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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
A/AC.183/SR.164
17 August 1989

COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 164th MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 15 August 1989, at 10.30 a.m.

Chairman: Mrs. DIALLO (Senegal)

CONTENTS

Statement by the Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services

Adoption of the Agenda

Report by the Chairman on the North American Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium held at New York from 19 to 23 June 1989

European Regional NGO Symposium and International NGO Meeting, Vienna, 28 August to 1 September 1989

Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium



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, 2 United Nations Plaza.

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

Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium, Malaysia, 18 to 22 December 1989

New applications from NGOs

Other matters

The meeting was called to order at 10.55 a.m.


STATEMENT BY THE UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR POLITICAL AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY AFFAIRS AND SECRETARIAT SERVICES

1. Mr. SPIERS (Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services) said that the problems of global scope facing the world community in the years ahead would make co-operation among United Nations members more relevant than ever before, providing the United Nations with the opportunity to act with the effectiveness envisaged by its founders. At the same time, the trend towards improved relations among the permanent members of the Security Council which he expected to continue was the essential factor which would make such action possible.

2. The Palestinian problem, which was among the most difficult facing the international community, could not be solved by externally determined solutions. None the less, an improved international climate could favour progress towards viable solutions. Even though the Committee was engaged in many significant activities aimed at making it possible for the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights, there continued to be major obstacles to the free exercise of those rights. Although the requisite good will and spirit of compromise needed on all sides had too frequently been absent in the past, there had more recently been some positive developments with regard to peace in the Middle East. It remained to be seen, however, whether those developments would be lasting and would serve to overcome the obstacles to peace, a task which required determined and innovative diplomacy.

3. An excellent relationship had always existed between the Committee and the Office for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services, in particular the Division for Palestinian Rights. Not only would that relationship continue, but it would be strengthened within the framework of the mandate of the Division, as specified in the relevant General Assembly resolutions. Finally, he wished to extend to the Committee his wishes for the success of its endeavours.

4. Mr. TERZI (Observer for Palestine) welcomed the Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services on behalf of the Palestinian people, the State of Palestine and the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). He was certain that the Under-Secretary-General, like his predecessor, would show objectivity in adhering to the General Assembly resolutions supporting the Palestinian people's aspiration to live on its own soil and the international community's efforts for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East as called for in resolution 43/176, despite the attempts being made to divert attention from the Conference.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

5. The agenda was adopted.

REPORT BY THE CHAIRMAN ON THE NORTH AMERICAN REGIONAL SEMINAR AND NGO SYMPOSIUM HELD AT NEW YORK FROM 19 TO 23 JUNE 1989

6. The CHAIRMAN said that the Twenty-second United Nations Seminar and the Sixth North American NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine had been held at Headquarters on 19 and 20 June and from 21 to 23 June respectively.

7. The Seminar, which she had chaired, had been attended by 57 Member States and observers from non-member States, United Nations organs and specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations and national liberation movements. The Seminar had adopted a resolution calling on Israel to rescind the announced deportation orders against Palestinians and to abide by the provisions of the fourth Geneva Convention. It had also adopted a message of support to Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO.

8. In its conclusions and recommendations, the Seminar had welcomed the initiation of a dialogue between the United States of America and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO); urged Israel to respond positively to the stand taken by the PLO in November 1988 and thereafter; affirmed the need for measures to protect the Palestinians and ensure the exercise of their inalienable rights; appealed to the Security Council to expedite the convening of the International Peace Conference; called upon the United Nations system to strengthen its humanitarian assistance, particularly to Palestinian children and refugees; and urged the international community to support the activities of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

9. The NGO Symposium had been attended by some 260 persons, representing 106 NGOs, a significant increase over previous years. The Symposium had adopted a declaration containing many of the conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Seminar; in particular, it had called upon the Security Council and the Secretary-General to seek to convene a special session of the General Assembly to discuss the protection of the Palestinian people and suggested that an interim international peace-keeping force should be sent by the General Assembly to replace the Israeli occupying forces.

10. Both the Seminar and the Symposium had been successful and had confirmed the growing support in the United States of America and Canada for a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. She proposed that, in accordance with past practice, the conclusions and recommendations of the Seminar and the declaration of the NGO Symposium, together with a short factual introduction, should be annexed to the Committee's annual report to the General Assembly, and that the full reports of the Seminar and Symposium should be issued as publications of the Division for Palestinian Rights and given the widest possible distribution.

11. It was so decided.

EUROPEAN REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM AND INTERNATIONAL NGO MEETING, VIENNA, 28 AUGUST TO 1 SEPTEMBER 1989

12. The CHAIRMAN drew attention to working papers No. 5/Rev.1 and No. 6/Rev.1, containing the revised programmes for the European Regional NGO Symposium and the International NGO Meeting. If she heard no objections, she would take it that the Committee approved the two working papers.

13. It was so decided.

14. The CHAIRMAN said that, on the basis of initial consultations, she proposed that the delegation of the Committee to the Symposium and Meeting should include Mr. Oudovenko (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic), Mr. Terzi (Observer for Palestine), Mr. Ismail (Malaysia) and herself. Consultations for the purpose of selecting a representative of the Latin American and Caribbean regional group were continuing.

LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN REGIONAL SEMINAR AND NGO SYMPOSIUM

15. The CHAIRMAN said that, pursuant to consultations with the Government of Argentina, it had been decided that the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium, originally scheduled to take place at Buenos Aires from 31 July to 4 August 1989, should be postponed to a later date. The officers of the Committee would remain in close contact with the Argentine authorities and would inform the Committee as soon as new dates were arranged. If she heard no objections, she would take it that the Committee took note of the postponement of the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium.

16. It was so decided.

ASIAN REGIONAL SEMINAR AND NGO SYMPOSIUM, MALAYSIA, 18 TO 22 DECEMBER 1989

17. The CHAIRMAN said that the Government of Malaysia had agreed to host the Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium later that year, and requested the representative of Malaysia to convey the Committee's deep gratitude to his Government. She also drew attention to working paper No. 8, containing the provisional programme for the meetings.

18. Mr. TERZI (Observer for Palestine) expressed the gratitude of the Palestinian people, the State of Palestine and the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the Government and people of Malaysia, the representative of Malaysia and the Chairman.

19. The CHAIRMAN said that, if she heard no objections, she would take it that the Committee approved the proposal for the Asian Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium to be held in Malaysia from 18 to 22 December 1989, as well as the provisional programme.

20. It was so decided.

NEW APPLICATIONS FROM NGOS

21. The CHAIRMAN said that as a result of the Committee's efforts, an increasing number of NGOs were becoming active in the work of the Committee and were applying to participate in symposia and meetings sponsored by it. Working paper No. 7 contained applications from several NGOs, which had been screened either through regional co-ordinating committees for NGOs, or through the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs, on the Question of Palestine. Those applications had been reviewed by the Bureau, which was recommending them for approval. If she heard no objections, she would take it that the Committee approved the participation of those NGOs in symposia and meetings organized by the Committee.

22. It was so decided.

OTHER MATTERS

23. The CHAIRMAN said that she wished to inform Committee members that she had accepted an invitation from the Government of Yugoslavia to attend, in her capacity as Chairman of the Committee, the next summit meeting of the Non-Aligned Countries, to be held at Belgrade, Yugoslavia, from 4 to 7 September 1989.

24. She also wished to inform the Committee that the European Co-ordinating
Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine, in co-operation with the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine, and the Society for Austro-Arab Relations had jointly organized an international symposium on "The role of foreign assistance in meeting the economic and social development requirements of Palestinian people: from occupation to independence", to be held in Vienna on 27 August 1989. In response to an invitation to attend, the Bureau, at its meeting on 8 August 1989, had recommended that a member of the Committee's delegation to the European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine and the International NGO Meeting at Vienna should represent the Committee at the international symposium.

25. If there were no objections, she would take it that the Committee wished to approve the recommendation of the Bureau.

26. It was so decided.

27. The CHAIRMAN said that she also wished to inform the Committee that, in response to an invitation from the Presidium of the Soviet Committee of Solidarity with Asian and African Countries, she had, on behalf of the Committee, accepted in principle an invitation for a Committee delegation to visit the Soviet Union. The dates of the visit, which would take place in 1990, would be determined at a later date, and the Committee would be informed in due course.

28. She also wished to inform the Committee that she had recently received a
report on the human rights situation in Palestine with special focus on children and juveniles, issued by the delegation of inquiry of the International Committee for Palestinian Human Rights to the occupied Palestinian territories. Copies of that report had been distributed to members of the Committee.

29. Mr. TERZI (Observer for Palestine) said that in view of its importance, the report issued by the delegation of inquiry should be circulated as a General Assembly document and should be annexed to the annual report of the Committee to the General Assembly.

30. The CHAIRMAN said that the suggestion made by the Observer for Palestine would be taken under consideration by the Bureau of the Committee.

31. Mr. EL-SAID (Department of Public Information) said that, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/175 C of 15 December 1988, the Department of Public Information (DPI) had organized the North and Latin American Regional Journalists' Encounter on the Question of Palestine in Kingston, Jamaica from 26 to 28 July 1989. The meeting was attended by 20 high-level journalists from North and Latin America, reflecting a balance among representatives of the press, radio and television, and by Jamaican officials, journalists and representatives of NGOs and foreign diplomats in Kingston. The meeting had been spearheaded by a panel of invited guests, selected to provide objective and balanced information on the question of Palestine. In the opinion of the participants, the encounter had been a success, clarifying many questions and providing the journalists with a better overall grasp of the subject. The presentations by the panelists, as well as publications distributed during the encounter, had been deemed balanced and clear.
The majority of the participants would have welcomed the participation of an
official Israeli representative; however, in spite of repeated invitations from DPI to participate in activities on the question of Palestine, Israeli officials had thus far declined. DPI would be preparing a radio programme of the encounter and had plans for future radio programmes on the question of Palestine.

32. Other national journalists' encounters on the question of Palestine had been held in Colombia on 19 July, in Ecuador on 21 July and in Chile on 24 July 1989. Those encounters, which had received national television coverage, had been attended by journalists, foreign correspondents, senior officials, foreign diplomats and representatives of NGOs. The purpose of the encounters had been to provide an opportunity for the maximum number of local journalists and foreign correspondents in each city to meet with experts for discussion on the subject of the Palestinian question.

33. DPI was currently engaged in a number of activities relating to the Palestinian question, including the publication of new booklets and updating of previous booklets on relevant topics, the designing or reissuing of posters and the production of educational videotapes. With regard to the forthcoming European Regional NGO Symposium and International NGO Meeting in Vienna, DPI was in contact with the Division for Palestinian Rights and the DPI information services in Vienna in order to co-ordinate all public information activities relating to the meetings.

34. Mr. GHAZZALI (Malaysia) said that he wished to ask the representative of DPI if the Department would be providing its usual assistance to the Regional Seminar to be held in Kuala Lumpur.

35. Mr. EL-SAID (Department of Public Information) said he wished to assure the representative of Malaysia that the full complement of public assistance activities was being planned for that Seminar.

The meeting rose at 11.50 a.m.



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