66th Plenary Meeting of General Assembly 72nd Session

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07-Dec-2017 01:11:35
General Assembly adopts 38 resolutions, 2 decisions from Fourth Committee, including texts on decolonization, Israeli Palestinian issues at 66th Plenary meeting.

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Upon the recommendation of its Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), the General Assembly adopted 38 resolutions and two decisions today, on issues including decolonization and the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

Among the 22 decolonization texts before the Assembly was a draft resolution on the question of Guam, which it adopted by a recorded vote of 93 in favour to 8 against (France, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Morocco, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States), with 65 abstentions. By its terms, the General Assembly called once again upon the administering Power to take into consideration the expressed will of Guam’s Chamorro people, as supported by Guam voters in the referendum of 1987, and as subsequently provided for in Guam law regarding Chamorro self determination efforts.

By other terms, the Assembly encouraged the administering Power and the territorial government to enter negotiations on that matter, and stressed the need for continued close monitoring of the overall situation in the Territory. By further terms, it called upon the administering Power to participate in and cooperate fully with the Special Committee on Decolonization in efforts to promote self government in Guam, encouraging it to facilitate visits and special missions to the Territory. The Assembly also requested that the Territory and the administering Power protect and conserve the environment against degradation and the impact of militarization.

Also requiring a recorded vote was a draft resolution titled “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations”. The Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 128 in favour to 7 against (Australia, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Israel, Morocco, United Kingdom, United States), with 40 abstentions. By that text, the General Assembly recommended that all States intensify their efforts to ensure full and effective implementation of the decolonization Declaration — contained in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV) — and other relevant resolutions. It also urged specialized agencies and organizations that had not yet provided assistance to Non Self Governing Territories to do so as soon as possible.

Turning to Israeli Palestinian issues, the General Assembly took up nine draft resolutions. It adopted a draft 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 83 in favour to 10 against (Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, United States), with 77 abstentions.

By that text, the Assembly requested that the Special Committee continue investigating Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and to consult with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in order to ensure safeguards for the welfare and human rights of the peoples of the occupied territories. It also requested that the Special Committee submit regular periodic reports to the Secretary General on the current situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and to continue to investigate the treatment and status of prisoners and detainees.

The Assembly also took up a draft titled “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East”, by which it expressed deep concern about the Agency’s critical financial situation and stressed the need for further efforts to comprehensively address its recurrent funding shortages. The Assembly called upon donors to provide early annual voluntary contributions, in accordance with the Grand Bargain on humanitarian financing announced at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2016. The Assembly also expressed concern about continuing restrictions on free movement and access for UNRWA personnel, vehicles and goods, as well as the injury, harassment and intimidation of its staff. The Assembly adopted that draft resolution by a recorded vote of 162 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Guatemala, Nauru, Paraguay, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Vanuatu).

Actin again by recorded vote, the General Assembly adopted drafts relating to election of officers nominated for election to the bureaux of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space; assistance to Palestine refugees; persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent hostilities; Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues; Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and the occupied Syrian Golan; Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem; and the occupied Syrian Golan. It also adopted a text on the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other occupied Arab Territories.

The Assembly went on to adopt, also by recorded vote, draft resolutions on information from Non Self Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the United Nations Charter; economic and other activities affecting the interests of the peoples of the Non Self Governing Territories; dissemination of information on decolonization; and implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.

Closely following the Fourth Committee’s recommendations, the Assembly adopted — without a vote — a series of annual texts on the right of the following Non Self Governing Territories to self determination: Western Sahara, American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, French Polynesia, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands.

Acting again without a vote, the Assembly adopted draft resolutions relating to assistance in mine action; atomic radiation; the peaceful uses of outer space affairs; special political missions; questions relating to information; and offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non Self Governing Territories. It also took note of a report on the comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects, and another on programme planning for the Fourth Committee.

The General Assembly also adopted, without a vote, two draft decisions, one on the question of Gibraltar and the other relating to revitalization of its own work.

Presenting reports for the Assembly’s consideration was the Rapporteur of the Fourth Committee.

Saudi Arabia’s representative also spoke.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 3 p.m. on Thursday, 7 December, to consider reports of its Sixth Committee (Legal).
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