repercussions
of Israeli Occupation on Palestinians and Population in Golan Heights

(Reissued as received.)


GENEVA, 25 July (UN Information Service) -- The Economic and Social Council this afternoon adopted a number of resolutions and decisions on social, human rights, economic and environmental issues.

A resolution concerning the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Golan called on Israel to stop its actions against the Palestinians, in particular the closure of the occupied territory. It passed by a vote of 42 in favour to one against and five abstentions. In the resolution, the Council stressed the need to preserve the territorial integrity of the entire area, and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods there.

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Action on Resolutions and Decisions

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In a resolution (E/2001/L.26) on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Golan, adopted by a roll-call vote of 42 in favour and one opposed, with five abstentions, the Council stressed the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all of the occupied Palestinian territory and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods in the territory; also stressed the vital importance of the construction and operation of the seaport in Gaza and safe passage for the economic and social development of the Palestinian people; called upon Israel, the occupying power, to cease its measures against the Palestinian people, in particular the closure of the occupied Palestinian territory, the enforced isolation of Palestinian towns, and destruction of homes and the isolation of Jerusalem; reaffirmed the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan to all their natural and economic resources; reaffirmed the Israeli settlements were illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development; urged Member States to encourage private foreign investment in the occupied Palestinian territory; and requested the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session a report on the implementation of the present resolution and to continue to include, in the report of the United Nations Special Coordinator, an update on the living conditions of the Palestinian people.

In favour: Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, United Kingdom and Venezuela.

Against: United States.

Abstentions: Angola, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Fiji and Honduras.

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Statements

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ARMAN AARDAL (Norway) said the Israeli occupation of the West Bank had a profound and negative impact on the Palestinians. The use of internal and external closures had hurt the Palestinians’ economic activities. Since the beginning of the violence nine months ago, there had been a shortfall in revenues, threatening public payrolls, which then threatened basic services and public order. To offset the negative social, economic and political impacts on the Palestinian Authority, Norway had provided some $200 million. The immediate solution to end the crisis was to end the hostilities and lift the closures. Norway urged Israel to take measures to this effect. The only long-term solution was a negotiated peace agreement. Over the past months, violence and military actions had increased. It was high time that the initiative was returned to the political leaders.

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YURI KOLESNIKOV (Russian Federation) said his country had voted in favour of resolution L.26 because it believed General Assembly resolutions reiterated the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to their natural resources. These questions would have to be subject to final-status negotiations. International attempts to stabilize the situation in the occupied territories had so far not succeeded; violence, while lessened, had continued. It was necessary to take measures to build confidence both politically and economically, to concentrate on implementing agreements previously arrived at, and to follow the recommendations of international mediators, including the Russian Federation. The presence of third-country observers, something acceptable to both parties, would help to settle the conflict.


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