22 Jul 2004

Three of six nations voting against a UN resolution on Israel from Pacific

4:13 pm on 22 July 2004

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

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.

10 countries abstained including Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Nauru.

An 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."

Professor Robert Patman of the University of Otago.