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

        General Assembly
A/42/35
16 October 1987

[Original: English]

[16 October 1987]
CONTENTS


Paragraphs
Page
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
v
I.INTRODUCTION
1 - 6
1
II.MANDATE OF THE COMMITTEE
7 - 9
3
III. ORGANIZATION OF WORK
10 - 17
4
A.Election of officers
10 - 13
4
B.Participation in the work of the Committee
14 - 15
4
C.Re-establishment of the Working Group
16 - 17
4
IV.ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMITTEE
18 - 80
6
A.Action taken in accordance with General Assembly
resolution 41/43 A of 2 December 1986
18 - 55
6
1.Review of the situation relating to the question
of Palestine and efforts to implement the
recommendations of the Committee
18 - 28
6
2.Reactions to developments affecting the
inalienable rights of the Palestinian people
29 - 46
8
3. Action taken by the Committee to promote the
convening of the proposed International Peace
Conference on the Middle East in accordance
with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C of
13 December 1983
47 - 53
11
4.Attendance at international conferences and
meetings
54
13
5.Action taken by United Nations bodies, the
Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and
intergovernmental organizations ..
55
14
B. Action taken by the Committee in accordance with
General Assembly resolutions 41/43 A and B of
2 December 1986
56 - 80
15
1.Co-operation with non-governmental organizations
56 - 69
15
2.Seminars
70 - 78
18
3.Other activities
79 - 80
20
V.ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION IN
ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 41/43 C
81 - 91
21
VI. RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE
92 - 96
23

ANNEXES


I.Recommendations of the Committee endorsed by the General
Assembly at its thirty-first session
25
II.Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action
for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights
28
III.Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Sixteenth
United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, New
Delhi, 8-12 June 1987
38
IV.Declaration adopted by the United Nations Asian Regional
Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium on the Question
of Palestine, New Delhi, 8-10 June 1987
43
V.Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Seventeenth
United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine,
New York, 22-23 June 1987
48
VI.Declaration adopted by the United Nations North American
Regional Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium on the
Question of Palestine, New York, 24-26 June 1987
53
VII.Declaration adopted by the International Meeting of
Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of
Palestine, Geneva, 7-9 September 1987
63







LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL


7 October 1987


Sir,

I have the honour to enclose herewith the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for submission to the General Assembly in accordance with paragraph 4 of resolution 41/43 A of 2 December 1986.

Accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration.



(Signed) Massamba SARRE Chairman of the Committee on the
Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People





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


I. INTRODUCTION



1. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, established by General Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1975, is currently composed of 23 Member States. 1/

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

3. In its subsequent reports to the General Assembly, 3/ the Committee retained its original recommendations unchanged. On each occasion they have been firmly endorsed by the Assembly, which has also continued to renew and, as necessary, expand the mandate of the Committee.

4. Despite repeated and urgent appeals by the Committee, however, the Security Council has not yet been able to act on or implement the recommendations of the Committee. The Committee remains convinced that positive consideration and action by the Security Council on its recommendations would advance prospects for the attainment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

5. Meanwhile, the occupation by Israel of Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, in violation of Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, has continued and is now in its twentieth year. Israel still occupies parts of Lebanon. As a result, the situation relating to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people has continued to deteriorate. The Committee has repeatedly expressed its grave concern at the policies and practices of Israel in the occupied territories, which are in violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 4/ and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (General Assembly resolution 217 A (III)). Such policies and practices have continued to pose obstacles to the efforts towards a comprehensive, just and lasting solution, and to exacerbate tension and conflict in the area, further endangering international peace and security. The Committee has therefore repeatedly warned that this situation will continue to prevail as long as the Palestinian people is denied its inalienable rights in Palestine, including those to self-determination without external interference to national independence and sovereignty, to return to its homes and property, and to establish its own independent sovereign State, and as long as the Palestinian and other Arab territories remain occupied. In this connection, the Committee has also been gravely concerned by the violence and destruction directed against Palestinians in refugee camps, for whom the international community has a special responsibility.

6. In order to secure United Nations objectives on the question of Palestine, during the period under review, the Committee continued to give priority to the early convening of the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under United Nations auspices and in accordance with the provisions of General Assembly resolution 38/58 C of 13 December 1983. The Committee is convinced that the conference would make a practical and positive contribution to efforts to promote a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and has continued to stress the urgent need for additional concrete and constructive efforts by all Governments in order to convene the Conference without delay. As a practical step towards that objective, a preparatory committee should be established immediately, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 41/43 D of 2 December 1986, with the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and also of all parties involved, including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).



II. MANDATE OF THE COMMITTEE



7. The Committee's mandate for the year 1987 is contained in paragraphs 3 to 5 of General Assembly resolution 41/43 A of 2 December 1986 by which the Assembly:

(a) Requested the Committee to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine as well as the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights 5/ and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly or the Security Council, as appropriate;

(b) Authorized the Committee to continue to exert all efforts to promote the implementation of its recommendations, including representation at conferences and meetings and the sending of delegations where such activities would be considered by it to be appropriate, and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its forty-second session and thereafter;

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

8. By its resolution 41/43 B of 2 December 1986, the General Assembly also requested the Secretary-General, inter alia, to provide the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat with the necessary resources and to ensure that the Division continued to discharge the tasks detailed in paragraphs 2 and 3 of General Assembly resolution
40/96 B, in consultation with the Committee and under its guidance.

9. By resolution 41/43 C of 2 December 1986, the General Assembly requested the Department of Public Information, in full co-operation and co-ordination with the Committee, to continue its special information programme on the question of Palestine.

III. ORGANIZATION OF WORK



A. Election of officers


10. At its 137th meeting, on 12 January 1987, the Committee decided to re-elect the following officers:

Chairman:Mr. Massamba Sarré (Senegal)
Vice-Chairman:Mr. Oscar Oramas-Oliva (Cuba)
Rapporteur:Mr. George Agius (Malta)

11. At its 139th meeting, on 12 March 1987, the Committee elected by acclamation
Mr. Shah Mohammad Dost (Afghanistan) as Vice-Chairman.

12. At its 141st meeting, on 7 July 1987, the Committee designated Mr. Saviour Borg (Malta) as Rapporteur a.i., in lieu of Mr. George Agius, who had returned to his country. At its 142nd meeting, on 14 September 1987, the Committee elected by acclamation as Rapporteur, Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier, who had recently been appointed Permanent Representative of Malta.

13. At its 138th meeting, on 12 February 1987, the Committee adopted its programme of work for 1987 (A/AC.183/1987/CRP.1/Rev.1) in implementation of its mandate.

B. Participation in the work of the Committee


14. As in previous years, the Committee reconfirmed that all States Members of the United Nations and Permanent Observers to the United Nations desiring to participate in the work of the Committee as observers were welcome to do so. Accordingly, in a letter dated 18 February 1987, the Chairman of the Committee so informed the Secretary-General, who subsequently transmitted the letter, on 26 February 1987, to States Members of the United Nations and members of the specialized agencies, and to intergovernmental regional organizations. The Committee also decided to invite the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to participate in the work of the Committee as an observer, to attend all its meetings and to make observations and proposals for the consideration of the Committee.

15. During 1987 the Committee again welcomed as observers all the States and organizations that had participated in its work the preceding year. 6/ The Committee also welcomed the additional participation of Kuwait as of 28 April and of Bangladesh as of 7 July 1987.

C. Re-establishment of the Working Group


16. At its 137th meeting, the Committee re-established its Working Group to assist in the preparation and expedition of the work of the Committee. The Working Group was constituted as before under the chairmanship of Mr. George Agius (Malta), on the understanding that any Committee member or observer could participate in its proceedings. 7/ At its 141st meeting, the Committee designated Mr. Saviour Borg (Malta) to serve as Chairman a.i. of the Working Group. At its 142nd meeting, the Committee appointed Mr. Alexander Borg-Olivier (Malta) as Chairman of the Working Group.

17. At its 1st meeting, on 4 February 1987, the Working Group elected by acclamation
Mr. Pramathesh Rath (India) as its Vice-Chairman.


IV. ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMITTEE


A.
Action taken in accordance with General Assembly resolution
41/43 A of 2 December 1986


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


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

19. In response to events in the region affecting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, the Chairman of the Committee, on several occasions, whenever urgent action was required, brought such developments to the attention of the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, and called for appropriate measures in accordance with United Nations resolutions (see sect. 2 (a) below). Those letters were sent against a backdrop of continued military occupation and gradual annexation by Israel of the Palestinian and Arab territories, which resulted in a growing spiral of conflict, tension and violence in the region.

20. The Committee was increasingly concerned at the fact that the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories had continued to deteriorate, according to reports reaching the Committee from a variety of sources, such as Governments, United Nations bodies and agencies, non-governmental organizations, individual experts and the media. The Committee was also alarmed at the continuing grave situation of Palestinian refugees in the camps in south Lebanon.

21. According to the information received by the Committee, Israel had persisted in its policy of confiscating Arab-owned land in the occupied Palestinian territories and of expanding its settlements, in violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, 4/ and United Nations resolutions.

22. The Committee remained gravely concerned at the continued imposition of the "iron-fist" policy by Israel, the occupying Power, in the occupied territories, in an effort to curb popular sentiment and activities in opposition to the occupation and in support of PLO. Demonstrations and protests which spread throughout the territories during the period under review were met with armed force by Israeli troops on repeated occasions, resulting in the killing and wounding of unarmed civilians, including children. The Israeli authorities continued to impose a range of measures against suspected activists, particularly trade unionists, community and student leaders, journalists, and academics. Such measures included arrest, administrative detention for up to six months without charges or trial, town or house arrest, denial of permission to travel abroad, and deportation. The Committee was gravely concerned at repeated reports of torture, beatings and ill-treatment of Palestinian prisoners by Israeli security forces, despite appeals by human rights organizations and hunger strikes by thousands of prisoners.


23. The Israeli authorities had also continued to engage in acts of collective punishment and other measures against the Palestinian population in the occupied territories, such as the destruction or sealing of homes of families of persons charged with security offences, the imposition of curfews, raids on refugee camps, schools and trade union premises, and various other forms of intimidation and harassment. Schools, universities and newspapers were closed down on repeated occasions, trade union activities were prohibited, and measures were taken against student unions, community organizations, women's groups, and others.

24. These repressive actions by the Israeli authorities were accompanied by a growing trend towards settler vigilantism, encroachment and provocation, which resulted in numerous violent incidents and further exacerbated tension in the area.

25. The Committee was gravely concerned at the fact that the Israeli authorities had continued to take administrative, economic and other measures to further entrench their control over the occupied territories, thereby impeding their autonomous development. In particular, the Committee noted reports relating to the growing confiscation of agricultural lands and water resources, to the arbitrary taxation and restrictions imposed on the commercial and industrial sectors, and to the continuing destruction of the economic, demographic, social and cultural structure of the occupied territories. The Palestinian people was thereby prevented from making use of, and developing, its own resources, and had to depend increasingly on the Israeli market for its products and on the Israeli labour market for employment, or even to emigrate. The Committee further noted with concern reports that living standards had continued to deteriorate, and that in particular the health situation had worsened; labour conditions remained discriminatory; and the educational system continued to be inadequate.

26. The Committee wished once again to express its utmost concern at these policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, and to bring them forcefully to the attention of the General Assembly and the Security Council as they clearly violated the fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949 4/ and had serious repercussions not only on the attainment by the Palestinians of their inalienable rights, but also on peace and security in the region, and on international efforts to achieve a just, lasting and comprehensive solution to the question of Palestine, the core of the Middle East conflict.

27. At the same time, the Committee noted with appreciation that the Secretary-General's report on assistance to the Palestinian people (A/42/289-E/1987/86 and Add.1) had provided evidence of the continuing commitment of the agencies and programmes of the United Nations system to provide economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people. The Committee was pleased that consensus had been reached on the proposed programme of assistance and that efforts would now turn to its implementation and to the mobilization of the necessary resources.

28. The Committee also noted with appreciation the report of the Seminar on the Living Conditions of the Palestinian People in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (A/42/183-E/1987/53), held at the Vienna International Centre from 2 to 6 March 1987 pursuant to General Assembly resolution 40/201 of 17 December 1985 and fully supported its goals of labour absorption and the entrenchment of the Palestinian people in their homes and on their land.


2.
Reactions to developments affecting the inalienable rights
of the Palestinian people


(a)Communications to the Secretary-General and the President of the
Security Council

29. In response to events affecting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, the Chairman of the Committee, whenever urgent action was required, drew the attention of the Secretary-General and of the President of the Security Council to such events, urging the adoption of appropriate measures in accordance with United Nations resolutions. The Chairman continued to call, in particular, for renewed efforts to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine, the root cause of the conflict in the Middle East, and to stress the urgent need for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C.

30. In a letter to the Secretary-General dated 10 November 1986 (A/41/811-S/18452), the Chairman expressed the Committee's grave concern at the persistence and intensification of fighting in and around Palestinian refugee camps at Beirut and near Tyre and Sidon. In particular, the Committee was greatly concerned that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) had been unable to deliver supplies to several of the camps, which were surrounded and remained inaccessible. In his letter, the Chairman called for urgent measures to be taken to end the suffering and to provide the necessary emergency relief, as well as to ensure the security and safety of the Palestinians in the refugee camps.

31. On 16 December 1986, the Chairman drew attention in a letter (A/41/970-S/18525) to the grave incidents which had continued to occur in the occupied Palestinian territories since the adoption by the Security Council of resolution 592 (1986). The Chairman detailed the most significant developments, which included several instances of shootings of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli troops, hundreds of arrests, the closing of schools and universities and the imposition of curfews in several areas. He stressed that the actions by the Israeli authorities in the occupied territories were totally in violation of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949, and that, in resolution 592 (1986), the Security Council had called upon Israel to abide immediately and scrupulously by the Convention and to release any person or persons detained as a result of the recent events.

32. In a letter dated 11 February 1987 (A/42/122-S/18682), the Chairman again expressed the Committee's grave concern at the persistence and intensification of attacks on the Palestinian refugee camps at Beirut and near Tyre. Since his previous letter (see para. 30 above), the violence and destruction had escalated, causing thousands of casualties. The Committee wished to express its utmost concern at the fact that UNRWA had been unable to deliver food or medicines to the camps and that thousands of persons were trapped and close to starvation. In view of the seriousness of the situation, the Committee wished to make an urgent appeal to all interested parties to use their influence to enable UNRWA and other humanitarian organizations to provide essential emergency relief.

33. In a further letter on the same issue, dated 20 February 1987 (A/42/135-S/18713), the Acting Chairman expressed the Committee's utmost concern at the fact that UNRWA had once again been prevented from delivering food and medicines to the Palestinian refugee camps at Beirut and near Tyre. In view of the desperate situation of the Palestinian civilians who had been trapped in the camps for months and who were on the verge of starvation, the Committee wished to reiterate its earlier urgent appeal to all the parties concerned.

34. On 12 March 1987 (A/42/176-S/18751), the Chairman stated that the situation in the Palestinian refugee camps at Beirut and near Tyre continued to arouse the most serious concern. After being allowed to deliver some supplies, UNRWA had again been barred from the camps; the situation remained extremely grave and was bound to deteriorate further unless urgent measures were taken. He accordingly reiterated the Committee's pressing appeal to all parties concerned to do everything possible to enable UNRWA and other humanitarian organizations to provide emergency relief.

35. On 7 May 1987 (A/42/278-S/18850), the Chairman drew urgent attention to recent air raids carried out by the Israeli Air Force against Palestinian refugee camps near Sidon. Two attacks in the space of about a week had resulted in a toll of 22 dead and 65 wounded persons, primarily among the civilian population, and in the destruction of several houses. He expressed the view that the attacks had to be seen in the context of the intensification of measures taken by the Israeli authorities against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, as well as the general military escalation in south Lebanon. He warned that the situation that was being created was a most explosive one, and expressed the Committee's deep concern at the actions of the Israeli authorities, which continued to heighten tension in the region and posed a serious obstacle to international efforts to achieve a solution to the question of Palestine.

36. In a letter dated 20 May 1987 (A/42/297-S/18874), the Chairman expressed once again the grave concern of the Committee at the continuing deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. Since his earlier letter on the issue (see para. 35 above), demonstrations by Palestinians against the occupation had intensified and the Israeli authorities had again resorted to a variety of measures, including the use of armed force, the detention of leaders for six-month periods, arrests, the closing down of universities, and expulsions. Three youth leaders had recently been deported: Marwan Barghouti, Chairman of the Student Council at Bir Zeit University, Khalil Ashour, Chairman of the Student Council at An-Najah University (both in the West Bank) and Ahmed Abdulfatah Nasser, President of the Arab Youth Federation at Khan Yunis in Gaza. The Chairman recalled that Security Council resolution 592 (1986) had reaffirmed the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 to the occupied territories, and had called on Israel to abide immediately and scrupulously by that Convention.

37. In a letter dated 3 June 1987 (A/42/318-S/18893), the Chairman called urgent attention to the serious incidents that had continued to occur in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli authorities had launched a massive campaign of detention of Palestinians following protest demonstrations in the refugee camps in the West Bank; one camp had been raided by Israeli troops, which had opened fire on demonstrators; 60 persons had been arrested, and 10 had been ordered detained for a period of six months. The Committee wished to emphasize that such actions were absolutely contrary to the Geneva Convention and to recall the provisions of Security Council resolution 592 (1986).

38. In a letter dated 9 September l987 (A/42/550-S/l9l22), the Chairman drew urgent attention to the recent air raids carried out by the Israeli Air Force on the Ein el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon. He stated that, according to information from various press agencies, as a result of the bombings many Palestinians, including women and children, had lost their lives and scores had been injured. He stressed that the situation being created in the area was a most explosive one, which could not but arouse the greatest concern. In conclusion, the Chairman reiterated the Committee's conviction that positive action by the Security Council on its recommendations and on the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East would advance prospects for a just and lasting peace in the region, and called for continued efforts towards this objective.

39. In a letter dated 22 September l987 (A/42/575-S/l9l50), the Chairman urgently drew attention to the steady deterioration of the human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. In particular, suspected opponents of the occupation continued to be subjected to measures of administrative detention for up to six months without charges or trial. The latest such case was that of Faisal Husseini, the well-known director of the Arab Studies Society, recently detained for the third time in less than a year, apparently because of statements made in connection with his activities in the Committee Confronting the Iron-Fist Policy, a Jewish-Arab group opposed to Israeli policies in the occupied territories. Mr. Husseini had also been under town-arrest for five years. Stressing that such policies only exacerbated tension and created new obstacles to a negotiated and peaceful settlement of the Palestinian question, the Chairman called for intensified efforts by the international community to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C.


(b) Action taken within the Security Council


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

41. In a letter dated 4 December 1986, addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/18501), the Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe to the United Nations and Chairman of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries requested an immediate meeting of the Council to consider the situation in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem. The Council considered the item at four meetings held on 5 and 8 December 1986.

42. At the 2725th meeting of the Council, on 8 December 1986, the Chairman of the Committee intervened in the debate and stated that the Committee observed with ever-growing concern the deterioration of the situation in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel, including Jerusalem. The incidents that the Council was considering, which involved the shooting of Palestinian student demonstrators by Israeli troops, were but the latest manifestations of the "iron fist" policy of repression adopted by the Israeli authorities. Such measures were in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Fourth Geneva Convention and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations in the matter. They caused growing tensions and violence in the region, which would continue so long as the Palestinian people was prevented from exercising its inalienable rights.

43. It was therefore essential to take steps to initiate the process that could lead to a peaceful solution, in accordance with the guidelines established by the General Assembly. The Committee invited those who had so far opposed the holding of the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East to work in a more constructive fashion for its convening and successful outcome, and appealed to the Security Council to take appropriate measures to ensure resumption of the policy of dialogue among all the parties concerned.

44. At its 2727th meeting, on 8 December 1986, the Council adopted resolution 592 (1986), by which it reaffirmed the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, and called upon Israel to abide immediately and scrupulously by it; strongly deplored the opening of fire by the Israeli army resulting in the death and the wounding of defenceless students; called for the release of all persons detained as a result of the recent events; called upon all concerned parties to exercise maximum restraint, to avoid violent acts, and to contribute towards the establishment of peace; and requested the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the implementation of the resolution not later than 20 December 1986.

45. The Committee subsequently took note of the report of the Secretary-General (S/18532), prepared in pursuance of resolution 592 (1986).

46. The Committee noted the statement made by the President of the Security Council on behalf of the members of the Council on 13 February 1987 (S/18691), by which the members of the Council, mindful of the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Lebanon, expressed their profound concern at the continued escalation of violence in certain parts of Lebanon, affecting the civilian population, particularly in and around Palestinian refugee camps. The members called upon the parties concerned to observe an immediate cease-fire and to permit access to the camps for humanitarian purposes. They also urgently appealed to all concerned to facilitate the efforts of various Governments and United Nations agencies, including UNRWA, as well as non-governmental organizations, to provide critically needed humanitarian assistance.


3.
Action taken by the Committee to promote the convening
of the proposed International Peace Conference on the
Middle East in accordance with General Assembly
resolution 38/58 C of 13 December 1983


47. General Assembly resolution 41/43 D of 2 December 1986, inter alia, determined that the question of Palestine is the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East; reaffirmed once again its endorsement of the call for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in conformity with the provisions of resolution 38/58 C; stressed the urgent need for additional concrete and constructive efforts by all Governments in order to convene the Conference without further delay; endorsed the call for setting up a preparatory committee, within the framework of the Security Council, to take the necessary action to convene the Conference; requested the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Security Council, to continue his efforts with a view to convening the Conference and to report thereon to the General Assembly not later than 15 May 1987; and decided to consider at its forty-second session the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the resolution.

48. In the light of that resolution the Committee, in adopting its programme of work (A/AC.183/1987/CRP.1/Rev.1), once again decided that, in its activities during 1987, it would continue as a matter of priority to exert all efforts to promote the early convening of the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East, while urging the understanding and further co-operation of all concerned for the resolution of a problem of such fundamental importance to the maintenance of international peace and security. This goal was also stressed by the Chairman of the Committee in his letter to the Secretary-General of 18 February 1987, inviting the participation of all States and intergovernmental organizations in the work of the Committee (see para. 14 above). The Committee was further strengthened in its resolve by the positive replies it received from several Member States, which showed firm support for the Committee's objectives and reaffirmed that the Committee had an important role to play in international efforts towards the convening of the Conference. The Committee intends to take into consideration in its future activities the suggestions made by Member States.

49. The Committee was also greatly encouraged by the strong consensus in favour of the urgent convening of the Conference as the most practical and comprehensive approach to a solution of the question, that had emerged from the regional seminars and from symposia and meetings of non-governmental organizations on the question of Palestine organized under the Committee's auspices. The Committee also found support for the establishment of the preparatory Committee in accordance with Assembly resolution 4l/43 D (see sect. B below).

50. The Committee was pleased to note that the Secretary-General had continued his efforts with a view to convening the Conference in accordance with the above-mentioned resolution. In his report (A/42/277-S/18849), the Secretary-General had stated that, in contrast with the experience of recent years, none of the members of the Security Council opposed in principle the idea of an international conference under United Nations auspices. He further stated that wide differences still existed regarding the form that a conference should take and that the positions of the parties themselves remained far apart on a number of issues of procedure and of substance, but that in recent months there had been indications of greater flexibility in attitudes towards the negotiating process and that this should be encouraged.

51. The Committee noted with appreciation that the Secretary-General intended to intensify his contacts with the parties in order to try to find ways of bridging the gaps between them, and that he would keep the General Assembly and the Security Council fully informed of his continuing efforts to make progress towards a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. The Committee also noted with appreciation the statement made on 7 September by the representative of the Secretary-General, at the fourth United Nations International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations held at Geneva, that since May, the Secretary-General had continued his consultations with the parties and the members of the Security Council. In June he had sent a mission to the area to explore further the positions of all the parties concerned, including PLO. The mission had had a most constructive discussion with Chairman Arafat in Tunis. Similarly, the talks held with the other parties had also been useful, providing the Secretary-General with clear indications of their positions. While a number of obstacles still needed to be overcome, the Secretary-General was determined to continue his efforts.

52. The Committee was encouraged by the positive elements contained in the Secretary-General's report as well as by the growing international consensus and efforts in favour of the proposal (see para. 55 below). The Committee continued to stress the urgent need for the Security Council and the parties concerned to take positive action towards the convening of the Conference, particularly in the light of the worsening situation in the occupied territories and in the refugee camps. The Committee's view was reiterated in a meeting of its bureau with the President of the Security Council on 20 May 1987.

53. On 5 June 1987, the Chairman of the Committee issued a press statement (GA/PAL/348) commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the 1967 war in the Middle East, which had resulted in the occupation by Israeli forces of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza strip, and in the denial of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people. He launched an appeal to the international community to redouble its efforts to bring about a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question, the root cause of the conflict in the Middle East. The Committee believed that the International Peace Conference should be convened as soon as possible and it requested the co-operation of all concerned and interested parties in order to ensure its success in the common interest.

4. Attendance at international conferences and meetings


54. In accordance with its mandate, since its previous report to the General Assembly, the Committee was represented at the following international conferences and meetings:

(a) Meeting of the Special Committee against Apartheid in observance of the Day of Solidarity with South African Political Prisoners, held in New York on 10 October 1986;

(b) Special meeting of the United Nations Council for Namibia to commemorate the Week of Solidarity with the People of Namibia and their Liberation Movement, held in New York on 27 October 1986;

(c) Meeting of the Special Committee against Apartheid in commemoration of the seventy-fifth anniversary of the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC), held in New York on 8 January 1987;

(d) Fifth Islamic Summit Conference, held in Kuwait from 21 to 28 January 1987;

(e) Solemn meeting of the Special Committee against Apartheid in observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, held in New York on
20 March 1987;

(f) Meeting of the Committee of Nine Non-Aligned Countries on Palestine, held at Harare on 14 and 15 April 1987;

(g) Eighteenth session of the Palestine National Council, held at Algiers from
20 to 26 April 1987;

(h) Extraordinary plenary meetings of the United Nations Council for Namibia, held at Luanda from 18 to 22 May 1987;

(i) Meeting of the Solidarity Committee of the German Democratic Republic in solidarity with the Palestinian people, held at Berlin on 5 June 1987;

(j) Solemn meeting of the Special Committee against Apartheid in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Struggling People of South Africa - Soweto Day, held in New York on 16 June 1987;

(k) Forty-sixth ordinary session of the Council of Ministers and twenty-third session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, held at Addis Ababa on 20 to 29 July 1987;

(l) Solemn meeting of the United Nations Council for Namibia in commemoration of Namibia Day, held on 26 August l987;

(m) European Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations organized by the European Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine, held at Geneva on 3 and 4 September l987.


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

55. The Committee continued to follow with great interest the activities relating to the question of Palestine of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, United Nations bodies and intergovernmental organizations. The Committee especially noted the grave concern at all levels of the international community over the continuing lack of progress towards a negotiated solution of the Palestine question and over the steady deterioration of the situation of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories and the refugee camps. It welcomed the growing sentiment and momentum in favour of the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The Committee noted in particular the following documents:

(a) Final communiqué of the Meeting of Ministers and Heads of Delegation of the Non-Aligned Countries to the forty-first session of the United Nations General Assembly, held in New York on 2 October 1986 (A/41/703-S/18395);

(b) Final communiqué adopted at the Co-ordination Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, held in New York on
2 October 1986 (A/41/740-S/18418);

(c) Communiqué issued by the plenary meeting of Non-Aligned Countries held in New York on 8 December 1986 (A/42/79-S/18569);

(d) Final communiqué and resolutions adopted by the Fifth Islamic Summit Conference, held at Kuwait from 26 to 29 January 1987 (resolutions 1/5-P(IS), 2/5-P(IS) and 8/5-P(IS)) (A/42/l78-S/l8753);

(e) Resolutions adopted by the forty-third session of the Commission on Human Rights, held at Geneva from 2 February to 13 March 1987 (resolutions 1987/2 A and B, 1987/4 and 1987/49) (E/l987/l8-E/CN.4/l987/60);

(f) Declaration of the Foreign Ministers of the Twelve Member States of the European Community on the Middle East, made at Brussels on 23 February 1987 (A/42/151-S/18718);

(g) Resolutions adopted by the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity at its forty-fifth ordinary session, held at Addis Ababa from 23 to 28 February 1987 (A/42/292);

(h) Statement on the Middle East issued by the Nordic Foreign Ministers at their meeting held at Reyjkavik from 25 to 26 March 1987;

(i) Final document adopted at the Meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Committee of Nine Non-Aligned Countries on Palestine (Harare Declaration) held at Harare on 14 and 15 April 1987 (A/42/284-S/18856);

(j) Communiqué issued by the Session of the Political Consultative Committee of the States Parties to the Warsaw Treaty on Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance held at Berlin on 28 and 29 May l987 (A/42/3l3-S/l8888);

(k) Communiqué of the Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Mediterranean members of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Brioni, Yugoslavia, from 3 to 4 June l987 (A/42/409);

(l) Communiqué of the Committee of Nine Non-Aligned Countries on Palestine meeting at the ministerial level at Pyongyang, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, on
l0 June l987;

(m) Joint communiqué of the Twentieth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, held in Singapore on l5 and l6 June l987 (A/42/477-S/l9048);

(n) Resolutions adopted by the Economic and Social Council at its second regular session of l987, held at Geneva from 23 June to 9 July l987 (resolutions l987/77 and l987/87) (E/l987/INF/7);

(o) Declaration concerning the Middle East adopted by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the twelve States members of the European Community at Copenhagen on
l3 July l987 (A/42/40l-S/l8978);

(p) Resolutions adopted by the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity at its forty-sixth ordinary session, held at Addis Ababa from 20 to 25 July l987 (CM Res. l093, l094, l095 (XLVI));

(q) Declaration by the twelve member States of the European Community concerning Israel's settlement policy, issued at Brussels, on l4 September l987 (A/42/56-S/l9l39).


B.
Action taken by the Committee in accordance with General
Assembly resolutions 41/43 A and B of 2 December 1986


1. Co-operation with non-governmental organizations


56. During the period under review, the Committee and the Division for Palestinian Rights, in consultation with the Committee and under its guidance, organized a number of activities in their continuing efforts to expand their contacts with non-governmental organizations and to co-operate with such organizations in their contribution towards heightening international awareness of the facts relating to the question of Palestine and in creating a more favourable atmosphere for the full implementation of the Committee's recommendations.

57. Accordingly, the Committee during 1987 organized regional symposia for non-governmental organizations in Asia and North America; an international meeting of non-governmental organizations; and two preparatory meetings for the North American symposium and the international meeting, respectively.

58. In accordance with its decision to continue to give utmost priority to efforts to promote the early convening of the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, the Committee decided that non-governmental symposia and meetings should continue to emphasize the importance of convening the Conference and structured the programmes for those activities accordingly.


(a) North American Regional Symposium


59. The preparatory meeting for the North American Regional Symposium for Non-Governmental Organizations was held at United Nations Headquarters on 17 and
18 February 1987 and was attended by the members of the North American Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine, elected by the participants at the North American Regional Symposium for Non-Governmental Organizations held in June 1986. The meeting worked out the various aspects of the programme for the symposium to be held in 1987 and the modalities for expanding the network of non-governmental organizations active on the question of Palestine in North America.

60. The North American Regional Symposium for Non-Governmental Organizations was held at United Nations Headquarters from 24 to 26 June 1987, immediately following the North American Regional Seminar, with which it was combined in the interest of economy and in accordance with the practice followed in previous years (see para. 73 below). The Symposium was attended by representatives of 46 non-governmental organizations as participants, and 24 non-governmental organizations as observers from the United States of America and Canada, by a delegation of the Committee, and by a number of observers from governmental and intergovernmental organizations and liberation movements. The Symposium had one main panel on "The need for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C: the urgency of ending twenty years of occupation", and a number of action-oriented workshops.

61. The Committee noted with appreciation that the Symposium adopted a declaration strongly supporting the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C and calling upon the peoples and Governments of the United States and Canada to take all possible steps to secure the implementation of that resolution in order to secure a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine. The Committee was also pleased that the Symposium participants agreed on common objectives and strategies to be implemented by North American non-governmental organizations to promote a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, in particular the proposal to convene a model international peace conference at the non-governmental organization level, and again established a North American Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations to co-ordinate their work. (For the full text of the declaration, see annex VI to the present document.)

(b) Asian Regional Symposium


62. The Asian Regional Symposium for Non-Governmental Organizations was held at the Vigyan Bhawan Conference Centre at New Delhi from 8 to 10 June 1987. The Committee had decided, in the interest of economy, to integrate this symposium as far as possible with the Asian Regional Seminar, which was held at the same venue from 8 to 12 June 1987 (see para. 72 below). The Committee expressed its appreciation to the Government of India for its willingness to host both events.

63. The Symposium was attended by representatives of 2l non-governmental organizations as participants and 11 non-governmental organizations as observers, as well as by a delegation of the Committee and governmental and intergovernmental observers.

64. The Symposium shared two panels with the Seminar, namely, on "the role of PLO", and on "the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, the need for such a Conference, and efforts and prospects to promote a successful outcome and benefits thereof". An additional panel on "non-governmental organization collaboration on the question of Palestine and the role of the United Nations" was also organized for the benefit of the Symposium only, as well as a workshop on "non-governmental organization activities to promote the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and to mobilize Asian public opinion".

65. The Committee noted with appreciation that the Symposium had adopted a declaration upholding the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, with the participation of all parties concerned, including PLO as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and calling for the mobilization of public opinion in the Asian region in support of the convening of the Conference. The Committee was also pleased that the participants in the Symposium had agreed on common objectives and activities for Asian non-governmental organizations with a view to encouraging their Governments to pursue those policies, and had taken steps towards the establishment of a co-ordinating committee of the Asian non-governmental organizations to harmonize their future work. (For the full text of the declaration, see annex IV to the present document.)


(c) International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations


66. The preparatory meeting for the International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations was held at the United Nations Office at Geneva on 16 and 17 March 1987 and was attended by members of the International Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine, elected by the participants at the International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations held in July 1986. In accordance with its mandate, the preparatory meeting worked out the details of the programme for the International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations to be held in 1987 and discussed future co-operation and action at the international level.

67. The International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations was held at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 7 to 9 September l987. The Meeting was attended by representatives from l2l non-governmental organizations as participants and l49 non-governmental organizations as observers from all regions, including several from Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The Committee was honoured by the participation in the Meeting of Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of PLO, who also received the Committee delegation for an exchange of views. The Committee was also pleased that a number of prominent political personalities had accepted its invitation to attend and address the Meeting.

68. The Meeting established two panels to consider "The need for and the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C", and "Palestinian political and human rights", and four workshops, on mobilization of public opinion; creative arts and the Palestinian struggle for national identity; community development and relief work; and mobilizing the international peace movement for a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East.

69. The Committee noted with appreciation that the Meeting adopted a declaration reaffirming the need for and urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 4l/43 D and pledging further efforts by the international non-governmental organization community to promote this objective. In this connection, the Committee noted the commitment of the European non-governmental organizations to work towards increased support for the Conference by their Governments, particularly in the States members of the European Economic Community and that the non-governmental organizations had urged the European Parliament to invite Chairman Arafat to present the views of the Palestinian people. Further, the non-governmental organizations had reaffirmed the international consensus that the PLO is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and they called on all Governments to recognize the PLO. The Committee noted that the Meeting had called for the repeal of the Israeli law of l986 which criminalizes Israeli citizens who engage in peace talks with the PLO. The Committee also noted that the Meeting reaffirmed its support for the recognition and attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of return and the right to self-determination, and expressed grave concern over the deteriorating situation of Palestinians in the occupied territories and in southern Lebanon. The Committee further noted with appreciation that the Meeting had agreed on a number of action-oriented proposals for the future, including efforts for the further expansion of the international network of non-governmental organizations, and had again established an International Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations to harmonize these activities. (For the full text of the declaration, see annex VII to the present document.)

2. Seminars


70. In accordance with the mandate given by the General Assembly, the Committee and the Division for Palestinian Rights in consultation with the Committee and under its guidance continued to organize seminars in various regions. As in the past, the Committee decided that the seminars would consider the following topics:

(a) The convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, the need for such a conference and efforts and prospects to promote a successful outcome and benefits thereof;

(b) The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization;

(c) The question of Palestine and public opinion (in the region concerned);

(d) The United Nations and the question of Palestine.


71. It was also decided that other topics of particular relevance to the region concerned might be added.

72. The Committee appreciated the decision of the Government of India to provide the venue for the Asian Regional Seminar (the Sixteenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine), which took place at New Delhi from 8 to 12 June 1987. As already mentioned (see para. 49 above), the Seminar was integrated with the Asian Regional Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium to the extent possible. The conclusions and recommendations of the Seminar are contained in annex III to the present document.

73. The North American Regional Seminar (the Seventeenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine) was held at United Nations Headquarters on 22 and 23 June 1987. Its conclusions and recommendations are contained in annex V to the present document.

74. The Committee regretted that, owing to circumstances beyond its control, it could not hold the Latin American seminar which it had included in its programme of work for l987. The Committee has decided to organize this seminar as early as possible in l988.

75. The Committee was pleased by the participation in the seminars of prominent political personalities, parliamentarians and policy makers, as well as persons from the academic community and other experts, as this showed the growing determination of the international community at all levels to promote progress towards a solution of the Palestine question.

76. The Committee noted that, in their conclusions and recommendations, the participants in the regional seminars had reaffirmed that the question of Palestine was the core of the Middle East conflict and that no comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region could be achieved without the realization by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights in accordance with United Nations resolutions.

77. The Committee was encouraged that the participants in the seminar had also reaffirmed the need for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, and that they urged the Governments of Israel and the United States of America to reconsider their negative attitude towards the convening of the Conference.

78. The Committee further noted that the participants in the seminar had expressed the view that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had an important role to play in promoting the convening of the Conference and recommended the intensification of political and diplomatic efforts by all concerned to reach a comprehensive, just and durable settlement of the conflict in the Middle East, and that they had called for additional efforts by the United Nations and by all concerned to influence public opinion in that direction through wider dissemination of accurate information on the question of Palestine. The Asian Seminar also expressed serious concern with regard to the relations between Israel and South Africa and called upon the Committee and the Division for Palestinian Rights to keep under review the development of such relations.
3. Other activities


79. The Committee noted with appreciation that the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat had pursued its programme of studies and publications relating to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in implementation of its mandate as reaffirmed in General Assembly resolution 4l/43 B. In particular, the Division had continued to publish its monthly bulletin reporting on relevant activities and decisions of United nations bodies and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as special bulletins containing the reports of regional seminars and of symposia and meetings of non-governmental organizations organized under the auspices of the Committee, and the proceedings of the solemn meetings of the Committee in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. In addition, the Division had continued to update its compilation of United Nations resolutions on the situation in the Middle East and the question of Palestine. The Division had also produced information notes on the International Day of Solidarity and on the various anniversaries of importance to the Palestinian people to be observed in l987. A study on the need for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, and part IV of the study entitled "The origins and evolution of the Palestine problem" were also in preparation and would be finalized during l987. The Division had also continued to monitor developments in the area and to prepare information material for the use of the Committee as required.

80. The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was observed on
1 December 1986 at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at the United Nations Offices at Geneva and Vienna. The Committee noted with appreciation that the International Day had been equally commemorated in many other cities throughout the world in 1986 (see para. 91 below).



V.
ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION IN
ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 41/43 C


8l. The Committee noted with appreciation that, during the past year, the Department of Public Information had continued its information programme on the question of Palestine, in accordance with previous relevant General Assembly resolutions, with a view to furthering the world-wide dissemination of accurate and comprehensive information on the question. However, the financial situation of the United Nations had led to the curtailment of several activities in this regard. The information programme included press and publication activities, radio-visual coverage, a fact-finding mission for journalists to the Middle East and a series of national and regional encounters for journalists.

82. In publication activities, the Department had continued to disseminate information on the question of Palestine through articles and press releases. The UN Chronicle had also reported on the consideration given to the question of Palestine and other relevant items by the General Assembly at its forty-first session, the Security Council and other United Nations bodies. The Department had also disseminated, as widely as possible, information regarding the seminars and symposia held by the Committee.

83. Due to the freeze in recruitment, no new publications were issued. However, the Department's publications The United Nations and the Question of Palestine and The Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories were reproduced.

84. The Department's coverage on the question of Palestine included radio news programme broadcasts in all the official languages of the United Nations. The occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, 30 November 1987, would be highlighted in feature programmes and news dispatches. In addition, a special series of radio programmes, four each in Arabic, English, French and Spanish, were produced in 1986 on the following aspects of the question of Palestine: the international dimension; a search for a political solution; the human dimension and the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East. Another exclusive series of radio programmes would be produced in 1987 for each in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.

85. Videotape packages included the above-mentioned coverage and were circulated around the world. As part of its ongoing visual coverage of events at Headquarters, the Department produced a substantial number of television news items on the question of Palestine and related Middle East events. The News Production Section of the Department would cover the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, on
30 November 1987, and the deliberations on the question of Palestine and other relevant items during the forty-second session of the General Assembly. Several regional magazines on the question of Palestine were also produced and disseminated.

86. The production of a new short film on the question of Palestine was currently under way and expected to be ready for screening before 30 November 1987.

87. Activities that focused on acquainting the media with the facts and developments pertaining to the question of Palestine included a fact-finding mission to the Middle East. A team of 12 prominent journalists and media representatives from various parts of the world had visited Egypt, Jordan and Iraq from 2 to 15 June 1987. A visit to Israel was not possible, since no response had been received from the Government of Israel to an official request for such a visit. Also, a visit to the occupied Palestinian territories was not possible since Israel, the occupying Power, had not responded to the same official request. The purpose of the mission was to provide an opportunity for the participants to learn first hand and in depth about the various aspects of the question through discussions with senior officials of the Governments concerned and of the Palestine Liberation Organization, prominent personalities, and visits to the Palestinian refugee camps. The mission received extensive media coverage during the visit. Participants published numerous articles upon their return to their home countries.

88. In 1987, as in 1986, the Department organized two regional encounters for journalists on the question of Palestine, bringing high-level journalists together with experts on the question of Palestine. The first encounter was held at San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, for the North and Latin American regions, from 20 to 23 January 1987. The second was held at Singapore, for Asian journalists from 6 to 9 April 1987. The objective of both encounters was to promote a better understanding of the question among leaders of the media by bringing them together with experts on the subject for brief, informal discussions. Accordingly, around 15 high-level journalists from the press, radio and television media participated in each encounter. The journalists were impressed by the high calibre of the panelists and by the informal and candid character of the presentations made. It was their belief that the encounter, which they found useful, informative and interesting, had greatly increased their knowledge of the subject.

89. The Department also organized two series of national encounters in which a team of expert panelists held meetings, in the form of in-depth press conferences, with national journalists and foreign correspondents in various countries. Latin American national encounters were held in Peru and Venezuela on 28 and 30 January, respectively. Asian national encounters were held in India, Thailand and Japan between 31 March and
13 April 1987.

90. Feedback analysis of the above-mentioned activities revealed the great interest of journalists and public opinion makers in the question of Palestine and their appreciation for the United Nations public information programme in this regard.

91. United Nations information centres throughout the world continued to carry out information activities in connection with the question of Palestine and made available to the public United Nations publications on the subject. The centres also continued to organize a world-wide observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November l986. In this regard, the centres widely disseminated, in official and local languages, the statements of the Secretary-General, the President of the General Assembly and the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Commemorative meetings were also held in a large number of capitals in which official government representatives, parliamentary groups, non-governmental organizations and representatives of the diplomatic corps participated. Exhibits of posters, photographs, publications and other visual materials were mounted and United Nations and UNRWA films were screened on the premises of several centres and at the site of the commemorative functions. The centres would again observe the Day on 30 November l987.

VI. RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE


92. During the year under review, international understanding of the question of Palestine and support for the attainment and exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people have reached new heights, as demonstrated by the many activities, statements and declarations reviewed in the present report. At the same time, the grave deterioration of the situation of Palestinians in the area has aroused the most widespread and serious concern that tension and violence will continue to increase, with possible disastrous consequences for the region, unless progress is finally made towards a negotiated settlement to this long-standing and difficult problem. The Committee therefore considers that a new phase has been reached, which necessitates renewed and intensified collective efforts to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting solution under United Nations auspices and on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions particularly General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 41/43 D.

93. The Committee considers that, at this critical juncture, urgent positive action by the Security Council is required on the recommendations formulated by the Committee in its first report and those adopted by the International Conference on the Question of Palestine held at Geneva in l983, which have been repeatedly endorsed by the General Assembly. The Committee reaffirms that those recommendations are solidly founded on fundamental and internationally accepted principles and that the recognition and attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are indispensable conditions in the solution of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East.

94. The Committee wishes to reaffirm that the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with the guidelines and other provisions contained in General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 4l/43 D, is the most comprehensive and widely accepted proposal and that its convening would constitute a major contribution by the United Nations towards the realization of such a solution. In the past year, an international consensus has clearly emerged in favour of the convening of the Conference. The Committee therefore intends to further intensify its efforts towards this objective, and to make it the focal point of its work programme in the coming year.

95. Noting that the Secretary-General has reported that it has not yet proved possible to obtain the agreement of all the parties, the Committee recommends that the General Assembly should call once again upon those Member States which do not yet support the convening of the Conference to reconsider their attitude; call for additional concrete and constructive efforts by all Governments in particular the permanent members of the Security Council, for the convening of the Conference and for setting up the preparatory committee for the conference in accordance with General Assembly resolution 4l/43 D; and renew the mandate of the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Security Council, to continue his efforts with a view to convening the Conference.

96. The Committee has been impressed and encouraged by the strength and unity of the Palestinian people under the leadership of its representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization in confronting adversity, and by the growing awareness and mobilization of the international community at all levels in support of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and of United Nations recommendations for their attainment. The Committee will continue to engage in the process of evaluating the progress achieved and the experience gained in its various activities, with the goal of strengthening its efforts and achieving maximum effectiveness in the implementation of its mandate.

Notes


1 The Committee is composed of the following members: Afghanistan, Cuba, Cyprus, German Democratic Republic, Guinea, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and Yugoslavia.

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

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

4/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol./75, No./973, p./287.

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

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

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


ANNEX I


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


I. Basic considerations and guidelines


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



* Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-first Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/31/35), paras. 59-72.
II. The right of return


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

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

Phase one

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

(i)The Security Council should request the immediate implementation of its
resolution 237 (1967) and that such implementation should not be related
to any other condition;
(ii)The resources of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and/or
of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the
Near East, suitably financed and mandated, may be employed to assist in the
solution of any logistical problems involved in the resettlement of those
returning to their homes. These agencies could also assist, in co-operation
with the host countries and the Palestine Liberation Organization, in the
identification of the displaced Palestinians.


Phase two

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

(i)While the first phase is being implemented, the United Nations in co-operation
with the States directly involved, and the Palestine Liberation Organization
as the interim representative of the Palestinian entity, should proceed to
make the necessary arrangements to enable Palestinians displaced between
1948 and 1967 to exercise their right to return to their homes and property,
in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly
General Assembly resolution 194 (III);
(ii)Palestinians not choosing to return to their homes should be paid just and
equitable compensation as provided for in resolution 194 (III).
III.The right to self-determination, national independence
and sovereignty


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

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

72. To these ends, the Committee recommends that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ANNEX II


Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action
for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights a/


A. Geneva Declaration on Palestine


In pursuance of General Assembly resolutions 36/120 C of 10 December 1981, ES-7/7 of 19 August 1982 and 37/86 C of 10 December 1982, an International Conference on the Question of Palestine was convened at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 29 August to 7 September 1983 to seek effective ways and means to enable the Palestinian people to attain and to exercise their inalienable rights. The Conference was opened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, and presided over by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Senegal, Moustapha Niassé.
* * *

1. The Conference, having thoroughly considered the question of Palestine in all its aspects, expresses the grave concern of all nations and peoples regarding the international tension that has persisted for several decades in the Middle East, the principal cause of which is the denial by Israel, and those supporting its expansionist policies, of the inalienable legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. The Conference reaffirms and stresses that a just solution of the question of Palestine, the core of the problem, is the crucial element in a comprehensive, just and lasting political settlement in the Middle East.

2. The Conference recognizes that, as one of the most acute and complex problems of our time, the question of Palestine - inherited by the United Nations at the time of its establishment - requires a comprehensive, just and lasting political settlement. This settlement must be based on the implementation of the relevant United Nations resolutions concerning the question of Palestine and the attainment of the legitimate, inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination and the right to the establishment of its own independent State in Palestine and should also be based on the provision by the Security Council of guarantees for peace and security among all States in the region, including the independent Palestinian State, within secure and internationally recognized boundaries. The Conference is convinced that the attainment by the Palestinian people of their inalienable rights, as defined by General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, will contribute substantially to the achievement of peace and stability in the Middle East.

3. The Conference considers the role of the United Nations in the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East to be essential and paramount. It emphasizes the need for respect for, and application of, the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the resolutions of the United Nations relevant to the question of Palestine and the observance of the principles of international law.

4. The Conference considers that the various proposals, consistent with the principles of international law, which have been presented on this question, such as the Arab peace plan adopted unanimously at the Twelfth Arab Summit Conference (see A/37/696-S/15510, annex), held at Fez, Morocco, in September 1982, should serve as guidelines for concerted international effort to resolve the question of Palestine. These guidelines include the following:

(a) The attainment by the Palestinian people of its legitimate inalienable rights, including the right to return, the right to self-determination and the right to establish its own independent State in Palestine;

(b) The right of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate on an equal footing with other parties in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East;

(c) The need to put an end to Israel's occupation of the Arab territories, in accordance with the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and, consequently, the need to secure Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem;

(d) The need to oppose and reject such Israeli policies and practices in the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, and any de facto situation created by Israel as are contrary to international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly the establishment of settlements, as these policies and practices constitute major obstacles to the achievement of peace in the Middle East;

(e) The need to reaffirm as null and void all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purported to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, including the expropriation of land and property situated thereon, and in particular the so-called "Basic Law" on Jerusalem and the proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel;

(f) The right of all States in the region to existence within secure and internationally recognized boundaries, with justice and security for all the people, the sine qua non of which is the recognition and attainment of the legitimate, inalienable rights of the Palestinian people as stated in subparagraph (a) above.

5. In order to give effect to these guidelines, the Conference considers it essential that an international peace conference on the Middle East be convened on the basis of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, with the aim of achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, an essential element of which would be the establishment of an independent Palestinian State in Palestine. This peace conference should be convened under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, as well as the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and other concerned States, on an equal footing. In this context the Security Council has a primary responsibility to create appropriate institutional arrangements on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions in order to guarantee and to carry out the accords of the international peace conference.

6. The International Conference on the Question of Palestine emphasizes the importance of the time factor in achieving a just solution to the problem of Palestine. The Conference is convinced that partial solutions are inadequate and delays in seeking a comprehensive solution do not eliminate tensions in the region.


B.
Programme of Action for the Achievement of
Palestinian Rights


The International Conference on the Question of Palestine agreed that no effort should be spared to seek effective ways and means to enable the Palestinian people to attain and exercise their rights in Palestine in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights b/ and the principles of international law. The Conference, taking into consideration the Geneva Declaration on Palestine (sect. A above), recommended the following Programme of Action.
I

II


A

B


C


D


(d) Organize regional encounters for journalists;
III


Notes

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

b/ See General Assembly resolution 217 A (III).

c/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 972, p. 135.

d/ Ibid., No. 973, p. 287.

e/ Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and
Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915), p. 100.

f/ See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1983, Supplement
No. 9 (E/1983/20).

g/ A/C.5/38/4, para. 8 (c).

h/ Recommendation 146 (VI) of 2 July 1983 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

i/ Recommendation 19 of the Latin American Regional Preparatory Meeting, Managua, Nicaragua, 12-15 April 1983 (A/CONF.114/2).

j/ African region, A/CONF.114/1; Latin American region, A/CONF.114/2; Western Asian region, A/CONF.114/3; Asian region, A/CONF.114/4; European region, A/CONF.114/5.
ANNEX III


Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Sixteenth United
Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine


(New Delhi, 8-12 June 1987)


Introduction


1. The Sixteenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine entitled "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian People" was held at the Vigyan Bhawan Conference Centre, New Delhi from 8 to l2 June 1987. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had decided to integrate the Seminar with the Asian Regional Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium on the Question of Palestine which was held from Monday, 8 to 10 June 1987, on an experimental basis and in the interest of economy.

2. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation consisting of Mr. Oscar Oramas-Oliva (Cuba), Vice-Chairman of the Committee, head of delegation; Mr. Guennadi I. Oudovenko (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic); Mr. David K. Karran (Guyana); Mr. Saviour F. Borg (Malta); Mr. Pramathesh Rath (India); and Mr. Zehdi L. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization). Mr. Oramas-Oliva was Chairman of the Seminar and Mr. Rath Rapporteur.

3. Seven meetings were held and 14 panelists presented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine. In addition, representatives of 40 Governments, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), three United Nations organs, two United Nations programmes and specialized agencies, one intergovernmental organization and observers of 30 non-governmental organizations attended the Seminar.

4. The opening session of the Seminar was addressed by Mr. K. Natwar Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs of India; Mr. N. G. Rathore, representative of the Secretary-General; Mr. Oscar Oramas-Oliva, Chairman of the Seminar; Mr. N. N. G. Makura, High Commissioner of Zimbabwe to India who read a message from Mr. Robert Mugabe, Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement; and Mr. Khalid El-Sheikh, Ambassador of the Palestine Liberation Organization to India who read a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The opening session was also addressed by Mr. Guennadi I. Oudovenko (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic), representing the Special Committee against Apartheid, and Mr. Ammar Amari (Tunisia), representing the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples.

5. Four panels were established to consider different aspects of the question of Palestine. The panels and their panelists were as follows:

(a) "The Role of the Palestine Liberation Organization" (combined for the Seminar and the Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium): Mr. Jawad Naji Al-Awad (Palestinian). The paper prepared by Mr. Al-Awad was read by Mr. Khaled El-Sheikh, Ambassador of the PLO to India;

(b) "The International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, the need for such a Conference and efforts and prospects to promote a successful outcome and benefits thereof" (combined for the Seminar and the Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium): Mr. P. N. Haksar (India), Mr. Igor M. Khvorostiany (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic), Dr. Jorge Manfugas (Cuba), Mr. Abdullah Salah (Jordan), Mr. Mohammad Aziz Shukri (Syrian Arab Republic), Mr. V. P. Vorobyov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) and Mr. Wan Guang (China);

(c) "The Question of Palestine and Asian Public Opinion" (combined for the Seminar and the Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium): Mr. Mansoor Alam (Pakistan), Professor Mohammad Rahmet-Ali (India), Professor Yilmaz Altug (Turkey), Mr. Hardi (Indonesia), Mr. Tran Hoan (Viet Nam), and Professor K. R. Misra (India);

(d) "The United Nations and the Question of Palestine": Mr. Guennadi I. Oudovenko (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic).

6. The report of the Seminar, which was adopted unanimously, contains a summary of the presentations made by the panelists and of the discussions of the four panels, as well as conclusions and recommendations emanating from the Seminar's deliberations. The Seminar also adopted messages of support to Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to Mr. Robert Mugabe, Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement. The Seminar also adopted a motion of thanks to the people and Government of India. The full text of the report will be published in due course as a special bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.

Conclusions and Recommendations


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

(a) The Seminar expressed deep concern over the dangerous situation in the Middle East, as it presents a threat to the stability of the region and to international peace and security as a whole. In the nuclear age, it is necessary that international relations be restructured so that confrontation is replaced by co-operation, and conflict situations resolved through peaceful political means, not through military means. The Seminar affirmed the need for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine. The full exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights, including the right of return, the right to self-determination without external interference and the right to create its own independent State in Palestine, as well as the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from all the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, remain the basis to solve the Palestinian problem.

(b) The situation relating to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people continues to deteriorate. While strenuous attempts have been made to find a solution to this problem, the situation in the region continues to be further complicated by Israel's actions in the occupied territories. Israel continues with its policies of illegally maintaining and expanding Jewish settlements as well as the confiscation of Arab-owned lands in the occupied Palestinian territories. The "iron-fist policies" are accentuated by measures designed to stifle all forms of political, cultural, social and economic expression of the Palestinian people. Furthermore, Israel continues to strengthen its control over most aspects of life, with the objective of obstructing the self-generating development of the occupied territories by turning them into a dependent entity with the aim of its final absorption and annexation. These policies are in violation of United Nations resolutions and international law and lead only to the exacerbation of tension in the area thus hindering attempts to find a peaceful solution to the Palestine question.

(c) The Seminar was aware of the factors that encourage Israel in pursuing its policies. It noted with serious concern the relations between Israel and the racist régime in South Africa, in particular in the economic, military and nuclear fields. The Seminar calls upon the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights to keep under review the development of such relations and report thereon. The Seminar also demanded that Israel desist from and terminate such collaboration and abide scrupulously by the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council.

(d) The Seminar expressed grave concern about the economic and social policies of the occupying power, Israel, against the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories. It noted that Israel pursued a policy that deprived the Palestinians of their main source of livelihood and survival, in particular, with regard to agriculture, land confiscation and takeover of water resources. The Seminar further noted the increasing utilization of cheap Arab labour by Israeli employers, which constituted exploitation and discrimination. In this context, the Seminar expressed appreciation for the endeavour and efforts of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the field of social and economic development of the Palestinian people. The Seminar called upon the United Nations and its organs and agencies to render and co-ordinate all forms of economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people, in consultation and co-operation with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

(e) The Seminar also recalled that the year 1987 marked a number of anniversaries of significant events in the history of the Palestinian people in its struggle to attain its legitimate and inalienable rights including the 70th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the 40th anniversary of the adoption of General Assembly resolution
181 (II), the 20th anniversary of the 1967 War and the 5th anniversary of the Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanese territory and the massacre at Sabra and Shatila. The Seminar stressed the urgency to solve the Middle East conflict and its core issue, the question of Palestine. Those States that did not support the attainment by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and the exercise of those rights, in particular, the right to self-determination as well as the establishment of a State of its own in Palestine, were urged to reconsider their position towards a solution to the problem.

(f) The Seminar unanimously concluded that the best way to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East was by convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations and with the participation of all parties to the conflict including the Palestine Liberation Organization, as well as the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other concerned States, in accordance with the guidelines laid down in General Assembly resolution
38/58 C. The Seminar supported the establishment of a preparatory committee within the framework of the Security Council, with the participation of its permanent members as called for by General Assembly resolution 41/43 D, as a means to undertake practical steps towards the convening of the Conference.

(g) It further recalled the unyielding and firm support by the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Arab States, the Movement of the Non-Aligned Countries, the European Community and other groups of countries, of the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The Seminar was convinced that partial and piece-meal agreements would ignore the core of the Arab-Israeli problem and were not conducive to a comprehensive peaceful solution. The Seminar was of the view that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had a major role to play in promoting the convening of such a Conference and encouraged its efforts in this regard.

(h) The Seminar greatly appreciated the efforts undertaken by the Secretary-General of the United Nations with a view to convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. In this regard, the Seminar took note of the Secretary-General's report (A/42/277-S/18849) of 7 May 1987 and expressed support for the continuation of his efforts to intensify his contacts with the parties concerned and of his consultations with the members of the Security Council. In this context, the Seminar urged the Governments of Israel and the United States of America to reconsider their negative attitude towards the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

(i) The Seminar appealed to the members of the Security Council, and in particular to its permanent members, in exercising their responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security, to make every effort to achieve the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East without further delay.

(j) The Seminar viewed the results of the 18th session of the Palestine National Council held in April 1987 at Algiers, as a significant contribution in achieving a just solution to the question of Palestine and in resolving the plight of the Palestinian people. The Seminar welcomed in particular the unequivocal support of the Palestine Liberation Organization for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and for the establishment of a preparatory committee within the framework of the Security Council, with the participation of its permanent members.

(k) The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People has an important role to play in promoting the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. In that context, the Seminar recommended the intensification of the political and diplomatic efforts by all concerned for reaching a comprehensive, just and durable settlement of the conflict in the Middle East.

(l) The Seminar agreed that vigorous efforts should be made to mobilize public opinion in Asia as well as in other regions of the world, in particular, through the use of the media and activities by non-governmental organizations. The Seminar suggested that the United Nations Information Centres in various cities in Asia should establish closer contacts with universities, educational institutions and non-governmental organizations. The Seminar appealed to the leaders of the major Powers and the parties to the conflict to demonstrate political will and to play an active and constructive role in the efforts to create lasting peace in the Middle East, in particular, in the resolution of the Palestine problem.

(m) In that regard, the United Nations should make additional efforts to disseminate factual and up-to-date information on the question of Palestine, not only in its official languages but in others as well, in particular, on the United Nations resolutions relevant to the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and the establishment of the aforementioned preparatory committee.

(n) It was important that the media should play a more responsive role in providing a balanced reporting on the Middle East and, in particular, on the plight of the Palestinians in and outside the occupied territories as a dispossessed and harassed people. The Seminar emphasized that intergovernmental organizations, institutions, such as universities, colleges, research institutes, churches and other religious establishments, as well as national and international non-governmental organizations, had a crucial role to play in the formation of public opinion, especially in the United States and Israel. Those institutions should be urged to give wider coverage and balanced treatment to the question of Palestine. It was the view of the Seminar that national committees be set up to promote the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

(o) Every effort should be made to step up the widespread dissemination of information, as one of the major contributions to the achievement of a just solution to the problem on the basis of the attainment by the Palestinian people in Palestine of their inalienable rights. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat had an important role in such dissemination of information. Furthermore, the Department of Public Information, in co-operation with the Division for Palestinian Rights, should make every effort to ensure that accurate information on the question of Palestine received the widest possible dissemination.
ANNEX IV


Declaration adopted by the United Nations Asian Regional
Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium on the Question
of Palestine


(New Delhi, 8-10 June 1987)


Introduction


1. The second United Nations Asian Regional Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium on the Question of Palestine, on the theme "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian People" was held at the Vigyan Bhawan Conference Centre, New Delhi from 8 to
10 June 1987. The Symposium was held concurrently with the Sixteenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, which was held from 8 to 12 June 1987, (see annex III).

2. The Symposium was attended by 21 non-governmental organizations as participants and 11 non-governmental organizations as observers, with about 80 persons in attendance, as well as by observers from several Governments, one United Nations programme, one intergovernmental organization and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

3. In addition to the panels held jointly with the Seminar, the Symposium considered a panel entitled "Non-governmental organizations collaboration on the question of Palestine and the role of the United Nations", at which presentations were made by
Mr. David D. Karran (Guyana) and Mr. Donald Betz (United States of America), on behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the International Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine, respectively.

4. A workshop was also organized on "Non-governmental organizations activities to promote the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and to mobilize Asian public opinion", at which presentations were made by the following three experts: Dr. Roman T. Akhramovich (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Dr. Ergun Ozbudun (Turkey) and Dr. Amnon Zichroni (Israel).

5. The Symposium sent a message of appreciation to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, and in addition, sent a message of appreciation and support to Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

6. The Symposium decided to create a 12-member Asian Regional Preparatory Committee; in this connection, a Chairman and an Executive Secretary were elected. The two officials were charged with the responsibility, through consultations with non-governmental organizations in the region, to identify the remaining ten members who should include representatives of non-governmental organizations from countries represented at the Symposium. It was also decided that such a body would be the prototype for an Asian Regional Co-ordinating Committee.

7. The Declaration of the Symposium, which was adopted unanimously, is reproduced below. The full text o the report will be issued in due course as a special bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.


Declaration of the Symposium


8. We, the non-governmental organizations participating in the United Nations Asian Regional Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium on the Question of Palestine, wish to thank the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this meeting. We are indeed honoured by the presence of the members and observers of the distinguished United Nations body and the expert resource persons, whose valuable contribution provided a suitable perspective for working out concrete programmes of action.

9. We also wish to thank the representative of the Secretary-General, the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights, the International Co-ordinating Committee, the non-governmental organizations liaison officers, the staff of the Department of Conference Services and the interpreters for their valuable assistance in the preparation and execution of this meeting. We believe this meeting strengthens the bonds between the United Nations and the community of Asian non-governmental organizations involved with the Palestine question and look forward to increasing levels of understanding, appreciation and co-operation.

10. We wish also to thank very sincerely the Government of India for hosting this Symposium and for its generous co-operation. We recognize and appreciate the long-standing and unfailing support of the Government and the people of India to the just cause of the Palestinian people, in the tradition of the national liberation movement of India from the early 1920s, when it opposed the Balfour Declaration.

11. We recognize that 1987 marks the seventieth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of
29 November 1947 for the partition of Palestine, the twentieth anniversary of the 1967 war and the subsequent Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and the fifth anniversary of the destructive Israeli aggression against Lebanon and the massacre at Sabra and Shatila and the International Year of the People of Palestine.

12. We resolutely reaffirm the international consensus that PLO is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in its just struggle for its inalienable rights. Taking note of the support of the Palestinian people for PLO, and of the consolidated unity established at the April 1987, eighteenth session of the Palestine National Council at Algiers, we reject outright the idea that anyone other than the Palestinian people should decide who should represent them, all the more so as the first act of any people in implementing its right to self-determination is the choice of its own representatives. We fully support the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to untramelled independent decision-making through its own national organization, PLO.

13. Accordingly, we call upon all Governments that do not recognize PLO to do so without delay. We also call upon all Governments to support the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and to work for the realization of such a conference as a top priority.

14. We recognize that the self-determination of the Palestinian people and their right to self-government in their own independent State in Palestine is the central requirement for peace and security, for a just and durable peace between Israel and the Palestinian national State and its Arab neighbours, and is in full accord with one of the most fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations. We reaffirm that this right must be exercised without outside interference on its own national territory and under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions.

15. We fully support the Geneva Declaration on Palestine of 7 September 1983 adopted by the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held at Geneva from 29 August to 7 September 1983, in favour of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and we fully uphold General Assembly resolution 38/58 C of 13 December 1983. It is essential that the Conference be inclusive and be attended by the representatives of both Israel and PLO, those Arab States parties to the conflict, the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, all on an equal footing. We are aware that not only world peace but also the human and civil rights of the Palestinian people have been set back by the non-implementation of resolution 38/58 C. In this context, we reject partial and piecemeal agreements as counter-productive and not conducive to a comprehensive peaceful solution, as others totally ignore the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

16. We take serious note of the fact that, while PLO fully supports General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, the United States of America and Israel are opposed to it. We strongly feel that the position of those two Governments constitutes a serious threat to world peace and we urge all Governments to exert more pressure on the two Governments to join the global consensus on this issue.

17. We view with grave concern the law recently adopted by the Israeli Government making any meeting between an Israeli citizen and a member of PLO punishable by three years' imprisonment. This is considered an act designed to prevent peace efforts at the non-governmental organization level. We urge the Israeli Government to immediately repeal that law and call upon the United Nations and all Governments to exert their influence upon the Israeli Government to do so.

18. We note with grave concern the discriminatory policy and practices being committed by the Israeli Government against the Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel and condemn the racist laws and practices that endanger their existence in their homeland. We call upon the Israeli Government to give equal rights to the Arab citizens of Israel. We declare our full support for the struggle of the Arab Israeli community together with the Jewish democratic forces for equality and security. We believe that there can be no democracy without equal rights for all citizens.

19. We have heard with great appreciation the voice of Israeli peace forces and extend to them all our sympathy and support in their difficult task of opposition to the oppressive policies of the Israeli Government, within the Israeli Parliament and among the Israeli public. In particular, we express solidarity with those who, as an act of peace, accept imprisonment for their refusal to engage in military service in the occupied territories. We note with great satisfaction the emergence of peace forces, particularly within the Oriental Jewish Community in Israel. We regard this as a most significant development and call upon all elements interested in early peace in the Middle East to give moral and political support to the emerging peace forces within Israel.

20. We strongly condemn the continuation of the repressive measures by the Israeli administration against the Arab population in the occupied territories (arrests, tortures, demolition of homes and land requisitions, etc.) and call upon the United Nations, all Governments and people to urge the Israeli Government to stop such oppressive acts.

21. We note with great concern the continued Israeli attacks on the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and strongly condemn the atrocities committed against the Palestinian people in the camps. We call upon all concerned parties to enforce a durable cease-fire and to ensure the flow of medical and relief supplies to the camps through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, the International Red Cross and other international agencies.

22. We call upon all concerned parties to guarantee the security of the Palestinian people in Lebanon and to their right to live in security in Lebanon. The presence of the Palestinian people in the refugee camps is not of their own will, but the result of the non-fulfilment of General Assembly resolution 181/(II). As this is the responsibility of all member nations of the United Nations, we call upon them and the United Nations General Assembly to take every necessary measure to ensure the security of the Palestinian people in Lebanon and elsewhere.

23. We draw attention to the continued Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon, intervention in that country's internal affairs through political coercion and oppressive actions in the south. We demand the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon and the release of thousands held in prison. The question of Lebanon is an integral part of the Palestinian question and Israeli military expansion.

24. We believe that it is the increasing expansion of conflict areas by Israel and the growing threat it constitutes not only to the peace of this region as a whole but of Asia and the world, that makes the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East such an urgent necessity and the only practical and realistic solution to the problem of Palestine and the establishment of a Palestinian State. Immediate steps should be taken to set up a preparatory committee with the participation of the permanent members of the Security Council as the first step towards the holding of the Conference.

25. We further assert the inextricable connection between the struggle of the Palestinians for their independent homeland and every struggle in every part of the world of peoples fighting for their independence and sovereign right to build their life in their own way without any outside interference. The struggle of the Palestinian people is an integral part of the struggle of all peoples for world peace and against neo-colonialism, racism and all sorts of oppression against humanity and for a nuclear-weapon-free and non-violent world.

26. We fully appreciate the growing support in the United Nations for the Palestinian struggle and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the significant part being played in this connection by the non-aligned movement and express our awareness of the urgent need for the non-governmental organizations of Asia to take the fullest advantage of the growing favourable environment to create public opinion in the United States of America and Israel against the policies of their Governments, while at the same time mobilizing public opinion in the Asian countries.

27. We are fully confident of the powerful role that non-governmental organizations and particularly non-governmental organizations of Asia can play in creating public opinion for the urgent convening of the International Conference. We are also confident that by creating public opinion not only in Asia but also in other countries of the world we can bring pressure on the Governments of Israel and the United States of America and also strengthen the hands of our respective Governments in this task.

28. We believe the time has now come for urgent practical action. Having considered the various suggestions made at this Symposium, we pledge to mobilize people from different disciplines in Asian countries to influence their counterparts in other parts of the world, organize the dissemination of news about the conditions of the people of Palestine through the media, produce campaign pamphlets, organize film screenings, meetings, demonstrations, symposia on specific issues concerned and signature campaigns among parliamentarians of the respective Asian countries, and similar other activities.

29. We appreciate the formation of the International Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations. We strongly urge the United Nations, through the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people to continue to give all assistance to the International Chamber of Commerce in organizing a network of non-governmental organization activities at a global level on the Palestinian question. Such a co-ordination committee with regional branches is essential for building up a massive campaign by non-governmental organizations for immediately convening the International Conference and for a continuing mobilization of public opinion for the realization of the just demands of the people of Palestine. Without the active material support of such an International Co-ordinating Committee, it will not be possible to mount effective mass campaigns involving expensive modern media.

30. We, the Asian non-governmental organizations present here, decide to form an Asian Regional Co-ordinating Committee of Non-Governmental Organizations to serve as a focus for our regional efforts. We recommend that we should begin with a preparatory committee of 12 members for this purpose, to be formed through a wider discussion with other Asian non-governmental organizations for identifying the structure of such an organization and for finally constituting the preparatory committee. The delegates to the Symposium elect Mr. P. N. Haksar as the Chairman and Mr. M. S. Agwani as Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Committee for undertaking this task. The participants decide that non-governmental organization representation from countries represented by non-governmental organizations at this Symposium shall be included in the Preparatory Committee when finally constituted.

31. We call upon the international organizations of media men in the Asian region to take up the Palestine question and work together with the non-governmental organizations active on this issue. We call upon the pool of non-aligned news agencies to provide more information about the Palestine question and also about the world-wide campaign for the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

32. We conclude this Symposium with a great feeling of confidence and call upon the United Nations, through the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to give due consideration to the practical recommendations of activities proposed in this document and to provide necessary assistance and co-operation to the Asian Regional Co-ordinating Committee in fulfilling these tasks.

ANNEX V


Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Seventeenth
United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine


(New York, 22-23 June 1987)


Introduction


1. The Seventeenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, entitled "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people", was held at United Nations Headquarters, New York, on 22 and 23 June 1987.

2. Mr. Shah Mohammad Dost (Afghanistan), Acting Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, was Chairman of the Seminar, and Mr. Saviour F. Borg (Malta), was the Rapporteur.

3. Four meetings were held and seven panelists presented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine. In addition, representatives of 42 Governments, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), three United Nations organs, four United Nations programmes and specialized agencies, three intergovernmental organizations, one national liberation organization, and observers of 20 non-governmental organizations attended the Seminar.

4. The opening session of the Seminar was addressed by Mr. William B. Buffum, Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services, on behalf of the Secretary-General, Mr. Shah Mohammad Dost, Chairman of the Seminar and Mr. Nasser Al-Kidwa, Alternate Permanent Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations, who read a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The opening session was also addressed by Mr. Isack Mudenge (Zimbabwe), on behalf of the Chairman of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, Mr. Ahmad Farouk Arnouss (Syrian Arab Republic), Rapporteur of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, Mr. Moussa Bocar Ly (Senegal), representing the United Nations Council for Namibia, Mr. Arif Shahid Khan (India), Rapporteur of the Special Committee against Apartheid, Mr. Samir Mansouri, Deputy Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations, Mrs. Salimatu T. Timbo, representing the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Organization of African Unity to the United Nations and Mr. Noureddine Mezni, Deputy Director of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to the United Nations.

5. Two panels were established as follows:

(a) "The International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, the need for such a conference and efforts and prospects to promote a successful outcome, and benefits thereof": Brother David Carroll (United States of America), Mr. Ramsey Clark (United States of America), Mr. Konstantin Gueivandov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Professor Atif Kubursi (Canada) and Mr. Pramathesh Rath (India). The participants in the Seminar regretted that Mr. Gueivandov was not in a position to participate in the Seminar, because his visa for the United States was not issued. His paper was made available to all participants. Professor Atif Kubursi also addressed the impact of the economic and social policies on the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories as well as the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

(b) "The Question of Palestine and North American public opinion": Professor Ibrahim Abu-Lughod (Palestinian) and Professor Francis Boyle (United States of America).

6. The report of the Seminar, which was adopted unanimously, contains a summary of the presentations made by the panelists and of the discussions of the panels, as well as conclusions and recommendations emanating from the Seminar's deliberations. The Seminar also adopted a message of support to Mr. Yasser Arafat. The full text of the report will be published in due course as a special bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.

Conclusions and recommendations


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

(a) Despite intensive efforts by the United Nations, a peaceful settlement of the Middle East conflict remains elusive and the situation in the region continues to be unstable. Recent events in the Middle East highlight the increasing urgency of finding a solution to this most complex problem. Such delays not only prolong the plight of the Palestinian people, but also continue to pose a threat to regional peace. In this age, it is necessary that international relations be restructured so that confrontation is replaced by co-operation, and conflict situations, such as the Arab-Israeli conflict, are resolved through peaceful political means, not through military force.

(b) The Seminar, concerned over the dangerous situation in the Middle East, is profoundly convinced that the vital interests of the peoples of that region, as well as interests of international peace and security as a whole, urgently dictate the need for the speediest attainment of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine. The full exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights, including the right of return, the right to self-determination without external interference and the right to create its own independent State in Palestine, as well as the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from all the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, remain the basis to solve the Palestinian problem.

(c) The situation relating to the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people continues to deteriorate. While strenuous attempts have been made to find a solution, the situation in the region is further complicated by Israel's actions in the occupied territories. Israeli policies of illegally establishing and maintaining Jewish settlements and confiscating Arab-owned lands in the occupied Palestinian territories continue. These "iron-fist policies" are accompanied by measures designed to stifle all forms of political, cultural, social and economic expression of the Palestinian people. The Israeli authorities have continued to strengthen control over most aspects of life, with the objective of obstructing the self-generating development of the occupied territories and turning them into a dependent entity, aiming at its final absorption and annexation. These policies are in direct contravention of United Nations resolutions and international law and lead only to the exacerbation of tension in the area, further hindering attempts to find a peaceful solution.

(d) The Seminar noted with grave concern the continued Israeli economic subjugation of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories by confiscating their land, denying them the exploitation of their own water resources, preventing them from engaging in trade with the parties of their choice, and treating the people of the occupied territories as a hostage pool of cheap labour, using them as a buffer to cool an overheated Israeli economy, the first to lose their jobs at the slightest slowdown of that economy. The Seminar expressed appreciation for the endeavours and efforts of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the United Nations and its organs and agencies, as well as of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in the field of social and economic development of the Palestinian people under occupation. The Seminar called upon the United Nations and its organs and agencies to render and co-ordinate all forms of social and economic assistance to the Palestinian people in consultation and co-operation with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

(e) The Seminar affirmed that the problem of the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people remained the core of the conflict in the Middle East and that no comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region could be achieved without the full exercise of those rights, including the right of return, the right to self-determination and the right to create its own independent State in Palestine, and without the complete withdrawal of Israel from Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem. It further reaffirmed that the Palestine Liberation Organization was the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

(f) The Seminar considered the question of the status of Jerusalem and reiterated the position of the Security Council as contained in its resolution 478 (1980) of
20 August 1980, by which it affirmed "that the enactment of the 'basic law' by Israel constitutes a violation of international law and does not affect the continued application of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem", and determined "that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purported to alter the character and the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the recent 'basic law' on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith".

(g) The Seminar unanimously concluded that the best way to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East was to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations and with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, as well as the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and other concerned States, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. The Seminar supported the establishment of a preparatory committee within the framework of the Security Council, with the participation of its permanent members, as called for by General Assembly resolution 41/43 D, as a means to undertake practical steps towards the convening of the conference. The Seminar believed that the members of the Security Council should immediately proceed to establish the said preparatory committee.

(h) The Seminar further recalled the unyielding and firm support by the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Arab States, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the socialist countries, the European Community and other groups of countries, to the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The Seminar was convinced that partial and piecemeal agreements would ignore the core of the Arab-Israeli problem and were not conducive to a comprehensive peaceful solution. The Seminar was of the view that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had a major role to play in promoting the convening of such a conference and encouraged its effort in this regard.

(i) The Conference should be convened without pre-conditions and its proceedings should be conducted in a constructive spirit. The aim of the Conference should be a comprehensive settlement encompassing all aspects of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Seminar appealed to all members of the Security Council, and in particular to its permanent members, to fulfil their responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security, and to exercise the necessary political will and to undertake vigorous efforts to bring about the convening of the Conference.

(j) The Seminar greatly appreciated the efforts of the Secretary-General of the United Nations with a view to convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. In this regard, the Seminar took note of the Secretary-General's report (A/42/277-S/18849) of 7 May 1987 and expressed support for his intention to intensify his contacts with the parties in order to try to find ways of bridging the gaps between them.

(k) The Seminar viewed the results of the eighteenth session of the Palestine National Council, held in April 1987 at Algiers, as being of great importance. It welcomed in particular, the unequivocal support of the Palestine Liberation Organization for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and the establishment of a preparatory committee within the framework of the Security Council, with the participation of its permanent members.

(l) The Seminar recalled that the year 1987 marked a number of important anniversaries in the history of the struggle of the Palestinian people, including the seventieth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of General Assembly resolution 181 (II), the twentieth anniversary of the 1967 War and the fifth anniversary of the Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanese territory and the massacre at Sabra and Shatila.

(m) Intensified efforts should be made to mobilize public opinion in North America and throughout the world through the use of the media. In that connection, the United Nations should make additional efforts to disseminate more factual and up-to-date information on the question of Palestine, as one of the contributions to the achievement of a just solution to the problem of Palestine on the basis of the attainment by the Palestinian people of its inalienable national rights.

(n) The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat have an important role in the preparation and dissemination of information. Furthermore, the Department of Public Information of the United Nations, in co-operation with the Division for Palestinian Rights, should ensure that accurate information on the question of Palestine receives the widest possible dissemination.

(o) It was important that the media play a more responsive role in providing more balanced reporting on the Middle East and, in particular, on the plight of the Palestinians in and outside the occupied territories. Institutions, such as universities, colleges, research institutes, churches and other religious establishments, as well as national and international non-governmental organizations, had a crucial role to play in the formation of public opinion, particularly in the United States and Canada. Those institutions should be urged to give wider coverage and more balanced treatment to the question of Palestine.

(p) The Seminar encouraged the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to take a strong position against the proposed enactment of legislation by the United States Congress to close the Permanent Observer Office of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations in New York, or to make association with the Palestine Liberation Organization a crime. It was the view of the Seminar that such proposed legislation went against the United Nations Host Country Agreement with the United States. The Committee should examine and explore with the United Nations Legal Counsel the implications as to the compatibility or not of the proposed pieces of legislation with basic principles of international law, including the Host Country Agreement. The Seminar also urged the Committee to request the Committee on Relations with the Host Country to take a position against the proposed legislation.

ANNEX VI


Declaration adopted by the United Nations North American
Regional Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium on the
Question of Palestine


(New York, 24-26 June 1987)


Introduction


1. The fourth United Nations North American Regional Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium on the Question of Palestine on the theme "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people" was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York, from 24 to
26 June 1987.

2. The Symposium was attended by 46 non-governmental organizations as participants and 24 as observers, as well as by a number of observers from Governments and intergovernmental organizations and liberation movements.

3. Mr. Alberto Velazco-San José (Cuba) opened and closed the Symposium on behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
Ms. Ethel Born, Chairman of the North American Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine, served as Moderator of the Symposium.

4. The Symposium had one main panel entitled "The need for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with resolutions 38/58 C: the urgency of ending 20 years of occupation". The following panelists presented papers:

Mr. Tawfiq Abu Ghazaleh, an attorney with the Gaza Centre for Rights and Law;

Mr. Latif Dori, founder, Committee for Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue;

Rev. Benjamin Weir, Moderator, Presbyterian Church (United States of America).

Mr. Svend Robinson, a Canadian Member of Parliament, who had accepted an invitation to participate as a panelist, was unfortunately unable to attend, owing to his official duties.

5. Eight workshops were set up to deal with the following issues:

(a) Media/public relations;

(b) Challenges in defending human and civil rights;

(c) Coalition-building;

(d) Grass-roots organizing;

(e) Women;

(f) Peace and anti-intervention;

(g) Religion and relief groups;

(h) Third world communities.

Mr. David Hardin (United States) and Ms. Lea Tsemel (Israel) acted as workshop leaders for the "Media/public relations" and "Challenges in defending human and civil rights" workshops, respectively.

6. The Symposium received a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and, in return, sent a telegramme of appreciation to the Chairman.

7. The Declaration of the Symposium, which was adopted unanimously, is reproduced below. The full text of the report will be published in due course as a special bulletin of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

Declaration


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

9. We wish also to thank the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights, the non-governmental organizations liaison officers, the staff of the Division and the Department of Conference Services for their invaluable assistance in the preparation and execution of this meeting.

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

11. We believe that this meeting contributed to the constructive interaction between the United Nations and the North American non-governmental organizations community concerned with the non-implementation of General Assembly resolution 38/58 C of 13 December 1983, a resolution whose implementation we hold to be indispensable in securing a just and durable solution to the question of Palestine.

12. We call upon the peoples and Governments of the United States of America and Canada to take all possible steps to secure the implementation of General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, in order to secure a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine.

13. We resolutely reaffirm the international consensus that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian People. We affirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination without external interference and to establish an independent Palestinian State on its own national territory under the leadership of PLO and the right of return, in conformity with all relevant United Nations resolutions.

14. We further strongly support the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East as called for at the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held in August-September 1983, and as adopted by the General Assembly in resolution 38/58 C. We applaud the continuing efforts of the Secretary-General to establish a preparatory committee for the Conference. It is essential that the International Peace Conference be inclusive and be attended by representatives of both Israel and PLO, those Arab States parties to the conflict, the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. We are encouraged by the declaration of the European Community of February 1987 and the declaration of the Nordic countries of March 1987 and hope that they will lead to initiatives that will result in the convening of the Conference.

15. Within our larger concern for equal rights and justice for all people, we reaffirm that our focus as participants in this symposium is the Palestinian people and its struggle to achieve its inalienable rights, and that our goal and responsibility is to support that struggle through the strategies and activities proposed in our workshops.

16. As non-governmental organizations, we have the unique opportunity to contribute to this struggle without governmental constraints. Our guidelines must come from our consciences, which are informed by history, the knowledge of current events, and respect for international law.

17. Events in the territories occupied in 1967 must be seen as part of both an historical pattern and a continuum. The history of the Palestinian community living in pre-1967 Israel is instructive in two respects. The first is Israel's systematic attempt at removing the people from their land; the second is the Palestinian people's unyielding determination, which has empowered them to succeed in remaining on their land.

18. The Palestinians of 1948 have taught us the importance of "samed" (steadfastness). As non-governmental organizations, we must therefore be committed to support concurrently both the struggle of the Palestinians of the 1967 occupation to remain on the land and the struggle of the entire Palestinian people to attain self-determination.

19. Non-governmental organizations in Canadian and United States society take special note of their role as representatives of an important segment of public opinion on the Palestine question. Non-governmental organizations constitute an unquenchable force to be reckoned with that derives from this public consciousness. In view of that special role and status, non-governmental organizations in North America also recognize as part of their responsibility that they go beyond the self-imposed limitations of States and Governments to contribute positively to the speedy restoration of national rights to the victimized Palestinian people.

20. The non-governmental organizations here convened recognize with appreciation the contributions that States Members of the United Nations have made to the provision of standards of world order through the promulgation of international law. Humanitarian and human rights statutes constitute the legal basis for the self-determination of peoples, including the Palestinian people. In particular, such legal instruments as the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations and other international covenants and conventions, guarantee that right for the Palestinian people.

21. The international community had already affirmed the right of the Palestinian Arab people to their State in Palestine as early as 1947, with the "Plan for Partition with Economic Union". The denial of that right over the ensuing 40 years, and particularly throughout the 20 years of Israel's occupation by force of the West Bank and Gaza districts of Palestine, dramatize the failure of the international community of States to uphold the standards that they themselves have set forth. We, as non-governmental organizations in North America, call upon our respective Governments to respect and implement the inalienable rights of Palestinians as a people and nation, in accordance with international law.

22. In our constant attention to the issue of Palestine, the North American non-governmental organizations cannot confront this conflict in isolation from the considerations held in other parts of the world as well.

23. As people of conscience, we cannot conduct activities in our own countries in isolation from the world consensus and expect to contribute to a positive future.

24. The non-governmental organizations in North America affirm their commitment to co-operate in good faith with the international peace community - in the Americas, Europe, Israel, in the non-aligned countries and elsewhere - in their efforts towards the restoration of Palestinian rights, both for its own sake and in conjunction with efforts to reduce the continuing violence and risk of war in the Middle East.

25. Among the suggestions emanating from the discussion groups that merit serious attention and endorsement was that of convening an non-governmental organizations-sponsored conference in North America (with the site of preference being Washington, the alternate, Ottawa) bringing together representatives of PLO and Israeli notables, and repeating the opportunity offered by the Constanta and Budapest meetings. Representatives of interested Governments, particularly from the European Community, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and North America would also be invited.

26. We also recommend that the International Co-ordinating Committee on the Question of Palestine, in co-operation with the North American Co-ordinating Committee on the Question of Palestine, convene a model International Peace Conference utilizing non-governmental organizations representatives from Israel, PLO, the five permanent members of the Security Council and the Arab parties to the conflict. It should be held in New York under United Nations auspices in conformity with General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 40/43 D. We further urge that this proposal be adopted by the non-governmental organizations participating in the fourth United Nations International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine in Geneva from
7 to 9 September 1987. The other small group discussion recommendations are annexed to the present paper.

27. The symposium supports the Israeli citizens, both Jews and Arabs, who are peace activists and who are in danger of going to prison as a result of their struggle to bring peace and security to their people and their nation.

28. The symposium condemns attempts by the Israeli Government to limit the activities of Israeli peace activists by promulgating anti-democratic laws such as the "Law for Prevention of Terrorism".

29. In the light of the above, the symposium requests that Israel re-examine the law and its negative influence and abrogate that law. In addition, the symposium calls upon Israel to drop all charges against the peace activists.

30. The aim of the present meeting was to develop practical objectives and strategies to be implemented by North American non-governmental organizations in this the Year of the Palestinian People. Our primary work was conducted in workshops, and we affirm their conclusions as we have amended them below.

31. The Media/public relations workshop made the following recommendations:

(a) The North American Co-ordinating Committee (NACC), in close co-operation with North American non-governmental organizations, will undertake the development of a standardized guide on how to deal with the media and an annotated experts list representing the various sectors of North American society;

(b) The experts will be selected for their ability to work effectively with the electronic and print media. The guide and list will be made available to non-governmental organizations co-operating with NACC;

(c) The workshop repeatedly voiced a concern for humanizing the North American public's perception of the Palestinian people. To change minds, the participants concluded that it is necessary to develop effective techniques. Non-governmental organizations shall focus on issues of high value to their targeted audiences, the moderate public of the United States and Canada. They should provide new information in concise form to media sources. Finally, in conformity with the suggested experts list, non-governmental organizations should offer credible spokespersons to the media and the public to comment on the issues;

(d) Awareness of Palestinian culture is one method of humanizing perceptions of Palestinians. We therefore urge the North American non-governmental organizations:

(i)To co-operate closely with the International Co-ordinating Committee on
Palestine (ICCP) on the tours of Palestinian women and artists through
North America in the fall of 1987 and at other times, as one way of
introducing North Americans to Palestinian people, their culture and
their concerns;
(ii)To target mainstream civic and social organizations in North America (i.e.
Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Soroptimists) in order to schedule sympathetic
speakers on the Middle-East conflict, the role of the United States and
the question of Palestine;
(iii) To request the United Nations to establish a permanent display of
Palestinian cultural heritage to join the existing display on
Palestinian political history currently on the third floor of the
United Nations General Assembly building;
(iv)To create a mobile exhibit on Palestinian culture and history to be
displayed throughout North America, which could be used in conjunction
with programmes in local churches, libraries and universities.

32. The workshop on challenges in defending civil and human rights reaffirms the Third North American Non-Governmental Organization Declaration of June 1986 and:

(a) Calls upon Israel to observe the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949) concerning the treatment of the Palestinian population in the occupied territories;

(b) Condemns the use of any "alleged" legal system as a tool of foreign policy and as an instrument of repression of the Palestinian people;

(c) Affirms the right of the Palestinian people to resist the Israeli occupation;

(d) Affirms the rights of free speech and political association in the occupied territories, in Israel and in the United States, particularly during the two hundredth anniversary of the Constitution of the United States;

(e) Opposes the Dole and Kemp bills and all related legislation and pledges collective action to defeat these bills;

(f) Calls for legislation in support of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East as proposed by United Nations General Assembly resolution 38/58 C;

(g) Supports Palestinian family reunification in the occupied territories, the "Los Angeles Eight" a/ defendants case and other similar cases in the coming year;

(h) Reaffirms the non-governmental organizations theme/campaign to end the 20 years of occupation;

(i) Salutes all those Israelis who work for Palestinian human and civil rights.

33. The Coalition-building workshop recommended the development of a broad-based coalition in North America drawing in participants from new constituencies such as third world groups, religious communities, labour unions and peace, anti-intervention and women's groups. Its work shall be aimed at redirecting United States Middle-East policy by:

(a) Influencing public opinion, particularly in the United States, in support of the Palestinian people in their right to self-determination, including the right of return, and in support of an international peace conference to include PLO, Israel, the five permanent members of the Security Council and the Arab States who are parties to the conflict;

(b) Ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories;

(c) Addressing human rights violations;

(d) Creating a forum for debate of Middle East issues in the 1988 United States presidential campaign, to result in planks in major party platforms covering United States support for Palestinian self-determination and United States recognition of PLO as the representative of the Palestinian people and support for an international peace conference. NACC might further facilitate the work of this coalition by overseeing and encouraging contacts between non-governmental organizations along geographical lines throughout the United States and Canada.

34. The grass-roots organizing workshop:

(a) Recommends that NACC establish a national guide book of non-governmental organizations registered with the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights to include:

(i)National office address and one-paragraph description;
(ii)Regional and local affiliates;
(iii)A listing of each organization's available human and material resources;

(b) Recommends that NACC facilitate additional speaking tours on a national and local level to address grass-roots organizations, i.e., coupling Palestinians and Israelis on national tours, matching Palestinians, blacks, Latin Americans, Asians and Jews and other experts living in local areas;

(c) Recommends that NACC co-ordinate simultaneous regional (to include Canada), one-day symposia to promote the International Peace Conference before the next North American symposium. The intent is to develop greater local participation in the promotion of the Peace Conference. In an effort to broaden the base of the non-governmental organizations a committee was formed to approach other organizations in order for those organizations to become aware of the non-governmental organizations and to join the non-governmental organizations movement.

35. The Women's workshop endorses the call of the United Nations General Assembly to convene an International Peace Conference on the Middle East in conformity with the provisions of resolution 38/58 C. The women assembled further call upon all United Nations organs and specialized agencies and other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to provide immediate and adequate assistance projects, which will contribute to improving the living conditions of Palestinian women and children. To these ends, the women and groups assembled committed themselves to the following specific projects to be undertaken during the next 12 months:

(a) Cultural exchanges and speaking tours, to include the tour currently being set up by NACC and ICC;

(b) The creation of high visibility for the International Peace Conference. Taking a lesson from the role of entertainers in bringing African issues into the homes of America, participants agree to seek out well-known artists and entertainers to promote the International Peace Conference and to establish a dialogue with prominent public women likewise, to seek their endorsement;

(c) Letter-writing campaigns for Palestinian prisoners, particularly women and children;

(d) Material aid and community development projects, with the understanding that it is imperative to work in tandem with Palestinian women's institutions in the area, in response to their needs, to undertake specific aid projects. At the same time, participants recognized the educational benefits accruing from such a campaign.

An interim task force was set up to ensure follow-through on the four agreed areas of activity.

36. The peace and anti-intervention workshop recommends the reaffirmation and implementation of the resolutions of the 1986 North American Symposium on the Question of Palestine and calls on non-governmental organizations:

(a) To pressure the United States to support the convening of the International Peace Conference as defined in General Assembly resolution 38/58 C and to educate the peace movement about that resolution. Non-governmental organizations should work to popularize the concept of the International Peace Conference through campaigns that include slogans;

(b) To urge all peace and anti-intervention groups to work to end United States support for Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza now and to co-operate closely with North American non-governmental organizations on the question of Palestine;

(c) To commit symposium participants to convening local committees of non-governmental organizations to visit local congressional/parliamentary representatives to discuss the International Peace Conference and the pursuit of Middle East peace with them;

(d) To salute efforts towards peace undertaken by Palestinians, Israelis and other peace-loving forces around the world;

(e) To respond effectively to United States global foreign policy in a unified and collective way, particularly co-operating with the peace and anti-intervention community.

37. The religious and relief groups workshop:

(a) Urges religious organizations to encourage "Holy Land tours", which give inclusive perspectives of people, ideas and sites. Good models are available and should be sought to urge greater youth exchange programmes;

(b) Urges NACC to explore the possibility of promoting an inter-faith day of Middle East peace and appointing a task force of organizations to develop ideas for activities to be circulated in the NACC newsletter;

(c) Urges immediate investigation and other appropriate action against the treatment of United States citizens (Palestinian and other Arab Americans) who, with their families, journey to Israel and the occupied territories for a visit. They are often not allowed into the country. If they are granted a short stay, their passports are held and high bonds (thousands of dollars) are required till their departure;

(d) Urges increased advocacy efforts through continuous monitoring, questioning, challenging and influencing of public policy, in Washington and Ottawa and through district offices in local communities;

(e) Urges an ecumenical approach to constituency education utilizing the model given by the Presbyterians in their Moderator's Conference on the Middle East held in April 1987. In addition, urges circulation of available resources through NACC;

(f) Urges listing of resources on the Middle East through the NACC network, establishing some means to network with one another about what is available;

(g) Encourages the National Council of Churches in its dialogue with the United States evangelical Christian community concerning theology related to Middle East issues.

38. The third world communities workshop considered the problems and opportunities for increasing co-operation and interchange between the movement for peace and justice in the Middle East and third-world communities and their organizations. The workshop took note of the failure to attract the participation of nationally oppressed minorities and urges the adoption of the following recommendations:

(a) The facilitation of greater interchange with and participation of third-world organizations;

(b) The pursuit of discussions with Congressional black caucuses and Hispanic caucuses on the question of Palestine, especially to promote an international peace conference;

(c) The development of a network of third-world activists and experts on the question of Palestine;

(d) The organization of delegations to the Middle East;

(e) The creation of an NACC sub-committee to implement the above recommendations.

39. Additional, more comprehensive strategies and tactics emanating from the workshops and discussion groups are reproduced in annexes I and II to the present paper and should be carefully considered by the non-governmental organization community.

40. Non-governmental organizations attending the present meeting have selected a North American Co-ordinating Committee. During the coming year, the Committee is charged by this meeting to co-ordinate the work of the North American non-governmental organizations present in pursuing our common objectives and strategies. The non-governmental organizations present request a report from the Committee at the 1988 North American symposium in order to evaluate its efforts. We urge continuing North American non-governmental organizations support for the North American Co-ordinating Committee as it works to accomplish the objectives stated in the present Declaration.

41. The North American Regional Non-Governmental Organization Symposium on the Question of Palestine reaffirms the importance of the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and strongly supports contributions from the Governments of the United States and Canada at the current or higher levels. The non-governmental organizations strongly reject attempts on the part of some in the United States to de-legitimize the importance of the work of UNRWA.

42. We, the North American non-governmental organizations, have taken note of the continuing assaults on Palestinian refugee camps and have duly condemned the atrocities committed, called for the siege to be lifted permanently and called for the free flow of medical assistance and other relief to the camps.

43. We urge all people and organizations working towards an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to support, through an international peace conference, the Palestinian rights of return, the right of self-determination and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State alongside of Israel as a basis for a comprehensive and lasting peace.

NACC wishes to continue to act as a resource for the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights, as requested. NACC requests that the United Nations continue its financial support of an NACC preparatory meeting, so that NACC can fulfil its obligations in relation to the 1988 North American Symposium on the Question of Palestine.

44. In order to continue collaboration between the United Nations and the North American non-governmental organization community, we urge both the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights to send representatives to the major North American non-governmental organizations conferences.

45. We urge the Chairman of the Committee on the exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to convey this Declaration to the General Assembly at its forty-second session as part of the Committee's report.

Notes


a/ The Immigration and Naturalization Service seeks to deport seven Palestinians and one Kenyan under the McCarran-Walter Act, accusing them of membership in an organization which promotes international communism as well as other technical immigration violations.

ANNEX VII


Declaration adopted by the International Meeting of
Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of
Palestine


(Geneva, 7-9 September 1987)


Introduction


1. The fourth United Nations International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine was held at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 7 to 9 September 1987. The Meeting was attended by representatives of 121 non-governmental organizations as participants and 149 non-governmental organizations as observers, as well as by a large number of observers from Governments, intergovernmental organizations, United Nations bodies and liberation movements.

2. Mr. Massamba Sarré (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, opened the Meeting and Mr. Alberto Velazco-San José (Cuba) closed the Meeting on behalf of the Committee. The opening session was addressed by Mr. Diego Cordovez, Under-Secretary-General for Special Political Affairs and representative of the Secretary-General, by Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of PLO and Mr. Donald Betz, Chairman of the International Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine. A keynote address was given by Congressman Nick Joe Rahall II (United States of America). Messages of solidarity were read out on behalf of Mr. Chadli Bendjeded, President of Algeria, Mr. Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Mr. Chedli Klibi, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States and on behalf of the Indian National Congress and the Indian Youth Congress.

3. The work of the Meeting was conducted in panel discussions and in workshops and special-issue groups. Two panels were established and presentations were made by a number of experts, as indicated below:

(a) "The need for and the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C";

The first session of the panel was chaired by Mr. Massamba Sarré and heard the following panelists: Mr. M. S. Agwani (India); Mr. Gordon Bilney (Australia); Mr. Peter Jankowitsch (Austria); Mr. Heath N. MacQuarrie (Canada); and Mr. Vladimir Vinogradov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). The second session of the panel heard presentations from the following experts: Professor Ibrahim Abu-Lughod (Palestinian); Mr. Shafiq Al-Hout (Palestinian); Mr. Mattityahu Peled (Israel); Mr. Tawfiq Zayyad (Palestinian);

(b) "Palestinian political and human rights";

Panelists: Mr. Hatem Abu-Ghazalah (Palestinian); Mr. Latif Dori (Israel);
Ms. Raymonda Tawil (Israel); Mr. Amnon Zichroni (Israel).

4. The following workshops were held:

(a) Mobilization of public opinion;

Workshop leaders: Mr. Donald Betz (United States of America); and Mr. James Graff (Canada); Mr. David Watkins (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland);

(b) Creative arts and the Palestinian struggle for national identity;

Workshop leader: Mr. Kamal Boulatta (Palestinian);

(c) Community development and relief work;

Workshop leader: Mr. Hans Peter Kotthaus (Austria);

(d) Mobilizing the international peace movement for a nuclear-weapon-free Middle East;

Workshop leader: Mr. Amnon Zichroni (Israel).

5. In addition, 12 special-issue groups were formed to discuss specific action proposals by non-governmental organizations interested in particular topics related to the question of Palestine.

6. The Declaration of the Meeting, which was adopted unanimously, is reproduced below. The full text of the report will be published in due course as a special bulletin of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

Declaration


7. We, the non-governmental organizations participating in the fourth United Nations International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine, in this year of the Palestinian people, thank the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this meeting and we appreciate the presence of the members and observers of that United Nations body.

8. We thank the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights, the non-governmental organization liaison officers and the staff of the Division and the Department of Conference Services, including the interpreters, for their assistance in this Meeting. We look forward to increasing the level of mutual co-operation and understanding.

9. We were honoured by the presence of Chairman Yasser Arafat at the opening session of this Meeting and sincerely thank him for his statement and his continuing support of our efforts.

10. We express our appreciation to the distinguished experts, resource persons and moderators who spoke here.

11. We recognize the need for and the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 41/43 D. We are concerned at the delay in convening the Conference and gravely concerned that any further delay will worsen conflict in the Middle East, intensify the suffering and oppression to which the Palestinian people are daily subjected and increase the danger of global conflagration. For that reason, the international non-governmental organizations urge that practical preparations for the convening of the International Conference be started by the permanent members of the Security Council without delay.

12. Accordingly, we call upon all Governments to work for the convening of the International Peace Conference under the auspices of the United Nations, as a matter of the utmost urgency, the participants to include the five permanent members of the Security Council, PLO, Israel, the Arab States parties to the conflict, and other concerned States, on an equal footing and with equal rights.

13. We express our conviction that one hope for peace lies with a concerted European initiative to bring Israel and the United States to accept the International Peace Conference as called for in resolution 38/58 C. To this end, we urge the non-governmental organizations in the countries members of the European Economic Community to persuade their Governments to update the Venice Declaration of 1980 to be in conformity with the guidelines enunciated in resolution 38/58 C. We note that the European Parliament has given the opportunity to a number of leaders involved in the Middle East conflict to present their views. We urge the European Parliament to invite Chairman Arafat to present the views of the Palestinian people.

14. We reaffirm that the right of return and the recognition and exercise of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people, with all that it implies, is a central requirement for peace and security, as well as being fully in accord with one of the fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations. Therefore, we call on all Governments to recognize and respect that right.

15. We reaffirm the international consensus that PLO is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in its just struggle for its inalienable rights. Accordingly, we call on all Governments to recognize PLO.

16. We are appalled at the 1986 amendment to the 1948 Israeli Prevention of Terrorism Act, which criminalizes Israeli citizens who engage in peace talks with members of PLO. We call for the repeal of this law forthwith, and the dropping of all charges laid under this law or its amendments, particularly those relating to the Alternative Information Centre in Jerusalem. We note past acts of harassment by the Israeli authorities against individuals living under its judicial and military authority who attend meetings with members of PLO. We insist upon the basic right of all individuals to attend meetings, including this fourth United Nations International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine held at Geneva. We call upon the Israeli Government to permit such individuals, without discrimination, to return home safely and unharassed after their participation in this Conference. We further condemn attempts by any Goverment to curtail or obstruct the freedom of its citizens to associate with PLO or any of its members. We strongly support continuing dialogue between Israelis and members of PLO as an extremely important means of promoting a just and durable peace.

17. We are greatly concerned about the policies of racial discrimination practiced by the Israeli Government against Palestinian Arab Citizens of Israel. Special attention should be paid to the plight of the oft-neglected Palestinian Bedouins and the Arabs in the area of Beersheva and the Negev. We condemn the continuing repressive measures of the Israeli occupying Power against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories (including arrests, shootings, torture, expulsions, demolition of houses, closure of educational, cultural, and social institutions, collective punishment, land and water seizures, and censorship in all its forms), and we call upon all Governments and peoples to press the Israeli Government to end the occupation. Inhumane practices against Palestinian political prisoners and the denial of all their rights must be deplored.

18. We note with great concern the deteriorating situation in the camps of Palestinian refugees in Beirut and southern Lebanon which have been under constant attack for three years. In the absence of actual legal measures that would guarantee the security of the Palestinian civilians in Lebanon after the abrogation of the Cairo agreement, we demand that the refugees receive the international legal protection provided under the relevant international conventions, specifically the Geneva Conventions and Protocols. We call for an end to the blockade, the start of reconstruction, and the normalization of the situation of the Palestinians in Lebanon; we call for the establishment of an international delegation of eminent persons to study the situation in the field and to report its findings to the United Nations Committee on the exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

19. We urge our Governments to contact the appropriate parties to lift the blockade, to permit the immediate entry of the International Committee of the Red Cross and other health and relief organizations into the camps and the dispatch of medical and food supplies. We also demand the reconstruction of dwellings, hospitals and schools and the re-establishment of social and educational services.

20. We call for the ending of the continued Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon, the inhumane air raids, which take Palestinian and Lebanese lives, and the intervention in Lebanese internal affairs through political coercion and oppressive action. We demand the immediate Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon, in conformity with United Nations Security Council resolutions 508 (1982) and 509 (1982), and respect for its unity, sovereignty and democratic development and for the release of all those held in prison.

21. We deplore the Israeli policy of kidnapping Palestinians and others travelling in international waters and call upon all non-governmental organizations to launch a campaign against these actions, including informing maritime organizations and seamen's unions in their respective States about these acts of piracy, and to work with them to oppose these deplorable acts.

22. We, non-governmental organizations, condemn the introduction of nuclear weapons by Israel into the Middle East. We urge the United States and Western European States to terminate all co-operation with Israel in the fields of nuclear weaponry and research. We further call upon Israel to dismantle its nuclear weapons, to open its nuclear facilities to expert inspection and to sign the non-proliferation Treaty. The world has a right to know, the Israeli people have a right to know about Israel's nuclear capacity and the threat to regional and world peace which that capacity represents. The United Nations resolution on the creation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East must be implemented.

23. We are deeply concerned about the harsh and illegitimate conditions under which Mordechai Vanunu is being held and tried. Mordechai Vanunu drew the attention of the world to the Israeli nuclear arms capability. We condemn his kidnapping from European soil. We demand a fair, just and public trial for Mordechai Vanunu and submit that the need for regional and world-wide security from nuclear warfare morally justifies his actions.

24. We note Chairman Arafat's statement on the serious threat to peace and security posed by the perpetuation of the Gulf war and concur that "we must exert every possible effort to decrease the dangerous tension in this important region of the world before fire extends to other areas and the hurricane expands and thus destruction follows". We appeal to all parties to uphold the recent United Nations Security Council resolution 598/(1987) which aimed to end the war.

25. The objective of this Meeting was to plan and co-ordinate non-governmental organization activities. Our primary work was conducted in workshops and in special working groups, and we affirm their conclusions as appended herewith.

26. We, non-governmental organizations, urgently request the establishment of a special committee on Palestinian culture to confront the systematic war being waged against Palestinian identity. The committee should consist of three Palestinian cultural experts who would advise and assist the International Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine (ICCP) in planning future non-governmental organization activities.

27. Increased non-governmental organization effectiveness demands enhanced co-ordination and organization. In the light of the growing importance of the ICCP liaison office at Geneva, we propose the establishment of an non-governmental organization liaison office in North America, and national and regional committees in Europe and elsewhere.

28. It is important that special efforts be made to extend our network to Latin America, Australia, New Zealand and other under-represented areas, and to encourage the participation of their non-governmental organizations in the international meeting to be held in 1988. We urge the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to exert special efforts to convene a Latin American regional non-governmental organization symposium in 1988 and on a regular basis.

29. We congratulate the European non-governmental organizations on the Regional Symposium successfully convened by them immediately prior to our Meeting with valued support of the ICC secretariat. We urge the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to include the Final Declaration of this European Symposium in the Committee's report (to the General Assembly).

30. We urge the United Nations to convene an annual European regional symposium immediately prior to an annual international meeting. We further urge the United Nations to schedule a five-day international meeting of non-governmental organizations in the first week of September 1988 in Vienna, the format of which is to be decided in co-operation with ICCP with emphasis on workshops and special interest planning meetings.

31. We reaffirm the organization and work of ICCP and its secretariat at Geneva. We call upon the United Nations to offer every possible assistance to ICCP and its secretariat.

32. We urge the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to convey this Declaration to the General Assembly at its forty-second session as part of the Committee's report.





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