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Special Political and Decolonization Committee
Summary record of the 25th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Thursday, 9 November 2006, at 10 a.m.
Chairman: Mr. Acharya ............................................................................ (Nepal)
Agenda item 31: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East ( continued)
Agenda item 32: Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories ( continued)
The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.
Agenda item 31: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (continued) (A/C.4/61/L.9-L.12)
Agenda item 32: Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (continued) (A/C.4/61/L.13-L.18)
1. The Chairman drew attention to the draft resolutions under agenda items 31 and 32, the texts of which had been circulated that morning.
2. Mr. Panggabean (Indonesia), introducing the four draft resolutions under agenda item 31, which were largely the same as those of previous years except for minor technical changes, said that they were intended as an expression of support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as it worked under growing financial constraints and increasingly difficult circumstances. In the draft resolution on persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities (A/C.4/61/L.10), he drew attention to paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 in particular. In the draft resolution on operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (A/C.4/61/L.11), he singled out the third, fourth, sixth, eighth to eleventh, thirteenth, fourteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth preambular paragraphs, and paragraphs 1, 2, 7 and 10 to 13. In the draft resolution on Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues (A/C.4/61/L.12), he cited the first, fourth and seventh preambular paragraphs, and read out paragraphs 1, 2 and 5. In the draft resolution on assistance to Palestine refugees (A/C.4/61/L.9), he underscored the first, second and seventh to ninth preambular paragraphs and paragraphs 1 to 4.
3. He expressed the hope that, if consensus on the draft resolutions was not possible, they would receive the broadest possible endorsement, reflecting the international community’s firm and continuing support for the humanitarian work of UNRWA and for the Palestine refugees.
4. Ms. Hernández Toledano (Cuba), introducing the five draft resolutions under agenda item 32, said that, as the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory deteriorated — most acutely in the Gaza Strip, which was under daily assault — the international community must take a firm position to induce the occupying Power to stop its continuing violations of international law and international humanitarian law.
5. In the draft resolution on the work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (A/C.4/61/L.13), she drew particular attention to the third to fifth and tenth preambular paragraphs and to paragraphs 1, 3 to 5, 7 and 8 (d). In the draft resolution on the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories (A/C.4/61/L.14), she referred especially to the eighth preambular paragraph and paragraphs 2 and 3. In the draft resolution on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan (A/C.4/61/L.15) she emphasized the second, sixth, seventh, thirteenth and fourteenth preambular paragraphs, as well as paragraphs 1, 4, 6, 8 and 9. In the draft resolution on Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem (A/C.4/61/L.16), after drawing attention to the fourteenth, eighteenth and twentieth preambular paragraphs, she singled out a new nineteenth preambular paragraph condemning in particular the large-scale military assaults in recent months in the Gaza Strip resulting in extensive loss of life among Palestinian civilians, and referred also to paragraphs 2, 3, 8 and 9.
6. She noted that, except for appropriate updating of dates and figures, the draft resolution on the occupied Syrian Golan (A/C.4/61/L.17) was identical to those adopted in previous years, which had always received almost universal support. It gave a strong message against foreign occupation and the acquisition of territory by force and, in particular, the unlawful annexation by Israel of the Syrian Golan.
7. She hoped that the members of the Committee would give their broad support to the five draft resolutions.
8. Mr. Zhang (Secretary of the Committee) informed the members that draft resolutions A/C.4/61/L.9 to L.12 and L.14 to L.18 had no programme budget implications. With regard to draft resolution A/C.4/61/L.13 on the work of the Special Committee, he stated, under rule 153 of the rules of procedure of the General Assembly, that for the biennium 2006-2007 the General Assembly had approved a programme budget totalling $83,552,600 under section 23, Human rights, of which $233,100 was allocated to the Special Committee. Thus, the adoption of the draft resolution, including the action called for in paragraph 8 (a) to (d), would not entail any additional appropriation.
9. He drew the Committee’s attention to section VI of General Assembly resolution 45/248 B, in which the Assembly had reaffirmed that the Fifth Committee was the appropriate Main Committee of the General Assembly entrusted with responsibilities for administrative and budgetary matters; and had reaffirmed also the role of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.
10. Ms. Rasheed (Observer for Palestine), supported by Ms. Kanerva (Finland), suggested that the Committee should postpone taking action on the draft resolutions to allow for consultations between interested delegations.
11. The Chairman said he took it that the Committee wished to defer action on draft resolutions A/C.4/61/L.9 to L.17, as well as the pending draft resolution on Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip (A/C.4/61/L.18), until the following week.
12. It was so decided.
The meeting rose at 11.55 a.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 publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 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.