21 DECEMBER 2016

GA/1170

SEVENTY-FIRST SESSION, 66TH MEETING (PM)

General Assembly Takes Action on Second Committee Reports by Adopting 37 Texts

Resolution Establishing International Mechanism Concerning Syria Passed in Direct Plenary Action

Reaffirming the role of the Second Committee (Economic and Financial) in promoting sustainable development, the General Assembly today adopted 36 resolutions and one decision forwarded by that Committee.

Five of those took a recorded vote, including a resolution on “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” by the terms of which the Assembly demanded that Israel stop exploiting, damaging, depleting or endangering natural resources in that Territory.  Further, it recognized the Palestinians’ right to claim restitution for damage, loss, depletion or endangerment of natural resources due to illegal measures taken by Israel and its settlers.

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Introduction of Reports

GLAUCO SEOANE (Peru), Rapporteur of the Second Committee…Finally, he introduced reports 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 (document A/71/470);  

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The Assembly then turned to a resolution titled “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” (document A/71/470), adopting it by a recorded vote of 168 in favour and 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 11 abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly demanded that Israel stop exploiting, damaging, depleting or endangering natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan, stressing that the wall and settlements Israel was building in the Occupied Palestinian Territory were against international law and deprived Palestinians of natural resources.

By further terms, the Assembly called on Israel to end all actions harming the environment, such as the dumping of waste materials, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and occupied Syrian Golan, recognizing the Palestinians’ right to claim restitution for damage, loss, depletion or endangerment of natural resources due to illegal measures taken by Israel and its settlers.

Also by the text, the Assembly called on Israel to stop destroying vital infrastructure, including water pipelines, sewage and electricity networks, and stop demolishing or confiscating Palestinian homes and civilian infrastructure, agricultural lands and water wells.  It stressed the urgent need for reconstruction and development projects, including in the Gaza Strip.

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The representative of Venezuela, condemning the continued escalation of violence in Syria as a result of the war waged by more than 60 terrorist groups seeking to undermine the legitimate Government, said that the war was also destabilizing the region as a whole.  The main people responsible for the suffering were now saying they were concerned about the suffering.  It was clear that there was a bias in favour of toppling the Government.  Noting the disastrous consequences of such actions in Libya and Iraq, he asked why war crimes in Palestine and Libya and Yemen were not investigated as well.  The current resolution was biased and politically motivated and Venezuela would vote against it. 

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For information media. Not an official record.