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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/C.3/59/SR.53
17 December 2004

Third Committee

Summary record of the 53rd meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 24 November 2004, at 10 a.m.

Chairman: Mr. Kuchinsky ................................................................... (Ukraine)
later: Ms. Groux (Vice-Chairman) ................................................ (Switzerland)



Contents

Agenda item 99: Implementation of the outcome of the Fourth World Conference on Women and of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly entitled “Women 2000: gender equality, development and peace for the twenty-first century” ( continued)

Agenda item 103: Elimination of racism and racial discrimination (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 10.25 a.m.

...

Agenda item 103: Elimination of racism and racial discrimination ( continued)


Draft resolution on global efforts for the total elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive implementation and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (A/C.3/59/L.71)

16. Mr. Al-Motawa (Qatar), speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, said that a consensus had been reached during the informal consultations, which had been facilitated by the delegation of South Africa.

17. Mr. Montwedi (South Africa) drew attention to the revised text which had been circulated to the Committee. Most of the changes had been made to bring the text into line with General Assembly resolution 58/160, which had been adopted at the previous session. In paragraph 32, the word “by” in the second line should be deleted. In the third line of paragraph 35, the words “in consultation with Member States” should be deleted; in the fourth line, a comma should be inserted after “seminar”.

18. Mr. Khane (Secretary of the Committee) said that the statement of programme budget implications for the draft resolution had been read out when the text had been introduced. Because of lack of time, it had not been possible for the Budget Division to review the revised text. He therefore reserved the right to supplement the statement of programme budget implications when the draft resolution was taken up by the General Assembly.

19. The Chairman said that the delegation of the United States of America had requested that a recorded vote should be taken on the draft resolution.

20. A recorded vote was taken on draft resolution A/C.3/59/L.71, as orally revised .

In favour:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Israel, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Australia, Canada.

21. Draft resolution A/C.3/59/L.71, as orally revised, was adopted by 175 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions .

...

24. Ms. Kleitman (Israel) said that her delegation had voted against the draft resolution because it believed that it was in direct opposition to the principles it purported to represent. Israel had always lent its full support to any good faith initiative aimed at eradicating racism, racial discrimination and related forms of intolerance. The history of the Jewish people, replete with the most horrible acts of intolerance and genocide the world had ever known, required no less. Precisely because of that commitment to oppose racism, however, it could not support the outcome of the Durban Conference.

25. The hijacking of the Durban Conference had been disturbing from the perspective of any individual committed to the idea that the international community must work together to combat racism and racial discrimination. The fact that the Conference had been transformed into a vehicle to isolate and attack Israel had been a subversion of the goodwill of many and a disservice to those who would have benefited from genuine action against racism.

26. What had transpired there represented a serious regression in attempts to erase racism and racial discrimination. Certain delegations and NGOs had used the opportunity to single out one country for slanderous and hateful accusations, and her delegation, along with that of the United States of America, had been compelled to withdraw from the Conference. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict had been repeatedly invoked, despite the fact that it was a political and territorial conflict with no place at a conference dealing with racism. That conflict involved two peoples, both with rights, grievances and responsibilities, and it could only be resolved by a renunciation of violence and a commitment to negotiations based on a spirit of compromise and mutual recognition.

27. Regardless of the Committee’s actions, Israel remained dedicated to confronting racism and racial intolerance, and would continue to exert every effort to that end.

...

The meeting rose at 12.55 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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