ASSEMBLY URGES ECONOMIC AID FOR VARIOUS COUNTRIES; SEEKS

STRONGER LINKS BETWEEN UNITED NATIONS AND OSCE

Text on Central America also Approved; UN Self-Examination

Welcomed as Debate Begins on Situation in Bosnia and Herzergovina

The General Assembly this afternoon adopted resolutions calling for special economic assistance to individual countries or regions, assistance to the  Palestinian people, enhanced  cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization  for  Security  and  Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), procedures to establish a firm and lasting peace in Central America  and general and complete disarmament on the issue of small arms.

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Six of the resolutions adopted without a vote this afternoon fell under an agenda item on strengthening the coordination of emergency  humanitarian assistance. Their provisions covered a wide range of actions:

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— on  assistance to  the Palestinian people, the Assembly stressed the importance of the work  of United Nations officials, and of the steps taken under the auspices of  the Secretary-General to ensure the achievement of a coordinated mechanism for United Nations activities throughout the  occupied territories.

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Assembly Work Programme

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Special Economic Assistance to Individual Countries or Regions

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By the terms of draft on assistance to the Palestinian people (A/54/L.52), the Assembly would stress the importance of the work of the United Nations Special Coordinator  for the Middle East peace process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to  the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian Authority and of the steps taken under the auspices of the Secretary-General to ensure the achievement of a coordinated mechanism for United Nations activities throughout the occupied territories.

The Assembly would urge Member States, international institutions of the United Nations system, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and regional and inter-regional organizations to extend as quickly and as generously as possible, economic  and social assistance to the Palestinian people in close cooperation with the  PLO and  through official Palestinian institutions.  It would also urge Member States to open up their markets  to exports of Palestinian products on the most favourable terms.

Further, it would call on the international community to expedite  the delivery  of pledged assistance to the Palestinian  people to  meet their urgent needs.

The draft is sponsored by Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany,  Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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Turning to the draft resolution  on  the  assistance to  the Palestinian people (document A/54/L.52), she said the  General Assembly called upon  the international  donor   community to expedite the delivery of pledged assistance to the Palestinian people to meet their urgent needs.  Moreover, she hoped that the appointment of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and  the Palestinian Authority would have a positive impact on questions related to assistance to the Palestinian people.

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MARWAN A. JILANI, Observer for Palestine,  said he regretted the statement made by Israel on the text on assistance to the Palestinian people.  Peace negotiations, as well as interim agreements, were built on Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 which  both   stressed the principle of the inadmissibility of acquiring land by force.  In addition, the representative of Israel, during  his statement, could not even bring himself to mention the presence of a Palestinian people.

Mr. SHACHAM (Israel) said it was the common interest of all the  parties to aspire  to the language of  peace and the dialogue of reconciliation in both the negotiating room  and the General Assembly.  In its pursuit of a new code of conduct, Israel would take this opportunity to not reply to the Observer for Palestine.

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Document symbol: GA/9687
Document Type: Press Release
Document Sources: General Assembly
Subject: Assistance
Publication Date: 15/12/1999