Adopting Six Resolutions by Recorded Vote, General Assembly Concludes Annual Debates on Question of Palestine, Wider Middle East Situation

30 November 2012
GA/11319

Adopting Six Resolutions by Recorded Vote, General Assembly Concludes Annual Debates on Question of Palestine, Wider Middle East Situation

30 November 2012
General Assembly
GA/11319
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-seventh General Assembly

General Assembly Plenary

46th & 47th Meetings (AM & PM)

Adopting Six Resolutions by Recorded Vote, General Assembly Concludes

Annual Debates on Question of Palestine, Wider Middle East Situation

 

Concerned by Violence in Syria, Gaza Strip, Speakers Urge United Nations

To Move from Merely ‘Managing’ Conflicts in Region to Seeking Durable Solutions

The United Nations should move away from managing the Middle East crisis through repeated resolutions toward forging a lasting comprehensive political solution, the General Assembly heard today as it adopted six related relevant resolutions, all by recorded vote.

The representative of Oman was among those who expressed concern about the grave situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory caused by the continuous Israeli blockade and the imposition of a humanitarian crisis on civilians in the Gaza Strip, as well as what many delegations termed “illegal acts” to change the demographic composition of the population and the intensification of Israeli settlement activities.

“It is necessary for the international community to send a clear message to Israel to cease such practices and to call for genuine negotiations that will lead to the establishment of security and stability,” she said.  The United Nations had adopted many resolutions and policies, she added, but the issue remained a subject of concern and conflict, which had gone beyond the Middle East.  In that context, the world body should change from managing the crisis to pursuing a just and lasting comprehensive political solution that would take into account the interests of the Palestinians and the Israelis, leading to the establishment of the State of Palestine and the State of Israel living side by side.

Syria’s representative asked delegates, in particular those who held good faith in his country, to refrain from discussing the situation in Syria during today’s debate, saying that any discussion on his country’s internal situation would distract attention from the central issue.

Condemning Israel’s aggression in the region, he underscored the need to respect the United Nations Charter and other international instruments, particularly those concerning foreign occupation.  Relevant decisions should be followed up and implemented without exception.  He did not believe that “any representatives gathered here with expectation that their resolutions would later become a dead letter”.  Delegates were meeting countless times to call on Israel to put an end to its occupation, to its violations, to its settlers’ campaign and to its politics of aggression, among other illegitimate acts.

Nevertheless, several delegates expressed grave concerns about the conflict in Syria.  Deploring the deaths of many thousands of people caused by the continued violence, Japan’s speaker reiterated its call on all parties in Syria to immediately halt the violence and human rights abuses, and condemned the Syrian authorities for not keeping their own commitments and responsibilities to protect their own citizens.  He went on to welcome the foundation of the “National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces” this month, and express support for the coalition.

Turkey’s representative said the situation in Syria remained a grave humanitarian concern, stressing that entering into the cold winter season, the situation was becoming even more dramatic.  Further, he said, “the crisis has gone beyond being local and unfortunately spilled over into neighbouring countries” in the form of cross-border artillery fire and the massive movement of civilians seeking safety.  Turkey had lost five citizens in a border town, he said, and more had been injured.  The country was also host to more than 130,000 Syrians.  He stressed that the humanitarian response plans to the Syrian crisis were severely underfunded and required the further attention of the international community.

After concluding the debate on the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East, the Assembly adopted by recorded votes four resolutions on the first topic and two on the second topic.  The texts addressed issues including the illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, the work of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights and the stymied progress of the Syrian track of the Middle East peace process.

As in previous sessions, the Assembly adopted a wide-ranging text on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 5 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Honduras, Papua New Guinea and Tonga).  (Annex IV).

It also adopted a resolution on Jerusalem by a recorded vote of 162 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 6 abstentions (Cameroon, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Togo, Tonga, Vanuatu).  (Annex V)

A resolution on the Syrian Golan was adopted it by a recorded vote of 110 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 59 abstentions.  (Annex VI)

Taking the floor again, Syria’s representative said it was regrettable that certain countries, that advocated human rights, imposed sanctions against Syria, while failing to vote for resolutions that would put an end to the Israeli occupation of Syria’s territory in the Golan.  Some of those countries voted against resolutions on the Syrian Golan and Palestine — resolutions that enjoyed unprecedented support — demonstrating their political hypocrisy, their bias toward Israel and their “twisted logic”.  Israeli occupation would not have lasted were it not for those who had abstained or voted against the resolution on the Syrian Golan.  Therefore those countries also bore the consequences of the Syrian occupied Golan.

Earlier today, the Assembly concluded its annual debate on the question of Palestine.  Participating in that debate were representatives of Norway, Bolivia, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Argentina, Maldives, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Uruguay, Yemen, Iraq, India, Iceland, Ecuador, Viet Nam, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Qatar and Bahrain as well as observers from Holy See and the League of Arab States.

Also taking part in the discussion on the situation in the Middle East were representatives of Cuba, Malaysia, Pakistan, China, Iran and Indonesia.

Speaking following the Assembly’s action on the resolutions were representatives of Brazil (also on behalf of Argentina) and Singapore, as well as the observer for Palestine.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m., 3 December, to discuss recommendations by the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security).

Background

The General Assembly met today to continue and conclude its debate on the Question of Palestine and to begin its annual consideration of the situation in the Middle East.

For the first topic, delegates had before them the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (document A/67/35) and the Secretary-General’s report on peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine (document A/67/364), as well as relevant draft resolutions (A/67/L.17, A/67/L.18, A/67/L.19 and A/67/L.20).  (See Press Release GA/11317)

Under consideration for the second topic were the Secretary-General’s report on the situation in the Middle East (document A/67/342), which contains replies received from Member States in response to the note verbale dated 17 May 2012 from the Secretary-General concerning the implementation of the relevant provisions of General Assembly resolutions 66/18, entitled “Jerusalem”, and 66/19, entitled “The Syrian Golan”.  The Assembly was to take action on related draft resolutions (A/67/L.23 and A/67/L.24).  The Secretary-General’s report (document A/67/364), which was presented for the first topic, remained under review for this portion of the debate.

Introduction of Drafts and Reports on Question of Palestine

Introducing four draft resolutions, ABDOU SALAM DIALLO ( Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, said that celebration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November was no accident.  On that date in 1947, 33 Member States had met in Queens and decided to partition Palestine.  One of the States that they had envisioned was formed and became a Member of the United Nations.

And yesterday, which marked the celebration of the 2012 International Day, thanks to the overwhelming support of the international community, “the journey of the Palestinian people to freedom and to the building of an independent State took a new turn”.  Referring to the Assembly’s historic vote yesterday to accord Palestine non-Member Observer State in the United Nations, he wished the Palestinian people harmony and prosperity and even more, a new perspective for peace with Israel and all the peoples of the region.

The first three drafts he introduced reaffirmed the mandates of the Committee he chaired; the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat, and the Special Information Programme on the Question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information.  The fourth draft, entitled “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine”, reiterated the position of the General Assembly on the essential elements of such a settlement and included references to developments of the past year.  All four draft resolutions outlined positions, mandates and programmes that were of special interest, particularly at the present critical juncture.

Noting that many Members traditionally abstained from votes on the Committee and the Division, he said that advocating for the two-State solution should be accompanied by support for the only body set up by the Assembly devoted to that goal, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.  Recalling that the Organization had a permanent responsibility towards the Palestinian question until it was fully resolved, he said that the Committee was counting on the open-minded cooperation of all Members.  “It is time for all of you to take a fresh look at our Committee,” he said, calling on the Assembly to vote in favour of all four drafts.

Taking the floor next, CHRISTOPHER GRIMA, Rapporteur, Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, introduced the Committee’s report.  The last chapter of the 10-part report contained the Committee’s conclusions and recommendations, which expressed its concerns that the momentum toward the two-State solution had dissipated due to Israel’s continued expansion of illegal settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and its refusal to commit to the longstanding parameters of the peace process.

The Committee called on the international community to take concrete action to compel Israel to stop its illegal settlement activities and commit to end its 45–year military occupation of the Palestinian Territory and make peace.  It called on the Security Council to visit the region to examine the situation and make tangible efforts to advance a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Among other recommendations, the Committee, he continued, called on all Palestinian factions to unite behind the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas “for a good faith implementation of national reconciliation agreements”, which was the prerequisite for the establishment of a viable Palestinian State.  The Committee also reiterated that any sustainable recovery of the Palestinian economy required the dismantlement of the Israeli occupation and its associated settlements, checkpoints and other obstacles.

He said that in the coming year, the Committee would continue to focus its programme of international meetings and conferences on widening international support for the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.  It would also continue to encourage civil society partners to work with the national Governments and other institutions with a view to gaining full support for the work of the United Nations, including the Committee, on the question of Palestine.

Statements

MARÍA CRISTINA PERCEVAL ( Argentina) said her country was proud to be one of the 70 co-sponsors of the draft resolution on changing the status of Palestine at the United Nations.  The adopted text was a long overdue step towards the decision the Organization had yet to take:  Palestine’s admission as a full Member State.  The requirements for admission of new Member States were clearly established in Art.4.2 of the United Nations Charter.

Since the Organization’s beginning, Argentina had advocated that the Council’s Permanent Members should not be able to exercise their veto right regarding the admission of new members, she said.  Argentina noted that even an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice had determined that the conditions for the admission were “exhaustive” and that “the political nature of an organ cannot prevent it from the observance of the treaty provisions in the Charter when they limit its powers or criteria for judgement”.  In the current context, the Organization could not ignore the condition of the statehood of Palestine in exercise of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.  She noted that the heads of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) also had supported Palestine’s bid to acquire the status granted by the Assembly.

SIN SON HO (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) said his country was aligned with the majority of Member States backing the resolution on Palestine’s new status.  He congratulated Palestine for having received absolute majority recognition of statehood by the United Nations.  He said that the Security Council had turned a blind eye to Israeli atrocities and had taken now appropriate measures to address them.  That was a typical expression of double standards by the United States – taking Israel’s side and seriously damaging the Security Council’s credibility.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea had recognized Palestine as an independent sovereign state in 1988 and had established full diplomatic relations, he said.  It would continue its unwavering support for the Palestinians and all Arab people.  For a lasting peace in the Middle East, Israel’s aggressive and hostile acts against the Palestinians had to be ended and the Palestinian people’s legitimate right to nationhood had to be established.  The legitimate status of Palestine as a State in the United Nations had to be granted as early as possible.

TINE MØRCH SMITH ( Norway) said that the adoption of yesterday’s resolution was a “milestone” and that it was a “truly historic” event.  Moreover, the text was not a unilateral step by the Palestinians.  “[It] was carefully balanced and sends a clear message that the [Palestinian Liberation Organization] and President Abbas are genuinely committed to resuming negotiations on the basis of the two-State solution, she said, adding further that time was more than ripe for all Palestinians to embrace that non-violent approach.  The Assembly’s decision also underscored the recognition that Palestinian institutions were beyond the threshold for establishing a functioning State.

However, the current crisis in the Palestinian economy was of great concern, she said, stressing that it was in the interest of all people to secure a viable economy in Palestine.  Yet, a self-sustaining Palestinian economy could not be achieved as long as the occupation remained in place and illegal settlements continued to expand, encircling East Jerusalem and undermining the very concept of a two-State solution.  “The ceasefire in Gaza is fragile and deserves our full support in order to make it durable,” she continued, calling for measures that would lift restrictions on goods, construction items and personnel, in accordance with Security Council resolution 1860 (2009).  “Such initiatives would make the ceasefire more robust and help us move forward towards a normalization in the Gaza Strip,” she said.

AMIN JAVED FAIZAL (Maldives) expressing solidarity with Palestinians’ inalienable right to self-determination, “even as smoke rises from the ruins of Gaza”, he said that the Maldives would not waiver in its steadfast support for Palestine and would continue to condemn serious injustices committed in the occupied territories, as recently as last week.  Only a two-State solution could lead to the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine.  The Maldives had backed the Palestinian bid for full membership in the United Nations presented to the Security Council last year, he said.  Statehood would bring a sense of leadership, responsibility and compulsion that came with the business of governance.  While a sovereign Palestine was the ultimate objective, he called the granting of non-Member Observer State status a landmark achievement.

He further hailed the recent Gaza ceasefire and commended the Egyptian Government, the United States and United Nations for preventing further escalation of the crisis.  He condemned military strikes on highly populated areas in Gaza and called on Hamas to cease all rocket attacks on Israel, also stating that Israel’s illegal settlement expansion undermined peace efforts and was at the crux of the stalemate facing the global community.  Israel acted with total impunity, “making a mockery of international humanitarian and human rights law”, he continued.  As the occupying Power, the onus was on Israel to demonstrate its obligations under international law to cease all settlement activity in the occupied territories.

SALEUMXAY KOMMASITH (Lao People’s Democratic Republic) endorsed the statement of the Non-Aligned Movement and congratulated the Palestinian people on passage of the resolution yesterday according Palestine non-Member Observer State status.  Calling it a critical issue of global justice and a “defining test” for the Organization, he said that Member States must work towards the realization of the inalienable rights of Palestinians.  Those rights included the rights of return and self-determination, as well as their aspirations to freedom, prosperity, peace and justice in an independent sovereign State, based on the pre-1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.  He added that acquisition of United Nations status as a recognized State did not negate Palestine’s commitment to resolving conflict through dialogue and peaceful means.

Further, he said, continued illegal settlement activity on occupied land constituted a breach of international law and impeded the peace process, and that such provocative acts should stop immediately.  Looking towards a just, lasting, comprehensive and peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israel conflict, in keeping with relevant United Nations resolutions and the Quartet road map, he called on the parties to resume and accelerate direct peace negotiations towards the conclusion of a final peaceful settlement on that basis.  He reaffirmed support for the Palestinian people in attaining their long-delayed goal of a viable, peaceful and prosperous State of Palestine that is a full-fledged Member of the United Nations.

SACHA LLORENTTY SOLÍZ (Bolivia), associating his delegation with the position of the Non-Aligned Movement, said that Bolivia upheld the cause of the Palestinian people and called for the establishment of a Palestinian State, based on pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.  Yesterday had been a historic day in which the Assembly met its “unavoidable” obligation to grant new status to the Palestinians.  Bolivia had voted in favour of the resolution, and condemned Israel’s crimes and occupation, including the illegal settlements that were spreading throughout Palestinian territory.  “Let us hope that the resolution adopted by this august assembly will put an end to the bombings, the attacks, the killings,” and would bring about peace.

JOSÉ LUIS CANCELA (Uruguay), recalling the speech given by the Permanent Representative of Uruguay in 1947 after the vote on Assembly resolution 181, which called “both peoples fully ripe for independence”, said with conviction that there could not be a solution for the Middle East peace process without the existence of two consolidated States.  In that regard, Uruguay’s support for the resolution passed yesterday would stimulate and compliment that peace process. 

Speaking also in support of the States of Israel and Palestine to live in peace, within safe and recognized borders, he said there was no replacement for bilateral dialogue, which should resume as soon as possible.  Full respect for international law and resolutions adopted by the United Nations was also essential.  He spoke hopefully about the potential for the resolution to ease tensions in the region, particularly in the Gaza Strip, where it was necessary to curb suffering by guaranteeing humanitarian assistance and respecting the rights of the civilian population. 

JAMAL ABDULLAH AL-SALLAL ( Yemen) expressed his delegation’s joy at the 29 November commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, which was “resounding proof” of the legitimacy of the Palestinian struggle to resist occupation and to establish an independent State.  He regretted that, even in the decades that had passed since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Palestinian people had been denied their rights as a result of illegal activities by the Israeli party.  The United Nations should play a stronger role in that regard, he stressed.  “The international community has not exerted pressure on Israel,” and that was the major obstacle to peace, he said.  Further, Yemen supported the admission of the State of Palestine as a full-fledged Member of the United Nations and called on the Security Council to respond positively to such a request.

The peace process had reached a stalemate as the Israeli Government had continued its settlement policy, he went on to say.  That Government refused to discard the policy, which contravened many international laws.  “This stubbornness has stymied the chances to achieve peace,” he stressed, adding that Yemen held Israeli accountable for the impasse.  The international community had clearly expressed the illegality of the settlements.  Finally, he restated that a just and comprehensive peace would only be achieved through the full and total withdrawal by Israel from the currently occupied Palestinian territories, including the Syrian Golan and the occupied territories in southern Lebanon.

BUSHRA AL-NUSSAIRY ( Iraq) said that the adoption of yesterday’s resolution was a “first step” towards the universal recognition of a State of Palestine.  Iraq had always stressed its full support for such a move, he said, noting the provisions of the resolution on contributing to the Palestinian people’s rights to self-determination, as well as the provision supporting a peaceful settlement to end the Israeli occupation.  Israel must end its illegal settlement activities, he added.

The situation of Palestine under occupation was a strategy to force Palestinians to abandon their lands and to ensure permanent occupation.  He called on the United Nations and the wider international community to intensify efforts towards the full status of the Palestinian people in all forums, and to work to end Israeli aggression against the men, women and children of Palestine.  Iraq, proceeding from its full belief in the right of Palestinians to enjoy their human dignity, had also decided to host a meeting on Palestinian and Arab detainees in Israel, which was slated to be held in December.

GRÉTA GUNNARSDÓTTIR ( Iceland) said that the resolution adopted yesterday by the Assembly was a major step by the international community towards fulfilling a promise made long ago.  She hoped it would become a turning point for peace and would be used to reinvigorate efforts by both parties and the international community to negotiate all outstanding issues leading to a two-State solution with Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace and security.  She also expressed the hope for Palestinian reconciliation and said the international community should accommodate those efforts.

She welcomed the broad support for the legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinian people and called on all Member States, including Israel, to unite and embrace the momentum created by the occasion.  A negotiated political solution was the best way to reach peace and ensure long term security for both Israel and the Palestinians.

JENNY LALAMA-FERNANDEZ ( Ecuador) congratulated Palestine on yesterday’s overwhelming vote in its favour.  The significant support by Member States was recognition of the historic injustice done to the Palestinian people.  Endorsing Palestine as a non-Member Observer State expressed the support of the international community for the peace process.  She called for urgent action to be taken by the diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East peace process, and particularly the Security Council, which had tolerated the prolonged occupation of Palestinian lands.

Ecuador was convinced that an independent, viable sovereign state of Palestine was key to resolving the conflict.  It would have beneficial effects for Israel by creating peace in the region.  A just and lasting peace required dialog between the parties based on respect for international law, treaties and the decisions of United Nations bodies.  In that context she called upon Israel to end its individual and collective punishments and to immediately end its military occupation of Palestinian territory in accordance with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1975), and to end its blockade of Gaza.  In closing she called on both parties to sit down at the negotiating table.

OCTAVIO ERRÁZURIZ ( Chile) said that his country had already recognized the State of Palestine as a free and independent sovereign State.  It had therefore voted in favour of the resolution adopted yesterday, which had granted non-Member Observer State status to that delegation.  As had been stated by the Chilean delegation during the General Assembly’s general debate in September, Chile believed that the Palestinian people had a right to an independent State, and that Israel had a right to secure borders.  He therefore called for the rapid resumption of negotiations between the parties with a view to finding a lasting and stable solution to the conflict.  He also called for an end to the violence that had affected so many innocent civilians on both sides, and stressed his hope that the ceasefire could be further consolidated through the resumption of bilateral dialogue.

PHAM VINH QUANG (Viet Nam), congratulating Palestine for being accorded the non-Member Observer State status in the United Nations, said that his country would support Palestine’s legitimate quest for full membership of the United Nations.  The Arab-Israeli conflict, of which the Palestinian question was the core, could only be solved through peaceful negotiations aimed at a just, lasting, comprehensive and peaceful solution on the basis of respecting the legitimate interests of all concerned parties, especially the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to establish a State of Palestine in their homeland.  By way of conclusion, he called for intensified efforts by the international community, in particular the Security Council and the Quartet, to address the current political and humanitarian crisis.

ABULKALAM ABDUL MOMEN ( Bangladesh) said that yesterday, when Palestine was accorded non-Member Observer State status, would be remembered as a milestone on the road to full statehood for the Palestinian people and to peace in the Middle East.  With the overwhelming support the resolution had received, he expressed the hope that Palestine would soon enjoy full United Nations membership.  The new status would provide impetus to the stalled peace process and uphold the two-State solution.  Citing his own country’s struggle for self-determination, which had been achieved following approval by the General Assembly and then the Security Council, he countered the belief of some delegations that status should have come through bi-lateral negotiations.  Israel itself had been founded through a United Nations resolution, not bilateral negotiations, he said.

The stalemate in the peace process, he continued, was due to Israel’s refusal to freeze its settlement activity and adhere to other terms of reference of the peace process.  In such a scenario, bilateral negotiations could not lead to a State of Palestine.  The people of Palestine had no redress other than to turn to the Assembly.  He further expressed regret that repeated appeals from the international community to improve the deteriorating conditions of Palestinians had gone unheeded.  Returning to the issue of “Jewish settlement in the occupied territories”, he said that “[i]f we are serious about peace in the Middle East, we must exert collective pressure on Israel to stop expansion of illegal settlements and dismantle the existing ones in line with its obligations under article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

ABDALLAH AL-MOUALLIMI ( Saudi Arabia) said that yesterday, the Assembly had voted to recognize Palestine “as a country that deserves life”.  Its people deserved the right to freedom, sovereignty over their own land and self-determination.  Indeed, the vote had been a “symphony of peace”, but at the same time “a cry in the face of injustice” and racism.  It was unfortunate that the adoption took place just a few days after the “barbaric aggression” of Israel in the Gaza Strip.  Mecca and Medina looked forward with longing to holy Jerusalem, he added.  They awaited a day in which the Al-Aqsa Mosque would be free from “imprisonment” and when Jerusalem would, once and for all, become the capital of the Palestinian state.  He thanked those who had also voted for the resolution, but warned, in that vein, that those who had not done so must catch up with the “train of history”.

JAMAL ALROWAIEI ( Bahrain) said that the overwhelming majority of the international community had demonstrated its support for the right of the Palestinians to establish a sovereign State and to exercise self-determination.  On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Bahrain’s King had sent a message underscoring the responsibility to resolve the conflict in the Middle East in a peaceful manner.

There was also a special responsibility to remove the injustice which had befallen the Palestinian people for six decades by ending the occupation.  Bahrain renewed its support for the just Palestinian cause, calling for the implementation of relevant intentional resolutions.  The delegation also expressed its own solidarity with the Palestinians, and support for the September 2011 application to the Security Council for its acceptance as a full Member State of the United Nations.  “A just, lasting and comprehensive peace is a strategic choice” for the benefit of all nations, he concluded.

HARDEEP SINGH PURI ( India) said that today’s vote was an important milestone towards the goal of full membership in the United Nations for the Palestinian people and its leadership.  It was regrettable that the Palestinian question had remained largely unaddressed in the context of the Arab world’s transformation in the last two years, and that there had been no direct peace talks during that period.  Meanwhile, the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories had been deteriorating due to settlement activities that threatened the very premise of a two-State solution, while roadblocks and other infrastructure of occupation had exacerbated the humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people and the functioning of their State institutions.

In addition, he said, the blockade of Gaza continued to cause severe hardship to the population.  Strongly condemning the violence and loss of life during the recent hostilities, he expressed hope that the parties would implement the provisions of the ceasefire agreement in good faith, and that today’s vote could pave the way for the resumption of serious, direct talks between the Palestinians and Israelis.

He reiterated India’s unwavering support for the aspirations of the Palestinian people to have an independent and viable State as part of a two-State solution.  Further, as the first non-Arab country to recognize Palestine nearly 25 years ago, he pledged continued partnership and support for Palestinian development and nation-building efforts, noting contributions for budgetary support, development projects, vocational training, construction of schools and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) funding.

YOUSEF LARAM ( Qatar) congratulated President Abbas and the Palestinian people on “taking the first step”:  upgrading the delegation’s Status in the United Nations.  The large number of States supporting the resolution was a message to the entire international community of support for Palestinian rights.  At the core of the Middle East conflict, he said, was Israel’s occupation and persistent settlement activity, among the worst violations of human rights.  The right to overthrow an occupation was a legal right and could not be compared with terrorism.  He further condemned the recent Israeli attack on Gaza and called for an end to the blockade of that area.

Israel continued to build the occupation wall, violating the rights of many, he continued.  It also desecrated Muslim religious sites, and did not permit free access by the faithful to Al-Aqsa Mosque.  It sought to change the national character of East Jerusalem by removing those living there and allowing settlers in.  Settlement activity must be ended immediately, not merely suspended as some countries called for.  The barrier wall, treatment of prisoners and other Israeli activities demonstrated its lack of good will.  There was no way for normal relations between Israel and the Arab world until there was respect for the legalities and the principle of land for peace which had been the basis for negotiations since the Madrid Conference in 1991.  The main reason for the failure of attempts to revive negotiations was that lack of Israel’s good will and its flouting of all relevant resolutions.

FRANCIS CHULLIKATT, Permanent Observer of the Holy See, recalling General Assembly resolution 181 of 29 November 1947, which was the “juridical basis for the existence of two States”, added that one of those States had not been constituted in the successive sixty-five years.  At the conclusion of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 2009, Pope Benedict XVI had declared, “No more bloodshed!  No more fighting!  No more terrorism!” and called for universal recognition of the State of Israel’s right to exist and enjoy peace and security within internationally recognized borders, as well as for the right of the people of Palestine to a sovereign independent homeland, and to live with dignity and travel freely.

While the recent vote manifested the sentiment of the majority of the international community and recognized a more significant presence for Palestinians within the United Nations, the Holy See believed that it did not constitute a sufficient solution to the existing problems in the region.  Those could only be resolved through an effective commitment to building peace and stability, in justice and with respect for the legitimate aspirations, both of the Israelis and the Palestinians.  “Peace needs courageous decision,” he added.  Concluding, he reminded the delegates of the common position that the Holy See and the Palestinian Liberation Organization had expressed in the Basic Agreement of 15 February 2000, supporting the recognition of an internationally guaranteed special statute for the City of Jerusalem, and aiming to safeguard the identity and the sacred character of Jerusalem as a Holy City, with freedom of access to its Holy Places.

AHMED FATHALLA, speaking for the League of Arab States at what he called a “historic moment”, said that the occasion was all the more important because it had come on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  The adoption yesterday had been “a serious step forward” on the question of Palestine and had rectified errors in place for six decades, he said.  While there had been no forward movement towards a two-State solution, he added, the recognition of that failure was nonetheless “the beginning of success”.

Indeed, the resolution adopted yesterday implemented resolution 181 (1947) as well as subsequent resolutions; it laid the legal foundation and created a “legal link between a people and its territory”.  The measure was also the culmination of the hope to see the purposes and principles of the United Nations come to fruition, including Article I of the Charter, which called for the respect for the right to self-determination.  Negotiations would continue to take place, but they were now between two States recognized by the United Nations.  He reiterated that “today is a new day for finding a just, rapid and global solution to the Palestinian question”.  The United Nations should take the resolution as a point of departure for its future work on the matter, and Palestine should be admitted as a full-fledged Member State.

Introduction of Drafts on Situation in Middle East

MOOTAZ AHMADEIN KHALIL ( Egypt) once again congratulated Palestine on becoming a non-Member Observer State by the historic General Assembly resolution adopted yesterday by a “landside majority”.  Within the framework of the Middle East crisis caused by Israel’s occupation, he was introducing two draft resolutions.  Despite the international and regional efforts to reach a peaceful lasting solution, Israel had failed to heed such calls, a stance that had become obvious during its recent attacks against the Gaza Strip.  Israel’s violations were so numerous — including the illegal construction of settlements and “racist separation” wall — that he could not mention them all within the given time.

With Israel not wanting to arrive at any solution, the texts before the Assembly were the expression of the international community’s rejection of Israeli occupation, he said.  By the first draft resolution, on Jerusalem, the Assembly would reiterate its determination that any actions taken by Israel to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on that city were illegal and therefore “null and void”.  Further, the text stressed the need to ensure the freedom of religion and of conscience of its inhabitants.

By the second text, on the Syrian Golan, the Assembly would reaffirm that Israel had failed to comply with relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.  The draft also would assert the illegality of Israeli policies imposed on the Golan, and would call upon Israel to respect previous commitments and agreements.  “Time has come to deal with the Middle East issue in a comprehensive manner,” he said, adding that peace was “achievable only through political will”.  In that regard, Israel should fully withdraw from the occupied territories in accordance with United Nations resolutions and the international law, he said, urging all Member States to vote in the affirmative.

Statements

YAŞAR HALIT ÇEVIK ( Turkey) said that his delegation hoped and believed that yesterday’s adoption would lead the way for a just and comprehensive peace, and break the stalemate in the peace process.  The vote should be utilized as a “new momentum” towards revitalizing the peace talks and Palestinian reconciliation immediately.  “The recent [ Gaza] ceasefire sets the appropriate circumstances for both parties to focus on diplomacy,” he said, encouraging both parties to take that step.  The stalemate was neither sustainable nor acceptable, and the recent operation in Gaza was a testimony to that fact.  Turkey therefore repeated its calls for the immediate implementation of Security Council resolution 1860 (2009) to end the restrictions on the inhabitants of Gaza, which affected their basic human rights.

The situation in Syria remained a grave humanitarian crisis, he went on to say, stressing that entering into cold winter circumstances, the humanitarian situation was becoming even more dramatic.  Moreover, he said, “the crisis has gone beyond being local and unfortunately spilled over into neighbouring countries” in the form of cross-border fire and the massive movement of civilians seeking safety and shelter.  Turkey had lost five citizens in a border town, he said, and more had been injured; the country was also host to more than 130,000 Syrians.  He stressed that the humanitarian response plans to the Syrian crisis were severely underfunded and required the further attention of the international community.  Turkey would also continue to support Special Representative Brahimi, as well as the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.

YESSIKA COMESAÑA PERDOMO ( Cuba) said that her delegation viewed the victory won yesterday as an “intermediate step”, and called on the Security Council to act to recognize Palestine as a full United Nations Member State.  Cuba reiterated its profound concern about the state of affairs in the region, in particular Israel’s lack of respect for international law.  That country’s ongoing occupation of land continued to be the main obstacle to a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the region.  She therefore called on the international community to demand that Israeli authorities refrain from escalating the situation, and called, among other things, for the immediate lifting of the “genocidal” blockade of the Gaza Strip and an immediate end to the building of settlements, the demolition of Palestinian homes and the building of the partition wall.

Another major obstacle was the continued occupation of the Syrian Golan and its de facto annexation, she went on to say.  All legislative measures which Israel might take to change the demographic nature of that territory or its administrative structure were “null”, she said in that respect.  Indeed, such activities were a flagrant violation of intentional law, especially Security Council resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention.  She strongly condemned Israel’s “brutal” practices and expressed concern about the poor conditions of those being held in Israeli prisons.

With regard to the situation in Syria, she stressed the complicity of mass media which were “used to distort reality”.  Cuba was greatly concerned by the violence, military aggression and foreign intervention taking place there, and denounced those actions.  It further reiterated its categorical rejection of foreign intervention in the affairs of sovereign States, and of any attempt to undermine the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria in particular.  Finally, she reiterated Cuba’s confidence in the Syrian Government and people to resolve the crisis in their own country without any foreign intervention.

Welcoming the introduction of the two resolutions on Jerusalem and on the Syrian Golan, BASHAR JA’AFARI (Syria) made a special appeal to all delegates, in particular those who held good faith in his country, to refrain from discussing the situation in Syria during today’s debate.  Under review was the situation in the Middle East, he said, adding that any discussion on his country’s situation would distract attention from the central issue.  Member States wishing to discuss Syria should do so when that topic was under consideration.

Condemning Israel’s aggression, he underscored the need to respect the United Nations Charter and other international instruments, particularly those concerning foreign occupation.  Relevant decisions should be followed up and implemented without exception.  He did not believe that “any representatives gathered here with expectation that their resolutions would later become a dead letter”.  Delegates were meeting countless times to call on Israel to put an end to its occupation, to its violations, to its settlers’ campaign and to its politics of aggression, among other illegitimate acts.

Israel’s aggression was still continuing, as evidenced in the most recent incident of its attacks against Palestine in Gaza.  Condemning Israeli settler activities that sought to change the demographics of Gaza, he called on Member States not to deal with the Arab-Israel issue as a routine.  Otherwise, the United Nations risked losing its credibility in its entirety.  He went on to highlight the deadlock in the Quartet mechanism, saying that the body could not hold a single meeting during the recent aggression of Israel against Palestine.

In more than 40 years of Israel’s occupation of the Syrian Golan, there had been no progress, he continued.  Matters had reached to the extent that a two-year-old child was detained and was separated from the mother by Israel just because the child was born in Syria and had no right to enter the Golan.  Explosion of mines in the Golan had cost many lives.  The Syrian Government had reported all those violations to the United Nations Secretariat.

It was also regrettable that Israel’s military and political leaders had remained unaccountable, he continued, adding that such impunity had been protected by some States, which were members of the Security Council and the Quartet.  Politics of double standards and hypocrisy must stop.  A comprehensive peace agreement would not be realized without the full withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories and the establishment of an independent Palestine state, he said, urging Member States to vote in favour of the resolutions to uphold international laws and promote the rules and provisions of the United Nations Charter.

HUSSEIN HANIFF ( Malaysia) said that developments over the past week, in particular the attack by Israel on the people of Palestine in Gaza, had sparked an international crisis that almost caused instability and turmoil in the whole region.  “What deeply concerns my delegation is that, despite the gravity of the situation, the Security Council was rendered powerless” — not just to bring about an immediate cessation to hostilities, but even to decide whether or not to act.  “We cannot allow this to happen again”, he said in that regard, stressing the need to address the “crux of the issue” and to resolve the conflict, once and for all.  The only way forward was for Israel to respect international law, including humanitarian and human rights laws, and to cease all its illegal settlement activities and restart negotiations in good faith, which would demonstrate its intention to actually bring about an end to the conflict.

For is part, the international community must reject any further delay in the resumption of peace talks, and it must continue to uphold the principles of the establishment of a Palestinian State under the two-State solution based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.  Malaysia also continued to be concerned with the situation in Syria. “The fate and future of Syria lay in the hands of the Syrians themselves”, he said in that regard, calling for an end to the “senseless violence”.  He urged all parties to the conflict to come to the negotiating table and to engage in a meaningful way.  Malaysia stressed that any solution to the conflict must be a Syrian-led process in order to ensure that it was viable and permanent.  It was also concerned that the conflict in Syria had spread onto the borders of Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, and expressed its hope that those countries would refrain from resorting to measures which might further aggravate the situation.

LI BAODONG ( China) stood firmly behind the Palestinian people in their efforts to restore their rights and to a sovereign State based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.  The vote to accord non-Member Observer status showed the support of the international community for Palestinians to restore their legitimate rights.  The parties must return to the negotiating table.  Israel in particular, as the stronger party, must undertake to meet its obligations under international law.  The international community must make greater efforts to promote peace talks.

At present, the humanitarian situation in Gaza and other occupied territories remained grim, which was not conducive to facilitating peace talks, he said. He called on Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza.  Further, he said that resolution of the Syrian and Lebanese conflicts with Israel were critical to maintenance of peace in the region. China supported the rights of Syria and Lebanon to territorial integrity.  China was prepared to support the Palestinian people to the best of its ability.

MOHAMMAD KHAZAEE ( Iran), congratulating Palestine for the support it had received during the voting on the resolution enhancing its status at the United Nations, said Palestine was at the core of Middle East issues.  The “tragedy of Palestine”, as a major source of resentment and desperation, was felt throughout the world, especially the Muslim world.  Today’s meeting was taking place just a week after yet another tragic episode in the series of “repeated and grave crimes” perpetrated by the Zionist regime against the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Speaking about that regime’s military assault against the Gaza Strip and its long-term psychological effects on the youth, he said that the regime’s deadly air strikes should be considered as part of a larger policy marked with expansionism and aggression.  The international community should live up to its responsibility by preventing Israel from continuing to commit atrocities and flout international law.  Regrettably, some powerful Member States which just happened to be permanent members of the Security Council had prevented concrete action against the crimes by Israel.

At the same time, the results of votes on the resolution adopted in the Assembly yesterday showed to what extent the Israeli regime was isolated, as well as indicated to those who blindly supported “this illegitimate regime” that they seriously needed to review their policies.  He reiterated that the solution to the question of Palestine lay in compelling the Israeli occupying Power to fully withdraw from the occupied territories and enabling the Palestinian people to return to their land and establish their independent State on the entirety of their lands.  He also placed on record his delegation’s rejection of the baseless allegations raised against his country by the representative of Israel.  He referred to one aspect of the dangerous behavior of the Israeli regime — the Israeli nuclear weapons program.  Nuclear weapons in the hands of a regime with an “unparalleled” record of State terrorism presented a real threat to peace and security.  That threat needed to be urgently addressed by the international community and the initiative for the creation of a nuclear-weapons-free zone in the Middle East should be pursued. The failure to convene a conference on the topic by the end of the year contradicted the agreement of the States Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

LYUTHA S. AL-MUGHAIRY (Oman), congratulating the Palestinian people for their historic accomplishment yesterday, stated that her Government was deeply concerned about the tragic situation in the occupied Palestinian territories resulting from the continuous Israeli blockade and the imposition of a humanitarian crisis on civilians in the Gaza Strip, as well as the illegal acts to change the demographic composition of the population and the intensification of Israeli settlement activities.  Therefore, it was necessary for the international community to send a clear message to Israel to cease those practices and to call for genuine negotiations that would lead to the establishment of security and stability.

The United Nations had adopted many resolutions and policies, she added, but the issue was still a subject of concern and conflict, which went beyond the Middle East.  In that context, Oman believed that the role of the United Nations should be changed from managing the crisis to seriously pursuing a just and lasting comprehensive political solution that would take into account the interests of the Palestinians and the Israelis, leading to the establishment of the State of Palestine and the State of Israel living side by side.  Oman looked forward to an effective and continuous role for the United States and invited Israel to take advantage of the international momentum in support of direct negotiations.

JUN YAMAZAKI ( Japan) said his delegation was deeply concerned by the “serious and aggravating situation” in Syria and profoundly deplored the deaths of many thousands of people caused by the continued violence.  Japan reiterated its call on all parties in Syria to immediately halt the violence and human rights abuses, and condemned the Syrian authorities for not keeping their own commitments and responsibilities to protect its own citizens.  Supporting the diplomatic efforts by the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, Japan once again urged the Syrian leadership to end violence immediately and carry out concrete measures for a Syrian-led political transition.

In that regard, he continued, Japan welcomed the foundation of the “National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces” this month, and he hoped that the coalition represented a wide stratum of Syrian society and would play a role in the common goal of advancing a Syrian-led transition process as early as possible.  From such a viewpoint, Japan would provide support to the coalition.  Today in Tokyo, Japan hosted the fifth meeting of the Friends of the Syrian People International Working Group on Sanctions.  The meeting had focused on improving the effectiveness of sanctions implemented by like-minded countries and on broadening the horizon of countries participating in the sanctions.  He said that Japan strongly hoped the Syrian regime would heed the voice of the international community to stop the violence against its own people.  The Middle East and the North Africa region had been experiencing a series of movements towards democratization, he said, recalling that that Arab Spring had been realized by the people’s desire for freedom and democracy.

M. CHANDRA W. YUDHA (Indonesia), noting that today’s meeting was set against the background of yesterday’s historic conferral of non-Member Observer State status on Palestine, said that recognition of Palestine as an important component and ally of the international community was “something to be proud, and not afraid of”.  He said that a two-State solution within the framework of a comprehensive regional settlement that included Lebanon and Syria and under the terms of relevant Security Council resolutions, the Quartet road map, the Arab Peace Initiative and the principle of land for peace was possible, but it required the parties to negotiate.  Forward movement was hampered by Israel’s policy on settlements, which was in breach of international law and its obligations under the road map.

Palestinian statehood was long overdue, he said.  Direct negotiations were required towards a comprehensive, fair and lasting solution that fulfilled the aspirations of the Israelis and the Palestinians, including an end to occupation and conflict and a just solution with regard to Palestinian refugees.  To that end he called on Israel to cease all settlement activity in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and to dismantle all outposts.  Israel was further called on to withdraw from occupied Lebanese land and from the Syrian Golan and to fully comply with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).  Further, regarding the situation in Syria, he said that a process to find solutions in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the Syrian people must start without delay.

MOHAMMAD MASOOD KHAN ( Pakistan) said that the decision taken by the General Assembly yesterday had been a step in the right direction — one towards acceptance of the realities on the ground.  It should also be a step towards recognition of Palestine as a full Member in the United Nations.  The Assembly’s action came after a bloody week of killings in Palestine and a very welcome ceasefire, he added, condemning the killings and the military campaign that had caused them.  “This recurring phenomenon […] must end,” he stressed in that regard, and urged the international community to take immediate and effective steps to ensure that violence did not erupt again.

Some countries had been disappointed by the Assembly’s decision yesterday, believing that it had represented a unilateral action.  “The fact is that the people of Palestine have waited far too long for the exercise of their right to self-determination and recognition of legitimate Statehood”, he said.  It was Pakistan’s earnest hope and appeal that following yesterday’s adoption there would be no reprisals or retaliations against Palestine.  “The people of Palestine need compassion and solidarity, not estrangement and punishment,” he said in that respect.  Meanwhile, serious doubts had recently been expressed about the viability of the two-State solution.  As the window for that solution continued to narrow, there was urgency to reactivate the Middle East peace process, based on internationally agreed terms of reference, including Security Council resolutions, the Arab Peace Initiative, the Quartet road map and the Madrid Principles.  In addition, he stressed, for a serious quest for peace and a two-State solution, the construction of illegal settlements by Israel must cease.

Action on Drafts

Speaking on a point of order before the vote, the representative of Israel called for a vote on all resolutions currently before the Assembly.

The Assembly first adopted the text on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (document A/67/L.17) by a recorded vote of 106 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Federated States of Micronesia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau, United States), with 56 abstentions.  (For details of the vote, see Annex I.)

The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution on the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat (document A/67/L.18) by a recorded vote of 103 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 61 abstentions.  (Annex II)

By a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, El Salvador, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Togo, Tonga and Vanuatu) the Assembly adopted the text on the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat (document A/67/L.19).  (Annex III)

The Assembly then adopted the draft on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine (document A/67/L.20) by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 5 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Tonga).  (Annex IV)

Turning to the draft resolutions on the situation in the Middle East, the Assembly adopted the text on Jerusalem (document A/67/L.23) by a recorded vote of 162 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 6 abstentions (Cameroon, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Togo, Tonga, Vanuatu).  (Annex V)

Taking up the final draft before it, on the Syrian Golan (document A/67/L.24), the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 110 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 59 abstentions.  (Annex VI)

In explanation of vote, the representative of Brazil, speaking also on behalf of Argentina, said that the countries had voted in favour of the resolution on the Syrian Golan (document A/67/L.24) as the United Nations Charter prohibited the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of a State.  It was important that progress be made on seeking a solution on the Syrian track of the peace process, he added, highlighting the importance of renewing negotiations to find a lasting solution in that regard.

The representative of Singapore, speaking on the resolution on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (document A/67/L.17), said that his delegation had voted in favour of the text.

Making a general statement, the observer of Palestine said that yesterday had been a historic day for “both the people and the State of Palestine”, as well as for all those who were supportive of peace in the Middle East region.  “There is no way for me to describe the enthusiasm that the General Assembly generated yesterday” in listening to President Mahmoud Abbas’ statement and voting to change Palestine’s status.  Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had celebrated that development in great joy, he said, thanking those who had voted “to make history” by co-sponsoring or voting for the resolution.

The text advancing Palestine’s status had contributed to saving the two-State solution and to saving peace, he said.  It also helped to open the door to the possibility of creating an atmosphere conducive to negotiations with Israel, and to putting an end to the long-standing occupation, as well as establishing the independent Palestinian State.  Palestine was hopeful that Israel could “give this option of peace a chance” and not continue imposing war on his people.

The reaction of the Israeli Government, however, had been an immediate provocation by expanding its illegal settlements.  “They are trying to provoke us”, he stressed.  Palestine expected the international community — including the Security Council — to uphold international law and to bring Israel into compliance.  “They are unilaterally creating illegal facts on the ground”, and taking measures that were in contravention of international law, he said.

Palestine would continue to extend its hand in peace.  However, its resolve and determination “had limits” and were being tested.  If the Israeli side was ready to negotiate in good faith based on the terms of reference of the peace process, “perhaps we can open doors for peace to move forward”.  The choice was Israel’s, as President Abbas’ message had made “crystal clear” yesterday.

He hoped that, one day soon, Palestine would be able to become a full Member of the United Nations.  Indeed, the overwhelming vote yesterday had sent a “massive message to the Security Council” in that regard.  The Palestinian flag should be put in alphabetical order in front of the United Nations building along with other States, he stressed, “in order to open a new chapter” for Palestine and the international community.

Also speaking after action, Syria’s representative expressed gratitude to the Assembly for its adoption, since 1981, of resolutions on the Syrian Golan, as well as of resolutions on the Question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East.  Those actions were a clear indication of the Assembly’s support for the aims and objectives of the United Nations Charter and of Syria’s right to restore its territories occupied since 1967.  They sent a clear message to Israel, that impositions of the faits accomplis, the forcible annexations of others’ lands, among other illegal actions, clearly contravened the Charter and the Fourth Geneva Convention.  Those actions led to the denunciation and condemnation by the international community.

He stressed Syria’s unshakeable determination to liberate the territory of the Golan to the borders of 4 June 1967.  In closing, he said that it was regrettable that certain countries that advocated human rights imposed sanctions against Syria, while failing to vote for resolutions that would put an end to the Israeli occupation of Syria’s territory in the Golan.  Some of those countries voted against resolutions on the Syrian Golan and Palestine — resolutions that enjoyed unprecedented support — demonstrating their political hypocrisy, their bias toward Israel and their “twisted logic”.  Israeli occupation would not have lasted were it not for those who had abstained or voted against the resolution on the Syrian Golan.  Therefore, those countries also bore the consequences of the Syrian occupied Golan.

ANNEX I

Vote on Palestinian Rights Committee

The draft resolution on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (document A/67/L.17) was adopted by a recorded vote of 106 in favour to 7 against, with 56 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, United States.

Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tonga, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vanuatu.

Absent:  Belarus, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Madagascar, Malawi, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Niger, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Zambia.

ANNEX II

Vote on Division for Palestinian Rights

The draft resolution on the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat (document A/67/L.18) was adopted by a recorded vote of 103 in favour to 7 against, with 61 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, United States.

Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vanuatu.

Absent:  Belarus, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Madagascar, Malawi, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland, Timor-Leste.

ANNEX III

Vote on Department of Public Information Programme on Palestine

The draft resolution on the special information programme on the question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information in the Secretariat (document A/67/L.19) was adopted by a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 7 against, with 7 abstentions, as follows:

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

Against:  Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, United States.

Abstain:  Cameroon, El Salvador, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Togo, Tonga, Vanuatu.

Absent:  Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Madagascar, Malawi, Myanmar, Nauru, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland.

ANNEX IV

Vote on Question of Palestine

The draft resolution on the Peaceful Settlement of the question of Palestine (document A/67/L.20) was adopted by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 6 against, with 5 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, 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, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, United States.

Abstain:  Australia, Cameroon, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Tonga.

Absent:  Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Madagascar, Malawi, Myanmar, Nauru, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland.

ANNEX V

Vote on Jerusalem

The draft resolution on Jerusalem (document A/67/L.23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 162 in favour to 7 against, with 6 abstentions, as follows:

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

Against:  Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, United States.

Abstain:  Cameroon, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Togo, Tonga, Vanuatu.

Absent:  Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Madagascar, Malawi, Myanmar, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland.

ANNEX VI

Vote on Syrian Golan

The draft resolution on the Syrian Golan (document A/67/L.24) was adopted by a recorded vote of 110in favour to 6 against, with 59 abstentions, as follows:

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:  Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, United States.

Abstain:  Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cameroon, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vanuatu.

Absent:  Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Madagascar, Malawi, Myanmar, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland.

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.