41st Plenary Meeting - General Assembly 75th Session

Preview Language:   English
10-Dec-2020 01:00:58
General Assembly adopts 34 draft resolutions, decisions from Fourth Committee, including texts on Middle East, decolonization, information questions.

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Upon the recommendation of its Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization), the General Assembly adopted 34 draft resolutions and 3 draft decisions today, on questions ranging from the Israeli‑Palestinian conflict and decolonization to the effects of atomic radiation and the peaceful uses of outer space.

The Assembly adopted the resolution “Assistance to Palestine refugees” by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 7 abstentions (Cameroon, Canada, Kiribati, Madagascar, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau). By that text, the General Assembly expresses grave concern at the difficult situation of Palestine refugees under occupation, in particular those in the Gaza Strip, underlining the importance of assistance and urgent reconstruction efforts in the blockaded enclave. The Assembly calls upon all donors to continue strengthening their efforts to meet the anticipated needs of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), including for recent emergency, recovery and reconstruction appeals and plans for Gaza, as well as regional crisis response plans to address the situation of Palestine refugees in Syria.

It went on to adopt the resolution “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” by a recorded 162 votes in favour to 4 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, United States), with 9 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Guatemala, Kiribati, Madagascar, Malawi, Nauru, Solomon Islands). By that text, the General Assembly expresses deep concern about the Agency’s critical financial situation, noting that contributions have been neither predictable nor sufficient to meet its growing needs. As such, the Assembly stresses the need for further efforts to comprehensively address UNRWA’s recurrent funding shortfalls, while also commending its measures to address the financial crisis, such as implementing the Medium Term Strategy and various internal measures.

Further by that text, however, the Assembly also expresses profound concern that, despite those steps, the UNRWA’s programme budget, funded primarily through voluntary contributions from Member States and intergovernmental organizations, faces persistent shortfalls, increasingly threatening the Agency’s core programmes. By other terms, the Assembly calls upon Israel to ensure the expedited and unimpeded import of all necessary construction materials into Gaza and to reduce the burdensome cost of importing UNRWA supplies. It also calls upon donors to ensure early annual voluntary contributions, less earmarking and multi‑year funding.

The Assembly also adopted the draft “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” by a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 5 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Nauru, United States), with 12 abstentions. By that text, the General 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 the resolution’s implementation, and upon all parties concerned to provide the Secretary‑General with any pertinent information concerning such property in Israel. Moreover, the Assembly urges the Palestinian and Israeli sides, as agreed between them, to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues within the framework of final‑status peace negotiations.

In another recorded vote, the Assembly narrowly adopted the resolution “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 76 in favour to 14 against, with 83 abstentions. By its terms, the General Assembly requests that the Special Committee continue to investigate Israeli policies and practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially violations of the Geneva Convention. It also requests that the Special Committee regularly submit periodic reports on the situation to the Secretary‑General and continue to investigate the treatment and status of prisoners and detainees.

The Assembly then adopted the resolution “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan”, by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Israel, Hungary, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, United States), with 17 abstentions. By that text, the General Assembly condemns acts of violence, destruction, harassment, provocation and incitement by Israeli settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and calls upon Israel to accept the de jure applicability of the Geneva Convention and comply with all of its obligations under international law. Moreover, it demands that Israel comply with its legal obligations, as mentioned in the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice.

Taking up the resolution “Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem”, the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 147 in favour to 10 against (Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Hungary, Israel, Liberia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, United States), with 16 abstentions. By its terms, the General Assembly demands that Israel cease all practices and actions violating the human rights of the Palestinian people, including the killing and injury of civilians, the arbitrary detention and imprisonment of civilians, forced displacement, and any obstruction of humanitarian assistance, among other things. It also demands that Israel comply fully with the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention and cease all settlement activities, construction of the wall and any other measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Assembly then adopted the resolution “The occupied Syrian Golan” by a recorded vote of 151 in favour to 3 against (Israel, Liberia, 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, it calls upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and identity cards on Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan.

Turning to decolonization questions, the Assembly adopted the draft “Information from Non‑Self‑Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations” by a recorded vote of 175 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 3 abstentions (France, Liberia, United Kingdom). By that text, the General Assembly requests that administering Powers transmit or continue to regularly transmit to the Secretary‑General statistical and other technical information relating to the economic, social and educational conditions in the Territories within a maximum period of six months following the expiration of the administrative year.

The Assembly then adopted the draft resolution “Economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non‑Self‑Governing Territories” by a recorded 174 votes in favour to 3 against (Israel, Liberia, United States), with 3 abstentions (Central African Republic, France, United Kingdom). By that text, the Assembly reaffirms its deep concern over the number and scale of natural disasters in the course of 2017 and their devastating impact on Caribbean Non‑Self‑Governing Territories. It also expresses concern about activities aimed at exploiting the natural and human resources of the Territories to the detriment of their inhabitants. Further, the Assembly calls upon administering Powers to ensure that the exploitation of marine and other natural resources in the Territories neither violates relevant United Nations resolutions nor adversely affects the interests of their peoples. It also calls upon those Powers to provide all necessary assistance to those in the Territories affected by hurricanes in order to alleviate humanitarian needs, support recovery and rebuilding efforts, and enhance emergency preparedness and risk reduction capabilities.

By a recorded 126 votes in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 50 abstentions, the Assembly then adopted the draft “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”. By its terms, the Assembly recommends that all States intensify their efforts to ensure full and effective implementation of the Declaration through specialized agencies and other entities of the United Nations system. It also urges those that have not yet provided assistance to Non‑Self‑Governing Territories to do so as soon as possible.

Taking up the draft “Dissemination of information on decolonization”, the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 173 in favour to 3 against (Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 2 abstentions (France, Togo). By that text, the General Assembly requests that the Department of Global Communications continue its efforts to update web‑based information on the assistance programmes available to Non‑Self‑Governing Territories. It also requests that the Department, alongside the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, implement the recommendations of the Special Committee on Decolonization.

The Assembly then took up the draft “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples” (document A/75/23, chap. V, p.102), adopting it by a recorded 132 votes in favour to 3 against (Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 45 abstentions. By that text, the General Assembly calls upon administering Powers to cooperate fully with the Special Committee to develop and finalize a constructive programme of work for the Non‑Self‑Governing Territories to facilitate implementation of the Special Committee’s mandate as well as relevant resolutions. Moreover, it calls upon administering Powers to ensure that economic and other activities in the Territories do not adversely affect the interests of their peoples, but instead promote development. It also calls upon the administering Powers to terminate military activities and eliminate military bases in the Territories.

Taking up the draft resolution “Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism”, the Assembly adopted it by a recorded vote of 150 in favour to 3 against (Israel, United Kingdom, United States), with 21 abstentions. By its terms, the General Assembly declares the period 2021‑2030 the Fourth International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. As such, it calls upon Member States to intensify efforts to implement the plan of action for the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.

Following the Fourth Committee’s recommendation, the Assembly adopted several other texts without a vote, including “Offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non‑Self‑Governing Territories”, by which the General Assembly urges administering Powers to take effective measures to ensure widespread and continuous dissemination of State‑offered study and training facilities information in the Territories and provide all facilities necessary to enable students to avail themselves of such offers.

Without a vote, the Assembly also adopted a series of annual texts on the following individual Non‑Self‑Governing Territories: American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, French Polynesia, Guam, Montserrat, New Caledonia, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Tokelau, Turks and Caicos Islands and the United States Virgin Islands. Also without a vote, it adopted a draft resolution and a draft decision on the questions of Western Sahara and Gibraltar, respectively.

Acting again without a vote, the Assembly adopted drafts relating to atomic radiation, outer space affairs, special political missions and questions of information. It also took note of a report on the comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects.

Finally, the Assembly adopted, again without a vote, a draft decision on the Fourth Committee’s programme of work for the seventy‑sixth session.

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

The date and time of the General Assembly’s next meeting will be announced.

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2591530
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2591763