Question of Palestine home
19 October 2000
Summary record of the 27th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Thursday, 19 October 2000, at 10 a.m.
Ms. Gittens-Joseph................................... (Trinidad and Tobago)
Agenda item 112: Elimination of racism and racial discrimination*
Agenda item 113: Right of peoples to self-determination*
The meeting was called to order at 10.15 a.m.
Agenda item 112: Elimination of racism and racial discrimination
(A/55/18 and Add.1, A/55/203, A/55/266, A/55/285, A/55/304, A/55/307 and A/55/459)
Agenda item 113: Right of peoples to self-determination
(A/55/176 and Add.1 and A/55/334)
10. For more than half a century, Egypt had supported the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination. The United Nations, as the voice of the international community and the symbol of international legality, had placed an indelible mark on Arab-Israeli relations through its action in favour of peace. Its resolutions remained the frame of reference for ensuring a just, lasting and peaceful settlement of the situation in the Middle East and for achieving recognition of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
11. Egypt called on Israel to end its occupation of Arab territories and to restore them in the context of a just and lasting peace and on the basis of United Nations resolutions and the principle of “land for peace”. It urged Israel to honour its commitments and respect the agreements concluded with a view to promoting the peace process, in the interest of all peoples of the region. It appealed to Israel to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate rights, including the right to establish a State. Egypt opposed any action contrary to peace in the region and hoped for a just, balanced and peaceful solution that would enable the peoples of the region to live in peace and save future generations from war. Lastly, his delegation hoped that the draft resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, which it would submit – as it had done at previous sessions of the General Assembly – would be co-sponsored and adopted by Member States.
Mr. Yu Wenzhe
29. The right to self-determination lay at the heart of the constant violent conflicts in the Middle East. China condemned the use of heavy weapons against Palestinian civilians. It hoped that the agreement reached at the Sharm el-Sheikh Summit Meeting would be implemented, that all the parties concerned would exercise restraint and cease all speeches and actions not conducive to the peace process, and that they would invoke the relevant United Nations resolutions, following the principle of land for peace, in order to persevere in negotiations while strictly abiding by agreements already reached.
32. With regard to item 113, the Sudan wished to state that its defence of the right of peoples to self-determination must not be used to encourage the dismemberment of States, justify interference in their internal affairs or infringe on their sovereignty, territorial integrity or political unity. Indeed, a false interpretation of that principle could aggravate conflicts, bring social upheaval and constitute a threat to international peace and security. The Sudan, for its part, in accordance with the African conception of the right to self-determination, wished to confine the exercise of that right to peoples subjected to the yoke of colonialism and foreign occupation. In that regard, recent events in the Occupied Palestinian Territory were merely the expression of racism in its worst forms. That was why it was necessary to implement the relevant United Nations resolutions on the granting to the Palestinian people of their legitimate right to self-determination, a people that had suffered for so long under the yoke of Israeli occupation, with the tragic consequences that were well known, especially with regard to children.
(Syrian Arab Republic) ...
61. Despite the successes achieved and the many resolutions on the Arab-Israeli conflict adopted by its various bodies, the United Nations had not succeeded in enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate right to self-determination, because of the expansionist policies of Israel, its continued flagrant violation of the Charter and the principles of international and humanitarian law, as well as its refusal to bend to the will of the international community. The Palestinian refugees had been yearning for over half a century to regain their land, from which Israeli occupation forces had expelled them by force of arms, terrorism and massacre.
62. Israel was pursuing the establishment of settlements through a systematic policy to modify the demographic composition of the occupied Arab territories by encouraging Jewish settlers from various regions of the world to replace the Palestinians evicted by Israeli forces from their homes and their land. Thus, Israel was an abhorrent system based on racism, racial discrimination and State terrorism which resorted to the massacre of Palestinian civilians, including children. Television had clearly shown that Israeli forces had killed Palestinian children and young people, and destroyed their homes and property. Israel continued to impose its law on the Arab inhabitants, besieging them and preventing them from exercising rights guaranteed under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international law and the Geneva Conventions. It must abandon its policy of discrimination and repression, withdraw from the occupied Arab territories and immediately recognize the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to the creation in their national territory of an independent State with Jerusalem as its capital.
The meeting rose at 12.30 p.m.
*Items which the Committee has decided to consider together.