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(a) Elimination of racism and racial discrimination (continued)
Agenda item 104: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued)
Agenda item 105: Human rights questions (continued)
(b) Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms ( continued)
The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.
Agenda item 104: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued) (A/C.3/59/L.70)
Draft resolution A/C.3/59/L.70: The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination
5. Mr. Elbadri (Egypt), introducing draft resolution A/C.3/59/L.50, began by expressing his condolences to the Palestinian people and paying a glowing tribute to President Yasser Arafat, who had died on 11 November 2004. Egypt regretted having to introduce the resolution for the tenth year in a row, while all peace-loving nations hoped that the Palestinian people's aspiration to self-determination would be realized through Israel's withdrawal from the occupied territory.
6. The concept of self-determination was the main ingredient of humanitarian law and international law, constituted the backbone of democracy and embodied a people's collective will to be free. Draft resolution A/C.3/59/L.50 reaffirmed the fundamental principles of self-determination embraced by the civilized world and was similar to the draft of the previous year (A/C.3/58/L.35), but also contained the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, issued on 9 July 2004, according to which the construction of the wall impeded the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and a new paragraph recalling resolution 58/292 of the General Assembly. Egypt hoped that all delegations would support the draft resolution in solidarity with the occupied Palestinian people and to support the inviolable principles of which self-determination was a part. Wishing sincerely that Israel would stop occupying Palestinian land illegally, end its own illicit practices and assent to the self-determination of the Palestinian people and by the same token to the establishment of an independent and peaceful Palestinian State, Egypt hoped not to have to introduce that draft resolution again.
7. The peace process, fervently desired for in the Middle East, was unfortunately sluggish and stagnating, because Israel believed that time would wear down conviction and that occupation would increase its power. Israeli promises to encourage peace and to withdraw from the occupied territory multiplied but remained ineffective and it was time that they materialized, so that Palestinians and Israelis could live in peace.
8. Mr. Khane (Secretary of the Committee) announced that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Ecuador, Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria and Zimbabwe had become sponsors of the draft resolution.
The meeting rose at 3.40 p.m.
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Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.