SEVENTY-FOURTH SESSION, 47TH MEETING (AM)
GA/12228
13 DECEMBER 2019

Français

Upon the recommendation of its Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), the General Assembly adopted 35 resolutions and three decisions today, concerning Israeli‑Palestinian and decolonization issues, among others.

The Assembly adopted a resolution titled “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” by a recorded 167 votes in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 7 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Guatemala, Nauru, Rwanda, Vanuatu).

By terms of that text, the Assembly expresses deep concern about UNRWA’s critical financial situation and notes that contributions to the Agency have not been predictable enough or sufficient to meet growing needs or remedy persistent shortfalls, exacerbated by the 2018 suspension of contributions from UNRWA’s largest single voluntary donor.

The Assembly commends, by other terms, the Agency’s measures to address the financial crisis, while expressing profound concern that, despite such measures, its programme budget faces persistent shortfalls that continue to threaten the delivery of core programmes to Palestine refugees.  By further terms, the Assembly expresses its appreciation for the efforts of UNRWA’s Commissioner‑General and staff, particularly considering the difficult conditions, instability and crises of the past year.

Moreover, the Assembly expresses its grave concern about attempts to discredit the Agency despite its proven operational capacity and consistent implementation of its mandate.  Further by the text, it urges Israel to expeditiously reimburse UNRWA for all transit charges incurred and other financial losses sustained as a result of delays and restrictions on movement and access imposed by that country.

The Assembly went on to adopt — by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 9 abstentions (Cameroon, Canada, Guatemala, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Vanuatu) — a resolution titled “Assistance to Palestine refugees.”  By that text, the Assembly decides to extend UNRWA’s mandate until 30 June 2023, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III).

Further by that text, the Assembly expresses concern regarding the negative implications of UNRWA’s severe financial crisis and the difficult situation of Palestine refugees under occupation, while underlining the importance of assistance and the urgent need for reconstruction.  It calls upon all donors to continue strengthening their efforts to meet UNRWA’s anticipated needs — including for recent emergency, recovery and reconstruction appeals — plans for the Gaza Strip and regional crisis‑response plans to address the situation of Palestine refugees in Syria.

In addition, the Assembly narrowly adopted a resolution titled “Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories” by a recorded vote of 81 in favour to 13 against, with 80 abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly demands that Israel cooperate with the Special Committee and requests that the latter continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially its violations of the Geneva Convention.  Moreover, it requests that the Special Committee continue to investigate the treatment and status of thousands of prisoners and detainees, including children, women and elected representatives, held in Israeli prisons and detention centres within the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  The Assembly also requests that the Secretary‑General provide the Special Committee with all necessary facilities, including those required for its visits to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

By a recorded 162 votes in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, United States), with 11 abstentions, the Assembly adopted the draft “Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities”.  By its terms, the Assembly reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence.  It further stresses the need for the accelerated return of those displaced, strongly appealing to all Governments, organizations and individuals to contribute generously to the Agency and others in that regard.

The Assembly went on to adopt a text titled “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 12 abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly requests that the Secretary‑General take all appropriate steps to protect Arab properties, assets and property rights in Israel.  Further, it calls upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General in implementation of the resolution.  Moreover, the Assembly urges both the Palestinian and Israeli sides to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues within the framework of final‑status peace negotiations.

Taking up the resolution “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan”, the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, United States), with 15 abstentions.  According to that text, the Assembly condemns Israel’s settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  It deplores, by other terms, that country’s construction and expansion of settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem, as well as its plans to demolish the Palestinian village of Khan al‑Ahmar, in contravention of international law, which would have serious consequences in terms of the displacement of its residents.

The Assembly then took up a draft resolution titled “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, adopting it by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 9 against (Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, United States), with 13 abstentions.

By that text, the Assembly urges the parties to observe calm and restraint and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, especially in areas of religious and cultural sensitivity, including in East Jerusalem.  It also condemns all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, and especially any use of force by Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, in violation of international law.  In particular, the Assembly condemns violence in the Gaza Strip, including against journalists, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel.

The Assembly went on to adopt a draft titled “The occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/74/L.17) by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 20 abstentions.

/…

Action on Draft Resolutions

The General Assembly was expected to take action on drafts contained in reports of its Fourth Committee relating to the following agenda items:

/…

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (document A/74/409); report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories (document A/74/410);

/…

The Assembly then turned to a series of draft resolutions on issues relating to Palestine refugees and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

It began by adopting — by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 9 abstentions (Cameroon, Canada, Guatemala, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Vanuatu) — a draft resolution titled “Assistance to Palestine refugees” (document A/C.4/74/L.10).  By that text, the General Assembly decides to extend UNRWA’s mandate until 30 June 2023, without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 11 of General Assembly resolution 194 (III).  By other terms, the Assembly expresses concern about the negative implications of the Agency’s severe financial crisis and regarding the difficult situation of Palestine refugees under occupation, underlining the importance of assistance and the urgent need for reconstruction.  It calls upon all donors to continue strengthening their efforts to meet UNRWA’s anticipated needs, including for recent emergency, recovery and reconstruction appeals, plans for the Gaza Strip and regional crisis‑response plans to address the situation of Palestine refugees in Syria.

By a recorded 162 votes in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, United States), with 11 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted the draft “Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities” (document A/C.4/74/L.11).  By the terms of that text, the Assembly reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence.  It further stresses the need for the accelerated return of those displaced, strongly appealing to all Governments, organizations and individuals to contribute generously to UNRWA and others in that regard.

The Assembly then took up a draft titled “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (document A/C.4/74/L.12), adopting it by a recorded 167 votes in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 7 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Guatemala, Nauru, Rwanda, Vanuatu).  By that text, the Assembly expresses deep concern about UNRWA’s critical financial situation and notes that contributions have not been predictable enough or sufficient to meet growing needs and remedy persistent shortfalls, exacerbated by the 2018 suspension of contributions from the Agency’s largest single voluntary donor.

By other terms, the Assembly commends UNRWA’s measures to address the financial crisis but expresses profound concern that, despite such measures, the Agency’s programme budget faces persistent shortfalls that continue to threaten the delivery of core programmes to Palestine refugees.  Further by the text, the Assembly expresses its appreciation for the efforts of UNRWA’s Commissioner‑General and staff, particularly considering the difficult conditions, instability and crises of the past year.  Moreover, the Assembly expresses its grave concern over attempts to discredit the Agency despite its proven operational capacity and consistent implementation of its mandate.  The Assembly urges Israel, by other terms, to expeditiously reimburse UNRWA for all transit charges incurred and other financial losses sustained as a result of delays and restrictions on movement and access imposed by that country.

The Assembly went on to adopt a draft titled “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” (document A/C.4/74/L.13) by a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 12 abstentions.  By that text, the Assembly requests that the Secretary‑General take all appropriate steps to protect Arab properties, assets and property rights in Israel.  Further, it calls upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary‑General in implementation of the resolution.  Moreover, the Assembly urges both the Palestinian and Israeli sides to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues within the framework of final‑status peace negotiations.

The Assembly then turned to a report on Israel’s practices in occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, narrowly adopting the draft “Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories” (document A/C.4/74/L.14) by a recorded 81 votes in favour to 13 against, with 80 abstentions.

By that text, the Assembly demands that Israel cooperate with the Special Committee and requests that the latter continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially its violations of the Geneva Convention.  Moreover, it requests that the Special Committee continue to investigate the treatment and status of thousands of prisoners and detainees — including children, women and elected representatives — held in Israeli prisons and detention centres within the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  Further, the Assembly requests that the Secretary‑General provide the Special Committee with all necessary facilities, including those required for its visits to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Assembly went on to adopt the draft resolution “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/74/L.15) by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, United States), with 15 abstentions.  According to that text, the Assembly condemns Israel’s settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  It also deplores, by other terms, Israel’s construction and expansion of settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem, including its so‑called E‑1 plan, which aims to connect illegal settlements and further isolate occupied East Jerusalem.  The Assembly further deplores plans to demolish the Palestinian village of Khan al‑Ahmar, in contravention of international law, which would have serious consequences in terms of the displacement of village residents and severely threaten the viability of a two‑State solution, given that area’s sensitive location.

Further by that text, the Assembly condemns Israel’s demolition of Palestinian buildings in the neighbourhood of Wadi al‑Hummus, in the village of Sur Bahir, south of occupied East Jerusalem.  Moreover, it reiterates its demand for the immediate and complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the entire Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan, calling in that regard for full implementation of all relevant resolutions of the Security Council.

Taking up a draft titled “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem” (document A/C.4/74/L.16), the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 9 against (Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, United States), with 13 abstentions.

By that resolution, the Assembly urges the parties to observe calm and restraint and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement and inflammatory rhetoric, especially in areas of religious and cultural sensitivity, including in East Jerusalem.  It also condemns all acts of violence, including all acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction, and especially any use of force by Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians, in violation of international law.  In particular, the Assembly condemns violence in the Gaza Strip, including against journalists, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel.  It also demands that Israel cease all measures contravening international law, as well as discriminatory legislation, policies and actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people.

The Assembly went on to adopt the draft “The occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/74/L.17) by a recorded vote of 157 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 20 abstentions.  By that text the General Assembly calls upon Israel to comply with the relevant resolutions and to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, and in particular to desist from establishing settlements.  Further, the Assembly calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and identity cards upon Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan.

/…

For information media. Not an official record.