By Abdus Sattar Ghazali *
FREMONT, California (IDN) – The United Nations has overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling for Palestinian self-determination and end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory since 1967.
The resolution was approved on November 19 by the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee — the committee that deals with human rights and humanitarian affairs. It was passed 163 to 5, with 10 abstentions. Those who voted against were: the United States, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Nauru also voted against the resolution.
Australia, Cameroon, Guatemala, Honduras, Kiribati, Palau, Papa New Guinea, Rwanda, Togo and Tonga all abstained.
The resolution emphasized “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine” and “stressed the urgency of achieving without delay an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides,” based on a two-state solution.
It is part of a large package of 20 pro-Palestinian resolutions that are passed by the General Assembly every year.
The Palestinian representative thanked those countries that supported their right to self-determination. He pushed back at the charge that such UN resolutions were problematic.
“Support for this resolution is the only possible option for any country that believes in international law. The right to self-determination was enshrined in the UN charter,” he said.
Many UN countries have also been victims of colonialism and thus have an affinity with the Palestinian cause, he continued, adding: “The problem is not UN resolutions: The problem is their lack of implementation,” he said.
“A two-state solution based on the pre-1967 lines is a critical element for peace with Israel, and therefore all countries have an obligation not to support Israeli actions over the pre-1967 lines,” he said adding: “There is no doubt that the last day of Israel’s occupation of our land will be the first day of peace for all.”
Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly’s (UNGA) Third Committee which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues on November 21 unanimously a passed resolution on the right to self-determination of all people.
Co-sponsored by 71 countries, the resolution, submitted by Pakistan, was adopted without a vote in the 193-member Assembly’s Third Committee. The resolution, which Pakistan has been sponsoring since 1981, serves to focus the world’s attention on the struggle by peoples still struggling for their inalienable right to self-determination, including those in Kashmir and Palestine.
The resolution also declared the General Assembly’s firm opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, since these have resulted in the suppression of the right of peoples to self-determination and other human rights in certain parts of the world.
It called on those states responsible to cease immediately their military intervention in and occupation of foreign countries and territories, as well as all acts of repression, discrimination, exploitation and maltreatment. The resolution also deplored the plight of millions of refugees and displaced persons who have been uprooted as a result of these acts and reaffirms their right to return to their homes voluntarily in safety and honour.
It urges the Human Rights Council to give special attention to the violation of human rights, especially the right to self-determination, resulting from foreign military intervention, aggression or occupation. It also requests the Secretary-General to report to the next Session of the General Assembly on this question. [IDN-InDepthNews – 28 November 2020]
* Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Chief Editor of the Journal of America. He can be reached on email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Bedouin boys living in Jabal al-Baba in the remains of their family’s home which was demolished in 2017. (file photo) Credit: UNRWA/Lara Jonasdottir
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