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Press Release
UNITED NATIONS
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York


ECOSOC/5794
29 July 1998

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL ADOPTS FIVE RESOLUTIONS;
BY RECORDED VOTE, CALLS ON ISRAEL TO CEASE MEASURES
AGAINST PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

Nine Decisions of NGOs Committee Also Adopted

The Economic and Social Council this afternoon called upon Israel, as 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.

By a recorded vote of 44 in favour to 1 against (United States), and with no abstention, the Council stressed the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and to guarantee freedom of movement of persons and goods in the territory. It also reaffirmed the inalienable right of the Palestinian people and the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan to all their natural and economic resources, and called upon Israel, not to exploit, endanger or deplete those resources.

The representatives of the United States and of the Russian Federation spoke before and after the vote, respectively.

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Council Work Programme

The Economic and Social Council met this afternoon to consider economic and environmental questions, begin general discussion on non-governmental organizations and act on draft proposals relating to the item, and to act on draft resolutions relating to issues under coordination, programme and other questions.

Also this afternoon, the Council was scheduled to act on a draft resolution 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 the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan.

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Draft Resolutions

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The Council also had before it, a draft resolution on 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 (document E/1998/L.26). By the terms of that text, it would call 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. It would stress the need to preserve the territorial integrity of all the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and to guarantee freedom of movement of persons and goods in the territory, including the removal of restrictions on going in and out of East Jerusalem, and the freedom of movement to and from the outside world. (For information, see Press Release ECOSOC/5791 of 27 July.)

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Action on Draft Texts

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FARIS ADIB AMMARIN (Jordan) said his delegation would have voted yesterday in favour of the draft resolution on the situation of Palestinian women and children in occupied Palestinian territory had it been present.

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The Council next took up draft resolution on 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.

Malaysia, Oman, Indonesia, Morocco and Colombia joined as co-sponsors.

A recorded vote was requested.

E. MICHAEL SOUTHWICK (United States), explaining his delegation's position before the vote, said his Government would continue to oppose references in the resolution and others which stated or implied Arab or Palestinian sovereignty over Jerusalem and territories that were the subject of direct negotiation between the parties to the conflict. Those references had no effect whatsoever on issues of sovereignty over Jerusalem and territories that were subject of direct negotiation to which the parties had committed themselves. The United States endorsed a provision of the text that private investment was essential to improve the living standards of the Palestinian people. To be of genuine assistance to the Middle East process, the Council must look forward, not backward, and dedicate itself to supporting the work of the negotiating parties. The resolution failed on both counts. The United States would vote "no", he added.

The Council adopted the draft resolution by a recorded vote of 44 in favour to 1 against (United States), with no abstentions. (See Annex for voting details.)

ALEKSANDR PANKIN (Russian Federation), speaking after the vote, said his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution. It shared the concerns expressed in the resolution about the deterioration of the condition of the Palestinian people. It noted that the peace process had frozen. It hoped solutions would be found to the many problems touched upon by the resolution.

OFUMI AKAKPO (Togo) said that his delegation would have voted in favour of the resolution adopted yesterday on Palestinian women.

ABDERRAZAK AZAIEZ (Tunisia) said his delegation would have voted in favour of the resolution adopted yesterday on Palestinian women.

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ANNEX

Vote on draft resolution on economic and social repercussions of Israeli occupation


The draft resolution on economic and social repercussions of Israeli occupation (document E/1998/L.26) was adopted by a recorded vote of 44 in favour to 1 against, with no abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Djibouti, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Guyana, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Viet Nam.

Against: United States.

Abstaining: None.

Absent: Central African Republic, Comoros, Gabon, Gambia, Lesotho, Nicaragua, Saint Lucia, Sierra Leone, Zambia.


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For information media - not an official record