Question of Palestine home || Permalink || About UNISPAL || Search

English (pdf) ||Arabic||Chinese||Français||Русский||Español||



About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
Follow UNISPAL Twitter RSS

UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/AC.183/SR.90
28 September 1983

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 90th MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Friday, 23 September 1983, at 3 p.m.

Chairman: Mr. SARRE (Senegal)
CONTENTS

Adoption of the agenda

Report on the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held at Geneva from 29 August to 7 September 1983

Follow-up action

Other matters




This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room DC2-0750, 2 United Nations Plaza.

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



The meeting was called to order at 3.50 p.m.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

1. The agenda was adopted.

REPORT ON THE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, HELD AT GENEVA FROM 29 AUGUST TO 7 SEPTEMBER 1983

2. The CHAIRMAN referred the Committee to the Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights (A/CONF.114/41 and Corr.1), both of which had been adopted by acclamation by the International Conference on the Question of Palestine. The achievement of the goals outlined at the Conference would unquestionably bring the Middle East crisis to an end.

3. Mrs. MAIR (Secretary-General of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine), reporting on the Conference, said that the Declaration and the Programme of Action represented the results collectively achieved at the Conference. They reflected the conviction that full national self-determination in an independent sovereign Palestinian State in Palestine was a necessity if the Palestinian people were to be guaranteed their rights and if there was to be a just, comprehensive and enduring peace in the area. The Conference had reaffirmed the right of all States in the region to exist within secure and internationally recognized boundaries. The many references in the Declaration and the Programme of Action to the application of international law confirmed that the question of Palestine and the principles for resolving it were deeply rooted in international law. The Conference had been true to the goals and principles of the United Nations Charter. It had specifically reasserted the historic and legitimate
responsibility of the United Nations in the matter.

4. The broad and high-level representation at the Conference had reflected the hopes of the international community that the Conference would contribute to genuine peace and security and had manifested the new global consensus with regard to the achievement of Palestinian rights. Almost 140 States, as well as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the United Nations Council for Namibia, had sent representatives, as had 31 United Nations bodies and offices, and over 100 intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. Over 400 media representatives had been accredited to the Conference. Never had such a large international gathering devoted so much time and energy exclusively and directly to the rights of the Palestinian people.

5. The over 200 individual delegates of non-governmental organizations, assembled for the first time in such numbers, had represented a broad spectrum of interests in 24 different States. The 10 organizations from Jewish and Palestinian communities in Israel had added a unique dimension to the discussions. The activities of the non-governmental organizations at the Conference had included open meetings, panel discussions, dialogues with eminent persons and consultants, and the dissemination of informational material.

6. One of the highlights of the Conference had been the fresh and often dynamic view of the issues offered by the 16 eminent persons from the major regions of the world. The participation of prominent Israeli peace figures had not passed unnoticed.

7. Participants had repeatedly reaffirmed the fundamental issue: the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and statehood. It had been repeatedly stressed that the United Nations had a permanent role to play in the search for a solution, and the Security Council had been urged to assume its primary responsibility in maintaining international peace and security. An international peace conference on the Middle East under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the PLO, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America, had been proposed as a major step towards a solution.

8. The Conference had agreed upon a comprehensive work programme, and recommendations had been addressed to Member States, to various United Nations organs and bodies, and to the general public. The Conference had proven that it was possible to achieve substantive, action-oriented results on such a complex issue. Those results would have to be taken into account as efforts towards the ultimate goal continued. The next step would be to convey the results of the Conference to the General Assembly at its thirty-eighth session.

9. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) reiterated the PLO's gratitude for the convening of the Conference. The adoption by acclamation of the Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action was a sign of the international support enjoyed by those documents and of the importance of the whole issue to peace-loving people. Further evidence of international interest was the fact that 52 nations had been represented at the Conference at the ministerial level. He trusted that the two documents would be endorsed and publicized during the forthcoming General Assembly debate. He wondered, in that connection, when the full report of the Conference would be available.

10. It now remained for the Committee to consider how best to realize the objectives of the Programme of Action.

11. Mrs. MAIR (Secretary-General of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine) said that the report of the Conference would be available in November.

FOLLOW-UP ACTION

12. Mr. HUCKE (German Democratic Republic) said that the Committee should review the results of the successful Conference and consider how the Declaration and the Programme of Action could be translated into reality.

13. With the overwhelming majority of Member States participating either directly or as observers, the Conference had expressed the general demand to allow the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights, so that a stable peace could be established. The Conference had demonstrated that, despite imperialist contentions to the contrary, the question of Palestine was at the core of the Middle East crisis. Separate "deals" that excluded the PLO were incompatible with the interests of the people of Palestine, who must be allowed to return to their home and establish an independent State.

14. It had been pointed out at the Conference that peace would long since have been achieved, had it not been for unrestricted United States aid to Israel. The relevant United Nations resolutions and the documents adopted by the Conference afforded the basis for a comprehensive and just solution and had to be implemented. The PLO had reaffirmed its readiness to reach a solution on the basis of United Nations resolutions.

15. The Committee should seek to publicize the results of the Conference. It should submit the Declaration and the Programme of Action to the Security Council as Council documents. It should submit a draft decision to the General Assembly calling for action to implement the recommendations of the Conference. It should launch an appeal, in preparation for the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on 29 November, in order to mobilize world opinion.

16. The German Democratic Republic had played an active role before and during the Conference and would continue its constructive efforts.

17. Mr. SHEHATA (Observer for Egypt) said that the Programme of Action referred to the role, objectives, terms of reference and tasks of the Security Council and other United Nations organs and agencies. With regard to the achievement of Palestinian rights, his delegation accorded the highest importance to the proposed meeting of the specialized agencies, other organizations associated with the United Nations, representatives of the PLO and of countries which were hosts to Palestinian refugees, and other potential sources of assistance, with a view to developing a co-ordinated programme of economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people and ensuring its implementation (A/CONF.114/41, p. 9).

18. Egypt hoped that a specific and action-oriented draft resolution would be submitted to the General Assembly on the question of Palestine. It urged the members of the Committee to co-ordinate their efforts and initiate concrete action to that end in the Main Committees of the General Assembly.

19. Mr. TARASYUK (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that, despite the refusal of the United States and Israel to participate, the International Conference on the Question of Palestine had been very well attended. Representatives of countries from all continents and with different social and economic systems had been in attendance, together with representatives of many United Nations and other organizations. The Conference stood as a historic milestone in United Nations efforts to settle the question of Palestine. The Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights reflected the unanimous will of the international community to settle that question, which was at the core of the Middle East conflict.

20. In the end, the United States and Israel would, however reluctantly, be obliged to take a realistic view of the situation. They were wrong to claim that the Conference had been part of an anti-Israel campaign. The Declaration was a carefully balanced document proposing international action for a just settlement. Paragraph 4 set forth the proposals which should serve as guidelines for concerted international efforts to resolve the question of Palestine (A/CONF.114/41, p. 2). Paragraph 5 contained the recommendation that an international peace conference on the Middle East should be convened with the participation, on an equal footing, of all parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the PLO, the United States, the Soviet Union and other concerned States. Since only the United States and Israel currently stood in the way of a settlement, they would both be responsible for any failure to reach one.

21. The Committee should act on the decisions of the Conference. In that respect, he supported the proposal made by the representative of the German Democratic Republic. The Committee should formulate a draft decision reflecting the basic elements of the Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights.

22. Mr. GOLOB (Yugoslavia) said that the Conference had certainly been a success. His delegation was gratified that the final document, which had been adopted by acclamation, reasserted the basic principles for settling the question of Palestine. That question was clearly at the core of the Middle East crisis. Yugoslavia was also gratified that the PLO had received broad international support as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.

23. The Conference had reaffirmed the exclusive role of the United Nations in settling the question of Palestine and had underlined the importance of the Security Council's responsibility in that regard. The constructive approach in evidence at the Conference was most encouraging. The international community thus had new elements on which to build at the current session of the General Assembly; it had further reason to support the just struggle of the Palestinian people.

24. Yugoslavia was pleased that the Secretariat had so promptly issued the Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights. It looked forward to the publication of the report of the Conference early in November.

25. Mr. DIACONU (Romania) said that the convening of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine had been of great significance for the work of the Committee. The Security Council, the General Assembly and the United Nations as a whole should seek to build on the results of the Conference with a view to enabling the Palestinian people to enjoy their right to self-determination and to establish their own independent State.

26. The Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights reflected the constructive approach that had characterized the Conference. The aim was to find a peaceful solution to the question of Palestine. At a recent meeting, Chairman Yasser Arafat and the President of Romania had both stressed the constructive elements of the Conference; they had underscored the importance of the proposal to convene an international peace conference on the Middle East with the participation, on an equal footing, of all parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the PLO, the United States, the Soviet Union and other concerned States (A/CONF.114/41, pp. 2-3).

27. Romania would actively support the Committee's efforts to follow up the recommendations of the Conference.

28. Mr. BURAYZAT (Observer for Jordan) expressed appreciation to the Government of Switzerland for the security measures it had taken and for its role in facilitating the work of the Conference.

29. One commendable aspect of the Conference had been the concerted effort to
achieve consensus. It was hoped that the spirit of consensus would prevail at the critical stage of implementation of the recommendations. It would be premature to try to define any specific mechanism to guarantee the achievement of Palestinian rights. The international community shoud give itself some time to consider how best to implement successfully the recommendations of the Conference.

30. Mr. KUNADI (India) said that the Conference, which had been a great success, represented an important milestone in the international community's search for a peaceful solution to a very complex problem. The participation of Chairman Yasser Arafat had shown that the issue was not one of terrorism, but of a struggle for legitimate rights and for peace based on equity and justice. It was generally agreed that the Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights were constructive and pragmatic. However, the situation in the Middle East was assuming such critical dimensions that, unless strenuous efforts were soon made, all opportunities for a peaceful solution might be lost. The aim, therefore, should not simply be to find the right formulations for programmes of action, but rather to translate proposals into tangible progress. That was one of the challenging tasks before the General Assembly at its current session.

31. The CHAIRMAN said he hoped that the same spirit of realism and objectivity that had prevailed during the organization and holding of the Conference would guide the international community in following up its recommendations. The Committee, for its part, should seriously consider what role it could play in that process. On the basis of the General Assembly's debate on the question of Palestine, the Committee could formulate proposals regarding follow-up action, so that the success of the Conference would not be short-lived. The Committee should give itself time to reflect on the various aspects of the Conference, which had certainly broken new ground in the quest for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement in the Middle East.

OTHER MATTERS

32. Mr. ABOUCHAER (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) asked what action the Committee was required to take on its draft report (A/AC.183/1983/CRP.2), which had been circulated to members of the Committee.

33. The CHAIRMAN said that the draft report would be discussed not at the current meeting, but after the report of the Geneva Conference had been considered.

34. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that the Committee's draft report had to be approved by the middle of the week beginning on Monday, 26 September in order to allow time for its distribution before it was discussed by the General Assembly. Members of the Committee should therefore study the draft report and submit any comments by noon on Tuesday, 27 September. Those comments would be taken into account, and a meeting of the Committee would be held to adopt the report.

35. Mrs. MAIR (Secretary-General of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine) said that, in addition to the draft report contained in document A/AC.183/1983/CRP.2, the report of the Preparatory Committee for the International Conference on the Question of Palestine would also have to be adopted. The first draft of that report would be available during the following week beginning on Monday, 26 September.

36. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) expressed surprise that the Committee's current meeting had not been announced in the Journal. The Secretariat should make sure that the Committee's meetings were duly advertised in the Journal.

37. Mrs. MAIR (Secretary-General of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine) said that all members of the Committee had been informed of the meeting by Wednesday, 21 September. Since no subsidiary organ of the General Assembly was permitted to meet at United Nations Headquarters during a regular session of the Assembly, unless explicitly authorized by the Assembly, it had been necessary to request such authorization. The authorization had been received on the morning of 23 September, too late for an announcement the Journal.

38. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that, in future, the request should be made well in advance.

39. Mrs. MAIR (Secretary-General of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine) informed the Committee that the Consultative Committee on Substantive Questions of the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination was soon to consider the recommendations of the Conference appearing in section II, C, of the Programme of Action.

40. The CHAIRMAN urged those members of the Committee who were also members of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions and the Fifth Committee to speak in support of those recommendations when the time came.

The meeting rose at 5.20 p.m.

Follow UNISPAL RSS Twitter