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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.4/64/SR.25
1 February 2010

Original: English

Sixty-fourth session
Official Record



Special Political and Decolonization Committee
(Fourth Committee)

Summary record of the 25th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Thursday, 19 November 2009, at 10 a.m.

Chairperson: Mr. Al-Nasser............................................................ (Qatar)



Contents

/...

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 10.20 a.m.

/...

Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.11: Assistance to Palestine refugees

13. Mr. Zhang (Secretary of the Committee) announced that Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland had joined the sponsors.

14. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, 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, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, U nited Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Israel.

Abstaining:

Cameroon, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States of America.

15. Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.11 was adopted by 169 votes to 1, with 7 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.12: Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities

16. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Cameroon, Canada, Fiji.

17. Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.12 was adopted by 167 votes to 7, with 3 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.13: Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

18. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, 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, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Cameroon, Canada, Fiji.

19. Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.13 was adopted by 167 votes to 6, with 3 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.14: Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues

20. Mr. Zhang (Secretary of the Committee) announced that Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland had become sponsors.

21. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, 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, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Cameroon, Fiji.

22. Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.14 was adopted by 169 votes to 6, with 2 abstentions.

23. The Chairperson invited delegations wishing to do so to explain their votes after the vote.

24. Mr. Weissbrod (Israel), reiterating Israel’s support for the humanitarian work of UNRWA, said that his Government would continue to do its utmost to facilitate the Agency’s operations while maintaining its own essential security. Regrettably, the welcome comments of the Commissioner-General highlighting the ongoing, close cooperation between UNRWA and the Israeli officials in the field, together with many other such elements, had not been reflected in the resolutions before the Committee. That alone showed that they were not really about reinforcing the humanitarian work of UNRWA, but about censuring Israel.

25. The draft resolutions were one-sided: they ignored the security challenges that Israel was facing from Gaza and the fundamental problem that existed when a terrorist organization operated from within civilian areas and in proximity to United Nations installations; they failed to mention Hamas by name or refer to its cruel methods of fighting Israel by putting the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians at risk. Among the many other omissions, they failed to mention that UNRWA was encountering difficulties and obstructions caused by that terrorist organization in Gaza. For those and other reasons, Israel had voted against all four draft resolutions.

26. Mr. Windsor (Australia) said that his delegation had voted in favour of draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.13 because Australia strongly supported the work of UNRWA and its often courageous staff, particularly during the current crisis. It was also deeply saddened by the conflict in the Gaza Strip and southern Israel early in the year, which had been a further reminder to all States that a lasting resolution to the dispute between Palestinians and Israelis could only be brought about through peaceful means and must be pursued as a matter of urgency. The current situation of conflict, insecurity and uncertainty was unacceptable and not in the interests of Israel, the Palestinians, the Middle East region or the broader international community.

27. The text itself, however, lacked balance. It failed to condemn all the Hamas actions, including rocket attacks, that deliberately endangered civilian lives. He wished to make it clear that Australia strongly supported Israel’s right to self-defence. His delegation also had concerns about the flawed nature of the report of the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict and did not endorse the reference to it in the draft resolution. In addition, it would have liked to see some mention of the cooperation between Israel and UNRWA on the ground in Gaza.

28. Mr. Bowman (Canada) said that his delegation had abstained in the vote on draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.13 because it was profoundly concerned about the significant and not entirely warranted changes made to the text since the previous year. Some of the new language did not promote a peaceful solution to the crisis, sought to blame Israel alone and failed to recognize that it had been Hamas’s rockets fired against Israeli civilians that had caused the conflict in Gaza. The General Assembly was not a tribunal and could not determine legal liability for allegedly wrongful international acts. Such unhelpful language had no place in a resolution supporting the good work done by UNRWA.

29. Ms. Måwe (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that their delegations had voted in favour of draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.13 because they remained gravely concerned about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. The European Union had consistently called for the immediate and unconditional opening of crossings to and from Gaza, without which the unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid, reconstruction and recovery would not be possible. While acknowledging that some crossings had been opened, they were insufficient to meet population needs.

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/64/516 and 517; A/C.4/64/L.15-L.19)

30. Ms. Hernández Toledano (Cuba) introducing the five draft resolutions under agenda item 32 (A/C.4/64/L.15-L.19), said that they were all aimed at convincing Member States to assume their responsibilities by bringing to an end Israel’s long, brutal and illegal regime in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, where the situation had deteriorated tragically in the past year.

31. After reviewing the preambular paragraphs of draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.15 on the work of the Special Committee, she drew attention to paragraphs 1, 5 and 8 (a). In draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.16 on the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories, she highlighted paragraphs 1 to 4. In draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.17 on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, she drew attention to the second to fourth and thirteenth and fourteenth preambular paragraphs, and to paragraphs 1, 3, 4 and 6 reaffirming the long-standing position of the United Nations that the Israeli settlements in Arab lands were illegal, a cause of violence and an obstacle to peace and development. In draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.18 on Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, she reviewed the applicable international legal provisions cited in the preamble, highlighted the seventeenth, nineteenth and twenty-first preambular paragraphs detailing Israel’s ongoing, systematic violations and the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of its recent military operation there, and made particular reference to paragraphs 1, 2, and 6 to 10. Noting that the text of the draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.19, on the occupied Syrian Golan, was the same as that of the previous year, she underscored its strong message against foreign occupation and annexation and recalled that Israel’s decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration had been declared null and void from the start by the Security Council.

32. In view of the critical human rights situation created by the ongoing illegal Israeli practices and violations, the sponsors hoped that those important draft resolutions would receive broad support.

33. Mr. Zhang (Secretary of the Committee) said that none of the five draft resolutions under item 32 had programme budget implications.

34. The Chairperson invited Committee members to take action on the five draft resolutions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.15: Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories

35. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay.

36. Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.15 was adopted by 92 votes to 9, with 72 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.16: Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other occupied Arab territories

37. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, 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, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji.

38. Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.16 was adopted by 166 votes to 6, with 3 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.17: Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan

39. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Sw itzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire.

40. Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.17 was adopted by 166 votes to 7, with 2 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.18: Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

41. Mr. Zhang (Secretary of the Committee) announced that Mauritania had become a sponsor of the draft resolution.

42. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Liberia, Republic of Korea.

43. Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.18 was adopted by 160 votes to 9, with 5 abstentions.

Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.19: The occupied Syrian Golan

44. A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Israel.

Abstaining:

Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Panama, Tonga, United States of America.

45. Draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.19 was adopted by 165 votes to 1, with 10 abstentions.

46. The Chairperson invited members to explain their votes.

47.47. Mr. Løvold (Norway) said that the establishment of peaceful relations between Israel and Pakistan was contingent on a negotiated peace settlement and a viable two-State solution. His delegation had voted in favour of the draft resolution because it placed on both parties the responsibility to undertake independent investigations into possible violations of international humanitarian and human rights law relating to the Gaza conflict and so build an atmosphere of trust conducive to sustaining serious peace negotiations and the implementation of any future peace agreement.

48. Mr. Taleb (Syrian Arab Republic) said that his delegation had voted in favour of draft resolutions A/C.4/64/L.15 and L.18 because his country believed in the justice of the struggle for liberation of the Palestinian people. However, he wished it to be recorded that his delegation rejected the suggestion implicit in the eighth preambular paragraph of the first of those drafts, and in the nineteenth preambular paragraph of the second, that there was parity between the aggressor and the victim. It should be recalled that it was Israel that was occupying Palestinian territory and Israel that had used internationally outlawed weapons to kill Palestinian children, women, the aged and other innocent persons in Gaza during the military aggression that it had carried out between December 2008 and January 2009. People living under occupation had the right to resist that occupation, and the Syrian Arab Republic and the many others that shared that belief would not accept that the truth should be made to appear a lie or that injustice and murder should triumph over justice and the law. His delegation therefore wished to go on record as refusing to accept the removal from the relevant paragraphs of the description of the military operations in the Gaza Strip as Israeli operations, and it would continue to reject any equation between the occupier and those resisting foreign occupation. Such an equation was essentially erroneous and contrary to the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations. It also constituted a betrayal of the human rights which had been established by the United Nations.

49. Mr. Hosseini (Islamic Republic of Iran) said that his delegation had supported all the draft resolutions in the interest of consensus and in solidarity with and sympathy for the Palestinian people. However, it wished to reaffirm its long-held position on resolutions pertaining to Palestine. While his Government unwaveringly supported the aspirations of the Palestinian people, it felt that some parts of the draft resolution could be construed as interference in the latter’s domestic affairs; any internal difficulties should be addressed by the Palestinians themselves. The support of the international community for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people was critical, since there could be no solution unless those rights were fully recognized, restored and maintained. A durable peace must include an end to discrimination and occupation, the return of refugees and the establishment of a democratic Palestine with Al-Quds al-Sharif as its capital.

50. Ms. Måwe (Sweden), speaking on behalf of the European Union, said that the delegations had abstained from the vote on draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.15. While the European Union had noted the use of the term “collective punishment” in draft resolutions A/C.4/64/L.15 and L.18, which was a precise legal term under international humanitarian law, it had not yet expressed itself as a whole on the use of that term in the present context.

51.51. While recognizing Israel’s legitimate right to self-defence, the European Union called on that country to exercise the utmost restraint and to refrain from any action that was disproportionate or breached international humanitarian and human rights law. The European Union condemned violence against Palestinian civilians, as well as the firing of rockets into Israel, and called for a complete and sustained halt to all such acts of violence and terrorism. It fully agreed with the need for serious follow-up of the recommendations of the Goldstone report and would continue to follow closely the parties’ investigations into alleged violations of international humanitarian law.

52. Ms. Graham (New Zealand) said that her delegation had voted in favour of draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.18 because of its deep concern about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the severe impact of movement restrictions in Gaza and the West Bank. The issues raised in the resolution must be approached with a sense of balance. In that connection, it considered the term “collective punishment” to be unacceptable and unhelpful. Her delegation strongly supported Israel’s right to self-defence and condemned Hamas’s indiscriminate rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. She urged all parties to resume negotiations towards the solution of a contiguous Palestinian State living side by side with Israel in peace and security.

53. Mr. Bowman (Canada) said that his delegation remained concerned about the disproportionate emphasis placed by the Committee on the Middle East situation and the number of draft resolutions singling out one country: Israel. The debate in the General Assembly should be fair-minded and seek to advance efforts to arrive at a two-State solution. His delegation had reiterated its support for draft resolutions touching on key issues and had voted in favour of draft resolutions A/C.4/64/L.16 and L.17 inasmuch as Israel had violated the Fourth Geneva Convention, particularly through settlements in the West Bank. However, some of the language used in those resolutions was unbalanced and continued to be divisive. Canada would continue to encourage the General Assembly to focus on assisting the parties in their efforts towards a peaceful two-State solution and to resist any further polarization of the situation.

54.54. Ms. Abdelhady-Nasser (Observer for Palestine), expressing her gratitude to the sponsors of the draft resolution and those who had voted in their favour, said that they reflected the international community’s commitment to respect the principles of international humanitarian and human rights law. They also addressed the plight of the Palestinian people living under foreign occupation and a commitment to ensure respect for their human rights. Compliance with international law should be seen as complementing current peace efforts, not as contrary to them. Those who truly supported the cause of peace should persist in their demands for a complete cessation of human rights violations, which would bring about a real change in the situation on the ground and create a negotiating environment in which the two parties could achieve a final, just and lasting settlement.

55. Regarding objections to use of the term “collective punishment” in two of the draft resolutions, she pointed out that such punishment was prohibited under article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the principle that no protected person could be punished for an offence that he or she had not personally committed. Thus a broad array of Israel’s actions against the Palestinian people as a whole were illegal: the military aggression against the Palestinian civilian population; the blockade imposed on 1.5 million people, depriving them of the basic rights to education, health, food and employment; the myriad checkpoints and roadblocks; the fact that the majority of Palestinians were prohibited from entering East Jerusalem or worshipping at their Christian holy sites; and the confiscation of Palestinian land for construction of the separation wall and the extension of Israeli settlements. Those hostilities and deprivations were all forms of collective punishment, and the very scale of their imposition by the occupying power against Palestinians simply because they were Palestinian made them tantamount to war crimes.

56. The content of the eighth preambular paragraph of draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.15 and the nineteenth preambular paragraph of draft resolution A/C.4/64/L.18, with which the representative of Syria had taken issue, expressly referred to the content of the Goldstone report and the report of the Board of Inquiry and in no way equated the occupier and its crimes with the occupied people and their suffering.

57. Mr. Ja’afari (Syrian Arab Republic) said that his delegation thanked all those who had voted in favour of the draft resolutions relating to items 31 and 32, thereby reaffirming the international community’s rejection of the occupation of territory by force and contempt for the rights of peoples. A clear message had been sent to Israel that it should end its occupation of all the territories it currently occupied, cease its violations of the Geneva Conventions, and become a genuine partner in the peace process. The majority vote in favour of the draft resolution on the occupied Syrian Golan indicated that the international community considered that all Israeli practices in that territory were legally invalid and dangerously provocative.

58. The votes in support of the draft resolutions had confirmed the importance of the role played by the Special Committee in laying Israeli crimes before the international community. He therefore asked all States to support the Committee: any attempt to diminish its powers would only encourage Israel to greater violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

59. The Syrian Arab Republic had repeatedly expressed its commitment to peace. Israel had, however, ignored its overtures and continued its practices in the territories it occupied. Those practices included the detention of thousands of Palestinians and their democratically elected representatives, the siege of Gaza and sustained settlement activity. Peace could not be brought about by one party when the other party, namely, Israel, was doing everything in its power to destroy any prospect of peace. Any failure to condemn the occupation would send the message that the law of the jungle was as valid as international law and that those who flouted the law would not be held accountable.


/...

The meeting rose at 12.50 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 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.



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