Press Release
Department of Public Information · News Coverage Service · New York

24 July 2001


The Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories will visit Egypt, Jordan and Syria from 25 July to 5 August 2001.

Established in 1968, the Special Committee has not been successful in obtaining the cooperation of the Government of Israel or access to the occupied territories. The Committee has been able to benefit from the cooperation and information provided by representatives from the Governments of Egypt, Jordan and Syria. During this field mission, the Committee plans to hold hearings in Cairo between 26 and 28 July and in Amman from 30 July to 1 August. Hearings in Damascus have been scheduled from 2 to 4 August 2001. The information gathered during these hearings, from witnesses having first-hand and recent experience of the human rights situation in the occupied territories and from Governmental representatives, is taken into account in the Special Committee's reports to the General Assembly. Information appearing in the Israeli press and the Arab press published in the occupied territories is also made available to the Committee. The Committee formulates conclusions containing its evaluation of the situation as well as recommendations.

The Special Committee holds three annual meetings. The second series of meetings is combined with a mission to the area. The Special Committee will adopt its annual report during the third series of meetings scheduled to take place in Geneva in August 2001.

The Special Committee was established in December 1968 by General Assembly resolution 2443 (XXIII). It is composed of three Member States: Sri Lanka (Chairman), Senegal and Malaysia. Sri Lanka is currently represented by John de Saram, Permanent Representative of that country to the United Nations in New York. Senegal is represented by Absa Claude Diallo, Permanent Representative of that country to the United Nations Office at Geneva. Malaysia is represented by Hasmy Agam, Permanent Representative of that country to the United Nations in New York.

The Special Committee's mandate was renewed for an additional year on 8 December 2000 by General Assembly resolution 55/131. The findings of the Special Committee are contained in its report to the General Assembly; document A/55/453 of 5 October 2000.

For information media - not an official record