Question of Palestine home
Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee)
20 October 2008
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
Sixty-third General Assembly
(resumed) & 12
FOURTH COMMITTEE APPROVES OMNIBUS TEXT AFTER VOTING TO STRIKE PHRASE THAT COULD
HAVE SIDETRACKED SELF-DETERMINATION CASES WHERE SOVEREIGNTY DISPUTES EXIST
General Debate Opens on Information; Speakers Press United Nations to Develop
Civil Society Partnerships; Strengthen Political Influence, Narrow Digital Divide
The omnibus text -- on the questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands and included as the sixth draft resolution in the report of the Special Committee on Decolonization (document A/63/23) -- achieved consensus only after an amendment to its second operative paragraph was adopted by a recorded vote of 61 in favour to 40 against, with 47 abstentions. (For details of the vote, see the Annex.)
The amendment, which struck the qualifying phrase “and where there is no dispute over sovereignty” from that operative paragraph, had been tabled by the United Kingdom, which argued today, as it had last week, that, not only was the new language inapplicable to the 11 Territories targeted in the resolution, but that it introduced conditions that could have unexplored ramifications.
By the terms of the amended resolution, the Assembly would further reaffirm that, in the process of decolonization, there was no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which was also a fundamental human right...
The Committee was also expected to begin its consideration of questions relating to information, for which it had two reports before it: the report of the Secretary-General on that topic (document A/63/258) and a report on the thirtieth session of the Committee on Information (28 April to 9 May 2008) (document A/62/21 (Supp.)). (For summaries of those reports, see Press Release
of 17 October).
Introduction of Report of Committee on Information
MOHAMED SOFIANE BERRAH (
He welcomed the role of the Department in enhancing information activities, but was concerned to note the absence of any reference in the Secretary-General’s report to an awareness of the usurped rights of the Palestinian people, despite the “bitter reminder” at the sixtieth anniversary of their plight. The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people must be recalled, he said, as well as the fact that collective punishments ran counter to both international law and the United Nations Charter. His delegation was eager to cooperate in every way to ensure that the Department disseminated a message that sincerely reflected the collective effort to implement the objectives of the United Nations Charter.
SALEM MATAR SAIF AL SAEDI (
United Arab Emirates
He also emphasized the need for transparency and impartiality in the Department and other United Nations bodies, particularly with regard to developing countries, climate change and the environment, organized crime and terrorism, as well as other preoccupying issues, such as the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East. The Department should promote its programmes, which revealed the suffering of the Palestinians under the “Israeli occupation crimes”, which were “in violation of international law” and the United Nations Charter.
Vote on Amendment to Operative Paragraph 2 of Draft VI on Remaining Non-Self-Governing Territories
The amendment (document A/C.4/63/L.6) to delete the following phrase “and where there is no dispute over sovereignty” in operative paragraph 2 of draft resolution VI (document A/63/23) on the questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands, was adopted by a recorded vote of 61 in favour to 40 against, with 47 abstentions, as follows:
: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Saint Lucia, Samoa, San Marino, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
: Argentina, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Russian Federation, Senegal, Spain, Suriname, Syria, Tunisia, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam.
: Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Benin, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cyprus, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malta, Morocco, Namibia, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Thailand, Togo.
: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Georgia, Iraq, Israel, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Palau, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Yemen.
* *** *
For information media • not an official record