By Jenany VETHANAYAGAM
After having a successful start in the United Nations General Assembly Sixth Committee, the United Times team moved on to the United Nations General Assembly Fourth Committee to clarify the status of ongoing debates on “The Question of Jerusalem”. Two Draft Resolution were submitted and had quite a clear structure on what the countries suggested in terms of finding solutions either in favour of a common peace solution for Israel and Palestine or recommending acknowledging Palestine as a sovereign state.
Six of 20 countries including Myanmar, New Zealand, Finland, Israel, Pakistan and Fiji got the opportunity to give us a short briefing about the happenings and debates from the previous sessions. To give this press conference a neutral point of view the countries selected Fiji as speaker, which was quite surprising because Fiji has been not that in the foreground during the debates before.
Now it was time to get into details by questioning the delegates about certain aspects regarding clauses out of the two submitted Draft Resolutions, which weren’t just clear to us but also questionable at the same time. We asked New Zealand, one of the main submitters of the Draft Resolution 1.1, what they exactly they meant with “implementing clearer security measures”. It wasn’t clear for us if New Zealand and the other countries were arguing in favour for Israel? Surprisingly New Zealand argued that this implementation of clearer security measures should be helpful for Israel and Palestine people. But of course, it indicates the interest to satisfy the Israeli government is most important. In an accessory sentence New Zealand said that they also to try to acknowledge the Palestinian people.
However, clarifying the facts, the main focus of this press conference became Israel. We wanted to know their exact position in this debate and especially their response to the Draft Resolutions with some questionable clauses. “We compromised with a lot, but we are not willing to give up the Old city of Jerusalem if there is not a concession from the other side.”
Israel does show some accountability, but their answers during the press conference was a different story. It responded by putting blame on the Member States and appreciated the United States of America for coming forward with a right solution in the right direction. Even Israel signed a Draft Resolution, which underlines the peace implementation in Israel and Palestine, but couldn’t answer the question if they would recognize Palestine as sovereign state and as a member in United Nations. Israel didn’t want to explain the reason, which was foreseeable. Conclusively, Israel hasn’t shown the responsibility, which we hoped for and we will see what the future for Jerusalem will be!