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Israel's decision to build a canal linking the Mediterranean Sea to the Dead Sea (decision 12/7)

At the 15th meeting of the session, on 28 May, the Council had before it a draft decision on this subject submitted by the Group of 77 (UNEP/GC.12/L.9). it was introduced on behalf of the Group by the representative of Mexico, who said that the sponsors had shown flexibility and moderation in the drafting of the text, in order to deal appropriately with the issue without politicizing the work of the Council. The draft decision was practically identical to decision 11/4, and he hoped it would be adopted without the need for a vote.61. The representative of the Palestine Lib6ration organization said that t e world had seen Israelis usurping Palestinian land for their own use. Now Israel was building a canal, the main section of which was located in the occupied Gaza Strip, as 6 deliberate obstacle to the unity of the Palestinian people.

62. The representative of Israel said that his Government had agreed to a request that experts should visit the site and study the ramifications of the project, which would have no harmful effects whatsoever in the Jordan valley, the river Jordan or the Gaza Strip. Moreover, what was involved was not a canal but a predominantly underground water conduit.

63. The representative of the United States of America called for a vote on the draft decision. The representative of Morocco called for a vote by roll-call. The President then put the draft decision to the vote. It was adopted by 47 votes to 1, with no abstentions. The voting was as follows:

In favour-. Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Burundi, Byelorussian Soviet socialist Republic, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia Finland, France, Germany, Federal Republic of, Greece, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Kuwait, Lesotho, Z4alaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Sudan, Thailand, Uganda, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela.

Against: United States of America.

Abstaining: None.

64. The representative of the United states of American expressed regret that a vote had proved necessary on the draft decision. However the decision contained political elements which fell outside the competence of the Governing Council, as well as prejudging the impact of the proposed project. .If the decision had focused on environmental issues alone, avoid prejudging a project which was still at the feasibility stage, and noted that the issues could be resolved only through consultation between the government involve, he would have been able to support it.