Magazine article UN Chronicle

Assembly Adopts Seven Resolutions on Middle East and Palestine Issues; Calls for Comprehensive Settlement under UN Auspices

Magazine article UN Chronicle

Assembly Adopts Seven Resolutions on Middle East and Palestine Issues; Calls for Comprehensive Settlement under UN Auspices

Article excerpt

Assembly adopts seven resolutions on Middle East and Palestine issues; calls for comprehensive settlement under UN auspices

The General Assembly has stressed the urgent need for "additional constructive efforts by all Governments" to convene "without further delay" an international peace conference on the Middle East, a proposal emanating from the 1983 International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held in Geneva.

Israel and the United States were asked to "reconsider their positions towards the attainment of peace in the Middle East" through the convening of a peace conference. Both nations have opposed the convening of such a meeting.

The world body also declared once again that peace in the Middle East "is indivisible" and must be based on a comprehensive solution under United Nations auspices, which ensures Israel's withdrawal from occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, and which enables the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable rights.

The Assembly acted after holding separated debates on two closely related items--the question of Palestine (2-4 December) and the situation in the Middle East (5-6 December). A total of 120 speakers participated in those debates.

Altogether seven resolutions were adopted--four on 12 December on the question to Palestine and three on 16 December on the situation in the Middle East. All seven were opposed by Israel, and all but one--on the status of Jerusalem--by the United States.

Among other things, the world body reaffirmed its conviction on that the question of Palestine "is the core of the conflict" in the Middle East, and that a just settlement could not be achieved "without the participation on an equal footing of all the parties to the conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the representative of the Palestinian people".

The Assembly called on all countries "to cease forthwith, individually and collectively, all dealings with Israel in order totally to isolate it in all fields". It declared that Israel was not a "peace-loving Member State" of the United Nations and called for suspension of economic, financial and technological assistance and for severing diplomatic, trade and cultural relations with that country. The Assembly also condemned "increasing collaboration" between Israel and South Africa.

It also deplored the negative vote of a permanent member of the Security Council which had prevented the Council from taking measures against Israel.

Israeli policies and practices of annexation of the occupied Arab territories violated international law, the Assembly stated. Agreements on strategic co-operation between the United States and Israel encouraged Israel's "aggressive and expansionist policies", it said. The Assembly also declared the imposition of Israeli law, jurisdiction and administration on Jerusalem to be illegal, and deplored the decision of some countries to move their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem.

Explanation of vote: In explanation of vote, the United States said that "unbalanced and unfair" resolutions on the question of Palestine contributed to postponing the day when the parties to the conflict would sit down together to resolve their differences. The conference as envisaged would be "an ideological and propaganda exercise" directed against Israel. Resolutions containing "repeated and futile" condemnations and other "rhetorical posturings" did not advance the cause of peace. By placing the blame on one party, they tended to widen differences among the parties.

Israel said no resolution honestly tried to address the issue of the Middle East. Instead of properly addressing the conflicts in that region, the sponsors of the texts were trying to divert attention from them. The one road to peace was through direct negotiations.


The Assembly reviewed a number of reports relating to the situation in the Middle East, including that of the Secretary-General (A/40/779-S/17581). …

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