Third Committee Approves Draft Resolution “Right of the Palestinian People to Self-determination” – Press Release (Excerpts) (GA/SHC/4223)

20 NOVEMBER 2017



Rights of Peoples to Self-Determination

The Committee next took up a draft resolution titled “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” (document A/C.3/72/L.59*).

The representative of Israel said peace must be negotiated and not imposed. Only Israelis and Palestinians could make the difficult compromises needed to forge lasting peace.  The draft targeted Israel and encouraged Palestine to take unilateral steps rather than negotiate, she stressed, adding that the solution to the conflict did not lie in New York.  Calling for a recorded vote, she said she would vote against the draft.

The Committee then approved the draft by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, the United States), with 6 abstentions (Cameroon, Honduras, Kiribati, South Sudan, Togo, Tonga).

By its terms, the Assembly would reaffirm the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine.  It would also urge all States and specialized United Nations agencies to continue to support and assist Palestinians in the early realization of their right to self-determination.

The representative of Argentina, speaking in an explanation of vote, reaffirmed his country’s recognition of Palestinians’ right to self-determination.  Having voted in favour of the draft, he called for a free and independent Palestinian State.

The representative of the State of Palestine, thanking States that had voted in favour of the draft, said such overwhelming support represented a reaffirmation of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.  That right was central to the conflict and drafts on the matter reflected the collective will to uphold international law.  She expressed hope that the draft’s adoption would send a powerful message to Israel that its narrative of the situation was not accepted.  It was clear that Israel opposed peace and worked to make a two-State solution impossible.  Injustice had persisted for too long.  The time had come to hold Israel accountable, she said, stressing that the international community had a duty to end the occupation.



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