Question of Palestine home
20 December 1989
20 December 1989
PROVISIONAL VERBATIM RECORD OF THE SEVENTY-SIXTH MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Wednesday, 6 December 1989, at 3 p.m.
Presidents Mr. GARBA (Nigeria)
- Question of Palestine [391 (continued]
(a) Report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
(b) Report of the Secretary-General
(c) Draft resolutions
Report of the Fifth Committee
This record contains the original text of speeches delivered in English and interpretations of speeches in the other languages. The final text will be printed in the
Official Records of the General Assembly.
Corrections should be submitted to original speeches only. They should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned,
within one week,
to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room DC2-750, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
89-64544/A 5682V (E)
JV4/3 A/44/PV. 76
The meeting was called to order at 3.25 p.m.
AGENDA ITEM 39
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
(a) REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE
PALESTINIAN PEOPLE (A/44/35)
(b) REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (A/44/731)
(c) DRAFT RESOLUTIONS (A/44/L. 43 to A/44/L. 45, A/44A. 50, A/44/L. 51/Rev.1)
(d) REPORT OF THE FIFTH C0MMITTEE (A/44/846)
May I remind representatives that the debate on this item was concluded at the 71st plenary meeting, held on Friday, 1 December.
We will now turn to the consideration of draft resolutions A/44/L. 43, A/44/L. 44, A/44/L. 45. A/44/L.50
In this regard I reiterate my appeal to the sponsors not to press draft resolution A/44/L.50
to a vote. Accordingly, I wish to propose that consideration of agenda item 39 not be concluded and, specifically, that consideration of the draft resolution be deferred.
I call on the representative of Egypt, in his capacity as Chairman of the Group of Arab States.
(Egypt) (interpretation from Arabic): I have the honour to f Arab
address the General Assembly today in my capacity as Chairman of the Group of Arab States at the United Nations. I should like to put before the delegations here assembled a few remarks in connection with what you have just stated Mr. President, concerning one of the draft resolutions under discussion.
To start with, it may be appropriate for me to shed some light on the nature of draft resolution A/44/L.50, which is basically the result of the new Palestinian trends that initiated historic transformations on the international scene during the meetings of the General Assembly held in Geneva last December.
JB /4 A/44/PV. 76
(Mr. Badawii Egypt)
In essence, the draft resolution is not an ambitious one. For practical reasons it closely follows the provisions of General Assembly resolution 43/177, whereby the General Assembly acknowledged the proclamation by the Palestine National Council of the State of Palestine - that historic event which, God willing, will be translated into reality in the near future.
The purpose of draft resolution A/44/L. 50 was not to solicit international recognition for the State of Palestine: that recognition has already taken Place. Over 100 States have now recognized the State of Palestine. It has also acceded to full membership in the Non-Aligned Movement, on an equal footing with the other States members of the Movement. The objective of the draft resolution was to give new political momentum to the search for a solution to the question of Palestine and to reaffirm the requirement that the Palestinian State participate in all efforts aimed at achieving a peaceful settlement of the Middle East problem the core of which is the question of Palestine, and thus to ensure the full implementation of the letter and spirit of General Assembly resolution 43/177@ Particularly with regard to the position of the Palestine delegation to the United Nations.
The debates held in the General Assembly, and the important statements made by various delegations, confirm that the Principal objectives contained in the draft resolution have actually been achieved. They provide new evidence of full international acknowledgement of the gains made by the Palestinian cause as well as of the major role played by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) , and its wise leadership, in all the stages of the international effort to promote peace. They also reaffirm the need for PLO participation in all initiatives in that direction, with a view to the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations, that would ensure a just
JB/4 A/44/PV. 76
(Mr. Badawi, Egypt)
and comprehensive peace in the Middle East through the realization of the
Palestinian people's national legitimate rights and the establishment of its own
The intensive and continuous consultations in the General Assembly over past few days have established beyond a shadow of a doubt certain facts that we must constantly keep in mind to ensure the proper functioning of the Organization and increase its effectiveness in the consideration of all matters of concern to the international community. Those facts are especially manifested in the international community's rejection, in form and in substance of any pressure or threat, regardless. of their source. They also reaffirm that all of us must abide by the United Nations Charter in letter and in spirit to preserve the Organization's role and ensure that it can work in a constructive and democratic atmosphere to the benefit of all, in order to honour all the contractual obligations we have taken upon ourselves. In this connection, the statements made by you, Mr. President, and by the Secretary-General have clearly enunciated and reaffirmed all these facts.
In my capacity as Chairman of the Group of Arab States, I wish to express our deep regret at the steps taken by the United States and at its threats with regard to draft resolution A/44/L.50. The United States is a permanent member of the Security Council and, as such, bears special and extremely sensitive responsibilities
the maintenance of international peace and security under the Charter.
In the light of those facts and in response to the appeal made by you, Sir, the Group of Arab States, sponsors of draft resolution A/44/L.50, will not insist at Present on that draft resolution being put to the vote. However, we request that the item "The question 'of Palestine" remain open for discussion.
JB /4 A/44/PV. 76
(Mr. Badawi, Egypt)
I wish to seize this opportunity to extend my sincerest thanks to all the friendly States that have expressed their support for our efforts in line with their consistent backing for the Arab and Palestinian cause. The Group of Arab States, and the Palestinian leadership in particular, have proved once again, by this stance, that they have a keen interest in co-ordinating their efforts within the framework of the Orqanization, in. a manner that ensures and safeguards the ultimate interest of the international community and enhances the effectiveness of the United Nations as the corner-stone of the contemporary international system. They have demonstrated their faith in the fact that the peace-loving States Members of the United Nations will spare no effort to bring about the Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Arab territories and enable the Palestinian people to exercise its right to self -determination and establish its State on its national soil.
The PRESIDENT: I wish to thank Ambassador Badawi of Egypt for the
Constructive statement he has just made. In the light of that statement I
'understand that the sponsors of draft resolution A/44/L.50, in response to my
appeal, do not insist that the draft resolution be put to a vote.
May I therefore take it that it is the Assembly's wish that consideration of agenda item 39 not he concluded at this time and that consideration of draft resolution A/44/L.50 is deferred?
It was so decided.
I now call on the representative of Yugoslavia, who will speak in his capacity as Chairman of the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement.
(Yugoslavia): The efforts to break the blockade of the process of the peaceful solution of the problem of Palestine through the introduction Of draft resolution A/44/L. 50 on the status of Palestine in the United Nations enjoyed
(Mr. Pejic, Yugoslavia)
the support and understanding of the non-aligned countries. The developments that followed those efforts demonstrated in a most dramatic way the gravity and complexity of what, at this moment, is probably the most difficult and important international problem. The
the two-year-long uprising of the Palestinian people against foreign domination and occupation, received the broadest support and sympathy during the General Assembly's debate on this problem at this session. This has once again emphasized the need to find an urgent solution to the Problem of Palestine on the basis of the realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence.
NS /bh A/44/M 76
(Mr. Pejic, Yugoslavia)
The debate also reaffirmed the position of the vast majority in this Organization that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. It stressed also that the PLO is a rightful and must be an equitable partner in all endeavours to initiate a peace Process and that without its full participation from the beginning there can be no lasting and comprehensive solution to the Problem of Palestine. This reality must be understood also by those forces in Israel that oppose a just and comprehensive solution, as well as by those major international factors that can contribute to the opening of the peace process.
We therefore point out once again the justifiable request by Palestine that the Present realities be adequately reflected by the adoption of an appropriate resolution by the General Assembly on the representation of Palestine in the United Nations. This request has its firm legal basis in General Assembly resolution 181 (11). The non-aligned countries will continue to extend active support to Palestine's request to be accorded its rightful status, for which the foundations were laid by the adoption of General Assembly resolution 43/177 last year. We resolutely call on those that continue to oppose this Just request by Palestine to reconsider their position in the interest of a speedy and peaceful solution to the problem of Palestine and to make a contribution towards the settlement of this issue in a constructive manner.
The non-aligned countries categorically rejected the pressures that were used in connection with the consideration of this request, which at one point threatened to throw the world Organization into crisis and call into question its functioning. Such pressure and threats are absolutely unacceptable. There is no need to repeat that the United Nations was founded on the principle of the sovereign equality of countries, irrespective of their size or military, Political or economic might.
(Mr. Pejic, Yugoslavia)
For the non-aligned countries and the great majority of Member States, the United Nations has been, and continues to bet the main democratic forum in which they can realize and Protect their vital interests through constructive and equitable dialogue. Accordingly, the non-aliqned countries will remain firm in defence of the democratic character of the United Nations and the principles of the Charter by making an active contribution to the creation of conditions for the solution of outstanding international issues, among which the question of Palestine is one of the major preoccupations.
The promotion of an atmosphere of dialogue and the constructive solution of outstanding international issues constitute a test of responsibility and wisdom for all States Members of the United Nations. By its flexibility and readiness to compromise, the delegation of Palestine has demonstrated its own political maturity and statesmanlike wisdom. At the same time it has provided the most eloquent proof of its determined orientation towards dialogue and negotiations. We believe that its strategy for the peaceful solution of the problem of Palestine, by which it has acquired enormous political capital, will soon bring political benefits in the form of recognition of the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence.
The non-aligned countries expect that the importance of this statesmanlike move by Palestine will also be understood by those that oppose the adoption of the draft resolution. We consider that all Member States should bear in mind the fact
that almost 100 countries have so far recognized the Palestinian State and that it is a full member of the Non-Aligned Movement.
At the same time, I should like to express our sincere appreciation to the sponsors of draft resolution A/44/L. 50 for their resolute support for the just request of the Palestinians and for the flexibility and sense of responsibility
NS /bh A/44/PV. 76
(Mr. Pejic, Yugoslavia)
they demonstrated in agreeing that a decision on the draft resolution be Postponed. The sponsors of draft resolution A/44/L_50 have thereby made an important contribution to averting confrontation and polarization and maintaining the favourable atmosphere at this session, thus preserving the possibility of initiating a peaceful process towards a lasting and just solution of the problem of Palestine. In their decision, as well as in all the negotiations that preceded it, the sponsors of draft resolution A/44/L.50 enjoyed the full co-operation and support of the non-aligned countries in the United Nations.
(France) (interpretation from French)r The Twelve have already had several opportunities to speak on the question of Palestine at the current session. They have especially stressed the need to reach a lasting, just and comprehensive settlement of this cuestion, which is at the heart of the Israeli-Arab conflict. The States members of the European Community have constantly stressed the need for all parties to show moderation and to act constructively. They are therefore happy to note that moderation has prevailed in the matter under discussion and wish to make known their particular appreciation of the spirit of compromise on all sides.
The Twelve reaffirm their satisfaction at the support given at the Extraordinary Arab Summit Conference in Casablanca to the decisions of the Palestine National Council in Algiers regarding acceptance of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) and the resulting recognition of Israel's right to exist, as well as the renunciation of terrorism.
The Twelve again emphasize that in their opinion every aspect of the Israeli-Arab conflict must he settled within the framework of negotiations. Their position concerning the settlement of that conflict is well known. It was Set out in the Venice Declaration of June 1980 and in the Madrid Declaration of last June
NS1bh A144/PV. 76
(Mr. Blanc, France)
and is predicated on two fundamental principles which in our view are indivisible:
the right of all States in the region, including Israel, to security - that is, to
live within secure, recognized and guaranteed boundariest and the right of all the
Peoples of the region to justice, including recognition of the legitimate rights of
the Palestinian people, among them its right to self-determination, with all that that implies.
The Twelve are convinced that it is within the framework of an international peace conference under the auspices of the United Nations that a Peaceful solution based on these principles must be found. They believe that such a conference would
be an appropriate forum for direct negotiations between the parties concerned with a view to a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement. The Twelve reaffirm that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PM) must participate in that process.
The serious situation in the occupied territories demonstrates the urgent need for a settlement and the importance of fostering this peace process. In this connection, the Twelve encourage the efforts under way and hope that they will
become a constructive step on the road towards the convening of an international conference.
AE/PLJ A/44/PV. 76
Mr. FORTIER (Canada) I should like to join in the tribute that is being
paid to the sponsors of the draft resolution contained in document A/44/L-50. The
spirit of compromise and the willingness to engage in a dialogue with others that
they have demonstrated repeatedly during the past week has led to a solution which
represents the United Nations at its best.
For its part, Canada will continue to play a role, here at the United Nations as well as elsewhere, which we hope will contribute to the,building of peace in the Middle East through a process of negotiations between those most directly concerned. Only through such a process can a lasting peace be built which will enable all the inhabitants of the region to enjoy life in peace and security.
I am Pleased to advise the General Assembly that New Zealand and Australia have associated themselves with this statement.
(Sweden): I wish to join other representatives and, on behalf of the Swedish delegation, commend and thank the sponsors of draft resolution A/44/L.50 for their co-operation, which has enabled the General Assembly to deal constructively with the issue before us in circumstances that have posed a major challenge for the United Nations. This outcome - the result of the work of many good forces - will undoubtedly facilitate the peace process in the Middle East. In addition, it serves as a reminder that the United Nations was created above all to solve international problems, not to be a divisive battleground.
I wish also to express our great appreciation of your personal efforts in this matter, Mr. President. In this connection, let me also stress how important it i8, in our view, that considerations extraneous to the issues not be introduced, for that could threaten the proper functioning of the United Nations. We must always be guided by our obligations under the Charter. The United Nations is our common Possession, to which we owe a common commitment. Let us continue our work together in this spirit.
Mr. ZACHMANN (German Democratic Republic) In my capacity as Chairman of
the Group of Eastern European States, I should like to welcome the wise agreement
on draft resolution A/44/L. 50 that was reached in the course of consultations
conducted by you, Mr. President, with the parties concerned. It seems to me that
more time is needed to consider the draft. We therefore fully agreed with your
proposal that consideration of agenda item 39 - Question of Palestine - not be
concluded and that further consideration of draft resolution A/44/L. 50 be
deferred. 1 believe that this will greatly facilitate the efforts to ensure that
no adverse consequences arise for the process towards settlement of the Middle East
conflict - a process for the initiation of which the Eastern European Group has
been making every endeavour. In my view, this is the most appropriate way of
advancing the international process of dialogue and negotiation.
In this connection, we should like to express our full agreement with the Secretary -General and with you, Mr. President, that the contributions of Member States to the budget of the Organization are legal obligations under the Charter and cannot be linked to anything that happens in the General Assembly or elsewhere in the United Nations.
It is our belief that the intricate structures of the Middle East conflict can be disentangled only by way of a constructive dialogue and a fair balance of interests between the sides involved. This position notwithstanding, we shall not relent in our support for, and our solidarity with, the Palestinian people in its efforts to win further international recognition of the State of Palestine, and we shall also remain committed to the furtherance of our friendly relations with that People. We are in favour of promoting and advancing the just cause of the Palestinian people in the framework of the United Nations.
AE/PLi A/44/PV. 76
(Mr. Zachmann, German Democratic Republic)
We also support the demand voiced by the Committee on the Exercise of the inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
"that the State of Palestine should be accorded its rightful place within the international community and the United Nations".
(A/44/35, para. 112)
In the future also we shall work resolutely for the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, led by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), its sole, legitimate representative.
(Finland): On behalf of the delegation of Finland, I wish to express deep satisfaction at the outcome of the intensive discussions on draft resolution A/44/L.50, which is due to the restraint and the responsible behaviour of those principally concerned. We greatly appreciate the efforts that you, Mr. President, have made in this connection.
The position of Finland on the question of Palestine and the Middle East is on the record. In our view, a comprehensive, just and durable settlement can he achieved only through negotiations on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973), guaranteeing the right of all States in the region including Israel, to exist within secure and recognized boundaries, as well as on the basis of securing the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, including their right to national self-determination. In our view, all parties concerned, including the Palestinians and the Palestine Liberation Organization, as their most significant representative, have the right to take part in the negotiations on their own future.
A comprehensive settlement of the conflict in the Middle East the core of which is the question of Palestine, is long overdue. Therefore it is vital that the Process towards achieving such a settlement be started effectively.