03/12/2001
Press Release
GA/9987



Fifty-sixth General Assembly

Plenary

72nd Meeting (AM)


CONCLUDING CONSIDERATION OF QUESTION OF PALESTINE, SITUATION IN MID-EAST,


ASSEMBLY ADOPTS SIX DRAFT TEXTS BY RECORDED VOTE


The General Assembly called on the international community to exert all efforts to implement the recommendations of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee, also known as the Mitchell Committee.  The Assembly made that call in one of four resolutions adopted this morning on the question of Palestine, and in another two texts adopted on the overall situation in the Middle East.  The Assembly adopted all four drafts by recorded vote, to conclude its consideration of the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East.


The draft on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine was adopted by a recorded vote of 131 in favour, six against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Tuvalu, United States), and 20 abstaining.  By it, the Assembly affirmed the right of all States to live in peace within secure borders, and reaffirmed that the question of Palestine was the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  (See Annex VI.)


The Assembly expressed full support for the peace process that had begun in Madrid.  It called for a reversal of measures taken since 28 September 2000, when events had led to continued deaths and injuries.  Further, it stressed the need for committing to the principle of land for peace and for implementing resolutions that formed the basis of the Middle East process.


The three other drafts on Palestine concerned United Nations bodies devoted to the Palestinian people's welfare.  One was a draft on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.  Adopted by a recorded vote of 106 in favour, five against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Tuvalu, United States), and 48 abstaining, it authorized the Committee to exert all efforts to promote those rights.  (Annex III.)


By a resolution on the Secretariat's Division for Palestinian Rights, adopted by a recorded vote of 107 in favour, five against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Tuvalu, United States), and 47 abstaining, the Assembly asked the Division to continue its coordinating work (Annex IV) in particular with the Palestinian Rights Committee and the Department of Public Information (DPI), on its special information programme on the question of Palestine.  A resolution on the DPI programme was adopted by a recorded vote of 153 in favour, four against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, United States), and three abstaining (Nauru, Tuvalu, Vanuatu).  (Annex V.)


Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote on those drafts, Israel's representative said terrorist tactics obscured the peace process.  The representative of the Russian Federation said the violence of the weekend was a

cruel and pointless way to try and resolve the conflict.  He called on Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat to control extremist elements.


The representatives of Papua New Guinea, Canada, Belgium, Mexico and United Kingdom spoke in explanation of vote after the vote, as did those of the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Paraguay, Germany, Israel, Egypt and Syria.


Speaking in exercise of the right to reply, the Observer of Palestine said Israel did not respect the majority of Member States.  It had rejected all United Nations resolutions.  Further, as an occupying force, how could Israel condemn State-sponsored terrorism, summary executions, war crimes, and colonialism?  Such lecturing to Palestinians only led to more tension and animosity.


On the situation in the Middle East, a draft on Jerusalem was adopted by a recorded vote of 130 in favour, two against (Israel, Nauru) and 10 abstaining (Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, United States, Vanuatu, Nicaragua, Haiti, Papua New Guinea).  By the draft, the Assembly stated that Israel's imposition of its jurisdiction on Jerusalem was invalid.  (Annex I.)


A resolution on the Syrian Golan was adopted by a recorded vote of 90 in favour and five against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Tuvalu, United States) with 54 abstaining (Annex II).  By that draft, the Assembly called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan.


Speaking in explanation of vote after the vote on those resolutions were the representatives of Argentina, Belgium (on behalf of the European Union and associated States), New Zealand, Hungary, Australia, Cuba and Brunei Darussalam.


All speakers on the Middle East situation called for an immediate end to violence in the region.  Cuba's representative noted that Israel had carried out a terrible missile attack in response to recent suicide terrorist attacks, which he condemned.  He called for an international force to protect Palestinian civilians, and supported urgent recourse to the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians in Time of War.


Jordan's representative said the conflict would never be resolved with force.  He strongly condemned the killing of civilians on both sides.  He called for reciprocal steps and for Israel to stop using its military machine against the Palestinian people.


Also calling for utmost restraint on both sides, Nepal's representative recommended implementing the Mitchell Committee recommendations and the Tenet Ceasefire Plan to help de-escalate the high-running tension.  All violent activity should be avoided.  The need now was to reverse the situation and build on achievements already made toward regional stability.


Turkey's representative said the escalation of violence undermined a potential partnership between two ancient peoples.  The fighting must stop.  Each side must limit its reactions to achieve long-term goals, namely security for Israel and a viable political system for the Palestinians.  The Mitchell Report and Tenet Plan were the road map.  Meanwhile, both sides must renounce terrorism in all its forms, in line with the international coalition against terrorism formed after the 11 September attacks.                                     

The Assembly will meet again at 3:00 p.m. to take up the causes of conflict and the promotion of durable peace and sustainable development in Africa.


Background


The General Assembly is expected to conclude its consideration of the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East.


The Assembly has before it four resolutions under the question of Palestine (documents A/56/L.19, A/56/L.20, A/56/L.21, A/56/L.22) and two resolutions under the situation in the Middle East (documents A/56/L.23, A/56/L.24).


For background information on the question of the Middle East, see Press Release GA/9985 of 30 November.  For background information on the question of Palestine, see Press Release GA/9984 of 29 November.


Statements


BRUNO RODRIGUEZ PARRILLA (Cuba) said the situation in the region was deteriorating, developing into the most serious crisis of the past few years.  The cycle of violence and State terrorism systematically wiped out the hope that a dialogue would lead towards peace.  The illegal settlement policy in occupied Palestinian territory continued.  Serious violations of international humanitarian law and the human rights of the Palestinian people also continued.


This morning, a terrible missile attack was carried out by the Israeli army, he said.  Illegal executions and destruction of housing were taking place.  The economic situation of the Palestinian people was deteriorating because of blockades and other sanctions.  Physical and psychological attacks were taking place, including deprivation of food.  Innocent Israeli civilians were also victims of the cycle of terror.  He condemned the suicide terrorist attacks against Israel.


There would not be a lasting peace if Israel did not give up its policy of occupation, he said, if the Security Council did not enforce its many resolutions, and if one permanent member continued to exercise its right to veto, he said.  Urgently needed was a reform of the Security Council which would eliminate or restrict the use of the veto.  Recent history in the region would have been different if that permanent member had not exercised its veto power 36 times since 1972.  It was necessary to put an end to the occupation by Israel of Palestinian territories, the Syrian Golan and some parts of Lebanon.  The issue of refugees and displaced persons should also be addressed.  An international force to protect Palestinian civilians should also be established.  He supported urgent recourse to the fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians in Time of War.


UMIT PAMIR (Turkey) said that the escalation of violence had undermined the noble efforts directed at building bridges of reconciliation and partnership between two ancient peoples.  The current standstill, infused with violence, was robbing the people and the region of a healthy prospect for a secure and enlightened future.  Each precious day since the groundbreaking report of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee, each ominous new development, had vindicated the basic wisdom of the Mitchell Report.  Indeed, its recommendations were the only viable path towards breaking the cycle of violence and reviving the peace process.


The fighting must stop, he said.  Each side should do its utmost to prevent it and limit its reactions in order to achieve peace and long-term goals.  At the same time, terrorism in all its forms should be unequivocally renounced.  It was high time for everyone to understand that searching for sense in acts of terrorism was futile, self-defeating, anti-humanitarian and outright dangerous.  Hopefully, the international coalition against terrorism forged in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks would encourage both parties in the Middle East to seek lasting peace. 


He said his country had urged the parties to deescalate the tensions on the ground so that they could meet each other’s fundamental needs -– namely, security for Israel and a viable political perspective for the Palestinians.  Their determination to take possession of their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination and to a State of their own, was just.  The Mitchell Report was realistic and balanced, and the Tenet Plan had outlined the parameters clearly:  they were the pillars of a genuine road map for peace.  The active involvement of the United States was also heartily welcome.  The equation put forth by that country's Secretary of State bore repeating:  to establish the State of Palestine beside its neighbour, Israel -- living in peace, security and dignity.


ZEID RA’AD ZEID AL-HUSSEIN (Jordan) said Palestine had become the target of unjustified military action by Israel, which would only result in more bloodshed and a deterioration in relations between the two parties.  Peace would never occur if Israel continued to blockade Palestine, make incursions into its territories, expand its settlements and deny the rights of the Palestinian people.  The conflict would never be resolved with force, and Jordan strongly condemned the killing of civilians on both sides.  Reciprocal steps must be taken and Israel must stop using its military machine against the Palestinian people.


Peace must be just, lasting and comprehensive, he continued.  Security Council resolutions on the matter had still not been implemented, several decades after their adoption.  The peace process had been based on known and firm principles such as land for peace, but could not be implemented without full Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories and without the existence of two States, on the basis of Security Council resolutions.  He hoped the United States, the European Union and Russia would continue to support the creation of a Palestinian State.


The Security Council had treated East Jerusalem as a special case and had adopted resolutions rejecting its annexation by Israel.  It had also rejected legislation and works that had changed the character and demographic nature of the city.  East Jerusalem was an occupied territory according to Security Council resolutions.  Jordan would like to see the city as a symbol of peace in the region, but that would not occur until properties were returned to their rightful owners.  The Palestinian people had been forced out of their homes and that question, one of the most vital to peace in the region, was still waiting for a just resolution under international law.


UMA KANT CHAUDHARY (Nepal) said the establishment of a just, durable and comprehensive peace in the Middle East was only possible through full implementation of Security Council resolutions 242 and 338.  Both sides must exercise the utmost restraint in order to create an environment conducive to peace.  His country had observed the outbreak of violence and the destruction of precious human lives and property with great anxiety.  It looked forward to the adoption of practical measures leading to a restoration of peace.  Implementation of the recommendations of the Mitchell Committee and the Tenet Ceasefire Plan could play a very positive role in deescalating the tension presently running so high. 


Hopefully, he said, the international community's attention had now been drawn to the need for the exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinians to self-determination, with the creation of an independent State.  He was encouraged by the recent overtures of the United States Government, aimed at closer involvement in the efforts to bring about peace.  All violent activity should be avoided.  Only a return to the negotiating table, involving all parties concerned, could lead to the promotion of peace and prosperity in the region.  The need of the hour was to reverse the present situation and build on achievements made so far to establish regional stability.


Action on draft resolutions A/56/L.23 and L.24


The Assembly had before it two draft resolutions:  A/56/L.23 on Jerusalem and A/56/L.24 on the Syrian Golan.  Recorded votes had been requested.


Before taking action, the meeting was suspended for about 70 minutes.


After the resumption of the meeting, it was announced that Pakistan had become a co-sponsor of draft resolutions A/56/L.23 and A/56/L.24.


In a recorded vote of 130 in favour, two against (Israel, Nauru), and 10 abstaining (Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, United States, Vanuatu, Nicaragua, Haiti, Papua New Guinea), the Assembly adopted draft resolution A/56/L.23.


By a recorded vote of 90 in favour, five against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Tuvalu, United States), and 54 abstaining, the Assembly then adopted draft resolution A/56/L.24.


Explanation of vote after the vote


MATEO ESTREME (Argentina), speaking in explanation of vote, said his country had voted in favour of draft resolution L.24 because it was linked to the illegality of taking a territory by force.  Article 2, paragraph 4 of the United Nations Charter prohibited the use of force against the territorial integrity of a State.  That was the imperative norm of international law.


JEAN DE RUYT (Belgium), speaking in explanation of vote on behalf of the European Union, said the Union was firmly committed to a just, global, lasting solution on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, the principle of land for peace, and the Oslo agreements.  The deteriorating situation in the Middle East had caused the European Union great concern, and he called on the Israelis and the Palestinians to return immediately to the negotiating table without preconditions, on the basis of the recommendations in the Mitchell Report and the Tenet Plan.


The European Union also wished to point out that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region would not be complete without takinginto account the Israel-Syria and Israel-Lebanon aspects.  The draft resolution on the Syrian Golan contained geographical references that could undermine the outcome of bilateral negotiations.  For that reason, as in previous years, the European Union had abstained from the vote.


TREVOR HUGHES (New Zealand) said if he had been able to vote on A/56/L.23, he would have voted in favour of that draft.  He hoped that could be registered in the official records.


LEVENTE SZEKELY (Hungary) announced that he would have voted in favour of draft resolution A/56/L.23 and would have abstained on L.24.


BASSIM BLAZEY (Australia) said his vote on A/56/L.23 had been recorded incorrectly.  He had voted in favour of that draft.


ORLANDO REQUIJO CUAL (Cuba) said that, had his delegation been present, it would have voted in favour of A/56/L.23.


DARMAWATI AHMAD (Brunei Darussalam) said that, had she been present, she would have voted in favour of A/56/L.23 and L.24.


The President of the Assembly, HAN SEUNG-SOO (Republic of Korea), announced that other delegations in the same situation should contact the Secretariat.


The Question of Palestine


The Assembly then took up consideration of the question of Palestine in order to take action on draft resolutions A/56/L.19 on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People; A/56/L.20 on the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat; A/56/L.21 on the Special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat; and A/56/L.22 on the Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine.


It was announced that Brunei Darussalam, Namibia, Niger, Togo and Zimbabwe had become co-sponsors of draft resolution A/56/L.19.


Action on draft resolutions


Brunei Darussalam, Namibia, Niger and Zimbabwe had become co-sponsors of draft resolution A/56/L.20 and of draft resolution A/56/L.21.


Co-sponsors of draft resolution A/56/L.22 were Brunei Darussalam, Namibia, Niger, Togo and Zimbabwe.


Recorded votes had been requested.


Explanation of vote before the vote


YEHUDA LANCRY (Israel), in explanation of vote before the vote on the Question of Palestine, said that normally this kind of draft did not prompt him to give an explanation, as he was so used to the ritual in which his country found itself in splendid isolation.  Today, after the carnage of the last 48 hours, he had decided to break with tradition and dispense with Israel’s normal silent objection.  Today, in the face of Palestinian terrorism, he could not remain indifferent; neither could he go along with the prejudice of the majority, which was based on alliances and alignments.


Peace in the view of the Palestinians was a matter of strategic choices, hence their strategy was dependent on terrorist tactics which obscured the visibility and credibility of the peace process.  The General Assembly must make a moral choice today and detach itself from the terrorist practices of the Palestinians as well as from resolutions which would legitimize Palestinian terrorism.  He appealed urgently to colleagues who had courageously marked their rejection of terrorism in all its forms.  This was the time for the General Assembly to examine its soul and conscience.


SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said his country had voted in favour of resolution L.22.  Yesterday, the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation had strongly condemned the terrorist act in Jerusalem on 1 December, describing it as a cruel and pointless means of seeking resolution to the confrontation.  He expressed his condolences to the victims’ families and called on the leadership of the Palestinian Authority to take effective measures to curb the extremists.


It was necessary to step up efforts to normalize the situation and resume the negotiating process, he said.  The senseless circle of violence, which only led to an escalation of crisis, must be broken.  Russia, the United States, the European Union and other States would continue to work at easing the tension and putting negotiations back into the political stream.


Action on draft resolutions


By a recorded vote of 106 in favour, five against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Tuvalu, United States), and 48 abstaining, the Assembly adopted draft resolution A/56/L.19 on the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.


Turning to draft resolution A/56/L.20 on the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat, the Assembly adopted that draft by a recorded vote of 107 in favour, five against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Tuvalu, United States), and 47 abstaining.


Draft resolution A/56/L.21 on the Special information Programme on the Questions of Palestine was adopted in a recorded vote of 153 Member States in favour, 4 against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and United States), and 3 abstaining (Nauru, Tuvalu and Vanuatu).


The Assembly then adopted draft resolution A/56/L.22, on the Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, as orally amended, in a recorded vote of 131 in favour, six against (Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Tuvalu, United States), and 20 abstaining.


Explanation of vote after the vote


JIMMY URE OVIA (Papua New Guinea) said his country had abstained from voting because it was concerned about the rule of law and governance in Palestinian-controlled areas, as well as the right of Israel to exist within secure borders.  Those concerns were not reflected in draft resolution L.22.


Peace could not be achieved through continued violence in the Middle East, but only through negotiations to resolve differences, he said.  Israel must recognize the right of Palestine to self-determination and to coexistence in a safe and secure environment with its neighbours.


MICHEL DUVAL (Canada) said that his country stressed the need for peaceful resolution to the conflict in the Middle East.  There could be no resolution but through diplomatic channels.  Palestine and Israel were both suffering, and both needed to take steps towards a peaceful settlement.  Canada had abstained in the vote on draft resolution L.22 because the text did not sufficiently recognize the violence against civilians on both sides of the conflict.


JEAN DE RUYT (Belgium), speaking on behalf of the European Union, explained his position on A/56/L.19 and A/56/L.20, saying the European Union was convinced that the framework of the peace process, which had been laboriously constructed in the course of negotiations and agreements between the different parties, represented the only reasonable hope of ending the conflict.  Despite his deep concern about the ever-deteriorating situation in the Middle East, he continued to call on Israelis and Palestinians to return, without preconditions, to the path of negotiation on the basis of the recommendations in the Mitchell Report and the Tenet Plan.


The European Union regretted the fact that the terms of reference of the two United Nations bodies dealing with the question of Palestine did not sufficiently reflect the spirit of the peace process, which must be revived as a matter of necessity and urgency.  For that reason, the European Union had abstained from voting on those two draft resolutions, as in the past.


PABLO MACEDO (Mexico) said his country had voted in favour of draft resolution L.22 because a peaceful settlement of the Palestine question was one of the indispensable elements of the Middle East conflict.  However, he noted that paragraph 3 mentioned the return of land in exchange for peace.  That formula was useful, but it was presumptuous to convert it into an international legal principle.  In the preambular section of draft resolution L.24, references were made to the formula of land for peace.  The word formula was more appropriate in expressing that concept.


     ALISTAIR HARRISON (United Kingdom) said his country associated itself with the statement in debate and the explanations of vote by the representative of Belgium.  His country also supported the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine.  To find such a settlement, both sides must make difficult decisions in the cause of peace, and both had responsibilities and obligations.  Resolution L.22 was clear about the responsibility on the Israeli side and the United Kingdom supported this, but it did not reflect the belief that the Palestinian side must also implement its obligations, particularly by preventing violence against Israeli civilians, including suicide bombings.


At a time of concern about the protection of civilians, the General Assembly had missed an opportunity to register its reactions with balanced language condemning violence against civilians.  That was why his country abstained on the text on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine.


DIRK JAN VAN DEN BERG (Netherlands) said his country supported the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, in which both sides had to face difficult choices.  The text of the draft resolution did not reflect the obligations and responsibilities of both parties:  specifically, it did not refer to killing and wounding of civilians, including suicide bomb attacks as witnessed this weekend.


Mr. BLAZEY (Australia) said his country had abstained from voting on draft resolution L.22, even though it believed there must be a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question.  He acknowledged that Palestine had suffered enormously, but the resolution did not adequately recognize the losses on both sides.  He rejected the use of violence and urged both sides to seek peace based on the relevant Security Council resolutions and the principle of land for peace.


     TREVOR HUGHES (New Zealand) said that his country had voted in favour of resolution L.22, but not without reservation.  He would have wished to have seen a more balanced text, particularly in preambular paragraph 16, which should have acknowledged the great losses on both sides.


OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said his country continued to reject the use of violence, especially against civilians.  The horrific acts of the weekend had obliged the international community to speak out against it.  The conflict could never be resolved by the use of violence, and both sides had the responsibility of controlling violence.  The need to protect civilians had not been sufficiently reflected in the draft resolution, specifically the responsibility of the Palestinian side in that regard.  He had therefore abstained from voting.


ELLEN MARGRETHE LOJ (Denmark) said her country strongly supported the peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question.  But it had abstained from voting because the resolution did not reflect support for a portion of the text that referred to the exclusion of violence against civilians.


     ELARIO LOIZAGA (Paraguay) said that his country had abstained from the vote on draft resolution L.22 because it would have liked to see references to the most recent events.  It was necessary to indicate to both parties the need to provide security guarantees for their civilian populations.


HANNS HEINRICH SCHUMACHER (Germany) said he associated himself with the statement made by Belgium.  Germany found it necessary to abstain from voting on draft resolution A/56/L.22.  He urged both parties to end the senseless cycle of violence, the necessity for which was not reflected in an evenhanded manner in the draft resolution.  The conflict could not be solved by military means, nor by indiscriminate acts of violence against civilians by both sides.


NASSER AL-KIDWA, Permanent Observer of Palestine, in concluding consideration of the question of Palestine, noted that no delegation had voted against draft resolution L.22 except Israel and Nauru.  That outcome proved that the international community accepted Israel’s position as well as that of the Palestinian Authority.


The Palestinian leadership had condemned the attacks on Israel over the past few days, he said.  It had expressed rage over those attacks, not only because of the violence on civilians, but because of the damage it caused to the Palestinian national cause and efforts to resume peace talks.  Today, Israeli helicopter gunships had fired missiles near the offices of Chairman Yasser Arafat and destroyed two Palestinian Authority helicopters.  Yesterday, the Israeli occupation forces had shot to death five Palestinians, and the day before they had killed three children.  He underlined that Israel had not ceased violating the Fourth Geneva Convention in its deliberate killings, war crimes and State-sponsored terrorism.


Israel had endeavoured to impose its own peculiar agenda on the debate on terrorism this year through its friends in the United States, he said.  That agenda was to take hostage the battle against terrorism, linking the United States’ campaign in Afghanistan to what Israel was doing, as if it were the same battle.  The United States was not an occupying power in Afghanistan and had not denied any people their right to self-determination for over 35 years.  What Israel was asserting was a cheap shot, and would do great damage to the fight against international terrorism.  Yes, terrorist acts had been committed inside Israel, but that had only begun a few years ago and was not the cause of the present situation.  The reasons for that terrorism were Israel’s colonial settlement, the seizure of land and water resources, and the isolation of Palestinian people in their towns.  The reasons were war crimes and State-sponsored terrorism.


The refusal by some friendly States to vote in favour of the peaceful settlement of Palestine was a step in the wrong direction, he concluded.  It was a position, whether deliberate or not, that would make facing terrorism the only task in the region.  Palestine could not accept that line of argument.  That position provided a convenient cover for Israel so that it could continue its bloody campaign against the Palestinian people, and avoid putting an end to its occupation of Palestinian territory.  What was most important was to put an end to occupation.


YEHUDA LANCRY (Israel) thanked the representatives of many delegations for their condolences and their condemnation of Palestinian terrorism.  He had noted with satisfaction that with a certain number of delegations, Israel’s appeal in the explanation of vote seemed to have been heeded, and that a certain message –- however muffled -- had been transmitted to the Palestinian side.  Fourteen months of Palestinian terrorism had done nothing for the Palestinian cause, and today’s vote had testified to that.  Some delegates had also noted the inadequacies of resolution L.22, thus offsetting the deepening gulf being dug by the Palestinian delegation in this resolution.


He said the international community was duty-bound to denounce Palestinian terrorism without ambiguity or understatement.  It was only by revealing the true nature of Palestinian terrorism that the international community could truly help the peace process.  Palestine had often mentioned the use of excessive force by Israel.  Perhaps they could one day explain how they, in their suicide vocation, were refraining from excessive force?  In the Jerusalem and Haifa attacks there was no moderate use of force, nor act of justice.  He associated himself with the hope expressed by the permanent representative of Palestine that next year they could both return in much better circumstances.


AHMED ABOUL GHEIT (Egypt), speaking as Chairman of the Arab Group for this month and as one of the co-sponsors of the drafts, explained his position on resolution A/56/L.22.  He said amendments proposed this morning [in consultations during the suspension of the Assembly meeting] would have reflected the incidents of the past two days, including the terrorist acts which Egypt and the international community as well as the Palestinian Authority had condemned.  He had agreed that references would be made to terrorist acts against civilians. 

Regrettably, the countries which had called for that amendment had not accepted his proposed reference to restrictions on the use of force.


FAYSSAL MEKDAD (Syria) said his country had voted in favour of draft resolution L.24 because it sent a clear message that Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights was unacceptable.  Building settlements and trampling the rights of people were also unacceptable.  In draft resolution L.24, the General Assembly was declaring that Israel’s decision to impose its laws and jurisdiction was null and void.  The Assembly was affirming that continued occupation was a stumbling block to lasting peace in the region.  The occupying Power should listen to that voice and understand that the current situation could not be resolved without its withdrawal from occupied territory.


     Right of Reply


NASSER AL-KIDWA, Permanent Observer of Palestine, exercising his right to reply, said that he did not understand what the representative of Israel had said on the result of the vote.  The traditional position of Israel was one that did not respect the majority of the members present.  Israel had rejected all the resolutions adopted by the United Nations in all its organs.  No single resolution had been adopted in favour of Israel’s point of view, because it was illegitimate. It was his hope that the representative of Israel would understand the pronouncements of the international community and not interpret them according to his own point of view.


As a representative of a people under occupation, he felt pain when the representative of Israel sought to lecture the Palestinians on moral grounds.  The representative of Israel spoke for an occupying force.  How could he condemn State-sponsored terrorism and summary executions, war crimes, and colonialism?  He should stop giving the Palestinians pointless lectures on morality and ethics.  It was unfair and unjust and would only lead to more tension and animosity.


(annexes follow)


ANNEX I


Vote on Jerusalem


The draft resolution on Jerusalem (document A/56/L.23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 130 in favour to two against, with 10 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Israel, Nauru.


Abstaining:  Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Haiti, Marshall Islands, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, United States, Vanuatu.


Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, El Salvador, Gabon, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Hungary, Kiribati, Lesotho, Lithuania, Malawi, New Zealand, Palau, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, South Africa, Swaziland, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Uganda.


(END OF ANNEX I)


ANNEX II


Vote on The Syrian Golan


The draft resolution on the Syrian Golan (document A/56/L.24) was adopted by a recorded vote of 90 in favour to five against, with 54 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against: Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, United States.


Abstaining:  Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Yugoslavia.


Absent:  Albania, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Gabon, Gambia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Hungary, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Palau, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Swaziland, Turkmenistan, Uganda.


Resolution 56/32 was adopted by 90 votes to 5, with 54 abstentions (resolution A/56/L.24).


(END OF ANNEX II)


ANNEX III


Vote on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People


The draft resolution on the Committee on Palestinian rights (document A/56/L.19) was adopted by a recorded vote of 106 in favour to five against, with 48 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against: Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, United States.


Abstaining:  Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, United Kingdom, Vanuatu, Yugoslavia.


Absent:  Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Gabon, Gambia, Kiribati, Lesotho, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Swaziland, Turkmenistan.


(END OF ANNEX III)


ANNEX IV


Vote on the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat


The draft resolution on the Division for Palestinian rights (document A/56/L.20) was adopted by a recorded vote of 107 in favour to five against, with 47 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, United States.


Abstaining:  Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, United Kingdom, Vanuatu, Yugoslavia.


Absent:  Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Gabon, Gambia, Kiribati, Lesotho, Malawi, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Seychelles, Swaziland, Turkmenistan.


(END OF ANNEX IV)


ANNEX V


Vote on the Special Information Programme on the Question of Palestine in the Department of Public Information


The draft resolution on the Department of Public Information programme on Palestine (document A/56/L.21) was adopted by a recorded vote of 153 in favour to four against, with three abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, 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, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against:  Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, United States.


Abstaining:  Nauru, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.


Absent:  Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Gabon, Gambia, Kiribati, Lesotho, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Swaziland, Tonga, Turkmenistan.


(END OF ANNEX V)


ANNEX VI


      Vote on the Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine


The draft resolution on peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question (document A/56/L.22) was adopted by a recorded vote of 131 in favour to six against, with 20 abstentions, as follows:


In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


Against: Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Tuvalu, United States.


Abstaining:  Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Romania, Rwanda, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom.


Absent:  Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Gabon, Gambia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Lesotho, Palau, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Swaziland, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Vanuatu.


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