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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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        General Assembly
9 July 1984


Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Monday, 9 July 1984, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. ROA-KOURI (Cuba)


Adoption of the agenda

Consideration of arrangements for the Ninth United Nations Seminar on the Question
of Palestine to be held at Tunis from 13 to 18 August 1984

Consideration of arrangements for the International Meeting of Non-Governmental

Organizations to be held at Geneva from 20 to 22 August 1984

This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza.

Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum.

The meeting was called to order at 3.30 p.m.


1. The agenda was adopted.


2. The CHAIRMAN recalled that the Committee had already considered a list of names of Western European panelists to be invited to the Ninth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine and that the names of Eastern European and African participants, which had been announced, were awaited. The secretariat had distributed two lists, one containing the names of Western European and PLO panelists submitted by the Committee and the other containing the names of panelists nominated by African and East European delegations. Any other delegations that wished to submit names of panelists from those regions were urged to contact their Governments and the secretariat as rapidly as possible.

3. Mr. EL-FATTAL (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that he believed that the Western European panelists and the Palestine Liberation Organization should not have been placed in the same category without any distinction being made, since they were two entirely different types of participants that could not be equated with each other. It was also surprising that the Arab world was represented by only one person, even though it constituted an enormous geographical region made up of nations that were also engaged in a lifelong struggle against the Israeli aggressor.

4. The CHAIRMAN said that he wished to remind the Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic that financial constraints made it necessary to limit to 20 the number of panelists invited to the Tunis Seminar and, particularly, that it had been the Committee itself that had determined the geographical distribution of the panelists to be invited to the Tunis Seminar, namely, eight panelists from Western Europe, seven from Africa, four from Eastern Europe and one from the Palestine Liberation Organization.

5. Mr. EL-FATTAL (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that he found it extremely surprising that a national liberation organization that was a mouthpiece for a victim whose rights it was defending should be placed in the same category of participants as panelists invited to join working groups.

6. Mr. MANSOUR (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) pointed out that one of the topics recommended by the Committee for consideration at the Tunis Seminar was the role played by the Palestine Liberation Organization in the economic and social development of the Palestinian people. Since that organization was the most qualified to discuss the subject in question, it was quite natural that it should not only participate in the meeting but also that it should express its views on the matter in question in the working groups.

7. Mr. EL-FATTAL (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that he believed that his objection, which did not contradict what had been said by the Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization, had been misunderstood. If the list had been given the title "Status of invitations to Western European panelists and to the Palestine Liberation Organization", it would have been possible to avoid misunderstandings. It would thus have been clear that that organization would attend the Tunis Seminar as a representative of the Palestinian people and not as a member of a working group.

8. The CHAIRMAN said that, in his view, the heading of the list of prospective participants indicated clearly that the Palestine Liberation Organization would take part in its own capacity and not just as a participant in a working group, as the Western European panelists would. However, the secretariat could correct the heading, if the members of the Committee so desired.

9. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), speaking as Rapporteur, explained that the lists distributed by the secretariat were merely documents for internal use, as a guide, and not official documents. The list of prospective panelists was a relatively representative cross- section of Western European parliamentarians, whom the Committee wished to make more aware of the question of Palestine. It must be considered in the light of the list of African and Eastern European panelists who had been nominated. When combined, the two lists covered only Africa and Europe, but other regions had already had an opportunity to be represented in the course of the series of seminars.

10. The CHAIRMAN said that he wished to announce that the delegations of Egypt, Senegal and Yugoslavia had informed the secretariat of their intention to nominate panelists to participate in the Tunis Seminar.

11. Mr. EL-FATTAL (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that he wished to know whether all delegations were entitled, on an equal footing, to submit names of experts. It was only too obvious what sort of contribution would be made by the persons nominated by certain countries. Moreover, he wished to know whether countries other than the ones just referred to by the Chairman had been invited to transmit to the secretariat the names of the panelists they were sending to the Tunis Seminar.

12. The CHAIRMAN said that he wished to explain once again that the countries approached had been the European and African States, which had been invited to submit names of participants in accordance with the geographical distribution determined by the Committee, and that the secretariat was now reporting on the proposals received.

13. Mr. EL-FATTAL (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that he wished to stress that the Committee must first of all be informed of the names and background of prospective panelists so that it could form an opinion of the sort of contribution the panelists could make to the Palestinian cause. Participation by a given delegate could not be considered in the abstract, and it was therefore necessary to know who the people in question were.

14. The CHAIRMAN said that the secretariat would transmit to the members of the Committee the names and curricula vitae of persons whose names had been submitted so that the Committee could consider and adopt the proposals in question.

15. Mr. TARASYUK (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that the Committee should immediately adopt a decision on the panelists whose names had already been transmitted.

16. Mr. SILOVIC (Yugoslavia) said that, although he was unable to give final confirmation, his country would most probably be represented at the Tunis Seminar by Mr. Jovanic, who had represented Yugoslavia in the Committee and who was now a professor of law and also a member of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories. Mr. Jovanic was therefore extremely familiar with the question of Palestine.

17. Mr. SHEHATA (Observer for Egypt) said that his delegation had already informally announced to the Chairman that it intended to send a parliamentarian to the Tunis Seminar. The parliamentarian in question was Mr. Mohamed Hassan Al-Zayatt, former Minister for Foreign Affairs of Egypt, who had been a member of the permanent delegation of Egypt to the United Nations in the early 1970s and was currently a member of the People's Assembly of Egypt. The secretariat would soon receive formal confirmation of his nomination.

18. Mr. LOGOGLU (Turkey) said that he had not as yet received any official confirmation from his county either. However, the members of the Committee could rest assured that the parliamentarian who had been nominated by Turkey would serve the cause of the Palestinian people well.

19. Mr. LESSIR (Tunisia) indicated that his country was actively preparing for the Seminar which it was to host in Tunis but that he was not yet able to say which expert would be nominated by his country. Since a number of countries, particularly ones in Africa, had not yet nominated a delegate, so as not to waste time it would be better to consider the proposals which had already been submitted and then gradually finalize the list, rather than wait for all the names to reach the Committee.

20. The CHAIRMAN reminded the representatives of those African and European countries which had made known their intention to send parliamentarians to the Seminar in Tunis that time was running out. The names and curricula vitae of nominees should therefore be given to the secretariat, if possible before the end of the week.

21. The CHAIRMAN suggested that, if there was no objection, the Committee should approve the list of persons who had been approached and the list of persons who had been nominated in their present form, on the understanding that the names of the other experts would be supplied later.

22. It was so decided.

23. Mr. EL-FATTAL (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that he endorsed the list of nominees, although it was somewhat surprising that it should include the delegate of a State which had not yet abrogated the Camp David accords and which therefore endorsed the occupation of Palestine and tolerated the fact that the Palestinian people were denied their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination.

24. Mr. SHEHATA (Observer for Egypt), speaking on a point of order, said that the Committee had not yet begun its consideration of the curriculum vitae of the person nominated by his country and that any observation concerning that person's position on the question of Palestine was therefore out of place. In addition, it was not the Committee's task to discuss the policies of his country. He would be grateful if the observer for Syria would confine his remarks strictly to the agenda.

25. The CHAIRMAN observed that the name and curriculum vitae of the Egyptian parliamentarian had not, in fact, been officially submitted in writing to the Committee, and the matter should not, therefore, be discussed at the present time.

26. Mr. EL-FATTAL (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said he wished to state that, if he had been a member of the Committee, he would have objected to inviting a parliamentarian from a State which had signed an agreement that deprived the Palestinian people of their inalienable rights. On the other hand, he knew the parliamentarian nominated by Egypt personally, since he had worked in the same ministry and had seen him daily during the hostilities of 1973. There had been many developments since then - such as the Camp David disaster - and his delegation was categorically opposed to the participation in the Seminar of the parliamentarian nominated by Egypt.

27. The CHAIRMAN said that observations should be made at the present time only with regard to the two lists submitted to the Committee in their present form and not on items which did not appear in the agenda.

28. Mr. SHEHATA (Observer for Egypt), speaking on a point of order, suggested that any member of the Committee could say what he liked under agenda item 3 (Other matters). His country was ready to discuss the question of Palestine in depth, but only at the appropriate time.

29. Mr. LESSIR (Tunisia), speaking on a point of order, said that it was for Tunisia, the host country, and the only Arab State which was a member of the Committee, to take the final decision as to who should or should not be invited; it was not for any particular State to make proposals or for others to accept them. There was no point in wasting time on matters that did not appear in the agenda.


30. The CHAIRMAN said that the Committee, at its last meeting, had considered a list of prospective panelists for the International Meeting, and that delegations had been invited to submit their observations or suggestions regarding the list to the secretariat within a week. An addendum to that list had been circulated by the secretariat. Delegations which had submitted names were requested to provide the secretariat with the relevant curricula vitae, so that invitations could be sent as soon as possible.

31. Mr. EL-FATTAL (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) asked if an observer could put forward suggestions. Since the Committee had invited him of its own volition, he felt that he had the right to object categorically to the participation in the Meeting at Geneva of a former representative of Egypt who had been involved in the process which had led to the Camp David accords.

32. The CHAIRMAN confirmed that observers had the right to make suggestions, while the Committee alone had the authority to take decisions. However, the members of the Committee and observers should remember that they had been given sufficient time - until 30 June - to inform the secretariat of their views regarding the list of prospective panelists for the Meeting at Geneva.

33. Mr. SHEHATA (Observer for Egypt) recalled that, at the meeting on 29 June, it had been announced that the Bureau had invited Mr. Esmat Abdel Meguid to take part in the Meeting at Geneva. It was therefore astonishing that a decision which had been adopted by consensus should now be questioned. Moreover, it was outrageous that the representative of an Arab State should deny an Egyptian citizen the right to participate in defending the rights of the Palestinian people in view of the fact that the names of Israeli citizens and organizations appeared on the proposed list.

34. The CHAIRMAN confirmed that the Committee had decided at its 103rd meeting to invite Mr. Esmat Abdel Meguid and Mr. Anouar Nusseibeh. The three other names which appeared on the additional list sent to the Committee had been submitted later, and it was, in fact, those names that were now being considered.

35. Mr. LOGOGLU (Turkey) said he was certain that the Meeting at Geneva would contribute in a positive way to the action being carried out with a view to resolving the question of Palestine. His Government had carefully studied the list of invitations and the addendum to it, and it endorsed the list because it contained the names of people who followed the question closely and who were anxious to find a just and lasting solution to the problem. The participants in the Meeting at Geneva must, however, make the contribution expected of them and not stray from the issues covered by the agenda.

36. The CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee wished to approve the addendum to the list of prospective panelists for the Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations to be held at Geneva.

37. It was so decided.

The meeting rose at 4.30 p.m.

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