About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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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.