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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
Distr.
GENERAL
A/AC.183/SR.35
21 March 1979

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE
RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 35th MEETING

Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Wednesday, 29 November 1978, at 10 a.m.


Chairman: Mr. FALL (Senegal)


CONTENTS

Special meeting to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the
Palestinian People









* No summary record was issued for the 34th meeting.





This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room A-3550.

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

The meeting was called to order at 10.35 a.m.

SPECIAL MEETING TO COMMEMORATE THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE
PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

1. The CHAIRMAN welcomed participants to the meeting and said that the decision adopted by a large majority in General Assembly resolution 32/40 B to organize annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People* was a further important step in the Assembly's efforts over the past decade to promote the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and provided an opportunity for the peoples of the world to renew their firm resolve to see an end to the injustice that the Palestinian people had suffered for generations. It should also serve to mobilize world public opinion concerning the need for action by the United Nations to help the Palestinian people to exercise their rights.


______________
* Cf. Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-third Session,
Supplement No. 35, para. 53.



2. Exactly 31 years earlier the General Assembly, in its resolution 181 (II), had recommended the partition of Palestine, despite the opposition of the majority of the population of that country, and the Palestinian people, whose right to self-determination had earlier been recognized by the League of Nations, had suddenly found themselves driven from their land, dispossessed of their property and, above all, deprived of a homeland. Forbidden to return to their own land, they had become refugees living on international charity. For more than 20 years the question of Palestine had been pushed into the background, and the national rights of the Palestinian people had been ignored or regarded only as a humanitarian issue. Seeing all chances of returning to their homeland diminish, the Palestinians had to fight resolutely to draw the attention of the international community to their situation. The long years in exile had not destroyed their national consciousness, nor their attachment to Palestine, and that explained their determination to regain their rights. The United Nations, which bore a large share of responsibility for the fate of the Palestinian people, had begun to pay greater heed to the urgent appeals of the Palestinian people for justice, and in the late 1960s it had embarked on the process of the restoration of their inalienable rights. It had become increasingly evident that any solution of the Middle East problem had to take account of those rights.

3. The dispersal of the Palestinians, the occupation by Israel since 1967 of the whole of that part of Palestine which, under the terms of General Assembly resolution 181 (II), rightfully belonged to them, and the state of war between Israel and the Arab States were hardly propitious for the exercise of the right to self-determination, and in adopting resolution 3236 (XXIX) the General Assembly had wanted to remind the world of the need to implement its resolutions 181 (II) and 194 (III) so that the Palestinians would be in a position effectively to exercise their right to self-determination. That resolution had marked a turning-point in United Nations efforts and had been followed by resolution 3375 (XXX) on the need for the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in peace efforts held under the auspices of the United Nations, on an equal footing with other parties. Finally, fearing that its recommendations would not be implemented, the General Assembly had established the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which, in accordance with its mandate, had submitted a report in November 1976 including recommendations on the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. The General Assembly had endorsed those recommendations in resolution 31/20 but, unfortunately, the Security Council had been unable to take any decision on them because of a veto by one of its permanent members.

4. He deplored the fact that certain States, while recognizing the rights of the Palestinian people, continued to refuse to co-operate with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and he was in no doubt as to how to interpret the fact that the representatives of some of those States had found it necessary to send a letter indicating that they would not participate in the Day of Solidarity, while at the same time reaffirming their recognition of the rights of the Palestinians to a homeland. Selectivism with regard to the decisions of the Organization did not indicate a constructive approach and neither were boycotts and other methods of confrontation likely to promote the spirit of consultation and dialogue which should prevail in the United Nations. It was paradoxical, to say the least, to advocate negotiated solutions on the one hand and, on the other, to refuse any discussion with a body set up by the General Assembly in accordance with the principles of the Charter.

5. The Committee had made it its main task to promote better knowledge of the Palestinian problem among world public opinion and to pursue efforts to persuade all members of the Security Council to adopt a positive attitude towards the General Assembly's recommendations, as a basis for the solution of the question of Palestine. In pursuing those two objectives, it counted on the sincere co-operation of all Members of the Organization.

6. The question of the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people had made considerable progress among the international community, and those rights, as defined in General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX), had been recognized by the movement of non-aligned countries, the Organization of African Unity and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. In February 1976 the President of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had reaffirmed the need for the Palestinians to establish their own national State; the Heads of Government of the European Community at their meeting in London in June 1977 had recognized the need for a homeland for the Palestinian people; and in March of that year the President of the United States of America had stated that the Palestinian refugees should be given a homeland. In other words, only Israel continued to contest the legitimacy of the Palestinian people's rights. Others, however, while acknowledging those rights, were keen to restrict them and to attach such conditions to them that they became unrecognizable. The Palestinian people, despite their dispersal, had shown, if there had been any need to do so, that they were capable of choosing their own representatives. The victory of pro-PLO candidates in the April 1976 elections on the West Bank showed that the people had clearly fixed their choice on the PLO as their legitimate representative. The mystery was how Israel hoped to achieve a lasting peace in the Middle East without discussions with that organization.

7. He reiterated his deep-seated conviction that the United Nations had an important role to play in the settlement of the question of Palestine, by taking up the challenge of Israel's systematic and deliberate violation of United Nations decisions. It should continue vigorously to support the restoration of their inalienable rights to the Palestinians. Thirty years of violence, bitterness and tension had shown that the solution of the Palestine problem could only come about through a dialogue between the main protagonists, namely, the Israelis and the Palestinians, the latter legitimately represented by the PLO. It was not the intention of the Committee to serve as a substitute for such a dialogue, but, in accordance with its mandate, it would play a useful role in the search for the
elements of a just and lasting settlement; it would continue to remain open to any suggestions and was willing to hold a dialogue with all the interested parties.

8. Mr. LIEVANO (Colombia), speaking as the President of the General Assembly, said that the association of the United Nations with the problems of the Middle East had begun with the birth of the Organization, which, since then, had acted as a stabilizing factor in a region which for years had been living under ominous portents of war. Many historical factors had contributed to the region's instability, the major one being the continued special attraction that strategic area held for peoples and Governments of other regions. There had been constant and continuous migrations which, though they had produced racial, cultural and religious intermingling among the Palestinians, had also brought with them violent antagonistic situations. Yet it should not be forgotten that that small region, inhabited since time immemorial by races which had shown particular fervour in the search for fundamental religious truths, had been the cradle of the three great monotheistic religions which had so profoundly influenced world history.

9. The commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was in fulfilment of one of the specific tasks assigned to the Organization by the Charter, namely the recognition of the fundamental right of peoples to live in peace and security, in their ancestral homelands, and in full enjoyment of the political, religious and cultural values which they had formed over the centuries. Those were the inalienable rights demanded for the Palestinian people in many United Nations documents.

10. In a century which some had called the "century of refugees" the United Nations could not be indifferent to the ultimate fate of the Palestinian people;it had a duty towards them, as towards all other peoples, to prevent their dispersion and their constant dependence on foreign Powers. It was therefore only logical that it should use its authority to ensure that the Palestinians were able to exercise their rights, including the right to return to their homeland and the right to full independence and political self-determination. Only when there were no more outcast peoples in the world would the United Nations have fulfilled its historic duty. The purpose of the Day of Solidarity was to ensure that the ancient Palestinian people did not become outcasts.

11. The SECRETARY-GENERAL said that it was no coincidence that the first commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people also marked the thirty-first anniversary of the adoption by the General Assembly of resolution 181 (II) which had sought the creation of two States in Palestine and the establishment of an international régime for Jerusalem. Since 1947 the General Assembly had persevered in its efforts to find a just solution to the Palestinian problem. For some time, the major focus had been on alleviating the misery of those who had become refugees as a result of the fighting in 1948 and the great achievement of the United Nations in that regard should not for a moment be minimized. However, it had since become clear that that humanitarian aspect of the problem was not enough and, taking into account the increasing political awareness of the Palestinian people, the General Assembly, in 1974, with the adoption of resolution 3236 (XXIX), which reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination, the right to national independence and sovereignty, and the right to return to their homes and property from which they had been displaced and uprooted, had begun tackling the political aspect of the question.

12. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had been established by the General Assembly to draw up a programme for the implementation of the Palestinian rights enumerated in that resolution, and the recommendations which the Committee had made had been endorsed by the General Assembly in 1976 and again in 1977. They could not fail to have a significant impact.

13. For some time the international community had clearly understood that a just solution of the Palestinian dimension of the Middle East problem was of overriding importance, and it was in that context that the General Assembly had decided at its thirty-second session to observe an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and thereby focus the attention of the international community on their inalienable rights and give the widest possible exposure to the facts relating to those rights.

14. The situation in the Middle East vitally affected not only international peace and security but also the interests of the world community as a whole, and probably no other single subject had so consistently and deeply preoccupied the Organization. Four times since the founding of the United Nations the area had been embroiled in war, with all its tragic consequences for the people of the region and its attendant risk to world peace, but, however formidable the difficulties, efforts to find a peaceful way forward could not be relaxed for a moment. He underlined once again the crucial importance of the Palestinian issue in any search for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and, in commending the Committee and its Chairman for their untiring efforts, he announced that a message would go out to the Palestinian people from the meeting that their rights had not been forgotten.

15. Mr. N'DONG (Gabon), speaking as the President of the Security Council, expressed his personal satisfaction at taking part in the special meeting to which he had been invited in his capacity as President of the Security Council for the current month, but stressed that his statement did not commit the Security Council as such.

16. The commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity, in response to the wish of the General Assembly, was evidence of the concern of the international community to ensure that the Palestinians were able fully to exercise their inalienable rights, and it ought also to provide an opportunity to draw the attention of international opinion to a question whose solution was long overdue. The question of Palestine had been of continued concern to members of the Security Council for almost 30 years, and the recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which the General Assembly had endorsed in its resolution 31/20, were still before it. All the members of the Council who had participated in the discussion of the Committee's report in 1976 had reaffirmed that there could be no just and lasting peace in the Middle East without the achievement, inter alia, of a just solution of the problem of Palestine on the basis of the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. In his letter to the Council during the current year, the Chairman of the Committee had underlined the principal elements which had guided the Committee in making its recommendations, namely that the question of Palestine was the core of the Middle East problem and that, consequently, no solution could be envisaged which failed to take account of the interests of the Palestinian people; that the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland and to self-determination, independence and national sovereignty would contribute to a settlement of the Middle East crisis; and that the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, on an equal footing with the other parties, was essential in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East organized under the auspices of the United Nations. The Committee had also stressed the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and the consequent obligation on Israel to withdraw from any territories occupied by that means, two principles enshrined in Security Council resolution 242 (1967), which had been adopted unanimously. As the United Nations organ primarily responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security, the Security Council would continue to derive its inspiration from the principles of the Charter and from all the relevant resolutions of the Organization. Only strict respect for those principles and implementation of the relevant decisions and recommendations would ensure for all the peoples of the Middle East, without exception, the opportunity of exercising their inalienable rights to self-determination and national independence and of living in peace with their neighbours within secure and recognized borders.

17. Speaking as the representative of Gabon, he said that the Committee was fulfilling its task with remarkable competence and devotion. No one could fail to recognize the need to take its work into consideration in the search for a just and lasting solution to the Middle East conflict. He congratulated the Chairman and all the members of the Committee on their untiring efforts to fulfil their mandate and to work for peace.

18. Mr. SIDDIQ (Afghanistan) read out the following message from Noor Mohammad Taraki, secretary-General of the Central Committee of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, President of the Revolutionary Council and Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan:

"On the occasion of the commemoration of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I would like to take this pleasant opportunity to reiterate the sincere and firm support of the people and Government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan for the heroic and just struggle of the Palestinian people for the restoration of their national inalienable rights usurped by Israel with the backing of imperialism.

"The Government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan supports the continued efforts of the United Nations towards finding a just and comprehensive solution of the Middle East problem based on the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Israel from all the occupied Arab territories and the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, truly represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization, including the establishment of an independent national State of their own.

"Considering the Palestine question as the core of the Middle East problem, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan believes that collusive understandings or partial agreements will not lead to a just solution of the Middle East problem, particularly of the Palestinian question. We believe that the best solution to this question could be found through the full participation of all parties concerned, including that of the PLO.

"It is the moral obligation of all justice and peace-loving countries to stand side by side with the Palestinian people until their final victory."

19. Mr. FLORIN (German Democratic Republic) read out the following message from Mr. Erich Honecker, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and Chairman of the Council of State of the German Democratic Republic, addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations:

"The German Democratic Republic welcomes the recommendation of the thirty-second session of the United Nations General Assembly to observe 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This date is an occasion for us to reaffirm our strong adherence to the world-wide demand that the inalienable rights of the Arab people of Palestine to self-determination and establishment of a national State of their own be implemented.

"Solidarity with and aid to the suffering Palestinian people and their only legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, have been a concern of all people in the German Democratic Republic for many years. Also in the future we will offer our solidarity and assistance to the peoples in the Middle East in their struggle for a just and enduring Middle East settlement.

"I seize this opportunity to affirm again, in the name of the German Democratic Republic and in agreement with United Nations resolutions, that a just and enduring solution to the Middle East conflict requires the complete withdrawal of the Israeli troops from all Arab territories occupied in 1967, safeguards for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and guarantees of the security of all States in the Middle East. Those key questions can be settled only by reconvening the Geneva Conference on the Middle East with the equal participation of all interested parties, particularly the Palestine Liberation Organization. The German Democratic Republic, therefore, decidedly opposes the policy of separate arrangements which can solve none of the basic problems of the Middle East conflict but tend to exacerbate the situation in that region of the world."

20. Mr. BAROODY (Saudi Arabia) read out the following message from His Royal Highness Prince Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

"It is my pleasure on the occasion of the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People to seize this opportunity to express to Your Excellency our deep appreciation for the excellent efforts exerted by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, under Your Excellency's chairmanship, for the purpose of the support of this people's just rights.

"I wish on this occasion to emphasize the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's steadfast position in its full support and continued assistance for the struggle of the Palestinian People to reclaim and exercise their inalienable national rights, including their return to their homeland and their right to self-determination. No doubt, Your Excellency is aware of the intransigence of the Israeli authorities by their complete indifference to these rights, which are in complete harmony with international law and the United Nations Charter. Hence, the Israeli attitude continues to pose a serious threat to international peace and security.

"That is why the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is convinced that a full and just settlement in the Middle East can never be achieved without taking into consideration the complete withdrawal from all the territories occupied by Israel, in the forefront of which is Jerusalem. Furthermore, there will be no peace without taking into full account the right of the Palestinian People to self-determination and their right to national independence and sovereignty.

"Therefore, we do hope that this Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People will be a good opportunity for peace-loving peoples and countries everywhere to support the right of all peoples subjected to foreign domination and occupation to self-determination, liberty and independence in accordance with the United Nations Charter."

21. Mr. Al SAFFAR (Bahrain) read out the following message from His Highness the Emir of the State of Bahrain, Shaikh Isa Ben Salman Al Khalifa:

"Thirty-one years ago precisely, on 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine, which was the pretext for world zionism to attack the Palestinian people and uproot them from their homeland, using various means of terrorism and oppression, as a result of which the Palestinian people have been living for more than 30 years as a displaced people of refugees and exiles who keep appealing to humanity's conscience, waiting for the United Nations to put an end to the blatant injustice inflicted upon them and to restore their legitimate rights to return and to self-determination.

"During that period, four destructive wars have taken place in the Middle East, because of Israel's refusal to recognize this people's right to their homeland. Nevertheless, the original problem remains unresolved, in spite of the numerous resolutions adopted by the United Nations, particularly resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 1974, in which the United Nations General Assembly recognized the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, especially their right to return to self-determination, to national independence and to the establishment of their independent State on their national soil. The General Assembly also expressed its total support of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

"Today, as the United Nations commemorates the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, we are absolutely sure that the international community, which has recognized the legitimacy of the Palestinian people's rights, will reaffirm and intensify its support of this people so that they may attain their rights and so that just peace may be achieved in the Middle East.

"The State and the people of Bahrain would like to express, on this humanitarian occasion, their total solidarity with the Palestinian people in their just struggle against world zionism, of which this people has become the first and immediate victim.

"It is our sincere hope that this occasion will remind us all of the duty of the international community towards this people, who still suffer from injustice and deprivation, so that we may all help them to attain their recognized aspirations to freedom, independence and self-determination."

22. Mr. YANKOV (Bulgaria) read out the following message from Todo Zhivkov, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party and President of the State Council of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, addressed to Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization:

"On behalf of the State Council and the Government of the People's Republic of Bulgaria and on my own behalf I congratulate you and the Palestine Liberation Organization most cordially on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

"The People's Republic of Bulgaria, faithful to its international duty, considers the solidarity with the peoples fighting against foreign occupation for self-determination and national independence as an irreversible principle of its foreign policy.

"Our country highly values the United Nations efforts aimed at rendering moral, political and material assistance in the struggle to eliminate colonialism, racism, racial discrimination and apartheid, an expression of which is the decision adopted by the General Assembly at its thirty-second session (resolution 32/49 B) to proclaim 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

"It is a disgrace to our times that the Israeli Government continues its actions in annexing parts of the occupied territories and establishing there Israeli settlements, displacing the local Arab population, expropriating its property, carrying out mass detentions, plundering archaeological and cultural treasures. These actions generate gross mass violations of human rights, run counter to the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and pose a threat to world peace and security.

"World public opinion has long recognized the fact that the Palestinian issue lies at the core of the Middle East conflict and that a just and lasting peace in that region can only be achieved provided the rights and legitimate demands of the Arab people of Palestine are respected.

"The People's Republic of Bulgaria has repeatedly emphasized that a lasting solution to the crisis in the Middle East can be achieved solely following the path of a complete and unconditional withdrawal of the Israeli troops from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967, the realization of the legitimate national rights of the Arab people of Palestine, including its right to self-determination, creation of its own independent State and return to its homeland in conformity with the relevant United Nations decisions, under guarantees for the independence, the independent existence and the security of all States in the region. The achievement of this end necessitates the concerted efforts of all parties concerned, with the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization on an equal footing as the sole legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine.

"The just solution of the Palestinian question is not feasible outside the framework of a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem. Any separate negotiations whatsoever, conducted behind the back of the Arab nations and against their interests, will not only render difficult the resolution of the Middle East question but can also lead to new complications of the situation in that region. In this connexion, we welcome the decisions adopted at the Baghdad Conference as a major success of the patriotic forces in the Arab world unanimously condemning the Camp David deal.

"Permit me, dear Comrade Arafat, to assure you that the People's Republic of Bulgaria shall continue in the future as well to lend its active support to the just and valiant struggle of the heroic Arab people of Palestine against imperialism, zionism and reaction, for the realization of its inalienable right to live in freedom, independence and peace."

23. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Egypt) read out the following message from Mohammed Anwar El Sadat, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations:

"The United Nations celebration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is a reaffirmation of the commitment by the world community to uphold the noble principles on which the Charter is based and a reflection of the belief in the necessity of establishing an international order of justice, equality and the respect for the rights of peoples.

"The brotherly Palestinian people has been subjected during its glorious history to attempts to destroy its national identity, sometimes to the extent of denying its very existence and trying to destroy this existence physically and morally. All these attempts, in addition to being alien to the basic elements of legality and justice, were the main reason of the unparalleled human tragedy which our area faced. This also led to a long period of tensions, wars and destruction to the people of the area, where enormous human and material resources were squandered instead of being channelled towards development, welfare and prosperity.

"During this long period, Egypt, supported by all the Arab countries and peace-loving States and nations inside and outside the United nations, led the call for the necessity of the restoration to the Palestinian people of their national rights in order to achieve the just and durable peace which could secure for all peoples of the area the right to live in peace in their countries without fearing any threats or aggression.

"Egypt's belief in, and commitment to, these lofty principles led her to face Israel in political and military confrontations, the latest of which was the Ramadan/October war. This war made it clear beyond any doubt that the achievement of peace in the Middle East must be based on the principles of international legality, on the recognition that the Palestinian question is the core of the problem and that the restoration of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian People is the basis for the establishment of a just and comprehensive peace.

"Egypt's peace initiative, which was supported by the entire world, came to emphasize the lessons and results of the October war and to underline the fact that the Egyptian people are determined to shoulder their national responsibilities and to continue steadily on the road of establishing a just, durable and comprehensive settlement.

"The celebration today comes at a time when Egypt - as it has always done - is undertaking one of the most difficult battles, the battle of establishing peace in the area based on justice, the principles of international law and respect for the right of peoples to self-determination.

"Egypt succeeded at Camp David in creating the framework which, while leading to Israel's withdrawal from Sinai, will open the road to the Palestinian people for the restoration of their rights and the creation of their national authority on their own land. We are also working at the Washington talks to translate this framework into concrete steps in order to realize the hopes of the Arab nation and specially the Palestinian people. This noble battle requires creative efforts, far-sightedness and courage from all the parties. It also requires the world community to continue firmly to support justice and rights as it had always done in different United Nations organs and at the meetings of the Organization of African Unity and Non-Aligned Conferences.

"I have the pleasure on this occasion to express our appreciation of the positive role played by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in supporting the Palestinian people internationally, particularly at the United Nations, which has a special responsibility to safeguard the rights of peoples.

"The Egyptian people will continue to be faithful to their role and responsibilities, drawing their strength from their belief in God and in the justice of the Arab cause, determined to work seriously to establish just, durable and comprehensive peace, safeguarding the rights of the peoples of the area and in particular the rights of the Palestinian people. We are looking forward to the day when this people will enjoy freedom in their homeland and contribute by their creative energies to mankind's progress towards development and prosperity."

24. Mr. HARRIMAN (Nigeria), speaking as the Chairman of the Special Committee against Apartheid, said that, because of the common problems which they faced, there was a close relationship between the liberation movements of the black people of South Africa and of the Arab people of Palestine. He was disturbed by the campaign unleashed against the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the International Day of Solidarity by people who seemed to see the very term "Palestinian rights" as a red rag. The Special Committee against Apartheid had experienced similar boycotts and defamation in its early years and was subjected to attacks by some fringe elements even today. As a United Nations body, it had a duty to share its experience. When the problem of apartheid had been brought before the General Assembly in 1952 by the Asian and African States, there had been a struggle to include it in the agenda, although the issue had been quite clear. The Commission then established to study the problem had had to be dissolved after three years because of opposition by Western and other States. No petitioner from the South African liberation movement could be heard in the Assembly until 1963. The President of the African National Congress could only sit in the visitors' gallery in 1946. A letter by Professor V. K. Matthews on behalf of the ANC could not even be issued as a United Nations document in 1952. The Special Committee, established in 1962, had become the first committee in United Nations history to be boycotted by the Western Powers. Faithful to the principles of the Charter, it had carried on its work and had created greater awareness in the world of the inhumanity of apartheid and the inalienable rights of the oppressed people of South Africa. The inescapable lesson was that the United Nations and its committees should not be disheartened by criticism but must remain faithful to principles for world public opinion, once acquainted with all the facts, would lend its support.

25. It was amazing that, on the eve of the thirtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, references to the inalienable rights of an oppressed people should still prompt hysterical outbursts. When one spoke of the denial of the elementary rights of the black people of South Africa, some people immediately conjured up the image of white settlers - their kith and kin - being thrown into the sea. It was not, of course, Africans who endangered the future of whites in Africa; it was the brutality of the racists and the encouragement they received from their friends abroad. That fact needed to be emphasized, for, although a recent opinion poll among Jews in Israel had indicated that three fourths agreed that it was impossible to arrive at a full and final peace agreement without solving the Palestinian problem, some professed friends of Israel abroad did not even acknowledge that a Palestinian problem or Palestinian rights existed.

26. South Africa and Palestine had inherited complex problems. In South Africa, there was the legacy of 300 years of racism under colonial and settler rule, formalized by the British transfer of power to the white minority and
institutionalized with the victory of the apartheid régime in 1948. In Palestine, there was the legacy of colonialism and problems arising from the abandonment of the British Mandate in 1948. Both problems were difficult but must be solved, or there would be wider conflict with enormous repercussions. There could be no lasting solution unless the international community adhered strictly to principles; a "kith and kin" approach would be disastrous. In the case of South Africa, the Special Committee and the liberation movements of African States had recognized and denounced black traitors and had, without hesitation, commended whites who identified with the liberation struggle, including Afrikaners, English-speaking people and a number of people of Jewish origin. The Netherlands had been commended for its opposition to apartheid, despite its historic relations with the Afrikaners; it had recognized that the true friends of Afrikaners were those who persuaded them to abandon racism.

27. The Special Committee against Apartheid had always recognized that the problems of Africa should be solved by the people, who had the right to choose their own liberation movements, leaders and means of struggle. The United Nations, Member States and non-governmental organizations could only assist in
upholding the principles of justice and lending support to the oppressed people. As to the question of terrorism, the answer was simple: all terrorism - all killing and maiming of innocent people - by oppressive Governments or by combatants in conventional or guerrilla warfare must be prevented. Genuine liberation movements had always tried to avoid such acts because they were
counter-productive. If the rule of war was viewed rationally, there could not be licence for oppressive Governments and restrictions on liberation movements. In South Africa, the racist régime had shown no concern for the lives of the black people and had resorted to inhumanity in dealing with liberation movements. There had also been many acts of terrorism against helpless victims of repression by vigilante groups, and no one had been apprehended or punished. Such had been the case, for example, with regard to the murder of Professor Richard Turner during the past year. On the other hand, the national liberation movement had been most careful to avoid killing innocent people. Yet some accused it of terrorism and the hysteria was likely to grow as the armed struggle developed. The inalienable rights of South Africans or Palestinians were a matter of principle. Struggles of
peoples for their rights might lead to conflicts between nations, and the resulting conflicts between States might be decided by negotiations among Governments. But no one could impose a solution on a people and expect it to last. The South African régime had often called for dialogue with African
States. The African States had taken the principled position that dialogue concerning the rights of Africans should take place not between Governments but within South Africa itself, on the basis of equality.

28. The Special Committee was concerned about the growing collaboration between Israel and South Africa and had made a further report on the matter a few days previously. One of the most pernicious aspects of that collaboration was the assistance provided to the apartheid régime by the propaganda apparatus of Israel and its friends. The Special Committee itself had often been violently attacked. The Special Committee had to do its duty in publicizing the collaboration between Israel and South Africa. Still, it hoped that the friends of Israel would persuade it not to link its fate with that of the apartheid régime, which was doomed to extinction, but to extricate itself and align itself with the rest of the world and with justice. He hoped that certain recent developments meant that the leaders of Israel were not immune to world opinion, e.g., the announcement of willingness to comply with the arms embargo against South Africa and the recent refusal of the Israeli Ambassador to attend a play at a segregated theatre in Pretoria. In that same spirit, he hoped that the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and of the Palestinian people themselves, would lead to greater understanding of and support for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

29. Mr. KOMATINA (Yugoslavia) read out the following message from the President of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito, addressed to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

"The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, observed by the United Nations for the first time this year, is confronting the consciousness and responsibility of all countries and peoples of the world once again with the extremely disturbing fact that the suffering endured by the Palestinian people for 30 years has neither been removed nor alleviated.

"In the present-day world, in which the destinies of all peoples are interdependent and interrelated, it is inadmissible that one people - the Palestinian people - be denied the right to its own territory, integrity, independence and freedom, that is, to the achievements enjoyed today by all the States Members of the United Nations. This disquieting fact makes it incumbent upon us to pledge ourselves most resolutely, in the interest of peace and international understanding, to the reinforcement of all efforts of the international community aimed at the immediate realization of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people.

"I am deeply convinced that, without the realization of these rights it is not possible to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the Middle East crisis, the core of which is the Palestinian problem, and, consequently, without the solution of this crisis, it is not possible to establish peace, security and co-operation among all the countries and peoples in that region.

"Yugoslavia has from the very outset held the view, and continues to believe, that, in order to achieve these objectives, it is essential for Israel to withdraw from all the territories occupied after 5 June 1967 as well as to enable the Palestinian people to decide its own destiny in peace and freedom and to exercise fully its legitimate rights to self-determination, independence and sovereignty, including the right to establish its own State. These rights emanate from the Charter of the United Nations and from the numerous resolutions adopted by the United Nations so far and endorsed by the overwhelming majority of Member States. It is also of the utmost importance that the Palestinian people be represented, in all forums and negotiations concerned with and exploring possibilities for the settlement of the Middle East crisis and the question of Palestine, by its sole legitimate representative - the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is a full-fledged member of the non-aligned movement and a permanent observer to the United Nations.

"We witness, regrettably, Israel's persistent occupation and denial of the rights of Palestinians, as well as attempts at solving the Middle East crisis by disregarding these rights. Such a state of affairs constitutes the main obstacle to the establishment of a just and durable peace in the Middle East.

"I should also like to take this opportunity to point out that the non-aligned movement, which comprises the great majority of States Members of the United Nations, and other democratic forces in the world demand that the world Organization use all the means at its disposal in order to intensify pressure on Israel with a view to making it comply with the relevant resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council.

"The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People offers us the opportunity to pledge once again the most resolute support of socialist and non-aligned Yugoslavia to the just struggle of the Palestinian people for freedom, national independence and identity. It is my hope that this Day of Solidarity will encourage the international community to exert additional efforts towards an urgent settlement of the Palestinian question, which is again on the agenda of the current session of the General Assembly. In these efforts, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People occupies an important place.

"I should like to avail myself of this occasion also to extend, in this way, my best wishes to the friendly Palestinian people whose just struggle Yugoslavia will continue to support fully, as in the past, inspired by the Charter of the United Nations, by the lofty objectives of the non-aligned movement and by humane ideals."

30. Mr. HUMAIDAN (United Arab Emirates) read out the following message from His Highness Shaikh Zaid Ben Sultan Al Nahian, President of the United Arab Emirates, addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

"In the name of the people of the United Arab Emirates, I greet you and acknowledge, in all gratitude and pride, your efforts in support of the Palestinian people and for their attainment of their indisputable and inalienable rights.

"We see in this commemoration and in the choice of this particular day, 29 November, as the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, an expression of the United Nations' recognition of the injustice which it inflicted on that people in 1947 by partitioning their homeland and failing to prevent the aggressor and usurper from forcing that people out of that homeland. We also see this commemoration as an indication of resolute determination on the part of the international community to eliminate that injustice and to help the Palestinian people in their struggle to regain their rights.

"I would like to assure you that we, for our part, will spare no effort to support that struggling people and to give them every assistance so that they may regain their rights."

31. Mr. HOLLAI (Hungary) read out the following message from Pál Losonczi, President of the Presidential Council of the Hungarian People's Republic, addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

"On behalf of the Presidential Council and Government of the Hungarian People's Republic as well as on my own behalf, I extend my greetings to the special meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

"The Hungarian People's Republic, in complete conformity with the principles of its foreign policy and in full harmony with the purposes and principles of the United Nations, lends its support to the struggle of the long-suffering Arab people of Palestine, which is carried out under the leadership of their sole legitimate representative, the Palestine iberation Organization, for the assertion of their national rights and for the establishment of their sovereign and independent State.

"It gives us satisfaction that the United Nations has embraced the just cause of the Arab people of Palestine and makes efforts for its realization. We are convinced that the United Nations can effectively assist in the attainment of this noble goal. The Hungarian People's Republic resolutely supports the efforts of the United Nations to this end.

"We consider the special meeting as an outstanding demonstration of solidarity with the Arab people of Palestine.

"While welcoming the special meeting, I take the opportunity to reaffirm our support for the just struggle of the Arab people of Palestine and the activities of the United Nations directed at assisting that people."

32. Mr. AL-ALI (Iraq) read out the following message from Ahmed Hassan Bakr, President of the Republic of Iraq, addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people:

"It gives me pleasure, on the occasion of the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, to commend resolution 32/40 B, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on
2 December 1977 on this matter, that resolution which sincerely expresses the feelings of the broad masses throughout the world and their true position on the question of Palestine. I am pleased also to take this opportunity to express the deep appreciation of the Government and people of Iraq for the laudable efforts made by your Committee to achieve the adoption of this resolution and for the large-scale preparations which your Committee has made for the commemoration of this day. Iraq's position on the question of Palestine and the Middle East problem has always been clear, explicit and steadfast. Iraq regards it as a central and fateful Arab issue to which the people of Iraq are committed, just as all the members of the Arab nation and their countries are committed to it and concerned about it. Iraq regards the struggle for the restoration of the Palestinian Arab people's rights to Palestine and the occupied Arab territories as a national responsibility, and it is incumbent upon all the countries of the Arab nation to provide all forms of backing and support for this struggle, inspired by this deep patriotic feeling. Realizing the gravity of the stage through which the Arab nation is currently passing, Iraq took the initiative of convening the Ninth Arab Summit Conference at Baghdad at the beginning of the current month of November, and the Conference produced historic resolution of far-ranging importance regarding the question of Palestine, which expressed a united Arab position upholding Arab solidarity.

"We appreciate the efforts which you are making to define the rights of the Palestinian people and their historic issues, in all their humanitarian and tragic dimensions, and to achieve solidarity with the Palestinian Arab people and gain support for them on a broader international scale. We assure you that Iraq, for its part, has made its preparations for the commemoration of this day as fully as possible, employing to this end all available capacities, prompted by its steadfast national positions of principle.

"In conclusion, we wish your meeting all due success and respect."

33. Mr. KIKHIA (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) read out the following message from Colonel Mu'ammar Al Qaddafi, Secretary-General of the General People's Congress of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, addressed to the Secretary-General and to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

"The designation this year of a day of solidarity with the Palestinian people represents evidence that the international community recognizes the fact that among the peoples of the world exist the Palestinian people who have been expelled from their country, whose land is occupied, and who have the right to return to their homeland. If this was not the case, why would the United Nations designate a day of solidarity with the Palestinian people?

"Why are the nations of the world expressing their solidarity as they have decided to do? They have decided to as an expression of their solidarity with these people and their tragedy, with their right to return to their occupied homeland, and with their right to establish their State on the entire soil of their homeland.

"It is indeed unfortunate that, while the United Nations has taken this position towards the Palestinian people, these very same people are ignored outside the community of the United Nations. While on the one hand it is regrettable, on the other it is also only natural since those who are conspiring outside the United Nations are, in actuality, conspiring against the United Nations, against civilization, as well as against their own people whom they rule through their parties, their money and their swords.

"This Day of Solidarity, proposed by the United Nations, is an international act of unmasking the attitudes of those conspirators who disregard the Palestinian people. It is an act of condemnation and denunciation of their vicious schemes.

"I am addressing you both as an Arab and as an individual whose country is a Member of the United Nations; this gives me the right to speak about my brothers the Palestinians, and as a Member about the United Nations, to emphasize that this international solidarity is a historical testimony to the justice of the Palestinian cause. This will be considered as international support for the struggle of the Palestinian people until its victory over Zionist racism, the enemy of humanity and peace.

"I congratulate you on the political and historical awareness that the United Nations has shown under your leadership."

34. Mr. NUSEIBEH (Jordan) read out the following message from His Majesty King Hussein ibn Talal, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan:

"Jordan shares with the whole world this solemn occasion, the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, in their tragedy and their struggle, in their suffering and steadfastness, in their pains and hopes. It is an occasion which arouses our deepest humanitarian feelings, because it represents a battle waged by justice against a foray of injustice. It is a dedication of the meanings of a free and dignified life which inspired the Charter of the United Nations with all the covenants, charters and resolutions that have stemmed from it to ensure for man the security of his homeland, his heritage, dignity, survival and sacred freedom.

"History, both ancient and recent, has never witnessed a tragedy with the magnitude of the one that has befallen the Palestinian people, who have been uprooted from the land that belonged to their fathers and forefathers since the dawn of history, and arbitrarily condemned to homelessness, suffering, occupation and the loss of identity, of heritage and of glorious history, which has so generously enriched the human civilization for their holy land, the cradle of divine religions and the place to which yearn the hearts of believers all over the world.

"Jordan, which has lived and continues to live the tragedy of the Palestinian people in all its dimensions, and has played host to more than 1.5 million Palestinians forced out of their homes by brutal force and recurrent atrocious aggression, takes the opportunity, on this solemn occasion, to express its unswerving and unflagging solidarity with its brethren, the Palestinian people in their struggle to recover their usurped rights and to live in their holy land in freedom and dignity.

"Jordan would like also to extend its greetings and to express its appreciation to the United Nations on its International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. It considers this Day as a sincere and heartfelt expression of the international community's upholding of its Charter, its ideals and its dignity by its steadfast stand for right, good and the cherished just peace; by its stand as a strong bulwark against the infringement and encroachment on this right, so that humanity, represented by the United Nations, may continue its march for the good, right, progress and peace based on justice. Let this day, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People be a radiant torch that dissipates the darkness of injustice and gloom.

"Jordan calls upon all States Members of the United Nations to shoulder their responsibility to save the Palestinian people from their present calamity, which poses a danger beyond the boundaries of the Middle East region, threatens world peace and security and imposes on the States of the world the duty to look beyond their narrow national interests in their approach to this tragedy, in order to safeguard the Charter of the United Nations and the conscience and values of mankind."

35. Mr. TIM HOK (Democratic Kampuchea) read out the following message from Khieu Samphan, President of the Presidium of the State of Democratic Kampuchea, addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

"On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish, on behalf of the people and Government of Democratic Kampuchea, to reiterate the expression of our unfailing support for the just struggle of the Palestinian people.

"The Palestinian people have been struggling valiantly for decades to exercise their sacred national rights. At the present time, despite the obstacles created by the rivalry between the imperialist and expansionist great Powers in the Middle East, the Palestinian people are stubbornly continuing their struggle. The ideals, the sacrifices and the valuable experience of their struggle will continue to enlighten the Palestinian people in their march towards victory.

"The people of Kampuchea fully understand the essence of the struggle of the Palestinian people and the other Arab peoples. The people of Kampuchea are currently contending with the barbarous acts of aggression and annexation perpetrated by the emulator of Israel in South East Asia, supported by the expansionist great Power. Just as the Palestinian people and the Arab peoples are contending with the barbarous acts of aggression and annexation perpetrated by the Israeli Zionists, the people of Kampuchea are struggling to ensure that Kampuchea does not suffer the same fate as Palestine and that Democratic Kampuchea may be able to live and progress as an independent, neutral and non-aligned country. For that reason the people of Kampuchea understand the full extent of the sacred and legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.

"The Palestinian problem remains the key to the problem of the Middle East. The peoples and countries of that region will be unable to live in peace and their independence cannot be guaranteed so long as the Palestinian people have not exercised their inalienable national rights. The people and Government of Democratic Kampuchea will always firmly support the struggle of the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to exercise their national rights, in particular their right to return to live in their country, the right to decide their own future and the right to establish an independent Palestinian State on Palestinian land.

"We are convinced that by their stubborn struggle, waged in common with the joint struggle of all the Arab peoples and supported by the people of the world, the Palestinian people will surely be victorious.

"In conclusion, we wish you and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People further success in your efforts on behalf of the just Palestinian cause."

36. Mr. BISHARA (Kuwait) read out the following message from His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, the Emir of Kuwait:

"It gives me great pleasure to address the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

"We welcome any initiative of this kind designed to express sentiments of support and solidarity with any people who have been the target of oppression while struggling for a just cause and for the triumph of good over evil.

"The tragedy of the people of Palestine is a vivid and glaring example of the unprecedented injustice the Palestinian people have endured for the past 30 years. Their homeland was occupied by invaders and they were uprooted and expelled from their homeland. They remained throughout this period a homeless people struggling for recognition of their rights and restoration of their homeland.

"If the tragedy of the Palestinian people, which is frequently called in diplomatic practice, 'the Middle East problem', remains without a solution, and if the right of this people to their homes and homeland is not recognized, the inevitable result will be further aggravation of tension and turmoil in international relations. Hence it is the duty of the international community and every society dedicated to the cause of justice and freedom to accord to the Palestinian people and their sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, support and assistance to enable them to regain their rights and return to their homeland.

"It is a cause of great optimism to see such a meeting convened in which the desired solidarity is clearly reflected and which expresses sincerely the support of the free man for his oppressed brother until he regains all his rights. We all believe in right and justice, which must ultimately triumph. Whether we are States or individuals, we strive for a peace based on right, equity and justice. We cannot achieve this noble goal without extending active support to the causes of oppressed peoples, such as the people of Palestine.

"I am confident that the Palestinian people will receive the support and fair treatment it deserves from the international community.

"I wish you success in your great efforts."

37. Mr. RASON (Madagascar) read out the following message from Mr. Didier Ratasiraka, President of the Democratic Republic of Madagascar addressed to the Secretary-General:

"On this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I join with the Malagasy people, its Supreme Council of the Revolution and its Government in order to transmit our warmest congratulations on the untiring efforts which you have constantly made with a view to restoring the full rights of the Palestinian people, namely, their rights to self-determination, sovereignty and independence and the right to establish an independent Palestinian State. The active participation of the Democratic Republic of Madagascar in the work of the Committee is simply the expression of the profound conviction of the Malagasy people that no just and lasting peace can be found in the Middle East without the effective participation of the Palestinian people under the leadership of the PLO, its authentic representative in all negotiations concerning the Middle East. I wish to express to you on this occasion our high appreciation of the way in which you fulfil the noble and delicate tasks which the entire international community has entrusted to you in this field. May the observance of this day create a new impetus for recognition of all the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, the sole condition for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East."

38. Mr. OULD TAYA (Mauritania) read out the following message from Colonel Al-Mustafa Ould Muhamnmad Salek, Chairman of the Military Committee for Natural Recovery and Head of Government, addressed to the Chairman of the
Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

"At a time when your Committee is holding this extraordinary meeting, it is my duty to commend the noble task which you have undertaken and which is in complete conformity with the basic rights of peoples.

"Yes, you have been working to relieve the sufferings of a people who still live in camps on the charity of others. And it is deeply disturbing that the conditions in which the Palestinian people live should not gain them the sympathy and support of those who claim to be defending human rights all over the world.

"It is the obligation of the entire international community to put an end to the injustice suffered by the Palestinian people. And I am absolutely sure that the courageous and steadfast struggle waged by the Palestinian people, under the leadership of their legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, will inevitably result in final victory. Your own contribution constitutes a strong support in this respect.

"I would like to assure you that the Mauritanian people, as well as the Military Committee for National Recovery and the Government of Mauritania, will always stand by you in defending the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people."

39. Mr. FILALI (Morocco) read out the following message from His Majesty King Hassan II, King of Morocco, addressed to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

"Praise be to God.

"Blessed be His Prophet and may He grant him salvation.

"Peace be upon you and may God bless you.

"It is indeed gratifying for us to take this opportunity of the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People to send you this message and to express to you our full support and utmost backing for the great efforts you are making, so that the struggling Palestinian people may secure their legitimate rights and enjoy, like all other peoples, the exercise of the rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Charter of the United Nations.

"The Kingdom of Morocco, which considers the Palestinian question as sacred and which has provided, and will continue to provide, all means of consolidating, supporting and backing the Palestinian people's struggle, so that they may recover their legitimate rights and be able to return to their homeland, exercise their right to self-determination and establish their own State on their own land, reaffirms its firm conviction that the Palestinian question is the crux of the Middle East problem and that peace will not be established in this important area until the Palestinian people are enabled to exercise their legitimate national rights and to participate in all efforts made to secure a just and lasting peace, represented by the Palestinian Liberation Organization, in its capacity as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

"On this occasion, we appeal to all States Members of the United Nations and to all peace- and justice-loving forces to stand by this true Arab people, who have been and still are being subjected to all kinds of displacement and extermination so that this people may recover their rights and dignity. We call upon these forces to exert all means of pressure on Israel to make it stop building settlements in the occupied Arab territories, and to relinquish its policy of Judaizing historical and archaeological sites and holy places, a policy which aims at obliterating entity and existence of the Palestinian people, despite all the resolutions adopted by the United Nations and the other international organizations within the United Nations system.

"The Palestinian people, who have declared their dedication to peace based on justice and who are claiming their right to return to their homeland, as well as their right to self-determination in conformity with United Nations resolutions, deserve this commemoration by the peoples and States of the world of this Day of Solidarity, and they deserve to obtain all their rights and to establish an independent State of their own.

"May God grant you success in your work for the cause of humanity, right and justice.

"Peace be upon you and may God bless you."

40. Mr. NAIK (Pakistan) read out the following message from General M. Zia Ul Haq, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

"The Government and people of Pakistan have watched with deep concern the persistent denial of the fundamental national and human rights of the Palestinian people. The tragedy of Palestine is further underlined by the fact that the just demands of its people remain unfulfilled despite having received the support of the international community. It is a measure of the courage and determination of the indomitable people of Palestine that, instead of being discouraged by the intransigence of those who aim to obliterate their identity, they have not faltered in their quest for regaining their homeland and full recognition of their national rights under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

"Pakistan has always considered the solution of the Palestinian question the key to peace in the Middle East. The injustice perpetrated against the people of Palestine and the untold sufferings inflicted on them for over three decades are a standing rebuke to the conscience of mankind.

"The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which is being celebrated today under the aegis of the United Nations, symbolizes the recognition by the world community of the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine. The people of Pakistan have indissoluble cultural and religious links with their Palestinian brethren and will continue as always to extend to them unflinching and steadfast support for the realization of their just aspirations. The heroic struggle of our Palestinian brothers is supported by an overwhelming majority of the nations of the world. The day is not far off when their sacrifices will be crowned with success."

41. Mr. JAMAL (Qatar) read out the following message from His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar:

"The question of Palestine is a comprehensive issue comprising interrelated elements and interconnected components. In the United Nations this question has retained this, its true character, from the time when it arose more than 30 years ago up to the present. Whenever a matter relating to it is brought before the Security Council or the General Assembly, it is included in the respective agendas of these two major organs of the supreme international Organization as coming under the item relating to the over-all issue, the `Question of Palestine'.

"The over-all `Question of Palestine' has become a problem of extreme gravity, with multiple interrelated aspects, because it is at once a political, legal, economic, humanitarian, ethical and religious problem. This problem lies at the heart of the international crisis known as the 'Middle East crisis', which resulted from the implementation of acts constituting successive links in the chain of Israel's policy of aggression and its expansionist ambitions, whereby its aggression extended to Palestine and to other Arab lands in Egypt, Syria and Jordan. It is a problem which is distinguished from all other international problems by the fact that it is unprecedented in history, because never before has an aggressor driven an entire people from their homeland in order to usurp it for itself and take that people's place in its homeland on purely religious grounds.

"The whole world has reached a consensus regarding the necessity of arriving at a comprehensive, just and peaceful settlement of the Middle East crisis. A consensus has likewise been established on the fact that failure to achieve such a settlement presents an imminent threat to peace in the region which may result in the flare-up of a new war there and which could sooner or later lead to the outbreak of a third world war.

"Since the question of Palestine unquestionably constitutes the root, essence and core of the Middle East crisis, it was natural that a consensus of opinion should be reached on the fact that the settlement of the Middle East crisis makes it imperative to find a just and comprehensive solution to that question.

"In performance of its primary duty, namely, the maintenance of international peace and security, the United Nations has convened, with a view to arriving at such a solution, more than 1,000 meetings in its various competent organs. As a result of these meetings these organs have adopted some 200 resolutions. But all these meetings and resolutions have come to nought, and one half of the Palestinian Arab people have continued living the tragic life of displaced persons, far from the soil of their homeland, while the other half have remained subject to the yoke of Israeli occupation of that land, suffering the bitterness of humiliation and the various forms of degradation and oppression.

"In the face of this horrendous situation and the enormity of the dangers involved, the General Assembly, on 10 November 1975, adopted resolution 3376 (XXX) establishing the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. That historic resolution reaffirmed those rights and, in particular, the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination without external interference, their right to national independence and sovereignty and their right to return to their homes and to restoration of their property there.

"The aforementioned resolution gave the Committee a basic mandate comprising two major parts: the first, to prepare a programme of implementation designed to enable the Palestinian people to exercise the inalienable rights referred to, taking into consideration the action taken by the Security Council in that regard, and secondly, to assumed responsibility for focusing international concern on the achievement of progress towards a just solution to the question of Palestine and for keeping the attention of the international community directed towards the ordeal of that people, in order to strengthen international solidarity with them in their tragedy.

"In implementation of the second part of the Committee's mandate, the General Assembly, on 2 December 1977, adopted resolution 32/40 B establishing within the United Nations Secretariat a Special Unit on Palestinian Rights, entrusted, inter alia, with the organization, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, commencing in this year, 1978, annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

"I am greatly pleased to be given this opportunity to send greetings, on my behalf and on behalf of the people and Government of the State of Qatar, to this meeting held today in the forum of the United Nations for the purpose of focusing the attention of the whole world on the gravity of the overwhelming danger which threatens international peace and security as a result of the perpetuation of Israel's aggression against Palestine, that precious part of the great Arab homeland, and to the unprecedented criminal consequences of that aggression, namely, the dispersion of the Palestinian Arab people from their homes, the occupation of their land, the desecration of the holy places of Islam in this land, extreme coercion and oppression of those of this people who remain there in a way which exceeds in its savagery every conceivable limit with regard to the violation of legal and ethical norms and of religious and humane values, not to mention the flouting of the purposes and principles of the United Nations and the resolutions which the Organization has adopted for the implementation of these purposes and principles.

"Unquestionably, the convening of this meeting in the forum of the supreme international Organization on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is an event of profound significance, affirming the conviction of the international community, which is represented in this Organization and whose conscience and will are expressed through the Organization's resolutions, of the justness of the Palestinian cause and the necessity of finding for the Palestinian question, on the basis of those resolutions, a solution which is comprehensive and just with regard to all aspects of that question.

"The purpose of the observance of 29 November of each year as the annual day for the expression of international solidarity with the Palestinian people is to remind the international community that aggression unprecedented in history with regard to the unparallelled injustice which it inflicts on a whole people is still - contrary to the will of the international community - oppressing the members of this people, in spite of all the efforts which have been and are being made, within the United Nations and outside, to put an end to it peacefully. Our greatest hope is, therefore, that this reminder will convince the leaders of the world that the time has really come for their duty of solidarity with the Palestinian people to take the form of the adoption of the positive and effective positions which they should assume in order to achieve the legitimate rights of this people, which they have been supporting within our supreme international Organization through the adoption of its resolutions on the question, and outside it, through the numerous statements which they have made in support of those rights.

"A consensus has been reached in the international community that there will be no peace in the Middle East without recognition of the aforementioned legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and that the genuine threat to this peace presented by the perpetuation of Israel's aggression against the Arab territories exposes international peace and security to the greatest of dangers. Accordingly, the Arab nation, in calling today upon the leaders of the world and, in particular, the leaders of the big Powers, which bear the greatest share of responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, to extend assistance to the Palestinian Arab people for the restoration of their full rights, is only calling upon them to perform the duty imposed upon them by the United Nations Charter, which they are committed to respect, namely, the duty laid down in Article 1 of the Charter to take effective collective measures for the removal of threats to international peace and security and for the suppression of acts of aggression which constitute breaches thereof.

"It has become a duty incumbent on the peoples and Governments of the world to organize their efforts to strengthen United Nations endeavours to put an end to Israel's defiance of their collective will and to erase the great stigma of Israel's total disregard of this will.

"The Arab State of Qatar, hoping that the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People will help to bring about this solidarity in a positive and effective form that will ensure this fraternal Arab people the full restoration of their rights, expresses the wish that this day may be fully successful in the achievement of its lofty goals and that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestine People will have the utmost success in the discharge of its meritorious functions."

42. Mr. MARINESCU (Romania) read out the following message from the President of the Socialist Republic or Romania, Nicolae Ceausescu, addressed to the President of the thirty-third session of the General Assembly and to the Secretary-General:

"The observance within the United Nations of an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People provides me with the opportunity to reaffirm in this way, too, the solidarity and support of the Romanian people for the just struggle being waged by the Palestinian people for recognition of their legitimate rights to self-determination, including the establishment of their own independent State.

"Romania has constantly advocated a political settlement, through negotiations, of the problems of the Middle East, with a view to arriving at a lasting and just peace, based on the withdrawal of Israel from Arab territories occupied after the 1967 war, on the solution of the problem of the Palestinian people, in accordance with their right to self-determination, including the establishment of their own independent State, and on the guarantee of independence and territorial integrity of all the States of the region.

"A just solution of the question of Palestine would provide the corner-stone for the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the region, for the assurance of the territorial integrity, independence, sovereignty, security and tranquillity of all the States in this part of the world and for the creation of a climate of peace. Romania is firmly convinced that this key issue in the building of peace cannot be solved without the direct participation in the negotiations of the Palestinian people, and their representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, as their legitimate, authentic and acknowledged representative.

"Romania considers that it is now more necessary than ever to intensify activity aimed at achieving an over-all political settlement of the problems of the Middle East and that there is a need to take action with a view to finding the means of ensuring the participation of all countries and all the interested parties in an over-all settlement of the conflict in order to strengthen co-operation and solidarity among all the Arab countries concerned. In this spirit, we consider that it would be particularly important to hold, under the auspices and with the active participation of the United Nations, an international meeting - either by reconvening the Geneva Conference or in another form - with the participation of all of the countries concerned and of the PLO, as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

"On the basis of the analysis of the current international situation and of the contradictory trends that have appeared in the world, Romania considers that there is an overriding need for all progressive, democratic and anti-imperialist forces and for all peoples waging a determined struggle to achieve their independent development to unite their efforts, strengthen their solidarity and develop their collaboration with a view to achieving a just political settlement, through negotiations, of all the problems of contemporary life in order to eliminate all hotbeds of tension and war, and to initiate-new relations among States, based on complete equality, respect for national independence and sovereignty, and non-interference in internal affairs. Within this framework, we believe that it is also necessary to act in order to achieve an over-all settlement of the complex problems of the Middle East, including the realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, in order to establish a just and lasting peace, corresponding to the interests of the peoples of the region and of the entire world.

"In expressing my conviction that the United Nations will continue its efforts to achieve a settlement, at the earliest possible opportunity, of the Middle East conflict and to enable the Palestinian people to attain their legitimate aspirations, I address to you, and through you to the United Nations, heartfelt greetings and best wishes for success in activities devoted to the cause of peace, freedom, national independence and collaboration among peoples, with a view to bringing about a better and more just world."

43. Mr. DIOP (Senegal) read out the following message from Leopold Sedar Senghor, President of the Republic of Senegal, addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

"At the time when the United Nations is commemorating for the first time the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, who have been struggling for 30 years for the exercise of their inalienable right to return to their homeland, to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent State in Palestine, I would like, on behalf of the Senegalese people and Government, to convey to you my fervent wishes for the success of this historic Day.

"This event is all the more significant because it is the United Nations which has taken the initiative, thereby reaffirming its primary responsibility for the restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinians and its duty to continue to play an active and constructive role for the attainment of that goal.

"It is our conviction that a just settlement of the question of Palestine can be achieved only under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation, on a footing of equality, of all interested parties, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, in its capacity as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

"In this connexion, it gives me particular pleasure to pay a tribute to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for the valuable, serious and outstanding work which it has accomplished since its establishment. Through its perseverance and sustained action, your Committee has helped to present a true picture of the question of Palestine and has contributed towards the formulation of the only programme acceptable to the Palestinians for the implementation of their rights.

"This is the occasion for reaffirming the support of the Senegalese Government and my own support for the recommendations of your Committee, as a basis for a just settlement of the question of Palestine.

"The Senegalese Government and I myself encourage you to persevere in your efforts, and we assure you of our full co-operation.

"By working to promote the rights of the Palestinian people, you are serving the ideals of peace and justice which are the very foundation of the United Nations."

44. Mrs. NSUBUGA (Seychelles) read out the following message from Mr. France Albert René, President of the Republic of Seychelles, addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

"I was extremely pleased when, by resolution 32/40 B of 2 December last year, the General Assembly established the Special Unit on Palestinian Rights and requested it, in consultation with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to organize the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. For, despite praiseworthy efforts by some, for far too long, the international community as a whole has not paid the attention it should have to the problems of the Palestinian people nor has it lent its full weight and energy to resolving them.

"My hope is therefore that the solemn observance of this Day will not only focus attention on the continuing plight of the Palestinian people but will stir the conscience of all of us to act positively to help them secure their rights, at an early date."

45. Mr. CHOUFI (Syrian Arab Republic) read out the following message from Hafez Al-Assad, President of the Syrian Arab Republic, addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:

"It is my pleasure, on this day devoted by the United Nations to the support of the Palestinian Arab people, to commend the selection of this day, 29 November, for the celebration of this occasion - I feel that this selection is an indication that the injustice that was inflicted on the Palestinian people on 29 November 1947, the day the General Assembly decided to partition Palestine, is about to be terminated forever.

"The United Nations resolution to devote an international day to the support of the Palestinian Arab people comes today as an expression of the realization by the international Organization of its great responsibility in respect of the Palestinian question, this question having arisen as a result of the resolution on partition which was adopted in contradiction with the Charter, with international law and with the facts of history and under pressure from the colonialists and the imperialists who were influential in the adoption of the international resolution at a time when most of the world's peoples and States were not represented in the United Nations as they are today.

"Proceeding from the feeling of regret engendered by the fact that the resolution on partition has resulted in the Palestinian people's being uprooted and their homeland occupied, the General Assembly has subsequently tried, particularly since 1974, to restore to this people their inalienable national rights. Thus it has recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization as the representative of the Palestinian people, and its resolutions have called for the return of this struggling people to their homeland, for their right to self-determination without foreign interference and for the establishment of their independent national State on their national soil. Israel, however, has refused to comply with what is right and with the will of the international community and continues to violate the Charter of the United Nations and its resolutions. This state of affairs has resulted in the continuation of the state of war and in the lack of security in the Middle East, the most important zone in the world, and has led to four wars and a great number of armed conflicts and brought the world to the brink of a world war.

"It is a just peace which we seek and which the international community represented in the United Nations seeks. But this peace cannot be established until Israel has withdrawn from the occupied Arab lands and until the Palestinian people have obtained their rights and, like the rest of the peoples in the world, have established their independent State under the auspices of the United Nations and in conformity with its Charter."

46. Mr. MESTIRI (Tunisia) read out the following message from Habib Bourguiba, President of the Republic of Tunisia:

"By commemorating the first International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the international community is doing justice to this people and recognizing the necessity of restoring to them their legitimate and inalienable rights.

"For some years, and in particular since my tour of the Middle East in 1965, I have stated that the situation prevailing in the Middle East derives its origin from the Palestinian problem and that the settlement of the conflict in this region in indissolubly linked with the solution of that problem.

"We have always maintained that the Palestinian issue is not a dispute between Arabs and Jews but that it is, above all, the cause of a people robbed of its territory by force and defrauded of its most legitimate natural rights.

"We still believe that the question of Palestine is essentially no different from other colonial problems; the situation is similar to that prevailing in southern Africa, or even more tragic, because zionism actually aims at the elimination of one people and its replacement by another.

"The Palestinian people have therefore been forced to resort to armed struggle to preserve their existence and assert their inalienable national rights.

"Without any assurance of a peaceful, just and equitable solution, it will be a good while before they can be expected to slacken in the struggle which they are waging under the aegis of the PLO, an organization which has acquired its legitimacy in combat.

"It is high time for the international community to react effectively to impose peace in that part of the world - the durable peace which will enable the Palestinian people to recover their dignity, return to their homes and exercise their right to self-determination and national sovereignty.

"By deciding on this Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the United Nations is providing additional proof that it is still the guarantor of justice.

"Tunisia feels it its duty to respond to the appeal of the international Organization and to commemorate this historic Day.

"In so doing, it expresses its unremitting support for the just cause of the Palestinian people and the steadfast will of the Tunisian people to stand always on the side of justice and right."

47. Mr. TROYANOVSKY (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) read out the following message from L. I. Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, addressed to Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization:

"In connexion with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I send heartfelt comradely congratulations to you and your comrades and to the entire Palestinian Arab people.

"The celebration of this day throughout the world is a patent manifestation of solidarity with the just struggle that is being waged by the Arab people of Palestine for the realization of their inalienable national rights, including their indisputable right to establish their own State. Thanks to its steadfastness, courage and firmness of principle in this difficult struggle, the Palestine Liberation Organization has won all-Arab and international recognition as the sole lawful representative of the Palestinian people, and become one of the advance guards of the Arab national liberation movement.

"The just cause of the Palestinians enjoys the unswerving support of the countries of the socialist community and of the progressive and democratic forces of the whole world. The Soviet Union will continue in future firmly to support the Palestinian people in their struggle for the realization of their legitimate national rights. We shall not swerve from our policy of principle, aimed at the achievement of a comprehensive settlement and the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

"I wish the friendly Palestinian people and their political vanguard - the Palestine Liberation Organization - success in the struggle for the achievement of national independence and statehood."

48. Mr. ASHTAL (Democratic Yemen) read out the following message from Ali Nasser Muhammad, member of the Politburo of the Yemen Socialist Party and Chairman of the Presidential and Ministerial Council, addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Secretary-General, and representatives of States:

"It is my pleasure, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, to greet you and to salute the great efforts exerted by the United Nations in support of the causes of the deprived and struggling people, among which the Palestinian people occupy a pre-eminent place.

"The stand taken by the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, in reaffirming its total and absolute support of the struggle waged by the Palestinian people under the leadership of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, their sole legitimate representative, is essentially based on the justice of the struggle waged by the Palestinian people in order to return to their lands and to regain their legitimate right to establish their independent State.

"Thus our stand on this cause, as expressed in more than one international forum, has always been precise and clear. This is because we consider the Palestinian question as the core of the Middle East conflict, and this is why we have totally rejected the outcome of the Camp David meeting, which we see as a misrepresentation of our Arab causes, and of the cause of the Palestinian people first and foremost.

"In conclusion, we wish your commemoration every success."

49. Mr. ABOU MAYZAR (Palestine Liberation Organization) read out the following message from Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Commander in Chief of the Palestine Revolutionary Forces:

"I am addressing you on behalf of Palestine, the Palestine of the past, the present and the future, the Palestine of the Prophets, the martyrs, the displaced persons and those fighting for freedom. I am addressing you on behalf of the territory, land, people and cause of Palestine.

"I am addressing you from our towns and villages which are being destroyed by Israeli occupation and from the refugee camps which racist imperialist Zionist aggression is turning into test-sites for its weapons.

"My words to you stem from our people's insistence on life and their resolve to repel aggression within our occupied territory and outside it, a resolve which has existed since the first conspiracy to drive them out, which was perpetrated in 1948 with Israeli bayonet points. My words to you stem from our inalienable legitimate right to return to our homeland and our right to self-determination and to establish our independent State.

"My words to you are based on the position of the leadership of the legitimate struggle of my people, our people's patriotic and humanitarian rejection of the conspiracies aimed at their physical, political and moral annihilation and the valiant and just resistance of our people against all forms of settlement away from the soil of our Palestinian homeland. I stress to you, and through you to the world as a whole, that the cause of peace is an indivisible whole and that talk of world peace that is not linked with talk of justice and the removal of oppression is the language of hypocrisy and a disguised call for the continuation of wars and their tragedies. Hence derives the outstanding value of this historic day decreed by the General Assembly of the United Nations for international solidarity with the Palestinian people, as a sincere expression of the true concept of world peace and as a magnificent culmination of the efforts of the peoples of the world in support of the just cause of our people, their solidarity with our people's heroic struggle, their affirmation of the justice of our people's goals and their acknowledgement of the great injustice inflicted on our people. This historic day marks a serious endeavour whereby the international family expresses its rejection of the perpetration of this injustice and its resolve to strive for its elimination. This day further affirms the respect of the international community for the noble values and mighty achievements realized by mankind through its long and arduous struggle and enshrined in the principles of the Charter of the United Nations. It signifies insistence on these principles and concern to protect them from the efforts of those who seek to impede the course of justice, stem the tide of history and exploit the suffering and oppression of peoples. It affirms the international community's loyalty to and support of the political and human rights of oppressed peoples who are deprived of their homeland, freedom, equality, independence and sovereignty.

"This day is a day of solidarity with all national liberation movements, with which the Palestine Liberation Organization stands together.

"It is the day on which the United Nations affirms its loyalty to its mission, its defence of its role and the effectiveness of its resolutions and puts forward its concept of just and lasting peace in our region. Its timing comes as an appropriate international response to the approach and accords of Camp David, which aimed at casting into oblivion Palestinian existence and Palestinian rights, tried to sanctify Israeli occupation of the territory of occupied Palestine and violated international legality.

"This day reflects world solidarity with us, this solidarity which is one of the sources of our strength, together with the strength with which the Arab nation provides us through its solidarity and its historic links with our cause and our people at all levels, both popular and official, both at the base and at the summit. Your solidarity with us, this magnificent and noble world solidarity, is the first harbinger of the triumph and independence of our struggling people.

"We assure you - and it is upon the shoulders of you all that the responsibility for the attainment of the aspirations and dreams of the peoples of the world for peace, freedom and national independence, free from oppression and aggression, rests - that our participation with you in the realization of all these values lies fundamentally in our legitimate, just and persistent struggle for the formulation of the terms for peace, which cannot be established in the Middle East except on the basis of the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian Arab people, these rights whose acknowledgement by the United Nations has served to enlighten the world conscience with a vision of true peace and armed it with the criterion of truth which distinguishes between the process of fake peace engaged in at Blair House and the just peace towards which our people and the peoples of the world as a whole aspire. Any policy which denies the essence of the struggle in the Middle East, namely, Palestine and its people, their rights, their four million individuals, its land and its Liberation Organization, will be nothing but a delusion of world public opinion and the United Nations and a transgression of its resolutions supporting the right of the Palestinian Arab people to return and their right to self-determination and to establish their independent State on their national soil. To divest the concept of peace of the essential component of Palestinian rights is an endeavour to divest the United Nations of the principles of its Charter, its role and the effectiveness of its resolutions.

"We are a people who are aware of our national and international responsibilities, and we are a part of mankind and benefit from and, in turn, benefit human civilization. We are in solidarity with mankind with regard to its destiny and its aspirations for the consolidation of world peace based on justice and equality. We are the people of the land of peace, the holy land of Palestine, loyal in our patriotism to it and dedicated to its mission. But when the Israeli Prime Minister declares, after the decision to make him remain occupied forever and that Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, thereby defying all the resolutions of your international Organization, to which he owes his office and the existence of his State, he thereby sets himself up as a godhead of war and aggression and an enemy of justice and peace. It will not be possible to eradicate Jerusalem from the consciousness of millions of human beings and divest it of its illustrious cultural significance in order to make it a capital of aggression and racism.

Jerusalem will continue to be our Jerusalem and the Jerusalem of all of you, a place of pilgrimage for all believers and the capital of its Palestinian people.

"Our blood in the Middle East is not oil or water; it is the salt of the earth at the time of tilling and its gunpowder at the time of repression. And when they refuse to accept the ear of grain from our hand, they force a grenade into our other hand. We shall derive strength from the history of our country and brotherhood, from its sanctity, that the land of Palestine may complete the fulfilment of its mission.

"On behalf of the steadfast Palestinian people in our occupied land and our struggling masses in the land of the diaspora, from the ever-renewed vigour of my people, from their unity and the unity of their land and from the olive-tree whose branch I have borne to you, I bring to you the greetings of our people and extend appreciation to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Kurt Waldheim, who is aware that Palestinian peace is fundamental to world peace. I express gratitude also to the Chairman and members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and to all our friends and allies among the non-aligned States, the African States, the Islamic States, the socialist States and the friendly States who support our just struggle and our legitimate and inalienable rights. I renew the commitment of my people, as embodied in its sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, offering the requisite participation in the process of creating new norms for relations among nations, norms which are based on freedom, justice, peace and progress.

"There is a flag which must take its place among the flags of the States of the world at the United Nations, namely, the flag of our Palestinian Arab people, the flag of their independent national State. Let us work together to raise this flag over our fine Palestinian land.

"Long live Palestine.

"Long live the solidarity of peoples.

"Long live freedom.

"Long live justice.

"Long live peace."

50. Mr. ALBORNOZ (Ecuador), speaking on behalf of the group of Latin American
States, said that, although they had differing views on the various aspects of the Palestinian problem, their presence at the meeting was an expression of their desire to co-operate in the solution of the Palestinian problem in the light of the relevant United Nations resolutions. The principle that occupation by force should not confer territorial rights was fundamental in the view of the Latin American States. They supported the right of peoples to self-determination and believed in the need to work for a just and lasting peace.

51. Those principles had guided Latin American participation over the past three decades in various initiatives concerning the Middle East and the Palestine question n particular. The region had at all times expressed its solidarity with the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and had advocated just settlements in which all interested parties would participate freely.

52. The United Nations must be the laboratory of peace. Its purpose should be to reduce tension, not to fan its flames. Its actions should be directed towards seeking a just and lasting peace in the Middle East with the withdrawal of armed forces from the occupied territories and respect for the sovereignty, integrity and political independence of all States of the region and for the right of peoples to live in peace, free from threats or acts of aggression.

53. For that reason, the Latin American Member States reiterated their hope that peace and justice might reign in the holy places mentioned in United Nations documents. The names of those places had been evoked in religious writings in a spirit of concord and love, not of conflict, and that spirit was consonant with United Nations goals and purposes. He expressed the best wishes of the Latin American States for the peaceful fulfilment of the Palestinian people's rightful destiny.

54. Mr. HOVEYDA (Iran), speaking on behalf of the group of Asian States, said that they wished to declare their spiritual brotherhood with the Palestinian people. The Asian States supported the legitimate struggle of the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty.

55. For 30 years, the displaced Palestinian people had endured deprivation and a marginal existence and had witnessed a concerted effort by the occupying Power to establish Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, to disrupt the social, cultural and political character of Palestinian traditions and to demoralize a population still seeking its own unity.

56. The member nations of the group of Asian States had experienced a wide variety of struggles in their efforts to emerge as independent and unified entities. They were resolved to commit their moral resources to attaining the full restoration of similar rights to the Palestinian people. They lent their enthusiastic support to the principles embodied in General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) and approved the establishment of the annual International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 32/40 B.

57. The bonds of solidarity between States seeking justice and freedom for their peoples transcended political and spatial barriers and united those States in the common pursuit of peace.

58. Mr. DESSANDE (Chad), speaking on behalf of the group of African States, said that history had justified the international community's indignation at the continued occupation of Palestine. Africa as a whole again expressed its grave concern over Israel's persistence in its occupation of Palestine, its flagrant refusal to recognize the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and its racist and expansionist policy. Israel flagrantly defied the international community and violated the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and its resolutions and the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It has hardly necessary to mention that the continued aggravation of the crisis was due to a deliberate desire to ignore the root of the problem, which was the restoration of their inalienable rights to the Palestinian people. Document A/33/13 provided evidence that a people who had lived in peace before the creation of the State of Israel were currently dispersed throughout the entire world. As stated in paragraph 129 of document A/33/356, the fundamental violation of human rights lay in the very fact of occupation. The peoples who were devoted to the cause of peace and liberty were aware that the Palestinians suffered the same difficulties as South Africans, such as arbitrary arrests and court decisions, and torture. Africa had long been defining and continued to define its position on the Palestinian problem. Without the satisfaction of the national rights of the
Palestinian people and the restoration of all occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, no initiative directed towards promoting a just solution would be effective. The attainment of such a goal required the compliance of the international community with its own resolutions, the restoration of unity in the Arab ranks and the unremitting affirmation of international solidarity with the Palestinian people. The African States believed that the United Nations would achieve a just solution of the Palestinian problem if, by imposing respect for the principles of the Charter, resolutions and recommendations of the United Nations, it allowed all peoples in the Middle East the opportunity to exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination and national independence and to live in peace within firmly established national boundaries.

59. Mr. JAROSZEK (Poland), speaking on behalf of the group of Eastern European States, reiterated the firm support of those States for the just cause of the Arab people of Palestine struggling for their national rights, freedom and independence. The socialist countries welcomed and supported General Assembly resolution 32/40 B, as well as other United Nations activities in favour of the full realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

60. Since the very beginning, the socialist countries had lent their support to the speedy realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to their own independent State. That approach was manifested, inter alia, in the active participation of the socialist States in the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

61. The main responsibility for the Middle Eastern problem lay with Israel, which, ignoring all rights of the Palestinian people, continued to defy United Nations resolutions and to disregard the voice of the international community. The socialist States believed that just and lasting peace in the Middle East could not be established without the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people through negotiations in which the PLO would participate. The achievement of peace in the Middle East, however, also called for a comprehensive solution, including the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Arab territories and the safeguarding of the right to independent existence and security of all States of that region. The best way of achieving those aims would be the resumption of the Geneva Peace Conference with the participation of the PLO.

62. As the Vice-President of the All-Poland Committee for the National Unity Front had stated in his cable to Yasser Arafat, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People constituted an emphatic reiteration of the growing world-wide support for the just Palestinian cause. The Eastern European States wished that cause all success and stood ready to continue their consistent support for it.

63. Mr. KIKHIA (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), speaking on behalf of the group of Arab States, said that those States wished to reiterate their full support for the Palestinian people and their sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, in their struggle for their inalienable rights. He wished to stress that the just cause of the Palestinian people lay at the heart of the Middle East problem and that any solution in the Middle East must necessarily take into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people and make provision for the Palestinian people to return to their homes and to achieve self-determination, independence and national sovereignty. He therefore stressed, on the basis of General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3375 (XXX), that the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization on an equal footing with all other parties was indispensable in all deliberations and conferences on the Middle East.

64. He expressed gratitude to all those who had assisted in making the first observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People possible, and at the same time he urged the United Nations and especially the Security Council to take more practical measures to stop the aggression of the Zionist entity, which had been defined as racist by the General Assembly in 1975. He extended the greetings and support of the Arab States to the Palestinian people, to its representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and to all those in Palestine suffering under the yoke of occupation.

65. Mr. QADDOUMI (Palestine Liberation Organization) expressed appreciation to all present for their participation in the observance of the day which the United Nations had devoted to the expression of the solidarity of the States and peoples of the world with the just and legitimate struggle of the Palestinian Arab people. The observance of the Day of Solidarity, on such a vast level of international participation, truly expressed the extent of the increasing international support and backing which the Palestinian people and their sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organization, enjoyed. The Palestinian people were struggling for the values and principles upheld by the United Nations, namely, their right to liberty, sovereignty and independence, their right to return to their homeland - Palestine - and their right to self-determination and to the establishment of their national independent State on their national soil.

66. Furthermore, the observance of the Day of Solidarity symbolized the determination of the international community to put an end to all forms of colonialism and domination and all kinds of racism and racial discrimination, from which the Palestinian people and other fraternal African peoples were still suffering, as most of the third world States had been suffering in the recent past, although they had now been liberated, thanks to their valiant struggle.

67. The Day of Solidarity also symbolized the great importance which the peoples of the world, including the Palestinian people, attached to the United Nations as an appropriate framework for the solution of international problems, and the establishment of a just and lasting international peace and a new international economic order based on respect for sovereignty, justice and equality for all peoples.

68. The message from the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which had been read out at the current meeting, and his own statement made two days earlier in the General Assembly at the beginning of the discussion of the Palestinian question at the current session had set forth with objectivity and clarity the PLO's view of the stage through which the Palestinian question was going and on the situation in the Middle East. He would therefore confine himself to the facts which had been continually emphasized by the United Nations itself in many of its resolutions.

69. It had been universally agreed that the Palestinian question was the crux of the so-called Middle East conflict and that it was a question of a people whose land had been usurped, whose soil had been occupied and whose members had been displaced and deprived of the exercise of their basic political and human rights. Moreover, the Palestinian cause was the cause of all peoples fighting against colonialism and racism in all its forms. It was the cause of freedom and free people everywhere.

70. The Palestinian Arab people had been fighting for more than half a century, in extremely painful and difficult circumstances, against the arrogant forces of imperialism and zionism, which were still continuing to plot against the Palestinian people. The only option open to the Palestinian Arab people was to maintain the struggle as long as those forces refused to recognize that people's inalienable and legitimate national rights. The continued support and backing of the international community within and outside of the United Nations constituted a a vital and essential factor in the implementation of those rights.

71. Since the question of liberty in the world was an indivisible one, it followed that the question of world peace too was indivisible. Hence, the achievement of peace in the Middle East was a part of the process of achieving
peace throughout the world. The whole world had now become convinced that the desired just and lasting peace could be achieved only if the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people were recognized, namely, their right to return to their homeland, their right to sovereignty, independence and self-determination and their right to form their own State, led by the Palestine Liberation Organization, on their own soil.

72. In conclusion, he reiterated his expressions of gratitude to those present for their participation and their solidarity with the Palestinian people and for the invaluable efforts which they were making to serve the cause of freedom and peace.

73. Mr. GAYE (Organization of the Islamic Conference) said that, despite the explicit provisions of General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) and 273 (III) establishing two sovereign States in Palestine and Israel's commitment to respect the Charter and obligations of the United Nations, the Palestinian people had for 30 years known only oppression at the hands of Israel, including the plunder of the Palestinians' lands and property and their expulsion from their homeland. The Zionist policy of expansion, expulsion, and confiscation, leading to the implantation of Jewish colonies in occupied territories, had been clear from the very beginning, as could be seen from numerous statements made by Zionist leaders.

74. The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People gave the international community an occasion to reaffirm the superiority of right and justice over force. In that connexion, he praised the work of the Committee, which had studied the decisive stages by which a lasting peace in the Middle East could be established, based on respect for the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, namely, their right to return to their homeland and their right to self-determination, independence and national sovereignty. The brutal use of force against the Arab peoples of the Middle East, especially the Palestinian people, could not erase the traces of a long Arab and Muslim history, with which Arab Palestine and Jerusalem would always be identified. For the Islamic peoples and communities all over the world it was the Palestinian question which was the core of the Middle East conflict. Peace and security in the Middle East required full awareness of that reality. Jerusalem and the Palestinian cause had always been the fundamental problems of his organization and any concession on those problems would be an intolerable contradiction of its principles and objectives. No settlement of the Middle East problem could be reached unless the right of the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate as the sole authentic representative of the Palestinian people on an equal footing with all other parties was recognized.

75. Mr. HELMY (League of Arab States) said that the misery of the Palestinian people, persecuted by Israel's expansionist and racist policy, was not only a colonial and racial problem but also the dilemma of a people uprooted from their national homeland and forced to live in tents under severe and inhumane conditions as refugees, often still the targets of indiscriminate and brutal attacks by Israel, which was trying in vain to destroy the Palestinians' identity. Israel claimed that it had inherited biblical rights in Palestine, whereas the Palestinians, whom the Israelis referred to as bands of terrorists, had no rights there. That was, of course, hypocrisy of the highest order; Israel, the real aggressor, presented itself as the victim and the Palestinians, who were the real victims, were depicted as the aggressors. However, the international community was not fooled by such insulting deceptions and was fully aware of the real nature of the problem in Palestine. The Palestine Liberation Organization was universally recognized as the authentic and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The General Assembly in numerous resolutions had defined the scope and
dimensions of the inalienable rights of the Palestine people and had institutionalized those rights by establishing the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

76. The international community insisted that Israel's criminal and rebellious conduct should be curbed; in that connexion, the Security Council had an important role to play, because it was the only body empowered to enforce the recommendations of the Committee. The restoration of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people was the concern not only of the Palestinian people but also of the entire international community, since the political and economic situation of the Arab world had become a matter of strategic importance to the entire world. It was recognized that the Palestinian question was the core of the Middle East problem and that only a solution based on justice could stabilize the area and reduce the tensions there which threatened international peace and security. The Arab League wished to stress that Arabs and the Palestinian people would continue the struggle by all possible means until the Palestinian people regained their usurped national lands, so that all religious groups in the area could live in peace, harmony and equity as before.

77. Mr. OUATTARA (Organization of African Unity) praised the Committee's efforts to clarify the situation in Palestine. The Committee's work to combat the enemy's confusion campaigns, to present to the world the objectives of the struggling Palestinian people and to defeat efforts to impose an international conspiracy of silence against the people of Palestine. In keeping with its political philosophy, which was the liberation of peoples, the restoration of their dignity and the establishment of social justice, OAU had for several years taken a strong position on the Palestinian problem, as could be seen from the provisions of resolutions CM/Res.630 (XXXI) and CM/Res.632 (XXXI) adopted at the fifteenth ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of OAU, held at Khartoum in the summer of 1978. The stand taken by OAU showed that the countries of Africa had made the Palestinian cause their own. The people of Palestine and the Organization of African Unity demanded that the peace-loving peoples of the world should make every effort to restore justice to that long-suffering people. In the 30 years since the injustice committed in 1948 the Palestinian people had survived and refused to be forced into silence or to abandon their goal, which was to regain their usurped rights. Only if the situation in Palestine was faced with moral courage and intellectual honesty and if the reality of Palestine and of the
rights of the Palestinian people was fully accepted by all could the problem of the Middle East be solved, a problem of which Palestine was the core.

78. Mr. HAIDAR (India) read out the following message from Mr. Muraji Desai, Prime Minister of India:

"On the occasion of the special meeting being held by the Special Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I would like to convey the best wishes of the Government and people of India for the welfare and prosperity of the Palestinians. They have been uprooted from their hearths and homes and have undergone great suffering and hardship. They have our full sympathy. I would like to reaffirm the support of the Government of India for their just cause and their inalienable rights to have a homeland of their own."

79. Mr. GAUCI (Malta) read out the following message from Mr. Dom Mintoff, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malta:

"The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People coincides with a crucial phase in their heroic and just struggle. The Government of the Republic of Malta has stood solidly by the Palestinian people in the pursuit of their legitimate rights, in particular their right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty. On this occasion, therefore, the socialist Government of Malta proclaims its solidarity with the Palestinian people, stresses its determination to continue full support of the Palestinian cause and openly states its firm belief that no lasting peace is possible in the Middle East without the full participation of the Palestinians."

80. The CHAIRMAN said that messages had been received from the Heads of State of Mali, Somalia, Uganda and the Yemen Arab Republic and from the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Guyana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Poland, the Sudan Turkey, and Viet Nam; those messages would be reproduced and circulated in a special document to be issued in commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity. In addition, statements by the representatives of the Arab-American University Graduates, the World Peace Council, the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania and the Patriotic Front of National Union of Zimbabwe, which could not be read out at the meeting owing to the late hour, would be reproduced and circulated in the same document.


The meeting rose at 2.45 p.m.



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