General Assembly passes six resolutions on Palestine and the Middle East

3 December 2003
General Assembly votes on resolution

The United Nations General Assembly today adopted six resolutions to demonstrate its belief that a final, peaceful settlement to the question of Palestine is essential to ensuring there is lasting peace in the Middle East.

A resolution on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine was passed with 160 States in favour, six against, and five abstentions. The text welcomed the Security Council’s vision of a two-State solution and reaffirmed the international community’s commitment to the so-called Road Map peace process.

The resolution called on both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to fulfil their Road Map obligations and stressed the importance of a credible, independent monitoring mechanism.

The Road Map – a peace process co-sponsored by the diplomatic Quartet of the European Union, the Russian Federation, the UN and the United States – calls for parallel and reciprocal steps leading to Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security by 2005.

A resolution supporting the work of the Assembly’s Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and calling for the work to continue, was approved by 97 States, with seven States against the resolution and 60 abstentions.

A resolution calling on the UN Secretariat’s Division for Palestinian Rights to be allowed to continue its work was passed by 98 States, with six States against the resolution and 63 abstentions.

A resolution requesting the Secretariat’s Department of Public Information be allowed to maintain its special information programme on the question of Palestine was approved by 159 countries, with six countries voting against and a further six abstaining.

There were two other resolutions dealing more broadly with the Middle East that were also passed in the Assembly.

A resolution urging Israel to withdraw from the occupied Syrian Golan region back to its pre-1967 border was approved by 104 States. Five States voted against the resolution and 61 States abstained.

The other resolution stated that any moves by Israel to “impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the Holy City of Jerusalem” should be regarded as illegal and therefore invalid. It also deplored the transfer by some States of their diplomatic missions to Jerusalem in violation of an earlier Security Council resolution. This resolution was passed by 155 States, with eight nations against and seven abstaining.

 

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