23 Jul 2004

Pacific nations vote against UN resolution on Israel wall

10:15 am on 23 July 2004

Three Pacific nations were among the six states which voted against a United Nations resolution that ordered Israel to tear down the barrier it is building through the West Bank.

The Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau joined Australia, the United States and Israel in voting against the resolution.

The resolution received overwhelming international support, with 150 nations voting in favour.

Ten countries abstained - including Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Nauru.

The International Relations specialist, Professor Robert Patman, from the University of Otago, says the voting patterns suggest that the United States has exerted its influence on its former colonies, which are particularly vulnerable because they are dependent on aid.

"If you're in a situation where you need aid desperately to keep your society going, then you have to operate within those constraints and you don't have the same freedom of manouvre, for example, as a country, which is powerful and relatively self-sufficient."