About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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The Romanian Government has for many years been actively in favour of a just solution to the problem Distributed in accordance with a decision of the Committee. English text based on the interpretation from the French.of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including its right to establish an independent Palestinian State.
Our position on this subject is the result also of the fact that Romania, together with four non-aligned countries and Pakistan, sponsored the draft resolution submitted to the Security Council during the debate it had at the beginning of this year on the Middle East problem including the Palestinian question.
As other delegations have stressed during the debate here, this Committee's principal task is to draw up a programme for the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, as they were defined by the General Assembly in resolution 3236 (XXIX).
The General Assembly recognized also that these rights could be implemented only by political means within the framework of the United Nations and with the participation on an equal footing of all the parties directly concerned. Hence, the Palestine Liberation Organization was invited to participate in the deliberations of the General Assembly and the Security Council on the question of Palestine. Romania was sincerely pleased by those historic decisions, which, in our opinion, are an indispensable basis for any just and equitable solution of this question. That is also why we have welcomed the active participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the work of this Committee.
In its resolutions the General Assembly has recognized also that the solution of the question of Palestine is an essential component part of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and that the Palestinian people is a principal party to all the efforts designed to achieve that aim.
Consequently, the General Assembly has quite rightly called for an invitation to the Palestine Liberation Organization to participate on an equal footing with the other parties in all the efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East under United Nations auspices.
For many years now the Romanian Government has been constantly stressing, officially as well as in its contacts with the parties concerned, that the achievement of a just and lasting settlement in the Middle East is possible if that settlement is based on three essential requirements:
First, the Israeli forces must be withdrawn from all the Arab territories occupied as a result of the 1967 war, in conformity with the principle of the inadmissibility of the occupation, in any form and under any pretext, of foreign territory. It has been proven in practice — and this is true also of the recent events in the West Bank of the Jordan — that the maintenance of these territories under occupation is a permanent source of conflict in the region. At the same time, historical experience shows that a State's security cannot be achieved through armed force; rather, it must be achieved by a policy of peace and friendship with that State's neighbours and by relations of good will and mutual respect.
Secondly, there must be recognition of and respect for the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including its right to establish its own independent State. The recent events in the occupied Arab territories underline once again the necessity that Israel give up its rigid positions, demonstrate a sense of realism and understand that so long as the occupation of Arab territories continues and the aspirations and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people are disregarded, peace in the Middle East cannot be ensured. Those events, which are the direct consequence of occupation, underline also the urgency of settling the situation, for with the passing of time the situation becomes more complicated and is exacerbated.
Thirdly, there must be recognition of and respect for the right to the existence and territorial integrity, to the free and independent development of all the States of the region, including the Palestinian State that will be created. That is a requirement dictated by the very interests of the peace and security of the-Middle East, and its implementation would open favourable prospects for the peaceful coexistence of all the peoples of the region. It would lead to the establishment of the conditions in which those peoples could devote their entire potential and all their energies to the economic and social progress and the free and independent development of their respective countries.
To sum up, the best guarantee of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all the States in the Middle East is an objective which, in our opinion, can be attained only through the establishment of new relations of confidence and good-neighbourliness among all the peoples and States of the region.
In the light of those considerations, the Romanian delegation feels that our Committee has the duty and the high responsibility of contributing, through the programme that it will draw up for submission to the Security Council and the General Assembly, to the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to the promotion of peace in the Middle East.
In that spirit, we support the proposals designed to enable the Palestinians displaced as a result of the 1967 war, as well as all the other refugees , to return to their homes, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.
The Committee should recommend also, in conformity with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestinian territory, as well as from all other Arab territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 war.
We believe that the Israeli authorities should put a stop to the measures designed to bring about demographic changes or to alter the status of the occupied territories. My country strongly favours the strict observance and the implementation of the United Nations resolutions regarding respect for human rights in the occupied Arab territories.
We consider also that the programme must clearly stress that the national rights of the Palestinian people can be fully exercised only by the establishment of an independent Palestinian State. The creation of such a State would have as its' basic aim the establishment of conditions necessary for the political, economic and social development of the Palestinian nation. That nation would in that way be able to benefit from the rights and guarantees it has as a member of the international community and, at the same time, would be able to carry out the obligations it has in that capacity. We see in the legitimacy of the Palestinian State practical confirmation of the sacred and inalienable right of all the peoples of that region to develop freely and independently and to benefit fully from the advantages of international co-operation.
The Romanian delegation believes that the United Nations should play an even more important role in all the efforts to solve the Palestinian question and to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. And when I say "United Nations" I have in mind the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Secretary--General. We think that such an increased role of the United Nations should apply to the entire process for solving the conflict, up to and including the final settlement in the region. The United Nations must, among other things, make a greater contribution to the resumption and acceleration of the peace negotiations; it should undertake peace-keeping -operations that would be negotiated under the auspices of the parties directly concerned. We share the view that the United Nations should be prepared to participate in an interim administration of the areas that will be evacuated by Israel.
Three months ago the Security Council had a very interesting and useful debate on the Middle East problem including the Palestinian question. As mentioned at the beginning of my statement, a draft resolution was submitted at that time by six members of the Council, including the Socialist Republic of Romania. That draft resolution, which was supported by a large majority could not be adopted because of a veto, contained provisions that could but the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and facilitate that people's participation in all the efforts to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. Quite rightly, the draft resolution has been judged during this Committee's work as constituting the most widely acceptable basis for a just and peaceful settlement in the region. We think that the efforts that led to the drawing up of that draft resolution should be resumed.
Referring to the significance of that document, the President of the Socialist Republic of Romania, Nicolae Ceausescu, stated very recently that draft resolution
"even if it was not adopted because of the United States veto, was and continues to be a step forward and can offer a basis for the continuation of action to solve the problems of the Middle East".
In that connexion, my delegation appreciates very much the suggestion made here by several delegations that our Committee in drawing up its if recommendations, should bear in mind the necessity that these recommendations receive the broadest possible support of the Members of the United Nations, and above all of the members of the Security Council.
The Romanian delegation sincerely hopes that through the recommendations it will present our Committee will be able to make a general and effective contribution to the establishment of the conditions that will enable the Palestinian people to exercise its inalienable rights, as well as contributing to the acceleration of the process of establishment peace in the Middle East.
* Distributed in accordance with a decision of the Committee. English text based on the interpretation from the French.