Second Committee Approves 6 Resolutions, including on Compensation for Oil Slick off Lebanon’s Coast, Sovereignty of Palestinians over Their Natural Resources

The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) today introduced 26 draft resolutions and approved six, two by recorded vote, including one demanding that Israel end its occupation of the Palestinian Territory and the Syrian Golan.

The draft, titled Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (document A/C.2/74/L.45) further called on Israel to cease destruction of vital infrastructure and demolition of Palestinian homes. It also stressed that reconstruction and development projects must be advanced, including in the Gaza Strip.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 14 abstentions.

The observer for the State of Palestine, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, affirmed the right to claim restitution for damages and called on Israel to comply with obligations under international law. Speaking in her national capacity, she stressed, Thieves and killers must be brought to justice, calling for Israel to be held accountable.

Speaking before the vote, the representative of Israel stated the resolution does not belong in that Committee, stressing that it makes no reference to terror organization Hamas controlling Gaza, which over the past three days has launched 360 rockets into her country targeting civilians, and 10,000 rockets thus far in 2019. She called on all Member States to vote no.

A further draft titled Oil slick on Lebanese shores (document A/C.2/74/L.3) again called on Israel's Government to assume responsibility and promptly compensate the Governments of Lebanon and Syria for damage and the costs of repairing the environmental damage caused by the 2006 bombing of Beirut.

Taking action on that text, the Committee approved it in a recorded vote of 158 in favour and 9 against (Israel, Austria, Canada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, United States, Federated States of Micronesia), with 6 abstentions (CAte d'Ivoire, Guatemala, Honduras, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu).

Turning to a draft on Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central Asia (document A/C.2/74/L.43/Rev.1), the representative of Uzbekistan said tourism can be an effective driver in social and economic growth in that region, potentially driving all Sustainable Development Goals. The Committee approved the draft without a vote.

The Committee also addressed draft decisions on Venue of the fifteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in 2020 (document A/C.2/74/L.11); Eighth United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices, in 2020 (document A/C.2/74/L.12); and a draft resolution on International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, 2021 (document A/C.2/74/L.16/Rev.1). All three were approved without a vote.

The Committee introduced 20 additional texts, focusing on information and communications technology, macroeconomic policy questions, sustainable development and the environment.

A draft on Information and communications technologies for sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.32) addressed the digital divide, technology transfer and Internet governance. A draft on Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries (document A/C.2/74/L.5), rejected laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact. Also on the economy, draft resolutions were introduced on Promoting investments for sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.4); International financial system and development (document A/C.2/74/L.14); External debt sustainability and development (document A/C.2/74/L.9); International trade and development (document A/C.2/74/L.15); Commodities (document A/C.2/74/L.21); Financial inclusion for sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.23); and Promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.24).

The Committee addressed texts on sustainable development including Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/74/L.36) and Follow-up to and implementation of the SIDS [small island developing States] Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (document A/C.2/74/L.18).

Turning to the environment, drafts were introduced on Disaster risk reduction (document A/C.2/74/L.42); Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind (document A/C.2/74/L.37); Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (document A/C.2/74/L.41); Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its contribution to sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.35); Report of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (document A/C.2/74/L.10); Education for sustainable development in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/74/L.48); Harmony with Nature (document A/C.2/74/L.47); Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (document A/C.2/74/L.49); and Combating sand and dust storms (document A/C.2/74/L.46).

Also speaking today were the representatives of Indonesia, United States, Lebanon, Turkmenistan and Finland. A representative of the European Union also spoke.

The Committee is scheduled to meet again on Thursday, 21 November to introduce and act on further drafts.

Action on Draft Resolutions

The observer for the State of Palestine, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, introduced a number of draft resolutions including one titled Information and communications technologies for sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.32). The resolution addressed reducing the digital divide, technology transfer and Internet governance.

She then introduced the draft resolution titled Promoting investments for sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.4). Next, she introduced a draft titled Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries (document A/C.2/74/L.5), by which the Group of 77 reaffirmed its rejection of the imposition of laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact, coordinated by the delegation of Cuba.

She further introduced draft resolutions titled International trade and development (document A/C.2/74/L.15), reaffirming promotion of a universal, rules based, transparent trading system under the World Trade Organization (WTO); International financial system and development (document A/C.2/74/L.14); External debt sustainability and development (document A/C.2/74/L.9); Commodities (document A/C.2/74/L.21); Financial inclusion for sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.23); and Promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.24).

On sustainable development, she further introduced drafts titled Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/74/L.36); and Follow up to and implementation of the SIDS [small island developing States] Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (document A/C.2/74/L.18). Addressing the environment, she introduced Disaster risk reduction (document A/C.2/74/L.42); Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind (document A/C.2/74/L.37); Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (document A/C.2/74/L.41); Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its contribution to sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.35); Report of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (document A/C.2/74/L.10); Education for sustainable development in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/74/L.48); Harmony with Nature (document A/C.2/74/L.47); Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (document A/C.2/74/L.49), noting almost 840 million people still lack access to electricity; and Combating sand and dust storms (document A/C.2/74/L.46).

The representative of Indonesia introduced a draft resolution on International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, 2021 (document A/C.2/74/L.16/Rev.1). He said a creative economy involves knowledge based economic activities and interplay between human creativity and ideas, knowledge and technology as well as cultural values or artistic, cultural heritage and other individual or collective creative expressions. The creative economy has proven to generate income and create jobs as well as export earnings and is resilient to economic crisis or shocks. The spirit of the resolution is to promote cooperation and networking, share best practices, enhance human resource capacity, promote an enabling environment and tackle the challenges of the creative economy.

Addressing the draft, the representative of the European Union said the Second Committee should rationalize its work by focusing on resolutions to implement the 2030 Agenda. The bloc is pleased to join consensus on the draft, as it respects core procedural criteria outlined by the Committee. She noted that deliberations on the draft had involved an open exchange across regions and groups that will also be vital in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The representative of the United States said he is pleased to join consensus on the draft, adding that his country's position on the 2030 Agenda has been previously documented.

The Committee then approved the draft without a vote.

It then turned to a draft decision on Venue of the fifteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in 2020 (document A/C.2/74/L.11), by which the Assembly would take note of the report of the Trade and Development Board on its sixty sixth session and welcome the offer of the Government of Barbados to host the fifteenth session of the Conference.

The Committee approved the draft without a vote.

Next, it focused on a draft decision on the Eighth United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices, in 2020 (document A/C.2/74/L.12). By that text, the Assembly would decide to convene in 2020 the eighth conference on that topic under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

The Committee approved the draft without a vote.

The observer for the State of Palestine, taking the floor again, then introduced a draft titled Oil slick on Lebanese shores (document A/C.2/74/L.3). She noted that the Group of 77 is introducing this resolution for the fourteenth year, but that the oil slick has continued to affect Lebanon until the present day. In July 2006, Israel bombed southern Beirut, creating an oil leak that has extended to the Lebanese as well as Syrian coasts. Resultant damage has hindered sustainable development efforts in Lebanon, adversely affecting health, biological diversity, crops, fishing and tourism. She requested the General Assembly to reiterate its call on Israel to fully and adequately compensate countries affected by the oil slick.

Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of Israel said the resolution has little to do with reality, based on a report that contains no further relevant findings. The United Nations is suffering an acute budget crisis, she observed, even struggling to pay people working in the Committee room, but Member States repeatedly fund the same report and resolution. The resolution has nothing to do with sustainable development, nor does it mention the thousands of rockets fired into Israel at innocent people. It presents a distorted picture of Israel's actions to defend itself, making no mention of its offer to help Lebanon cope with the oil spill.

The Committee approved the draft in a recorded vote of 158 in favour and 9 against (Israel, Austria, Canada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, United States, Federated States of Micronesia), with 6 abstentions (Cote d'Ivoire, Guatemala, Honduras, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu).

Speaking after the vote, the representative of Lebanon said the international community's approval of the resolution affirmed its will to uphold international law and the Charter of the United Nations, acknowledging that environmental damage hinders implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Through the resolution, the Second Committee once again directed Israel to respond with prompt and adequate compensation to the affected countries. Lebanon will continue to mobilize resources and legal means to ensure that such compensation is paid in full.

Next, the representative of Uzbekistan introduced a draft on Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central Asia (document A/C.2/74/L.43/Rev.1). He said tourism can be an effective driver in social and economic growth in Central Asia, with the potential of substantially contributing to all Sustainable Development Goals. Promoting tourism can be a catalyst and vital instrument for economic growth, he noted, adding that it has great potential to empower women through employment in tourism enterprises.

The representative of Turkmenistan noted the region has great potential to develop tourism due to impressive monuments and great natural beauty, some sites registered under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Tourism is very important to Turkmenistan, which is working diligently to develop it.

The Committee then approved the draft without a vote.

Speaking after the action, the representative of the United States directed the Chair to a previous statement in October on the issue.

The observer for the State of Palestine, speaking again on behalf of the Group of 77, introduced the draft titled Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (document A/C.2/74/L.45). She referred to extensive destruction of land and vital infrastructure including water pipelines and sewage, with Israeli settlements harming natural resources. She affirmed the right to claim restitution for that damage and called on Israel to comply with obligations under international law.

Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of Finland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, noted that while the bloc supports the resolution, he recorded that the use of the term Palestine cannot be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine.

Also speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of Israel stated the resolution does not belong in this forum, as it is intended simply to harm that State. The resolution does not mention that the terror organization Hamas controls Gaza, misusing resources and funding terrorism against Israel, having launched 360 rockets into the country over the past three days targeting civilians, and firing 10,000 rockets thus far in 2019. She called on all Member States to vote no on the draft text.

The Committee then approved the draft (document A/C.2/74/L.45) by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 14 abstentions.

The observer for the State of Palestine, speaking in her national capacity, stated that the resolution supports a claim for restitution for damages caused by Israel. The draft calls on Israel to comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law and refrain from further damage to resources and vital infrastructure, or from using the Occupied Palestinian Territory as a dumping ground. Noting there is no sustainable development without peace and security, she said the resolution reaffirms the establishment of Israeli settlements is null and void. Thieves and killers must be brought to justice, she said, calling for Israel to be held accountable and for the international community to consider sanctions against Israeli products.

Source: United Nations

Second Committee Approves 6 Resolutions, including on Compensation for Oil Slick off Lebanon’s Coast, Sovereignty of Palestinians over Their Natural Resources

The Second Committee (Economic and Financial) today introduced 26 draft resolutions and approved six, two by recorded vote, including one demanding that Israel end its occupation of the Palestinian Territory and the Syrian Golan.

The draft, titled Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (document A/C.2/74/L.45) further called on Israel to cease destruction of vital infrastructure and demolition of Palestinian homes. It also stressed that reconstruction and development projects must be advanced, including in the Gaza Strip.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 14 abstentions.

The observer for the State of Palestine, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, affirmed the right to claim restitution for damages and called on Israel to comply with obligations under international law. Speaking in her national capacity, she stressed, Thieves and killers must be brought to justice, calling for Israel to be held accountable.

Speaking before the vote, the representative of Israel stated the resolution does not belong in that Committee, stressing that it makes no reference to terror organization Hamas controlling Gaza, which over the past three days has launched 360 rockets into her country targeting civilians, and 10,000 rockets thus far in 2019. She called on all Member States to vote no.

A further draft titled Oil slick on Lebanese shores (document A/C.2/74/L.3) again called on Israel's Government to assume responsibility and promptly compensate the Governments of Lebanon and Syria for damage and the costs of repairing the environmental damage caused by the 2006 bombing of Beirut.

Taking action on that text, the Committee approved it in a recorded vote of 158 in favour and 9 against (Israel, Austria, Canada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, United States, Federated States of Micronesia), with 6 abstentions (CAte d'Ivoire, Guatemala, Honduras, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu).

Turning to a draft on Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central Asia (document A/C.2/74/L.43/Rev.1), the representative of Uzbekistan said tourism can be an effective driver in social and economic growth in that region, potentially driving all Sustainable Development Goals. The Committee approved the draft without a vote.

The Committee also addressed draft decisions on Venue of the fifteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in 2020 (document A/C.2/74/L.11); Eighth United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices, in 2020 (document A/C.2/74/L.12); and a draft resolution on International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, 2021 (document A/C.2/74/L.16/Rev.1). All three were approved without a vote.

The Committee introduced 20 additional texts, focusing on information and communications technology, macroeconomic policy questions, sustainable development and the environment.

A draft on Information and communications technologies for sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.32) addressed the digital divide, technology transfer and Internet governance. A draft on Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries (document A/C.2/74/L.5), rejected laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact. Also on the economy, draft resolutions were introduced on Promoting investments for sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.4); International financial system and development (document A/C.2/74/L.14); External debt sustainability and development (document A/C.2/74/L.9); International trade and development (document A/C.2/74/L.15); Commodities (document A/C.2/74/L.21); Financial inclusion for sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.23); and Promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.24).

The Committee addressed texts on sustainable development including Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/74/L.36) and Follow-up to and implementation of the SIDS [small island developing States] Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (document A/C.2/74/L.18).

Turning to the environment, drafts were introduced on Disaster risk reduction (document A/C.2/74/L.42); Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind (document A/C.2/74/L.37); Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (document A/C.2/74/L.41); Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its contribution to sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.35); Report of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (document A/C.2/74/L.10); Education for sustainable development in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/74/L.48); Harmony with Nature (document A/C.2/74/L.47); Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (document A/C.2/74/L.49); and Combating sand and dust storms (document A/C.2/74/L.46).

Also speaking today were the representatives of Indonesia, United States, Lebanon, Turkmenistan and Finland. A representative of the European Union also spoke.

The Committee is scheduled to meet again on Thursday, 21 November to introduce and act on further drafts.

Action on Draft Resolutions

The observer for the State of Palestine, speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 developing countries and China, introduced a number of draft resolutions including one titled Information and communications technologies for sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.32). The resolution addressed reducing the digital divide, technology transfer and Internet governance.

She then introduced the draft resolution titled Promoting investments for sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.4). Next, she introduced a draft titled Unilateral economic measures as a means of political and economic coercion against developing countries (document A/C.2/74/L.5), by which the Group of 77 reaffirmed its rejection of the imposition of laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact, coordinated by the delegation of Cuba.

She further introduced draft resolutions titled International trade and development (document A/C.2/74/L.15), reaffirming promotion of a universal, rules based, transparent trading system under the World Trade Organization (WTO); International financial system and development (document A/C.2/74/L.14); External debt sustainability and development (document A/C.2/74/L.9); Commodities (document A/C.2/74/L.21); Financial inclusion for sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.23); and Promotion of international cooperation to combat illicit financial flows and strengthen good practices on assets return to foster sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.24).

On sustainable development, she further introduced drafts titled Implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/74/L.36); and Follow up to and implementation of the SIDS [small island developing States] Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway and the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (document A/C.2/74/L.18). Addressing the environment, she introduced Disaster risk reduction (document A/C.2/74/L.42); Protection of global climate for present and future generations of humankind (document A/C.2/74/L.37); Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa (document A/C.2/74/L.41); Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and its contribution to sustainable development (document A/C.2/74/L.35); Report of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (document A/C.2/74/L.10); Education for sustainable development in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (document A/C.2/74/L.48); Harmony with Nature (document A/C.2/74/L.47); Ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all (document A/C.2/74/L.49), noting almost 840 million people still lack access to electricity; and Combating sand and dust storms (document A/C.2/74/L.46).

The representative of Indonesia introduced a draft resolution on International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, 2021 (document A/C.2/74/L.16/Rev.1). He said a creative economy involves knowledge based economic activities and interplay between human creativity and ideas, knowledge and technology as well as cultural values or artistic, cultural heritage and other individual or collective creative expressions. The creative economy has proven to generate income and create jobs as well as export earnings and is resilient to economic crisis or shocks. The spirit of the resolution is to promote cooperation and networking, share best practices, enhance human resource capacity, promote an enabling environment and tackle the challenges of the creative economy.

Addressing the draft, the representative of the European Union said the Second Committee should rationalize its work by focusing on resolutions to implement the 2030 Agenda. The bloc is pleased to join consensus on the draft, as it respects core procedural criteria outlined by the Committee. She noted that deliberations on the draft had involved an open exchange across regions and groups that will also be vital in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The representative of the United States said he is pleased to join consensus on the draft, adding that his country's position on the 2030 Agenda has been previously documented.

The Committee then approved the draft without a vote.

It then turned to a draft decision on Venue of the fifteenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in 2020 (document A/C.2/74/L.11), by which the Assembly would take note of the report of the Trade and Development Board on its sixty sixth session and welcome the offer of the Government of Barbados to host the fifteenth session of the Conference.

The Committee approved the draft without a vote.

Next, it focused on a draft decision on the Eighth United Nations Conference to Review All Aspects of the Set of Multilaterally Agreed Equitable Principles and Rules for the Control of Restrictive Business Practices, in 2020 (document A/C.2/74/L.12). By that text, the Assembly would decide to convene in 2020 the eighth conference on that topic under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

The Committee approved the draft without a vote.

The observer for the State of Palestine, taking the floor again, then introduced a draft titled Oil slick on Lebanese shores (document A/C.2/74/L.3). She noted that the Group of 77 is introducing this resolution for the fourteenth year, but that the oil slick has continued to affect Lebanon until the present day. In July 2006, Israel bombed southern Beirut, creating an oil leak that has extended to the Lebanese as well as Syrian coasts. Resultant damage has hindered sustainable development efforts in Lebanon, adversely affecting health, biological diversity, crops, fishing and tourism. She requested the General Assembly to reiterate its call on Israel to fully and adequately compensate countries affected by the oil slick.

Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of Israel said the resolution has little to do with reality, based on a report that contains no further relevant findings. The United Nations is suffering an acute budget crisis, she observed, even struggling to pay people working in the Committee room, but Member States repeatedly fund the same report and resolution. The resolution has nothing to do with sustainable development, nor does it mention the thousands of rockets fired into Israel at innocent people. It presents a distorted picture of Israel's actions to defend itself, making no mention of its offer to help Lebanon cope with the oil spill.

The Committee approved the draft in a recorded vote of 158 in favour and 9 against (Israel, Austria, Canada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, United States, Federated States of Micronesia), with 6 abstentions (Cote d'Ivoire, Guatemala, Honduras, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu).

Speaking after the vote, the representative of Lebanon said the international community's approval of the resolution affirmed its will to uphold international law and the Charter of the United Nations, acknowledging that environmental damage hinders implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Through the resolution, the Second Committee once again directed Israel to respond with prompt and adequate compensation to the affected countries. Lebanon will continue to mobilize resources and legal means to ensure that such compensation is paid in full.

Next, the representative of Uzbekistan introduced a draft on Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central Asia (document A/C.2/74/L.43/Rev.1). He said tourism can be an effective driver in social and economic growth in Central Asia, with the potential of substantially contributing to all Sustainable Development Goals. Promoting tourism can be a catalyst and vital instrument for economic growth, he noted, adding that it has great potential to empower women through employment in tourism enterprises.

The representative of Turkmenistan noted the region has great potential to develop tourism due to impressive monuments and great natural beauty, some sites registered under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Tourism is very important to Turkmenistan, which is working diligently to develop it.

The Committee then approved the draft without a vote.

Speaking after the action, the representative of the United States directed the Chair to a previous statement in October on the issue.

The observer for the State of Palestine, speaking again on behalf of the Group of 77, introduced the draft titled Permanent sovereignty of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan over their natural resources (document A/C.2/74/L.45). She referred to extensive destruction of land and vital infrastructure including water pipelines and sewage, with Israeli settlements harming natural resources. She affirmed the right to claim restitution for that damage and called on Israel to comply with obligations under international law.

Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of Finland, speaking on behalf of the European Union, noted that while the bloc supports the resolution, he recorded that the use of the term Palestine cannot be construed as recognition of a State of Palestine.

Also speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of Israel stated the resolution does not belong in this forum, as it is intended simply to harm that State. The resolution does not mention that the terror organization Hamas controls Gaza, misusing resources and funding terrorism against Israel, having launched 360 rockets into the country over the past three days targeting civilians, and firing 10,000 rockets thus far in 2019. She called on all Member States to vote no on the draft text.

The Committee then approved the draft (document A/C.2/74/L.45) by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 14 abstentions.

The observer for the State of Palestine, speaking in her national capacity, stated that the resolution supports a claim for restitution for damages caused by Israel. The draft calls on Israel to comply with its obligations under international humanitarian law and refrain from further damage to resources and vital infrastructure, or from using the Occupied Palestinian Territory as a dumping ground. Noting there is no sustainable development without peace and security, she said the resolution reaffirms the establishment of Israeli settlements is null and void. Thieves and killers must be brought to justice, she said, calling for Israel to be held accountable and for the international community to consider sanctions against Israeli products.

Source: United Nations