Question of Palestine home
13 August 1997
Tuesday, 5 November 1996
at 10 a.m.
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 24th MEETING
: Mrs. ESPINOSA (Mexico)
AGENDA ITEM 109: RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION*
*Items which the Committee has decided to consider together.
The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m
AGENDA ITEM 109: RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION (A/51/392, 414 and A/51/532-S/1996/864)
(Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights), ...
6. Introducing agenda item 109, he observed that the right of peoples to self-determination was the keystone of the system for the protection and promotion of human rights. In that context, General Assembly resolution
had reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The use of mercenaries had been identified as a common means of preventing the exercise of the right to self-determination, and the General Assembly had also expressed concern on that account.
21. Cuba reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to an independent State, with Jerusalem as its capital, and called for the return of all Arab territories occupied by Israel, including the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon. ...
25. It was important that Member States should renew efforts to achieve universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination. Japan had always supported the peace talks between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. However, her delegation was seriously concerned about the recent escalation of tensions in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. It urged the two parties to continue their efforts to overcome the current impasse so that the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, including the right to self-determination, were respected. Above all, efforts should be intensified to overcome existing mistrust by refraining from any action that could harm the prospects for peace. On the occasion of Yasser Arafat's visit in September 1996, Japan had granted the Palestinians US$ 3 million in emergency assistance, channelled through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), to provide employment opportunities and improve infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.
(Egypt) said that the United Nations had been established when the struggle of peoples for self-determination was beginning; the increase in the number of Member States showed that many peoples had exercised the right to self-determination and demonstrated the positive role of the United Nations.
31. The establishment of the United Nations had also coincided with the Palestinian conflict and the Israeli-Arab conflict, and the course of those conflicts, in war and in peace, had been influenced by the international community. Much of the Organization's influence as a symbol of international legitimacy was reflected in the important resolutions adopted with regard to the Palestinian question, which had created the basis for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East situation, including the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.
32. The Egyptian Government had worked ceaselessly to establish peace throughout the Middle East, but particularly with regard to Israel and Palestine, in order to guarantee the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of a Palestinian State. His delegation hoped that progress would be made in respect of the occupied sectors of Syria and Lebanon in order to guarantee those States sovereignty in their own territory and ensure a solid basis for a just and lasting peace in the region.
33. His delegation would be submitting a draft resolution on the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, as had been done at the fiftieth session, and hoped that it would be adopted by consensus.
The meeting rose at noon
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