Taking up draft resolutions relating to topics discussed over its recent weeks of substantive work, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) today approved six texts concerning Israeli-Palestinian issues and eight on decolonization matters — as well as six additional drafts on various subjects — to be forwarded to the General Assembly for adoption.

The Committee plans to complete action on all outstanding drafts and conclude its substantive session on Thursday, 11 November.

Taking up three draft resolutions related to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the Committee first approved a text titled “Assistance to Palestine refugees” (document A/C.4/75/L.9) by a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 9 abstentions.  By its terms, the Assembly would note with regret that the situation of Palestine refugees continues to be a matter of grave concern.  The refugees continue to require assistance to meet their basic health, education and living needs.  Further by its terms, the Assembly would call on all donors to continue to strengthen their efforts to meet the Agency’s anticipated needs and commend the Agency for its provision of vital assistance as well as its role as a stabilizing factor in the region.

Taking up a draft titled “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (document A/C.4/76/L.13), the Committee approved it by a recorded 156 votes in favour to 5 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, United States), with 9 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Fiji, Guatemala, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uruguay).  By its terms, the Assembly would express its grave concern about attempts to discredit UNRWA despite its proven operational capacity and consistent implementation of its mandate.  It would also urge Israel to expeditiously reimburse the Agency for all transit charges incurred and other financial losses sustained as a result of delays and restrictions on movement and access imposed by that country.  Moreover, the Assembly would call upon Israel to cease obstructing the Agency’s movement and access as well as to cease levying taxes, extra fees and charges. 

The Committee then approved a draft resolution titled “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” (document A/C.4/76/L.14) by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 9 abstentions (Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Fiji, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, South Sudan, Togo).  By that text, the Assembly would request that the Secretary-General take all appropriate steps to protect Arab properties, assets and property rights in Israel.  Further, it would call upon Israel to render all facilities and assistance to the Secretary-General in implementation of the resolution.  The Assembly would urge both the Palestinian and Israeli sides to deal with the important issue of Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues within the framework of final-status peace negotiations.

Members went on to take action on three texts related to Israeli practices and settlement activities in the Occupied Territory, approving a draft titled “Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories” (document A/C.4/76/L.7) by a recorded vote of 77 in favour to 17 against, with 74 abstentions.  By the terms of that text, the Assembly would demand that Israel cooperate with the Special Committee in implementing its mandate.  It would express grave concern about the critical situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as a result of unlawful Israeli practices and measures and call for the immediate cessation of all illegal Israeli settlement activities and the construction of the wall, among other measures.

The Committee went on to approve a draft titled “The occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/76/L.8) by a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 22 abstentions.  By the terms of that text, the General Assembly would call upon Israel to desist from changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and legal status of the occupied Syrian Golan, and in particular to desist from establishing settlements.  Further, the Assembly would call upon Israel to desist from imposing Israeli citizenship and identity cards on the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan.

The Committee also approved — by a recorded vote of 142 in favour to 7 against (Micronesia, Israel, United States, Hungary, Canada, Marshall Islands, Nauru), with 16 abstentions — a draft resolution titled “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/76/L.9).  By its terms, the Assembly would condemn Israel’s settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory as violations of international humanitarian law.  It would deplore Israel’s construction and expansion of settlements in and around occupied East Jerusalem, as well as its ongoing settlement activities in the Jordan Valley, which further fragment and undermine the contiguity of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  By other terms, the Assembly would also condemn Israel’s demolition of Palestinian buildings in the neighbourhood of Wadi al-Hummus, in the village of Sur Bahir, south of occupied East Jerusalem. 

The Committee then took action on a number of texts related to decolonization matters, approving a draft resolution titled “Information from Non-Self-Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations” (contained in document A/76/23, chapter XIII, p.40) by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (United Kingdom, France).  By its terms, the General Assembly would request that administering Powers transmit or continue to regularly transmit to the Secretary-General statistical and other technical information relating to the economic, social and educational conditions in the Territories within a maximum period of six months following the expiration of the administrative year.

The Committee also approved the draft resolution titled “Economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non-Self-Governing Territories” (contained in the same report, chapter XIII, p.42) by a recorded vote of 167 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 3 abstentions (France, United Kingdom, Papua New Guinea).  By the terms of that text, the Assembly would reaffirm its deep concern over the number and scale of natural disasters in the course of 2017 and their devastating impact on Caribbean Non-Self-Governing Territories.  It would further express concern about activities aimed at exploiting the natural and human resources of the Non-Self-Governing Territories to the detriment of their inhabitants.

In addition, the Committee approved — by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 51 abstentions — a draft resolution titled “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations” (contained in the same report, chapter XIII, p.45).  By its terms, the Assembly would recommend that all States intensify their efforts to ensure full and effective implementation of the Declaration through specialized agencies and other entities of the United Nations system.  It would also request administering Powers to facilitate the participation of appointed and elected representatives of Non-Self-Governing Territories in the relevant meetings and conferences of the specialized agencies and other organizations of the United Nations system.

The Committee also approved several draft resolutions by consensus.

At the meeting’s outset, it approved a text titled “University for Peace” (document A/C.4/76/L.11).  Members then approved, also by consensus, a draft resolution on the “Effects of atomic radiation” (document A/C.4/76/L.5).

In relation to the latter, some delegations expressed concern over expanding the membership of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), with the representative of the United States recalling that the Scientific Committee itself has voiced concerns over the impact of increased membership on its ability to carry out its activities.  Israel’s representative emphasized that Iran — one of the countries proposed for new membership in the Scientific Committee — should not be considered, given its systematic violations of nuclear restrictions.  However, the representative of Iran pointed to Israel’s own history of violating numerous United Nations resolutions and added that the United States is in no position to preach to others about nuclear control commitments considering that it is responsible for the deterioration of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan for Action.

The Committee also approved, by consensus, drafts titled “International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space” (document A/C.4/76/L.3/Rev.1) and “Comprehensive review of special political missions” (document A/C.4/76/L.10). 

Members approved two consensus texts on questions relating to information — “Information in the service of humanity”, contained in the report on the forty-first session of the Committee on Information (document A/76/21, chapter IV, p.11), and “United Nations global communications policies and activities” (chapter IV, p.12). 

Acting again without a vote, the Committee approved several decolonization drafts on the “Question of Gibraltar” (document A/C.4/76/L.4); “Question of Western Sahara” (A/C.4/76/L.6)”; “Question of American Samoa” (Resolution IV, document A/76/23, Chapter XIII, p. 50) and the “Question of Anguilla” (Resolution V, document A/76/23, Chapter XIII, p. 55).  It also approved one draft titled “Offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non-Self-Governing Territories” (document A/C.4/76/L.2).

The representatives of Costa Rica, Australia, Romania, Indonesia, South Africa, Namibia, Cuba and Mexico introduced draft resolutions.

Also delivering general statements or explanations of position were the representatives of Slovenia (on behalf of the European Union in its capacity as observer), Syria, Argentina and the United Kingdom.

The Fourth Committee will reconvene at 10 a.m. on Thursday, 11 November, to take action on its outstanding decolonization agenda items.

Action on Draft Resolutions

At the outset, the Committee took action on a draft resolution on the University for Peace (document A/C.4/76/L.11).

The representative of Costa Rica introduced the draft, noting that since 1979 the University has been pursuing a mission that continues to evolve and transform.  Inviting delegations that have not done so to co‑sponsor the resolution, she noted that it has no budgetary implications.  Educating students to keep and build peace is more urgent than ever, she emphasized, observing that women and girls subjected to the horrors of war continue to be excluded from many peace negotiations around the world.

The Committee then approved the draft resolution without a vote.

Turning to a text on the effects of atomic radiation (document A/C.4/76/L.5), the Committee adopted it without a vote.

The draft was introduced by the representative of Australia, who noted that the COVID‑19 pandemic has continued to impact the operations of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), requiring the extension of its Chairmanship for an additional session.  Furthermore, both the sixty‑seventh and sixty‑eighth annual sessions occurred online.  Nevertheless, it has been a productive year for the Committee, with two sessions held and four substantive scientific reports produced.  She went on to welcome the advanced publication of Annex B of the UNSCEAR 2020 Report on the March 2021 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which she described as a testament to UNSCEAR’s independent and authoritative analysis of radiation science, on which the global community relies.

The representative of Israel, speaking in explanation of position, said that while her delegation joined consensus on the resolution, it disassociates itself from the notion of inviting Iran to become part of the Scientific Committee.  Given Iran’s systematic violations of nuclear restrictions, it should not be rewarded with membership in the Committee, she stressed.

The representative of the United States said each time Member States contemplate increases in UNSCEAR membership, they should consider the effect on the Committee’s ability to carry out its activities.  In 2018 the United States expressed concern over criteria used to identify new members, which are insufficient and warrant further consideration.  Indeed, UNSCEAR has also reported serious concerns on the impact of the increased membership on its own work.  The United States’ decision to join consensus on the present item should not be viewed as an endorsement of Iran’s membership.

The representative of Iran expressed gratitude for the support his delegation received in being submitted for membership of the Scientific Committee.  In response to the allegations made by the representative of Israel, he pointed to the latter’s history of flagrantly violating numerous United Nations resolutions.  By refusing to adhere to various international treaties, Israel continues to deny international arms control regimes.  Nevertheless, it portrays Iran’s nuclear programme as a challenge to regional stability, a move that is intended to distract attention from its own violations.  In response to the comments made by the representative of the United States, he said it is the latter’s Government that is responsible for the deterioration of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the unjust sanctions imposed against Iran.  As such, the United States is not in a position to preach to others about nuclear control commitments.

Next, the Committee took up a draft resolution on cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space (document A/C.4/76/L.3/Rev.1).

The representative of Romania introduced the draft, speaking on behalf of the Chair of the Working Group of the Whole on international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.  Outlining that body’s recent activities, she reported that the Group held two informal meetings in October 2021 and endorsed the revised draft resolution currently before the Fourth Committee.

The Committee then approved that text without a vote.

The Committee then took up a series of draft resolutions (documents A/C.4/76/L.12-L.14) relating to “Assistance to Palestine refugees” (L.12); “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)” (L.13); and “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” (L.14).

Introducing those resolutions as a cluster, the representative of Indonesia noted that these drafts are based on those adopted during the seventy‑fifth session of the General Assembly with minimal updates.  He further noted that the resolutions reaffirm the rights of Palestine refugees and the international community’s support for UNRWA’s mandate.  They also draw attention to the ongoing hardships faced by Palestine refugees as a result of their prolonged displacement and continued denial of their rights, as well as operational challenges and funding deficit of the Agency.  Pointing to the Agency’s contribution to regional stability, he voiced his hope that the resolutions will garner wide support.

Turning specifically to the draft resolution titled “Assistance to Palestine refugees” (L.12), he said that text reaffirms UNRWA’s mandate and notes with regret attacks on its reputation.  It also spotlights the situation of Palestine refugees, who continue to require vital health care and education services provided by the Agency.  He further noted that the draft resolution contains an additional preambular paragraph, new this year, underscoring UNRWA’s commitment to operate in line with the humanitarian principles of neutrality, humanity, independence and impartiality — hallmarks of all United Nations institutions.

The representative of South Africa introduced two other resolutions in the cluster, namely those titled “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (L.13) and “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” (L.14).  He said the former reaffirms that UNRWA’s support for more than 5.7 million Palestinian refugees remains essential to alleviating their plight, which has been exacerbated by the deteriorating socioeconomic situation in the region.  The text calls upon UNRWA to continue providing that assistance and reaffirms the rights of the displaced persons to return to their homes in the territories occupied by Israel.  It further acknowledges UNRWA’s reform efforts and funding shortfalls and calls on Israel to cease obstruction of the Agency’s work and comply with the Fourth Geneva Convention.

Turning to the draft resolution on “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” (L.14), he said it reaffirms that Palestine refugees are entitled to their property and income derived from it.  It urges the two sides to deal with property rights in the final stage of negotiations, he added.

The Committee then turned its attention to a raft of texts submitted under the agenda item “Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the occupied territories”.  The representative of Namibia made an introductory statement under that item, while also introducing the draft resolution titled “Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories” (document A/C.4/76/L.7).  Expressing regret that Israeli violations escalated during the last year, he said the Special Committee’s debate reflected the international community’s serious concerns over those activities and their impact on the civilian population.  Israel continues to impose an illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip, gravely impacting humanitarian conditions there.  Meanwhile, the construction of settlements has forcibly dispossessed and displaced hundreds of Palestinians and many remain under threat of forced transfer, undermining the prospects for a two‑State solution.  Among other things, he said the resolutions on that agenda item reiterate the General Assembly’s calls for Israel to end its violations and make immediate efforts to reverse negative trends on the ground, as well as calls for accountability for Israel’s past activities.

The representative of Cuba introduced the draft resolutions titled “The occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/76/L.8) and “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” (document A/C.4/76/L.9), noting that they outline Israel’s illegal settlement activities and violations of Palestinians’ human rights.  The text on the Syrian Golan recalls previous resolutions wherein Israel is called upon to put an end to its occupation, and states that Syrians are subject to grave violations of their human rights.  The texts call on the occupying Power to reverse trends that jeopardize a two‑State solution and halt its construction of settlements and demolition of Palestinian property.  They also underscore that occupation must be a temporary situation and call for measures of accountability to address Israel’s past activities.

The representative of Israel, making a general statement, said those texts are highly political and reflect an unbalanced and distorted image of the Middle East.  Emphasizing that the drafts are disproportionate, one‑sided and biased against Israel, she called on the United Nations not to consider them.  Pointing to the Organization’s “never‑ending anti‑Israel agenda”, she described the funding of Committees and Agencies that target Israel as a tragic and unprecedented misappropriation of resources.  Noting that UNRWA uses its funding to pursue the “hateful indoctrination of children” in classrooms, she called upon the Agency to show a genuine commitment to transparency and accountability.  Noting that her country continues to strengthen relations with countries across the region, she urged the United Nations to leave behind the narrative of conflict and hatred and instead focus on tolerance and dialogue.

The representative of the United States said Israel and Palestine deserve equal measures of freedom, dignity, security and prosperity.  Stressing that the package of resolutions does not support that goal and disproportionately singles out Israel, he stated that the United States strongly opposes the annual submission of resolutions biased against Israel.  Appreciating the modest efforts aimed at reducing the number of resolutions, he warned that those texts distract from real efforts to achieve peace.  Turning to draft resolution “L.12” on UNRWA, he pointed to the United States’ provision of more than $318 million dollars to the Agency and welcomed the inclusion in the text of references to the humanitarian principles of neutrality, independence and impartiality.  Noting that UNRWA needs reforms to improve its financial system, he urged Member States to support the Agency not only in word but in action.

Taking action on the three draft resolutions related to UNRWA, the Committee first approved the text titled “Assistance to Palestine refugees” (L.12) by a recorded vote of 160 in favour to 1 against (Israel), with 9 abstentions (Cameroon, Canada, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, United States, Uruguay).

Taking up the draft titled “Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East” (L.13), the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 5 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, United States), with 9 abstentions (Australia, Cameroon, Fiji, Guatemala, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uruguay).

The Committee then approved the draft resolution titled “Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues” (L.14) by a recorded vote of 156 in favour to 6 against (Canada, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 9 abstentions (Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Fiji, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, South Sudan, Togo).

The Committee then turned to draft resolutions relating to “Israeli practices and settlement activities affecting the rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the occupied territories” (documents A/C.4/76/L.7-9).

It narrowly approved a draft titled “Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories” (L.7) by a recorded vote of 77 in favour to 17 against, with 74 abstentions.

By a recorded vote of 144 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 22 abstentions, the Committee approved a draft resolution titled “The occupied Syrian Golan” (L.8).

Turning to the text titled “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan” (L.9), the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 142 in favour to 7 against (Canada, Hungary, Israel, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, United States), with 16 abstentions.

The representative of Slovenia, speaking in explanation of position on behalf of the European Union in its capacity as observer, said the bloc has not expressed a legal qualification on the term “forced displacement”.  In addition, the term “Palestine” cannot be construed as a recognition of the State of Palestine.  She went on to welcome efforts by the permanent observer mission of the State of Palestine to streamline the work of the Committee.

The representative of Iran said the adoption of all the resolutions in the current cluster demonstrates that members of the Committee support the plight of the people of Palestine and condemn the illegal activities of the occupying regime.  Unfortunately, that regime’s non‑compliance has prevented the international community from finding a resolution to the conflict.  The developments of recent years show that Palestinians have no choice but to resist the occupying Power, he said.

The observer for the State of Palestine, making a general statement on both agenda items, expressed gratitude for the support of Member States and said it is a critical contribution to addressing the profound issues Palestine has faced over the past 50 years.  While implementation of the resolutions remains absent, her delegation is grateful for the reaffirmations contained therein.  The clarity and strength of the calls contained in the texts are more important than ever, she said, calling for the Assembly to remain engaged in the events on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  She went on to emphasize that the resolutions are based on international law and respect for universal human rights, while describing the decision by a few States to shift their positions away from support for Palestine as unfortunate.

The representative of Syria said the support for resolutions related to Israeli practices demonstrate Member States’ rejection of the occupation of the Syrian Golan by force.  Refraining from supporting the Israeli occupation is an important step towards dismantling the settlement regime, she said.  Draft resolution “L.9” reaffirms Syria’s right to recover the Syrian Golan, she said, stressing that measures taken by Israel to change its natural demographics are null and have no legal impact.

The Committee then took up a text titled “Comprehensive review of special political missions” (document A/C.4/76/L.10).

The representative of Mexico, also speaking on behalf of the other main co‑sponsor, Finland, introduced the draft resolution, noting that it features several new elements this year.  Those include a reference to the full, equal and meaningful participation of women; language on the need for greater transparency and accountability; and calls for the identification of climate‑related risks by missions.  The text further takes note of the COVID‑19 pandemic’s impact on the work of special political missions and encourages them to work closely with United Nations country teams and other partners, including during transitions.

Acting without a vote, the Committee approved draft resolution L.10.

Members then took up two texts on questions related to information.  Draft resolution A, titled “Information in the service of humanity”, is contained in the report on the forty‑first session of the Committee on Information (document A/76/21, chapter IV, p.11).  The Fourth Committee approved it without a vote.

Acting again by consensus, the Committee approved draft resolution B, titled “United Nations global communications policies and activities”, contained in chapter IV, p.12, of the same report.

Turning to a series of texts on decolonization, the Committee first approved — by a recorded vote of 169 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (France, United Kingdom) — a text titled “Information from Non‑Self‑Governing Territories transmitted under Article 73 e of the Charter of the United Nations”, contained in the Report of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples for 2021 (document A/76/23, chapter XIII, p.40).

The representative of the United States, speaking in explanation of position before the vote, reiterated concerns that the resolutions place too much weight on independence as a “one size fits all” solution.  In fact, the people of Non‑Self‑Governing Territories may validly opt for free association or integration with the administering State, he said, noting that Territories can speak for themselves and it is not for the Assembly to obstruct their voices.  As for the decision to retain language that all military activities in Territories must cease, he said the United States has a right to carry out military activities in line with its interests, and it is not accurate to assume those activities are harmful.  Furthermore, it is for administering States to determine if a Non‑Self‑Governing Territory is ready for independence.  According to a United States court ruling, the law establishing a Guam plebiscite was determined to be invalid.  The right to self‑determination is to be exercised by the whole people, not just one portion of the population, he stressed.

Explaining his delegation’s position after the vote, the representative of the United Kingdom said he abstained, since the decision as to whether a Non‑Self‑Governing Territory has met the criteria for self‑determination is ultimately for the administering Power, not the General Assembly.

Taking up a draft resolution titled “Economic and other activities which affect the interests of the peoples of the Non‑Self‑Governing Territories”, which was contained in the same report (chapter XIII, p.42), the Committee approved it by a recorded vote of 167 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 3 abstentions (France, Papua New Guinea, United Kingdom).

The representative of Argentina, speaking in explanation of position, said the applicability of the resolution depends on whether the exercise of the right to self‑determination is applicable.  The resolution stipulates that if the subject of a territory is not in existence, the principle of self‑determination does not apply.  In that context, he recalled that the United Kingdom expelled the Argentinian population and authorities from the Malvinas Islands*, South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands and the surrounding maritime areas and implanted their own citizens.  Because there is a dispute over sovereignty, a solution must be found through direct negotiations.  Furthermore, the United Kingdom’s unilateral exploitation of the disputed islands runs counter to General Assembly resolutions, he said.

Next, the Committee took up a draft resolution titled “Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples by the specialized agencies and the international institutions associated with the United Nations”, which was contained in the same report (chapter XIII, p.45). It was approved by a recorded vote of 119 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 51 abstentions.

The representative of the United Kingdom, speaking in explanation of position, said specialized Agency mandates must be carefully reflected in the text.

The representative of Argentina said the draft resolution must be applied in line with other resolutions regarding specific territories.

The Committee went on to consider several draft resolutions under its decolonization cluster, approving them without a vote.  Those included texts titled “Offers by Member States of study and training facilities for inhabitants of Non‑Self‑Governing Territories” (document A/C.4/76/L.2); “Question of Gibraltar” (document A/C.4/76/L.4); and “Question of Western Sahara” (document A/C.4/76/L.6).

The representative of Slovenia, speaking on behalf of the European Union in its capacity as observer on the latter draft, welcomed the Secretary‑General’s commitment to relaunch the negotiating process on the question of Western Sahara.  She encouraged the parties to work towards a resolution of the conflict within the framework of the United Nations, further noting that the European Union will consider the possibility of engaging with the Secretary‑General’s personal envoy to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution.  She welcomed the adoption of Security Council resolution 2602 (2021) and voiced support for the meaningful participation of youth and women in the political process.  Pointing to the insufficient funding for the Tindouf refugee camps, she urged the international community to provide new and additional voluntary contributions and encouraged the parties to further collaborate with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in that regard.

Acting again without a vote, the Committee went on to approve several draft resolutions contained in the Report of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples for 2021 (document A/76/23), on individual Non‑Self‑Governing Territories.  It first approved a draft on the “Question of American Samoa” (resolution IV, chapter XIII, p.50).

Explaining his position, the representative of the United Kingdom voiced his delegation’s full support for the right of self‑determination, while describing his country’s relationship with its overseas Territories as modern and reflective of the particular circumstances of those Territories.  Noting that the United Kingdom is prepared to discuss any proposals for change put forward by any of the Territories, he drew attention to the internal self‑government modalities enjoyed by those Territories, which have freely chosen to retain their link to his country.

The Committee, acting without a vote, then approved a draft resolution on the “Question of Anguilla”, contained in the same report (resolution V, chapter XIII, p.55).

__________

* A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).

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