About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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The present tragedy is the product of the struggle waged by the indigenous Palestinian people against aliens who converged from abroad upon an Arab- inhabited country with the sole intention of creating a Jewish State. The origin of the problem and the root cause of the present conflict, as well as the key to resolution, rests upon this issue.
As is apparent to all the members of the Committee, at the core of the issue lies the fate of a nation, their fatherland, the forcible dispossession and displacement of a great number of its indigenous people and the subjugation of the remainder. The problem also involves the seizure of both the national resources of the people of Palestine and the private property of its individual inhabitants.
The cause and the "background of the question of Palestine are well known to us all. It should be emphasized that the tragedy of the Palestinian people began in the United Nations after its unjust recommendation that Palestine be partitioned in 1947, by the adoption of resolution 181 (II). Since then, the people of Palestine have been waiting for a just fair solution to this tragic problem.
The exile of the Palestinians until 1956, when Israel occupied additional Palestinian land. In June 1967, it occupied the remaining land of Palestine, as well as the territories of other sovereign Arab States, as a result of its premeditated aggression.
After the October war of 1973, during the twenty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly, the question of Palestine was included as an independent item in the agenda upon the request of the sole representatives of the people of Palestine, namely, the Palestine Liberation Organization. This request was supported by an overwhelming majority of the Member States.
At the twenty-ninth session of the General Assembly, the following facts were accepted in the United Nations General Assembly resolution: that the question of Palestine is at the heart of the over-all issue in the Middle East conflict; that durable and lasting peace in the Middle East cannot be achieved without the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty in their fatherland. This decision of the General Assembly was endorsed in resolution 3376 (XXX), adopted by the thirtieth session of the General Assembly, with respect to the question of Palestine. In accordance with the resolution, this Committee has been formed, and its basic task is to elaborate a programme for the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, which means the establishment of an independent Palestinian State in Palestine and the restoration of the right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and properties from which they have been displaced and uprooted.
As a result of the decision of the committee, the representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the countries directly involved in the Middle East conflict have participated and expressed their views with regard to the fulfilment of the mandate of the Committee. Many other members of the committee have also expressed their views in this regard. It was decided that contacts should be made with States and international regional organizations as outlined in operative paragraph 5 of the resolution so that they could contribute to the work of the Committee. Thus far, many useful proposals have been made with respect to the fulfilment of the mandate of the Committee.
It has been proposed that, as a prerequisite for the restoration of the inalienable right of the people of Palestine to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty, their right to return to their homeland should be recognized and implemented. As a first step towards this end, it has been recommended that the Palestinians displaced in June 196? should be allowed to return immediately, and without any conditions, to the occupied territories.
As outlined in the statement of the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the reason for giving priority to Palestinians displaced as a result of the occupation of territories in June 1967 is only one of time, no other consideration was taken into account.
Likewise, my delegation fully supports the point made that the Security Council, on the basis of the task conferred upon it by the Charter of United Nations, should recommend that Israel desist from establishing new settlements in the occupied territories and that it withdraw its citizens from the settlements already established since June 1967.
While the first stage of the return of the Palestinians is being implemented, programme of return should be outlined for the Palestinians displaced in 1948 from the territories occupied by Israel. In the event of Israel's refusal to the Palestinians to return to their homeland, in our view the Security Council should take all necessary measures on the basis of the Charter, and on any other relevant legal matter the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice could be requested.
In order to implement the right of return of the Palestinians, it might indeed be necessary for the United Nations to perform certain functions or to create new bodies and agencies. Whenever such need is envisaged, necessary action should in our view be taken by the United Nations.
As I indicated earlier, the return of the displaced Palestinians is, in our view, a necessary prerequisite for the exercise of their inalienable right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty, and it is up to the- people of Palestine to exercise this right to self-determination whenever they deem it opportune.
The right of everyone to return to his country has been recognized by the United Nations. The application of this right to the Palestinians in particular has been consistently upheld, and it was reiterated recently in General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX). It should be recalled that since the adoption of resolution 194 (ill) of 11 December 1948, the right of repatriation of the Palestinians has been reaffirmed by the United Nations every year to date.
Those were the brief remarks I wished to make before this Committee at this stage. In conclusion I wish to state that the policy and position of the people arid the Government of the Republic of Afghanistan is crystal-clear in respect of the exercise of the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine in the conflict in the Middle East in its totality. We have been of the view and continue to believe that no just and durable peace will be achieved in the Middle East unless and until the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine are restored and Israel withdraws from all the occupied territories.
* Distribution in accordance with a decision of the Committee.