INTRODUCTORY REMARKS ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY TRISHALA PERSAUD, MINISTER COUNSELLOR OF THE CO-OPERATIVE REPUBLIC OF GUYANA, ON THE DRAFT RESOLUTIONS UNDER AGENDA ITEM 16: "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 THE ARAB POPULATION IN THE OCCUPIED SYRIAN GOLAN", AT THE MEETING OF THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL (New York, 14 September 2020)
On behalf of the Group of 77 and China, I am honoured to introduce, draft resolution E/2021/L.6, titled "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 the Arab population in the occupied Syrian Golan".
The resolution expresses grave concern about the detrimental repercussions on the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people caused by the prolonged occupation and its associated regime inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, with a particular emphasis on the dire situation in the Gaza Strip, and the resulting violation of their economic and social rights, including the rights to work, to health, to education, to property, to an adequate standard of living and to freedom of access and movement.
To this end, the resolution calls for the cessation of the construction of settlements and for the occupying Power to cease the construction of the wall and to comply with its legal obligations as per the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), rendered 16 years ago, and to cease its destruction of homes and properties, and to cease its exploitation of natural resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the Occupied Syrian Golan, in keeping with the principle of the permanent sovereignty of peoples under foreign occupation over their natural resources.
Further, the resolution expresses deep concern at the rising incidences of violence, harassment, provocation, vandalism and incitement by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and calls for accountability for these illegal actions.
The resolution also highlights the situation of Palestinian prisoners and detainees, and calls for urgent attention to their plight in accordance with international law.
Moreover, the resolution expresses appreciation for the economic and humanitarian assistance being provided to the Palestinian people and urges continued assistance commensurate with increased socio-economic and humanitarian needs. It encourages all States and international organizations to continue to actively pursue policies that ensure respect for their obligations under international law with regard to all illegal Israeli practices and measures in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
The draft resolution underscores the urgency of achieving without delay an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement on all tracks, and reiterates the need for increased and renewed international efforts in this regard.
We look forward to the adoption of this draft resolution, which was submitted in the 2020 session but upon which action was not taken due to the restrictions on in-person meetings, with strong hope that it will contribute to alleviating the economic and social hardships of the Palestinian and Syrian civilian populations living under Israel's foreign occupation and ultimately contribute to the international efforts to bring an end to this injustice and achieve peace, in line with the United Nations Charter and international law, including humanitarian and human rights law.
I am also honoured, on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, to introduce draft resolution E/2021/L.7 entitled "Situation of and assistance to Palestinian women". This resolution addresses the obstacles and challenges faced by Palestinian women and girls, notably under occupation, and urges continued international support for them with the aim of ensuring respect for their rights and providing them with the necessary protection and assistance.
Limited but significant additions have been made to the draft resolution. In particular, note is taken of the importance of giving high priority to the swift adoption of the Family Protection Law to ensure that women and girls are protected from gender-based violence, including domestic violence.
The resolution welcomes the adoption by the Palestinian Government of a national action plan for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) as well as of initiatives at the legislative, administrative and security levels to advance women's rights, notably in relation to family law and combating violence against women.
The resolution also reaffirms the importance of increasing the role of women in peacebuilding and decision-making with regard to conflict prevention and the peaceful resolution of conflicts as part of efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of all women in the region with emphasis on women's equal participation and involvement in all efforts for the achievement, maintenance and promotion of peace and security.
In addition, the resolution reaffirms that the Israeli occupation remains a major obstacle for Palestinian women and girls with regard to the fulfillment of their rights and their advancement and calls upon Israel, the occupying Power, to immediately cease all measures contrary to international law, as well as discriminatory legislation, policies and actions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people.
The international community is urged to continue to give special attention to the promotion and protection of the human rights of Palestinian women and girls, and intensify measures to improve the difficult conditions faced by Palestinian women and their families, including those living under Israeli occupation and Palestine refugees, as well as continue to provide them with urgently needed assistance.
The resolution calls upon the parties to comply fully with their obligations, including as States parties to CEDAW and reaffirms the obligations of States and all parties to armed conflict to comply with International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law and stresses the need to ensure accountability and end impunity.
The resolution stresses the need for Palestine to fully implement its obligations under the instruments to which it acceded that protect the rights of women and girls.
We look forward to the adoption of this draft resolution, as it addresses the obstacles faced by Palestinian women, recognizes their rights and identifies the means and support necessary to achieve their fulfilment in line with the UN's repeated commitments to advance women rights worldwide and with international law.
I urge delegations to vote in support of the resolution.
I thank you.