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        General Assembly
18 September 1997


Official Records

26th meeting
held on
Wednesday, 6 November 1996
at 3 p.m.
New York


Chairman: Mrs. ESPINOSA (Mexico)




The meeting was called to order at 3.10 p.m.

AGENDA ITEM 108: ELIMINATION OF RACISM AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (continued) (A/51/3 (Parts I and II), A/51/18, A/51/90, A/51/301, A/51/427, A/51/430, A/51/435, A/51/462-S/1996/831, A/51/541)

AGENDA ITEM 109: RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION (continued) (A/51/392, A/51/414, A/51/532-S/1996/864)


5. Mr. NAYAN (Malaysia) ...


12. As far as the right of peoples to self-determination was concerned, his delegation wished to reaffirm its support for the right of the Palestinian people to an independent and sovereign Palestinian State. ...


18. Mr. KULLA (Albania) ...


19. Albania had followed the Middle East peace process with interest and believed that, despite the hostilities and tensions that had occurred in 1996, the peace talks would result in the realization of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination as well as in the establishment of a lasting peace in the whole region. ...


46. Ms. BARGHOUTI (Observer for Palestine) said that the agenda item on the right of peoples to self-determination was of paramount importance to the international community. It was the responsibility of the United Nations to guarantee the enjoyment by all peoples of their fundamental rights, especially the right to self-determination. In that regard, various positive developments had taken place, such as the strengthening of the principles of democracy and the decline in the number of territories under colonial or foreign occupation. One noteworthy example had been the establishment of democracy and of a non-racial government in South Africa.

47. However, the violation of human rights, including the right to self-determination, remained a threat to the freedom and dignity of human beings and violated the principles and norms of the international instruments that guaranteed such rights. In order to prevent the violation of the right to self-determination, more serious and concrete actions were required, especially in the case of peoples under foreign domination or occupation.

48. It was reassuring that the world summit convened on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations had adopted a clear position in that regard by stating in the final declaration that the States Members of the United Nations would continue to reaffirm the right of self-determination of all peoples, taking into account the particular situation of peoples under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation.

49. The Palestinian people suffered for a long time from discrimination and oppression and had been denied its right to self-determination. In the hope of ending the unjust Israeli occupation and the harsh conditions that the Palestinian people had been enduring, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian National Authority had participated in all levels of the peace process and had made a commitment to implement all the agreements they had signed with the Israeli Government. She hoped that the peace process would pave the way for the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily its right to self-determination.

50. Unfortunately, recent developments related to the peace process had not been positive. The peace process was facing serious difficulties resulting from policies and measures of the Israeli Government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu. The situation on the ground, including the living conditions of the Palestinian people, had deteriorated sharply. The collective efforts of all the parties concerned would be required to ensure that the process achieved its goals.

51. For the Palestinian people, real and durable peace meant the achievement of its inalienable rights, including its right to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent Palestinian State with Jerusalem as its capital. It was only through the exercise of those fundamental rights that the Palestinian people could truly determine its own political destiny and devote all its efforts and capabilities to the development and building of its society. It was therefore extremely important that the States Members of the United Nations should support and recognize that basic right of the Palestinian people. She hoped that the members of the Third Committee would adopt the draft resolution which her delegation would submit at the current session by consensus.

The meeting rose at 5 p.m.

This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of the publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-794, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee.

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