About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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The meeting was called to order at 10:55 a.m.
I should like to ask all the participants in this meeting to rise and observe a minute's silence in tribute to the memory of those who gave their lives for the cause of the Palestinian people, and in particular the men, women and children who were the victims of the massacre in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila.
The participants, standing, observed a minute's silence.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): Each year, on 29 November, we commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This solemn commemoration is part of the mandate entrusted to us by the General Assembly at its thirty-second session.
This event, which is of world-wide significance, serves to focus attention on the plight of the Palestinian people, and it is one aspect of the efforts the international community is making to put an end to the injustice that has been their lot for so many years.
The growing interest in the observance of this International Day shows that the international community is becoming increasingly aware of the reality of this complex problem and increasingly determined to remedy the injustice done to the Palestinian people for so long.
It is clear that the problem cannot be solved if the Palestinian people are not allowed to exercise their inalienable rights in their own dependent State. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights the Palestinian People has drawn -up a programme for the exercise of those rights which has been repeatedly endorsed by the General Assembly of e United Nations. However, because the Security Council has found it possible to take positive action on them, the recommendations have not been implemented. Any proposal that would claim to solve the Palestinian problem without taking account of the essential elements of these recommendations would be doomed to failure and would leave the region still deeply troubled, thus perpetuating a situation which endangers international ace and security.
Pursuant to its mandate, the Committee continues to follow closely events affecting the rights of the Palestinian people and to spare no effort to promote the implementation of those rights. Our main concern is to arrive a solution as swiftly as possible, because every day that passes without moving forward along this path only complicates further an already difficult situation. Indeed, every day Israel establishes another settlement on the West Bank and in Gaza, and every day more measures are taken with a view to he illegal annexation of those territories, in defiance of the international community and in arrogant contempt for the resolutions of our Organization. Nevertheless, the international community remains faithful to its commitments entered into in respect of the process to enable the Palestinian people fully to exercise its rights.
It is against that background that we should view the holding of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, which is one of the important measures that the international community will be taking this year in the context of its tireless efforts to solve the Palestinian problem.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of that Conference in the search for a solution. It will indeed be a concerted effort by the international community to grasp the complexity of the overall problems involved, and thus to make known to the public the facts relating to the question of Palestine. The Committee trusts that all the Member States will participate in that Conference, to be held in August 1983, and that the results will be of great significance for this extremely important problem.
This year the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People has special significance. The events of the past few months, since Israel's invasion of Lebanon, which led to tremendous loss of human life and the atrocities perpetrated in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, demonstrate that more than ever before there is urgent need for an equitable solution to the Palestinian problem. Unfortunately, we are still faced with Israel's intransigence, and that justifies our belief that Israel's actions are motivated not only by the desire for national security, as it always claims they are, but also by the desire to conquer new territories in order to give more specific form to its idea of security. It is this intransigence which has brought to naught all the efforts of the international community and, all the proposals made in good faith for bringing about a comprehensive solution to the problem.
By its actions and statements Israel has shown that it does not wish any settlement unless its demands are satisfied. Pursuing this design, that country has flouted world public opinion and it is acting in violation of international law and United Nations resolutions. However, it is encouraging to note that the international community is beginning to understand the true intentions of the Israeli Government. It is now time to put a brake on the ambitions of that Government and to enable the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable rights within its own land.
Another encouraging sign is that the Israeli people themselves are beginning to become aware of the folly of the arrogant policies pursued by their leaders.
For 35 years the United Nations has devoted a great deal of energy to trying to settle the question of Palestine. An entire generation has followed the evolution of this situation, which has gradually led to the most difficult and complicated problem it has been called upon to solve. However, recent events, and particularly the tragedies to which those events led, have caused the world to face t he facts. On the one hand, the Palestinian people must be allowed to exercise its inalienable rights in its own independent State, and, on the other, the security of all the States in the region must be guaranteed.
To secure peace and security in the region, the international community must enable the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable rights in its own independent State. We owe this to the people and we owe it to the innocent victims whose blood has been shed so uselessly. We must also establish appropriate mechanisms that could guarantee the security of the States in that region.
This is the time and the place to pay a tribute to the Secretary-General of our Organization, Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, for his initiatives and his efforts to arrive at a comprehensive solution to this problem. Since taking up his duties the Secretary-General has drawn the attention of the international community to the gravity of this issue and the need to find a just and lasting .solution for it. More than that, he has intensified his efforts in that direction. We wish to express our appreciation to the Division on Palestinian Rights, ably and devotedly headed by Mr. Yogasundram, and to Mr. Buffum, Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs. In the carrying out of its mandate, the Committee has always found them to be extremely understanding and co-operative in our work for peace.
We believe that this problem, which is of such concern to us, can be solved if the parties concerned demonstrate perseverance and a spirit of justice. This r a problem created by man, and man can and must find a just and satisfactory solution to it.
I now call on the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Imre Hollai.
Mr. HOLLAI (President of the General Assembly): As President of the thirty-seventh session of the General Assembly, I welcome the opportunity to participate in this solemn meeting to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This commemoration is in fulfilment of mandate of the General Assembly and is a reflection of the will of Member States to associate themselves with the endeavour to see that justice is done to the Palestinian people, who have for too long been the victims of gross injustice.
The passage of time has only served to aggravate the situation rather than produce solutions. Consequently the question of Palestine has been before this Organization for a whole generation - in fact almost from its inception. In spite of our best efforts, unfortunately, we seem no nearer to a just solution. On the contrary, we have witnessed an ever-increasing deterioration of the situation.
Over a period of 35 years, several resolutions have been adopted by the General Assembly which provide the key to a solution. However, the failure to implement them and the inexorable tide of events have complicated the issue and have so far nullified all our efforts. Delay merely affords an opportunity for added violence and produces added problems that require solutions.
In the meantime, the tragedy of the Palestinian people continues. The evens of the past summer, climaxed by the massacre of civilians in the Sabra and Shatila camps in Lebanon, evoked memories of the worst aspects of the Second World War. It has often been said that mankind's guilt about the horrors perpetrated during the Second World War played a significant role in influencing subsequent events, in the Middle East region.
If that is so, it is only natural to expect that the massacre of mid-September this year should stir our consciences to the point where we should insist on a just and immediate solution to the plight of the Palestinian people. We owe it to those unfortunate victims to redouble our efforts to find a just solution. Failure to do so can only perpetuate the cycle of violence.
The international community has agreed on certain basic principles relating to this issue. The principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of foreign territory by force, the inalienable right of the people of Palestine to self-determination and to the establishment of their own independent State and the right of all States in the region to peace and security within recognized borders are but some of the principles of which the international community is overwhelmingly in favour.
Strict application of these basic principles, supplemented by United Nations resolutions based on them, will certainly bring us nearer to a solution and contribute to international peace and security in general.
Today's meeting to commemorate the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People assumes particular importance when we consider the events of this past summer. It gives us opportunity to review the plight of the Palestinian people and to remind ourselves that a solution to their problem is one of the utmost urgency if we are to prevent further violence and bloodshed. We are all conscious that as long as the problem of the Palestinian people is not solved, international peace and security will continue to be end-angered. In righting the wrongs that have been done to them, therefore, we shall be serving the cause of all mankind. Let us assume the responsibilities that devolve on us under the provisions of our Charter. Let us look upon this Day as one on which we assume a commitment to rededicate ourselves to the search for a just solution which ensures the Palestinian People the exercise of its inalienable national rights.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I wish to thank you and your Committee for inviting me to participate in this important meeting and to congratulate you and the Committee on the efforts that you are making to restore to the Palestinian people its inalienable rights.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The SECRETARY-GENERAL: This year, the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People assumes singular importance. The momentous and tragic events of the last few months in Lebanon, characterized as they were by violence and bloodshed, bring home to us, most forcefully, the need to find - and to find urgently - a solution to the question of Palestine that has defied all our efforts for 35 years.
In spite of all these efforts, a settlement which would ensure a just and" lasting peace in the region has proved elusive. In fact, the situation has deteriorated to the point where we recently witnessed with horror the massacre of unarmed men, women and children in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut. That tragic culmination of the events in Lebanon this past summer underlined once more, and with telling poignancy, the urgent need to seek a peaceful solution.
After so many years of debate, there is a wide measure of agreement among the international community on certain fundamental elements of such a settlement. In order to reconcile the aspirations and vital interests of all the parties concerned, a settlement must meet the following conditions the withdrawal Of Israeli forces from occupied territories; respect for and acknowledgement of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force; and finally, a just settlement of the Palestinian problem based on the recognition of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including self-determination. In this connecting the question of Jerusalem remains of primary importance.
The search for a lasting peace in the Middle East is all the more important as the conflict may well develop in such a way as seriously to threaten international peace and security. It is vital, therefore, that all concerned should make ever, effort to ensure a peaceful, just and durable settlement.
Various peace initiatives in the Middle East have been taken this year, both within and outside this Organization. Proposals have been put forward containing provisions which merit careful study. The fact that they contain elements which are not acceptable to one or other of the parties involved should not lead us to I despair. What is required is bold, imaginative, energetic and effective diplomacy to evolve a common basis for a just settlement.
It is my earnest hope that all the Governments and authorities concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, will now make a new and determined effort to move towards this just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian problem and other aspects of the Middle Last conflict.
The United Nations, I am convinced, has a constructive and crucial role to play in the peace-making; and peace-keeping process. I, for my part, reaffirm my willingness to do everything in my power to advance this process I to promote a climate for negotiations.
Mr. Chairman, this Committee, under your very able leadership, has worked untiringly on behalf of Palestinian rights. It has played an important role in ensuring that despite all the difficulties involved the rights of the Palestinian people are not forgotten. I wish you and the Committee every success, and commend the work that you are doing.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call upon Carlos Ozores Typaldos, President of the Security Council.
OZOMS TYPALDOS (President of the Security Council) (interpretation from Spanish): Mr. Chairman,, I should like to express my thanks to you and the members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for having invited me to participate, as President of the Security Council, in the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.
This meeting, today is designed to reaffirm once again the commitment of the international community to supporting the struggle of the Palestinian people. This special Day, which continues a tradition established in 1977 serves to underline the world-wide concern for the Palestinian people and the increasing recognition on the part of the international community of the fact that a just solution to the Palestinian problem is of paramount importance, not only for peace and stability in the Middle East but also for international peace and security.
The recent events in that region have made it even wore imperative that the international community should come to understand that the quest for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East is closely connected to the settlement of the problem of the Palestinian people. This Committee's work is directed to the attainment by the Palestinian people of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence, a right which has been recognized by -the United Nations. The efforts made by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People are directed to promoting an equitable solution to one of the most intractable problems before the United Nations.
For many years the Security Council has focused such of its attention on the situation in the Middle East, aware always of the inevitable Palestinian dimension of the problem and of its centrality to the attainment of a just solution to the question of the Middle East.
Guided by its responsibilities under the Charter, the Security Council will continue its efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace in the Middle East for the benefit of all parties concerned, including of course the Palestinian people.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on Mr. Shafik Al-Hout, the representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Lebanon and a member of the National Council of the PLO, who wishes to read out a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat.
Mr. AL-HOUT (Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) (interpretation from Arabic): I have the honour to read out the following message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation organization and leader of the Palestinian struggle, addressed to Mr. Massamba Sarre, Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People:
"It is a pleasure for me to express to the Chairman and the Committee, to the Organization and to all people throughout the world our sincere thanks and deepest appreciation for the steadfast positions adopted and the actions taken in this Committee under the courageous leadership of its Chairman in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the Declaration on Human Rights.
"The 29th of November 1982 is the day upon which the United Nations commemorates once again, with the peoples of the world, the International Day of Solidarity with our people in its revolution and its struggle for its inalienable rights to self-determination and to establish its independent State. Thus, in supporting the legitimacy of the Palestinian people's struggle against the aggressor that is occupying its land, and that persists in seizing and annexing it, the world's conscience today condemns the actions taken against our people, the large-scale massacres that have taken place, and the war of extermination and genocide that has been started by the Israeli Administration, supported by the United States Administration.
"Our people notes with appreciation the fact that the United Nations, the peoples of the world and world public opinion are more than ever on the side of the Palestinian people in its struggle to recover its rights in the face of the intransigence of the Israeli occupation - and of those who are in collusion with Israel - and that the United Nations wants to find an equitable solution to the problem of the Palestinian people, so as to bring to an end the war of genocide of which it is the victim. This is the only possible way to put an end to this hotbed of tension in the Middle East, which will pose a threat to security throughout the world so long as these explosive elements continue to exist.
To achieve this goal, the United Nations, supported by the peoples of the world, has proclaimed 29 November as the Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. But the Israeli Administration, supported by the United States Administration, has shown only defiance. Instead of putting an end to its siege of the occupied territories and removing the spectre of war, the Israelis are widening their occupation. As we see it we have a new problem here, which is part of the Israeli plan of expansion.
Israel is trying to annex the Lebanese regions and add them to its other occupied territories. On 4 June last, two peoples - those of Palestine and of Lebanon - were the victims of a war of extermination. Israeli air land and sea forces occupied Lebanon and began a war of occupation, which is still going on today. Thus a large part of Lebanese territory has been occupied. The loss of human life has been in the tens of thousands. There are also many wounded and serious material damage. Thus a siege was instituted against west Beirut, during which the Lebanese capital was totally destroyed, as a result of the air, sea and land bombardment which went on day and night for three months.
"The Chief of Staff of the enemy army has admitted that they used the most sophisticated American weapons, including cluster and phosphorous bombs. The destruction of Beirut was the result, as well as immense loss of life among men, women and old people. The Palestinians and the Lebanese have paid a high price as a result of that aggression, which produced these terrible losses. The Palestinians in the south of Lebanon were also the victims of aggression on the part of the Israeli forces of occupation, which reminded us of the crimes of the Nazis and the Fascists.
"These occupiers destroyed 14 Palestinian camps, despite the legendary heroic resistance of those in the camps. Furthermore, 32 Lebanese villages and 3 Lebanese towns were destroyed. Hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinians now live in those areas without shelter, homeless.
The occupation forces of Israel do not allow the United Nations to offer assistance to the victims of the occupation and the aggression. The heroic peoples of Lebanon and Palestine faced up to the forces of the Israeli army and resisted them, winning the admiration of the whole world, all the more since they were facing army using the most technologically advanced and sophisticated weapons of destruction. They worked a miracle and they deserve our admiration. The two peoples did not waver, because they were defending a just cause. Were it not for the justice of that cause they could never have resisted the siege of Beirut and emerged holding their heads high in determination to win a victory for their cause.
"However, after the Palestinian revolutionary forces withdrew from west Beirut in accordance with the agreement guaranteed by the United States and other States, under which the United States committed itself not to allow the Israelis to occupy west Beirut and undertook to protect the Palestinian civilians and their families, the true picture of the problem of the Middle Fast, emerged, because Israel penetrated into Beirut with armed force, unjustly and illegitimately, occupied and plundered the city and killed the inhabitants or expelled them from the area. The United States forgot its commitment and its obligations and tried to claim that it knew nothing of what was happening, later confining itself to verbal protests instead of taking the specific effective measures required. The result of that occupation of Beirut was the heinous massacre in Sabra and Shatila, in which thousands of men, women, old persons and children, were killed and buried in mass graves. Some of them died as a result of being crushed beneath their houses, which had collapsed on top of them. Terror gripped the camps. The occupation forces transferred prisoners by ferry and threw them into the sea, after torturing them. Later Beirut was plundered, and the plundering continues. The neo-Fascists who committed these crimes did so in total disregard for human rights.
"Here I cannot help charging the United States with the responsibility for everything that took place in the camps in west Beirut once the Palestinian revolutionary forces had withdrawn from them - from the occupation by the forces of Israel and all the subsequent actions, massacres and plunder of all civilian property to the massacres at Sabra and Shatila. The responsibility for these crimes is not only that of the neo-Fascist instruments of execution it is, above all, that of those who permitted them to enter those camps, namely, the Israeli Government and the Israeli Army. The judicial inquiry that is now taking place shows where the responsibility lies, and it is a condemnation of Sharon and Begin.
"We must also recognize the responsibility of the United States Administration, which guaranteed through its envoy, Philip Habib, that such actions would not take place but then withdrew its rapid deployment forces before the two-week deadline that had been agreed on and exerted pressure so that the other forces also would withdraw. It the United States Administration had really been moved by what took place, if it had really not wanted it to take place, its response would have been different, and the words that were used to deceive public opinion would not have been heard. This proves the collusion between Israel and the United States against the Palestinians And even the Lebanese. The strangest thing is that the United States Administration is supporting and promoting Begin's policy and in practice complying with it. This state of affairs is still continuing, and we deplore it.
"Thus Lebanon has entered a new phase of terrorism under Israeli occupation. The Israeli Government tried, with the assistance of the United States Administration, from the beginning to deceive certain Lebanese circles, claiming that the occupation was a cover designed to compel the withdrawal of forces from Lebanon, that it was only in order to get rid of the PLO forces. However, it was clear later that the occupation of Lebanon was the priority objective, with the aim of dismembering Lebanon, allowing the Israelis to take over the waters of the Litani River and provoking a new division in the country based on religion.
"Quite rightly, many people do not believe the arguments put forward by the Americans that they want the Israeli forces to withdraw from Lebanon. In fact the outcome will be the occupation of Lebanon. If the United States does not take practical steps to prove the truth of its words, its support for the Israeli Army will-only consolidate the occupation and increase Israel's arrogance.
"This is the evidence before us. This is our experience of the United States. Earlier the United States proclaimed that it approved the 1947 resolution on the partitioning of Palestine, under which two States, a Palestinian state and a Jewish state, were to be established., The United States later voted in favour of resolutions calling on Israel to withdraw from the territories occupied in 1949 and other resolutions calling for the refugees to be allowed to return to their homes. However.at the same time, the United States continued to give assistance financial, informational, political, military, diplomatic and economic to Israel. Naturally Israel's arrogance increased in consequence and it has consolidated its occupation. The result was seriously deteriorating situation.
"Then the occupation of Beirut took place, shattering the credibility of the United States Government and undermining the military honour of the United States, whose troops were part of the multinational force entrusted with protecting Beirut at the time of the withdrawal of the Palestinian troops.
"So we must look into the Plan Proclaimed by President Reagan on 1 September 1982, despite the hesitations I feel and objections that I have to that plan. The plan will only have meaning if real pressure is exerted on the Begin Government. That will prove the plan is well-intentioned otherwise this new attempt to find a peaceful solution will prove to be only an attempt to neutralize Arab opposition to Israel's crimes in Lebanon, to give the green light to the American Administration regarding the agreement signed by Philip Habib and negate the oath sworn by the multinational forces from the United States, France and Italy.
"It seems that the American Administration wants the world to live under an illusion for some time so as to allow Israel to entrench its occupation of a part of Lebanon, to extend it to other Palestinian and Arab territories and to create new settlements in the West Bank, in Gaza and in the Golan Heights. Instead of making efforts to put an end to this situation, the American Administration has tried to compel recognition of the State of Israel as a fine gay none condition for any peace initiative in the region., That is how they keep passing the buck. It is as if they were offering a kind of prize to the aggressors and criminals who have committed these crimes against Lebanon and against Palestinian refugees in the camps. I wonder at this stage whether there exists any more one-sided situation.
"Does this not prove that the entrenchment of the Israeli occupation is objective number one of its expansion policy and of the establishment of settlements?
"The position of the American Administration regarding what is happening in our area shows that it is totally irresponsible and does not recognize the true interests of the American people, or its world reputation, or international peace and security. If it were otherwise, the Israeli Government could not have defied the whole world.
"I should now like to address myself to the American Administration: You cannot sit on the fence, claiming that you want peace in the region, or that you want to find a solution acceptable to the parties concerned, while at the same time your initiatives support the aggressor and confirm its aggression and occupation.
"In spite of the attitude of the American Administration, I must nevertheless thank the American people and express my appreciation to its, because it has begun to express support for the Palestinian people and for its just and equitable cause and its rejection of Israel's occupation of Lebanon and Palestine. This noble attitude on the part of the American people during the war of aggression perpetrated by Israel against our people in Lebanon, and more particularly during the siege of Beirut, confirms the fact that the American people - of which Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt are worthy sons - is capable of calling on its Administration to follow its example. I must also express my admiration and my highest appreciation to the American Jews and all the Jewish forces in Israel who have spoken out against Israeli aggression and against the massacres perpetrated by the Israeli army, those who have adopted a position favouring the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of its own State. I wish to say that such positions are an encouragement to us in our struggle for right, equity, humanity and peace in our region and throughout the world.
I also wish to thank and to express my highest appreciation to the people, the masses, who have expressed their support for our cause without any hesitation. I am speaking of the friendly peoples of the socialist States, of the non-aligned countries, of the African countries and of the Islamic countries who have supported us on the basis of their genuine principles and who have officially and spontaneously expressed their support for our people and our revolution, in all forums and at all levels. To those people I say that our people will never forget their noble response and their support for our just cause.
"In this context, we note, furthermore, the new position adopted by some countries in Western Europe in favour of the rights of the Palestinian people and its just cause. This positive change that has taken place among those peoples deserves our highest appreciation. It has been expressed in certain official positions that have been taken and in popular demonstrations.
"The occupation of Lebanon was not only aimed against the Palestinian revolution and against Lebanon: it was aimed also at dealing a blow against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, trying to intimidate them and undermine their morale, because the primary objective is the liquidation of the Palestinian revolution. As a result of this, the Israeli occupation forces have stepped up their repression, their initiatives and actions against those occupied regions. Thousands of people have been arrested and thrown into prison; many protesters have been killed during demonstrations. We have heard writers and journalists speaking out against these actions, and we have witnessed steps taken recently to expel university professors and lawyers for taking up positions in favour of the Palestinian revolution.
"But we have shown that we are stronger than all that and that we are at us. Psychological warfare and these plots fully aware of the Plots again taking of Prisoners or the have not affected our determination; nor have the tortures of which those prisoners have been victims been able to diminish our resistance. We continue our march, in unity, our ranks closed, wherever we live.
"Today I turn to those heroes and pay a tribute to their resistance, I hail those who have been thrown into prison. And I bow in prayer to God because women widows and mothers - are also struggling. I am certain the sun of freedom will finally shine on our independent State.
“Thanks to our conviction that our cause is legitimate; despite the difficulties we face, the sacrifices we must make, the dangers we run because our rights have been disregarded by the world, and particularly by Israel and its supporters, scores of years of struggle, catastrophe and crisis have proved to us that our unity is our only guarantee of victory over attempts to liquidate us and to eliminate our cause. All our efforts are epitomized in the Palestine Liberation Organization. Our people will fight against any policy which is aimed at harming that unity.
We proclaim here that anyone who wishes to find a solution to the problem of the Middle East must first of all find a solution to the central problem that of the Palestinian cause. Any solution which neglects the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people cannot be an equitable one. The whole world absolutely must recognize the right of the self-determination and to establish an independent State under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation organization, our sole legitimate representative.
"If the Israeli Administration believed that through destruction and its siege of Beirut it massacres, crimes and bloodshed in Lebanon and emerged from the could make us halt on our path, it was wrong: we have situation stronger than ever more determined than ever to pursue our struggle. The Palestine Liberation Organization has proved to our people that we are Capable of continuing our struggle. We have given proof of this heroic resistance: the world can see that we are still holding high the flag of victory.
"I should like finally to turn to our Palestinian people, to our Arab and Islamic nation, and say to them, resist a little more; struggle a little longer- be patient a little longer, keep the faith and the conviction that victory is near. I should like to express my highest appreciation to the United Nations and to all free and independent peoples - to the socialist peoples, to the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, to the peoples of Europe, to the American people for their solidarity with our just cause. Their actions will constitute an important contribution to ensuring that the day of freedom will finally dawn in Palestine.
"I address myself most particularly to the Secretary-General of the United Nations to thank him for the sincere efforts he is making to support the equitable cause of our people. I address myself too to the. Members of the United Nations, including the members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. In this regard I wish to stress that we welcome the resolution adopted by the General Assembly in 1981 calling for the convening of an international conference on the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, to be held in August 1933. I thank the Committee for its tireless efforts to support our people and its legitimate and inalienable rights. I also thank Mrs. Lucille Mair, Secretary-General of-the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, and wish her great success in her activities for the preparation of that Conference.
My greetings and warmest wishes go to all members of your Committee. The revolution will continue until victory is won." The message is signed "Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization and Commander-in-Chief of the Palestinian Forces."
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I call now on the Vice-President of the United Nations Council for Namibia, Ambassador Noel Sinclair.
Mr. SINCLAIR (Guyana), Vice-President of the United Nations Council for Namibia: I should like to express the thanks of the United Nations Council for Namibia to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for the invitation extended to the Council to participate in this commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
The problem of Palestine, like that of Namibia, is one that has for a long time caused-anguish to the international community. We in the United Nations Council for Namibia, are all very familiar with situations in which peoples are denied their right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty. Fe are also familiar with situations in which a single country not only has defied the international community but has also continued to resist the consensus of that community as expressed in numerous resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council.
Without any doubt, the problem of Palestine-lies at the core of the Middle East crisis. Its solution would relieve the tension in the region as well as removing from the area a threat to international peace and security. The Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole legitimate representative, is resolved to regain its inalienable rights to dignity and self-determination. The international community will continue to support the cause of the Palestinian people. This support has increased year after year over the past 36 or so years.
In September this year we all witnessed the horrid massacres of the Palestinian people and the continued dispersion of that people. The tragic events of September must convince those who have turned a blind eye to the plight of the Palestinian people of that people's need for a homeland in which it could control its own destiny and safe Guard its security and interests.
The Palestinian people will relentlessly continue their genuine and just struggle until these objectives are attained. Those who are engaged in the search for peace in the Middle East should note that it is only by involving the legitimate representatives of the Palestinian people, the Palestine Liberation Organization, in all processes of negotiations that the problem can truly be solved. No lasting peace in the Middle East can be attained unless and until the aspirations of the Palestinian people are fulfilled.
The United Nations Council for Namibia reaffirms the General Assembly resolutions on the right of the Palestinian people to return to their homeland, from-which they have been uprooted and displaced.
The United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people, under the able chairmanship of my friend and brother Mr. Massamba Sarre of Senegal, has done commendable work in response to the difficult situation arising from the Palestinian problem. The work programme of the Committee demonstrates the seriousness with which it approaches its responsibilities.
The United Nations offers an excellent forum for the search for effective Ways and means of attaining a comprehensive, Just and lasting. solution that would bring peace to the Middle East. All parties to the Middle East problem are Members of or observers at the United Nations. Thus, the Organization, in harmonizing their interests, can serve as a focal point in the search for a comprehensive settlement of the problem.
The United Nations Council for Namibia remains resolute in its support for the struggle of the Palestinian people and will continue to work for the restoration of the rights of both the Palestinian and the Namibian peoples.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on Mr. Frank Owen Abdullah, the Chairman of the Special committee of 24.
Mr. ABDULLAH (Trinidad and Tobago), Chairman of the special Committee of The decision of the General Assembly to observe this day as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is not only a measure of the international community’s deep concern for the Palestinian people but also a reflection of its recognition that a just solution of the Palestinian problem is of overriding importance in the striving for a lasting settlement to the Middle East question. Through this occasion, the General Assembly reaffirms its commitment to the Palestinian people for the realization of their inalienable rights and seeks to enlighten and mobilize international public opinion towards the attainment of the objectives of the United Nations on the question of Palestine.
We in the Special committee attach great significance to the mobilization of international opinion towards the attainment of the objectives of the United Nations on the question of self-determination for all peoples under alien and colonial domination. We are profoundly aware of the power of an alert and informed world public opinion in the struggle against injustice, oppression and alien and colonial domination.
It therefore gives me great satisfaction to join in this effort to enlighten and mobilize international opinion on the question of Palestine before such a representative gathering as is assembled here today.
Despite the best efforts of the United Nations over the past three decades, the search for a peaceful and just solution for all the nations and peoples of the region has continued to elude us. In the recent past, the several steps taken in order to contribute to the solution of the problem of Palestine have not met with unanimous acceptance, so that whatever has been achieved has invariably fallen far short of our objectives. We should not be discouraged, however, by this lack of progress. Indeed, it should serve to inspire us to even greater efforts to achieve a just, secure and lasting peace.
As we are all aware, the situation today remains most critical and explosive as uncertainty, discord and violence continue to prevail in the area. We should firmly rededicate ourselves to the promotion of a genuine and lasting settlement of the Middle East conflict.
However, the attainment of such an objective will continue to elude us unless the core of the Middle East conflict, namely, the Palestinian question, is resolved. We must therefore work diligently for the realization of that objective and for the creation of all the conditions favourable to a just and lasting peace in the area. These include the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to establish an independent State, the right of all States in the area to an independent existence and the strict observance of the principle of non-acquisition of territory by force.
This important Day provides us with an opportune occasion to reiterate once again our solemn commitment and determination to extend maximum support to the Palestinian people and to associate ourselves with the defence of their cause.
In this context and in keeping with the relevant decisions of the General Assembly, it is incumbent on all of us to work closely and to co-operate fully With the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in the discharge of its important tasks to enable the Palestinian people to decide their destiny in accordance with their freely expressed wish and true aspirations.
For only through our collective efforts and through the complete implementation of the relevant decisions of the United Nations can the injustice inflicted for so long upon the Palestinian people be corrected.
Before concluding, I should like to acknowledge with appreciation the very important work carried out by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People under the outstanding and dedicated leadership of Mr. Hassamba Sarre of Senegal. I wish also to express my thanks to you, Mr. Chairman, and to all the members of the Committee for the kind invitation extended to me to take part in -this important meeting.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French)- I now call on Vladimir Kravets, the Vice-Chairman of the Special Committee against Apartheid.
Mr. KRAVETS (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic), Vice-Chairman of the Special Committee against Apartheid I wish to extend to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the members of the Committee, on behalf of the Special Committee against Apartheid and on my own behalf, our gratitude for your kind invitation to address the solemn meeting to commemorate the-International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The Special Committee attaches particular significance to the observance of this Day and earnestly hopes that this occasion will lead to further efforts to assist the people of Palestine in their struggle to realize their inalienable rights.
The General Assembly and the Security Council have emphasized the need for a comprehensive and just solution to the crisis in the Middle East. There is a consensus emerging within our Organization and all over the world that any viable solution to the crisis of the Middle East must include a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question, including the realization of the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine to self-determination, to return to their homeland and to establish their own independent State on their own land.
Peace and Justice in the Middle East will contribute to the promotion of world peace and security.
While the quest of the Palestinian people to regain their inalienable rights has the overwhelming support of the international community, the Israeli authorities are resorting to suppression and oppression in order to destroy the liberation struggle of the Palestinian people. Israel is waging a campaign of terror against the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole, authentic representative of the Palestinian people.
Israel is also escalating its oppressive campaign against the Palestinian people inside the occupied territories. It is confiscating land, closing schools and academic institutions, exploiting the labour force of those territories as a source of cheap labour and pursuing its condemned policy of settlements on occupied Arab territories.
The tragedy of the Israeli occupation of Lebanon and the mass destruction and suffering which accompany that occupation becomes a daily routine. It should be a reminder to the world, and to our Organization in particular, that the realization of the rights of the Palestinian people is an essential step in avoiding further suffering and bloodshed. The solidarity with the Palestinian people and their vanguard, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), is expanding and that organization is recognized all over the world as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Any settlement of the Middle East crisis must include the participation of the PLO on an equal footing, within the framework of United Nations resolutions.
The Special Committee considers the events in Lebanon of serious consequence. The Israeli authorities, relying on military strength supplied by the United States, occupied the territory of the independent State of Lebanon and waged a war of terror against the Palestinian and Lebanese peoples. The same situation prevails in southern Africa, where South Africa is occupying parts of the territory of Angola and committing savagery and atrocities against the peoples of Angola and Namibia. The Israeli Defence Minister, Ariel Sharon, visited northern Namibia in December 1981. Obviously, the visit involved co-ordination of the criminal designs Of Israel and the apartheid regime in their common strategy against the African and Arab peoples.
The Special Committee is alarmed by the growing collaboration between Israel and South Africa, particularly in the military and nuclear fields. Such collaboration has serious consequences for peace and security in the Middle East and southern Africa. The General Assembly has condemned such collaboration on several occasions.
Mr. Chairman, I wish to state that the Special Committee against Apartheid is satisfied that with the growing co-operation between our Committees we will continue to serve our common goals, which are the realization of the rights of Peoples to self-determination and the elimination of apartheid and racial
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on the Chairman of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and Vice-Chairman of our Committee, Mr. Raul Roa Kouri of Cuba.
Mr. ROA KOURI (Cuba), Chairman of the Non-Aligned Group (interpretation from Spanish): It is an honour for me on this important occasion to represent the Non-Aligned Group in the United Nations. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would like to read out the message sent to you by the President of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers of Cuba and President of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, President Fidel Castro:
"We are commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people at a time when the pictures of the barbarous results of Israel's aggression against the Palestinian people and the Lebanese patriots are still fresh in our minds. Those acts of aggression constitute one of the most ignominious pages in the history of mankind and a gross violation of the basic rules of international law, the precepts of the Charter of the United Nations and the most elementary principles of civilized conduct.
"Earlier instances of similar brutality can be found only in episodes that are a source of shame in the world's history – the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis during the Second World War or the aggression in Viet Nam and the savage bombardment of its towns and cities. This time, Begin's regime, in addition to its expansionist objectives, is proposing to destroy the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative. Of the Palestinian nation. It aims at eliminating the Palestinian presence in Lebanon, at liquidating Lebanese patriots and at placing limitations on the sovereignty of that country. However, the heroic resistance of the fighters and leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization and of the Lebanese patriots and the Arab deterrent forces prevented Israel on this occasion from achieving its aims. A new and glorious page has been written in the history of struggle and resistance of the Palestinian people. This has strengthened still more their determination to achieve their inalienable rights and has enriched the fighting tradition of that nation.
"The events that took place after the cease-fire in Lebanon, the transfer of the Palestinian fighters and the entry of the multinational force show cynicism and duplicity of the Western Powers and the Israeli occupiers. Only. the unanimous indignation of world public opinion at the massacres of Lebanese and Palestinians prevented a continuation of the genocide in the Lebanese refugee camps. We must ask ourselves: How has it been possible for Israel to implement its policy of aggression over more than three decades in the face of the condemnation of the vast majority of the Members of the United Nations? How has it been possible for the leaders in Tel Aviv to disregard the many resolutions on the situation in the Middle Fast adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council? Only the massive military, financial and political support provided Israel, particularly by the United States as part of its strategic alliance, and the conditions created in international relations for the implementation of a policy of force and blackmail by the present United States Administration, have made it possible for Israel to pursue this expansionist policy and have encouraged those who decided to carry out this brutal aggression in Lebanon and commit the crimes against the Palestinian people.
"Particularly scandalous has been the frequent and wrongful use by the United States of its right of veto in the Security Council in order to prevent Israel from being condemned as it deserves for its international adventurism.
"At the Sixth Summit Conference, held in Havana in September 1979, the Heads of State and Government of the countries members of the Non-Aligned Movement reaffirmed the fact that the Zionists' occupation and usurpation of Palestine and the rights of its people were at the core of the conflict in the Middle East and, as a result, they considered that any solution to that conflict would be impossible without the Palestinian people's exercise of their inalienable rights, including their right to return, to achieve self-determination and to establish an independent Palestinian State in Palestine.
"The countries members of the Movement are convinced that the question of Palestine and of the Middle East can be solved only in accordance with relevant resolutions of the United Nations and that such a solution, in order to be Just, comprehensive and lasting, must ensure that the territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, are restored to the Palestinians and to the Arab countries and that the Palestinian people are Guaranteed the exercise of their inalienable rights.
"Those who pursue the objective of destroying the Palestinian nation are doomed to failure. Never has it been possible to exterminate a people that was defending a just cause and was determined to fight for it and accept the final consequences.
"On the occasion of this International Day, on behalf of the people and the Government of Cuba, and of the Non-Aligned Movement, which I have the honour of chairing, I greet the efforts that you and the Committee you lead are making on behalf of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and I pledge the firm, unswerving support of the non-aligned countries, Cuba among them, to the Palestinian cause.
"I beg you to accept my greetings and the expression of my highest consideration." The message is signed by Fidel Castro Ruz, President of the Council of State and Council of Ministers of Cuba, Chairman of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): The next speaker is Mr. Mehdi Mrani Zentar, Chairman of the Arab Group.
Mr. MRANI ZENTAR (Morocco), Chairman of the Arab Group (interpretation from Arabic): I should like to extend to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the members of this Committee our thanks for inviting me to participate as Chairman of the Arab Group in this special meeting being held today to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
On behalf of the Arab Group, I should like to express our appreciation and admiration to the heroic people of Palestine who for a quarter of a century have constantly struggled, gallantly and with heroism, for-their cause - their just - and noble cause: live in peace, dignity and honour among the peoples.
This special meeting, held every year at the United Nations in expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people, is recognition of the struggle of the Palestinian people to recover their legitimate rights. This special meeting is also part of the continuous support lent by the international community to the Palestinian people in their just struggle, headed by the Palestine Liberation Organization, their sole legitimate representative, to enable them to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and to establish their own independent State on their land.
Thanks to the struggle waged by the people and thanks to the constant support given them by the international community, the Palestinian cause is no longer just a question of refugees, as it was for some time in the past. It has now been recognized for what it is - a basic problem, a solution to which requires recognition of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people to live within their secure and recognized borders.
The international community as a whole has expressed its support for and solidarity with the Palestinian people, and the entire world has appealed for support for the Palestinian cause with a view to finding a peaceful solution to this problem and enabling the Palestinians to live in dignity in an independence Palestinian State. The Israeli leaders, however, still hope to realize their dream - that is, to wipe the Palestinian people and their identity off the face of the earth.
There has been a horrible massacre of Palestinians and Lebanese in Lebanon, and that is proof that the Israeli leaders are still continuing their violation of internationally recognized norms and that they are trying to exterminate the Palestinian people. The international reaction to those massacres proves that the world's conscience was shaken by what occurred. And now the plots hatched by the Zionist entity have been recognized for what they are.
Israeli troops must withdraw from the occupied Arab territories, including Jerusalem, so that the Palestinian people, headed by the Palestine Liberation Organization, their sole legitimate representative, may be able to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and to establish their own independent State on their land.
The Arab nation, which has deeply felt the Palestinian tragedy from the very outset and which regards this catastrophe as a deep wound, is ardently seeking a solution to this problem.
The recent summit conference of the League of Arab States held at the Morocco was proof of the serious efforts being made by the Arab nation to find a solution to the Middle East problem and to the Palestinian problem, which is at its core. King Hassan II is at the head of a committee of seven established by that summit conference; that committee is working to implement the resolution adopted at the conference, and the initiative it has taken proves that the Arab nation is eager to world together with the international community to enable the Palestinian people to regain its rights.
King Hassan II, speaking before the General Assembly, said that the position of the Arabs and of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has been recognized as internationally legitimate, and that the PLO is the sole representative of the Palestinian people. IT e further stated that the problem of the Middle East, and of the Palestinian people in particular, must be solved as soon as possible.
I should not like to end my statement without paying a tribute, on behalf of the Arab Group, to this Committee, whose work we greatly appreciate and which has made tireless efforts and continues to work unflaggingly to ensure that the Palestinian people is enabled to exercise its inalienable rights.
The important role played by this Committee in making people more aware of the various aspects of the Palestinian people and in seeking solutions to the problem deserves our appreciation and our support. In this connection, Mr. Chairman, I should like to emphasize the efforts which you yourself have been malting since your assumption of the chairmanship of the Committee. Your effective participation on the Committee's behalf in all the conferences and meetings dealing with the problem of Palestine has highlighted the importance of the Palestinian cause. You have indeed been a model and an example of dedication to this issue. You demonstrate to us the serious manner in which we can work to attain the objective of liberating the Palestinian people and enabling it to exercise its inalienable rights.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): The next speaker is Abdalla Saleh Al-Ashtal of Democratic Yemen, Chairman of the Asian Croup, on all whom I now call.
Mr. AL-ASHTAL (Democratic Yemen) Chairman of the Asian Group (interpretation from Arabic): On behalf of the States members of the Asian Croup, I have the honour to participate in this annual meeting devoted to the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. It is a pleasure for me, Mr. Chairman, to extend to you the appreciation of the Asian Group for your ceaseless efforts in the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to ensure the recovery by that people of its fundamental, inalienable rights, including its right to return to its homeland, its right to self-determination and its right to the establishment of an independent State under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, its sole legitimate representative.
In accordance with the decision taken by the General Assembly, 29 November is set aside each year as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This commemoration is not merely an expression of support for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights and of support for the Palestine Liberation Organization; it also reflects world concern for justice and concern over the injustice meted out to that people. This problem is one of the most important facing the international community and is a result of Israel's violations of human rights and of United Nations resolutions.
Today’s ceremony has particular importance because it is a reflection of the close solidarity of peace-loving peoples with the Palestinian people in its just struggle.
In the meantime, Israel and the States which support it are trying to destroy the identity of the Palestinian people and to wage a war of genocide against it. The acts of aggression Israel has committed in Lebanon have resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties and made thousands of people homeless. Israel's war of aggression is proof that Israel's policy and ambitions are expansionist. That country has threatened the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Lebanon. We see Israel stepping up its arbitrary policies of expansion in occupied Palestinian and Arab territories, in defiance of world public opinion's demands regarding those territories, which have been reiterated on many occasions by United Nations bodies, particularly the General Assembly and the Security Council.
In many of its resolutions the United Nations has made it clear that the Palestinian cause is at the very core of the Middle East problem. On many occasions the United Nations has stressed that a just and lasting solution to the Middle Past problem can be achieved only through Israel's withdrawal from all occupied territories, including Jerusalem, and through a recognition of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to return to its homeland, its right to self-determination and its right to establish an independent State in Palestine under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
But Israel, rather than recognizing the international will, continues to disregard those resolutions and to pursue its policy of aggression, which poses a threat to peace and security in the region and throughout the world. In carrying out that policy, Israel relies on the unlimited support it is given by the United States, which assists Israel to the point where the Security Council is unable to implement its resolutions or to discharge its responsibilities.
The States members of the Asian Group, while reaffirming their support for the Palestinian people in its heroic, just struggle under the leadership of the PLO to recover its rights to return to its homeland, to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent State, would stress that the developments in the Middle East -- particularly regarding the Palestinian question require greater and more constructive efforts to establish peace and security in the region before it is too late and further deterioration leads to an explosion in the area.
The CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from French): I call next on Mr. Oleg Troyanovsky, representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Chairman of the. Eastern European, Group.
Mr. TROYANOVSKY (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), Chairman, Eastern European Group (interpretation from Russian): First of all, I should like to express appreciation to you, Mr. Chairman, for giving me this opportunity to speak at this special meeting in commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, in my capacity as Chairman of the Eastern European Group for the month of November.
In the United Nations quite a lot has been done recently in support of the Arab people of Palestine and it has become a good tradition solemnly to commemorate this Day as a mark of solidarity with that people's heroic struggle for freedom and national dignity. A place of particular importance among the decisions of the United Nations is occupied by those fundamental resolutions adopted by the General Assembly in 1974 confirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination without outside interference and their right to national independence and sovereignty. The Palestine Liberation Organization was recognized at that time as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.
These decisions marked the growing support of the international community for the courageous and determined struggle of the Palestinians for their legitimate rights and in turn they made it possible to raise this struggle to a qualitatively new level. Over the past years the Palestinian people, headed by their recognized vanguard, the Palestine Liberation organization, have achieved significant successes in the international arena. The overwhelming majority of the world's States today recognize that the Palestine problem is the core of the conflict in the Middle East and that unless the legitimate demands of the Palestinians are satisfied it will not be possible to achieve a just and lasting peace in that region.
Recent events in the Middle East, primarily Israel's armed aggression against Lebanon, which brought new suffering and deprivation to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, have raised with increasing urgency the matter of the need for the swift achievement of a comprehensive Middle East settlement through honest collective efforts on the part of all interested parties, including the Palestine Liberation Organization as an equal party to the negotiations.
The socialist countries firmly support the just cause of the Palestinian people and their constant struggle for their legitimate rights, freedom and independence. They consistently advocate a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in the Middle East which must include the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem; the restoration of the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to self-determination and the establishment of their own independent State; and the guaranteeing to all countries in the region of a secure and independent existence. It is the deep conviction of the socialist countries that the key to achieving such a settlement is to satisfy the just aspirations of the Arab people of Palestine. Naturally, the United Nations is called upon to make a positive contribution to a solution of the Palestinian problem and the establishment of peace in the Middle East.
I should like to take this opportunity to express our satisfaction with the useful, indeed outstanding, work done by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The socialist countries of Eastern Europe are for their part fully resolved to continue participating actively in the work of that Committee and to promote its efforts in support of the struggle of the Palestinian people for their rights.
In conclusion, I express my conviction that the day is not far off when the just cause of the Palestinian people will triumph.
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on Mr. Ignatius Fonseka of Sri Lanka, the Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories.
Mr. FONSEKA (Sri Lanka), Chairman, Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories: Representing the Special Committee to Investigate the Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories, I consider it a privilege to be asked to speak today to voice our own solidarity with the Palestinian people.
The Special Committee, which has just presented its fourteenth report to the General Assembly, has been another witness of the 15 years of occupation which the Palestinian people on the West Bank and Gaza have endured. During this period the Special Committee has endeavoured to bring before the international community the continuing violations of human rights, in the hope that there would be some remedy, some relief. But, as we have come to know, that has yet to be. In the meantime, the people in the occupied territories have had to contend with violence, with terror and torture and with policies designed to evict them from their homes and their land, resistance to which has sometimes meant death.
This annual observance of a Day of Solidarity is another effort by the international community to keep alive the courage of the Palestinian people. For the organization of this observance we owe our appreciation to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. You have by your consistent attachment to upholding these rights, in spite of attitudes ranging from indifference to undisguised opposition, if not hostility, kept the international community alive to the urgent need to recognize and restore the rights of that people. We should like to congratulate you on your unremitting efforts and to offer you our support for the organization of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine that is to take place in 1983.
In assuring the Palestinian people of our solidarity at this observance, we must remind ourselves and acknowledge that it has been the courage and persistence of the Palestinian people themselves that have kept their cause alive. In the occupied territories their resistance, against overwhelming odds, has been unrelenting.
Beyond those lands, the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization has, notwithstanding every vicissitude, Gained even wider acknowledgement and recognition. The brutal massacre of undefended civilians in Sabra and Shatila has made the world more aware of the right of the Palestinian people to their homeland. The heroism of their fighting men in west Beirut has become a legend in our time.
On this Day of Solidarity, the Special Committee would like to assure the Palestinian people of its continuing concern for the human rights of their people yet under occupation. I should now like to speak in my capacity as the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka. I should like to place before this meeting the text of a message which I have been asked to transmit from my President, Mr. J. R. Jayawardene. The text of the message is as follows:
"The Palestinian people have Gone through a particularly turbulent period in the last 12 months. They have been subjected to acts of brutality in the massacres that took place in the camps at Shatila and Sabra. The world community, in one accord, expressed its outrage and indignation at these events.
"In this context it is the collective responsibility of the international community to work for the restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people. The dangers of putting off working earnestly for a solution of the Palestinian problem are very great.
Sri Lanka will continue to Give its constant support to the Palestinian people and to the Palestine Liberation Organization, which is their sole and legitimate representative.
"A just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question should be based on the exercise by the Palestinian people of their inalienable national rights including the right to self-determination and to establish an independent State in Palestine. And a prerequisite for this is the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Palestinian and Arab territories.
"The occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People offers the International Community an opportunity to resolve to act without undue delay. I would like on this occasion to express on behalf of the Government and people of Sri Lanka our solidarity with the Palestinian people."
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I now call on the representative of Senegal, who will read out a statement from the President of Senegal.
Mr. DIOP (Senegal) (interpretation from French): It is an honour for me to communicate to the Committee the text of a message addressed to you, Mr. Chairman, by Mr. Abdou Diouf, President of the Republic of Senegal, in connection with the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The message reads as follows:
"The commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is for the people and Government of Senegal and for, an occasion to reconfirm our determination not to spare any effort to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable right to their own territory, to accede to independence and to achieve freedom.
"The commemoration this year takes place at a time when the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, has - thanks to the determination, courage and political maturity demonstrated by it in the difficult period it has Just lived through - won the respect and admiration of the international community more than ever before.
"Recent events in Lebanon have made the international community recognize its duty to act firmly in the interests of peace and international security and to intensify its efforts within the context of the United Nations to ensure that the Palestinian people are able immediately to exercise their rights as set forth in the resolutions of this international body. We are convinced that until justice is done to the legitimate cause of that fraternal people, it will not be possible to arrive at a just and lasting settlement of the Middle East crisis, which is fraught with such danger to international peace and security.
"Here we should like to pay a tribute to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for the useful and thorough work that it has been doing since it was founded. Through its determination and continued action, your Committee has been able to present the Palestinian question in its true light and has submitted the only programme that can serve as a basis for a solution to this tragic question.
"The Government of Senegal and I myself would urge the Committee to continue in its efforts and we assure it of our full co-operation.
"We wish the fraternal people of Palestine and their representative, the PLO, every success in their struggle for independence and national sovereignty."
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): I call on the representative of Malta, who will read, out a message from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of his country.
Mr. GAUCI, (Malta): The following message has been sent by my Minister for Foreign Affairs on this solemn occasion:
"The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People this year is dominated by the widespread sorrow and concern at the terrible events which have recently taken place in Lebanon. In particular, we remember the helpless victims massacred-at Sabra and Shatila, the heroic Palestinian fighters fallen In the streets of Tyre and Beirut, the sorrow of the dispersed living who mourn their dead friends and relatives. The horrible events in Lebanon are a tragic and yet a very necessary reminder to the international community of the dangerous potential for disaster which resides in the Middle East conflict, a conflict overshadowed by the struggle of the Palestinian people to obtain a homeland of their own.
"Today more than ever before our expression of solidarity with the Palestinian people must constitute a renewed commitment for all of us to, work relentlessly to help the suffering people attain its inalienable rights We must act immediately and without hesitation to curb the arrogance of Israeli aggression, aggression which has brought about untold human suffering and flouted international norms and continuously threatens regional and global peace and security.
"Moreover, our distress at recent events must not be allowed to suppress our endeavours to shape a brighter future for the Palestinian people. Each one of us has a role to play in these endeavors and, in particular, we call upon the members of the Western European community to assume their expected role. Malta itself has been very active in seeking to galvanize the European States in the efforts to bring about a lasting and acceptable solution to the Palestinian problem. The Seminar on Palestine organized in Malta in April this year by the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people dwelt expressly and-extensively on this issue. In the coming year we have a unique opportunity for progress in consensus-building, which presents itself in the shape of the United Nations Conference on Palestine, which will be held in Paris in August next year.
"As a gauge of its continuing solidarity with the Palestinian people, Malta pledges itself to work incessantly for the success of this Conference and for the Success of all other initiatives aimed at bringing about an equitable and just solution to the problem of the Palestinian people." The message is signed by Mr. Alex Sceberras Trigona, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Malta.
The CHAIRMAN: The next speaker is the representative of Saudi Arabia, who will read out a message from his Head of State.
Mr. ALLAGANY (Saudi Arabia) (interpretation from Arabic): I have the honour to read out the following message addressed to the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People by His Majesty King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:
"I have the pleasure on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People of expressing to you my highest appreciation for the positive role played by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, under your leadership, and for the sincere efforts made by you and by the members of the Committee to ensure that that people may recover its just and legitimate rights. At this stage I should like to reaffirm the staunch and abiding position of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in support of the Palestinian-people's recovery and exercise of its inalienable rights, including the right to return to its homeland and to establish an independent State on its own national territory.
"On this occasion it is essential to draw the attention of the international community to the aggressive and criminal role played by Israel and to the shameless policy which it is pursuing, as demonstrated by the aggression it committed against a people that was living peacefully in its own land, as well as the occupation of that land, in violation of international principles and rules. The clearest proof of this attitude is Israel's aggression against Lebanon with the objective of committing genocide against the Lebanese and Palestinian peoples. The Lebanese people had agreed to give shelter to their Palestinian brothers, since their land had been plundered by Israel's forces, which had compelled them to flee their homeland and had engaged in the most heinous acts in a war of extermination waged against two peoples, desecrating religious shrines and killing old peoples, women and children, destroying residential areas and buildings - and doing all this openly before the international community and exceeding all acceptable limits in their arrogance.
"This intransigence on the part of the Israeli entity, which wishes to reaffirm its presence there, is threatening international peace and security and has brought about a situation which is fraught with danger. Thus the international community is called upon to support the Palestinian people in order to ensure that Israel's attempts will fail and its defiance of the international community's will and of international resolutions and instruments will be in vain.
"I should like to stress, furthermore, that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is convinced that the comprehensive and equitable peace which all Arab States wish to achieve, and which is supported by all peace-loving States and peoples throughout the world; can be established only on the basis of Israel's withdrawal from all Arab territories occupied by force, especially Arab Jerusalem, and of full enjoyment by the Palestinian people of its rights to self-determination, independence and sovereignty.
"The Arab States and the Palestine Liberation Organization have expressed their determination to find an equitable, honourable solution to the Palestinian problem in accordance with the principles set forth at the second Arab Summit Conference held at Fez, from 6 to 9 September 1982, principles that are based on resolutions of the United Nations and on international law.
"Furthermore, I am pleased to be able to take this opportunity to express the appreciation and pride of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the growing support from all friendly States in the United Nations for the Palestinian people, under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
"I hope that this International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People will be a propitious occasion for all peace-loving States and peoples effectively to demonstrate their support for peoples struggling to win their inalienable rights to self-determination, freedom and independence, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations."
The CHAIRMAN (interpretation from French): The last speaker for this morning is the representative of the People's Republic of China, on whom I now call.
Mr. LING Qing (China) (interpretation from Chinese): First of all, I should like to thank the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for inviting the Chinese delegation to participate in the commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. I now have the honour to read out the following message from Mr. Zhao Ziyangg, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, to this meeting commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People:
"On the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, I wish to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Government and people, our high respects and cordial greetings to the Palestinian people.
"The situation in the Middle East has become increasingly turbulent over the past year. In particular, beginning on 4 June this year, Israeli troops launched an unscrupulous and massive invasion into Lebanon and ruthlessly massacred in cold blood large numbers of innocent Palestinian and Lebanese civilians in an attempt to eliminate the Palestinian armed forces and deny the Palestinian people their national rights. This has aroused strong condemnation by world public opinion. The heroic Palestinian fighters, in defiance of brute force, have waged a valiant struggle, which fully demonstrates the Palestinian people's spirit of dedication and their conviction that they will win the final victory. Their just cause is gaining greater sympathy and support from the international community.
"The Chinese Government and people have always sympathized with and supported the Palestinian and other Arab peoples in their just struggle. We have firmly maintained that Israel must withdraw from all the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and that the Palestinian people must regain their national rights, including the right to return to their homeland, the right or self-determination and the right to establish a State. I am convinced that under the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization, headed by Chairman Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian people, who have stood the test of arduous struggle, will further close their ranks, strengthen their unity with Arab countries and all the other justice-upholding countries and peoples in the world and continue to win victories in their just struggle to regain their national rights."
The meeting rose at 1.15 p.m.