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        General Assembly
30 March 1999

Original: Spanish

General Assembly
Fifty-third session
Official Records

Third Committee
Summary record of the 24th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Monday, 26 October 1998, at 3 p.m.

Chairman:Mr. Carranza-Cifuentes (Vice-Chairman) ..........................(Guatemala)

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

Agenda item 108: Elimination of racism and racial discrimination (continued) (A/53/18, A/53/255, A/53/256, A/53/269, A/53/305 and A/53/489)

Agenda item 109: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued) (A/53/131-S/1998/435, A/53/205-S/1998/711, A/53/280 and A/53/338)


5. Mr.Ka (Senegal) ...


8. Based on the principle that the right of peoples to self-determination was an inalienable right, and on the need to settle disputes by peaceful means, Senegal supported the just struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and for the establishment of their own State on their own land. ...


20. Mr. Baali (Algeria) ...


24. For more than 50 years, the Palestinian people had suffered from the occupation of their territory and had asserted their right to decide their own destiny and to establish their own independent State in the land of their ancestors. He hoped that the agreement concluded recently between the Palestinians and the Israelis would lead to a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian problem.


26. Ms. Barghouti (Observer for Palestine) said that the right to self-determination was an inalienable and basic human right that enabled peoples to choose their destiny and their political, economic and social systems. Moreover, it gave them sovereignty over their land, wealth and resources. The denial of that right contradicted the principles and norms of the Charter of the United Nations and international law. Serious action was required to combat injustice and oppression and to secure the right of all peoples to self-determination. The full realization and protection of human rights, both collective and individual, remained an issue that was closely linked to international efforts to maintain peace and security worldwide. It was therefore critical to fulfil the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights instruments.

27. Major United Nations conferences and other forums had reaffirmed the right to self-determination of all peoples, including those living under colonial or other forms of alien domination or occupation. That idea had been endorsed in the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and the Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations. However, the Palestinian people continued to live under the Israeli occupation and its oppressive policies and practices. For too long, they had suffered from discrimination, oppression and injustice. Greater effort by the international community was needed to ensure that the Palestinian people could finally enjoy their right to self-determination, which continued to be denied.

28. The recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, who were a population of about seven million people with a great history, civilization and national identity, and the establishment of an independent Palestinian State were prerequisites for the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East. The Palestinian people sought with dignity to enjoy their natural right to sovereignty and independence. Israel’s illegal policies and practices were increasing the suffering, frustration and humiliation of the Palestinian people. The Israeli Government continued to create new facts on the ground, consisting mainly of illegal colonial settlements, and to restrict the Palestinians’ freedom of movement and detain prisoners. The problems of Palestine refugees and displaced persons had not yet been solved. She hoped that the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination could soon be exercised as a result of the peace process, with the establishment of an independent State with Jerusalem as its capital, and that the process would bring peace and prosperity to the entire region. At the current stage, it was imperative that the States Members of the United Nations should support the legitimate aspirations and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. She recalled President Arafat’s appeal for such support, and trusted that
the draft resolution to be submitted by her delegation would be adopted by consensus.


The meeting rose at 4.15 p.m.

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