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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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        General Assembly
18 February 1987




Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Thursday, 12 February 1987, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. SARRE (Senegal)


Adoption of the agenda

Programme of work of the Committee for 1987

Other matters

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 DC2-750, United Nations Plaza.

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

The meeting was called to order at 3.25 p.m.


1. The agenda was adopted.


2. Mr. RATH (India), speaking as Vice-Chairman of the Working Group of the
Committee, drew attention to document A/AC.183/1987/CRP.1/Rev.1 containing the
draft programme of work for 1987. In preparing the draft programme, the Working Group had taken into account the Committee's mandate emanating from the resolutions of the General Assembly and its recent practice as well as decisions already taken by the Committee. He then briefly summarized the contents of the document under consideration and said that the various aspects of the proposed programme of work had been adopted unanimously by the Working Group and he trusted that they could be adopted by the Committee.

3. The CHAIRMAN said that the draft programme of work had been well prepared and called on the Committee and the international community to spare no effort in seeking to secure a just and lasting solution to the situation in the Middle East through the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

4. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) noted with satisfaction that the Working Group, in paragraph 10 of the draft programme, had taken into account the new elements in the situation, namely, the setting up of a Preparatory Committee within the framework of the Security Council to take the necessary action to convene the Conference and the proposal to give priority to visits at the highest possible level to the capitals of the permanent members of the Security Council. The General Assembly had requested the Secretary-General to report on the matter before the end of May 1987, and, accordingly, those visits should take place before mid-May so that the Committee's efforts would be helpful to the Secretary-General in his consultations.

5. He noted the statement in paragraph 16 that the Committee had decided tentatively to hold the Asian seminar in Bangkok in conjunction with the NGO symposium planned for that region. He believed that consideration should be given to holding those meetings in New Delhi because the greatest number of NGOs were based in India. He was sure that, once the Government of India had been approached, the Committee would receive a positive response.

6. With regard to the Latin American seminar, he suggested that consultations should be held between the Bureau and the various Ministers for Foreign Affairs at the meeting of non-aligned countries to be held in Georgetown, Guyana, in March 1987.

7. With regard to 1987 being observed as the year of the Palestinian people, the Committee should seize the opportunity to co-ordinate with the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs in deciding what should be done through the United Nations and the Secretariat, bearing in mind the financial limitations.

8. Mr. GLAIEL (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that his delegation had serious reservations about the reference in paragraph 10 to the message read out at the 137th meeting of the Committee.

9. The draft programme of work of the Committee for 1987
(A/AC.183/1987/CRP.1/Rev.1) was adopted.


10. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) thanked the Chairman for the letter (A/42/122-S/18682) which he had sent the previous day to the President of the Security Council regarding the situation in and around the Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut and near Tyre, which had been under siege for over 135 days by the so-called Amal group. The siege had been intensified to the point where it was interfering with the most basic rights of the Palestinian people in those camps, for they now were receiving no food, water or medical attention and were dying in large numbers.

11. He wondered how long the Committee could be satisfied with sending letters that elicited no response from a group with a past record of heinous crimes and massacres. The Committee should follow up by requesting the Security Council to call an immediate meeting to expose the situation.

12. The CHAIRMAN recalled that the Committee had drawn the attention of both the Security Council and the Secretary-General to the deteriorating situation in the Palestinian refugee camps, a matter of great concern to the Committee. He himself would shortly have occasion to meet with both the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council and, if the Committee authorized him to do so, he could ask the latter to take the most appropriate action.

13. Mr. BITAR (Observer for Lebanon) said that it was not within the Committee's mandate to request the Security Council to hold such a meeting. Lebanon would oppose such a request. In any case, the Council was currently deliberating on the matter.

14. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the
Committee's mandate was to keep under review the rights of the Palestinian people: the situation in question was a violation not only of their right to live in peace but of their very right to life. The Committee would approach the Security Council on the ground that one of the United Nations humanitarian agencies, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, was being denied access to the camps and could not carry on its work. The fact that Security Council consultations were in progress did not preclude further contacts by the Committee with the Secretary-General and the Security Council.

15. The CHAIRMAN said that the Committee must try to have the issue raised as
quickly as possible in the most appropriate quarters.

16. Mr. EL-SAID (Department of Public Information (DPI)), reporting on the recent Latin American journalists' encounters on the question of Palestine said that, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 41/43 C, a regional encounter, moderated by the Director of the DPI Press and Publications Division, had been held from 20 to 23 January 1987 in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina. It had brought together a panel consisting of Mr. Amos Kenan, a prominent Israeli author and journalist, Mr. Zehdi Terzi, the Permanent Observer of the PLO to the United Nations, and 20 high-level Latin American journalists from all branches of the media. By all accounts, the journalists had felt that the candid in-depth discussions had clarified their understanding of the Palestinian problem, on which information in their home countries was scarce and usually outdated. Most found the United Nations publications distributed at the encounter - except for an outdated 1983 film - to be satisfactory and objective. The consensus was that the question of Palestine should be settled peacefully, preferably through an international conference under United Nations auspices. Concerned that the Israeli participant might be sanctioned upon his return home for having presumably violated an Israeli law prohibiting direct contact with PLO officials, the journalists had issued an official statement stressing that no such direct contact had taken place at the encounter.

17. Two other national journalists' encounters on the question of Palestine had been held in Lima and Caracas on 28 and 30 January 1987 respectively, in the form of press conferences at which Mr. Kenan and Mr. Terzi had met with local journalists and foreign correspondents and engaged in a lively and frank exchange on various aspects of the question of Palestine. He himself had acted as moderator, and the UNDP office in Caracas had organized the second meeting.

18. Preparations were under way for the Asian regional journalists' encounter to be held in Singapore from 6 to 9 April 1987. A concomitant series of national journalists' encounters on the question of Palestine would be organized in New Delhi, Tokyo and Bangkok.

19. The CHAIRMAN drew attention to two working papers (WP.5/Add.2 and Add.3)
containing information on various non-governmental organizations which had asked to participate in meetings organized under the Committee's auspices. If he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee approved all those non-governmental organizations for invitation to future regional and international meetings.

20. It was so decided.

The meeting rose at 4.20 p.m.

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