| Statement by Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Masud Bin Momen 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-First Session of the General Assembly (UNHQs, New York, 25 October 2016)
1. We align with the statement delivered by Thailand on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and by Qatar as the Coordinator of the OIC Working Committee on Development.
2. We thank the Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ECSWA) and Coordinator of the Regional Commission for the presentation and convey our appreciation of the “Note by the Secretary-General on the 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”.
3. As has been revealed in ECSWA report, and as we are witnessing with a deep sense of frustration, the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories, systematic human rights violations, indiscriminate attacks against civilians and expansion of illegal settlements by Israel, the occupying power, constitute an affront to the rights of those people and, thus, worsens their social and economic conditions. The socio-economic, humanitarian and human devastation sown by this occupation for nearly five decades has gravely affected the living conditions of the Palestinian people. We sadly observe the dire humanitarian and socio-economic situation, particularly in the Gaza Strip under the Israeli blockade entering its tenth year.
4. As effects of the occupation of the Palestinian territory and the Syrian Golan there persists high rates of unemployment, rampant poverty levels, widespread displacement and homelessness, numerous health-related problems, severe food insecurity, insufficient number of schools and high dropout rates of students and rising aid-dependency for the most basic of needs. Destruction of homes and properties and exploitation, endangerment and depletion of Palestinian natural resources have compounded their poverty and underdevelopment. There are obstacles to the implementation of critical environmental projects, including for a desalination facility and sewage treatment plant in Gaza, necessary for addressing sanitation and health issues and the well-being of the population, including access to water. We have also been informed by the ECWAS report that serious damages were made to the electricity gridlines which caused chronic fuels and electricity shortages. These development issues including others must be addressed.
5. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires us not to leave anyone behind. The SDGs are universal and applies to all irrespective of their political status. The international community has vowed to implement the SDGs at every corner of the world. However, the ECSWA report has rightly indicated that the Palestinian and Syrian people would not enjoy the benefits of sustainable development until they have sovereign control over their natural resources.
6. Bangladesh reiterates 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. We call upon the international community to impress upon Israel, the occupying power, to put an end to its systematic violation of international humanitarian law and human rights principles, and restrictive measures so that a favourable condition is created for the economies of those territories to grow. We are of a firm belief that this agenda item is indivisible and relevant to the work of the Second Committee.
7. The 2030 Agenda and other major outcome documents recently adopted recognizes the difficulties faced by the peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation. Bangladesh reaffirms its strong position that in the implementation and the follow-up and review of 2030 Agenda and all major outcome documents, we must put our acts together to ensure the right to self-determination of the peoples in the occupied territories absence of which pose a big challenge in the full realization of the SDGs.
I thank you.