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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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        General Assembly
16 November 1989

Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Wednesday, 8 November 1989, at 3 p.m.
Chairman: Mrs. DIALLO (Senegal)


Adoption of the agenda

Election of a Vice-Chairman of the Committee and of the Vice-Chairman of the Working Group

Report by the Chairman on the European NGO Symposium and the International NGO Meeting held at Vienna from 28 August to 1 September 1989

Draft report of the Committee to the General Assembly at its forty-fourth session

Medium-term plan for the period 1992-1997

This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room DC2-0750, United Nations Plaza.

Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum.

Regional seminars and symposia:

Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium

Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium

Draft resolutions on the Question of Palestine

Other matters

The meeting was called to order at 3.30 p.m.


1. The agenda was adopted.


2. THE CHAIRMAN nominated Mr. Noor Ahmad Noor (Afghanistan) for the office of Vice-Chairman.

3. Mr. Noor (Afghanistan) was elected Vice-Chairman by acclamation.

4. The CHAIRMAN nominated Mr. Dinesh Kumar Jain (India) for the office of
Vice-Chairman of the Working Group for the remainder of the previous
Vice-Chairman's term.

5. Mr. Jain (India) was elected Vice-Chairman of the Working Group by acclamation.


6. The CHAIRMAN said that the European NGO Symposium and the International NGO Meeting on the question of Palestine had been a great success. The meetings had been preceded by a Symposium on "the role of foreign assistance in meeting the economic and social development requirements of the Palestinian people: from occupation to independence", organized in Vienna on 27 August, by the European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs in co-operation with the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs and the Society for Austro-Arabian Relations; the Committee had been represented also at that Symposium.

7. The participants at the European NGO Symposium (28 and 29 August) had comprised 82 non-governmental organizations, and 132 other NGOs, Governments, United Nations agencies and liberation movements had sent observers. The Symposium had adopted a final declaration, welcoming the Palestinian initiative and the opening of dialogue between the United States and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), stressing the importance of an International Peace Conference on the Middle East, to be held in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176, asking European Governments to recognize the Palestinian State and rejecting the Israeli plan for elections in the occupied territory. Expressing its concern at the human rights violations perpetrated by the occupying Power, it had urged European Governments to monitor closely Israel's observance of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War and had asked the Security Council to ensure the protection and security of the Palestinians concerned. The Symposium had, in addition, called on the United Nations agencies to intensify their efforts to meet the educational, medical and socio-economic needs of the Palestinians.

8. The International NGO Meeting (30 August to 1 September) had been attended by representatives or observers from 351 NGOs, several of which were established in Israel or in the occupied Palestinian territories. The main topic discussed at the meeting had been the "Intifadah: the continuing struggle of the Palestinian people for independence". The participants had adopted a declaration expressing unreserved approval of the proclamation of the independence of Palestine and calling on all Governments to recognize the State of Palestine and the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of that State. They had expressed the hope that the International Peace Conference on the Middle East would soon be convened and had rejected the Israeli plan for elections in the occupied territory. They had expressed concern at the growing number of human rights violations in the territory and had called for effective international economic and political pressure on Israel, as well as for a United Nations presence, in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Finally, they had called on United Nations agencies to step up their assistance to the Palestinians in the medical and health field and in social and economic areas.

9. He proposed that, in accordance with the practice of the Committee, the declarations of the European Symposium and of the International Meeting should be attached with a brief introduction as annexes to the Committee's report to the General Assembly, and that the reports of those two meetings should be published in extenso as special bulletins of the Division for Palestinian Rights and given wide distribution.

10. It was so decided.


11. Mr. BORG OLIVIER (Rapporteur) gave a broad outline of the draft report of the Committee to the General Assembly (A/AC.183/1989/CRP.2/Rev.1). The document took stock of the situation in occupied Palestine, where Israel was attempting to crush the intifadah, and recalled the action taken by the Committee as well as the various other decisions and measures adopted by United Nations bodies in favour of the Palestinians. Finally, the draft report had reaffirmed the position of the Committee, taking into account the proclamation of the State of Palestine, the Palestinian peace initiative and the deterioration of the situation in the occupied territory.

12. Mr. TERZI (Observer for Palestine) pointed out that the Arabic version of the draft report spoke in chapter I, paragraph 8, of the "Palestine affair", rather than of the "question of Palestine". In chapter III, reference should be made to the election of Mr. Noor as Vice-Chairman of the Committee. He also inquired whether the information contained in chapter IV, subsection A 2 (a), was up to date. He hoped that the Committee would direct the Department of Public Information (DPI) in the production of the video film mentioned in chapter V, paragraph 98. Finally, he noted that paragraph 105 had omitted the title of Mr. Yasser Arafat. It should read "H.E. Mr. Yasser Arafat, President of the State of Palestine and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization".

13. After adopting chapters I to VI section by section, the Committee adopted the draft report as a whole.


14. Mr. MIRZA (Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights), introducing the
draft medium-term plan on the question of Palestine for the period 1992-1997
(A/AC.183/1989/CRP.3), indicated that in the fourth line of paragraph 6 the words "Economic and Social Council" should be replaced by the words "Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions" and that the second sentence in paragraph (c) (I) of the annex should be deleted.

15. The plan would be implemented through the programme budget for the biennium 1992-1993, to be submitted to the General Assembly at its forty-sixth session, and would include 10 major programmes. In major programme I entitled "Maintenance of peace and security, disarmament and decolonization", programme 6 was devoted to the question of Palestine. The primary goal of the programme was the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in accordance with United Nations resolutions. Implementation of the Committee's recommendations was one of the means of achieving that goal, and the Division for Palestinian Rights had been assigned the task of creating a favourable atmosphere for the full implementation of those recommendations by disseminating information on the rights of the Palestinian people and the efforts of the United Nations to promote their attainment, as well as by heightening awareness of the facts relating to the question of Palestine in general. The Division was required to monitor political and other developments, provide assistance to the Committee, organize regional seminars and international meetings of non-governmental organizations, promote co-operation with Governments and bodies within and outside the United Nations, prepare studies and organize activities in connection with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The plan would be reviewed by the Programme Planning and Budget Board in February-March 1990. It would be submitted to the Committee for Programme and Co-ordination (CPC) and to the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ) in May-June 1990 and finally to the General Assembly at its forty-fifth session. Once adopted by the General Assembly, it would become a framework for the preparation of the biennial programme budgets, but would be reviewed every two years in order to reflect new mandates and new activities which might be proposed.

16. Mr. TERZI (Observer for Palestine) said that, having only just received the draft medium-term plan, he would have preferred the document to be considered at a future meeting. At first glance, he found it difficult to understand why the question of Palestine was included in a major programme relating to "Maintenance of peace and security", an activity falling within the scope of the Security Council. As for the rather unfortunate sentence describing the question of Palestine as "part of the situation in the Middle East", its deletion could only be welcomed; the question of Palestine was, of course, at the very heart of the conflict.

17. Mr. DE GARA (Rapporteur) explained that the medium-term plan had been restructured and the number of programmes considerably reduced. As a result, several political questions had been placed in a major programme entitled "Maintenance of peace and security, disarmament and decolonization"; some of the questions in that programme, such as those of Namibia and the suppression of apartheid, came under the responsibility of the General Assembly.

18. The CHAIRMAN noted that the Committee had completed the consideration of the medium-term plan.


Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium

19. The CHAIRMAN recalled that at its 164th meeting (14 August 1989) the Committee had approved the provisional programme of work of the Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium to be held at Kuala Lumpur from 18 to 22 December 1989. After considering proposals from Governments of the region, the Bureau had decided, with a view to ensuring that the meetings would have the greatest possible impact on public opinion, that invitations should be addressed, as a matter of priority, to parliamentarians, research scholars, journalists and other specialists. The list of the persons invited was to be found in working paper No. 8/Add.1.

Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium

20. The Argentine Government had agreed to host the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium, for which the Committee had, in the spring of 1989, approved a provisional programme of work and a list of persons to be invited, in Buenos Aires from 5 to 9 February 1990.


21. The CHAIRMAN drew attention to three draft resolutions (A, B and C) on the question of Palestine which had been distributed without a symbol to members of the Committee. The contents of those drafts, which outlined, in particular, the respective work programmes of the Committee, the Division for Palestinian Rights and the Department of Public Information, corresponded to those of previous resolutions on the same subjects.

22. Mr. JAIN (India), referring to draft resolution A, suggested that the word "continued" should be inserted between the words "its" and "efforts" in the second line of operative paragraph 1. In operative paragraph 2 of draft resolution C, he would prefer the words "Europe and North America" to be replaced by the words "Western European and other countries", an expression which would take into account the growing importance of countries like Japan. Remarking that an independent Palestinian State had already been proclaimed, he suggested that the word "to" between the words "and" and "the establishment" in the penultimate line of the fourth preambular paragraph of draft resolution C, should be replaced by the word "for".

23. Mr. TERZI (Observer for Palestine) said that the proposed changes were not purely drafting points and their substantive implications should be considered by the Working Group or a smaller group. As the question was purely political, there was no need to fear any new financial implications.

24. Mr. BORG OLIVIER (Rapporteur) agreed that the Secretariat should consult with the Palestinian delegation.

25. The CHAIRMAN said that draft resolution C would be reviewed in consultation with the Palestinian delegation.


26. The CHAIRMAN said that, having considered the procedures for the accreditation and registration of non-governmental organizations authorized to participate in meetings sponsored by the Committee, the Bureau had decided that non-governmental organizations should in future indicate clearly that their fundamental objective was the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The Bureau had also decided that procedures for the registration of NGOs admitted as observers without an invitation should be strengthened.

27. The CHAIRMAN informed the Committee about preparations for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People and again drew attention to the information bulletins of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

The meeting rose at 5 p.m.

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