About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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The mandate of our Committee is limited to formulating a programme of implementation"of the rights of the Palestinian people. Their rights have already been defined very clearly in General Assembly resolutions as falling broadly into two categories, that is, the right to return to their homes, lands and properties,, and also the right to self-determination and national independence. These rights are regarded as inalienable, that is to say, these rights cannot be alienated by any de facto authority which may be illegally present in the lands of the Palestinian people.
However, since certain decisions in the past of the United Nations have led to the present predicament of the Palestinian people, it is clearly the primary responsibility of the United Nations, that is both the General Assembly and the Security Council, to redress the wrongs done to the Palestinians. The United Nations Charter has endowed this Organization with adequate powers to implement its decisions. The General Assembly has already indicated the broad lines of a settlement that would do justice to the Palestinian people, and it is necessary to obtain the cooperation of the Security Council for implementing any programme that we may recommend for the exercise of their rights by the Palestinian people.
Quite obviously, the views of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) are very relevant for the purpose of our work. We have studied with much interest the statement of the representative of the PLO. It contains many important elements for working out a programme for the return of the Palestinians to their homes and lands. It envisages a programme in two phases the first phase relating to the return to areas occupied by Israel during the war of 1967 and the second phase relating to the remaining areas. This two-phased approach is a reasonable plan and it could be made practical if given a time frame. Nevertheless, this approach should be without prejudice to the right of return of those who may wish to go back to their homes immediately. The United Nations has a definite role in facilitating the return of the Palestinian people. Now all these various aspects have to be examined and worked out in detail in the programme which we shall be formulating. I may mention that the Security Council will have to play the key role in creating conditions for the return of the Palestinian people. It is only after these people have returned to their lands that they can exercise their right to self-determination and national independence in a manner of their own choosing.
This question, however, is not of any immediate interest. What is important, however, is for this Committee to propose to the Security Council a practical programme for the return of the Palestinians within a fixed time frame and with the assistance of the United Nations.
Since the implementation of any programme involves dealing with Israel, it is essential that the Security Council should supplement our efforts with the full weight of its competence and its powers.
These are my delegation's general observations as to how our Committee should fulfil its task. We have made our own contributions in the drafting Committee in greater detail.
* Distributed in accordance with a decision of the Committee.