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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/AC.183/SR.141
14 July 1987

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 141st MEETING

Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 7 July 1987, at 3 p.m.


Chairman: Mr. SARRE (Senegal)


CONTENTS

Statement by the Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs

Admission of Bangladesh as an observer in the Committee

Adoption of the agenda

Election of officers

Asian Regional Seminar/NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, New Delhi,
8-12 June 1987



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 DC2-750, United Nations Plaza.

Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum. North American Regional Seminar on the Question of Palestine, New York, 22 and 23 June 1987

North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, New York,
24-26 June 1987

International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine, Geneva, 7-9 September 1987

Other matters


The meeting was called to order at 3.05 p.m.


STATEMENT BY THE UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR POLITICAL AND GENERAL ASSEMBLY AFFAIRS

1. Mr. REED (Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs) said that, having recently assumed his new post, he wished to say that under his stewardship the Division for Palestinian Rights would continue to service the Committee in accordance with the instructions of the General Assembly and on behalf of the Secretary-General.

2. He introduced Mr. Naseem Mirza, who had been recently appointed as Chief of the Division, and stated that the structure of the Division remained unchanged. He looked forward to working with the Committee in order to make further progress in the tasks ahead.

3. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) congratulated Mr. Reed and Mr. Mirza on assuming their respective posts. The new Under-Secretary-General had accepted a major mission - the task of enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights and doing everything possible to bring about the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. He noted with satisfaction that the Under-Secretary-General wished to maintain the current structure of the Division for Palestinian Rights and assured Mr. Reed of his organization's total support.

4. Mr. ORAMAS-OLIVA (Cuba), Mr. OUDOVENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic), Mr. KARRAN (Guyana), Mr. CHOHAN (Pakistan), Mr. RATH (India) and Mr. MEZNI (Observer, Organization of the Islamic Conference) congratulated Mr. Reed on assuming his new post.

5. Mr. KARRAN (Guyana) and Mr. CHOHAN (Pakistan) also expressed their appreciation for the efforts undertaken by the former Chief of the Division to assist the Committee.

ADMISSION OF BANGLADESH AS AN OBSERVER IN THE COMMITTEE

6. The CHAIRMAN said that, in a letter dated 15 May 1987 addressed to him, the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh had requested admission as an observer to participate in the work of the Committee. He said that, if he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee wished to accord observer status to Bangladesh.

7. It was so decided.

8. Mr. SIDDIKY (Observer for Bangladesh) expressed gratitude to the members of the Committee for granting his delegation's request and said that his country would do its best to contribute to the work of the Committee.

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

9. The agenda was adopted.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

10. The CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee wished to appoint Mr. Borg (Malta) interim Rapporteur and interim Chairman of the Working Group, pending the arrival of the new Permanent Representative of Malta.

11. It was so decided.

ASIAN REGIONAL SEMINAR/NGO SYMPOSIUM ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, NEW DELHI,
8-12 JUNE 1987

12. Mr. RATH (India), introducing the report of the sixteenth United Nations
Seminar on the Question of Palestine, said that the Seminar had unanimously adopted a number of conclusions and recommendations, the English text of which had been distributed to members of the Committee and observers. The final report would be distributed to the Committee at a later stage. The Seminar had held seven meetings, during which 14 panelists had presented papers and participated in the panel discussions. The four panels had considered, respectively, the role of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, the question of Palestine and Asian public opinion, and the United Nations and the question of Palestine.

13. The success of the Seminar had been largely due to the panelists, who had presented well-researched and interesting papers and had contributed to a lively discussion of all the topics. The panelists were political figures and scholars from Asia and other regions and their views had been of considerable significance. The main conclusion of the Seminar had been its unanimous support for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. The participants had considered the Conference the best means of establishing just and lasting peace in the region and had urged the members of the Security Council to make every effort to bring about the convening of the Conference. The Seminar had supported the establishment of a preparatory committee within the framework of the Security Council to take the necessary action to convene the Conference, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 41/43 D.

14. The Seminar had considered the role of Asian public opinion and had made a number of recommendations to mobilize further Asian support for the Palestinian cause. It had also called upon the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights to keep under review the development of relations between Israel and South Africa and to report thereon. The Seminar had also felt that the Committee had a major role to play in promoting the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and had urged the United Nations to co-ordinate all forms of economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people in co-operation with the PLO.

15. The Asian Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine had been held concurrently with the Seminar. There had been a workshop on NGO activities to promote the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and to mobilize Asian public opinion, and a panel on NGO collaboration on the question of Palestine and the role of the United Nations.

16. The Symposium had recognized 1987 as the Year of the Palestinian People and had fully supported the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. It had urged the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Asia to increase public awareness concerning the question of Palestine and to formulate strategies to influence public opinion in Israel and the United States. It had decided that an Asian regional co-ordinating committee for NGOs on the question of Palestine should be established to serve as a focal point for Asian regional efforts, and to that end had set up a preparatory committee composed of members of NGOs from the countries represented at the Symposium and others strategically located in the region. In view of the vast size and population of the Asian region, the Symposium had requested the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to consider the possibility of organizing more than one Asian regional NGO symposium, if the Preparatory Committee so requested.

17. The Symposium had requested the Chairman and the Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Committee to remain in contact with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights. It had also requested the Committee to consider inviting the Chairman of the Preparatory Committee to the International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine to be held in September 1987.

18. Mr. OUDOVENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that the New Delhi Seminar constituted an important step towards solving the Middle East problem, the core of which was the question of Palestine. The Seminar's conclusions and recommendations demonstrated the soundness of the approach taken by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Such seminars made concrete recommendations for bringing about a speedy solution in the Middle East. The task of the Committee was to bring those recommendations to the attention of the General Assembly so that it could take further steps to solve those problems. The main conclusion of the New Delhi Seminar had been the need for the speedy convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. There was currently close agreement on the nature and tasks of that Conference, which must be held in a constructive atmosphere.

19. Mr. ORAMAS-OLIVA (Cuba) expressed satisfaction at the efforts taken by the Government of India in ensuring the successful holding of the Seminar. That constituted a further contribution by India to efforts to uphold the just and noble cause of the Palestinian people.

20. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the
New Delhi Seminar had been most productive. What had impressed him most was the number of Indian parliamentary groups which had formed nuclei for joint action and had expressed the desire to co-ordinate efforts at national and international parliamentary levels. He trusted that the Committee would view favourably the applications which several of them intended to make to attend future events as active participants instead of as observers.

21. He expressed his thanks to those who had co-ordinated the work of the Indian and Asian NGOs in their preparations for establishing the Asian co-ordinating committee for NGOs. He hoped that the Committee would give its utmost assistance in that endeavour.

22. The CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee wished to take note of the conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Sixteenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, New Delhi, 8-12 June 1987, and of the declaration adopted by the NGO Symposium.

23. It was so decided.

NORTH AMERICAN REGIONAL SEMINAR ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, NEW YORK, 22 AND 23 JUNE 1987

24. Mr. BORG (Malta), Rapporteur a.i., introduced the report of the Seventeenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, held in New York on 22 and 23 June 1987, of which he had been the Rapporteur. Among the conclusions and recommendations of the Seminar he emphasized the following: (a) support for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and for the establishment of a preparatory committee within the framework of the Security Council; (b) appreciation for the Secretary-General's endeavours with a view to the convening of the Conference; (c) the major role that the Committee could play in promoting the convening of the Conference; (d) the appeal to the United Nations system to render and co-ordinate all forms of economic and social assistance to the Palestinian people in co-operation with the PLO; (e) reiteration of the Security Council's position on Jerusalem; (f) the recommendation that the United Nations should make additional efforts to disseminate factual and up-to-date information on the question of Palestine; (g) encouragement to the Committee to take a strong position against the pending United States legislation aimed at closing the office of the PLO Observer to the United Nations, to ask the United Nations Legal Counsel about implications regarding the compatibility of that legislation with the Headquarters Agreement and to request the Committee on Relations with the Host Country to take a position against the proposed legislation.

25. Among the papers presented at the Seminar had been that of Mr. Gueivandov of the Soviet Union, who had been unable to participate, as his visa for the United States had not been issued.

26. Mr. OUDOVENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that his delegation supported the recommendations of the New York Seminar. That Seminar had taken place within almost the same framework as the New Delhi Seminar, and its conclusions and recommendations were vital for solving the Middle East conflict and the Palestinian question.

27. As to the denial of a United States visa mentioned by the Rapporteur a.i., attempts to restrict the movements of representatives, like efforts to close the New York office of the PLO, violated the Headquarters Agreement. The Ukrainian Mission had also been required to reduce its staff. All that was the result of the work of those who were, to say the least, not interested in enabling the Committee to continue to function smoothly.

28. The CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objections, he would take it that the Committee wished to take note of the conclusions and recommendations of the Seventeenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, New York, 22 and 23 June 1987.

29. It was so decided.

NORTH AMERICAN REGIONAL NGO SYMPOSIUM ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, NEW YORK,
24-26 JUNE 1987

30. Mr. VELAZCO-SAN JOSE (Cuba) introduced the report of the fourth United Nations North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, in which he had taken part on behalf of the Committee. The highly successful Symposium had emphasized increased mobilization of NGOs, the involvement of new NGO constituencies in the question of Palestine and the identification of strategies for increasing public awareness of the urgent need to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. There had been much discussion on ways and means of inducing the Governments in the North American region to change their current position on the convening of the Conference. The Declaration of the Symposium had been adopted unanimously.

31. The CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objections, he would take it that the Committee wished to take note of the Declaration of the United Nations North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, 24-26 June 1987.

32. It was so decided.

INTERNATIONAL NGO MEETING ON THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE, GENEVA, 7-9 SEPTEMBER 1987

33. The CHAIRMAN informed the Committee that a number of experts had already accepted the Committee's invitation to the Meeting. The Bureau wished to recommend the addition to the list of political figures to be invited of Mr. Yankovitsch and Mr. Haksar. The two experts would both be invited to present papers on the subject of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

34. The CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objections, he would take it that the Committee wished to adopt the recommendation of the Bureau.

35. It was so decided.

36. The CHAIRMAN reminded the Committee that it had agreed to appoint an expert for the round table on the aforementioned International Conference.

(The Chairman)

37. As there were no comments on that subject, he suggested that the matter should be given further consideration and re-examined the following week.

OTHER MATTERS

38. The CHAIRMAN drew attention to working paper No. 6/Add.1, which contained a number of replies from Member States to the Chairman's letter requesting suggestions from all Member States in order to help the Committee in its work. He thanked all the Governments which had responded to his appeal for their interest in the Committee's work.

39. He suggested that the working paper should be forwarded to the Working Group for consideration.

40. It was so decided.

41. Mr. EL-SAID (Department of Public Information) reported on the fact-finding news mission for journalists to the Middle East organized by the Department of Public Information, in close co-operation with the Committee, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 41/43 C.

42. The mission had visited Egypt, Jordan and Iraq. Formal requests had also been sent to the Permanent Missions of the Syrian Arab Republic and Israel, but no response had been received from Israel, and Syria's response had been received so late that the visit to Syria had been cancelled.

43. In Cairo and Amman, the delegation had met numerous senior officials and
prominent journalists and had visited a Palestinian refugee camp near Amman. In Iraq, the mission had met Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, the Iraqi Minister for Information, the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the United States Ambassador to Iraq.

44. All participants wished to thank the United Nations for organizing the mission, which had given them a first-hand opportunity to learn in depth about the various aspects of the question of Palestine.

45. Government officials in the three countries had expressed their support for the United Nations public information programme on the question of Palestine. The mission had received extensive media coverage in all three countries.

46. A compilation of articles published by participating journalists in connection with the mission was currently under way and would be made available to interested delegations as soon as complete.

47. Mr. GLAIEL (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) expressed his apologies for his country's late reply, which had been due to circumstances beyond its control. Those responsible for dealing with the matter had been absent at the time the application had been received. Efforts would be made to avoid a repetition of such an occurrence. He was sure that in future his Government would give a positive reply.

48. The CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objections, he would take it that the Committee wished to take note of the statement by the representative of the Department of Public Information and to congratulate the Department on its
activities.

49. It was so decided.

50. Mr. KARRAN (Guyana) reported on his participation in the solidarity meeting organized by the Solidarity Committee of the German Democratic Republic on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the Israeli aggression of June 1967.

51. The grassroots membership of the Solidarity Committee gave it the authority to speak on behalf of the ordinary people, while it also had representation from the highest legislative and executive levels. There had been overwhelming support for an International Peace Conference on the Middle East and for a peaceful solution of the Middle East question through consultation and dialogue. Tribute had been paid to the Solidarity Committee's contribution and to the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Participation in the solidarity meeting had been a tangible contribution to the efforts of the people of the German Democratic Republic to the Palestinian cause.

52. The CHAIRMAN expressed his thanks to the representative of Guyana for having represented the Committee at that meeting and to the highly active Solidarity Committee for having organized the event.

The meeting rose at 4.45 p.m.

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