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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/48/PV.79
14 December 1993

ENGLISH

United Nations
G E N E R A L
A S S E M B L Y
FORTY-EIGHTH SESSION

Official Records
79th
PLENARY MEETING

Tuesday, 14 December 1993
at 3 p.m.

NEW YORK



President: Mr. INSANALLY.....................(Guyana)


The meeting was called to order at 3.35 p.m.

AGENDA ITEM 34 (continued)


THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST

(a) REPORTS OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (A/48/522, A/48/607)

(b) DRAFT RESOLUTIONS (A/48/L.32, A/48/L.34, A/48/L.46)

The PRESIDENT: Members will recall that the General Assembly concluded its debate on this agenda item at its 68th meeting, held 2 December.

The Assembly has before it three draft resolutions, issued as documents A/48/L.32, A/48/L.34 and A/48/L.46.

I shall call first on the representatives of Norway, the Russian Federation and the United States of America, who will introduce draft resolution A/48/L.32.

Mr. HUSLID (Norway): I have the privilege and pleasure to introduce draft resolution A/48/L.32, entitled "Middle East peace process". I do this together with the Russian Federation and the United States of America, and on behalf of the 87 additional sponsors listed in document A/48/755 and the following additional sponsors: Albania, Barbados, Botswana, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Haiti, Madagascar, San Marino, Suriname, Tajikistan and Thailand. This brings the total number of sponsors to 108.

It gives me particular pleasure to introduce this draft resolution because it is one that clearly addresses the future - hopefully, a future of peace and security in the Middle East region. The draft resolution welcomes and gives full support to the achievements of the peace process so far. Particular mention is made of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the Agreement between Israel and Jordan on the Common Agenda.

The draft resolution underlines, however, that this is only the initial step - albeit an important one - in achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Perhaps even more important is the emphasis placed in operative paragraph 4 on the need for achieving rapid progress on the other tracks of the Arab-Israeli negotiations within the peace process initiated in Madrid more than two years ago. Those are, on the one hand, the negotiating track between Israel and Syria, for which a promising opening has been made; and, on the other, the one between Israel and Lebanon. With regard to this latter track, where we hope negotiations will not be far off, Security Council resolution 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978 will be an important point of reference. In this connection, I should like to reaffirm my Government's commitment to Lebanon's political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

An important part of the draft resolution before the Assembly is of course also the call upon Member States to provide economic, financial and technical assistance to the Palestinian people and to States in the region, and to render support for the peace process.

Lastly, I draw members' attention to operative paragraph 7, favouring an active United Nations role in the peace process, as well as to paragraph 8, encouraging regional development and cooperation.

The purpose of this draft resolution is not only to welcome the peace process but also, we hope, to register unanimous support of the United Nations membership for further efforts towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. This draft resolution will not make all other resolutions redundant or irrelevant. We are fully aware that many important issues remain to be solved. However, we consider it vitally important that at this critical stage the world community express its support for the peace process through this forum.

We therefore commend the draft resolution for unanimous adoption.

Mr. VORONTSOV (Russian Federation) (interpretation from Russian): The delegation of the Russian Federation, as a co-sponsor of the peace process in the Middle East, would like to join in introducing the draft resolution contained in document A/48/L.32 and support the evaluation given the draft resolution by the representative of Norway.

The major objective of the draft resolution is to enhance the achievements made in the peace process in the Middle East and impel the parties to achieve further practical results in all areas of negotiation.

The Russian delegation would like to draw attention to the fact that the draft resolution welcomes the convening in Madrid, on 30 October 1991, of the Peace Conference on the Middle East and emphasizes the importance of, and need for, achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in that region. It is an important matter of principle that what was worked out two years ago in the Madrid Conference - that is, the basic parameters which provide in particular for negotiations on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), as well as the format for the peace process - have proved to be vital and practicable. The bilateral talks and also the meetings of the multilateral working groups under the aegis of the co-sponsors - Russia and the United States - are not easy. All the same, the parties to the conflict are slowly but surely making their way towards the achievement of concrete agreements.

The most important political event of 1993, which took the negotiations to a qualitatively new level, was the mutual recognition by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel, and the signature of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles. This first important success in Arab-Israeli negotiations was achieved thanks in large part to the vigorous efforts of the co-sponsors, the United States and the Russian Federation, to the assistance of other States, especially Norway, and to the willingness of the international community, including the United Nations, to support the shift from confrontation to cooperation in that region.

We now see our principal task as doing everything possible to promote the rapid implementation, without delay, of the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration, and the earliest possible agreement on the other two bilateral negotiating tracks. In that connection, the General Assembly, in paragraph 3 of the draft resolution, would express its full support for the achievements of the peace process thus far, in particular the Declaration of Principles, and the agreement between Israel and Jordan on the Common Agenda, which constitute an important initial step in achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and would urge all parties to implement agreements reached.

No less vital in terms of our search for a comprehensive, lasting settlement is the task of spurring talks between Syria and Israel and between Lebanon and Israel. To achieve success, we obviously require stalwart diplomatic efforts, but the necessary framework has already been defined by the Madrid process. It is well known that Lebanon and Israel are continuing their efforts to reach agreement on a political framework for the settlement of key problems, especially in southern Lebanon. The goals are set out in Security Council resolution 425 (1978), and are supported by the Government of Russia.

We wish to express our satisfaction at the fact that the United States Government has invited representatives of the Syrian Arab Republic and Lebanon to Washington for negotiations at the beginning of next month. Those negotiations, plus additional meetings to take place afterwards, will surely energize the entire peace process.

We need external material support to ensure Palestinian self-rule. In paragraph 5 of the draft resolution the General Assembly would welcome the results of the International Donors Conference to Support Middle East Peace, convened in Washington, D.C., on 1 October 1993, and the establishment of the high-level United Nations task force to support the economic and social development of the Palestinian people, and would urge Member States to provide economic, financial and technical assistance to the Palestinian people during the interim period. In that connection, the Russian Federation places high value on the outcome of the Washington conference, which determined the scope of and channels for international financial assistance to the Palestinians. That machinery, which is integrated into the peace process, will help achieve an optimal solution and the use of the donated resources to help restore the economy in the Palestinian territories and establish Palestinian self-rule.

Also of great importance is the provision by which the General Assembly would consider that an active United Nations role in the Middle East peace process and in assisting in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles could make a positive contribution. We believe that the United Nations and its specialized agencies, first and foremost the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Children's Fund, have much experience in implementing many kinds of humanitarian and technical programmes in the occupied territories; this experience could be very useful in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles.

We are deeply satisfied that delegations at this session of the General Assembly have correctly grasped the new spirit in the Middle East negotiating process: the point is not to dwell on the past, but to look to the future and to work towards that future calmly and constructively, here and now. We are convinced that with the adoption of this constructive, balanced and non-confrontational draft resolution a new page will be opened in the history of United Nations consideration of the situation in the Middle East, enabling the Organization to be more fully included in the achievement of agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, and in the Middle East peace process in general.

Mrs. ALBRIGHT (United States of America): The draft resolution (A/48/L.32) we offer today would allow the General Assembly, for the first time, to record its support for the Middle East peace process inaugurated in Madrid two years ago. Its adoption would mean that after decades of division and discord, we in this Assembly are now able to speak with one voice about the imperative of a Middle East peace.

By supporting the peace process, the General Assembly would honour the bedrock principles upon which the United Nations Charter resides, while encouraging the Palestinians, Arab States and Israel to continue on the road towards an enduring and comprehensive settlement. We know that violence and rejectionism are easy choices for both Governments and individuals to make. It takes little effort to re-open a scar; it takes time and wisdom to heal one. It is precisely because the path towards a Middle East peace is so rocky and steep that the international support demonstrated by this draft resolution is so urgently required.

It is both necessary and appropriate, therefore, that the world should offer its encouragement to the Madrid process, the Israeli-Palestinian Declaration of Principles, the Israeli-Jordan agreed Common Agenda and the process which has followed from those historic commitments. In so doing, we express not only our aspirations, but our confidence that the peace process remains on track.

Israel and the PLO are working hard to find a formula for implementing the principles signed in Washington on 13 September.

Lebanon and Israel are continuing their effort to reach agreement on a political frame of reference dealing with the key issues, especially in southern Lebanon. In that respect, I wish to reaffirm my Government's commitment to Lebanon's political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Those objectives were set forth in Security Council resolution 425 (1978), which my Government supports.

My Government has invited representatives of the Governments of the Syrian Arab Republic and Lebanon to Washington for discussions with us early next month. These discussions will be followed by simplified and streamlined talks on all tracks between Arabs and Israelis. Expanded negotiations could then resume within weeks.

Taken together, these steps will energize the peace process.

In the draft resolution before us it is recognized that peace is the key to the future in the Middle East; that a lasting peace must be comprehensive; and that an agreement must be associated with tangible improvements in people's lives. My Government continues to support and contribute to international efforts to support the economic and social development of the Palestinian people, and urges economic, financial and technical assistance to States in the region.

The United States is proud to have worked with the representatives of Russia, Norway and many other nations in sponsoring this draft resolution. We invite the representatives of all States to join in expressing support for a just and lasting peace. Let us together give the people of the Middle East greater grounds to hope for what President Clinton called in a statement on 13 September "the quiet miracle of a normal life".

The PRESIDENT: I now call on the representative of Indonesia, to introduce draft resolutions A/48/L.34 and A/48/L.46.

Mr. SOEGARDA (Indonesia): It is a distinct honour for me to introduce two draft resolutions under agenda item 34.

The first, contained in document A/48/L.34, on Jerusalem, is being introduced on behalf of Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, the Sudan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The second draft resolution, contained in document A/48/L.46, on the Syrian Golan, is being introduced on behalf of Bahrain, Cuba, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Qatar, the Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

With regard to Jerusalem, the document (A/48/L.34) recalls the resolutions adopted by the General Assembly since 1981, which repudiated in unmistakable terms the so-called "Basic Law". Over the years, however, Israel, the occupying Power, has used the provisions of that "law" in its continuing attempts to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem. In this context, Israel has adopted a number of legislative acts and administrative measures intended to gradually annex Jerusalem, which was proclaimed as its capital.

Furthermore, the draft resolution also recalls Security Council resolution 478 (1980), which also does not recognize the legality, and hence the applicability, of the "Basic Law". In consequence, the operative part determines that the laws, jurisdiction and administration unilaterally imposed upon Jerusalem are not binding on the international community, as they lack any legal basis and are therefore null and void; it also notes the establishment of diplomatic missions in Jerusalem by some Member States in contravention of resolution 478 (1980); and it deplores their refusal to abide by that resolution and renews its call for the implementation of its provisions.

As far as the Syrian Golan is concerned, the draft resolution (A/48/L.46) reaffirms the sacrosanct principle of the inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by force, as well as the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. In this context, the draft notes that Israel, instead of complying with Security Council resolution 497 (1981), has instead imposed its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan. Subsequently, the decision by the Knesset on 11 November 1981 to formally annex that Syrian territory cannot but constitute a grave violation not only of that resolution but also of other relevant United Nations resolutions and principles of international law recognized by the community of nations. Undeniably, these ill-advised actions impinging upon the territorial integrity of a State Member of the Organization have ramifications for regional peace and international security.

The draft resolution therefore emphasizes the imperative need on the part of Israel to rescind forthwith all of its illegal actions and decisions in full conformity with the Geneva Convention and the relevant resolutions adopted by the Organization. Finally, the draft resolution urges Israel to withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan within the framework of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East.

The sponsors of both draft resolutions sincerely hope that Member States will accord serious consideration to their adoption and thereby enhance the prospects for peace in the region.

The PRESIDENT: I now call on the representative of Belgium, who has asked to speak on the draft resolutions before us on behalf of the European Union.

Mr. NOTERDAEME (Belgium) (interpretation from French): I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The European Union is pleased that the General Assembly is finally being called upon to give its full support to the Middle East peace process with a view to reaching a just, lasting and comprehensive peace for the entire region. The mutual recognition between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Declaration of Principles of 13 September last are an important first step in that direction. To this end, the European Union confirms its intention to support the peace process by mobilizing the political, economic and financial resources of the Union in a joint action, especially in the areas of international arrangements and of strengthening the democratic process stemming from the Israeli-Palestinian agreement. As the major provider of assistance to the occupied territories, the European Union will work for the speedy, effective and transparent provision of assistance. In the framework of the multilateral talks, the European Union will continue its activity for the consolidation of peace by establishing regional cooperation.

We are following with great interest the improvement of the situation in Lebanon, where stability is still fragile, however, for lack of a comprehensive settlement, so long awaited, for the benefit of the entire Middle East region. We continue to urge the complete restoration of the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Lebanon. The European Union would like to recall that for many years now it has been insisting on the full implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978), adopted on 19 March 1978. We encourage all the parties to make progress in bilateral negotiations and to bring them to a successful conclusion.

The PRESIDENT: I now call on the representative of Oman, who will speak on behalf of the Arab States.

Mr. AL-SAMEEN (Oman) (interpretation from Arabic): This month we have the honour to chair the Arab Group, made up of the following countries: the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Kuwait, Morocco, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Mauritania, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, Djibouti, the Comoros, Somalia, Qatar, Palestine and my country, Oman.

On behalf of the Group, I wish to declare our full solidarity with Lebanon on the need to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978) and on the need to refer to that resolution in the draft resolution in document A/48/L.32 on the peace process in the Middle East.
The Arab Group has made great efforts, together with the original sponsors of the draft resolution - the United States, the Russian Federation and Norway - to ensure the inclusion in the draft resolution of a reference to resolution 425 (1978), because that resolution was the basis upon which Lebanon entered the peace talks at the Madrid Conference. We regret to inform the Assembly that these attempts of ours were not successful and that our proposal was rejected.

That stance has made it impossible to reach consensus on the sponsoring of the draft resolution. The Arab Group was strongly desirous of achieving that consensus as the aim of the draft resolution, in our belief, was to move the peace process forward and to ensure its success. The Arab Group reiterates its resolute support of Lebanon with regard to the need to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978), without which there can be no just, comprehensive and durable peace in the Middle East, the sort of peace we all aspire after and work for.

Mr. MERIMEE (France) (interpretation from French): France, like the other members of the European Union - on whose behalf the representative of Belgium spoke earlier - welcomed with great satisfaction the recent developments in the situation in the Middle East, in particular the agreement signed in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993. That is why from the very outset we associated ourselves with the idea of drafting an additional resolution which, in spirit, would hail these developments.

Moreover, my country had hoped that all the resolutions on the Middle East which the General Assembly normally considers might be reviewed and adapted to the new context. In this respect, the assessment of the current situation, though far from negative, could have been improved by reducing the number of these texts or by deleting or merging them, as well as by changing their tone more markedly.

Regarding the additional draft resolution itself, we unreservedly support it but have decided not to be a co-sponsor. Our decision can be attributed to the fact that it does not refer to Security Council resolution 425 (1978). Indeed, we attach special significance to the fate of Lebanon and believe that, within the framework of a settlement in the Middle East, that country must be enabled to regain its sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognized borders, which would require the withdrawal of all non-Lebanese forces currently stationed there. That is precisely what is implied in resolution 425 (1978). We therefore regret that the importance of this essential text has not been stressed on the solemn occasion of today's adoption of the additional draft resolution.

My country has always felt that the United Nations should play a central role in any Middle East settlement. In political terms, this implies in particular that all aspects of the issue should be taken into consideration and that no one should be forgotten. The principles set down in resolution 425 (1978) were included in the Madrid negotiations. They should not be omitted at a crucial moment in the peace process, when Israel is more than ever before prepared to implement this text, its leaders having asserted on several occasions that they have no territorial claims against Lebanon.

If it is to endure, any peace settlement must indeed be comprehensive and just. All the countries of the region must be included in such a settlement. Progress has already been achieved in the Israeli-Jordanian negotiations, particularly with the adoption of a common agenda on 14 September. On the other hand, the negotiations with Syria and Lebanon do not seem to have made any headway.

For its part, France will fully support the implementation of the Declaration of Principles of 13 September 1993, especially in the area of assistance to the Palestinians in the establishment of interim self-rule. My country hopes to see parallel progress in the other negotiations and will continue to support the negotiating process, in particular by hosting in Paris the Israeli-Palestinian economic group.

The PRESIDENT: We shall now proceed to consider draft resolutions A/48/L.32, A/48/L.34 and A/48/L.46.

I shall call on those representatives who wish to speak in explanation of vote before the voting. May I remind delegations that explanations of vote are limited to 10 minutes and should be made by delegations from their seats.

Mr. MAKKAWI (Lebanon): As is well known, Lebanon has suffered tremendously as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the absence of peace in the Middle East. By the same token, we have much to gain from the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region. It is our hope and prayer that the peace process launched in Madrid will succeed.

Allow me to explain why my Government is not in a position to support draft resolution A/48/L.32, which makes no mention of Security Council resolution 425 (1978). We shall vote against it for the following reasons.

Lebanon agreed to participate in the Madrid Conference and the subsequent rounds of negotiations in Washington, D.C., on the basis of Security Council resolution 425 (1978). This was confirmed by the letter of assurances, dated 18 October 1991, from the Government of the United States to the Government of Lebanon. Subsequently, Lebanon entered the peace process with an open mind and an open heart and participated in a positive and constructive manner. This was done on the clear understanding that the Middle East peace process would provide the framework to convince Israel once and for all to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978).

It should be pointed out that Lebanon was not party to the wars of 1967 and 1973. As a result, neither Security Council resolution 242 (1967) or resolution 338 (1973) nor the "land for peace" formula is applicable to Lebanon. Therefore, Security Council resolution 425 (1978) must be mentioned in this draft resolution on the Middle East peace process if the Assembly is seriously to consider the draft resolution to be a show of support for the Madrid Conference and the subsequent bilateral negotiations with the purpose of achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

After all, it is absurd that Lebanon, an essential participant in the Middle East peace process for more than two years, should find Security Council resolution 425 (1978) omitted from a General Assembly resolution on the Middle East peace process.

The Lebanese delegation and the entire Arab Group have worked very hard to impress upon the sponsors of draft resolution A/48/L.32 the imperative of including a reference to Security Council resolution 425 (1978) in the preamble, for the reasons I have mentioned related to Lebanon's participation in the Madrid Conference and subsequent bilateral negotiations. If the draft resolution is adopted as it stands, it can be misconstrued to mean that Lebanon participated in the Madrid Conference and subsequent negotiations on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), which is contrary to the facts I have just stated.

Unfortunately, however, all our efforts were in vain, because the same Member State that refuses to implement Security Council resolution 425 (1978) has been allowed to block any reference to it - this despite the fact that that resolution is as essential to the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East as are Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). No country has ever contested Security Council resolution 425 (1978); indeed, its validity is reaffirmed every six months by the Council when it votes to extend the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and reaffirms its commitment to the full sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and national unity of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries.

Lebanon had keenly hoped that a resolution on the Middle East peace process could be adopted by consensus, because we believe that the aim of such a resolution is basically to support and enhance the chance for peace. Unfortunately, Lebanon could not give this draft resolution its blessing, for the reasons I have just mentioned. In any case, we are ready to continue, and committed to continuing, the bilateral negotiations until there is a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978). We will, however, continue to refrain from entering into multilateral negotiations until there is real progress in the bilateral negotiations.

In conclusion, I take this opportunity to appeal to all Members of the United Nations, and in particular the members of the Security Council, to see to it that Security Council resolution 425 (1978) is implemented, for the sake of that precious peace which we all so genuinely desire.

Mr. AWAD (Syrian Arab Republic) (interpretation from Arabic): Syria has affirmed its commitment to the achievement of a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East on the basis of international legality, the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and in keeping with the Madrid formula.

Syria remains committed to the achievement of that goal. Syria, therefore, cannot agree to a draft resolution on the entire peace process in the Middle East that does not make reference to Security Council resolution 425 (1978), concerning Lebanon, which participated in the Madrid Conference and subsequent bilateral peace talks in Washington on the basis of that resolution.

The PRESIDENT: I should like to announce that Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau have become sponsors of draft resolution A/48/L.32.

The Assembly will now take decisions on draft resolutions A/48/L.32, A/48/L.34 and A/48/L.46.

We turn first to draft resolution A/48/L.32, entitled "Middle East peace process".

We shall now begin the voting process. A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Thailand, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against: Iran (Islamic Republic of), Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic

Abstaining: Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Draft resolution A/48/L.32 was adopted by 155 votes to 3, with 1 abstention (resolution 48/58).

The PRESIDENT: We turn next to draft resolution A/48/L.34, entitled "Jerusalem".

We shall now begin the voting process. A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour: Albania, Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against: Israel

Abstaining: Botswana, Fiji, Ghana, Iceland, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, United States of America

Draft resolution A/48/L.34 was adopted by 141 votes to 1, with 11 abstentions (resolution 48/59 A).

The PRESIDENT: We now turn to draft resolution A/48/L.46, entitled "Syrian Golan".

We shall now begin the process. A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour: Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Chad, China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Against: Israel, United States of America

Abstaining: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Venezuela, Zambia

Draft resolution A/48/L.46 was adopted by 65 votes to 2, with 83 abstentions (resolution A/48/59 B).

The PRESIDENT: I shall now call on those representatives who wish to explain their votes on the draft resolutions just adopted. May I remind delegations that explanations of vote are limited to 10 minutes and should be made by delegations from their seats.

Mr. WALKER (United States of America): My Government's views are well known on resolutions that speak conclusively to issues under direct negotiation between parties in the region. The Assembly should support the process of those negotiations in order to allow the parties to resolve their differences directly, without prejudging the outcome of the negotiations.

My Government is disappointed by the adoption of draft resolution A/48/L.46, concerning the Golan Heights. We had hoped that this draft resolution would not be voted upon this year. My Government voted in favour of Security Council resolution 497 (1981), on the status of the Golan Heights. Israel and Syria will engage again early next year in bilateral negotiations. The United States believes that it is important not to prejudge or prejudice the outcome of those negotiations. My Government opposes any language which could be considered as prejudging the outcome of the negotiations.

The United States has long maintained that it is essential to pursue a comprehensive and just peace. We are committed to our role as full partner and active intermediary in the Arab-Israeli peace process. Our efforts centre on building a comprehensive, just and lasting peace for all the people of the region.

The breakthroughs of this autumn have greatly changed traditional approaches to the Arab-Israeli conflict. At this important moment, we want to avoid focusing on issues or statements that divide and polarize. We want the parties of the region to address their differences at the negotiating table. As has been our practice in the past, the United States abstained in the voting on draft resolution A/48/L.34, concerning Jerusalem. We are convinced that Jerusalem must remain undivided, but that its final status should be decided through negotiations. This text uses unduly harsh language that can only polarize and divide. Instead of addressing the issue in the manner of this resolution, the parties have agreed that Jerusalem will be addressed in the final status negotiations.
The United States is committed to the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace settlement, achieved through direct negotiations based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973). The actions of the parties in the region demonstrate that the hard work of peacemaking is under way. The parties can succeed through political resolve and in a spirit of give and take. The General Assembly should give its fullest support to this process without trying to prejudge the outcome.

Mr. RAHIM (Bangladesh): My delegation voted in favour of the draft resolution contained in document A/48/L.32, on the Middle East process.

We agree that the resolution rightly stresses the importance of, and the need for, achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. It is our understanding that the resolution takes into account all relevant Security Council resolutions on this matter, including resolutions 425 (1978) and 497 (1981).

Mr. ABOLHASSANI SHAHREZA (Islamic Republic of Iran): My delegation voted in favour of the draft resolutions contained in documents A/48/L.34 and A/48/L.46. However, I should like to express my delegation's reservations on those parts of the resolutions which might be construed as a recognition of Israel.

Regarding the subject of the draft resolution contained in document A/48/L.32, the position of my Government is on record. I should just like to mention that we believe the recent agreements will not lead to the full restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. Moreover, the resolution makes no reference to the withdrawal of occupying forces from Lebanon.

Mr. GUILLEN (Peru) (interpretation from Spanish): The reasons for my delegation's vote on draft resolution A/48/L.32 are clear from the preamble and the operative parts of the draft resolution. However, I feel that it is important for me to state how much Peru welcomes the decisions and agreements of September last. We consider that they constitute a significant change in international circumstances. While they are but one step of the process, they are a fundamental one. We also believe that they will have an increasing effect on all the draft resolutions the United Nations will have before it in the future. In addition, we believe that the talks with other countries involved in the Middle East question will also benefit from this process, to the extent that everyone supports it in a cooperative and constructive way.

Mr. AMER (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (interpretation from Arabic): My delegation voted in favour of the draft resolutions contained in documents A/48/L.34 and A/48/L.46. My delegation wishes to put on record, however, that our voting must not be construed in any way as recognition of those who are occupying the land of Palestine.

My delegation abstained from voting on draft resolution A/48/L.32 because we believe that this draft resolution does not include the necessary elements for the achievement of a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. This resolution does not take into consideration the continued occupation by Israelis of south Lebanon and their refusal to withdraw from Lebanon in implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978).

We are for peace, peace that is comprehensive and just and that would bring about Israel's withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories and would guarantee the achievement of all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people: its right to return to its land to exercise self-determination, and to establish its own independent State in Palestine, with Al-Quds as its capital.

Mr. ELTINAY (Sudan) (interpretation from Arabic): The delegation of Sudan voted in favour of the draft resolution contained in document A/48/L.32 because of our commitment to the Arab choice in the search for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East. This is the same attitude we expressed when we viewed the Declaration of Principles as a Palestinian choice which must be respected by Sudan.

The Arab Foreign Ministers considered the aforementioned agreement a step towards the establishment of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East. However, my delegation considers it unfortunate that the co-sponsors of the draft resolution did not accept the proposal of the Arab Group to include in it a mention of Security Council resolution 425 (1978) so that it would reflect the desire of the international community to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East. Lebanon's request that a reference to resolution 425 (1978) be included is a legitimate one because that is the resolution on the basis of which Lebanon started the peace process and engaged in the negotiations that have taken and continue to take place with Israel on the implementation of that very resolution.

My delegation wishes to voice its strong support for this legitimate request by Lebanon and for Lebanon's right to liberate Southern Lebanon from Israeli occupation through the full implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978). My delegation also wishes to voice its conviction that a just, permanent and comprehensive peace in the Middle East cannot be established except after a full Israeli withdrawal from all territories occupied since 1967, including Al-Quds, and by the full respect of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and the implementation of all relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions.

Mr. JANSEN (Canada): Canada is pleased to have joined in the co-sponsorship of the new resolution under item 34, recognizing the recent achievements of the Middle East peace process. We applaud the courageous steps taken by Israel and the Palestinians with the signing of the Declaration of Principles, and by Israel and Jordan with their common agenda.

Canada encourages regional parties to continue negotiations to implement these existing agreements and to conclude new ones in order to achieve our goal of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. We are confident that Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) will come to a mutually acceptable compromise regarding the timing of Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territories.

With respect to Lebanon, Canada continues to support Security Council resolution 425 (1978) and the Taif Agreement as they relate to the withdrawal of all non-Lebanese forces from Lebanon. We look forward to the participation of both Syria and Lebanon in the multilateral peace process. Canada recognizes that difficult issues remain to be resolved. However, it is our hope that at the next session of the General Assembly we may all be able to voice our support for further progress towards a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East.

The PRESIDENT: We have heard the last speaker in explanation of vote after the vote.

I would like to congratulate the Assembly on the adoption of the resolutions before us today. They represent a very important advance in the Middle East peace process.

May I take it that it is the wish of the Assembly to conclude its consideration of agenda item 34?

It was so decided.


[...]
The meeting rose at 6.10 p.m.


ANNEX
Changes in recorded and/or roll-call votes

Resolution 48/58

Subsequent to the voting, the delegations of Afghanistan, Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde and Georgia advised the Secretariat that they had intended to vote in favour.

Resolution 48/59 A

Subsequent to the voting, the delegations of Afghanistan, Belize and Cape Verde advised the Secretariat that they had intended to vote in favour.

Resolution 48/59 B

Subsequent to the voting, the delegation of Afghanistan advised the Secretariat that it had intended to vote in favour.
__________



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 Verbatim Reporting Section,
Room C-178, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.
When the result of a recorded and/or roll-call vote is followed by an asterisk,
see the annex to the record.

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