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        General Assembly
12 September 1997


Official Records

37th meeting
held on
Monday, 2 December 1996
at 10 a.m.
New York


Chairman: Mr. HAMBURGER (Netherlands)




The meeting was called to order at 10.45 a.m.


AGENDA ITEM 12: REPORT OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (continued) (A/C.2/51/L.29, L.30/Rev.2 and L.37)

Draft resolutions A/C.2/51/L.29 and L.30/Rev.2: Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

84. Mr. RAMOUL (Algeria), Vice-Chairman, introduced draft resolution A/C.2/51/L.30/Rev.2, and said that, as it had not been possible to reach a consensus during informal consultations, it would be necessary to have a vote.

85. Mr. IBRAHIM (Malaysia) said that Algeria, Cuba, Jordan and Saudi Arabia would like to sponsor the draft resolution.

86. Mr. MANOR (Israel), speaking in explanation of vote before the voting, said that the draft resolution was superfluous because the issue of rights over natural resources had been covered in the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement signed on 28 September 1995, and should be settled within the framework of the direct negotiations on permanent status already under way. The principle of direct negotiations also applied to Syria and Lebanon, and he invited them to resume negotiations with his country. The real objective of the draft resolution was to predetermine the outcome of the negotiations, which contradicted the spirit and letter of the Interim Agreement and of the Madrid Conference. His delegation would vote against the draft and invited other delegations that supported the peace process to do the same.

87. Mr. HAMDAN (Lebanon) pointed out that occupation was the most serious obstacle to economic development. He was well aware that the Second Committee was not authorized to deal with political problems, but the problems were of an economic nature. The international community should remain faithful to the spirit of the Charter and stress the disastrous consequences of the occupation. The implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978) would allow for the establishment of a climate of peace in the region and put an end to the violent acts taking place there. Lebanon was asking other countries not to help settle its internal problems, but to add no new ones. He therefore requested the immediate withdrawal of the occupying Israeli forces.

88. At the request of the representative of the United States of America, a recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.2/51/L.30/Rev.2.

89. The draft resolution was adopted by 123 votes to 2, with 17 abstentions.

90. Mr. TANAKA (Japan) said that his Government participated actively in the peace process, having already provided approximately $200 million. Japan had therefore voted in favour of the draft resolution, but that did not prejudge its position on the outcome of the ongoing negotiations or the status of the occupied territories. His delegation believed, however, that the Second Committee was not the appropriate forum for the draft resolution, as it contained very political elements.

91. Mr. MURPHY (Ireland), speaking on behalf of the European Union, stated that it recognized the applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. It also believed that the issues taken up in the draft should be dealt with in negotiations on the permanent status, and that the adoption of the draft should not be seen as prejudging their outcome. The European Union was concerned by the addition of a supplementary item to the already heavy agenda of the Second Committee.

92. Mr. WINNICK (United States of America) expressed his delegation's firm opposition to the draft resolution, which involved the General Assembly in the direct negotiations under way and amounted to a prejudgement of their outcome. The explicit reference to Jerusalem was unacceptable. The United States had voted against the resolution because it risked compromising the efforts of the parties involved in the direct negotiations.

93. Mr. FERNÁNDEZ PALACIO (Argentina) said that his delegation's abstention did not contradict Argentina's long-standing support for the Security Council resolution mentioned in the draft, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territories by force and the applicability of the Geneva Convention.

94. Ms. CARAYANIDES (Australia) said that her delegation had voted in favour of the draft resolution as the goal of the text was to guarantee that the natural resources in the occupied territories were not used inappropriately. The goal was not to undermine the outcome of the negotiations. She was concerned by the addition of supplementary items to the already heavy agenda.

95. Ms. McVEY (Canada) said that the proliferation of resolutions was not good for the United Nations and its various committees. The draft resolution just adopted was an example of proliferation. However, as Canada was in favour of several elements of the draft, it had voted in favour. She had noted the reference to the ongoing process of negotiations, and believed that they offered the best way to settle the problems covered in the draft, as well as the question of the status of Jerusalem. She also believed that the adoption of the draft should not be considered as prejudging the outcome of the peace process.

96. Mr. DJABBARY (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that his delegation's vote in favour of the draft resolution should not be regarded as a recognition of Israel.

97. Mr. SEYOUM (Eritrea) said that his delegation had intended to vote in favour as in previous years, but its vote had not registered on the board. He requested that that fact should be reflected in the summary record of the meeting.

97 bis. Mr. MONTOYA (Colombia) said that, if his delegation had been present during the voting, it would have voted in favour of the draft.

98. Draft resolution A/C.2/51/L.29 was withdrawn.


The meeting rose at 1.20 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.

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