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Source: Department of Public Information (DPI)
31 December 2001
YEARBOOK OF THE
UNITED NATIONS 2001

VOLUME 55

Department of Public Information
United Nations, New York

...

Chapter VI

Middle East

The work of the United Nations in the Middle East in 2001 was affected by an ever-growing cycle of violence and retaliation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and by the standstill in the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), despite many international efforts to revive the process. The Palestinian intifada (uprising), which erupted in September 2000 following the visit of the then Israeli opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, to a holy Islamic site in the Old City of Jerusalem, continued in waves throughout the year.

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met in late January in Taba, Egypt, and agreed on a number of issues with respect to the situation on the ground, but failed to achieve a comprehensive agreement. The deteriorating situation in the occupied territories and the election on 6 February of a new Israeli Government, headed by Mr. Sharon, led to a breakdown of bilateral negotiations between the two parties.

On 30 April, the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee, established following the 2000 summit in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt) and chaired by former United States Senator George Mitchell, reported to the President of the United States and the Secretary-General on the nature and causes of the ongoing violence. The Committee recommended a number of steps to end the violence, starting with the implementation of an unconditional cease-fire and the resumption of security cooperation. The report was accepted by both parties and a cease-fire was brokered in June by the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, George Tenet. In June the Secretary-General visited the region and encouraged the parties to consolidate the cease-fire and implement the Mitchell Committee's recommendations.

In late September, a meeting took place between Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and President of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat. Although the meeting achieved some progress, the assassination of an Israeli cabinet minister in October brought about a new wave of violence and reprisals. The Israeli Government refused to pursue further talks with Chairman Arafat and occupied and shelled PA buildings; at the same time, a number of Palestinian suicide bombers killed and injured Israeli civilians.

Concerned about the deteriorating situation in the region, the Security Council convened four times, twice in March, once in August and once in December, to discuss the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. On 27 March, a draft resolution, by which the Council would have expressed its determination to establish a UN observer force in the territories occupied by Israel, was not adopted due to the negative vote of the United States, a permanent Council member. On 15 December, a draft resolution, by which the Council would have encouraged the establishment of a monitoring mechanism to help the parties implement the Mitchell recommendations, was also not adopted due to the negative vote of the United States.

In December, the General Assembly resumed its tenth emergency special session, which first convened in 1997, to discuss the item "Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory". The Assembly adopted the text that had not been adopted by the Council on 15 December. The resolution called for, among other things, the establishment of a monitoring mechanism. Another resolution, adopted on the same day, reiterated the applicability of the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on Measures to Enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, convened in December in Geneva, under the chairmanship of Switzerland as the depositary of the Geneva Conventions. The Conference adopted a declaration which, among other things, called on Israel to respect the Convention's provisions.

In southern Lebanon, Israeli troops and their main Lebanese opponents, the paramilitary group Hizbullah, faced each other along the so-called Blue Line, the provisional border drawn by the United Nations following the withdrawal of Israeli troops from south Lebanon in June 2000. The dispute, which centred on control of the Shab'a farmland, also brought about increased tensions between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic.

The mandates of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights were extended twice during the year, and the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) continued to assist both peace-keeping operations in their tasks. In 2001, having fulfilled most of its mandate with regard to observing the Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon, UNIFIL started a gradual reconfiguration and redeployment phase.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, despite severe financial difficulties, continued to provide a wide-ranging programme of education, health relief and social services to over 3.8 million Palestinian refugees living both in and outside camps in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as in Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic. In 2001, the Agency was forced to shift its focus from development to humanitarian emergency assistance due to the increased violence and deteriorating socio-economic situation in the occupied territories. Two emergency appeals were launched to provide short-term emergency employment opportunities for refugees, in addition to food, shelter and health services.

During the year, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories reported to the Assembly on the situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People continued to mobilize international support for the Palestinians. In July, together with the UN Division for Palestinian Rights, it organized an international meeting on the question of Palestine in Madrid, Spain, at which participants called for, among other things, the implementation of the Mitchell Committee's recommendations and for the establishment of an international presence to protect civilians and to monitor the implementation of agreements reached between the two parties.

By decision 56/450 of 21 December, the General Assembly deferred consideration of the agenda item "Armed Israeli aggression against the Iraqi nuclear installations and its grave consequences for the established international system concerning the peaceful use of nuclear energy, the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and international peace and security" and included it in the provisional agenda of its fifty-seventh (2002) session. The item had been inscribed yearly on the Assembly's agenda since 1981, following the bombing by Israel of a nuclear research centre near Baghdad [YUN 1981, p. 275].

Peace process

Report of Secretary-General. In a November report [A/56/642-S/2001/1100], the Secretary-General said that the Israeli-Palestinian crisis had entered its second year with an escalation of violence that continued throughout 2001.

Following the Sharm el-Sheikh Middle East Peace Summit of October 2000 [YUN 2000, p. 415] and in a further effort to reach agreement before the prime ministerial elections in Israel (6 February), senior Israeli and Palestinian negotiators held talks in Taba, Egypt, from 21 to 27 January 2001. In a joint statement, the two sides declared that they had never been closer to reaching an agreement. Substantial progress was achieved in each of the issues discussed: refugees, security, borders and Jerusalem. However, given the circumstances and time constraints, it proved impossible to reach a final understanding on all issues. As the parties remained deadlocked, further international efforts were made to revive the political process. In March, a discussion was generated by a joint Egyptian-Jordanian non-paper proposing steps to end the crisis and to restart negotiations. However, prior to the submission of the paper, new circumstances had evolved, including the establishment of a national unity Government in Israel, headed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The new Government declared that it would honour previous diplomatic agreements approved by the Knesset (Parliament), but it would not conduct negotiations while the violence continued.

On 27 and 28 March, the Secretary-General took part in the Summit of the League of Arab States (LAS) in Amman, Jordan, where he discussed the crisis in the Middle East with heads of State and foreign ministers. In his statement to the Summit, he stressed that the international community and the Arab world had the right to criticize Israel for its continued occupation of Palestinian and Syrian territory, and for its excessively harsh response to the intifada. However, those points could be made more effectively if many Israelis did not believe that their existence was under threat: Israel had a right, enshrined in numerous UN resolutions, to exist in safety within internationally recognized borders. The Secretary-General emphasized that what was needed was movement towards an agreement that responded both to the legitimate desire of the Palestinians for national independence and to the legitimate claims of the Israelis to recognition and security.

The 30 April report of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee, known as the Mitchell report, provided a viable basis for a return to the negotiating table; the Secretary-General fully endorsed its recommendations (see p. 409). Both parties accepted and reached agreement on a 13 June cease-fire, which was brokered by the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, George Tenet. The Secretary-General visited the region from 12 to 18 June to encourage the parties to consolidate the cease-fire and move towards full implementation of the Mitchell report.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PA President Yasser Arafat met on 26 September 2001 and agreed to resume full security co-operation and to exert maximum efforts to sustain the cease-fire. The meeting was made possible by international efforts, in particular those of the Russian Federation, the United States, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations, with the full support of Egypt and Jordan. The level of violent incidents declined and Israel took several positive steps, including the lifting of some internal closures. Significant statements were also made by a number of Member States, including the United States, envisioning the creation of a Palestinian State provided that Israel's right to exist was respected. However, that progress was sharply disrupted when Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Zeevi was assassinated on 17 October by gunmen belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Following the assassination, Israeli forces launched a major incursion into Palestinian-controlled areas. In order to defuse the situation, a "Quartet", composed of the United Nations (represented by the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the PLO and the PA), the United States, the Russian Federation and the EU, issued a joint statement on 25 October, which was supported in a statement to the press on the same day by the Security Council President [SC/7188]. On 11 November, the Secretary-General met in New York with the United States Secretary of State, the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation and the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU. The Quartet welcomed United States President George W. Bush's statement to the General Assembly on 10 November, in which he pledged to work towards the day when two States, Israel and Palestine, would live peacefully together within secure and recognized borders.

The Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the five permanent members of the Security Council met with the Secretary-General on 12 November and issued a statement strongly encouraging Israelis and Palestinians to take the necessary security, economic and political steps to move from confrontation to the resumption of the political process. The Ministers, among other things, called on Israel to withdraw from all areas into which it had made incursions and to ensure greater restraint by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). They also called on the PA to take all possible steps to put an end to violence and called on both parties to implement the Tenet plan and the recommendations of the Mitchell report.

In resolution 56/36 of 3 December (see p. 429), the General Assembly expressed its full support for the peace process, which began in Madrid in 1991 [YUN 1991, p. 221], the 1993 Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements [YUN 1993, P. 521] and the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip [YUN 1995, p. 626]. It also called on the concerned parties to take the necessary steps to reverse all measures taken since 28 September 2000 and to implement the Fact-Finding Committee's recommendations.

Committee on Palestinian Rights. In its annual report [A/56/35 & Corr.1], the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (Committee on Palestinian Rights) expressed concern over Israel's policies and actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the illegal settlement policy; military incursions unprecedented in scope into various parts of the Territory, including areas under full Palestinian control; harsh and disproportionate attacks by IDF against Palestinians protesting the occupation; the widespread policy of targeted extrajudicial assassinations of Palestinian activists; and the overall harmful effect of the occupation on the Palestinians' living conditions. At the core of the conflict was the continuing Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory. The Committee called for the comprehensive implementation of the Mitchell Committee's recommendations, which afforded the most practicable route back to the peace process.


In a series of communications dated between 8 January and 6 March [A/55/730-S/2001/24, A/55/742-S/2001/71, A/55/748-S/2001/81, A/55/762-S/2001/103, A/55/777-S/2001/125, A/55/781-S/2001/132, A/55/787 -S/2001/137, A/55/819-S/2001/187, A/55/821 -S/2001/193,

A/55/823-S/2001/197], Israel responded to the Palestinian allegations and detailed Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilians. Israel called on the Palestinian leadership to abide by its commitments to control terrorist elements in the territory under its control.

In identical letters of 1 February [A/55/760-S/2001/98] to the Secretary-General and the Security Council President, the Permanent Observer of Palestine expressed concern regarding the possible use by Israeli forces of depleted uranium shells against Palestinian targets. Responding on 21 February [A/55/799-S/2001/158], Israel denied the Palestinian allegations regarding the use of depleted uranium. In a 16 February follow-up [A/55/793-S/2001/139], the Permanent Observer said that Israeli forces had used, on 12 February, an unknown type of gas against Palestinian civilians, which resulted in the admission of 40 Palestinians to local hospitals.

On 13 February [A/55/795], the Presidency of the EU deplored the practice of extrajudicial killings of Palestinians carried out by Israeli security forces. According to the EL), the existence of such a policy had been confirmed by Israel.

Security Council consideration (14-19 March). At the request of the United Arab Emirates, on behalf of the Arab Group and LAS [S/2001/216], and Malaysia, on behalf of the Islamic Group at the United Nations [S/2001/231], the Security Council, on 15 and 19 March [meeting 4295], discussed the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. With the Council's consent, the President invited, among others, Egypt and Israel, at their request, to participate in the discussion without the right to vote. The President also invited the Permanent Observer of Palestine, at his own request [S/2001/225]. The Chairman of the Committee on Palestinian Rights was also invited to attend, at his own request. On 19 March, the Permanent Observer of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), at the request of Malaysia [S/2001/235], and the Deputy Permanent Observer of LAS, at the request of the United Arab Emirates [S/2001/236], were invited to participate in the discussion without the right to vote.

On 14 March, the Council had held private meetings on the subject with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Israel [meeting 4292] and with the Permanent Observer of Palestine [meeting 4293], who had requested to participate in the discussion [S/2001/222].

Addressing the Council on 15 March [S/PV.4295], the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that since 18 December 2000, when the Council failed to adopt a draft resolution that would have expressed its determination to establish a UN observer force in the territories occupied by Israel [YUN 2000, p.426], Israeli forces had killed more than 80 Palestinians and had wounded several thousand. He stressed that the underlying cause of the violence in the region was the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and the measures taken by Israeli forces, such as the confiscation of territory and the building of settlements. Since the beginning of the crisis on 28 September 2000 [ibid., p. 416], other measures had included the presence of the Israeli army and the use of its huge military machinery; the presence of the settlers and their use of weapons against Palestinians; the destruction of the Palestinian economy; and the transforming of the lives of the Palestinians into a veritable hell. With regard to the peace process, reasonable progress was achieved by the two parties in the Taba talks (see p. 405). However, the policies of the new Israeli Government, elected on 6 February, contradicted the bases of the peace process and the agreements concluded between the two parties. The Israeli Government in fact claimed that it could not negotiate while the violence persisted, though it continued to occupy Palestinian territory. At the same time, it also refused to negotiate from the point that was reached by the two sides in Taba and was reluctant to negotiate a final settlement in favour of new interim arrangements and solutions. The Permanent Observer called on the Council to restore control as a prelude to the resuscitation of the peace process through practical measures, including the establishment of an observer force.

Israel stated that the Palestinian intifada, as it had existed for nearly six months, was incompatible with international protection. The situation in the Palestinian territories was not one of a threatened people in dire need of protection. In fact, the only thing that Palestinians needed protection from was the consequences of their own actions, since the responsibility for the violence lay with the Palestinian authorities. The new Israeli Government had frozen settlement construction and had decided against any acts of collective punishment, out of a real desire for peace, which was its chief objective. The Palestinian request for an international observer mission was unnecessary, as Chairman Arafat had the ability to protect Palestinian lives by publicly calling on his people to stop the confrontation. Though he had promised Israeli officials repeatedly that he would take such a step, he had ignored his many opportunities to do so. The United Nations could not be called upon to put out fires on behalf of the same party that had kindled the flames. Such a precedent would send a message to the Palestinians—and every other aggrieved people of the world—that violence and aggression would lead to international protection. The Council had to recognize that sending UN personnel to the territories while the intifada continued had the potential to actually escalate the violence and further destabilize the region. In addition, the Mitchell Committee, with which Israel had expressed its willingness to cooperate fully, was expected to arrive in the region the following week and to report to the President of the United States and the Secretary-General on the nature and causes of the ongoing violence. As to the security situation, citizens had experienced abductions and murders on a daily basis both in the territories and inside Israel. It was irresponsible to portray Israel's response to that constantly looming threat as punitive action taken against the Palestinian people.

The United Arab Emirates, on behalf of the Arab Group, said that since December 2000 Israeli military forces had implemented a design of deliberate killing, siege and closure of Palestinian villages and cities. They were also implementing policies aimed at destroying the human, social and economic infrastructure of the Palestinian people. The intifada was a reflection of Palestinian desperation and frustration and one of the simplest means of self-defence against the Israeli war machine and the heavily armed settlers. The Council, among other things, should adopt the draft resolution that was submitted in December 2000 for the formation of an international observer force to provide protection to the Palestinian people.

The United States stated that it was firmly committed to ensuring that the Council did not adopt any resolution that was not supported by both the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Council, in December 2000, had acted wisely by not adopting a resolution calling for the premature establishment of an international presence in the region. The United States looked forward to a time when the parties would reach an agreement and turn to the Council for support and assistance in implementing it. It was entirely possible that an international presence that had an achievable mandate would be a part of that implementation effort. At that time of prospective peace, the United States would join with the rest of the Council in giving full support to the parties' own efforts to secure peace. Suggesting that the Council could somehow impose itself between the parties and play a constructive role by observing violence only served to divert the parties from the absolute necessity to meet and shape their shared destiny, which was a just and lasting peace.

Addressing the Council on 19 March, the Chairman of the Committee on Palestinian Rights said that more than 360 Palestinian civilians had been killed and some 15,000 wounded since the beginning of the crisis in September 2000. Israel was systematically responding with disproportionate force to every outbreak of protest throughout the Palestinian territory. Furthermore, groups of armed settlers regularly harassed and physically assaulted Palestinian civilians, destroying their property. Paradoxically, on the one hand, a state of affairs had been cremated that was fuelled by confrontation and a cycle of violence; on the other hand, unarmed populations were being asked to end the violence that was triggered by provocation and punitive expeditions on the part of the occupier.

Communications (16-27 March). In letters of 16 [A/ES-10/66-S/2001/239] and 21 [A/ES-10/67-S/2001/255] March, the Permanent Observer of Palestine informed the Secretary-General and the Council President that the killing and injuring of Palestinians continued; he submitted lists of the names of those killed.


Security Council consideration (27 March). On 27 March [meeting 4305], the Security Council discussed the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question, and considered the text of a draft resolution [S/2001/270] submitted by Bangladesh, Colombia, Jamaica, Mali, Mauritius, Singapore and Tunisia. By that draft, the Council would have expressed its determination to establish an appropriate mechanism to protect Palestinian civilians, including through the establishment of a UN observer force.

With the Council's consent, the President invited the Israeli representative to participate in the meeting. He also invited the Permanent Observer of Palestine to participate, at his own request [S/2001/282].

Speaking before the vote, in his capacity as the representative of Ukraine, the Council President said that, despite efforts made by all Council members, there was no common ground on the draft resolution. Without the necessary unanimity, he did not believe that the vote on the draft resolution would either achieve its original goal as regards the protection of Palestinian civilians or send any positive signal to the people in the region. Therefore, while supporting the contents of the draft text and being well aware of the outcome of the voting exercise that the Council was about to take, Ukraine would not take part in the vote.

Speaking after the Council's vote (9-1-4) on the draft resolution, which was not adopted owing to the negative vote of a permanent Council member, the United States said that it had opposed the draft text because it was unbalanced and unworkable and hence unwise. By the text, some States would call on the Council to impose a solution in the absence of an agreement between the parties. Instead, the Council should have called on the parties to end all violence and resume negotiations. The United States supported much of the substance that the Council had been discussing in the preceding week, but it could not allow the Council to adopt a draft resolution that risked damaging simultaneously the prospects for peace and the Council's own credibility.

The Permanent Observer of Palestine said that the failure to adopt the draft resolution meant that the Council was prevented by one of its permanent members from carrying out its duties to preserve international peace and security in accordance with the Charter. It also meant that the Council had failed to provide the support necessary to revive what was left of the Middle East peace process. The Permanent Observer supported the convening of the Arab summit in Amman and the participation of the Secretary-General in that meeting (see p. 405), but said that the Council's action had failed to send the right message to the summit, one that would promote interdependence and harmony between Arab action and international legitimacy in addressing the deteriorating situation in the region.

Communications (28 March-26 April). In a series of letters to the Secretary-General and the Security Council President [A/ES-10/68-S/2001/284, A/ES-10/69-S/2001/295, A/ES-10/70-S/2001/304, A/ES-10/71-S/2001/314, A/ES-10/72-S/2001/332, A/ES-10/75-S/2001/352, A/ES-10/76-S/2001/372, A/ES-10/79-S/2001/418], the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that the killing and injuring of Palestinians continued and that Israel was employing excessive use of force; he submitted lists of the names of those killed.

In letters of 28 March [A/55/863-S/2001/291] and 23 April [A/55/910-S/2001/396], Israel said that Palestinian suicide bombers had killed and injured Israeli civilians.

On 18 April [S/2001/393], Morocco, as Chairman of the Al-Quds Committee, condemned Israel's use of force against unarmed Palestinians. The United Nations was called on to assume its responsibilities for implementing UN resolutions on the protection of civilians and of the Holy Places of Al-Quds al-Sharif, which had been threatened by the head of the Israeli Government.

Mitchell Committee report. On 30 April, the report of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee, chaired by former United States Senator George Mitchell, was released under the auspices of the President of the United States. The Committee was .established in November 2000 by the United States, in consultation with Israel and the PA, as agreed upon at the October 2000 Sharm el-Sheikh Summit [YUN 2000, p. 420], to look into the nature and causes of the ongoing violence in the Middle East since September 2000.

The Committee recommended a number of steps to end the violence by implementing an unconditional cease-fire and resuming security co-operation, rebuilding confidence by establishing a meaningful "cooling-off period" and implementing additional confidence-building measures, including a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, to be followed by the resumption of negotiations.

The report was accepted by both parties, which, on 13 June, agreed to a cease-fire, brokered by the Director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency.

Communications (1 May-16 August). In letters dated between 1 May and 16 August [A/ES-10/80-S/2001/432, A/ES-10/81 -S/20017447, E/ES-10/83-S/2001/471, A/ES-10/84-S/2001/479, A/ES-10/85-S/2001/486, A/ES-10/86-S/2001/496, A/ES-10/87-S/2001/ 504, A/ES-10/88-S/2001/508, A/ES-10/89-S/2001/544, A/ES-10/90-S/2001/586, A/ES-10/91-S/2001/605, A/ES-10/92-S/2001/629, A/ES-10/93-S/2001/657, A/ES-10/94-S/2001/669, A/ES-10/95-S/2001/686, A/ES-10/96-S/2001/ 697, A/ES-10/97-S/2001/708, .A/ES-10/98-S/2001/717, A/ES-10/99-S/2001/742, A/ES-10/100-S/2001/754, A/ES-10/102-S/2001/785, A/ES-10/103-S/2001/798], the Permanent Observer of Palestine detailed attacks on Palestinians by Israeli forces, including extrajudicial killings and the use of F-16 warplanes to fire missiles and rockets against Palestinian targets; he submitted lists of the names of those killed.

In letters dated between 1 May and 13 August IA/55/924-S/2001/435, A/56/69-S/2001/459, A/56/72-S/2001/473, A/56/78-S/2001/506, A/56/80-S/2001/524, A/56/81 -S/2001/540, A/56/85-S/2001/555, A/56/91 -S/2001/580, A/56/92-S/2001/585, A/56/97-S/2001/604, A/56/98-S/2001/611, A/56/119-S/2001/619, A/56/131-S/2001/656, A/56/138-S/2001/662, A/56/184-S/2001/696, A/56/201 -S/2001/706, A/56/223-S/2001/737, A/56/225-S/2001/743, A/56/272-S/2001/768, A/56/280-S/2001/775, A/56/294-S/2001/787], Israel stated that the killing and injuring of Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists, including suicide bombers, continued. On 1 June, a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up near a Tel Aviv nightclub, killing 20 people and wounding 90 more.

In identical letters of 9 May [A/ES-10/82-S/2001/463] to the Secretary-General and the Council President, the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that the Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Sharon, in a statement to the press on 8 May, claimed that the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 was disputed and not occupied. He further rejected the cessation of settlement activities and made the resumption of negotiations conditional upon the total cessation of violence.

On 15 May [A/55/944-S/2001/491], the Permanent Observer transmitted to the Secretary-General the text of a resolution entitled "Dubious attempts by Israel to have a number of archaeological sites in East Jerusalem inscribed on the World Heritage List", adopted by the Council of LAS at its one hundred and fifteenth session at the level of ministers for foreign affairs (Cairo, Egypt, 12 March).

By a 24 May letter [A/55/956-S/2001/526], Bahrain transmitted to the Secretary-General the joint communique of the eleventh session of the Ministerial Council of the Cooperation Council of the Gulf Arab States and the EU (Manama, Bahrain, 23 April). Both organizations noted with deep concern the escalation of violence in the Middle East and, in particular, the use of excessive force against civilians.

On 29 May [A/55/974-S/2001/543], Qatar transmitted the final communique adopted by the extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Ministers of OIC on the grave situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (Doha, Qatar, 26 May). The meeting, among other things, called on the Security Council to secure the necessary international protection for the Palestinian people and to establish an international criminal tribunal to try those responsible for war crimes committed against the Palestinians. It also decided to stop all political contacts with the Israeli Government as long as the aggression and blockade against the Palestinian people and its National Authority continued. Qatar also transmitted to the Secretary-General the statement made by the Emir of Qatar at the extraordinary meeting [A/55/974/Add.-S/2001/543/Add.1]. A summary of the outcome of the meeting was forwarded to the General Assembly President by Qatar [A/55/1022].

On 12 July [A/55/1017-S/2001/698], Bahrain transmitted to the Secretary-General the press communique of the Ministerial Council of the Co-operation Council of the Gulf Arab States (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 11 July). The Council said, among other things, that the settlements constituted the major danger to security and were preventing the achievement and advancement of the peace process.

On 30 July [A/55/1023-S/2001/750], Qatar condemned as a provocation against religious sentiments the decision by an Israeli religious group to lay a cornerstone for a temple at the Haram al-Sharif in Jerusalem, an act that was to be regarded as an affront to the sanctity of the Islamic Holy Places.

By a 7 August letter [A/56/275-S/2001/770] to the Secretary-General, Israel said that the Temple Mount Faithful, a small Israeli fringe group, had annually attempted to place a cornerstone on the Temple Mount. The Israeli high court had barred the group from entering the Mount and the Israeli police had actively enforced the decision. At no time did the group attempt to enter the Temple Mount compound and the cornerstone itself never entered the city. The Palestinian leadership, on the other hand, decided to capitalize on the event, declaring in advance a "day of rage" and calling on its people to defend the Mount. Consequently, crowds of Palestinians showered Jewish worshippers gathered below at the Western Wall with rocks and stones, forcing the evacuation of the site on the day when the Jewish people observed the holy day of Tish'a b'Av. With no efforts exerted by the Palestinian leadership to restore calm, Israeli soldiers were forced to enter the Mount to quell the disturbances; they did not enter the Al-Aqsa mosque.

On 1 August [S/2001/790], Belgium, on behalf of the EU, expressed concern with regard to the deteriorating situation in the region and the renewed escalation of violence. It called once again for the implementation of the Mitchell Committee's recommendations and for the rapid establishment of a third-party monitoring mechanism.

On 9 August [A/56/286-S/2001/780], Israel said that a Palestinian suicide bomber had that day detonated powerful explosives inside a restaurant in the centre of Jerusalem, killing 15 people and injuring 130 more. Two other Israelis had been shot and killed by Palestinians on the same day.

On the same day [S/2001/791], Belgium, on behalf of the EU, condemned the bombing in Jerusalem on 9 August and called on both sides to the conflict to regain their self-control and adopt a resolutely forward-looking approach.

In identical letters of 13 August to the Secretary-General and the Council President [A/ES-10/101-S/2001/783], the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that, on 10 August, Israeli security forces raided and closed down Orient House (PA offices in East Jerusalem) along with nine other buildings belonging to Palestinian institutions in and around Occupied East Jerusalem. The Israeli action represented an assault on Palestinian national dignity and Palestinian rights in Jerusalem.

On 13 August [A/55/1027-S/2001/784], Qatar, in its capacity as Chairman of OIC, condemned Israel's occupation of Orient House.

By letters of 15 [S/2001/797] and 16 [A/55/1029] August, Mali and Qatar informed the Security Council President and the Secretary-General that, at two urgent and successive meetings, the first of the Follow-up Committee of the Ninth Islamic Summit Conference and the second of the Islamic Group, both held on 15 August at the ambassadorial level, grave concern was expressed over the deteriorating situation that had developed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as a result of Israel's seizure of Orient House and the closure of the PA's political and security offices.

Security Council consideration (20-21 August). At the request of Mali and Qatar on behalf of the Islamic Group [S/2001/797], the Security Council, on 20 and 21 August, discussed the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question [meeting 4357], With the Council's consent, the Council President invited, among others, Egypt and Israel, at their request, to participate in the discussion without the right to vote. The President also invited the Permanent Observer of Palestine to participate, at his request [S/2001/799]. The Chairman of the Committee on Palestinian Rights was also invited at his own request. In addition, invitations were extended to the Acting Permanent Observer of OIC to the United Nations, at the request of Mali [S/2001/800], and to the Deputy Permanent Observer of LAS, at the request of Tunisia [S/2001/801].

The Permanent Observer of Palestine said that Israel's military campaign and other measures, such as the withholding of Palestinian funds, had placed the Palestinian people, in essence, in a collective prison. The PA condemned the bombings that had taken place in Israel, but observed that the wave of explosions started long after the beginning of the Israeli military campaign in September 2000. The Permanent Observer noted that the Palestinians had accepted the Mitchell Committee's report and had called for the implementation of its recommendations. For its part, the Israeli Government, though it finally accepted the report, had come up with the notion of a seven-day cooling-off period as a condition for implementing the recommendations. The Palestinians viewed Israel's position as unrealistic and impractical.

Israel stated that it had accepted the Mitchell report as a road map leading back to the negotiating table. Even before the Tenet cease-fire took effect in June 2001, Israel had implemented its own unilateral cease-fire. Those actions were met with no reciprocal gestures from the Palestinian side. Consequently, 36 Israelis had been killed and 292 injured in over 1,300 separate attacks since the Tenet plan took effect. Thus, the Council's meeting was taking place not only against the backdrop that the Palestinians had depicted, but also against the backdrop of ongoing Palestinian terrorism. It appeared that despite the 9 August bombing in Jerusalem (see above), the Palestinians had no scruples about convening a Council meeting to discuss Israeli actions. That unprecedented escalation of Palestinian terror was not in itself a new phenomenon, since Israel had faced a calculated campaign of Palestinian terror for more than 10 months. What had changed was the frequency, intensity and horror of the attacks. Israel was obliged, under every norm of international law, to take action in defence of its citizens. In that regard, it should be treated like any other nation that faced armed aggression. The use of human beings as bombs was an alarming phenomenon that presented no obvious response, as individuals who were willing to sacrifice their lives in such a manner would not be deterred by ordinary means. Israel's response, therefore, had to be geared towards cutting off terror at its source, since, once it was unleashed, it was virtually impossible to stop. Chairman Arafat had himself become a party to terrorism, as he released terrorists from jail, used the official Palestinian media to incite them to violence, refused to rearrest them even when they were about to commit murder, and invited the Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations to join him in a unity coalition. As long as the Palestinians maintained that policy, Israel would continue to take the steps it deemed necessary to keep the Palestinians' killing machinery off its streets. Israel's seizure of Orient House was not a takeover, an occupation or an act of revenge, but an act of self-defence. Israel took temporary control of buildings that were being used by official Palestinian forces to assist terrorists in carrying out their attacks, and intelligence reports and illegal weapons had been recovered from Orient House that constituted irrefutable proof that the site was being used for political and military purposes. Israel regarded the draft resolution before the Council (an informal text that was not tabled) as a biased and one-sided document that sought to place the onus of the current situation squarely on one party. Since the Mitchell report referred to a direct, face-to-face approach, there appeared to be no justification for further complicating matters by subjecting implementation to international supervision and scrutiny or by imposing any kind of monitoring mechanism that had not been negotiated and agreed to by both parties. Israel therefore remained opposed to an international presence in the region, as that would contravene both the spirit and the letter of direct bilateral negotiations.

Communications (21 August-13 December). In letters dated between 21 August and 10 December [A/ES-10/104-S/2001/812, A/ES-10/105-S/2001/814, A/ES-10/107-S/2001/821, A/ES-10/108-S/2001/826, A/ES-10/111-S/2001/880, A/ES-10/112-S/2001/918, A/ES-10/ 114-S/2001/ 928, A/ES-10/115-S/2001/932, A/ES-10/116-S/2001/941, A/ES-10/117-S/2001/971, A/ES-10/118-S/2001/989, A/ES-10/119-S/2001/991, A/ES-10/121-S/2001/1007, A/ES-10/ 122-S/2001/1024, A/ES-10/123-S/2001/1036, A/ES-10/124-S/2001/1084, A/ES-10/125-S/2001/1092, A/ES-10/126-S/2001/1118, A/ES-10/128-S/2001/1149, A/ES-10/129-s/2001/1166], the Permanent Observer of Palestine informed the Secretary-General and the Council President that Israeli forces continued to kill and injure Palestinian civilians and had used, among other weapons, helicopter gunships to fire missiles against Palestinian security posts while bulldozers had destroyed Palestinian farmlands and buildings; he submitted lists of the names of those killed. On 4 December, Israeli forces fired missiles at PA buildings in Ramallah, in the vicinity of President Arafat's headquarters.

In a series of communications dated between 27 August and 13 December [A/56/324-S/2001/825, A/56/325-S/2001/834, A/56/346-S/2001/858, A/56/367-S/2001/875, A/56/386-S/2001/892, A/56/406-S/2001/907, A/56/438-S/2001/938, A/56/443-S/2001/942, A/56/444-S/2001/943, A/56/450-S/2001/948, A/56/483-S/2001/975, A/56/492-S/2001/990, A/56/506-S/2001/1011, A/56/514-S/2001/1023, A/56/604-S/2001/1048, A/56/617-S/2001/ 1071, A/56/663-S/2001/1121, A/56/668-S/2001/1133, A/56/670-S/2001/1141, A/56/678-S/2001/1150, A/56/706-S/2001/ 1198}, Israel detailed acts of terrorism committed by Palestinians against Israeli targets and civilians. On 17 October, Israel's Minister of Tourism, Rehavam Zeevi, was killed by Palestinian gunmen. On 1 and 2 December, Palestinian suicide bombers killed 26 Israelis and injured over 200 more in attacks carried out in Jerusalem and Haifa.

On 27 August [A/ES-10/ 109-S/2001/830], the Sudan, as Chairman of the Arab Group, transmitted to the Secretary-General the texts of two resolutions adopted by the LAS Council at an emergency meeting on 22 August, held at the level of ministers for foreign affairs. The resolutions were entitled "The recent Israeli aggression against the City of Jerusalem" and "World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance".

By a 6 September letter [A/ES-10/110-S/2001/855], the PLO Chairman and PA President, Yasser Arafat, informed the Secretary-General that, on 6 September, Israeli forces started to seal off Al-Quds from the surrounding areas of Palestine and had strengthened their presence throughout the city and deployed large numbers of soldiers and policemen.

On 15 October [S/2001/977], Belgium transmitted a 9 October statement by the Presidency of the EU, which welcomed a declaration made by United States President George W. Bush acknowledging the right of the Palestinians to a viable State provided that Israel's right to exist was guaranteed.

On 22 October [S/2001/997], Mali and Qatar informed the Council President that an urgent meeting of the Islamic Group was held on that same day at the ambassadorial level to consider the deteriorating situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as a result of Israel's escalation of military action against the Palestinian people. The Islamic Group requested the convening of a meeting of the Council in order to ensure immediate Israeli withdrawal from the areas that it had reoccupied in the preceding few weeks.

On 26 October [S/2001/1019], the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, as Chairman of the Arab Group, said that it was regrettable that the Council had not taken immediate measures as requested by the Islamic Group on 22 October. The Arab Group called on the Council to consider the situation and adopt a resolution on the matter, particularly with regard to the immediate withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces.

By a 16 November letter [A/56/636-S/2001/1090], Chile transmitted to the Secretary-General the statement issued on 14 November by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Rio Group (an organization of Latin American States) on the crisis in the Middle East. The Rio Group condemned the acts of violence and reaffirmed their adherence to the UN resolutions which had created a legal framework for the settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

By letters of 26 November [A/56/650-S/2001/1112] and 6 December [A/56/683-S/2001/1160] to the Secretary-General, Qatar condemned the inhuman acts committed by Israel against Palestinian citizens, and protested Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian representative leaders.

In two separate letters of 7 December to the Secretary-General [A/56/696] and the Council President [S/2001/1170], Chile, on behalf of the Rio Group, called on Israel and the PA to bring to an immediate halt all acts of violence so as to restore the minimum conditions of confidence necessary to prevent a further deterioration in the situation.

By a 12 December letter [A/56/703-S/2001/1192], Qatar transmitted to the Secretary-General the text of a statement made by Qatar's Emir at the opening session of the Ninth Islamic Summit Conference (Doha, 10 December), and the text of the Conference's final communique, which called on the Council to dispatch international observers to the region to ensure the necessary protection for the Palestinian people.

Security Council consideration (14 December). At the request of Egypt on behalf of LAS [S/2001/1191], the Security Council, on 14 December [meeting 4438], discussed the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. With the Council's consent, the President invited, among others, Egypt and Israel, at their request, to participate in the discussion without the right to vote. The President also invited the Permanent Observer of Palestine to participate, at his own request [S/2001/1205], as well as the Chairman of the Committee on Palestinian Rights, also at his own request. The Council considered the text of a draft resolution [S/2001/1199] submitted by Egypt and Tunisia. By that draft, the Council would have encouraged all concerned to establish a monitoring mechanism to help the parties implement the Mitchell Committee's recommendations and called for resumed negotiations between the two sides.

Speaking before the vote, the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that Israel had announced earlier that week that it would sever all contact with PA President Arafat. That decision meant the abandonment of the negotiation process and the prelude to abandoning all existing arrangements between the two sides. On the question of terrorism, the Palestinian side rejected suicide bombings carried out in Israel targeting Israeli civilians. As to acts of violence carried out in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, the Palestinian side did not condone them but did not accept any attempt to label them as terrorist acts. Resistance to foreign occupation had been, and remained, a legitimate right under international law. Israel's violence against the Palestinians and widespread-destruction of their property represented serious breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Permanent Observer charged Israel with, among other things, carrying out State terrorism against the Palestinians.

Israel said that there had been a recent incredible escalation of Palestinian terrorism against Israel, which was unparalleled in more than 14 months of violence. Israel had repeatedly expressed its sympathy for the unfortunate deaths of Palestinian civilians and for the Palestinian population that had to endure the precautionary security measures foisted upon Israel by the incaution of the Palestinian leadership. But while Israel considered the death of any civilian, whether Israeli or Palestinian, to be tragic, for the Palestinian terrorists those deaths were deliberate, premeditated and desired. The obstacle to peace in the region was not occupation, but the continuing murder of civilians and the Palestinian leadership's attempts to justify those murders. Mr. Arafat had no intention of ending the violence by taking action against the terrorists.

Egypt said that the destruction of the PA's installations by Israeli forces would not end the crisis or reduce the level of violence between the two parties. The Israeli decision to cut off contacts with Palestinian leaders only signified a desire to prolong the conflict and, perhaps, represented a complete renunciation of all agreements signed by the two parties and a prelude to a new phase in the conflict.

The United States said that the draft resolution under consideration failed to address the dynamic at work in the region. Instead, its purpose was to isolate politically one of the parties to the conflict by throwing the weight of the Council behind the other party. A major flaw of the draft resolution was that it never mentioned the acts of terrorism against Israel or those responsible for them. Terrorist organizations such as Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were deliberately seeking to sabotage any potential peace negotiation between the two parties. It was President Arafat's responsibility to take a strategic stand . against terrorism. The PA had to arrest those responsible for planning and carrying out terrorist attacks and destroy the structures that perpetuated terrorism. Israel, for its part, had to focus very carefully on the repercussions of any actions it took. Neither party could lose sight of the need to resume progress towards the resumption of a dialogue. The United States believed that the Council should not take an action that would turn the parties away from the efforts needed to improve an already tense situation. Consequently, the United States had decided to make use of its veto to block the draft resolution.

The draft resolution was not adopted (12-1-2), owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the Council.

Emergency special session

In accordance with General Assembly resolution ES-10/7 [YUN 2000, p. 421] and at the request of Egypt [A/ES-10/130], on behalf of LAS, and South Africa, in its capacity as Chairman of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries [A/ES-10/131], the tenth emergency special session of the Assembly resumed on 20 December to discuss "Illegal Israeli actions in" Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory". The session was first convened in April 1997 [YUN 1997, p. 394] and resumed in July and November of that year, as well as in March 1998 [YUN 1998, p. 425], February 1999 [YUN 1999, p. 402] and October 2000 [YUN 2000, p. 421].

The Assembly had before it two draft resolutions. By the first draft, the Assembly demanded the immediate cessation of all acts of violence and, among other things, encouraged all concerned to establish a monitoring mechanism to help the parties implement the Mitchell Committee's recommendations. By the second, it reiterated the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and expressed support for the declaration adopted by the 5 December Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Convention (see p. 425).

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 20 December [meeting 15], the General Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/8 [draft: A/ES-10/ L.7] by recorded vote (124-6-25) [agenda item 5].

Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory


Recalling also relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolution 1322(2000) of 7 October 2000,

Emphasizing the need for a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East based on Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973 and the principle of land for peace,

Emphasizing also in that regard the essential role of the Palestinian Authority, which remains the indispensable and legitimate party for peace and needs to be preserved fully,

Expressing its grave concern at the continuation of the tragic and violent events that have taken place since September 2000,

Expressing also its grave concern at the recent dangerous deterioration of the situation and its possible impact on the region,

Emphasizing further the importance of the safety and well-being of all civilians in the whole Middle East region, and condemning in particular all acts of violence and terror resulting in the deaths and injuries among Palestinian and Israeli civilians,

Expressing its determination to contribute to ending the violence and to promoting dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian sides,

Reiterating the need for the two sides to comply with their obligations under the existing agreements,

Also reiterating the need for Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949,

1. Demands the immediate cessation of all acts of violence, provocation and destruction, as well as the return to the positions and arrangements that existed prior to September 2000;

2. Condemns all acts of terror, in particular those targeting civilians;

3. Also condemns all acts of extra-judiciary executions, excessive use of force and wide destruction of properties;

4. Calls upon the two sides to start the comprehensive and immediate implementation of the recommendations made in the report of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee (Mitchell report) in a speedy manner;

5. Encourages all concerned to establish a monitoring mechanism to help the parties implement the recommendations of the report of the Fact-Finding Committee and to help to create a better situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

6. Calls for the resumption of negotiations between the two sides within the Middle East peace process on its agreed basis, taking into consideration developments in previous discussions between the two sides, and urges them to reach a final agreement on all issues, on the basis of their previous agreements, with the objective of implementing Security Council resolutions 242(1967) and 338(1973);

7. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION ES-10/8:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, .Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Tuvalu, United States.

Abstaining: Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Georgia, Iceland, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Nicaragua, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Romania, Samoa, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Tonga, United Kingdom, Vanuatu.

On the same day [meeting 15], the Assembly adopted resolution ES-10/9 [draft: A/ES-10/L.8] by recorded vote (133-4-16) [agenda item 5].

Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory


Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolutions of the tenth emergency special session on the situation in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

Recalling also relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 237(1967) of 14 June 1967, 242(1967) of 22 November 1967, 259(1968) of 27 September 1968, 271(1969) of 15 September 1969, 338 (1973) of 22 October 1973,446(1979) of 22 March 1979, 452(1979) of 20 July 1979, 465(1980) of 1 March 1980, 468(1980) of 8 May 1980, 469(1980) of 20 May 1980, 471(1980) of 5 June 1980, 476(1980) of 30 June 1980, 478( 1980) of 20 August 1980,484( 1980) of 19 December 1980, 592(1986) of 8 December 1986, 605(1987) of 22 December 1987, 607(1988) of 5 January 1988, 608 (1988) of 14 January 1988, 636(1989) of 6 July 1989, 641(1989) of 30 August 1989, 672(1990) of 12 October 1990, 673(1990) of 24 October 1990,681(1990) of 20 December 1990, 694(1991) of 24 May 1991, 726(1992) of 6 January 1992, 799(1992) of 18 December 1992, 904(1994) of 18 March 1994 and 1322(2000) of 7 October 2000,

Taking note with appreciation of the convening of the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, on 15 July 1999, as recommended by the General Assembly in its resolution ES-10/6 of 9 February 1999, and the statement adopted by the Conference,

Taking note with appreciation also of the reconvening of the above-mentioned Conference, on 5 December 2001, and the important declaration adopted by the Conference,

Recalling relevant provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,

Reaffirming its position of the international community on Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as illegal and as an obstacle to peace,

Expressing its concern at Israeli actions taken recently against the Orient House and other Palestinian institutions in Occupied East Jerusalem as well as other illegal Israeli actions aimed at altering the status of the city and its demographic composition,

Reiterating the applicability of the Fourth 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,

Stressing that the Fourth Geneva Convention, which takes fully into account imperative military necessity, has to be respected in all circumstances,

Bearing in mind the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, including Article 96 thereof,

1. Expresses its full support for the declaration adopted by the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, convened on 5 December 2001 at Geneva;

2. Calls upon all members and observers of the United Nations as well as the Organization and its agencies to observe the above-mentioned declaration;

3. Decides to adjourn the tenth emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the President of the General Assembly at its most recent session to resume its meeting upon request from Member States.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION ES-10/9:

In favour Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Abstaining: Australia, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Guatemala, Nauru, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

Speaking before the votes on the two resolutions [A/ES-10/PV.15], the Assembly President said that one of the most daunting tasks before the United Nations was to bring lasting peace to the Middle East, an issue that not only involved the region, but was a global concern, constituting a serious threat to world peace and security. He urged both parties directly concerned to return to dialogue and negotiation.

The Permanent Observer of Palestine said that the resumption of the emergency special session was the result of the Security Council's failure to fulfil its primary responsibility due to the exercise by one of its permanent members of the veto during the vote on the draft resolution on 15 December (see p. 414). He called on Member States to adopt the same text of the draft resolution that had been before the Council and another draft concerning the Fourth Geneva Convention and the declaration adopted by the Conference of High Contracting Parties on 5 December. With regard to the situation in the Security Council, the question was whether the Council was used by some only when it suited them or whether it represented and acted on behalf of all members of the international community. The Palestinians would continue to work with the Council in the hope of overcoming the existing crisis. On 16 December, President Arafat had called for an immediate cease-fire in an attempt to stop the violence on the ground. On the other hand, the Israeli Government had adopted policies undermining the peace efforts; it had evaded the implementation of the Mitchell Committee's report by insisting on the precondition of seven quiet days and had then made a new demand, namely, that the PA had to first combat and end terrorism before peace negotiations could begin. Meanwhile, Israel continued to assault the PA and its institutions, disabling its security apparatus and preventing it from functioning. Finally, the Israeli Government had announced a boycott of the PA, which was tantamount to abandoning the peace process. The Permanent Observer charged the Israeli occupation with committing war crimes against the Palestinian people. The only solution to the crisis was to end the Israeli occupation and to ensure the rights of the Palestinians, including their right to establish their own independent State with Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel said that Chairman Arafat, a few days after calling for a stop to violent attacks against Israelis, had called for a continuation of the fighting during a rally in Ramallah. The PA had failed to take the steps necessary to end the violence and terrorism, steps that were a precondition for resuming political negotiations. The Assembly's emergency special session represented the continuance of the Palestinians' drive to win international sanction for their intransigence. After failing to prevail in the Security Council on 15 December, the Palestinians had turned to the Assembly, where numerous one-sided resolutions were adopted every year. The United Nations expended copious scarce resources each year to publicize the Palestinian cause, and an entire division of the Secretariat was devoted exclusively to advancing Palestinian rights. However, the root of the conflict in the region was terrorism and not the Israeli occupation. Only in UN resolutions was the basic reality of the conflict so grossly misinterpreted. The draft resolutions under consideration served merely to divert the attention and the resources of the international community, and to relieve the mounting pressure on the Palestinian leadership to exert its authority to bring an end to violence and terrorism. Furthermore, the texts made assertions that sought to prejudice the outcome of the negotiations and to establish a false correlation between those who perpetrated terror and those who fought it.

The United States said that it opposed the draft resolution [A/ES-10/L.7] because, among other things, it called for a monitoring mechanism regardless of whether the parties agreed to it. In addition, the text did not demand a cessation of terrorism. The United States was committed to achieving implementation of the Mitchell Committee's recommendations through the establishment of a durable cease-fire between the Israelis and the Palestinians. As the Palestinians assumed their responsibilities to confront terrorist groups, Israel needed to do its part to create an environment in which Palestinians could sustain and expand their efforts. Moreover, the daily plight of the Palestinian people had to be eased. The proper role of the United Nations was to facilitate and strengthen the agreements that the two parties had reached with each other. One-sided resolutions did not further that goal.

Qatar said that while Israel was committing atrocities in the occupied territories, it expected the PA to shoulder its responsibilities for security, something that was patently impossible. Israeli military actions had escalated tensions, sharpened hatred and increased violence, the proof being that while President Arafat, on 16 December, called for an end to military attacks by both sides, Israeli forces continued to invade entire areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Israeli Government had broken off all contacts with the PA and President Arafat was almost under house arrest. However, he could not be marginalized, as he remained the main interlocutor and participant in the peace process.

Switzerland, as depositary of the Geneva Conventions, said that on 5 December, 115 States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention met in Geneva and issued a declaration by which they reaffirmed the applicability of the Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem (see p. 425). Switzerland stressed the need for all States to ensure a follow-up to the declaration's implementation.

Communications (21-26 December). In identical letters of 21 December to the Secretary-General and the Council President [A/ES-10/133-S/2001/1239], the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that Israel continued its military campaign against the Palestinian people; he submitted lists of the names of those killed.

On 26 December [A/ES-10/134-S/2001/1261], the Permanent Observer said that Israel, on Christmas Eve, had used military measures to prevent President Arafat from attending religious observances in Bethlehem. That step represented a severe violation of the agreements reached between the two sides and of the principle of freedom of movement and freedom of access to holy places.

Special Committee on Israeli Practices. In its thirty-third report [A/56/491], the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (Special Committee on Israeli Practices) stated that relations between settlers in the West Bank and Gaza and the Palestinians were reaching, at times, high levels of intensity and violence. Approximately 190 settlements inhabited by about 360,000 settlers had been established in the West Bank and Gaza. The settlements were scattered throughout the occupied territories, but as in the case of the city of Hebron, they were often located close to Palestinian areas of residence. The system of bypass roads, enabling settlers to move quickly and safely through the West Bank, extended to almost 400 kilometres of roads and prevented the expansion of Palestinian villages and the movement of commerce and workers from one Palestinian area to another. The construction of such roads required the taking of Palestinian land, often land under cultivation, and the demolition of homes. Settlements and settlers were seen as being in a privileged position, to the disadvantage of the Palestinians with respect to the location of the settlements; the effects of settlements on surrounding lands; access to water; travel on bypass roads; and protection by Israeli security forces.

Report of Secretary-General. On 25 July [A/56/216], the Secretary-General informed the Assembly that Israel had not replied to his May request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement the relevant provisions of resolution 55/132 [YUN 2000, p. 428], demanding that Israel, among other things, cease all construction of new settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 10 December [meeting 82], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth (Special Political and Decolonization) Committee [A/56/550], adopted resolution 56/61 by recorded vote (145-4-3) [agenda item 88].


Israeli settlements in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem,
and the occupied Syrian Golan

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at its tenth emergency special session, as well as relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967, 446(1979) of 22 March 1979, 465(1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497(1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming 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 Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Aware of the Middle East peace process started at Madrid and the agreements reached between the parties, in particular the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993, and the subsequent implementation agreements,

Expressing grave concern about the continuation by Israel of settlement activities, including the ongoing construction of the settlement in Jabal Abu-Ghneim and in Ras Al-Amud in and around Occupied East Jerusalem, in violation of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions and the agreements reached between the parties,

Taking into consideration the detrimental impact of Israeli settlement policies, decisions and activities on the Middle East peace process,

Gravely concerned in particular about the dangerous situation resulting from actions taken by the illegal armed Israeli settlers in the occupied territory, as illustrated by the massacre of Palestinian worshippers by an illegal Israeli settler in Al-Khalil on 25 February 1994, and during the past year,


1. Reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an obstacle to peace and economic and social development;

2. Calls upon Israel to accept the de jure 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 Jerusalem, and to the occupied Syrian Golan and to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the Convention, in particular article 49;

3. Demands complete cessation of the construction of the settlement in Jabal Abu-Ghneim and of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

4. Stresses the need for full implementation of Security Council resolution 904(1994) of 18 March 1994, in which, among other things, the Council called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to continue to take and implement measures, including confiscation of arms, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers, and called for measures to be taken to guarantee the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory;

5. Reiterates its call for the prevention of illegal acts of violence by Israeli settlers, particularly in the light of recent developments;

6. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session on the implementation of the present resolution.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/61:

In favour. Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cote d' Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriva, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.


Jerusalem

East Jerusalem, where most of the city's Arab inhabitants lived, remained one of the most sensitive issues in the Middle East peace process and a focal point of concern for the United Nations in 2001. The escalation of violence and the occupation by Israeli forces of the PA's building in East Jerusalem, including Orient House (see p. 411), led to the resumption of the General Assembly's tenth emergency special session (see p. 414).

Communication. On 15 May [A/55/943-S/2001/490], the Permanent Observer of Palestine transmitted to the Secretary-General the text of a resolution adopted by the LAS Council at its one hundred and fifteenth regular session (Cairo, 12 March) on the question of Jerusalem. The Council, among other things, affirmed Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem.

Special Committee on Israeli Practices. In its annual report [A/56/491], the Special Committee on Israeli Practices described restrictions imposed by Israeli authorities on Jerusalem's Palestinian population and Israeli violations of their human rights.

The Committee said that Israel had continued to pursue a policy of passive transfer of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, in order to establish a demographic balance between Jews and Arabs by capping the Arab population of Jerusalem at 26 per cent. Israel had used various means against Palestinian residents to prevent an increase in the population and had tried to encourage them to leave the city. Under Israeli law, Arab inhabitants were treated as permanent residents of the State of Israel. They did not possess Israeli citizenship but had the right to work in Israel without needing special permits. They could participate in local but not Israeli elections. A "centre of life" policy required Arab inhabitants, in order to retain their residency status, to prove that their centre of life was in Jerusalem by submitting documentary evidence, such as rental contracts or water bills. The policy had resulted in the confiscation of Jerusalem identity cards of those unable to prove that their centre of life was in Jerusalem; refusal by Israeli authorities to register children born to parents, one of whom did not possess a Jerusalem identity card; and refusal to register persons for family reunification, in particular a spouse who did not have an identity card. In 2001, Israeli authorities placed all requests for family reunification on hold. The proceeds from the arnona (municipal tax) were used to fund the provision of services by the Jerusalem Municipality. Even though more than 50 per cent of East Jerusalem was in the highest tax band, there was discrimination between the level of services provided to Palestinian areas and to Jewish areas. Israel was also seeking to prevent territorial contiguity between East Jerusalem and Ramallah to the north, East Jerusalem and Bethlehem to the south, and East Jerusalem and Jericho to the west and to control all the land around Jerusalem. An eastern ring road project envisioned the construction of a network of roads linking all the settlements and encircling Arab East Jerusalem. Lands had been confiscated and houses demolished for that purpose.

Committee on Palestinian Rights. In its annual report [A/56/35 & Corr.l], the Committee on Palestinian Rights said that since April 2001, it had observed with concern what appeared to be an emerging pattern of Israeli incursions into areas under full Palestinian control. On 10 August, Israeli forces occupied Orient House in East Jerusalem, an act that was aimed at accelerating the process of Judaization of the city. There had also been an increase in the demolition of Palestinian property, with some 30 Palestinian houses demolished in East Jerusalem. In addition, throughout the year, tenders had been issued by Israeli authorities for the construction of settler housing in and around Jerusalem.

Transfer of diplomatic missions

Report of Secretary-General. On 17 October [A/56/480], the Secretary-General reported that five Member States, including Israel, had replied to his request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement General Assembly resolution 55/50 [YUN 2000, p. 429], which addressed the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem in violation of Security Council resolution 478(1980) [YUN 1980, p. 426] and called on them to abide by the relevant UN resolutions. Israel said the one-sided approach reflected in those resolutions undermined fundamental agreements reached between the parties, according to which the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the region was possible only through direct bilateral negotiations.

Communications. In a 9 March letter to the Secretary-General [A/55/832-S/2001/210], Qatar expressed concern regarding a statement by United States Secretary of State Colin L. Powell to the effect that Jerusalem was the capital of Israel and that the United States should move its Embassy to that city. On 13 March [A/55/837-S/2001/220], the United Arab Emirates also took exception to Mr. Powell's remarks concerning Jerusalem.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 3 December [meeting 72], the General Assembly adopted resolution 56/31 [draft: A/56/L.23 & Add.l] by recorded Vote (130-2-10) [agenda item 42].


Jerusalem

Recalling its resolutions 36/120 E of 10 December 1981,37/123 C of 16 December 1982, 38/180 C of 19 December 1983, 39/146 C of 14 December 1984,40/168 C of 16 December 1985, 41/162 C of 4 December 1986, 42/209 D of 11 December 1987,43/54 C of 6 December 1988, 44/40 C of 4 December 1989, 45/83 C of 13 December 1990,46/82 B of 16 December 1991,47/63 B of 11 December 1992, 48/59 A of 14 December 1993, 49/87 A of 16 December 1994, 50/22 A of 4 December 1995, 51/27 of 4 December 1996, 52/53 of 9 December 1997, 53/37 of 2 December 1998, 54/37 of 1 December 1999 and 55/50 of 1 December 2000, in which it, inter alia, determined that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purported to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, in particular the so-called "Basic Law" on Jerusalem and the proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, were null and void and must be rescinded forthwith,

Recalling also Security Council resolution 478(1980) of 20 August 1980, in which the Council, inter alia, decided not to recognize the "Basic Law" and called upon those States which had established diplomatic missions in Jerusalem to withdraw such missions from the Holy City,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,

1. Determines that the decision of Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem is illegal and therefore null and void and has no validity whatsoever;

2. Deplores the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem in violation of Security Council resolution 478(1980) and their refusal to comply with the provisions of that resolution;

3. Calls once more upon those States to abide by the provisions of the relevant United Nations resolutions, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations;

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session on the implementation of the present resolution.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/31:


Abstaining: Australia, Haiti, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, United States, Vanuatu.

Economic and social situation

A June report on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of Palestinians in the occupied territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan [A/56/90-E/2001/17] was prepared by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 2000/31 [YUN 2000, p. 431] and General Assembly resolution 55/209 [ibid., p. 432]; it covered the period since ESCWA's previous report [ibid., p. 430].

The report stated that the delays in the implementation of the agreements reached between Israel and the PLO, together with Israeli practices, particularly the settlement expansion and the closure of passage routes from areas controlled by the PA to Israel, had an adverse effect on the living conditions of the Palestinian people and were among the primary causes of the out-break of violence. As a consequence of the crisis, restrictions on the mobility of the Palestinians had increased and mobility between the West Bank and Gaza, and between the occupied territory and the rest of the world, had been severely impeded. In addition, imports and exports transshipped through Israeli ports had been delayed or blocked completely, while the Gaza International Airport and the border crossings at Rafah and the Allenby/Karameh Bridge had been closed for extended periods. Since September 2000, Israel had engaged in a wide-ranging campaign to construct scores of new roads aimed at ensuring safe passage between the settlements and Israel, while Israeli military bases had been established throughout the West Bank. The geographical distribution of settlements restricted the growth of Palestinian communities. Although settlements themselves directly controlled less than 10 per cent of the West Bank and 5 per cent of Gaza, prospects for Palestinian sovereignty would be compromised by the extensive security measures required to ensure their existence. Israel had declared 290,970 acres of the West Bank (20.2 per cent of its total area) as closed military areas, and had created an additional 29 closed military areas in Gaza (420 acres). Moreover, Israel maintained 71 military bases in the West Bank (9,563 acres). Although most of those areas had low agricultural value, they constituted the major grazing areas in the West Bank. Since Palestinian pastoralists were denied access to those areas, the remaining grazing areas suffered from severe over-grazing and were under threat of permanent desertification Water remained a critical issue, with over 150 West Bank villages, home to some 215,000 Palestinians, not connected to a network of running water. Waste produced by Israeli settlements located in the Occupied Palestinian Territory continued to degrade the area's water resources, causing environmental damage that compromised the Palestinians' quality of life. A declaration stating that water and sewage infrastructures had not to be harmed despite the military conflict was signed by Israeli and Palestinian representatives at the Erez Junction on 31 January; the two sides promised to take steps to provide water and treat sewage in the West Bank and Gaza, and to repair quickly malfunctions and damage to the systems. Both sides made it clear in an appeal to their public opinions that the water systems were intertwined and served both populations, and that any harm done to them would cause damage to Israelis and Palestinians alike. However, Palestinians from the village of Hares reported that water had been regularly cut off since the inception of the crisis in September 2000-not by the Israeli water company that provided it, but by Jewish settlers operating under cover of darkness.

The crisis that erupted in September 2000 ended more than three years of limited economic recovery and progress in the PA areas. Private economic losses during the first three weeks of the crisis were estimated at $186.2 million. Lost income earning opportunities were estimated at about half of the value of domestic production and nearly all of the income earned by Palestinians working in Israel. In addition, the loss of life, injuries and the physical destruction of private and public property had become more wide-spread. The main impact of mobility restrictions and border closures imposed by Israeli authorities had been the disruption of productive activities and the circulation of goods. The short-term economic losses included a reduction in the income of farmers, workers, merchants and business people who could not reach their places of employment in the occupied territory or who were unable to obtain inputs or sell their goods and services. Loss of employment in Israel plus mobility restrictions and border closures had resulted in an average unemployment rate of 38 per cent (more than 250,000 persons) as compared with 11 per cent (71,000 persons) in the first nine months of 2000. Owing to the high dependency ratio, unemployment directly affected the incomes of about 900,000 Palestinians, or 29 per cent of the population. The direct economic losses arising from movement restrictions were estimated at 50 per cent of the gross domestic product for the four-month period from October 2000 to January 2001 and 75 per cent of wage income earned by Palestinian workers in Israel.

Israeli settlement expansion in the Golan Heights continued, while employment opportunities and access to education for the Arab population remained limited. Moreover, Israel's taxation policy enhanced the deterioration of living standards of the Arab population.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ACTION

On 25 July [meeting 42], the Economic and Social Council adopted resolution 2001/19 [draft: E/2001/L.26] by roll-call vote (42-1-5) [agenda item 11].


Recalling General Assembly resolution 54/230 of 22 December 1999,
Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and recalling relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967,465(1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497(1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming 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 Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Stressing the importance of the revival of the Middle East peace process on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967), 338(1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425(1978) of 19 March 1978, and the principle of land for peace as well as the full and timely implementation of the agreements reached between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources,

Convinced that the Israeli occupation impedes efforts to achieve sustainable development and a sound economic environment in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan,

Gravely concerned about the deterioration of economic and living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan, and the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of their natural resources,

Expressing grave concern over the continuation of the recent tragic and violent events that have led to many deaths and injuries,

Aware of the important work being done by the United Nations and the specialized agencies in support of the economic and social development of the Palestinian people,

Conscious of the urgent need for the development of the economic and social infrastructure of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and for the improvement of the living conditions of the Palestinian people as a key element of a lasting peace and stability,

1. Stresses the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods in the Territory, including the removal of restrictions on going into and from East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world;

2. Also stresses the vital importance of the construction and operation of the seaport in Gaza and safe passage to the economic and social development of the Palestinian people;

3. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cease its measures against the Palestinian people, in particular the closure of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the enforced isolation of Palestinian towns, the destruction of homes and the isolation of Jerusalem;

4. Reaffirms the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan to all their natural and economic resources, and calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, endanger or cause loss or depletion of these resources;

5. Also reaffirms that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan, are illegal and an obstacle to economic and social development;

6. Stresses the importance of the work of the organizations and agencies of the United Nations and of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority;

7. Urges Member States to encourage private foreign investment in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, in infrastructure, job-creation projects and social development in order to alleviate the hardship of the Palestinian people and improve living conditions;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session, through the Economic and Social Council, a report on the implementation of the present resolution and to continue to include, in the report of the United Nations Special Coordinator, an update on the living conditions of the Palestinian people, in collaboration with relevant United Nations agencies;

9. Decides to include the item entitled "Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan" in the agenda of its substantive session of 2002.

ROLL-CALL VOTE ON RESOLUTION 2001/19:


GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 21 December [meeting 90], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Second (Economic and Financial) Committee [A/56/564], adopted resolution 56/204 by recorded vote (148-4-4) [agenda item 101].


Recalling its resolution 55/209 of 20 December 2000, and taking note of Economic and Social Council resolution 2001/19 of 25 July 2001,

Reaffirming the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources,

Guided by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations affirming the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and recalling relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967,465(1980) of 1 March 1980 and 497(1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming 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 Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Expressing its concern at the exploitation by Israel, the occupying Power, of the natural resources of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Aware of the additional detrimental economic and social impact of the Israeli settlements on Palestinian and other Arab natural resources, especially the confiscation of land and the forced diversion of water resources,

Reaffirming the need for an immediate resumption of negotiations within the Middle East peace process, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967, 338(1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425(1978) of 19 March 1978 and the principle of land for peace, and for the achievement of a final settlement on all tracks,

1. Takes note of the note by the Secretary-General on the economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan;

2. Reaffirms the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the population of the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, including land and water;

3. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, not to exploit, to cause loss or depletion of or to endanger the natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan;

4. Recognizes the right of the Palestinian people to claim restitution as a result of any exploitation, loss or depletion of, or danger to, their natural resources, and expresses the hope that this issue will be dealt with in the framework of the final status negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to it at its fifty-seventh session on the implementation of the present resolution, and decides to include in the agenda of its fifty-seventh session the item entitled "Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources".

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/204:

In favour Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia. Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia. Maldives. Mali, Malta, , Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, 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, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Other aspects
October, the Special Committee on Israeli Practices reported for the thirty-third time to the General Assembly on events in the territories it considered to be occupied—the Golan Heights, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip [A/56/491].

In addition to the annual report, the Special Committee, in response to a request by the Assembly in resolution 55/130 [YUN 2000, p. 435], submitted two periodic reports in 2001, one covering the period from 1 August 2000 to 30 April 2001 [A/56/428] and the other covering the period from May to August 2001 [A/56/428/Add.l]. The three reports contained information obtained from the Arab and Israeli press; testimony from persons from the occupied territories; and communications and reports from Governments, organizations and individuals. The Committee benefited from the cooperation of Egypt, Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Palestinian representatives, the UN Resident Coordinator for the Syrian Arab Republic, and representatives from the International Labour Organization (lLO). As in the

past, the Committee received no response from Israel to its request for cooperation and was unable to obtain access to the occupied territories, which had been the case since 1968, when the Committee was established [YUN 1968, p. 556].

The Committee stated that, since September 2000, tensions in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem had been greatly heightened. It was informed that the Israeli authorities had enforced their systems of control with intensity and severity and there had been almost daily hostile confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinians. Conditions on the ground had been exacerbated due to the use of greatly disproportionate force by Israeli authorities. The toll of dead and injured was rising, with the Palestinians suffering the greater casualties. Closures of entry into and out of the West Bank and Gaza, internal closures of borders and numerous check-points and restrictions on movement out of towns and villages had resulted in a state of siege. The consequences of such systems of control on Palestinian life as a whole had been catastrophic, with grave consequences for the economic and social, cultural and political life, and other aspects of Palestinian life in the occupied territories.

Since the eruption of violence, the practices of Israeli authorities vis-a-vis the Palestinians on such matters as methods of arrest and interrogation, administrative detention, access to family and lawyers, and conditions of imprisonment had continued to be severe. At the same time, living conditions in the Palestinian refugee camps had deteriorated even further.

The Special Committee visited the Syrian Arab Republic and reported on the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights (for details, see p. 461).

The Special Committee observed that the extensive controls placed over the Palestinians in the occupied territories by the Israeli authorities, and the severe measures taken by Israel in enforcing such controls, appeared to be generally dismissive of human rights and oppressive.

Report of Secretary-General. On 25 July [A/56/218], the Secretary-General informed the General Assembly that Israel had not replied to his May request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement Assembly resolution 55/133 [YUN 2000, p. 434], demanding that Israel, among other things, cease all practices and actions that violated the human rights of the Palestinian people and accelerate the release of all remaining Palestinians arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

Commission on Human Rights. The Human Rights Inquiry Commission to investigate violations of human rights and humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territories after 28 September 2000 was established on 2 January 2001, as recommended by the Commission on Human Rights in October 2000 [YUN 2000, p. 776] and endorsed by the Economic and Social Council in decision 2000/311 [ibid.]. The Commission held its first meeting in Geneva (14-16 January) and then visited the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel from 10 to 18 February. By a 16 March report to the Commission on Human Rights [E/CN.4/2001/121], the Inquiry Commission observed that the most worrying aspect of the escalation of violence was that the hopes and expectations created by the peace process were smothered by mutual perceptions ascribing the worst of motives to each other, thus generating intense distrust and destructive emotions. It recommended urgent measures for the protection of the Palestinians' human rights and for the transformation of the climate of hostility into one of dialogue and peace (for details, see p. 735). On 21 March [E/CN.4/2001/30], the Special Rapporteur submitted to the Commission on Human Rights an update to his October 2000 mission report [YUN 2000, p. 775] on Israel's violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 (for details, see p. 736).

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 10 December [meeting 82], following consideration of the Special Committee's annual and periodic reports and six reports of the Secretary-General on specific aspects of the situation in the occupied territories [A/56/214-219], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/56/550], adopted resolution 56/62 by recorded vote (145-4-2) [agenda item 88].


Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the
Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian
Territory, including Jerusalem

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including those adopted at its tenth emergency special session, and the resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights,

Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, the most recent of which are resolutions 904(1994) of 18 March 1994, 1073(1996) of 28 September 1996 and 1322(2000) of 7 October 2000,

Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories and the reports of the Secretary-General,

Taking note of the report of the Human Rights Inquiry Commission established by the Commission on Human Rights and the report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Aware of the responsibility of the international community to promote human rights and ensure respect for international law,

Reaffirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming also 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 Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967,

Stressing the need for compliance with the Israeli-Palestinian agreements reached within the context of the Middle East peace process, as well as for the immediate and full implementation of the recommendations of the Sharm El-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee (Mitchell report),

Noting that during the reporting period, the third agreed-upon phase of redeployment of the Israeli army has not been implemented, and that serious incursions into the areas under the full control of the Palestinian Authority have occurred,

Concerned about the continuing violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power, including the use of collective punishment, closure of areas, annexation of land, establishment of settlements and the continuing actions by it designed to change the legal status, geographical nature and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem,

Deeply concerned by the tragic events that have occurred since 28 September 2000 and that have led to numerous deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinians, the severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, and the widespread destruction, including of agricultural land,

Convinced of the positive impact of a temporary international or foreign presence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory for the safety and protection of the Palestinian people,

Convinced also of the need for third-party monitoring to help the parties to implement the recommendations of the Sharm El-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee,

Expressing its appreciation to the countries that participated in the Temporary International Presence in Hebron for their positive contribution,

Convinced of the need for the full implementation of Security Council resolutions 904(1994), 1073(1996) and 1322(2000),

1. Determines that all measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, in violation of the relevant provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, are illegal and have no validity;

2. Demands that the measures and actions taken in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 cease immediately, including the practice of extrajudicial killings;

3. Condemns acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force by Israeli forces against Palestinian civilians, resulting in extensive loss of life, vast numbers of injuries and massive destruction;

4. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all practices and actions which violate the human rights of the Palestinian people;

5. Stresses the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods within the Palestinian territory, including the removal of restrictions on movement into and from East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world;

6. Calls for complete respect by Israel, the occupying Power, of all fundamental freedoms of the Palestinian people;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session on the implementation of the present resolution.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/62:

In favour Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, 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, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia. Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.


By resolution 56/142 of 19 December, the Assembly reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including their right to a State, and urged all States, as well as UN specialized agencies and organizations, to continue to support the Palestinian people in their quest for self-determination (see p. 630).

Work of Special Committee

In a July report [A/56/214], the Secretary-General stated that all necessary facilities were provided to the Special Committee on Israeli Practices, as requested in General Assembly resolution 55/130 [YUN 2000, p. 435]. Arrangements were made for it to meet in March and October, and a field mission was carried out to Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic in May. Two periodic reports [A/55/373 & Add.l] and the thirty-second annual report of the Special Committee [A/55/453] were circulated to Member States. The UN Department of Public Information continued to provide press coverage of Special Committee meetings and to disseminate information materials on its activities.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 10 December [meeting 82], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/56/550], adopted resolution 56/59 by recorded vote (83-4-58) [agenda item 88).


Work of the Special Committee to Investigate
Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights
of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs
of the Occupied Territories


Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Guided also by the principles of international humanitarian law, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, as well as international standards of human rights, in particular the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights,

Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolution 2443(XXIH) of 19 December 1968, and relevant resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights,

Recalling also relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Aware of the lasting impact of the uprising (intifada) of the Palestinian people,

Convinced that occupation itself represents a gross violation of human rights,

Gravely concerned about the continuation of the tragic events that have taken place since 28 September 2000, including the excessive use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries,

Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,

Recalling the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995,

Expressing the hope that, with the progress of the peace process, the Israeli occupation will be brought to an end and therefore violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people will cease,

1. Commends the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly and for its impartiality;

2. Demands that Israel cooperate with the Special Committee in implementing its mandate;

3. Deplores those policies and practices of Israel which violate the human rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories, as reflected in the reports of the Special Committee covering the reporting period;

4. Expresses grave concern about the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, as a result of Israeli practices and measures, and especially condemns the excessive use of force in the past year which has resulted in more than seven hundred Palestinian deaths and tens of thousands of injuries;

5. Requests the Special Committee, pending complete termination of the Israeli occupation, to continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, especially Israeli lack of compliance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and to consult, as appropriate, with the International Committee of the Red Cross according to its regulations in order to ensure that the welfare and human rights of the peoples of the occupied territories are safeguarded and to report to the Secretary-General as soon as possible and whenever the need arises there-after;

6. Also requests the Special Committee to submit regularly to the Secretary-General periodic reports on the current situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem;

7. Further requests the Special Committee to continue to investigate the treatment of prisoners in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;


(a) To provide the Special Committee with all necessary facilities, including those required for its visits to the occupied territories, so that it may investigate the Israeli policies and practices referred to in the present resolution;

(b) To continue to make available such additional staff as may be necessary to assist the Special Committee in the performance of its tasks;

(c) To circulate regularly to Member States the periodic reports mentioned in paragraph 6 above;

(d) To ensure the widest circulation of the reports of the Special Committee and of information regarding its activities and findings, by all means available, through the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat and, where necessary, to reprint those reports of the Special Committee that are no longer available;

(e) To report to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session on the tasks entrusted to him in the present resolution;

9. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-seventh session the item entitled "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories".

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/59:


Abstaining: Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Yugoslavia.

Fourth Geneva Convention

Conference of High Contracting Parties

The Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention on Measures to Enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, reconvened on 5 December in Geneva, under the chairmanship of Switzerland as the depositary of the Geneva Conventions. By resolution ES-10/7 [YUN 2000, p. 421], the General Assembly had invited Switzerland to consult on the development of the humanitarian situation in the field, with the aim of ensuring respect for the Convention in accordance with common article 1 of the four Conventions. Accordingly, Switzerland undertook informal consultations at the bilateral level and held a series of informal meetings of a group of "Friends of the Depository", including States parties from all regions of the world. The first Conference was held in July 1999 [YUN 1999, p. 415], following the recommendation made by the General Assembly in resolution ES-10/6 [ibid., p. 402]. The 1999 Conference adjourned on the understanding that it would convene again in the light of consultations on the development of the humanitarian situation in the field.

The Conference was attended by 115 high contracting parties and eight other participants and observers, including representatives from Palestine, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Australia, Israel and the United States announced that they would not participate.

The Conference adopted without vote a declaration by which it reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and reiterated the need for full respect for the Convention. The high contracting parties called on the occupying Power to respect the Convention's provisions and not to commit any grave breaches or other violations of the Convention.

Report of Secretary-General. In July [A/56/215], the Secretary-General informed the General Assembly that Israel had not replied to his May request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement Assembly resolution 55/131 [YUN 2000, p. 437] demanding that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and that it comply scrupulously with its provisions. Also in May, the Secretary-General noted, he had drawn the attention of all States parties to the Convention to paragraph 3 of resolution 557131 calling on them to exert all efforts to ensure respect by Israel for the Convention's provisions.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 10 December [meeting 82], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/56/550], adopted resolution 56/60 by recorded vote (148-4-2) [agenda item 88].


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 Jerusalem,
and the other occupied Arab territories


Bearing in mind the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,
Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories and the relevant reports of the Secretary-General,

Considering that the promotion of respect for the obligations arising from the Charter of the United Nations and other instruments and rules of international law is among the basic purposes and principles of the United Nations,

Noting the convening of the meeting of experts of the high contracting parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, at Geneva from 27 to 29 October 1998, at the initiative of the Government of Switzerland in its capacity as the depositary of the Convention, concerning general problems of application of the Convention in general and, in particular, in occupied territories,

Noting also the convening for the first time, on 15 July 1999, of a Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, as recommended by the General Assembly in its resolution ES-10/6 of 9 February 1999, on measures to enforce the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and to ensure respect thereof in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, and aware of the statement adopted by the Conference,

Stressing that Israel, the occupying Power, should comply strictly with its obligations under international law,

1. Reaffirms that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, is applicable to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Demands that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Convention in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and that it comply scrupulously with the provisions of the Convention;

3. Calls upon all States parties to the Convention, in accordance with article 1 common to the four Geneva Conventions, to exert all efforts in order to ensure respect for its provisions by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

4. Reiterates the need for speedy implementation of the recommendations contained in its resolutions ES-10/3 of 15 July 1997, ES-10/4 of 13 November 1997, ES-10/5 of 17 March 1998, ES-10/6 of 9 February 1999 and ES-10/7 of 20 October 2000 with regard to ensuring respect by Israel, the occupying Power, for the provisions of the Convention;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session on the implementation of the present resolution. RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/60:

In favour Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria. Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, 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, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana. Greece. Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives. Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, 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, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.

Against: Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, United States. Abstaining: Angola, Nicaragua.

Palestinian women

The Secretary-General, in a report [E/CN.6/2001/2] to the Commission on the Status of Women on follow-up to and progress in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action [YUN 1995, p. 1170], reviewed, in response to Economic and Social Council resolution 2000/23 [YUN 2000, p. 439], the situation of Palestinian women and described assistance provided by UN organizations during the period from September 1999 to September 2000. He stated that women's employment and participation in the labour force grew faster than for men. That could be explained by the rapid expansion in the agriculture and services sectors, where women were present in high numbers. However, women were still found mainly in part-time jobs. The closure policy applied by the Israeli authorities, coupled with border crossing restrictions and the expansion of Israeli settlements, continued to have a detrimental effect on Palestinian economic development, in particular on the living conditions of Palestinian families. In addition, the imprisonment of Palestinian men had forced many women to take on additional burdens and acquire roles other than the ones traditionally performed by them. That situation had the potential of leading to conflicts within the family due to the difficulty in adapting to and accepting change, but it could also provide opportunities for women's empowerment as they gained new decision-making power within the household.

The UN system continued to provide assistance to Palestinian women. ESCWA, among other things, prepared a study on gender and citizenship and the role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the occupied territories, with the aim of increasing gender-sensitivity through action-oriented policy recommendations. UNRWA continued to provide education, health, relief and social services. More than 50 per cent of UNRWA's special hardship case families, who received direct food and material assistance from the Agency, were headed by women. Seventy Women's Programme Centres served as focal points within the refugee community for UNRWA's work with women. During 1999/2000, UNRWA's income-generation programme granted loans valued at $3.1 million to 3,716 women, who supported 20,050 dependants.

lLO carried out a number of activities in gender main-streaming, the development of women's entrepreneurship and capacity-building on gender, poverty and employment.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) promoted society's awareness of the scope and meaning of women's rights, non-discrimination and gender equality, by using information from all its projects and education strategies, including better parenting, gender equality in education and life skills. The UNICEF women's health project included midwife training and workshops for maternal health care professionals and for physicians and nurses in hospital obstetric and neonatal departments. UNICEF also supported an enabling environment that influenced legislation and mobilized resources for Palestinian women.

The Secretary-General observed that the status and living conditions of Palestinian women were linked to the peace process. Towards the end of the reporting period, violence between Israeli security forces and Palestinian civilians erupted in the occupied territories, jeopardizing the peace process and hindering UN assistance efforts. It was particularly important that Palestinian women should continue to receive assistance in such areas as education, health, social services and micro-credit. The gender perspective should continue to be fully integrated in international assistance programmes through, among other things, greater gender analysis and the collection of sex-disaggregated data.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ACTION

On 24 July [meeting 39], the Economic and Social Council, on the recommendation of the Commission on the Status of Women [E/2001/27 & Corr.l], adopted resolution 2001/2 by roll-call vote (3911) [agenda item 14 (a)].


Having considered with appreciation section III.A concerning the situation of Palestinian women and assistance provided by organizations of the United Nations system, contained in the report of the Secretary-General on follow-up to and implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action,

Recalling the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, the Beijing Platform for Action adopted at the Fourth World Conference on Women, and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled "Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century",

Recalling also its resolution 2000/23 of 28 July 2000 and other relevant United Nations resolutions,

Recalling further the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women as it concerns the protection of civilian populations,

Stressing the need for compliance with the existing Israeli-Palestinian agreements concluded within the context of the Middle East peace process and the need to resume peace negotiations, as soon as possible, in order to reach a final settlement,

Concerned about the deterioration of the situation of Palestinian women in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and about the severe consequences of continuous illegal Israeli settlements activities as well as the harsh economic conditions and other consequences for the situation of Palestinian women and their families, resulting from the frequent closures and isolation of the occupied territory,

Expressing its condemnation of acts of violence, especially the excessive use of force against Palestinians, resulting in injury and loss of human life,

1. Calls upon the concerned parties, as well as the entire international community, to exert all the necessary efforts to ensure the immediate resumption of the peace process on its agreed basis, taking into account the common ground already gained, and calls for measures for tangible improvements in the difficult situation on the ground and living conditions faced by Palestinian women and their families;

2. Reaffirms that the Israeli occupation remains a major obstacle for Palestinian women with regard to their advancement, self-reliance and integration into the development planning of their society;

3. Demands that Israel, the occupying Power, comply fully with the provisions and principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention IV, of 18 October 1907, and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in order to protect the rights of Palestinian women and their families;

4. Calls upon Israel to facilitate the return of all refugees and displaced Palestinian women and children to their homes and properties, in compliance with the relevant United Nations resolutions;

5. Urges Member States, financial organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and other relevant institutions to intensify their efforts to provide financial and technical assistance to Palestinian women, especially during the transitional period;

6. Requests the Commission on the Status of Women to continue to monitor and take action with regard to the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in particular paragraph 260 concerning Palestinian women and children, the Beijing Platform for Action, and the outcome of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly, entitled "Women 2000 gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century";

7. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to review the situation and to assist Palestinian women by all available means, and to submit to the Commission on the Status of Women at its forty-sixth session a report on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

ROLL-CALL VOTE ON RESOLUTION 2001/2:

In favour Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Austria, Bahrain, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Georgia, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Uganda, United Kingdom, Venezuela.


Issues related to Palestine The General Assembly continued to consider the question of Palestine in 2001. Having discussed the annual report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (Committee on Palestinian Rights) [A/56/35 & Corr.l], the Assembly adopted four resolutions, reaffirming, among other things, the necessity of achieving a peaceful settlement of the Palestine question—the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict—and stressing the need for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinians, primarily the right to self-

determination, for Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967 and for resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees. The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, celebrated annually on 29 November, in accordance with Assembly resolution 32/40 B [YUN 1977, p. 304], was observed at UN Headquarters and at the UN Offices at Geneva and Vienna. However, due to the situation in the occupied territory and the enhanced security measures in New York and at Headquarters after 11 September 2001, the traditional Palestinian exhibit could not be organized.

Report of Secretary-General. In a November report on the question of Palestine [A/56/642-S/2001/1100], the Secretary-General made observations on the Middle East peace process (see p. 405). He stated that since the outbreak of the Palestinian intifada at the end of September 2000 [YUN 2000, p. 416] over 900 people had been killed and many thousands had been injured, the vast majority of them Palestinians. Israel's response to the violence had included a disproportionate use of military force and incursions into the area under full Palestinian authority. The Secretary-General condemned the practice of so-called "targeted assassinations" and attacks on civilians by settler groups. He also strongly condemned acts of violence or terror from whatever quarter, especially indiscriminate suicide bombing attacks against Israelis by Palestinian groups, and called on the PLO to control violence. Those developments had increased mutual distrust, hardened the positions of the two sides and strengthened extremist elements. Since the beginning of the intifada, the level of poverty, misery and suffering among Palestinians had increased dramatically.

By notes verbales of 18 and 24 July, the Secretary-General sought the positions of the Governments of Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as the PLO, regarding steps taken by them to implement the relevant provisions of resolution 55/55 [YUN 2000, p. 440]. As at 15 November, only Israel and the PLO had responded.

Israel said that it viewed that resolution as unbalanced and an undue interference in the Israeli-Palestinian bilateral negotiations. The ongoing violence in the region was a result of a Palestinian decision to abandon peace negotiations and pursue their goals through violence and terrorism. The one-sided approach reflected in the resolution, which sought to dictate the outcome of the negotiating process, rewarded violence at a time when the Palestinian side should be compelled to renounce all acts of violence and return to the path of peaceful dialogue.

The Permanent Observer of Palestine said that the many principles and components of the resolution remained valid and essential in the search for a just and a lasting solution to the decades-long question of Palestine. The decline of the situation on the ground since 28 September 2000 had been characterized by an excessive and indiscriminate use of force by Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians. Israel, moreover, had not endorsed or accepted the recommendations contained in the Mitchell report (see p. 409).

The Secretary-General observed that only a package solution based on the Mitchell report, including not only security and economic aspects but also a political component, could halt the cycle of violence, restore calm and create the right atmosphere for the resumption of sustainable peace talks. There was no alternative to a return to the negotiating table and to a peaceful settlement. However, the mutual distrust between the parties had reached such a level that there was a need for constant third-party involvement in order to break the impasse. Therefore, it was imperative to accelerate joint efforts with a view to generating new momentum towards a peaceful solution to the crisis.

The Israeli-Palestinian confrontation had had a devastating impact on the humanitarian and economic situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Severe closures and blockades had resulted in large-scale losses to the Palestinian economy, wiping out more than three years of growth and increasing dramatically the level of unemployment and poverty. In addition, the drop in domestic tax revenue and the continued withholding of Palestinian tax revenues by Israeli authorities had led to a significant budget deficit in 2001. Therefore, a well-coordinated and concerted international relief and assistance effort was essential to address the most pressing needs and gradually improve living conditions. Measures were also needed to remove the restrictions placed on the movement of staff and goods related to the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

As the Assembly had underscored on many occasions, achieving a final and peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine was imperative for the attainment of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East. The Secretary-General hoped that there would also be movement on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks so that peace, security and stability could be achieved on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) [YUN 1967, p. 257] and 338(1973) [YUN 1973, p. 213].

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 3 December [meeting 72], the General Assembly adopted resolution 56/36 [draft: A/56/L.22 & Add.l ] by recorded vote (131-6-20) [agenda item 41 ].


Recalling its relevant resolutions, including resolutions adopted at the tenth emergency special session,

Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions, including resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973,

Aware that it has been more than fifty years since the adoption of resolution 181(11) of 29 November 1947 and thirty-four years since the occupation of Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, in 1967,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General submitted pursuant to the request made in its resolution 55/55 of 1 December 2000,

Reaffirming the permanent responsibility of the United Nations with regard to the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects,

Convinced that achieving a final and peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, is imperative for the attainment of a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East,

Aware that the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples is among the purposes and principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations,

Affirming the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war,

Affirming also the illegality of the Israeli settlements in the territory occupied since 1967 and of Israeli actions aimed at changing the status of Jerusalem,

Affirming once again the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders,

Recalling the mutual recognition between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, and the signing by the two parties of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995,

Recalling also the withdrawal of the Israeli army, which took place in the Gaza Strip and the Jericho area in 1995 in accordance with the agreements reached by the parties, and the initiation of the Palestinian Authority in those areas, as well as the subsequent redeployments of the Israeli army in the rest of the West Bank,

Noting with satisfaction the successful holding of the first Palestinian general elections,

Noting the appointment by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, and its positive contribution,

Welcoming the convening of the Conference to Support Middle East Peace in Washington, D.C., on 1 October 1993, as well as all follow-up meetings and the international mechanisms established to provide assistance to the Palestinian people, including the donor meetings held in Lisbon on 7 and 8 June 2000 and in Stockholm on 11 April 2001,

Expressing its deep concern over the tragic events in Occupied East Jerusalem and the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 28 September 2000, which have resulted in a high number of deaths and injuries, mostly among Palestinian civilians, and concerned also about the clashes between the Israeli armed forces and the Palestinian police and the casualties on both sides,

Expressing its deep concern also over the continued imposition of closures and restrictions by Israel on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, as well as the serious incursions into Palestinian-controlled areas and actions against Palestinian institutions,

Expressing its grave concern over the serious deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, and the difficulties facing the Middle East peace process,

Affirming the urgent need for the parties to implement the recommendations of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee (Mitchell Committee) and to resume negotiations towards a final peaceful settlement,

1. Reaffirms the necessity of achieving a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict, in all its aspects;

2. Expresses its full support for the peace process, which began in Madrid, and the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 1993, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, and expresses the hope that the process will be reinvigorated and will soon lead to the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East;

3. Stresses the necessity for commitment to the principle of land for peace and the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) and 338(1973), which form the basis of the Middle East peace process;

4. Calls upon the concerned parties, the cosponsors of the peace process and other interested parties, as well as the entire international community to exert all the efforts and initiatives necessary to reverse immediately all measures taken on the ground since 28 September 2000, in implementation of the recommendations of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-finding Committee (Mitchell Committee), and in order to ensure a successful and speedy resumption of negotiations and conclusion of the peace process;


(a) The realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination and the right to establish their independent State;

(b) The withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967;

6. Also stresses the need for resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with its resolution 194(111) of 11 December 1948;

7. Urges Member States to expedite the provision of economic and technical assistance to the Palestinian people during this critical period;

8. Emphasizes the importance for the United Nations to play a more active and expanded role in the current peace process and in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles;

9. Requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned, and in consultation with the Security Council, for the promotion of peace in the region and to submit progress reports on developments in this matter.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/36:

In favour Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt. El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives. Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka. Sudan, Suriname, Sweden. Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against: Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Tuvalu, United States.

Abstaining: Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom.

Speaking after the vote, the Permanent Observer of Palestine said that the result of the voting showed that there was a clear position regarding the State of Palestine, whose establishment was absolutely essential for achieving overall peace in the region. The Palestinian leadership, on 2 December, had adopted a series of decisions that declared a temporary state of emergency and made it illegal for any Palestinian faction not to comply with a cease-fire. The day after, however, Israeli helicopter gunships had fired missiles in the area of Chairman Arafat's offices. Terrorist attacks had been carried out inside Israel, but that phenomenon had started only a few years earlier and was an outcome of and not the reason for the current situation. The reason was the uprooting of the Palestinian people from their homeland and their denial of their own State for more than 50 years.

Israel stated that the international community was duty-bound to denounce Palestinian terrorist practices without ambiguity or understatement. By recalling the true nature of Palestinian terrorism and denouncing it for what it was, the international community could truly help the Palestinians to become committed to dialogue, coexistence and peace. Justice and peace would be restored to the region through education for peace, through an end to hatred and incitement and through an absolute renunciation of terrorist practices.

By decision 56/464 of 24 December, the Assembly decided that the agenda items entitled "Question of Palestine" and "The situation in the Middle East" would remain for consideration during its resumed fifty-sixth (2002) session.

Committee on Palestinian Rights

As mandated by General Assembly resolution 55/52 [YUN 2000, p. 444], the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People continued to review the situation relating to the Palestine question, reported on it and made suggestions to the Assembly or the Security Council.

The Committee continued to encourage co-operation, coordination and networking among civil society organizations. It maintained and developed liaison with national, regional and international coordinating mechanisms accredited to it, in addition to the already-established liaison with NGOs. Consultations between the Committee and NGO representatives were held on 22 February 2001 in Vienna; Palestinian NGOs were unable to participate due to the general closure imposed by Israel on the occupied territory. The Committee asked NGOs to focus their work on mobilizing emergency relief; to lobby their Governments to live up to their responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention; and to support initiatives at the United Nations and elsewhere to establish a protection force to be deployed in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. At the United Nations NGO meeting in solidarity with the Palestinian people (Madrid, Spain, 19 July), participants urged the Security Council to place an international protection force in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and decided to undertake advocacy steps in that regard.

The Committee continued to follow the Palestine-related activities of inter-governmental bodies, such as the Organization of African Unity, the Non-Aligned Movement Committee on Palestine and the Non-Aligned Movement Security Council Caucus, and, through its Chairman, participated in a number of high-level meetings of those bodies. Through its Bureau, the Committee continued to cooperate on the question of Palestine with the EU. A Committee delegation took part in the United Nations Latin American and Caribbean Meeting on the Question of Palestine (Havana, Cuba, 12-14 June). The Havana Declaration, the Meeting's final document, supported the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State and the right to return to their homeland.

An NGO workshop, organized in Havana on 14 June in connection with the Meeting, focused on action by civil society in Latin America and the Caribbean in solidarity with the Palestinian people.

The Committee, together with the UN Division for Palestinian Rights, organized the United Nations International Meeting on the Question of Palestine: "The Road to Israeli-Palestinian Peace" (Madrid, 17-18 July), which was attended by, among others, international experts, representatives of Governments, inter-governmental organizations, UN system entities, the PA and the media. In the general remarks of the Meeting, participants expressed their conviction that the recommendations contained in the Mitchell report and the subsequent United States-brokered cease-fire agreement should be implemented as a whole; that Israel's excessive use of force, the closures and the economic blockade of Palestinian population centres, the incursions into Palestinian-controlled areas and all other measures of collective punishment against the Palestinian people should be brought to an end; that the high contracting parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention should expedite the reconvening of the Conference of High Contracting Parties; and that an international presence had to be established to protect innocent civilians and to monitor the implementation of agreements and understandings reached.

In its annual report to the Assembly [A/56/35 & Corr.l] covering the period from 11 October 2000 to 10 October 2001, the Committee said that peace talks had been suspended since January 2001, owing to the position on the peace negotiations taken by the new Israeli Government and the continuing violence in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The Al-Aqsa intifada, as it became known in 2001, had three distinctive characteristics the rapid escalation of operations of the Israel Defence Forces (iDF) against the Palestinians; the introduction of a policy of targeted extrajudicial assassinations of Palestinian leaders and activists; and the frequent incursions into areas under full Palestinian control.

Since the beginning of the intifada in October 2000, over 660 Palestinians had been killed by IDF, security forces and settlers, while some 20,000 Palestinians had been wounded. IDF, in attacking the Palestinians, continued to rely on heavy and sophisticated weapons, using them in an indiscriminate manner. On 18 May, the Israeli Government changed the nature and scale of the conflict by authorizing the use of fighter aircraft against unprotected Palestinian targets. Since December 2000, more than 50 Palestinians had been killed in targeted attacks that often claimed the lives of innocent bystanders. Israeli incursions into Palestinian-controlled areas constituted a virtual reoccupation of Palestinian lands; they were often accompanied by the destruction of public and private property in Palestinian towns, villages and refugee camps.

During the year, the Israeli authorities had considered unilateral separation schemes aimed at further isolating Palestinian population centres from the settlements and restricting the movement of Palestinians throughout the occupied territory. In late September 2001, Israel established a 30-kilometre-long closed military zone in the northern part of the territory, stretching from Jenin to Tulkarm.

Despite intensive efforts by various international parties to hold violence in check and reach a political solution, the peace process remained at a standstill. A major obstacle to political dialogue and negotiations had been the persistence with which the Israeli authorities had been expanding the illegal settlements and infrastructure in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem. The number of settlers in the West Bank and Gaza had increased by 17,000 in 2001, reaching nearly 277,000. The scope and intensity of settler violence against the Palestinians also increased in the course of the year. In several parts of the West Bank, settlers had instituted armed patrols.

The Palestinian economy in 2001 showed signs of rapid disintegration as a result of the Israeli military occupation. Protracted closures and restrictions on the movement of goods and the labour force had decimated all sectors of the economy. In contrast to previous years, there had been a noticeable shift to emergency assistance and humanitarian aid. Unemployment rose to the 1996 levels, while the poverty rate reached the 50 per cent mark, meaning that half of the Palestinian population was living on $2 or less a day. In addition, Israeli authorities continued to exercise control over Palestinian water resources, with thousands of families deprived of connection to water networks.

The Committee, in its conclusions and recommendations, said that 34 years after the illegal occupation by Israel of Palestinian land, the Palestinians were yet to see their aspirations for self-determination and the exercise of their inalienable and natural rights realized. The deplorable events since September 2000 had underscored the urgency of pressing forward with efforts to bring calm, stabilize the situation and enable the parties to resume their dialogue. The Committee called for the immediate implementation of the Mitchell Committee recommendation and for the reconvening of the Conference of High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention, in order to ensure respect for the Convention and provide the necessary protection to the Palestinian people.

The Committee reaffirmed its long-standing position that the United Nations should continue to exercise its permanent responsibility with respect to all aspects of the question of Palestine until it was resolved in a satisfactory manner, in conformity with relevant UN resolutions and international legitimacy, and until the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people were fully realized. There was also a need for civil society initiatives, with special emphasis on mobilizing wide support for measures aimed at protecting the Palestinian people. The Committee would continue to review and assess its programme with a view to making it more responsive to the developments on the ground and in the peace process.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 3 December [meeting 72], the General Assembly adopted resolution 56/33 [draft: A/56/L.19 & Add.1] by recorded vote (106-5-48) [agenda item 41].

Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People


Recalling its resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, 194(111) of 11 December 1948, 3236(XXIX) of 22 November 1974, 3375(XXX) and 3376(XXX) of 10 November 1975, 31/20 of 24 November 1976, 32/40 A of 2 December 1977, 33/28 A and B of 7 December 1978, 34/65 A of 29 November 1979 and 34/65 C of 12 December 1979, ES-7/2 of 29 July 1980,35/169 A and C of 15 December 1980, 36/120 A and C of 10 December 1981, ES-7/4 of 28 April 1982, 37/86 A of 10 December 1982, 38/58 A of 13 December 1983, 39/49 A of 11 December 1984,40/96 A of 12 December 1985,41/43 A of 2 December 1986, 42/66 A of 2 December 1987, 43/175 A of 15 December 1988,44/41 A of 6 December 1989, 45/67 A of 6 December 1990, 46/74 A of 11 December 1991, 47/64 A of 11 December 1992, 48/158 A of 20 December 1993, 49/62 A of 14 December 1994, 50/84 A of 15 December 1995, 51/23 of 4 December 1996, 52/49 of 9 December 1997, 53/39 of 2 December 1998, 54/39 of 1 December 1999 and 55/52 of 1 December 2000,

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,

Recalling the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, including its Annexes and Agreed Minutes, by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, as well as the subsequent implementation agreements, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995,

Reaffirming that the United Nations has a permanent responsibility with respect to the question of Palestine until the question is resolved in all its aspects in a satisfactory manner in accordance with international legitimacy,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its efforts in performing the tasks assigned to it by the General Assembly;

2. Considers that the Committee can continue to make a valuable and positive contribution to international efforts to promote the Middle East peace process and the full implementation of the agreements reached and to mobilize international support for and assistance to the Palestinian people during the transitional period;

3. Endorses the conclusions and recommendations of the Committee contained in chapter VII of its report;

4. Requests the Committee to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly or the Security Council, as appropriate;

5. Authorizes the Committee to continue to exert all efforts to promote the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, to make such adjustments in its approved programme of work as it may consider appropriate and necessary in the light of developments, to give special emphasis to the need to mobilize support and assistance for the Palestinian people and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session and thereafter;

6. Requests the Committee to continue to extend its cooperation and support to Palestinian and other civil society organizations in order to mobilize international solidarity and support for the achievement by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and for a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, and to involve additional civil society organizations in its work;

7. Requests the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, established under General Assembly resolution 194(111), and other United Nations bodies associated with the question of Palestine to continue to cooperate fully with the Committee and to make available to it, at its request, the relevant information and documentation which they have at their disposal;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to circulate the report of the Committee to all the competent bodies of the United Nations, and urges them to take the necessary action, as appropriate;

9. Also requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Committee with all the necessary facilities for the performance of its tasks.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/33:


Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Abstaining: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, United Kingdom, Vanuatu, Yugoslavia.

Division for Palestinian Rights

Under the guidance of the Committee on Palestinian Rights, the Division for Palestinian Rights of the UN Secretariat continued to function as a centre of research, monitoring, preparation of studies, and collection and dissemination of information on all issues related to the Palestine question. The Division responded to requests for information and prepared and disseminated the following publications: a monthly bulletin covering action by the Committee, UN bodies and agencies, and inter-governmental organizations concerned with Palestine; a monthly chronology of events relating to the question of Palestine, based on media reports and other sources; reports of meetings organized under the auspices of the Committee; a special bulletin on the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (29 November); an annual compilation of relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, decisions and statements; and an update of a study entitled "Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem, 1917-1988".

The Committee, in its annual report [A/56/35 & Corr.l], noted that the Division continued to develop the electronic United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL), as mandated by Assembly resolution 46/74 B [YUN 1991, p. 228]. The Division maintained the Internet web site entitled "NGO Network on the Question of Palestine" as a permanent tool of mutual information and cooperation between civil society and the Committee. It also continued the training programme for PA staff and issued its bimonthly newsletter entitled NGO Action News covering the activities of civil society on the various aspects of the question of Palestine.

The Committee requested the Division to continue its publications programme and other informational activities, particularly the further development of the UNISPAL documents collection and annual training activities for PA staff.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 3 December [meeting 72], the General Assembly adopted resolution 56/34 [draft: A/56/L.20 & Add.l] by recorded vote (107-5-47) [agenda item 41].

Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat


Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,

Taking note in particular of the relevant information contained in chapter V.B of that report,

Recalling its resolutions 32/40 B of 2 December 1977, 33/28 C of 7 December 1978, 34/65 D of 12 December 1979, 35/169 D of 15 December 1980, 36/120 B of 10 December 1981, 37/86 B of 10 December 1982,38/58 B of 13 December 1983, 39/49 B of 11 December 1984, 40/96 B of 12 December 1985, 41/43 B of 2 December 1986, 42/66 B of 2 December 1987, 43/175 B of 15 December 1988,4 44/41 B of 6 December 1989, 45/67 B of 6 December 1990, 46/74 B of 11 December 1991, 47/64 B of 11 December 1992, 48/158 B of 20 December 1993, 49/62 B of 14 December 1994, 50/84 B of 15 December 1995, 51/24 of 4 December 1996, 52/50 of 9 December 1997, 53/40 of 2 December 1998, 54/40 of 1 December 1999 and 55/53 of 1 December 2000,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Secretary-General in compliance with its resolution 55/53;

2. Considers that the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat continues to make a useful and constructive contribution;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Division with the necessary resources and to ensure that it continues to carry out its programme of work as detailed in the relevant earlier resolutions, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and under its guidance, including, in particular, the organization of meetings in various regions with the participation of all sectors of the international community, the further development and expansion of the documents collection of the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine, the preparation and widest possible dissemination of publications and information materials on various aspects of the question of Palestine, and the provision of the annual training programme for staff of the Palestinian Authority;

4. Also requests the Secretary-General to ensure the continued cooperation of the Department of Public Information and other units of the Secretariat in enabling the Division to perform its tasks and in covering adequately the various aspects of the question of Palestine;

5. Invites all Governments and organizations to extend their cooperation to the Committee and the Division in the performance of their tasks;

6. Notes with appreciation the action taken by Member States to observe annually on 29 November the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, requests them to continue to give the widest possible publicity to the observance, and requests the Committee and the Division to continue to organize, as part of the observance of the Day of Solidarity, an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/34:


Against: Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Tuvalu, United States.

Abstaining: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The former-Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, United Kingdom, Vanuatu, Yugoslavia.

Special information programme

As requested in General Assembly resolution 55/54 [YUN 2000, p. 446], the UN Department of Public Information in 2001 continued its special information programme on the question of Palestine, which included the organization of its annual training programme for Palestinian broadcasters and journalists and the organization of an international media encounter on the question of Palestine at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris. The quarterly UN Chronicle continued to cover the Palestine question and regularly reported on peace-keeping activities in the Middle East. The Radio News Unit covered aspects of the Palestine question and related issues in its news and current affairs programmes in various languages for regional and worldwide dissemination.

As in previous years, the United Nations information centres (UNICs), information services and other UN offices carried out numerous activities in connection with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Throughout the year, many UNICs dealt with the Palestinian question and organized special outreach activities related to the issue, including the launch by UNIC Harare (Zimbabwe) of the UNESCO Bethlehem 2000 roving photo exhibit in May.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 3 December [meeting 72], the General Assembly adopted resolution 56/35 [draft: A/56/L.21

& Add.l 1 by recorded vote (153-4-3) [agenda item 41 ].


Special information programme on the
question of Palestine of the Department of
Public Information of the Secretariat

Having considered the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People,

Taking note in particular of the information contained in chapter VI of that report,


Convinced that the worldwide dissemination of accurate and comprehensive information and the role of civil society organizations and institutions remain of vital importance in heightening awareness of and support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people,

Aware of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements signed by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, and of the subsequent implementation agreements, in particular the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip signed in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995,

Recalling with satisfaction the important contribution made by the United Nations towards the promotion of the Bethlehem 2000 Project,

1. Notes with appreciation the action taken by the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat in compliance with resolution 55/54;

2. Considers that the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department is very useful in raising the awareness of the international community concerning the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East in general, including the achievements of the peace process, and that the programme is contributing effectively to an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and supportive of the peace process;

3. Requests the Department, in full cooperation and coordination with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to continue, with the necessary flexibility as may be required by developments affecting the question of Palestine, its special information programme for the biennium 2002-2003, in particular:

(a) To disseminate information on all the activities of the United Nations system relating to the question of Palestine, including reports on the work carried out by the relevant United Nations organizations;

(b) To continue to issue and update publications on the various aspects of the question of Palestine in all fields, including materials concerning the recent developments in that regard, in particular the prospects for peace;

(c) To expand its collection of audio-visual material on the question of Palestine and to continue the production and preservation of such material, and the updating of the exhibit in the Secretariat;

(d) To organize and promote fact-finding news missions for journalists to the area, including the territory under the jurisdiction of the Palestinian Authority and the Occupied Territory;

(e) To organize international, regional and national seminars or encounters for journalists, aiming in particular at sensitizing public opinion to the question of Palestine;

(f) To continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the field of media development, in particular to strengthen the training programme for Palestinian broadcasters and journalists initiated in 1995.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/35:

UN activities

Report of Secretary-General. In response to General Assembly resolution 55/173 [YUN 2000, p. 448], the Secretary-General submitted a July report [A/56/123-E/2001/97 & Corr.1], in which he described UN assistance to the Palestinian people between June 2000 and May 2001.

During the reporting period, the realities and priorities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory had shifted significantly due to the crisis that began on 28 September 2000, following the visit of then Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount/Al-Haram al-Sharif in East Jerusalem [YUN 2000, p. 416]. Apart from loss of life and injuries, the crisis was characterized by severe internal and external closures of both the West Bank and Gaza, which resulted in large-scale losses to the Palestinian economy, wiping out more than three years of prior growth. The impact of the closures was monitored by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the PLO and the PA, who continued to ensure coordination between the relevant institutions of the PA and UN agencies, and coordinated UN assistance related to the peace process in Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Secretary-General said that the ongoing crisis in Israeli-Palestinian relations had been the most difficult and challenging since the United Nations began intensive development assistance to the Occupied Palestinian Territory in 1993 [YUN 1993, p. 534] and was testing the ability of the UN system to respond appropriately and effectively to urgent priority humanitarian needs. A UN emergency coordination mechanism, the Humanitarian Task Force for Emergency Needs, was established within days of the outbreak of the conflict. The Task Force, initially envisaged to focus on health needs, was extended to address other priority sectors, such as education, water and energy, as soon as the need became evident. In addition, ad hoc sector working groups were formed for job creation and food/social assistance, which were considered to be areas central to an effective emergency response. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was supporting enhanced and strengthened capacities for planning and response to humanitarian needs through a variety of ongoing actions. Although emergency assistance received had contributed to meeting some of the immediate requirements, much work needed to be done to reduce and repair the extensive negative effects of the crisis on the Palestinian economy and society. What seemed initially to be a short-term emergency, warranting limited humanitarian aid, had developed into a protracted conflict necessitating more sustained UN action to address emergency needs and future development. It would be necessary for the UN system to strengthen and fine-tune existing coordination mechanisms, to eliminate potential duplication and to ensure responsiveness to needs identified by the beneficiaries. The various UN organizations and specialized agencies had to continue to reconfigure their work so as to strike the optimal balance between relief and development.


On 7 March [A/56/59-E/2001/9], the Chairman of the Committee on Palestinian Rights notified the Secretary-General that the four Palestinian officials invited to speak at the seminar on assistance to the Palestinian people (Vienna, 20-21 February) and a number of NGO participants from the Occupied Territory were unable to attend owing to the general closure and travel restrictions imposed by Israel.

By a 19 June letter [A/56/89-E/2001/89], the Committee Chairman transmitted to the Secretary-General the report of the February seminar, which was attended by representatives of Governments, Palestine, inter-governmental organizations, NGOs and UN system organizations and agencies, and by experts. The participants discussed the crisis of 2000-2001, particularly the impact of Israeli policies on the Palestinian economy; the role of the UN system in alleviating hardships; assistance by Arab and Islamic States and inter-governmental organizations to the Palestinian people; and efforts by the international community. In his concluding remarks, the Committee Chairman emphasized that the change of leadership in Israel at the beginning of February 2001 had undercut the momentum for reaching a final and comprehensive agreement. Since September 2000, the Palestinian people had been reduced to fighting for their survival and for the satisfaction of their day-to-day needs rather than working for long-term development. The Committee called on the donor community to contribute the funds needed to remedy the serious budgetary crisis faced by the PA; Palestinian economic rehabilitation was a prerequisite for peace in the Middle East.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 14 December [meeting 87], the General Assembly adopted resolution 56/111 [draft: A/56/L.59 & Add.l] without vote [agenda item 20 (e)].


Welcoming the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993, between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, as well as the signing of the subsequent implementation agreements, including the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in Washington, D.C., on 28 September 1995, and the signing of the Sharm el-Sheikh Memorandum on 4 September 1999,

Gravely concerned at the difficult economic and employment conditions facing the Palestinian people throughout the occupied territory,

Conscious of the urgent need for improvement in the economic and social infrastructure of the occupied territory and the living conditions of the Palestinian people,

Aware that development is difficult under occupation and best promoted in circumstances of peace and stability,

Noting the great economic and social challenges facing the Palestinian people and their leadership,

Conscious of the urgent necessity for international assistance to the Palestinian people, taking into account the Palestinian priorities,

Noting the convening of the United Nations seminar on assistance to the Palestinian people, held in Vienna on 20 and 21 February 2001, to review the state of the Palestinian economy,

Stressing the need for the full engagement of the United Nations in the process of building Palestinian institutions and in providing broad assistance to the Palestinian people, including assistance in the fields of elections, police training and public administration,

Noting the appointment by the Secretary-General of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority,

Welcoming the results of the Conference to Support Middle.East Peace, convened in Washington, D.C., on 1 October 1993, and the establishment of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee and the work being done by the World Bank as its secretariat, as well as the establishment of the Consultative Group,

Welcoming also the work of the Joint Liaison Committee, which provides a forum in which economic policy and practical matters related to donor assistance are discussed with the Palestinian Authority,

Welcoming further the results of the Ministerial Conference to Support Middle East Peace and Development, held in Washington, D.C., on 30 November 1998, and expressing appreciation for the pledges of the international donor community,

Welcoming the meeting of the Consultative Group in Frankfurt, Germany, on 4 and 5 February 1999, in particular the pledges of the international donor community and the presentation of the Palestinian Development Plan for the years 1999-2003,

Welcoming also the meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee held in Lisbon on 7 and 8 June 2000,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,

Expressing grave concern at the continuation of the recent tragic and violent events that have led to many deaths and injuries,


2. Expresses its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his rapid response and efforts regarding assistance to the Palestinian people;

3. Expresses its appreciation to the Member States, United Nations bodies and inter-governmental, regional and non-governmental organizations that have provided and continue to provide assistance to the Palestinian people;

4. Stresses the importance of the work of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority and of the steps taken under the auspices of the Secretary-General to ensure the achievement of a coordinated mechanism for United Nations activities throughout the occupied territories;

5. Urges Member States, international financial institutions of the United Nations system, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations and regional and inter-regional organizations to extend, as rapidly and as generously as possible, economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, in close co-operation with the Palestine Liberation Organization and through official Palestinian institutions;

6. Calls upon relevant organizations and agencies of the United Nations system to intensify their assistance in response to the urgent needs of the Palestinian people in accordance with Palestinian priorities set forth by the Palestinian Authority, with emphasis on national execution and capacity-building;

7. Urges Member States to open their markets to exports of Palestinian products on the most favourable terms, consistent with appropriate trading rules, and to implement fully existing trade and cooperation agreements;

8. Calls upon the international donor community to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance to the Palestinian people to meet their urgent needs;

9. Stresses in this context the importance of ensuring the free passage of aid to the Palestinian people and the free movement of persons and goods;

10. Urges the international donor community, United Nations agencies and organizations and non-governmental organizations to extend as rapidly as possible emergency economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people to counter the impact of the current crisis;

11. Stresses the need to implement the Paris Protocol on Economic Relations of 29 April 1994, fifth annex to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in particular with regard to the full and prompt clearance of Palestinian indirect tax revenues;

12. Suggests the convening in 2002 of a United Nations-sponsored seminar on assistance to the Palestinian people;

13. Requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session, through the Economic and Social Council, on the implementation of the present resolution, containing:

(a) An assessment of the assistance actually received by the Palestinian people;

(b) An assessment of the needs still unmet and specific proposals for responding effectively to them;

14. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-seventh session the sub-item entitled "Assistance to the Palestinian people".


UNRWA

In 2001, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East continued to provide vital education, health and relief and social services to a growing refugee population, despite a severe budget deficit and cash-flow crisis.

On 30 June, 3.87 million refugees were registered with UNRWA, an increase of 3.5 per cent over the 2000 figure of 3.7 million. The largest refugee population was registered in Jordan (42.3 per cent of the Agency-wide total), followed by the Gaza Strip (22 per cent), the West Bank (15.7 per cent), the Syrian Arab Republic (10.1 per cent) and Lebanon (9.9 per cent). Of the registered population, 36.51 per cent were aged 15 or under and about one third lived in 59 refugee camps, while the remainder resided in towns and villages.

In his annual report on the work of the Agency from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 [A/56/13], the UNRWA Commissioner-General said that since the outbreak of strife in the Occupied Palestinian Territory in September 2000 [YUN 2000, p. 416), the Agency had had to develop an emergency programme of humanitarian assistance for the refugees affected by the severe economic decline in Gaza and the West Bank, brought about by closures and other restrictive measures applied by the Israeli authorities. Since October 2000, entry to or exit from Gaza and the West Bank had been severely restricted for Palestinians most of the time. The economic impact of the closures had rendered unemployed large numbers of Palestinians who worked in Israel. To meet immediate needs arising from the severe deterioration in economic conditions, the Agency launched emergency appeals (see p. 439).

Although the international community's response to the emergency appeals showed a clear appreciation of the need for continued assistance for Palestine refugees, the level of support for UN RWA's regular budget did not convey a message of adequate recognition of the serious threat that the funding shortfalls posed to the Agency's services. Major donors had been increasing their annual contributions to the regular budget at a steady rate. However, that growth was offset by the increased number of refugees and by inflation.

Since the crisis erupted in September 2000, UNRWA had been forced to shift its focus from development to emergency humanitarian assistance. In addition, the violence and general closures imposed by Israel created a number of obstacles that impaired the Agency's ability to run its humanitarian operations effectively, staff were frequently delayed or prevented from arriving at their workplaces because of delays at Israeli checkpoints, and the movement of UNRWA trucks between the West Bank and Gaza carrying essential humanitarian cargoes had been suspended because of search procedures imposed by Israeli authorities. UNRWA had introduced an operational support officers programme that was designed to assist in alleviating the adverse effects the restrictions were having on the provision of humanitarian services.

Despite financial constraints, UNRWA had persisted with its long-term reform programme. The current phase focused on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the management of the Agency's resources; the development of an open management culture; the strengthening of its strategic planning capabilities; expansion and improvement in the Agency's relations with do-nor countries and UN agencies and programmes; and increased responsiveness, effectiveness and efficiency in the Agency's operations in providing services for the refugees against the background of changing socio-political conditions.

In recognition of the increasing importance of project funding and to establish a more targeted fund-raising approach, UNRWA established Agency-wide project priorities that formed the basis for the projects section of the 2000-2001 biennium budget. The projects budget provided a complete picture of the Agency's financial requirements and linked the project-funded activities directly to programme activities under the regular budget. The 2000-2001 projects budget comprised mainly non-recurrent infrastructure costs.

Advisory Commission. By a 25 September letter to the Commissioner-General, which he included in his report [A/56/13], the Advisory Commission of UNRWA noted with concern the deteriorating political, social and economic situation in the region, which affected the Palestinian refugees in particular, and expressed concern at the difficulties faced by UNRWA resulting from a whole range of restrictions imposed by Israel. It also noted that pledges for the 2000-2001 budget amounted to only $280 million against the $310.4 million approved by the General Assembly. There was therefore a need to raise donor contributions to enable the Agency to rebuild its depleted reserves to meet operational needs. The Commission expressed appreciation for the implementation of management reforms and for the manner in which UNRWA's staff had continued to work despite the often dangerous conditions in which they had to carry out their humanitarian tasks.

Peace Implementation Programme

In its eighth year of operation, UNRWA's Peace Implementation Programme (PIP) remained the foremost channel for extra-budgetary funding of activities carried out within the framework of the Agency's education, health, relief and social services and income-generation programmes. Since its inception in October 1993 [YUN 1993, p. 569], PIP had improved the refugees' overall living conditions, created employment opportunities and developed infrastructure. Following the adoption of the 2000-2001 programme-based biennium budget, which divided the Agency's budget into regular budget and projects budget sections, all new non-core contributions were credited to the projects budget.

Between mid-2000 and mid-2001, UNRWA, with PIP funding, completed the construction of five schools, 20 additional classrooms, one school laboratory, one library, one home economics unit, two health centres, a public health laboratory, a community rehabilitation centre and a women's programme centre. PIP made it possible to complete the rehabilitation of 37 shelters for special hardship case families Agency-wide. In environmental health, a feasibility study was completed for improving water supply in camps and construction of a sewage system in the Syrian Arab Republic. Another major project for construction of sewer and water networks in camps in Lebanon was ongoing, while infrastructure improvements in the Shu'fat camp in the West Bank were completed. Other projects completed during the reporting period included: purchase of educational materials, library reference books and furniture; provision of school desks; integration of visually impaired children; care for destitute aged; provision for hospitalization services; promotion of tolerance, conflict resolution and basic human rights in UNRWA schools; and development of human resources for health staff. PIP also helped to sustain regular Agency programmes through the continued funding of university scholarships for refugee students and the procurement of medical supplies. Further funding went to upgrading facilities and courses at several UNRWA vocational training centres.

Cash expenditures under PIP amounted to $7.6 million during the reporting period. No new funding was received specifically for PIP and the small amount remaining was merged into the Agency's projects budget. As at 30 June 2001, the outstanding amount from donors related to ongoing PIP projects was $13.8 million.

Lebanon appeal

Most of the 380,000 registered Palestine refugees in Lebanon continued to face socioeconomic hardship and depended almost entirely on UNRWA for basic services. By mid-2001, the Agency had received $9.2 million of the $11 million sought in additional contributions under the special emergency appeal, launched in 1997 to support essential health, education, relief and social services activities for Palestine refugees in Lebanon. Completed projects included construction, equipping and furnishing of a health centre, the construction and repair of shelters and the purchase of medical supplies.

Emergency appeals

The UNRWA Commissioner-General stated that the strife that broke out in September 2000 in the Occupied Palestinian Territory undermined years of economic progress and infrastructure development, with profound effects on refugees in terms of lives, livelihoods and shelter lost. Of the hundreds of Palestinians killed since the outbreak of the intifada, more than half were UNRWA-registered refugees, with many more injured. Over 1,700 shelters in refugee camps were damaged and many destroyed. Closures imposed by Israel limited mobility, economic activity and access to health and educational services.

Responding to that humanitarian crisis, UNRWA launched a series of emergency appeals that started with a flash emergency appeal in October 2000 and the first consolidated emergency appeal in November 2000, which covered the period from December 2000 to February 2001 [YUN 2000, p. 450]. The second emergency appeal, launched on 22 February 2001, enabled UNRWA to provide short-term emergency employment opportunities for refugees, in addition to food and cash assistance, shelter repairs and health services for the period from March to May 2001. The third appeal, launched on 22 June, provided for continued emergency relief from June to December 2001. UNRWA received $24 million in funding in response to the second emergency appeal, and approximately $63 million in response to the third.

Major service areas

UNRWA continued to provide educational, health, and relief and social services to, and carried out micro-finance and micro-enterprise activities for, Palestine refugees throughout the occupied territories.

During the 2000/01 school year, the 634 UNRWA schools across the region accommodated 474,742 pupils, most of whom were in elementary and preparatory cycles, apart from 2,474 pupils at the five Agency secondary schools in Lebanon. Total enrolment increased by 1.67 per cent, or 7,787 pupils, over the 1999/2000 school year. The Jordan and Gaza fields each accounted for approximately one third of total Agency pupil enrolment, while the other three fields (Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, West Bank) together accounted for the remaining third. UNRWA's school system continued to maintain full gender equality, with 50 per cent of pupils being female. The education programme, which was run in co-operation with UNESCO, remained the largest single area of UNRWA activity, with 16,246 education personnel representing 72 per cent of all Agency staff. The policy of operating schools on a double-shift basis (housing two schools in a single building) continued due to financial constraints and steadily rising student enrolment. Also due to financial constraints, the Agency remained unable to extend the basic education cycle in the West Bank and Gaza from 9 to 10 years; however, tenth-grade students were accommodated in PA schools.

A new Palestinian curriculum was introduced in 2000/01, for first and sixth grades, to replace the Jordanian curriculum in the West Bank and the Egyptian curriculum in Gaza. In the Syrian Arab Republic, a new study plan and new curricula and textbooks for the elementary and preparatory cycles were gradually introduced. The Agency continued to provide remedial and special education services for pupils with learning difficulties. In the absence of sustained project funding for special education, UNRWA explored ways to provide assistance to all children with learning difficulties at no additional cost by utilizing the Agency's available resources and expertise. Total enrolment in the eight UNRWA vocational and technical training centres was 4,700 in the 2000/01 school year, a marginal decrease from the previous year. Overall, women accounted for 65.2 per cent of all trainees enrolled in technical/semi-professional courses. The Agency continued with project funding to support some university students with scholarship awards until they graduated and offered placement and career guidance services to Palestine refugee graduates of UNRWA training centres and other educational institutions.

UNRWA's health-care programme remained focused on comprehensive primary health care, including a full range of maternal and child health and family planning services; school health services, health education and promotion activities; outpatient medical care services; prevention and control of communicable diseases and non-communicable diseases; and specialist care, with emphasis on gynecology and obstetrics, paediatrics and cardiology. Those services were complemented by dental and basic support services, such as radiology and laboratory facilities. Services were delivered through a network of 122 primary health-care facilities located in and outside refugee camps. UNRWA participated in two rounds of national immunization campaigns for poliomyelitis eradication in the context of a World Health Organization (WHO) regional strategy. The Agency continued to emphasize the development of human resources for health through basic, in-service and postgraduate training as a key element in improving programme efficiency and the quality of care. Approximately 1.2 million Palestine refugees in 59 official camps in the five fields of operation, representing 32 per cent of the total registered population, benefited from environmental health services provided by UNRWA in cooperation with local municipalities, including sewage disposal, the provision of safe drinking water, the collection and disposal of refuse and the control of insect and rodent infestation. The health budget for the 2000-2001 biennium was established at $108 million under the regular programme, representing 18.6 per cent of the Agency's total operating budget.

The relief and social services programme supported those Palestine refugees who were unable to meet the basic needs for food, shelter and other essentials. It also maintained records on Palestine refugees to determine eligibility for UNRWA services. Further strides were made to improve the performance of the field registration system, pending its redesign. The Unified Registration System Unit completed installation of a new version of the field registration system in all field and area offices and conducted training for all users, and a new system module to consolidate field social study data on special hardship case (SHC) families was installed. The principal means of assistance to SHC families were food support, shelter rehabilitation, selective cash assistance, hospitalization subsidies and preferential access to UNRWA training centres. The number of refugees in households that met the eligibility criteria—no male adult medically fit to earn an income and no other identifiable means of financial support above a defined threshold—increased by 4.7 per cent, from 207,150 on 30 June 2000 to 217,388 on 30 June 2001. The percentage of refugees enrolled in the programme was highest in Lebanon and lowest in Jordan. The modest allocation of $500,000 for selective cash assistance, which was partially reinstated in 2000 following the budget freeze in August 1997, was maintained in 2001. Since then, small grants, at an average of $138.50, had been provided on a case-by-case basis to SHC families facing emergency situations. UNRWA also rehabilitated a total of 358 shelters of SHC families, as compared to 217 in the previous reporting period. The poverty alleviation programme continued to address poverty at the micro level and to promote the income-generating capacity of poor refugees through skills training, apprenticeships, awareness-raising sessions on the cause of poverty, "start your own business" training and/or provision of credit. While the latter often benefited clients from SHC families, it increasingly included loans, ranging in size from $500 to $10,000, to both individuals and groups. UNRWA-sponsored centres within the refugee camps or community-based organizations (CBOs) increased from 131 at mid-2000 to 134 at mid-2001, with a total of 71 women's programme centres, 27 youth activity centres and 36 community rehabilitation centres for the physically and mentally challenged. CBOs offered social development activities, including skills-training opportunities for women and disabled people, technical assistance for refugee-owned and/or -operated income-generation enterprises, and public awareness drives on social issues, such as early marriage, drug addiction, smoking and domestic violence. The relief and social services programme continued to promote participation, self-reliance, organizational network building, revenue generation and project development skills. In accordance with previously established goals, the Agency pursued its commitment to strengthening the organizational capacities of CBOs to enable them to manage and sustain their progress autonomously. The regular budget for the relief and social services programme for the 2001-2002 biennium was $62.4 million, representing 10 per cent of UNRWA's total regular budget.

During the reporting period, UNRWA changed the name of its income-generation programme in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the micro-finance and micro-enterprise programme in order to draw a clear distinction between the commercial, self-sustaining and market-oriented micro-finance services being delivered through it and the various income-generating activities being undertaken through the relief and social services programme. The micro-finance and micro-enterprise programme continued to support the development of the small-scale business sector within the refugee community by providing working capital and capital investment loans. Those products strengthened business activity, created jobs, generated income for participants, helped alleviate poverty and encouraged women's economic participation. From mid-2000 to mid-2001, the programme provided 10,083 loans worth $9.92 million for Palestinian-owned enterprises, of which women entrepreneurs received 37.43 per cent. In the Gaza Strip, UNRWA's micro-finance programme activities had made it the largest financial intermediary to small business and the micro-enterprise sector. In the West Bank, the Agency's micro-enterprise credit sub-programme was the fastest growing of its credit sub-programmes. As part of its institutional reform process, UNRWA established a micro-finance and micro-enterprise programme advisory board to provide the Commissioner-General with policy guidance and recommendations. The credit operations of the micro-finance and micro-enterprise programme were severely hampered by the economic consequences of the closures and other measures restricting the movement of labour and goods imposed by the Israeli authorities. The continuation of the conflict placed the programme's self-sufficiency at risk amidst the deteriorating business environment and could compel the programme to use up its capital base to survive the crisis.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 10 December [meeting 82], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/56/549], adopted resolution 56/52 by recorded vote (151-22) [agenda item 87].


Recalling its resolution 55/123 of 8 December 2000 and all its previous resolutions on the question, including resolution 194(111) of 11 December 1948,

Taking note of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001,

Stressing the importance of the Middle East peace process,

Welcoming the signature in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993 by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the people of Palestine, of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements and the subsequent implementation agreements,

Aware that the Multilateral Working Group on Refugees of the Middle East peace process has an important role to play in the peace process,

1. Notes with regret that repatriation or compensation of the refugees, as provided for in paragraph 11 of its resolution 194(III), has not yet been effected and that, therefore, the situation of the refugees continues to be a matter of concern;

2. Also notes with regret that the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine has been unable to find a means of achieving progress in the implementation of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194(III), and requests the Commission to exert continued efforts towards the implementation of that paragraph and to report to the Assembly as appropriate, but no later than 1 September 2002;

3. Expresses its thanks to the Commissioner-General and to all the staff of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, recognizing that the Agency is doing all it can within the limits of available resources, and also expresses its thanks to the specialized agencies and to private organizations for their valuable work in assisting refugees;

4. Notes the significant success of the Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency since the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, and stresses the importance that contributions to this Programme not be at the expense of the General Fund;

5. Welcomes the increased cooperation between the Agency and international and regional organizations, States and relevant agencies and non-governmental organizations, which is essential to enhancing the contributions of the Agency towards improved conditions for the refugees and thereby the social stability of the occupied territory;

6. Urges all Member States to extend and expedite aid and assistance with a view to the economic and social development of the Palestinian people and the occupied territory;

7. Reiterates its deep concern regarding the persisting critical financial situation of the Agency, as outlined in the report of the Commissioner-General;

8. Commends the efforts of the Commissioner-General to move towards budgetary transparency and internal efficiency, and welcomes in this respect the unified budget for the biennium 2002-2003;

9. Welcomes the consultative process between the Agency, host Governments, the Palestinian Authority and donors on management reforms;

10. Notes with profound concern that the continuing shortfall in the finances of the Agency, in particular at this time of acute crisis, has a significant negative influence on the living conditions of the Palestine refugees most in need and that it therefore has possible consequences for the peace process;

11. Expresses deep concern about the continuing problem of restrictions on the freedom of movement of Agency staff, vehicles and goods in the occupied territory, which has an adverse impact on the operational effectiveness of the Agency's programmes;

12. Calls upon all donors, as a matter of urgency, to make the most generous efforts possible to meet the anticipated needs of the Agency, including the remaining costs of moving the headquarters to Gaza, encourages contributing Governments to contribute regularly and to consider increasing their regular contributions, and urges non-contributing Governments to contribute;

13. Decides to extend the mandate of the Agency until 30 June 2005, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of its resolution 194(111).

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/52:

In favour Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt. El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, 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, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa. Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad andTobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.


The Assembly, on the same date [meeting 82] and also on the Fourth Committee's recommendation [A/56/549], adopted resolution 56/56 by recorded vote (151-3-1) [agenda item 87].
Recalling its resolutions 194(111) of 11 December 1948, 212(111) of 19 November 1948, 302(IV) of 8 December 1949 and all subsequent related resolutions,

Recalling also the relevant Security Council resolutions,

Having considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001,

Taking note of the letter dated 25 September 2001 from the Chairman of the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East addressed to the Commissioner-General, contained in the report of the Commissioner-General,

Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolutions

48/40 E, 48/40 H and 48/40 J of 10 December 1993 and 49/35 C of 9 December 1994,

Recalling Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations,

Affirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem,

Aware of the fact that Palestine refugees have, for over five decades, lost their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

Also aware of the continuing needs of Palestine refugees throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory and in the other fields of operation, namely, in Lebanon, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic,

Further aware of the valuable work done by the refugee affairs officers of the Agency in providing protection to the Palestinian people, in particular Palestine refugees,

Gravely concerned about the increased suffering of the Palestine refugees, including loss of life and injury, during the recent tragic events in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem,

Gravely concerned also about the policies of closure and severe restrictions on the movement of persons and goods throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem, which have had a grave impact on the socio-economic situation of the Palestine refugees,

Deeply concerned about the negative impact of these closures and restrictions on the staff and services of the Agency,

Deeply concerned also about the continuing critical financial situation of the Agency and its effect on the continuity of provision of necessary Agency services to the Palestine refugees, including the emergency-related programmes,

Aware of the work of the Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency,

Recalling the signing in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993 of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and the subsequent implementation agreements,

Taking note of the agreement reached on 24 June 1994, embodied in an exchange of letters between the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization,

Aware of the establishment of a working relationship between the Advisory Commission of the Agency and the Palestine Liberation Organization in accordance with General Assembly decision 48/417 of 10 December 1993,

1. Expresses its appreciation to the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as to all the staff of the Agency, for their tireless efforts and valuable work, including and particularly during the difficult situation of the past year;

2. Also expresses its appreciation to the Advisory Commission of the Agency, and requests it to continue its efforts and to keep the General Assembly informed of its activities, including the full implementation of decision 48/417;

3. Takes note of the functioning of the headquarters of the Agency in Gaza City on the basis of the Head-quarters Agreement between the Agency and the Palestinian Authority;

4. Acknowledges the support of the host Government and the Palestine Liberation Organization for the Agency in the discharge of its duties;

5. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and to abide scrupulously by its provisions;

6. Also calls upon Israel to abide by Articles 100, 104 and 105 of the Charter of the United Nations and the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United N Nations with regard to the safety of the personnel of the Agency, the protection of its institutions and the safeguarding of the security of the facilities of the Agency in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Jerusalem;

7. Calls once again upon the Government of Israel to compensate the Agency for damage to its property and facilities resulting from actions by the Israeli side;

8. Calls upon Israel particularly to cease obstructing the movement of the personnel, vehicles and supplies of the Agency, which has a detrimental impact on the Agency's operations;

9. Also calls upon Israel to cease its policies of closure and of placing restrictions on the movement of persons and goods, which have had a grave impact on the socioeconomic situation of the Palestinian population, in particular the Palestine refugees;

10. Requests the Commissioner-General to proceed with the issuance of identification cards for Palestine refugees and their descendants in the Occupied Palestinian Territory;

11. Notes that the context created by the signing of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and subsequent implementation agreements has had major consequences for the activities of the Agency, which is henceforth called upon, in close cooperation with the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority, the specialized agencies and the World Bank, to continue to contribute towards the development of economic and social stability in the occupied territory;

12. Notes also that the functioning of the Agency remains essential in all fields of operation;

13. Notes further the significant success of the Peace Implementation Programme of the Agency, as well as the micro-finance and enterprise programmes;

14. Expresses concern about those remaining austerity measures due to the financial crisis, which have affected the quality and level of some of the services of the Agency;

15. Reiterates its request to the Commissioner-General to proceed with the modernization of the archives of the Agency;

16. Urges all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to continue and to increase their contributions to the Agency so as to ease the current financial constraints and to support the

Agency in maintaining the provision of the most basic and effective assistance to the Palestine refugees.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/56:

In favour. Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados. Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia. Brazil, Brunei Danjssalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, 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, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.


UNRWA financing

In 2001, UNRWA's financial situation continued to be difficult and bleak, characterized by large funding shortfalls in the regular budget, depleted working capital and cash reserves, and cumulative deficits in certain project accounts. The structural deficit emanating from the inability of income to keep pace with needs arising from natural growth in the refugee population and inflation remained a problem. Despite a combination of ad hoc additional donor contributions and prudent financial management, a budget deficit was expected by the end of 2001 unless additional contributions were received.

At mid-2001, the Agency's cash position remained critical, forcing it to live from hand to mouth in terms of balancing incoming funds and outgoing payments. Expected cash expenditure in the regular programme was $311 million, as against expected cash income of $245 million. Working capital, defined as the difference between assets and liabilities in the regular budget for the calendar year, was for all practical purposes non-existent, making UNRWA vulnerable to any change in expected income or expenditure. Estimates indicated that the Agency's regular cash budget for 2001 would face a deficit of $66 million by year's end.

The Commissioner-General said that the Agency's 2002-2003 budget [A/56/137/Add.l] represented another step forward in the Agency's efforts to improve budgetary transparency and usefulness of the budget as a planning, managerial and fund-raising tool. The budget exercise was oriented towards preparing a programme-based budget more structured around UNRWA's service-providing role. The Agency's budget requirements for the 2002-2003 biennium were estimated at $791.7 million.

Working Group. The Working Group on the Financing of UNRWA held two meetings in 2001, on 14 September and 3 October. In its report to the General Assembly [A/56/430], the Working Group said that the critical financial situation of 2000 had continued in 2001. In 2000, UNRWA had an income of $270.9 million, of which $256 million was for the cash portion of the regular budget and $14.9 million for the in-kind portion. Those funds were received against a regular budget of $300.9 million, of which $280.4 million represented the cash portion and $20.5 million the in-kind portion, leaving a deficit of $24.4 million. In cash terms, UNRWA ended the year 2000 with nothing for its General Fund; consequently, it was forced to reduce expenditure to match income and could not allocate any funds towards building up the working capital or salary reserve. By the end of June 2001, UNRWA faced the prospect of a deficit in its regular cash budget of $66 million by the end of the year. However, additional contributions from the Agency's major donors reduced that deficit to $31 million by the end of September. Income for 2001 was expected to be $280 million, against a cash budget of $311 million.

The Working Group noted that UNRWA had made significant progress towards eliminating the structural deficit problem that had plagued the Agency in previous years, in particular through reductions in international staffing and other reforms. However, it expressed concern that eight years of austerity measures had eroded the level and quality of the services provided by UNRWA for some 4 million Palestine refugees.

The Working Group said that UNRWA services had to be viewed as the minimum required to enable the refugees to lead decent lives. Any further reduction in those services not only would deprive the refugees of the minimum level of support to which they were entitled, but could also have a destabilizing effect on the entire region. The Group expressed the hope that the international support for UNRWA embodied in the resolutions adopted each year by the General Assembly, in which the Assembly recognized the importance of UNRWA's work and requested that Governments contribute to it, would be translated into measures to ensure the survival of the Agency on a secure financial basis.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 10 December [meeting 82], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/56/549], adopted resolution 56/53 without vote [agenda item 87].


Working Group on the Financing of the
United Nations Relief and Works Agency
for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

Recalling its resolutions 2656(XXV) of 7 December 1970, 2728(XXV) of 15 December 1970, 2971 (XXVI) of 6 December 1971, 55/124 of 8 December 2000 and the previous resolutions on this question,

Recalling also its decision 36/462 of 16 March 1982, by which it took note of the special report of the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East,


Taking into account the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001,

Deeply concerned about the continuing financial situation of the Agency, which has affected and affects the continuation of the provision of necessary Agency services to Palestine refugees, including the emergency-related and humanitarian programmes,

Emphasizing the continuing need for extraordinary efforts in order to maintain, at least at the current level, the activities of the Agency, as well as to enable the Agency to carry out essential construction,

1. Commends the Working Group on the Financing of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East for its efforts to assist in ensuring the financial security of the Agency;

2. Takes note with approval of the report of the Working Group;

3. Requests the Working Group to continue its efforts, in cooperation with the Secretary-General and the Commissioner-General, to find a solution to the financial situation of the Agency;

4. Welcomes the new, unified budget structure for the biennium 2002-2003, which can contribute significantly to improved budgetary transparency of the Agency;

5. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the necessary services and assistance to the Working Group for the conduct of its work.

Displaced persons

In a September report [A/56/382] on compliance with General Assembly resolution 55/125 [YUN 2000, p. 456], which called for the accelerated return of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, the Secretary-General said that since UNRWA was not involved in arrangements for the return of either refugees or displaced persons not registered with it, the Agency's information was based on requests by returning registered refugees for the transfer of their entitlements to their areas of return. Displaced refugees known by UNRWA to have returned to the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1967 numbered 21,632. Records indicated that, between 1 July 2000 and 30 June 2001,1,320 refugees had returned to the West Bank and 36 to Gaza. Some of the refugees might not have been displaced since 1967, but might be family members of a displaced registered refugee whom they either had accompanied on return or had joined later.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 10 December [meeting 82], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/56/549], adopted resolution 56/54 by recorded vote (151-31) [agenda item 87].


Recalling also Security Council resolutions 237(1967) of 14 June 1967 and 259(1968) of 27 September 1968,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of its resolution 55/125 of 8 December 2000,

Taking note also of the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001,

Concerned about the continuing human suffering resulting from the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities,

Taking note of the relevant provisions of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, signed in Washington, D.C., on 13 September 1993 by the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, with regard to the modalities for the admission of persons displaced in 1967, and concerned that the process agreed upon has not yet been effected,

1. Reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967;

2. Expresses deep concern that the mechanism agreed upon by the parties in article XII of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-government Arrangements on the return of displaced persons has not been effected, and expresses the hope for an accelerated return of displaced persons;

3. Endorses, in the meanwhile, the efforts of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, as far as practicable, on an emergency basis and as a temporary measure, to persons in the area who are currently displaced and in serious need of continued assistance as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities;

4. Strongly appeals to all Governments and to organizations and individuals to contribute generously to the Agency and to the other inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations concerned for the above-mentioned purposes;

5. Requests the Secretary-General, after consulting with the Commissioner-General, to report to the General Assembly before its fifty-seventh session on the progress made with regard to the implementation of the present resolution.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/54:

In favour: Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize. Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar. Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, 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, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden. Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Manx Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.


Education, training and scholarships

In a September report [A/56/375], the Secretary-General transmitted responses to the General Assembly's appeal in resolution 55/126 [YUN 2000, p.457] for States, specialized agencies and NGOs to augment special allocations for scholarships and grants to Palestine refugees, for which UNRWA acted as recipient and trustee.

In the 2001 fiscal year, Japan awarded 12 fellowships to Palestine refugees who were employed by UNRWA as vocational training staff at the eight vocational training centres in the Agency's area of operations. During the 2000/01 academic year, owing to the cancellation in 1999 of the portion of the university scholarship fund for secondary school graduates financed from UNRWA's General Fund budget and the fact that financing was not forthcoming from donors to fund the sub-programme, UNRWA's Education Department used funds already available from the Japanese contribution, as well as from contributions made by Switzerland, to finance the studies of some students until their graduation. UNESCO granted 78 scholarships to Palestinian students in 2000/01, while WHO provided 27 fellowships/study tours for qualified Palestinian candidates. The United World Colleges offered one scholarship for 2000/01. The International Development Research Centre pledged $1,314,607 to UNRWA to finance the scholarship fund for Palestine refugee women in Lebanon, with an implementation period of six years. In 2000/01, 25 students were enrolled in seven specializations at various Lebanese universities.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 10 December [meeting 82], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/56/549], adopted resolution 56/55 by recorded vote (154-0-1) [agenda item 87].


Offers by Member States of grants and scholarships
for higher education, including vocational
training, for Palestine refugees


Recalling its resolution 212(111) of 19 November 1948 on assistance to Palestine refugees,

Recalling also its resolutions 35/13 B of 3 November 1980, 36/146 H of 16 December 1981, 37/120 D of 16 December 1982, 38/83 D of 15 December 1983, 39/99 D of 14 December 1984, 40/165 D of 16 December 1985, 41/69 D of 3 December 1986, 42/69 D of 2 December 1987, 43/57 D of 6 December 1988,44/47 D of 8 December 1989, 45/73 D of 11 December 1990, 46/46 D of 9 December 1991,47/69 D of 14 December 1992, 48/40 D of 10 December 1993, 49/35 D of 9 December 1994, 50/28 D of 6 December 1995, 51/127 of 13 December 1996, 52/60 of 10 December 1997, 53/49 of 3 December 1998, 54/72 of 6 December 1999 and 55/126 of 8 December 2000,

Cognizant of the fact that the Palestine refugees have, for the last five decades, lost their homes, lands and means of livelihood,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,

Having also considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001,

1. Urges all States to respond to the appeal made in its resolution 32/90 F of 13 December 1977 and reiterated in subsequent relevant resolutions in a manner commensurate with the needs of Palestine refugees for higher education, including vocational training;

2. Strongly appeals to all States, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations to augment the special allocations for grants and scholarships to Palestine refugees, in addition to their contributions to the regular budget of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East;

3. Expresses its appreciation to all Governments, specialized agencies and non-governmental organizations that responded favourably to its resolutions on this question;

4. Invites the relevant specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system to continue, within their respective spheres of competence, to extend assistance for higher education to Palestine refugee students;

5. Appeals to all States, specialized agencies and the United Nations University to contribute generously to the Palestinian universities in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including, in due course, the proposed University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds" for Palestine refugees;

6. Appeals to all States, specialized agencies and other international bodies to contribute towards the establishment of vocational training centres for Palestine refugees;

7. Requests the Agency to act as the recipient and trustee for the special allocations for grants and scholarships and to award them to qualified Palestine refugee candidates;

8. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session on the implementation of the present resolution.

RECORDED VOTE ON Resolution 56/55:

In favour Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, 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, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.


Proposed University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds"

In response to General Assembly resolution 55/129 [YUN 2000, p. 458], the Secretary-General submitted a September report on the proposal to establish a university for Palestine refugees in Jerusalem [A/56/421]. First mentioned by the Assembly in resolution 35/13 B [YUN 1980, p. 443], the issue had been the subject of annual reports by the Secretary-General.

To assist in the preparation of a feasibility study and at the Secretary-General's request, the Rector of the United Nations University again asked expert Mihaly Simai to visit the area and meet with Israeli officials. In response to the Secretary-General's note verbale of 18 July, requesting Israel to facilitate the visit, Israel, in a 17 September reply, stated that it had consistently voted against the resolution on the proposed university and that its position remained unchanged. It charged that the resolution's sponsors sought to exploit higher education for political purposes extraneous to genuine academic pursuits. Accordingly, Israel was of the opinion that the proposed visit would serve no useful purpose. The Secretary-General reported that it had not been possible to complete the study as planned.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 10 December [meeting 82], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/56/549], adopted resolution 56/58 by recorded vote (151-3-1) [agenda item 87].


Recalling its resolutions 36/146 G of 16 December 1981, 37/120 C of 16 December 1982, 38/83 K of 15 December 1983, 39/99 K of 14 December 1984, 40/165 D and K of 16 December 1985, 41/69 K of 3 December 1986,42/69 K of 2 December 1987,43/57 J of 6 December 1988,44/47 J of 8 December 1989,45/73 J of 11 December 1990,46/46 J of 9 December 1991,47/69 J of 14 December 1992,48/401 of 10 December 1993,49/35 G of 9 December 1994, 50/28 G of 6 December 1995, 51/130 of 13 December 1996, 52/63 of 10 December 1997, 53/52 of 3 December 1998, 54/75 of 6 December 1999 and 55/129 of 8 December 2000,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General,

Having also considered the report of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East covering the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001,

1. Emphasizes the need for strengthening the educational system in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 5 June 1967, including Jerusalem, and specifically the need for the establishment of the proposed university;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take all necessary measures for establishing the University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds", in accordance with General Assembly resolution 35/13 B of 3 November 1980, giving due consideration to the recommendations consistent with the provisions of that resolution;

3. Calls once again upon Israel, the occupying Power, to cooperate in the implementation of the present resolution and to remove the hindrances that it has put in the way of establishing the University of Jerusalem "Al-Quds";

4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session on the progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/58:

In favour Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, 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, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.


Property rights

In response to General Assembly resolution 55/128 [YUN 2000, p. 459], the Secretary-General submitted a September report [A/56/420] on steps taken to protect and administer Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel, and establish a fund for income derived therefrom, on behalf of the rightful owners. He indicated that he had transmitted the resolution to Israel and all other Member States, requesting information on any steps taken or envisaged with regard to its implementation.

In a 17 September reply, reproduced in the report, Israel stated that its position on the resolutions on Palestine refugees had been set forth in successive annual replies, the latest of which had been included in the Secretary-General's 2000 report on the subject [YUN 2000, p. 458]. Israel regretted that the resolutions regarding UNRWA remained rife with political issues irrelevant to the Agency's work and detached from the reality in the area. While Israel believed that UNRWA could play an important role in promoting the social and economic advancement foreseen in agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, it considered it essential that the Assembly consolidate the resolutions on UNRWA into one directly related to the Agency's humanitarian tasks.

No replies were received from other Member States.

Report of Conciliation Commission. The United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, in its fifty-fifth report covering the period from 1 September 2000 to 31 August 2001 [A/56/290], noted its August 2000 report [YUN 2000, p. 459] and observed that it had nothing new to report since its submission.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 10 December [meeting 82], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fourth Committee [A/56/459], adopted resolution 56/57 by recorded vote (150-3-1) [agenda item 87).


Recalling its resolutions 194(111) of 11 December 1948, 36/146 C of 16 December 1981 and all its subsequent resolutions on the question,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of resolution 55/128 of 8 December 2000,

Taking note also of the report of the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine for the period from 1 September 2000 to 31 August 2001,

Recalling that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the principles of international law uphold the principle that no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her property,

Recalling in particular its resolution 394(V) of 14 December 1950, in which it directed the Conciliation Commission, in consultation with the parties concerned, to prescribe measures for the protection of the rights, property and interests of the Palestine Arab refugees,

Noting the completion of the programme of identification and evaluation of Arab property, as announced by the Conciliation Commission in its twenty-second progress report, and the fact that the Land Office had a schedule of Arab owners and file of documents defining the location, area and other particulars of Arab property,

Recalling that, in the framework of the Middle East peace process, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Government of Israel agreed, in the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993, to commence negotiations on permanent status issues, including the important issue of the refugees,

1. Reaffirms that the Palestine Arab refugees are entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of justice and equity;

2. Requests the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps, in consultation with the United Nations Conciliation Commission for Palestine, for the protection of Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel;

3. Expresses its appreciation for the work done to preserve and modernize the existing records of the Conciliation Commission;

4. Calls once again upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General in the implementation of the present resolution;

5. Calls upon all the parties concerned to provide the Secretary-General with any pertinent information in their possession concerning Arab property, assets and property rights in Israel that would assist him in the implementation of the present resolution;

6. Urges the Palestinian and Israeli sides, as agreed between them, to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees' properties and their revenues in the framework of the final status negotiations of the Middle East peace process;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session on the implementation of the present resolution.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/57:

In favour Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, 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, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.


Peacekeeping operations

In 2001, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), originally set up to monitor the cease-fire called for by the Security Council in resolution S/801 of 29 May 1948 [YUN 1947-48, p. 427] in newly partitioned Palestine, continued its work. UNTSO's unarmed military observers fulfilled changing mandates—from supervising the original four armistice agreements between Israel and its neighbours (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic) to observing and monitoring other cease-fires, as well as performing a number of additional tasks. During the year, UNTSO personnel worked with the two remaining UN peacekeeping forces in the Middle East—the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).

During the year, UNIFIL underwent a gradual reconfiguration and redeployment, having confirmed the withdrawal of Israeli troops in June 2000 from southern Lebanon [YUN 2000, p. 460] and having assisted the Lebanese authorities as they returned to the area vacated by Israel. A line of withdrawal—the so-called Blue Line—was identified by the United Nations on the ground following the withdrawal of Israeli troops in 2000 [ibid., p. 462].


Lebanon

In 2001, serious breaches occurred relating to the farmlands in the Shab'a area on the border; the paramilitary group Hizbullah carried out attacks against targets inside Israel and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) attacked targets within Lebanon, including Syrian radar installations. The Shab'a farmlands had been a source of contention since the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon in June 2000. According to the Lebanese Government, Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon was incomplete, as Israeli forces continued to occupy the Shab'a farms, while Israel's position was that the area was occupied Syrian territory and thus within the purview of Security Council resolution 242(1967) [YUN 1967, p. 257] on the Israeli-Syrian conflict, and not resolution 425(1978) [YUN 1978, p. 312], which dealt with Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon. However, Lebanon and the Syrian Arab Republic continued to claim that the Shab'a farmlands were inside Lebanese territory.

In January 2001, Staffan de Mistura assumed his position as the Secretary-General's Personal Representative for southern Lebanon, responsible for coordinating UN activities in the area.

In a series of communications received throughout the year [A/55/733-S/2001/43, A/55/736-S/2001/56, A/55/738-S/2001/62, A/55/766-S/2001/110, A/55/802-S/2001/164, A/55/818-S/2001/184, A/55/841-S/2001/243, A/55/868-S/2001/313, A/55/894-S/2001/344, A/55/898-S/2001/355, A/55/923-S/2001/430, A/55/930-S/2001/454, A/55/937-S/2001/476, A/55/938-S/2001/478, A/55/948-S/2001/502, A/55/959-S/2001/531, A/55/991 -S/2001/606, A/55/995-S/2001/630, A/56/396-S/2001/901, A/56/503-S/2001/1004, A/56/695-S/2001/1177, A/56/718-S/2001/1206.A/56/762-S/2001/1337], Lebanon detailed Israeli attacks on southern Lebanon and the Western Bekaa, as well as Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty.

In communications dated between 6 February and 24 October [A/55/767-S/2001/111, A/55/792-S/2001/142, A/55/901-S/2001/364,A/55/1002-S/2001/643, A/56/507-S/2001/1012], Israel detailed terrorist attempts to infiltrate its northern border from Lebanon, as well as the launching of mortars and antitank shells by the paramilitary group Hizbullah against Israeli targets, in violation of the Blue Line.

Throughout 2001, Israel, Lebanon, the Syrian Arab Republic, other countries of the region and several international organizations transmitted communications to the United Nations concerning the situation on the Israel/Lebanon border.

In identical letters of 2 February [S/2001/99] to the Secretary-General and the Security Council President, Lebanon said that Israel had established a gateway complex at the entrance to the village of Ghajar, had excavated a trench there and had set up a 400-metre-long concrete barrier running parallel to the road leading to Ghajar inside Lebanese territory. That action constituted a violation of the Blue Line and an assault on Lebanon's sovereignty.

On 28 February [A/55/817-S/2001/180], Syria informed the Secretary-General that the Israeli authorities had begun to bring pressure to bear on the inhabitants of Ghajar for the construction of a barbed-wire fence that would result in the partitioning of the village. The inhabitants had stated unequivocally that they were born as Syrians and that they would remain Syrian in all circumstances.

On 29 March [A/55/864-S/2001/292], Lebanon said that Israel was threatening to launch new attacks on Lebanese territory based on the allegation that Lebanon had set about diverting the course of the Hasbani river, which would deprive Israel of its water. Lebanon stated that Israel's allegations were untrue and had the objective of obstructing Lebanon's reconstruction efforts in those areas that had been occupied by Israel for 22 years.

On 16 April [S/2001/367], Israel notified the Council President that, on 14 April, Hizbullah gunmen had fired two antitank missiles at an IDF tank on patrol on the Israeli side of the Blue Line, killing one Israeli soldier. That act of aggression followed continuous attacks and provocations from Lebanese territory since Israel's withdrawal in 2000.

Also on 16 April [A/55/900-S/2001/362], Syria said that Israeli formations had that day violated Lebanese airspace and bombed a Syrian radar installation in Lebanese territory. Syria regarded that aggression as a serious escalation that could undermine peace and stability in the region.

On 17 April [A/55/902-S/2001/371], Lebanon said that Israel's 16 April attack against Syrian military positions inside Lebanese territory had caused the death of one member of the Syrian Arab Force and the wounding of four others.

The United Arab Emirates, on 18 April [A/55/903-S/2001/375], condemned the aggression committed by Israeli forces against Lebanese territory on 16 April, as did Qatar, in its capacity as Chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference [A/55/906-S/2001/383].

Responding on 18 April [A/55/908-S/2001/385], Israel said that Syria, as the main power broker in Lebanon with 35,000 troops stationed there, supported Hizbullah and had directly enhanced the capacity of the organization to launch attacks against Israel. Syria had also allowed Hizbullah to maintain terrorist training facilities in the Syrian-controlled Bekaa Valley. Following the act of aggression perpetrated by Hizbullah on 14 April (see above), Israel was compelled to respond and exercised its legitimate right to self-defence in the 16 April operation, which aimed to prevent the recurrence of aggression from Lebanese soil.

On 23 April [A/55/914-S/2001/407], Yemen condemned and denounced Israel's aggression against Lebanese territory and its bombing of Syrian forces in the Bekaa area.

On the same day [A/55/920-S/2001/426], Sweden, on behalf of the EU, said that Israel's attack on Syrian objectives in Lebanon, the first in many years, as a retaliation for Hizbullah attacks on the Shab'a farms, was an excessive and disproportionate response.

In identical letters of 2 May [A/55/926-S/2001/438 & Corr.l] to the Secretary-General and the Council President, Syria said that Israel had deliberately misled international public opinion by distorting the facts. The true reasons for the deteriorating situation in the Middle East were essentially attributable to the continuing Israeli policies of occupation, expansion and aggression. Israel was fully aware that Lebanon and Syria had a pact of brotherhood and cooperation that governed the relationship between the two countries. Consequently, Syria supported Lebanon by providing everything that it needed to defend its territory and achieve its security and stability.

On 3 May [A/55/927-S/2001/440], Syria said that on 14 April an Israeli military patrol inside Syrian territory fired several rounds at a Syrian police position in the sector of a UN position.

Lebanon, on 7 May [A/55/929-S/2001/444], said that the Syrian forces stationed inside Lebanese territory were there at the request and with the agreement of the Lebanese Government, and their presence was a necessary, legitimate and temporary one that was not Israel's concern.

On 29 May [A/55/958-S/2001/530], Lebanon said that Israel had installed an observation post 20 metres inside Lebanese territory in the vicinity of Ghajar village, in violation of Lebanese sovereignty and relevant UN resolutions.

On 27 June [A/55/1001-S/2001/642], Lebanon said that on 13 and 14 June Israeli forces deliberately set fire to extensive areas in the occupied Shab'a farmlands.

In two separate letters of 2 July to the Council President and the Secretary-General [S/2001/654, A/5571006], Lebanon said that, on the previous day, Israeli warplanes had violated Lebanese airspace and attacked a Syrian radar position operating in Lebanon. Two members of the Syrian forces were wounded, as was an enlisted Lebanese soldier.

On the same day [A/55/1007-S/2001/653], Lebanon forwarded to the Secretary-General a statement issued on 30 June following consultations between the Lebanese and Syrian Ministers for Foreign Affairs. Having noted statements made by Israeli officials concerning acts of resistance to the Israeli occupation in the Shab'a farmlands and allegations made about the weapons used against Israeli forces, the Ministers said that the defensive weapons that the resistance possessed could not be compared with the weapons of mass destruction, warplanes, heavy artillery and battle tanks available to the Israeli armed forces. Lebanon affirmed its right under the UN Charter and relevant international covenants to liberate its

territory using all legitimate means, and both Lebanon and Syria would hold Israel responsible for the consequences of any new aggression.

In identical letters of 3 July [A/55/1011, S/2001/670] to the Secretary-General and the Council President, Qatar said that the Arab Group at the United Nations had held a meeting that day in New York at the level of ambassadors and permanent representatives to the United Nations. The Arab Group condemned the repeated Israeli attacks on Lebanon and on the Syrian Arab forces operating in Lebanon. It affirmed its support for Lebanon in asserting all of its rights and in taking all legitimate measures to liberate the occupied Shab'a farmlands.

On 6 July [A/56/161-S/2001/673], Israel informed the Secretary-General that on 29 June two Israeli soldiers were wounded by shrapnel when Hizbullah terrorists fired dozens of antitank missiles and mortars at two army outposts in the Mount Dov region on the Israeli side of the Blue Line. By their active and tacit support for Hizbullah's activities, both Lebanon and Syria were in violation of basic norms of international law and relevant UN resolutions. Lebanon's failure to assert control in the southern part of the country was due, to a large extent, to the overwhelming degree of control that the Syrian Government exerted over its neighbour.

Responding on 30 July [A/56/226-S/2001/746], Syria said that Israel's letter sought to distract attention from its daily violations of Lebanon's territorial integrity and from the acts of aggression committed by Israeli aircraft against Syrian Arab forces operating in Lebanon. Lebanon had declared that the relevant international covenants gave it the right to take action to free its territory from Israeli occupation. Syria supported Lebanon in seeking the restoration of all of its territory.

On 9 August [A/56/283-S/2001/777], Israel replied that, contrary to Syria's assertions, it was not occupying Lebanese land in the Shab'a farmlands as it had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in June 2000, as attested by Council resolution 1310(2000) [YUN 2000, p. 470]. Syria's allegations, moreover, had to be viewed within the context of the continued Syrian occupation of Lebanon.

By a 28 August letter to the Security Council President [S/2001/831], Israel noted that on 4 August UNIFIL had evacuated its position at the Abbasiyah checkpoint, which had controlled the northern pathway entering the village of Rajar. The Blue Line cut through Rajar, the northern path being inside Lebanese territory and the southern part inside Israeli territory. Following the evacuation, Hizbullah removed part of the dividing fence and started to construct an outpost at the approach to the village, posing a danger to the security of Israeli soldiers and civilians. Israel called on the United Nations to regain control of the Abbasiyah checkpoint, to establish a new out-post at the northern approach to Rajar and to enable the repair of the northern fence.

Responding on 4 September [S/2001/856], Lebanon said that Israel was attempting to cover up its provocations by land, air and sea, which were combined with a field trip by the Israeli Prime Minister over the whole length of Lebanon's southern border. There had also been a concentration of Israeli troops in that area.

Addressing the situation in the Ghajar/Abbasiyah area in a 5 September letter to the Security Council President [S/2001/848], the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations said that since the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, UNIFIL no longer exercised any control over the area of operation and did not maintain checkpoints since the drawing of the Blue Line [YUN 2000, p. 465]. UNIFIL carried out its functions through mobile patrols and observation from fixed positions and through close contacts with the parties to correct violations. The establishment of fixed positions was based on operational considerations and should not be dictated by the parties. In the vicinity of Ghajar, UNIFIL had a position known as 4-28, approximately 1.5 kilometres east of the village. UNIFIL temporarily stored containers about 200 metres away by a gate in the old technical fence on the road leading to the abandoned village of Abbasiyah. At no time did those containers constitute a position or, as asserted by Israel, a checkpoint. The village of Abbasiyah, the road leading to Ghajar and the entire surrounding area were clearly on the Lebanese side of the Blue Line. The United Nations was key to the establishment of the status quo in Ghajar and was endeavouring to maintain it. Initiatives at the political level by the United Nations combined with UNIFIL efforts on the ground, including assertive UNIFIL patrolling by armoured personnel carriers, were able to bring about a decrease in provocative activity resulting in reduced tension. The situation had improved significantly, fostering conditions on the ground that might allow a return to the status quo.

On 10 October [S/2001/957], the League of Arab States (LAS) forwarded to the Council President a resolution entitled "Solidarity with Lebanon", adopted by the LAS Council of Ministers at its one hundred and sixteenth regular session (Cairo, 9-10 September). The Ministers strongly condemned Israel for, among other things, its continued occupation of Lebanese territory, the detention of Lebanese prisoners and the refusal to hand over to the United Nations all the maps indicating the location of mines that Israeli forces had laid in southern Lebanon.

In connection with those allegations, Israel, on 6 December [S/2001/1173], said that when it withdrew forces from Lebanon in 2000, IDF transferred to UNIFIL all information pertaining to the location of minefields in southern Lebanon, including detailed maps. Since then, large quantities of mines and other devices had been laid by terrorist groups in southern Lebanon. It was the responsibility of the Lebanese Government to establish effective control and restore peace in the area.

In a 31 December letter IA/56/761-S/2001/1336], Lebanon informed the Secretary-General that on 24 December Israel had dug a trench on the road east of Ghajar, with the intention of erecting a fence along the town boundary in occupied Syrian territory to the heights above Abbasiyah. The work had been suspended following the intervention of UNIFIL's Commander and units of the Lebanese liaison service.

UNIFIL

The Security Council twice extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon in 2001, in January and July, each time for a six-month period.

UNIFIL, which was established by Council resolution 425(1978) [YUN 1978, p. 312] following Israel's invasion of Lebanon [ibid., p. 296], was originally entrusted with confirming the withdrawal of Israeli forces, restoring international peace and security, and assisting the Lebanese Government in ensuring the return of its effective authority in southern Lebanon. Following a second Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 [YUN 1982, p. 428], the Council, in resolution 511(1982) [ibid., p. 450], authorized the Force to carry out, in addition to its original mandate, the interim task of providing protection and humanitarian assistance to the local population, while maintaining its positions in the area of deployment. With the withdrawal of IDF from Lebanon in June 2000 [YUN 2000, p. 461], UNIFIL's operational role changed significantly. A phased reinforcement was initiated in order for UNIFIL to carry out its tasks related to confirming Israel's withdrawal, which included extending its operations into those territories that had been occupied by IDF [ibid., p. 465]. In 2001, having fulfilled those responsibilities, UNIFIL started a reconfiguration and redeployment phase.

The Force headquarters, based predominantly in Naqoura, provided command and control, as well as liaison with Lebanon and Israel, UNDOF, UNTSO and a number of NGOs.

Composition and deployment

The reconfiguration and redeployment of UNIFIL proceeded as set out in the Secretary-General's April 2001 report (see p. 453). Following the repatriation of the Nepalese battalion and the Polish engineering company at the end of July, the Finnish and Irish battalions were repatriated in October and November, respectively. UNIFIL closed a number of rear positions and moved troops into closer proximity to the Blue Line.

As at 31 December, as a result of the reconfiguration, UNIFIL comprised 3,494 troops from Fiji (458), France (233), Ghana (811), India (819), Italy (52), Poland (483) and Ukraine (638). The Force was assisted in its tasks by 51 military observers of UNTSO. In addition, UNIFIL employed 448 civilian staff, of whom 135 were recruited internationally and 313 locally. On 6 August [S/2001/767], the Security Council took note of the Secretary-General's intention [S/2001/766] to appoint Major General Lalit Mohan Tewari (India) as Force Commander to replace Major General Seth Kofi Obeng (Ghana), who completed his tour of duty on 15 May.

Since the establishment of UNIFIL, 239 members of the Force had lost their lives: 78 as a result of firings or bomb explosions, 101 in accidents and 60 from other causes. A total of 344 were wounded by firing or mine explosions.

Activities


The Secretary-General observed that UNIFIL's functions had evolved into those of an observer mission. However, in view of the conditions in the region, he was reluctant to entrust the task to unarmed observers alone and therefore recommended instead a combination of armed infantry and unarmed observers, specifically two infantry battalions, a group of UNTSO observers and support. He also viewed a gradual reconfiguration as the most prudent and appropriate approach. As a possible first stage, UNIFIL's force could be brought back to the strength it had before the June 2000 augmentation about 4,500 all ranks. In the light of the conditions in the area, he recommended that the Force's mandate be extended for another six months, until 31 July 2001.

Communications. By a 5 January letter [S/2001/ 14] to the Secretary-General, Lebanon requested that UNIFIL's mandate be extended for a further six-month period, especially in the light of Israel's daily violations of Lebanese sovereignty.

Responding on 17 January [S/2001/55], Israel rejected Lebanon's allegations regarding violations of its territory and drew attention to the regular assaults on Israeli soldiers and civilians emanating from Lebanon. Lebanon had not only failed to prevent those acts of aggression; it had encouraged them and failed to deploy its armed forces along the border with Israel.

SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION (January)

On 30 January [meeting 4267], the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1337 (2001). The draft text [s/2001/87] was prepared in consultations among Council members.


Recalling its resolutions 425(1978) and 426(1978) of 19 March 1978, 501(1982) of 25 February 1982, 508(1982) of 5 June 1982, 509(1982) of 6 June 1982, 520(1982) of 17 September 1982 and 1310(2000) of 27 July 2000, as well as its resolutions and the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon,

Recalling further its resolution 1308(2000) of 17 July 2000,

Recalling also the Secretary-General's conclusion that, as of 16 June 2000, Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in accordance with resolution 425(1978) and met the requirements defined in the Secretary-General's report of 22 May 2000,

Emphasizing the interim nature of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon,

Recalling the relevant principles contained in the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel adopted on 9 December 1994,

Responding to the request of the Government of Lebanon as stated in the letter from its Permanent Representative to the United Nations of 5 January 2001 to the Secretary-General,

1. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon of 22 January 2001 and endorses his observations and recommendations;

2. Decides to extend the present mandate of the Force for a further period of six months, until 31 July 2001;

3. Decides to return the military personnel of the Force to the operational level referred to in paragraph 24 of the Secretary-General's report of 22 January 2001 by 31 July, and requests that the Secretary-General take the necessary measures to implement this decision, including taking into account the upcoming rotations of the battalions, in consultation with the Government of Lebanon and the troop-contributing countries;

4. Reiterates its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries;

5. Calls upon the Government of Lebanon to ensure the return of its effective authority and presence in the south, and in particular to increase the rate of the deployment of the Lebanese armed forces;

6. Welcomes the establishment of checkpoints by the Government of Lebanon in the vacated area, and encourages the Government of Lebanon to ensure a calm environment throughout the south, including through the control of all checkpoints;

7. Calls upon the parties to fulfil the commitments they have given to respect fully the withdrawal line identified by the United Nations, as set out in the Secretary-General's report of 16 June 2000, to exercise utmost restraint and to cooperate fully with the United Nations and with the Force;

8. Condemns all acts of violence, expresses concern about the serious breaches and violations of the withdrawal line, and urges the parties to put an end to them and to respect the safety of personnel of the Force;

9. Commends the Force for having fulfilled its mandate regarding verification of Israeli withdrawal, and supports its continued efforts to maintain the cease-fire along the withdrawal line through patrols and observation from fixed positions and close contacts with the parties, with a view to correcting violations and preventing the escalation of incidents;

10. Welcomes the contribution of the Force to operational demining, encourages further assistance in mine action by the United Nations to the Government of Lebanon in support of both the continued development of its national mine action capacity and emergency demining activities in the south, and calls upon donor countries to support these efforts through financial and in-kind contributions;

11. Requests the Secretary-General to continue consultations with the Government of Lebanon and other parties directly concerned on the implementation of the present resolution and to report to the Security Council thereon;

12. Looks forward to the early fulfilment of the mandate of the Force;

13. Endorses the general approach for reconfiguration of the Force, as outlined in paragraph 23 of the report of the Secretary-General of 22 January 2001, and requests the Secretary-General to submit to the Council a detailed report by 30 April 2001 on the Force's reconfiguration plans and on the tasks that could be carried out by the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization;

14. Decides to review the situation by early May 2001 and to consider any steps it deems appropriate regarding the Force and the Truce Supervision Organization, on the basis of this report;

15. Stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973.

Report of Secretary-General (April). In response to resolution 1337(2001), the Secretary-General submitted to the Security Council on 30 April [S/2001/423] an interim report on the plans for UNIFIL's reconfiguration and on the tasks that could be carried out by UNTSO. He reported that, since the adoption of resolution 1337(2001), serious breaches had occurred relating to the Shab'a farms dispute, with attacks carried out by the paramilitary group Hizbullah against targets inside Israeli territory and retaliatory attacks by IDF against targets in Lebanon. There had also been frequent minor ground violations of the Blue Line and almost daily violations of the Line by Israeli aircraft.

The Secretary-General said that UNIFIL would continue to focus on the Blue Line and the adjacent area. It was envisaged that the area would be divided into two sectors. The bulk of the troops would be deployed in protected positions close to the Blue Line and there would be fewer fixed positions to avoid too many personnel being absorbed by guard and maintenance duties. UNIFIL would be present on the Blue Line primarily through its patrols. Its headquarters would remain at Naqoura and UNIFIL would continue to require full freedom of movement to meet its operational, administrative and logistic requirements. UNTSO's unarmed military observers would be entirely mobile and would no longer maintain static observation posts, which would enable them to undertake daytime patrolling, carry out investigations and perform liaison functions. The strength of the Observer Group Lebanon (51) was deemed sufficient for those tasks. It was envisaged that the demining unit would remain, since mines remained a serious hazard for the Force. The Secretary-General's Personal Representative had been active in generating support for mine clearance and ensuring effective coordination between the Lebanese authorities and UN agencies. Once the reconfiguration was completed, the Force would comprise troops from France (headquarters guard), Ghana (infantry), India (infantry), Italy (helicopters), Poland (logistics) and Ukraine (engineers/demining). Its overall strength would then be close to 2,000 all ranks.

The Secretary-General stated that the Force's reconfiguration would be achieved through the non-replacement or reduction of units on the occasion of their normal rotations. Ireland had already said that it would not replace its contingent at the time of its rotation in October/November. The Finnish contingent would be reduced by 350 troops by the end of July, and the Secretary-General noted that he would not request a replacement for the remaining Finnish troops at the time of their repatriation in October. The departure of those two contingents would bring the Force's strength to about 3,600. The Secretary-General recommended that the Force maintain that level until January 2002 and noted that the reconfiguration could be completed during the following mandate, ending in July 2002.

Communications. By a 9 May letter to the Secretary-General [A/55/934-S/2001/464], Lebanon said that UNIFIL's reconfiguration, as recommended by the Secretary-General in his April report, would create a climate of instability in the area that could undermine the sense of security and safety created by the Mission's presence.

On 18 May [S/2001/500], the Security Council informed the Secretary-General that it endorsed in general the technical reconfiguration approach for UNIFIL.

On 9 July [s/2001/677], Lebanon requested the Council to extend UNIFIL's mandate, which was due to expire on 31 July, for a further period of six months.

Report of Secretary-General (July). In a report on UNIFIL covering 23 January to 20 July [S/2001/714], the Secretary-General said that the situation had been marked by general stability throughout most of the UNIFIL area of operation, with the exception of tensions and serious breaches of the Blue Line connected to the dispute over the Shab'a farms area, including Hizbullah attacks and Israeli retaliations. Israeli aircraft flew deep into Lebanese airspace almost daily; low-level flights that broke the sound barrier over populated areas caused great anxiety to the civilian population. Civil administration in south Lebanon was somewhat strengthened during the reporting period, with local administration and the central authority in Beirut taking a more active role. Communications, health and welfare systems, as well as postal services, made further slow progress towards integration with the rest of the country. The 1,000-strong contingent of the Lebanese Joint Security Force, comprising army and internal security forces, contin-

ued to operate in the areas vacated by Israel in 2000, carrying out patrolling and policing of local communities. The Lebanese Government continued to maintain the position that as long as there was no comprehensive peace with Israel, the Lebanese armed forces would not be de-ployed along the Blue Line. Areas along the Blue Line were monitored by Hizbullah through a network of mobile and fixed positions. In some instances, Hizbullah acted as surrogate for the civil administration by extending social, medical and educational services to the local population. On several occasions, Hizbullah personnel restricted UNIFIL's freedom of movement and interfered with its redeployment.

The focus of UNIFIL operations remained on the Blue Line and the adjacent area. A controversy arose between the Israeli authorities and the United Nations over a UNIFIL videotape, filmed on 8 October 2000, of vehicles that might have been used by Hizbullah in the abduction of three Israeli soldiers [YUN 2000, p. 471]. Israel and Lebanon had been offered the opportunity to view the tape, with the identities of non-UN personnel obscured, on UN premises. The Secretary-General initiated an investigation into the internal handling of the matter. In some villages in the south, tensions developed between local residents and former members of the dismantled South Lebanese Army who had returned home after serving their terms in prison for collaboration with Israel. UNIFIL continued to assist the civilian population in the form of medical care, water projects, equipment or services for schools and orphanages, and supplies of social services to the needy. The clearance of mines and unexploded ordnance in southern Lebanon gained momentum. At a high-level workshop on mine clearance, convened on 21 and 22 May by the Lebanese Government with the participation of the United Nations and NGOs, it was announced that the United Arab Emirates had pledged $50 million for mine clearance in the southern part of Lebanon. A Regional Mine Action Coordination Cell in Tyre, Lebanon, continued to coordinate UN mine-clearing activity, while the United Nations Mine Action Service cooperated closely with the National Demining Office of Lebanon.

The Secretary-General observed that, during his visit to the region in June (see p. 406), he had discussed violations of the Blue Line in the Shab'a farms area with the political leadership in Lebanon and Israel. In the light of conditions prevailing in the area, he recommended that UNIFIL's mandate be extended for another six months, until 31 January 2002.

Communication. In a 26 July letter to the Security Council President [s/2001/734], Lebanon said that the request to the Secretary-General to put forward an idea for the reconfiguration of UNIFIL as merely an observer mission should be abandoned. It regarded that request as incompatible with UNIFIL's original mission, as defined by Council resolutions 425(1978) and 426(1978) [YUN 1978, p. 312].

SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION (July)

On 31 July [meeting 4354], the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1365(2001). The draft [S/2001/748] was prepared in consultations among Council members.


Recalling all its previous resolutions on Lebanon, in particular resolutions 425(1978) and 426(1978) of 19 March 1978, 1310(2000) of 27 July 2000 and 1337(2001) of 30 January 2001, as well as the statements of its President on the situation in Lebanon, in particular the statement of 18 June 2000 (S/PRST/2000/21),

Recalling further the letter from its President to the Secretary-General of 18 May 2001,

Recalling also the Secretary-General's conclusion that, as of 16 June 2000, Israel had withdrawn its forces from Lebanon in accordance with resolution 425(1978) and met the requirements defined in the Secretary-General's report of 22 May 2000, as well as the Secretary-General's conclusion that the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon had essentially completed two of the three parts of its mandate, focusing now on the remaining task of restoring international peace and security,


Recalling further the relevant principles contained in the Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel adopted on 9 December 1994,

Responding to the request of the Government of Lebanon, as stated in the letter from its Permanent Representative to the United Nations of 9 July 2001 to the Secretary-General,

1. Welcomes the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon of 20 July 2001, and endorses his observations and recommendations;

2. Decides to extend the present mandate of the Force, as recommended by the Secretary-General, for a further period of six months, until 31 January 2002;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to continue to take the necessary measures to implement the reconfiguration and redeployment of the Force as outlined in his report and in accordance with the letter of the President of the Security Council of 18 May 2001 in the light of developments on the ground and in consultation with the Government of Lebanon and the troop-contributing countries;

4. Reiterates its strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized boundaries;

b. Calls upon the Government of Lebanon to take more steps to ensure the return of its effective authority throughout the south, including the deployment of Lebanese armed forces;

6. Calls upon the parties to ensure the Force is accorded full freedom of movement in the discharge of its mandate throughout its area of operation;

7. Encourages the Government of Lebanon to ensure a calm environment throughout the south;

8. Reiterates its call on the parties to continue to fulfil the commitments they have given to respect fully the withdrawal line identified by the United Nations, as set out in the Secretary-General's report of 16 June 2000, to exercise utmost restraint and to cooperate fully with the United Nations and the Force;

9. Condemns all acts of violence, expresses great concern about the serious breaches and the air, sea and land violations of the withdrawal line, and urges the parties to put an end to them and to respect the safety of the personnel of the Force;

10. Supports the continued efforts of the Force to maintain the cease-fire along the withdrawal line through mobile patrols and observation from fixed positions and through close contacts with the parties to correct violations, resolve incidents and prevent the escalation of incidents; •

11. Welcomes the continued contribution of the Force to operational demining, encourages further assistance in mine action by the United Nations to the Government of Lebanon in support of both the continued development of its national mine action capacity and emergency demining activities in the south, commends donor countries for supporting these efforts through financial and in-kind contributions, and stresses the necessity to provide the Government of Lebanon and the Force with any additional maps and records on the location of mines;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to continue consultations with the Government of Lebanon and other parties directly concerned on the implementation of the present resolution;

13. Looks forward to the early fulfilment of the mandate of the Force;

14. Requests the Secretary-General, following appropriate consultations, including with the Government of Lebanon and the troop-contributing countries, to submit to the Council before the end of the present mandate a comprehensive report on the activities of the Force, taking into account its possible reconfiguration to an observer mission in the light of developments on the ground and on the tasks carried out by the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization;

15. Stresses the importance of, and the need to achieve, a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, based on all its relevant resolutions including its resolution 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973.

Further developments. In a report on developments during the second half of 2001 [S/2002/55], the Secretary-General said that the general situation in south Lebanon continued to be stable, with the exception of tensions and breaches of the Blue Line in the Shab'a farms area. There was a decrease in the number of ground violations of the Line, but Israeli air violations continued on an almost daily basis. Local administration in the south was further strengthened, linked in large part to the successful municipal elections held in southern Lebanon in early September, which were marked by high voter turnout. As the Lebanese Government continued to refuse to deploy its troops along the Blue Line, Hizbullah increased its visible presence through its network of mobile and fixed positions. The United Nations facilitated international mineaction assistance to Lebanon under the supervision of the Secretary-General's Personal Representative and in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Concern over the number of mines and unexploded ordnance in southern Lebanon took on a new dimension in December when IDF turned over to UNIFIL a substantial amount of information on the presence of additional minefields in the area, most within a short distance of the Blue Line. Progress was achieved in discussions between the United Nations and Israel on issues connected to UNIFIL's videotapes of events related to the abduction by Hizbullah of three Israeli soldiers in October 2000 [YUN 2000, p. 471 ]. UNDP continued to lead the efforts of the UN system in working with the Lebanese authorities for the development and rehabilitation of the south.

Financing

Reports of Secretary-General and ACABQ (February and April). On 1 February, the Secretary-General submitted the financial performance report of UNIFIL for the period 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000 [A/55/757]. Expenditures for the period totalled $149,475,700 gross ($146,146,100 net), excluding budgeted voluntary contributions in kind of $135,000, resulting in an overrun of $571,000 gross ($1,270,800 net) against the* amount of $148,904,683 gross ($144,875,283 net) appropriated by the General Assembly in resolution 53/227 [YUN 1999, p. 448].

On 20 February [A/55/482/ Add.l], the Secretary-General submitted the revised budget for UNIFIL for the period 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 in the amount of $207,154,194 gross ($201,981,841 net), exclusive of budgeted voluntary contributions in kind amounting to $180,000. The amount represented a $26,437,900 reduction as compared to the approved gross budget allocated in 2000 by Assembly resolutions 54/267 [YUN 2000, p. 472] and 55/180 A [ibid., p. 474]. The revised budget was based on the fact that the budgeted deployment of two battalions, as envisaged by Assembly resolution 55/180 A, did not take place, and that the Security Council, in resolution 1337(2001) (see p. 452), had called for the reduction of UNIFIL to its previous strength, before its augmentation to some 4,500 troops in 2000.

The comments and recommendations of ACABQ were contained in a 4 April report [A/55/885] on UNIFIL's financial performance for the period from 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000, and in a 6 April report [A/55/874] on the financing of UN peacekeeping operations.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION (June)

On 14 June [meeting 103], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fifth (Administrative and Budgetary) Committee [A/55/681/ Add.l], adopted resolution 55/180 B by recorded vote (115-3) [agenda item 138 (b)].


Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and the related reports of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions,

Bearing in mind Security Council resolution 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978, by which the Council established the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, and the subsequent resolutions by which the Council extended the mandate of the Force, the latest of which was resolution 1337(2001) of 30 January 2001,

Recalling its resolutions S-8/2 of 21 April 1978 on the financing of the Force and its subsequent resolutions thereon, the latest of which was resolution 55/180 A of 19 December 2000,

Reaffirming its resolutions 51/233 of 13 June 1997, 52/237 of 26 June 1998, 53/227 of 5 June 1999, 54/267 of 15 June 2000 and 55/180 A,

Reaffirming also the general principles underlying the financing of United Nations peacekeeping operations, as stated in General Assembly resolutions 1874 (S-IV) of 27 June 1963, 3101 (XXVIII) of 11 December 1973 and 55/235 of 23 December 2000,

Noting with appreciation that voluntary contributions have been made to the Force,

Mindful of the fact that it is essential to provide the Force with the necessary financial resources to enable it to fulfil its responsibilities under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Concerned that the Secretary-General continues to face difficulties in meeting the obligations of the Force on a current basis, including reimbursement to current and former troop-contributing States,

Concerned also that the surplus balances in the Special Account for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon have been used to meet expenses of the Force in order to compensate for the lack of income resulting from non-payment and late payment by Member States of their contributions,

1. Reaffirms its resolution 49/233 A of 23 December 1994, in particular those paragraphs regarding the peacekeeping budgetary cycles, which should be adhered to in the future budgetary process, where possible;

2. Expresses its deep concern that Israel did not comply with its resolutions 51/233,52/237,53/227,54/267 and 55/180 A;

3. Stresses once again that Israel should strictly abide by its resolutions 51/233, 52/237, 53/227, 54/267 and 55/180 A;

4. Takes note of the status of contributions to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon as at 30 April 2001, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of 124.5 million United States dollars, representing 3.9 per cent of the total assessed contributions from the inception of the Force to the period ending 31 January 2001, notes that some 20 per cent of the Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, and urges all other Member States concerned, in particular those in arrears, to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions;

5. Expresses its appreciation to those Member States which have paid their assessed contributions in full;

6. Expresses concern about the financial situation with regard to peacekeeping activities, in particular as regards the reimbursements to troop contributors that bear additional burdens owing to overdue payments by Member States of their assessments;

7. Urges all other Member States to make every possible effort to ensure payment of their assessed contributions to the Force in full and on time;

8. Expresses concern at the delay experienced by the Secretary-General in deploying and providing adequate resources to some recent peacekeeping missions, in particular those in Africa;

9. Emphasizes that all future and existing peace-keeping missions shall be given equal and non-discriminatory treatment in respect of financial and administrative arrangements;

10. Also emphasizes that all peacekeeping missions shall be provided with adequate resources for the effective and efficient discharge of their respective mandates;

11. Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to make the fullest possible use of facilities and equipment at the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, in order to minimize the costs of procurement for the Force;

12. Endorses the conclusions and recommendations contained in the reports of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure full implementation;

13. Requests the Secretary-General to take all necessary action to ensure that the Force is administered with a maximum of efficiency and economy;

14. Also requests the Secretary-General, in order to reduce the cost of employing General Service staff, to continue efforts to recruit local staff for the Force against General Service posts, commensurate with the requirements of the Force;

15. Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to ensure the full implementation of paragraph 8 of General Assembly resolution 51/233, paragraph 5 of its resolution 52/237, paragraph 11 of its resolution 53/227, paragraph 14 of its resolution 54/267 and paragraph 14 of its resolution 55/180 A, stresses once again that Israel shall pay the amount of 1,284,633 dollars resulting from the incident at Qana on 18 April 1996, and requests the Secretary-General to report on this matter to the Assembly during the main part of its fifty-sixth session;

16. Decides to reduce the appropriation provided by the General Assembly in its resolutions 54/267 and 55/180 A from the amount of 233,592,094 dollars gross (228,191,141 dollars net), inclusive of the amount of 6,967,059 dollars gross (5,895,590 dollars net) for the support account for peacekeeping operations and the amount of 1,089,216 dollars gross (969,161 dollars net) for the United Nations Logistics Base for the maintenance and expansion of the Force for the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001, to the amount of 207,154,194 dollars gross (201,981,841 dollars net), inclusive of the amount of 6,967,059 dollars gross (5,895,590 dollars net) for the support account and the amount of 1,089,216 dollars gross (969,161 dollars net) for the Logistics Base;

17. Decides also to reduce the apportionment provided by the General Assembly in its resolutions 54/267 and 55/180 A for the period from 1 February to 30 June 2001 from the amount of 97,330,038 dollars gross (95,079,645 dollars net) to the amount of 70,892,138 dollars gross (68,870,345 dollars net), taking into account the amount of 194,660,080 dollars gross (190,159,283 dollars net) already apportioned for the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 April 2001;

18. Decides further that, in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 973(X) of 15 December 1955, there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 17 above, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated reduced staff assessment income of 2,021,793 dollars approved for the Force for the period from 1 February to 30 June 2001;

19. Authorizes the Secretary-General to enter into commitments in the amount of 99,548,960 dollars gross (97,558,500 dollars net) for the maintenance of the Force for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2001, and decides to appropriate the amount of 6,021,721 dollars gross (5,284,652 dollars net) for the support account and the amount of 629,045 dollars gross (564,879 dollars net) for the United Nations Logistics Base, representing the prorated share of the Force in the support account and Logistics Base requirements for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002;

20. Decides to apportion among Member States the amount of 16,591,493 dollars gross (16,259,750 dollars net) for the period from 1 to 31 July 2001 in accordance with the levels set out in its resolution 55/235, as adjusted by the General Assembly in its resolution 55/236 of 23 December 2000, and taking into account the scale of assessments for the year 2001, as set out in its resolution 55/5 B of 23 December 2000;

21. Decides also that, in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 973(X), there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 20 above, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated staff assessment income of 331,743 dollars approved for the Force for the period from 1 to 31 July 2001;

22. Decides further to apportion among Member States the amount of 82,957,467 dollars gross (81,298,750 dollars net) for the period from 1 August to 31 December 2001, at a monthly rate of 16,591,493 dollars gross (16,259,750 dollars net) in accordance with paragraph 20 above, and taking into account the scale of assessments for the year 2001, as set out in its resolution 55/5 B, subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the mandate of the Force beyond 31 July 2001;

23. Decides that, in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 973(X), there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 22 above, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated staff assessment income of 1,658,717 dollars approved for the Force for the period from 1 August to 31 December 2001;

24. Decides also to apportion among Member States the amount of 6,021,721 dollars gross (5,284,652 dollars net) for the support account and the amount of 629,045 dollars gross (564,879 dollars net) for the United Nations Logistics Base for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002 in accordance with paragraph 20 above, and taking into account the scale of assessments for the years 2001 and 2002, as set out in its resolution 55/5 B, the scale of assessments for the year 2001 to be applied against a portion thereof, that is, 3,010,861 dollars gross (2,642,326 dollars net) for the support account and 314,523 dollars gross (282,440 dollars net) for the Logistics Base for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2001, and the scale of assessments for the year 2002 to be applied against the balance, that is, 3,010,860 dollars gross (2,642,326 dollars net) for the support account and 314,522 dollars gross (282,439 dollars net) for the Logistics Base for the period from 1 January to 30 June 2002;

25. Decides further that, in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 973(X), there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 24 above, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated staff assessment income of 737,069 dollars for the support account and 64,166 dollars for the United Nations Logistics Base approved for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002, 368,535 dollars for the support account and 32,083 dollars for the Logistics Base being amounts pertaining to the period from 1 July to 31 December 2001 and the balance, that is, 368,534 dollars, for the support account and 32,083 dollars for the Logistics Base pertaining to the period from 1 January to 30 June 2002;

26. Decides that, for Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force, there shall be set off against the apportionment, as provided for in paragraph 20 above, their respective share of the remaining balance of 186,252 dollars in the reserve account for third-party liability insurance of helicopters for the Force, in accordance with the composition of groups set out in paragraphs 3 and 4 of General Assembly resolution 43/232 of 1 March 1989, as adjusted by the Assembly in subsequent relevant resolutions and decisions, for the ad hoc apportionment of peace-keeping appropriations, the latest of which were its resolution 52/230 of 31 March 1998 and its decisions 54/456 to 54/458 of 23 December 1999 for the period 1998-2000, and taking into account the scale of assessments for the year 2000, as set out in its resolutions 52/215 A of 22 December 1997 and 54/237 A of 23 December 1999;

27. Decides also that, for Member States that have not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force, their share of the remaining balance of 186,252 dollars i; the reserve account for third-party liability insurance of helicopters for the Force shall be set off against their outstanding obligations in accordance with the schem. set out in paragraph 26 above;

28. Takes note of additional requirements in the amount of 571,000 dollars gross (1,270,800 dollars net for the operation of the Force for the period ending 3( June 2000, and authorizes the Secretary-General to utilize credits in an equal amount arising from the can cellation of obligations pertaining to the same period to meet the additional requirements;

29. Emphasizes that no peacekeeping mission shall be financed by borrowing funds from other active peacekeeping missions;

30. Encourages the Secretary-General to continue to take additional measures to ensure the safety and security of all personnel under the auspices of the United Nations participating in the Force;

31. Invites voluntary contributions to the Force in cash and in the form of services and supplies acceptable to the Secretary-General, to be administered, as appropriate, in accordance with the procedure and practices established by the General Assembly;

32. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-sixth session, under the item entitled "Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East", the sub-item entitled "United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon".

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 65/180 B:

In favour Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia.


The Assembly and the Committee each had adopted the fourth preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 2, 3 and 15 by a single recorded vote of, respectively, 70 to 3, with 42 abstentions, and 69 to 2, with 40 abstentions.

Speaking after the vote in the Assembly, Israel said that it had voted against the text because of the reference to the April 1996 incident in Qana, Lebanon [YUN 1996, p. 429]. There was no precedent whatsoever for a particular Member State bearing sole financial responsibility for damage sustained by UN forces during peacekeeping operations. Such damages should be absorbed by the general budget for peacekeeping operations, in accordance with the principle of collective responsibility. Israel was also concerned about the political manipulation of the Fifth Committee and called on Member States to drop the annual four paragraphs regarding Qana that were dictated by Lebanon.

Speaking in exercise of the right of reply, Lebanon said that all additional paragraphs to the resolution called for by the Group of 77 developing countries were purely financial and administrative in nature and contained no political wording whatsoever. Israel should not leap into political discourse, but should implement the Assembly's resolutions calling on it to pay compensation for the damages it caused in 1996 to the compound of the international forces in Qana. The Group of 77 was calling for reparations and compensation for the United Nations, not for Lebanon.

Reports of Secretary-General and ACABQ (October). By a 3 October report [A/56/431 & Corr.l], the Secretary-General submitted the budget of UNIFIL for the period 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002 in the amount of $ 136,816,100 gross ($132,983,100 net), inclusive of budgeted voluntary contributions in kind amounting to $201,200.

The comments and recommendations of ACABQ were contained in a 29 October report [A/56/510 & Corr.l].

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION (December)

On 21 December [meeting 91], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fifth Committee [A/56/722], adopted resolution 56/214 by recorded vote (123-2-2) [agenda item 134 (b)].


Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the financing of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002 and the related report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions,

Bearing in mind Security Council resolution 425 (1978) of 19 March 1978, by which the Council established the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, and the subsequent resolutions by which the Council extended the mandate of the Force, the most recent of which was resolution 1365(2001) of 31 July 2001,

Recalling its resolution S-8/2 of 21 April 1978 on the financing of the Force and its subsequent resolutions thereon, the most recent of which was resolution 55/180 B of 14 June 2001,

Reaffirming its resolutions 51/233 of 13 June 1997, 52/237 of 26 June 1998, 53/227 of 8 June 1999, 54/267 of 15 June 2000, 55/180 A of 19 December 2000 and 55/180 B,

Reaffirming also the general principles underlying the financing of United Nations peacekeeping operations, as stated in General Assembly resolutions 1874 (S-IV) of 27 June 1963, 3101 (XXVIII) of 11 December 1973 and 55/235 of 23 December 2000,

Noting with appreciation that voluntary contributions have been made to the Force,

Mindful of the fact that it is essential to provide the Force with the necessary financial resources to enable it to fulfil its responsibilities under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Concerned that the Secretary-General continues to face difficulties in meeting the obligations of the Force on a current basis, including reimbursement to current and former troop-contributing States,

Concerned also that the surplus balances in the Special Account for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon have been used to meet expenses of the Force in order to compensate for the lack of income resulting from non-payment and late payment by Member States of their contributions,

1. Takes note of the status of contributions to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon as at 15 November 2001, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of 179.4 million United States dollars, representing 4 per cent of the total assessed contributions from the inception of the Force up to the period ending 31 December 2001, notes that some 15.5 per cent of the Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, and urges all other Member States concerned, in particular those in arrears, to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions;

2. Expresses its appreciation to those Member States that have paid their assessed contributions in full and on time, and urges all other Member States to make every possible effort to ensure payment of their assessed contributions to the Force in full and on time;

3. Expresses its deep concern that Israel did not comply with General Assembly resolutions 51/233, 52/237, 53/227, 54/267, 55/180 A and 55/180 B;

4. Stresses once again that Israel should strictly abide by General Assembly resolutions 51/233, 52/237, 53/227, 54/267, 55/180 A and 55/180 B;

5. Expresses concern about the financial situation with regard to peacekeeping activities, in particular as regards the reimbursements to troop contributors that bear additional burdens owing to overdue payments by Member States of their assessments;

6. Also expresses concern at the delay experienced by the Secretary-General in deploying and providing adequate resources to some recent peacekeeping missions, in particular those in Africa;

7. Emphasizes that all future and existing peace-keeping missions shall be given equal and non-discriminatory treatment in respect of financial and administrative arrangements;

8. Also emphasizes that all peacekeeping missions shall be provided with adequate resources for the effective and efficient discharge of their respective mandates;

9. Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to make the fullest possible use of facilities and equipment at the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, in order to minimize the costs of procurement for the Force;

10. Takes note of paragraph 11 of, and endorses the remaining conclusions and recommendations contained in, the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure full implementation;

11. Requests the Secretary-General to take all necessary action to ensure that the Force is administered with a maximum of efficiency and economy;

12. Also requests the Secretary-General, in order to reduce the cost of employing General Service staff, to continue efforts to recruit local staff for the Force against General Service posts, commensurate with the requirements of the Force;

13. Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to ensure the full implementation of paragraph 8 of its resolution 51/233, paragraph 5 of its resolution 52/237, paragraph 11 of its resolution 53/227, paragraph 14 of its resolution 54/267, paragraph 14 of its resolution 55/180 A and paragraph 15 of its resolution 55/180 B, stresses once again that Israel shall pay the amount of 1,284,633 dollars resulting from the incident at Qana on 18 April 1996, and requests the Secretary-General to report on this matter to the Assembly at its resumed fifty-sixth session;

14. Decides to appropriate the amount of 137,257,440 dollars gross (133,375,991 dollars net) for the maintenance of the Force for the twelvemonth period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002, inclusive of the amount of 642,540 dollars gross (594,091 dollars net) for the support account for peacekeeping operations, in addition to the amount of 6,021,721 dollars gross (5,284,652 dollars net) already appropriated for the support account for peacekeeping operations and the amount of 629,045 dollars gross (564,879 dollars net) already appropriated for the United Nations Logistics Base in its resolution 55/180 B, and inclusive of the amount of 99,548,960 dollars gross (97,558,500 dollars net) authorized in its resolution 55/180 B;

15. Decides also, taking into account the amount of 99,548,960 dollars gross (97,558,500 dollars net) already apportioned for the period from 1 July to 31 December 2001 and the amount of 6,650,766 dollars gross (5,849,531 dollars net) already apportioned for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002 in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 55/180 B, to apportion among Member States the amount of 6,820,197 dollars gross (6,464,658 dollars net) for the period from 1 to 31 January 2002 in accordance with the levels set out in its resolution 55/235, as adjusted in its resolution 55/236 of 23 December 2000, and taking into account the scale of assessments for the year 2002, as set out in its resolution 55/5 B of 23 December 2000;

16. Decides further that, in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 973(X) of 15 December 1955, there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 15 above, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated additional staff assessment income of 355,539 dollars approved for the Force for the period from 1 to 31 January 2002;

17. Decides to apportion among Member States the amount of 30,888,283 dollars gross (29,352,833 dollars net) for the period from 1 February to 30 June 2002, at a monthly rate of 6,177,656 dollars gross (5,870,566 dollars net) in accordance with the scheme set out in the present resolution and taking into account the scale of assessments for the year 2002, as set out in its resolution 55/5 B, subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the mandate of the Force beyond 31 January 2002;

18. Decides also that, in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 973(X), there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 17 above, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated additional staff assessment income of 1,535,450 dollars net approved for the Force for the period from 1 February to 30 June 2002;

19. Emphasizes that no peacekeeping mission shall be financed by borrowing funds from other active peacekeeping missions;

20. Encourages the Secretary-General to continue to take additional measures to ensure the safety and security of all personnel under the auspices of the United Nations participating in the Force;

21. Invites voluntary contributions to the Force in cash and in the form of services and supplies acceptable to the Secretary-General, to be administered, as appropriate, in accordance with the procedure and practices established by the General Assembly;

22. Decides to keep under review during its fifty-sixth session, under the item entitled "Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East", the sub-item entitled "United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon".

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/214:

In favour Albania, Algeria, Andorra. Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium. Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam. Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar. Republic of Korea. Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.


The Assembly and the Committee each had adopted the fourth preambular paragraph and operative paragraphs 3, 4 and 13 by a single recorded vote of, respectively, 68 to 2, with 54 abstentions, and 69 to 2, with 40 abstentions.

Speaking before the vote in the Assembly, Israel said that the draft resolution violated the principle of collective responsibility, which dictated that costs resulting from peacekeeping operations were to be shared equally among Member States.

Speaking after the vote, Lebanon said that the principle of collective responsibility did not contradict the principle of international responsibility, by which any State that caused damage or harm to another State or to an international organization had to pay reparations.

On 24 December, the Assembly decided that the item on financing of the UN peacekeeping forces in the Middle East would remain for consideration at the resumed fifty-sixth (2002) session (decision 56/464) and that the Fifth Committee would continue consideration of UNIFIL's financing at that session (decision 56/458).

In 2001, the General Assembly again called for Israel's withdrawal from the Golan Heights in the Syrian Arab Republic, which it had occupied since 1967. The area was effectively annexed by Israel when it extended its laws, jurisdiction and administration to the territory towards the end of 1981 [YUN 1981, p. 309].

Israeli policies and measures affecting the human rights of the population in the Golan Heights and other occupied territories were monitored by the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (Committee on Israeli Practices) and were the subject of resolutions adopted by the Commission on Human Rights (see PART TWO, Chapter III) and the Assembly.

Committee on Israeli Practices. In its annual report [A/56/491], the Committee on Israeli Practices stated that it had visited Damascus and Quneitra province, which bordered the occupied area, where it received information from persons with personal knowledge of the occupied Syrian Arab Golan. Although the area did not experience the confrontations and violence that Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem had witnessed during 2001, the economic and social conditions of the Arab population did not improve and the human rights situation continued to deteriorate. The problems of preserving the national identity of the Arab population, the expansion and increase in Israeli settlements and the privileged position of the settlers, economic hardships and the personal tragedies that afflicted families divided because of the occupation continued undiminished throughout the year.

Communications. On 18 May [A/56/79], Israel informed the Secretary-General of anti-Semitic statements made by the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, Bashar Al-Assad, at a welcoming ceremony in Damascus for Pope John Paul II and by senior Syrian officials on other occasions. Those allegations were denied by Syria on 14 June [A/56/94].

In a 29 May letter to the Secretary-General [A/55/957-S/2001/527], Syria stated that, on 2 May, two Israeli artillery shells had impacted south of Sayda village in Syrian territory.

On 16 July [A/56/185-S/2001/699], Syria in-formed the Secretary-General that Prime Minister Sharon, in a 10 July speech, had stated that increasing the Jewish population and bringing new residents into the Golan would transform settlement in that area into an irreversible reality.

Reports of Secretary-General. On 25 July [A/56/219], the Secretary-General reported that no reply had been received from Israel to his May request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement General Assembly resolution 55/134 [YUN 2000, p. 478], which called on Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the Golan, and from its repressive measures against the population.

By a 17 October report [A/56/480], the Secretary-General transmitted replies received from five Member States, including Israel, in response to his request for information on steps taken or envisaged to implement Assembly resolution 55/51 [YUN 2000, p. 477], which dealt with Israeli policies in the Syrian territory occupied since 1967, and resolution 55/50 [ibid., p. 429], on the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem (see p. 418).

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 3 December [meeting 72], the General Assembly adopted resolution 56/32 [draft: A/56/L.24 &Add.l] by recorded vote (90-5-54) [agenda item 42].


Having considered the item entitled "The situation in the Middle East",
Recalling Security Council resolution 497(1981) of 17 December 1981,

Reaffirming the fundamental principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, in accordance with international law and the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming once more the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Deeply concerned that Israel has not withdrawn from the Syrian Golan, which has been under occupation since 1967, contrary to the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions,

Stressing the illegality of the Israeli settlement construction and activities in the occupied Syrian Golan since 1967,

Noting with satisfaction the convening in Madrid on 30 October 1991 of the Peace Conference on the Middle East, on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967, 338(1973) of 22 October 1973 and 425(1978) of 19 March 1978 and the formula of land for peace,

Expressing grave concern over the halt in the peace process on the Syrian track, and expressing the hope that peace talks will soon resume from the point they had reached,

1. Declares that Israel has failed so far to comply with Security Council resolution 497(1981);

2. Also declares that the Israeli decision of 14 December 1981 to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan is null and void and has no validity whatsoever, as confirmed by the Security Council in its resolution 497(1981), and calls upon Israel to rescind it;

3. Reaffirms its determination that all relevant provisions of the Regulations annexed to the Hague Convention of 1907, and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, continue to apply to the Syrian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, and calls upon the parties thereto to respect and ensure respect for their obligations under those instruments in all circumstances;

4. Determines once more that the continued occupation of the Syrian Golan and its de facto annexation constitute a stumbling block in the way of achieving a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the region;

5. Calls upon Israel to resume the talks on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks and to respect the commitments and undertakings reached during the previous talks;

6. Demands once more that Israel withdraw from all the occupied Syrian Golan to the line of 4 June 1967 in implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions;

7. Calls upon all the parties concerned, the cosponsors of the peace process and the entire international community to exert all the necessary efforts to ensure the resumption of the peace process and its success by implementing Security Council resolutions 242(1967) and 338(1973);

8. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session on the implementation of the present resolution. RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/32:

In favour Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti. Dominican Republic, Ecuador. Egypt. El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar. Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, MaKa, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Abstaining: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Yugoslavia.

On 10 December [meeting 82], the Assembly, under the agenda item on the report of the Committee on Israeli Practices and on the Fourth Committee's recommendation [A/56/550], adopted resolution 56/63 by recorded vote (147-2-3) [agenda item 88].


Having considered the reports of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories,

Deeply concerned that the Syrian Golan, occupied since 1967, has been under continued Israeli military occupation,

Recalling Security Council resolution 497(1981) of 17 December 1981,

Recalling also its previous relevant resolutions, the last of which was resolution 55/134 of 8 December 2000,

Having considered the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of resolution 55/134,

Recalling its previous relevant resolutions in which, inter alia, it called upon Israel to put an end to its occupation of the Arab territories,

Reaffirming once more the illegality of the decision of 14 December 1981 taken by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan, which has resulted in the effective annexation of that territory,

Reaffirming that the acquisition of territory by force is inadmissible under international law, including the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming also the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the occupied Syrian Golan,

Bearing in mind Security Council resolution 237 (1967) of 14 June 1967,

Welcoming the convening in Madrid of the Peace Conference on the Middle East on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242(1967) of 22 November 1967 and 338(1973) of 22 October 1973 aimed at the realization of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, and expressing grave concern about the stalling of the peace process on all tracks,

1. Calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to comply with the relevant resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan, in particular Security Council resolution 497( 1981), in which the Council, inter alia, decided that the Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and without international legal effect, and demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, rescind forthwith its decision;

2. Also calls upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan and in particular to desist from the establishment of settlements;

3. Determines that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken or to be taken by Israel, the occupying Power, that purport to alter the character and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan are null and void, constitute a flagrant violation of international law and of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and have no legal effect;

4. Calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and Israeli identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan and from taking repressive measures against the population of the occupied Syrian Golan;

5. Deplores the violations by Israel of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949;

6. Calls once again upon Member States not to recognize any of the legislative or administrative measures and actions referred to above;

7. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-seventh session on the implementation of the present resolution.

RECORDED VOTE ON RESOLUTION 56/63:

In favour Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, 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, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea. Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, 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, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia.


UNDOF

The mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, established by Security Council resolution 350(1974) [YUN 1974, p. 205] to supervise the observance of the cease-fire between Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic in the Golan Heights area and ensure the separation of their forces, was renewed twice in 2001, in May and November, each time for a six-month period.

UNDOF maintained an area of separation, which was some 80 kilometres long and varied in width between approximately 10 kilometres in the centre to less than 1 kilometre in the extreme south. The area of separation was inhabited and policed by the Syrian authorities, and no military forces other than UNDOF were permitted within it.

Composition and deployment

As at 15 November, UNDOF comprised 1,056 troops from Austria (372), Canada (188), Japan (45), Poland (356) and Slovakia (95). It was assisted by 78 UNTSO military observers. Major General to Wranker (Sweden) continued as Force Commander. The Force was entirely deployed within and close to the area of separation, with two base camps, 44 permanently manned positions and 11 observation posts. UNDOF's

headquarters was located at Camp Faouar and an office was maintained in Damascus.

The Austrian battalion, which included a Slovak company, was deployed in the northern part of the area of separation, and the Polish battalion was deployed in the southern part. Both battalions conducted mine-clearing operations. The Canadian and Japanese logistic units, based in Camp Ziouani, with a detachment in Camp Faouar, performed second-line general transport, control and management of goods received by the Force and maintained heavy equipment.

Activities

UNDOF continued in 2001 to supervise the area of separation between Israeli and Syrian troops in the Golan Heights, to ensure that no military forces of either party were deployed there, by means of fixed positions and patrols. The Force, accompanied by liaison officers from the party concerned, carried out fortnightly inspections of equipment and force levels in the areas of limitation. As in the past, both sides denied inspection teams access to some of their positions and imposed some restrictions on the Force's freedom of movement. Israel, However, allowed inspections to resume in the Shab'a farms area (Area 6) in the second half of the year (see below).

UNDOF assisted the International Committee of the Red Cross with facilities for mail and the passage of persons through the area of separation. Within the means available, medical treatment was provided to the local population on request.

Reports of Secretary-General. The Secretary-General reported to the Security Council on UN-DOF activities between 22 November 2000 and 18 May 2001 [S/2001/499] and between 19 May and 15 November 2001 [S/2001/1079]. Both reports noted that UNDOF continued to perform its functions effectively, with the cooperation of the parties. In general, the cease-fire in the Israel-Syria sector was maintained without serious incident and the UNDOF area of operation remained calm, except in the Shab'a farms area. Mines, especially in the area of separation, continued to pose a threat to UNDOF personnel and local inhabitants. Through the Minefield Security Programme, numerous known as well as previously unidentified minefields in the area of separation were marked.

UNDOF undertook a comprehensive review of its facilities, support structure and deployment and initiated a modernization programme to increase its monitoring and observation effectiveness. Key components of that programme were the full integration of the military and civilian administrative and logistics components of the Force, replacement of outdated facilities, consolidation of some positions in the area of separation and mobility enhancement.

The Secretary-General observed that the situation in the Israel-Syria sector remained generally quiet. However, the situation in the Middle East continued to be potentially dangerous and was likely to remain so unless and until a comprehensive settlement covering all aspects of the Middle East problem could be reached. He hoped that determined efforts would be made by all concerned to tackle the problem in all its aspects, with a view to arriving at a just and durable peace settlement, as called for by Council resolution 338(1973) [YUN 1973, p. 213]. Stating that he considered the Force's continued presence in the area to be essential, the Secretary-General, with the agreement of both Israel and Syria, recommended that UNDOF's mandate be extended for a further six months, until 30 November 2001 in the first instance and 31 May 2002 in the second.

SECURITY COUNCIL ACTION

On 30 May [meeting 4322], the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1351 (2001). The draft [s/2001/523] was prepared in consultations among Council members.


Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force of 18 May 2001, and also reaffirming its resolution 1308(2000) of 17 July 2000,

1. Calls upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338(1973) of 22 October 1973;

2. Decides to renew the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for another period of six months, that is, until 30 November 2001;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to submit, at the end of this period, a report on the developments in the situation and the measures taken to implement resolution 338(1973).

On 27 November [meeting 4428], the Council unanimously adopted resolution 1381 (2001). The draft [S/2001/1110] was prepared during consultations.


Having considered the report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force of 15 November 2001, and also reaffirming its resolution 1308(2000) of 17 July 2000,

1. Calls upon the parties concerned to implement immediately its resolution 338(1973) of 22 October 1973;

2. Decides to renew the mandate of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force for another period of six months, that is, until 31 May 2002;

3. Requests the Secretary-General to submit, at the end of this period, a report on the developments in the situation and the measures taken to implement resolution 338(1973).

After the adoption of each resolution, the President made statements S/PRST/2001/15 [meeting 4322] and S/PRST/2001/37 [meeting 4428] on behalf of the Council:


On 26 January, the Secretary-General presented a report on UNDOF's financial performance for the period 1 July 1999 to 30 June 2000 [A/55/747]. Expenditures totalled $35,026,400 gross ($34,320,700 net), resulting in an unencumbered balance of $324,900 gross ($297,700 net). On 9 February, he submitted UNDOF's proposed budget for the period 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002 [A/55/778] totalling $34,536,300 gross ($33,778,900 net), which reflected a 1.2 per cent decrease in gross terms compared with the resources approved for the preceding 12 months.

ACABQ's comments and recommendations on the two reports were contained in an April report to the Assembly [A/55/874/Add.i].

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ACTION

On 14 June [meeting 103], the General Assembly, on the recommendation of the Fifth Committee [A/55/975], adopted resolution 55/264 without

vote [agenda item 138 (a)].


Having considered the reports of the Secretary-General on the financing of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force and the related reports of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions,

Recalling Security Council resolution 350(1974) of 31 May 1974, by which the Council established the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, and the subsequent resolutions by which the Council extended the mandate of the Force, the latest of which was resolution 1351(2001) of 30 May 2001,

Recalling also its resolution 3211 B (XXIX) of 29 November 19/4 on the financing of the United Nations Emergency Force and of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, and its subsequent resolutions thereon, the latest of which was resolution 54/266 of 15 June 2000,

Reaffirming the general principles underlying the financing of United Nations peacekeeping operations, as stated in General Assembly resolutions 1874(S-IV) of 27 June 1963, 3101 (XXVIII) of 11 December 1973 and 55/235 of 23 December 2000,

Noting with appreciation that voluntary contributions have been made to the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force,

Mindful of the fact that it is essential to provide the Force with the necessary financial resources to enable it to fulfil its responsibilities under the relevant resolutions of the Security Council,

Concerned that the surplus balances in the Special Account for the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force have been used to meet expenses of the Force in order to compensate for the lack of income resulting from nonpayment and late payment by Member States of their contributions,

Bearing in mind the reported hardships incurred by the local staff upon relocation of the headquarters of the Force from Damascus to Camp Faouar, and welcoming the efforts made to address them,

1. Notes that some of the concerns regarding the improvement of the working conditions of the local staff in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force have been addressed;

2. Reaffirms its request to the Secretary-General to continue the process of improving the working conditions of the local staff, including by making allowance for difficulties resulting from the relocation of the headquarters of the Force from Damascus to Camp Faouar, through mutual and fruitful dialogue;

3. Notes that paragraph 2 of its resolution 54/266 was not fully implemented, in particular with regard to making allowance for the difficulties mentioned in that paragraph, and in this regard requests the Secretary-General to take concrete measures to ensure the full implementation of the matter and to report thereon to the General Assembly during the first part of its resumed fifty-sixth session;

4. Takes note of the status of contributions to the Force as at 30 April 2001, including the contributions outstanding in the amount of 22.8 million United States dollars, representing some 1.4 per cent of the total assessed contributions from the inception of the Force to the period ending 31 May 2001, notes that some 19 per cent of the Member States have paid their assessed contributions in full, and urges all other Member States concerned, in particular those in arrears, to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions;

5. Expresses its appreciation to those Member States which have paid their assessed contributions in full;

6. Expresses concern about the financial situation with regard to peacekeeping activities, in particular as regards the reimbursements to troop contributors that bear additional burdens owing to overdue payments by Member States of their assessments;

7. Urges all other Member States to make every possible effort to ensure payment of their assessed contributions to the Force in full and on time;

8. Expresses concern at the delay experienced by the Secretary-General in deploying and providing adequate resources to some recent peacekeeping missions, in particular those in Africa;

9. Emphasizes that all future and existing peace-keeping missions shall be given equal and non-discriminatory treatment in respect of financial and administrative arrangements;

10. Also emphasizes that all peacekeeping missions shall be provided with adequate resources for the effective and efficient discharge of their respective mandates;

11. Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to make the fullest possible use of facilities and equipment at the United Nations Logistics Base at Brindisi, Italy, in order to minimize the costs of procurement for the Force;

12. Endorses the recommendations contained in paragraphs 8 and 26 of the report of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions, and requests the Secretary-General to ensure their full implementation;

13. Requests the Secretary-General to take all necessary action to ensure that the Force is administered with a maximum of efficiency and economy;

14. Also requests the Secretary-General, in order to reduce the cost of employing General Service staff, to continue efforts to recruit local staff for the Force against General Service posts, commensurate with the requirements of the Force;

15. Decides to appropriate to the Special Account for the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force the amount of 35,689,968 dollars gross (34,793,582 dollars net) for the maintenance of the Force for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002, inclusive of the amount of 1,044,551 dollars gross (916,696 dollars net) for the support account for peacekeeping operations and the amount of 109,117 dollars gross (97,986 dollars net) for the United Nations Logistics Base;

16. Decides also to apportion among Member States the amount of 35,689,968 dollars gross (34,793,582 dollars net) at a monthly rate of 2,974,164 dollars gross (2,899,465 dollars net), in accordance with the levels set out in General Assembly resolution 55/235 and as adjusted by the Assembly in its resolution 55/236 of 23 December 2000, and taking into account the scale of assessments for the years 2001 and 2002, as set out in its resolution 55/5 B of 23 December 2000, subject to the decision of the Security Council to extend the mandate of the Force;

17. Decides further that, in accordance with the provisions of its resolution 973(X) of 15 December 1955, there shall be set off against the apportionment among Member States, as provided for in paragraph 16 above, their respective share in the Tax Equalization Fund of the estimated staff assessment income of 896,386 dollars approved for the Force for the period from 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2002;

18. Decides that, for Member States that have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force, there shall be set off against the apportionment, as provided for in paragraph 16 above, their respective share of the unencumbered balance of 324,900 dollars gross (297,700 dollars net) in respect of the period ending 30 June 2000, in accordance with the composition of groups set out in paragraphs 3 and 4 of General Assembly resolution 43/232 of 1 March 1989, as adjusted by the Assembly in subsequent relevant resolutions and decisions for the ad hoc apportionment of peace-keeping appropriations, the latest of which were resolution 52/230 of 31 March 1998 and decisions 54/456 to 54/458 of 23 December 1999 for the period 1998-2000, and taking into account the scale of assessments for the year 2000, as set out in its resolutions 52/215 A of 22 December 1997 and 54/237 A of 23 December 1999;

19. Decides also that, for Member States that have not fulfilled their financial obligations to the Force, their respective share of the unencumbered balance of 324,900 dollars gross (297,700 dollars net) in respect of the period ending 30 June 2000 shall be set off against their outstanding obligations in accordance with the scheme set out in paragraph 18 above;

20. Decides further, pursuant to the provisions of paragraph 13 of its resolution 53/226 of 8 June 1999, to credit back to Member States the amount of 4 million dollars during the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly, representing the remaining net balance held in the suspense account for the Force, according to the procedures set out in paragraphs 16 to 19 above;

21. Emphasizes that no peacekeeping mission shall be financed by borrowing funds from other active peacekeeping missions;

22. Encourages the Secretary-General to continue to take additional measures to ensure the safety and security of all personnel under the auspices of the United Nations participating in the Force;

23. Invites voluntary contributions to the Force in cash and in the form of services and supplies acceptable to the Secretary-General, to be administered, as appropriate, in accordance with the procedure and practices established by the General Assembly;

24. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-sixth session, under the item entitled "Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East", the sub-item entitled "United Nations Disengagement Observer Force".

On 24 December, the Assembly decided that the item on financing of the UN peacekeeping forces in the Middle East would remain for consideration during the resumed fifty-sixth (2002) session (decision 56/464) and that the Fifth Committee would continue consideration of the item on the financing of UNDOF at that session (decision 56/458).

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Chapter I

Promotion of human rights

United Nations efforts to promote human rights continued in 2001 through the Commission on Human Rights and its subsidiary body, the Sub-commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) continued its human rights coordination and implementation activities, and the provision of advisory services and technical cooperation.

Human rights instruments and their monitoring bodies promoted civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, and aimed to eliminate racial discrimination and discrimination against women, to protect children and to end the practice of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The Subregional Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa in Yaounde, Cameroon, established as a subregional office of OHCHR in cooperation with the Economic Community of Central African States and the UN Department of Political Affairs, became operational in March.

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Middle East


Lebanon

Commission action. On 18 April [res. 2001/10], by a roll-call vote of 33 to 1, with 19 abstentions, the Commission called on Israel to release Lebanese civilians who had been imprisoned and held as hostages for bargaining purposes and to comply with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the protection of war victims, particularly the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention). Israel was also called on to submit to the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon all the maps of the land-mine fields laid throughout areas occupied by civilians. The Commission asked the Secretary-General to bring its resolution to Israel's attention and to call on Israel to comply with its provisions. He was asked to report to the General Assembly in 2001 and to the Commission in 2002.

The Economic and Social Council approved the Commission's requests to the Secretary-General on 24 July (decision 2001/248).

Communication. On 5 April [E/CN.4/2001/54], Israel refuted Lebanon's allegations that it had failed to disclose information regarding the location of mines in southern Lebanon and hand over maps of the minefields.

Reports of Secretary-General. In response to a 2000 Commission request [YUN 2000, p. 773], the Secretary-General stated that he had asked Israel for information on the extent of the implementation of the Commission's 2000 resolution on the human rights situation in southern Lebanon and western Bekaa, but had received no reply [E/CN.4/2001/32].

In July [A/56/217], the Secretary-General reported that he had asked Israel for information on the implementation of the Commission's resolution regarding Lebanese detainees in Israel (see p. 734) and had received no reply.

During 2001, the question of human rights violations in the territories occupied by Israel as a result of the 1967 hostilities in the Middle East was again considered by the Commission on Human Rights and by the Human Rights Inquiry Commission, established by the Commission (see below). Political and other aspects were considered by the General Assembly, its Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (Committee on Israeli Practices) and other bodies (see PART ONE, Chapter VI).

Reports of Secretary-General. Pursuant to a 2000 Commission resolution [YUN 2000, p. 775], the Secretary-General reported that he had brought that resolution, which concerned the occupied Syrian Golan, to the attention of all Governments, the Committee on Israeli Practices, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the specialized agencies, regional inter-governmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations [E/CN.4/2001/28]. The UN Department of Public Information provided press coverage for all meetings of the Committee on Israeli Practices, and distributed information through documents, press releases, briefings and UN information centres and services.

In response to a further 2000 Commission resolution [YUN 2000, p. 774], the Secretary-General stated that he had brought the Commission's resolution on the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories to the attention of the Government of Israel and all other Governments, the Committee on Israeli Practices and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, as well as to the specialized agencies, UNRWA, regional inter-governmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations, requesting information pertaining to Israel's implementation of the resolution. He had received no reply from Israel [E/CN.4/2001/27].

The Secretary-General submitted to the Commission in January a list of all United Nations reports issued since 28 April 2000 on the situation of the population living in the occupied Arab territories [E/CN.4/2001/29].

Inquiry Commission. The Human Rights Inquiry Commission, which was established on 2 January in response to a 2000 resolution [YUN 2000, p. 776] adopted by the fifth special session of the Commission on Human Rights, submitted its report [E/CN.4/2001/121] to the Commission in March. Following its first meeting (Geneva, 14-16 January), at which it considered organizational matters, the three-member Inquiry Commission visited the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel from 10 to 18 February. It concluded that the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) had engaged in the excessive use of force at the expense of life and property in Palestine. Although IDF carried out only a small number of extrajudicial executions (estimated at 11 at least) or targeted political assassinations, the Commission accorded special attention to them because they had been officially acknowledged, promoted and condoned. Having considered the implications of Jewish settlements in the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza on human rights and humanitarian law, the Commission reaffirmed that the settlements constituted a major violation of international humanitarian law and identified the presence of settlements and settlers as a primary cause of many human rights violations in the occupied territories. Measures of closure, curfew or destruction of property in the territories constituted violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention and human rights obligations binding on Israel. The Palestinian refugees within the territories seemed worse off than the Palestinian refugee diaspora in neighbouring countries. Further, the deterioration of their circumstances throughout the West Bank and Gaza had been accentuated by the recent heightened tensions and violence (see p. 406).

The Inquiry Commission made a series of recommendations to address the root causes of the situation, deter further violence, end the destruction of lives, property and livelihoods and establish a climate conducive to the emergence of a just and durable peace for the peoples of Israel and Palestine. It listed safeguards and procedures that needed to be observed while negotiations aimed at a comprehensive, just and durable peace were pursued.

On 23 March [E/CN.4/2001/145], Egypt, as Chairman of the Council of Arab Permanent Representatives in Geneva Members of the League of Arab States, stated that the Council found unacceptable a paragraph of the Inquiry Commission's report that recommended the application of article 1 D of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees [YUN 1951, p. 520] to ensure that a regime of protection under UNHCR authority was extended to Palestinian refugees. The Council asserted that the Palestinian refugee issue was governed by relevant UN resolutions, that UNRWA was responsible for carrying out relief and work programmes for Palestinian refugees and that the Convention's article did not apply to persons who were receiving protection or assistance from the UN system other than UNHCR.

Report of Special Rapporteur. In March [E/CN.4/2001/30], Special Rapporteur Giorgio Giacomelli (Italy) updated information contained in his report following his mission to the region in 2000 [YUN 2000, p. 775]. He stated that certain human rights violations had graduated from sporadic or incidental occurrences to a level of regularity. Radio and print media had reported Israeli military officers admitting that the army had operationalized a policy of extrajudicial executions against Palestinians it suspected of committing attacks against Jewish settlers or Israeli soldiers in the occupied Palestinian territories. Housing and property demolition had emerged as a consistent pattern, with some 773 family homes destroyed by Israeli forces between September 2000 and February 2001. Israel's alleged use of torture and prison conditions in general remained of concern to the human rights community. The Special Rapporteur also cited violations of the rights to food and press freedom. Consequences of ongoing violations resulted in losses for the Palestinian economy, violations of children's human rights, damage and destruction of health facilities and territorial and social fragmentation of the occupied Palestinian territories. As to the use of force, the Special Rapporteur noted that the roles and responsibilities on the Palestinian side, while outside his mandate, remained unclear and difficult to ascertain. He urged international protection for the Palestinians in the occupied territories, measures to restore confidence and rekindle hope in a durable peace, and respect for international law.

In March, the Special Rapporteur resigned and John Dugard (South Africa), who had served as the Chairperson of the Human Rights Inquiry Commission (see p. 735), was appointed to replace him in July.

Commission action. On 18 April [res. 2001/6], by a roll-call vote of 29 to 2, with 21 abstentions, the Commission called on Israel to comply with UN resolutions on the occupied Syrian Golan and demanded that it rescind its decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on that occupied territory. It also called on Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan and to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and identity cards on citizens of the Syrian Golan and from its repressive measures against them. The Secretary-General was requested to bring the Commission's resolution to the attention of all Governments, UN organs, specialized agencies, regional inter-governmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations, to give the resolution wide publicity and to report in 2002.

Also on 18 April [res. 2001/7], by a roll-call vote of 28 to 2, with 22 abstentions, the Commission condemned Israel's recourse to force and urged the Government to ensure that its security forces observed international standards regarding the use of force. Deploring the practice of extrajudicial killings of certain Palestinians carried out by Israeli security forces, the Commission urged the Government to respect international law and cease that practice. It also called on Israel to end the expropriation of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem, end the practice of torture against Palestinians during interrogation, desist from all human rights violations in the Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories, respect the bases of international law, the principles of international humanitarian law and its international commitments and agreements, and withdraw from the Palestinian territories. Israel was also urged to implement the recommendations of the Human Rights Inquiry Commission (see p. 735). The Commission requested the Special Rapporteur, acting as a monitoring mechanism, to follow up on the implementation of its recommendations and to report thereon to the General Assembly in 2001 (see p. 737) and to the Commission in 2002; the Economic and Social Council approved the Commission's request on 24 July (decision 2001/246). The Secretary-General was asked to bring the Commission's resolution to the attention of the Government of Israel and all other Governments, competent UN organs, the specialized agencies, regional inter-governmental organizations and international humanitarian organizations, to disseminate it as widely as possible and to report in 2002 on its implementation by Israel. He was also asked to provide the Commission with all UN reports issued between its sessions that dealt with conditions in which the Palestinians were living under Israeli occupation.

On the same date [res. 2001/8], by a roll-call vote of 50 to 1, with 1 abstention, the Commission, expressing grave concern at the continuing Israeli settlement activities in the occupied Arab territories, including East Jerusalem, and at closures of and within the Palestinian territories, and condemning all acts of terrorism, urged Israel to comply with the Commission's previous resolutions; to cease its policy of expanding the settlements and related activities in the occupied territories; to forgo and prevent any new installation of settlers; and to ensure that the Israeli security forces protected Palestinians from violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers. AH parties were urged to create conditions to allow the resumption of the peace process.

Communications. During the year, the Commission received communications regarding the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, including from Palestine describing Israeli violence against Palestinian civilians [E/CN.4/2001/3, E/CN.4/2001/136, E/CN.4/2001/142, E/CN.4/2002/11, E/CN.4/2002/126-128, E/CN.4/2002/131 ], from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya transmitting a resolution on the humanitarian situation in the occupied territories, adopted by the joint meeting of the Red Crescent/Red Cross National Societies in the Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, 21-22 April) [E/CN.4/2001/166], and from Israel regarding information pertaining to a gunshot fired at the vehicle of the High Commissioner during her visit in 2000 [E/CN.4/2002/6].

Report of Special Rapporteur. By an October note [A/56/440], the Secretary-General transmitted the report of Special Rapporteur John Dugard on the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine. During his mission to the occupied Palestinian territories in August, the Special Rapporteur had met with Palestinian and Israeli NGOs, international agencies and the Palestinian Authority (PA). He did not meet with Israeli authorities as the Government had made it clear that it would not cooperate because of objections to his mandate. Since the Special Rapporteur's mandate required him to investigate human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territories within the context of military occupation, the report focused on military occupation as the root cause of the conflict in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, as the cause of the violation of human rights and humanitarian law in the region. The Special Rapporteur described the violence and loss of life since the start of the second intifada in September 2000, during which over 530 Palestinians had been killed and over 15,000 injured and more than 150 Israelis had been killed. He observed that both Israelis and Palestinians had violated important norms of humanitarian law and international law, and asserted that the failed attempts to end the violence (see p. 405) suggested that the time had come for an international monitoring presence. In his view, the principal cause of the second intifada and of the escalating violence was the continuing occupation, the signs of which had intensified. The Special Rapporteur described expanded settlement activity, the demolition of Palestinian houses, restrictions on freedom of movement in the occupied territories imposed by Israel through closures and checkpoints and the Israeli occupation of Orient House, the political headquarters of the Palestinians in East Jerusalem (see p. 411). The Special Rapporteur concluded that it was incumbent on the international community to ensure that Israel and the PA agreed to an international presence to ensure that a cease-fire held. In view of Israel's continued refusal to accept the Fourth Geneva Convention as the governing law, he recommended that the high contracting parties to the Convention convene to consider the applicability of the Convention (see p. 425). The Special Rapporteur called for the dismantling of settlements and attention to Israel's violation of freedom of movement in the occupied Palestinian territories. There was a need to rebuild confidence on both sides, he stated. However, until Israel indicated a willingness to terminate the occupation, it was unlikely that the Palestinians would accept its good faith in negotiations aimed at a permanent settlement.

The General Assembly, on 19 December, took note of the Secretary-General's note transmitting the Special Rapporteur's report (decision 56/429).

Communication. In December comments on the Special Rapporteur's report [E/CN.4/2002/129 & Corr.1], Israel stated that he had disregarded its attempts to end the current situation. Israel reiterated its objections to the Special Rapporteur's mandate, refuted his assertion that occupation was the root cause of the conflict, and disagreed with his examination of human rights violations and with his description of the occupation. Israel also claimed biases in the presentation of the facts, legal conclusions and recommendations.

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