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        Security Council
10 December 1990


Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Monday, 10 December 1990, at 3 p.m.

President:Mr. AL-ASHTAL(Yemen)
Côte d'Ivoire
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland
United States of America
Mr. LI Daoyu

Sir David HANNAY

This record contains the original text of speeches delivered in, English and interpretations of speeches in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the Official Records of the Security Council.

Corrections should be submitted to original speeches only. They should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned, within one week, to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

The meeting was called to order at 3.50 p.m.


The agenda was adopted.


The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Arabic): This meeting is being held pursuant to the decision adopted by the Council at its previous meeting. Given the desire to continue the informal consultations, and after consulting Council members, I propose to suspend this meeting until 7 this evening in order to give us enough time to continue negotiations in the hope of concluding them successfully.

If there is no objection, I shall suspend the meeting until 7 this evening.

Sir David HANNAY (United Kingdom): I have no objection to your motion, but I do wish to add a slight qualification to what you have said.

I regret that it was not possible, as I had asked, to have a discussion in informal consultations so that we could be a little bit clearer about the basis both of the postponement and of the reality of the time-limit that you are now setting.

But since we have not had that discussion and, therefore, I am not in a position to judge the reality of the time-limit you are now setting, I just wish to say that my delegation at least would not exclude the possibility that it will be necessary, at the time that you are now setting, to consider a further postponement.

I think it is a pity that I have to make this statement now. I would rather have made it in informal consultations.

The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Arabic): Are there other comments? Since that does not appear to be the case, I take it that members agree to the suspension of the meeting until 7 this evening.

The meeting was suspended at 3.55 p.m. and resumed at 7.40 p.m.

Mr. VORONTSOV (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) (interpretation from Russian): In order to give the Government of the Soviet Union and, as we understand it, the Governments of a number of other member countries of the Security Council the opportunity to have the necessary contacts with the Governments of the States most concerned, and to find a solution to the important question of the protection of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories, I formally move, pursuant to rule 33A of the provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council, that we adjourn the meeting, and designate a new meeting on Wednesday, 12 December, at 6 p.m.

The PRESIDENT: (interpretation from Arabic): The representative of the USSR has proposed, in accordance with rule 33.3 of the provisional rules of procedure of the Security Council, the postponement of this meeting until Wednesday at 6 p.m.

Before putting this proposal to the vote, I shall call on representatives wishing to make statements. I shall not call on anyone in explanation of vote after the voting.

Under the rules of procedure, speakers may be called on only before the vote.

Mr. RAZALI (Malaysia): With respect, considering how exhausted all members of the Council are, I have again, on behalf of the sponsors, to oppose the motion from the representative of the USSR.

You will remember that the sponsors opposed a similar motion last Saturday, because then, as we explained, the gap between the United States position and the position of the sponsors and, I dare say, of the other members of the Council, was very wide indeed.

However, then, the Council, in its wisdom, decided to accept the motion of the representative of the USSR. Therefore, we accepted the verdict of the Council, and attempts were made under your auspices, under your guidance, to discuss again with the parties concerned. Yesterday, you had put together what we thought was a text which, as a package agreement, could well have found agreement all around. That was my understanding. That text went even further than what had been put in the second revision.

But that proved not to be the case. Since this morning, we have still had to contend with an insistence on a presidential statement, and there is still firm insistence that there should be no reference to Jerusalem, as well as an attempt to dilute the language and the content of paragraphs 5 and 6, which are important.

I do not want to go beyond procedure, but, for the record, let me say that the reference to Jerusalem is something that the sponsors cannot negotiate away. The fact that there is no reference to Jerusalem in resolution 672 (1990) is an exception that must not be repeated ever again. Jerusalem - and here I am speaking not only as a sponsor - is the spiritual, inspirational heart of Muslims. Since Israel's annexation of and horrible attempt to make Jerusalem its capital, there is not a single individual Muslim, I think, or a Muslim country, that would accept now, in this context, to have Jerusalem not referred to in this draft resolution.

I hope to goodness this is well understood by those who oppose a reference to Jerusalem in the draft resolution. For the record, too, let me say that the sponsors have made the maximum concession on the international conference. We have offered, in what may be called "revision 3", if ever that revision clears the surface, to transpose paragraph 7 into the preamble and what is in the preamble into the operative part; this is a maximum concession that in may ways diluted many things on the matter of the international conference.

Also for the record, we have worked ourselves to the bone on the formulation of paragraph 5 and paragraph 6. In our estimation, at least 13 or perhaps 14 members of the Council are in a position to vote on the draft resolution in document S/21933/Rev.2.

We do not want to be portrayed as the inflexible foe standing in the way of a consensus. The bottom line is: What do the Palestinians want? Have we asked them what they want? We have the Palestinian delegation here. I have spoken to them; you have spoken to them. Can we ask them what they want? Clearly, some of us have not done this or have not wanted to listen to what they say.

In that context, and without prolonging this, I have, again, with respect, to oppose the postponement that has been requested, for in accepting it we would again be delaying and doing a great disservice to the Palestinians.

Mr. PICKERING (United States of America): I have just a few brief words to offer. We have been negotiating intensively since Saturday night. Several useful new ideas have emerged on the scene, and we were continuing intensively today - indeed, we had three meetings. At the third meeting, those of us who were continuing with the negotiations expected to provide further thoughts and to hear further thoughts from the other side on precisely how these ideas might be spelled out and incorporated in the text. Unfortunately, at 5.30 tonight, we were once again told peremptorily that it was time to cut off the negotiations, that there was no further work that could be done, that the process had to move to a vote straight away tonight.

We were told, in fact, that we could take a draft that was presented to us several days before and on which we had made numerous suggestions, or we could leave it and go back to the second revision - either one we wanted. Neither, of course, are fully acceptable, but we are, and will continue to be, prepared to work on this process. We believe serious progress has been made. We believe, as a result of the first two meetings which we had this morning, that further serious progress can be made, and we believe that further time is worthwhile, and for that reason my delegation will support the motion of the representative of the Soviet Union.

Mr. ALARCON de QUESADA (Cuba) (interpretation from Spanish): My delegation did not intend to speak on this occasion since the representative of Malaysia, as he just said, was going to do that on behalf of the four countries which presented the draft resolution to this Council. However, I have to express my delegation's rejection of the now attempt to present the position of the sponsors with respect to this draft resolution as if it were one of inflexibility and an attempt to impose peremptory time-limits on members of the Council.

It is ironic, to say the least, that in this same Chamber we are being told by the same delegation that convened not only the representatives whose duty it is to remain in Now York permanently to ensure the continuous operation of the Council but also our Ministers to come at a given day and hour to vote on a draft resolution which, we all know, was not available to members of the Council until 48 hours before the day on which it was put to the vote.

What the Council has before it now would not authorize anyone to use military force; not bring the world to the brink of war; not imply any violation of the spirit or letter of the Charter of our Organization. This draft resolution would simply try to ensure that the Council were consistent with its own words - this Council which promised to take prompt action with respect to the report presented by the Secretary-General on the situation in the occupied territories including Jerusalem.

For more than one month we have been feverishly involved in lengthy, patient consultations with all the members of the Council. As Ambassador Razali recalled, the discussion basically centered on two main points: first, the idea of a peace conference on the Middle East, which was not invented yesterday or emerged after August this year, for, as we all know, it has existed in the international community for several years now; and, second, the clear inclusion of Jerusalem in the text of the draft resolution.

Jerusalem was not left out of other resolutions adopted by this very Council; I have several of them here with me. This one, which was adopted 10 years ago here mentions the Holy City of Jerusalem as one of the territories occupied by Israel illegally; it does so four times in the preamble and three times in the operative part. I know that this resolution was adopted unanimously. I was not here at the time, but surely the five permanent members were, and I suppose they voted in favor, otherwise it would not have been adopted unanimously.

There are many others. Some were adopted with 14 votes and a United States abstention, such as resolution 476 (1980), adopted more than 10 years ago, which mentions Jerusalem eight times in this context. Paragraph 6 of this resolution says:

Ten years ago none of the four sponsors was a member of the Council, but the permanent members certainly were. The latter and others - a total of 14; there was an abstention - approved the text I have just quoted. Was the Council serious when it reaffirmed this determination 10 years ago, if today it is not even in a position to adopt, after one month and a half of negotiations, draft resolution S/21933/Rev.2? I think it is clear to the whole world who is holding up the work of the Council and whose positions are inflexible.

You said, Mr. President, that there could not be explanations of vote after the voting. Of course, that is the case if we assume that we are going to repeat Saturday's experience. If the Council decides to suspend the meeting that will have to be the case on the immediate announcement of the vote, if it is favorable. Therefore, I want to say now what I said on Saturday. If the motion presented by the representative of the Soviet Union were approved, this Council would be deciding to meet here again on Wednesday at 6 p.m. to consider this draft resolution. That decision by the Council cannot be changed by informal consultations or even secret ones; if it is taken here openly, then the next meeting will be here, and here the same delaying tactics will be repeated or, finally, a decision will be taken on the draft resolution we are sponsoring.

Sir David HANNAY (United Kingdom): As you know, I spoke in the very brief discussion this afternoon to the question of whether we really had allowed enough time for further negotiation, so I am not entirely surprised to hear that that was not the case. I am surprised to hear that the said negotiation did not take place at all, but of course since we have not had the opportunity to discuss in informal session what has been passing in this period since the Saturday meeting that we had, when we decided to adjourn in order to allow more time for consultations, I am at some disadvantage to know which version of the events put before the Council is in fact the correct one. I hope that that mistake will not be made on a future occasion, because I think if members of the Council are to take views on this matter they need to know what they are taking the views on. We have rather been deprived of that opportunity now.

I bitterly regret the tone of the intervention of the representative of Cuba. I think statements that say before a further period of negotiation has been undertaken that representatives are not prepared to negotiate at all are not the way to conduct the business of this Council in a fruitful way. But I welcome the proposal by the representative of the Soviet Union, for which I shall vote.

The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Arabic): Are there any other speakers? Since that is not the case, I shall now put the motion by the Soviet Union to the vote, that is the proposal to adjourn the meeting until Wednesday, 12 December, at 6 p.m., for the vote.

A vote was taken by show of hands.

The PRESIDENT (interpretation from Arabic): The result of the voting is as follows: 9 votes in favor, 4 against and 2 abstentions. The proposal has been adopted. The Security Council will meet on Wednesday, 12 December, at 6 p.m.

Before adjourning the meeting, I should like to inform the members of the security Council that the Security Council will meet in informal consultations immediately following the adjournment of this meeting, in accordance with the request of one of the members of the Council.

The meeting rose at 8 p.m.

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