ASSEMBLY SEEKS CONTINUED WORK TOWARDS CONVENTION AGAINST TERRORISM; SUPPORT URGED FOR STATUTE OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

12 December 2000
GA/9845

ASSEMBLY SEEKS CONTINUED WORK TOWARDS CONVENTION AGAINST TERRORISM; SUPPORT URGED FOR STATUTE OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

12/12/2000
Press ReleaseGA/9845

Fifty-fifth General Assembly

Plenary

84th Meeting (AM)

ASSEMBLY SEEKS CONTINUED WORK TOWARDS CONVENTION AGAINST TERRORISM;

SUPPORT URGED FOR STATUTE OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

Action Also Taken on Other Texts from Legal Committee, Affecting

Nationality Questions, Diplomatic Protection, Consequences of Sanctions

The General Assembly this morning endorsed the continuation of negotiations on a comprehensive convention on international terrorism next year, as it adopted two decisions and fourteen resolutions recommended by its Sixth Committee (Legal).  The texts covered a range of issues such as amendments to the Statute of the Administrative Tribunal of the United Nations, nationality questions, assistance to third States affected by United Nations sanctions, protection and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and their representatives, and preparatory work on the establishment of an international criminal court.

The President of the Assembly, Harri Holkeri (Finland), announced that he had appointed Tuiloma Slade (Samoa) and Alan Simcock (United Kingdom) as co-chairpersons of the second meeting of the open-ended informal consultative process to facilitate the annual review by the General Assembly of developments in ocean affairs, to be held at Headquarters from 7 to 11 May 2001. 

He also informed the Assembly that, even though it had decided to postpone its date of recess of the current session to Friday, 15 December, the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) would not be able to conclude its work before 20 December.

The Assembly decided to postpone the date of recess of the current session to Friday, 22 December.

By a recorded voted of 151 in favour to none against with 2 abstentions (Lebanon and Syria), the Assembly decided that its Ad Hoc Committee on terrorism should hold two sessions in 2001 -- from 12 to 23 February and, within the framework of a working group of the Sixth Committee, from 15 to 26 October -- to continue work on the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism. (See Annex.)

By the text on measures to eliminate international terrorism, the Assembly asked the Ad Hoc Committee to continue to consider the question of the convening of a high-level conference under United Nations auspices to formulate a joint organized response of the international community to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.  It urged States to become party to the various anti-terrorism conventions and protocols, and to enact legislation to ensure the trial of offenders.  It also strongly condemned acts of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of the objective.

Speaking on that resolution were the representatives of Egypt (on behalf of Arab States), Sudan, Cuba, Qatar, Sierra Leone, United States, Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

By the terms of another resolution, the Assembly would amend the Statute of the Administrative Tribunal of the United Nations, with effect from 1 January 2001, to enhance its judicial character and standing.  It would replace some of the provisions of the Statute relating to the qualifications of the Tribunal’s seven members and their term of office and introduce an article by which a significant question of law could be referred for consideration by the whole Tribunal.

In another action, the General Assembly took note of a 26-article text on nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States elaborated by the International Law Commission in the form of a declaration.  The articles are annexed to the resolution.  The Assembly, considering that the Commission’s work on the topic would provide a useful guide for practice, invited governments to take account of the provisions of the articles.

Adopting a text on the International Law Commission, the Assembly reiterated its invitation to governments to respond in writing by 28 February 2001 to the questionnaire on unilateral acts of States as well as requests for materials on the topic.  They were also to submit the most relevant national legislation, decisions of domestic courts and State practice on diplomatic protection to assist the Commission in its work on the subject.  The Assembly approved a split session by the Commission to be held at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 23 April to 1 June and from 2 July to 10 August 2001.

By the provisions of a resolution covering the effects of United Nations sanctions on third States, the Assembly renewed its invitation to the Security Council to consider further mechanisms or procedures for consulting with those States on their requests for assistance.  The Secretary-General was to ensure that competent units within the Secretariat develop adequate capacity to collate information about international assistance available to them.

By a related resolution, the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization would give priority to the implementation of United Nations Charter provisions on assistance to the third States.  The Assembly set the next session of the Special Committee from 2 to 12 April 2001.

By a draft resolution on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the General Assembly emphasized the need for higher priority to be given to the Commission’s work in view of the increasing value of the modernization of international trade law for global economic development.  It appealed to governments to reply to a questionnaire on the legal regime governing the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.  

The Assembly adopted a text on effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives, strongly condemning acts of violence against such missions and persons.  It similarly condemned acts against representatives and officials of international intergovernmental organizations, emphasizing that the actions can never be justified.  Alarmed by such recent incidents, the Assembly urged States to ensure the protection, security and safety of missions, diplomats and officials.

By the draft resolution on the Committee on Relations with the Host Country, the Assembly asked the host country (United States) to consider removing the travel restrictions it had imposed on staff of certain missions and those of the United Nations Secretariat of certain nationalities.  It also asked the host country to continue to take all measures necessary to prevent any interference with the functioning of missions accredited to the United Nations.

In one of two decisions, the Assembly would resume consideration of the legal aspects of international economic relations at its fifty-eighth session in 2003, under an item entitled "Progressive development of the principles and norms of international law relating to the new international economic order”.  By the other decision, the Assembly deferred to its fifty-sixth session in

2001 action on a request for Observer status in the General Assembly by the Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.

Acting on similar requests, it adopted two resolutions granting Observer status in its sessions and its work for the Inter-American Development Bank and the Economic Community of Central African States.

By the terms of a text on the Establishment of the International Criminal Court, the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to reconvene the Preparatory Commission on the Court from 26 February to 9 March 2001 and from 24 September to 5 October 2001.  The Commission is laying the groundwork for the effective functioning of the future court which will try individuals for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.  The Assembly called upon all States to sign, ratify or accede to the Rome Statute establishing the Court.  It was said that so far 118 countries had signed the Rome Statute establishing the Court, and 25 had ratified it.  Sixty ratifications are needed for the Court to be formally established.

By the terms of one of the other resolutions adopted this morning, the Assembly appealed to all States parties to the 1949 Geneva Conventions to become parties to their Additional Protocols relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts.  They were also called upon to become parties to the

1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two Protocols, and to other relevant treaties on international humanitarian law relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict.

By another resolution, the Assembly decided to establish an ad hoc committee on jurisdictional immunities of States and their property to resolve outstanding issues, with a view to elaborating a generally acceptable instrument based on the draft articles adopted by the International Law Commission in 1991.  The committee would meet for two weeks in March 2002.

The Assembly will meet again on Thursday, 14 December, at 10 a.m. to take up the report of the Secretary-General on strengthening the coordination of the United Nations “emergency and disaster relief assistance, and other matters.

Assembly Work Programme

The General Assembly met this morning to consider the reports of the Sixth Committee (Legal) containing recommendations on a range of issues such as measures to eliminate international terrorism, amendments to the statute of the Administrative Tribunal of the United Nations, nationality questions and Observer status in the General Assembly for regional bodies.

Sixth Committee Reports

By a draft decision on Progressive development of the principles and norms of international law relating to the new international economic order (document A/55/604), the General Assembly would decide to resume consideration of the legal aspects of international economic relations at its fifty-eighth session in 2003.  The Committee approved the draft decision without a vote on 10 November.

By a draft text on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts (document A/55/605), the General Assembly would appeal to all States parties to the Conventions to become parties to the additional Protocols and to ensure their wide dissemination and full implementation.

The Assembly would call upon States parties to Protocol I to make the declaration -– provided for under article 90 of the protocol -– to accept an International Fact-Finding Commission in relation to an armed conflict.  They would also be called upon to become parties to the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and its two Protocols, and to other relevant treaties on international humanitarian law relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict.  The Committee approved the text, without a vote, on 14 November.

By the draft resolution on Consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives (document A/55/606), the General Assembly would strongly condemn acts of violence against such missions and persons.  It would equally condemn similar acts against representatives and officials of international intergovernmental organizations, emphasizing that they can never be justified.

The Assembly, alarmed by such recent incidents, would urge States to ensure, in conformity with their international obligations, protection, security and safety of the missions, diplomats and officials.  They would also be asked to take practical measures to prohibit illegal activities that encourage perpetration of acts against the security and safety of diplomatic missions.  The text would also have States become parties to instruments relevant to the subject.  The Committee approved the text without a vote on 14 November.

By the draft resolution on the Convention on jurisdictional immunities of States and their property (document A/55/607), the General Assembly would decide to establish an ad hoc committee on jurisdictional immunities, open also to participation by States members of the specialized agencies.  The ad hoc committee would resolve outstanding issues on the text with a view to elaborating a generally acceptable instrument based on the draft articles on jurisdictional immunities adopted by the International Law Commission in

1991 and on discussions in the Sixth Committee’s open-ended working group on the topic.

The ad hoc committee would meet for two weeks in March 2002.  States would be urged to submit their comments on the working group’s report in writing by

1 August 2001.  The Committee approved the text, without a vote, on 16 November.

A draft resolution on the Report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) (document A/55/608) would have the General Assembly emphasize the need for higher priority to be given to the Commission’s work in view of the increasing value of the modernization of international trade law for global economic development.  The draft commends the Commission for the adoption of the UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects as well as the important progress made on receivables financing.

The Assembly would appeal to governments to reply to a questionnaire on the legal regime governing the recognition and enforcement of foreign arbitral awards.  It would invite States to nominate persons to work with the private foundation established to encourage assistance to the Commission from the private sector.  The draft stresses the importance of bringing into effect the conventions emanating from the Commission’s work, and urges States to sign, ratify or accede to them.  The Committee approved the text, without a vote, on

8 November.

By the draft resolution on the Report of the International Law Commission (document A55/609), the General Assembly would decide that the Commission’s next session be held at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 23 April to 1 June and from 2 July to 10 August 2001.  The Assembly would reiterate its invitation to governments to respond in writing by 28 February 2001 to the questionnaire circulated by the Secretariat, as well as to requests for materials on unilateral acts of States being studied by the Commission.  Governments would also be asked to submit the most relevant national legislation, decisions of domestic courts and State practice on diplomatic protection, to assist the Commission in its work on the subject.

The Assembly would take note of the Commission’s planned future subjects and would invite it to continue to take measures to enhance its efficiency and productivity.  It would also ask the Commission to implement previously discussed cost-saving measures.  The Assembly would recommend that the Sixth Committee begin its debate on the Commission’s next annual report on 29 October 2001, during the General Assembly’s fifty-sixth session.  The Committee approved the text, without a vote, on 15 November.

By the draft resolution on Nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States (document A/55/610), the General Assembly would take note of a 26-article text on the subject presented by the International Law Commission in the form of a declaration.  The articles are annexed to the resolution.  The Assembly, considering that the Commission’s work on the topic would provide a useful guide for practice, would invite governments to take account of the provisions of the articles.

Acknowledging that the Commission’s work could contribute to the elaboration of a convention or other appropriate instrument in the future, the Assembly would recommend the wide dissemination of the articles.  It would reiterate its invitation to governments to submit comments and observations on the codification of the subject as a convention.  A key provision of the draft articles states that every individual who, on the date of the succession of States had the nationality of the predecessor State, has the right to the nationality of at least one of the States concerned.  The Committee approved the text, without a vote, on 16 November.

By the draft resolution on the Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country (document A/55/611 and Corr.1) the General Assembly would ask the host country (United States) to consider removing the travel restrictions it had imposed on staff of certain missions and staff members of the United Nations Secretariat of certain nationalities.

In other provisions of the text, the host country would be requested to take steps to resolve the parking problem of diplomatic vehicles to respond to the growing needs of the diplomatic community.  It would also be asked to continue to take all measures necessary to prevent any interference with the functioning of missions accredited to the United Nations.  The Assembly would note that the host country would continue to ensure that representatives of Member States were issued visas in a timely manner to enable them to attend official United Nations meetings.  The Committee approved the text, without a vote, on 15 November.

By the draft resolution on Establishment of the International Criminal Court) (document A/55/612), the General Assembly would request the Secretary-General to reconvene the Court’s Preparatory Commission from 26 February to

9 March 2001 and from 24 September to 5 October 2001.  It would note that non-governmental organizations may participate in the work of the Commission by attending its plenary and other open meetings, as well as by receiving official documents and by making their own material available to delegates.

All States would be called upon to sign, ratify or accede to the Rome Statute establishing the Court.  The Assembly would encourage States to make voluntary contributions to the trust fund for the costs of the participation of least developed countries and other developing countries in the work of the Preparatory Commission.  The Committee approved the text, without a vote, on

15 November.

Document A/55/613 on the Report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization contains two draft resolutions.

By draft resolution I, the General Assembly would request the Special Committee to continue to give priority to the implementation of United Nations Charter provisions related to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions under Chapter VII of the Charter.  The Special Committee would also be asked to give similar priority to reviewing its own working methods to enhance its efficiency.

The Special Committee would further be asked to continue to consider a number of proposals:  those relating to the peaceful settlement of disputes, including the establishment of a dispute settlement service; the enhancement of the role of the International Court of Justice, and the Trusteeship Council.  According to the text, the next session of the Special Committee would be held from 2 to 12 April 2001.

By draft resolution II on Implementation of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations related to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions, the General Assembly, expressing concern about the special economic problems confronting those States, would renew its invitation to the Security Council to consider further mechanisms, or procedures for consulting with them, as early as possible.  These would include appropriate ways and means for increasing the effectiveness of the Council’s methods and procedures in considering requests for assistance by the affected States.

The Assembly would ask the Secretary-General to ensure that competent units within the Secretariat develop adequate capacity and technical procedures and guidelines to collate information about international assistance available to those third States, and to continue developing a possible methodology for assessing the adverse consequences actually incurred by them.  The Committee approved the two texts, without a vote, on 17 November.

By the draft resolution on Measures to eliminate international terrorism (document A/55/614), the General Assembly, deeply disturbed by persistent worldwide acts of terrorism, would strongly condemn them as criminal and unjustifiable, irrespective of where they were committed, and by whom.  The assembly would reiterate its call upon States to adopt further measures, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the relevant provisions of international law, including international standards of human rights, to prevent terrorism and to strengthen international cooperation in combating it.  The Assembly would also call upon States to refrain from financing, encouraging, training or supporting terrorist activities.

The Assembly would decide that its Ad Hoc Committee on terrorism meet twice in 2001 -– from 12 to 23 February and, within the framework of a working group of the Sixth Committee, from 15 to 26 October -– to continue work on the comprehensive convention on international terrorism, and on the draft international convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism.  Also on its agenda would be the question of the convening of a high-level conference under United Nations auspices to formulate a joint organized response of the international community to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

The Committee approved the text, by a recorded vote of 131 in favour to none against with 2 abstentions (Lebanon and Syria), on 22 November.

A draft resolution on Review of the Statute of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal (document A/55/615), would have the General Assembly amend the Statute of the Tribunal, with effect from 1 January 2001, to enhance its judicial character and standing.  The Assembly would amend the Statute by replacing some of its provisions relating to the qualifications of the Tribunal’s members and their term of office, and introducing an article by which a significant question of law could be referred for consideration by the whole seven-member Tribunal.

By the draft resolution, the General Assembly would also decide that members serving on the Tribunal as of 1 January 2001 would have their current term of office extended by one year.  Thereafter, provided that they have not served on the Tribunal for more than seven years, they may be re-appointed once.  The Committee approved the text, without a vote, on 16 November.

By the draft resolution on Observer status for the Inter-American Development Bank in the General Assembly (document A/55/616), the General Assembly, wishing to promote cooperation between the United Nations and the Bank, would invite it to participate as an Observer in its sessions and work.  The Sixth Committee approved the draft resolution, without a vote, on

10 November.

A draft decision on Observer Status for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance in the General Assembly (document A/55/617) would have the Assembly defer to its fifty-sixth session in 2001 a decision on the Institute’s request for Observer status.  The Committee approved the draft decision, without a vote, on 17 November.

By the draft on Observer status for the Economic Community of Central African States in the General Assembly (document A/55/648), the Assembly would invite the organization to participate in its sessions and work in the capacity of Observer.  The Committee approved the text, without a vote, on 17 November.

Action on Recommendations of Sixth Committee

DRAHOSLAV STEFANEK (Slovakia), rapporteur of the Sixth Committee, introduced the Committee’s reports.

The Assembly then proceeded to adopt, without a vote, the following texts:

-- a draft decision on progressive development of the principles and norms of international law relating to the new international economic order contained in document A/55/604;

-- the draft text on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflicts (document A/55/605);

-- the draft resolution on consideration of effective measures to enhance the protection, security and safety of diplomatic and consular missions and representatives contained in document A/55/606;

-- the draft resolution contained in the Committee’s report on the Convention on jurisdictional immunities of States and their property (A/55/607);

-- the report on the work of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) contained in document A/55/608;

-- the draft resolution on the report on the work of the International Law Commission contained in document A/55/609;

-- the draft resolution on nationality of natural persons in relation to the succession of States contained in document A/55/610;

-- the draft resolution on the Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country contained in document A/55/611;

-- the draft resolution on the establishment of the International Criminal Court contained in document A/55/612.

The Assembly then took up the report on the work of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization (A/55/613) which contains two draft resolutions.  Draft resolution I, covering the report of the Special Committee, was adopted without a vote.  Similarly, the Assembly adopted without a vote Draft resolution II, concerning the implementation of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations related to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions. 

The Assembly then took up the draft resolution contained in document A/55/614 on measures to eliminate international terrorism.  A recorded vote was requested.  The text was adopted by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to none against with 2 abstentions (Lebanon and Syria).  (See ANNEX).

MOHAMMED MAHMOUD GOMAA (Egypt) said all the Arab States endorsed his statement.  He said the Arab Group condemned all terrorist acts whether by an individual, a group or a State.  The Arab States had seriously cooperated with the coordinator of the resolution, and had showed great flexibility in the negotiations.  The Arab Group understood that the second paragraph of the preamble (which referred to all General Assembly resolutions) necessarily included resolution 46/51 of 1991 which stipulated, inter alia, that the resolution did not prejudice the right to self-determination of a people as derived from the Charter and international law.  The Arab States wished to reiterate that what took place in the occupied territories against unarmed people in Palestine, especially in recent weeks, was terrorism.  The Arab Group reiterated its support of the right of Arab people under the yoke of occupation to achieve self-determination by all means necessary, including that of armed struggle.

OMAR MOHAMMED (Sudan), in explanation of position, said his country was proud to be at the top of the list of States that had ratified or acceded to the conventions to eliminate international terrorism.  Sudan called upon all Member States to support the Assembly resolutions on terrorism, and to abide fully in letter and spirit with the objective of eliminating terrorism.  The United Nations could not in any way tolerate State terrorism, as it was the major cause of civilian suffering and social havoc in many parts of the world.  Within the context of State terrorism, the material and political support rendered to rebel movements which endorsed violence as a means of achieving political ends was the most vicious and dangerous type of terrorism.

BRUNO RODRIGUEZ (Cuba) said the resolution was extremely important.  The Assembly must fully exercise its functions in taking strong and effective actions in the struggle against international terrorism, including the negotiation of a general convention on terrorism and the convening of a high-level conference.  He said Cuba reaffirmed the validity of resolution 46/51, which established the difference between international terrorism and the struggle of peoples for self-determination, and against foreign occupation.  He said Cuba strongly condemned all acts of terrorism, but was opposed to double standards and political manipulations of the issue, through selective and discriminatory expressions of alleged condemnations.

He referred to the Cuban American National Foundation which he said had arranged a murder plot in Panama, through Posada Carriles, against President Fidel Castro.  Cuba was awaiting its request from Panama to extradite Mr. Carriles, where he was being detained.  The United States was exerting great pressure against Panama to avoid extradition.  That was no surprise, he said, since United States administrations had for decades organized, financed and carried out numerous terrorist actions against Cuba, by the use of mercenaries.

MUTLAQ ALQAHTANI (Qatar) said his delegation supported the statement of the representative of Egypt on behalf of the Arab States.  The Assembly’s resolution 46/51 repeated the right of countries to free themselves from hegemony, and for self-determination, as well as liberation from colonialist and racist regimes.  The provisions should be applied to the struggle of the Palestinian people.

ALLIEU IBRAHIM KANU (Sierra Leone) said his delegation's support for the resolution did not mean that it agreed entirely with all its provisions.  There must be a clear definition of the means being applied to the elimination process.

Rights of Reply

Speaking in right of reply, AARON JACOB (Israel) said that the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit had recognized that neither side in the conflict had a monopoly on the status of “victim”, and that both sides must act to bring about an end to the violence.  The words of the Egyptian representative, which sought to misrepresent Israel and terrorism, were unreflective of Egypt’s pronounced and greatly appreciated role as a supporter and facilitator of the Middle East peace process.

He said that to defend the bombing of innocents in the name of freedom fighting was incomprehensible.  In using that defence, certain States did a grave injustice to legitimate movements of liberation.  He urged Member States to reject that offensive claim and the political rhetoric and accusations which certain delegations had attached to it.  The forum of the Assembly was far too important to be used as a platform for narrow political agendas.

ROBERT B. ROSENSTOCK (United States) said his country rejected the false allegations and diatribes it had been subjected to by the representative of Cuba.  It declined to dignify such irresponsible behaviour by responding.  The allegations had been made by Cuba in another forum and he regretted that it had seen fit to repeat them.

Mr. RODRIGUEZ (Cuba) said the position of the United States was not supported by fact.  There would be no problems of terrorism against Cuba if it were not for the support and backing given to the aggressive United States political policy towards Cuba.  Citing the names of the two men believed responsible for the downing of a Cuban aeroplane -- Orlando Bosh and Posada Carriles -- he said Mr. Bosh moved about freely in Miami and was active politically and wrote for magazines.  Mr. Carriles had been trained by the Central Intelligence Agency and was an informant in Miami of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  He cited other instances, and said several of those arrested in Panama in the assassination plot against Fidel Castro were residents of the United States.

Mr. GOMAA (Egypt) said his statements on the situation in the territories had been documented by the United Nations and other international organizations.  He said the Israeli delegate had referred to the Middle East peace process which had nothing to do with the subject matter of terrorism.

GHASSAN OBEID (Syria) said he fully supported the statement of Egypt.  He said the Israeli statement was "just lies".  Hundreds of young people, including children, had been killed.  United Nations reports had proven the acts of Israel.  He said the harshest penalties should be imposed on Israel for not implementing United Nations resolutions.  The international community should intervene promptly to protect the Palestinians being subjected to genocide.  An international criminal court should be established to bring the Israelis responsible for those acts to justice.

He noted that Mary Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, on a visit to the region to investigate the human rights situation there, had been prevented from carrying out her task.

HOUSSAM ASAAD DIAB (Lebanon) said his delegation supported the statement of Egypt, made on behalf of the Arab States.  As he had said in the Sixth Committee, his country condemned terrorist acts such as hijacking and other acts against civilians.  Lebanon called for a distinction between State terrorism as practised by Israel, and acts carried out by those struggling for independence and freedom from foreign occupation, which was recognized as legitimate.  He spoke of Israeli bombings earlier this year which had destroyed Lebanese infrastructure, and said Israeli aggression and the killing of Palestinian children now totalling more than 300 was “real terrorism”.

Mr. JACOB (Israel) said that like his Syrian colleague he could use undiplomatic language.  He could remind members of the Assembly that Syria was a military occupier of almost half of the territory of a neighbouring state and the exploiter of its economy and resources.  Syria was a cultivator and trafficker of narcotics and it sponsored terrorism.  He could also say that Syria brutally murdered entire neighbourhoods, tens of thousands of its own citizens, in order to silence political dissent.  When a regime such as that in Syria denigrated any other country for not complying with its view of international law, he would interpret that as a compliment.

As to the statement by Lebanon, he said, Israel had withdrawn from Lebanon, thereby fulfilling its responsibilities under Security Council resolution 425.  Why did the Lebanese representative then continue to express anger and frustration over the occupation of his country?  Perhaps those sentiments had very little to do with Israel and its actions, but rather with the fact that there was another state neighbouring Lebanon which occupied its soil and violated its sovereignty.

Mr. OBEID (Syria) said his delegation had abstained in the vote because the resolution did not contain a clear distinction between State terrorism and the legitimate struggle of people under foreign occupation.  Syria's presence in Lebanon was at the request of the Lebanese authorities, he said; it had nothing to do with the Israeli occupation of Arab lands and attacks on civilians.  The Israeli allegations were baseless, he said.  Israel was the one which occupied Arab lands and should be made to comply with United Nations resolutions.

Mr DIAB (Lebanon) said the representative of Israel had chosen to speak about another question.  Israel had occupied Lebanese territory for 22 years despite United Nations calls for its withdrawal.  The relationship between his country and Syria was like that of "brothers", and was in accordance with agreements between them. 

Further Action on Drafts

The Assembly then took up the report (A/55/615) of the Committee on Review of the Statute of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal and adopted the draft resolution on the subject without a vote.

It also adopted without a vote: 

-- the draft resolution on Observer status for the Inter-American Development Bank in the General Assembly contained in document A/55/616;

-- the draft decision on Observer status for the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance in the General Assembly contained in document A/55/617;  and

-- the text on Observer status for the Economic Community of Central African States in the General Assembly contained in document A/55/648.

ANNEX

Vote on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism

The Assembly adopted the draft resolution on measures to eliminate international terrorism (contained in document A/55/614) by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  None.

Abstain:  Lebanon, Syria.

Absent:  Afghanistan, Albania, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Jamaica, Kiribati, Malawi, Mozambique, Palau, Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Suriname, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu.

* *** *

For information media. Not an official record.