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Question de Palestine, situation au Moyen-Orient - L'AG adopte six résolutions - Communiqué de presse (extraits) (26 novembre 2008) Français
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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
26 November 2008


General Assembly
GA/10791

              Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-third General Assembly
Plenary
60th Meeting (AM)

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS SIX RESOLUTIONS ON MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINIAN RIGHTS,

FOLLOWING TWO-DAY DEBATE ON ISSUES
 
Also Adopts Texts Addressing ‘Protection of Global Climate’;
Global Health; Cooperation with Caribbean, South-East Asian States
Following two days of sometimes contentious debate on the conflict in the Middle East and the plight of the Palestinian people, the General Assembly today adopted by recorded vote six resolutions meant to promote the Palestinian people’s rights and limit Israel’s actions in Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan.  The votes came on a day that saw action on a total of 10 texts, with the other consensus texts addressing climate change, global health, and global and regional cooperation.

The first three Assembly resolutions zeroed in directly on the Palestinian people’s needs, by backing the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and supporting the Secretariat’s efforts to raise awareness of their difficulties through conferences, training programmes, links with civil society and other activities.  A fourth affirmed the illegality of Israeli actions to change the status of Jerusalem.

Two additional resolutions on the Middle East region expressed the Assembly’s unhappiness with Israeli moves to control Jerusalem, as well as Israel’s activities in the Syrian Golan, including what it views as Israel’s illegal occupation of the Syrian Golan since 1967.

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Regarding the question of Palestine, the Assembly adopted by a recorded vote of 107 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 57 in abstentions, its draft resolution on the “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” (for voting details see Annex I).  With that text, the Assembly requested the Committee to keep promoting the Palestinians’ realization of their inalienable rights, including their right to self-determination, as it mobilized assistance for them.

By a recorded vote of 106 in favour to 8 against ( Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 57 abstentions (Annex II), the Assembly adopted the resolution on the “Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat”.  By this draft, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to continue providing the Division with the resources needed to carry out its work, which included monitoring developments, organizing international meetings and working with civil society.

By a recorded vote of 162 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 4 abstentions (Cameroon, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga) (Annex III), the Assembly next adopted the resolution on the “Special Information Programme on the Question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat”, by which it requested the Department to continue its programme for the 2009-2010 biennium.  

This request included the dissemination of information on all United Nations activities relating to the question and the peace process; putting out publications on the various aspects of the question; and organizing fact-finding missions for journalists to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.

The Assembly also adopted by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 7 against ( Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 3 abstentions ( Cameroon, Canada, Tonga) (Annex IV), the resolution on the “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine”.

By that text, the Assembly reaffirmed the illegality of Israeli actions meant to change the status of Jerusalem, including the so-called E-1 plan, which aimed to connect Jerusalem to the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim.  It also reaffirmed the illegality of other unilateral measures that tried to alter the character, status and demographic composition of the city and the Territory as a whole.  This included Israel’s construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem.

Speaking before the votes, the representative of the United States said her country could not support the four resolutions since the texts, in combination with 15 other resolutions that came before the Assembly this year, created a clear pattern of institutional bias.  The United States had clearly stated its policy that there should be two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace, and backed that policy with support for both sides.

She was distressed that each year the Assembly devoted a disproportionate number of resolutions to the Middle East, with disproportionate criticism of Israel.  Those resolutions, along with others on the Middle East, were repetitive and unbalanced, and at odds with the Assembly’s action on any other State.  They placed demands on the Israeli side, while failing to see that both sides must take steps towards peace.

Turning next to the situation in the Middle East, the Assembly adopted two resolutions.

By a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 6 against ( Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 6 abstentions ( Australia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Haiti, Tonga) (Annex V), the Assembly adopted the draft resolution on Jerusalem.  In that text, it stressed that a comprehensive and just solution to the question of the city should incorporate Palestinian and Israeli concerns.

By a recorded vote of 116 in favour to 6 against ( Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 52 abstentions (Annex VI), the Assembly adopted the draft resolution on the Syrian Golan.  In this text, it expressed concern at the illegal occupation, settlement, construction, and other activities of Israel in the Syrian Golan since 1967.  It also requested that all parties concerned, the co-sponsors of the peace process and the entire international community work to resume the peace process by implementing Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

Speaking after the vote, the observer for Palestine said he looked forward to not having to bother with discussions or resolutions, on what was balanced or not balanced.  He wanted to relieve the United Nations of all those resolutions.  He hoped that next year, if all the parties moved towards peace, the Palestinian flag would join the other 192 flags at the United Nations.  The Palestinian people wanted to live with all their neighbours, including Israel, in peace and security.

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Speaking after adoption of the resolution on the Middle East were the representatives of Brazil (also on behalf of Argentina), Iran and Syria.

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Background

The General Assembly met today to take action on draft resolutions relating to the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East (Please see Press Releases GA/10789 and GA/10790).  It is also expected to take action on several draft texts under agenda items 44 and 114.

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Action on Draft Resolutions under Agenda Item 16 on Question of Palestine

Speaking before the vote, the representative of the United States said that the four resolutions, in combination with 15 other resolutions to come before the Assembly this year, form a clear pattern of institutional bias.  The United States had clearly stated its policy that there should be two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace.  The United States backed that policy with support for both sides, consistent with agreements made at the Annapolis, Maryland conference, and contributed financial support to both the Palestinian Authority and refugees.  There was no contradiction between support for Palestinians and that for Israel, as both sides needed support to achieve a just and lasting peace.

She was distressed that, each year, the General Assembly devoted a disproportionate number of resolutions on the Middle East, with disproportionate criticism of Israel.  These resolutions, along with others on the Middle East, were repetitive and unbalanced, at odds with the General Assembly’s action regarding any other State, and placed demands on the Israeli side, failing to see that both sides must take steps towards peace.  The United States accepted that the General Assembly may look into practices of States but, last year, adopted 14 resolutions criticising Israel.  In that same year, it adopted only six critical of other States.  She supported some and opposed others.  The 21 resolutions on alleged Israeli violations stretched to 61 pages.  The Assembly was on course to repeat that pattern, which represented an unjustified focus on one Member State.  The situation in the Middle East did not merit three quarters of all the time the Assembly devoted to review of its 192 Member States.

Of notable concern were drafts on the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, as well as the work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices.  They perpetuated the perception of an inherent United Nations bias and failed to properly demand action from both sides.  The millions of dollars spent could be better utilized towards direct aid, including that to needy Palestinians.

The international Quartet must be seen as an honest broker, she continued, and she expressed concern that those resolutions could not only have a corrosive effect on negotiations, but also added nothing to the Security Council’s monthly discussions.  They presupposed the outcome of permanent status issues that belonged to bilateral negotiations.  In the 9 November briefings to the Quartet, both sides attested that the negotiating structure was effective, and noted that third parties should not intervene in the joint negotiations [absent their request].

The United States would continue to be at the forefront of addressing the underlying causes of the conflict.  For such reasons, the United States could not support the resolutions.

The General Assembly then adopted by a recorded vote of 107 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 57 abstentions, its draft resolution on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (document A/63/L.32).  (For details on voting, see Annex I.)

The Assembly then adopted by a recorded vote of 106 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 57 abstentions (Annex II), the resolution on the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat (document A/63/L.33).

The resolution on the Special Information Programme on the Question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat (document A/63/L.34) was adopted by a recorded vote of 162 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 4 abstentions (Cameroon, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga) (Annex III).

The Assembly then adopted by a vote of 164 in favour to 7 against ( Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 3 abstentions ( Cameroon, Canada, Tonga) (Annex IV), the resolution on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine (document A/63/L.35).

Speaking after the vote was the representative of Iran, who stated its votes in favour of the resolutions were in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The representative of France, speaking on behalf of the European Union, said he had voted in favour of A/63/L.34.  The European Union welcomed the new elements introduced in the resolution, in the spirit of cooperation on the Palestinian mission.  These improvements would encourage the parties involved to improve the programme between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.  The European Union was prepared to work with the Department of Public Information and all parties involved to meet the objectives of the resolution.

The representative of Belize requested that their vote in favour of those resolutions be on record.

Action on Draft Resolutions under Agenda Item 15 on Situation in Middle East

Speaking before the vote, the representative of Iran referred to the unfounded allegations by Australia against Iran and rejected the distortions that were made under agenda item 15.   Iran had condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.   Iran was a victim of terrorism.  With its history and unqualified support of Israel, Australia should be the last judge of others in that area.   Iran had fully cooperated with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and its nuclear programme was absolutely peaceful.  If Australia was concerned about the Middle East, it should cease its complicity with the Israeli regime in war crimes and join with the international community in stability on the question of Palestine.

The General Assembly then adopted by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 6 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 6 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Haiti, Tonga) (Annex V), the draft resolution on Jerusalem (document A/63/L.36).

The General Assembly then adopted by a recorded vote of 116 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 52 abstentions, the draft resolution on the Syrian Golan (document A/63/L.37).

Speaking after the vote, on behalf of Brazil and Argentina, the representative of Brazil said he had voted in favour of the draft resolution on Jerusalem, and the two countries had understood that the central aspect of the resolution was linked to the illegal acquisition of land by force.  That use of force violated international law.  He urged Israel and Syria to renew negotiations and find a definite solution under the principal of land for peace.

The representative of Iran said he voted in favour of all the resolutions just adopted in a spirit of solidarity with the Palestinian people and Arab people under occupation.

The representative of Syria thanked the Assembly for its adoption, once again, with no interruption since 1981, of the resolution contained in document A/63/L.37 and other resolutions related to Palestine and the Middle East.  He supported the international community’s continued positive response to upholding those objectives of the United Nations Charter and the backing of its right to restore its land, occupied by Israel and supported by a superpower for more than 40 years.  There was no doubt that voting for those resolutions sent an international message to Israel and those who supported it.  The policies of aggression and annexation of land were practices that were rejected and repudiated by the entire international community.

He thanked all States that sponsored and voted for the resolution, and urged those whom abstained to lend their ears to the voice of international law that should govern their actions.   Syria wanted to achieve comprehensive and durable peace, and to liberate the Syrian Golan from Israeli occupation.  He urged the international community to help prevent the eruption of war by pressuring the party that impeded peace, Israel, and those who protected it.

The observer for Palestine expressed gratitude and appreciation to all the countries that played a very important role in introducing the draft resolutions and to all the countries who voted in favour.  He also thanked all the political blocs, specifically the Arab Group, the League of Arab States, the African Union, the Non-Aligned Movement and the European Union, that collaborated to ensure the resolutions were drafted in responsible and balanced language that reflected the sentiment of the international community. 

Bringing Israel into compliance with international law, and to uphold international law so that peace and justice could be achieved was a challenge to the international community.  It was essential to end the occupation that started in 1967, and giving Israel preferential treatment was not in service of the United Nations or the international community, as it did not move the process forward to a peaceful solution.  Those resolutions were balanced, and the majority votes in favour reflected their just and balanced approach, he stated.

“It has been too long… and it’s been too long because Israel has not been compliant,” he said.  He recalled the 50 countries and organizations that convened in Annapolis to help the parties towards a solution.  He had hoped that there would be a peace treaty by now that would allow for the birth of the Palestinian State.  But, until that peace treaty was accomplished, it was “the duty of the international community to remain engaged in this issue until it was resolved in all its aspects,” and to that end, he pledged that he would continue to work until it was resolved.

He then offered hope that next year, if all parties involved moved towards peace, the Palestinian flag would join the other 192 flags at the United Nations, and he pledged that the Palestinian people would “reflect the essence of that peace treaty that will be the birth of our state.”  He concluded by saying that he looked forward to not having to bother in discussion or resolutions of what was balanced or not balanced.  He wanted to relieve the United Nations of all these resolutions.  What the Palestinian people wanted was to live with all their neighbours in peace and security, including Israel.

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ANNEX I
Vote on Palestinian Rights Committee

The draft resolution on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (document A/63/L.32) was adopted by a recorded vote of 107 in favour to 8 against, with 57 abstentions, as follows:
ANNEX II
Vote on Palestinian Rights Division

The draft resolution on the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat (document A/63/L.33) was adopted by a recorded vote of 106 in favour to 8 against, with 57 abstentions, as follows:
ANNEX III
Vote on Special Information Programme

The draft resolution on the Special Information Programme on the Question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information (document A/63/L.34) was adopted by a recorded vote of 162 in favour to 8 against, with 4 abstentions, as follows: Vote on Peaceful Settlement of Palestine Question

The draft resolution on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine (document A/63/L.35) was adopted by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 7 against, with 3 abstentions, as follows:
ANNEX V
Vote on Jerusalem

The draft resolution on Jerusalem (document A/63/L.36) was adopted by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 6 against, with 6 abstentions, as follows:
ANNEX VI
Vote on Syrian Golan

The draft resolution on the Syrian Golan (document A/63/L.37) was adopted by a recorded vote of 116 in favour to 6 against, with 52 abstentions, as follows:


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For information media • not an official record

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