Statement delivered by Mr. Tareq Mohammad Ariful Islam, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations at the Plenary of the Second Committee of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly 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 (22 October 2019, CR-2, UNHQs)

Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished Delegates,

At the outset, I would like to align with the statement delivered by the State of Palestine, as the Chair of the G77.
I would also like to thank the Secretary General for his report on this agenda item.

Mr. Chairman,

We thank Dr, Rola Dashti, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ECSWA) for the presentation and convey our appreciation for the Report of 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.

Mr. Chairman,

We are deeply frustrated that due to the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories for nearly five decades, systematic human rights violations, indiscriminate attacks against civilians and expansion of illegal settlements by Israel, the social and economic conditions continue to deteriorate in those areas. Discriminatory laws, and restrictions on movement, access to resources and trade have resulted in very poor economic growth that stands at 0.9% and deteriorating investment, infrastructure, living standard and labour market. We are concerned to see in the report that the occupied territories have been experiencing de-industrialization and de-development. These would lead to further financing gaps and lower the growth prospects and employment opportunities in those areas.

It is a matter of serious concern that poverty remains pervasive in the occupied territory and in Gaza, 53 per cent people live below the national poverty line of Palestine. Unemployment rate 31%. 1.56 million Palestinians remain food insecure due to high poverty and unemployment rates. A number of 14,600 Palestinians remain internally displaced in Gaza. There are serious challenges to access to public health services and water and sanitation in the occupied territories. The energy crisis persists, and Palestinian agricultural land, health, animals and biodiversity have been damaged by different practices by Israeli authorities and settlers that includes illegal transfer of hazardous waste. It is unacceptable that the Palestinians have been prevented from accessing to and utilizing agricultural land owing to movement restrictions, land confiscations and settler-induced violence. These development issues including others must be addressed.

Mr. Chairman,

The principle of “Leave no one behind” applies to all including the people under foreign occupation. 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 ensuring sustainable development in the occupied territories. We also urge to resolve the funding crisis that the UNRWA has been facing as it exacerbates the conditions of the Palestinians who already live in harsh conditions. We are of a firm belief that this agenda item is indivisible and relevant to the work of the Second Committee.

The people and the Government Bangladesh remain steadfast in their support for the just and legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people for the establishment of an independent, viable, contiguous and sovereign Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in the framework of a two-state solution. The Palestinian people and the Arab population of the occupied Syrian Golan have inalienable rights over their natural resources and to claim restitution for the harms made by the illegal measures taken by Israel. We reiterate our position that the right to self-determination of the peoples in the occupied territories of Palestine and ending the occupation are essential for the realization of the SDGs in those areas.

I thank you.