75th plenary meeting
Wednesday, 17 December 2003, 3 p.m.
The Hon. Julian R. Hunte ………………
The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.
Agenda item 40 (continued)
Strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, including special economic assistance
Draft resolution (A/58/L.47)
(e) Assistance to the Palestinian people
Draft resolution (A/58/L.33/Rev.1)
The President : I give the floor to the representative of Italy to introduce, on behalf of the European Union, draft resolutions A/58/L.33/Rev.1 and A/58/L.47.
Mr. Carnelos (Italy): …
Allow me now to introduce the draft resolution contained in document A/58/L.33/Rev.1. This is a draft resolution on assistance to the Palestinian people that reflects the outcome of constructive consultations with interested delegations.
In its preambular paragraphs, the draft resolution, inter alia, expresses great concern at the deterioration in the living conditions of the Palestinian people throughout the occupied territories, which constitutes a mounting humanitarian crisis. It also notes the great economic and social challenges facing the Palestinian people and is conscious of the urgent need for international assistance in that regard. Furthermore, it stresses the need for the full engagement of the United Nations in the process of building Palestinian institutions and providing broad assistance to the Palestinian people.
A new paragraph has been included in the preambular part of the draft resolution that welcomes the Security Council’s unanimous endorsement of the road map through resolution 1515 (2003), in order to reflect the most important political development to occur last year. The new paragraph has also been introduced to highlight the fact that the road map could help relaunch the political dialogue towards comprehensive peace, which would undoubtedly help to improve the situation of Palestinian refugees.
In its operative paragraphs, the draft resolution takes note of the reports of the Secretary-General and his Personal Humanitarian Envoy on the humanitarian conditions and needs of the Palestinian people. Moreover, it urges Member States, the international financial institutions of the United Nations system and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to extend economic and social assistance as rapidly and as generously as possible, including emergency assistance to counter the impact of the current crisis. In that regard, the draft resolution calls upon the international donor community to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance and stresses the importance of ensuring the free passage of aid and the free movement of persons and goods. Finally, the draft resolution requests the Secretary-General to submit a report to the General Assembly at its fifty-ninth session containing an assessment of the assistance received and the needs that are yet to be met.
It is the hope of the sponsors that the draft resolution will find broad support. We regret the fact that the draft resolution will not be adopted by consensus as in previous years.
I should like to announce that, since the publication of the draft resolution, the following countries have become sponsors: Bulgaria, Cuba, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Japan, Lithuania, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.
Finally, I would like to inform members of an oral revision to the eleventh preambular paragraph in order to update the draft resolution vis-à-vis the latest developments to take place on the issue of assistance to the Palestinian people. That paragraph should read as follows:
The President : …
Before giving the floor to the speakers in explanation of vote before the vote, may I remind delegations that explanations of vote are limited to 10 minutes and should be made by delegations from their seats.
Mr. Mekel (Israel): Israel shares the concern of the international community over the deterioration in the humanitarian situation in the Middle East region. Violence and terrorism, by their very nature, entail hardship for the civilian population. Israeli and Palestinian civilians have both endured tremendous pain and suffering as a consequence of the upsurge in terrorism in the last three years. Bringing this suffering to an end and providing for the security and prosperity of all the peoples in the region are critical components of any successful peace initiative and are therefore a prime objective of Israeli policy. In this respect, Israel welcomes the efforts of Member States and of international agencies to relieve the suffering of innocent civilians.
Israel has done its utmost to cooperate with international actors in an effort to facilitate their humanitarian work aimed at improving the living conditions of Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Despite the unrelenting threat of terrorism that Israel confronts on a daily basis, we have consistently tried to permit the flow of food, medicine, humanitarian assistance and other necessities to the greatest extent possible.
While Israel has tried, and will continue to try, to facilitate humanitarian assistance to the greatest extent possible, Palestinian terrorists have consistently exploited any Israeli attempt to ease the conditions of the Palestinian people. Terrorists have viewed measures intended to increase freedom of movement as opportunities to infiltrate Israeli cities. They have used the immunity granted to medical and humanitarian vehicles to smuggle weapons and explosives. It is clear from these examples that terrorists pose a threat not only to those they target, but also to those they hide behind.
It is therefore entirely disingenuous to suggest, as certain speakers did in the debate on this item, that Israeli policies are the source of the hardships facing the Palestinian people. As is obvious to anyone willing to make an honest assessment of Palestinian economic and social development over the past decade, in periods in which the Palestinian leadership was actively confronting terrorist organizations and engaging in serious negotiations with Israel, the living conditions of the Palestinian people steadily improved. It was only with the breakdown of the peace process and the Palestinian resort to a deliberate campaign of terrorism aimed at the citizens of Israel that conditions began to decline.
While it is politically useful for the Palestinians to place the blame for their current predicament solely on Israel’s shoulders, such allegations will do little to offer any relief to Palestinian civilians who do not participate in acts of terror. If the international community is serious about alleviating the humanitarian plight of the Palestinian people, the single most important thing it can do is to insist that the Palestinian leadership end its campaign of violence, terror and incitement, as called for in signed agreements and in the road map.
In previous years, Israel has joined the consensus on the resolution out of concern for the welfare for all civilians in the region, including Palestinian civilians. We have done so despite the fact that the resolution has used terms in reference to the West Bank and Gaza Strip that are not consistent with the terms used in the agreements between the parties and do not reflect, in Israel’s view, the legal status of the West Bank and Gaza as disputed territory which, pursuant to signed agreements, are a matter to be directly negotiated between the two sides.
At the same time, we do not believe that the attention of the international community should be devoted solely to the welfare of Palestinian civilians in this conflict. Israeli citizens, including children suffering from terrorism, are no less deserving of concern.
We will abstain this year on the resolution because it includes new language unrelated to humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, including outright reference to Security Council resolution 1515 (2003), which we do not feel is appropriate or relevant in this context. Our views with respect to this resolution and to the need to focus on implementation of the road map and on negotiations as the agreed basis for resolving the conflict have been made clear elsewhere. We regret that this Assembly session has been used, once again, to further a partisan and political agenda that has sunk to the level of denying Israel the opportunity to present for a vote a draft resolution on the welfare of Israeli children, after an analogous draft resolution on Palestinian children was adopted. In such a cynical, negative and politicized atmosphere, Israel, for all its good will, does not feel it is in a position to support the draft resolution. Nevertheless, we remain hopeful that we will soon be able to return to a process of negotiation, which is the only way to achieve a lasting political settlement for the benefit of all of the people of the region.
The President : We have heard the last speaker in explanation of vote before the vote. The Assembly will now take a decision on draft resolutions A/58/L.31/Rev.1, A/58/L.33/Rev.1, as orally revised, A/58/L.39, A/58/L.40, A/58/L.41, A/58/L.42, A/58/L.43, A/58/L.44, as orally corrected, A/58/L.45, as orally revised, A/58/L.46, as orally corrected, and A/58/L.47.
Draft resolution A/58/L.33/Rev.1 is entitled “Assistance to the Palestinian people” and has been orally revised.
A recorded vote has been requested.
A recorded vote was taken.
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
The draft resolution, as orally revised, was adopted by 170 votes to none, with 2 abstentions (resolution 58/113).
The President : We have heard the only speaker in explanation of vote after adoption. I now give the floor to the Observer of Palestine to make a statement.
Mr. Al-Kidwa (Palestine) (spoke in Arabic): I wish to express our deep thanks to all delegations that supported the draft resolution regarding assistance to the Palestinian people (A/58/L.33/Rev.1), which was adopted a while ago by more than an overwhelming majority. My delegation would also like to thank all the sponsors of that important General Assembly draft resolution. Allow me also to express our gratitude and appreciation to all the donor countries, United Nations agencies, regional commissions and non-governmental organizations, all of which have generously contributed humanitarian and other forms of assistance to the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem. Our people, who are living under extremely harsh conditions that amount to a humanitarian crisis, have deep feelings of gratitude for all those parties.
At the same time, the bulk of assistance is delivered essentially as humanitarian assistance, in lieu of aid for economic development, because of the horrendous conditions created by the occupying Power for the Palestinian people. Therefore, the urgent question is how to change the current conditions in a way that would allow genuine economic development. Against this backdrop, the importance of a political solution pursuant to the road map and Security Council resolution 1515 (2003), assumes special significance.
During past years, and since the beginning of the peace process in 1993, that resolution was adopted by consensus even following changes in the Israeli Government. With deep regret, we note that this year, the Israeli delegation chose to break away from the consensus and to depart from the only positive tradition regarding the Middle East which has been in effect for 10 years. My delegation views that change with grave concern, especially in view of the theme of the draft resolution, namely “Assistance to the Palestinian people”, and in view of the full international consensus on that particular issue.
We also note with regret that the Israeli position carries some extremely dangerous political and legal connotations, which is worse than its breaking away from the consensus. This is the reason for the Israeli position. The Israeli delegation took that stand because of an added paragraph that welcomes the unanimous adoption of Security Council resolution 1515 (2003). Try to imagine this: the Israeli delegation is not satisfied with expressing its views that reject Security Council resolutions in violation of the United Nations Charter and in the context of rejecting the road map, but also breaks away from the consensus on the question of assistance to the Palestinian people, for the very same reason. We believe that such a position should be strongly condemned and that the Assembly should draw proper lessons from that position, as we have done on our part.
We had hoped to end our intervention at this point, but a little while ago, during the explanation of vote, we listened to another Israeli statement that is befitting to occupiers, colonialists and racists, a statement that attempts to convince us that occupation is good for the people and that the Israeli occupying Power does not assume any responsibility for the humanitarian tragedy being endured by the Palestinian people.
In addition, the Israeli statement included phrases that would ensure the end of any peace process in the Middle East. The Israeli delegate claims that the occupied Palestinian territories are “disputed territories”. That statement is an invitation to end the mutual recognition as well as an invitation to the Palestinian side to use phrases such as “the Zionist, racist entity”. Mutual recognition is a matter that relates to both sides and we will never accept that the Israeli side would declare its illegal designs within our territories, which the whole world considers as occupied territory, without any discussion or negotiation. If such statements continue, we will find ourselves obliged to request the General Assembly to condemn those statements and locutions as constituting rejection of the Charter and a challenge to international law and Security Council resolutions. This is quite apart from the fact that such statements do not befit the General Assembly or the United Nations system as a whole.
Allow me in conclusion once again to express our appreciation to the donor community and to the General Assembly for providing assistance to our people, who are living under extremely harsh conditions.
The President : I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the General Assembly to thank Ambassador Hoscheit of Luxembourg for undertaking the task of holding consultations and negotiations on the draft resolutions adopted under agenda item 40.
The General Assembly has thus concluded this stage of its consideration of sub-item (b) of agenda item 40.
May I take it that it is the wish of the General Assembly to conclude its consideration of sub-items (a), (c), (d) and (e) of agenda item 40?
It was so decided.
Agenda item 3 (continued)
Credentials of representatives to the fifty-eighth session of the General Assembly
(b) Report of the Credentials Committee (A/58/625)
Draft resolution (A/58/L.48)
The President : We shall first proceed to consider the draft resolution recommended by the Credentials Committee in paragraph 11 of its report (A/58/625).
The Assembly will now take a decision on the recommendation of the Credentials Committee. The Credentials Committee adopted the draft resolution without a vote. May I take it that the Assembly wishes to do the same?
The draft resolution was adopted (resolution 58/125).
I give the floor to the representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who has asked to speak in explanation of position on the resolution just adopted.
Mr. Hamzehei (Islamic Republic of Iran): My delegation would like to express its reservation on those parts of the report contained in document A/58/625 which may be construed as recognition of Israel.
The President : The General Assembly will now proceed to consider draft resolution A/58/L.48. I give the floor to the representative of Malaysia to introduce the draft resolution.
Mr. Zainuddin (Malaysia): My delegation has the honour to introduce, on behalf of the sponsors, a draft resolution entitled “Representation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, as contained in document A/58/L.48 dated 15 December 2003. This draft resolution was originally sponsored by 24 delegations: Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Comoros, Cuba, Djibouti, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Palestine. In addition, three delegations have joined the list of sponsors: Brunei Darussalam, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The sponsors wish to recall that at their Thirteenth Summit Conference held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, last February the heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement
In addition, the Second Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, held in Maputo, Mozambique, last July, and the Tenth Session of the Islamic Summit Conference, held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, last October endorsed a similar position.
By the terms of this draft resolution, the General Assembly, having considered the report of the Credentials Committee (A/58/625), would affirm
The second preambular paragraph of the draft resolution would factually note that,
The third preambular paragraph of this draft resolution would express the Assembly’s “hope that the Palestinian people will soon exercise sovereignty in their State, Palestine”.
By the fourth preambular paragraph, the General Assembly would also reaffirm “the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force”, in accordance with the Charter.
This draft resolution does not in any way intend to challenge the report of the Credentials Committee (A/58/625), which the General Assembly has just adopted. As far as the sponsors are concerned, the report remained unchanged as submitted and as adopted. In addition, this initiative is not an attempt to interfere at all with the technical aspects of the accreditation process, which rightfully falls within the direct purview of the Credentials Committee.
The sponsors wish to stress that the representation of Israel to the United Nations, including to the General Assembly, must be in conformity with international law. We are all very well aware that numerous resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council have documented the fact that the territories in question are indeed under the illegal occupation of Israel. Therefore, the credentials of the delegation of Israel do not cover the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem. In addition, the draft resolution does not in any way intend to challenge either the presence of the delegation of Israel at the United Nations or its participation in the General Assembly. It is only aimed at ensuring that such participation takes place in accordance with international law.
The sponsors also wish to stress that the draft resolution should not in any way be construed as an attempt by the General Assembly to address territorial or border disputes. The Charter does not have any provisions to that effect, and we are fully aware of this. The issue that is now before us concerns specifically the question of the representation of the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967 through various means that are in contradiction to the Charter and international law.
The adoption of this draft resolution would not have any bearing on the currently stalled efforts on final status negotiations between Israel and Palestine, which undeniably would have to be determined by the parties concerned. Pending the eventual resolution of such negotiations, one has valid reasons to ask why this Assembly could not, at the very least, pronounce itself on the question of the legitimate representation of the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, at the General Assembly at this juncture, or at any other time for that matter.
Finally, the sponsors are convinced that the adoption of this draft resolution would send a strong signal to the Government of Israel of the continued determination of the Assembly to demand the complete cessation of illegal annexation and occupation by Israel of Palestinian territory. The adoption of this draft resolution would also confirm the fact that the Observer delegation of Palestine to the United Nations is the rightful representative of the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, at the United Nations, as indicated by its de facto status of providing such representation. We believe that such a just cause, premised on a legitimate basis, rightfully deserves the broadest support from States Members of the United Nations.
Given the significance of this issue, the sponsors recognize the necessity of continuing our informal consultations to secure the broadest agreement of the membership of this body on the draft resolution. Bearing that in mind, we do not insist that action be taken on the draft resolution today. However, it is the intention of the sponsors to revisit this issue in the immediate future during the current session of the General Assembly to enable the Assembly to take action on this draft resolution.
The President : I shall now call on those representatives who wish to speak in exercise of the right of reply. May I remind members that, in accordance with General Assembly decision 34/401, statements in exercise of the right of reply are limited to 10 minutes for the first intervention and to five minutes for the second intervention and should be made by delegations from their seats.
Mr. Mekel (Israel): Israel would like to express its firm opposition to the latest attempt by the Palestinians to further their political campaign against Israel. In past years, the frequent and annual abuse of the credentials-approval procedure by the Palestinians has been roundly rejected by an overwhelming number of States, but the draft resolution before us today is even more damaging and far-reaching than any previous Palestinian initiatives, as it attempts to delineate Palestinian territory under the pretext of defining Israel’s credentials. Far from addressing the legitimate concerns of States, the new draft resolution not only seeks to attack Israel’s credentials, but purports to grant rights of territorial representation to an Observer Mission which has no authority in that regard. This marks a dangerous effort by the Palestinian Observer to redefine the mandate of the Credentials Committee and the role of the Assembly in the credentials process.
The Palestinian draft resolution attempts to politicize a wholly technical function of the United Nations. The process of approving credentials, and the agenda item under which this takes place, seek to ensure that credentials submitted comply with the requirements set forth and the rules of procedure, and that members of delegations are duly authorized by the legitimate Government of the sending State.
In the case of Israel, the legitimacy of its representatives is not in any way in question. This initiative deals not with the question of individual credentials, but with territorial issues that have absolutely no place under this agenda item. The preambular and operative paragraphs of this draft resolution are rife with political assertions that seek to predetermine unilaterally the outcome of a territorial dispute that the parties have agreed to resolve by negotiation. Such an abuse of the credentials procedures to advance partisan initiatives is unprecedented and wholly inappropriate. The proposed draft resolution represents a violation of Palestinian undertakings in the peace process agreements. In both the Declaration of Principles and the Interim Agreement signed between Israel and the PLO, it has been agreed that neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations, and that the status of those areas will be preserved during the interim period.
It should also be noted that, under the Interim Agreement, neither the PLO nor the Palestinian Council elected within the West Bank and Gaza Strip is authorized to conduct foreign relations in respect of those areas, whether in the United Nations or in any other international forum. The Agreement states specifically that the Palestinian Council has no powers or responsibilities in the sphere of foreign relations, while the PLO is only permitted to enter into agreements for the benefit of the Council in the limited cases set out in the Agreement.
The designation “Palestine” used within the United Nations system has no territorial connotation. General Assembly resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988, which provided that the designation “Palestine” should be used in place of the designation “Palestine Liberation Organization”, emphasized that this was without prejudice to the observer status and functions of the Palestine Liberation Organization within the United Nations system. Not only does the Palestinian proposal violate Palestinian undertakings and General Assembly resolutions; it also violates the fundamental principle of universality in the United Nations. No such draft resolution has been proposed in relation to any other State in the United Nations, even though more than 80 of the States Members of the United Nations have territorial disputes.
Countenancing political objections to Israel’s credentials would represent a conspicuous act of discrimination against a Member State and would represent a dangerous precedent. Abuse of the credentials process could open a Pandora’s box with regard to the many countries involved in territorial disputes throughout the world. Already, a disproportionate amount of United Nations time and resources is devoted to Palestinian initiatives. The attempt to transform every possible aspect of the General Assembly’s work into a platform for scoring political points is a practice that should be strongly discouraged.
This initiative unduly harms the reputation of the United Nations, diverts our resources from important substantive issues on the Assembly’s agenda and contributes nothing to the prospect of peace and security in the region.
Palestinian actions at the United Nations contradict all efforts to restart the negotiating process through the road map. The abuse of the credentials procedure is but the latest example of how the United Nations has been hijacked by narrow partisan interests that destroy its positive role and create dangerous precedents. As these incidents continue, the voice of the Assembly on Middle East affairs seizes to have legitimacy and moral authority because of the tolerance shown to this kind of tactics.
Mr. Al-Kidwa (Palestine): At the outset, we have to admit that we did not quite understand the nature of the last statement made by the Israeli representative. We could not grasp the meaning of the right of reply because we did not know to what it was intended to reply. In any case, we believe also that the Israeli representative was not listening to the points raised in the introduction of the draft resolution by the representative of Malaysia. Otherwise, he would not have mentioned many of his points.
Let me nevertheless clarify a few points. First, there has been no past initiative similar to the current one. Secondly, the case in question has nothing to do with the technical aspects of the accreditation process nor with the report of the Credentials Committee. It has nothing to do as well with territorial disputes or border disputes. It is the case of one State — Israel — occupying the whole territory of another people — the Palestinian people — for more than 36 years, intensively colonizing the land through the illegal transfer of its nationals and the confiscation of land, in addition to the annexation of part of the territory it has occupied. Indeed, this case concerns the fate of mandated Palestine partitioned by the General Assembly, the need for the realization of the State of Palestine and upholding the two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Thirdly, for 36 years Israel has been the only Member of the United Nations, at least until recently, determined by the Security Council to be an occupying Power, as reflected in at least 18 Security Council resolutions, none of which, in addition to the other 19 applicable resolutions, have been complied with by the occupying Power. Let me repeat the numbers: 18 Security Council resolutions, plus another 19 applicable resolutions have never been complied with by the occupying Power.
Fourthly, the Israeli opposition to this proposal is a clear indication of its real position: its rejection of ending its occupation of the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, its rejection of ceasing and reversing its settlement activities and its rejection of the existence of an independent sovereign State of Palestine. In fact, it is a rejection of the vision of a two-State solution for peace in the Middle East. Otherwise, Israel would not have difficulty in accepting the proposed draft resolution — and it actually might not have been needed in such a case.
Fifthly, the draft resolution has always been necessary. Yet it has become even more essential in the light of Israel’s actual construction of an expansionist wall inside the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. That wall has involved the confiscation and destruction of thousands of dunums of Palestinian land, the destruction of the livelihoods and lives of tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians and the de facto annexation of large areas of occupied territory. That wall is the wall that will end any attempt at peace in the Middle East. That is another reason why we have to take action and, hopefully, to adopt the draft resolution.
Finally, we hope that we will deal with this important matter in the very near future, as indicated during the introduction of the draft resolution by the representative of Malaysia on behalf of the 27 sponsors.
The President : In view of the statement made earlier by the representative of Malaysia on behalf of the sponsors of draft resolution A/58/L.48, the General Assembly has thus concluded this stage of its consideration of agenda item 3.
The meeting rose at 5.45 p.m.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.
Document Type: Meeting record, Provisional verbatim record, Verbatim Record, Voting record
Document Sources: General Assembly
Subject: Agenda Item, Assistance, Credentials, PLO/Palestine, Situation in the OPT including Jerusalem, Statehood-related
Publication Date: 17/12/2003