The United Nations Habitat conference in Canada was divided on Friday when a number of developing nations passed a motion against the opposition of Western countries.
The United Nations Habitat conference in Canada was divided on Friday when a number of developing nations passed a motion against the opposition of Western countries. A Cuban proposal condemning Israel for the occupation of lands was passed with a large majority.
SYNOPSIS: But Israel's delegate to the conference, Dr. Joseph Burg, condemned the motion.
Iraq's Minister of Public Works and Housing, Dr. Rashid al-Rifai, said that his country supported the motion. Iraq tabled an amendment for Habitat's 'Declaration of Principles' which had been interpreted by Western countries as linking Zionism with racism. The Arab-Israeli dispute was regarded as outside the scope of the conference by the American and British representatives and efforts were made to have the proposal struck from the agenda. But Arab and other developing nations see the Israeli occupation of territory as basic to the question of human settlements, which is what the Habitat conference was all about. The divisions tore the conference in two and the 134 nations failed to agree on a final declaration when the meeting closed on Saturday (12 June).