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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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UNITED
NATIONS
A

      General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/44/35
17 November 1989

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE
RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE*








* The present document is a mimeographed version of the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. It will be issued subsequently in final form as Offical Records of the General Assembly, Forty-fourth Session, Supplement No./35 (A/44/35).


89-29407 1332h (E)

CONTENTS

Paragraphs
Page
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
4
I.INTRODUCTION
1 - 8
1
II.MANDATE OF THE COMMITTEE
9 - 11
3
III.ORGANIZATION OF WORK
12 - 17
4
A.Election of officers
12 - 14
4
B.Participation in the work of the Committee
15 - 16
4
C.Re-establishment of the Working Group
17
4
IV.ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMITTEE
18 - 93
5
A.Action taken in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/175 A of 15 December 1988
18 - 63
5
1.Review of the situation relating to the question
of Palestine and efforts to implement the recommendations of the Committee
18 - 31
5
2.Reactions to developments affecting the inalienable
rights of the Palestinian people
32 - 56
9
3.Action taken by the Committee to promote the
convening of the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176 of
15 December 1988
57 - 61
14
4.Attendance at international conferences and
meetings
62
16
5.Action taken by United Nations bodies, the
Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and intergovernmental organizations
63
16
B.Action taken by the Committee in accordance with
General Assembly resolutions 43/175 A and B of
15 December 1988
64 - 93
18
1.Co-operation with non-governmental organizations
64 - 82
18
2.Seminars
83 - 90
22
3.Other activities
91 - 93
24
V.ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 43/175 C
94 - 109
25
VI.RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE
110 - 118
29

Annexes
I.Recommendations of the Committee endorsed by the General Assembly at its thirty-first session
33
II.Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-first United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, Cairo, Egypt, 18 to 22 December 1988
36
III.Declaration adopted by the United Nations African Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, Cairo, Egypt,
18 to 21 December 1988
42
IV.Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-second United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine,
New York, 19 and 20 June 1989
45
V.Declaration adopted by the United Nations North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine,
New York, 21 to 23 June 1989
52
VI.Declaration adopted by the United Nations European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, Vienna,
28 and 29 August 1989
57
VII.Declaration adopted by the Sixth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine, Vienna, 30 August to 1 September 1989
61


LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL


8 November 1989

Sir,

I have the honour to enclose herewith the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for submission to the General Assembly in accordance with paragraph 4 of resolution 43/175 A of 15 December 1988.

Accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.


(Signed) Absa Claude DIALLO
Chairman of the Committee on the
Exercise of the Inalienable Rights
of the Palestinian People




His Excellency
Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
Secretary-General of the United Nations

I. INTRODUCTION


1. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, established by General Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1975, is currently composed of 23 Member States as follows: Afghanistan, Cuba, Cyprus, German Democratic Republic, Guinea, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and Yugoslavia.

2. In its first report,1/ the Committee made a number of recommendations specifically designed to enable the Palestinian people to attain and exercise its inalienable rights in Palestine as previously recognized and defined by the General Assembly. Those recommendations were first endorsed by the Assembly in its resolution 31/20 of
24 November 1976 as a basis for the solution of the question of Palestine.

3. In its subsequent reports to the General Assembly, 2/ the Committee reaffirmed its original recommendations and called for their implementation. On each occasion they have been endorsed overwhelmingly by the Assembly, which has also continued to renew and, as necessary, expand the mandate of the Committee.

4. However, despite the increasing urgency of the appeals by the Committee and the grave deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, the Security Council has not yet been able to act on or implement the recommendations of the Committee. The Committee remains convinced that positive consideration and action by the Security Council on these recommendations would advance prospects for the attainment of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine.

5. The Committee's efforts to promote such a solution acquired even greater urgency in the year under review because of the further escalation of repression by Israel, the occupying Power, in its efforts to crush the Palestinian uprising, the intifadah, now in its second year. Despite the international outcry over grave and repeated violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory and Security Council resolutions requesting the occupying Power to abide by its obligations under international law, Israel has continued and has increased its acts of repression and oppression with the help of its armed forces and settlers against the Palestinian civilian population resisting the occupation. The Committee repeatedly expressed its most profound concern at the mounting casualties and suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people, particularly women and children, and at the intensification of tension and violence in the region, and warned that Israel's intransigence would only exacerbate the situation, jeopardize international efforts to promote a negotiating process, and further endanger international peace and security. The Committee reaffirmed that no solution could be achieved as long as the Palestinian people was denied the exercise of its inalienable rights in Palestine, including those to self-determination without external interference, to national independence and sovereignty, to return to its homes and property, and to establish its own independent sovereign State, and as long as Israel continued to occupy the Palestinian and other Arab territories.

6. The Committee therefore continued to give the highest priority to the urgent need for ensuring the safety and protection of Palestinians under Israeli occupation and for alleviating their suffering, while further intensifying its efforts to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in accordance with United Nations resolutions.

7. The Committee welcomed the historic peace initiative launched by the Palestine National Council at its nineteenth extraordinary session, held at Algiers in November 1988, and, in particular, the proclamation of the State of Palestine as a bold and significant contribution towards the achievement of peace in the Middle East. The Committee took note with satisfaction of the initiation of a dialogue between the United States and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as a positive measure that contributes to redressing the imbalance between the parties. It expressed the hope that the dialogue would lead to the removal of obstacles to the convening of the International Peace Conference and called for its continuation and the expansion of its political scope. The Committee considered that it was now incumbent upon the Government of Israel to respond positively to the Palestinian peace initiative, which had the overwhelming support of the international community. The Committee fully supported the courageous intifadah of the Palestinian people, which confirms in no uncertain terms the Palestinian determination to resist, reject and put an end to Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967. The Committee considered that the intifadah and the subsequent developments, as well as the general improvement in the international climate, had created a new momentum towards a negotiated settlement and that this historic opportunity should not be missed.

8. The Committee accordingly reiterated its appeals to the Security Council to take action urgently in order to secure United Nations objectives on the question of Palestine, in particular through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with the principles affirmed by the General Assembly in resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988. The Committee reiterated its firm conviction that the Conference provides the only comprehensive, practical and overwhelmingly accepted framework for peace and stressed once again the urgent need for additional concrete and constructive efforts by all concerned in order to convene the Conference without further delay.


II. MANDATE OF THE COMMITTEE


9. The Committee's mandate for the year 1989 is contained in paragraphs 3 to 5 of General Assembly resolution 43/175 A of 15 December 1988, by which the Assembly:

(a) Requested the Committee to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine as well as the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights 3/ and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly or the Security Council, as appropriate.

(b) Authorized the Committee to continue to exert all efforts to promote the implementation of its recommendations, including representation at conferences and meetings and the sending of delegations, to make such adjustments in its approved programme of seminars and of symposia and meetings for non-governmental organizations as it may consider necessary, and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its forty-fourth session and thereafter.

(c) Requested the Committee to continue to extend its co-operation to non-governmental organizations in their contribution towards heightening international awareness of the facts relating to the question of Palestine and in creating a more favourable atmosphere for the full implementation of the Committee's recommendations, and to take the necessary steps to expand its contacts with those organizations.

10. By its resolution 43/175 B of 15 December 1988, the General Assembly also requested the Secretary-General, inter alia, to provide the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat with the necessary resources and to ensure that it continues to discharge the tasks detailed in earlier resolutions, in consultation with the Committee and under its guidance.

11. By its resolution 43/175 C of 15 December 1988, the General Assembly requested the Department of Public Information, in full co-operation and co-ordination with the Committee, to continue its special information programme on the question of Palestine, with particular emphasis on public opinion in Europe and North America.


III. ORGANIZATION OF WORK


A. Election of officers


12. At its 161st meeting, on 26 January 1989, the Committee decided to re-elect the following officers:

Chairman:H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal)
Vice-Chairmen:H.E. Mr. Oscar Oramas-Oliva (Cuba)
H.E. Mr. Shah Mohammad Dost (Afghanistan)
Rapporteur:H.E. Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta)


13. At its 165th meeting, on 8 November 1989, the Committee elected H.E. Mr. Noor Ahmad Noor (Afghanistan) as Vice-Chairman in place of H.E. Mr. Shah Mohammad Dost (Afghanistan), who had departed from New York.

14. At its 162nd meeting, on 10 March 1989, the Committee adopted its programme of work for 1989 in implementation of its mandate.

B. Participation in the work of the Committee


15. As in previous years, the Committee reconfirmed that all States Members of the United Nations and Permanent Observers to the United Nations desiring to participate in the work of the Committee as observers were welcome to do so. Accordingly, in a letter dated 10 March 1989, the Chairman of the Committee so informed the Secretary-General, who subsequently transmitted the letter, on 29 March 1989, to States Members of the United Nations and members of the specialized agencies, and to intergovernmental regional organizations. The Committee also decided to invite Palestine, represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization, to participate in the work of the Committee as an observer, to attend all its meetings and to make observations and proposals for the consideration of the Committee.

16. During 1989, the Committee again welcomed as observers all the States and organizations that had participated in its work in the preceding year. 4/

C. Re-establishment of the Working Group


17. At its 161st meeting, the Committee re-established its Working Group to assist in the preparation and expedition of the work of the Committee. The Working Group was constituted as before under the chairmanship of Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta), on the understanding that any Committee member or observer could participate in its proceedings. 5/ Mr. Pramathesh Rath (India) was re-elected Vice-Chairman of the Working Group. Subsequently, at its 165th meeting, the Committee elected Mr. Dinesh Kumar Jain (India) as Vice-Chairman of the Working Group in place of Mr. Rath, who had departed from New York.


IV. ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMITTEE


A. Action taken in accordance with General Assembly
resolution 43/175 A of 15 December 1988

1.
Review of the situation relating to the question of Palestine
and efforts to implement the recommendations of the Committee

18. In accordance with its mandate, in the past year, the Committee continued to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine and to exert all efforts to promote the implementation of its recommendations as repeatedly endorsed by the General Assembly.

19. In response to urgent developments affecting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, the Chairman of the Committee, on repeated occasions, brought such developments to the attention of the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, urging the adoption of appropriate measures in accordance with United Nations resolutions (see sect./A.2 (a) below).

20. The Committee was alarmed at the further aggravation of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory as a result of the intensification of efforts by Israel to suppress the Palestinian intifadah, including the increasing resort to armed force and settler vigilantism, and other Draconian measures.

21. The Committee monitored the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory on an ongoing basis through the media, the reports of United Nations organs and agencies, as well as information collected by non-governmental organizations, individual experts and persons from the occupied territory who participated in meetings held under the auspices of the Committee, Governments and other sources.

22. The Committee noted that the intifadah, the uprising of the Palestinian people against military occupation and gradual annexation by Israel of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, had continued despite overwhelming odds since 9 December 1987. Palestinians, often children and youths, have continued to challenge the Israeli occupying forces with stones, barricades, burning tyres, and other means. In order to suppress the intifadah, the Israeli troops have resorted to excessive and indiscriminate use of force, which was reported to have been condoned and even encouraged at the highest level of government, with the apparent intent to punish and intimidate the population, resulting in an extensive and unprecedented range of human rights violations. Live ammunition, including rubber and plastic bullets fired at close range, was used liberally and increasingly, even in non-life-threatening situations. There was an apparently deliberate misuse of tear gas, fired, for example, into hospitals or homes. Thousands of Palestinians were the victims of beatings, deliberately aimed at breaking bones, while in the hands of the army or security personnel. As of 15 September 1989, according to the DataBase Project on Palestinian Human Rights, a respected human rights organization, the number of Palestinians shot to death by the Israeli forces or armed settlers had reached a total of 537 identified cases. Another 212 Palestinians had died from beatings, suffocation from tear gas, and other causes related to actions by the occupying forces. The Committee was particularly alarmed at what appeared to be the deliberate targeting of children in such attacks, as at least 20 per cent of the fatalities were children under 16. That percentage had increased to 28 per cent since March 1989 and 46 per cent during the month of August 1989.

23. In addition to protest demonstrations, mass strikes and tax boycotts have been organized by Palestinians in the occupied territory, and hundreds of popular committees have been set up with the objective of creating alternative structures to the Israeli Civil Administration. Initially organized to provide food and medical supplies to refugee camps under curfew, those committees were then reported to have grown and to have expanded their goals. They became responsible for the co-ordination of strike activities, alternative education, health needs, guard duties and the organization of a survival economy centred on a return to family agriculture. A number of Palestinian employees of the Israeli Civil Administration, particularly police officials, have resigned from their posts.

24. The Israeli authorities have resorted to increasingly harsh measures in their attempt to suppress such activities. A number of Palestinian newspapers and institutions were closed down and the popular committees proscribed. Currency restrictions were introduced to control money going to families and institutions in the occupied territory. New identity cards were issued in the Gaza Strip to monitor the population more closely. Sixty Palestinians were deported in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of
12 August 1949 and numerous Security Council resolutions. Villages, towns and refugee camps have been put under prolonged curfew, sometimes for a month or more, during which time electricity, water and telephones have often been disconnected and food and medical supplies interrupted. At least 100,000 productive trees have been uprooted and crops ruined. There was a dramatic increase in the number of house demolitions in the past year, as a form of punishment of entire villages for supporting the intifadah. At least 236 Palestinian homes were destroyed for "security" reasons between December 1987 and August 1989, while another 675 buildings were destroyed on the pretext that they had been built illegally.

25. The Committee noted that, in their efforts to suppress the Palestinian leadership of the intifadah, the Israeli authorities had waged mass arrests campaigns. It was estimated that, as of September 1989, more than 40,000 Palestinians had been in prison at one time or another, of whom only 18,000 had actually been sentenced. The Israeli authorities had also increasingly relied on the use of administrative detention without charges or trial. It was reported that, in March 1988, the power to issue administrative detention orders was extended to all officers with the rank of colonel and above. At the same time, previously existing judicial safeguards, which gave the detainees a measure of protection, were removed. Lawyers representing Palestinian detainees have maintained that the withholding of evidence for "security reasons" and administrative and other practical obstacles imposed by the Israeli authorities have made it nearly impossible to represent their clients properly. In August, the standard period of administrative detention was doubled from six months to a year. It was reported that administrative detention was increasingly used to detain prisoners of conscience. All sectors of Palestinian society were included, such as trade unionists, students, journalists, doctors, lawyers, academics, teachers, members of voluntary organizations and human rights workers, as well as labourers and the unemployed. About 13,600 Palestinians, including children, were reported to be in detention as of September 1989, 4,400 of whom were held under harsh conditions at the Ansar III camp in the Negev desert in Israel, where they had been taken in violation of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

26. The Committee was gravely concerned at the intensification of violations of the Palestinians' right to education during the second year of the intifadah. Measures taken by the occupying Power included the complete closure of universities and the long-term and repeated closure of schools, the prohibition of home study and compensation classes in alternative locations, the use of schools as military outposts, the destruction of school property, and military raids on schools and alternative classes. Arrests, deportations and administrative detention were used against faculty, administrators and students. It was estimated that primary and secondary school children, numbering about 400,000, had been taught school for only about five months altogether during the period from the autumn of 1987 to June 1989. About 100,000 children between 6 to 8 years of age had been unable to begin first grade. About 20,000 university students had their education completely interrupted. The Committee noted with great concern the assessment by educators that the imposition of those restrictions penalizes present and future generations of Palestinians and will create serious dysfunctions in the educational system which will be extremely difficult to compensate at a later stage.

27. The Committee further noted that the health situation in the occupied Palestinian territory had continued to deteriorate and was a matter of the most serious concern. It was reported that, since the beginning of the occupation, Israeli policies had resulted in a lack of basic sanitary infrastructure and health services. The number of health personnel and hospital beds, the quantity and quality of services, the medical equipment and supplies, were increasingly insufficient to meet the needs of the Palestinian population. There was no structured health system and no long-term health planning specific to the occupied territory and independent of the Israeli system, which drained the resources of the occupied territory without providing corresponding services. The estimated 40,000 Palestinians injured during the intifadah, who were in need of physiotherapeutical rehabilitation, had created enormous strains on the already inadequate facilities. The Committee also noted with great concern continuing reports that access to medical care, even in emergency cases, was often rendered difficult by travel restrictions and curfews imposed by the occupying Power, and that hospitals had been attacked and patients arrested.

28. The Committee also noted with concern that, in his report on the situation of workers of the occupied Arab territories, based on the results of a fact-finding mission to the occupied Palestinian territory, the ILO Director-General, 6/ had stated that economic and other measures taken by the Israeli authorities to suppress the intifadah had led to a substantial deterioration in the standard of living of the Palestinian people - by as much as 50 per cent, according to some observers. Palestinian employees and workers were of the opinion that any development for their benefit had been reduced to a minimum in recent years, and that any efforts which they themselves had undertaken for genuine development had been slowed or wrecked in order to keep the Palestinian economy as dependent as possible on that of Israel. Palestinian workers continued to suffer from fundamental inequities in training and employment opportunities and in the level and conditions of employment and social insurance system, contributing to their vulnerability and dependence. The Israeli authorities had also continued to engage in grave infringements of the Palestinians' right to freedom of association, including raids on and closure of trade union premises, arrest, house arrest, expulsion or threat of expulsion, administrative detention and physical harassment and interrogation of trade unionists.

29. Taking into account the continuing serious aggravation of the situation in the occupied territory, which affected every aspect of Palestinian life and society, the Committee deplored that Israel, the occupying Power, had denied entry to the territory to a number of United Nations bodies and agencies seeking to investigate the situation, in particular, the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories, the Commission on the Status of Women and the Special Committee of Experts of WHO. The UNESCO Rapporteur and UNESCO expert missions to investigate the needs of Palestinian educational institutions had also been unable to visit the occupied Palestinian territory. The Committee associated itself with the call made in General Assembly resolution 43/233 of 20 April 1989 for the Secretary-General to submit periodic reports on developments in the occupied Palestinian territory.

30. The Committee wishes to draw once again the most urgent attention of the General Assembly and the Security Council to the policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, which are in flagrant violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and which prevent the Palestinian people from attaining its inalienable rights, and thwart international efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. The Committee reiterates its most urgent appeal to the Security Council and the international community as a whole to take all necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinians in the occupied territory pending the withdrawal of Israeli forces and the achievement of a settlement.

31. The Committee further considered that, above and beyond protective and emergency relief measures, the international community must take all possible measures to halt the current economic crisis and to develop socio-economic structures that will lead to the genuine and autonomous development of the occupied Palestinian territory. The Palestinian struggle for independent nationhood requires, and is entitled to, the full support and concrete assistance of the United Nations system, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Charter and United Nations resolutions. In that connection, the Committee noted that, in resolution 43/178 of 20 December 1988, entitled "Assistance to the Palestinian people", the General Assembly affirmed that the Palestinian people cannot develop their national economy as long as the Israeli occupation persists and expressed awareness of the increasing need to provide economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people. The resolution contained a number of requests for action by the United Nations system and by Governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The Committee also noted with appreciation the efforts of the Economic and Social Council and the relevant United Nations agencies and bodies, as well as the recommendations emanating from meetings of non-governmental organizations organized under its auspices. The Committee called on all concerned to sustain and increase their assistance to the Palestinian people, in close co-operation with the Palestine Liberation Organization, as a necessary accompaniment of renewed efforts to achieve a political solution to the Palestine question.


2.
Reactions to developments affecting the inalienable rights
of the Palestinian people
(a)Communications to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council

32. In response to the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territory in the course of the year under review, the Chairman of the Committee repeatedly drew the most urgent attention of the Secretary-General and of the President of the Security Council to developments in the area and, in particular, to the escalation of repression by the Israeli military authorities, urging the adoption of appropriate measures in accordance with humanitarian principles and United Nations resolutions. The Chairman detailed various instances of killing and maiming of Palestinians by the Israeli armed forces and settlers, mass arrests, house demolitions and other forms of collective punishment, deportations, and other grave violations of the human and inalienable rights of the Palestinians in the occupied territory by Israel, the occupying Power. The Chairman repeatedly pointed out that those policies and practices were in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, international human rights instruments and United Nations resolutions, and posed further obstacles to international efforts to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestine question. The Chairman reiterated the Committee's appeals to the Secretary-General and to the President of the Security Council to take all possible measures for ensuring the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians under occupation, and to intensify all efforts towards the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988.

33. The letters by the Chairman were circulated as official documents of the General Assembly under the item on the "Question of Palestine", and of the Security Council, and are contained in the following documents: A/43/946-S/20315; A/43/992-S/20372; A/43/994-S/20424; A/43/999-S/20505; A/43/1004/Corr.1-S/20563 and Corr.1; A/43/1005-S/20952; A/43/1008-S/20623; A/43/1009-S/20668; A/43/1011-S/20714; A/44/209-S/20564; A/44/547-S/20860.


(b) Action taken within the Security Council


34. In addition to transmitting letters to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, the Committee followed closely the activities of the Council on matters relating to the Committee's mandate, and participated in Council debates as necessary.

35. In a letter dated 8 February 1989 (S/20454), the Permanent Representative of Tunisia, Chairman of the Arab Group for the month of February, referring to the letter dated 7 February 1989 from the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine (A/44/117-S/20451), requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council in order to consider the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. The request was supported by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in a letter dated 9 February 1989 (S/20455), in which she also reiterated the Committee's most serious concern at the deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Security Council considered the item at five meetings held between 10 and 17 February 1989.

36. The Chairman of the Committee intervened in the debate at the 2845th meeting of the Council (S/PV.2845), held on 10 February 1989, and stated that, since the beginning of the intifadah, there had been at least 494 fatalities and thousands injured, mostly children and young people. The situation demanded an urgent and appropriate response from the international community to ensure compliance by Israel with its obligations as an occupying Power. There was a vital need to reach a negotiated, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East problem. The Committee invited the Council to enter into an in-depth debate on the best means of translating into concrete reality the Palestinian peace initiative. The United Nations had an obligation to ensure the realization of the legitimate aspirations and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. It was also incumbent upon the Security Council to implement the recommendations of the General Assembly on the Palestine question that had been adopted by ever-increasing majorities, particularly those calling for an international peace conference on the Middle East.

37. At its 2850th meeting, on 17 February 1989, the Security Council considered a draft resolution (S/20463) submitted by Algeria, Colombia, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Nepal, Senegal and Yugoslavia. By that draft resolution, the Council would have strongly deplored Israel's persistent policies and practices against the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially the violation of human rights, and the continuing disregard by Israel, the occupying Power, of the relevant decisions of the Security Council; it would have confirmed once more the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to that territory; it would have called upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide by the relevant Security Council resolutions and to comply with its obligations under the Convention; it would have called for the exercise of maximum restraint to contribute towards the establishment of peace; it would have expressed its determination to work towards the achievement, under the auspices of the United Nations, of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East conflict, an integral part of which is the Palestinian problem; it would have requested the Secretary-General to follow the implementation of the resolution, including examining the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories by all means available to him and to report to the Security Council; and it would have decided to keep the situation under review.

38. At the same meeting, the draft resolution was voted upon. The result of the voting was 14 to 1, with no abstentions; the draft resolution was not adopted, owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the Security Council.

39. In a letter dated 31 May 1989 addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/20662), the Permanent Representative of the Sudan to the United Nations, in his capacity as Chairman of the Group of Arab States at the United Nations for the month of May 1989, requested that an urgent meeting of the Security Council be convened to discuss the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Security Council resumed its consideration of the item at five meetings, held between 6 and 9 June 1989.

40. The Chairman of the Committee intervened in the debate at the 2863rd meeting of the Security Council (S/PV.2863) held on 6 June 1989, and stated that it was high time for the Council, responsible for the maintenance of international peace, to increase its involvement by making a positive contribution to international efforts to bring about a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Appropriate action by the Council could do much to relieve the suffering of Palestinian civilians, including women and children, as requested by the General Assembly in its resolution 43/233 and in conformity with the recommendations and observations contained in the report prepared by the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council resolution 605 (1987) of 22 December 1987. She called on the Council to support the growing international solidarity in favour of the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to act on the recommendations of the Assembly for the establishment of a just and lasting peace, in particular General Assembly resolution 43/176. The Palestinian leaders have resolutely adopted a courageous policy of openness, and have done their part; the international community had the duty to prevail upon Israel to respond in a positive way, for no repression could overcome the intifadah.

41. At its 2864th meeting, on 7 June 1989, the Council considered a draft resolution (S/20677) submitted by Algeria, Colombia, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Nepal, Senegal and Yugoslavia. By that draft resolution, the Council would have strongly deplored Israeli policies and practices violating the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied territory; would have called upon Israel, as the occupying Power and as a High Contracting Party to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to accept the de jure applicability of the Convention to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem; would have recalled the obligations of all the High Contracting Parties, under article 1 of the Convention, to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances; would have demanded that Israel desist forthwith from deporting Palestinian civilians from the occupied territory and ensure the safe and immediate return of those already deported; would have expressed great concern about the prolonged closure of schools in parts of the occupied territory and would have called upon Israel to permit the immediate reopening of those schools; would have requested the Secretary-General to continue to monitor the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory by all means available to him, and to make timely reports to the Council, the first such report to be submitted no later than 23 June 1989; and would have decided to keep the situation in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, under review.

42. At its 2867th meeting, the Security Council proceeded to vote on the draft resolution (S/20677). The result of the voting was 14 to 1, with no abstentions. It was not adopted, owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the Security Council.

43. In a letter dated 30 June 1989 addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/20709), the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations, in his capacity as Chairman of the Group of Arab States at the United Nations for the month of June 1989, requested the convening of an immediate meeting of the Security Council to consider the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, in particular the deportation of Palestinian civilians from the occupied Palestinian territory.

44. At its 2870th meeting, held on 6 July 1989, the Security Council had before it a draft resolution (S/20710) submitted by Algeria, Colombia, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Nepal, Senegal and Yugoslavia. The draft resolution was adopted by 14 votes to none, with 1 abstention, as resolution 636 (1989). By that resolution, the Council deeply regretted the continuing deportation by Israel, the occupying Power, of Palestinian civilians; called upon Israel to ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied Palestinian territories of those deported and to desist forthwith from deporting any other Palestinian civilians; reaffirmed that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, was applicable to the Palestinian territories, occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, and to the other occupied Arab territories; and decided to keep the situation under review.

45. In a letter dated 29 August 1989 addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/20817), the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Qatar to the United Nations, on behalf of the Group of Arab States, requested the convening of an urgent meeting of the Security Council in order to consider the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and in particular the deportation of Palestinian civilians from the occupied Palestinian territory.

46. The Security Council met on 30 August 1989 (S/PV.2883) and had before it a draft resolution (S/20820) submitted by Algeria, Colombia, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Nepal, Senegal and Yugoslavia. The draft resolution was adopted by 14 votes, with 1 abstention, as resolution 641 (1989). By that resolution, the Council deplored the continued deportation by Israel, the occupying Power, of Palestinian civilians; called upon Israel to ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied Palestinian territories of those deported and to desist further from deporting any other Palestinian civilians; reaffirmed that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, is applicable to the Palestinian territories, occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, and to the other occupied Arab territories; and decided to keep the situation under review.

47. In a letter dated 3 November 1989 addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/20942), the Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations, in his capacity as Chairman of the Group of Arab States for the month of November 1989, requested an immediate meeting of the Security Council in order to consider the current situation in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Security Council resumed its consideration of the item at three meetings held on 6 and 7 November 1989.

48. The Chairman of the Committee intervened in the debate at the 2888th meeting (S/PV.2888), on 6 November 1989, and stated that, despite repeated indignant protests by the international community and the tireless efforts of the United Nations and its Secretary-General, the human rights situation of the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territories had been steadily deteriorating. The Committee's concern was all the more acute since the Security Council had still not succeeded in agreeing to measures to guarantee the security of the Palestinian civilians, in particular women and children. She appealed to the Security Council to become more involved in the question of Palestine and to initiate and oversee the peace process in the region, and in particular to work resolutely with the Secretary-General to organize the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176. The United Nations had more than ever before the duty and the responsibility to promote the establishment of peace and coexistence between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples.

49. At its 2889th meeting, on 7 November 1989, the Council considered a draft resolution (S/20945/Rev.1) submitted by Algeria, Colombia, Ethiopia, Malaysia, Nepal, Senegal and Yugoslavia. By that draft resolution, the Council would have strongly deplored those policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, which violated the human rights of the Palestinian people, in particular the siege of towns, the ransacking of homes, and illegal and arbitrary confiscation of property and valuables; it would have called upon Israel to desist from such practices and actions, to lift its siege and to return the confiscated property; it would have reaffirmed the applicability of the Fourth Geneva Convention to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and would have called on Israel, the occupying Power, to abide by that Convention; it would have called upon all High Contracting Parties to that Convention to ensure respect for it, including the obligation of the occupying Power to treat the population of the occupied territory humanely at all times and in all circumstances; and would have requested the Secretary-General to conduct on-site monitoring of the present situation in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, by all means available to him, and to submit periodic reports thereon, the first such report as soon as possible.

50. At the same meeting, the Security Council proceeded to vote on the draft resolution (S/20945/Rev.1). The result of the voting was 14 to 1, with no abstentions. The draft resolution was not adopted, owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the Security Council.


(c) Action taken within the General Assembly


51. In its resolutions 43/48 of 30 November 1988 and 43/49 of 2 December 1988, the General Assembly considered the decision of the host country to deny an entry visa to the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and decided to consider the agenda item entitled, "Question of Palestine", in plenary meetings at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 13 to 15 December 1988. At its 78th plenary meeting (A/43/PV.78), the Assembly heard a historic statement by the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Committee endorsed the Palestinian peace initiative contained in that statement.

52. At its 82nd plenary meeting, on 15 December 1988, the General Assembly adopted five resolutions on the question of Palestine. By resolutions 43/175 A, B and C, the Assembly renewed the respective mandates of the Committee, the Division for Palestinian Rights and the Department of Public Information (see paras. 9-11 above). By resolution 43/176, the Assembly outlined principles for the achievement of a comprehensive peace through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East (see para. 57 below). By resolution 43/177, the Assembly acknowledged the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council on 15 November 1988; affirmed the need to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their sovereignty over their territory occupied since 1967; and decided that the designation "Palestine" should be used in place of the designation "Palestine Liberation Organization" in the United Nations system, without prejudice to the observer status and functions of the PLO within the United Nations system, in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions and practice.

53. On 14 December 1988, the Government of the United States announced its decision to open a substantive dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization. That positive development was welcomed by all States participating in the plenary meetings of the General Assembly held at Geneva.

54. The General Assembly subsequently decided to retain the item on the agenda of its forty-third session (General Assembly decision 43/459 of 22 December 1988). The General Assembly resumed its consideration of the item, entitled "Question of Palestine", on 18 April 1989, at the request of the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia in his capacity as Chairman of the Arab Group at the United Nations, contained in a letter dated 17 April 1989 (A/43/1007), and in accordance with decision 43/459 of 22 December 1988, by which the Assembly retained that item on the agenda of the forty-third session. The Assembly considered the item at three meetings, held on 18 and 19 April 1989.

55. The Chairman of the Committee intervened in the debate on 18 April 1989 (A/43/PV.92) and stressed that the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory had continued to worsen owing to Israel's intransigence. She reported to the Assembly on various instances of killings and destruction that had taken place since the beginning of 1989 and had been detailed in letters written on behalf of the Committee. The Committee strongly protested the further escalation of repression in recent days and the growing role of armed Israeli settlers, and wished to appeal to the international community to redouble its efforts to ensure the protection of Palestinians, the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied Palestinian territory, and the convening of the International Peace Conference in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176.

56. On 20 April, at its 94th plenary meeting, the General Assembly adopted resolution 43/233 by a vote of 129 to 2, with 1 abstention. By that resolution, the Assembly condemned those policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, which violate the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied territory; demanded that Israel abide scrupulously by the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949; requested the Security Council to consider with urgency the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory with a view to considering measures needed to provide international protection for the Palestinian civilians in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem; stressed the urgent need to expedite the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations and in accordance with the provisions of Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988; and requested the Secretary-General to submit periodic reports on developments in the occupied Palestinian territory.


3.
Action taken by the Committee to promote the convening of the
proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East in
accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176 of
15 December 1988


57. By resolution 43/176, the General Assembly affirmed the urgent need to achieve a just and comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine. It called for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) of 22 November 1967 and
338 (1973) of 22 October 1973 and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self- determination. It affirmed the following principles for the achievement of comprehensive peace: the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other occupied Arab territories; guaranteeing arrangements for security of all States in the region, including those named in resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, within secure and internationally recognized boundaries; resolving the problem of Palestine refugees in conformity with Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and subsequent relevant resolutions; dismantling the Israeli settlements in the territories occupied since 1967; and guaranteeing freedom of access to Holy Places, religious buildings and sites. The Assembly also noted the expressed desire and endeavours to place the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, under the supervision of the United Nations for a limited period, as part of the peace process; requested the Security Council to consider measures needed to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, including the establishment of a preparatory committee, and to consider guarantees for security measures agreed upon by the Conference for all States in the region; and requested the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned, and in consultation with the Security Council, to facilitate the convening of the Conference, and to submit progress reports on developments in this matter.

58. In the light of that resolution, the Committee once again, in adopting its programme of work, decided that, in its activities during 1989, it would continue, as a matter of the utmost priority, to exert all efforts to promote the early convening of the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East. It also decided to continue to give the highest priority to the need for ensuring the safety and protection of Palestinians under Israeli occupation, in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949.

59. The Committee was greatly strengthened in its resolve by the overwhelming consensus in favour of a comprehensive negotiated settlement through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and by the intensification of efforts among the international community as a whole aimed at meeting the needs of the Palestinian people under occupation, as reflected in particular by the recommendations adopted by the regional seminars and by symposia and meetings of non-governmental organizations on the question of Palestine organized under its auspices (see sect. IV.B below).

60. The Committee noted that the Secretary-General, in his report on the work of the Organization, 7/ stated that hopes for early progress in the peace process had sadly given way to mistrust and doubt among the parties concerned. Bilateral efforts to promote a dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians had been unsuccessful. The Secretary-General's constant attempts to pave the way to an effective negotiating process, including contacts with the parties concerned and the permanent members of the Security Council, had also proved inconclusive. In light of the persistence of widespread violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Secretary-General reminded all concerned of the urgent need for an effective negotiating process based on Security Council resolution 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and taking fully into account the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including that of self-determination.

61. The Committee was of the view that the continuation of the intifadah and the intensification of repressive measures by Israel, the occupying Power, had created a critical situation that made it imperative to advance towards a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. At the same time, events during the year had also brought about a new international momentum towards a negotiated settlement under the auspices of the United Nations. The Committee accordingly continued to stress the urgent need for the Security Council and the parties directly concerned to seize this opportunity to take positive action towards the convening of the Conference.

4. Attendance at international conferences and meetings


62. In accordance with the Committee's mandate, it was represented at the following international conferences and meetings during the period since its previous report to the General Assembly:

(a) Special meetings of the United Nations Council for Namibia to commemorate the Week of Solidarity with the people of Namibia and their liberation movement, the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), held in New York on 27 October 1988;

(b) Eighteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, held in Riyadh from 13 to 16 March 1989;

(c) Ministerial Meeting of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Harare from 17 to 19 May 1989;

(d) Fiftieth ordinary session of the Council of Ministers, held at Addis Ababa from 17 to 22 July 1989, and twenty-fifth ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, held at Addis Ababa from 24 to
26 July 1989;

(e) International NGO Conference on "Non-Alignment in International Relations", sponsored by the Indian Institute for Non-Aligned Studies, New Delhi, and held from 28 to 30 July 1989;

(f) Solemn meeting of the United Nations Council for Namibia in commemoration of Namibia Day, New York, 25 August 1989;

(g) International Symposium on the Role of Foreign Assistance in Meeting the Economic and Social Development Requirements of the Palestinian People: from Occupation to Independence, sponsored by the International and the European Co-ordinating Committees for NGOs on the Question of Palestine and the Society for Austro-Arab Relations, and held in Vienna on 27 August 1989;

(h) Ninth Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Belgrade from 4 to 7 September 1989.


5.
Action taken by United Nations bodies, the Movement of
Non-Aligned Countries and intergovernmental organizations

63. The Committee continued to follow with great interest the activities relating to the question of Palestine of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, United Nations bodies and intergovernmental organizations. The Committee especially noted the growing concern at all levels of the international community about the deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and in the region as a whole, owing to the policies and practices of Israel, and the increasing sense of urgency with which the international community addressed the need to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian people under occupation, and to advance towards a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. The Committee welcomed the growing sentiment and momentum in favour of the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176. The Committee noted in particular the following documents:

(a) Resolutions adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union at the Conference held in Sofia from 19 to 24 September 1988 (A/43/759, annex);

(b) Communiqué on the situation in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel issued on 26 October 1988 in New York by the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (A/43/781-S/20258, annex);

(c) Declaration made on 21 November 1988 by the Twelve States members of the European Community on the decisions of the Palestinian National Council (A/43/853-S/20287, annex);

(d) Communiqué of the Non-Aligned Committee of Nine on Palestine, issued at Geneva on 14 December 1988 (A/43/950, annex);

(e) Statement on the situation in the Middle East made at Athens on 16 December 1988 by the Twelve States members of the European Community (A/43/987-S/20343, annex);

(f) Final communiqué of the ninth session of the Supreme Council of the Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, held at Manama from 19 to
22 December 1988 (A/44/84-S/20407, annex I);

(g) Final communiqué issued by the Special Arab Ministerial Committee to Support the Intifadah, meeting at Tunis on 12 January 1989 (A/44/83-S/20406, annex);

(h) Resolutions adopted by the Commission on Human Rights at its forty-fifth session, held at Geneva from 30 January to 10 March 1989 (resolutions 1989/2/A/and/B, 1989/19) E/1989/20- E/CN.4/1989/86); 8/

(i) Resolution 43/XII/89 adopted by the Union of African Parliaments at its Twelfth General Assembly, held at Yaounde on 2 and 3 March 1989;

(j) Communiqué on the question of Palestine issued in New York on 15 March 1989 by the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (A/43/1000-S/20533, annex);

(k) Final communiqué of the Eighteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (Session of Islamic Fraternity and Solidarity), held in Riyadh, from 13 to 16 March 1989 (A/44/235-S/20600, annex);

(l) Resolution adopted by the Inter-Parliamentary Union at the Conference held at Budapest from 10 to 18 March 1989 (A/44/240 and Corr.1, annex);

(m) Final documents of the Ministerial Meeting of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Harare from 17 to 19 May 1989 (A/44/409-S/20743 and Corr.1 and 2, annex);

(n) Resolutions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its first and second regular sessions (resolutions/1989/34 of 24 May 1989, 1989/86 and 1989/96 of 26 July 1989); 9/

(o) Statement issued on 31 May 1989 in Madrid by the Twelve States members of the European Community on the closing of the schools of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in the West Bank (A/44/299-S/20667, annex);

(p) Declaration on the Middle East adopted by the Heads of State or Government of the Twelve States members of the European Community at the European Council held in Madrid on 26 and 27 June 1989 (A/44/354-S/20703, annex);

(q) Joint communiqué of the Twenty-second ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, held at Bandar Seri Begawan, on 3 and 4 July 1989 (A/44/415-S/20749, annex);

(r) Communiqué of the Meeting of the Political Consultative Committee of the States Parties to the Warsaw Treaty, held at Bucharest on 7 and 8 July 1989 (A/44/386, annex I);

(s) Resolution adopted by the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity at its fiftieth ordinary session, held at Addis Ababa from 17 to 22 July 1989 (A/44/603, annex I, res. CM/Res.1212 (L));

(t) Declaration of the Ninth Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Belgrade, from 4 to 7 September 1989 (A/44/551-S/20870, annex).


B.
Action taken by the Committee in accordance with General
Assembly resolutions 43/175 A and B of 15 December 1988
1. Co-operation with non-governmental organizations


64. During the period under review the Committee, in accordance with its mandate under resolution 43/175 A, continued to extend its co-operation to NGOs in their contribution to heightening international awareness of the facts relating to the question of Palestine and in creating a more favourable atmosphere for the full implementation of the Committee's recommendations, and continued to take the necessary steps to expand its contacts with those organizations.

65. In accordance with its mandate under General Assembly resolution 43/175 B, the Division for Palestinian Rights, in consultation with the Committee and under its guidance, organized the following activities for non-governmental organizations during 1988 in implementation of those objectives: regional symposia for non-governmental organizations in Africa (combined with the regional seminar), North America and Europe; an international meeting of non-governmental organizations; and two preparatory meetings, for the North American symposium and the International Meeting, respectively. The non-governmental organizations symposium for the Asian region will be held in Malaysia from 18 to 22 December 1989. The non-governmental organizations symposium for the Latin American and Caribbean region, originally scheduled to be held at Buenos Aires from 31 July to 4 August 1989, has been postponed, in consultation with the Government of Argentina.

66. In accordance with its decision to continue to give utmost priority to efforts to promote the early convening of the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in conformity with General Assembly resolution 43/176, the Committee decided that non-governmental symposia and meetings should continue to emphasize the importance of convening the Conference and structured the programmes for those activities accordingly. In light of the extremely grave situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and the new situation created by the intifadah and the proclamation of the independent State of Palestine, and subsequent developments, the Committee decided to include consideration of those topics in the programmes of the meetings for non-governmental organizations.

67. The Committee was greatly encouraged by the intensification of activities and programmes of the non-governmental organizations, including the sending of fact-finding missions to the area, intensified efforts to promote greater understanding of the issue and support for the convening of the International Peace Conference, as well as relief efforts to assist Palestinians in the uprising. The Committee noted with satisfaction the continuing and growing involvement of Israeli organizations and Jewish organizations in North America and Western Europe in these efforts.


(a) African Regional NGO Symposium


68. The African Regional NGO Symposium was held at Cairo from 18 to 21 December 1988 together with the African Regional Seminar (see below, paras. 86-88). The NGO Symposium considered the topics of three panels jointly with the Seminar. Two workshops specifically related to non-governmental organization activities were established for non-governmental organization participants to consider non-governmental organization mobilization and action in Africa on the question of Palestine.

69. The Committee noted that the Symposium adopted a declaration expressing full support for the Palestinian peace initiative and the proclamation of the State of Palestine and calling upon all Governments to recognize that State and on all governmental and non-governmental organizations to extend concrete assistance towards its establishment. The declaration also called for the prompt convening of the International Peace Conference under United Nations auspices, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176, and expressed the commitment of non-governmental organizations to arouse international public opinion in favour of that objective. The declaration further called for the placing of the occupied Palestinian territory under United Nations supervision for a limited period as an essential part of the peace process and for the implementation of United Nations resolutions for the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. (For the full text of the declaration, see annex III below.)


(b) North American Regional Symposium and Preparatory Meeting


70. The Preparatory Meeting for the North American Regional NGO Symposium was held at United Nations Headquarters on 13 and 14 February 1989 and was attended by the members of the North American Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine and by a delegation of the Committee. The meeting elaborated the various aspects of the programme for the Symposium to be held in 1989 and the modalities for expanding the network of non-governmental organizations active on the question of Palestine in North America.

71. The North American Regional NGO Symposium was held at United Nations Headquarters from 21 to 23 June 1989, immediately following the North American Regional Seminar, with which it was combined in the interest of economy and in accordance with the practice followed in previous years (see paras. 89 and 90 below). The Symposium was attended by representatives of 73 non-governmental organizations as participants, and 33 non-governmental organizations as observers from the United States and Canada, by a delegation of the Committee, and by a number of observers from Governments, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations bodies and national liberation movements.

72. Two main panels were established: I. The Intifadah: Creating a new context for peace; and II. Convening the International Peace Conference in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 43/176: Implications for Israel and the United States of the Proclamation of the State of Palestine, the Palestinian peace initiative and the Intifadah. The programme for the Symposium also included eight action-oriented workshops.

73. The Committee noted that the Symposium adopted a declaration welcoming the Palestinian peace initiative as a concrete contribution to the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the region and calling upon the Governments of the United States and Israel to accept that initiative by supporting the immediate convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176. The declaration further called for immediate measures by the United Nations system and others in order to ensure the protection of Palestinians in the occupied territory. The Committee also noted that, through their discussions in the different action-oriented workshops, the NGOs had further developed practical organizing strategies and support projects for concerted action by North American NGOs. (For the text of the declaration, see annex V below.)


(c) European Regional NGO Symposium


74. The European Regional NGO Symposium was held at Vienna on 28 and 29 August 1989, immediately preceding the International NGO Meeting, with which it was combined in the interest of economy and efficiency (see paras. 80 and 82 below). In that connection, the Committee expressed its appreciation for the decision of the Government of Austria to provide the facilities of the Austrian Centre free of charge for both meetings.

75. The programme for the Symposium was elaborated by the members of the European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine in consultation with the Committee delegation attending the Preparatory Meeting for the International NGO Meeting held at Vienna on 20 and 21 March 1989.

76. The Symposium was attended by representatives of 82 non-governmental organizations as participants and 132 non-governmental organizations as observers, as well as by a delegation of the Committee and governmental and intergovernmental observers, United Nations bodies and national liberation movements.

77. The Symposium considered the topics of two panels: I. "The Dynamics of the Intifadah and Consequences for NGO Activities" and II. "The International Peace Conference on the Middle East and the Implementation of Palestinian Self-Determination: The Role of Europe". The programme for the Symposium also included five action-oriented workshops.

78. The Committee noted that the Symposium adopted a declaration that welcomed the Palestinian peace initiative and the opening of a dialogue between the United States and the PLO, and stressed the importance of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176. The declaration called for a greater contribution by European Governments to the peace process, including recognition of the Palestinian State. It rejected the plan for elections in the occupied Palestinian territory proposed by the Government of Israel as a cover for the continuation of occupation and repression, and expressed concern over human rights violations by the occupying Power. It called on European Governments to take effective measures to ensure respect by Israel of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and on the Security Council to take urgent measures, including deployment of a United Nations peace-keeping force, to ensure the protection and security of Palestinians under occupation. The declaration also called on United Nations agencies to intensify their efforts to address the educational, medical and general socio-economic needs of the Palestinian people. (For the text of the declaration, see annex VI below.)


(d)
International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations and Preparatory Meeting

79. The Preparatory Meeting for the International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations was held at Vienna on 20 and 21 March 1988 and was attended by members of the International and European Co-ordinating Committees for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine (ICCP and ECCP), as well as a number of non-governmental organization observers from other regions. The Preparatory Meeting elaborated the details of the programmes for the International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations and the European NGO Symposium, to be held in 1989, and discussed future co-operation and action by non-governmental organizations at the international and European levels.

80. The International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations was held at Vienna from 30 August to 1 September 1989, and was attended by representatives from 213 non-governmental organizations as participants and 138 non-governmental organizations as observers from all regions, including several from Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The Committee was pleased that a number of prominent political personalities had accepted its invitation to attend and address the Meeting.

81. The Meeting had as a main theme "Intifadah: The Continuing Struggle of the Palestinian People for Independence". The following panel was established: "Two peoples, two States: Future relations". Six action-oriented workshops and a number of special-interest groups also met within the framework of the Meeting.

82. The Committee noted that the Meeting adopted a declaration that expressed full support for the Palestinian proclamation of independence and that called on all Governments to recognize the independent State of Palestine and the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the people and State of Palestine. The declaration further called for the early convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176, and rejected the election plan put forward by the Government of Israel, as designed to prevent independence and to lead to the annexation of the occupied territory. The declaration also expressed concern at the increasing human rights violations in the occupied territory and called for effective international political and economic pressure on Israel, as well as for the establishment of a United Nations presence, in order to ensure compliance with the Fourth Geneva Convention. It also called for comprehensive involvement by the United Nations system in the health and socio-economic fields, in co-operation with the PLO and Palestinian non-governmental organizations, in order to meet the growing emergency and development needs of the Palestinian people. (For the text of the declaration, see annex VII below.)


2. Seminars


83. During the period under review, the Division for Palestinian Rights continued to organize seminars in consultation with the Committee and under its guidance, in accordance with its mandate under General Assembly resolution 34/65 D and subsequent resolutions. The regions covered during the reporting period were Africa and North America. The Committee expressed appreciation to the Governments of Malaysia and Argentina for agreeing to provide the venue for the Asian Seminar and NGO Symposium and the Latin American and Caribbean Seminar and NGO Symposium, respectively. Those meetings could not be held within the reporting period for reasons beyond the Committee's control. The Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium is scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur from 18 to 22 December 1989. The Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium, originally scheduled to take place in Buenos Aires from 31 July to 4 August 1989, was postponed, in consultation with the Government of Argentina.

84. The Committee decided that the regional seminars would emphasize the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East; the intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory and its impact on the achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East conflict; the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the social, cultural, economic and political development of the Palestinian people; and the mobilization of public opinion in the region concerned for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

85. The Committee was pleased by the participation in the seminars of prominent political personalities, parliamentarians and policy-makers, as well as persons from the academic community and other experts, as this showed the growing concern of the international community at all levels over the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and the Committee's determination to promote progress towards a solution of the Palestine question.


(a) African Regional Seminar, Cairo, 18 to 22 December 1988


86. The Committee greatly appreciated the offer of the Government of Egypt to provide a venue for the African Regional Seminar (the Twenty-first United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine), which was held jointly with the African NGO Symposium.

87. The Seminar established the topics of three panels: Panel I. "The uprising in the occupied Palestinian territories: the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolutions"; Panel II. "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization; and Panel III. "The mobilization of African public opinion for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people".

88. The Committee noted that the Seminar adopted conclusions and recommendations in which participants expressed their conviction that recent developments regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine, had created a new momentum for bringing about a solution on the basis of resolutions of the United Nations and within its framework. The Seminar welcomed the Palestinian peace initiative and the proclamation of an independent Palestinian State as a positive contribution towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the region. The decision of the Government of the United States to initiate a dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization was also welcomed as a positive development. Israel was called upon to respond positively to the stand taken by the PLO and to recognize the national aspirations of the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Seminar participants further expressed full support for the principles contained in General Assembly resolution 43/176 as a basis for the achievement of a comprehensive peace. They urged that every assistance should be provided by the international community to the Palestinian people in its endeavours to end the occupation and to set up the infrastructure for an independent and sovereign Palestinian State. Pending the attainment of a settlement, the Seminar appealed to the United Nations to take urgent measures to protect the Palestinians under occupation. (For the text of the conclusions and recommendations, see annex II below.)


(b) North American Regional Seminar, New York, 19 and 20 June 1989


89. The North American Regional Seminar (the Twenty-second United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine) was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 19 and
20 June 1989. The Seminar considered the subjects of two panels, as follows: Panel I (a): "The urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East"; Panel I (b): "The intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory and its impact on the achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East conflict"; and Panel II: "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the social, cultural, economic and political development of the Palestinian people".

90. The Committee noted that, in the conclusions and recommendations of the Seminar, the participants welcomed the proclamation of a Palestinian State and subsequent developments as important landmarks in the international endeavours towards achieving a just settlement of the question of Palestine. The Seminar urged the Government of the United States to continue its contacts with the PLO and to broaden the political scope of the dialogue. It considered that the so-called peace initiative proposed by the Israeli authorities was inadequate and called on Israel to terminate its occupation and to accept the terms for a lasting settlement. It urged the Security Council to expedite the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and to adopt interim measures, including the development of a United Nations peace-keeping force, to safeguard the physical security of Palestinians in the occupied territory. The violations of human rights, repressive economic measures and the closure of schools in the occupied Palestinian territory were condemned, and the United Nations system was called upon to provide urgent humanitarian assistance and to intensify its efforts towards a genuine development of the occupied territory. (For the text of the conclusions and recommendations, see annex IV below.)

3. Other activities


91. The Committee took note with appreciation that the Division for Palestinian Rights, in accordance with its mandate, would continue to prepare the following publications, under the guidance of the Committee:

(a) Monthly bulletins covering action by the Committee, other United Nations organs, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned with the question of Palestine;

(b) Reports of regional seminars, regional symposia of non-governmental organizations and international meetings of non-governmental organizations, and special bulletins on the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People;

(c) Compilations on an annual basis of the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council;

(d) Monitoring of Arabic, English and Hebrew press and media on developments relating to the question of Palestine and the issue of monthly reports for the use of the Committee.

92. The Committee further noted that the Division had published a study entitled The Need for Convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East (in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C). The study entitled The Origins and Evolution
of the Palestine Problem (Part IV), covering the period 1984 to December 1988, has also been completed and will be added to the three previously published parts. The consolidated volume of the study will consist of four parts covering the period 1917 to 1988. The study on the plight of Palestinian children in the occupied Palestinian territory is currently being finalized. Two updated issues (March and August) of the information note on the work of the Committee and of the Division were also prepared and is now available in the six official languages of the United Nations, as well as in German and Japanese. An information note, entitled "The United Nations and non-governmental organizations on the question of Palestine", was also completed and will be made available in the six official languages of the United Nations as well as in German and Japanese.

93. The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was observed on
29 November 1988 at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at the United Nations Offices at Geneva and Vienna. The Committee noted with appreciation that the International Day had also been commemorated in many other cities throughout the world in 1988.


V.
ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION IN
ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 43/175 C


94. The Committee noted with appreciation that, during the past year, the Department of Public Information (DPI) continued its information programme on the question of Palestine with a view to furthering the world-wide dissemination of accurate, objective and comprehensive information on the question. The Department's continuing mandate on the area derived from General Assembly resolution 43/175 C of 15 December 1988, by which the Assembly requested it to continue its special information programme on the question of Palestine during the biennium 1988-1989.

95. In response to the Assembly's request, the Department has disseminated press releases, publications and audio-visual material and has also organized fact-finding news missions and regional and national encounters for journalists.

96. Full coverage by press releases was provided of the forty-third session of the General Assembly, including its meetings at Geneva, the meetings of the Security Council, the Commission on Human Rights and other intergovernmental bodies as they dealt with the question of Palestine, and of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

97. The Department's coverage of the question of Palestine during the past year focused increasingly on news items and information concerning the situation in the occupied territories, and efforts to convene an international peace conference on the Middle East under United Nations auspices.

98. The Department disseminated information through articles, press releases, brochures and booklets. The UN Chronicle reported extensively on the consideration given to the question of Palestine and other related items by the Assembly at its forty-third session and by the Security Council, particularly since the beginning of the uprising in the occupied territories. In the latest volume of the Yearbook of the United Nations, due to be issued shortly, a 22-page section is devoted to the question of Palestine, which is also dealt with in sections concerning refugees, human rights and the situation in the occupied territories. The commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at Headquarters with other United Nations offices was fully covered. The Department has also disseminated information on the seminars and symposia that were held in different world capitals by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. An information officer travelled with the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories during its fact-finding news mission to Tunis, Damascus, Amman and Cairo in May 1989 and reported on testimony taken from inhabitants of the occupied territories.

99. The Department continued to distribute its booklet entitled The United Nations and the Question of Palestine, an updated and revised version of which is scheduled by the end of the year.

100. Two new booklets were issued during 1989. The first booklet, entitled For the Rights of Palestinians: The Work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, deals with the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The second one, entitled Human Rights for the Palestinians: The work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories, deals with the work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories. Both booklets were produced in Arabic, English, French, German and Spanish and disseminated on a world-wide basis.

101. A new poster on the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East was produced and given the widest possible circulation.

102. All aspects of the question of Palestine, including the meetings of the General Assembly held at Geneva, Palestinian refugees, Palestinian rights, the intifadah, the situation of the occupied territories, the meetings of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the prospects for an international peace conference on the Middle East, were covered extensively in news, current affairs magazines, and other radio programmes of DPI.

103. In addition to items in the news and in news magazines, the Department produced a special series of four radio features in French, namely, "The Palestinian Uprising" (Parts 1 and 2) and "The International Conference on Peace in the Middle East" (Parts 1 and 2). The weekly in-depth radio programme, entitled Perspective included five features devoted exclusively to the question of Palestine, namely, "Humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees", "The Palestinian uprising and the prospects for an international conference", "The General Assembly at Geneva acknowledges a Palestinian State", "The question of Palestine and the continuing search for peace" and "The situation in the occupied territories". The programme, adapted into official and non-official languages, including Bangla, Chinese, French, Hindi, Russian, Swahili and Turkish, was disseminated worldwide. The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was featured in the weekly radio programmes in Arabic, English and Turkish. An interview with Mr. Giorgio Giacomelli, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), on the Agency's work was also featured in the weekly radio magazines in English, Hindi and Swahili. The Arabic and Middle East Unit produced seven features devoted exclusively to the question of Palestine, including the situation in the Arab occupied territories and highlights of the General Assembly session at Geneva. Four editions of the weekly radio programme in Spanish dealt with the proclamation of a Palestinian State, the rights of the Palestinian people, Palestinian refugees and the intifadah. Extensive radio coverage in Spanish was also given to the Latin American Regional Journalists Encounter on the Question of Palestine, which was held from 26 to 28 July 1989 in Kingston, Jamaica. The North American Regional Seminar on the Question of Palestine, held in New York, was covered in the weekly news magazines in English, French and Portuguese.

104. A 15-minute educational video for high-school students, with an accompanying study pamphlet for teachers on the question of Palestine, is currently in production in three languages for distribution world wide.

105. Full television coverage was provided of meetings of the General Assembly and Security Council on the question of Palestine. Television coverage was also provided of meetings of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the seminars held under its auspices, as well as other official events. The commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, as well as the opening ceremony of the photo exhibit on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, were also fully covered. A total of 138 video news packages on the various aspects of the question of Palestine were disseminated world wide through international syndicators. Furthermore, three editions of the weekly video programme, entitled UN in Action, which is broadcast world wide in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Japanese, Russian and Spanish, as well as by Cable News Network (CNN) in the United States, were devoted to various aspects of the question of Palestine, namely, "Palestinian women"; "UNRWA rebuilds camps in Lebanon" and "The UN expands humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip". Members of delegations were also provided with video cassette dubs and excerpts on the question of Palestine and other related items. Cassette copies and line feeds were made available to major television networks.

106. As in previous years, the Department once again organized activities to acquaint the media with the facts and developments pertaining to the question of Palestine. A team of 13 high-level journalists participated in the news mission to the Middle East organized by the Department. Between 7 and 23 May 1989, they visited Tunis, Damascus, Amman and Cairo. There was no reply to a formal request to the Permanent Mission of Israel for the news mission to visit Israel and the West Bank. The news mission provided the participants with an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge and impressions on various aspects of the Palestine question. During the mission, the journalists met and interviewed leaders and senior officials of Egypt, Jordan, the Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Numerous field visits, particularly to Palestinian refugee camps, were also organized. Particularly because of the situation in the occupied territories, the mission received extensive media coverage in all the countries visited. Numerous articles were later published by the participants on the basis of their experience and interviews conducted during the mission.

107. The Department also organized two regional encounters for journalists on the question of Palestine, bringing high-level journalists together with experts in the field for brief, in-depth, informal and candid discussions of the various aspects of the Palestinian problem. The first encounter was held in Singapore, from 30 January to
1 February 1989, and was attended by 20 journalists from many Asian countries, representing the print, radio and television media in Asia and the Pacific. The second encounter was organized at Kingston, Jamaica, from 26 to 28 July 1989. About 18 journalists from North and Latin America participated.

108. The Department also organized three series of national encounters, in which small, balanced panels of experts held meetings in the form of in-depth press conferences. In Europe, one national encounter with national journalists and foreign correspondents was held in London and two in Berlin between 16 and 19 January 1989. Asian national encounters were held in New Delhi, Bangkok, Sydney, Canberra, Wellington and Tokyo, between 24 January and 13 February 1989. National encounters for Latin America were held between 19 and 24 July 1989 in Bogotá, Quito and Santiago.

109. United Nations information centres throughout the world continued to carry out information activities in connection with the question of Palestine and made available to the public United Nations information materials on the subject. The information centres undertook various activities in observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. They made available publications prepared for, and under the guidance of, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and distributed information circulars in the official languages of the United Nations as well as in local languages. Exhibitions were held, films screened, and events organized in various centres in co-operation with the diplomatic corps, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and national parliaments.


VI. RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE


110. The year under review brought about events of momentous significance in the long history of the struggle of the Palestinian people to regain and exercise its inalienable rights. The continuing uprising of the Palestinian people against over 20 years of Israeli occupation and oppression, the proclamation of the State of Palestine, and the Palestinian peace initiative announced by President Yasser Arafat at the meetings of the forty-third session of the General Assembly held at Geneva in December 1988, have created new conditions and opportunities for concerted international action aimed at achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the problem. The growing deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, where hundreds of Palestinians have been killed and tens of thousands wounded, maimed and detained since the beginning of the intifadah, is a matter of utmost concern that imposes a moral duty on the United Nations and the international community as a whole to bring about expeditiously such a settlement, as well as to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian people under occupation.

111. The Committee considers that it is incumbent upon the Security Council to take concrete and effective action to secure those goals. The Committee believes that the recommendations contained in its first report, which have been repeatedly endorsed by the General Assembly by overwhelming majorities, provide a constructive programme for the implementation of the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The Committee has accordingly annexed those recommendations to the present report (annex I) and calls for urgent positive action thereon by the Security Council. The Committee further reaffirms the validity of the Declaration and Programme of Action adopted by the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held at Geneva in 1983, 3/ which made a valuable contribution towards the achievement of Palestinian rights. The Committee reaffirms that those recommendations are solidly founded on fundamental and internationally accepted principles and that the recognition, attainment and exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are indispensable conditions in the solution of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. The Committee further reasserts that the Israeli evacuation of the territories occupied by force and in violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and relevant resolutions of the United Nations is a conditio sine qua non for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights in Palestine.

112. The Committee reaffirms the international consensus that the Palestine Liberation Organization is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, whose participation on an equal footing is indispensable in any efforts and deliberations aimed at the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. The Committee welcomes the Declaration of Independence adopted by the Palestine National Council at its meeting held at Algiers on 15 November 1988, and reiterates that the proclamation of the independent Arab State of Palestine is in fulfilment of General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947. Accordingly, the Committee considers that the State of Palestine should be accorded its rightful place within the international community and the United Nations Organization. The Committee notes the widespread international support for the Palestinian peace initiative and it deeply regrets that Israel has so far failed to respond positively to it and has continued to refuse to acknowledge the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people. The Committee accordingly urges Israel to reverse its position and to join the international consensus.

113. The Committee considers that it has now become imperative for the Security Council to take positive action towards the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East on the basis of the framework and elements set out in General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988, which has the overwhelming support of the international community. The Committee reaffirms the principles for the achievement of a comprehensive peace contained in resolution 43/176, namely: the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other occupied Arab territories; guaranteeing arrangements for security of all States in the region, including those named in resolution 181 (II) of
29 November 1947, within secure and internationally recognized boundaries; resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with General Assembly resolution
194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and subsequent relevant resolutions; dismantling the Israeli settlements in the territories occupied since 1967; guaranteeing freedom of access to Holy Places, religious buildings and sites.

114. In the past year, the international consensus in favour of the convening of the Conference has clearly been further consolidated. The Committee accordingly urges the Secretary-General to do everything in his power to ensure that active consultations are undertaken within the framework of the Security Council for that purpose. The Committee intends to continue to intensify its efforts towards that objective, and to make it once again the focal point of its work programme in the coming year.

115. Noting that the Secretary-General has reported that his attempts to pave the way to an effective negotiating process have until now proved inconclusive, the Committee recommends that the General Assembly should call once again on the Security Council, and in particular the permanent members, to consider measures needed to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, including the establishment of a preparatory committee, and to consider guarantees for security measures in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176, and renew the mandate of the Secretary-General to continue his efforts with the parties concerned and, in consultation with the Security Council, to facilitate the convening of the Conference.

116. The Committee protests in the strongest terms the intensification of repression by Israel, the occupying Power, against Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory, including children, particularly the liberal use of live ammunition, random beatings, raids and mass arrests, the increased use of administrative detention, deportations and collective punishment. The Committee condemns the unchecked violence by Israeli settlers. It also condemns the measures taken by the occupying Power to deprive the Palestinian population of their right to education, as well as administrative, economic and other measures taken to control all aspects of Palestinian life and to prevent the development of autonomous socio-economic structures. The Committee welcomes the action taken by Governments, non-governmental organizations and other bodies to denounce those measures, and welcomes the partial opening of schools as a result of that international pressure. The Committee recalls Security Council resolutions 636 (1989) and 641 (1989) and calls on all concerned to redouble their efforts to expose, protest and put an end to those Israeli policies and practices, which are in violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949. Given the grave situation created by such policies and practices, the Committee calls once again upon the Security Council to consider urgently measures needed to provide international protection to the Palestinian civilians in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem. The Committee also calls for appropriate international action to alleviate the sufferings of the Palestinians living under occupation, especially women and children.

117. The Committee further reasserts that the United Nations has a historical duty and responsibility to render all assistance necessary to promote the autonomous economic development of the occupied Palestinian territory in preparation for the attainment of independence in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions. The Committee accordingly reiterates its call on the United Nations system, as well as on Governments and on intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, to sustain and increase their economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, in close co-operation with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

118. The Committee noted with satisfaction the increased awareness and mobilization of international public opinion in support of the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and of United Nations recommendations for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of the question of Palestine. The Committee believes that its programme of regional seminars and meetings and symposia of non-governmental organizations, as well as the journalists' encounters and other informational activities sponsored by the Committee, have played a valuable role in this process, and will continue to strive to achieve maximum effectiveness in carrying out this programme and to intensify its efforts in the implementation of its mandates.

Notes


1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-first Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/31/35).

2/ Ibid., Thirty-second Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/32/35); ibid., Thirty-third Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/33/35); ibid., Thirty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/34/35 and Corr.1); ibid., Thirty-fifth Session, Supplement No./35 (A/35/35); ibid., Thirty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/36/35); ibid., Thirty-seventh Session, Supplement No./35 (A/37/35 and Corr.1); ibid., Thirty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/38/35); ibid., Thirty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/39/35); ibid., Fortieth
Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/40/35); ibid., Forty-first Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/41/35); ibid., Forty-second Session, Supplement No./35 (A/42/35); ibid., Forty-third Session, Supplement No./35 (A/43/35).

3/ Report of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, Geneva,
29 August-7 September 1983 (United Nations publication, Sales No./E.83.I.21), chap. I, sect. B.

4/ The observers at the Committee meetings were as follows: Algeria, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mauritania, Morocco, Nicaragua, Niger, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates, Viet Nam, the League of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Palestine, represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization, as the representative of the Palestinian people, the principal party to the question of Palestine, was also an observer.

5/ The current membership of the Working Group is as follows: Afghanistan, Cuba, German Democratic Republic, Guinea, Guyana, India, Malta, Pakistan, Senegal, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and Palestine, represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization, as the representative of the people directly concerned.

6/ International Labour Conference, 76th Session, Report of the Director-General, appendices (Vol. 2).

7/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 1 (A/44/1).

8/ For the printed text, see Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1989, Supplement No. 2 (E/1989/20).

9/ See E/1989/Inf.7 and E/1989/Inf.10 to be issued in printed form as Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1989, Supplement Nos. 1 and 1 A (E/1989/89 and Add.1).

ANNEX I


Recommendations of the Committee endorsed by the General Assembly
at its thirty-first session a/


I. Basic considerations and guidelines


59. The question of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East problem, and consequently, the Committee stresses its belief that no solution in the Middle East can be envisaged which does not fully take into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.

60. The legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to return to their homes and property and to achieve self-determination, national independence and sovereignty are endorsed by the Committee in the conviction that the full implementation of those rights will contribute decisively to a comprehensive and final settlement of the Middle East crisis.

61. The participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, on an equal footing with other parties, on the basis of General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3375 (XXX), is indispensable in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East which are held under the auspices of the United Nations.

62. The Committee recalls the fundamental principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and stresses the consequent obligation for complete and speedy evacuation of any territory so occupied.

63. The Committee considers that it is the duty and responsibility of all concerned to enable the Palestinians to exercise their inalienable rights.

64. The Committee recommends an expanded and more influential role by the United Nations and its organs in promoting a just solution to the question of Palestine and in the implementation of such a solution. The Security Council, in particular, should take appropriate action to facilitate the exercise by the Palestinians of their right to return to their homes, lands and property. The Committee, furthermore, urges the Security Council to promote action towards a just solution, taking into account all the powers conferred on it by the Charter of the United Nations.

65. It is with this perspective in view and on the basis of the numerous resolutions of the United Nations, after due consideration of all the facts, proposals and suggestions advanced in the course of its deliberations, that the Committee submits its recommendations on the modalities for the implementation of the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

II. The right of return


66. The natural and inalienable right of Palestinians to return to their homes is recognized by resolution 194 (III), which the General Assembly has reaffirmed almost every year since its adoption. This right was also unanimously recognized by the Security Council in its resolution 237 (1967); the time for the urgent implementation of these resolutions is long overdue.

67. Without prejudice to the right of all Palestinians to return to their homes, lands and property, the Committee considers that the programme of implementation of the exercise of this right may be carried out in two phases:

Phase one


68. The first phase involves the return to their homes of the Palestinians displaced as a result of the war of June 1967. The Committee recommends that:

(a) The Security Council should request the immediate implementation of its resolution 237 (1967) and that such implementation should not be related to any other condition;

(b) The resources of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and/or of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, suitably financed and mandated, may be employed to assist in the solution of any logistical problems involved in the resettlement of those returning to their homes. These agencies could also assist, in co-operation with the host countries and the Palestine Liberation Organization, in the identification of the displaced Palestinians.

Phase two


69. The second phase deals with the return to their homes of the Palestinians displaced between 1948 and 1967. The Committee recommends that:

(a) While the first phase is being implemented, the United Nations, in co-operation with the States directly involved, and the Palestine Liberation Organization as the interim representative of the Palestinian entity, should proceed to make the necessary arrangements to enable Palestinians displaced between 1948 and 1967 to exercise their right to return to their homes and property, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly General Assembly resolution 194 (III);

(b) Palestinians choosing not to return to their homes should be paid just and equitable compensation as provided for in resolution 194 (III).


III. The right to self-determination, national
independence and sovereignty


70. The Palestinian people has the inherent right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty in Palestine. The Committee considers that the evacuation of the territories occupied by force and in violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and relevant resolutions of the United Nations is a conditio sine qua non for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights in Palestine. The Committee considers furthermore that, upon the return of the Palestinians to their homes and property and with the establishment of an independent Palestinian entity, the Palestinian people will be able to exercise its rights to self-determination and to decide its form of government without external interference.

71. The Committee also feels that the United Nations has an historical duty and responsibility to render all assistance necessary to promote the economic development and prosperity of the Palestinian entity.

72. To those ends, the Committee recommends that:

(a) A timetable should be established by the Security Council for the complete withdrawal by Israeli occupation forces from those areas occupied in 1967; such withdrawal should be completed no later than 1 June 1977;

(b) The Security Council may need to provide temporary peace-keeping forces in order to facilitate the process of withdrawal;

(c) Israel should be requested by the Security Council to desist from the establishment of new settlements and to withdraw during this period from settlements established since 1967 in the occupied territories. Arab property and all essential services in those areas should be maintained intact;

(d) Israel should also be requested to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and to declare, pending its speedy withdrawal from those territories, its recognition of the applicability of that Convention;

(e) The evacuated territories, with all property and services intact, should be taken over by the United Nations, which, with the co-operation of the League of Arab States, will subsequently hand over those evacuated areas to the Palestine Liberation Organization as the representative of the Palestinian people;

(f) The United Nations should, if necessary, assist in establishing communications between Gaza and the West Bank;

(g) As soon as the independent Palestinian entity has been established, the United Nations, in co-operation with the States directly involved and the Palestinian entity, should, taking into account General Assembly resolution 3375 (XXX), make further arrangements for the full implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, the resolution of outstanding problems and the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the region, in accordance with all relevant United Nations resolutions;

(h) The United Nations should provide the economic and technical assistance necessary for the consolidation of the Palestinian entity.

Notes


a/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-first Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/31/35), paras. 59-72.

ANNEX II


Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-first
United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine

(Cairo, 18 to 22 December 1988)


Introduction


1. The Twenty-first United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Fifth African Regional Seminar), entitled "The Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People", was held jointly with the African Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine at the Ramses Hilton Hotel, Cairo, Egypt, from 18 to 22 December 1988, in accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution 42/66 B of 2 December 1987.

2. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation consisting of H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee; H.E. Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta), Rapporteur of the Committee; H.E. Mr. Samuel R. Insanally (Guyana); H.E. Mr. Tom Obaleh Kargbo (Sierra Leone); H.E. Mr. Agus Tarmidzi (Indonesia); and Mr. Zehdi L. Terzi (Palestine).
H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo was Chairman and H.E. Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier, Rapporteur of the Seminar.

3. Nine meetings were held and 21 panelists presented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine. In addition, representatives of 51 Governments, Palestine, 3 United Nations organs, 3 United Nations specialized agencies and bodies, 3 intergovernmental organizations, 2 national liberation movements, as well as 50 non-governmental organizations attended the Seminar.

4. The joint opening ceremony of the Seminar and NGO Symposium heard a statement from H.E. Dr. Ahmed Esmat Abdel Meguid, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, delivered by H.E. Aziz Seif El Nasr, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs.

5. A message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, was read out by his representative, Mr. Naseem Mirza, Chief, Division for Palestinian Rights. H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, Chairman of the Seminar, also addressed the meeting.

6. A message was received from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was read out by Mr. Jamal Sourani, member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

7. Other statements were made by: Dr. Abdel Ahad Gamal El Din, President of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports of Egypt and Chairman of the United Nations Association of Egypt; H.E. Mr. Tesfaye Tadesse (Ethiopia), Chairman of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples; Dr. Morad Ghaleb, President of the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organization; H.E. Mr. Agus Tarmidzi (Indonesia), speaking on behalf of the Special Committee against Apartheid; Mr. Muhammed Al-Farra, Under-Secretary-General of the League of Arab States; Mr. Al Mamoun Keita (Mali), speaking on behalf of the President of Mali, Chairman of the Organization of African Unity; and Mr. Sherif Refaat (Egypt), representing the United Nations Council for Namibia. The Seminar also received a message from Mr. Daya Perera, Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories and a message from the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

8. The Seminar adopted a message to H.E. Mr. Yasser Arafat, and a motion of thanks to the Government and the people of Egypt.

9. Three panels were established:

(a) Panel I. "The uprising in the occupied Palestinian territories: the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolutions": Mr. Lotfy El-Kholy (Egypt),
H.E. Mr. Rafael Estrella (Spain), Mr. Y. V. Glukhov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Mr. Corentin Hervo-Akendengue (Gabon), Mr. Al Mamoun Keita (Mali),
Mr. Jonathan Kuttab (Palestinian), Mr. Salah Ladgham (Tunisia), Mr. Ibbo Mandaza (Zimbabwe), Mr. Ahmed Osman (Egypt), Mr. S. Amos Wako (Kenya).

(b) Panel II. "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization": Mr. Nabil Sha'ath (Palestinian).

(c) Panel III. "The mobilization of African public opinion for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people": Mr. Farouk Abu Eissa (Sudan),
Mr. Donald Betz (United States), Mr. Gipu Felix-George (Sierra Leone), Mr. Mohamed El-Sayed Gallab (Egypt), Mr. Gora Ibrahim (South Africa), H.E. Mr. Latyr Kamara (Senegal), Mr. Gabrallah Khamsin (Sudan), Mr. Assih Kossi (Togo), Mr. Dikhigang Nasemola (South Africa), Mrs. Ruth Neto (Angola), Mr. Gesaya Nyama (Namibia), Mr. AbdelMoneim Said (Egypt).

10. The report of the Seminar, including summaries of the proceedings, has been published as a special bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.

Conclusions and recommendations


11. The conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Seminar are as follows:

(a) The participants in the Seminar expressed their conviction that recent developments regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine, have created a new momentum for bringing about a solution to this complicated and dangerous conflict on the basis of resolutions of the United Nations and within its framework. Those developments are mainly owing to the courageous and determined struggle of the Palestinian people to attain and to exercise its inalienable rights, primarily the right to self-determination, as dramatically manifested in the continuing Palestinian intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory. They have been facilitated by a conducive international climate characterized by increasing co-operation and the political will to solve regional conflicts in a peaceful way through negotiations.

(b) Participants welcomed the results of the nineteenth extraordinary session of the Palestine National Council at Algiers and, in particular, the proclamation of an independent State of Palestine as a positive contribution towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the region. The decision adopted by the Palestine National Council and the position outlined by Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on 13 December 1988, as well as in other forums, are important landmarks in the endeavours of the international community towards achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine that have resulted in increased support by all sectors of the international community for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and have made possible the initiation of a dialogue between the United States and the PLO. The decision of the Government of the United States to establish contacts with the PLO and to participate in a substantive dialogue with the PLO was welcomed as a positive development, and the hope was expressed that such contacts would lead to concrete results and to a comprehensive settlement of the conflict.

(c) The participants agreed that it was now incumbent upon the Government of Israel to respond positively to the stand taken by the PLO that has been welcomed and praised by the international community. Israel can no longer ignore the national aspirations of the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory. The ongoing intifadah of the Palestinian people, which entered its second year on 9 December 1988, confirms in no uncertain terms that the Palestinians are determined to resist, to reject and to end Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967. The proclamation of the independent State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council at its nineteenth extraordinary session has received enthusiastic support from an overwhelming majority of States. The same States have hailed that proclamation as a concrete contribution towards peace. Significantly, many States have already formally recognized the State of Palestine, proclaimed at Algiers on 15 November 1988.

(d) The Seminar took note of and welcomed the resolutions on the item entitled "Question of Palestine", adopted by the General Assembly on 15 December 1988 at Geneva. In particular it noted with satisfaction the call for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the PLO, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination. It expressed its full support for the principles contained in paragraph 3 of Assembly resolution 43/176, as a basis for the achievement of a comprehensive peace. Cognizant of the role of the Security Council in maintaining international peace and security, participants in the Seminar endorsed the request to the Council to consider measures needed to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, including the establishment of a preparatory committee, and to consider guarantees for security measures to be agreed upon by the Conference for all States in the region, as well as interim measures to safeguard the physical security of the inhabitants of the occupied territories pending agreement on a final comprehensive settlement. The participants considered that it was now incumbent upon Israel to accept the terms for a lasting and comprehensive settlement, which have been agreed by the international community as a whole, and which should be based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination.

(e) The participants also welcomed the decision by the General Assembly, in resolution 43/177, that the designation "Palestine" should be used in place of the designation "Palestine Liberation Organization" in the United Nations system. The participants regarded the decision as a recognition of the aspirations of the Palestinian people and a reaffirmation of the PLO as its sole legitimate representative, and also as an endorsement of the courageous steps taken during the intifadah to end the occupation and to set up the infrastructure for an independent and sovereign Palestinian State. The participants urged that every assistance should be provided by the international community to the Palestinian people in its endeavours to accomplish that important objective.

(f) The international community is becoming more deeply convinced of the need to find a just, comprehensive and lasting political settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. That is evidenced by the growing support for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. That support is clearly reflected in the position adopted by the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the League of Arab States, OAU, OIC, the European Community, the Nordic countries, as well as by the USSR, China and other socialist countries. In that regard, the Seminar noted with appreciation the sustained and continuing support by African States and peoples for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its legitimate national rights and for the convening of the International Peace Conference.

(g) The participants noted that, while strenuous attempts have been made to bring about a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the situation in the region remains tense. It is aggravated by Israel's brutal suppression of the Palestinian uprising through military might, beatings, detentions, deportations, its policies of illegally maintaining and expanding Jewish settlements, as well as confiscating Arab-owned lands and diverting scarce water resources to its own use in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories. The "iron-fist" policy of Israel has further stifled all forms of political, cultural, social and economic expressions of the Palestinian people. Israel continues to strengthen its control over most aspects of life, with a view to obstructing a self-sustained development of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories. Such policies are in violation of United Nations resolutions, the Geneva Conventions of 1949, in particular the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, 1949, and other forms of international law, and exacerbate tension in the area, thus hindering attempts to find a peaceful solution to the question of Palestine. The participants noted further that those massive violations of human rights had not succeeded in ending the intifadah and were unlikely to achieve for Israel its objectives. Persistence by Israel in acts of aggression against neighbouring States, in particular Lebanon, endangered security in the region.

(h) The Seminar appealed to the United Nations to take urgent measures to protect the Palestinians under occupation, to guarantee the safety and security and the legal and human rights of the Palestinian refugees in all territories under Israeli occupation and to alleviate their suffering. Adequate assistance should also be provided on a regular basis to the Palestinian refugees in the neighbouring and other countries. The United Nations system, as well as international, regional and national organizations, should continue and strengthen their humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians under occupation and to Palestinian refugees. In particular, sustained and increased support should be channelled through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, as well as non-governmental organizations working directly in the occupied territories.

(i) The Seminar affirmed that the denial of the exercise of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people remains the core of the conflict in the Middle East and that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region cannot be achieved without the full exercise of those rights, and without the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and other occupied Arab territories. It further affirmed that the PLO is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and, as such, is an essential party to any negotiations aimed at resolving the conflict by peaceful means.

(j) The Seminar took note with appreciation of the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to secure universal recognition of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, and of its recommendations, made in its report in 1976 and repeatedly endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly since then, for ensuring the exercise by the Palestinian people of those rights. The Seminar also noted with satisfaction the increased support at the United Nations for the programme of action undertaken by the Committee. It urged the international community to sustain and strengthen its support for the Committee's activities and endeavours, in particular its efforts for facilitating the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

(k) The position of the African countries, as manifested in the declarations and resolutions of OAU, was one of solidarity with and support for the struggle of the Palestinian people for the exercise of its inalienable rights, in particular the right to self-determination and to have a State of its own. Many of the participants drew parallels between the cause of the Palestinian people and the struggle of the peoples of South Africa and Namibia. Those participants noted that, as the international community welcomed the signing of the Brazzaville agreements on the implementation of Security Council resolution 435 (1978) regarding Namibia, South Africa continued its abhorrent policies and practices of apartheid, which the participants condemned, and Israel persisted in its attempts to stifle, by brutal force and oppressive policies, the Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories. Both the policies of Israel and the apartheid policies in South Africa endanger international peace and security and were of the gravest concern to the international community. Participants also expressed concern at the collaboration between South Africa and Israel, which they condemned.

(l) The Seminar viewed with appreciation the support OAU and the Governments and peoples of Africa have extended at the United Nations and in other forums to the Palestinian cause and for the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. It agreed that efforts should be continued and intensified to mobilize official and public opinion in Africa through the use of the media and activities of NGOs. Participants expressed the view that the co-operation of African organizations, trade unions, solidarity groups etc. among themselves, as well as between them and their counterparts in other regions, should be expanded. The United Nations should undertake additional efforts to disseminate factual and up-to-date information on the question of Palestine and the measures required to be taken for the achievement of a just settlement to the question of Palestine. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights have an important role in the dissemination of such information. Moreover, the United Nations Department of Public Information should make every effort to ensure that accurate information on the question of Palestine received the widest possible dissemination.


ANNEX III


Declaration adopted by the United Nations African Regional
NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine

(Cairo, 18 to 21 December 1988)


Introduction


The Second African NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine was held in accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution 42/66 B of 2 December 1987, under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, at the Ramses Hilton Hotel in Cairo from l8 to 2l December 1988. The Symposium was held in part together with the Twenty-first United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Fifth African Regional Seminar) (see annex II).

In addition to the panels held jointly with the Seminar, two workshops specifically related to activities of non-governmental organizations were established for the Symposium to consider the following topics:

(a) Mobilization and networking by African non-governmental organizations to end Israeli violations of human rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories and to promote international protection for Palestinians under Israeli occupation;

(b) Activities of non-governmental organizations to mobilize further African public opinion and the relationship between the Palestinian uprising and the struggle of the peoples of Namibia and South Africa.

The Symposium participants adopted a Declaration, as well as action-oriented proposals emanating from the two workshops, and elected an African Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine. The report of the Symposium has been issued as a special bulletin of the Division for Palestinian Rights, together with that of the Seminar.

Declaration


We, the non-governmental organizations participating in the Second United Nations African Regional Symposium on the Question of Palestine, are gathered in Cairo at a historic moment when the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and independence has entered a decisive phase. We hail and support the determination of the Palestinian people in its quest for national liberation and the establishment of its own independent sovereign national State.

We fully support the peace project enunciated at the Nineteenth Extraordinary Session of the Palestine National Council, convened from 13 to 15 November 1988 at Algiers, as now reflected in United Nations General Assembly resolutions 43/176 and 43/177 of 15 December 1988.

Specifically we welcome and express our support for the historic proclamation of the State of Palestine in line with General Assembly resolution 181 (II).

We call upon all Governments that have not recognized the new State of Palestine to do so and urge governmental and non-governmental organizations to extend every assistance for the strengthening of the educational, medical, economic and social institutions in the occupied territories, a necessary step for the establishment of the Palestinian State.

Further, we hail the struggle of the Palestinian people through the intifadah, now over one year old, as the popular expression of its irrepressible will to create circumstances for self-determination and independence. We call upon the international community to give unflinching support to the intifadah and unite in pressing for an end to illegal Israeli occupation, denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and gross human rights violations.

We call for the prompt convening of the Middle East international peace conference under United Nations auspices in accordance with the guidelines spelt out under relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly resolution 43/176 of December l988.

We are aware of the major obstacles that have thwarted the convening of the International Peace Conference until now and the impediments that remain. But we are united in our determination to overcome any barriers to the peace process and the convening of the Conference. We undertake to arouse international public opinion for the holding of the International Peace Conference until it is convened.

We reaffirm that peace in the Middle East is unachievable without a just solution of the Palestine problem and recognize that peace efforts in the Middle East, and particularly the new thrust of Palestinian self-determination reflecting a realistic and genuine desire for principled peace, facilitate and form part of a broader international peace initiative. We firmly believe that independence and peace for Palestine would contribute positively to global peace.

We condemn the repression in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and its escalations. International vigilance in monitoring human rights violations perpetrated against Palestinians is required now more than ever.

We therefore, especially in view of the international legitimacy gained by the Palestine National Council's declaration of a Palestinian State to be established on the Palestinian homeland, call for the immediate implementation of United Nations General Assembly resolution 43/176 concerning the placing of the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 under the supervision of the United Nations for a limited period, as an essential part of the peace process. Such an important international presence will ensure the physical protection of the Palestinian people of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The United Nations and international community are called upon to bear full responsibility for the protection and safety of the Palestinian people under occupation.

We reaffirm that Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are illegal and reassert the international call for the dismantling and evacuation of those settlements on the West Bank and Gaza Strip as proclaimed in United Nations General Assembly resolution 43/176. We call upon the United Nations, Governments and non-governmental organizations to take concrete actions to prevent the Israeli rulers from establishing new settlements. We also reaffirm our pledge to further our support for the right of the Palestinians to return to their homeland in accordance with United Nations resolution 194 of 1948.

We further reaffirm the strong connection between the struggle for national liberation and peace with justice in the Middle East and that in southern Africa. We express our total and unflinching support for the struggle for the realization of the rights of self-determination, independence and other human rights in Namibia and South Africa, which must be enjoyed on the basis of equality and non-discrimination. We call upon all States and the international community to stop aiding Israel and apartheid South Africa, and urge African States to continue the severance of all relations with and the isolation of both regimes until the people realize its inalienable rights.

We reaffirm the necessity of strengthening Afro-Arab co-operation as an indispensable medium of promoting the development of the two (African and Arab) people, as well as the struggle against domination and racial discrimination in southern Africa and in Israeli occupied Palestine.

As non-governmental organizations, we resolve to exert every effort to oppose the co-operation between Israel and apartheid South Africa. We condemn their military nuclear build-up, which is a serious threat to regional and international peace and security.

We express our solidarity with democratic and peace-loving forces in Israel, which struggle against Israeli occupationist, expansionist and militarist policies and actions, and which support the intifadah, the proclaimed independent Palestinian State on Palestinian land and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. We strongly condemn the unjust Israeli law which prohibits contacts between the people of Israel and the PLO and demand its total and immediate abrogation.

We append the Workshop Reports and urge African non-governmental organizations to work in a co-ordinated way to implement the recommendations. We note the comments of the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ICCP) and its expression of assistance in the development of our work.

We have further decided to organize our work through an African co-ordinating committee. ... We ask that this report be disseminated as widely as possible throughout Africa and through the NGO international network, as well as to the media. We request the United Nations to provide the financial means for one meeting of the African Co-ordinating Committee per year, in conjunction with the International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine.

We thank the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Division for Palestinian Rights, the Department of Conference Services and our gracious Egyptian hosts for their efforts to ensure the success of the African NGO Symposium.

ANNEX IV


Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twenty-second
United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine

(New York, 19 and 20 June 1989)


Introduction


1. The Twenty-second United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Sixth North American Regional Seminar), entitled "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian People", was held at United Nations Headquarters, New York, on 19 and 20 June 1989, in accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution 42/66 B of 2 December 1987.

2. H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, was Chairman; H.E. Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta), Rapporteur of the Committee, was Vice-Chairman; and H.E. Mr. Tom Obaleh Kargbo (Sierra Leone) was Rapporteur of the Seminar.

3. Four meetings were held and 12 panelists presented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine. In addition, representatives of 57 Governments, Palestine, two non-member States, two United Nations organs, six United Nations specialized agencies and bodies, three intergovernmental organizations, as well as two national liberation movements attended the Seminar.

4. At the opening session, a message of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, was read out by his representative, Mr. Naseem Mirza, Chief, Division for Palestinian Rights. H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, Chairman of the Seminar, also addressed the meeting.

5. A message from H.E. Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, was read out by Mr. Zuhdi L. Terzi, Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations.

6. Other statements were made at the opening session by the following: H.E. Mr. Tesfaye Tadesse (Ethiopia), Chairman of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, H.E. Mr. Guennadi Oudovenko (Ukrainian SSR), Acting Chairman of the Special Committee against Apartheid, H.E. Mr. Daya Perera (Sri Lanka), Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories, Mr. Ahmet Egin Ansay, Permanent Observer of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and Mr. Tebogo Mafole, Chief Representative of the African National Congress of South Africa.

7. The Seminar adopted a resolution requesting the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council to join in an immediate communication to Israel, requesting that it should rescind the recent order for the deportation of Palestinians. The Seminar also adopted a message to H.E. Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

8. Two panels were established. The panels and their panelists were as follows:

Panel I. (a) "The urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East; (b) the intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory and its impact on the achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East conflict": Mr. Mordechai Bar-On (Israel), Rev. Elias Chacour (Palestinian), H.E. Mr. Rafael Estrella (Spain), Mr. James Graff (Canada), Ms. Zahira Kamal (Palestinian), H.E. Mr. Latyr Kamara (Senegal), Mr. Paul McCloskey (United States), Ms. Margaret McCormack (United States), Mr. Jack O'Dell (United States), Mr. V. P. Vorobyov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Mr. James Zogby (United States).

Panel II. "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the social, cultural, economic and political development of the Palestinian people": Mr. Mohammad Abu Kosh (Palestinian).

9. The report of the Seminar, including summaries of the proceedings, has been published as a special bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.

Conclusions and recommendations


10. The conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Seminar are as follows:

(a) The participants a/ in the Seminar expressed their conviction that recent developments regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine, have created a new momentum for bringing about a solution to this complicated and dangerous conflict on the basis of resolutions of the United Nations and within its framework. Those developments are mainly due to the courageous and determined struggle of the Palestinian people to attain and exercise its inalienable rights, primarily the right to self-determination, as dramatically manifested in the continuing Palestinian uprising, the intifadah, in the occupied Palestinian territory. The present international climate, which is characterized by increasing co-operation and the political will to solve regional conflicts in a peaceful way through negotiations, is specially conducive to the search for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. It is important that this historic opportunity not be missed.

(b) The participants welcomed the results of the Nineteenth Extraordinary Session of the Palestine National Council, held at Algiers in November 1988, and, in particular, the political statement, as well as the proclamation of an independent Palestinian State, as a positive contribution towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the region. The decision adopted at Algiers and the position outlined by H.E. Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, in his address to the United Nations General Assembly at Geneva on 13 December 1988, as well as in other forums, are important landmarks in the international endeavours towards achieving a just settlement of the question of Palestine and have resulted in increased support by all sectors of the international community for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

(c) The Seminar welcomed the initiation of a dialogue between the United States and the PLO as a positive measure which contributed to redressing the imbalance between the parties. It was hoped that the dialogue would lead to the removal of obstacles in the way of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East which, among other things, should ensure the full exercise by the Palestinian people of its legitimate national rights in Palestine. The wish was expressed that such contacts would lead to concrete developments and to a comprehensive settlement of the conflict. The Seminar urged the Government of the United States to continue its contacts with the PLO and to broaden the political scope of that dialogue.

(d) The participants stressed that the ongoing uprising of the Palestinian people, now in its nineteenth month, confirms, in no uncertain terms, that the Palestinians are determined to resist, reject and end Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory occupied since 1967. The peace initiatives taken by the Palestinian leadership, as well as the proclamation of the independent State of Palestine by the PNC at its nineteenth extraordinary session, have received enthusiastic support from an overwhelming majority of States, which have hailed it as a concrete contribution towards peace. Significantly, a large number of States (over 90) have already formally recognized the State of Palestine.

(e) The participants agreed that it was incumbent upon the Government of Israel to respond positively to the stand taken by the representatives of the Palestinian people which has been welcomed and praised by the international community. Israel can no longer ignore the national aspirations of the Palestinians and deny them their political rights. The Seminar considered that the so-called peace initiative proposed by the Israeli authorities was inadequate. Under the Israeli plan, the only function of the elected delegates would seem to be to rubber stamp the policies of the occupying Power. Any viable peace proposal must include interim measures of protection for the Palestinian people and measures which would enable the Palestinians to exercise fully their rights to self-determination. The participants noted that, as long as the Israeli election proposals remained separate from the final objective of the exercise by the Palestinian people of its right to self-determination, they would be nothing but a device for perpetuating Israeli occupation.

(f) The Seminar took note of and welcomed the resolutions on the question of Palestine, adopted by the General Assembly at its forty-third session on 15 December 1988 at Geneva. In particular, it stressed the significance and timeliness of resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988 calling for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the PLO, on an equal footing, and the five permanent members of the Security Council, based on Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination. It expressed its full support for the principles contained in paragraph 3 of resolution 43/176, as a basis for the achievement of a comprehensive peace. Cognizant of the role of the Security Council in maintaining international peace and security, the participants in the Seminar urged the Council to expedite the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, and to adopt interim measures, including the deployment of a United Nations peace-keeping force to safeguard the physical security of the inhabitants of the occupied Palestinian territory, and to bring about stability in the region pending agreement on a final comprehensive settlement. The participants considered that it was incumbent upon Israel to terminate its occupation in compliance with Security Council resolution 242 (1967) and to accept the terms for a lasting and comprehensive settlement, as agreed by the international community as a whole, as stated above.

(g) The participants regretted that one permanent member had prevented the Security Council from taking action on measures indispensable for ensuring the safety and protection of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory. They pointed out that, taking into account the gravity of the acts of violence and repression by Israeli authorities against Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory, the Security Council should assume its responsibilities and provide for the protection of the Palestinian people under occupation. They called on Israel as the occupying Power to respect the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and accept the de jure applicability of the Convention to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and fully comply with its obligations under that Convention.

(h) The participants expressed serious concern at the continued grave violations of the human rights of the civilian population in the occupied territory. The entire international community, as represented at the United Nations and other forums, has repeatedly declared that the Israeli acts of violence against the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory are blatant violations of the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, which is fully binding on Israel - a State Party to the Convention. The Israeli actions are also contrary to United Nations resolutions and to the generally accepted norms of international law. In Gaza especially, new measures to control the movement of individuals had produced tinder-box conditions that could ignite at any moment. In the West Bank, settler vigilance threatened to degenerate into large-scale blood-letting. New extremist elements were taking over and had begun killing women and children. The participants strongly opposed the presence of settlers in the occupied territories. They expressed the view that the Israeli policy of establishing settlements in the occupied territory was not only a usurpation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, but also an obstacle to the solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

(i) The participants drew particular attention to the damaging effects of the blanket closure of schools, including primary schools and kindergartens, as well as the barring of any alternative teaching in the West Bank, which had serious implications for the education and cognitive development of an entire generation of Palestinian children. The participants noted further that those massive violations of human rights had not succeeded in ending the intifadah and were bound to fail. Moreover, persistence by Israel in acts of aggression against neighbouring States, in particular Lebanon, endangered security in the region.

(j) The participants expressed their concern at the repressive economic measures by Israel aimed at bringing about the economic strangulation of the occupied Palestinian territories. In particular, the participants expressed outrage at the policies of large-scale, uprooting of trees, appropriation of water resources and wanton destruction of houses and buildings, which are causing irreparable damage to the environment and very serious social and economic consequences for the Palestinian people under occupation.

(k) The Seminar appealed to the Security Council to take urgent measures to protect the Palestinian people under occupation, to guarantee the safety and security and the legal and human rights of the Palestinian refugees in all the territories under Israeli occupation. The United Nations system, as well as international, regional and national organizations, should continue and strengthen their humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians under occupation and to Palestinian refugees. In particular, the Seminar urges an expansion of the Refugee Affairs Officer Programme of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which provides some measure of protection by monitoring behaviour towards the Palestinians by Israel, the occupying Power. The Seminar believes that the number of Relief Agency Organizations (RAO) in the occupied Palestinian territory should be increased to provide 24 hours' monitoring services. The participants urged as well the establishment of staffed neuro-surgical facilities in suitable hospitals in Gaza and Nablus, to permit immediate treatment of the increasing number of Palestinian civilians suffering serious head wounds, to prevent death and permanent disability. At present, Maquassed Hospital is the only hospital in East Jerusalem which has such facilities. Palestinians suffering serious head wounds must be transported either to Tel Aviv or to Jerusalem for treatment, which results in delays threatening their lives or causing permanent handicaps.

(l) The Seminar also urges the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and other suitable United Nations agencies to establish programmes to address the special needs of Palestinian children psychologically and emotionally traumatized by the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and settler violence directed against them, their families, neighbours and peers. The Seminar supports as well the expansion of the protective role of the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and the extension of its activities to provide emergency medical services at all levels. Participants believe that ICRC could be helpful in establishing the neuro-surgical facilities referred to above. Sustained and increased support should be channelled through all available means, including the agencies and bodies of the United Nations system, in particular through UNRWA, as well as through non-governmental organizations working directly in the occupied territory. The Seminar considered that intensified efforts towards genuine development of the occupied territory, with the close involvement of the Palestinian people through its representative, the PLO, must be a necessary accompaniment of renewed efforts to achieve a political solution of the question.

(m) The Seminar affirmed that the denial of the exercise of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people remains the core of the conflict in the Middle East and that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region cannot be achieved without the full exercise of those rights, and without the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and other occupied Arab territories. It further affirmed that the PLO is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and, as such, is an essential party to any negotiations aimed at resolving the conflict by peaceful means.

(n) The Seminar appreciated the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to secure universal recognition of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, and of its recommendations, made in its report in 1976, and repeatedly endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly since then, for ensuring the exercise by the Palestinian people of those rights. The Seminar also noted with satisfaction the increased support at the United Nations for the programme of action undertaken by the Committee. It urged the international community to sustain and strengthen its support for the Committee's activities and endeavours, in particular its efforts for facilitating the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

(o) The Seminar stated that the international community was deeply and firmly convinced of the urgent need to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting political settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. There was a broad consensus regarding the need for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176. Movement towards peace in the region was facilitated by the carefully balanced Palestinian position. The continuing obstacle was the inflexible attitude of Israel. The participants called on Israel to abandon its negative position and to respond positively to international efforts to attain a just settlement.

(p) The Seminar welcomed the positive results of the Arab Summit, held at Casablanca in May 1989. The Arab States, once more, committed themselves to meaningful political and economic support to the Palestinian uprising. The Seminar welcomed, in particular, the unequivocal support of the Summit for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. Those actions taken unanimously by the Summit contributed to efforts for achieving a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine.

(q) The Seminar noted with satisfaction that public opinion in North America was becoming increasingly aware of the plight of the Palestinians under occupation and the urgent need to find a just solution to the question of Palestine. The Seminar agreed that efforts should be continued and intensified to mobilize official and public opinion in North America, especially through the use of the media and activities of national and international non-governmental organizations. The United Nations should undertake additional efforts to disseminate factual and up-to-date information on the question of Palestine, the plight of Palestinians under occupation and the urgent need to provide international protection to the Arab civilians in the occupied territory, as well as the measures required to be taken for the achievement of a just solution to the question of Palestine on the basis of the attainment and exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division of Palestinian Rights have an important role in the dissemination of such information.

(r) The Seminar considered that the media and public institutions, universities, colleges, research institutes, churches and other religious establishments, as well as national and international non-governmental organizations, have a crucial role to play in the formation of public opinion and in influencing official policy, particularly in the United States and Canada. Those institutions and the media should be urged to give wider coverage and more balanced treatment to the question of Palestine.


Notes


a/ On 20 June 1989, Mr. Mordechai Bar-On, in a written communication, informed the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights that he wanted to express his appreciation for the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and his gratitude for the opportunity given to him to participate in the Seminar. He felt much sympathy with most of the wording of the conclusions and recommendations of the Seminar, yet he felt that he could not endorse them formally, since he held different convictions with respect to some important points. He added that the document was drafted, understandably, from the perspective of the Committee, which stressed the rights of the Palestinians, but that it gives little consideration to the problems of Israel in this tragic conflict.

ANNEX V


Declaration adopted by the United Nations North American
Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine

(New York, 21 to 23 June 1989)


Introduction


The Sixth North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine was held from 21 June to 23 June 1989 in accordance with General Assembly resolution
43/175 B of 15 December 1988.

Representatives of 106 non-governmental organizations from Canada and the United States participated in the work of the Symposium, 35 of whom were observers. Several observers from Governments, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations bodies also participated.

Her Excellency Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, opened the meeting on behalf of the Committee. The programme of the Symposium was elaborated by the Committee in consultation with the North American Co-ordination Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine. The overall theme was "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people".

The following panels were established:

Panel I. "The intifadah: creating a new context for peace": Ms. Zahira Kamal, Chairman, Palestine Federation of Women's Action Committees; Mr. Meir Amor, graduate student, Tel Aviv University; Rev. Elias Chacour, Melkite priest, Galilee, Israel.

Panel II. "Convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 43/176: implications for Israel and the United States of the proclamation of the State of Palestine, the Palestinian peace initiative, and the intifadah": Mr. Mahdi Abdul-Hadi, founder of the Arab Thought Forum, President, Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, Jerusalem; Mr. Mattityahu Peled, Professor of Arabic Literature, Tel Aviv University; Ms. Margaret McCormack, a political consultant from the United States.

Eight workshops addressed the following topics:

(a) Mobilizing public awareness in North America: Mobilizing concern and support for:

(i) Palestinian children;

(ii) Palestinian medical and health services;

(iii) The victims of punitive violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention;

(iv) Palestinian workers and their conditions of labour;

(b) Development of action-oriented strategies for better co-ordination and organization in North America:

(i) People-to-people campaigns;

(ii) Electoral initiatives and mobilizing public opinion;

(iii) Humanitarian and material aid projects;

(iv) Congressional and Parliamentary strategies: human rights, foreign policy and foreign aid.

The Declaration of the Symposium was adopted unanimously and is reproduced below. The report, including summaries of the presentations, has been published as a special bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.

Declaration


We, the non-governmental organizations participating in the Sixth United Nations North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, wish to thank the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for making this meeting possible. We are indeed honoured by the reception, and the presence of the members and observers of this distinguished United Nations body.

We wish also to thank the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights and are especially grateful for his enthusiastic support throughout our deliberations.

We wish to thank also the Liaison Officers, the staff of the Division and the Department of Conference Services for their invaluable assistance in the preparation and execution of this meeting.

We are encouraged that about 90 States Members of the United Nations have recognized the State of Palestine, and encourage our own Governments to join this international consensus.

We note with satisfaction the record attendance and participation in this year's Symposium, and the commitment to Palestinian rights and a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that such participation represents.

We wish also to voice our appreciation to the distinguished expert panelists, workshop organizers, resource persons and facilitators who offered their invaluable insights into the question of Palestine and the potential central role to be played by non-governmental organizations in North America. The practical suggestions and strategies developed in the workshops assisted us in formulating future collaborative efforts in North America and in linking our efforts to a broader global network.

We resolutely reaffirm the international consensus that the PLO is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. We affirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in conformity with all relevant United Nations resolutions, including the right to self-determination without external interference, the right to establish an independent Palestinian State on its own national territory under the leadership of the PLO, and the right of return. We resolutely reaffirm the international consensus as expressed through General Assembly resolution 43/177 acknowledging the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council and the recognition throughout the United Nations system of "Palestine" in place of the designation "Palestine Liberation Organization".

We welcome the Palestinian peace initiative as a concrete contribution to the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the region. We call upon the Governments of the United States and Israel to accept this initiative by supporting the immediate convening of the international peace conference in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176. We also call upon the Government of Canada to support unequivocally the International Peace Conference and to use its influence within the Security Council to secure unanimous support for that conference. We condemn the Shamir "election" proposal as a mere pretext and transparent public relations ploy to cover Israel's illegal occupation and intensified repression of the intifadah.

We believe that this meeting contributed to the constructive interaction between the United Nations and the North American non-governmental organization community concerned with the promotion of the implementation of General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988, calling for an international United Nations sponsored peace conference on the Middle East.

We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to support the Palestinian people and its struggle for self-determination. We call for the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and other occupied Arab territories.

We honour the victims of Israel's brutal and senseless repression of the popular Palestinian uprising, including the many hundreds fatally shot, beaten, gassed and otherwise brutally murdered. We also honour the scores of thousands wounded and imprisoned under inhuman conditions in violation of international law.

We undertake to intensify our efforts to alleviate the suffering of those who have been the targets of Israeli violence, especially the children, many thousands of whom have been maimed, permanently disabled and emotionally traumatized. We call upon United Nations agencies, especially UNICEF, UNRWA, WHO, the United Nations Centre for Human Rights and UNDP, to intensify their efforts to address the educational, medical and general economic and social needs of the Palestinian people in co-operation with Palestinian grass-roots organizations. We call upon States Members of the United Nations to increase their contributions and support for such efforts.

We further commit ourselves to provide moral, political and material support for the intifadah. We recognize that independent statehood for Palestine, as demanded by the Palestinian people, led by the PLO, is the expression of Palestinian self-determination, as well as a basic necessity for the preservation of the entire Palestinian people.

We call upon the United Nations Security Council and the Secretary-General to seek to arrange an Extraordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss the protection of the Palestinian people in the occupied territory. We further call upon that Extraordinary Session to dispatch an interim international peace-keeping force to replace the Israeli occupying forces in order to provide protection and to ensure respect for the human and political rights of the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza. In case it is impossible to obtain such a force, we call upon the United Nations General Assembly to request an Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice on the applicability of the 1949 Geneva Convention and the obligation to pay compensation for violations of the Convention. In addition, we urge an expansion of the Refugee Affairs Officer Programme of UNRWA which provides some measures of protection by monitoring behaviour towards the Palestinians by Israel, the occupying Power.

We recognize and express our concern for the role that racism, both de facto and de jure, plays in the situation and treatment of Palestinians inside and outside the 1967 occupied territory. State actions directed against Palestinians by the Government of Israel, supported by continued United States aid to Israel in violation of United States law, as made clear in the United States State Department human rights report on Israel and the occupied territories, shows clearly that racism serves as a buttress for denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. This is of growing immediate concern as the number of house demolitions, land and water confiscations are increasing, both within Israel and within the occupied territory, under the pretext of suppression of the intifadah.

We are particularly alarmed at the recently uncovered document of the Ministry of the Interior of Israel directing the implementation of the 1986 (Markowitz) Government commission report, which calls for the eradication of tens of so-called "unrecognized" Palestinian villages within the green line. We also support the urgent appeal from ICCP and will work with ICCP to protest the currently proposed amendment to the Israeli Prevention of Terrorism Ordinance, which may become law by the end of June. By empowering the Government to seize arbitrarily the property of, and shut down, community service organizations, on the pretext that the sources of their funding may be "tainted", that amendment threatens the ability of the Palestinian community to defend itself, among other things, against the final phase of the Judaization process. The amendment will also seriously threaten the existence of Palestinian social and national institutions in East Jerusalem and can threaten the rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well.

We note with appreciation the increasing numbers of Israeli individuals and organizations who decry racism, support a political solution and support the national and human rights of the Palestinian people. Actions such as resistance to military service in the occupied Palestinian territory, public demonstrations, peace caravans, visits to Palestinian towns and villages which have been attacked by soldiers and settlers, and the many other actions and initiatives of Israeli peace forces are essential elements in changing official Israeli policies and practices towards Palestine.

We are encouraged by General Assembly resolution 43/178 of 20 December 1978 for its actions taken to empower the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements to engage a committee of experts, in consultation with the PLO, for the purpose of a comprehensive development plan in the occupied Palestinian territory. We welcome the resolution adopted by the Commission on Human Settlements on 2 May 1989 condemning Israel's demolition of Palestinian homes and decrying Israel's alteration of the demographic character of the 1967 occupied territories.

We are also encouraged that the Commission on Human Rights has actively taken up the issues of Palestinian rights in the occupied territory and would encourage the Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities to take up the issue of the inequality of Israeli citizenship that disadvantages the Palestinian Arab minority within Israel.

We acknowledge the Economic and Social Council's resolution 1988/54, requesting the international community, organizations of the United Nations system, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations to sustain and increase their assistance to the Palestinian people in close co-operation with the PLO.

The aim of this meeting is to develop practical organizing strategies and support projects for concerted action by North American non-governmental organizations. Our primary work was conducted in workshops and we received their recommendations, and commend them to all non-governmental organizations for their careful consideration and implementation.

ANNEX VI


Declaration adopted by the United Nations European Regional
NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine

(Vienna, 28 and 29 August 1989)


Introduction


1. The United Nations European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, the third for the European region, was held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at the Austria Centre, Vienna, on 28 and 29 August 1989. The Symposium was convened in pursuance of General Assembly resolutions 42/66 A and B of 2 December 1987.

2. A total of 214 representatives of non-governmental organizations attended the Symposium, 132 of them as observers. Several observers from Governments, organizations, United Nations bodies and Palestine also participated.

3. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation composed of Her Excellency Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee; His Excellency Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta), Rapporteur; His Excellency Mr. Guennadi Oudovenko (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic); Mr. Abdul Halim Bin Ali (Malaysia) and Mr. Zuhdi L. Terzi (Palestine).

4. The programme of the Symposium was elaborated by the Committee in consultation with the European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine. The overall theme was "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people".

5. Two Panels were held. The first, entitled "The dynamics of the intifadah and consequences for NGO activities", was presented by Mr. Khalil Mahshi (Palestinian). The second was entitled "The International Peace Conference on the Middle East and the implementation of Palestinian self-determination: The role of Europe", at which the following experts made presentations: Mme. Marie-Christine Aulas (France), Dr. Peter Jankowitsch (Austria) and Mr. Miroslav Prchal (Czechoslovakia).

6. Five workshops were also held on the following topics:

(a) Palestinian trade with Europe;

(b) The EEC and Palestine: Towards a more constructive policy;

(c) Involving Jewish communities in Europe;

(d) Building the Palestinian education system; and

(e) The role of non-governmental organizations in the socio-economic development and health care in the occupied Palestinian territory.


7. The Symposium adopted a final declaration, as well as action-oriented proposals emanating from the workshops. The report of the Symposium will be published in due course as a special bulletin of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

Declaration


We, the non-governmental organizations participating in the Third United Nations European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, welcome the recent developments which have helped towards achievement of the goal of self-determination for the Palestinian people. Those developments have been mainly the consequence of the courageous and determined struggle of the Palestinian people for their inalienable rights, which is dramatically manifested in the occupied territories, where the Palestinian uprising, the intifadah, has been maintained in the face of the most brutal repressive methods.

We welcome the results achieved at the Nineteenth Extraordinary Session of the Palestine National Council, held at Algiers in November 1988, and in particular, the proclamation of the independent State of Palestine and the political statement. The position outlined in the Council created favourable conditions for the successful meetings of the United Nations General Assembly on the question of Palestine, which were held in December at Geneva. The statements by Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and President of the State of Palestine, at Geneva, in Paris and elsewhere have further clarified the principles of the Palestinian peace initiative. The statement of Mr. Yasser Abed Rabbo, member of the Executive Committee of the PLO at this European Symposium, by confirming and elaborating these principles, created a favourable atmosphere for the conduct of the meeting.

We welcome the initiation of a dialogue between the United States and the PLO as a positive contribution towards a political settlement of the crisis. We hope that the United States Government will not use this dialogue as a reason to delay the preparations for the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations, which we regard as the most effective way to achieve a comprehensive settlement. We stress the significance of General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988 calling for the convening of such a conference.

We appreciate the position of those European Governments which have recognized the State of Palestine and call upon others to follow their example. There have been encouraging developments in the positions of some European Governments and Parliaments. Those include an invitation to Mr. Arafat to address the European Parliament, and the meetings of Mr. Arafat in Madrid with the three Foreign Ministers representing the European Economic Community (EEC), leading to the Declaration of Madrid. We sincerely hope that those lead to meetings with European heads of State and Government as a prelude to the full recognition of the State of Palestine by all European Governments.

Despite those positive developments, we feel that several European Governments are still failing to exert sufficient effort in favour of a peace settlement in the Middle East. Europe bears a special responsibility towards the Palestinian people. European Governments should make a greater contribution either through concerted action or individually. The constructive mediating role of some European countries is providing an example.

We deeply regret that the Government of Israel has so far totally failed to respond positively to the clearly demonstrated Palestinian peace initiative and relevant United Nations resolutions. We consider that Israel's continued refusal to acknowledge the most elementary rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination and right to return to their homeland, is ultimately contrary to the basic interests of Israel. We consider, that the so-called "Shamir peace plan" is designed to cover Israel's illegal occupation and intensified repression of the intifadah, in order to perpetuate the Israeli occupation and is thus totally unacceptable. Any elections must be part of a comprehensive peace process leading to an independent Palestinian State, must be truly democratic, should take place under international supervision, should be acceptable to the Palestinians, and include all the Palestinian people in the territories occupied since June 1967 including Jerusalem, and should ensure the return of the deportees and the release of the detainees.

We are deeply concerned by the continued and increased violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory. These include the killing and injuring of civilians of all ages, destruction of houses, imprisonment without trial and deportations. We strongly deplore the grossly inadequate measures to control the violence of Jewish settlers. The breakdown in public health services is adding to the sufferings of the Palestinian population. We draw particular attention to the various measures that have been taken by the occupying Power to deprive the population of their right to education by closing educational institutions, and the outrageous action of preventing Palestinians from providing alternative educational services. We welcome the action taken by Governments, non-governmental organizations and other bodies to denounce those measures and welcome the partial opening of schools as a result of this international pressure. We demand that universities and all other educational institutions still closed by Israel be reopened and that they be kept open without further interference. We condemn the acts of repression and closure of offices carried out against Palestinian associations, such as trade unions, and demand that they be rescinded. We also vigorously deplore the repressive economic measures against the Palestinian people, including the uprooting of trees, destruction of crops with chemicals, expropriation of land and water resources and prevention of independent economic development.

The Israeli acts of violence against the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories are grave violations of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, which is fully binding on Israel - a State party to the Convention. We call upon European Governments to take effective measures to ensure respect by Israel of the provisions of that Convention and United Nations resolutions. We appeal to the Security Council of the United Nations to take urgent measures to protect the legal and human rights of the Palestinian people under occupation, and to consider the deployment of a United Nations peace-keeping force to safeguard the physical security of the inhabitants. In addition, we express appreciation for the measures taken by UNRWA to maintain its services to the Palestinian people and we call upon it to expand its Refugee Affairs Officer Programme to provide increased services. We also call upon United Nations bodies, especially UNICEF, WHO, UNCHS and UNDP, to intensify their efforts to address the educational, medical and general socio-economic needs of the Palestinian people, and to develop co-operation with the Palestinian popular and grass-roots organizations independent of all Israeli intervention and supervision.

We regret the Israeli project to amend the prevention of terrorism ordinance, which may become law in October, as an extremely grave threat to the welfare of the Palestinians, since it will enable the Government of Israel to close down any community service organizations in Israel and East Jerusalem on the pretext that its funds are "tainted". We call for the proposed amendment and its obvious intentions to be given the widest public exposure, so that international pressure may be exerted against it.

We express our appreciation and thanks to the distinguished expert panelists, workshop organizers and resource persons who have offered their invaluable insights to the service of European non-governmental organizations.

We thank warmly the Government of Austria for welcoming us in Vienna and the Austrian non-governmental organizations, especially the Society for Austro-Arab Relations, for their valuable work in the preparations and the warm hospitality offered to us. We wish to thank the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for making the European Symposium possible and the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat, as well as all other United Nations bodies that have been engaged in the preparation and execution of the Symposium.

The aim of the Symposium was to develop practical organizing strategies and support projects by European non-governmental organizations. The primary work was conducted in five workshops, and we received their recommendations, and commend them to all non-governmental organizations for their careful consideration and implementation. We congratulate the European Co-ordinating Committee (ECCP), the International Co-ordinating Committee (ICCP) and the Society for Austro-Arab relations for organizing a highly successful International Symposium on 27 August, entitled "The Role of Foreign Assistance in Meeting the Economic and Social Development Requirements of Palestinian People: From Occupation to Independence", and affirm its conclusions.


ANNEX VII


Declaration adopted by the Sixth United Nations International
NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine

(Vienna, 30 August to 1 September 1989)


Introduction


1. The Sixth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine was held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at the Austria Centre, Vienna, from 30 August to 1 September 1989. The Meeting was convened in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 42/66 B of
2 December 1987.

2. A total of 351 non-governmental organizations attended the meeting, 138 of whom were observers. Several observers from Governments, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations bodies and Palestine also attended the proceedings. The Meeting was also attended by His Excellency Mr. Alois Mock, Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Austria and Mr. Ronald I. Spiers, Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services.

3. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation comprising: Her Excellency Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Committee Chairman; His Excellency Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta), Rapporteur; His Excellency Mr. Guennadi Oudovenko (Ukrainian SSR); His Excellency
Mr. Abdul Halim Ali (Malaysia); and Mr. Zuhdi L. Terzi (Palestine).

4. The programme for the meeting was elaborated by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in consultation with the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine. The overall theme was
"Intifadah: The continuing struggle of the Palestinian people for independence".

5. A panel was established under the title "Two peoples, two States: Future relations", and presentations were made by the following experts: Mr. Abraham Bardugo (Israel); Mr. Faisal Husseini (Palestinian); Mr. Nabil Shaath (Palestinian) and
Mr. Hillel Shinker (Israel).

6. Six workshops were also held on the following topics: (a) (i) "Protection of the Palestinian population: The role of United Nations organs in the occupied Palestinian territory", (ii) "Protection of the Palestinian population: The role of the NGOs";
(b) "The role of NGO assistance in meeting the future economic development requirements of economic self-determination of the Palestinian people"; (c) "Mobilization for the release of Palestinian prisoners and political deportees"; (d) "Mobilization of international support for Palestinian education and cultural institutions";
(e) (i) "Building support for an independent Palestinian State with the Jewish communities"; (ii) "Building support for an independent Palestinian State among Israelis"; and (f) "The promotion of the peace process and the role of the mass media".

7. The meeting adopted a final declaration as well as action-oriented proposals emanating from the workshops. The report of the Sixth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine will be published in due course as a special bulletin of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

Declaration


We, the non-governmental organizations gathered at the Sixth International Meeting of NGOs on the Question of Palestine, totally uphold the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and fully support their continuing struggle for independence, as expressed in the intifadah and by all other internationally legitimate means. We recognize and uphold the historic Proclamation of the Independent State of Palestine made on 15 November 1988. We recognize the Proclamation not only as the expression of the will of the heroic people of the intifadah, but also as the expression of the fundamental principle of the self-determination of peoples, enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. We call on all Governments of States Members of the United Nations which have not already done so, to recognize the Proclamation of the Independent State of Palestine, in unequivocal terms and without delay.

We particularly note and welcome the statement made by President Arafat at the meeting of the General Assembly held at Geneva, on 13 December 1988, in which he recognized the right of all States in the Middle East region to exist in peace and security, including the States of Palestine and Israel. We uphold the Palestinian right of return, in a spirit of justice and of reconciliation, without prejudicing the situation of the people in Israel, details to be negotiated between the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) on the basis of all relevant United Nations resolutions.

We vigorously renew the call for the early convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988, with the participants to include the five permanent members of the Security Council, the PLO, Israel, the Arab States party to the conflict and other concerned States, on an equal basis and with equal rights. The emphasis must be on reaching a peaceful, just and comprehensive permanent settlement between Israel and independent Palestine, as defined in the Algiers Proclamation of the Independent State of Palestine and in all relevant United Nations resolutions, for the mutual advantage of all the peoples of the region and of the world.

Reaffirming the international consensus that the PLO is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, we note the great strengthening of the consensus by the unwavering support for the PLO by the people of the intifadah and by the united national leadership of the intifadah. We therefore urge all Governments fully to recognize the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and the State of Palestine, and to press for its participation on an equal footing with other parties to the conflict at the International Peace Conference as the representative of the Palestinian people.

We uphold the right of the people of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, democratically to elect their representatives as part of the comprehensive settlement, but we reject the spurious plan for so-called elections put forward by the Prime Minister and Government of Israel, and whose principal international advocate is the Government of the United States of America. The plan is the opposite of democracy, designed not to advance, but to prevent independence and to lead to the annexation of the territories and the forcible expulsion of the rightful inhabitants. For full and free elections to take place as part of a definite process leading to the establishment of the independent State of Palestine, we call for Israeli withdrawal from the Palestine territory occupied in 1967 and for full and effective international supervision by the United Nations.

Recalling that the Fifth International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine expressed its condemnation of all the numerous acts of Israeli repression, including killing, wounding especially women and children, mass arrests, demolition of homes, expulsions, starvation, uprooting of trees, confiscation of land and sexual harassment of women prisoners, we note that those abhorrent practices have actually increased. That they have less media coverage arises not from any lessening of repression, but because the media are prevented from reporting and can themselves be penalized for doing so. We call for effective international political and economic pressure on Israel to make it comply with its obligations under the fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 and to accept United Nations Security Council resolutions. We appeal to the Security Council to establish an immediate United Nations presence in the post-1967 Israeli occupied territories, to bring an immediate end to the escalating violations of human rights, to protect the people and to bring the perpetrators of those practices to justice. We strongly recommend an expansion of the Refugee Affairs Officer Programme of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) as a practical expression of international concern for the protection of the Palestinian people under occupation. We express grave concern at the situation of the Palestinians in Lebanon, call for help for them and for the strengthening of the United Nations presence in Lebanon and Israeli withdrawal, in accordance with Security Council resolution 509 (1982) of 6 June 1982.

Given the grave intensive and escalating situation in the occupied Palestinian State, including the complex of emergency and development needs and the gradual collapse of Israeli-controlled services, we call on all United Nations bodies (UNRWA, UNDP, WHO, UNICEF, UNCTAD, UNIDO, ILO and others) where constitutionally possible, to admit the State of Palestine to membership and to generate a creative and intensive dialogue with the PLO and with Palestinian non-governmental organizations for a wide, effective and comprehensive United Nations involvement in the health and socio-economic fields, independent of Israeli control.

There is now an organized attempt by the Government of Israel to destroy Palestinian society, of which one of the most pernicious manifestations is the denial of education to Palestinian children through the permanent closure of schools and other educational institutions, accompanied by the penalizing of parents for trying to teach their children in their own homes, even in such basic skills as reading and writing. This calculated attempt to try to produce an illiterate generation of Palestinians is not only contrary to every relevant article of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, but an affront to all civilized values. We note that international protest forced the reopening of certain junior schools, but also note that this affected only a small part of the education system, much the greater part of which remains permanently closed. We call upon Governments, educational and cultural institutions, professional associations, trade unions and individuals world wide, to utilize all cultural relations to pressure Israel (including sanctions), to cease these practices.

While noting changing attitudes in the United States of America towards Israel, we consider the changes by the Administration to be inadequate and we condemn their continuing support for the Government of Israel despite the latter's persistent and flagrant violations of Palestinian human and national rights. We consider these to be unhelpful for the achievement of progress towards the convening of the International Peace Conference.

Noting world-wide efforts for the reduction of nuclear weapons, we deplore that Israel introduced nuclear weapons into the Middle East and we deplore the escalation in research into nuclear weapons and the proliferation of chemical weapons that this has created. We call upon Israel and all other States in the region to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to dismantle its nuclear weapons and to open its nuclear installations to international inspection and to observe its treaty obligations, such as those it has with Norway for inspection to ensure the proper use of nuclear material supplied specifically for peaceful use. We deplore the growing use by Israel and other States in the region of chemical weapons against people and against crops. We call for the release of the prisoner of conscience, Mordechai Vanunu.

We strongly uphold the forces of peace in Israel that support the International Peace Conference and an independent Palestinian State. We strongly condemn the penalizing of Israeli peace activists. We express support for those growing numbers who refuse military service in occupied Palestinian territories and other occupied territories of Arab countries, and we call upon the Government of Israel to recognize the right of Israelis to conscientious objection. We urge the Israeli parliament to repeal the so-called "anti-terrorism" law of August 1986, which prohibits contact between Israeli citizens and representatives of Palestinian organizations.

We strongly condemn the proposed new Amendment Number 3 and urge the Israeli parliament not to pass it as it would provide arbitrary and dictatorial powers of confiscation of the assets of charitable and educational non-governmental organizations and close to them all avenues to aid from international sources. We call for an urgent international campaign against the amendment by Governments, non-governmental organizations and all peace-loving peoples.

We note the strong desire expressed at the European Nuclear Disarmament Convention in Spain in July 1989 for peace and justice in the Middle East. We fully support the Convention proposal for a non-violent march for peace in Israel and Palestine on 29, 30 and 31 December 1989. We urge all non-governmental organizations world wide to organize to participate in this important event.

Much of our work in this meeting was conducted in workshops and in meetings of special interest groups. We endorse their conclusions and recommendations. We draw attention to the fact that non-governmental organization opinion has consistently been more progressive and creative than official governmental thinking and we urge all Governments, in the interest of peace and justice, seriously to consider the options defined by non-governmental organizations in this Declaration and elsewhere.

It is important for the effectiveness of non-governmental organizations to be increased. We commend the activities and work of the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ICCP) and its secretariat at Geneva. We call upon the United Nations to offer every possible assistance to ICCP and its secretariat. We urge the United Nations to convene an international meeting in the first week of September 1990, the venue and format to be decided, and to maintain its programme of regional symposia.

We request the Chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to convey this Declaration to the General Assembly at its forty-fourth session as part of the Committee's report. Recognizing the vital importance of information, we urge that records of this meeting be disseminated as widely as possible, to non-governmental organizations, Governments and the media.

We thank the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this meeting and we greatly appreciate the presence of the members and observers of the Committee. We thank the Division for Palestinian Rights and all of the members of the United Nations Secretariat, including the interpreters, who assisted in the meeting. We also express our appreciation to the distinguished experts who spoke here. All those mentioned herein contributed greatly to the success of our meeting. We warmly thank the Government of Austria for welcoming us to Vienna and for the excellent facilities they placed at our disposal.

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