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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/AC.183/SR.140
5 May 1987

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH





COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 140th MEETING

Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 28 April 1987, at 4 p.m.


Chairman: Mr. SARRE (Senegal)


CONTENTS

Admission of a new observer

Adoption of the agenda

Report by the Chairman on his participation in the Meeting of the Committee of Nine Non-Aligned Countries on the Question of Palestine, held in Harare on 14 and 15 April 1987, and in the eighteenth session of the Palestine National Council, held in Algiers from 20 to 26 April 1987 Asian Seminar/Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium, to be held at New Delhi from 8 to 12 June 1987


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, 2 United Nations Plaza.

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

CONTENTS (continued)

North American Seminar and Non-Governmental Organizations Symposium, to be held in New York from 22 to 26 June 1987

International Non-Governmental Organizations Meeting, to be held at Geneva from 7 to 9 September 1987

Other matters


The meeting was called to order at 4.20 p.m.


ADMISSION OF A NEW OBSERVER

1. The CHAIRMAN said that the Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations had expressed the wish to participate as an observer in the work of the Committee. If he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee wished to welcome the representative of that country as an observer.

2. It was so decided.

3. Mr. ABULHASAN (Kuwait) expressed his delegation's gratitude to the Committee for allowing his country to participate in its work as an observer. That reflected both the importance which Kuwait attached to the work of the Committee and the recognition of Kuwait's contribution to the cause of peace and security in the world. His country had recently hosted the Fifth Islamic Summit Conference, which had adopted a number of resolutions demonstrating the commitment of the Islamic countries to the Palestinian question and the issue of the holy city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), which was of great importance to the Muslim world.

4. Those resolutions had been inspired by the efforts of the Committee to establish a Palestinian State with Al-Quds as its capital and to restore the sovereignty of the Palestinian people over their territories. By participating in the work of the Committee as an observer, his delegation would be able to express the view of the Islamic nations on that crucial issue.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

5. The agenda was adopted.

REPORT BY THE CHAIRMAN ON HIS PARTICIPATION IN THE MEETING OF THE COMMITTEE OF NINE NON-ALIGNED COUNTRIES ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, HELD IN HARARE ON 14 AND 15 APRIL 1987, AND IN THE EIGHTEENTH SESSION OF THE PALESTINE NATIONAL COUNCIL, HELD IN ALGIERS FROM 20 TO 26 APRIL 1987

6. The CHAIRMAN said that the Meeting of the Committee of Nine Non-Aligned Countries on the Question of Palestine in Harare had been held at the ministerial level in pursuance of a decision taken by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the nine countries in Guyana. In accordance with that decision, the permanent representatives of those countries to the United Nations had contacted the permanent members of the Security Council in order to evaluate the situation concerning the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, as provided for under General Assembly resolution 41/43 D.

7. At the meeting in Harare, the Ministers had reaffirmed their commitment to the search for a lasting solution to the problem of the Middle East and reiterated that achieving that goal was necessary in order to ensure the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people as set forth in relevant United Nations resolutions. They had noted that the situation in the Middle East had further deteriorated and that the international community must do everything to ensure the speedy convening of the International Peace Conference.

8. After examining the situation in the Palestinian camps resulting from the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the Ministers had emphasized the need to take humanitarian measures to ensure the survival of the inhabitants of the camps and to put an end to the siege of those camps. The Ministers had reaffirmed their support for the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. They had also endorsed the declaration made by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the European Economic Community on 23 February 1987 in Brussels and welcomed the Franco-Soviet initiative to find a just and lasting solution to the question of the Middle East.

9. The Ministers had decided to draw the attention of the President of the Security Council and the Secretary-General to the grave concern of the non-aligned countries concerning the situation in the Middle East and to request them to take steps to set up a preparatory committee to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East; to contact the permanent members of the Security Council in order to stress the grave concern of the non-aligned countries concerning the situation in the Middle East and the need for the speedy convening of the International Peace Conference; and to request the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement to consult with the non-aligned countries concerned to increase their support for efforts to convene the International Conference.

10. At the eighteenth session of the Palestine National Council held in Algiers, he had expressed the views of the Committee on a number of questions, particularly the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and the Committee's efforts to bring about the speedy convening of that Conference under the auspices of the United Nations with the participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization on an equal footing with all other parties.

11. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that, at its eighteenth session in Algiers, the Palestine National Council had decided to support the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 41/43 D and had also endorsed the proposal to establish a preparatory committee for that purpose. The Council highly appreciated the support for the International Conference expressed at the Fifth Islamic Summit Conference in Kuwait, the Eighth Summit Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Conference of OAU in Addis Ababa. The Council also expressed deep satisfaction at the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, particularly with regard to the convening of the regional seminars and symposia to inform world public opinion concerning the struggle of the Palestinian people. The resolute position taken by the Palestine National Council had clearly demonstrated the unity of the Palestinian people under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

12. Mr. OUDOVENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that a just settlement in the Middle East could be brought about only by ensuring the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Arab peoples, particularly the Arab people of Palestine. An acute conflict situation continued to exist in the Middle East. The convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations with the participation of all parties concerned was the basis for establishing lasting peace in the Middle East. The collective efforts of all States concerned must be focused on preparations for that Conference. A large number of States already advocated the convening of such a conference, and even the United States of America could no longer maintain its openly negative position.

13. A practical step towards convening such a conference could be the establishment of a preparatory committee with the participation of all permanent members of the Security Council. The questions pertaining to a settlement in the Middle East had been discussed during the recent visit of President Assad of Syria to the Soviet Union. During that visit General Secretary Gorbachev had stressed the need for the speedy establishment of the preparatory committee and reaffirmed the readiness of the Soviet Union to make efforts on a collective and bilateral basis. The two leaders had emphasized the overriding importance of uniting the Arab world by carrying out concrete tasks linked to the conference and the delicate problems of preparatory work.

14. The struggle of the Palestinian people was of decisive importance in bringing about a just solution to the Palestinian problem. The strengthening of Palestinian solidarity on an anti-imperialist and patriotic basis and the close co-operation of the Palestine Liberation Organization with other Arab peoples and countries opposed to expansionism and Zionism in the Middle East would help the Palestinian resistance movement to overcome the difficulties facing it.

15. His delegation welcomed the successful efforts made at the eighteenth session of the Palestine National Council to achieve unity and to adopt a programme for joint action. The PLO had thus proved that it was a real force to be reckoned with. Expressing satisfaction at the results achieved in Harare and Algiers, his delegation felt that the decisions adopted would constitute a good basis for stepping up the Committee's work aimed at solving the Palestinian problem.

16. Mr. MIAN (Pakistan) noted, in welcoming the observer for Kuwait, the importance Kuwait had always attached to the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. He also thanked the Chairman for his efforts on behalf of the Committee.

17. The successful conclusion of the eighteenth session of the Palestine National Council was of historic importance as a tangible manifestation of the unity and strength of the Palestinian movement, and that meeting could provide further impetus for the work of the Committee.

18. Mr. DOST (Afghanistan) welcomed the observer for Kuwait to the Committee and thanked the Chairman for his useful and beneficial report. He emphasized the importance of the Palestine National Council meeting, which had, once again, demonstrated the determination and unity of the Palestinian people in their struggle for the liberation of their land.

19. Mr. TARZI (Observer, Organization of the Islamic Conference) extended congratulations to the observer for Kuwait on his country's assumption of the chairmanship of the Islamic Conference. The Organization of the Islamic Conference would continue to support the just cause of the Palestinian people. He also welcomed Kuwait's admission to participate as an observer in the work of the Committee. He thanked the Chairman of the Committee for his report and, through the intermediary of the Chairman, congratulated the observer for the PLO on the success of the eighteenth session of the Palestine National Council.

ASIAN SEMINAR/NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS SYMPOSIUM, TO BE HELD AT NEW DELHI FROM 8 TO 12 JUNE 1987 (Working Paper No. 4/Rev.2)

20. Mr. RATH (India), Acting Chairman of the Working Group, reported that the Working Group had met on 8 April 1987 to discuss various items on the agenda. With respect to the Asian Seminar and NGO Symposium, his Government had agreed to host the meeting at the Vigyan Bhawan Conference Centre in New Delhi from 8 to 12 June 1987. He drew attention to Working Paper No. 4/Rev.2 and noted that, for the panel on "The International Peace Conference on the Middle East", the panelists from Western Europe and North America were unable to participate. The Committee still needed to appoint one of its own members to serve on the panel on "NGO collaboration on the question of Palestine and the role of the United Nations", and he was pleased to report that Ambassador Karran (Guyana) had expressed his readiness to do so. The Permanent Representative of the Ukrainian SSR had agreed to serve as the Committee expert on the panel on "The United Nations and the question of Palestine".

21. The CHAIRMAN asked Mr. Rath to convey the Committee's appreciation to his Government for agreeing to host those important meetings.

22. Ms. REANDA (Secretary of the Committee) said that the Bureau had met prior to the meeting and was making the following recommendations with respect to the Asian Seminar. To replace Mr. Barton and the Hon. Mr. Hamilton on the panel entitled "The International Peace Conference on the Middle East", the Bureau suggested the following speakers from the United States, in order of priority: Professor Kenneth Galbraith, the Hon. Mr. Donald McHenry, Professor W. T. Mallison and Professor Anne Lesch. To replace Mr. Peter Hohenfellner, the Bureau recommended Mr. David Watkins and Mr. Ernie Ross, both from the United Kingdom. The Bureau had authorized the Secretariat to ascertain the availability of the Hon. Robert Hill from Australia; in the case of unavailability, the Bureau recommended the other names previously approved by the Committee, in the following order: Senator Bolkus and Senator Peacock, both from Australia. At an earlier meeting, the Committee had decided that there should be an African panelist. No nominations having been submitted, the Bureau recommended that the following should be considered, in order of priority: Mr. Victor Gbeho (Ghana), Mr. Abdul Koroma (Sierra Leone) and Mr. Paul Lusaka (Zambia).

23. Turning to the panel entitled "The question of Palestine and Asian public opinion", the decision of the Hon. Ms. Helen Clark (New Zealand) was pending. In the case of a negative reply, the Bureau recommended the following two
journalists: Ms. Kim Hill (Radio New Zealand) and Mr. Peter Cole-Adams (Australia).

24. The CHAIRMAN said that he took it that the Committee agreed to the contents of Working Paper No. 4/Rev.2 and the recommendations of the Bureau and that it authorized the Secretariat to proceed with arrangements for the forthcoming Asian Seminar and Symposium.

25. It was so decided.

26. The CHAIRMAN said that Committee members desiring to be part of the delegation to the Asian Seminar/NGO Symposium should so inform the Secretariat. The Bureau would then make the final decision on the composition of the delegation.

NORTH AMERICAN SEMINAR AND NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS SYMPOSIUM, TO BE HELD IN NEW YORK FROM 22 TO 26 JUNE 1987

27. Mr. RATH (India), Acting Chairman of the Working Group, reported that the Mission of the USSR had nominated Mr. Constantine Gueivandov, a political analyst from Izvestia, for participation in the North American Seminar and that the Working Group recommended his name for approval.

28. The Secretariat had informed the Working Group that arrangements for the North American Symposium were proceeding as expected. However, owing to time limitations, the North American Co-ordinating Committee of NGOs had withdrawn its request for 1987 for a cultural exhibit to be held concurrently with the Symposium.

29. Ms. REANDA (Secretary of the Committee) informed the Committee of the Bureau's recommendations for panelists at the North American Seminar. The following Palestinian names were recommended: Mr. Akram Haniyyeh, Professor Abu-Loughod, and Professor Edward Said. From the United States, the following names were recommended: Mr. Ramsey Clark, the Reverend James Parks Morton, Bishop Paul Moore, Msgr. John Nolan, Mr. David Shipler and Mr. James Abourezk. The following names from Canada were recommended: Professor Paul Noble and Mr. Marcel Prud'homme. Finally, Mr. Jesse Jackson was to be considered as a possible keynote speaker.

30. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) suggested that a representative of the European Co-ordinating Committee of NGOs should be invited to participate in the North American Seminar/NGO Symposium. Since the representative would pay his own expenses, there would be no financial implications.

31. The CHAIRMAN said that, if there were no objections, he took it that the Committee agreed to the report of the Working Group, the recommendations of the Bureau and the suggestion offered by the observer for the PLO.

32. It was so decided.

INTERNATIONAL NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS MEETING, TO BE HELD AT GENEVA FROM 7 TO 9 SEPTEMBER 1987

33. Mr. VELAZCO-SAN JOSE (Cuba) said that the Preparatory Planning Meeting for the Fourth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine had been held on 16 and 17 March 1987 at Geneva. That meeting had been convened, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 41/43 A, to further the co-operation between the Committee and non-governmental organizations.

34. The observer for the PLO, in his capacity as a member of the Committee delegation, had addressed the opening session of the meeting and had expressed appreciation for the work of NGOs regarding the question of Palestine. He had considered the position taken by the European Parliament to be a great sign of hope and, in that connection, had made special mention of the Parliamentary Association for Euro-Arab Co-operation as well as the support of the EEC for the convening of an International Peace Conference on the Middle East. He had regretted the position taken by the United States of America. Finally, he had expressed the hope that the Secretary-General, in the report requested in General Assembly resolution 41/43 D, would be able to speak positively on his consultations with the Security Council regarding the convening of the International Peace Conference.

35. Dr. Donald Betz, Chairman of the International Co-ordinating Committee (ICC) for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine, had stated that ICC was uniquely qualified to alert the international community to the urgent situation existing in the camps in Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian Arab territories. In referring to the opening of the ICC NGO Liaison Office in Geneva, Dr. Betz had expressed the wish for increased communication between that office, the Committee, and the Division for Palestinian Rights. The work of ICC was financially costly, and, consequently, that organization wished to seek creative ways in which the United Nations might be able to assist it in expanding its work programme. Dr. Betz had concluded that the main question was how the NGOs co-operating with the United Nations could help change the question of Palestine into the reality of an independent Palestinian State.

36. He drew attention to Working Paper No. 5, which contained the draft agenda proposed by ICC for the Fourth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine, to be held from 7 to 9 September 1987 in Geneva. The contents of that working paper had been considered and approved by the Working Group on 8 April 1987. Contained in the working paper were the proposed names of individuals to be invited to each of the panels and workshops, and approval of all nominees was sought. He drew attention to the suggestion that the Committee should choose the name of one of the two Palestinian panelists for the afternoon meeting on 7 September 1987. With respect to the panel entitled "Palestinian political and human rights", the name of Mr. Latif Dori, founder of the Committee for Israeli-Palestinian Dialogue, should be given first priority.

37. Finally, ICC wished, in the course of the International NGO Meeting, to focus on 1987 as Year of the Palestinian People. In conclusion, he expressed the high appreciation of the Committee delegation for the full and effective co-operation of the Chief and staff of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

38. The CHAIRMAN said that if there were no further comments, he would take it that the Committee approved the contents of Working Paper No. 5 and the other proposals made by ICC.

39. It was so decided.

OTHER MATTERS

40. The CHAIRMAN drew attention to Working Paper No. 6, in which the Permanent Mission of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to the United Nations had replied to the note by the Secretary-General forwarding the Committee's invitation to all Member States to participate in and make suggestions for its work.

41. Mr. OUDOVENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that the purpose of his delegation's letter to the Secretary-General was to set forth his country's view on how to enhance the work of the Committee with a view to solving the problem of the Middle East, including its core question, that of Palestine. In particular, he believed that a preparatory committee within the framework of the Security Council should be established for the convening of an International Peace Conference on the Middle East. A special meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People could be held for that purpose. He therefore suggested that other countries should submit their replies to the note by the Secretary-General so that members could as far as possible arrive at a common position.

42. Mr. TERZI (Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization) asked whether the Secretariat could prepare a file for the Committee containing the note by the Secretary-General and all replies received from members of the Committee.

43. The CHAIRMAN said that the contribution of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was a positive one and, in view of the importance of the subject, it might be useful for the Committee to set aside a future meeting to study the proposals made in response to the note by the Secretary-General. He took it that the Committee wished to take note of the points raised by the representatives of the Ukrainian SSR and the PLO.

44. It was so decided.

45. Mr. EL-SAID (Department of Public Information) said that, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 41/43 C, the Asian Regional Journalists' Encounter on the Question of Palestine had been held in Singapore from 6 to 9 April 1987. The objective of the Encounter, as in the case of previous ones, had been to promote a better understanding of the question of Palestine among leaders of the media by bringing them together with experts on the subject for a brief, in-depth, informal and candid discussion of the various aspects of the Palestinian problem. About 40 high-level journalists from various Asian countries had attended the Encounter. Its agenda and format had been the same as in previous regional encounters. The Encounter had been very successful and had achieved its purpose. The journalists had asserted that information received in their own countries on the question of Palestine was scarce and usually outdated. There had also been a wide consensus on the urgent need to reach a peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, preferably through an international peace conference under the auspices of the United Nations. Most of the parties had expressed the view that the participation of an official Israeli representative would have been stimulating. DPI had repeatedly invited Israeli officials to participate in United Nations public information activities on the question of Palestine, but they had declined.

46. In addition, three national journalists' encounters on the question of Palestine had been held in New Delhi, on 31 March, Bangkok, on 2 April and Tokyo, on 13 April 1987. The purpose of the encounters had been to provide the opportunity for the largest possible number of local journalists and foreign correspondents to meet with experts on the subject for a brief discussion on the various aspects of the Palestinian question in the form of an in-depth press conference.

47. Finally, arrangements for the annual fact-finding news mission for journalists to the Middle East were being undertaken and the mission would take place during the first half of June 1987.

48. The CHAIRMAN said that the report of the journalists' encounters would be available in the files of the Division for Palestinian Rights for consultation by interested delegations. He then drew attention to two invitations received by the Committee. The first was from the United Nations Council for Namibia to attend its twentieth anniversary special session to be held in Luanda, Angola, from 18 to 22 May 1987. The second was from the German Democratic Republic Solidarity Committee to take part in the meetings of solidarity with the Palestinian people organized for the first week of June, in particular the meeting on 5 June 1987. In view of the need for economy, all efforts would be made to have joint representation with other committees at the special session of the United Nations Council for Namibia. With respect to the invitation by the German Democratic Republic Solidarity Committee, he invited any representative interested in representing the Committee to so notify the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights.


The meeting rose at 6.10 p.m.




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