UN: Explanation of vote on behalf of EU on draft resolution on Syrian Golan

United Nations, General Assembly, 61st Session, Agenda Item 13: Draft resolution on Syrian Golan

Explanation of Vote by H.E. Ms. Heidi Schroderus-Fox, Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of Finland to the UN, on behalf of the EU

New York, 1 December 2006

Madam President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA country Liechtenstein, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine align themselves with this declaration.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

I would like to explain the vote by the countries of the European Union on the resolution on the Syrian Golan.

The EU remains concerned about the situation in the Middle East. It welcomes the agreement between President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to establish a mutual ceasefire in Gaza, and calls on the parties to do more to facilitate the urgent reinvigoration of the peace process. There can be no military solution to the Middle East conflict. A just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the situation in the Middle East, including on the Syrian and Lebanese tracks, must be based on Security Council Resolution 242, which emphasises the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every state in the region can live in security, and on subsequent resolutions 338, 1397 and 1515. It must be based on the Madrid terms of reference, in particular the principle of land for peace, as well as on the implementation of the Road Map and all existing agreements between the parties. We reiterate our intention to continue working relentlessly with the regional parties as part of the Middle East Quartet towards that goal.

The EU would like to reiterate that a final peace settlement will not be complete without taking account of the Israel-Syria and Israel-Lebanon aspects. Negotiations should resume as soon as possible with the aim of reaching an agreement.

It should be recalled that earlier this week, the EU voted in favour of the resolution on the Occupied Syrian Golan in the Fourth Committee, which called upon Israel to desist from changing the demographic composition of the occupied Syrian Golan and in particular to desist from the establishment of settlements. We believe that the resolution on the Syrian Golan under today’s agenda item contains references which could undermine the process of bilateral negotiations. For that reason, as in previous years, the EU has abstained on this resolution.

Finally, in the spirit of rationalising the work of the General Assembly Agenda, the EU would prefer to have only one resolution dealing with this issue before this body.

Thank you, Madam President.