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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.5/57/SR.56
15 July 2003

Original: English

Fifty-seventh session
Official Records



Fifth Committee

Summary record of the 56th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 4 June 2003, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. Sharma ......................................................... (Nepal) Contents

/...

Agenda item 127: Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East (continued)

(a) United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (continued)

(b) United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (continued)

/...


The meeting was called to order at 3.25 p.m.

/...

Agenda item 127: Financing of the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Middle East (continued)

(a) United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (continued) (A/C.5/57/L.70)

Draft resolution A/C.5/57/L.70

56. Mr. Kendall (Argentina), Vice-Chairman, introducing draft resolution A/C.5/57/L.70, said that the amounts indicated in the third line of paragraph 19 and in the fifth line of paragraph 21 should be $40,009,200 and $982,100, respectively.

57. Ms. Pollard (Director of the Peacekeeping Financing Division) said, with regard to paragraph 9 of the draft resolution, that the Secretariat’s interpretation of the phrase “takes note of” would be in conformity with General Assembly decision 55/488. In the annex to that decision, the Assembly reiterated that “takes note of” and “notes” were neutral terms that constituted neither approval nor disapproval.

58. Mr. Sabbagh (Syrian Arab Republic) requested the Secretariat to draw the attention of the administration of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force to the provisions of General Assembly decision 55/488 and to transmit to it a copy of the summary record of the meeting at which the Secretariat had explained the meaning of the phrase “takes note of” so as to avoid any misunderstanding.

59. Draft resolution A/C.5/57/L.70, as orally revised, was adopted.

(b) United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (continued) (A/C.5/57/L.78)

Draft resolution A/C.5/57/L.78

60. The Chairman drew attention to draft resolution A/C.5/57/L.78, submitted by the delegation of Morocco on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. The draft resolution had been introduced at the Committee’s 55th meeting, on Thursday, 29 May 2003.

61. Mr. Ramadan (Lebanon) asked whether the amount indicated in paragraph 14 of the draft resolution reflected the total cost resulting from the incident at Qana.

62. Ms. Pollard (Director of the Peacekeeping Financing Division) said that the amount in question was the sum due from the Government of Israel in connection with the incident.

63. Mr. Wittmann (United States of America) recalled that, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 41/213, all possible efforts should be made with a view to establishing the broadest possible agreement on decisions taken by the Committee. However, the draft resolution introduced by the delegation of Morocco on behalf of the Group of 77 and China was the same text on which delegations had failed to achieve consensus in informal consultations. The fourth preambular paragraph and paragraphs 3, 4 and 14 violated the principle of collective responsibility for the expenses of the Organization set out in Article 17 of the Charter of the United Nations. His delegation therefore would like a single recorded vote on those paragraphs.

64. At the request of the representative of the United States of America, a single recorded vote was taken on the fourth preambular paragraph and on paragraphs 3, 4 and 14 of the draft resolution.

In favour:

Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay.

65. The fourth preambular paragraph and paragraphs 3, 4 and 14 of draft resolution A/C.5/57/L.78 were adopted by 80 votes to 2, with 47 abstentions.

66. Mr. Sermoneta (Israel) said that, as in previous years, his delegation had voted against the paragraphs and would vote against the draft resolution as a whole. Its position on the substantive issue referred to in those paragraphs was well known, and it would therefore refrain from reiterating it out of respect for the spirit of professionalism that should characterize the work of the Committee. However, it wished to underscore that the paragraphs voted on, in which one Member State was singled out, were inappropriate in a financing resolution and that their inclusion in the draft text ran counter to the established practice of the Committee and damaged its credibility and reputation.

67. Mr. Ramadan (Lebanon) said that his delegation respected the principle of collective responsibility for the financing of United Nations peacekeeping operations. However, it also wished to emphasize the principle of responsibility of States for their international wrongful acts and for the consequences of such acts. That principle was enshrined in the Charter and was implied in paragraph 1 (e) of General Assembly resolution 55/235, which stated that, where circumstances warranted, the Assembly should give special consideration to the situation of any Member States which were victims of, and those which were otherwise involved in, the events or actions leading to a peacekeeping operation. It was on that basis that eight previous General Assembly resolutions had requested the payment of compensation to the United Nations for the damage incurred as a result of the attack on the peacekeeping post in Qana. That request was reiterated in the fourth preambular paragraph and in paragraphs 2, 3 and 14 of the draft resolution before the Committee.

68. Ms. Arce de Gabay (Peru) said that, while her delegation had voted in favour of the paragraphs, it believed that the political elements they contained would be best dealt with in a different context.

69. Mr. Wittmann (United States of America) said that, although his delegation strongly supported the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), it could not endorse the draft text, which contained paragraphs that were unacceptable to his delegation. It therefore wished to request a recorded vote on the draft resolution as a whole.

70. At the request of the representative of the United States of America, a recorded vote was taken on the draft resolution as a whole.

In favour:

Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:

None.

71. Draft resolution A/C.5/57/L.78 as a whole was adopted by 129 votes to 2.

72. Ms. Thorpe (Australia), speaking also on behalf of Canada and New Zealand, said that those delegations were pleased that the adoption of the draft resolution provided for the necessary continuation of the financing of UNIFIL, but were concerned that the paragraphs voted on separately contained political elements inappropriate for a financing resolution. They had therefore abstained in that vote. The paragraphs in question undermined longstanding budgetary principles on the financing of peacekeeping operations based on collective responsibility. Only 23 Member States had met their financial obligations to UNIFIL in full and Member States were therefore urged to pay their assessed contributions without delay.

73. Mr. Vassilakis (Greece), speaking on behalf of the European Union countries, said that they had abstained from the vote on the fourth preambular paragraph and paragraphs 3, 4 and 14 but had voted in favour of the draft resolution as a whole. Their position on the issues involved was well known and had been expressed on previous occasions.

/...

The meeting rose at 6.10 p.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.



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