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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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        General Assembly
15 May 1989

Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Friday, 28 April 1989, at 10.30 a.m.

Chairman: Mrs. DIALLO (Senegal)


Adoption of the agenda

North American Regional Seminar, New York, 19 and 20 June 1989

Latin American Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium, Buenos Aires,
31 July-4 August 1989

Report on the Preparatory Meeting for the International Non-Governmental Organizations Meeting, Vienna, 20 and 21 March 1989

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 DC2-0750, 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 10.50 a.m.

1. The CHAIRMAN drew attention to the continuing grave situation in the occupied territory of Palestine, where the number of casualties was growing and Israel continued to violate its obligations under the fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war. Despite repeated appeals by the international community, the Israeli authorities were persisting in their repressive and inhuman policy, which included denying worshipers from the occupied Palestinian territory access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, in defiance of Security Council resolutions 605 (1987), 607 (1988) and 608 (1988). In its resolution 43/233 of 20 April 1989, the General Assembly had requested the Security Council to meet with a view to considering measures needed to provide international protection to the Palestinian civilians in the occupied territory. The Committee had repeatedly appealed to the international community to ensure such protection and to promote a settlement in accordance with General Assembly resolution 43/176, and the officers of the Committee would continue all efforts in the Security Council and in other bodies, as appropriate, to promote those objectives.


2. The agenda was adopted.


3. Mr. ABOU-HADID (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that the panelist who had been invited to speak on the theme "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the social, cultural, economic and political development of the Palestinian people" had not replied to the invitation; he wondered whether the Committee had considered other persons who might take his place in the event that the panelist was unable to carry out that task.

4. Mr. TERZI (Observer for Palestine) said that, if that should happen, the
Palestine Liberation Organization would designate an appropriate replacement for the panelist who had been invited.

5. The CHAIRMAN said that, if she heard no objection, she would take it the Committee wished to adopt working paper No. 3.

6. It was so decided.

31 JULY-4 AUGUST 1989 (Working papers Nos. 4 and 4/Add.1)

7. Mr. TERZI (Observer for Palestine) asked whether it would be possible for the Division for Palestinian Rights to provide an updated list of the non-governmental organizations whose participation in the Regional Symposium had been approved.

8. Mr. ABOU-HADID (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic), referring to working paper No. 4, asked why the Committee had decided not to include a summary of debates in the report; he endorsed the request by the observer for Palestine that a list of the organizations that were to participate in the Regional Seminar and those wishing to participate should be distributed.

9. Mr. BORG-OLIVIER (Malta), Rapporteur, explained that the decision not to
include a summary of debates, as noted in working paper No. 4, had been taken in the light of prior experience. During the seminar held at Cairo, for example, it had been virtually impossible for the Secretariat to prepare summary records of the meetings with such a small staff. Out of necessity, it had been decided to reflect the essence of the Seminar in the conclusions and recommendations. In any event, the full text of statements would be reproduced and distributed at the request of participants.

10. Mr. TERZI (Observer for Palestine) said he had been hasty in asking for the floor, since one of his concerns was addressed in the first paragraph of page 2 of working paper No. 4. He simply wished to confirm that anyone requiring the full text of any statement could obtain it from the Secretariat, as it was sometimes useful to study some statements in detail.

11. The CHAIRMAN said that the texts of all statements would indeed be distributed. As for the updated list of non-governmental organizations, she would request on behalf of the Committee that it should be distributed in the near future. If she heard no objection, she would take it that the Committee wished to adopt working papers Nos. 4 and 4/Add.1.

12. It was so decided.

ORGANIZATIONS MEETING, VIENNA, 20 AND 21 MARCH 1989 (Working papers Nos. 5 and 6)

13. Mr. ORAMAS OLIVA (Cuba) introduced the report of the Preparatory Meeting and recommended that the Committee should adopt working papers Nos. 5 and 6, which were the result of consultations conducted among the delegation from the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the International Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine and the European Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine.

14. Working paper No. 5 contained a request for three eminent persons to be invited to make statements. In addition, five workshops on specific themes would be held to give non-governmental organizations an opportunity to exchange information and develop joint strategies and projects. The Committee was requested to approve the names of the resource persons contained in the list, on the understanding that additional names would be proposed to it at a later stage.

15. Working paper No. 6 contained a request to invite two high-ranking Israelis and two Palestinians at the same level to participate as panelists and to have the observer for Palestine assist in the selection of the two Palestinian panelists. The working paper also requested that the necessary arrangements should be made for the organization of eight workshops on specific themes, the importance of which had been stressed by both the European and International Co-ordinating Committees.

16. Given that the duration of the European Regional NGO Symposium and the International NGO Meeting had been shortened, the non-governmental organizations thought it unlikely that there would be sufficient time for an exchange of views; they consequently requested the Committee to refrain from inviting a large number of panelists and increasing the number of panels. They did, however, request the Committee to authorize the sending of invitations to other persons from the occupied territories and representatives of organizations which provided assistance to the Palestinian people. Perhaps the Committee might wish to consider that request at a later date, when the non-governmental organizations had actually submitted additional requests.

17. Finally, he wished to state that the non-governmental organizations's commitment to giving all possible assistance to the Palestinian people in its struggle to achieve statehood had greatly impressed the delegation from the Committee.

18. The CHAIRMAN said that the Bureau had reviewed working papers Nos. 5 and 6 and recommended their adoption.

19. Mr. TERZI (Observer for Palestine) pointed out that the programme for the
International NGO Meeting prepared by the Preparatory Meeting did not contain a panel on the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The Committee could perhaps consider the possibility of inviting three or four internationally recognized persons to speak on the topic. A proposal should be made to the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs to include such a panel, as had been done for the programme of the European Regional NGO Symposium, which contained a panel on the necessity of convening the Conference; in that regard, it had been suggested that representatives of the Nordic countries, the European Economic Community and Eastern Europe should be invited to participate. It might be possible to suggest the names of persons representing four or five regions to speak on the question of convening the International Peace Conference. While he recognized that the lack of time imposed certain limitations, he believed that the non-governmental organizations, acting on the basis of ethical values and moral obligations to which they had voluntarily subscribed, could perhaps include such a panel. The questions of convening the Conference and the self-determination of the Palestinian people, as well as the role of the international community and Europe, should be taken up at the meeting.

20. The CHAIRMAN thanked Mr. Terzi for his important comments and said that, with the Committee's approval, suggestions could be made to the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs and the necessary measures adopted. If there were no other comments on working papers Nos. 5 and 6, she would take it that the Committee wished to adopt them.

21. It was so decided.


22. The CHAIRMAN said that the consultations and preparations for the other activities on the programme of the Committee for the current year, namely, the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Seminar and NGO Symposium and the Asian Seminar and NGO Symposium, were proceeding and that the Bureau would report on the matter at a later time. In addition, the Division for Palestinian Rights had finalized the draft of part IV of the study on the origins and evolution of the Palestine problem and had forwarded it to members and observers of the Committee with a letter dated 3 April 1989. The letter had requested them to submit their comments by 1 May 1989. Subject to the approval of the Committee, she proposed that, if no comments were received by that date, the study should be submitted for editing and translation the following week.

23. Mr. TERZI (Observer for Palestine) requested that the deadline should be changed to 3 May, as 1 May was a holiday.

24. Mr. ABOU-HADID (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) requested an additional two weeks, because some small delegations needed more time, as they had an intensive work-load and attended numerous meetings.

25. The CHAIRMAN said that the deadline for submitting comments on part IV of the study would be extended to 15 May.

26. Mr. TERZI (Observer for Palestine) said that, while the Division was looking forward to receiving the comments of members of the Committee, it was unnecessary for the report to be examined in detail, as it contained a factual presentation. If something was missing, the Division for Palestinian Rights would fill in the information.

27. Mr. ELTCHENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that he had studied the documents adopted during the meeting and believed that all members of the Committee were interested in a solution to the problem of the Middle East and the question of Palestine. He appreciated the invitation extended to Soviet experts to take part in the North American and Asian Regional Seminars on the Question of Palestine and believed that those experts could make a fundamental contribution to the regional seminars and NGO symposia on the question.

28. He informed the Committee that he had received a letter from the Chairman of the Soviet Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee, inviting the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to visit the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic when it so desired.

29. Mr. TERZI (Observer for Palestine) said that the situation in the Palestinian territories was of the utmost seriousness and that a letter had been sent that same day to the President of the Security Council and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, drawing their attention to the pertinent General Assembly resolution and stating that the continuing acts of State terrorism committed by Israel presented a clear threat to international peace and security. He hoped that the Security Council would take immediate measures in that regard. Furthermore, if the Council found itself unable to act owing to the position adopted by one of the States Members, Palestine might be obliged to seek support from those who believed in the principles of the Charter for the purpose of convening a meeting of the Security Council to examine the item and adopt a resolution on the acts of State terrorism committed by the occupying Power.

30. On the previous day, Israeli soldiers had entered a hospital and, on the pretext of looking for guilty persons, had attacked a two-year-old child, wounding him in the head, and a 70-year-old woman, who had received facial wounds. Not only were the lives of children, men and women in danger, but such acts were a threat to international peace and security, the protection of which had been entrusted to the Security Council. In addition, several refugee camps had been attacked; the Security Council would report to the Members of the United Nations regarding those attacks.

31. The CHAIRMAN assured the previous speaker that the Committee was committed to the Palestinian cause and that, as on former occasions, if the Security Council met again, the Committee would again offer its support.

32. Mr. ADNAN (Malaysia) said that his delegation regretted not having been able to report on the Eighteenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held at Riyadh from 13 to 16 March 1989, since he had had to leave New York unexpectedly for very urgent reasons. As he had been asked to represent the Committee at the Conference, he felt that he should deliver the report in person. He hoped to be able to present the report at a future meeting of the Committee.

33. The CHAIRMAN confirmed that he would be able to do so.

34. Mr. BORG OLIVIER (Malta) expressed the hope that, if important measures on Palestine were to be adopted, the Committee would be informed in advance so that it could contribute to the success of the deliberations. The adoption of measures sometimes took the Committee by surprise, so that it was unable to contribute as effectively as it would like to. His comments were being made in good faith and in a constructive spirit.

35. The CHAIRMAN said that she appreciated the comments and was taking them in the same spirit.

The meeting rose at 11.50 a.m.

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