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The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question
The meeting was called to order at 11.50 p.m.
Adoption of the agenda
The agenda was adopted.
The President: In accordance with the decision taken under rule 37 at the 4488th meeting this morning, I invite the representative of Israel to take a seat at the Council table.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Lancry (Israel) took a seat at the Council table.
The President: In accordance with the decision taken at the 4488th meeting this morning, I invite the Permanent Observer of Palestine to take a seat at the Council table.
At the invitation of the President, Mr. Al-Kidwa (Palestine) took a seat at the Council table.
The President: The Security Council will now begin its consideration of the item on its agenda. The Security Council is meeting in accordance with the understanding reached in its prior consultations.
Members of the Council have before them document S/2002/259, which contains the text of a draft resolution submitted by the United States of America.
I would like to draw attention to a revision to the sixth preambular paragraph, namely, to add the words “and others” after the words “the United Nations Special Coordinator”.
It is my understanding that the Security Council is ready to proceed to the vote on the draft resolution before it. If I hear no objection, I shall now put the draft resolution to the vote.
There being no objection, it is so decided.
I shall first call on those members of the Council who wish to make statements before the voting.
Mr. Wehbe (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic): The Arab Group submitted a draft resolution which it believes to be simple and capable of meeting the aspirations of the international community. It would avoid complications and address the situation on the ground and the tragic events in the region brought about by Israel’s killing and destruction of the Palestinian people, despite all the flexibility shown by the Arab side. Unfortunately, this flexibility was not matched by those who submitted the draft resolution before us, which fails to take Arab concerns into consideration. This draft resolution is very weak and does not address the root of the question: the Israeli occupation. That is the issue to which the Secretary-General referred in his statement today.
This draft resolution treats killer and victim equally, which is particularly egregious in view of the practices of the occupation authorities against the Palestinian people. The destruction, the killings and the detention of more than 2,000 Palestinians in massive concentration camps by the Israeli occupation forces must be condemned by the Council.
Any discussion of security arrangements in this crisis situation merely underlines the failure of such arrangements, as has been testified to by many countries. They have been superseded by time, particularly in view of the massacres committed daily by Israel in the occupied territories, especially in the densely populated Palestinian refugee camps.
The Security Council must call for the resumption of the peace process and for a comprehensive and just peace, pursuant to the outcome of the Madrid Conference and based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the principle of land for peace. It must also call on Israel to implement those resolutions and the principle of land for peace. Otherwise, those resolutions will remain unimplemented. I do not believe that the Council wants to see that happen.
In conclusion, we regret that the draft resolution does not even minimally take our concerns into consideration in a way that would prompt us to support it — that is, by including a reference to the Madrid Conference, the peace process and a just and comprehensive peace in the region. We have sought this in all sincerity. Moreover, the draft resolution does not demand that Israel, the occupying Power, respect the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949. That is the basic message we have called on the Council to send to the Israeli occupying Power.
In view of these points, which were not included in the draft resolution before us, I wish to record that the delegation of the Syrian Arab Republic will abstain in the voting on the draft resolution before us.
The President : I shall now put the draft resolution to the vote, as orally revised.
A vote was taken by show of hands.
Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Colombia, France, Guinea, Ireland, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Russian Federation, Singapore, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America
Syrian Arab Republic
The President : The draft resolution received 14 votes in favour, none against and 1 abstention. The draft resolution, as orally revised, has been adopted as resolution 1397 (2002).
The Security Council has thus concluded the present stage of its consideration of the item on its agenda.
The meeting rose at 12 midnight.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the Official Records of the Security Council . Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-178.