STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. ABDULLAH ABUSHAWESH, COUNSELLOR, MISSION OF THE STATE OF PALESTINE TO THE UN, ON AGENDA ITEM 60: 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, AT THE SECOND COMMITTEE OF THE SEVENTY-FOURTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY (New York, 22 October 2019)
Thank you, Mr. Chair,
1. I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
2. At the outset, the Group would like to express its thanks and appreciation to Dr. Rola Dashti, the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and her team for their tireless work, and for the presentation of the report submitted under agenda item 60.
3. The Group welcomes the SG report on "Economic and social repercussions of the Israeli occupation on the living conditions of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and of the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan", contained in document (A/74/88-E/2019/72), which, though worrisome, underlines the persistent Israeli practices and policies, in particular those that may be in violation of international humanitarian law and international human rights law and that affect the social and economic conditions of people living under its military occupation.
4. The Group stress its unwavering and unequivocal support for economic development efforts and aspirations of the Palestinian people in the Occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem and the Syrian people in the occupied Syrian Golan.
5. In the 2030 Agenda, we recognized that there can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development, and we pledged to leave no one behind, however, the ESCWA report has indicated that as long as the Palestinian and Syrian people do not have sovereignty over their natural resources. would indeed be left behind and would not be able to attain the sustainable development.
6. The ESCWA report also underlined that the illegal Israeli settlement expansion, involving expropriation, evictions and demolitions, together with a planning and zoning regime, impedes the development, employment and the livelihoods of the Palestinians, as well as their full enjoyment of their socioeconomic rights, and that food insecurity affects nearly a third of the population, and is driven by high poverty and unemployment rates.
7. The report also revealed that the protracted Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory and the Syrian Golan continues to have a detrimental effect on the living conditions of the Palestinian and Syrian populations, as well as on social and economic development in the occupied territories. The negative impact of the occupation and the Israeli policies and practices is multilayered, and their cumulative repercussions affect the future of the populations living under occupation.
8. Furthermore, Area C of the West Bank, which contains the most valuable natural resources continue to be almost entirely off-limits for the Government of Palestine, produces and investors.
9. The Group expresses great concern regarding the application of two different legal systems in the same territory, on the sole basis of nationality or origin; and this constitutes an inherently discriminatory practice which violates the principle of equality before the law. The application of the Israeli domestic law to settlers and the Israeli military law to the Palestinian people brought more complications and restrictions to the daily life of the Palestinian people,
10. The economy of occupied Palestine, and the occupied Syrian Golan cannot be put on the path of sustainable development while living under the current situation. The Group would like to echo the call by the international community for an immediate end of those systematic closures and restrictive measures to allow the Palestinian economy and the occupied Syrian Golan to grow.
11. In closing, Mr. Chair, the Group reiterates and reaffirms that the implementation and the follow-up of the 2030 Agenda must include and address the severe difficulties faced by countries and peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation and strive to remove the obstacles to the full realization of their right to self-determination and right to development, which adversely affect their economic and social development, as well as their environment and their ability to achieve the sustainable development goals, and ensure that they will not be left behind.
I thank you.