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«Also Adopts Texts Addressing ‘Protection of Global Climate’; Global Health; Cooperation with Caribbean, South-East Asian States Following two ...»

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26 November 2008

General Assembly

GA/10791

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-third General Assembly

Plenary

60th Meeting (AM)

GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS SIX RESOLUTIONS ON MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINIAN RIGHTS,

FOLLOWING TWO-DAY DEBATE ON ISSUES

Also Adopts Texts Addressing ‘Protection of Global Climate’;

Global Health; Cooperation with Caribbean, South-East Asian States Following two days of sometimes contentious debate on the conflict in the Middle East and the plight of the Palestinian people, the General Assembly today adopted by recorded vote six resolutions meant to promote the Palestinian people’s rights and limit Israel’s actions in Jerusalem and the Syrian Golan. The votes came on a day that saw action on a total of 10 texts, with the other consensus texts addressing climate change, global health, and global and regional cooperation.

The first three Assembly resolutions zeroed in directly on the Palestinian people’s needs, by backing the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and supporting the Secretariat’s efforts to raise awareness of their difficulties through conferences, training programmes, links with civil society and other activities. A fourth affirmed the illegality of Israeli actions to change the status of Jerusalem.

Two additional resolutions on the Middle East region expressed the Assembly’s unhappiness with Israeli moves to control Jerusalem, as well as Israel’s activities in the Syrian Golan, including what it views as Israel’s illegal occupation of the Syrian Golan since 1967.

Turning to other issues, the Assembly adopted resolutions that pushed for immediate action on climate change, and urged Member States to consider health issues when shaping foreign policy and stressed the importance of achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals. Two other texts aimed to reinforce cooperation between the United Nations and the Caribbean, and the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). A fifth resolution, meant to strengthen ties between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization, was introduced and postponed for consideration at a later date.

Regarding the question of Palestine, the Assembly adopted by a recorded vote of 107 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 57 in abstentions, its draft resolution on the “Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People” (for voting details see Annex I). With that text, the Assembly requested the Committee to keep promoting the Palestinians’ realization of their inalienable rights, including their right to self-determination, as it mobilized assistance for them.

By a recorded vote of 106 in favour to 8 against ( Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 57 abstentions (Annex II), the Assembly adopted the resolution on the “Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat”. By this draft, the Assembly requested the Secretary-General to continue providing the Division with the resources needed to carry out its work, which included monitoring developments, organizing international meetings and working with civil society.

By a recorded vote of 162 in favour to 8 against (Australia, Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 4 abstentions (Cameroon, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga) (Annex III), the Assembly next adopted the resolution on the “Special Information Programme on the Question of Palestine of the Department of Public Information of the Secretariat”, by which it requested the Department to continue its programme for the 2009-2010 biennium.

This request included the dissemination of information on all United Nations activities relating to the question and the peace process; putting out publications on the various aspects of the question;

and organizing fact-finding missions for journalists to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel.

The Assembly also adopted by a recorded vote of 164 in favour to 7 against ( Australia, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 3 abstentions ( Cameroon, Canada, Tonga) (Annex IV), the resolution on the “Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine”.

By that text, the Assembly reaffirmed the illegality of Israeli actions meant to change the status of Jerusalem, including the so-called E-1 plan, which aimed to connect Jerusalem to the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. It also reaffirmed the illegality of other unilateral measures that tried to alter the character, status and demographic composition of the city and the Territory as a whole. This included Israel’s construction of a wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem.

Speaking before the votes, the representative of the United States said her country could not support the four resolutions since the texts, in combination with 15 other resolutions that came before the Assembly this year, created a clear pattern of institutional bias. The United States had clearly stated its policy that there should be two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace, and backed that policy with support for both sides.





She was distressed that each year the Assembly devoted a disproportionate number of resolutions to the Middle East, with disproportionate criticism of Israel. Those resolutions, along with others on the Middle East, were repetitive and unbalanced, and at odds with the Assembly’s action on any other State. They placed demands on the Israeli side, while failing to see that both sides must take steps towards peace.

Turning next to the situation in the Middle East, the Assembly adopted two resolutions.

By a recorded vote of 163 in favour to 6 against ( Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 6 abstentions ( Australia, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Fiji, Haiti, Tonga) (Annex V), the Assembly adopted the draft resolution on Jerusalem. In that text, it stressed that a comprehensive and just solution to the question of the city should incorporate Palestinian and Israeli concerns.

By a recorded vote of 116 in favour to 6 against ( Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 52 abstentions (Annex VI), the Assembly adopted the draft resolution on the Syrian Golan. In this text, it expressed concern at the illegal occupation, settlement, construction, and other activities of Israel in the Syrian Golan since 1967. It also requested that all parties concerned, the co-sponsors of the peace process and the entire international community work to resume the peace process by implementing Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).

Speaking after the vote, the observer for Palestine said he looked forward to not having to bother with discussions or resolutions, on what was balanced or not balanced. He wanted to relieve the United Nations of all those resolutions. He hoped that next year, if all the parties moved towards peace, the Palestinian flag would join the other 192 flags at the United Nations. The Palestinian people wanted to live with all their neighbours, including Israel, in peace and security.

In other action, the Assembly adopted by consensus a draft resolution entitled “Protection of global climate for present and future generations of mankind”, contained in a report by the Second Committee (Economic and Financial). With that text, the Assembly stressed the seriousness of climate change and called on States to implement the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It also strongly urged those States that had not yet done so to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to the Convention in a timely way.

As part of an agenda item that focused on integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields, the Assembly adopted by consensus a draft resolution on “Global health and foreign policy”. This stressed the importance of achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals.

In final action, the Assembly adopted by consensus two draft resolutions under its agenda item on cooperation between the United Nations and other organizations.

Introducing the draft resolution on “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Caribbean Community”, the representative of Guyana, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said the most important elements of the text involved sensitive issues in which the need for cooperation was greatest. This included illicit narcotic drugs and weapons and the region’s vulnerability to natural disasters.

With its resolution on “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations”, introduced by the representative of Thailand, the Assembly encouraged the United Nations and the Association to regularly convene summits and cooperate in the delivery of operational development activities.

Also speaking after the vote on the resolutions related to Palestine were the representatives of Iran, France (on behalf of the European Union), and Belize.

Speaking before adoption of the resolutions on the situation in the Middle East was the representative of Iran.

Speaking after adoption of the resolution on the Middle East were the representatives of Brazil (also on behalf of Argentina), Iran and Syria.

Speaking before adoption of the resolution on “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Caribbean Community” was the representative of Venezuela.

The representative of Afghanistan introduced a resolution on “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Economic Cooperation Organization”. The resolution will be considered at a later date.

Speaking after the adoption of the resolution on “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations” was the representative of the United States.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, 2 December, to take up the reports of the First Committee (Disarmament and International Security).

–  –  –

The General Assembly met today to take action on draft resolutions relating to the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East (Please see Press Releases GA/10789 and GA/10790).

It is also expected to take action on several draft texts under agenda items 44 and 114.

Under its agenda item 44 on the “integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields”, the Assembly is to take action on a draft resolution entitled Global health and foreign policy (document A/63/L.28).

By that text, the Assembly would urge Member States to consider health issues in the formulation of foreign policy and stress the importance of achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals. It would request the Secretary-General, in close collaboration with the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), to submit to the Assembly, at its sixty-fourth session, a report on the challenges and activities related to foreign policy and global health. Further by the text, the Assembly would decide to include in its provisional agenda of that session an item entitled “Global health and foreign policy”.

For its consideration of “cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations” (agenda item 114), the Assembly had before it a draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (document A/63/L.40), by which it would continue to encourage the United Nations and the Association to convene summits regularly, and recognize the value of partnership in providing timely responses to global issues of mutual concern.

Further by the text, the Assembly would encourage cooperation between Association member countries and United Nations organizations in the delivery of operational development activities, and request the Secretary-General to submit to the Assembly, at its sixty-fifth session, a report on the implementation of the present resolution. It would also decide to include, in the provisional agenda of that session, a sub-item on cooperation between the two entities.

A draft resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) (document A/63/L.38) would note the Assembly’s grave concern at the current international environment, characterized, in part, by crises in food and energy security, and call on the Secretary-General, in association with the Secretary-General of CARICOM, to assist in furthering the maintenance of peace and security in the region. The Assembly would call for vastly increased efforts by developed countries to strengthen the multilateral development framework to respond more effectively to programme country needs.

Also by the text, the Assembly would urge specialized agencies, among others, to step up cooperation with the Secretaries-General, invite United Nations organizations to increase financial assistance to Caribbean countries for implementing the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework for HIV/AIDS, and stress the urgent need for reopening the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in the region.

Further, the Assembly would reaffirm the goal of strengthening the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, including through mobilizing financial and technological resources, and request the Secretary-General to submit a report, at the sixty-fifth session, on the implementation of the present resolution.



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