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17 August 1998
Item 85 of the provisional agenda
Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli
Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian
People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories
Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices
Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and
Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories
Report of the Secretary-General
(in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 52/64)
1. The present report is submitted in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 52/64 of 10 December 1997. Paragraph 8 of the resolution reads as follows:
The General Assembly
(a) To provide the Special Committee with all necessary facilities, including those required for its visits to the occupied territories, so that it may investigate the Israeli policies and practices referred to in the present resolution;
(b) To continue to make available such additional staff as may be necessary to assist the Special Committee in the performance of its tasks;
(c) To circulate regularly to Member States the periodic reports on the current situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, including Jerusalem;
(d) To ensure the widest circulation of the reports of the Special Committee and of information regarding its activities and findings, by all means available, through the Office of Communications and Public Information of the Secretariat and, where necessary, to reprint those reports of the Special Committee that are no longer available;
(e) To report to the General Assembly at its fifty-third session on the tasks entrusted to him in the present resolution.
2. All necessary facilities were provided to the Special Committee. Arrangements were made for it to meet in March, July and September 1998. Furthermore, the Special Committee carried out a field mission to Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic in July 1998. Two periodic reports and the thirtieth annual report of the Special Committee have been circulated to Member States (A/53/136 and Add.1 and 2).
3. Pursuant to paragraph 8 (d) of resolution 52/64, the Department of Public Information undertook the following activities:
(a) The Department of Public Information continued to provide press coverage of the meetings of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories. Extensive press and audiovisual coverage was also provided for the meetings of the Commission on Human Rights. The methods used by the Department to provide this coverage included production of press releases, publications, television news packages and radio programmes, and organizing press briefings and briefings for the public;
(b) The Department continued to disseminate United Nations information materials, documents and press releases on the activities of the Special Committee and the Commission on Human Rights through the global network of United Nations information centres and services in 69 countries, the 364 depository libraries in 141 countries and electronically through the Internet. The Department also continued to make information materials available to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through its resource centres in New York and Geneva;
(c) The Department of Public Information provided press coverage to the Special Committees field mission to Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic from 31 July 1998. Press releases about the activities of the Committee were issued at Headquarters and United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Geneva, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Cairo (Egypt), and UNDP offices in Amman (Jordan) and Damascus (Syria); UNIS/UNIC Beirut (Lebanon) assisted with media coverage during the Committees mission in that region.
4. It should be also noted that, on 15 May 1998, the Secretary-General addressed a note verbale to all States drawing attention to resolutions 52/64, 52/65, 52/67 and 52/68.