General Assembly Adopts 28 Fourth Committee Texts Covering Issues Including Decolonization, Outer Space, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

GA/11737
9 December 2015
Seventieth Session, 70th Meeting (AM)

General Assembly Adopts 28 Fourth Committee Texts Covering Issues Including Decolonization, Outer Space, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Two Actions Postponed until Later Date, as Plenary Acts Directly on Three Drafts

Upon the recommendation of its Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), the General Assembly adopted 25 draft resolutions and three draft decisions today, tackling issues ranging from decolonization issues to outer space activities, to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and beyond.

The Assembly also took direct plenary action, adopting three outstanding texts on the return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin, the situation in Afghanistan, and the report of the Economic and Social Council.

Closely following the Fourth Committee’s recommendations, it adopted, without a vote, a series of annual texts relating to the decolonization of specific Non-Self-Governing Territories.  They included draft resolutions affirming the right to self-determination for the peoples of Western Sahara, New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Tokelau.

Also without a vote, the Assembly adopted the Fourth Committee’s annual “omnibus” draft on the questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands.

It adopted a related draft resolution, “Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations”, by a recorded vote of 175 in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions (France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States).  By that text, the Assembly requested that the administering Powers concerned transmit regularly to the Secretary-General statistical and other information of a technical nature relating to economic, social and educational conditions in the Territories for which they were respectively responsible.

Meanwhile, it adopted a draft resolution on “Economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories” by a recorded vote of 176 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (France, United Kingdom).  By its terms, the Assembly affirmed the value of foreign economic investment undertaken in collaboration with the peoples of those Territories and in accordance with their wishes, in order to make a valid contribution to the socioeconomic development of the Territories, especially during times of economic and financial crisis.

By a recorded vote of 175 in favour to 3 against (Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 1 abstention (France), the Assembly also adopted a draft on “Dissemination of information on decolonization”, by which it requested that the United Nations undertake efforts to give publicity to its work in the field of decolonization.

The Assembly adopted another draft resolution — “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations” — by a recorded vote of 126 in favour to none against, with 53 abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly urged those and other organizations of the United Nations system that had not yet provided assistance to the Non-Self-Governing Territories to do so as soon as possible.

A draft resolution titled “Offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories” was adopted without a vote.  In addition, the Assembly postponed until a later date its consideration of a draft resolution, “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples”, pending a review by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) of the programme budget implications of adopting that text.

Taking up two draft resolutions on questions relating to information, the Assembly adopted both without a vote, the first being a text titled “Information in the service of humanity” and the second, “United Nations public information policies and activities”.

In the area of outer space affairs, the Assembly adopted, again without a vote, a draft resolution on “International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space”.  However, it postponed its consideration of another text — “Matters relating to activities under the United Nations Programme on Space Applications in 2016” — pending the Fifth Committee’s report on its programme budget implications.

By a recorded 155 votes in favour to none against, with 16 abstentions, the Assembly adopted a draft decision by which it appointed El Salvador, Israel, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

On Israeli-Palestinian issues, the Assembly adopted nine draft resolutions, all requiring recorded votes.  The first, “Assistance to Palestine refugees”, was adopted by a recorded vote of 167 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 11 abstentions.  By its terms, the Assembly expressed grave concern about the especially difficult situation of Palestine refugees under occupation, including with regard to their safety, well-being and socioeconomic living conditions.  It also affirmed the necessity for continuing the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the importance of ensuring that its operations and provision of services were unimpeded.

The Assembly adopted a draft resolution on “Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities” by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Honduras, Liberia, Paraguay).  By that text, the Assembly stressed the necessity for an accelerated return of displaced persons.  It also called for compliance with the mechanism agreed by the parties — in article XII of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements of 13 September 1993 — on the return of displaced persons.

By a recorded 169 votes in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 5 abstentions (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Nauru, Paraguay, Vanuatu), the Assembly adopted a draft resolution on “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East”.  By that text, it expressed deep concern over the Agency’s extremely critical financial situation, and emphasized the imperative of ensuring sustained and predictable financial support for it, including by providing the necessary resources to enable it to continue to deliver its vital services uninterrupted.

The Assembly also adopted — by a recorded vote of 167 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 4 abstentions (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Paraguay, Vanuatu) — a draft resolution on “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues”.  By its terms, the Assembly reaffirmed that Palestine refugees were entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of equity and justice.

By a recorded vote of 92 in favour to 9 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States), with 75 abstentions, the Assembly also adopted a draft resolution on the “Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories”.  By its terms, the Assembly expressed grave concern about the continuing detrimental impact of ongoing unlawful Israeli practices and measures in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, such as excessive use of force by Israeli occupying troops against Palestinian civilians, as well as tensions, instability and violence due to Israel’s illegal policies and practices.

Also adopted — by a recorded 163 votes in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 8 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Paraguay, Togo, Vanuatu) — was a draft titled “Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories”.  In line with that text, the Assembly reaffirmed the Geneva Convention’s applicability, and further demanded that Israel accept the Convention’s de jure applicability in those territories.

The Assembly adopted — by a recorded vote of 161 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 8 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Honduras, Paraguay, Togo, Vanuatu) — a draft titled “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan”, by which it condemned Israel’s continuing settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, as violations of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions, agreements reached between the parties and obligations under the Roadmap of the Middle East Quartet.

In another recorded vote — 158 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 10 abstentions (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Honduras, Liberia, Malawi, Paraguay, Togo, Vanuatu) — the Assembly adopted a draft resolution on “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”.  It urged all parties to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, especially in areas of religious and cultural sensitivity, including East Jerusalem.

The Assembly adopted a draft resolution titled “Occupied Syrian Golan” by a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 16 abstentions.  By its terms, the Assembly reaffirmed the illegality of Israel’s 14 December 1981 decision to impose its own laws, jurisdiction and administration on the occupied Syrian Golan, which had resulted in that territory’s effective annexation.  It called upon the occupying Power to comply with relevant resolutions and desist from changing the territory’s physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status, and, in particular, desist from establishing settlements.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolutions on assistance in mine action, the University for Peace, effects of atomic radiation, and comprehensive review of special political missions.  It also adopted two draft decisions, one on the question of Gibraltar, and the other on the Fourth Committee’s future programme of work.

In other business this morning, the Assembly adopted, directly in plenary without a vote, three draft resolutions on the return or restitution of cultural property to countries of origin, on the situation in Afghanistan, and on extending by three years, until December 2020, the preparatory period before Vanuatu’s graduation from least developed country status.

A handful of speakers spoke on the first of those issues, with the representative of Greece, who introduced the text, saying that there was a link between the destruction of cultural artefacts and the financing of terrorism.

South Africa’s representative presented the draft resolution on extending the preparatory period preceding the graduation of Vanuatu from the least developed country category.

The Rapporteur of the Fourth Committee introduced that body’s reports for the Assembly’s consideration.

Other speakers were representatives of Cyprus, Italy, Syria, Turkey, Argentina and Vanuatu.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 10 December, to elect members of the Committee for Programme and Coordination, among other items.

Background

The General Assembly met this morning to consider, among other things, the return or restitution of cultural property to countries of origin.  Before it were a related note by the Secretary-General (document A/70/365) and draft resolution (document A/70/L.28).

Also before the Assembly were draft resolutions relating, respectively, to the situation in Afghanistan (document A/70/L.23) and the report of the Economic and Social Council (document A/70/L.16).

The Assembly was also expected to take up the reports of its Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) on the University for Peace (document A/70/492); assistance in mine action (document A/70/493); effects of atomic radiation (document A/70/494); international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space (document A/70/495); United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (document A/70/496); report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (document A/70/497); comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects (document A/70/498); and comprehensive review of special political missions (document A/70/499).

Other Fourth Committee reports pending action were on questions relating to information (document A/70/500); information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations (document A/70/501); economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories (document A/70/502); implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations (document A/70/503); offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories (document A/70/504); implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (document A/70/505); revitalization of the work of the General Assembly (document A/70/528); and programme planning (document A/70/529).

Action on Draft Resolutions

CATHERINE BOURA (Greece), introducing the draft resolution “Return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin” (document A/70/L.28), expressed hope that it would be adopted by consensus as in previous years.  She said the report by the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the action taken by that body on the return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin (document A/70/365) outlined relevant developments over the past three years, and was timely due to international activities such as cross-border movement of cultural objects, money laundering and the sale of cultural artefacts.  The looting of monuments in Iraq and Syria showed that multi-confessional communities were threatened by terrorism, she said, noting that the draft resolution expressed deep concern about theft of cultural objects in areas of armed conflict and condemned the looting and destruction of cultural heritages sites.  There was a link between the destruction of cultural artefacts and the financing of terrorism, she said, emphasizing the importance of raising awareness and capacity-building in that regard.  The international community had a responsibility to protect cultural heritage in times of peace and war, she added.

MONIKA PACHOUMI (Cyprus) said the international community was witnessing a rise in extremism that also targeted cultural heritage, which constituted not only a threat to the Middle East’s cultural heritage, but that of all humanity.  Facilitating the return and restitution of cultural property to countries of origin was of paramount importance, he emphasized, explaining that his country had its own experience of looting and smuggling due to foreign occupation.  Cyprus stood ready to contribute to regional efforts to promote and strengthen international cooperation in that area.

SEBASTIANO CARDI (Italy) said that his country, in close cooperation with Jordan, and with the support of UNESCO, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), would initiate a project on protecting cultural heritage that would be launched with an opening at United Nations Headquarters in December.

BASHAR JA’AFARI (Syria) said his delegation had participated in the consultations on the draft and joined the list of co-sponsors out of belief in the text’s relevance to the dangerous reality that the international community was witnessing.  What the Middle East cultural heritage was facing in Syria, Iraq and occupied Palestine was a systematic attack against the global heritage, he said, emphasizing that his country was witnessing a bleeding of its historical heritage.  Members of the Assembly had all seen the viciousness of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) as they destroyed monuments in Palmyra and elsewhere.

The terrorists of Da’esh and the Nusra Front had perpetrated great atrocities, including attacking the mosque in Aleppo, he continued.  People wanted to destroy Syria and market its antiquities illegitimately, and by their transactions they were abetting terrorist activities in Syria and Iraq.  Governments engaging directly in such acts of theft and looting must be held accountable, he said, noting that the Turkish regime was not being held accountable in any way as it transacted with radical regimes in the region and facilitated the arrival of criminals in Syria.  It was the main marketer of Syrian antiquities, trading them for ammunition and weaponry, he noted, adding that the Turkish regime had used refugees on its territory to blackmail Europe.  That was cheap trade in the lives of human beings, he said.

MURAT UĞURLUOĞLU (Turkey) said the illicit trade in cultural property remained a source of grave concern, pointing out that, despite efforts to raise awareness and build capacity to address such challenges, threats to cultural heritage had been increasing.  Conflict and instability further aggravated the risk of destruction or illicit trafficking.  Deploring the inhumane attacks that had resulted in the destruction of cultural properties, he noted that his country had strongly condemned the brutal obliteration of archaeological sites, museums, places of worship, and books and manuscripts.  Turkey had reinforced all necessary measures to prevent the illegal transfer of historical artefacts, but combating such crimes required the active involvement of all Member States, cultural and education institutions, museums and civil society, he emphasized.

The Assembly then adopted, by consensus, the draft resolution on the return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin (A/70/L.28).

The representative of Argentina, speaking in explanation of position, welcomed the text’s adoption, saying that the cultural heritage of communities was a testament to their identity and should not be considered as mere loot.  Due to its geographic location, Argentina was sensitive to the illicit trafficking of cultural objects, which had become more refined in recent years due in part to modern technology.  Fighting that phenomenon required a common strategy by the international community.

Acting again without a vote, the General Assembly adopted the draft resolution “The situation in Afghanistan” (document A/70/L.23), by which it welcomed the direct talks held in 2015 between the Government of Afghanistan and representatives of the Taliban as an important first step.  It encouraged Afghanistan and Pakistan to enhance their relationship in such a way as to lead to cooperation in effectively combating terrorism and moving the Afghan-led peace process forward.

Under the headings of governance, rule of law and human rights, the resolution would have the Assembly address democracy, justice, public administration, and human rights issues such as recognizing efforts to protect civilians and minimizing casualties among them.  Further, the text urged the Assembly to address issues under the headings of social and economic development, regional cooperation, counter-narcotics and coordination.

SIMON PONI MAROBE (South Africa), introducing the draft resolution “Extension of the preparatory period preceding the graduation of Vanuatu from the least developed country category” (document A/70/L.16) on behalf of the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, said Vanuatu had been expected to graduate on 17 December but had been hit by Cyclone Pam.

Noting that 64 per cent of the island nation’s economy had been affected by the storm, which had caused exceptional human, economic and developmental losses, he said the draft resolution extended the preparatory period by three years, until December 2020, which would allow Vanuatu to rebuild the economy and ensure that its graduation from least developed status would not disrupt its developmental plans.

Following oral revisions to the text, the Assembly adopted the text by consensus, as orally revised.

ODO TEVI (Vanuatu) said the unanimous adoption of the resolution gave hope and encouragement to his country and demonstrated the international community’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that graduation from least developed status should not result in the disruption of developmental plans.  Vanuatu had felt the impact of Cyclone Pam, and tourism, a major economic sector, had suffered a significant decline, he said, adding that the agriculture sector had also been severely affected.  However, Vanuatu’s economy would be rebuilt and the country would be back on the path of sustained high growth and development.  Since natural disasters would continue as a result of climate change, it was important that the international community address the development concerns of small island developing States and least developed countries, particularly with regard to the new climate agreement under negotiation in Paris, he said.

The Assembly then took up the reports of its Fourth Committee.

CLOTILDE FERRY (Monaco), Rapporteur of the Fourth Committee, introduced that body’s reports, saying they contained 30 drafts.  A high level of cooperation had prevailed in the Committee, which had been able to fulfil its mandate and complete its work effectively and constructively within the time allotted by the Assembly, she added.

Acting without a vote, the Assembly first adopted the draft resolution “University for Peace” (document A/70/L.10), by which it requested that the Secretary-General expand the scope for using that institution’s services as part of his conflict-resolution and peacebuilding efforts.

The Assembly also adopted, again without a vote, the draft resolution “Assistance in mine action” (document A/70/L.8), by which it urged all mine-affected States to identify all areas containing mines and other explosive remnants of war, and to engage in their clearance when possible.

Once again without a vote, the Assembly adopted a draft titled “Effects of atomic radiation” (document A/70/L.12), by which it would support the Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation in conducting its work programme of scientific review and assessment, in particular its next Global Survey of Medical Radiation Usage and Exposures, as well as its assessments of levels of ionizing radiation exposure from electrical energy production.

Turning to a group of texts relating to outer space affairs, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, the draft resolution “International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space” (document A/70/495 I L.2/Rev.1), by which it expressed its serious concern about the possibility of an arms race in outer space.  It also endorsed the report of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on the work of its fifty-eighth session.

The Assembly postponed until a later date its consideration of a draft resolution on “Matters relating to activities under the United Nations Programme on Space Applications in 2016” (document A/70/495 II, L.9/Rev.1) pending a report of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) on the programme budget implications of adopting the text.

By a recorded vote of 155 in favour to none against, with 16 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted a draft decision titled “Increase in the membership of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space” (document A/70/495 III, L.7), by which it appointed El Salvador, Israel, Oman, Qatar, Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates to the Outer Space Committee.

Turning to a raft of draft resolutions on Israeli-Palestinian issues, the Assembly first adopted, by a recorded vote of 167 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 11 abstentions, a draft resolution titled “Assistance to Palestine refugees” (document A/70/496 I, L.15).  By its terms, the Assembly expressed grave concern about the especially difficult situation of Palestine refugees under occupation, including with regard to their safety, well-being and socioeconomic living conditions.  It affirmed the necessity for the continuation of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the importance of its unimpeded operations and the provision of its services.

The Assembly then adopted a draft resolution titled “Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities” (document A/70/496 II, L.16) by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Honduras, Liberia, Paraguay).

Taking up the draft resolution “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (document A/70/496 III, L.17), the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 5 abstentions (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Nauru, Paraguay, Vanuatu).

The Assembly then adopted a related draft resolution, “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” (document A/70/496 IV, L.18), by a recorded vote of 167 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 4 abstentions (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Paraguay, Vanuatu).  By its terms, the Assembly reaffirmed that Palestine refugees were entitled to their property and to the income derived therefrom, in conformity with the principles of equity and justice.

By a recorded vote of 92 in favour to 9 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States), with 75 abstentions, the Assembly adopted a draft titled “Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories” (document A/70/497 I, L.19).  By its terms, the Assembly expressed grave concern about the continuing detrimental impact of ongoing unlawful Israeli practices and measures in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, such as excessive use of force by Israeli occupying troops against Palestinian civilians, as well as tensions, instability and violence in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, due to Israel’s illegal policies and practices.

The Assembly then took up a draft resolution on “Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories” (document A/70/497 II, L.20).  It adopted that text by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 8 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Paraguay, Togo, Vanuatu).

Next, the Assembly adopted, by a recorded vote of 161 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 8 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Honduras, Paraguay, Togo, Vanuatu), a draft resolution on “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/70/497 III, L.21).  The Assembly expressed grave concern about continuing settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, on the part of Israel, the occupying Power.  It condemned those activities as violations of international humanitarian law, relevant United Nations resolutions, agreements between the parties, and obligations under the Middle East Quartet’s Roadmap, and as actions in defiance of calls by the international community to cease all settlement activities.

By a recorded vote of 158 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 10 abstentions (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Honduras, Liberia, Malawi, Paraguay, Togo, Vanuatu), the Assembly adopted a draft resolution on “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem” (document  A/70/497 IV, L.22).  By its terms, the Assembly urged all parties to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, especially in areas of religious and cultural sensitivity, including East Jerusalem.  It further urged the parties to take every possible step to defuse tensions and promote conditions conducive to the credibility and success of peace negotiations.

A draft resolution on “The occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/70/497 V, L.23) was adopted by a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 16 abstentions.

The Assembly then took note of the report on the “Comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects” (document A/70/498).

Acting without a vote, it went on to adopt the draft resolution “Comprehensive review of special political missions” (document A/70/499, L.14), by which it requested that the Secretary-General hold regular, inclusive and interactive dialogue on overall policy matters pertaining to special political missions.

Turning to questions relating to information, the Assembly then adopted, without a vote, two draft resolutions, both contained in the report of the Committee on Information at its thirty-seventh session (document A/70/21).  By the terms of the draft resolution A (document A/70/500 I), titled “Information in the service of humanity”, the Assembly urged all countries, organizations of the United Nations system as a whole and all others concerned, to cooperate with a view to reducing existing disparities in information flows at all levels, by increasing assistance for the development of communications infrastructures and capabilities in developing countries, with due regard for their needs and the priorities attached to such areas by those countries.

By the terms of draft resolution B (document A/70/500 II), “United Nations public information policies and activities”, the Assembly stressed the importance of provision, by the Secretariat to Member States, of clear, timely, accurate and comprehensive information upon request, within existing mandates and procedures.

Turning to decolonization questions, the Assembly then took up a number of draft resolutions contained in, or related to, a report of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples for 2015 (document A/70/23).

By a recorded vote of 175 in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions (France, Israel, United Kingdom, United States), it adopted draft resolution I, “Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations”.  By its terms, the Assembly requested the administering Powers concerned to transmit regularly to the Secretary-General statistical and other information of a technical nature relating to economic, social and educational conditions in the Territories for which they were respectively responsible.

It went on to adopt, by a recorded vote of 176 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (France, United Kingdom), draft resolution II (document A/70/502) on “Economic and other activities which affect the interests of the people of the Non-Self-Governing Territories”.  By its terms, the Assembly urged the administering Powers concerned to take effective measures to safeguard and guarantee the inalienable right of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to their natural resources, and to establish and maintain control over the future development of those resources.

The Assembly then took up draft resolution III (document A/70/503), “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations”, adopting it by a recorded vote of 126 in favour to none against, with 53 abstentions.  In line with the terms of that text, the Assembly urged those and other organizations of the United Nations system that had not yet provided assistance to the Non-Self-Governing Territories to do so as soon as possible.

Taking up two draft resolutions — titled “Offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories” (document A/70/504, L.3) and “Question of Western Sahara” (document A/70/505 I, L.4) — the Assembly adopted both without a vote.

It then went on to adopt draft resolutions IV (document A/70/505 II) on the “Question of New Caledonia”, V (document A/70/505 III), the “Question of French Polynesia”, and VI (document A/70/505 IV), on the “Question of Tokelau”, without a vote.  Similarly without a vote, it adopted draft resolution VII (document A/70/505 V), the annual omnibus resolution on the “Questions of American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands”.

Taking up draft resolution VIII (document A/70/505 VI), “Dissemination of information on decolonization”, the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 175 in favour to 3 against (Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 1 abstention (France).  By that text, the Assembly requested that the United Nations undertake efforts to give publicity to its work in the field of decolonization.

The Assembly then decided to postpone until a later date its consideration of draft resolution IX (document A/70/505 VII), “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples”, pending a review of its programme budget implications by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

Acting without a vote, it then adopted a draft decision titled “Question of Gibraltar” (L.5), by which it urged Spain and the United Kingdom — while listening to the interests and aspirations of Gibraltar, legitimate under international law — to reach a definitive solution to that question, in light of the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and applicable principles, and in the spirit of the Brussels Declaration of 27 November 1984.

The Assembly then adopted, without a vote, a draft decision titled “Proposed programme of work and timetable of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) for the seventy-first session of the General Assembly” (document A/70/529, L.11).

Finally, it took note of a report of the Committee on “Programme planning” (document A/70/529).

For information media. Not an official record.