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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/56/PV.105
27 June 2002

Official Records
General Assembly
Fifty-sixth session
105th plenary meeting
Thursday, 27 June 2002, 10 a.m.
New York

President:Mr. Han Seung-soo .....................................................(Republic of Korea)

In the absence of the President, Mr. Shobokshi (Saudi Arabia), Vice-President, took the Chair.

The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.

/...

Reports of the Fifth Committee

The Acting President: The General Assembly will now consider the reports of the Fifth Committee on agenda items 120 to 123, 133, 134(a) and (b), 135 to 138, 139(a), 141, 142, 144, 146, 147, 149 to 151, 154 to 156, and 158.

I request the Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee, Mr. Santiago Wins of Uruguay, to introduce the reports of the Fifth Committee in one intervention.

Mr. Wins (Uruguay), Rapporteur of the Fifth Committee (spoke in Spanish ): I have the honour to present to the General Assembly the reports of the Fifth Committee on the work it did during the second part of its resumed session, in the context of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly. During the resumed session — held from 13 to 31 May and on 17 June 2002 — the Fifth Committee held seven formal meetings as well as a number of informal ones.

In keeping with General Assembly resolution 49/233 of 23 December 1994, the resumed session of the Fifth Committee was primarily devoted to the consideration of questions related to the financing of peacekeeping operations and peacekeeping. The Fifth Committee considered 19 issues relating to the financing of peacekeeping operations and peacekeeping.

/...

I would like to inform the General Assembly that the Fifth Committee adopted all the draft resolutions pertaining to the financing of peacekeeping operations without a vote, with the exception of the draft resolution proposed in connection with agenda item 134 (b), entitled “Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East: United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon”.

Also with regard to the financing of the peacekeeping operations of the United Nations, reports of the Fifth Committee have been introduced in connection with the following agenda items: agenda item 134 (a) and (b), entitled “Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East: United Nations Disengagement Observer Force; United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon”; agenda item 135, entitled Financing of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo”; agenda item 136, entitled “Financing of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor”; agenda item 137, entitled “Financing of the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea”; agenda item 138, entitled “Financing of the United Nations Angola Verification Mission and the United Nations Observer Mission in Angola”; agenda item 139 (a), entitled “Financing of the activities arising from Security Council resolution 687 (1991): United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission”; agenda item 141, entitled “ Financing of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone”; agenda item 142, entitled “Financing of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara”; agenda item 144, entitled “Financing of the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force”; agenda item 146, entitled “ Financing of the United Nations Protection Force, the United Nations Confidence Restoration Operation in Croatia, the United Nations Preventive Deployment Force and the United Nations Peace Force s headquarters”; agenda item 147, entitled “Financing of the United Nations Operation in Somalia II”; agenda item 149, entitled “ Financing of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus”; agenda item 150, entitled “Financing of the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia”; agenda item 151, entitled “Financing of the United Nations Mission in Haiti”; agenda item 154, entitled “Financing of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina”; agenda item 155, entitled “Financing of the Untied Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranja and Western Sirmium and the Civilian Police Support Group”; agenda item 156, entitled “Financing of the United Nations Support Mission in Haiti, the United Nations Transition Mission in Haiti and the United Nations Civilian Police Mission in Haiti”; and agenda item 158, entitled “Financing of the United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo”.

With regard to agenda item 134 (b), entitled “Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East: United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon”, the report of the Fifth Committee is contained in document A/56/722/Add.1. In paragraph 11 of that report, the Committee recommends that the Assembly adopt a draft resolution that the Committee adopted by a vote of 111 to 2. In separate votes, the Committee decided to retain the fourth preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 13.

/...

Agenda item 134 ( continued)

Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East

(a) United Nations Disengagement Observer Force

Report of the Fifth Committee (A/56/973)

The Acting President : The Assembly will now take a decision on the draft resolution recommended by the Fifth Committee in paragraph 7 of its report.

The draft resolution is entitled “Financing of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force”. The Fifth Committee adopted the draft resolution without a vote. May I consider that the Assembly wishes to do likewise?

The draft resolution was adopted (resolution 56/294).

The Acting President : We have thus concluded this stage of our consideration of sub-item (a) of agenda item 134.

Agenda item 134 (continued)

(b) Financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon

Report of the Fifth Committee (A/56/722/Add.1)

The Acting President : The General Assembly will now take a decision on the draft resolution recommended by the Fifth Committee in paragraph 11 of its report. The draft resolution is entitled “Financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon”.

I first call on those representatives wishing to make statements in explanation of vote before the voting.

Mr. Bonavia (Malta): I wish to refer to the votes taken at the 60th meeting of the Fifth Committee, held on Monday, 17 June 2002, on the fourth preambular paragraph and on operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 13 of the draft resolution entitled “ Financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon”. My delegation would like to point out that it inadvertently voted in favour of those paragraphs when, in fact, it was our intention to abstain. In the circumstances, my delegation kindly requests the Assembly to take note of this statement and to reflect my delegation’s intentions in the official records. My delegation would like to take this opportunity to state that it aligns itself with the explanation of position made after the vote in the Fifth Committee by the delegation of Spain on behalf of the European Union and associated countries.

Mr. Adam (Israel): The introduction of four politically motivated paragraphs in this draft resolution and the discussion that followed it in the Fifth Committee on that matter force my delegation to explain our vote in the General Assembly.

By now, members surely know Israel’s position with regard to the incident that occurred at Qana in April 1996, in which the Hizbullah organization launched attacks on Israel from a position less than 300 metres from the United Nations camp. Hizbullah launched the attack from that particular spot knowing full well that their actions endangered civilians and international personnel in the area. Israel had warned the United Nations repeatedly of the dangers of that situation, but no action was taken, either by the United Nations or by the Government of Lebanon, to put an end to those illegal practices. The ensuing tragedy that occurred at Qana was the direct result of the fact that Hizbullah terrorists launched attacks on Israel from close proximity to the United Nations installation in complete disregard for the danger they posed to civilians located there.

There is no precedent whatsoever for a particular Member State bearing sole financial responsibility for damage sustained by United Nations forces in the context of peacekeeping operations. In every other case, we have acted in accordance with the General Assembly principle of collective responsibility and absorbed such costs within the general budget for peacekeeping operations. We should not act differently in this case.

Despite this obviously selective treatment of Israel, year after year these same initiatives are introduced in the administrative and budgetary Committee with the same transparent political motive — pinning both the blame and the cost for Qana squarely on Israel. Meanwhile, the dangerous circumstances that gave rise to that incident in the first place continue to threaten regional peace and security.

More than six years after the incident in Qana, Hizbullah terrorists continue to launch unprovoked assaults across the Blue Line in clear defiance of the principles of international law, Security Council resolutions and the calls of the General Assembly. On 12 March, terrorists breached the Blue Line and killed six Israelis on the northern highway. On 30 March, Hizbullah fired dozens of mortar rounds and anti-tank missiles across the Blue Line. On 31 March, four terrorists approached the security fence from the Lebanese side of the border and opened fire with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic rifles. On 2 April, Hizbullah terrorists launched mortar, anti-tank and anti-aircraft fire from south Lebanon across the Blue Line, and a Katyusha rocket launched by Hizbullah fell just north of the city of Kiryat Shmona. On 9 April, Hizbullah terrorists fired anti-aircraft rockets, Katyusha rockets and mortar shells, and a number of civilians and military targets in northern Israel were hurt. Anti-aircraft fire was directed at civilians in the northern Israeli town of Shlomi, and a Katyusha rocket landed in the vil lage of Ein Kuniya, causing serious damage and forcing many area residents to spend the night in bomb shelters. Provocations such as that happened at the beginning of the week. And the list goes on.

So long as Hizbullah’s unprovoked cross-border attacks persist, Israel has no choice but to take necessary measures in exercise of our legitimate right to self-defence. These are measures undertaken not only to defend Israel, but to help to deter a further escalation that could threaten the stability of the region.

The Government of Lebanon meanwhile, in clear violation of resolutions of the Security Council, refuses to fulfil its obligations to reassert its effective authority in south Lebanon and to prevent its territory from being used as a base for terrorist operations. Hizbullah enjoys virtually unhindered freedom of movement and action and is granted safe harbour on Lebanese territory, a situation that imperils not only Israeli civilians, who are the intended targets of Hizbullah, but also Lebanese civilians and international personnel in the area.

Just as in the days prior to the Qana incident in 1996, Israel has repeatedly drawn the attention of the United Nations and the international community, and is doing so here now, to the danger of further escalation in south Lebanon and to the complicity of the Governments of Lebanon, Syria and Iran in funding, assisting and supporting Hizbullah’s activities. Letters detailing the dangerous potential of the situation in south Lebanon have been circulated by our Permanent Representative to Member States and are posted on our Mission’s Internet site. Our Foreign Minister has both publicly and privately called for action to alleviate this situation. To date, our appeals have fallen on deaf ears.

Those who are truly concerned with protecting the lives of civilians and United Nations personnel, with upholding peace and security and with contributing to the peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Middle East will stop politicizing the deliberations of the Fifth Committee and will instead bring pressure to bear on the relevant authorities in the region and compel them to end their support for acts of violence aimed at civilians.

Israel calls again on the Governments of Syria and Lebanon to comply with the will of the Security Council and with the principles of international law, to allow the deployment of Lebanese armed forces up to the Blue Line, to ensure the return of the effective authority of the Government of Lebanon in the area and to prevent the launching of terrorist attacks from Lebanese territory. Only through a complete repudiation of terrorist tactics, both on the ground in south Lebanon and here in the Assembly, will we be able to restore hope for the peoples of the Middle East.

My delegation will therefore vote against the four one-sided, politically motivated and unprecedented paragraphs and against the whole draft resolution under consideration today regarding the budget of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). My delegation has no reservations regarding the figures for personnel and for budget allocations to UNIFIL. However, we do indeed reservations regarding the way UNIFIL fulfils its mandate. I would like to stress that Israel pays its full assessment to UNIFIL, as we do for all other peacekeeping operations, and will continue to do so.

Finally, since this will be my last statement on Fifth Committee matters, allow me to thank the Secretary of the Fifth Committee, Mr. Joseph Acakpo-Satchivi, and the Deputy Secretary, my dear colleague and friend Nora Benary, who have assisted my delegation so gracefully and who have escorted me in my four years here. I wish to thank all my colleagues on the Committee and to wish them all the best and much success.

Mr. Diab (Lebanon) (spoke in Arabic): At the outset, I would like to congratulate you, Sir, on your presence in the Chair. We are very proud and happy that you are presiding over our work today.

Israeli logic would have it that it is necessary to kill civilians, occupy other people’s territories, dislodge and kill the original inhabitants, and bring in diaspora Jews to live there.

According to Israel, this logic is justified by divine law. But seemingly, it is not logical to implement United Nations resolutions and the principles of justice and international law that have been adopted and ratified under the United Nations Charter. Among the rights recognized by the Charter, the right to national resistance against foreign occupation is paramount. We would like to remind the representative of Israel that the Secretary-General, in his recent report to the Security Council, said that continued Israeli violations of the Blue Line by land and air had reached an incalculable number and, in his eyes, constituted provocation. Furthermore, Security Council resolution 242 (1967) also states it is illegal to occupy territories by force. That principle is also endorsed in the Charter. Therefore, occupying the territories of others poses a threat to international peace and security and to the safety of civilians, but cannot put a halt to legal acts of resistance against such occupation.

The representative of Israel tries on every occasion to involve the Assembly in a political debate when dealing with financial and legal matters. In order to prevent Israel from pulling the wool over our eyes on the matter to be voted on today, a matter on which the Fifth Committee has adopted a draft resolution, my delegation would like to clarify the principles on the basis of which it, as well as the Group of 77 and other countries that voted in favour of the draft resolution, did so: to request Israel to provide compensation to the United Nations, not to Lebanon, due to its deliberate attack against the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) camp in Qana, Lebanon, on 18 April of 1996.

First of all, we would like to remind the representative of Israel that on 25 April 1996 the General Assembly adopted resolution A/50/22 C entitled “The Israeli military attacks against Lebanon and their consequences”, the ninth and tenth preambular paragraphs of which state that the General Assembly was

“Gravely concerned ... at actions that seriously threaten the safety of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and impede the implementation of its mandate, in particular the incident that occurred on 18 April 1996 in which shelling resulted in heavy loss of life among civilians at a site of the Interim Force,”

and that it was

“Taking into consideration the statement of the International Committee for the Red Cross ... in which it firmly condemned the shelling of civilians who had taken refuge in an Interim Force base ...”.

That resolution characterized the attack by Israel in Qana as a unique act. The attack was condemned by the International Committee for the Red Cross. In that resolution, the General Assembly

“Considers that Lebanon is entitled to appropriate redress for the destruction it has suffered and that Israel is responsible for such compensation;” (para. 7)

and

“Requests the Secretary-General to dispatch a special technical mission to the area to study and prepare, within one month’s time, in cooperation with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, a report on the human and material losses and damage resulting from the recent and ongoing hostilities”. (para. 8)

Thus, Israel’s criminal responsibility in attacking Qana has been made quite clear. First, it was indicated that it was a premeditated act to bomb the United Nations base in Qana. The General Assembly specifically made this point in its resolution. On the basis of the letter dated 7 May 1996 from the Secretary-General addressed to the President of the Security Council, the matter is quite clear. The letter begins as follows.

“I have the honour to transmit to members of the Security Council the report submitted to me by my Military Adviser, Major-General Franklin van Kappen, following his mission to Lebanon and Israel. My decision to send the mission was taken in the light of the tragic events that took place at Qana on 18 April 1996, in which more than 100 Lebanese civilians were killed in the headquarters of the Fijian battalion of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

“... As indicated in the report, while the possibility cannot be ruled out completely, the pattern of impacts in the Qana area makes it unlikely that the shelling of the United Nations compound was the result of technical and/or procedural errors. For their part, the Israel Defence Forces maintain that the incident was due to a sequence of operational mistakes and technical failures, compounded by chance.

“I view with utmost gravity the shelling of the Fijian position, as I would hostilities directed against any United Nations peace-keeping position. But this incident is all the more serious because civilians, including women and children, had sought refuge in the United Nations compound at Qana.” (S/1996/337, p. 1)

It is quite clear from the Secretary-General’s letter that it was a premeditated act on the part of Israel to bomb the compound in Qana. Furthermore, under international law, criminal and financial responsibility stems from this act. The Secretary-General’s letter could find no justification for Israel’s shelling of Qana.

Furthermore, the selective nature of Israel’s actions was not accepted by Lebanon, the States members of the Group of 77 or the other States that supported the resolution in the Fifth Committee. The Secretary-General made a very specific point, saying, as I indicated earlier, that he regarded the attack as being no different from any other attack against a United Nations peacekeeping site; thus Israel’s claim of bias on his part is unjustified. The attribution of criminal responsibility is based on the provisions of the resolution relating to attacks against United Nations personnel, the first paragraph of which refers to premeditated crimes carried out by States parties. Israel was thus responsible for those acts, and should be judged accordingly.

Finally, the draft resolution adopted by the Fifth Committee, which is now before us, stipulates that Lebanon should be compensated. That issue has been dealt with in another forum. I would like to reiterate that Lebanon will continue to demand compensation and financial reparations for the crimes perpetrated by Israel against it. The United Nations should also be financially compensated, in accordance with the provisions of the draft resolution before us, which was adopted by the Fifth Committee. For five years, such resolutions have demanded that Israel make such a payment.

The Acting President : Before giving the floor to the next speaker, may I remind representatives that explanations of vote should not exceed 10 minutes.

Mr. Nakkari (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic): My delegation would like to express its satisfaction at seeing you, Sir, presiding over the General Assembly.

As my delegation did not explain its position in the Fifth Committee, we would like to do so now. Once again, the General Assembly is reaffirming its position with regard to the responsibility borne by those who attack the United Nations. The representative of Lebanon spoke eloquently about that issue, and we fully support his statement. The bombing of the United Nations compound at Qana was a premeditated act. The occupying Power should therefore be held responsible for its actions and should compensate the United Nations.

Furthermore, with regard to incursions across the Blue Line, it seems strange that the representative of the Israeli occupying forces should refer to others taking such actions, while ignoring the fact that his troops cross the Blue Line day after day. The report of the Secretary-General indicates that such incursions across the Blue Line constitute dangerous acts of provocation by Israel.

Anyone who follows this matter will notice that statements made by the Israeli representative in this connection are contradictory. On one occasion they claimed that Hizbullah bombed Israel from Qana and on another occasion that the bombs originated from an area 300 metres away from Qana. This indicates that the arguments used by those representatives are mere pretexts to justify their attacks on the United Nations.

We urge delegations to vote in favour of the paragraphs at issue and of the draft resolution as a whole so that we can send a clear and explicit message to the Israeli occupation forces that they must respect the United Nations. The Israeli operation did not stop after the bombardment of Qana. The failure to deter Israel has enabled the occupying forces of that entity to believe that the United Nations condones attacks on the safety and security of United Nations personnel. Even the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is affected: members of its staff are arrested, tortured and persecuted in other ways, even though they are working in their official capacity. The UNRWA High Commissioner and other United Nations officials have confirmed this fact in press releases.

Israel showed no respect for the sanctity of Qana, which was the site of the first miracle performed by Jesus Christ. However, neither that fact, nor the fact that it served as a United Nations headquarters, deterred Israel.

The Israeli representative’s claim that Israel is seeking peace is contradicted by its letter dated 14 June 2002 addressed to the Secretary-General, which was circulated as a document both of the General Assembly (A/56/983) and of the Security Council. It tried there to distort the provisions of Security Council 242 (1967). I consider it strange that the representative of the Israeli occupation forces talks about respect for Security Council resolutions, given that Israel has not abided by the provisions of any such resolutions. Even the fact-finding mission that was supposed to be dispatched to the Palestinian territories to investigate Israeli massacres was not allowed access. Israel has so far failed to implement the provisions of more than 60 Security Council resolutions. The reason for that failure is quite clear. Israel has demonstrated its disrespect for those resolutions and for that body.

The views expressed by the Prime Minister of Israel in The New York Times provide further evidence that that entity has no desire for peace. Those views run counter to United Nations principles.

Once again, that entity is violating all international resolutions. It does not hesitate to violate holy places and to prevent others from exercising their right to resistance and to getting rid of that dirty occupying force. All those who oppose its policies, it accuses of terrorism.

When the Israeli Government declares that it desires peace and implements the relevant Security Council and other United Nations resolutions, that will undoubtedly be the right way to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the region that takes into consideration the legitimate rights of its inhabitants.

The Acting President : We have heard the last speaker in explanation of vote before the vote.

The Assembly will now take a decision on the draft resolution entitled “ Financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, which was recommended by the Fifth Committee in paragraph 11 of its report (A/56/722/Add.1).

A single separate vote has been requested on the fourth preambular paragraph and on operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 13 of the draft resolution. There appears to be no objection to that request.

I shall now put to the vote the fourth preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 13, on which a single separate vote has been requested.

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.

Against:

Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay.

The fourth preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 13 of the draft resolution were adopted by 74 votes to 2, with 46 abstentions.

[Subsequently, the delegation of Bahrain informed the Secretariat that it had intended to vote in favour, and the delegation of France that it had intended to abstain.]

The Acting President : I now put to the vote the draft resolution as a whole.

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’ Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.

Against:

Israel, United States of America.

The draft resolution was adopted by 121 votes to 2 (resolution 56/214 B).

[Subsequently the delegation of France informed the Secretariat that it had intended to vote in favour.]

The Acting President : I call on the representative of the United States, who wishes to speak in explanation of vote on the resolution just adopted.

Mr. Kennedy (United States of America): The United States strongly supports the work of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon as it carries out a very difficult and important mandate. However, the use of General Assembly funding resolutions to pursue claims against a Member State is not procedurally correct. We oppose General Assembly resolution 56/214 and similar earlier resolutions because they contain sections which require a Member State to pay for costs associated with United Nations peacekeeping operations. Those resolutions were not consensus resolutions.

Since shortly after the inception of the United Nations the procedure which has been followed is that the Secretary-General presents and pursues the settlement of claims against a State or States. This procedure has been applied in the past with regard to the Middle East and continues for peacekeeping-related damage claims in the Balkans. Using a funding resolution to legislate a settlement is inappropriate. It also politicizes the work of the General Assembly’s Fifth Committee, and should be avoided both now and in the future.

The Acting President : A number of delegations have asked to speak in the exercise of the right of reply. I remind members that, in accordance with decision 34/401, statements in exercise of the right of reply shall be limited to 10 minutes for the first intervention and to five minutes for the second, and should be made by delegations from their seats.

Mr. Tootoonchian (Islamic Republic of Iran): In exercising the right of reply, I will not speak at length. Having listened to Israel today, I am rather amazed. It should be recalled that 102 Lebanese civilians — children, the elderly and women — were killed in Israel’s attack against Lebanon and the international force’s compound. Such acts of violation of international law and the terrorizing of innocent people have been continuously perpetrated by Israeli forces. They are committed against people living under occupation, only because of their national resistance in the exercise of their right of liberation from foreign occupation.

Israel’s misleading allegations are aimed at stigmatizing the heroic national resistance and to legitimate struggle in Lebanon as terrorism. These are not new allegations. The Lebanese people who are characterized by Israel as terrorists have compelled Israel to withdraw from their territory. In fact, they have been defending their national soil against an occupying Power and, in doing so, have been supported by the international community.

Mr. Adam (Israel): Indeed, I am amazed, I must say, to hear an Iranian speaking about terrorists and terror. This is amazing. If I were Iranian, I would not take the floor on this issue. Iran is the most dangerous force in the Middle East, and indeed in the entire world. We have all seen it, and we see it today. They initiate, harbour, finance and launch terror groups in Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza, and indeed the entire world.

Read my lips, ladies and gentlemen: Iran poses the biggest threat to the world.

Mr. Tootoonchian (Islamic Republic of Iran): I will not speak again to explain all the aspects of this issue. I think that the result of today’s vote shows who is the biggest threat to peace and security in the world.

The Acting President : We have thus concluded this stage of our consideration of sub-item (b) of agenda item 134.

/...

The meeting rose at 11.40 a.m.

This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-178. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.



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