Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people – GA debate – Verbatim record (excerpts)

Official Records

General Assembly

Sixtieth session 

68th plenary meeting

Thursday, 12 December 2005, 10 a.m. 

New York

  

Vice-President:

Mr. Hamidon  ………………………………………………………….

(Malaysia)

 

    In the absence of the President, Mr. Hamidon (Malaysia), Vice-President, took the Chair.

  

  

    The meeting was called to order at 10.45 a.m.

 

 

Reports of the Second Committee

  

 Mr. Alshabibi (Yemen), Rapporteur of the Second Committee ( spoke in Arabic ): I have the honour to present for the consideration of the Assembly the following reports of the Second Committee on the agenda items allocated to it by the Assembly at its sixtieth session.

  Under agenda item 38, entitled “Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources”, the Second Committee recommends, in paragraph 14 of document A/60/484, the adoption of one draft resolution.

 The Acting President : If there is no proposal under rule 66 of the rules of procedure, I shall take it that the General Assembly decides not to discuss the reports of the Second Committee which are before the Assembly today.

 It was so decided.

The Acting President: I give the floor to the United States.

Mr. Marsh (United States of America): I assume, Sir, that you intend that we should consider these matters seriatim, item by item. Is that correct?

The Acting President: Yes.

Agenda item 38

  

Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources

  

  

    Report of the Second Committee (A/60/484)

 

  The Acting President : The Assembly has before it a draft resolution recommended by the Second Committee in paragraph 14 of its report. We will now take a decision on the draft resolution.

 A recorded vote has been requested.

 A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

  Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, 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 and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

  Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Palau, United States of America.

Abstaining:

  Albania, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu.

  The draft resolution was adopted by 156 votes to 6, with 8 abstentions (resolution 60/183).

  [Subsequently, the delegation of Trinidad and Tobago informed the Secretariat that it had intended to vote in favour; the delegation of Nauru informed the Secretariat that it had intended to vote against.]

 The Acting President : I call on delegations wishing to speak in explanation of vote after the vote.

 Mr. Sermoneta (Israel): We deeply regret that the Second Committee has once again become a political platform for advancing one-sided, unbalanced and inaccurate information regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

  The Second Committee has a vital responsibility before it. Addressing issues that neither enhance our work nor provide pragmatic solutions to the conflict are of no service to any party. The resolution just adopted represents an abuse of the mandate of the Second Committee. It is unfortunate that those who adhere to a myopic, singular political agenda continue to suppress its important priorities and exploit this forum. Ultimately, the important ideals that this institution aspires to serve — integrity, fairness and effectiveness — are likewise undermined.

  Israelis and Palestinians have an important process in place, agreed upon by the Quartet, by which the two parties will engage in direct bilateral negotiations in pursuit of a lasting peace agreement. The resolution just adopted undermines those efforts and prejudges issues to be addressed in those negotiations.

  As in past years, Israel voted against this biased and counter-productive resolution.

 Mr. Sabbagh (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic ): My delegation has asked for the floor to make a general statement. Once again, the international community, through the General Assembly, has reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan and their sovereignty over their natural resources.

  And once again, we have listened as the representative of the occupying authorities ignored the opinion of the international community, despite the fact that the vast majority of delegations voted in favour of the resolution, which received 156 votes in favour. That strong support reflects the international community’s commitment to achieving peace based on decisions and resolutions of international legitimacy and its deep concern with respect to grave Israeli practices, including the use of the natural resources belonging to the Syrian Golan and the occupied Palestinian territories. Those practices deprive the inhabitants of the resources of those areas. The resolution also transmits the international community’s concern at the fact that the occupying Power is dumping various kinds of waste materials that are harmful to the environment in the occupied Arab territories and its concern at the impact of that dumping on the environment and on the health of the Arab civilian population living under the yoke of the occupation.

 The Acting President: I call on the observer for Palestine.

 Mr. Hijazi (Palestine): My delegation has requested the floor to make a general statement.

  I would like to take this opportunity to thank the esteemed Member States who voted in favour of the resolution just adopted, which addresses an issue of critical importance to the Palestinian people. Through that action, the international community reaffirms its commitment to international law and the rights established under that law. The adoption of the resolution also sends a clear message to the Palestinian people, whose rights and resources remain under seizure by the occupying Power, that the international community stands with them and their inalienable right to a life of dignity and prosperity, in which their natural resources are employed for their benefit.

  Additionally, the adoption of the resolution demonstrates the international community’s overwhelming support for holding all States to the same standards and the same responsibilities, clearly demonstrating that no Member of the Organization is above international law and covenants.

  A people’s permanent sovereignty over its natural resources is part and parcel of its inalienable right to self-determination as established by international law, and it must be safeguarded by the international community in the interest of peace and stability. The resolution just adopted, which gained the support of the international community, provides such legal and moral protection.

  Claiming that these resolutions are irrelevant is an assault on the will of the international community, which has repeatedly tried to uphold international law and the principles for which this Organization stands. The adoption of this resolution is repeated annually only because of the belligerence of the occupying Power. If this action is irrelevant to the principles of the United Nations and the obligations of its Members, what, then, is relevant?

  Those accusations reflect the bankruptcy of the accuser, which has run out of all excuses and justifications for continuing to snub the international community and the laws by which that community lives. The United Nations is for all its Members, and the resolutions adopted by its Members are relevant because they represent the will of Members, who constitute the United Nations.

  Once again, on behalf of the Palestinian people, I would like to thank Member States for their support of the resolution just adopted.

 The Acting President : May I take it that it is the wish of the Assembly to conclude its consideration of agenda item 38?

 It was so decided.

    Report of the Second Committee (A/60/488/Add.7)

 

  The Acting President : The Assembly has before it two draft resolutions recommended by the Second Committee in paragraph 24 of its report.

 I call on the observer for Palestine.

 Mr. Hijazi (Palestine): I wish to make a statement on draft resolution I, on the International Year of Deserts and Desertification, 2006.

  My delegation would like to point out that, throughout the lengthy negotiations on the draft resolution, we were positive and transparent in our dealings with all delegations in an attempt to reach a consensus. Unfortunately, the insistence of some parties on advancing certain interests, while failing to take into consideration the legitimate concerns of others involved, resulted in a lack of consensus on the draft resolution.

  The draft resolution does not contain language singling out one country. Instead, it contains language that ensures balance. It welcomes a positive planned step by a Member, while not ignoring that Member's reprehensible actions in the same regard. Omitting a reference to the actions giving rise to concern while praising a step in the planning would send the wrong message, regardless of the Member involved. Hence, this is a matter of principle, not attitude, as some have suggested. What the draft resolution achieves is balance and genuineness, rather than imbalance.

The Acting President: We shall now take action on the draft resolutions recommended by the Second Committee in its report.

Draft resolution I is entitled “International Year of Deserts and Desertification, 2006”.

A separate vote has been requested on the fourth preambular paragraph of draft resolution I. Is there any objection to that request?

As there is none, I shall put the fourth preambular paragraph of draft resolution I to the vote.

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Qatar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Albania, Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Guatemala, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.

Abstaining:

Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay.

The fourth preambular paragraph of draft resolution I was retained by 54 votes to 33, with 68 abstentions.

[Subsequently, the delegations of Brazil, Colombia, Eritrea, Myanmar, Namibia, Saudi Arabia and Somalia informed the Secretariat that they had intended to vote in favour; the delegations of Fiji and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia informed the Secretariat that they had intended to vote against; the delegations of Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Malawi, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Solomon Islands and Trinidad and Tobago informed the Secretariat that they had intended to abstain.]

The Acting President: A separate vote has also been requested on the seventh preambular paragraph of draft resolution I. Is there any objection to that request?

In the absence of objection, I shall put the seventh preambular paragraph of draft resolution I to the vote. A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Albania, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burundi, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay.

Against:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Senegal, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Abstaining:

Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Cameroon, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ghana, Guyana, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Jordan, Liberia, Mali, Nepal, Nicaragua, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).

The seventh preambular paragraph of draft resolution I was retained by 97 votes to 27, with 25 abstentions.

[Subsequently, the delegations of the Bahamas, Colombia, Fiji, Mozambique and Saint Kitts and Nevis informed the Secretariat that they had intended to vote in favour; the delegations of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and the Sudan informed the Secretariat that they had intended to vote against; the delegations of Burundi, Kenya and Trinidad and Tobago informed the Secretariat that they had intended to abstain.]

The Acting President: We shall now put draft resolution I, as a whole, to the vote.

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Against:

Syrian Arab Republic.

Abstaining:

Albania, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Guinea, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.

Draft resolution I was adopted by 120 votes to 1, with 47 abstentions (resolution 60/200).

[Subsequently, the delegations of Panama, Somalia and Trinidad and Tobago informed the Secretariat that they had intended to vote in favour; the delegation of the Sudan informed the Secretariat that it had intended to abstain.]

The Acting President: I shall now give the floor to delegations wishing to speak in explanation of vote after the vote.

 Mr. Carmon (Israel): Israel is a known leader in research on desertification and land degradation. The Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research, in the Negev region, where the international conference we are hosting will take place, is considered to be among the world’s top institutions in this field. Israel’s initiative to include language welcoming that international conference, to be held in cooperation with other Member States, academic institutions and the secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification was motivated by our desire to take part in raising public awareness of desertification and land degradation and to share our proven experience and expertise in that field as part of the celebrations of the International Year, all for the benefit of the international community, in particular the countries affected.

  It is regrettable that a handful of delegations — or rather, one delegation in particular — sabotaged a straightforward resolution and the technical issue it represents, with utter disregard for the importance of the is   It is regrettable that a handful of delegations — or rather, one delegation in particular — sabotaged a straightforward resolution and the technical issue it represents, with utter disregard for the importance of the issue at hand, all for the sake of making a political point.

  Israel believes that such contemptible manoeuvres should be continually challenged, especially in the General Assembly Hall, and rejected. It is for that reason that we called for a separate vote on the fourth preambular paragraph of the resolution.

  We would like to convey our appreciation to those delegations which have supported us in that initiative and to those which have opposed the politicized amendment, thus sending the right message to the amendment’s initiators. I can promise you, Mr. President, and all members that, despite the efforts to discriminate against it, Israel will continue to be proactively and positively involved in the work of the General Assembly, in particular in areas where it can contribute, based on its knowledge and experience, to addressing the issues at the top of the global agenda.

 Mr. Mekdad (Syrian Arab Republic) (spoke in Arabic ): Syria voted against the draft resolution on the International Year of Deserts and Desertification for one simple reason: one delegation’s politicization of the issue. That was also why Syria voted against the seventh preambular paragraph. That paragraph notes that the Israeli occupation authorities will hold an international conference entitled “Deserts and desertification”. Israel’s convening of the conference is intended to deceive the international community in an act of hypocrisy and persuade it of Israel’s contribution to combating desertification at the regional and international levels. But in fact, the Israeli authorities are exacerbating desertification and environmental degradation in the occupied Arab territories of Palestine and Syria. Consider what Israeli tanks and war machinery are doing to the land and the environment of the occupied Palestinian territories in particular.

  Numerous reports of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly note that Israel is carrying out many activities in occupied Arab lands that contribute to the degradation of the soil, such as uprooting trees and destroying wells used by Arab farmers. Israel also draws a large volume of underground water, affecting the area’s river courses. Through those practices, Israel is destroying the environment of the occupied Arab territories. Further, it is burying nuclear and toxic wastes from Israeli industrial sites. The resolution just adopted and the resolution on the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources, both clearly and frankly reflect the international community’s deep concern at those Israeli practices.

  Syria welcomes the retention of the fourth preambular paragraph, proposed by the Arab Group, concerning Israeli practices in the occupied Palestinian territories. Syria reaffirms its support for all that is set out in the resolution on the International Year of Deserts and Desertification, in particular its welcoming of the conference on the protection of deserts and combating desertification, to be held by the friendly State of Algeria.

  Our vote on this draft resolution was due to one simple reason: the seventh preambular paragraph’s politicization of the issue. That is not at all in line with the principal objective of the International Year of Deserts and Desertification.

 Mr. Briz Gutiérrez (Guatemala) (spoke in Spanish ): My delegation wishes to explain its vote on the fourth preambular paragraph of draft resolution I. Guatemala voted against the retention of the fourth preambular paragraph because we believe that its content neither contributes nor is relevant to the aim of the resolution just adopted.

  Guatemala voted in favour of the resolution on the permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the Syrian Golan over their natural resources. That resolution is the source of the language contained in the fourth preambular paragraph of draft resolution I, just adopted. Guatemala believes that the earlier resolution was the most appropriate place to deal with the substantive content of the fourth preambular paragraph of the present draft resolution.

 Mr. Lolo (Nigeria): I have requested the floor to speak in explanation of vote after the votes on the fourth and seventh preambular paragraphs of draft resolution I and to state very clearly that Nigeria fully believes in the objectives of the International Year of Deserts and Desertification. We were party to the consensus on resolution 58/211 in 2003 and maintain that position.

  Although we abstained in the vote on the fourth preambular paragraph, that should not in any way suggest that we have shifted our position on the two-State policy for an independent Israel coexisting with an independent State of Palestine. We fully believe in this, and support both States. Therefore, our vote today should not be interpreted as a shift in Nigeria’s policy.

    The meeting rose at 1.10 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 symbol: A/60/PV.68
Document Type: Meeting record, Verbatim Record
Document Sources: General Assembly
Subject: Agenda Item, Human rights and international humanitarian law
Publication Date: 22/12/2005
2021-10-20T17:48:43-04:00
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