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Summary record of the 38th meeting
Held at Headquarters, New York, on Wednesday, 7 November 2007, at 3 p.m.
Chairman: Mr. Wolfe ........................................................................................... (Jamaica)
later: Mr. Ashiki (Vice-Chairman) .......................................................................... (Japan)
later: Mr. Wolfe .................................................................................................... (Jamaica)
Agenda item 68: Elimination of racism and racial discrimination (continued )
(a) Elimination of racism and racial discrimination (continued)
(b) Comprehensive implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action ( continued)
Agenda item 69: Right of peoples to self-determination (continued)
13. Mr. Saeed (Sudan) ...
16. His delegation urged the international community to give due attention to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, where Palestinians were victims of repression and killings by the Israeli occupying Power. It was essential to implement the relevant United Nations resolutions so that the Palestinian people could exercise its right to self-determination and realize its just and legitimate aspirations in an independent State, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.
21. Ms. Zhang Dan (China), ...
22. The right to self-determination was an inalienable right which the international community should protect and promote by facilitating the advancement of peace, development and respect for human rights. The Chinese delegation supported the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and hoped that the international community would play a more active role in seeking a fair solution that would bring lasting peace to the Middle East.
25. Mr. Alakhder (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) ...
27. The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya supported the right of peoples to self-determination and to the control of their resources, in accordance with the relevant international instruments, but felt that that right should be limited to peoples living under the yoke of foreign occupation. The Libyan delegation expressed its Government’s deep concern about the suffering of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, where they were victims of repression, discrimination and massacres and saw their homes destroyed, their land confiscated and their identity obliterated, as the Israeli occupiers continued their expansion by building the racial segregation wall, even though the international community had repeatedly called on them to respect United Nations resolutions and international instruments. The Palestinian people must be able to build their own independent State, exercise sovereignty over their land and recover all the rights of which they had been deprived.
31. Ms. Abdelhady-Nasser (Observer for Palestine), referring briefly to the activities carried out by the United Nations to advance the right of peoples to self-determination, and stressing that unfortunately the Palestinian people were still struggling to realize that right, recalled that the Israeli occupation had lasted 40 years and that in 2008, 60 years would have gone by since Al-Naqba. With every passing year, the injustices imposed on the Palestinian people mounted. In addition to the right to self-determination, there had been violations of the rights to liberty and security of person, to education, to property and to development. The Israeli occupation, the colonial nature of which had become undeniable, had taken the form of systematic violations of a large number of the individual and collective rights of the Palestinian people. A particular example was the totally illegal annexation of ever greater areas of Palestinian territory and their occupation by Israeli settlers (more than 450,000, according to the latest figures). The construction of the wall continued unabated, with all of its harmful consequences for the integrity of the Palestinian territory, its economy and the daily life of the walled-in populations. By severely fragmenting the Palestinian territory, the illegal settlements and the wall were making it virtually impossible to achieve the two-State solution to the conflict and the genuine enjoyment by the Palestinian people of their right to self-determination.
32. The international community must act to make a reality of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence, which was essential to the establishment of a comprehensive, permanent and lasting peace in the Middle East. The Palestinian delegation would be submitting a draft resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and hoped fervently that the Member States would send a strong message of solidarity towards the Palestinian people by adopting it by consensus.
33. Ms. Abdelhak (Algeria), ...
34. The right to self-determination, enshrined in a number of international instruments and in particular in General Assembly resolution 1514 (XV), had made it possible for most of the peoples represented at the United Nations to become free; now, that same right should allow the peoples of the last Non-Self-Governing Territories listed by the United Nations, including the Palestinians and the Sahrawi people, to take their rightful place within the international community. ...
44. Mr. Nikookarf (Islamic Republic of Iran) noted with concern that, despite numerous resolutions adopted by the Human Rights Council calling for an end to the systematic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Israel was more relentlessly than ever pursuing its policy of abusive practices, military action against civilian targets, enclosure, arbitrary arrest, settlement building and construction of the wall, denying the Palestinian people’s irrefutable right to self-determination.
45. Ms. Hoosen (South Africa), stressing the internationally recognized principle of self-determination, expressed concern about the volatile situation and the humanitarian crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, particularly in Gaza. Her delegation was also concerned that the Israeli authorities were continuing to impose severe restrictions on the Palestinians’ freedom of movement and were persisting in illegally building settlements, erecting the separation wall, arbitrarily arresting Palestinians, including women and children, and ill-treating prisoners.
46. South Africa deplored the Quartet’s selective approach to negotiations, which was especially unfortunate in that it served to undermine the unity of the Palestinian people and hamper any settlement of the Middle East conflict, without which there could be no creation of a Palestinian State. The Quartet had failed to take into account the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the positions taken by many Member States on the matter. The United Nations, as a member of the Quartet, should more strongly articulate and represent the will of the international community and act more effectively to uphold the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination. She called on the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority to negotiate a peaceful settlement providing for two States and reaffirmed her country’s unwavering support for the Palestinian people and its desire to see an independent Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, living side by side with Israel within secure and internationally recognized borders.
62. Ms. González Navarro (Cuba), ...
64. The realization of the right of peoples to self-determination was a prerequisite for the realization of the full panoply of human rights. Cuba demanded an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from all occupied Arab territories, including Palestine and the Syrian Golan, as well as full respect for the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent and sovereign State. Cuba also supported the right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and hoped that they could join the community of nations freed from the yoke of colonialism.
The meeting rose at 6.10 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 publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-750, 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.