Draft report of the Trade and Development Board on its sixty-second session
Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, from 14 to 25 September 2015
Report to the United Nations General Assembly
The sixty-second session of the Trade and Development Board was held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, from 14 to 25 September 2015. In the course of the session, the Board held 14 plenary meetings, the 1128th to the 1141st.
Report on UNCTAD assistance to the Palestinian people
8. At its 1137th plenary meeting, on 21 September 2015, the Board took note of the report by the UNCTAD secretariat (TD/B/62/3) and the statements made by delegations. The Board decided, in accordance with General Assembly decision 47/445, that the report of the Trade and Development Board on its sixty-second session to the General Assembly would include an account of the deliberations under this item.
J. Report on UNCTAD assistance to the Palestinian people
(Agenda item 10 (b))
75. Six groups, 14 member States and one international organization responded to the report on UNCTAD assistance to the Palestinian people (TDB/62/3). Unanimously, they expressed appreciation for the report, echoed its findings and recommendations, and described it as being accurate, timely and comprehensive.
76. In summarizing the report, the representative of the secretariat referred to the bleak economic prospects in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the withholding of Palestinian revenues by the Government of Israel and the unlivable conditions in Gaza. There was a need to lift the blockade on Gaza and reactivate the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access. He urged member States to secure resources for the implementation of General Assembly resolution 69/20 and capacity-building projects.
77. The representative of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction noted that the reconstruction of Gaza and donor disbursements had been slow in coming. With the number of Israeli settlers reaching 651,000, the Israeli occupation was becoming a settler colonial structure, doing away with the two-State solution. If current demographic trends continued, Israel would become a de jure apartheid State. General Assembly resolution 69/20 should be fully implemented with the necessary resources, and the next report on UNCTAD assistance to the Palestinian people should focus on Jerusalem.
78. Many delegates welcomed the resolution, which requested UNCTAD to "report to the General Assembly on the economic costs of the Israeli occupation for the Palestinian people" and urged member States and the United Nations to secure the resources necessary for its implementation.
79. There was consensus among the membership that the deterioration of socioeconomic conditions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory was alarming. Israeli restrictions, confiscation of resources, settlements, demolition of assets and military operations had contributed to those conditions. Many delegates requested that the Government of Israel should abide by international law. Many delegates praised reforms implemented by the Palestinian Authority, while the representative of one regional group described it as the foundation for the future Palestinian State and the two-State solution, recommending further reforms and the disarmament of terrorist groups.
80. Most delegations expressed concern about the frequent withholding of Palestinian tax revenue by Government of Israel, which they described as collective punishment. They urged the Government to commit to a non-conditional transfer of Palestinian revenue.
81. Overall, delegates agreed that the Israeli military attacks and blockade on Gaza were behind its "de-development", poverty and unlivable conditions. Some delegates noted that "imprisoning" an entire population should not be accepted in the twenty-first century. Some delegates deplored the slow reconstruction efforts and called for a fundamental change in the political and economic environment.
82. Most delegates welcomed the successful implementation of technical assistance projects in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, requested UNCTAD to continue its assistance and urged donors to provide the necessary resources to do so.