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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.3/51/SR.27
13 August 1997

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

FIFTY-FIRST SESSION
Official Records


THIRD COMMITTEE
27th meeting
held on
Thursday, 7 November 1996
at 10 a.m.
New York

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 27th MEETING

Chairman: Mrs. ESPINOSA (Mexico)

CONTENTS

AGENDA ITEM 108: ELIMINATION OF RACISM AND RACIAL DISCRIMINATION (continued)*

AGENDA ITEM 109: RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION (continued)*

AGENDA ITEM 105: REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES, QUESTIONS RELATING TO REFUGEES, RETURNEES AND DISPLACED PERSONS AND HUMANITARIAN QUESTIONS (continued)




*Items which the Committee has decided to consider together.

The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.


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

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

1. Mr. AMOR (Tunisia), ...

/...

4. Turning to agenda item 109, he said that Tunisia remained committed to the realization by all peoples of the right to self-determination. The Palestinian people, however, continued to be denied that right. The hopes born of the peace process had been shattered by the policies and actions of the new Israeli Government. If peace was to be achieved in the region, Israel must respect the obligations incumbent upon it under the Charter of the United Nations and Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 425 (1978) and withdraw from Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem, and the other Arab territories occupied since 1967.

/...

8. Mr. MATNAI (Israel), speaking on agenda item 108, said that the elimination of racism and racial discrimination was a goal which his Government held especially dear, for the Jewish people had, over the centuries, been the victims of unparalleled racial hatred, culminating in the Nazi Holocaust. The international community must learn from that dark chapter in its history. His delegation welcomed the attention devoted by the Special Rapporteur on racism in his report (A/51/301) to anti-Semitism in general and the denial of the Holocaust in particular.

9. Paradoxically, while the world was often likened to a "global village", the phenomenon of tribalism was becoming ever more widespread. The international community must take measures to combat that threat. The Israeli Declaration of Independence stated clearly that all citizens should enjoy equal social and political rights, while legislation barred parties espousing a racist ideology from seeking election to the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament. His Government's treatment of Israel's non-Jewish citizens - Muslims, Christians, Druze and others - was exemplary.

10. Turning to agenda item 109, he recalled that the United Nations had recognized the right of the Jewish people to a homeland. Yet since its foundation, the State of Israel had faced aggression and hostility from its Arab neighbours. His Government was committed to the search for peace. It was his hope that the current negotiations with the Palestinians would lead to a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement and that peace with Syria and Lebanon would follow. The Israeli and Palestinian peoples must put aside their differences and work together to combat the evils of fanaticism, violence and poverty, the legacy of decades of conflict and mistrust in the region. Any peace agreement must, however, guarantee the security of all Israeli citizens.

11. There had already been some progress towards peace. The recent holding of free elections in the Palestinian autonomous areas had been an important step forward in that regard. However, the adoption by the Third Committee of political resolutions on the Palestinian question might hinder further progress and sour the atmosphere in which the negotiations were being conducted. He regretted therefore the statements made by certain delegations to the effect that it was the new Israeli Government which bore responsibility for the recent setbacks in the peace process. He recalled that the elections in Israel had taken place against a background of terrorist violence by Islamic fundamentalists. While neighbouring States might have preferred to negotiate with the previous regime, they must accept the choice of the Israeli people. The new Government was, in any case, as committed to the peace process as its predecessor had been.

/...

The meeting rose at 11.40 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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