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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/31/PV.72
19 November 1976

GENERAL ASSEMBLY
THIRTY-FIRST SESSION
Official Records


Agenda item 66:

Development and international economic co-operation: implementation of the decisions adopted by the General Assembly at its seventh special session:

(a) Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Restructuring of the Economic and Social Sectors of the United Nations System;

(b) Reports of the Secretary-General

Report of the Second Committee (part I)

Agenda item 27:

Question of Palestine (continued):

(a) Report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People;

(b) Report of the Secretary-General

President: Mr. Hamilton Shirley AMERASINGHE (Sri Lanka).


AGENDA ITEM 66

Development and international economic co-operation: implementation of the decisions adopted by the General Assembly at its seventh special session:

(a) Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Restructuring of the Economic and Social Sectors of the United Nations System;

(b) Reports of the Secretary-General


REPORT OF THE SECOND COMMITTEE (PART I) (A/31/335)

1. Mr. PFANZELTER (Austria), Rapporteur of the Second Committee: I have the honour to submit, on behalf of the Second Committee, part I of the Committee's report on item 66[A/31/335].

2. Paragraph 9 of the report contains a draft resolution, entitled "Conference on International Economic Co-operation", recommended by the Committee for adoption by the General Assembly.

3. As indicated in paragraph 6, this draft resolution was adopted by the Committee by a roll-call vote of 96 votes to none, with 30 abstentions. In this connexion, I should like to inform the General Assembly that the Committee decided to submit this partial report for consideration by the General Assembly on a priority basis in view of the ongoing meetings of the four Commissions of the Conference on International Economic Co-operation, which are scheduled to end on 23 November.

Pursuant to rule 66 of the rules of procedure, it was decided not to discuss the report of the Second Committee.

4. The PRESIDENT: The positions of delegations with respect to the draft resolution recommended in paragraph 9 of the report of the Second Committee to the Assembly are reflected in the relevant summary records of the Second Committee.

5. I shall now call upon those representatives who wish to explain their votes before the voting.

6. Mr. Aftab Ahmad KHAN (Pakistan): My delegation has asked to speak to underline the importance which we attach to the subject matter of the draft resolution recommended to the General Assembly by the Second Committee.

7. It has been repeatedly declared by all sides that a new and just system of world economic relations can only be brought about through the process of dialogue and international economic co-operation. We support this view.

8. The Paris Conference on International Economic Cooperation was initiated on the understanding that a more restricted and technical body might succeed in obtaining concrete solutions to the problems affecting the developing countries and the world economy. The developing countries have participated sincerely and energetically in the proceedings of the Conference. They have put forward concrete ideas and positive proposals for resolving the issues under consideration at the Conference. However, they are deeply disappointed that, so far, the Conference has not been able to evoke agreement on any of the issues before it, even the most urgent problems facing the developing countries.

9. It is in this perspective that the developing countries have found it necessary to ask the General Assembly to pronounce itself on this question and to urge the participants in the Paris Conference, and especially the developed countries, to achieve concrete and substantial results by the time the Conference concludes next month.

10. The developing countries have always emphasized the central role of the United Nations, and especially of the General Assembly, in the field of international economic co-operation. The sixth and seventh special sessions were the strongest evidence of the efficacy of this role and of the shared interest of the international community in enabling the Assembly to exercise fully its prerogatives in this regard.

11. It is necessary for the Assembly to note that most of the developed countries have yet to demonstrate the political will necessary to achieve concrete and significant results at the Paris Conference. The concrete proposals advanced by the developing countries in all areas of the work of the Conference have not evoked a positive response from the developed countries. The present session of the four Commissions in Paris is crucial, and will determine whether there is, in fact, a possibility for the Conference to achieve concrete and significant results.

12. We therefore earnestly urge the developed countries to make all necessary efforts to respond to the proposals of the developing countries with a view to reaching solutions which would contribute to the economic development of the developing countries and constitute a significant advance in international development co-operation.

13. It is unfortunate that, despite the efforts made by all sides, and particularly in view of the spirit of understanding and accommodation shown by the developing countries, it was not possible to achieve a consensus on the present draft resolution. The developing countries were prepared to make substantial concessions to meet the point of view of the other side. Nevertheless, they felt constrained not to yield on fundamental principles which are basic to their interests.

14. In particular, we firmly believe that the Conference cannot succeed unless it achieves concrete and substantial results in all fields. Similarly, the proposals of the developing countries submitted in Paris must meet with the understanding of, and a positive response from, the developed countries.

15. We hope that the General Assembly will act to adopt the draft resolution recommended by the Second Committee and thus confirm the feeling that the vast majority of States Members of the United Nations are concerned about the future of international development co-operation and the process of dialogue in pursuit of this objective. It is important that the General Assembly express its political opinion on this question and make the participants in the Paris Conference cognizant of its considered view on this matter.

16. In conclusion, my delegation wishes to propose that,after adoption of the draft resolution, the Assembly request the Secretary-General of the United Nations to transmit it, together with the report of the Second Committee, to the Conference on International Economic Co-operation, which is in its final and crucial stage of negotiations.

17. Mr. KOSSEV (Bulgaria) (interpretation from Russian): The delegations of a number of socialist countries in the voting on the draft resolution in the Second Committee made a joint statement in explanation of their vote.1/ We stand by that statement and we should like to ask that this be reflected in the records of this plenary meeting of the General Assembly.

18. Mr. LASCARRO (Colombia) (interpretation from Spanish): The delegation of Colombia wishes to inform the Assembly that in the voting on this draft resolution yesterday in the Second Committee my country, for reasons beyond its control, could not be present, but we wish to state now that we agree with the entire text of the draft resolution and shall now vote in favour of it.

19. The PRESIDENT: We shall now take a decision on the from the developed countries. The present session of the draft resolution entitled "Conference on International Economic Co-operation" recommended by the Second Committee in paragraph 9 of its report in document A/31/335. A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burma, Burundi, Chad, Chile' China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba] Cyprus, Democratic Kampuchea, Democratic Yemen; Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan' Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Republic, Mada­gascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar! Romania, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Tanzania, Upper Volta, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen, Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zambia.

Against: None.

Abstaining: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Byelo­russian Soviet Socialist Republic, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Finland, France, German Democratic Republic, Germany, Federal Republic of, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mongolia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.

The draft resolution was adopted by 99 votes to none, with 30 abstentions (resolution 31/14).2/

AGENDA ITEM 27

Question of Palestine (continued):

(a) Report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People;

(b) Report of the Secretary-General

20. The PRESIDENT: I shall first call on those representatives who indicated their desire to exercise their right of reply yesterday afternoon but who were prevented from doing so because of the lateness of the hour and deferred their statements until this morning.

21. Mr. ABDEL MEGUID (Egypt): Mr. President, I should like to thank you for allowing me to exercise my right of reply to the statement made yesterday by the representative of Israel [70th meeting].

22. I do not know whom the representative of Israel was trying to fool by his lengthy statement yesterday morning. As usual, he tried his acrobatics and customary distortions on this Assembly, which he described in one part of his statement as an august Assembly and in another part attacked as biased and undemocratic.

23. This Assembly has this year been subjected on many occasions to the same boring and insulting statements from the Israeli representative, directed not only towards the United Nations but towards its Member countries. He attacked the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and considered its creation the General Assembly as being in defiance of the Charter of the United Nations and in contravention of Security Council resolutions. I do not know whether he is sure of his f allegations or whether he is just joking, because it is a fact well known to all of us now that it is Israel-besides, surely, its twin the racist regime in South Africa-which is defying the United Nations Charter and United Nations resolutions.

24. Unless the United Nations is 100 per cent in agreement with Israel's actions and aggression, it is called biased.

In his campaign of insults directed against the 20 independent member countries of that Committee, he accuses them of being not only one-sided and biased, but also dishonest. The Israeli representative is the last one to speak about honesty, because the first step that the Committee took at its very first meeting was to invite all Members of the United Nations, including Israel, to state their opinions before the Committee. Even those few countries which did not support resolution 3376 (XXX) establishing the Committee answered the Committee's invitation and stated their views, but Israel, as usual, preferred to ignore it and to attack it from the very beginning.

25. The Israeli representative tried to lecture the Assembly on the history of the Palestine problem. But whatever he tries to do, he cannot conceal many obvious facts, namely, that Israel was established at the expense of the Palestinian people, which was violently expelled from its country and its homes.

26. The second fact is that since its creation Israel has attacked its neighbours, particularly Egypt, in successive aggressions. I advise him not to mention the Suez war, because this Assembly knows very well who started that war and who planned it. Just read the statements made by some politicians who colluded with Israel in preparing that dirty war against Egypt. Then we had the June 1967 aggression. The Arab countries are still suffering from that aggression and their territories are still occupied by Israel.

27. The third fact is that Israel is the last country in the world to be speaking about humanity or humane treatment. Its policies, both towards the Palestinians now living in Israel and towards the people of the occupied territories, are sufficient testimony in themselves. The documents of the United Nations, Amnesty International and church organizations are full of accounts of the tragic and barbaric treatment of the Arabs under the Israeli occupation. I would refer him only to the lecture given by an Israeli lawyer, Miss Felicia Langer, a few days ago at Harvard University. Miss Langer spoke at length about—to use her words-"the violation of the human rights of Palestinians" that she had witnessed in Israel. She said that those first-hand experiences had been the basis of testimony she had given to the United Nations and Amnesty International. By her account, mentioned in the Christian Science Monitor of yesterday, 18 November, many Pales­tinians have been arrested without cause and tortured, or their homes have been demolished.

28. Then the Israeli representative comes and tries to lecture the Assembly on how the people of the occupied territories love Israeli treatment—all the old story we are so used to. If that is true, why not ask those people if they agree to live under that benevolent occupation? Further, he has the temerity to allege that the people of the West Bank hate the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], when in fact everybody knows that Israel with all its might did not succeed in preventing the PLO candidates from sweeping the last elections.

29. The Israeli representative tried hard to focus attention on what he called the refugee problem. I should like to assure him that the Palestinian problem is no longer a refugee problem. The people will never consent to be treated forever as refugees. What they ask for is the inalienable right of every people in this world, the right to their own independent State.

30. I could go on and on unmasking the numerous allegations contained in the statement of the Israeli representative, but the time allotted to me would not be enough. However, one fact must be made very clear to the Israeli representative, and that is that no peace will be possible in the Middle East if Israel persists in its expansionist policies and in the occupation of Arab lands. Israel is mistaken if it thinks that the passage of time is on its side. The October war, I hope, was lesson enough.

31. Mr. DAJANI (Jordan): The statement we heard yesterday morning from Mr. Herzog reminded me of a verse of a poem I learned as a child. It says:

Yes, it is the simplest truth that is the highest skill of a man. Mr. Herzog knows the truth as well as we do. Yet he tried in his statement yesterday to drag himself away from it. The truth is that Jordan is Jordan, a sovereign, independent State Member of the United Nations; and Palestine is Palestine, where the Palestinians are suffering either from military occupation or from dispersion. Their inalienable rights inherently can be regained only in their homeland, Palestine, and not elsewhere. This is the truth that my delegation has been stressing and reiterating year after year and this is the truth that the Israelis should heed.

32. Therefore Jordan rejects the Israeli argument that attempts to confuse Jordan with Palestine and attempts to obliterate the genuine and established rights of the Palestinians in the Palestinian land and on Palestinian soil. The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is proud to have carried a considerable share of the responsibility for the Palestinian cause for many years, but it rejects the Israeli attempt to distort and reduce the Palestinian question and to turn it into a question between Jordan and Israel. The rights of the Palestinians are in the land of Palestine, and there is no way in which these rights could be obscured or in which the responsibility of Israel could be concealed by forcing the Palestinians to seek an alternative homeland. The historic borders of Palestine are well known.

33. This is the objective view on the question of Palestine, and this is the truth.

34. The PRESIDENT: We have now heard the statements in exercise of the right of reply which were deferred from yesterday, and we shall continue the debate..

35. Mr. BALETA (Albania) (interpretation from French): The General Assembly is called upon once again to take-up one of the most important and worrying questions, that of Palestine. The just solution of this problem is important and urgent because it concerns the destiny of a whole people; it concerns the restoration to that people of its legitimate rights, its right to return to its homeland and to recover its liberty and national dignity. The, solution of this problem is also of vital, even primary, importance for the: just settlement of the Middle East problem and for the restoration of peace and security in the world. In a word, the problem of Palestine does not concern the Palestinians alone; it concerns all the Arab peoples. All peoples that are democratic and progressive and love freedom are quite right to be worried about this problem and cannot remain indifferent to the brutal violations of the national rights of the Palestinian people.

36. The history of the tragedy of the Palestinian people reflects all the aggressive activities of the United States imperialists 'and the Israeli Zionists over the years in the Middle East. It is living testimony to the evil consequences of the constant rivalry and bargaining between the two imperialist super-Powers, the United States and the Soviet Union, to divide that region into zones of influence in order to pillage its great oil resources and other natural wealth and secure strategic positions in order to further their hegemonistic and expansionist designs.

37. The Israeli Zionists, enjoying the total support of the United States, have used the force of arms and aggression to drive the Palestinian people from their homes and to plunder their homeland. It is they who have committed and are committing every day barbarous crimes against and massacres of the Palestinian and other Arab peoples. It is Israel that continues to occupy the Palestinian lands and large parts of the territories of Arab States, that practises a policy of denationalization in this territories, that carries out a policy of genocide against the Palestinian people and that threatens to undertake new wars of aggression.

Mr. Moreno Martinez (Dominican Republic), Vice-President, took the Chair.

38. The two imperialist super-Powers, the Israeli Zionists and certain other reactionary forces use any means to prevent a just and genuine solution of the Palestinian problem and that of the Middle East in order to attain the evil objectives at the expense of the Palestinian and Arab peoples.

39. That is why the situation in the Middle East remains grave, tense and dangerous and why the Palestinian people is suffering the consequences of that situation. The Israeli Zionists harry the Palestinian people so as to break its will and its fighting spirit, deprive it forever of its land eliminate the question of Palestine and attain more easily their other annexationist objectives. The American imperialists and the Soviet social imperialists are seeking to eliminate the Palestinian question in order to satisfy their own ambitions and to consolidate Israel's positions and continue to use it as an instrument against the A: countries. The two imperialist super-Powers, although use different tactics, are seeking to eliminate the Palestinian question in order to prevent a true solution of the Middle East problem, to maintain in that part of the world a. situation of "no war, no peace" and to establish a status, quo beneficial to both parties, one that will provide them; with a pretext for intervention at any time.

40. The two imperialist super-Powers and the Israeli Zionists consider that the armed struggle of the valiant Palestinian people is one of the greatest obstacles in the way of attaining their objectives. That is why the spearhead of their attacks has always been directed against the national liberation movement of the Palestinian people.

41. The American imperialists have generously and ceaselessly provided Israel with political, military and economic aid so that it can continue its aggression against the, Palestinian people and the other Arab peoples. Behind every crime and provocation of the Israeli Zionists stands the United States of America, which protects Israel so as to have it as a base and bridgehead for its aggressive plans in the Middle East.

42. The aggression of the Israeli Zionists against the Palestinian people and the other Arab peoples has always been encouraged by the hypocritical policy of the Soviet, social imperialists with regard to those peoples, by their machinations to weaken the struggle of the Arab peoples against Israel. Moreover, the Soviet social imperialists have helped the Israeli Zionists by giving them assistance in an area in which their need is greatest. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish citizens of the Soviet Union have been sent to Israel in recent years to serve as cannon-fodder for the Zionist aggressors, to use American arms against the Arab peoples and to colonize the occupied territories which belong to Palestine and other Arab countries.

43. At the present time the two imperialist super-Powers, the Israeli Zionists and various reactionary forces are being used more actively to undermine Arab unity, divide the Arab countries and weaken their peoples and their national support for and solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle. They are intensifying their plots and intrigues against the Palestinians and the Arabs, spreading all kinds of slander and defamation with regard to the struggle of the Palestinian people and multiplying their attempts to lead the Palestinian and other peoples into the traps they have set. That is the aim of the American diplomacy of a "step-by-step settlement" and the noise which the Soviet

40. social imperialists make about convening a Geneva conference.

44. It is those activities of the enemies of the Arab peoples and the rivalry and interference of the two imperialistic super-Powers in the Middle East that have led to the events in Lebanon. The Israeli Zionists, the imperialists, the social imperialist and certain other reactionary forces are each acting for their own ends and have been the principal actors in the tragedy that has befallen Lebanon. Although they use different methods they are working towards the same end and are concerting their efforts to undermine Palestinian resistance, to destroy the just cause of the Palestinian people in order to deny it the right to existence as a nation, and to condemn it to live forever as a refugee people, without land or country. They seek thus to pave the way for new deals and compromises and new partial solutions of the Middle East problem.

45. It has long been evident that, without a just and lasting settlement of the problem of Palestine, the problem of the Middle East cannot be settled either. It is also clear that any attempt to reach a so-called settlement of the Middle East question by sacrificing the interests of the Palestinian people-as the Israeli Zionists and the two imperialist super-Powers would like to do—would have very dangerous consequences and must be condemned from the point of view of law and justice. The problem of Palestine, like any other problem of the Middle East, cannot be tackled justly by entrusting such a settlement to the two super-Powers and putting hopes in their diplomacy and initiatives. The American imperialists have been and remain the sworn enemies of the Arab peoples and the friends of the Israeli Zionist aggressors. The Soviet social imperialists are and will always be false friends to the Arab and Palestinian peoples.

46. At present, the Palestinian people and their resistance are experiencing many serious difficulties, and are exposed to new plots and attacks designed to divide their ranks, weaken them and deprive them of the support of the Arab peoples in order finally to liquidate the Palestinian question. But the Palestinian people have known similar situations in the past and have had to face such plots and attacks; they were able to cope with dangerous situations created by the enemy and will certainly be able now and in the future to check the aggressive action and avoid the traps set for them by the Israeli Zionists and the two imperialist super-Powers. The Palestinian people are fighting for a just cause and waging a just struggle. History has shown that any people, however small, can overcome every difficulty and triumph over its enemies—whether they are Israeli Zionists, imperialists or Soviet social imperialists—when that people is determined to pursue its armed struggle firmly and to the end, strengthening the unity of its ranks and counting on the support and solidarity of the peoples which love freedom.

47. In their struggle to recover their national rights, the Palestinian people and other Arab peoples enjoy the solidarity and support of all the democratic and progressive peoples which love the cause of freedom. The Albanian people and Government have always been and will remain the sincere friends of the Palestinian people and their brother Arab peoples. The leader of the Albanian people, Enver Hoxha, in his report to the Seventh Congress of the Workers' Party of Albania a few days ago, emphasized that:

"Our people and our country support the just struggle being waged by the Palestinian people to regain its national rights and the homes that have been taken from it by Israel, the tool of American imperialism. We maintain links with the Palestine Liberation Organization and support it. We hope that there will be established among the Arab peoples a powerful fighting unity, which is the sound basis for their victory over their Zionist and imperialist enemies."

48. Mr. MALIKYAR (Afghanistan): The United Nations has been seized of the question of Palestine almost since its inception. This involvement finally led to the adoption of resolution 3376 (XXX). The adoption of that resolution reflected the determination of the majority of the Members of the United Nations, on the basis of resolution 3236 (XXIX), to give a new thrust to United Nations efforts to resolve the question of Palestine by the establishment of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The report and the recommendations of the Committee [see A/31/35] are now before the General Assembly. This report is the result of comprehensive work undertaken by the Committee with the participation of the representatives of the PLO, recognized by the United Nations as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, as well as that of the countries directly involved, with the exception of Israel, which did not wish to participate in its deliberations.

49. The mandate of the Committee, on the basis of paragraph 4 of resolution 3376 (XXX), was to consider and recommend to the General Assembly a programme of implementation designed to enable the people of Palestine to exercise their rights as recognized in paragraphs 1 and 2 of resolution 3236 (XXIX), taking into account in its recommendations all the powers conferred by the Charter upon the principal organs of the United Nations.

50. In its report the Committee has emphasized the fact that the Palestinian people had begun their struggle for liberation and independence in the early years of the twentieth century, and at the end of the Second World War were ready for independence. Owing to a combination of events and circumstances, of which the Members of the United Nations are well aware, the Palestinian people were instead uprooted from their fatherland and deprived of their inalienable right to self-determination and independence and have lived in destitution ever since.

51. The Committee acknowledged that the people of Palestine would only be in a position to exercise their inalienable rights to self-determination, as recognized by the United Nations, in the land of Palestine. Thus the right of the Palestinians to return to their fatherland was a prerequisite for the exercise of their rights to self-determination, sovereignty and national independence. Consequently, it has been affirmed that Israel is under a binding obligation to permit the return of all Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the aggressions committed by Israel in 1948 and 1967. The obligation of Israel flows from the commitment it assumed when it became a Member of this world body to honour its pledge to the Charter of the United Nations. Among its duties is that of implementing General Assembly resolution 181(11) of 29 November 1947, safeguarding the rights of Palestinian Arabs inside Israel, and resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, with respect to the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland or to choose compensation for their homes and property. That undertaking was also endorsed in resolution 273 (III) of the General Assembly, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949.

52. For the implementation of the right of the Palestinians to return, a two-phase programme has been envisaged. In the first stage, the Palestinians displaced in 1967 should be allowed to return immediately and without any conditions to their lands, which have been occupied by Israel since 1967. In this respect the Committee has acknowledged that this stage of the right of return of the Palestinians will not be implemented until Israel withdraws from all the territories occupied as a result of the 1967 aggression. The Committee has also recommended that during the first stage of the right of return of the Palestinians, preparations should be undertaken for the second stage of the programme, namely, the return of those Palestinians displaced in 1948 from their homeland, and necessary measures have been recommended by the Committee in this regard.

53. The occupation of Palestine has endured for too long, in our view, and, as recommended by the Committee, the establishment by the Security Council of a time-table for the withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories is indeed essential. It has been recommended that the territories occupied since June 1967 should be evacuated by Israel no later than 1 June 1977; that Israel should desist from the establishment of new settlements in the occupied territories; and that its citizens should withdraw from the settlements established since 1967 in the occupied territories.

54. The position of Afghanistan on this question is clear. That position has been stated in the past when the question of Palestine has been discussed. The question of Palestine, the essence of which is the restoration and exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, forms the core of a solution to the Middle East crisis. A just solution of this question is indeed essential for a just and durable peace in the Middle East. It is obvious that this purpose cannot be achieved unless Israel withdraws from all the occupied territories.

55. In conclusion, on behalf of my delegation, I wish to state that we fully subscribe to the recommendations made by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and we are of the view that their implementation would indeed serve the restoration of the inalienable rights of the people of Palestine as well as the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

56. Mr. MARTYNENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) (interpretation from Russian): The General Assembly is now considering a problem the solution of which is of supreme importance to international peace and security. The Assembly has before it the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People [A/31/35]. That representative body of the United Nations, established pursuant to General Assem­bly resolution 3376 (XXX), has this year done considerable important work and submitted concrete recommendations for the exercise of the legitimate rights of the Arab people of Palestine.

57. The debate is convincing evidence of the general recognition of the fact that the question of Palestine is a key element for the attainment of a just and lasting political settlement in the Middle East. The delegation of the Ukrainian SSR has repeatedly stressed in its statements at sessions of the General Assembly and in the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, of which it is a member, that without a solution of the Palestinian problem and without the actual exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people it will be impossible to achieve a genuine, just and lasting peace in that part of the world.

58. During the discussion of the question of Palestine in the General Assembly as well as in the Security Council and in other bodies, Members of the United Nations, with very few exceptions, expressed the view that, without the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967, without the exercise of the inalienable national rights of the Arab people of Palestine and without guarantees of the right of all States of that region to independent existence and development, genuine peace in the Middle East is impossible.

59. The just cause of the Palestinians is supported by a wide segment of world public opinion. It is recognized by the United Nations, including the General Assembly.

60. The key significance of the Palestinian problem as part of a Middle East settlement was clearly reflected in the decisions of the General Assembly and the Security Council, as well as in the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and its report.

61. Accordingly, there is a realistic basis for a settlement of the Palestinian problem by guaranteeing justice for the Arab people of Palestine, who have been transformed by the will of the aggressor and its protectors into exiles. Surely there are very few today who have any doubt that the Arab people of Palestine cannot and must not continue as exiles. It is a principal party in the Middle East settlement, and the PLO, its legitimate representative, is recognized by the United Nations. The need for participation of the PLO in the consideration of all aspects of a settlement of the Middle East problem was confirmed by the action of the General Assembly and the Security Council in specifically inviting the Palestinians to participate in their work.

62. The international machinery for a proper solution of the Middle East problem exists: it is the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East. In this connexion there can be no doubt about the need for the participation of the representatives of the PLO from the outset and on an equal footing at all stages of the work of this international machinery.

63. The speedy convening of the Geneva Conference with the participation of all interested parties would permit a start to be made on a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East. This kind of settlement could not be supplanted by any kind of half measures or so-called "step-by-step", partial agreements undertaken on a separate basis. Such half measures can only divert the Arab peoples from the struggle for their genuine interests and for the triumph of justice in the lands of the long-suffering Arabs. It is significant that all these half measures skate around the Palestinian problem, although Israel's aggression began on Palestinian land when the Israeli ruling circles as early as 1949 deliberately undermined the implementation of the United Nations decision on the establishment of two States—Arab and Jewish—on the territory of Palestine. In the subsequent period Tel Aviv has continued its criminal policy of driving the Arabs from their lands, the policy of the so-called "assimilation" of the occupied territories. This policy is indeed aimed at the annexation of Arab lands and at including them in Israel, and is being increasingly pursued. As is common knowledge, in the zone of occupation the policy of racial discrimination is being practised against the Arabs, the indigenous inhabitants are being driven from their native lands and their homes are being torn down to make room for Israeli settlements.

64. The ruling circles in Tel Aviv are continuing their attempt to justify their unlawful territorial claims against the Arabs by invoking the need to establish "safe" frontiers for Israel. But the experience of history teaches that it is impossible to guarantee security by means of aggression and the seizure of foreign lands. The situation in the occupation zone clearly shows the absurdity of the Israeli policy of "assimilation" of the usurped lands, which ignores the rights of the Palestinians and is an attempt to retreat from the proper settlement of the Middle East conflict.

65. The intolerable situation in the territories occupied by Israel confirms once again the need for the convening of the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East. It is necessary to put this important international machinery into action in order to work out the necessary agreements on the Middle East, including the withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967 and the fulfilment of the lawful national demands of the Arab people of Palestine.

66. The key significance of the Palestinian problem and the organic link between the exercise of the lawful rights of the Palestinians and a Middle East settlement determine, in our view, the importance of the consideration by the General Assembly of the report and recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Of particular importance, in our view, is the fact that the question of Palestine is not merely one of refugees, to which several countries, including Israel, have tried to reduce it over many years. Those are the countries which are pursuing a policy aimed at the liquidation of the national existence of the Palestinian people. Now thanks to the changes in the world and the balance of forces in the United Nations, the question of the rights of the Palestinians is perceived as an acute political problem and an integral part of a comprehensive political settlement in the Middle East. These are organically linked questions, and we consider that the implementation of any one of these rights should not be a substitute for the implementation of all remaining rights. The rights of the Arab people of Palestine are indivisible and cannot be the object of bargaining or political manipulation.

67. The delegation of the Ukrainian SSR is convinced that a comprehensive, just and radical settlement in the Middle East is in keeping with the interests of all States and peoples of that part of the world. Such a settlement would avert the danger of armed conflicts and would create a sound basis for peace in the future.

68. The present discussion of the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People must lead to the adoption of concrete measures which will promote a settlement of the Palestinian problem.

69. The report of the Committee confirms the very Important principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and stresses the need for the full and speedy withdrawal of the occupying forces from the territories they have seized.

70. On this level, in our view, the recommendations of the Committee on the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from all the Arab territories occupied in 1967 are particularly important.

71. Our delegation supports the speedy implementation of the unconditional right of all Palestinians to return immediately to their homes, land and property. We believe that the Security Council should adopt measures in conformity with the United Nations Charter to render assistance in the implementation of that right even before Israeli troops-have been completely withdrawn from the occupied Arab territories. Regrettably, because of the negative position of the allies and protectors of Israel, the Security Council, which considered the recommendations of the Committee in June this year, was unable to make the implementation of those recommendations mandatory.

72. An important recommendation of the Committee is that the PLO, the representative of the Palestinian people, should participate on an equal footing with other parties in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East, in accordance with resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3375 (XXX). That recommendation reflects the broad recognition in the world of the need for the full participation of the PLO in the work of the Geneva Peace Conference.

73. As is stressed in the Committee's report, the implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinians will "contribute decisively to the achievement of a comprehensive and final settlement of the Middle East crisis" [A/31/35, para. 60], for "no solution in the Middle East can be envisaged which does not take fully into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people" [ibid., para. 59].

74. In the very dangerous situation in the Middle East, it is the duty of the United Nations to ensure the speedy implementation of United Nations decisions on the Middle East and to make Israel respect those decisions and stop refusing to implement them.

75. In this connexion, the position of one delegation which participated in the debate yesterday is to be regretted. That delegation, using ultra-leftist phrases, was in fact trying to divide the united front against Israeli aggression and playing into the hands of the aggressor. It is not surprising that in the Special Political Committee a few days ago that delegation took the same positions as Israel in opposing giving permission to address the Committee to a number of non-governmental organizations which had sharply criticized Israel. Israel must reject the policy of aggression and expansion. It must stop denying and encroaching upon the rights of the Palestinian people. It must finally take the road of realism, peace and good-neighbourly relations with the Arabs.

76. The consideration of the report and recommendations of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People opens up the possibility for the United Nations to take effective action in that direction.

77. The delegation of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic supports the recommendations in the report that the Committee has submitted to the General Assembly and calls upon States Members of the United Nations to seek to ensure that these recommendations will be implemented by the Security Council, in accordance with the requirements of the United Nations Charter.

78. We believe that the Security Council must take decisive, effective and immediate measures to implement the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, as recognized by the United Nations, and thus promote the speedy attainment of a just and lasting settlement in the Middle East.

79. The removal of the dangerous hotbed of war in the Middle East is one of the cardinal tasks of the United Nations and all its Members in order to strengthen international peace and security. This will be in keeping with the interests of all the States and peoples in that part of the world and in the interest of general peace.

80. Mr. TRAORE (Mali) (interpretation from French): For more than half a century the people of Palestine have been struggling to defend their national rights, like most of the peoples of the third world, the people of Palestine have suffered colonial domination. But despite occupation, annexation and the partition of their national territory, they have not lost their faith that they will regain their unity.

81. The arrangements initially made in the Middle East among colonial Powers to readjust their spheres of influence in that region resulted, for the people of Palestine, only in guilty silence on the part of the international community or in unfulfilled promises and decisions regarding the creation of a Palestinian state. The transactions which followed those initial arrangements led to their country being offered up to the greed of another people: the very Jewish people whose martyrdom had aroused universal indignation and for whose survival millions of men from every continent sacrificed their lives.

82. The Palestinian people would have been untrue to itself if it had not taken up arms against so flagrant an injustice.

83. At the end of the Second World War, the solidarity of the struggle against the forces degrading man aroused new hopes for the common fate of mankind, which was just beginning to rise again after the indescribable suffering that war had inflicted on it within one lifetime.

84. Those hopes, if they were to be kept alive and to lead to concerted action, could only be based on the universal principles that, fortunately, we find in the Charter of our Organization.

85. Thus, the Charter recognizes and makes legitimate the struggle of the peoples for their national sovereignty. But, while the period that followed the adoption of the Charter saw the emergence of new States, and while the last bastions of domination and colonial exploitation have been falling everywhere in the world, the situation of the Palestinians has deteriorated because of the complicity of certain distinguished Members of our Organization, who find satisfaction in encouraging Israel's refusal to comply with the relevant decisions of the international community.

86. It should be recalled that on 2 April 1947 the British Government brought the Palestinian question to the United Nations General Assembly.3/

87. Instead of examining the question in conformity with the relevant provisions of the Charter proclaiming the inalienable right of peoples to self-determination, instead of examining the question in the light of the promises made on 10 August 1920 and 17 May 1939 with regard to the reconstitution of the State of Palestine, the United Nations confined itself to transmitting the question from special committee to ad hoc committee, from conciliation commission to mediation missions.

88. That was only a subterfuge, to give the Zionists time to usurp Palestine and to establish there the national home of the Jews, who made up only one third of the population.

89. The State of Israel was precipitously admitted to the United Nations, when the international Organization did not yet have before it all the reports of the commissions and committees that it had itself established to enlighten it about the decisions it would have to take on the Palestinian question. On the other hand, the Palestinian people were relegated to oblivion and given the ignominious label of "refugee".

90. This magnanimity of the Organization towards international zionism was designed to close the book on the odious crimes of which the Jewish people had been the victim throughout its history. But the Palestinian people, which is persistently sacrificed; bore no responsibility for the calvary of the Jews.

91. The indescribable treatment inflicted on the Palestinian people is not such as to ensure stability and peace in the Middle East, particularly in Palestine. It is therefore contrary to the purposes and principles of the Charter, all the provisions of which are binding on States, which of their own free will became Members of our Organization.

92. When Israel was admitted to the United Nations, the head of its delegation in the General Assembly pledged on behalf of the Israeli Government "undivided loyalty to the Charter of the United Nations and ... consecration to the cause of peace."4/ That was merely an attempt at absolution because later events refuted that profession of faith.

93. Israel not only established a regime of military occupation in Palestine but annexed the neighbouring Arab territories.

94. We do not wish to go beyond the framework of the question now before the General Assembly, or to dwell on the calvary of the Palestinian people in its march towards its destiny, but at times history is a reliable source.

95. In the course of the years the international community became aware that it had to redress the great injustice committed against the Palestinian people, but it did not go beyond the adoption of timid resolutions of a humanitarian nature, while the Palestinian question has always been essentially a political question. It is this reality that the representatives of the third world have striven to make the international Organization recognize as their countries have been admitted to it.

96. The Middle East had once again to be put to fire and the sword in the autumn of 1973 and powerful interests came into play before certain great Powers became conscious of and began to ponder what the Secretary-General so rightly called "the Palestinian dimension of the Middle East", which, for my delegation, is the Palestinian dimension in international security. Since then the decisions of our Organization on this painful question have reflected the new vision of this grave crisis which has torn the Middle East apart for a quarter of a century.

97. The Organization gave proof of its determination to restore peace in the Middle East by adopting Security Council resolutions 338(1973) and General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3375 (XXX), reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people "to self-determination without external interference" and "to national independence and sovereignty", and the participation of the PLO as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people in all efforts in this direction undertaken by the international community.

98. This new dynamic attitude is unfortunately blocked by the persistent refusal of Israel to co-operate with the Organization in seeking a just settlement of the Palestinian, tragedy. Yet admission to the United Nations placed on Israel the obligation to comply with the purposes and principles of the Charter and to renounce the use of force against the fundamental rights of the Palestinians.

99. The various reports on the situation in Palestine, and particularly the last report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories [A/311218], once again give an abundance of details on Israeli violations of commitments undertaken as regards the United Nations.

100. The very fact of the existence in Tel Aviv of a "Ministerial Committee for the Settlement of the Occupied Territories" is significant in this respect and reveals that it is the policy of the Israeli Government to take over all the land of Palestine. The inhuman policy of so-called settlement which the corresponding Department is responsible for promoting in the occupied territories consists in establishing settlements, creating new zones of settlement and increasing the density.of the Jewish population. This policy has reached terrible new heights through the implementation of the anti-social Koenig plan, which the chairman of the delegation of Mali attacked forcefully in his statement in the General Assembly on 8 October 1976 [24th meeting].

101. Violence engenders violence. A people denied its fundamental rights will turn to resistance. We should not be surprised to see the Palestinian people mobilized within the PLO and intensifying their struggle to win their independence, emerge from anonymity and take their rightful place within the international community. Of late that resistance has taken on dimensions that had not been anticipated even within occupied Palestine. The recent disturbances in Jerusalem and Nablus, the collective resignations of the municipal councils of Nablus, Ramallah, Bir-Zev, and so on, because of the violent clashes between Palestinian students and the Israeli occupation forces bear eloquent witness to the breadth and depth of that resistance. Tel Aviv's reaction to that popular uprising was to close schools, increase mass arrests, let dogs loose on schoolchildren, adopt new emergency rules and carry out new raids on the Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

102. This embarking on a cycle of violence by Israel ill conceals its powerlessness in the face of the vitality of the Palestinian resistance. The United Nations cannot remain indifferent to that escalation of violence.

103. The tragic events which have torn Lebanon asunder in the past 19 months and which have caused the deaths of more than 60,000 people and the wounding of almost 2 million, are but tragic developments of the Middle East crisis. Without the vigilance and perspicacity of the Arab leaders, the whole region would have been set ablaze.

104. Bearing in mind the fact that since the October war of 1973 Israel has become one of the most monstrous military arsenals of the world, the danger this represents for international peace and security is easy to assess.

105. The report of the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, which is before us for consideration, is therefore of the utmost value.

106. May I, on behalf of my delegation, most warmly congratulate all the members of that Committee and particularly its Chairman, Mr. Fall of Senegal, on the clarity, conciseness and consistency of the report that has been submitted to us.

107. My delegation wishes to avail itself of this opportunity to congratulate also the Secretary-General and his Special Representative, Mr. Guyer, for their praiseworthy efforts to implement resolution 3375 (XXX).

108. The general considerations and recommendations contained in the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People must of necessity be complied with by all States Members, including Israel, because they are derived from resolutions which were adopted unanimously. The Security Council, which is considering this matter, must, at the conclusion of its deliberations, adopt the measures we are entitled to expect of it under Article 24 of the Charter, which confers upon it primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

109. Unfortunately, the Council has been prevented from doing so because of the abuse of the right of veto power by one of its permanent members, for whom secondary considerations once again prevailed over the safeguarding of international peace and security.

110. We cannot but regret, moreover, the opposition of four members of the Security Council to the participation of the PLO in the discussion of the report before the Council.

111. This attitude is an offence to the General Assembly, which, as early as two years ago, had decided to associate the PLO in its debates on the Palestinian question. Thus they endeavour to divert us from the appropriate course which alone can lead us to the establishment of a just and lasting peace in that part of the world.

112. Our Assembly will confirm its wisdom by unanimously adopting the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

Drafted after 16 official meetings and 20 informal meetings held between 26 February and 19 May 1976 at United Nations Headquarters, this important document proposes, on the basis of the real facts of the problem and the relevant decisions of our Organization, the process which must lead to the restoration of peace in that martyred land of the Middle East. On the basis of relevant General Assembly resolutions 181 (II), 194(111) and 273 (III), and Security Council resolution 237 (1967), which are challenged by no Member State, not even Israel, the report suggests in its recommendations to the Security Council and the Assembly that the Council draw up a time-table for the complete evacuation of the occupied Arab territories by the Israeli armed forces.

113. This initial step, to take effect on 1 June 1977 at the latest, should enable our Organization to set in motion the process of self-determination of the Palestinian people in accordance with resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3376 (XXX) of the General Assembly. It is understood that the Palestinians, expelled from their lands as a result of the usurpation of their country by international Zionism, will be allowed, if they so choose, to take advantage of their right of return, which is expressly recognized in General Assembly resolution 194(111) and Security Council resolution 237 (1967), to go back to their homes and to recover possession of all their goods.

114. The execution of that operation in two phases was deliberately planned so as to take into account the capacity of the competent Israeli services to receive the Palestinians. This is the first genuine attempt in 25 years to implement the relevant decisions unanimously adopted by our Organization to resolve the stalemate in the process of establishing peace in the Middle East. It has the advantage of being balanced and of including all the objective requirements of a just and lasting settlement of the crisis. In this respect, it is a last resort.

115. Israel must realize that the march of history is irreversible, and that the isolation to which it is condemned, even by a large part of its own public opinion does not pay. It cannot continue to oppose the Arab nation and the international community, despite the financial and material aid it receives from the 6 million Jews of the Diaspora and its great ally. Its fragile economy cannot indefinitely bear the heavy war effort required. Broad sectors of Israeli public opinion are becoming increasingly aware of this truth. One of the most prestigious men of the Jewish State, only the day before yesterday, declared that he was in favour of an over-all negotiation in Geneva with all the Arabs, including the PLO. Furthermore, he added: "What matters, actually, is not to decide with whom one should talk, but what one talks about". This statement certainly surprised Israeli politicians, since that statesman, who was considered an extremist, had always been against any concession whatever, particularly in regard to territory.

116. The Government of Tel Aviv must realize that its alarmist slogans no longer have any effect in a world which has already been sufficiently alerted to its expansionist and imperialist aims. The wise and constructive proclamations of Chairman Arafat, head of the PLO, and of Mr. Kaddoumi, the political leader of the organization, have destroyed those slogans for all time. Tel Aviv must not fail to grasp the olive branch which Chairman Arafat is so generously offering it. Its salvation depends on a dialogue between the Palestinians and the Jews, the very two peoples which, throughout the course of history, have made this promised land of Palestine the land of milk and honey, a land of which so many poets have sung the praises.

117. By adopting by a vast majority, if not unanimously, the report before us, we shall be removing Israel's illusions and compelling it to comply with our decisions and to co-operate in the restoration of peace in the Middle East.

118. Mr. FLORIN (German Democratic Republic) (interpretation from Russian): The German Democratic Republic is a member of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Representatives of the German Democratic Republic, together with the other members of the Committee and representatives of numerous other States which took part in the work of the Committee on the basis of the open invitation to all Members of the United Nations, as well as with the PLO, made a constructive contribution. In so doing, the representatives of the German Democratic Republic were guided by the following fundamental considerations.

119. First, the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people is not simply a humanitarian question or a question of easing the suffering of the refugees. Rather, it is an extremely important political question.

120. Secondly, the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people is one of the key problems in the Middle East conflict, the just solution of which is a precondition for the elimination of the Middle East crisis and for the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

121. Thirdly, the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people can be exercised only within the framework of the final and just settlement of the Middle East conflict, which would include, above all, Israel's withdrawal from all the Arab territories it occupied in June 1967.

122. The Arab people of Palestine is a long-suffering people. For several decades now, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been compelled to endure deprivation and poverty. Driven from their homes, many Palestinians have been compelled time and again to flee from one country to another. In the areas occupied by Israel the Palestinians are subjected to cruel racist terror. The aggressor, with the help of other reactionary forces, even pursues its victims into other countries. It is regrettable that one of the speakers here, speaking in the general debate about the situation in Lebanon, followed Israel's example of slanderous attacks directed against the front-line warriors of the Palestinian people. He had no word to say about the generally recognized fact of Israel's collusion with extreme right-wing circles in Lebanon.

123. The life of the Arab people of Palestine is a tragedy that must be brought to an end. "It must not be permitted that the hard-hit Arab people of Palestine suffer further harm" [15th meeting, para. 145], said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the German Democratic Republic in his statement in the general debate at this session of the General Assembly.

124. Despite all its burdens, the Palestinian people does not flinch from its struggle for the exercise of its inalienable rights, and our Organization has taken upon itself an obligation to give its assistance. Its inalienable rights have been unshakably confirmed in documents of the United Nations. I would recall just one—General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX)-which reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination without external interference, as well as its right to national independence and sovereignty. The Palestinian people has the same rights as all other peoples, including the right to establish an independent State in which it will decide its future as it sees fit.

125. The Palestinian people not only has rights; it also has a legitimate representative, a guiding force leading its struggle, and I am referring to the PLO. The number of States now recognizing the PLO as the legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine exceeds that of States which still maintain diplomatic relations with Israel. The role and significance of the PLO is also reflected in its election as a member of the Co-ordinating Bureau of Non-aligned Countries. We are convinced to our satisfaction, that the representatives of the PLO are making a valuable contribution to the work of all the organs of the United Nations, as indeed was the case in the Committee whose report is before us.

126. I should like to take this opportunity to reiterate our firm determination to give the PLO all possible support.

127. A few weeks ago, in Karl-Marx-Stadt in the German Democratic Republic, there took place the second international trade-union conference in solidarity with the workers and people of Palestine. The representatives of 70 international, regional and national trade-union organi­zations from Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America, as well as representatives of numerous international democratic organizations, appealed to the workers of all coun­tries and their many trade-union organizations to strengthen their solidarity with the Palestinian people and its legitimate representative, the PLO. The German Demo­cratic Republic is heeding that appeal.

128. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People pointed in its report to the paths leading to the attainment of the lofty goal. Since any step forward can be determined and taken only by taking due account of developments in the Middle East, I really must draw attention to the fact that the present situation in the Middle East continues to arouse serious alarm. The main problem has been and remains Israel's continuing aggression. This is a fact, no matter how cunning may be the representatives of Israel and those who support Israel, no matter how hard the representative of one Asian country with a large population tries to confuse the true situation and distract attention from the roots of the Middle East conflict.

129. Just a year ago some delegations expressed the hope that a step-by-step policy might promote the easing of tension in the Middle East. A number of delegations even saw in the disengagement agreements significant steps towards a final settlement of the conflict as a whole. Some people even fostered the illusion that the imperialist circles which first permitted and then defended Israel's policy of aggression had suddenly become the friends of the victims of that very policy of aggression. But developments soon showed everybody-and today nobody has any doubts about it-that the singling out of individual secondary questions from the whole body of questions relating to the Middle East conflict in no way promotes detente in that part of the world. The key problem was and remains Israel's continuing aggression.

130. As in the past, the ruling circles in Israel are unwilling to give up the Zionist concept of expansionism. Israel has gone over from so-called hot occupation to so-called cold annexation. All internal resources and the financial and military assistance supplied to Israel by its protectors continue to be used for the oppression of the population of the occupied Arab territories, for rapid armament and for aggressive action.

131. The Israeli militarists are acting in accordance with a new plan for changing the demographic structure of the population in the territories occupied by Israel. The Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Israel, Comrade Zahdi Narkab, in the publication France Nouvelle of 4 October 1976, reported on a secret document on the Judaization of Galilee prepared by a senior official in the Israeli Ministry of Internal Affairs, a certain Mr. Koenig. This is a plan the racist character of which recalls dread times the horrors of which are still remembered by many citizens of European States, including some of Jewish extraction. Enormous resources have been spent on the implementation of that plan.

132. Israel is accelerating the arms race in the Middle East. Prime Minister Rabin does not conceal where those resources come from. In an interview in the U.S. News & World Report of 6 September 1976 he stated inter alia that during the financial year 1976 Israel received more than $2.2 billion. For the financial year 1977 President Ford has provided a sum of approximately $1.75 billion, including $1 billion as military assistance and $750 million in the form of economic aid. If Israel receives $1 billion in 1977 and the same in 1978, 1979 and 1980, then by 1980 there will still be lacking $1 billion for the purchase of the arms the United States has already approved for supply to Israel. That is what was stated by the Prime Minister of Israel.

133. Any one who thinks along these lines is counting on perpetuating the crisis in the Middle East and intends to impede a speedy political settlement of the Middle East conflict. Voices are being raised increasingly against plans of this kind. People in leading Israeli circles, who in their lifetime have suffered cruel military, inflationary and tax burdens, are calling for social security and welfare, and in those circles the continuing policy of aggression is running up against increasingly acute criticism and resistance. The attempts of the Israeli Government to break out of its growing international isolation by means of secret agreements with such reactionary regimes as the Vorster apartheid regime in South Africa only reveal even more clearly the nature of that policy.

134. Today there is no way out of this situation but to intensify the struggle for a just political settlement of the Middle East conflict. The Government of the German Democratic Republic, which, like many other Governments, has a profound interest in removing the causes of the Middle East crisis, wishes to focus attention on the following key issues: first, the complete withdrawal of Israel from all the territories it occupied in 1967; secondly, the fulfilment of the lawful national demands of the Arab people of Palestine, including its right to establish its own independent State; and, thirdly, the provision of international guarantees of the security and inviolability of the borders of all States in the Middle East and guarantees of the right to independent existence and development.

135. The German Democratic Republic supports the call for an early convening of the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East, the machinery established specifically to solve Middle East problems, and it welcomes the corresponding initiative on the part of the Soviet Union. [A/31/257]. We are firmly convinced that the PLO, as the legitimate representative of the Arab people of Palestine and as one of the main parties, must participate in that Conference on a footing of equality. This is in keeping with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and is also a requirement in the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People which has been submitted to us.

136. In conclusion, permit me to state once again the conviction of my delegation that it is impossible to achieve a lasting and just settlement of the Middle East conflict unless the Palestinian people is able to exercise its inalienable rights, including its rights to establish its own independent State. In exactly the same way, the exercise of its inalienable rights by the Palestinian people is, in the final analysis, inconceivable unless that conflict is settled.

137. Mr. KADLEC (Czechoslovakia) (interpretation from Russian): Unfortunately, this is not the first time that we have had to speak in this forum about the question of the Palestinians and Palestine in connexion with Middle East problems. Almost 30 years ago, hundreds and thousands of Palestinian Arabs were driven from their homeland and for 30 years now this heroic and freedom-loving people has been struggling for its inalienable rights-for the establishment of its own State and for the right freely and independently to decide its own future.

138. The courageous struggle of the Palestinians is receiving increasingly strong support in the world. However, it is one thing to recognize their rights but quite another to make a genuine effort for their implementation. In that light we should also consider the various schemes for the settlement of the conflict in the Middle East, and that is the standpoint from which we approach what has been said concerning the solution of the Palestinian problem. Today this is the view held by the majority of Members of our Organization: the settlement of the Palestinian question is the key to the solution of the whole Middle East problem. This means that their attitude to the Palestinian question is the criterion of the sincerity of all the efforts regarding the political settlement of this problem.

139. It is no secret that the main obstacle to a peaceful and comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem is the aggressive and intolerable policy of Israel, a policy of barbarous suppression of the natural opposition of the Palestinian Arabs to the occupying forces and regime and a policy of shameless exploitation of their natural and human resources in the occupied territories and, finally, a policy of non-compliance with Security Council and General Assembly resolutions and a policy of arrogant deception of world public opinion.

140. What is the true goal of that policy? Here in the United Nations forum we have not heard anything from the Israeli representative, apart from cynical statements to the effect that "through our occupation of the Arab territories we are raising the living standards of the oppressed Palestinian people in the occupied Arab territories". But we can learn a lot about the true reasons for that policy from the statements of official representatives of Israel and from commentaries in the Israeli press. The aim of that policy, according to certain well-known and excessively cynical statements, is to ensure, by means of the settlement of the occupied Arab territories by Israelis and by undermining the unity of the Arab peoples and deceiving world public opinion, the establishment of conditions for the perpetuation of the annexation of Arab territories.

141. Israel could not continue to pursue such a policy if it were truly acting alone, in isolation. It has been possible for it to secure its chauvinistic interests thanks to the support of the imperialist countries which, in the pursuit of their own interests, have proposed various plans for a so-called gradual solution of the Middle East problem. Surely, recent times have clearly shown that those plans not only will not lead to a settlement of the Middle East situation but will in fact help Israel to carry out its expansionist plans. Surely, the time has come to get down to negotiations and solve the whole complex of Middle East problems in all their aspects and with the participation of all interested parties, by peaceful political means.

137. 142. The Czechoslovak delegation has always been in favour of a consistent and over-all solution of the Middle East problem. We have always consistently held the view that the question of the restoration of the lawful national rights of the Arab people of Palestine is an inseparable, integral part of an over-all settlement of the Middle East situation. Such a settlement, as was stated during the general debate of this session of the General Assembly by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Czechoslovakia, Bohuslav Chnoupek,

"... can be attained there only on the basis of the three interconnected principles: the withdrawal of Israeli forces from all Arab territories occupied in 1967; the granting of the legitimate national demands of the Arab people of Palestine, including their inalienable right to establish their own State; international guarantees for the security of all States in the Middle East and their right to an independent existence and development. It is quite logical and fully confirmed by past developments that the over-all .political settlement on the basis of those prin­ciples can be achieved only in the appropriate forum, namely, at the Geneva Peace Conference on the Middle East, the work of which should be resumed with the participation of all parties concerned, including the Palestine Liberation Organization." [19th meeting, para. 29.]

143. In this connexion, in the view of the Czechoslovak delegation, document A/31/257, which contains the latest Soviet proposal on the need to resume the work of the Geneva Peace Conference on the possibility of a speedy settlement of the Middle East crisis, warrants special attention. In the view of the Czechoslovak delegation, this latest USSR proposal-and in particular the agenda for the negotiations-contains all the substantive points for the solution of the problems of Palestine and of the Middle East. In addition, that proposal takes into account the legitimate rights and interests of all the States involved in the conflict. The Czechoslovak delegation is convinced that this new Soviet initiative will provide a sufficiently broad basis for a just settlement of the Middle East conflict.

144. At its meeting on 10 November 1975 during the thirtieth session the General Assembly adopted resolution 3376 (XXX) establishing the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. During a relatively short time that Committee has done considerable work which deserves high praise. The Czechoslovak delegation expresses its complete agreement with the constructive conclusions of the Committee and believes that at its thirty-first session the General Assembly must confirm its conclusion and thus act to further the solution of the Palestinian question.


The meeting rose at 1.20 p.m.

------

1/ See Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-first Session, Second Committee, 46th meeting para. 38.

2/ The delegations of Ethiopia and Malaysia subsequently informed the Secretariat that they wished to have their votes recorded as having been in favour of the draft resolution. The delegation of Luxembourg subsequently informed the Secretariat that it wished to have its vote recorded as an abstention.

3/ See Official Records of the General Assembly, First Special Session, Plenary Meetings, annexes, document A/286.

4/ Ibid., Third Session, Part II, Plenary Meetings (207th meeting), p. 333.


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