Question of Palestine home
Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
22 December 1989
Theme: "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people"
TWENTY-THIRD UNITED NATIONS SEMINAR
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
(SIXTH ASIAN REGIONAL SEMINAR)
18 - 22 December 1989
THIRD UNITED NATIONS ASIAN REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM
ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
18 - 21 December 1988
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Report of the Twenty-third United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Sixth Asian Regional Seminar)
1 - 77
1 - 4
Conclusions and recommendations
5 - 29
30 - 58
59 - 77
Report of the Third United Nations Asian Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine
78 - 109
78 - 81
Declaration adopted by the Third Asian Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine
82 - 100
Asian Coordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine
101 - 108
Message from the participants in the Seminar and the NGO Symposium to Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization
Motion of thanks
List of participants and observers
1. The Twenty-third United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine entitled "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian People", (Sixth Asian Regional Seminar), was held jointly with the Third United Nations Asian Regional NGO Symposium at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 18 to 22 December 1989, in accordance with 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 Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee, Head of the delegation; Mr. Tom Obaleh Kargbo (Sierra Leone); Mr. Andreas Mavrommatis (Cyprus); Mr. Guennadi I. Oudovenko (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic); Mr. Ismail Razali (Malaysia), Rapporteur of the Seminar; and Mr. Zuhdi Labib Terzi (Palestine).
3. Nine meetings were held and thirteen panelists presented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine. Representatives of 38 Governments, Palestine, 2 United Nations organs, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 3 intergovernmental organizations and 52 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 8 of the latter as observers, attended the event (for the list of participants and observers, see annex III below).
4. The participants in the Seminar and NGO Symposium adopted a message to Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (annex I) and a motion of thanks to the Government and people of Malaysia (annex II).
A. Opening statements
Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia
5. The opening ceremony of the Seminar and the NGO Symposium was addressed by H.E. Dato' Haji Abu Hassan Bin Haji Omar, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia. In the address, he emphasized that the international community had recognized that the question of Palestine was the core of the conflict in the Middle East. No comprehensive, just and lasting solution in the region would be achieved without the full exercise by the Palestinians of their inalienable national rights and the immediate, unconditional and total withdrawal of Israel from Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and the other occupied Arab territories. A just and comprehensive settlement must also provide for the participation, on an equal footing, of all parties to the conflict, including the PLO.
6. That series of regional seminars and symposia was part of the continuing process in the search for a just and comprehensive solution. In striving to raise the level of awareness of the facts and developments relating to the question of Palestine, the Seminar and Symposium were important means in an essential educating process. It helped to correct misinformation and distortions of actual developments in the occupied territories. They provided additional forums to table the Palestinian side of the story, to bring the truth across, and to provide the facts for independent and honest assessment. It kept the world seized with critical developments in the tumultuous part of the globe. It remained a constant reminder that a whole nation of Palestinians could not continue to be denied their homeland. That blight on the world's conscience and the decades-old wrong committed against the Palestinian people must be corrected.
7. He pointed out that the Seminar and Symposium would remind the world of the root causes of the Palestine problem and the options available for possible solution. It would record the efforts of the PLO since the decisions at Algiers and Geneva on seeking a negotiated settlement in line with Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and point to the intransigence and blinkered perspective of Israel in refusing to seize those historic opportunities.
8. An equally important result of the Seminar and Symposium would be their impact on public opinion and how that eventually would bear on the supporters of Israel and even Israel itself, which would have to seriously consider negotiating a settlement that could lead to the long-sought peace in the Middle East.
9. Two important developments underlined the need for the international community to push ahead in support of the Palestinian cause. He referred to the heroic intifadah and the declaration of an independent State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council (PNC) at Algiers in November 1988.
10. For the past two years, Israel had sought to crush the intifadah by repressive means. The intifadah was a spontaneous mass uprising of a people embarked on the righteous path of the struggle for freedom, dignity and justice. The toll of deaths and injuries suffered by Palestinian children, youths, women and old people kept mounting daily. But despite their horrendous sacrifices, the Palestinians would not be subjugated and they remained defiant of Israel. He stressed that Malaysia joined the international community in saluting the courage and fortitude of the Palestinians, and condemned Israel's brutal policies which were flagrant violations of fundamental human values and of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
11. A greater challenge to Israel was the declaration of an independent State of Palestine, which shifted the issue of recognition from Israel and its supporters to the international community as a whole. Recognition of the State of Palestine by more than 80 countries to date was a reality that cannot be dismissed by Israel and its supporters. Israel would have to respond to that additional pressure to seek a negotiated settlement.
12. Malaysia firmly believed that the framework for an effective negotiating process that would lead to a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region was through an international conference on peace in the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations. It should have the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and all parties involved in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the PLO on an equal footing. Malaysia fully supported the convening of this Conference.13. After 40 years of conflict, Israel continued to be blind to the realities. Through its brutal and repressive policies, it sought to expand its illegal settlements and make permanent its occupation in the Arab territories. For so long as Israel refused to address the fundamental questions relating to the Palestine problem, there could be no lasting peace for Israel, nor for the region.
14. The task today was to maintain the momentum in generating interest and to heighten the awareness of the international community to the plight of the Palestinian people. A dialogue between the parties involved at that stage could be a constructive step to the comprehensive talks envisaged in the International Conference. Malaysia hoped that the Seminar and Symposium would facilitate the search for initiating that dialogue process by retracing the arguments for a negotiated settlement, and, if possible, identifying new approaches to end the decades of injustices done to the Palestinian people.
Message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations
15. At the opening meeting, a message from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, was read out by his representative, Mr. Naseem Mirza, Chief, Division for Palestinian Rights. The message noted that the convening of the Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine was testimony to the importance that the United Nations attaches to solving the question of Palestine, which formed the root cause of the conflict in the Middle East, and it affirmed the fact that the efforts to find a solution of the problem continued to be one of the most important preoccupations of the United Nations.
16. In his message the Secretary-General stressed that over the years, the Asian countries had joined in the important efforts undertaken at the United Nations to bring a just peace to the Middle East, which would also ensure the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination. Those efforts had been intensified in the past two years and the participation and support of the Governments and peoples of Asia for the peace process in the Middle East constituted a valuable contribution to the achievement of a comprehensive solution of the Middle East conflict.
17. The message said that the eminence of the diplomats, scholars, experts and committed and experienced NGO representatives at that Seminar and NGO Symposium was impressive. An enlightened and mobilized public opinion could play a very important part by making the facts of the question of Palestine better known and by mobilizing public and official opinion throughout the Asian region and the world in support of a just peace in the Middle East.
18. The message pointed out that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, since its inception in 1975, had been engaged in tireless efforts aimed at securing for the Palestinian people the exercise of its inalienable rights. The Committee had undertaken a number of important and useful activities in the fulfillment of its mandate. Activities of the Committee, including regional seminars, symposia, international meetings for NGOs, publications, studies and the annual commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People had contributed to the increased awareness of the rightfulness of the Palestinian cause in all parts of the world.
Statement by the Chairman of the Seminar
19. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo, Chairman of the Seminar, stressed that the Seminar and NGO Symposium being held in the capital of an Asian country testified to the active solidarity of the States and peoples of Asia with the people of Palestine in its struggle against Israeli occupation and domination and to exercise fully its right of self-determination. The Seminar and Symposium were taking place at a time when the intifadah had entered its third year. The intifadah confirmed that the Palestinians were determined to resist and reject Israeli domination and occupation by pursuing a desperate struggle to preserve their identity and their land. In so doing, the Palestinian people were striving to attain and to exercise its inalienable national rights. She stressed the importance of the proclamation of an independent Palestinian State, which had lent new momentum to the process of bringing peace to the Middle East. The State of Palestine had already been recognized by over 80 States, and other countries had hailed the measure as a real force for peace in the region and had acknowledged that the PLO was the sole authentic representative of the Palestinian people.
20. For over 40 years, the United Nations had continued its tireless efforts to bring about a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. She recalled the resolutions of the forty-third session of the General Assembly, including resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988 on the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, which was reaffirmed in General Assembly resolution 44/42 adopted on 6 December 1989. It had been precisely within the framework of those efforts that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had been established in 1975. In order to further mobilize world public opinion in support of the Palestinian cause, the Committee had organized, since 1980, a number of seminars and symposia, and it had prepared and disseminated studies and publications.
21. Although the overwhelming majority of the international community wished to see an end to the continuing tragedy of the Palestinian people, the efforts so far made to solve that particularly complex problem had unfortunately been unsuccessful, with potentially dangerous consequences for international peace and security. The situation in the occupied Palestinian territory remained a matter of serious international concern, with the intensification of the repressive policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, in its efforts to crush the intifadah and perpetuate its occupation. Despite the international outcry over flagrant and repeated violations of human rights in the occupied territory and the adoption by the Security Council of several resolutions requesting the occupying Power to abide by the relevant international instruments and United Nations resolutions, Israel continued to resort to military force against the Palestinians and to engage in all kinds of attacks which seriously threatened the integrity and sovereignty of the countries in the region.
22. Although the progress made was still slight, it was nevertheless encouraging to note that the international community increasingly supported the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. It was clear, however, that only the United Nations, and the Security Council in particular, which had been asked to facilitate the Organization of the Conference, could provide a legal and political framework acceptable to all the parties to the conflict and to the great majority of the international community, which would make it possible for negotiations to proceed with full respect for internationally recognized principles and on the basis of equality for all parties concerned.
Message from the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the
Palestine Liberation Organization
23. A message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, was read by Mr. Ahmad Al-Farra, Head of the Mission of Palestine in Malaysia. In the message the high appreciation of the effective role and great and important efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People were renewed. It was emphasized that the hosting of that Seminar and NGO Symposium by Malaysia reaffirmed the support of its Sultan, Government and people for the struggling Palestinian people.
24. The message referred to the first anniversary of the declaration of Palestinian independence, to the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and to the commencement of the third year of the intifadah and expressed thanks for the stand of solidarity of the States and peoples with the Palestinian cause. The message reaffirmed the determination by the Palestinian people to persist its just struggle until the restoration of its inalienable national rights, including its right to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of its independent State, with Jerusalem as its capital.
25. The message condemned the "iron-fist" policy implemented by the Israeli authorities aiming at breaking the spirit of national resistance in the Palestinian people, to efface and eliminate its identity and legitimate national rights, to liquidate the PLO, its sole legitimate representative, and to perpetuate the occupation. The message continued that the Palestinian people looked with greater hope and confidence to all peoples and States of the world to increase their support and backing for it at that crucial stage and to renew their support for its courageous peace initiative. That peace initiative clearly reaffirmed the wish of the Palestinian people for the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the region through the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and all parties to the conflict, including the PLO on an equal footing with the other parties.
26. The message said that the continuation of the current situation helped to increase the term of the suffering of the Palestinian people and served to endanger international peace and security. Accordingly, the international community as a whole was called upon to intensify its pressures on the United States of America and Israel so that the Palestinian people could achieve the goal of peace and exercise its inalienable rights.
* * *
27. Ms. Yoshiko Tanaka of the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine addressed the opening ceremony on behalf of the Asian NGOs. She welcomed the participants who had come from all parts of the continent. Ms. Tanaka said that many Palestinians had been killed or injured by the soldiers of Israel, the occupying Power. The people of Asia supported the brave efforts of the Palestinians in their intifadah and their attempts to establish an independent State. She expressed the hope that the Seminar/ Symposium would make a practical contribution to solving the question of Palestine.
28. At the opening meeting statements were made by Mr. Tom Obaleh Kargbo, 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; Mr. Guennadi I. Oudovenko, Acting Chairman of the Special Committee against Apartheid; and Mr. Fouad Hamdi Beseiso, Officer-in-Charge, Programme Planning and Co-ordination Unit, Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.
29. Statements were also made by Mr. Mostafa Foroutan, Asian African Legal Consultative Committee; Mr. Muhammad H. El-Farra, Under-Secretary-General, League of Arab States; Mr. Nabil Taleb Maarouf, Assistant Secretary-General, Organization of the Islamic Conference.
B. Panel discussion
30. Three panels were established. The panels and panelists were as follows:
Panel I: 1:(a)
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
Ms. Hanan Mikhail Ashrawi (Palestinian), Mr. Paul Findley (United States of America), Y. Bhg Tan Sri Dato Abdul Rahman Bin Abdul Jalal (Malaysia), Mr. Zhentang Liu (China), Mr. Ron McIntyre (New Zealand), Mr. Vyacheslav N. Matuzov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Mr. Amien Rais (Indonesia), Tan Sri Mohd. Ghazali Shafie (Malaysia).
The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the social, cultural, economic and political development of the Palestinian people"
Mr. Nabil Sha'ath (Palestinian)
The mobilization of public opinion in the Asian region for the realization of the inalienable rights of the
Mr. Donald Betz (International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine), Mr. A. Kadir Jasin (Malaysia), Mr. Daoud Kuttab (Palestinian), Mr. Mumtaz Soysal (Turkey).
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
31. Ms. Hanan Mikhail Ashrawi, Dean of the School of Arts at Bir Zeit University, pointed out that the intifadah as the popular, collective, democratic expression of the collective will of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation, had imbued the Palestinian struggle with the force of authenticity as well as moral ascendancy and political maturity. The intifadah's three dimensions included: first, the level of overt and dramatically visible resistance to and rejection of the occupation whereby the Palestinian people had exposed the real nature of the occupation and de-mythologized the prevalent misconceptions and stereotyping which had hitherto obscured and distorted the central issues of the conflict, while simultaneously expressing the Palestinian people's commitment to its legitimate leadership, the PLO, and its rejection of subjugation and military domination. The second level was that of social transformation and nation-building as the embodiment of statehood and the democratic actualization of Palestinian nationhood through establishing the authentic, alternative, popular infrastructure of Palestinian society; in this way, the Palestinians were de-legitimizing the occupation and legitimizing the Palestinian will and identity. The third level of political articulation within the framework of PNC resolutions of November 1988 stressed the principles of self-determination, legitimacy of the PLO representation, and the necessity of a just and viable political solution on the basis of mutuality, reciprocity and international legitimacy through the mechanism of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.
32. She continued that the peace process now was confronted with several pitfalls and dangers that might undermine and short-circuit the course of genuine peace as set forth by the Palestinian peace initiative, which was characterized by a tremendous sense of historical responsibility, magnitude, and maturity. Among the immediate pitfalls was the process of de-sensitization and inurement to the loss of Palestinian lives and rights in international consciousness through redundancy and routinization, thus leading to the reduction of Palestinians to the level of abstract statistics and human "invisibility" and creating a devaluation in the moral currency of Israel which might become contagious on the international level. Another pitfall was in re-establishing Israeli perceptual and linguistic dominance in misinterpreting, misrepresenting, and distorting Palestinian reality. More insidious was the attempt at imposing Israel's priorities and diction in formulating the peace agenda and its discourse, while pressing for pre-delivered assurances in order to obtain one-sided concessions. As a result, the third pitfall could be discerned in Israel's setting the terms for the international agenda primarily in formulating American foreign policy - and in creating the spurious impression that there was no alternative in Israel to the Likud-dominated coalition Government through marginalizing its opposition. The larger dangers threatening the integrity of the peace process included the attempts at confiscating the Palestinian voice and will, at hijacking the Palestinian utterance, through confusing and usurping roles, circumventing legitimate Palestinian representation, and sidestepping central issues. The peace process was also in danger of derailment through the introduction of digressions, diversions, and side issues and the employment of evasive tactics in dealing with peace. The obsession with tangential and procedural issues might lead to misdirected motion as an end unto itself with a concommitant loss of sight of the principles and objectives which should form the basis, framework, and aim of the peace process. In view of the discrepancy between Israeli peace rhetoric and actual Israeli brutality and violence against the captive Palestinian civilian population, a system of accountability and limits had to be established to make Israel face the consequences of its actions. The peace process also faces the danger of diminution in its scope and substance through a geometric regression in successive proposals, through negative selectivity of Palestinian representation, excessive localization and isolationism, pre-conditions and agenda restrictions. In this context, the International Conference is essential. For negotiations to be successful, they must be conducted within a state of equilibrium, with substance, purpose, and commitment and without negating the legitimacy and power base of the interlocutors. Genuine peace was achieved neither by coercion nor by capitulation but through safeguarding the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people.
33. Mr. Paul Findley, former member of the United States House of Representatives, outlined several facts dealing with the situation in the Middle East. Firstly, he said the present Government of Israel remained as strongly opposed as a year earlier to granting independence, or any important political rights, to the Palestinians. Secondly, he stressed, the Israeli proposals for negotiations with Palestinians were the latest tactic of delay and confusion and not a serious step towards peace. Thirdly, he said that Israel perceived no need to compromise so long as the United States provided immense levels of aid with no strings attached. With the unconditional financial, economic and military support of the United States, Israel was strong enough militarily to defeat any external attack. And it seemed positioned to maintain its subjugation of the Palestinians indefinitely. Despite a promising start of the United States Administration in the Middle East policy, there was now no hint that it would put conditions of any kind on further aid to Israel. Fourthly, Israel could not be trusted in the light of a recent spy case and its nuclear weapons activities.
34. Mr. Findley stressed his support for an international peace conference on the Middle East despite the obvious risks and shortcomings due to the position of the State of Israel. He cautioned against the international community investing too heavily in this endeavor. The focus must be on justice for the Palestinians, not simply opening conference doors. He called for Palestinian statehood and the prompt withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the occupied territories. Mr. Findley expressed the view that the primary battle for Palestinian rights must be fought and won in the United States. The world community should centre its energy on the American countryside. He outlined the goals of a new Organization founded in the United States, the Council for the National Interest, of which he was Chairman of the Board of Directors. Its purpose, he said, was advocacy of Middle East policies that served the American national interest. He pointed out that it was in the national interest of the United States to support Israel in its reasonable aspirations, but that interest did not encompass support for policies which weakened the United States position in that region. In the view of his Organization, the United States must demand that Israeli forces halt their violation of human rights in the occupied territories, that construction of new settlements be prohibited and that Arabs dispossessed of property be compensated. The United States government must encourage a two-State solution.
35. Y. Bhg Tan Sri Dato Abdul Rahman Bin Abdul Jalal, of the Malaysian Institute of Strategic and International Affairs Studies, described the "iron-fist" policy of the Israeli authorities and said that those practices were prompted by a political objective - the economic, political and psychological oppression and strangulation of the Palestinians. Today, the Palestinians did not have a country any more to live in. In the occupied territory Israel encouraged an increasing number of settlements which was a dangerous development. He pointed out that the intifadah had brought a new dimension into the struggle of the Palestinian people for legality. The world had been taken by surprise at the spontaneous way the intifadah had developed. At the same time, the PLO maintained a campaign to win full diplomatic recognition for the State of Palestine. In the United States and the countries members of the EEC, the intifadah had succeeded in bringing about the kind of rethinking of assumptions that were current in the Jewish community in the United States and Israel. He characterized that as another watershed in the struggle of the Palestinian people. The intifadah brought about more support for Palestine and a serious rethinking among the influential Jews in the United States. He concluded by saying that at this stage some cautious optimism might be expressed with the intifadah continuing as it was and probably at a more intensified scale.
36. Mr. Zhentang Liu, Associate Research Fellow at the Chinese International Studies Institute, stressed the fact that, the Palestinian people, over the past two years since the beginning of the intifadah, had suffered enormous losses through the "iron-fist" policy pursued by the Israeli authorities. It had also suffered a heavy loss in the economic sector, but it had not succumbed to the difficulties involved. There were profound economic and political reasons why the Palestinian uprising had taken place and why it had been so prolonged. The Israeli authorities had wantonly deprived the Palestinian people of its basic rights. At the same time, the Arab countries had been unable to alter the situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. For the Palestinian resistance, removed far from the land of Palestine, it was difficult to resist Israeli occupation effectively any more. The intifadah had transferred the centre of gravity of the Palestinian struggle to the homeland of the Palestinians, and the Palestinian people had thus seized the initiative in the struggle. He expressed the view that the Palestinian uprising was an historic event of very great significance. It had and would continue to have, a positive impact on the achievement of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem. He continued that Israel, for its part, had become embroiled in the most dangerous crisis since its establishment. By contrast, the intifadah had rallied the Palestinian people, strengthened the unity of Palestinian groups represented by Mr. Yasser Arafat and enhanced the status of the PLO. With reference to the elections plan put forward by the Israeli authorities, he expressed the view that the essence of the plan was the continued occupation of the Palestinian territories under the cover of autonomy. Mr. Liu stressed that the best way of solving the Middle East problem was through a political settlement and not through force. Accordingly, the Israeli authorities must put an immediate end to their suppression of the Palestinian uprising, withdraw from the Arab territories and recognize the national rights of the Palestinian people. Only then would Israel's security be truly assured. He called for a real dialogue in order to dispel suspicions and to increase mutual comprehension and confidence. The convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East was an effective procedure which was capable of creating an appropriate climate and propitious circumstances for the achievement of a comprehensive solution.
37. Mr. Ron MacIntyre, Senior Lecturer of Political Science at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, examined within an historical framework, the evolution of the concept of "the International Peace Conference on the Middle East", highlighting, among other things, procedural and substantive difficulties associated with the application of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), the United Nations framework resolutions for peace in the region. He pointed out that United States peace initiatives had failed to make headway largely because of their serious limitations on the Palestine question. The negative attitude of the United States of America and Israel towards the Geneva Declaration of 1983, as well as the cautious attitudes of the Western Europeans and Australasians slowed down the whole process for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. He argued that the intifadah had been the catalyst which brought the PLO and the uncommitted Western Europeans, Australia and New Zealand, to some measure of agreement on the basis of General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988, providing for a two-State solution and the mechanism for the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.
38. He said that statistically about 97 per cent of the United Nations Member States, representing about 94 per cent of the world's population, were now committed to a two-State solution, while Israel and the United States continued to oppose it. He characterized the so-called "elections plan" as Israel's negative response to the peace initiative by PNC. That plan had already contributed to deadlock within the ruling Likud-Labour coalition and impasse with the people of the occupied territory. He concluded that hopes for getting the parties to an international conference to resolve outstanding issues did not seem to be promising at the moment. Criticizing the role of the United States of America, he said that it was difficult to perceive any breakthrough in the current Middle East impasse while United States foreign policy was dominated by the pro-Israeli lobby. Mr. MacIntyre also analysed the response of Australia and New Zealand to current moves for convening an international conference, noting important attitudinal changes on the Palestine question despite a somewhat conservative policy with regard to diplomatic recognition of the new State of Palestine. He concluded with some suggestions for breaking the current impasse, including great Power security guarantees in keeping with the spirit of global detente.
39. Mr. Vyacheslav N. Matuzov, Department of Middle Eastern and North African Countries, USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expressed the view that the Middle East turned into an arsenal oversaturated with modern weapons. The conflict in that region might become an obstacle in the way of solving global problems facing mankind and impede the process of detente and disarmament in the world. He Characterized efforts to find solutions to the problems saying that in most cases they were based on confrontational thinking. Attempts to limit the solution to separate negotiations between Israel and individual Arab countries could result in partial progress, but they could in no way solve the question of Palestine. He stressed that the Soviet Union, in advancing the idea of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East was far from precluding the possibility of bilateral negotiations in its proposed framework and regulations. He remarked that although the PLO demonstrated flexibility and willingness to accept some compromise, the absence of constructive elements in Israel's position was the main obstacle in the way of peace in the Middle East. On the other side, the intifadah was pressing for an urgent convocation of the Middle East Conference. With reference to the role of the United Nations, the permanent members of the Security Council, the Asian and Pacific countries as well as the European Community, he argued that the international factors were the most important condition for stabilizing the situation. He outlined basic principles for a settlement, Security Council resolution 242 (1967) should be the territorial basis, and the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people should be exercised to the extent ensured for the people of Israel. He stressed that the PLO was the legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine in the International Conference also. The preparatory stage of the Conference should involve reducing confrontation, building confidence, establishing a favorable climate for the convocation of the Conference and looking for mutually acceptable compromises. For that aim, the Soviet Union called for a special Security Council meeting at the ministerial level, intensified consultations among the Security Council's five permanent members in contact with the parties directly involved in the conflict, bringing to bear the peace-keeping potential of the United Nations, establishing multilateral and bilateral contacts among the immediately interested parties, including a dialogue between Israel and the PLO
40. Referring to the elections proposal of the Israeli Government, he pointed out that the Soviet Union was not opposed to the idea of free democratic elections, but so far had found more ambiguities than clarity in the approaches of the sides, particularly Israel, to that idea. It was important that the proposal should organically fit in the overall scenario for a comprehensive settlement and equitable resolution of the Palestine problem on the basis of allowing the Palestinian people to exercise its right to self-determination. A breakthrough to peace in the Middle East would become possible only when the PLO would be involved in the process. He said that the Soviet Union was prepared to pursue a political dialogue with Israel in the interest of peace and security in the Middle East. In conclusion, he stressed that departure from the commitment to political means of settlement as well as continued and ever intensified arms race in the region might have angerous implications for universal peace.
41. Mr. Amien Rais, Senior Lecturer of the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Gadjahmada, Indonesia, referred to the historical roots in the continuous struggle of the Palestinian people since 1935 and pointed out that the intifadah had changed dramatically the policy and strategy of the PLO. The intifadah was the peak expression of Palestinian nationalism. It had encouraged the PLO to take a new thinking, which had its expression in the acceptance of General Assembly resolution 181 (II) and Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), and 338 (1973) as the basis of peace talks and a two-State solution to the conflict as well as in the renouncement of terrorism. The ultimate goal of the intifadah was the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State to be achieved through negotiations in the context of an international peace conference where both Israel and the PLO would stand on equal footing. He expressed the view that the Palestinian struggle for national independence had come to a point of no return. Mr. Rais analysed the Israeli position and characterized the "peace initiative", which called for elections in the occupied territories and for an eventual Camp David-type autonomy as a political farce. Turning to the Likud, he pointed out that the retention of the occupied territories was basically the ideological raison d'etre of that party. Since the start of the intifada, the Likud's line had grown harder and the trend might grow even harder and more uncompromising with the rise of Israel's ultra-orthodox. There was also a growing number of moderates who favored a two-State solution. The primary struggle going on in Israel was now between moderates and extremists. Characterizing the American position, Mr. Rais expressed the view that the Reagan Administration had failed to give a meaningful contribution to the solution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The Bush Administration seemed a bit more courageous in dealing with the conflict. But it faced difficult political hurdles in pursuing more freely a solution coming from the so-called "leading liberal political figures". He called upon the United States of America to break its timidity and to put more pressure on Israel to come to peace. In view of unthinkably disastrous results of a military solution to the conflict, he called for a political solution through the International Peace Conference on the Middle East as the only alternative. The conditions for that Conference were an end to the Israeli occupation, mutual recognition of the right to self-determination for both the Israelis and the Palestinians, and the representation of the Palestinians by the PLO. Without the PLO's participation, any peace conference would be utterly meaningless. He called upon Israel to comply with the common sense.
42. Tan Sri Mohd. Ghazali Shafie, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, expressed the view that the quest for Palestinian peace had been frustrated by big Power rivalries, by rival ambitions of surrounding Arab Governments, by the competition of oil supplies, the success of the Zionist propaganda machine, the sympathy aroused by the persecution of Jews by Hitler and by the influential American Jewish community.
43. Even today, in the epoch of human rights, there was much ignorance, prejudice and fear on the part of the public in many Western countries. Ignorance and prejudice still dominated the question of Palestine. He maintained that, historically, the Palestinians had enjoyed civil, political and sovereign rights. These had been confirmed by General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 1947 authorizing the establishment of another State as distinct from Israel in the territory of the Palestine Mandate. That resolution was alive like the idea of a Palestinian State. In terms of borders, effort should be directed towards Israel's withdrawal to pre-1967 borders as seen within Security Council resolution 242 (1967). Resolution 181 (II) had been accepted by the PLO in toto. The question of Palestine was non-racial and non-religious. General Assembly resolution 181 (II) was the starting point for the solution of the Palestine problem. The Namibia experience could be followed by the United Nations, which had a special responsibility.
44. He was of the view that the United Nations could establish an International Authority which should be charged with the supervision of the Israeli withdrawal and temporary administration of the evacuated areas; definition of the border, taking into account the security of Israel without departing from Security Council resolution 242 (1967); arrangements for the return of Palestinian refugees; arrangements for general elections to a constituent assembly and transformation of power to the elected authorities.
45. The paper of Mrs. Leticia Ramos Shahani, Senator from the Philippines, was read out at the end of the panel. In her paper, Mrs. Shahani referred to the dramatic changes in the international area which had led to a general lessening of tension. While various conflicts in different hemispheres seemed to be on the way to solution, the Palestinian issue remained unresolved. A solution to the conflict should give both Palestine and Israel the right to exist side by side within secure boundaries. The paper outlined Philippine/Palestine relations, which culminated in September 1989 in the signing of an Instrument of Mutual Recognition. It was stated that the recognition of Palestine should not in any way affect the traditionally friendly relations which the Philippines enjoyed with Israel. In her paper, Mrs. Shahani pointed out that peace was indivisible and that the problem in the Middle East needed an urgent solution. The urgency for the convening of an international conference under the auspices of the United Nations, including the five permanent members of the Security Council, and the PLO on an equal footing, was emphasized. The role of the United Nations Secretary-General had become prominent. The good offices of the Association of South-East Asian Nations, the European Community and the Organization of the Islamic Conference might be utilized to bring together the parties to the conflict. The paper concluded by stressing the relationship between the Palestinians' struggle to return to their homeland and to live as an independent State and Israel's right to exist side by side with them.
The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization
in the social, cultural, economic and political
development of the Palestinian people
46. Mr. Nabil Sha'ath, Chairman of the Political Committee of PNC said that the PLO was the liberation movement of the Palestinian people. As the Palestinians faced an invasion that occupied their land and uprooted them, they had the right and the duty to resist it by all means. In May 1964, the Palestinian people established the PLO in Jerusalem to lead its struggle for the liberation of its homeland and the restoration of its inalienable rights.
47. Besides that typical role of the PLO, it had to play other important roles because of the special nature of the tragedy of the Palestinians. Faced with settler colonialism which uprooted and dispersed them and attempted to obliterate their national identity, the PLO had to deal with the problems faced by three distinct parts of the Palestinian people: Palestinians who remained in Israel and suffered severe discrimination, those who were living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and the refugees living in exile outside Palestine.
48. Mr. Sha'ath further stated that the PLO therefore had to play the role of "identity creator", thus becoming the Palestinians' instrument for the reconstruction of their shattered society, i.e. the PLO had to play the role of rehabilitating a nation as well as struggle for liberating it. To achieve that objective, the PLO had to establish an independent Palestinian identity to which all Palestinians could belong and affiliate. The PLO then turned to building Palestinian institutions in all fields, inside and outside Palestine. Palestinian institutions became the embodiment of the Palestinian entity, the training ground for the Palestinians, the vehicle of their development and the instrument of their citizenship.
49. The PLO established a medical institution, the Palestine Red Crescent Society, which built more than 60 hospitals and a hundred clinics, trained hundreds of doctors and nurses and treated and rehabilitated thousands of Palestinian patients and injured. SAMED was the economic institution of the PLO. It created factories, farms, shops and studios. Cultural, artistic and research institutions had been started. But the major effort was invested in the field of education and training. Universities, schools and training institutions had been established. Thousands of scholarships for study abroad had been obtained and offered to the Palestinians. An open university would start its operations very soon. Social welfare institutions had been created to cater to the families of those lost in the struggle and to care for the handicapped.
50. In the beginning, most of the PLO institution-building activity had been addressed to the exiled Palestinians the refugees), but gradually more effort was addressed to the Palestinians under occupation. When the intifadah broke out in 1987, most efforts were redirected to the "interior". Building intifadah institutions meant in fact building the infrastructure of the new independent State. The PLO was moving from institution-building to nation-building.
51. Mr. Sha'ath added that the major role of the PLO in that field involved restructuring the Palestinian economy into independent institutions. That meant "de-bantustanizing" the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, returning the daily transported workers to work on their indigenous farms and industries, supplying them with Palestinian services and protection and catering to their daily and development needs.
52. The PLO also had to create a State diplomatic machine as it had declared the independent State of Palestine in 1988, recognized by more than a hundred nations. Increasingly, that meant playing the role of interlocutor for the Palestinian people under international legitimacy. The PLO issued its peace initiative in 1988 at the same time it created its "State". That meant that the PLO was turning more and more to the role of visionary, statesman and negotiator. Catering to the political needs of the Palestinians, the PLO attempted to reconcile their needs for democratic participation, representation, unity and effective governance. The intifadah helped to create the proper balance. By insuring unity in the struggle against occupation, it allowed the PLO to move from consensus decision making to an effective majority-democracy enabling the PLO to adopt its historic peace plan.
53. Mr. Sha'ath concluded that despite its historic achievements, the PLO had not as yet liberated an inch of Palestinian soil. Facing a very powerful and intransigent enemy supported by the might of the United States, the PLO needed all the support to restore Palestine and the inalienable rights of its people.
The mobilization of public opinion in the
Asian region for the realization of the
inalienable rights of the Palestinian people
54. Mr. Donald Betz, Chairman of the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine, welcomed the consistent support of the peoples of Asia, both on governmental and non-governmental levels, to the Palestinian people. He said that the intifadah had changed the way the world looked at the Middle East, and at Palestine. The intifadah was the reason why the world knew more and cared more about the fate of the Palestinian people than at any time in contemporary history. By their uprising, the people of the West Bank and Gaza had severed the power relationship that had governed their existence since the Israeli military victory in June 1967. Palestinians had empowered themselves. He described the NGO efforts to support the people in the occupied territory in their daily lives. The growth of the NGO global network had been sustained by the persistence of the Palestinian intifadah. There were currently 1,200 organizations worldwide with whom ICCP maintained contacts. He illustrated the various activities by the NGOs, which rested on three consensus principles: two States for two peoples, respect for human and civil rights, and negotiations for peace. The main responsibility of NGOs was to deny the world the comfort of forgetting about the struggle of the Palestinian people and to assist that people in accordance with the unique abilities and interests of NGOs. He called for further co-ordinated and effective action by the NGOs.
55. Mr. A. Kadir Jasin, Group Editor of The New Straits Times Sdn Berhad, Malaysia, expressed the view that keeping the public interested in an issue that had its beginnings some 72 years before was not an easy task. The media had to address the Asian region, which was the most populated and also the most diversified continent of the world. The story of the Palestinian people was the story of absolute injustice and oppression when a race had been deprived of its own birthplace and in its place a new country had been created with the power of the guns and the cannons. He said that there was no better time than today to shape a more positive public opinion on that issue.
56. The solution of the Palestine problem by peaceful means should become the focal point. He recalled the fact that the intifadah was in its third year and said that the news media were giving less space for news and pictures of the heart-rending events that continued to claim the lives of Palestinian youths and children in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The intifadah was getting to be too routine to merit front page or prime news coverage. In Asia the concern for the Palestine issue was not universal. The Palestinian struggle still suffered a serious image problem. The in-fighting among various groups in the Palestinian freedom movement continued to create skepticism. He concluded that Palestinians should show greater unity and moderation to convince the Asian masses that their struggle for a homeland was taking on a more legitimate form. He called for tangible efforts by the media to keep public opinion in Asia alive on the Palestinian cause.
57. Mr. Daoud Kuttab, correspondent for Mideast Mirror and Middle East International, pointed out that the question of Palestine had been for a long time the centre of interest of many people with among the world's highest amount of information and misinformation. In the past, as a result of Israel's media policy the impression in most people's mind had been different than the knowledge of a few experts. Since the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and the intifadah in Palestine, that trend had been changed. He said that Palestinians were a people and not inhabitants of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, that the intifadah was part of a struggle for national liberation and not acts of unrest and disturbance of peace, that the PLO was the freely chosen representative of the entire Palestinian nation; that only a Palestinian State could guarantee Israel's real security and that the intifadah was a liberation struggle of a whole nation. Mr. Kuttab expressed the view that international media organizations for too long had depended completely or partially on Israeli official or non-official sources in order to report what was happening to the Palestinians. That had been changed since the beginning of the intifadah. Palestinian sources had been proven to be accurate, reliable and truthful. Now, Israeli authorities were trying to keep television cameras away from the areas where the repression was at a high level. The number of seconds of news footage that was being shown on world television every week had been greatly reduced. Mobilizing world opinion on the situation in the occupied territories was today the most important aspect of the Palestine question. He proposed to take a new look at how information was disseminated and for ways to use Palestinian voices and Palestinian media to transmit that information. Journalists should be allowed to travel to occupied Palestine and should use that opportunity rather than depend on the information that came on the wire services or from the satellites. Journalists should establish links with Palestinian journalists who could supply them on a daily basis with news, features, photos and films. He stressed that NGOs were perfectly situated to be the spearhead of that action. Daily coverage and more in-depth reports were needed. Emphasis could be made on the danger Israeli occupation posed to world peace, Israel's clear violation of religious rights, its possession of nuclear and chemical weapons or its support for international criminals, drug-traffickers and its supplying of weapons to repressive regimes.
58. Mr. Mumtaz Soysal, Professor of Constitutional Law, Ankara University, Turkey, argued that there was not one Asian public opinion but several public opinions at variance, but there were also some common characteristics of the Asian peoples. Asia had a long history of oppression and exploitation by foreign Powers, that created a natural sympathy on the part of all Asian peoples for other cases where foreign oppression and exploitation had deprived nations of their rights to live as dignified human beings on their own land, as in the case of Palestine. Asia, because of its colonial past, was also the land of liberation movements. Thus, the Palestinian struggle in all its varied forms offered many parallels with various cases in Asia. He pointed out that the Palestinian cause suffered from the same distortions and misrepresentations in the hands of an international network of information as those experienced by the Asian liberation movements. The media tended to give a continuously distorted image of the Palestinians and their cause. He emphasized that there existed a convenient common ground on which one could mobilize effectively Asian public opinion for the cause of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. Mr. Soysal stressed that sustained and innovative efforts were needed to keep it on the agenda of international interest. Fatalism and passivism of certain Asian cultures needed to be changed and Asian interest in the Palestinian cause be renewed. Asian States should also use their "special ties" with the ex-colonial Powers to exert pressure for a just and lasting solution of the Palestine problem. He stated that there was a general lack of awareness for human rights and for their universal value on the part of Asian peoples. He concluded that the Palestinian cause needed to be presented in its universal aspects as a problem of human rights and be raised above its current level of commiseration with an oppressed people or of Islamic solidarity.
C. Conclusions and recommendations
59. The participants in the Seminar in reviewing recent developments concerning the question of Palestine welcomed the results of the nineteenth extraordinary session of PNC, held at Algiers in November 1988, and, in particular, the Political Communique as well as the Declaration of Independence proclaiming the State of Palestine as a positive contribution towards a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the Middle East. The decision adopted by PNC at Algiers, the position outlined by H.E. President 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, the debate on the question of Palestine in the General Assembly session, the adoption of General Assembly resolution 43/176 on 15 December 1988 became important landmarks in the international endeavours towards achieving a just settlement of the question of Palestine and led to increased support by all sectors of the international community for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The Seminar noted with satisfaction that the provisions of that resolution had been reaffirmed in General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989. The participants also took note of a further qualitative improvement in the vote on that resolution. An even larger number of States, including Western, cast their votes in 1989 in favour of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, reflecting the pressing need to convene such a conference.
60. The participants noted that the Government of the United States of America had opened a dialogue with the PLO. In that connection, the participants emphasized that the scope of such a dialogue should be expanded and include the consideration of substantive issues leading to meaningful political decisions between the two parties with a view to arriving at a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine.
61. They also noted that the peace initiatives undertaken by the Palestinian leadership as well as the proclamation of the State of Palestine by PNC at its nineteenth extraordinary session, had received enthusiastic support from an overwhelming majority of States, which have welcomed those developments as a concrete contribution towards peace. Significantly, a large number of States had already recognized and acknowledged the proclamation of the State of Palestine and many States had established diplomatic relations with it.
62. The participants expressed their conviction that those developments relating to the question of Palestine had created a new momentum for bringing about a solution to that complex and dangerous conflict on the basis of resolutions of the United Nations and within its framework. Those developments were brought about by the courageous and determined struggle of the Palestinian people for the realization of its inalienable rights, primarily the right to self-determination, as dramatically manifested in the continuing intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory. The current international climate, which was characterized by increasing co-operation and the political will to solve regional conflicts in a peaceful way through negotiations, had created favorable conditions for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine.
63. The participants noted that there existed a wide measure of agreement within the international community that a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in the Middle East should be based on the following principles: withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other Arab territories; acknowledgement of and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all the States in the region, including the States of Israel and Palestine, and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries; and finally, a satisfactory solution of the Palestinian problem based on the recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. including the right to self-determination leading to the establishment of an independent State of Palestine in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem
64. The participants expressed serious concern at the continued grave violations of the human rights of the civilian population in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Seminar took note with utmost concern of the continuing suffering of the Palestinian people under occupation, the enormous toll among the Palestinians and the far-reaching socio-economic, demographic and emotional consequences which the Palestinian people had to face. The entire international community, as represented at the United Nations, had repeatedly declared that the Israeli acts of violence against the Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory were in blatant violation of the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949, which was fully binding on Israel a party to the Convention. The Israeli actions were also contrary to United Nations resolutions and to the generally recognized norms of international law. In the Gaza Strip especially, new measures to control the movement of individuals produced inhumane and intolerable conditions. In the West Bank, settler vigilantism threatened to develop into large-scale bloodletting. Of special concern for the participants were brutal Israeli practices used against Palestinian women and children. The participants strongly opposed the presence of Jewish settlers in the occupied Palestinian territory.
65. The process of Israeli colonization of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as manifested in the continued establishment of settlements and the brutality of settler vigilantism, was unequivocally rejected and condemned by the participants. The participants were of the view that the Israeli policy of usurping Palestinian land and establishing and strengthening settlements in that land constituted not only a gross disregard for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, but also a serious obstacle to the solution of the Arab-Israeli conflict. They also noted with appreciation that the entire international community had vigorously opposed the Israeli policy of establishing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Seminar noted with concern the continuing funding of the illegal settlement activities by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory. The participants stressed that all assistance, financial or otherwise, to Israel, particularly from the United States, should cease forthwith. Any aid to Israel should be made conditional upon Israel's compliance with relevant United Nations resolutions and provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Any assistance resulting in the development and consolidation of the Israeli settlement infrastructure in the occupied Palestinian territory was considered illegal and immoral and constituted a serious obstacle towards achieving peace in the Middle East.
66. The participants were of the view that the Palestinian intifadah, as the popular, democratic expression of the collective will of the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation, gave the struggle of the Palestinian people the force of authenticity as well as moral ascendancy and political maturity. The intifadah, now in its third year, embraced three dimensions: the overt and visible resistance to the Israeli occupation while simultaneously expressing the Palestinian people's commitment to its sole and legitimate leadership, the PLO; the social transformation and nation-building as the embodiment of statehood through the establishment of an authentic, alternative popular infrastructure of the Palestinian society; and, finally, the intifadah was instrumental in bringing about a clear-cut political articulation through the PNC resolutions of November 1988. The participants supported the view expressed by the United Nations Secretary-General that the message of the intifadah was direct and unequivocal, namely, that Israeli occupation, which has now been in effect for 22 years, would continue to be rejected, and that the Palestinian people would remain committed to the exercise of its legitimate political rights, including self-determination.
67. The Seminar appealed to the Security Council to take urgent measures to ensure physical protection of 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 participants regretted that on 7 November 1989 a permanent member of the Council had again prevented the Security Council from taking action on measures indispensable for ensuring the safety and protection of Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory. The Seminar participants stressed that the repressive policies and practices of Israel vis-a-vis Palestinians in the occupied territory and in particular the so-called policy of "transfer" or deportation of Palestinians, a gross violation of recognized instruments of international law, had been repeatedly condemned by the Security Council, the General Assembly and by an overwhelming majority of States Members of the United Nations. 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 ensure protection of the Palestinian people under occupation. The participants called on Israel, the occupying Power, to respect the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, and accept the de Sure applicability of the Convention to the Palestinian territory and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and to fully comply with its obligations under that Convention.
68. The participants welcomed the courageous steps taken by the Palestinians during the intifadah to end the Israeli occupation and to set up an alternative infrastructure that can be used as a basis for an independent and sovereign State of Palestine. The Seminar considered that intensified efforts towards genuine development of the occupied Palestinian 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. 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 the Palestinian refugees. In particular, sustained and increased support should be channeled through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and other United Nations bodies and agencies as well as through NGOs working directly in the occupied Palestinian territory.
69. The participants agreed that it was incumbent upon the Government of Israel to respond positively to the stand taken by the PLO which had been welcomed and praised by the international community. Israel could no longer ignore the national aspirations of the Palestinians and deny them their political rights, in particular their right to self-determination. The Seminar considered that the steps proposed by the Israeli Government were grossly inadequate. Any viable peace initiative must include interim measures of protection for the Palestinian people and measures which would enable Palestinians to exercise fully their right to self-determination. The participants stressed that as the so-called Israeli election proposals did not include the final objective of the exercise by the Palestinian people of all its inalienable rights, including its right to self-determination and the establishment of an independent sovereign State, they wore nothing but an instrument for perpetuating Israeli occupation.
70. The Seminar affirmed that the denial of the exercise of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people remained the core of the conflict in the Middle East and that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region could not 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 from the other occupied Arab territories. It further affirmed that the PLO was the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and, as such, was an essential party to any negotiations aimed at resolving the conflict by peaceful means.
71. The Seminar, in particular, stressed the significance of General Assembly 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. Cognizant of the role of the Security Council in maintaining international peace and security, the participants in the Seminar urged the Security 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 people 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 resolution 242 (1967) and to accept the terms for a lasting and comprehensive settlement in the region.
72. 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 and its core, the question of Palestine. That was evidenced by the growing support for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. That support was clearly reflected in the position adopted by the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the League of Arab States, the Organization of African Unity, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the European Community, the Nordic States, Japan, 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 all States and peoples of the Asian and the Pacific region for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its legitimate national rights and for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The position of Asian States was one of solidarity with and support for the struggle of the Palestinian people for the exercise of its inalienable rights. There was a broad consensus regarding the need for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with the provisions laid down in General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988 and reaffirmed in resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989. Movement towards peace in the region was facilitated by the carefully balanced and constructive position adopted by the PLO. The continuing obstacle was the inflexible position of the Government of Israel as well as the attitude of one permanent member of the Security Council. The participants called upon Israel to abandon its negative position and to respond positively to international efforts aimed at a just and lasting political settlement of the question of Palestine.
73. The Seminar took note of the continuing endeavours by the United Nations Secretary-General to set into motion a mechanism of consultations within the Security Council with a view to advancing the peace process, including the prospects for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.
74. 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.
75. The Seminar took note with appreciation of the activities of the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat and of its commitment to work, under the guidance of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, towards the attainment and exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights.
76. The Seminar viewed with appreciation the support Governments and peoples of Asia have extended at the United Nations and in other organizations to the Palestinian cause and for the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. The Seminar participants agreed that efforts should be continued and intensified to mobilize official and public opinion in Asia through the NGO activities and the use of the media. Participants expressed the view that the co-operation of Asian 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 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 had an important role in the dissemination of such information. For its part, the Department of Public Information of the United Nations Secretariat should make every effort to ensure that accurate information on the question of Palestine received the widest possible dissemination.
77. The participants expressed their warm appreciation to the Government and the people of Malaysia for providing a venue for the Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, and for the facilities, courtesies and hospitality extended to them.
Report of the Third United Nations
Asian Regional NGO Symposium
on the Question of Palestine
18 - 21 December 1989
78. The Third United Nations Asian Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine was held in accordance with the provision 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. The Symposium was held from 18 to 21 December 1989 in part together with the Twenty-third United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Sixth Asian Regional Seminar) on the theme "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people" (see part I above).
79. Three panels were established for joint consideration by the Symposium and Seminar participants.
80. Two workshops specifically related to NGO activities were established for the Symposium to consider the following topics:
(a) "Mobilizing the NGO network in Asia";
(b) "The role of NGO assistance in meeting the needs of the Palestinian people: medical, economic and educational support".
81. The participants in the Symposium adopted a Declaration and elected an Asian Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine.
Declaration adopted by the Third Asian Regional NGO Symposium
on the Question of Palestine
82. We, the non-governmental organizations gathered at the United Nations Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, totally uphold the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and fully support its 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 State of Palestine made on 15 November 1988. We recognize the proclamation not only as the expression of the continuous struggle of the heroic Palestinian people culminating in the intifadah, but also as an 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 Asia and the Pacific region who have not already done so, to recognize the State of Palestine, in unequivocal terms and without delay.
83. We particularly note and welcome the declaration by President Arafat at the United Nations General Assembly held in Geneva on 14 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 Palestinians' inalienable right of return to their homeland and their right to freedom and sovereignty, in the spirit of justice and of reconciliation, details to be negotiated between the Israeli Government and the PLO on the basis of all relevant United Nations resolutions.
84. 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 and as reaffirmed in resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989, with participants to include the five permanent members of the Security Council, the PLO, Israel, the Arab States parties 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 political settlement between Israel and independent Palestine as defined by the Palestine National Council in the Algiers Declaration of Independence and in all relevant United Nations resolutions, for the mutual advantage of all the peoples of the region and of the world. The need for the international conference is further reinforced by the recognition of the State of Palestine by an overwhelming number of nations.
85. 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 Arab-Israeli conflict at the International Peace Conference on the Middle East as the representative of the Palestinian people.
86. We, Asian NGOs, call for the immediate end to the military occupation of Palestine. We note with utmost concern and indignation that the Israeli repression, including killing, wounding, especially of women and children, mass arrests and detentions, demolition of houses, expulsions, starvation, uprooting of trees, confiscation of land, closures of educational institutions, and other violations of human rights continue. The fact that they have less media coverage arises not from any lessening of repression but because the media are prevented from reporting and can be penalized for doing so by the Israeli authorities. We nevertheless demand that media from all countries make every effort to cover and report events in occupied Palestine.
87. We call for effective international political and economic pressure on Israel to make it comply with its obligations under the Fourth Geneva Convention and to accept United Nations Security Council resolutions. We appeal to the Security Council to establish an immediate United Nations presence in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, to bring an immediate end to the escalating violations of human rights, to protect the Palestinian people and to bring the perpetrators of these practices to justice. We strongly recommend an expansion of UNRWA's Refugee Affairs Officer Programme as a practical expression of international concern for the protection of the Palestinian people under occupation.
88. We express grave concern at the situation of the Palestinians in Lebanon, call for help for them, for the strengthening of the United Nations peacekeeping activities in Lebanon and demand that Israel withdraw all its military forces unconditionally to the internationally recognized boundaries of Lebanon in accordance with Security Council resolution 509 (1982) of 6 June 1982. We wish to alert the world to the illegal diversion to Israel via subterranean channels of the waters from the Lebanese Litani and Hasbani Rivers. The result will be the desertification of the rich farmland of south Lebanon, the evacuation of the population and, we fear, the formal incorporation of south Lebanon into "Greater Israel". we express our appreciation for the peace efforts of the League of Arab States in resolving the crisis in Lebanon and particularly in assisting the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
89. We strongly uphold the forces of peace in Israel which support the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and an independent Palestinian State. We strongly condemn the penalizing of Israeli peace activists. We express support for those growing numbers of Israeli citizens who refuse military service in occupied Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, and we call upon the Israeli Government 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 contacts between Israeli citizens and representatives of the PLO.
90. We strongly condemn the proposed new Amendment Number 3 to the above law, which threatens charitable institutions 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 NGOs and close to them all avenues to aid from international sources. We call for an urgent international campaign against that Amendment by Governments, NGOs and all peace-loving peoples.
91. We strongly condemn the Israeli practice of closing schools and kindergartens in occupied Palestine since the beginning of the intifadah and the continuous closure of Palestinian universities. We urgently call for international pressure to bear on the Israeli Government to immediately reopen all schools and universities and to stop this deplorable form of collective punishment. We urge the United Nations to implement its own resolutions, including sanctions that will ask the Governments of those Member States to reconsider their official, social, cultural and educational exchange programmes with Israel as well as grants or other educational facilities they give to Israel, as long as Israel fails to respect the basic right of the Palestinian community to provide education for its children.
92. We call upon all NGOs to establish contacts with and extend support to fellow NGOs in occupied Palestine, especially related to human rights, women, health, labour, children and education.
93. We call upon all Asian NGOs to monitor the relationships among Asian governmental and private institutions and Israeli governmental and private institutions particularly in the areas of trade, labour, armaments and intelligence-gathering. We urge NGOs to publicize these linkages and to take collective action against them including organizing boycotts of Israeli products regardless of exporting or mediating country.
94. We declare that the policies and practices of zionism and Israel are forms of racism. We appeal to the United Nations to consider imposition of mandatory sanctions against these racist policies and practices.
95. We call upon all Asian NGOs to appeal to their respective Governments to bring greater pressure upon the United States to end its unconditional support for Israel we express our satisfaction with the PLO-United States dialogue in Tunis although the pace of this dialogue is very slow. We call upon the United States to advance the level of this dialogue to lead to early convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. Further, we appeal to Asian NGOs to seize any opportunity to express their opposition to the United States Government's unqualified support (financial and otherwise) for Israeli policies which violate Palestinian human rights. Specifically we call on NGOs to organize popular campaigns, vigils or sit-ins directed at United States embassies and its other governmental institutions. Such campaigns could also be directed at other Governments which lend support to Israeli policies against Palestinians.
96. We support the United Nations Security Council resolution which condemns illegal settlement in occupied Palestine, and we oppose any action by States or individuals which lend support to illegal settlement in occupied Palestine. We call upon all Governments that permit Jewish emigration to provide sufficient guarantees to assure that those immigrants do not settle in the territory of occupied Palestine.
97. We request all Asian Governments to support the important role of NGOs in Asia in mobilizing public opinion and to extend financial and other assistance to these organizations so that they can more effectively support the struggle of the Palestinian people.
98. We consider the formation of the Asian Regional Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine to be a significant step in the mobilization of public opinion throughout Asia in support of the rights of the Palestinian people. We ask the United Nations to extend every support possible, to ensure the firm foundation and functioning of the Co-ordinating Committee. The Asian Regional Co-ordinating Committee looks forward to close co-operation with the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ICCP) and the other regional Coordinating committees to maximize the effectiveness of the NGO network in support of the rights of the Palestinian people.
99. We thank the United Nations 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 United Nations Secretariat, including the interpreters who assisted in this meeting. We express our appreciation to the distinguished experts who spoke here and to the presence and contribution of members of ICCP. All those mentioned here contributed greatly to the success of our meeting.
100. We sincerely thank the people and the Government of Malaysia for welcoming us to Kuala Lumpur, for their warm hospitality and for the excellent facilities they placed at our disposal.
B. Workshop reports
Workshop I: Mobilizing the NGO network in Asia
Moderator : Mr. Syed Ali Alattas (Malaysia)
Rapporteur: Mr. Rajendra Kumar Garg (India)
101. The resource persons, particularly those from the occupied Palestinian territory, provided information regarding the intifadah and daily life under occupation. Killing, injuring and beating young Palestinians; using helicopters to shoot at alleys in the Gaza refugee camps; frequent use of roadblocks; flying F-16 planes at lowest altitude over the city of Gaza, were only a few examples that were given by the speakers on Israeli brutalities against Palestinians. Strong emphasis was laid on the educational disruption. The 1,700 schools of the West Bank, which include 320,000 students, were closed most of the two school years since the beginning of the intifadah. In the school year 1987/88, the total number of school days was 75, in 1988/89 the total days of learning was 15 days, and in the school year of 1989/90, schools were opened on 10 September 1989, and then the military ordered them closed on 15 November 1989 and announced curriculum completed. UNRWA tried to reopen on 12 December 1989 but failed because of intimidation by the Israeli forces. Universities and other higher education institutions had been closed since the first weeks of the intifadah.
102. With regard to mobilizing the NGOs network in Asia, the following suggestions were made:
(a) The political process and the various manipulations on the international scene should not divert attention from the daily atrocities against Palestinians.
(b) There was a need for monitoring, communicating and taking swift and effective action
the Israeli brutalities.
(c) Israel's isolating the world from its systematic oppression, counting on attention being diverted to other regions and interest, was increasing due to redundancy of format of confrontations.
(d) There was a need to integrate the work of all NGOs in Asia, the Pacific and Australia to disseminate information about the intifadah and the Israeli policies and practices.
(e) There was a need to work with the mass media of the region in order to improve the image of the Palestinians and to counter the negative images of Palestinians that were created by Israel.
(f) Films and videos should be utilized in order to publicize the violation of Palestinian human rights and the Israeli brutalities.
(g) Asian NGOs should work to mobilize artists, intellectuals, social and religious leaders to support the Palestinians and the intifadah.
(h) In order to succeed in mobilizing Asian NGOs towards achieving those goals, there was a need to create a powerful nucleus and co-ordinating committee for Asia.
Role of NGO assistance in meeting the needs of the Palestinian people: medical, economic and educational support
Moderator : Mrs. Alijah Gordon (Malaysia)
Rapporteur : Mrs. Primia Loomba (India)
103. The resource persons identified several educational, medical and other needs of the Palestinian people which the NGOs can assist in meeting.
104. In the field of education, it was said that the schools had been subject to systematic closure, there had been banning of Palestinian textbooks; committed teachers had been imprisoned; alternative forms of education had also been banned; and curricula had been disrupted. It was suggested that NGOs all over Asia could help in meeting the educational needs by taking actions such as:
(a) Mobilizing teacher's unions in their countries to be actively involved in the struggle for reopening the educational institutions in the occupied territory;
(b) Making all efforts to produce educational videos and other materials to be distributed in the occupied territory;
(c) Organizing and sending mobile libraries for children.
105. In the medical field it was said that the situation was very similar to that which prevailed in the field of education. The systematic dismantling of the health care system by raiding hospitals, arresting nurses and doctors and violating the Fourth Geneva Convention continued. Despite Israeli policy of forced and inflicted dispersal and disunity, the Palestinians continue in their efforts to cement and unify their people.
106. A very sophisticated system of health was needed in the occupied territory and the aid by NGOs should take into account the real need of the Palestinians. The following activities were proposed as examples for such aid:
(a) Creating national relief committees for medical aid and relief;
(b) Establishing direct links with registered NGOs in the occupied territory in order to send them aid and materials;
(c) Sending of volunteer nurses and doctors;
(d) Sponsoring handicapped children and other population groups and assistance in providing rehabilitation equipment and devices.
107. In the field of human rights, it was said that a fully armed and repressive army of Israel was facing unarmed Palestinians who were denied even the use of the most basic resources. Palestinians were systematically being attacked and killed; their land confiscated; houses demolished; thinning of the Palestinian population was continuing; quiet transfers at night of women and children mostly continued.
108. It was suggested that Asian NGOs could contribute greatly if they related their activities to actual issues arising out of the concrete violation of human rights and repression. There should be more than general resolutions, statements and public resolutions. Programmes should be organized to rally people on concrete instances of human rights violations. Trade unions and political groups should be mobilized over specific incidents and brutalities by the Israelis.
Asian Co-ordinating Committee for
NGOs on the Question of Palestine
109. The participants in the Symposium elected the Asian Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine It consisted of the following organizations:
1. THE MALAYSIAN-PALESTINE SOLIDARITY AND FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION (MALAYSIA), CHAIRMAN
c/o 63, Jalan U Thant
55000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2. ALL-INDIA PEACE AND SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION (INDIA)
201, New Delhi House
New Delhi, India
3. ASIAN COMMITTEE OF SOLIDARITY WITH ARABS (BANGLADESH)
4. ASIAN COMMITTEE OF SOLIDARITY WITH ARABS (PAKISTAN)
H. No. 20 Street 25 F-8-2
5. CHINESE INTERNATIONAL STUDIES INSTITUTE (CHINA)
6. COMMITTEE FOR PALESTINIAN AND JEWISH STUDIES (JAPAN)
Fuji Denko No. 3, Bldg. #212
7. GENERAL FEDERATION OF IRAQI WOMEN (IRAQ)
Hay Al-Maghrib, Mhaela 304
8. MUSLIM YOUTH ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND (THAILAND)
87/2, Soi Moolsap
Ramkhamhaeng Road, Prakanong
9. PALESTINIAN FEDERATION FOR WOMEN'S ACTION COMMITTEES (PALESTINE)
10. SOCIETY FOR PHILIPPINE-PALESTINE UNITY (PHILIPPINES)
c/o Office of Senator Tañada
5th Floor, PVB Building
Bonifacio Drive, Port Area
ll. AFGHANISTAN (to be nominated by NGOs in Afghanistan)
12. MALAYSIA (to be nominated by NGOs in Malaysia).
MESSAGE FROM THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE SEMINAR AND THE
NGO SYMPOSIUM TO MR. YASSER ARAFAT, CHAIRMAN OF THE
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANIZATION
We, the participants in the Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, being held from 18 to 22 December 1989, at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, wish to express our deepest gratitude for your gracious message of support conveyed to the Seminar and NGO Symposium by H.E. Mr. Ahead Al-Farra, Ambassador of the State of Palestine in Malaysia. We take this opportunity to applaud the PLO, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and endorse your extraordinary efforts to open a substantive dialogue for peace in the Middle East and to introduce a new way of thinking about the future.
We reaffirm our solid support for the struggle of the Palestinian people to exercise its legitimate and inalienable national rights, as dramatically demonstrated over the past two years in the intifadah in the occupied Palestinian territory. We salute the historic Palestinian peace initiative launched by the nineteenth extraordinary session of the Palestine National Council, held at Algiers from 12 to 15 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.
We sincerely hope that the results of the Seminar and the NGO Symposium will contribute positively to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict of which the question of Palestine is the core. We reaffirm our unconditional commitment to support the people of Palestine until the full realization of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State is achieved.
We regard the significant results achieved at the forty-fourth session of the General Assembly and in particular the adoption of General Assembly resolution 44/42 of 6 December 1989, which reaffirms the provisions of General Assembly resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988, as an important step towards the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and express our genuine support for the Secretary-General of the United Nations in his endeavours aimed at early realization of this objective as demanded by the international community.
MOTION OF THANKS
The participants in the Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, being held from 18 to 22 December 1989, at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, express their profound thanks to the Government and the people of Malaysia for generously providing a venue for this meeting and for the excellent arrangements made which greatly contributed to its success. The participants also wish to convey their sincere gratitude and appreciation to H.E. Datuk Abu Hassan Omar, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, for his statement of warm support for the Palestinian cause and our Seminar and NGO Symposium. The participants wish to express their appreciation also to H.E. Dato' Dr. Abdullah Fadzil Che Wan, Deputy Foreign Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, and H.E. Mr. Choo Eng Guan, Under-Secretary, International Organizations Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, for their contribution to the Seminar and NGO Symposium. The participants take this opportunity to convey their sincere appreciation to the Government and the people of Malaysia for their consistent support for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and for the active role they have played in advancing the cause of peace and justice in the Middle East on the basis of the Charter and resolutions of the United Nations.
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS AND OBSERVERS
Ms. Hanan Mikhail Ashrawi (Palestinian)
Mr. Donald Betz (International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine)
Mr. Paul Findley (United States of America)
Y. Bhg Tan Sri Dato Abdul Rahman Bin Abdul Jalal (Malaysia)
Mr. A. Kadir Jasin (Malaysia)
Mr. Daoud Kuttab (Palestinian)
Mr. Zhentang Liu (China)
Mr. Ron MacIntyre (New Zealand)
Mr. Vyacheslav N. Matuzov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)
Mr. M. Amien Rais (Indonesia)
Mr. Nabil Sha'ath (Palestinian)
Tan Sri Mohd. Ghazali Shafie (Malaysia)
Mr. Mumtaz Soysal (Turkey)
Mr. Jan Abu Shakrah (Palestinian)
Mr. Albert Aghazarian (Palestinian)
Ms. Clarita Carlos (Philippines)
Ms. Assia Habash (Palestinian)
Mrs. Swee Chai Ang (Singapore)
Representative of the Secretary-General
Mr. Naseem Mirza, Chief, Division for Palestinian Rights
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable
Rights of the Palestinian People
H.E. Mme. Absa Claude Diallo
Permanent Representative of Senegal to the United Nations, Chairman of the Committee,
head of the delegation
H.E. Mr. Tom Obaleh Kargbo
Permanent Representative of Sierra Leone to the United Nations
H.E. Mr. Andreas Mavrommatis
Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations
H.E. Mr. Guennadi I. Oudovenko
Permanent Representative of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to the United Nations
H.E. Mr. Ismail Razali
Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the United Nations,
Rapporteur of the Seminar
Mr. Zuhdi Labib Terzi
Permanent Observer for Palestine to the United Nations
Miss Cornelia Hochreiter
H.E. Mr. Sergio Damasceno Vieira
Mr. Isnard Penha Brasil Jr.
H.E. Mr. P. Abdul Momin
Mr. Aji bin Haji Pungut
Mr. Mohd. Alias Serbini
Mr. Ronald G. Geiger
Mr. Zhou Gang
Mr. Zhang Binhua
Dr. Miroslav Jordan
Charge d'affaires, a.i.
H.E. Hr. Ahmed Nazmi Moustafa
Mr. Mohammed Mounir M. Abdelaziz
Mr. Mahmoud Abdel Kader Awad
Mr. Fathi G. Beshara
Mr. Thierry Vankerk-Hoven
Charge d'affaires, a.i.
Mr. Francois Marchand
German Democratic Republic
H.E. Mr. Wolfgang Seyfahrt
Mr. Gerd Uendlandt
Mr. V. Ashok
H.E. Brig. Gen. (B) Sunarso DJaJusman
Mr. Junizar Jacub
Mr. Firmansyah Sutrisno
Col. Akip Masri Muchtar
Mr. Ribbahan A. Uahab
Iran, Islamic Republic of
H.E. Mr. Mohammad Reza Morshedzadeh
Mr. Seyed A. ALizadeh Tabatabaee
H.E. Mr. Hisham Tabaqchali
Mr. Assad Alkhouthani
Adviser to the Minister for Foreign Affairs
H.E. Mr. Stefano Alberto Canavesio
Mr. Stefano Taliani De Marchio
Mr. Kazuo Tanaka
Mr. Talal Al Khorafi
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
Mr. Esaum Suleiman
Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Y. Bhg Datuk Ahmad Kamil Jaafar
Y. Bhg Dato' AbduL Majid bin Mohamed
Mr. Choo Eng Guan, SUB (IO)
Mr. Zainal Zain, SUB (WAAIC)
Mr. Sopian Ahmad, KPS (IO)
Mr. Naimun AskhaLi, KPS (WANA)
Mr. Saadi Abdellatif
Mr. David Strachan
Mr. S. S. Ahmed Al-Harthy
H. E. Mr . Bakhtiar Ali
Mr. Tariq Azizuddin
H.E. Mr. Rodolfo Severino
Ms. Virginia H. Gaffud
Second Secretary and Consul
Ms. Evelyn Austria-Garcia
Mr. Wsiewolod Strazewski
Mr. Gheorghe Savuica
Charge d'affaires, a.i.
Mr. Moflih 0. Al-Selami
H.E. Mr. S.R. Nathan
Mr. Ong Keng Yong
Mr. Robert Chua
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Carlos Fernandez-Arias
Charge d'affaires, a.i.
Mr. B.G.R. Uyangoda
Mr. Swpoj Junkao
Mr. Charivat Santaputra
H.E. Mr. Yalcin Tug
Mr. H. Avni Aksoy
Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic
Mr. Nikolai N. Kirichenko
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
H.E. Mr. Anatoly A. Mkrtchyan
Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Armenian SSR
H.E. Mr. Anatoly I. Khmelnitski
Mr. Vladimir N. Khanzhenkov
Expert, Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mr. Mikhail S. Koliada
Mr. Andrey V. Nazarov
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Mr. James H. Kidner
H.E. Dr. Zoran Jasic
Mr. Risto Nikovski
Non-member States represented by observers
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Mr. Choi Song Ho
Charge d'affaires, a.i.
Mr. Yun Gyong Chol
Republic of Korea
H.E. Dr. Sohn Jangnai
Mr. Paik Nam Whan
Mr. Chang Doo Woo Chang
Mr. Josef W. Eisele
Charge d'affaires, a. i.
United Nations organs
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. Tom Obaleh Kargbo (Sierra Leone), Chairman
Special Committee against Apartheid
H.E. Mr. Guennadi I. Oudovenko (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic), Acting Chairman
Organizations of the United Nations system
Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Mr. Fouad Hamdi Beseiso, Baghdad
United Nations Development Programme
Mr. Carl-Erik Wiberg, Regional Representative
Intergovernmental organizations having received a standing invitation to participate in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly as observers
Asian African Legal Consultative Committee
Mr. Mostafa Foroutan
League of Arab States
H.E. Mr. Muhammad H. El Farra
Mr. Fayoum Yousef
Organization of the Islamic Conference
Mr. Nabil Maarouf
Other organizations having received a standing invitation to participate in the sessions and the work of the General Assembly as observers
Mr. Ahead Al-Farra
Head of the Mission
Mr. Baker Abdel Munem
Representative to Japan
Mr. Khalid Al-Sheikh
Alternate Head of the Mission
Dr. Azmi A.N. Duqqa
Mr. Nasser A. Karim A. Mohd
Mr. Ziyad Saeed Al Saddodi
AFRO-ASIAN PALESTINE SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION (AAPSO) - Malaysia Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mr. Mazlan Nordin
Mr. Wan Adzmi Megat Ismail
AFGHAN COMMITTEE OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE Kabul, Afghanistan
Mr. Farid Zarif
ALL INDIA INDO-ARAB FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION Delhi, India
Mr. S.K. Banerjee, Mr. S. Sundaram Mr. Rajendra Kumar Garg
ALL INDIA INDO-AFRICAN FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION Delhi, India
Mr. S.K. Banerjee
ALL INDIA PEACE AND SOLIDARITY ORGANIZATION New Delhi, India
Ms. Primia Loomba
ARAB STUDIES SOCIETY Jerusalem
Ms. Assia Habash
ARAB THOUGHT FORUM Jerusalem
Mr. Albert Aghazarian
ASIAN COMMITTEE OF SOLIDARITY WITH ARABS Delhi, India
Mr. S.K. Banerjee Mr. S. Sundaram
ASIAN COMMITTEE OF SOLIDARITY WITH ARABS Islamabad, Pakistan
Mr. Zafar Bakhtawari
ASIAN COMMITTEE OF SOLIDARITY WITH ARABS Bangladesh
Mr. Abdur Razzaq
ASIAN COMMITTEE FOR PEACE. SOLIDARITY, AND HUMAN RIGHTS Delhi, India
Mr. S.K. Banerjee, Mr. Rajendra Kumar Garg Datuk K.L. RakhraJ
BIR ZEIT UNIVERSITY Ramallah, West Bank
Mr. Albert Aghazarian
CHINESE INTERNATIONAL STUDIES INSTITUTE Beijing, China
Mr. Zhentung Liu
COMMITTEE FOR PALESTINIAN AND JEWISH STUDIES Tokyo, Japan
Ms. Yoshiko Tanaka
EARLY CHILDHOOD RESOURCE CENTRE, Jerusalem
Ms. Assia Habash
FILASTIN BILADI CLUB, Japan
Ms. Ghada Abu Laban
INDO-ARAB FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION Madras, India
Dr. A.K. Zainuddin
INDO-ARAB ISLAMIC YOUTH ASSOCIATION Hyderabad, India
Mr. K.M. Khan
INTERNATIONAL CO-ORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR NGOS ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE
Mr. Donald Betz, Mr. Marai Abderahman, Ms. Yoshiko Tanaka
GENERAL FEDERATION OF IRAQI WOMEN Baghdad, Iraq
Mrs. Sawsan Taha Abdullah, Mrs. Al-Azzawi Eman, Mrs. Huda Shaker Maarouf
INDO-ARAB LEAGUE, Hyderabad, India
Mr. Chandar Srivastav Mr. Jagdish Kumar
ISLAMIC AFRICAN RELIEF AGENCY, Sudan
Mr. Mohd. Omar Ali Idriss
MALAYSIAN ASSOCIATION FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION, Malaysia
Ms. Selasiah A. Samad, Mr. Yusof bin Ramli
MALAYSIAN-PALESTINE SOLIDARITY AND FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION, Malaysia
Mr. Syed Ali Alattas, Mr. HaJi Mustapha Yaakub, Prof. Syed Husin Ali, Ms. Fauziah Rauf, Mr. Nasir Shaikh Anuar, Ms. Hasnah Ali, Ms. Faridah bte Abdul Khalil, Ms. Che Yom bte Abdul Razak, Mr. Jomo K.S.
MALAYSIAN YOUTH COUNCIL, Malaysia
Mr. Thor Hong Tong Hajah Ilani Bt Dato HJ Isahak, Mr. Fuad Hassan
MALAYSIAN SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE, Malaysia
Ms. Thelagam a/p Raman
MEDICAL AID FOR PALESTINE, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ms. Normah Sulaiman, Ms. Suraiya Abdullah, Dr. Alijah Gordon, Mr. Rukshani Kauf, Ms. Dolly Fong, Ms. Pok Looi, Mr. Fah Thye Hor, Mr. Tengku Mustapha
MEDICAL AID FOR PALESTINE, London, England
Ms. Swee Chai An, Mr. Riyad Khreishi, Mr. Francis Khoo
MUSLIM WORLD LEAGUE, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mr. Wan Hassan Bin Wan Othman, Mr. Ismail Che Ngah
MUSLIM YOUTH MOVEMENT, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mr. Mohd Anuar Tahir
MUSLIM YOUTH ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND, Bangkok, Thailand
Mr. Mansour Saleh
PALESTINE COMMITTEE FOR NGOs, Tunis, Tunisia
Mr. Marai Abderahman
PALESTINE HUMAN RIGHTS INFORMATION CENTRE, Jerusalem
Ms. Jan Abu Shakrah
PALESTINIAN FEDERATION FOR WOMEN'S ACTION COMMITTEES, Jerusalem
Ms. Sama Liftawi
PEACE, SOLIDARITY AND FRIENDSHIP ORGANISATION OF AFGHANISTAN, Afghanistan
Dr. Basir Ranjbar
SOVIET AFRO-ASIAN SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE, Moscow, USSR
Mr. Vyacheslav N. Matuzov
UMNO YOUTH - MALAYSIA
Mr. Idris Hashim, Mr. Ahmad Saad, Mr. Kamarudin Jaffar, Mr. Tengku Dato Adnan, Mr. Abd Zaharin Bin Mohd Yasin, Mr. Mohamed Nazri Bin Abdul Aziz, Ms. Farida Abdul Khalid
UNESCO NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MALAYSIA, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Dr. Usha Rani
UNITED NATIONS CLUB, Lucknow, India
Mr. Jitendra Kumar Saxens
UNITED NATIONS YOUTH ORGANIZATION, Calcutta, India
Mr. Sitaram Kalanoria
WORLD ASSEMBLY OF MUSLIM YOUTH, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mr. Kamarudin Md Nor
WORLD FEDERATION OF UNESCO CLUBS, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mr. R. Gunasingam Mces
WORLD MUSLIM CONGRESS, India
Mr. Khalid Ikramullah Khan, Mr. Zaini H. Ahmad Datuk Harris Mohd Saleh
YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION (YMCA), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Mr. Titus Tay
INSTITUTE FOR POLICY RESEARCH (INSTITUT KAJIAN DASAR), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Dr. Assanah bin Mohd Mydin
JAPANESE CAMPAIGN FOR CHILDREN OF PALESTINE, Tokyo, Japan
Mr. Teruhiro Maruyama
MALAYSIAN TRADE UNION CONGRESS (YOUTH SECTION), Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Mr. N. Krishnan Mr. P. Padasnaban
INDONESIA NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL - CENTRAL BOARD, Jakarta, Indonesia
Mr. Archmad Rachman
SARANG BANGON FOUNDATION INC., Philippines
Mr. Zakaria Abdullah
SOCIETY FOR PHILIPPINE-PALESTINE UNITY (SPPU), Manila, Philippines
Ms. Edessa Ramos Gamit
SPONSORSHIP OF PALESTINIAN CHILDREN - MALAYSIA, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Ms. Gouri d/o Subramaniam
SULU ISLAMIC FOUNDATION (SIF), Sulu, Philippines
Mr. Ayub Hassan
AFP - Mr. A. Lethumanan, Miss Leu Siew Ying
The Australian - Mrs. Dinoo Kelleghan, Berita Harian, Mr. Nahar Azoi Mahmud, Miss Zaini Zainuddin, Mr. Jailani Harun
Bernama - Mr. Zainoor Sulaioan, Mr. Leslie Kim, Mr. Mohamad Nasir Haji Yusoff, Miss Gwendoline Irma Benjamin, Miss Roslina Atan, Mr. Abdul Latif Abu Bakar, Mr. Rosli Hurmin, Mr. Musataza Mohamed Yusof, Mr. Rosli Awang, Miss Ummi Kalsom Said, Mr. Abdul Ghani Ismali
Daily Nation - Mr. Nusrat Javed
Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka - Miss Noor Khairiyati bt. Mohd. Ali
Magazine Division Mr. Jalil Kassim
EM News - Ms. Niraimon Methisuyakul
The Evening Post - Mr. Roger Foley
FEER - Miss Raja Suhaini
"Four Corners" - Ms. Susan Spencer
(Australian Broadcasting Network)
The Independent - Ms. Amrita Abraham
Izvestia - Mr. Andrey Ostalski
Kumpulan Karangkraf - Mr. Zulkiflee Bakar, Mr. Abdul Rahman Embong, Mr. Rahmat Othman, Mr. Ali Mahmood
Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) - Mr. Hamid Bendahara
Kyodo Tsushin - Mr. Ryu-ichi Kawaksmi
Manila Standard - Mr. Alito Malinao, Nanyang Siang Pau, Mr. Hiew Fok, Mr. Ong Kwan Yum, Mr. Hor Hock Chiew, Mr. Chan Aik Peng, Mr. Cheng Khee Chen, Mr. Lim Beng Chuan
The New Straits Times - Mr. Kadir Jasin, Mr. Zainon Ahmad, Mr. Juhaidi Yean Abdullah, Miss Rahmah Daud, Miss Zaharah Aziz, Mr. Lim Kim Huat
Pakistan Press International - Mr. Farooq Mouin, Pelita Mr. Akmal Djamaran
PTI - Mr. C. V. Nathan
Radio New Zealand - Mr. William D. Carson
Reuters - Mr. Lai Kwok Kin
RTM (Radio) - Mr. Ahmad bin Maarof, Mr. Vasanthan A/P Vivikananda, Mr. Nazlli Bin Zakuan, Mr. Robert Tan, Mr. Abdul Karim Sadijo, Mr. Abd. Raffar Bin Mat, Mr. Cheng Mong Hee, Miss Mahani Bte Yusof, Miss Azizah Bte Mat Isa, Miss HajJah Kamijah Bte Haji Tukiran, Mr. Mior Affendi bin Mohd. Sax Sharif, Mr. Ahdary Bin Hussain
RTM (TV) - Mr. M. Ganesan, Mr. Chiew Hai Wah
Shin Min Daily News - Mr. Ng Hong Oon, Mr. Lim Poh Guan, Mr. Cheng Saw Chua, Mr. Kuik Cheng Kang, Mr. Tei Tiang Boo
Straits Times - Mr. Ahmad Bin Osman, Suara Pembaruan, Mr. Samuel Pardede Tamil Osai, Mr. N. Kaliolhilone
TASS - Mr. Mikhail Tsyganov
Thai News Agency - Ms. Vararuth Veerwan
Times of India - Ms. Subhash Chakravarti
TV3 - Mr. Wee Your Lee, Mr. Ahead Isa Rafflis
Utusan Melayu Malaysia Bhd. - Mr. Gamal Nasir
Mr. Badrul Hisham Aziz
Yomiuri Shimbun - Mr. Shin Sato
Xinhua News Agency Mr. Wang Yaxiong
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