About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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The meeting was called to order at 3.35 p.m.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OP SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): This afternoon the Committee will continue its observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People by hearing messages, from Heads of State or Government, as well as messages from Foreign Ministers, non-governmental organizations, liberation movements and representatives of other bodies.
Mr. SALAH, (Jordan) (interpretation from Arabic): I have the honour, to read out to the Committee a message from His Majesty King Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on the occasion of the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The message is addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and reads as follows:
"This annual observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is of special, importance. We regard it as vivid evidence of the justice of the Palestinian cause and as an opportunity for us to renew our commitment to Arab rights in Palestine and to work seriously and tirelessly to preserve those rights while awaiting a just solution to the problem in accordance with international law, the principles of the United Nations Charter and United Nations resolutions, in particular Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), and 338 (1973). We firmly believe that peace between the Arabs and Israel necessarily involves a just solution to the Palestinian problem. That belief underlies the legitimacy of the Palestinian people's claims for their rights and embodies the common commitment of all civilized nations to justice, law and equality. Those values are the foundation of the international order to which we all aspire, one created out of fraternity, peace, co-operation and understanding among nations, including all the peoples of the world, under the banner of peace and ensuring justice within the framework of law, freedom, security, progress and development for all, in equality and co-operation.
"While we agree that this observance is an opportunity to renew our commitment to Palestinian rights and to act in solidarity with the Palestinian people so cruelly tyrannized and robbed by the occupation forces, it is also an opportunity to reevaluate and readjust our thinking. We must review the past in order to learn from it, and we must think about and understand the present in order to correct it and in order to open the way to a better future.
"While those are the aspirations of all who believe in the Palestinian cause, we Jordanians are, together with our Palestinian brothers, in, the, front line of this struggle. They were attacked first and they are continuing to endure oppression, persecution and exile owing to foreign military occupation. We are in the vanguard of those fighting against expansionism. We must accept the consequences of that position, which affects our security, as well as our economic, political, geographical and demographic point of view. We have suffered from the Palestinian tragedy from its very inception and have endured with our Arab brothers the repercussions of the premeditated acts of aggression against them from all sides, acts of aggression that have targeted the Arab nation as a whole.
Furthermore, Palestine is dear to all Arabs. Its Holy Places are sacred to Millions of believers, and Palestine has always been alive in our minds. That is where the Prophet Mohammed - to whom my family is greatly honoured to trace its ancestry - ascended. In the City of Jerusalem lie the remains of King Hussein Ibn Ali, who led the great Arab revolution for the liberation and unity of the Arab nation and the struggle for its emergent political independence. My grandfather, Abdallah Emir Hussein, founder of the Kingdom of Jordan, gave his life for that cause. For those reasons, it would be nugatory for me to reaffirm my personal commitment to the Arab character of Palestine and Jordan's solidarity with regard to our Palestinian brothers, with whom we are linked by history, a common origin and, in particular, a unity of destiny and goals that bind us all together.
It is for that reason that we maintain that it is a conflict over Palestine, not within Palestine itself. It is not two nations that are confronting each other, as some maintain, but rather a territorial and human conflict. For that reason, our policy with regard to the Palestinian problem has from the very outset been directed at regaining the land, at putting an end to the occupation and then at establishing, in a permanent manner, the Palestinians in their land, ensuring their presence in their homeland.
Although efforts to liberate land and person from occupation have not so far been successful, we will spare no effort to ensure that our people can continue to live there in order to prevent the annexation and Judaization of which we are all aware. Convinced of the justice of the cause, we have attempted to work together with other Arab States, for reasons of principle and practicality, for we all - Jordanians and Palestinians - are part of the same nation, a nation that desires to put an end to aggression.
"We also respect the international approach towards the maintenance of international peace and security and justice for all. We bear that approach in mind in arriving at and implementing our policies. We support a regional and international consensus with regard to the Palestinian problem, for that is in line with the interests of the Palestinian people, not because we view it as being in the interests of Jordan alone. Indeed, in my view it is impossible to make a distinction between Jordanian and Palestinian interests. "We accept what our brothers who are living under occupation accept. It is they who suffer daily and who must endure the consequences of the condition.
Therefore, we have made every effort possible, and we too need assistance. Our efforts have always been aimed at preventing further deterioration of the conditions under which our people are living in the occupied territories.
There has been great turmoil between political and military choices, but as far as the Palestinian problem is concerned some events are beyond our control. Indeed, political immobility has gripped our region since 1973, in spite of a brief, irregular and interrupted period of diplomatic action. The tension in other countries of our Middle East region has increased, diverting attention from the deteriorating situation in the occupied Arab territories. Israel has taken advantage of that tension and has exploited the situation.
"But there is a third option the so-called humanitarian option. We in Jordan reject that option. We are attempting to help the expatriated who are constrained to choose between the violence of occupation and the Israeli option. Given the harmful repercussions of continuing Israeli occupation, we have redoubled our sincere efforts at both the regional and the international levels to eliminate pressing problems of concern to the parties to the conflict which divert them from the Palestinian problem.
"God has fortunately enabled us to count on the understanding of our brothers and on the assistance of our friends. In fact, between 8 and 11 November, at Amman, an urgent Arab summit meeting was held to consider the Iraq-Iran war as well as the situation in the Gulf region, with a view to putting an end to the cruel war in the area and devoting all our energies to finding a solution to the main problem, that of instability. At that historic meeting the Arab leaders reaffirmed their, support for a settlement of the Palestinian problem in all its aspects on the basis of the implementation of Security Council resolutions 242(1967), and 338(1973), and called for the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, with the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and all parties to the conflict. That proposal for finding a solution to the Palestinian problem enjoys the agreement of the great majority of States throughout the world.
"We sincerely believe that combined international action will put efforts in the proper context to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, taking fully into account the rights and legitimate interests of all parties to the conflict: restoring the security and stability of all States of the region and enabling their peoples to devote themselves to the pressing tasks of economic and social development.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I would ask Mr. Salah to express our thanks and gratitude to His Majesty King Hussein for his very sincere and heartfelt message.
Mr. SHIHABI, (Saudi Arabia)(interpretation from Arabic): I have the honour to transmit to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the other members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and, through you, to the international community as represented by the united Nations, the message of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Fahd Bin Abdul-Aziz al-Saud, the King of Saudi Arabia, on, the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
While we salute this Day in the United Nations, the message of the Custodian of the Two Shrines, King Fahd, embodying the pulse of the great heart who has lived, witnessed and participated in the cause every day in past years from a position of leadership and who has taken part in all Arab, Islamic and international efforts in support of the Arab and Islamic rights in Palestine, is a reflection of the dedication and jihad of the Custodian of the TWO Holy Shrines.
The Royal Message is addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and reads as follows:
"This year the Day coincides with the fortieth anniversary of the promulgation of United Nations General Assembly resolution partitioning Palestine between its people and the foreigners who entered it in spite of the will of its owners, between the Arab people, the owners of the land, and world Zionism, which brought aliens from their own countries to the Arab land in order to replace a people living peacefully in their country. We witness today the results of that resolution. We warned the world then of its consequences and we warn it today about the continued reluctance to confront the facts of the situation in Palestine. Those facts are no longer hidden, despite all efforts to do so. Those facts confirm our reiterated call for a restoration of its people's rights, if peace and tranquillity are to be secured in occupied Palestine and in the Middle East region.
"While expressing our thanks and appreciation to you, Mr. Chairman, and to your colleagues, the members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, for your efforts to give the United Nations an effective role in uncovering the Israeli practices which, in violation of international law and humanitarian norms, are being perpetrated against the Arab people in Palestine, I would like to indicate that the facts at which you arrive and expose annually to be witnessed and heard by the delegations of the world and its Governments are a constructive contribution towards the restoration of right and the revelation of a tragic reality which the United Nations had, in the first years of its existence, a regrettable role in creating. The United Nations and its Member States today must bear their responsibility for what has happened regarding the problem of the people of Palestine and the complications it has caused in Palestine and in the region, endangering the security of its peoples, their stability and their basic interests. The united Nations bears a basic share of the responsibility for dispersing the Palestinian people at the beginning and responsibility for subsequently standing idle in the face of Israel's aggression against the Palestinian people, whom Zionism is seeking to deprive of their country and their basic rights while the Zionist .establishment continues to violate conventions, laws, norms and international resolutions, as well as to disrupt every effort to arrive at a solution that can alleviate the injustice it has been inflicting upon the Arab and Moslem nation in Palestine.
"We in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are today committed, as we have ever been and as we shall ever remain, to the preservation of the full rights of the Palestinian people, as well as, to backing them and supporting them and their cause until right, is restored to them and until, the Arab people, in Palestine stand free and proud in the land of their, fathers and forebears. We again reaffirm the right of the Palestinian people to return, to sovereignty and to the establishment of their own independent State on the soil of their country under, the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO), their sole and legitimate representative. This is a firm and fundamental position that is shared by all the Arab and Islamic States as well as by all peace-loving and justice-loving States, and it is - as we all know - the path towards a solution and the remedy that will secure peace and stability in the region.
"The steadfast Palestinian people are a struggling people defending a fundamental right which the united Nations, by virtue of its Charter, is committed to defend. The efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in this vital field deserves appreciation, thanks and encouragement. The Zionist practices against the Palestinian people that Israel is committing before the eyes of the world is only one of the many facets of that country's defiance of the international will and only one of the dimensions of the Zionist challenge to Arab and Islamic values and rights.
The cause of the Arab and Islamic right in Palestine and Al-Quds is a trust that is incumbent upon the United Nations and an Arab and Islamic right to the preservation of which the Arab and Moslem world is committed with all its power.
"To you, Mr. Chairman, and to the members of the Committee, we express our thanks and appreciation for your efforts and objectivity in conveying a truthful picture, one we hope the international community, with its sense of responsibility and commitment to the principles of right and justice, will appreciate. May peace be upon you and the mercy of God and His blessings."
Mr. KANE (Senegal)(interpretation from French): I have the honour to read out to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People a message from His Excellency Mr. Abdou Diouf, President of the Republic of Senegal, on the occasion of the International Day of solidarity with the Palestinian People. The President's message reads as follows:
"In taking part in this universal observance with the active enthusiasm it feels whenever the cause is just, Senegal, while reaffirming its faith in the victory of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, also remains aware of the obstacles still standing in the way to a solution of the complex problem of the Middle East, the heart of which is the question of Palestine.
"Those obstacles are rooted in prejudice, intolerance and blind violence, in their persistence, in the frustration of the Palestinian people. The responsibility for, such a state of affairs can be imputed to certain differences that exist, unfortunately, within the international community. It can also, especially, be imputed to the intransigence of Israel, to lack of political will on the part of those States that could have acted to create conditions propitious to the concerted search for just and lasting comprehensive solutions.
However, those obstacles must not weaken the determination of the international community to redress one of the most serious anomalies of recent history. Fortunately, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is in the vanguard of the broad surge of solidarity, increasing daily, in favour of the peaceful restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in accordance with the wish expressed long ago by the united Rations, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Organization of African Unity.
"This is an opportunity to restate our conviction that the United Nations is the ideal framework within which to seek ways and means to restore the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, in particular through an international peace conference on the Middle East, an idea that has today been accepted by almost all members of the community of nations. In this connection I am happy to express our satisfaction at the remarkable work done by the Palestine Committee in its task of promoting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
"Your Committee and its wise recommendations enjoys and will continue to enjoy our, unswerving support.
"The people and the Government of Senegal, through me, encourage you to persevere in your efforts. In working for the restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people, you are serving the ideals of peace and justice that are the very foundation of the United Nations Charter.
The CHAIRMAN, (interpretation from French): As Committee members know, Ambassador Kane was formerly his country's Permanent Representative at the United Nations and had the opportunity to preside over the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and similar observances in the past. He thank him and ask him to convey to the President of his country - which is, indeed, the true Chairman of this Committee - our appreciation for his encouragement and our gratitude.
Mr. Oramas OLIVA, (Cuba)(interpretation from Spanish): It is an honour for me to read out to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the Committee, a message from the President of the Republic of Cuba, Dr. Fidel Castro, sent on the occasion of the observance of the Day of Solidarity with the heroic Palestinian people. The message reads as follows:
"On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people it is an honour for me to address you this message and express the support and militant solidarity of the people and the Government of Cuba to the Palestinian people in its heroic and just struggle for the restoration of its inalienable rights under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO), its sole, legitimate representative.
"This commemoration is of special significance this year because it coincides with the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947 on the partition of Palestine. During these past four decades the international community, in particular the United Nations, has made energetic efforts in search of a solution to the serious Middle East, crisis, at the core of which lies the question of Palestine.
"Today more than ever requires the efforts and common action of all States truly interested in putting an end to this deplorable situation in which an occupying Power, Israel, is keeping dispersed throughout the world part of the Palestinian people, while subjugating those still living in the occupied Arab territories.
"The aggressive and interfering policy which the United States is exercising in the Middle East region through Israel, its unconditional ally, impedes any action aimed at the eradication of the hotbed of tension existing there. Contrary to the desire for peace, agreements on strategic co-operation signed between both are stimulating the Zionist expansionist, repressive and genocidal policy which the Israeli Government is conducting against the Arab people in general and against Palestine in particular.
"Because the crisis of the Middle East poses a threat to world peace, it requires priority attention. The international community must focus all its efforts towards achieving a just and comprehensive solution of this crisis, whose prerequisite must be Israel's total and unconditional withdrawal from all Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and the Palestinian people's recovery of all its national inalienable rights, including the return to its homeland, self-determination free of external interference and the establishment of an independent and sovereign State in Palestine.
"In the arduous commitment to eradicate the stigma which the humiliation suffered by the Palestinian people under Israel occupation represents for mankind, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, over which you so worthily preside, is playing an important and positive role.
"I take this opportunity, Sir, to express our gratitude to you for your active participation in the efforts made by this Committee to try to implement the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people."
Mr. LI Luye, (China), (interpretation from Chinese): Allow me to read out the telegram sent by Acting Premier Li Peng of the State Council of the People's Republic of China on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, as follows:
"The peace-loving people of Afghanistan continue, as always, to support the just cause of the heroic people of Palestine and stand firm on the side of the freedom lovers and fraternal people of Palestine. The continued inhuman and brutal practices of the Israeli Zionists in collaboration with world imperialism, headed by United States imperialism, against Arab peoples, in particular the Arab people of Palestine, are the cause of deep indignation on the part of all, freedom-loving mankind, including the people of Afghanistan.
"The Government of the Republic of Afghanistan appreciates the United Nations endeavours towards maintaining justice and finding a durable solution for the Middle East issue on the basis of the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Israeli aggressive forces and restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, led by their legitimate and vanguard representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, including the establishment of an independent national State of Palestine.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spanish): I thank the representative of Afghanistan for the message from the President of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan he has just read out.
Mr. YUSOF (Malaysia): Mr. Chairman, I have the honour to convey to you and this distinguished gathering to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People a message from the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Honourable Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. The text of the message is as follows:
"Since the occupation of Palestine four decades ago, the Palestinian people have suffered much. Their honour and security as a people have been trampled, and they have been driven away from their homeland. Those who remain behind have been persecuted, while those who left have been continuously harassed and forced to move from camp to camp. Yet, the world community appears helpless to stop this blatant disregard for the norms of international and regional behaviour by the Tel Aviv regime.
"The Government of Malaysia strongly condemns Israeli arrogance and appeals to the international community to work together to implement the relevant United Nations resolutions pertaining to the rights of the Palestinian people to their homeland. Malaysia also believes that the Palestinian people, as any other people of the world, has a role to play in the affairs and well-being of the region and that role should be given to them.
"On behalf of Malaysia, I wish to reiterate our firm support for a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the problem of Palestine so that the Palestinian people will be able to exercise their inalienable right to an independent homeland. Malaysia, therefore, supports the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East to include all relevant parties, including the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people."
Mr. TURKMEN, (Turkey): Mr. Chairman, I have the honour of reading out the text of the message addressed to you from Mr. Turgut Ozal, Prime Minister of Turkey, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:
"I am pleased to note that there is growing support and sympathy in the world community for the legitimate cause of the Palestinian people. In this context, I wish to commend the efforts made by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to promote wider awareness of the question of Palestine.
"The Palestinian National Council, which convened in April 1987, demonstrated a spirit of growing unity among the Palestinians. It is our earnest hope and wish that this development will contribute to the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people within the framework of a just, durable and comprehensive solution of the Middle East problem. I am confident that, with further understanding and support of the international community, on the one hand, and with enhanced unity in their ranks, on the other, the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the PLO, will succeed in their endeavours.
"Turkey believes that recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people is essential for the establishment of a just and durable peace in the Middle East. Furthermore, we maintain that no lasting settlement of the question can be found unless Israel withdraws from the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem. We support all peace initiatives aimed at reaching a peaceful solution of the problems of the Middle East on the basis of these fundamental principles.
The CHAIRMAN, (interpretation from Spanish): I thank the representative of Turkey for his support of the Palestinian cause.
"Forty years have elapsed since the violation of Palestine, the ejection of the Palestinian people from its land and deprivation of its identity, despite hundreds of international resolutions asking for the restoration of its land to that brave people and for the creation of an independent Palestinian State on its national soil. Respect for the PLO is well known to the international community. The number of States which recognize the PLO and have relations with it is constantly on the increase because that organization represents, the national conscience of all Palestinians.
"The Arab States have stressed that the only way to settle the Palestinian question, is to convene an International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the aegis of the United Nations. That Conference must be objective, effective and have comprehensive terms of reference. All permanent members of the Security Council must take part in that Conference, as must parties to the conflict including the PLO, on a footing of full equality with all other parties and members of the Conference.
"In addition to daily spoliation of hundreds of acres of Palestinian lands in order to make possible the establishment of Jewish settlements and colonies and to expel Palestinians from their lands, Israel destroys Palestinian land under cultivation by burning such land, thus compelling the Palestinians to leave that land.
"Among these arbitrary practices Israel resorts to monstrous torture against prisoners and, as members know, many organs of the world's press have described those tortures which have been condemned many times by the international community. When the United Nations adopted a resolution setting up a committee of inquiry Israel refused to receive that committee on, its soil.
"We must stress the dangers of organized State terrorism such as that perpetrated by Israel, since it has become a daily occurrence. It is an integral part of the strategy of Israel. As members know the leaders of the Zionist entity, whether legislative or executive, are experts in the matter of terrorism.
"We have expressed many times our, serious desire to have global, lasting peace, peace founded on the principles of the United Nations Charter and the principles of international law. Decisions of the Fez summit meeting bear witness to our devotion to peace and international law, which recognizes the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the creation of its own State in Palestine.
"We are all called upon to be the reflection of the conscience of the international community. We should draw upon its wisdom and courage as we shoulder our responsibilities in connection with the restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people and the translation of those rights into concrete fact.
"Many developments have taken place and many positions have emerged that must be considered in regard to this question. These have been positive developments and positions. No one can deny that they reflect a great deal of maturity and an increased awareness of the seriousness of the situation, of the need to change the status quo without delay and terminate the occupation, which each day generates more violence and hatred.
"Despite the responsibilities and obligations imposed upon Egypt by the sheer volume of its external political activities, Egyptian diplomacy has concentrated the utmost efforts on support for the Palestinian question, as a matter of principle. This is one of the corner-stones of Egyptian political efforts, since the Palestinian question is the core and the crux of the conflict in the Middle East . Egypt has had constant, and indeed intensified, contacts with the various sides and influential international Powers concerned. Egypt has also supported the efforts of the united Nations, including those of the Secretary-General. It has sincerely co-operated with the Secretary-General with a view to ensuring the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East. In this respect, Egypt has spared no effort to find moderate, practical and acceptable formulas.
"In its quest for a just solution to the Palestinian question, Egypt bases itself on its firm commitment to peace. It is aware that peace is an indivisible whole and that justice is the pre-condition for peace. Egypt continues to make every effort to overcome the existing obstacles and to establish an atmosphere favourable to the convening of the international peace conference. It is doing everything possible to achieve agreement among the parties concerned on the most appropriate formulas for participation in the conference.
"Egypt attaches special importance to the achievement of a common Arab position in support of Palestinian rights, so that the march towards the achievement of a comprehensive, just peace that would ensure the security, tranquillity and coexistence of all parties may continue.
"In conclusion, we must express our thanks and appreciation to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for the important part it has played and the remarkable contribution it has made, under the leadership of its Chairman, in the search for peace in the Middle East. We again express our belief that peace in our region is inextricably linked to the peace, stability and security of the whole world."
Mr. ANSAY (Organization of the Islamic Conference): I take this opportunity to pay a tribute to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, under, the exemplary and able guidance of Ambassador Massamba Sarre, for its tireless work and continuing efforts to achieve a solution to the problem of Palestine, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions.
The question of Palestine constitutes the core of the conflict in the Middle East and is a direct consequence of Zionist usurpation and illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, and the oppression, carnage and suppression to which the people of the occupied territories have been subjected. The Zionist entity, since its illegal occupation of Palestinian territories, has pursued policies of violence and terrorism against the people of the occupied territories. It has tried systematically to Judaize Palestine, has desecrated the Holy Places of Muslims in Jerusalem and in the West Bank, has established hundreds of illegal settlements in these territories and has adopted barbaric measures to silence protests by the Palestinian people by the killing of innocent man, women and children, large-scale detention and torture of prisoners, eviction of Palestinians from their lands and houses, demolition of their properties, closure of their educational institutions and exploitation of their natural and human resources. It has also consistently committed aggression against Palestinians in the diaspora. These policies are designed to undermine the Palestinian cause and destroy the will of the Palestinian people to struggle against illegal occupation and tyranny. However, these Zionist ambitions are destined to fail. Its barbaric policies have only served to strengthen the resolve of Palestinian people within the occupied territories as well as outside to continue their struggle for the restitution of their inalienable national rights.
The conflict in the Middle East and the question of Palestine have an important bearing on regional and international peace and security. The principles for a just and lasting settlement of this conflict have been enunciated and reiterated by the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organization of the Islamic Conference and other international forums. These include the immediate and total withdrawal of Zionist occupation forces from Palestinian and Arab territories, including the Holy City of Jerusalem) the restitution of national and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to return, to self-determination and the establishment of a sovereign State in Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people) and the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized boundaries.
"On this Day the Organization of the Islamic Conference reiterates its complete solidarity with and total support for the people of Palestine in their valiant struggle against Zionist aggression, occupation, oppression and expansionism. We salute the heroic Palestinian people for the sacrifices they are offering in their noble struggle for the restitution of their inalienable national rights. We also salute Chairman Yasser Arafat for his dynamic leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization and for his unceasing efforts for the success of the Palestinian cause."
"It is a matter of deep concern that the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to the establishment of its own State, have not yet been implemented and that the Middle East remains in a state of explosive tension. Common sense dictates that international conflicts and contentious issues be settled peacefully by way of dialogue on the basis of equal rights and strict respect for the Charter of the United Nations.
"A comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the conflict is needed to ensure peace and guarantee the Palestinian peoples' right to self-determination and the security of all States in the region. Such a solution can, in the view of the German Democratic Republic, be attained through the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations and with the participation of all interested sides, including the Palestine Liberation Organization.
"Any problems still existing on the road to a conference should be overcome as soon as possible with good will and in a spirit of realism. Your efforts to this effect, Mr. Secretary-General, are much appreciated by the German Democratic Republic."
I wish to assure you, Mr. Chairman, that the Committee, just as the United Nations as a whole, may continue to rely on the German Democratic Republic's full co-operation for a comprehensive, just and enduring settlement of the Middle East conflict where its core, the Question of Palestine, is concerned.
Mr. PBJIC (Yugoslavia): I have the great honour to read out the message of the President of the Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Mr. Lazar Mojsov, addressed to the Committee and its Chairman on the occasion of 29 November, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people. The message reads as follows:
"In the past four decades the Palestinian people has proved time and again that just aspirations cannot be broken by force and violations of elementary human rights. The Israeli policy of aggression, terror, annexation, colonization and the denial of the national identity of Palestinians is doomed to failure since neither the Palestinian people nor the international community will ever accept the situation created by such a policy.
"It is our profound conviction that each solution of the Middle East crisis - if it aims at being comprehensive, lasting and just, and only as such tenable - must include the withdrawal of Israel from all the territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem and enable the Palestinian people the right to freedom, self-determination, return home and the establishment of a State of its own on its national soil. Only in this way will the right of all peoples and countries of the Middle East region, including Israel, to independence and safe development within recognized borders be ensured.
It is high time to renew efforts to find such a solution in order to remove the consequences of the Israeli policy of aggression and expansion which has transformed the whole region of the Middle East into one of the most dangerous hotbeds of crisis in the world and a permanent threat to international peace and security. Therefore, I point out again at this time the position of the Eighth Summit Conference of Non-Aligned Countries on the convening of an international conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations. It is encouraging that this initiative now enjoys the wide support of the international community.
"On this occasion, I should like to express our full support for the work of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in which Yugoslavia will continue to play an active role.
"Britain and the United States have played the largest role in implementing this colonialist policy and in enabling Zionism to invade Palestine, occupy it and displace most of its people through massacres and terrorist acts. They also enabled Israel, after its establishment, to torture those remaining in the land of Palestine, oppress them, confiscate their land and expand, through armed aggression, into the Arab lands neighbouring Palestine through a series of wars and acts of aggression, in order to implement their design of, Zionism aimed at the establishment of greater Israel in the Arab world.
"The American and British policies are the main source of all the suffering of the Palestinian people. They also remain the reason for the continuation of the serious situation in the Middle East, which jeopardizes peace and security in the world. These two States, instead of honouring their obligations as permanent members of the Security Council, instead of working to achieve a just peace, have consistently supported Israel in its acts of aggression and violations of the Charter of the United Nations; they have become prejudiced in favour of Israel in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The international community, represented by the United Nations, has the responsibility of compelling Israel to implement the resolutions on the rights of the Palestinian people, all the more so because the United Nations Members which established Israel by the adoption of a resolution have said that American pressures caused them to vote in favour that resolution by a simple majority of one additional vote in favour. Despite the fact that the United Nations linked the admission of Israel to membership of the United Nations with Israel's commitment to applying the principles of the Charter and implementing the resolutions of the United Nations, Israel has continued to enjoy membership of this Organization although it repeatedly violates the Charter and flouts the resolutions of the United Nations.
"The Question of the Arab people of Palestine is the central Question in Syria. It is also at the core of our struggle for a just peace, which should be based on full Israeli withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories, in addition to the guaranteeing the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, which have been recognized by the United Nations, the instituting of an appropriate framework for the implementation of the United Nations resolutions, and the establishment of a comprehensive and just peace to which the peoples of the region and the world aspire.
However, Israel, supported by imperialism and colonialism, blocks the path to a just peace. Israel, in maintaining its domination over occupied Arab territories and in annexing some of them, building settlements on them, and denying the rights of the Palestinian people, does not in any way abide by the principles of international law or the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. On the contrary, it proceeds from metaphysical convictions and methods based on the most reactionary and extremist ideas.
"The apparent difference between the rulers of Tel Aviv regarding peace is only a difference between those who want to wrench an official Arab signature on a document under which the Arabs relinquish all usurped Palestinian rights and most of the occupied Arab territories and those who did not originally recognize the existence of occupied Arab territories and usurped Palestinian rights. Israel does not seek peace. It only seeks to impose its hegemony on the region by force and to dictate its conditions, not on the Arab side alone but also on the international community.
"Syria will continue its support for the just struggle waged by the Palestinian Arab people until their full national rights are restored. We are firmly convinced that Israel will not enjoy peace in our region, however militarily mighty it is, if it continues its occupation of any part of the Arab territories and if it continues its denial of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people. It will not be forever protected by the unlimited support given to it by the United States and its strategic alliance with that country. That is because people cannot barter their national rights, however powerful and inhuman their enemy is.
"On behalf of the Syrian Arab Republic, I wish your meeting every success in supporting the Arab people of Palestine and in supporting their national rights, the realization of which will surely contribute to the establishment of the just peace for which we struggle."
"All initiatives taken thus far by peace-loving nations to resolve the long-festering Palestinian issue have been repeatedly frustrated by Israel's complete disregard for international law. Pakistan deplores Israel's intransigence and its repressive policies, which it considers to be the root cause of the turmoil in the Middle East and a serious threat to international peace and security.
"On this occasion the Government and people of Pakistan reaffirm their unstinted support for the people of Palestine in their just struggle for the attainment of their legitimate rights of self-determination and for a free and independent State of their own, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO), their sole and legitimate representative." With your permission, Sir, I shall now read out a message from the Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, His Excellency Mohammad Khan Junejo: The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People brings into sharp relief the hardships and tribulations faced by generations of our Palestinian brothers as a result of the inhuman and expansionist Zionist policies, whose principal objective has been to perpetuate Israel's illegal and forceful occupation of Palestinian lands. These policies, which have made Israel a pariah in the region, have been widely denounced as posing a serious threat to international peace and security.
"We in Pakistan look with admiration upon the valiant and heroic struggle of the Palestinian people to defend their legitimate rights against the brutal policies and machinations of a usurper. During the period of our own struggle for independence we extended unwavering support for the cause of the Palestinians. On this solemn occasion the Government and people of Pakistan reiterate their strong support for the struggle of the Palestinian people for their, inalienable rights and call for a just and durable settlement of the Middle East problem based upon complete Israeli withdrawal from all Arab territories, including Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and the exercise by the Palestinian people of the rights to self-determination and the establishment of a State of their own in their homeland."
"It also undoubtedly embodies the increasing and renewed support given by the peoples of the world in general to the question of Palestine and the right of the Palestinian people in their just struggle to realize their rights.
"On numerous occasions, and through the resolutions of this international Organization and other, international and regional forums, the international community has emphasized that the core and essence of the conflict in, the Middle East is the Palestinian question, without the solution of which no just and permanent peace in the Middle East can be established. It could be established with the full and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories, particularly Holy Jerusalem, the first of the two kiblahs and the third Holy Shrine. This could also be achieved through the granting to the Palestinian people of the right to self-determination, the right to return to their land and the right to establish their, independent, sovereign State, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO), their sole and legitimate representative.
Mr. KAROUI, (Tunisia)(interpretation from Arabic): It gives me great pleasure to read out the following message from His Excellency Zine Elabidine Ben All, President of the Republic of Tunisia, on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:
"Also, I express our appreciation of your support to and solidarity with that people, which has been suffering unprecedented displacement and oppression.
"I wish to assure you that I stand at your side and support you in this endeavour. I fully intend to work with you so that the Palestinian people will realize their right to self-determination, in accordance with international legitimacy, and to establish their, independence State on their national soil, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO), their sole, legitimate representative."
Mr. ALATAS, (Indonesia): On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I have the honour to read out to this commemorative meeting the following message from His Excellency Mr. Soeharto, President of the Republic of Indonesia:
The tenth observance of this Day takes on a particular poignancy as it coincides with certain historical benchmarks which highlight the question of Palestine as one of the most protracted yet at the same time most acute problems of our time. It is now 40 years since the adoption of the General Assembly resolution calling for the partition of Palestine, 20 years since the occupation by Israel of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, and five years since the massacres at Sabra and Shatila.
"For Indonesia, these historical reference points in the saga of a brave people's struggle for liberation bring into sharp relief the appalling dimensions of oppression and tyranny, dispossession and exile, suffering and death to which the Palestinian people have for so long been subjected.
"Yet, despite the magnitude and duration of their hardships and deprivation, the courageous Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO), their, sole and legitimate representative, have never wavered in their quest for, independence, justice and human dignity. Through faith and perseverance they have continued their steadfast resistance, earning for them the unbounding admiration and support of the international community.
•Neither the passage of time nor Israeli intransigence diminishes the fact that the Middle East conflict can be resolved only on the basis of the exercise by the Palestinian people of their right to an independent State of their own in Palestine and Israel's unconditional withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem. At the same time, it is also self-evident that interminable delay is fraught with dangerous consequences for the region and beyond.
"Today the only universally recognized framework within which all the dimensions of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core aspect of Palestinian self-determination can be addressed is the proposed international peace conference on the Middle East where all the parties concerned, including the PLO, could participate ton an equal footing. It is essential that the international community should continue to exert all efforts to convene the conference at the earliest possible time.
•The cause of the Palestinian people is a cause for justice and peace. Indonesia is confident, therefore, that the Palestinian struggle for national liberation will emerge triumphant.
The CHAIRMAN, (interpretation from Spanish): I call on Dr. O. Pasehun, the representative of Nigeria.
Mr. FASEHIN (Nigeria): It is an honour to read out to representatives gathered here the message of General Ibrahim Babangida, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The message begins*.
I now call on Dr. Donald Betz, Chairman of the International Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine.
Mr. BETZ: For the third year, in succession it is my honour and privilege to deliver this message on behalf of the International Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine. My colleagues from the International Co-ordinating Committee, (ICCP), are addressing similar gatherings at United Nations facilities today, both, in Geneva and in Vienna. I thank the Committee for this opportunity to speak on behalf of NGOs everywhere that are pursuing peace with justice in the Middle East based on the self-determination, of the Palestinian people.
This has been an extraordinary year for our work. The year 1987 had been designated by non-governmental organizations as the Year of the Palestinian People. It has been commemorated in many different ways throughout the world. From special posters to cultural exhibits, from essay contests to formal conferences, this special focus on the legacy of the Palestinian people has been taken up by hundreds of non-governmental organizations around the globe. The Co-ordinating Committee collaborated with many of these non-governmental organizations to assist them with their projects. The Co-ordinating Committee and non-governmental organizations were particularly instrumental in organizing tours of Palestinian women, first in Europe and later in North America. One of those tours is currently going on in North America as we meet. The International Co-ordinating Committee worked with non-governmental organizations in Israel and in the occupied territories to convene an important regional gathering there. This year a special meeting of European non-governmental organizations was successfully undertaken in Geneva by the ICCP and the European NGO Co-ordinating Committee.
At the centre of our efforts, at the centre of this increased co-ordination and effectiveness, has been the ICCP liaison office in Geneva. It may be recalled that we established that office some 15 months ago in an attempt to help co-ordinate NGO activities, and it has proved to be of great value to all non-governmental organizations. We must work diligently to assure that this office continues to do its work.
The ICCP United Nations co-operation in 1987 has been on many levels and taken place in many locales. It is known that the Committee initiated its initial NGO regional symposia in 1987 with the Asian meeting in New Delhi. It had been two years since the first United Nations-sponsored meeting there. Attending organizations were from India as well as from China, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Japan. The two-day symposium adopted a perceptive statement on the importance of peace in the Middle East and rededicated those participating to organizing the region in order to take more* effective action.
By early summer the North American regional symposium on the question of Palestine gathered together 75 organizations representing a variety of important North American constituencies. Their deliberations produced new programmes of action to tour Palestinian women through the continent and to oppose actively attempts to close the Palestinian, information office in Washington, D.C.
The emphasis at the North American meeting was on work ships, and they produced an ambitious list of proposed projects. The newly selected North American Co-ordinating Committee reflects the diversity of North American non-governmental organizations working together on this, issue. New organizations are being attracted to these efforts daily in North America. Of special note was the fact that the North American Co-ordinating Committee recently sponsored four workshops for hundreds of American high-school and grade-school teachers at a national conference, in Dallas, Texas. It was the first time that many of those teachers had ever been confronted with the question of Palestine.
The highlight of this year's NGO activities was the series of events that commenced in Geneva from 3 to 9 September. On 3 and 4 September the International Co-ordinating Committee and the European Co-ordinating Committee co-produced an important European symposium. The entire programme was designed, financed and executed by non-governmental organizations and the ICCP. The meeting was attended by 70 European organizations from all parts of Europe and the evaluations were very positive.
The ICCP co-operated with the Palestine Red Crescent Society in mounting an extensive display of Palestinian culture and crafts during and after these mentioned meetings. In addition, there was an important programme on health conditions that was attended by over 100 non-governmental organizations organized by the Palestine Red Crescent Society, and it included moving presentations by Dr. Pauline Cutting and Dr. Swee Ang, doctors who offered their services to Palestinian men, women and children in the camps of Lebanon. We all emerged from those programmes moved and more determined than ever to redouble our efforts on behalf of the people who pass unnoticed in the West.
The Co-ordinating Committee's preparations for the United Nations Fourth International Non-Governmental Organizations Meeting on the Question of Palestine also included an exhibit of contemporary Palestinian art and contemporary films on Palestine, we were attempting to present a comprehensive portrait of a vibrant, industrious people: the Palestinians. In this way the Co-ordinating Committee, its Executive Director, its members and all non-governmental organizations set the stage for the largest international conference of non-governmental organizations ever held on the question of Palestine.
Over 250 non-governmental organizations came to Geneva from all corners of the globe this past September. Among them, importantly, were 26 non-governmental organizations from Israel. A highlight of the formal sessions was the presence and comments made by the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yassir Arafat. As you know, Mr. Chairman, the large hall at the Palais des Nations was overflowing with participants, supporters and others wanting to hear Chairman Arafat. He did not disappoint them but raised many important issues that were retold and interpreted by journalists and political analysts alike. He was particularly complimentary of the work undertaken by non-governmental organizations everywhere as co-ordinated through the International Co-ordinating Committee. He found this to be a clear expression that the initiatives of the Co-ordinating Committee and the network of non-governmental organizations were recognized as central to any sustained global effort to secure just and lasting peace in the Middle East.
The Geneva meeting's Final Declaration re-emphasized the unanimous commitment to convening an international peace conference that includes the PLO as a full participant and, as outlined in General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, as the most credible avenue to any peace process, in the Middle East. The non-governmental organizations deplored the oppressive conditions that are part of the daily life of Palestinians in the occupied territories and devised fresh ideas on how to bring these matters to the attention of people and Governments of conscience. These efforts contributed to the recent decision by the European Parliament to deplore the administrative detention of Faisal Husseini of the Arab Studies Society in East Jerusalem. Our work should focus brilliant light on these and other matters of grave concern to the thousands who live under occupation or in conditions of extreme vulnerability in the camps in Lebanon.
In planning the United Nations non-governmental organization activities for the coming two years, we must strive to involve non-governmental organizations from around the globe, including those of under-represented regions such as Latin America, Oceania and Africa. Don-governmental organization meetings in Latin America and other regions are needed soon to complete these vital non-governmental organization contacts.
The outreach to new regions and the non-governmental organizations there cannot be overemphasized. Let me give an example. During 1987 the Co-ordinating Committee undertook a special mission to Japan following the Asian regional symposium. The Co-ordinating Committee delegation met with dozens of non-governmental organizations representing virtually every facet of Japanese society. The interest in the work of the United Nations and the Co-ordinating Committee on behalf of the Palestinian people was very well received. We discovered many Japanese groups labouring on this issue. Our visit was widely covered by the Japanese press and has resulted in a Japanese non-governmental organization representative being elected to the International Co-ordinating Committee at its recent session.
What we cannot overlook is the essential, human dimension of the issues before us. Beyond the resolutions, the conferences, the political manoeuvrings, are hundreds of thousands of people, Palestinian people, who consistently have been denied the fundamental right to a homeland, a passport and a recognized identity. Many have tried to ignore them, absorb them, deport them, obliterate them; but the very injustice of the issue, coupled with political and growing public moral support, has demanded that this Question, this aspiration, these people, not he forgotten. More people know about the Question of Palestine across the globe today than 10 years ago, and far more know about it than 40 years ago.
This attempt to secure a just solution to the protracted denial of Palestinian rights was dealt a sharp blow in the United States this year by the decision taken to close, or attempt to close, the Palestinian offices in Washington and Mew York. It is ironic that the method used finally to deny the American public access to the Palestinian perspective on the issue at hand included elevating the status of the Palestine Information Office to an official diplomatic entity and then shutting it down through State Department action. For a brief moment, for a few seconds perhaps, the United States Government was recognizing the PLO and the Palestinian people. It lasted just long enough to utilize existing legal regulations that justify the closure of such legations.
These blatant moves against the PLO and the Palestinians are decisively affected by current American electoral politics. They are prime matters of concern for all North American non-governmental organizations. Such action has not gone unchallenged. People in this country and in Canada are doing their best to challenge these actions. The non-governmental organization community can be a potent agent in reminding people of their responsibilities and in mobilizing them for purposeful action.
We realize that all of the actions we have undertaken would never have been launched initially without the interest, support and guidance that have been provided by this Committee and the Division since the convening of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine in 1983. We are grateful for this Committee's interest in and encouragement of our work, and we look to greater co-ordination of our efforts.
Despite the continuing obstacles deployed in our path by the formidable forces opposed to our work, it is amazing how the network has grown and how many people are aware of these global efforts. We are all learning how to become more persuasive in disseminating our message and in reaching our objectives. Co-ordination has become a prime asset.
We need no greater incentive to bolster our efforts than to recall that winter, another winter, is coming to the Palestinians living in the rubble called camps in Lebanon. The people of the occupied territories are now entering their twenty-first year of military rule with no constitutional safeguards to protect them from the imposition of arbitrary power by the military or by armed civilian occupiers, whether it be the closing of the Palestinian university, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the uprooting of Palestinian trees or the confiscation of Palestinian land, precious Palestinian land. New generations are being born into the roles of occupiers and occupied. These are not political abstractions, but people, in ever growing numbers.
The key to a successful international campaign on the question of Palestine is to focus incessantly on the people - real people, Palestinian people. Every decision-maker should be graphically reminded that people's lives are held in the balance. It is easy to justify actions that affect abstractions) it is infinitely more difficult if the problem has a child's face, if it is reflected in a mother's determination to protect her children, if it is seen in a father's demand to provide for his family in his own country, governed by laws that he or his representatives helped formulate.
The International Co-ordinating Committee and the network of non-governmental organizations are dedicated to presenting the Question of Palestine as a fundamental issue of human rights, the rights of a people, but also the rights of individual persons. We must help to set the parameters of the global agenda on this issue, not the opposition. If this can be done, perceptions will change and new coalitions of decent people, from every crevice of this earth, will shout for change, for the restoration of essential human rights. Then no power or concert of powers would be able to resist this historic demonstration of the popular will. They will yield to the universal demand to do what is decent and right.
The International Co-ordinating Committee, the Regional Co-ordinating Committees and the global network of non-governmental organizations remain dedicated to this most worthy enterprise.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Spanish): I thank Mr. Betz for his important statement. I should like to say that we very much appreciate the work done by the non-governmental organizations in making the public aware of the delicate and very important subject of the Question of Palestine. We hope they will continue the important efforts they are making.
"In its occupied homeland the Palestinian people is facing implacable repression by the Zionist occupying forces, which deny it the exercise of its fundamental rights and redoubles its violence and brutality. To institutional violence is added ceaseless attacks and measures of harassment and persecution which come from groups of terrorists acting with impunity and often at the instigation of the Zionists.
"This twofold violence, which has increased in the past few weeks after incidents in the Gaza Strip and Al Quds Al Sharif, accompanied by the continuation of immigration policies or reinforcing settlement colonies, the object of which is to achieve the annexation of the occupied territories, began with the annexation of Golan and Al Quds and were, in their turn, declared by the international community to be null and void.
Finally, on behalf of the Government and the people of Algeria I wish to reaffirm my country's unswerving solidarity with the Palestinian people and express our admiration for the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people in order to recover its national inalienable rights and the triumph of its revolution."
"International organizations expressing the aspirations of the international community to achieve justice and security in the world are called upon today more than ever before to intensify their efforts to express their outrage over the aggressive conduct of the Zionist entity and to condemn it in order to force it to abandon that path. It is clear that the United Nations as the principal international organization is called upon to live up to its responsibility to achieve those aspirations. Needless to say, the foundations of justice, security and peace in the world will not be strengthened so long as the tragedy of the Palestinian people is not alleviated through a lasting, comprehensive and just solution.
"The question of Palestine is the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict and is at the heart of the problems of our region, which, is of special international, importance. The struggle of the Palestinian people, under the leadership of its sole, legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO), as recognized by all sincere and honest people, is a natural and legitimate struggle for its right to exist, to live in security and peace, to exercise self-determination and to choose its own path on its national soil. We are confident that the struggle of the Palestinian people to achieve its just and legitimate goals will be successful in the end, despite the proliferation by the Zionist entity of all forms of torture and killing, and despite the assistance it receives, without speedy international measures to put an end to that Zionist entity in a serious and effective way, and without an acceptable and just solution to the Palestinian problem, the tragedy of Palestine will continue and the problems of the Middle East will become more complex, thus undermining peace and security in the region and exacerbating tensions in the world.
"The struggle between the forces of good and evil in the world today comprises many aspects; it is clear that the Zionist entity is an ally of the racist regime of Pretoria, a regime which tramples underfoot the aspirations for liberation and independence of the peoples of southern Africa, and that it is co-operating with the expansionist racist Iranian regime in the military field. The Zionist entity is providing weapons to the Iranian regime, which has been waging an expansionist war against our country for seven years now.*
Mote should be taken on this occasion of the unanimous statement by the Arab countries during their summit conference in the capital of Jordan, Amman, this month that the question of Palestine is a central issue for the Arab States and is the core of the Israeli-Arab conflict} and that the struggle for the attainment of Palestinian rights is a national Arab responsibility. At that conference, the participants renewed their commitment to provide material and moral assistance to the Palestinian people.
"I am pleased to express once again our confidence in this Committee and its effective and serious efforts and activities to deal with the question of Palestine."
Mr. VALDERRAMA (Philippines): On this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I have the honour and pleasure to read out to the members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and to other States Members of the United Nations the following brief message from the new Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of the Philippines, His Excellency Mr. Raul S.Manglapus:
Let me take this opportunity also of commending the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, under the able and dedicated guidance of its Chairman, for the work it is doing in mobilizing international solidarity with and support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people.
Once again we are gathered here to mark an occasion of solidarity with the people of Palestine. It is very sad to recall that for 40 years now the question of Palestine has remained one of the most important questions on the agenda of the United Nations - a question that is still unresolved. Forty years were indeed long enough to bring peace to the oppressed people of Palestine. However, despite the will and the efforts of the international community to bring about a solution to the problem, the Zionist regime of Israel, with the support of its imperialist allies, has created obstacles through renewed acts of violence against innocent Palestinians, who only demand their inalienable rights to freedom and self-determination, to their homeland and to sovereignty over their land and resources.
The oppressed but fighting people of Namibia, under the vanguard leadership of SWAPO, their sole and authentic representative, fully identify with the legitimate and just struggle of the people of Palestine, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO), their sole and authentic representative, for political emancipation and national independence.
It is not by mere chance or coincidence that we have come to address this solemn meeting in solidarity with the people of Palestine. We have done so because of the similarity between the tragic history of the Namibian people and that of the Palestinian people, the commonness of the brutal enemies we are fighting against and the commonness of the objectives and aspirations of our dispossessed peoples and our countries occupied by the illegal Zionist and racist regimes in Tel Aviv and Pretoria, respectively. All that makes our solidarity necessary and a matter of principle.
For many years now, the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv has been allowed to continue subjecting the people of Palestine to untold suffering. Many Palestinians have lost their lives as a result of bombardments and have been annihilated in refugee camps, through the use of all types of destructive weapons. Thousands of women, men, children and old people have been forced to leave their beloved land and become strangers in foreign lands.
The continued Israeli military occupation of Palestine and other Arab territories, the annexation of parts of the occupied territories, the establishment of new settlements and the imposition of Israeli laws continue to be a threat not only to the peoples of the Middle East but also to international peace and security.
The just and heroic struggle being waged by the people of Palestine is our own struggle. Just as the people of Palestine are denied their inalienable rights to self-determination by Zionist Israel, so the people of Namibia continue to be subjected to untold suffering, brutal killing, torture, abduction and all sorts of Fascist acts of repression by the racist regime of South Africa.
Namibians and Palestinians share the tragic history of human-rights violations, oppression and exploitation of both their natural and their human resources. The hardships and sufferings our two nations have endured over decades deserve more serious attention and efforts by the international community.
The international community has been alerted on many occasions to the increasing military, economic and nuclear collaboration between Zionist Israel and the racist regime in Pretoria. The two racist and Fascist regimes have been allowed to continue this heinous practice for far too long.
Israel provides the racist regime of South Africa with all types of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear technology. It also trains racist soldiers and provides mercenaries to kill and murder innocent civilians, not only in Namibia but in the region of southern Africa as a whole.
Also worth mentioning are the United States Administration and its direct involvement in the suffering of our peoples by collaborating with the two racist regimes, thus delaying our independence. It is shameful for the Administration of a big country such as the United States, which advocates justice and democracy elsewhere, to be involved in the brutalization of our innocent peoples, whose demands are only for freedom and self-determination.
Of late the Reagan Administration is trying to silence the voice of the people of Palestine in its decision to close the Palestine information office in Washington, we strongly believe that this and other similar attempts to close the Permanent Observer Mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO), and to restrict the movements of the African National Congress of South Africa, (ANC) and SWAPO, should be denounced and condemned. We call upon this Committee, and the United Nations as a whole, to address this question very seriously, because if this campaign against the peoples is allowed to take place it will create a dangerous precedent, denying the rights of oppressed peoples elsewhere to have their voices heard and to be represented in the international Organization or be heard by the international public. We therefore call upon the United Nations and this Committee in particular to defend the right of the people of Palestine in their legitimate demands for self-determination and national independence. We strongly condemn such hypocritical double standards and outright disregard of the aspirations of peoples to their basic and fundamental rights.
The international community should, sooner rather than later, find a just solution to the Palestinian problem in order to put an end to the suffering of the Palestinian people. It is in this regard that SWAPO fully supports the holding of an international conference on the Middle East, with the full participation of the PLO. We believe that any solution to the Palestinian problem that excludes the participation of the PLO, the sole, authentic representative of the Palestinian people, will not achieve lasting peace in the region.
We demand the imposition of comprehensive mandatory sanctions against the two racist regimes in Tel Aviv and Pretoria for their intransigence and the threat they pose to peace in the Middle East and southern Africa and to international security.
Those who, because of their selfish economic interests, side and collaborate with these racist regimes must remember that the history of mankind has shown that no amount of repression, collaboration or distortion will prevent the peoples from attaining freedom and justice. It is a matter of time.
The struggle of the Palestinian people is just. Therefore, it must be fully supported. Let the Palestinian people be allowed to return to their land and be given a chance to live in peace. National independence is their birthright.
In conclusion, we once again express our firm solidarity with the people of Palestine and their vanguard movement, the PLO, their sole, authentic representative, in their struggle for self-determination and national independence.
Mr. ZAPOTOCKY (Czechoslovakia): I have the honour to read out the text of the message sent yesterday on the occasion of this year's observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people by Gustav Husak, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, President of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, to Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO). It reads as follows:
"The power of your people lies in the united character of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. That is why we have welcomed the results of the eighteenth Conference of the Palestinian National Council, in which the unity of your ranks has been re-established and the line of further crucial struggle aimed at the implementation of your just goals has been marked out. We consider it to be the essential pre-condition for successful advancing of the comprehensive settlement of the crisis in the Middle East and its core Palestinian question through the convening of an international conference attended by all parties involved, including the Palestine Liberation Organization.
"I would like to assure you that the people of socialist Czechoslovakia will keep providing full support to your just struggle till the final victory.*
*Mr. Oramas Oliva, (Cuba), Vice-chairman, took the Chair.
"The international community is called upon today to take decisive and more effective measures to put an end to the sufferings of these people whose fundamental rights have been denied and wrested from them. It must also take more effective measures in conformity with its previous resolutions and in conformity with the efforts being undertaken by the parties to find a just and prompt solution to the question of Palestine.
"In accordance with its faith in the right of peoples to self-determination and in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and its resolutions, the Sultanate of Oman, in joining with the peoples of other nations of the world in commemorating this International Day, expresses its solidarity with the Palestinian people and its full support for the restoration of that people's legitimate rights, including its right to self-determination in its own territory. At the same time, we believe that, as long as Israel fails to respond to initiatives for peace and to comply with United Nations resolutions, the continuation of the status quo, without any just solution which restores the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, will continue to be a source of concern and a factor which undermines the security and stability of all countries in the region."
"We also welcome the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to make a positive contribution towards the realization of the aspirations of the Palestinian people, which is their inalienable rights through the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, in accordance with the United Nations resolutions relating to the question of Palestine.
"The Palestinian people have suffered long enough since their displacement from their land of birth, and the international community must, in the name of humanity and justice, and without further delay, lend weight to their just struggle by co-operating fully with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in the performance of its tasks, and thus help bring nearer their day of victory:
Mr. ENDREFFY (Hungary): I have the honour to read out the text of a message of the Presidential Council of the Hungarian People's Republic addressed to the Executive of the Palestine Liberation Organization:
"We take this opportunity to reaffirm our solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people and to emphasize our continuing intention to develop close and friendly relations with the Palestinian people and its sole, legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization.
"We wish the Palestinian people and the Palestine Liberation Organization every success in strengthening their unity and asserting their inalienable national rights as well as in their efforts at a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East crisis."
"I should like to assure you that the People's Republic of Bulgaria will, on the basis of its position of principle, in the future also give various forms of support to the Arab people of Palestine and to other Arab peoples in their struggle to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.*
"We in the Soviet Union are following with feelings of solidarity and sincere affinity the dedicated struggle of the Palestinians, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, against the Israeli occupation of their lands, infringement of their rights and dignity, for a just and comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its key element, the Palestinian problem, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the decisions of the Organization. The road to such a settlement lies in the convening of an international conference on the Middle East with the participation of all parties concerned, including the PLO and the States permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.
"The world knows very well and appreciates the contribution made by the PLO, in accordance with the decisions of the eighteenth session of the National Council of Palestine, to international efforts to prepare that forum. Success in this undertaking could be assured by joint action on the part of all who are genuinely interested in a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, coupled with close co-operation and co-ordination of the Arab States and peoples and the consolidation of the unity and cohesion of the Palestinian movement itself.
"The Soviet union will continue to provide every support to the friendly Palestinian people in their just struggle."
The CHAIRMAN, (interpretation from Spanish): I thank the First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Soviet Union for the important message he has related to us from the Council of Ministers of the USSR.
I now call upon the Permanent Representative of Thailand, Ambassador Kasemsri. Mr. KASEMSRI, (Thailand): I now have the honour to read out the following message from His Excellency General Prem Tinsulanonda, Prime Minister of Thailand, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:
"Thailand shares the concern for the Palestinian issue with its partners in the Association of South-East Asian Rations (ASEAN). At their twentieth meting in Singapore on 16 June 1987, the Foreign Ministers of ASEAN issued a communiqué in which they reiterated their full support for the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination, and the restoration of Arab sovereignty over the occupied territories. They called for renewed efforts to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement by negotiations. They also expressed support for convening the international peace conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations.
"Peace is long overdue. So let all the parties concerned intensify their efforts to bring about peace in the Middle East and the realization of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.
"Let me take this opportunity also to pay tribute to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for its invaluable contribution and devotion to the Palestinian cause."
Mr. VOMGSAY (Lao People's Democratic Republic) (interpretation from French): On the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, His Excellency Mr. Phoumi Vongvichit, interim President of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, has addressed the following message, which I shall now read out*.
"The question of Palestine is not new. It has been on the agenda of the united Nations General Assembly for a long time now} it is also at title very heart of the Middle East problem and the main cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The key elements of a solution to this conflict are to be found in the complete, unconditional withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and the exercise by the Palestinian people of their fundamental, inalienable and legitimate rights, including their right to establish an in dependant Palestinian State in Palestine.
"The only way to resolve this question is to convene an international peace conference on the Middle East, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C of 13 December 1983 and subsequent General Assembly resolutions.
"It is regrettable that some countries are continuing to oppose the convening of such a conference. I should therefore like to take this opportunity to appeal to leaders of those countries to reconsider their position and rejoin the international community's consensus, so that the conference may be convened as quickly as possible, because until the question of Palestine is resolved peace and stability in the Middle East, as well as international peace and security, will always be threatened.
Mr. MANSOUR, (Yemen)(interpretation from Arabic): Allow me to read out the following message from His Excellency Colonel Ali Abdulla Saleh, President of the Yemen Arab Republic, addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:
"It is up to the United Nations, which was created to save humanity from the horrors of war, to bring about the triumph of the cause of subject peoples and to remain always on the side of the oppressed peoples fighting against the forces of oppression, exploitation and arbitrary actions, and to check the desire of the death merchants and enemies of peace. The United Nations should reflect the conscience of contemporary mankind. How does it do so?, How does it reflect resistance to war?, How does it reflect the desire to live in freedom and peace?
"During 40 years' existence the United Nations has not been able to find a just solution for the cause of Palestinian and Arab peoples - and that despite hundreds of resolutions on that subject adopted by the Organization. That is due to Israel's intransigence and defiance of the relevant resolutions, as well as the result of its policy based on expansion through force and thanks to the support given it by colonial Powers. During this time the Palestinian people have suffered ever more under the yoke of oppression and been the object of genocide they have been forced into exile.
•No doubt, the practices against the Palestinian people inside and outside the occupied territories and the acts of terrorism and the use of force are in flagrant violation of the most elementary rules of international law and united Nations decisions and resolutions, and contrary to the most elementary values of civilized man.
"In the Yemen Arab Republic we make every effort to find a just solution to the question of Palestine that would allow those people to exercise their right to self-determination and establish their own independent State on their own national soil, including Jerusalem.
"In conclusion, I again express our deep thanks for the role which the Committee has played in helping the Palestinian people in their struggle. I assure you, Sir, of our support for your success.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al-Thani, Prince of the State of Qatar, to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:
"The plight of the Palestinians is unique in its atrocity. All forms of colonialism are directed towards the objective of occupying the territories of those oppressed people, enslaving them and plundering their resources. But the Palestinians are locked in a freedom struggle to oust the usurper from their land.
"However, the forces of colonialism, oppression and Zionism had from the beginning agreed on a plan to annihilate the Palestinian people and displace them from their land and that of their forefathers so that for over four decades Israel might replace them and inflict the worst forms of persecution and oppression.
"Nothing causes us greater agony and pain than the daily news of the terrorist attacks inflicted on the Palestinian people by the Israeli usurpers. They persist in bloodshed and killing, suppression of freedoms, demolition of houses, plundering of properties and desecration of sanctuaries - with no religious scruples, respect for international law and moral values or respect for United Nations documents and resolutions, first and foremost the Declaration on Human Rights.
"We cannot believe that this is the wish of the international community. Yet the Palestine conflict remains without a lasting, just solution, still exposes the whole international community to grave danger. Hence it is high time for concerted international efforts to restrain Israeli tyranny and to grant all possible assistance to the Palestinian people in its glorious struggle so that it may maintain its existence, regain its usurped land and be able to return there to a peaceful and serene life, as well as to exercise its legitimate rights, first and foremost the right to self-determination.
"This is our aspiration. It requires, however, that the five permanent members of the Security Council, in keeping with the norms of international legality, assume their responsibility for speedy action and lend all material and moral support to restoring the full rights of the Palestinian people, achieving justice and implementing this Organization's relevant resolutions. We support the recent unanimous decision that the best way to find a solution to the question of Palestine is to convene, under united Nations auspices, an international peace conference featuring the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and all parties concerned, including of course the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO), the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
"Every effort should be made to achieve the will of the international community so that this conference may be held as soon as possible and that we may achieve its noble objective.
"In conclusion, I should like to express my profound gratitude and that of the people of Qatar to this Committee for its serious, constructive and persistent efforts in support of the great Palestinian people in its just struggle to regain its legitimate rights."
"Over the past four decades, the Arab and Palestinian people, with their tradition of perseverance and dauntlessness, have been carrying out a relentless struggle for national liberation against imperialist and Israeli Zionist intervention and aggression and are now valiantly fighting against every scheme to create tension, sow discord among Arab countries and impose a separate solution.
"The eighteenth session of the Palestine National Council, held last April in Algiers, Algeria, reaffirmed the Palestinian people's will to achieve unity and their unshakable faith in their just and invincible cause.
"Progressive people throughout the world have expressed sympathy with and strong support for the Arab and Palestinian people's struggle and categorically condemn the policy of aggression and expansion carried out by imperialism and Zionism in the Middle East.
"The people and Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam rejoice at the progress of the Palestine resistance and believe that the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, bringing into play the tradition of staunchness and solidarity, and enjoying the strong support of the people of the Arab countries, the socialist countries, the Non-Aligned Countries and of peace- and justice-loving forces, is bound to achieve a complete victory in their glorious revolutionary cause."
"This international occasion clearly reflects the international community's commitment, whether emotional or political, to support the struggle of the Palestinian people to preserve its existence - exposed as it is in camps to annihilation - and to defend its causes when they are submitted to international forums. This conviction and commitment reflect the basic facts of the conflict in the region, foremost of which is that the Question of Palestine is the core of the conflict in the Middle East and that peace and stability in the region cannot be achieved without a just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine that takes into consideration the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.
"Today, more than ever, the international community is called upon to intensify its efforts, stand by the Palestinian people and support its just struggle. International support for the people of Palestine is a clear condemnation of all parties whose deeds contradict their words. Such parties speak about the right of peoples to self-determination and about the preservation of their existence but deny that right or fall silent when it comes to the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the preservation of its existence. International solidarity with the Palestinian people and its commitment to and sympathy with them is a true indicator of the International community's interest to preserve the principles upon which the United Nations was established, principles enshrined in the Charter, in the goals of international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. "We express our appreciation of the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. We value its endeavours to alert international consciousness and to reveal the reality of the racist, aggressive policies and practices perpetrated by the Zionist entity. We are confident that the endeavours of the Committee will eventually succeed in enlightening world public opinion about the justice of the Palestine question and the propriety of acceding to the demands of the Palestinian people. We shall support them in full, international solidarity with the Palestinian people is growing and will bring us closer to the victory of the Palestinian people and the realization of all its just and legitimate aspirations.
"We need not reaffirm our confidence or that of the international community in the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. That confidence is reflected in the interest of the General Assembly in renewing the mandate of the Committee. Once again we express our appreciation and respect for the valuable efforts made by the Committee despite all hardships and obstacles. With all our respect."
"We warmly congratulate you and the brave Palestinian people and their sole, legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization. On this day of celebration we again express the deep solidarity of the Mongolian people with the just struggle of the Palestinian people against the strategic co-operation of the imperialist and Zionist reactionary forces and against their aggressive policies. We support them in their desire to establish their own State as part of their inalienable rights.
Mr. AL-GHAALI, (United Arab Emirates), (interpretation from Arabic): I am pleased to read out a message addressed to the Committee by His Highness Sheikh Zeyed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, the President of the United Arab Emirates, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:
"This year also marks the fortieth year since the adoption of the unjust resolution that led to the partition of Palestine, contrary to the aspirations of the Arab people and their right to self-determination. That resolution resulted in the establishment of an alien State on the majority of Palestinian land and to the displacement of the Palestinians, who now live in the diaspora as refugees and displaced persons.
"We see in this commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People three praiseworthy and hopeful signs: We see in the commemoration the embodiment of the international community's rejection of the aggression and injustice inflicted on the Palestinians over the past 70 years. We also see in it an acknowledgement by the international Organization of the legitimacy of the struggle of the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO) - the sole, legitimate representative of that people - to regain its rights, including the right to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent State on Palestinian soil. We see in it a recognition of the legitimacy of this struggle, which is in consonance with the purposes and principles of the Charter and the norms of international law.
•We also see in this commemoration a pledge by the international community to work diligently to put an end to the injustice that has been inflicted upon the Palestinian people, a commitment to support the Palestinians and their struggle and a renewed undertaking to develop a just international settlement of the question of Palestine in the context of which the Palestinian people will regain their rights and exercise them in full freedom.
"We still maintain that some of the major Powers should reconsider their domination-oriented policies. Like others, they must take the path of justice and recognition of the rights of others. They must cease their obstruction of the convening of an international conference, for such a conference is the only way to achieve the desired just solution, under which the Palestinian people could regain their rights.
"Until such a settlement is achieved and the Palestinian people regain their rights, the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates remain pledged to support the struggle of the Palestinian people and to render all possible assistance to them.
"We have full confidence that, God willing, the day will come when the Palestinians will return to their land and exercise their rights in freedom, like other peoples in the world."
Mr. THABET, (Democratic Yemen), (interpretation from Arabic): I wish to read out a message from His Excellency Mr. Haider Abubakar Al-Attas, the Chairman of the Presidium of the People's Supreme Council of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The message is addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, and reads as follows*.
"There can be no doubt that the cause of Palestine has become a cause of conscience for the whole world. For over 39 years now, the Palestinian people have been harassed, oppressed and displaced in a vicious attempt to blot out their national identity and uproot them physically from their homeland and their very history. That is the goal of the Zionist regime, with the absolute support of united States imperialism. That regime's strategic alliance with the United States has brought untold misery and suffering not only to the Palestinian people but also to all the neighbouring Arab countries and peoples in the Middle East, region. In the face of this unprecedented injustice, the Palestinian people as a whole have risen up in armed revolt in defence of their basic human right to a safe life in their homeland, the right of return, and the right to self-determination and the establishment of their own State, under the leadership of their sole, legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO).
"We especially command the brave efforts of the Secretary-General and the United Nations on behalf of the Palestinian people. This latest attack on the status and reputation of the PLO has been launched by branding as terroristic its legitimate struggle. The intention is to try end liquidate the organization in consonance with the "iron fiat" policy pursued by the Zionist regime in the occupied territories.
•That iron fist of the Zionist racist regime in the occupied territories has caused untold suffering and immersed the territory in terror, repression and human-rights violations.
"The defence of the just and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, in solidarity with this people's struggle is a sacred mission for all peace and progress-loving forces in the world.
"My country feels that those efforts should be aimed first and foremost at convening an international conference on peace in the Middle East at the heart of which is the cause of the Palestinian people. The conference should have the necessary authority to deal with the distortion: it should be under United Nations auspices and have the full participation of permanent members of the Security Council, the PLO and all other parties to the conflict. In this regard, we highly commend the significant efforts of the Soviet Union, the great friend and champion of peace, friendship and human rights for all peoples of the world, without exception.
"Our country would like to reaffirm, too, the need for international efforts to mobilize international public opinion, make it aware of the situation and move it to express its solidarity and support for the cause of the Palestinian people, both in its own land and in the diaspora.
"We condemn Israel's iron-fist policy in the occupied Arab territories and the violation of the sacred sites. We demand that Israel cease these policies, ensure respect for human rights, free the Palestinian militants and put an end to its siege of the Palestinian camps in Lebanon as well.
"Eternal glory to the Palestinian people in their struggle."
"Forty years later, the Arab people of Palestine are still waiting for the world to do justice to its cause. It is in this hope that we again have been given the opportunity today to demonstrate our solidarity with the Palestinian people in their quest for their inalienable right to self-determination and independence on their own land in Palestine.
"As President of the Popular Front of Burkina Paso, I should like to associate the people of Burkina Paso with the commemoration of this struggle and to assure the Palestinian people, through their sole, legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), of our unfailing militant support.
"The people of Burkina Paso, in appropriate solidarity with the struggle of all peoples fighting to regain their inalienable rights, are increasingly flooded each day with information about the realities of the combat going on in this region of the world and are learning to recognize the inhuman conditions being imposed on the Palestinian people by imperialism and its regional arm, Zionism.
"The echoes of harassment, imprisonment, massacres and other killings to which they are subject come to us every day and outrage us.
"The United Nations has a primary role to play in this regard, given the , totality of experiences which the United Nations baa accumulated in this region of the world. We exhort the United Nations to work assiduously in order to be able finally to correct the injustice committed against the Palestinian people.
"The struggle of the Palestinian people, under the leadership of their sole and legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, (PLO), is a struggle for freedom, justice and human dignity. A just, viable and lasting solution to the long-standing Palestinian question can only be achieved through the effective implementation of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. We strongly believe that such a solution not only will put an end to the long sufferings of the Palestinian people, but, undoubtedly, will serve the cause of peace and security in the sensitive and volatile Middle East region.
"I would like, on this occasion, to reaffirm our commitment to a just solution to the Palestinian question and renew our solidarity with the Palestinian people in their quest for freedom, self-determination and independence."
"The cause of the Palestinian is at the heart of the Middle East crisis, unless the Palestinians are allowed to exercise their legitimate rights - the right of return, their right to self-determination and the establishment of their own State on their territory - peace will not come to the Middle East. Thus it is necessary to hold an international peace conference, in which all parties concerned would participate on a footing of equality, including the PLO, the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The five permanent members of the Security Council would also participate in that conference in order to find a just, global and lasting solution to this Question.
I now call on Mr. Ebrahim, the Secretary for Foreign Affairs of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC).
Mr. EBRAHIM (Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC)): Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, the custodian of the genuine aspirations of the oppressed, exploited, discriminated against and dispossessed people of Azania - the African name for apartheid South Africa - allow me to express our firm support with the oppressed, exploited, discriminated against and dispossessed people of Palestine.
In many respects, the Azanian and Palestinian people have had to share a common colonial fate. The peoples of Azania and Palestine have seen their countries handed over by British colonialism to settler minorities. The legitimate and inalienable rights of the indigenous people have been blatantly flouted and totally disrespected. Today, southern Africa and the Middle East constitute areas of international tension. Through manipulation and conflicts, the situations there have been totally distorted: The Palestinian people, fighting for all the principles for which the United Nations was established - principles enshrined in the Charter - are branded as "terrorists", while the usurper is considered "a Member State". The Palestinians have an inalienable right to establish a free and democratic State in their homeland, Palestine. They also have the right to employ all methods at their disposal to realize that sacred right. The right to self-determination is inalienable: no law, no treaty, and certainly no force, can deny a people from claiming it. The exercise of this right may be denied temporarily, but not the legitimate claim to it.
In apartheid South Africa, minority settlers were given all political, military and economic rights by the British Parliament, the so-called citadel of democracy, to the total exclusion of the rightful majority in that country. The settlers, who comprised one fifth of the population, allocated to themselves 87.3 per cent of the land area.
This wholesale dispossession of a people from its country and usurpation of its right to self-determination is the cornerstone of the current problem in southern Africa.
Apartheid is not mere racial discrimination, but denial of the fundamental right of self-determination, to the oppressed and dispossessed majority in that country.
Given that apartheid South Africa and Zionist Israel are both the product of British colonialist history, given that settlers were imposed on the majority of both indigenous populations, given that they both subscribe to the myth of racial superiority, it is not very difficult to understand the close collaboration that presently exists between Pretoria and Tel Aviv, despite the fact that the present rulers in apartheid South Africa were known collaborators with Nazi Germany.
The struggle of the Azanians and the Palestinians is one struggle: it is a popular struggle to realize the inalienable right of each people to self-determination in the land of its forefathers.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) have kept the torch of freedom and the claim of their respective peoples to self-determination in their usurped lands very much alive. They enjoy the full support of their respective peoples and are enjoying ever-growing support of justice-minded peoples the world over. Consequently they must triumph, and they will triumph. Only the establishment of a free Azania and a free Palestine can effectively end the current crisis in those two parts of the world, and this recognition, internationally too, is fast manifesting itself.
The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) enjoys excellent relations with the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The Azanian and Palestinian peoples are daily victims of racist and Zionist terror. Hence our solidarity is mutual.
The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania unreservedly supports the just and legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people. That is only natural, given the close military, nuclear, intelligence and other forms of collaboration that exist between Pretoria and Tel Aviv.
In conclusion allow me, Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania, to thank most sincerely the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for inviting us to participate in this solemn commemorative meeting.
The CHAIRMAN, (interpretation from French): In keeping with the tradition of our Committee, I have the pleasure and honour of calling upon Mr. Farouk Kaddoumi, a member of the Executive Committee and head of the Political Department of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Mr. KADDOUMI, (Palestine Liberation Organization), (interpretation from Arabic): I have the honour, at the conclusion of this International Day of Solidarity with the People of Palestine, of expressing to this Committee our deep satisfaction and gratitude for its support for our cause. The unshakable positions of principle which have been expressed by you, Sir, in your statement, and the messages addressed by the heads of States and rulers of friendly countries constitute the best proof that victory for our just cause is inevitable, because our Palestinian people are looking to you in friendship and brotherliness. They are proud of your friendship and the sincerity of your positions.
We reaffirm now to our dear and sincere friends that we appreciate their positions and consider, them an essential factor, in our struggle to move forward in the realization of our aspirations and our dreams for the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East region.
This manifestation today has comforted us and confirmed the rightness of our hope in the united Nations and its ability to contribute effectively and to help the peoples struggling to recover their national rights, their right to freedom, independence and progress. However strong colonialism and aggression may be, however oppressive colonialism may be, those forces cannot halt the march of the peoples of the world towards liberation, nor can they prevent those peoples from fighting with determination to recover their rights and to build a future for themselves, free of any and all foreign intervention.
The peoples of the world will never bow to the logic of domination and aggression. The peoples of the world will resist and make all the necessary sacrifices.
Our people is one of those peoples that will carry the banner of victory to the very ramparts of Jerusalem, the capital of the Palestinian State, which will be established. We are fighting for a just cause. We are struggling to recover our legitimate rights. You are all behind us in our struggle for our rights, for the right, for justice and peace. Peace cannot be established throughout the world while there are still peoples suffering from oppression in the world, peoples that have lost their sovereignty and independence. The peoples of southern Africa - of South Africa and Namibia - and the Palestinian people are together in the vanguard of mankind's march forward. Let us use every means in the struggle to put an end to injustice and occupation, as well as to colonialism, racism and Zionism. Peace and justice shall reign in those countries. Our war is a just war. It is not directed against anyone or anything other than wrong, injustice, occupation and oppression in all its forms. Through our people's struggle, and however much time that struggle may require, our people will eventually, in the final outcome, triumph.
The United Nations will remain a solid foundation for the protection of our snail peoples. This Organization will defend them, and that is why we place great hopes in it. We are extremely grateful for, and admire, the efforts of the Secretary-General, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, to make the united Nations resolutions a living reality. The oppressed peoples of the world trust that the actions of this international Organization will continue to be a strong tool, a solid means of bringing about freedom and safeguarding peace and security throughout the world.
I say to our dear friends that we shall remain true to the principles of this international Organization and we shall remain loyal and committed to its resolutions. Let us struggle with determination and strength to make a reality of those resolutions.
We thank you once again. Sir, and express our great appreciation for your efforts and the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. We should also like to thank our friend, Mr. Massamba Sarre for his ceaseless efforts and the efforts of the members of the Committee. We should also like to thank Mr. Joseph Reed, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, and all those who work in the Division for Palestinian Rights, particularly Mr. Mirza, Director of the Division, for their praiseworthy and extremely valuable efforts.
Indeed, we thank all our dear friends most warmly for their support for the people of Palestine and for their unswerving solidarity with the Palestinian people under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole, authentic representative.
The CHAIRMAN, (interpretation from French): At today's special meetings we heard, received or read out 30 messages from Heads of State, 12 from Heads of Government, 10 from Ministers for Foreign Affairs. Simultaneously with today's commemoration, ceremonies of solidarity were held in Vienna, Geneva, Jakarta and Buenos Aires under the auspices of the United Nations through its Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
As has been observed, today's ceremonies were more than symbolic. They demonstrated an attitude of heart, soul and mind? they demonstrated confidence, especially in the United Nations and in what it can do to enable peace to reign in the Middle East and the Palestinian people to regain their inalienable right to self-determination and independence. We are pleased to note that there was a consensus at our meetings that there should be no delay in convening the international peace conference on the Middle East. To achieve that we have had for several years to exert persuasion and make compromises to make all sides accept the idea as the most appropriate and timely way to restore peace to the Middle East. In other words, with perseverance and faith, any difficulty can be overcome.
With respect to the Palestinian question, we are glad to be able to say that we are on the right road, and that with patience and, especially, faith and determination, we shall be able to reach our ultimate goal of establishing peace in the Middle East through the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The members of the Committee have been much encouraged by the statements we heard today from the Secretary-General, the guardian of the values of the united Nations, from the President of the General Assembly, representative and custodian of the world's conscience, and from the President of the Security Council, guarantor of international peace and security. We are glad to be able to affirm that with the assistance of all, working together as a team, we shall spare no effort. A faithful, determined team is beginning to form around the guidelines, purposes and principles of the Charter and the Organization.
As our work comes to an end for today, I wish on behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and in my own name to express our gratitude for the understanding and encouragement we have received from all. To be sure, we all know we must work to achieve our lofty purpose: the defence of the just cause of restoring the rights of the Palestinian people.
It gives me pleasure to pay a tribute to the staff of the Division for Palestinian Rights; with selflessness and devotion they have done everything to facilitate our task. We thank those who made today's special meetings possible, including those who devotedly work behind the scenes: the interpreters and all the rest of the Secretariat team. Nor must I forget the security officers.
If maintained, the path we have blazed today, the flame we have lit today, will be decisive in progress towards the goal we are pursuing: the exercise by the Palestinian people of their, inalienable rights.
Once again, I thank everybody for their support and their participation in this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The meeting rose at 8 p.m.
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