ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
2021 SESSION, 1ST MEETING (AM)
14 SEPTEMBER 2020
The Council then adopted, by a recorded vote of 47 in favour to 3 against (Australia, Canada, United States), with 4 abstentions (Brazil, Malawi, Togo, Ukraine), the draft resolution “Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan” (document E/2021/L.6). By the terms of the resolution, the Council called for accountability on attacks against Palestinians and urged the international community to continue to pursue policies concerning all illegal practices in occupied territories. It also demanded that Israel comply with the April 1994 Protocol on Economic Relations between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and called upon Israel to restore and replace civilian properties, vital infrastructure, agricultural lands and government institutions that have been damaged or destroyed due to its military operations in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Calling for the full opening of Gaza border crossings, in line with Security Council resolution 1860 (2009), the Council also stressed the need to preserve the territorial contiguity, unity and integrity of the Territory, including East Jerusalem, and to guarantee the freedom of movement of persons and goods there, as well as to and from the outside world.
By a recorded vote of 43 in favour to 3 against (Australia, Canada, United States), with 8 abstentions (Brazil, Germany, Jamaica, Montenegro, Netherlands, Switzerland, Togo, Ukraine), the Council adopted the resolution “Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women” (document E/2021/L.7). By its terms, the Council called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately cease all measures contrary to international law, as well as discriminatory legislation, policies and actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people. It also called for urgent measures to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilian population in the Territory, including East Jerusalem, in accordance with the relevant provisions of international humanitarian law and as called for by the Security Council in its resolution 904 (1994).
Prior to the adoption of those resolutions, several representatives explained their delegations’ position, with Germany’s delegate, on behalf of the European Union, saying that members will vote in favour of “L.6”, but concerns remained. Noting that the term “Palestinian Government” is understood to refer to the Palestinian Authority, he said the use of the term “Palestine” cannot be construed as recognizing it as a State, and the Union has not expressed a position on the term “forced displacement”. The United States representative said his delegation would vote against “L.6”, which is an unbalanced, biased resolution. The only realistic path forward is through negotiations, and not through a politicized resolution. He said “L.7” was unhelpful for all involved and that the Council should refocus its energies on shared goals. Israel’s representative described “L.6” as deeply flawed and lacking in balance, underscoring the close cooperation among the Government of Israel, the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority in mitigating the impact of COVID-19. On “L.7,” she said it was a politically motivated text that places all blame on Israel as if it was the only cause of the problems faced by Palestinian women.
Expressing different perspectives, an observer for the State of Palestine said that “L.6” reasserts the economic and social rights of the Palestinian people in the face of persistent violations that undermine their ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and their fundamental rights. He added that “L.7” sets out what needs to be done to transform the reality of Palestinian women. Syria’s representative, referring to “L.6”, strongly rejected plans, as reported in some Israeli media, that the Government of Israel intends to expand settlements in the Syrian Golan. He also said that Israel is imposing its curriculum in schools in the Syrian Golan in an attempt to separate young people from Syria.
For information media. Not an official record.
Document Sources: Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations Department of Global Communications
Subject: Access and movement, Convention: Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, Economic issues, Gaza Strip, Gender, Golan Heights, Human rights and international humanitarian law, Occupation, Refugees and displaced persons, Social issues, Women
Publication Date: 14/10/2020
URL source: https://www.un.org/press/en/2020/ecosoc7026.doc.htm