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About the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
A/43/35
27 October 1988

Forty-third session

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE
INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE*


CONTENTS

Paragraphs
Page
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
v
I.INTRODUCTION
1 - 7
1
II.
MANDATE OF THE COMMITTEE
8 - 10
3
III. ORGANIZATION OF WORK
11 - 16
4
A.Election of officers
11 - 13
4
B.Participation in the work of the Committee
14 - 15
4
C.Re-establishment of the Working Group
16
4
IV.ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMITTEE
17 - 128
5
A.Action taken in accordance with General Assembly resolution 42/66 A of 2 December 1987
17 - 95
5
1. Review of the situation relating to the question of Palestine and efforts to implement the recommendations of the Committee
17 - 31
5
2.Reactions to developments affecting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people
32 - 86
8
3.Action taken by the Committee to promote the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C of 13 December 1983
87 - 93
21
4.Attendance at international conferences and meetings
94
23
5. Action taken by other United Nations bodies, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and intergovernmental organizations
95
24
B.Action taken by the Committee in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 42/66 A and B of
2 December 1987
96 - 128
26
1.Co-operation with non-governmental organizations
96 - 112
26
2.Seminars
113 - 125
29
3.Other activities
126 - 128
31
V.ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION IN ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 42/66 C
129 - 140
33
VI.RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE
141 - 148
36

Annexes
I.Recommendations of the Committee endorsed by the General Assembly at its thirty-first session
39
II.Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights
42
III.Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Eighteenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, Havana, Cuba, 15 to 17 December 1987
52
IV.Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Nineteenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, Berlin, German Democratic Republic, 25 to 29 April 1988
57
V.Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twentieth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, New York, 27 to
28 June 1988
63
VI.Declaration adopted by the United Nations North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, New York, 29 June to
1 July 1988
68
VII.Declaration adopted by the United Nations European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, Geneva, 29 to 30 August 1988
72
VIII.Declaration adopted by the International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine, Geneva, 31 August to 2 September 1988
75




* The present document is a mimeographed version of the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The report will be issued subsequently as Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-third Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/43/35).

88-26811 0652-53b (E)




LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL


25 October 1988


Excellency,

I have the honour to enclose herewith the report of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for submission to the General Assembly in accordance with paragraph 4 of resolution 42/66 A of 2 December 1987.

Accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.


(Signed) Absa Claude DIALLO Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People




His Excellency
Mr. Javier Pérez de Cuéllar
Secretary-General of the United Nations


I. INTRODUCTION



1. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, established by General Assembly resolution 3376 (XXX) of 10 November 1975, is currently composed of 23 Member States as follows: Afghanistan, Cuba, Cyprus, German Democratic Republic, Guinea, Guyana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and Yugoslavia.

2. In its first report, 1/ the Committee made a number of recommendations specifically designed to enable the Palestinian people to attain and exercise its inalienable rights in Palestine as previously recognized and defined by the General Assembly. Those recommendations were first endorsed by the Assembly in its resolution 31/20 of
24 November 1976 as a basis for the solution of the question of Palestine.

3. In its subsequent reports to the General Assembly, 2/ the Committee reaffirmed its original recommendations and called for their implementation. On each occasion they have been endorsed overwhelmingly by the Assembly, which has also continued to renew and, as necessary, expand the mandate of the Committee.

4. However, despite the increasing urgency of the appeals by the Committee, the Security Council has not yet been able to act on or implement the recommendations of the Committee. The Committee remains convinced that positive consideration and action by the Security Council on the recommendations of the Committee would advance prospects for the attainment of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the core of which is the question of Palestine.

5. The Committee's efforts to promote such a solution acquired particular urgency in light of the grave deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories in the year under review as a consequence of the repressive policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, in its efforts to quell the Palestinian uprising (intifadah) against the occupation, which began in December 1987. Despite the international outcry over repeated violations of human rights in the occupied territories and the adoption by the Security Council of several resolutions requesting the occupying Power to abide by the relevant international instruments and United Nations resolutions, Israel continued to resort to military force against the Palestinian population resisting the occupation, and to engage in armed attacks against the integrity and sovereignty of countries in the region. The Committee expressed the greatest concern at the mounting casualties and suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people and warned that the intransigence of Israel would further exacerbate the situation, jeopardize international efforts towards a just and lasting settlement, and further endanger international peace and security. The Committee reasserted that no solution could be achieved as long as the Palestinian people was denied its inalienable rights in Palestine, including those to self-determination without external interference, to national independence and sovereignty, to return to its homes and property, and to establish its own independent sovereign State, and as long as the Palestinian and other Arab territories remained occupied.

6. The urgency of taking measures to protect the Palestinian people under occupation, to guarantee the safety and security and the legal and human rights of the Palestinian refugees in all the territories under Israeli occupation and to alleviate their suffering and the imperative necessity of breaking out of the current stalemate and advancing towards a peaceful settlement of this longstanding question were paramount concerns in the Committee's programme of work during the year under review.

7. The Committee accordingly repeatedly appealed to the Security Council to take appropriate action to secure United Nations objectives on the question of Palestine, and again accorded utmost priority to the early convening of the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East in conformity with General Assembly resolution
38/58 C of 3 December 1983. The Committee remains convinced that the Conference would make a practical and positive contribution to efforts to promote a just and lasting peace in the Middle East and continues to stress the urgent need for additional concrete and constructive efforts by all Governments in order to convene the Conference without further delay.



II. MANDATE OF THE COMMITTEE



8. The Committee's mandate for the year 1988 is contained in paragraphs 3 to 5 of General Assembly resolution 42/66 A of 2 December 1987 by which the Assembly:

(a) Requested the Committee to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine as well as the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights 3/ adopted by the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, and to report and make suggestions to the General Assembly or the Security Council, as appropriate;

(b) Authorized the Committee to continue to exert all efforts to promote the implementation of its recommendations, including representation at conferences and meetings and the sending of delegations, to make such adjustments in its approved programme of seminars and of symposia and meetings for non-governmental organizations as it may consider necessary, and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its forty-third session and thereafter;

(c) Requested the Committee to continue to extend its co-operation to non-governmental organizations in their contribution towards heightening international awareness of the facts relating to the question of Palestine and in creating a more favourable atmosphere for the full implementation of the Committee's recommendations, and to take the necessary steps to expand its contacts with those organizations.

9. By its resolution 42/66 B of 2 December 1987, the General Assembly also requested the Secretary-General, inter alia, to provide the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat with the necessary resources and to ensure that it continues to discharge the tasks detailed in earlier resolutions, in consultation with the Committee and under its guidance.

10. By its resolution 42/66 C of 2 December 1987, the General Assembly requested the Department of Public Information, in full co-operation and co-ordination with the Committee, to continue its special information programme on the question of Palestine.



III. ORGANIZATION OF WORK



A. Election of officers


11. At its 149th meeting, on 14 January 1988, the Committee decided to re-elect the following officers:

Chairman:H.E. Mr. Massamba Sarré (Senegal)
Vice-Chairmen:H.E. Mr. Oscar Oramas-Oliva (Cuba)
H.E. Mr. Shah Mohammad Dost (Afghanistan)
Rapporteur:H.E. Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta)


12. At its 155th meeting, on 23 August 1988, the Committee elected H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal) as Chairman in place of H.E. Mr. Massamba Sarré (Senegal) who had left New York on another assignment for his country.

13. At its 150th meeting, on 10 March 1988, the Committee adopted its programme of work for 1988 (A/AC.183/1988/CRP.1/Rev.1) in implementation of its mandate.

B. Participation in the work of the Committee


14. As in previous years, the Committee reconfirmed that all States Members of the United Nations and Permanent Observers to the United Nations desiring to participate in the work of the Committee as observers were welcome to do so. Accordingly, in a letter dated 30 March 1988, the Chairman of the Committee so informed the Secretary-General, who subsequently transmitted the letter, on 20 April 1988, to States Members of the United Nations and members of the specialized agencies, and to intergovernmental regional organizations. The Committee also decided to invite the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to participate in the work of the Committee as an observer, to attend all its meetings and to make observations and proposals for the consideration of the Committee.

15. During 1988 the Committee again welcomed as observers all the States and organizations that had participated in its work in the preceding year. 4/


C. Re-establishment of the Working Group


16. At its 149th meeting, the Committee re-established its Working Group to assist in the preparation and expedition of the work of the Committee. The Working Group was constituted as before under the chairmanship of Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta), on the understanding that any Committee member or observer could participate in its proceedings.5/ Mr. Pramathesh Rath (India) was re-elected Vice-Chairman of the Working Group.


IV. ACTION TAKEN BY THE COMMITTEE

A.
Action taken in accordance with General Assembly
resolution 42/66 A of 2 December 1987

1.
Review of the situation relating to the question of Palestine
and efforts to implement the recommendations of the Committee



17. In accordance with its mandate, in the year under review, the Committee continued to follow developments relating to the question of Palestine and to exert all efforts to promote the implementation of its recommendations as repeatedly endorsed by the General Assembly.

18. In response to events in the region affecting the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, the Chairman of the Committee, on repeated occasions, whenever urgent action was required, brought such developments to the attention of the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, and called for appropriate measures in accordance with United Nations resolutions (see sect. A.2 (a) below).

19. The Committee was alarmed at the serious deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories as a result of the increasing resort by Israel to armed force and other draconian measures in an effort to suppress the popular uprising, which began in early December 1987, against the continued occupation and gradual annexation of the occupied Palestinian territories and against the Israeli policies and practices violating the rights of the Palestinian people.

20. The Committee monitored the situation on an ongoing basis through the media, the reports of missions dispatched to the area by United Nations organs and agencies as well as by non-governmental organizations, the reports of individual experts and persons from the occupied territories who participated in meetings held under the auspices of the Committee, information collected by Governments, and other sources.

21. According to this information, the number of Palestinians shot to death by Israeli armed forces since early December 1987 had reached a total of 248 identified cases by
27 September 1988. Another 126 Palestinians had died from beatings, tear gas inhalation, and other causes related to actions by Israeli armed forces and Israeli settlers. Thousands of Palestinians had been wounded or had suffered crushed bones in beatings administered at random by Israeli soldiers in implementation of the policy of "might, force and beatings" to suppress the uprising, announced by the Israeli Defence Minister in January 1988. The Committee was alarmed at the high proportion of youths and children among the victims. The Committee also noted with grave concern various reports that the total casualty toll among Palestinians was probably much higher because of the fear of many Palestinians that they would be arrested if they went to a hospital for treatment of wounds, and because the repeated sealing of entire areas, measures to restrict the activities of the press and the detention and harassment of journalists and human rights workers had made it increasingly difficult to collect systematic information on the situation. The Committee also expressed grave preoccupation at the growing involvement of armed Israeli settlers in attacks against the Palestinian population, and at the announced policy of the authorities to allow settlers to shoot Palestinian demonstrators seen carrying what seemed to be firebombs.

22. In this connection, the Committee was extremely concerned at reports by humanitarian assistance organizations that were able to visit the area that medical personnel was refused access to camps and villages closed by the military and that hospitals had been attacked, equipment destroyed, medical personnel and patients beaten, and that patients had been arrested and taken away. In view of the high number of casualties, the Committee was alarmed at information that the health situation in the occupied territories and particularly in Gaza had reached catastrophic proportions and that hospitals were facing severe shortages because the authorities were restricting access to medical supplies. In this connection, the Committee deplored that the Special Committee of Experts of the World Health Organization (WHO) had again been refused access to the occupied territories and noted that the information collected by that Committee had caused it to express deep concern regarding the health situation in the occupied territories.

23. The Committee further noted that, in addition to the use of force, the Israeli authorities had resorted to a policy of mass arrests, imposition of administrative detention without charges or trial, and deportations, in its efforts to eradicate the leadership of the uprising. Human rights organizations estimated that, by the end of September 1988, about 5,500 Palestinians remained in detention, 2,500 of whom had been placed under administrative detention without charges or trial. Several new prison camps had been built, where conditions were reported to be in clear violation of international human rights standards. There were numerous reports of severe overcrowding, mistreatment and beating, and even killing of prisoners, lack of hygiene and unavailability of medical care. Several cases of torture were also reported. In addition, since the beginning of the uprising, the Israeli authorities deported 33 Palestinians from the occupied territories and issued deportation orders on another 25, in defiance of Security Council resolutions and of the provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

24. The Committee was also gravely concerned at the reported escalation of collective punishment measures directed against the entire Palestinian population. Repeatedly, Israeli forces had declared entire areas closed military zones and placed the population under extended curfews, sealing all entry points to villages and camps and preventing the delivery of foodstuffs and other essential items such as fuel and medicines; electricity and telephone service were repeatedly interrupted; thousands of trees were uprooted and crops bulldozed; and property was randomly destroyed in raids on Palestinian homes, which were reported to have become a regular occurrence. Some 236 homes were reported to have been destroyed as of 23 September 1988, displacing thousands of Palestinians, and hundreds more were reportedly scheduled for demolition.

25. The Committee further noted that Israel had imposed severe restrictions on freedom of movement within and outside the occupied territories and had intensified its restrictions on travel abroad. In this connection, the Committee strongly deplored that the Israeli authorities had denied permission to travel to persons from the occupied territories who had been invited by the Committee to participate in meetings of non-governmental organizations held under its auspices.

26. The growing resort by Israel to the use of force against the Palestinian population in general was accompanied by an intensification of measures against Palestinian economic, social and cultural institutions. Universities and other educational institutions, which had suffered frequent closings and other disruptions prior to the uprising, were closed on the West Bank from December 1987 to May 1988, and then again for varying periods of time. Most schools were also repeatedly closed in the Gaza Strip. A large number of schools in the occupied territories were sequestered by the army, for its own use, and school property destroyed. All teachers newly appointed at the beginning of the 1987-1988 academic year were dismissed. Palestinian trade unions were also the object of harassment and punitive measures. Twenty-four unions, as well as the General Federation of Trade Unions were reported to have been closed since the beginning of the uprising, and a number of trade unionists were arrested, placed under administrative detention, or expelled. The Palestine Press Service was closed for six months and other Palestinian publications were the object of harassment through repeated closings, disruption of distribution, and the arrest and detention of many Palestinian journalists. At the end of June 1988, the military commander of the West Bank ordered closed the relief organization In'ash el-Usra, which served the needs of over 15,000 Palestinians, for two years, the first such self-help community group to be so closed. Many Palestinian institutions were also closed and popular committees outlawed, and their members arrested.

27. In addition, the Israeli authorities adopted a number of stringent administrative and economic measures directed at further strengthening their control over key aspects of life in the occupied territories, and to stifle Palestinian resistance to the occupation, particularly efforts to boycott the military authorities. The authorities engaged in aggressive collection of back taxes, linking proof of payment of all Israeli taxes to the issuance of any official document (such as drivers licences, marriage or birth certificates) and, in the Gaza Strip, to the requirement that existing identity cards be replaced by new ones. Direct export of agricultural produce from the occupied territories was prohibited, thus causing great material damage to Palestinian farmers, who are dependent on exports for the marketing of their produce. In addition, the amount of money that Palestinians could bring across was reduced to one fifth the amount previously allowed, thus almost eliminating the possibility of indirect export and severely reducing the amount of remittances from Palestinians working abroad, on which many families depended. The restrictions were also causing great difficulties to voluntary organizations providing services not supplied by the occupation authorities. The authorities also repeatedly imposed the closing of Palestinian shops of an essential nature, such as bakeries and pharmacies, and forced the opening of others in an effort to break protest strikes.

28. These measures directed at suppressing the uprising were taken against a backdrop of intensified de facto annexation of the occupied territories. The total area of land confiscated by Israel since 1967 had reached almost 2.8 million dunums (1 dunam = 1,000 m2), i.e. more than half the land area of the occupied Palestinian territories, by May/1988. The number of settlements reached 170 in the West Bank and 20 in the Gaza Strip, and the establishment of new settlements and the expansion of existing ones were announced. Stringent restrictions continued to be imposed on water use, new construction, the granting of credit and other activities necessary for the development of the territories.

29. The Committee noted with great concern that in his annual report on the situation of workers in the occupied Arab territories, based on three missions to the area, the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) had concluded that the clashes resulting from the uprising and the repressive and other measures which had ensued gravely affected the situation of Arab workers in those territories. The report expressed concern that the situation of Arab workers, which was already seriously affected by the occupation, was likely to be increasingly aggravated if the occupation continued and if the serious events taking place in the territories persisted or assumed greater dimensions. The repercussions on employment and on living and working conditions, in the view of the ILO, could be extremely grave.

30. In light of these alarming developments in the occupied territories, the Committee wishes to draw once again the most urgent attention of the General Assembly and the Security Council to the policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, which are in flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, prevent the Palestinian people from attaining its inalienable rights, and thwart international efforts to bring about a peaceful settlement of the Palestine question, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. In this connection, the Committee considers that every effort should be made to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

31. At the same time, the Committee noted with appreciation that, in his report on assistance to the Palestinian people (A/43/367-E/1988/82), the Secretary-General had described a number of measures to respond to the emergency situation in the occupied territories, in accordance with the report he had submitted to the Security Council under resolution 605 (1987) (S/19443). Unfortunately, no action was authorized by the Security Council on that report owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the Security Council. The Committee was encouraged by the assessment that, although a number of projects had been disrupted, the assistance programme continued to operate at full strength and had made considerable progress, and that all organizations of the United Nations system had expressed a willingness to expand their activities in the area, provided additional funding was available. The Committee expressed its deep appreciation to the Governments which had increased their contributions to the programme and, noting that needs are still very great and that additional funding is urgently needed, associated itself with the Secretary-General's appeal to the international community to continue to increase its support for the assistance programme. The Committee considered that intensified efforts towards genuine development of the occupied territories, with the close involvement of the Palestinian people themselves, through their representative, the PLO, must be a necessary accompaniment of renewed efforts to achieve a political solution of the question.


2.
Reactions to developments affecting the inalienable rights
of the Palestinian people
(a)Communications to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council


32. In response to the very grave situation in the occupied Palestinian territories in the course of the year under review, the Chairman of the Committee repeatedly drew the most urgent attention of the Secretary-General and of the President of the Security Council to developments in the area and, in particular, to the intensification of repression by the Israeli military authorities, urging the adoption of appropriate measures in accordance with humanitarian principles and United Nations resolutions. The Chairman repeatedly pointed out that the policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, in the occupied Palestinian territories are in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, international human rights instruments and United Nations resolutions. He further stressed that such policies and practices pose further obstacles to international efforts to promote a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestine question. The Chairman reiterated his appeals to the Secretary-General and to the President of the Security Council to take all possible measures for ensuring the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians under occupation, and to intensify all efforts towards the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C.

33. In a letter dated 13 October 1987 (A/42/655-S/19203), the Chairman described an incident in the Gaza Strip which had resulted in the shooting death of three Palestinians and which had prompted demonstrations and a general students strike. A subsequent incident in which four Palestinians and an Israeli soldier had been killed had sparked widespread protests in the Gaza Strip which were still continuing. Extremely serious incidents had also been reported from the occupied West Bank, where a renewed attempt by militant Jews to enter the Islamic Holy Shrine or Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem had sparked protest demonstrations which had resulted in the death of a Palestinian woman. There had also been dozens of injuries among Palestinian demonstrators, and many had been arrested. Protest strikes had been declared in many areas.

34. In a letter dated 13 November 1987 (A/42/768-S/19270), the Chairman detailed a number of grave incidents which had taken place in the occupied Palestinian territories and had caused the death and injury of several Palestinians, including schoolchildren. The Chairman further reported that it had been disclosed by an official Israeli report that the Shin Beth internal security service had routinely subjected Palestinian detainees to physical abuse and that such abuse had been covered up in the courts.

35. On 11 December 1987 (A/42/877-S/19337), the Chairman drew urgent attention to the very dangerous situation which was being created in the occupied territories by renewed acts of violence by the Israeli troops, which had again resulted in casualties among young Palestinians. In the Gaza Strip, Israeli troops had shot two Palestinian youths dead and had wounded 18 others. Protesters assembled in the courtyard of a hospital were attacked by Israeli helicopters which dropped tear gas canisters into the crowd. Many schools and shops in the Gaza Strip remained closed and hundreds of Palestinians stayed away from work in Israel. In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers had shot six Palestinians, including an 11-year-old boy, to death in various towns and refugee camps, and had wounded many others in protest demonstrations. Many Palestinian protesters had been arrested. Military authorities had also detained the head of the Arab Journalists Union for six months without trial and had ordered the daily Al-Fajr to halt distribution in the West Bank for 10 days.

36. In a letter dated 29 December 1987 (A/43/73-S/19394), the Acting Chairman stated that the use of live ammunition by Israeli troops had already caused the killing of at least 23 Palestinians and injuring of hundreds of others. The number of Palestinian youths arrested by the Israeli army for suspected involvement in the recent wave of protests had risen to nearly 1,000. The army had opened two makeshift prisons to detain the hundreds of prisoners until trials could be arranged, where conditions were reported to be extremely harsh. The Israeli army was preparing to begin military trials which, based on past experience, were expected to be swift and in the nature of "a mass court-martial". Defence lawyers had not been allowed to see the detainees and Palestinian lawyers in the Gaza Strip were boycotting the military trials. The army was also reported to have ordered the closing of several universities and of about 800 schools in the West Bank and 92 schools in the Gaza Strip.

37. In a further letter dated 5 January 1988 (A/43/77-S/19405), the Chairman reported that Israeli military authorities had decided to expel nine Palestinians, five from the West Bank and four from the Gaza Strip, accusing them of being the "chief instigators" of the uprising in the territories. More than 1,000 Palestinians rounded up during the past month also remained gaoled, and trials on incitement charges were proceeding in the military courts. Further violent incidents had also taken place, resulting in several new casualties.

38. In a further letter dated 12 January 1988 (A/43/86-S/19424), the Chairman once again drew urgent attention to the continuing deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, particularly due to the use of live ammunition against demonstrators, mass arrests, detentions and deportations. He described a number of grave incidents which had taken place since his earlier letter and which had resulted in the death of eight Palestinians, including a pregnant woman, and in numerous injuries. The Israeli army was reported to have sent large reinforcements into the Gaza Strip and to have declared most of the area a closed military zone, barred to journalists and others. The total number of dead had reached at least 35 since the beginning of the protests in December. At least 30 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza had been placed under administrative detention without trial for up to six months. A total number of almost 2,000 Palestinians had been arrested, the majority of whom remained gaoled awaiting trial in the military courts.

39. In a further letter dated 20 January 1988 (A/43/95-S/19441), the Chairman drew urgent attention in particular to the increasingly systematic use by Israel of collective punishment against Palestinians. It had been reported that the army was imposing "economic curfews" on refugee camps, preventing residents from leaving and thus cutting off more than 250,000 Palestinians from their sources of income, and even preventing food from reaching the camps, thus leading to serious shortages. The Chairman also reported that several violent incidents had taken place, resulting in renewed casualties among Palestinians.

40. On 10 February 1988 (A/43/132-S/19490), the Chairman said that events since his last letter had shown that, despite international appeals, Israeli authorities had increasingly resorted to random beatings, curfews, the closing of schools, and mass arrests. Live ammunition was again being used against Palestinian demonstrators, raising the death toll to at least 50 since December 1987. The Committee was also gravely concerned at the reported growing involvement of Israeli settlers in acts of violence against the Palestinian population. At least 300 Palestinians had been hospitalized for injuries inflicted in beatings by Israeli troops carrying out the policy announced by the Defence Minister of "might, force and beatings". Several hundreds of others were also beaten but had reportedly avoided going to hospitals for fear of being arrested. One hundred twenty-nine Palestinians had been placed in administrative detention for six months without trial and a further 1,753 Palestinians were still under arrest, including 577 who had been sentenced to gaol terms by military courts. The Chairman further described several incidents in which another 10 Palestinians, including a 10-year-old boy, had been killed by Israeli troops.

41. In this connection, the Chairman expressed the Committee's appreciation for the report of the Secretary-General submitted in pursuance of resolution 605 (1987) (S/19433) and for its objective analysis of the situation and the identification of ways and means for ensuring the safety and protection of Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation. The Committee in particular expressed appreciation for the steps taken by the Secretary-General in pursuance of that resolution and for the action he planned to take to help alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people under occupation. The Committee stressed that the international community should also take suitable action, including the measures identified in that report, to help ensure the protection of the Palestinian civilian population.

42. In a further letter dated 1 March 1988 (A/43/183-S/19562), the Chairman stated that the toll of Palestinians known to have been killed by Israeli gunfire or beatings was at least 79 since early December. At least 29 Palestinians had died since his previous letter, indicating an extremely serious increase in casualties. Another 12 deaths had been attributed to the effects of tear-gas. A humanitarian assistance organization which had visited the occupied territories had estimated that injuries ran into the thousands, many of them victims of beatings. Medical personnel had been refused entry to refugee camps and areas under curfew, and hospitals had been assaulted, medical personnel beaten, equipment smashed and patients pulled from beds and arrested. Giving a brief chronology of the incidents that had taken place since his previous letter, he reported that Israeli troops or settlers had killed Palestinians, including a four-year-old child, in a number of areas.

43. In a further letter dated 30 March 1988 (A/43/264-S/19710), the Chairman reported the latest incidents and stated that the toll of Palestinians known to have been killed by Israeli gunfire, beatings and tear-gas inhalation was at least 127 since the beginning of the uprising in early December. Children as young as three had also been beaten. The number of Palestinians detained by the army had reached at least 4,000. Stringent new measures had been announced, including an easing of the rules allowing for administrative detention without charges or trial; the outlawing of the Shabiba (Youth) Movement; and allowing Israeli civilians to shoot at demonstrators who hurled firebombs. The imposition of a variety of economic restrictions had also been announced. In view of demonstrations planned to commemorate Land Day on 30 March, the Israeli army had now declared the entire West Bank and Gaza Strip closed military zones for three days, banning journalists and prohibiting Palestinians from travelling between the occupied territories and Israel. International telephone links had been cut, and food supplies restricted. The Gaza Strip had also been placed under curfew, meaning that more than 650,000 Palestinians were confined to their homes.

44. In a further letter dated 13 April 1988 (A/43/302-S/19769), the Acting Chairman drew the most urgent attention to the intensification of repression by Israel against the Palestinian people, including deportation of persons, the demolition of houses, the imposition of curfews over long periods, restrictions on media coverage, and other measures. Live ammunition continued to be used indiscriminately and widely against demonstrators. The growing death toll of Palestinians due to Israeli gunfire had now reached at least 138 since early December. The Committee in particular strongly deplored the expulsion of eight Palestinians to southern Lebanon, and the decision by the Israeli authorities to deport another 12 Palestinians, in defiance of Security Council resolutions 607 (1988) and 608 (1988).

45. In another letter dated 13 May 1988 (A/43/362-S/19881), the Acting Chairman stated that the toll of Palestinians known to have been killed by Israeli gunfire had now reached at least 180; dozens more had reportedly died from beatings and suffocation from the particularly toxic form of tear-gas used by the armed forces. In addition, the Israeli authorities had introduced new administrative measures against the entire Palestinian population in the occupied territories in order to tighten control over the area in further efforts to quell the uprising. Despite growing restrictions on the press and the detention of several journalists, there was information that the uprising was continuing and a number of grave incidents had taken place. Another eight Palestinians had been expelled and further deportations were planned; the number of prisoners had topped 7,000, of whom 1,200 had been placed in administrative detention.

46. On 3 June 1988 (A/43/392-S/19926), the Chairman drew urgent attention to the conviction by an Israeli court of four Israeli peace activists for meeting with members of the PLO in Romania in 1986. The Committee was also seriously concerned at the continued Israeli policy of military repression in the occupied Palestinian territories. The casualty toll had now reached 190 Palestinians killed by gunfire. More than 2,000 Palestinians were being detained without charges in a desert prison camp at Ketziot under inhuman conditions. Thousands more remained imprisoned in Israeli gaols and there had been several reports of ill-treatment of prisoners.

47. In a further letter dated 22 July 1988 (A/43/477-S/20052), the Chairman expressed the Committee's most serious concern that live ammunition, rubber bullets and beatings continued to be used widely. The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli gunfire had reached at least 230, and 9,000 Palestinians were still detained under inhuman conditions. Israeli civilians had been allowed to shoot Palestinians carrying firebombs. He detailed several instances of house demolitions, closure of schools, expulsions, banning of community organizations, and other measures taken by the military authorities.

48. On 4 August 1988 (A/43/502-S/20086), the Acting Chairman strongly deplored the deportation by Israel of eight Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip to Lebanon, on charges of being involved in inciting recent uprisings in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Committee also strongly deplored the arrest of Faisal Husseini, Director of the Arab Studies Society in Jerusalem, who was given up to six months administrative detention for allegedly participating in the co-ordination of the Palestinian uprising.

49. In another letter dated 19 August 1988 (A/43/547-S/20136), the Acting Chairman reported that the Israeli army had adopted a new pre-emptive policy of sealing off entire areas. The Gaza Strip was reportedly placed under complete and total curfew from 14 to 18 August, and separate curfews remained in effect in a number of areas. Another part of the army's new strategy had been to outlaw the "popular committees" established in the course of the uprising to keep civic affairs running. A Defence Ministry official was reported to have disclosed that more than 250 members of the committees had been jailed recently. Despite the new measures, protest demonstrations had taken place in the Gaza Strip and at least 130 persons had been injured by beatings or tear-gas on 16 and 17 August. At least 247 Palestinians had been killed since December, including two Palestinians shot to death on 16 August at Ketziot prison camp during a demonstration against the inhumane conditions of detention of some 2,500 administrative detainees at the camp. The shooting was condemned by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which stated that Israel was violating the Fourth Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949. The Acting Chairman also expressed concern that another four Palestinians were deported to Lebanon on 17 August 1988.

50. In a letter dated 29 September 1988 (A/43/663-S/20210), the Chairman of the Committee detailed a number of grave incidents which had taken place in the occupied Palestinian territories and had caused death and injury to many Palestinians. The Chairman in particular expressed most serious concern at the use of plastic bullets by the Israeli army which had led to increasing deaths and wounding of Palestinians. The Chairman also expressed the Committee's concern at the fact that a number of Palestinian institutions perceived by the Israeli authorities to be the nucleus of a future Palestinian State were ordered closed for prolonged periods and a network of popular committees charged with organizing the Palestinian uprising in Gaza had been smashed and some 200 people had been arrested.

51. In a further letter dated 13 October 1988 (A/43/710-S/20228), the Chairman reported an intensification of the policies of repression of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories, in particular army raids in order to prevent demonstrations, and the extension of the closure of schools and universities until 15 November. The closure of the Palestine Press Service had also been extended for one year. Live ammunition continued to be used widely and had resulted in an increase in casualties. She reported a statement by the Israeli Army Chief of Staff to the effect that the number of Palestinians wounded had almost doubled in recent weeks, and detailed several recent incidents in which Israeli troops had shot Palestinians to death.


(b) Action taken within the Security Council


52. In addition to transmitting letters to the Secretary-General and the President of the Security Council, the Committee followed closely the activities of the Council on matters relating to the Committee's mandate, and participated in Council debates as necessary.

53. In a letter dated 11 December 1987, addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/19333), the Permanent Representative of Democratic Yemen to the United Nations, in his capacity as Chairman of the Arab Group for the month of December, requested that an immediate meeting of the Security Council be convened to address the situation in the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories. The Security Council considered the item at seven meetings held between 11 and 22 December 1987.

54. At the 2770th meeting of the Security Council, on 11 December 1987, the Chairman of the Committee intervened in the debate and stated that the deterioration of the situation in the occupied territories was all the more disturbing because it directly affected not merely the future of the Palestinian population but also international peace and security. He described a number of incidents which had taken place and which he had related in a letter sent to the President of the Security Council (A/42/877-S/19337) (see para. 35 above).

55. The Committee had continued to emphasize that the situation in the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories, including Jerusalem, would continue to worsen, as long as the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people had not been exercised. The United Nations had an undeniable responsibility for ensuring the protection of the Palestinians and the enjoyment of their rights in the occupied territories. The Committee considered that it was now up to the Security Council to implement the findings of the 1983 International Conference on the Question of Palestine held at Geneva, endorsed by growing majorities in the General Assembly, in particular by calling for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. He underscored that the question of Palestine had reached a critical stage and urgently appealed for increased efforts to achieve a just and lasting solution to the question and to put an end to the intolerable situation of the Palestinian people.

56. At its 2777th meeting, on 22 December 1987, the Security Council adopted resolution 605 (1987) by 14 votes in favour to none against, with 1 abstention, by which it strongly deplored those policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, which violate the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, and in particular the opening of fire by the Israeli army, resulting in the killing and wounding of defenceless Palestinian civilians; reaffirmed that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, is applicable to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem; called once again upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide immediately and scrupulously by that Convention; called for the exercise of maximum restraint to contribute to the establishment of peace; stressed the urgent need to reach a just, durable and peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict; and requested the Secretary-General to examine the present situation in the occupied territories by all means available to him and to submit a report containing his recommendations on ways and means for ensuring the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation.

57. In a letter dated 4 January 1988, addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/19402), the Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations, in his capacity as Chairman of the Arab Group for the month of January, requested an immediate meeting of the Security Council to address the situation in the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories. The Security Council considered the item at its 2780th meeting held on 5 January 1988.

58. At that meeting, the Security Council adopted unanimously resolution 607/(1988), by which it reaffirmed once again that the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, is applicable to Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem; called upon Israel to refrain from deporting any Palestinian civilians from the occupied territories; strongly requested Israel, the occupying Power, to abide by its obligations arising from the Convention; and decided to keep the situation in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, under review.

59. The Security Council resumed consideration of the item at its 2781st meeting, held on 14 January 1988. At that meeting, the Council adopted resolution 608 (1988) by 14 votes in favour, none against and 1 abstention. By that resolution, the Council expressed deep regret that Israel, the occupying Power, had deported Palestinian civilians in defiance of resolution 607 (1988); called upon Israel to rescind the order to deport Palestinian civilians and to ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied Palestinian territories of those already deported; requested that Israel desist forthwith from deporting any other Palestinian civilian from the occupied territories; and decided to keep the situation under review.

60. The Security Council resumed its consideration of the item at its 2785th to 2787th meetings, on 27 and 28 January 1988, and at its 2789th and 2790th meetings, on
1 February 1988, having before it the report, dated 21 January 1988, submitted by the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council resolution 605 (1987) of 22 December 1987 (S/19443).

61. The representative of Senegal, also in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee, intervened in the debate at the 2786th meeting of the Security Council, on 27 January 1988, and praised the report submitted by the Secretary-General as complete, balanced and responsible. He expressed his satisfaction that the report stressed the special duty of the United Nations towards the Palestinian people, and the need to reach a negotiated, just and lasting settlement of the Middle East problem. Referring to the violent repression in the occupied territories, he stressed once again the primary responsibility of the Council, guarantor of international peace and security, and called on it to take measures to make Israel comply with its obligations and duties as occupying Power, under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949. He further called for the strengthening of humanitarian organizations in a universal effort to rehabilitate the Palestinian population, and for renewed efforts, through the Security Council, to advance a negotiating process leading to a just and lasting settlement of the Middle East problem, including the question of Palestine.

62. At its 2798th meeting, on 16 March 1988, the Security Council had before it a draft resolution (S/19466), submitted by Algeria, Argentina, Nepal, Senegal, Yugoslavia and Zambia, by which the Council would have called upon Israel, as the occupying Power and as a High Contracting Party to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to accept the de jure applicability of the Convention to the Palestinian and the other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and fully to comply with its obligations under that Convention; would have recalled the obligation of all the High Contracting Parties to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances; would have called again upon Israel to desist forthwith from its policies and practices which violate the human rights of the Palestinian people; would have requested Israel to facilitate the task of humanitarian relief agencies and request all members to give them their full support; would have requested the Secretary-General to continue to monitor the situation in the occupied territories by all means available to him and to make regular and timely reports to the Council; would have affirmed the urgent need to achieve, under the auspices of the United Nations, a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, an integral part of which is the Palestinian problem, and expressed its determination to work towards that end; would have requested the Secretary-General to continue his endeavours to promote such a settlement and to keep the Security Council regularly informed; and would have decided to keep the situation under review.

63. At the same meeting, the Security Council proceeded to vote on the draft resolution, which received 14 votes in favour to 1 against (United States of America), with no abstentions, and was not adopted, owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the Council.

64. In a letter dated 29 March 1988, addressed to the President of the Security Council (S/19700), the Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations, in his capacity as Chairman of the Arab Group for the month of March, requested that an urgent meeting of the Security Council be convened to discuss the situation in the occupied Arab territories. The Security Council resumed its consideration of the item at its 2804th meeting, held on 30 March 1988.

65. At the 2804th meeting, the representative of Senegal intervened in the debate, also in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee. He stressed the further deterioration of the situation in the region as described in his letter addressed to the President of the Security Council on the same date (A/43/264-S/19710) (see para. 43 above). He appealed to the Council to take action on the recommendations adopted by consensus at the International Conference on the Question of Palestine held in 1983 and approved repeatedly by an increasing majority in the General Assembly for the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East. The Chairman further stressed that the question of Palestine had now entered a critical phase and urged that increased efforts should be undertaken to provide a just and lasting solution to this question. He urgently appealed to all Council members to make a positive contribution to the adoption of appropriate measures so that the policy of dialogue could be followed by all the interested parties in order to put an end to the tragic situation which had continued for more than 40 years.

66. The Security Council resumed its consideration of the item at two further meetings held on 14 and 15 April 1988. The Acting Chairman of the Committee intervened in the debate at the 2805th meeting, on 14 April 1988, and stated that notwithstanding the resolutions adopted by the Council since December 1987 and the emphatic appeals addressed to Israel by the entire international community, the Israeli authorities had continued and intensified their repressive policy. He called on all concerned to use every possible means to guarantee the security and protection of the Palestinian civilians living under occupation, and to redouble joint efforts to secure the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. He urged the Council to take measures to that end and appealed to the Secretary-General to implement the recommendations contained in his report (S/19443), so that the necessary humanitarian assistance could be provided to the long-suffering Palestinian people in the occupied territories.

67. At the 2806th meeting, on 15 April 1988, the Security Council considered a draft resolution (S/19780), submitted by Algeria, Argentina, Nepal, Senegal, Yugoslavia and Zambia. By that draft resolution, the Council would have urged Israel, the occupying Power, to abide immediately and scrupulously by the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and to desist forthwith from its policies and practices that are in violation of the Convention; would have urged Israel to rescind the order to deport Palestinian civilians and ensure the safe and immediate return to the occupied Palestinian territories of those already deported; would have urged Israel once again to desist forthwith from deporting Palestinian civilians from the occupied territories; it would have condemned those policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, that violate the human rights of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories, and in particular the opening of fire by the Israeli army, resulting in the killing and wounding of defenceless Palestinian civilians; would have affirmed the urgent need to achieve, under the auspices of the United Nations, a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, an integral part of which is the Palestinian problem, and would have expressed its determination to work towards that end; would have requested the Secretary-General to submit periodic reports on the situation in the occupied territories, including those aspects relating to endeavours for ensuring the safety and protection of the Palestinian civilians under Israeli occupation; and would have decided to keep the situation under review.

68. The draft resolution received 14 votes in favour and 1 against (United States of America) and was not adopted owing to the negative vote of a permanent member of the Council.

69. In a letter dated 19 April 1988 (S/19798), the Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations requested an urgent meeting of the Security Council to consider the situation created by the new deliberate attack by Israel on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Tunisia. The letter stated that on 16 April 1988 a terrorist commando had entered the residence of Mr. Khalil Al-Wazir, Deputy Commander in Chief of the Palestinian Armed Forces and a member of the Central Council of the PLO, and had assassinated him in the presence of his wife and daughter. Three other persons had also died in the attack. An investigation carried out by the Tunisian Government had ascertained the direct responsibility of Israel in the attack. Accordingly, the Tunisian Government invited the Council to condemn Israeli terrorism forcefully and to take appropriate steps to avert and prevent the repetition of such acts. The Council considered the item at four meetings held between 21 and 25 April 1988.

70. At the 2807th meeting of the Council, on 21 April 1988, the representative of Senegal, also in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee, intervened in the debate and called on the Council to condemn unequivocally, on the one hand, the repeated violation of Tunisia's territorial integrity and sovereignty and, on the other hand, the assassination of Khalil Al-Wazir as a terrorist act that the international community finds intolerable, in accordance with the principles defined by both the Security Council and the General Assembly.

71. He further stated that the cycle of violence in the region could not be halted so long as there was no political solution guaranteeing the Palestinians the exercise of their inalienable right to self-determination and the creation of a State. Assassinations and measures of repression did not serve the cause of peace, but simply postponed the reaching of a peaceful settlement and cast doubt on the ability of the United Nations to find just and lasting solutions to longstanding conflicts. Such a solution should be sought within the framework of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolutions.

72. At its 2820th meeting, on 25 April 1988, the Security Council, by a vote of 14 in favour to none against, with 1 abstention, adopted resolution 611 (1988). By that resolution the Council condemned vigorously the aggression perpetrated on 16 April 1988 against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Tunisia in flagrant violation of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and norms of conduct; urged Member States to take measures to prevent such acts against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all States; expressed its determination to take the appropriate steps to ensure the implementation of the resolution; requested the Secretary-General to report urgently to the Security Council any new elements available to him and relating to the aggression; and decided to remain seized of the matter.

73. After consultations, the President of the Security Council issued the following statement on behalf of the members of the Council, on 26 August 1988 (S/20156):
(c) Action taken by the General Assembly


74. The Committee considered with great concern the legal and political implications of the "Anti-Terrorism Act of 1987" enacted by the United States of America which, in the Committee's view, affected not only the work of the Committee and of the United Nations but also the prospects for peace in the Middle East. The Committee had initially considered the matter prior to the adoption of the legislation and had expressed its grave concern through its Chairman, at the 126th meeting of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country, on 14 October 1987. The Bureau of the Committee also met with the Secretary-General on 13 October 1987 to discuss the question. At its 144th meeting, on 20 October 1987, the Committee considered the matter further and took note of the decisions and statements adopted by the Group of Arab States of the United Nations, the Co-ordination Bureau of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as well as of the activities in opposition to the legislation undertaken by the North American Co-ordinating Committee of Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine.

75. The Committee noted that, at its forty-second session, the General Assembly considered the matter under the item entitled "Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country" and adopted resolution 42/210, of 17 December 1987, by 143 votes in favour to 1 against (Israel), with no abstentions. By that resolution, the Assembly took note with appreciation of the Secretary-General's position with regard to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations; reiterated that the Permanent Observer Mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations is covered by the provisions of the Headquarters Agreement and should be enabled to establish and maintain premises and adequate functional facilities, and the personnel of the Mission should be enabled to enter and remain in the United States to carry out their official functions; requested the host country to abide by its treaty obligations under the United Nations Headquarters Agreement and in this connection to refrain from taking any action that would prevent the discharge of the official functions of the Permanent Observer Mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United Nations; requested the Secretary-General to take effective measures to ensure full respect for the Headquarters Agreement and to report, without delay, to the General Assembly on any further development in the matter; and decided to keep the matter under active review.

76. As the matter was still unresolved, the forty-second session of the General Assembly was resumed on 29 February 1988 at the request of the Permanent Representative of Bahrain to the United Nations in his capacity as Chairman of the Arab Group for the month of February (A/42/919) and the Permanent Representative of Zimbabwe to the United Nations, in his capacity as Chairman of the Co-ordination Bureau of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (A/42/921). The request was strongly supported by the Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations in his capacity as Chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (A/42/922) and by the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (A/42/924). The General Assembly held five plenary meetings on the matter between 29 February and
2 March 1988.

77. The Chairman of the Committee intervened in the debate at the 101st plenary meeting of the General Assembly, on 29 February 1988, and expressed the Committee's appreciation for the Secretary-General's efforts as described in his report (A/42/915). The proper functioning of the United Nations and its ability to fulfil its mandate under the Charter were at stake. The Committee was deeply disturbed by the host country's inability to provide assurances that the present arrangements for the PLO Observer Mission would not be curtailed or otherwise affected by the new legislation, and by its continued unwillingness to enter formally into the dispute settlement procedure set forth in section 21 of the Headquarters Agreement. Implementation by the United States Government of the new legislation would prevent the PLO from exercising its right to participate in United Nations efforts to find a comprehensive and just settlement to the Palestine question, which had become more urgent than ever in light of events in the occupied Palestinian territories since December 1987.

78. At its 104th plenary meeting, on 2 March 1988, the General Assembly adopted resolution 42/229 A by 143 votes in favour to 1 against (Israel), by which it reaffirmed that the Permanent Observer Mission of the PLO to the United Nations in New York is covered by the provisions of the Headquarters Agreement; considered that the application of the legislation in question would be contrary to the international legal obligations of the host country under that Agreement; considered that a dispute exists between the United Nations and the United States of America, the host country, concerning the interpretation and application of the Headquarters Agreement, and that the dispute settlement procedure set out in section 21 of the Agreement should be set in operation; called upon the host country to abide by its treaty obligations under the Agreement and to provide assurances that no action would be taken that would infringe on the current arrangements for the official functions of the PLO Observer Mission to the United Nations in New York; requested the Secretary-General to continue his efforts in pursuance of the provisions of the Agreement; and decided to keep the matter under active review.

79. At the same meeting, the General Assembly also adopted resolution 42/229 B by 143 votes in favour to none against, by which it decided, in accordance with Article 96 of the Charter of the United Nations, to request the International Court of Justice for an advisory opinion on whether the United States of America, as a party to the Headquarters Agreement, is under an obligation to enter into arbitration in accordance with section/21 of the Agreement.

80. The Committee further noted the subsequent reports of the Secretary-General (A/42/915/Add.2 and Add.3) in which he informed the General Assembly of the decision by the United States Government to close the office of the Permanent Observer Mission of the PLO to the United Nations, which he had protested as a clear violation of the Headquarters Agreement between the United Nations and the United States. The Committee participated in the subsequent meetings of the resumed forty-second session of the General Assembly held between 18 March and 22 March 1988.

81. The Acting Chairman of the Committee intervened in the debate at the 106th plenary meeting of the General Assembly, on 21 March 1988, and stated that the decision taken by the host country would be counterproductive and would jeopardize the cause of peace. The participation of the PLO in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East, as repeatedly affirmed by the Assembly, was essential for the solution of the question of Palestine, the core of the conflict in the Middle East. The Committee wished once again to urge the Government of the host country to refrain from implementing the proposed measure and urgently to take steps to resolve the dispute through the machinery provided for in the Headquarters Agreement.

82. At its 109th plenary meeting, on 23 March 1988, the General Assembly, by a vote of 148 in favour to 2 against (Israel and United States of America), adopted resolution 42/230. By that resolution, the Assembly strongly supported the position taken by the Secretary-General; reaffirmed that the Permanent Observer Mission of the PLO to the United Nations in New York is covered by the provisions of the Headquarters Agreement and that it has the right to establish and maintain premises and adequate functional facilities and that its personnel should be enabled to enter and remain in the United States to carry out their official functions; determined that the application and enforcement of the legislation in question is inconsistent with the Headquarters Agreement and is contrary to the international legal obligations of the host country; reaffirmed that a dispute exists between the United Nations and the host country concerning the interpretation or application of the Headquarters Agreement and that the dispute settlement procedure provided for under the Agreement should be set in operation; requested the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to ensure the proper constitution of the arbitral tribunal provided for under the Agreement; deplored the failure of the host country to comply with its obligations under the Agreement and urged it to abide by those obligations and to desist from taking any action inconsistent with the Agreement; and requested the Secretary-General to take adequate measures on a preliminary basis, if necessary, in order to ensure the discharge of the official functions of the Permanent Observer Mission of the PLO, and to report to the General Assembly on further developments.

83. The forty-second session of the General Assembly was resumed for the third time on 13 May 1988, following the advisory opinion given by the International Court of Justice on 26 April 1988 in response to Assembly resolution 42/229 B. The Committee noted with appreciation that the Court was unanimously of the opinion that "the United States of America, as a party to the Agreement between the United Nations and the United States of America regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, of 26 June 1947, is under an obligation in accordance with section 21 of that Agreement, to enter into arbitration for the settlement of the dispute between itself and the United Nations" (A/42/952).

84. The Acting Chairman of the Committee spoke at the 113th plenary meeting of the General Assembly, on 13 May 1988, and called on the Assembly to endorse the advisory opinion. The Committee sincerely hoped that the host country, in the light of that opinion, would now reconsider the measures adopted to give effect to that imprudent legislation and would desist from its intent to proceed with the matter in domestic courts. The Committee urged again the host country to repeal the legislation which, in addition to the possible closing of the PLO office, also had potential adverse implications for activities by NGOs on behalf of the Palestinian cause.

85. At the same meeting, the General Assembly, by a vote of 136 in favour to 2 against (Israel and the United States of America), adopted resolution 42/232, by which it expressed its appreciation to the International Court of Justice for having found that an early answer to the request for an advisory opinion would be desirable and for having accelerated its procedure; took note of and endorsed the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, of 26 April 1988; urged the host country to abide by its international legal obligations and to act consistently with the advisory opinion and accordingly to name its arbitrator to the arbitral tribunal provided for under section 21 of the Agreement; requested the Secretary-General to continue his efforts in this regard, and to report to the General Assembly without delay on developments in this matter; and decided to keep the matter under active review.

86. In this regard, the Committee noted the report of the Secretary-General in document A/42/915 Add.5 containing the judgement of the United States District Judge in Manhattan of 29 June 1988 concerning the PLO Observer Mission to the United Nations. The judgement dismissed the United States Government lawsuit seeking to close the PLO Mission under the Anti-Terrorism Act passed by Congress last year. The Committee also noted the decision by the United States Government not to appeal the judgement of the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York.


3.
Action taken by the Committee to promote the convening of
the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in
accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C of
13 December 1983


87. By resolution 42/66 D of 2 December 1987, the General Assembly noted with satisfaction the ever-increasing international consensus in favour of the early convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East; determined once again that the question of Palestine is the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East; reaffirmed once again its endorsement of the call for convening the Conference in conformity with the provisions of resolution 38/58 C; reiterated its endorsement of the call for setting up a preparatory committee; stressed once again the urgent need for additional concrete and constructive efforts by all Governments in order to convene the Conference without further delay; and requested the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Security Council, to continue his efforts with a view to convening the Conference and to report thereon to the General Assembly not later than 31 March 1988.

88. In the light of that resolution, the Committee once again, in adopting its programme of work (A/AC.183/1988/CRP.1/Rev.1), decided that, in its activities during 1988, it would continue, as a matter of the utmost priority, to exert all efforts to promote the early convening of the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East, while urging the understanding and further co-operation of all concerned for the resolution of a problem of such fundamental importance to the maintenance of international peace and security.

89. In light of the grave situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Committee also decided to give the highest priority to the need for ensuring the safety and protection of Palestinians under Israeli occupation, in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949. These goals were stressed in the letter addressed to the Secretary-General by the Chairman of the Committee on 30 March 1988, inviting the participation of all States and intergovernmental organizations in the work of the Committee (see para. 14 above). In response to the letter of the Secretary-General transmitting the Chairman's letter, some Member States addressed letters to the Secretary-General containing suggestions regarding the Committee's work. The Committee decided to take note of those suggestions and to take them into account in its future programme of work.

90. The Committee was greatly strengthened in its resolve by the increasing concern of the international community as a whole at the worsening situation in the occupied territories and the overwhelming consensus in favour of a comprehensive negotiated settlement through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, as it emerged in particular from the regional seminars and from symposia and meetings of NGOs on the question of Palestine organized under its auspices (see sect. IV.B below).

91. The Committee noted with appreciation that the Secretary-General had continued his efforts with a view to convening the Conference in accordance with the above-mentioned resolution. In particular, the Committee was pleased to note from the report of the Secretary-General under General Assembly resolution 42/66 (A/43/272-S/19719) that the President of the Security Council, following consultations with the members of the Council, had reported that the members were convinced that the latest developments in the Middle East, particularly the situation in the occupied territories, called for urgent action to resolve the underlying problem through a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement, including a solution to the Palestinian problem in all its aspects. All members of the Council were in agreement concerning the desirability to convene an International Peace Conference on the Middle East. Almost all members had declared their support for an early convening of a substantive international conference under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties concerned and of the five permanent members of the Council. Most of those members had reiterated their support for General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. Some members, however, while expressing continuing reservations concerning resolution 38/58 C as a basis for an international conference, had reaffirmed the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, with all that this implies, as well as the right to existence and to security of all States in the region, including Israel. One member of the Council was of the opinion that it was not possible to make progress nor to find a peaceful solution to the problem on the basis of resolution 38/58 C, and had pointed to a peace initiative currently under way. All but one member of the Council had invited the Secretary-General to continue his efforts and consultations on the subject in connection with General Assembly resolution 42/66 D.

92. The Committee further noted that the Secretary-General had also consulted the parties directly concerned for their current positions on the convening of the International Conference in conformity with resolution 38/58 C. The Committee noted with regret the Secretary-General's conclusion that it was again clear from the communications he had received that sufficient agreement did not exist, either among the parties directly concerned or within the Security Council, to permit the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East as called for in resolution
42/66 D. It also noted the Secretary-General's view that the recent and continuing events in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip had dramatically highlighted the urgent need for the negotiation, in a manner acceptable to all the parties directly concerned, of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

93. The Committee was of the view that the uprising in the occupied territories and the repressive policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, as well as its repeated violations of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries in the area, had created a critical situation which made it imperative to advance towards a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. At the same time, events during the year had also brought about a greatly increased understanding of the problem and support for the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East among Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and international public opinion everywhere. The Committee accordingly continued to stress the urgent need for the Security Council and the parties directly concerned to seize this opportunity to take positive action towards the convening of the Conference. It also stressed that that member of the Security Council and others who thus far have not shown willingness to co-operate should reconsider their positions.

4. Attendance at international conferences and meetings


94. In accordance with its mandate, since its previous report to the General Assembly, the Committee was represented at the following international conferences and meetings:

(a) Special meetings of the United Nations Council for Namibia to commemorate the Week of Solidarity with the People of Namibia and their Liberation Movement, the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO), held in New York on 27 October 1987;

(b) Seventeenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, held at Amman, from 18 to 25 March 1988;

(c) Seminar on the International Responsibility for Namibia's Independence, held under the auspices of the United Nations Council for Namibia at Istanbul, Turkey, from 21 to 25 March 1988;

(d) Forty-eighth Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers and Twenty-Fourth Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity, held at Addis Ababa from 19 to 28 May 1988;

(e) Meeting in Solidarity with the Palestinian People and its Uprising organized by the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organization, Nicosia, Cyprus, from 28 to 30 June 1988;

(f) Solemn meeting of the United Nations Council for Namibia in commemoration of Namibia Day, 26 August 1988;

(g) International Symposium on Practical Ways to Support the Palestinian Trade Union Movement, organized by the European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine, held at Geneva on 28 August 1988;

(h) Conference of Foreign Ministers of Non-Aligned Countries, held at Nicosia, from 7 to 10 September 1988.


5.
Action taken by other United Nations bodies, the Movement of
Non-Aligned Countries and intergovernmental organizations

95. The Committee continued to follow with great interest the activities relating to the question of Palestine of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, United Nations bodies and intergovernmental organizations. The Committee especially noted the growing concern at all levels of the international community about the deterioration of the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and in the region as a whole owing to the policies and practices of Israel, and the increasing sense of urgency with which the international community addressed the need to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian people under occupation, and to advance towards a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. The Committee welcomed the growing sentiment and momentum in favour of the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. The Committee noted in particular the following documents:

(a) Final communiqué of the Meeting of Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Heads of Delegation of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries to the forty-second session of the United Nations General Assembly, held in New York from 5 to 7 October 1987 (A/42/681, chap. XVIII and XX);

(b) Final Declaration issued by the Extraordinary Arab Summit Conference held at Amman from 8 to 11 November 1987 (A/42/779-S/19274);

(c) Declaration on the Middle East issued by the Heads of State and Government of the Twelve States Members of the European Community meeting in the European Council at Copenhagen on 4 and 5 December 1987 (A/42/858-S/19322);

(d) Communiqué adopted by the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference at the United Nations, at the urgent meeting on the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, held in New York on 15 December 1987 (A/42/892-S/19348);

(e) Communiqué issued by the Co-ordinating Bureau of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries meeting in New York on 15 December 1987 (A/42/889-S/19360);

(f) Final communiqué and recommendations adopted at the emergency meeting of the Al-Quds Committee held at Ifrane, Morocco, on 5 January 1988 (A/43/114-S/19464);

(g) Communiqué adopted at the urgent meeting of the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference at the United Nations, held in New York on 19 January 1988, concerning the desecration of Al-Masjed Al-Aqsa on 15 January 1988 during Friday prayers (A/43/94-S/19439);

(h) Statement by the Foreign Ministers of the Twelve States Members of the European Community on the Middle East made at Bonn on 8 February 1988 (A/43/131-S/19487);

(i) Final communiqué and resolutions of the Seventeenth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, Session of Islamic Solidarity with the Uprising of the Palestinian People, held at Amman, from 21 to 25 March 1988 (A/43/273-S/19720);

(j) Statement on the Middle East issued by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden at their meeting at Tromso, Norway, on
23 and 24 March 1988 (A/43/295-S/19754);

(k) Communiqué issued at the session of the Committee of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the States parties to the Warsaw Treaty, held in Sofia on 29 and 30 March 1988 (A/43/276);

(l) Declaration by the Twelve States Members of the European Community on Israeli Practices in the Occupied Territories, made at Bonn on 15 April 1988 (A/43/318-S/19804);

(m) Communiqué adopted by the members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference at the United Nations, at the urgent meeting to consider the situation created by the new deliberate attack on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Tunisia, held in New York on 20 April 1988 (A/43/323-S/19813);

(n) Communiqué issued by the Co-ordination Bureau of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries meeting in New York on 21 April 1988 (A/43/327-S/19820);

(o) Resolutions adopted by the Council of Ministers of the Organization of African Unity at its forty-eighth ordinary session, held at Addis Ababa from 19 to 23 May 1988 (resolutions CM/Res.1154, 1155 and 1156) (A/43/398);

(p) Final declaration of the Extraordinary Arab Summit Conference held at Algiers, from 7 to 9 June 1988 (A/43/407-S/19938);

(q) Joint declaration issued in Luxembourg on 15 June 1988 by the European Community and its Member States, and the Co-operation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and its Member States (A/43/549);

(r) Joint communiqué of the twenty-first ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, held at Bangkok, on 4 and 5 July 1988 (A/43/510-S/20091);

(s) Communiqué of the ninth meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community, held at Deep Bay, Antigua and Barbuda, from 4 to 8 July 1988 (A/43/480);

(t) Communiqué issued at Nicosia on 7 September 1988 by the Foreign Ministers of the Committee of Nine Non-Aligned Countries on Palestine (A/43/613);

(u) Communiqué issued by the meeting of the Council of Arab Ministers for Foreign Affairs held in New York on 30 September 1988 (A/43/673);

(v) Communiqué of the Co-ordination Meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, held in New York on 29 September 1988 (A/43/692-S/20220).


B.
Action taken by the Committee in accordance with General
Assembly resolutions 42/66 A and B of 2 December 1987
1. Co-operation with non-governmental organizations


96. During the period under review the Committee, in accordance with its mandate under General Assembly resolution 42/66 A, continued to extend its co-operation to NGOs in their contribution to heightening international awareness of the facts relating to the question of Palestine and in creating a more favourable atmosphere for the full implementation of the Committee's recommendations, and continued to take the necessary steps to expand its contacts with those organizations.

97. In accordance with its mandate under General Assembly resolution 42/66 B, the Division for Palestinian Rights, in consultation with the Committee and under its guidance, organized the following activities for NGOs during 1988 in implementation of those objectives: regional symposia for NGOs in North America and Europe; an international meeting of NGOs; and two preparatory meetings, for the North American symposium and the International Meeting, respectively.

98. In accordance with its decision to continue to give utmost priority to efforts to promote the early convening of the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in conformity with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, the Committee decided that non-governmental symposia and meetings should continue to emphasize the importance of convening the Conference and structured the programmes for those activities accordingly. In light of the extremely grave situation in the occupied territories and the legislation affecting the presence of the PLO Observer Mission to the United Nations in New York, and the concern expressed by NGOs in this regard, the Committee decided to include consideration of those topics in the programmes of the meetings for NGOs.

99. The Committee was greatly encouraged by the intensification of activities and programmes of NGOs, including the sending of fact-finding missions to the area, intensified efforts to promote greater understanding of the issue and support for the convening of the International Peace Conference, as well as relief efforts to assist Palestinians in the uprising. The Committee was particularly strengthened in its resolve by the growing involvement of Israeli organizations and Jewish organizations in North America and Western Europe in these efforts.


(a) North American Regional NGO Symposium and Preparatory Meeting


100. The Preparatory Meeting for the North American Regional NGO Symposium was held at United Nations Headquarters on 1 and 2 February 1988 and was attended by the members of the North American Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine and by a delegation of the Committee. The meeting elaborated the various aspects of the programme for the Symposium to be held in 1988 and the modalities for expanding the network of NGOs active on the question of Palestine in North America.

101. The North American Regional NGO Symposium was held at United Nations Headquarters from 29 June to 1 July 1988, immediately following the North American Regional Seminar, with which it was combined in the interest of economy and in accordance with the practice followed in previous years (see para. 116 below). The Symposium was attended by representatives of 47 NGOs as participants, and 34 NGOs as observers from the United States and Canada, by a delegation of the Committee, and by a number of observers from governmental and intergovernmental organizations and liberation movements. The Symposium considered two main panels on:

(a) The uprising in the occupied Palestinian territories: the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 38/58 C;

(b) Implications of United States legislation affecting the promotion in the United States and the United Nations of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

102. The Symposium also established a number of action-oriented workshops under the general topic "Overcoming obstacles and organizing in North America".

103. The Committee noted that the Symposium adopted a declaration in which the NGOs resolutely reaffirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and that the PLO was the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The organizations further committed themselves to provide moral, political and material support for the intifada, and called for immediate intervention by United Nations peace-keeping forces to replace the Israeli occupying forces in order to provide protection and ensure respect for the human and political rights of the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza. In doing so, the organizations affirmed their support for the goals of the intifada as repeatedly stated in leaflets issued by its Unified National Leadership. The Committee also noted with satisfaction that the declaration contained a plan of action in which the North American NGOs had agreed on practical strategies and support projects in order to promote the goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East, particularly through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. (For the text of the declaration, see annex VI.)


(b) European Regional NGO Symposium

104. The European Regional NGO Symposium was held at Geneva from 29 to 30 August 1988, immediately preceding the International NGO Meeting, with which it was combined in the interest of economy and efficiency (see para. 110 below).

105. The programme for the Symposium was elaborated in consultation between the members of the European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine and the Committee delegation attending the Preparatory Meeting for the International NGO Meeting held at Geneva on 21 and 22 March 1988.

106. The Symposium was attended by representatives of 66 NGOs as participants and 93 NGOs as observers, as well as by a delegation of the Committee and governmental and intergovernmental observers and liberation movements.

107. The Symposium had a main theme, entitled "The Palestinian uprising and the European commitment to the International Peace Conference" and considered a panel of the same title and four action-oriented workshops.

108. The Committee noted that the Symposium adopted a declaration by which it expressed support for the Palestinian uprising and called upon the United Nations to exercise full responsibility for the question of Palestine and to place observer teams in the West Bank and Gaza to help protect the people there from continuing human rights violations. It reaffirmed very strongly the urgent need for the International Peace Conference to be convened in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 41/43 D, as the only possible means to achieve a just and peaceful settlement. The Symposium further noted the historic links between Europe and the Middle East and the European Economic Community's declarations supporting the convening of an international conference, and called upon the Governments concerned to act to ensure the convening of the Conference and to end breaches of the Geneva Convention by Israel. It also called on European Governments which had not yet fully recognized the PLO to do so. The Symposium also endorsed the recommendations of the NGO-sponsored International Symposium on Practical Ways to Support the Palestinian Trade Union Movement, held at Geneva on
28 August 1988, and included them in the declaration. It also endorsed a programme of activities drawn up by participants in the workshops. (For the text of the declaration, see annex VII.)


(c) International Meeting of NGOs and Preparatory Meeting


109. The Preparatory Meeting for the International Meeting of NGOs was held at Geneva on 21 and 22 March 1988 and was attended by members of the International and European Co-ordinating Committees for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine (ICCP and ECCP). In this connection, the Committee delegation strongly deplored that the Israeli authorities had denied permission to Ms. Zaheera Kamal, of the Palestine Union of Women's Work Committees, to depart from Israel to attend the Meeting. The Preparatory Meeting elaborated the details of the programmes for the International Meeting of NGOs and the European Regional Symposium to be held in 1988 and discussed future co-operation and action by NGOs at the European and the international levels. In addition, the two Co-ordinating Committees held informal consultations with the Committee delegation and representatives of the Division for Palestinian Rights concerning ways and means of strengthening co-operation and improving exchange of information between the United Nations and the NGO community.

110. The International Meeting of Non-Governmental Organizations was held at Geneva from 31 August to 2 September 1988. The Meeting was attended by representatives from 140 NGOs as participants and 138 NGOs as observers from all regions, including several from Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The Committee was pleased that a number of prominent political personalities had accepted its invitation to attend and address the Meeting.

111. The Meeting established two panels, namely: (a) a panel of eminent persons on the topic "The consequences of the uprising in the occupied Palestinian territories and the new urgency of convening the International Peace Conference in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 38/58 C"; and (b) a panel of persons from the occupied territories entitled "The consequences of occupation - Witnesses from the occupied territories - What has happened". In addition, five workshops were established under the general topic "Responding to the challenge of the uprising and the search for peace".

112. The Committee noted that the Meeting adopted a declaration supporting the intifadah and calling for the immediate convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 41/43 D. The Meeting condemned all deportations and all other manifestations of the systematic destruction of Palestinian society and the attempts by the occupation forces to eliminate Palestinian society for the future. The Meeting urged the United Nations, the five permanent members of the Security Council and the entire international community to help to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories in accordance with the suggestions contained in the Secretary-General's report (S/19443). The Meeting requested the Secretary-General to send a fact-finding mission to the occupied territories to assess the needs of the Palestinians there. The Committee also noted that the Meeting called upon the United Nations to exercise its full responsibility for the question of Palestine and place observer teams and/or any other United Nations body in the occupied Palestinian territories without delay to help protect the people there from continuing human rights violations and specifically requested the Secretary-General to establish immediately a special commission to investigate specific instances of violations. The Meeting also called on all Governments to recognize the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization. It further affirmed a programme for NGO activities drawn up by the participants in the workshops and requested the United Nations to assist in its implementation. (For the text of the declaration, see annex VIII.)

2. Seminars


113. During the period under review the Division for Palestinian Rights continued to organize seminars in consultation with the Committee and under its guidance, in accordance with its mandate under General Assembly resolution 34/65 D and subsequent resolutions. The regions covered during the reporting period were Latin America, Europe and North America.

114. The Committee further expressed its appreciation for the decision of the Government of Egypt to provide the venue for the African Regional Seminar (the twenty-first United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine) and the African Regional NGO Symposium. Owing to circumstances beyond its control, the Committee could not hold these events within the reporting period and has scheduled them to take place at Cairo, from 18 to 22 December 1988.

115. In accordance with previous practice, the Committee again decided that the regional seminars would continue to emphasize the urgent need for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East; the role of the PLO; and the need for mobilizing public opinion in the region concerned. The Committee further decided to stress the grave situation created by the policies and practices of Israel, the occupying Power, in the occupied Palestinian territories, in its efforts to suppress the Palestinian uprising.

116. The Committee was pleased by the participation in the seminars of prominent political personalities, parliamentarians and policy makers, as well as persons from the academic community and other experts, as this showed the growing concern of the international community at all levels over the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and its determination to promote progress towards a solution of the Palestine question.


(a) Latin American Regional Seminar, Havana, 15 to 17 December 1987


117. The Committee greatly appreciated the offer of the Government of Cuba to host the Latin American Regional Seminar (the Eighteenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine), which had been included in the programme of work of the Committee for 1987 but could not be held before the forty-second session of the General Assembly for reasons beyond the Committee's control.

118. The Seminar considered three panels on the following topics: (a) The International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, the need for such a conference and efforts and prospects to promote a successful outcome, and benefits thereof; (b) The question of Palestine and Latin American/Caribbean public opinion; (c) The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

119. The Committee noted that, in its conclusions and recommendations, the Seminar expressed its deep concern over the dangerous situation in the area and the Israeli policies and practices, which were in violation of international instruments, and called for attainment by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights. The Seminar further called for recognition of the PLO, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, by Governments which had not yet done so. The Seminar unanimously concluded that the way to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East was by convening the International Peace Conference in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C and called on Israel and the United States to reconsider their position towards the Conference. The Seminar also stated that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had an important role to play in this effort, and called for full implementation of the Committee's recommendations. Finally, the Seminar urged intensified efforts to mobilize official and public opinion in Latin America and other regions and to disseminate factual and up-to-date information on the rights of the Palestinian people and the United Nations recommendations for their attainment. (For the text of the conclusions and recommendations, see annex III.)


(b)
European Regional Seminar, Berlin, German Democratic Republic,
25 to 29 April 1988

120. The Committee expressed its gratitude to the Government of the German Democratic Republic for providing the venue for the European Regional Seminar (the Nineteenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine), which took place at Berlin from 25 to 29 April 1988.

121. The Seminar considered the following topics: (a) The uprising in the occupied Palestinian territories: the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C; (b) The role of the PLO; (c) The question of Palestine and European public opinion.

122. The Committee noted that, in the conclusions and recommendations of the Seminar, it was stated that the Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories had confirmed the determination of the Palestinian people to reject and resist Israeli domination and occupation. The Seminar reaffirmed that the PLO is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. It further expressed satisfaction at the growing support world wide for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, and urged the United States and Israel to reconsider their negative attitudes towards that Conference. The Committee also noted with interest that the Seminar expressed appreciation for the evolving position of the Western European and the Nordic countries in this regard, and expressed the hope that the Committee would undertake further endeavours with a view that the countries of Western Europe would play an even more active role in bringing about a comprehensive political settlement. The Committee also noted the suggestions that it intensify its co-operation with European NGOs and its efforts so that the next European seminar could be held in a Western European country. (For the text of the conclusions and recommendations, see annex IV.)


(c) North American Regional Seminar, New York, 28 to 29 June 1988


123. The North American Regional Seminar (the Twentieth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine) was held at United Nations Headquarters, on 28 and 29 June 1988.

124. The Seminar considered two panels: (a) The uprising in the occupied Palestinian territories: the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C; and (b) The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

125. The Committee noted that, in its conclusions and recommendations, the Seminar had remarked that the uprising in the occupied Palestinian territories had brought home to Israeli citizens the destructive impact of continued occupation, raising for the first time serious doubts about the wisdom of the policies of their Government. These doubts were also reflected in important Jewish communities in Western countries, whose political and financial support was essential to Israel. The Seminar further stated that the basic issues to be addressed in order to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict were: Israeli recognition of and respect for Palestinian rights; Arab acceptance of the State of Israel within internationally recognized borders; acceptance by Israel of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East under United Nations auspices, and recognition by Israel and others of the right of the Palestinian people to participate in such a Conference through the PLO, its sole and legitimate representative. The Committee further noted with interest the Seminar's call for the Conference to be convened before the end of 1988. (For the text of the conclusions and recommendations, see annex V.)

3. Other activities


126. The Committee took note with appreciation that the Division for Palestinian Rights, in accordance with its mandate, had continued to prepare the following publications, under the guidance of the Committee:

(a) Monthly bulletins covering action by the Committee, other United Nations organs, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned with the question of Palestine;

(b) Reports of regional seminars, regional NGO symposia and international NGO meetings, and special bulletins on the observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People;

(c) Compilations on an annual basis of the relevant resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council;

(d) Monitoring of Arabic, English and Hebrew press and media on developments relating to the question of Palestine and issuance of monthly reports for the use of the Committee.

127. The Committee further noted that the Division had finalized a new study entitled "The need for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East (In accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C)". The study entitled "The origins and evolution of the Palestinian problem" (part IV), covering the period from 1984 to June 1988, is currently under finalization. This study will be added to the existing three volumes. An information note on the work of the Committee and of the Division was prepared by the Division and is now available in all the six official United Nations languages.

128. The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was observed on 30 November 1987 at United Nations Headquarters in New York and at the United Nations Offices at Geneva and Vienna. The Committee noted with appreciation that the International Day had been equally commemorated in many other cities throughout the world in 1987.



V.
ACTION TAKEN BY THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INFORMATION IN
ACCORDANCE WITH GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 42/66 C


129. The Committee noted with appreciation that, during the past year, the Department of Public Information continued its information programme on the question of Palestine with a view to furthering the world-wide dissemination of accurate, objective and comprehensive information on the question. The Department's continuing mandate on the area derived from General Assembly resolution 42/66 C of 2 December 1987, by which the Assembly requested it to continue its special information programme on the question of Palestine during the biennium 1988-1989.

130. In response to the Assembly's request, the Department has disseminated press releases, publications and audio-visual material and has also organized fact-finding publications and audio-visual material and has also organized fact-finding missions and regional and national encounters for journalists. Full coverage was provided of meetings by the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Commission on Human Rights as they dealt with the question of Palestine, and of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories and the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

131. The Department's coverage of the question of Palestine during the past year focused increasingly on news items and information concerning the situation in the occupied territories, particularly since December 1988, and efforts to convene an international peace conference on the Middle East under United Nations auspices.

132. In publication activities, the Department actively disseminated information through articles, press releases, brochures and booklets. The UN Chronicle reported extensively on the consideration given to the question of Palestine and other related items by the Assembly at its forty-second session and by the Security Council, particularly since the beginning of the uprising in the occupied territories. The meetings of the Council which related to the uprising were fully covered by press releases. The Department also disseminated information on the seminars and symposia held in different world capitals by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. An information officer travelled with the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories during its fact-finding mission to Amman, Damascus and Cairo in May-June 1988 and reported on testimony taken from inhabitants of the occupied territories.

133. The Department continued to distribute a brochure on the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories as well as the booklet, The United Nations and the Question of Palestine. They are available in Arabic, English, French, German and Spanish and have been given wide circulation through all available channels. The Department expects to update and revise both publications by the end of 1988. A new booklet on the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People is at the production stage.

134. All aspects of the question of Palestine and other related items were covered in the news and taped feature radio programmes of the Department. The Arabic and Middle East Radio Unit, for example, provided broad coverage of the question, including the uprising in the occupied territories, in its weekly programmes and telephone feeds to radio stations of the region. United Nations activities and events, including observance of 29 November 1987 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, received extensive coverage. Two feature programmes in the Perspective series, adapted in many languages, dealt with new initiatives to convene the proposed International Peace Conference. In addition, a special series of four feature programmes each in Arabic, French and Spanish were produced on the question, dealing with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the human dimension of the issue, United Nations economic and social assistance, and the latest efforts aimed at convening the peace conference.

135. A 22-minute film, "Palestinian Portraits", was produced in English by the Department. Although released in late 1987, the film has already been widely screened and loaned out by 34 United Nations information centres and film libraries of the United Nations Development Programme.

136. Full television coverage was provided on General Assembly and Security Council meetings on the question of Palestine. The commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity, as well as the opening ceremony of the photo-exhibit on the inalienable rights of the Palestinians, were also fully covered. A total of 241 television news packages on the various aspects of the question were prepared for world-wide dissemination. Members of delegations were also provided with video-cassette dubs and excerpts on the question of Palestine-related subjects. Cassette copies and linefeeds were made available to the major networks.

137. As in previous years, the Department once again organized activities to acquaint the media with the facts and developments pertaining to the question of Palestine. A team of 10 high-level journalists participated in a news mission to the Middle East organized by the Department. Between 13 March and 2 April, they visited Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic. A formal request to the Permanent Mission of Israel for the mission to visit Israel and the West Bank went unanswered. The mission provided the participants with an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge and impressions on various aspects of the Palestine question. Particularly because of the heightened state of tension in the occupied territories, the mission received extensive media coverage in all the countries visited. Numerous articles were later published by the participants on the basis of their experience and interviews conducted during the mission.

138. The Department organized two regional encounters for journalists on the question of Palestine, bringing high-level journalists together with experts in the field for brief, in-depth, informal and candid discussions of the various aspects of the Palestinian problem. The first encounter was held at Nairobi, from 2 to 5 February, and was attended by 18 journalists from as many African countries, representing the print, radio and television media. The second encounter was organized at Vienna, from 17 to
20 May. About 20 journalists from the different parts of Europe participated.

139. The Department also organized two series of national encounters in which small, balanced panels of experts held meetings, in the form of in-depth press conferences, with national journalists and foreign correspondents in various countries. African national journalists encounters were held in Kinshasa, Dar es Salaam and Addis Ababa, between 29 January and 8 February. National encounters for Europe were held between
16 and 25 May in Madrid, Brussels and Stockholm.

140. United Nations information centres throughout the world continued to carry out information activities in connection with the question of Palestine and made available to the public United Nations information materials in the subject. The information centres undertook various activities in observance of 30 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. They made available publications prepared for, and under the guidance of, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and distributed information circulars in official and local languages. Exhibitions were held, films screened, and events organized in various centres in co-operation with the diplomatic corps, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and national parliaments.


VI. RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE



141. The year under review was marked by the courageous uprising (the intifadah) of the Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories against 20 years of Israeli occupation and for the achievement of its inalienable rights. The uprising brought to a new level the understanding of the question of Palestine and support for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of this long-standing conflict among public opinion internationally and within Israel itself. The intensification of repressive measures by Israel, the occupying Power, in an effort to crush the uprising and its armed attacks against States in the region have been universally condemned and have aroused the most serious concern for the safety of the Palestinian people under occupation. The situation has given a new impetus to efforts to reach a peaceful settlement in accordance with United Nations resolutions and particularly through the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East as called for in General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 41/43 D.

142. The Committee reaffirms that, in view of the critical situation, urgent positive action by the Security Council is required on the recommendations formulated by the Committee in its first report and those adopted by the International Conference on the Question of Palestine held at Geneva in 1983, which have been repeatedly endorsed by the General Assembly, and annexes them to the present report (see annexes I and II). The Committee reaffirms that these recommendations are solidly founded on fundamental and internationally accepted principles and that the recognition, attainment and exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are indispensable conditions in the solution of the question of Palestine, the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. The Committee further reasserts that the Israeli evacuation of the territories occupied by force and in violation of the principles of the Charter and relevant resolutions of the United Nations is a conditio sine qua non for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights in Palestine.

143. The Committee noted the action taken by the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the light of the decision of Jordan relative to the West Bank, and the response of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization to assume full responsibility to maintain as well the functioning of the administrative structure in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Committee asserts that the question of representation of the Palestinian people is definitively settled and the Palestine Liberation Organization is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The Committee noted the universal demand for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied Palestinian and other Arab territories and the overwhelming support for the right of the Palestinian people to establish its own independent sovereign State on Palestinian territory, voiced by participants in seminars and NGO symposia and meetings organized under the Committee's auspices, as well as by many intergovernmental organizations and Governments.

144. The Committee is convinced that these important developments open the way for the Palestinian people to establish an independent Arab State in Palestine as envisaged in General Assembly resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, which has only been implemented in part. The Committee is further convinced that the United Nations and the international community as a whole must now urgently intensify their efforts to bring this about.

145. The Committee considers that it has now become imperative for the Security Council to take positive action towards the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with the guidelines and other provisions contained in General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 41/43 D. That Conference remains the most comprehensive and widely accepted proposal for the attainment of a peaceful settlement. The Committee appeals to the Secretary-General to do everything in his power to ensure that active consultations are undertaken within the framework of the Security Council for this purpose. In the past year, the international consensus in favour of the convening of the Conference has clearly been consolidated. The Committee therefore intends to further intensify its efforts towards this objective, and to make it once again the focal point of its work programme in the coming year.

146. Noting that the Secretary-General has reported that sufficient agreement does not exist, either among the parties directly concerned or within the Security Council, to permit the convening of the Conference, the Committee recommends that the General Assembly should call once again for additional concrete and constructive efforts by all Governments, in particular the permanent members of the Security Council, for the convening of the Conference and for setting up the preparatory committee for the Conference in accordance with General Assembly resolution 41/43 D; and renew the mandate of the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Security Council, to continue his efforts with a view to convening the Conference.

147. Pending the attainment by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights, the Committee wishes to affirm in the strongest terms the urgent need for effective measures to ensure the safety and protection of the Palestinian population in the occupied Palestinian territories. The Committee calls on the international community, and in particular on the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, to do all in their power to ensure respect for the Convention by Israel, the occupying Power. The Committee calls on the Security Council to take the necessary measures to ensure compliance by Israel with Security Council resolutions 605 (1987), 607 (1988) and 608 (1988). The Committee also calls upon the Security Council to act positively on the recommendations of the Secretary-General contained in his report submitted under resolution 605 (1987) (S/19443), and in particular to make a solemn appeal to the High Contracting Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention that have diplomatic relations with Israel, drawing their attention to their obligation to ensure respect for the Convention in all circumstances and urging them to use all the means at their disposal to urge Israel to abide by and to give effect to the provisions of the Convention. The Committee also calls upon the Security Council to give positive consideration to the Secretary-General's recommendations and observations concerning other ways and means available to the international community, including physical protection, legal protection, general assistance, and protection by publicity. The Committee further calls on the international community, the United Nations system and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to sustain and increase their assistance to the Palestinian people, in close co-operation with the PLO.

148. The Committee noted with satisfaction the increased awareness and mobilization of international public opinion in support of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and of United Nations recommendations for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution of the Palestinian question. The Committee believes that its programme of regional seminars and NGO meetings and symposia, as well as the journalists' encounters and other informational activities sponsored by the Committee, have played a valuable role in this process, and will continue to strive to achieve maximum effectiveness in carrying out this programme and to intensify its efforts in the implementation of its mandate.

Notes


1/ Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-first Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/31/35).

2/ Ibid., Thirty-second Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/32/35); ibid., Thirty-third Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/33/35); ibid., Thirty-fourth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/34/35); ibid., Thirty-fifth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/35/35); ibid., Forty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/36/35); ibid., Thirty-seventh Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/37/35); ibid., Thirty-eighth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/38/35); ibid., Thirty-ninth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/39/35); ibid., Fortieth Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/40/35); ibid., Forty-first Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/41/35); and ibid., Forty-second Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/42/35).

3/ Report of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, Geneva, 29 August-7 September 1983 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.83.I.21), chap. I, sect. B.

4/ The observers at the Committee's meetings were as follows: Algeria, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, China, Czechoslovakia, Ecuador, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mauritania, Morocco, Nicaragua, Niger, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates, Viet Nam, the League of Arab States and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. The Palestine Liberation Organization, as the representative of the Palestinian people, the principal party to the question of Palestine, was also an observer.

5/ The current membership of the Working Group is as follows: Afghanistan, Cuba, German Democratic Republic, Guinea, Guyana, India, Malta, Pakistan, Senegal, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and, as the representative of the people directly concerned, the Palestine Liberation Organization.


ANNEX I


Recommendations of the Committee endorsed by the General Assembly
at its thirty-first session*


I. Basic considerations and guidelines


59. The question of Palestine is at the heart of the Middle East problem, and consequently, the Committee stresses its belief that no solution in the Middle East can be envisaged which does not fully take into account the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people.

60. The legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to return to their homes and property and to achieve self-determination, national independence and sovereignty are endorsed by the Committee in the conviction that the full implementation of these rights will contribute decisively to a comprehensive and final settlement of the Middle East crisis.

61. The participation of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, on an equal footing with other parties, on the basis of General Assembly resolutions 3236 (XXIX) and 3375 (XXX) is indispensable in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East which are held under the auspices of the United Nations.

62. The Committee recalls the fundamental principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force and stresses the consequent obligation for complete and speedy evacuation of any territory so occupied.

63. The Committee considers that it is the duty and responsibility of all concerned to enable the Palestinians to exercise their inalienable rights.

64. The Committee recommends an expanded and more influential role by the United Nations and its organs in promoting a just solution to the question of Palestine and in the implementation of such a solution. The Security Council, in particular, should take appropriate action to facilitate the exercise by the Palestinians of their right to return to their homes, lands and property. The Committee, furthermore, urges the Security Council to promote action towards a just solution, taking into account all the powers conferred on it by the Charter of the United Nations.

65. It is with this perspective in view and on the basis of the numerous resolutions of the United Nations, after due consideration of all the facts, proposals and suggestions advanced in the course of its deliberations, that the Committee submits its recommendations on the modalities for the implementation of the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.





* Official Records of the General Assembly, Thirty-first Session, Supplement No. 35 (A/31/35), paras. 59-72.

II. The right of return


66. The natural and inalienable right of Palestinians to return to their homes is recognized by resolution 194 (III), which the General Assembly has reaffirmed almost every year since its adoption. This right was also unanimously recognized by the Security Council in its resolution 237 (1967); the time for the urgent implementation of these resolutions is long overdue.

67. Without prejudice to the right of all Palestinians to return to their homes, lands and property, the Committee considers that the programme of implementation of the exercise of this right may be carried out in two phases:

Phase one

68. The first phase involves the return to their homes of the Palestinians displaced as a result of the war of June 1967. The Committee recommends that:

(i)
The Security Council should request the immediate implementation of its resolution 237 (1967) and that such implementation should not be related to any other condition;
(ii)
The resources of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and/or of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, suitably financed and mandated, may be employed to assist in the solution of any logistical problems involved in the resettlement of those returning to their homes. These agencies could also assist, in co-operation with the host countries and the Palestine Liberation Organization, in the identification of the displaced Palestinians.


Phase two

69. The second phase deals with the return to their homes of the Palestinians displaced between 1948 and 1967. The Committee recommends that:

(i)
While the first phase is being implemented, the United Nations in co-operation with the States directly involved, and the Palestine Liberation Organization as the interim representative of the Palestinian entity, should proceed to make the necessary arrangements to enable Palestinians displaced between 1948 and 1967 to exercise their right to return to their homes and property, in accordance with the relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly General Assembly resolution 194 (III);
(ii)
Palestinians not choosing to return to their homes should be paid just and equitable compensation as provided for in resolution 194 (III).




III.
The right to self-determination, national independence
and sovereignty


70. The Palestinian people has the inherent right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty in Palestine. The Committee considers that the evacuation of the territories occupied by force and in violation of the principles of the Charter and relevant resolutions of the United Nations is a conditio sine qua non for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights in Palestine. The Committee considers furthermore, that upon the return of the Palestinians to their homes and property and with the establishment of an independent Palestinian entity, the Palestinian people will be able to exercise its rights to self-determination and to decide its form of government without external interference.

71. The Committee also feels that the United Nations has an historical duty and responsibility to render all assistance necessary to promote the economic development and prosperity of the Palestinian entity.

72. To these ends, the Committee recommends that:

(a) A timetable should be established by the Security Council for the complete withdrawal by Israeli occupation forces from those areas occupied in 1967; such withdrawal should be completed no later than 1 June 1977;

(b) The Security Council may need to provide temporary peace-keeping forces in order to facilitate the process of withdrawal;

(c) Israel should be requested by the Security Council to desist from the establishment of new settlements and to withdraw during this period from settlements established since 1967 in the occupied territories. Arab property and all essential services in these areas should be maintained intact;

(d) Israel should also be requested to abide scrupulously by the provisions of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of
12 August 1949 and to declare, pending its speedy withdrawal from these territories, its recognition of the applicability of that Convention;

(e) The evacuated territories, with all property and services intact, should be taken over by the United Nations, which with the co-operation of the League of Arab States, will subsequently hand over these evacuated areas to the Palestine Liberation Organization as the representative of the Palestinian people;

(f) The United Nations should, if necessary, assist in establishing communications between Gaza and the West Bank;

(g) As soon as the independent Palestinian entity has been established, the United Nations, in co-operation with the States directly involved and the Palestinian entity, should, taking into account General Assembly resolution 3375 (XXX), make further arrangements for the full implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, the resolution of outstanding problems and the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the region, in accordance with all relevant United Nations resolutions;

(h) The United Nations should provide the economic and technical assistance necessary for the consolidation of the Palestinian entity.

ANNEX II


Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action
for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights a/


A. Geneva Declaration on Palestine


In pursuance of General Assembly resolutions 36/120 C of 10 December 1981, ES-7/7 of 19 August 1982 and 37/86 C of 10 December 1982, an International Conference on the Question of Palestine was convened at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 29 August to 7 September 1983 to seek effective ways and means to enable the Palestinian people to attain and to exercise their inalienable rights. The Conference was opened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, and presided over by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Senegal, Moustapha Niassé.
* * *

1. The Conference, having thoroughly considered the question of Palestine in all its aspects, expresses the grave concern of all nations and peoples regarding the international tension that has persisted for several decades in the Middle East, the principal cause of which is the denial by Israel, and those supporting its expansionist policies, of the inalienable legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. The Conference reaffirms and stresses that a just solution of the question of Palestine, the core of the problem, is the crucial element in a comprehensive, just and lasting political settlement in the Middle East.

2. The Conference recognizes that, as one of the most acute and complex problems of our time, the question of Palestine - inherited by the United Nations at the time of its establishment - requires a comprehensive, just and lasting political settlement. This settlement must be based on the implementation of the relevant United Nations resolutions concerning the question of Palestine and the attainment of the legitimate, inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination and the right to the establishment of its own independent State in Palestine and should also be based on the provision by the Security Council of guarantees for peace and security among all States in the region, including the independent Palestinian State, within secure and internationally recognized boundaries. The Conference is convinced that the attainment by the Palestinian people of their inalienable rights, as defined by General Assembly resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, will contribute substantially to the achievement of peace and stability in the Middle East.

3. The Conference considers the role of the United Nations in the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East to be essential and paramount. It emphasizes the need for respect for, and application of, the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the resolutions of the United Nations relevant to the question of Palestine and the observance of the principles of international law.

4. The Conference considers that the various proposals, consistent with the principles of international law, which have been presented on this question, such as the Arab peace plan adopted unanimously at the Twelfth Arab Summit Conference (see A/37/696-S/15510, annex), held at Fez, Morocco, in September 1982, should serve as guidelines for concerted international effort to resolve the question of Palestine. These guidelines include the following:

(a) The attainment by the Palestinian people of its legitimate inalienable rights, including the right to return, the right to self-determination and the right to establish its own independent State in Palestine;

(b) The right of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people, to participate on an equal footing with other parties in all efforts, deliberations and conferences on the Middle East;

(c) The need to put an end to Israel's occupation of the Arab territories, in accordance with the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force, and, consequently, the need to secure Israeli withdrawal from the territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem;

(d) The need to oppose and reject such Israeli policies and practices in the occupied territories, including Jerusalem, and any de facto situation created by Israel as are contrary to international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, particularly the establishment of settlements, as these policies and practices constitute major obstacles to the achievement of peace in the Middle East;

(e) The need to reaffirm as null and void all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purported to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, including the expropriation of land and property situated thereon, and in particular the so-called "Basic Law" on Jerusalem and the proclamation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel;

(f) The right of all States in the region to existence within secure and internationally recognized boundaries, with justice and security for all the people, the sine qua non of which is the recognition and attainment of the legitimate, inalienable rights of the Palestinian people as stated in subparagraph (a) above.

5. In order to give effect to these guidelines, the Conference considers it essential that an international peace conference on the Middle East be convened on the basis of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, with the aim of achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, an essential element of which would be the establishment of an independent Palestinian State in Palestine. This peace conference should be convened under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of all parties to the Arab-Israeli conflict, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, as well as the United States of America, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and other concerned States, on an equal footing. In this context the Security Council has a primary responsibility to create appropriate institutional arrangements on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions in order to guarantee and to carry out the accords of the international peace conference.

6. The International Conference on the Question of Palestine emphasizes the importance of the time factor in achieving a just solution to the problem of Palestine. The Conference is convinced that partial solutions are inadequate and delays in seeking a comprehensive solution do not eliminate tensions in the region.


B.
Programme of Action for the Achievement of
Palestinian Rights


The International Conference on the Question of Palestine agreed that no effort should be spared to seek effective ways and means to enable the Palestinian people to attain and exercise their rights in Palestine in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights b/ and the principles of international law. The Conference, taking into consideration the Geneva Declaration on Palestine (sect. A above), recommended the following Programme of Action.
I

II

A

B

C

D

(d) Organize regional encounters for journalists;
III

Notes


a/ See Report of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, Geneva, 29 August-7 September 1983 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.83.I.21), chap. I, sects. A and B.

b/ See General Assembly resolution 217 A (III).

c/ United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 75, No. 972, p. 135.

d/ Ibid., No. 973, p. 287.

e/ Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Hague Conventions and
Declarations of 1899 and 1907 (New York, Oxford University Press, 1915), p. 100.

f/ See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1983, Supplement
No. 9 (E/1983/20).

g/ A/C.5/38/4, para. 8 (c).

h/ Recommendation 146 (VI) of 2 July 1983 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

i/ Recommendation 19 of the Latin American Regional Preparatory Meeting, Managua, Nicaragua, 12-15 April 1983 (A/CONF.114/2).

j/ African region, A/CONF.114/1; Latin American region, A/CONF.114/2; Western Asian region, A/CONF.114/3; Asian region, A/CONF.114/4; European region, A/CONF.114/5.

ANNEX III


Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Eighteenth
United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine

(Havana, 15-17 December 1987)


Introduction


1. The Eighteenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine, entitled "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people", was held at the Palacio de las Convenciones at Havana, Cuba, from 15 to 17 December 1987, in accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution 40/96 B of 12 December 1985.

2. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation consisting of Mr. Massamba Sarré (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee, head of the delegation; Mr. Alberto Velazco-San José (Cuba);
Mr. Pramathesh Rath (India); and Mr. Zehdi L. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization). Mr. Massamba Sarré was Chairman and Mr. Pramathesh Rath Rapporteur of the Seminar.

3. Four meetings were held and 17 panelists presented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine. In addition, representatives of 26 Governments, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), 2 United Nations organs, 4 United Nations programmes and specialized agencies, 2 national liberation organizations, as well as observers of 17 non-governmental organizations attended the Seminar.

4. The opening session of the Seminar was attended by Mr. Jorge Risquet, Member of the Politburo and the Secretariat, Chief of the General Department for External Relations of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba. The Seminar was addressed by the following: Mr. Isidoro Malmierca Peoli, Minister of External Relations of Cuba;
Mr. Naseem Mirza, Chief, Division for Palestinian Rights, on behalf of the Secretary-General; Mr. Massamba Sarré, Chairman of the Seminar; Mr. Imad Jada'a, Ambassador of the PLO to Cuba, who conveyed a message from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO; Mr. Ammar Amari (Tunisia), representing the Special Committee on the Situation with Regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples; and Mr. Nasreldin A. M. Idries (Sudan) representing the Special Committee against Apartheid.

5. The Seminar also heard statements from Mr. Helmut Angula, Permanent Observer of the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) to the United Nations and from
Mr. Stanley Manana, Representative of the African National Congress of South Africa to Cuba.

6. Messages of support were received from Mr. Clodomiro Almeida, former Vice-President of Chile and Secretary-General of the Socialist Party of that country, as well as from the Arab Union of Cuba of the City of Ciego de Avila.

7. On its part, the Seminar adopted messages to Mr. Yasser Arafat, to the President of the Security Council and also to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

8. Three panels were established. The topics of these and panelists were as follows:

(a) Panel I, "The International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, the need for such a conference and efforts and prospects to promote a successful outcome, and benefits thereof":
Mr. Shafiq Al-Hout (Palestinian), Mr. Tillo Declerq (Belgium), Mr. Miklos Endreffy (Hungary), Mr. Eduardo Kronfly (Colombia), Mr. Jorge Manfugas (Cuba), Mr. Paul McCloskey (United States), Mr. Mattiyahu Peled (Israel), and Mr. Gabriel Pérez Tarrau (Cuba);

(b) Panel II, "The question of Palestine and Latin American/Caribbean public opinion": Mrs. Irma Caceres Pérez (Cuba), Mr. Roberto Garcéa (Nicaragua), Mr. Alvaro Menéndez Franco (Panama), Mr. Ruben Montedonico (Mexico), Mr. Juan Pereira Fiorilo (Bolivia), Deputy Henry Rondinel Cornejo (Peru), Mr. Juan Sanchez (Cuba) and Mr. Carlos Alberto Torrengo (Argentina);

(c) Panel III, "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization": Mr. Fouad Moughrabi (Palestinian).

The expert members of the three panels agreed on summaries of the presentations and the discussions on the three topics. The Seminar decided to include those summaries in the report, which has been published as a special Bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.

Conclusions and recommendations


9. The conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Seminar are as follows:

(a) The Seminar recalled that the year 1987 marked a number of anniversaries of significant events in the history of the Palestinian people in its struggle to attain its legitimate and inalienable rights. It was the seventieth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, the fortieth anniversary of the adoption of General Assembly resolution
181 (II), the twentieth anniversary of the 1967 war and the fifth anniversary of the Israeli invasion and occupation of Lebanese territory and the massacre of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.

(b) The Seminar expressed its deep concern over the present dangerous situation in the Middle East which posed a serious threat to international peace and security. In the nuclear age it was necessary for international relations to be restructured so that confrontation was replaced by co-operation, and conflict situations were resolved through peaceful political means and not through military actions.

(c) The Seminar was profoundly convinced that the vital interests of all peoples of the region, as well as the interests of international peace and security, could be secured only through the attainment of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement, on the basis of relevant United Nations resolutions and under its auspices, of the Arab-Israeli conflict of which the question of Palestine was the core.

(d) The Seminar was aware that while strenuous attempts had been made to find a solution to the Middle East conflict, the situation in the region remained intractable. It was further aggravated by Israel's actions in the occupied Arab territories. The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people continued to be undermined. Israel continued its policies of illegally maintaining and expanding Jewish settlements as well as confiscating Arab-owned lands and diverting scarce water resources to its own use in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories. The "iron-fist" policy of Israel had further stifled all forms of political, cultural, social and economic expression of the Palestinian people. Israel continued to strengthen its control over most aspects of life, with the objective of obstructing a self-sustained development of the Palestinians in the occupied territories by turning those territories into a dependent entity with the aim of their final absorption and annexation. Such policies were in violation of United Nations resolutions, the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and other norms of international law and exacerbated tension in the area, thus hindering attempts to find a peaceful solution to the question of Palestine.

(e) The Seminar affirmed that the denial of the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people remained the core of the conflict in the Middle East and that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region could not be achieved without the full exercise of those rights, including the rights to return, to self-determination and to statehood, and without the complete withdrawal of Israel from Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem. It further affirmed that the PLO was the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. It invited Governments which had not yet done so to accord recognition of the PLO as such.

(f) The Seminar unanimously concluded that the way to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East was by convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations and with the participation of all parties to the conflict, including the PLO on an equal footing, as well as the United States and the Soviet Union and other concerned States, in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. The Seminar was convinced that partial and piecemeal solutions would ignore the core of the Arab-Israeli conflict and were not conducive to a comprehensive settlement. The need was stressed for a comprehensive attempt at establishing a just and lasting peace in the Middle East through the International Peace Conference in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People had an important role to play in promoting the convening of the Conference.

(g) The Seminar was of the view that, during 1987, international understanding of the question of Palestine and support for the attainment and exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights had continued to grow. At the same time, in the region, tension and violence had continued to mount, with tragic consequences. The Seminar considered that the present situation demanded renewed and intensified collective international efforts aimed at reaching a comprehensive, just and lasting solution. Urgent positive action by the Security Council was required on the recommendations formulated by the Committee in its first report, submitted in 1976 and endorsed by the General Assembly, as well as the recommendations adopted by the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held at Geneva in 1983. The peaceful solution of this long-standing conflict and the attainment of justice and security for all, based on the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights, remained a primary and urgent responsibility of the United Nations.

(h) The Seminar took note with appreciation of the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to secure universal recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and of its recommendations for ensuring the exercise by the Palestinian people of those rights. The Seminar also noted with satisfaction the increased support at the United Nations for the programme of action undertaken by the Committee. It urged the international community to sustain and strengthen its support for the Committee's activities and endeavours, in particular its efforts for facilitating the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and the establishment of a preparatory committee within the framework of the Security Council, with the participation of its permanent members.

(i) The Seminar expressed its grateful appreciation for the efforts undertaken by the Secretary-General of the United Nations with a view to convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. In this regard the Seminar took note of his report (A/42/714-S/19249) and expressed full support for his intention to maintain his special efforts and continue to explore with the parties ways of advancing the process. The Secretary-General, in his report, had stated that "the inability of the Government of Israel as a whole to agree to the principle of an international conference under United Nations auspices" remained a major obstacle. The Seminar concluded that the Government of Israel, along with the Government of the United States, opposed compliance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. In that context, the Seminar urged the Governments of Israel and the United States to reconsider their negative attitudes towards the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

(j) The Seminar was of the view that the recent adoption of Amendment No. 940 by the United States Senate making unlawful the establishment and maintenance of offices of the PLO in the United States ignored the fact that the PLO Observer Mission to the United Nations was present in accordance with General Assembly resolution 3237 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974. Furthermore, that legislation was contrary to the Headquarters Agreement between the host country and the United Nations. The Seminar was also of the view that the closure of the PLO Observer Mission to the United Nations would mean the elimination of an important institution contributing to the search for peace in the Middle East.

(k) The Seminar expressed its strong protest against the reported Israeli military actions against Lebanon as well as the new wave of oppression of Palestinians in the occupied territories. It demanded that those actions should cease immediately and requested the Security Council to undertake every effort under the Charter of the United Nations in order to put an end to the causes of violence and the use of force.

(l) The Seminar appealed to the members of the Security Council and in particular to its permanent members, in exercising their responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security, to make every effort to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East without further delay.

(m) The Seminar viewed the results of the eighteenth session of the Palestine National Council, held in April 1987, at Algiers, as a significant contribution to achieving a just solution to the question of Palestine and resolving the plight of the Palestinian people. The Seminar welcomed in particular the unequivocal support of the PLO for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C.

(n) The Seminar recalled with appreciation the support that Governments and peoples of Latin America had extended at the United Nations and in other forums to the Palestinian cause and for the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. It agreed that efforts should be continued and intensified to mobilize the official and public opinion in the Latin American region, as well as in other regions of the world, especially through the use of the media and activities of non-governmental organizations. The United Nations should undertake additional efforts to disseminate factual and up-to-date information on the question of Palestine, the plight of Palestinians under occupation or in exile, and the measures required to be taken for the achievement of a just solution to the question of Palestine on the basis of the attainment by the Palestinian people in Palestine of its inalienable rights. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights had an important role in the dissemination of such information. Moreover, the United Nations Department of Public Information should make every effort to ensure that accurate information on the question of Palestine received the widest possible dissemination and should ensure adequate representation of Latin American journalists in its annual fact-finding missions to the Middle East.

(o) It was important that governmental media and international news agencies should play a more objective role in providing balanced reporting on the Middle East and, in particular, on the plight of the Palestinian people. The Seminar emphasized that intergovernmental organizations, institutions such as universities, colleges, research institutes, churches and other religious establishments as well as national and international non-governmental organizations, had a crucial role to play in the formation of public opinion, especially in the United States and Israel. Those institutions should be encouraged to give wider coverage and objective treatment to the question of Palestine.

ANNEX IV


Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Nineteenth
United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine

(Berlin, German Democratic Republic, 25-29 April 1988)


Introduction


1. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People accepted the offer of the Government of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) to hold the Nineteenth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Fourth European Regional Seminar) entitled "The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people". The Seminar was held at the Palasthotel, Berlin, from 25 to 29 April 1988, in accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution 42/66 B of 2 December 1987.

2. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation consisting of Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta), Rapporteur of the Committee, head of the delegation; Mr. Tom Obaleh Kargbo (Sierra Leone); Mr. Alberto Velazco-San José (Cuba); Mr. Dirk Hielscher (GDR); and Mr. Zehdi L. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization). Mr. Borg Olivier served as Chairman,
Mr. Velazco-San José as Vice-Chairman and Mr. Kargbo as Rapporteur of the Seminar.

3. The opening session of the Seminar was attended by the President of the forty-second session of the General Assembly, Mr. Peter Florin.

4. Eight meetings were held and 14 panelists presented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine. In addition, representatives of 37 Governments, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), 3 United Nations organs, 4 United Nations specialized agencies and bodies, 1 intergovernmental organization as well as observers of 5 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended the Seminar.

5. The opening session of the Seminar was addressed by Mr. Oskar Fischer, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the GDR, and a message was received from the General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany and Chairman of the Council of State of the GDR,
H.E. Mr. Erich Honecker, which was read out by the Chairman of the Seminar.

6. At the opening session, statements were also made by the representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Under-Secretary-General Joseph Verner Reed, and by H.E. Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier, Chairman of the Seminar.

7. A message was received from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, and read out by Mr. Isam Kamel Salem, Ambassador of the PLO to the GDR. In addition, a statement was made by Mr. Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada, Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

8. The Seminar also heard statements from Mrs. Shi Yanhua (China), representing the United Nations Council for Namibia; Mr. Emmanuel Douma (Congo), representing the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples; Mr. Dirk Hielscher (GDR), representing the Special Committee against Apartheid, and Mr. Achim Reichardt, General Secretary of the Solidarity Committee of the GDR. The Seminar also received a message by the Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories, Mr. Daya Perera.

9. On its own part, the Seminar adopted messages to Mr. Erich Honecker, Chairman of the Council of State of the GDR, and to Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO.

10. Three panels were established. These panels and their panelists were as follows:

(a) Panel I: "The Uprising in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: The Urgency of Convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 38/58 C":

Mr. Shafiq Al-Hout (Palestinian), Mr. Dragan Jovanic (Yugoslavia),
Mr. Igor M. Khvorostiany (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic),
Mr. Vladimir I. Kisselyov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics),
Mr. Roberto Mesa (Spain) and Mr. Ingo Schoenfelder (GDR);

(b) Panel II: "The Role of the Palestine Liberation Organization":

Mr. Yusif Sayegh (Palestinian);

(c) Panel III: "The Question of Palestine and European Public Opinion":

Mr. Mikko Lohikoski (Finland), Mr. Ion Margineanu (Romania),
Mr. Lothar Pilz (GDR), Mr. Mümtaz Soysal (Turkey), Mr. Jörgen Stromberg
(Sweden), Mr. Paolo Ungari (Italy) and Mr. Nicolas Voulelis (Greece).

11. The expert members of the three panels agreed on summaries of the presentations and the discussions on the three topics. The Seminar decided to include those summaries in the report, which has been published as a special bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.

Conclusions and recommendations


12. The conclusions and recommendations adopted by the SEminar are as follows:

(a) The Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories confirms that the Palestinians are determined to reject and resist Israeli domination and occupation. The Palestinian people is struggling to preserve and protect its identity and its land and to regain and freely exercise its inalienable national rights to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent State of its own in Palestine.

(b) While strenuous attempts have been made to bring about a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, the situation in the region remains intractable. It is further aggravated by Israel's reaction to the Palestinian uprising in using military might to quell the demands by the Palestinian people for the exercise of its inalienable human and national rights. Israel continues its policies of illegally maintaining and expanding Jewish settlements as well as confiscating Arab-owned lands and diverting scarce water resources to its own use in the occupied Palestinian and Arab territories. The "iron-fist" policy of Israel has further stifled all forms of political, cultural, social and economic expressions of the Palestinian people. Israel continues to strengthen its control over most aspects of life, with the objective of obstructing a self-sustained development of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories by turning those territories into a dependent entity with the aim of their final absorption and annexation. Such policies are in violation of United Nations resolutions, the Geneva Conventions of 1949, in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention, and other norms of international law and exacerbate tension in the area, thus hindering attempts to find a peaceful solution to the question of Palestine.

(c) The Seminar agreed that the role of the PLO derives from the inalienable right of the Palestinians to Palestine, their right to identify with it, to live on its soil as a community and national entity, with its social structure and its economic life. It derives from the collective will of the Palestinians, both on Palestinian territory and outside of it, that the PLO is their legitimate and sole representative. Those two factors are the source of the legitimacy of the PLO and the determinant of the complex role it has to play. The record of the PLO confirms and solidifies that legitimacy and has won the recognition, first of all by the Arab States and, in due course, by more than 100 other States, that the PLO is the legitimate and sole representative of the Palestinians. Among the exceptions to this significant development is Israel, the United States and South Africa.

(d) The international community is becoming more deeply convinced of the need to find an immediate political settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. That is evidenced by the growing support for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C as the only realistic and reliable means of achieving such a settlement. That support is clearly reflected in the position adopted by the PLO, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the League of Arab States, the Organization of African Unity, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the European Community, the Nordic countries, as well as by the USSR, China and other socialist countries. In that regard, the Seminar emphasized in particular the sustained and continuing support by the European socialist and non-aligned countries for the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable national rights and the convening of the International Peace Conference on the basis of General Assembly resolution 38/58 C.

(e) The Seminar appreciated the evolving position of Western European and Nordic countries in support of a comprehensive settlement and the convening of the International Peace Conference as expressed in the official statements by the European Community and the Nordic countries. It took also into account the position of the European Parliament in that regard and expressed the hope that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People will undertake further endeavours with a view that the countries of Western Europe will play an even more active role in bringing about a comprehensive political settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, guaranteeing the exercise by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights.

(f) The Seminar concluded that the way to establish a just and lasting peace in the Middle East is by convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations and in conformity with General Assembly resolution
38/58 C, which endorsed the Geneva Declaration adopted by the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held at Geneva in 1983. There was concurrence that a careful examination of the components of that resolution, which was based on the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, and took into account all relevant United Nations resolutions, and included the objective, the political elements, the framework of, and the participants in the International Peace Conference, demonstrates the credibility and applicability of that project to produce a durable solution. It is the only prescription that could claim to have the ingredients for a just solution to the conflict, for the transformation of the military conflict into peaceful political platforms. Among the parties involved in the Middle East conflict, Israel and the United States are the only ones rejecting that path.

(g) The Seminar expressed its appreciation for the efforts undertaken by the Security Council of the United Nations to bring about a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and in particular, to facilitate the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. Attention was drawn to the report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (S/19443 of 21 January 1988), as requested by resolution 605 (1987) of 22 December 1987, describing the existing situation in the occupied territories and indicating action to be taken by the international community to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people under occupation and to rectify the causes of the present situation through a peaceful negotiated settlement. The Seminar urged the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to take the necessary steps to facilitate the implementation of those actions. Attention was also drawn to the report of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly (A/43/272) on the current situation regarding the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. In that context, the Seminar urged the Governments of Israel and the United States to reconsider their negative attitudes towards the convening of the Conference in conformity with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C.

(h) The Seminar took note with appreciation of the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to secure universal recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and its recommendations for ensuring the exercise by the Palestinian people of those rights. The Seminar expressed its satisfaction that the Committee had organized the Seminar for Europe and the suggestion was made that the Committee should intensify its efforts so that the next European Seminar could be held in a Western European country. The Seminar also noted with satisfaction the increased support at the United Nations for the programme of action undertaken by the Committee. It urged the international community to sustain and strengthen its support for the Committee's activities and endeavours, in particular its efforts for facilitating the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. At the same time, all countries must act and make their own contributions towards the convening of the International Peace Conference.

(i) Although Israel and the United States are not yet convinced of the usefulness of the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, overall international conditions for accomplishing that task are not unfavourable. Additional efforts towards the political, negotiated settlement of regional conflict are essential. The hope was expressed that the forthcoming summit meeting of General Secretary Gorbachev and President Reagan would lead to a healthier international climate and produce tangible progress for a political solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine.

(j) The Seminar condemned the brutal assassination by Israeli special forces in Tunis of Khalil al-Wazir, Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Palestinian armed forces, and the open violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Tunisia. In that regard, the Seminar was apprised of the deliberations of the Security Council and noted with appreciation the adoption of resolution 611 (1988) of 25 April 1988. The Seminar expressed its condolences to the PLO and the family of al-Wazir. It was of the view that that outrageous act of State terrorism, which has been condemned by the international community, would not deter the Palestinian people from its path to secure and exercise its inalienable rights.

(k) The Seminar expressed its serious concern over the attempts by the United States Administration to close the Permanent Observer Mission of the PLO to the United Nations in complete disregard of its legal obligations under the Headquarters Agreement. The position of the General Assembly in its resolution on that issue was unequivocally supported. The hope was expressed that that dispute between the United States and the United Nations could be resolved in accordance with the provision of the Headquarters Agreement and on the basis of the principles of international law. The Seminar took note of the Advisory Opinion unanimously adopted by the International Court of Justice which affirmed that the United States was obliged to enter into the settlement procedure under article 21 of the Headquarters Agreement. The Seminar expressed the hope that the United States would act accordingly.

(l) The Seminar recalled with appreciation the support that Governments and peoples of Europe have extended at the United Nations and in other forums to the Palestinian cause and for the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East. It agreed that efforts should be continued and intensified to mobilize official and public opinion in Europe, and in particular in Western Europe, as well as in other regions of the world, especially through the use of the media and activities of NGOs. The United Nations should undertake additional efforts to disseminate factual and up-to-date information on the question of Palestine, the plight of Palestinians under occupation or in exile, and the measures required to be taken for the achievement of a just solution to the question of Palestine on the basis of the attainment by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights have an important role in the dissemination of such information. Moreover, the United Nations Department of Public Information should make every effort to ensure that accurate information on the question of Palestine received the widest possible dissemination and should ensure adequate representation of European journalists in its annual fact-finding missions to the Middle East.

(m) The Seminar was apprised of the activities of the European Co-ordinating Committee for Non-Governmental Organizations on the Question of Palestine and expressed its appreciation for the manifold activities undertaken by that Committee. Regarding the co-operation of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People with the European Co-ordinating Committee and European NGOs in general, the following suggestions were made:

(i)
To encourage the United Nations to strengthen its co-operation with the NGO community in all ways possible. In that respect, the decision that the United Nations is planning to organize regional European NGO symposia annually was noted with appreciation;
(ii)
To encourage visits by representatives of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to national events organized by various NGOs;
(iii)
To foster efforts to produce and update existing factual information material on the question of Palestine about the various aspects of the life of the Palestinian people, its organizations, national identity, culture, etc.;
(iv)
To promote to the extent possible the translation of those publications in languages other than the official languages of the United Nations;
(v)
To facilitate a closer dialogue between NGOs and Governments for exchange of information and views.

(n) It is important that governmental media and international news agencies should play a more objective role in providing balanced reporting on the Middle East and, in particular, on the plight of the Palestinian people. The Seminar emphasized that intergovernmental organizations, institutions such as universities, colleges, research institutes, peace movements, churches and other religious establishments, as well as national and international NGOs, have a crucial role to play in the formation of public opinion, especially in Western Europe, the United States and Israel. Those institutions should be encouraged to give wider coverage and objective treatment to the question of Palestine.
ANNEX V

Conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Twentiety
United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine

(New York, 27 to 28 June 1988)


Introduction

1. The Twentieth United Nations Seminar on the Question of Palestine (Fifth North American Regional Seminar) entitled "The inalienable rights of the Paletinian People", was held at United Nations Headquarters, New York, on 27 and 28 June 1988, in accordance with the terms of General Assembly resolution 42/66 B of 2 December 1987.

2. Four meetings were held and six panelists presented papers on selected aspects of the question of Palestine. In addition, representatives of 40 Governments, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), 2 United Nations organs, 6 United Nations specialized agencies and bodies, 3 intergovernmental organizations, 3 national liberation movements as well as observers of 9 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended the Seminar.

3. Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier (Malta), Rapporteur of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, was Chairman, Mr. Alberto Velazco-San Jose (Cuba) vice-chairman, and Mr. Tom Obaleh Kargbo (Sierra Leone) Rapporteur of the Seminar.

4. The opening session was addressed by the representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Naseem Mirza, Chief, Division for Palestinian Rights and also by Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier, Chairman of the Seminar.

5. A message was received from Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, which was read out by Mr. Zehdi L. Terzi, Permanent Observer of that organization to the United Nations.

6. Other statements were made at the opening session by the following:
Mr. Ahmad Farouk Arnouss, Rapporteur of the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples; H.E. Mr. Jai Pratap Rana, Acting Chairman of he Special Committee against Apartheid Mr. Samir Mansouri, Deputy Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the United Nations; H.E. Mr. A. Engin Ansay, Permanent Observer of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to the United Nations; and Mrs. Monica Noshandi, Deputy Permanent Observer of the South West Africa People's Organization to the United Nations. At the third meeting, the Observer of the African National Congress of South Africa, Dr. Ernest Fred Dube, made a statement.

7. On its own part, the Seminar adopted a message to Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO.

8. Two panels were established. The panels and their panelists were as follows:

(a) Panel I: "The uprising in the occupied Palestinian territories: the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 38/58 C":

Mr. Ibrahim Abu-Lughod (Palestinian), Mr. William H. Barton (Canada), Mr. Paul N. McCloskey (United States), Mr. Mattityahu Peled (Israel), Mr. V. P. Vorobyov (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics);

(b) Panel II: "The role of the Palestine Liberation Organization":

Mr. Yusif Sayegh (Palestinian).

Owing to circumstances beyond his control, Mr. Yusif Sayegh could not attend the Seminar and his paper was read by the Permanent Observer of the PLO to the United Nations.

9. The expert members of the panels agreed on summaries of the presentations and the discussions-on, the two topics. The Seminar decided to include those summaries in the report, which has been published as a Special Bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.
Conclusions and recommendations

10. The conclusions and recommendations adopted by the Seminar are as follows:

(a) The Seminar expressed its deep concern over the present dangerous situation in the Middle Bast. The vital interests of all peoples and States of the region, as well as the interests of international peace and security, could only be secured through the attainment of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine, on the basis of United Nations resolutions and under United Nations auspices.

(b) The Palestinian uprising in the occupied territories now in its seventh month confirms that the Palestinians are determined to reject and resist Israeli domination and occupation. Despite Israel's extremely cruel attempts to suppress it, including the use of brute force against women and children, it is all too evident that the Palestinian uprising has been thus far the most successful in challenging Israel's oppressive plans and policies and in demonstrating anew the Palestinian people's strong determination to realize its inalienable national rights. The Palestinian people is struggling to preserve and protect its identity and its land and to regain and freely exercise its inalienable national rights to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of an independent State of its own in Palestine.

(c) Israel has confiscated Palestinian lands and has been instrumental in effecting population expulsion to the extent that today less than half of the 5 million Palestinians live in historic Palestine. The varied and harsh socio-political, economic and legal conditions which characterize the Palestinian existence on their own soil are intended to create an objective condition of permanent subordination and subjugation to a State that views itself as the sovereign State of the Jewish people. Those Israeli policies of occupation, subjugation, dispossession and expulsion account for the continuing Palestinian resistance.

(d) The campaign of civil disobedience by the Palestinians in the occupied territories, sustained with great fortitude in the face of the use of overwhelming military force has brought home to Israeli citizens the destructive impact of continued occupation on their own social values. This, coupled with increasing awareness of the ultimate futility of attempting to maintain suzerainty over lands where they are outnumbered demographically, has for the first time raised serious doubts in the minds of many ordinary Israeli citizens about the wisdom of the policies of their Government. These doubts are also reflected in important Jewish communities in Western countries, whose political and financial support is essential to Israel. Once the inability to resolve the problem by confrontation is grasped by Israel the road will then be open for a negotiated settlement.

(e) The Seminar affirmed that the denial of the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people remained the core of the conflict in the Middle East and that a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region could not be achieved without the full exercise of those rights by the Palestinian people, including the rights to return, to self-determination and to the establishment of a State of its own in Palestine, and without the withdrawal of Israel from Palestinian and Arab territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem. It further agreed that the role of the PLO derives from the inalienable right of the Palestinians to Palestine, their right to identify with it, to live on its soil as a community and national entity, with its social structure and its economic life. It derives from the collective will of the Palestinians, both on Palestinian territory and outside of it, that the PLO is their legitimate and sole representative.

(f) The basic issues which must be addressed in order to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict are: (a) Israeli recognition of and respect for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people which have been hitherto denied; (b Arab acceptance of the State of Israel within internationally recognized borders; (c) acceptance by Israel of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, under the auspices of the United Nations and with the participation of the five permanent members of the Security Council and all the parties to the conflict, as the mechanism to achieve a solution to the conflict; and (d) recognition by Israel and others of the fact that the Palestinian people has the right to participate in the International Peace Conference through the PLO, its sole and legitimate representative.

(g) The international community is becoming more deeply convinced of the urgent need to bring about an immediate political settlement of the Arab-Israeli' conflict and its core, the question of Palestine. Tensions that persist could be further aggravated by the introduction of weapons of mass destruction into the region. There is growing support for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C as the only realistic and reliable means of achieving such a settlement. Resolution 38/58 C reaffirms the rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to return, the right to self-determination and the right to establish an independent State in Palestine as well as the right of all States in the region to exist within secure and internationally recognized boundaries. That support is clearly reflected in the position adopted by the PLO, all Arab States, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, the Organization of African Unity, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the European Community, the Nordic countries, as well as by the USSR, China and other socialist countries. It is encouraging that all of the permanent members of the Security Council recognize that the situation must not be allowed to drift any longer.

(h) Although Israel is not yet convinced of the usefulness and the United States is not yet supportive of the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C, overall international conditions for accomplishing that task are very favourable. Moreover, it was encouraging that the relations between the United States and the USSR seem to have improved and the nations of the European Community have acknowledged their responsibility to encourage the search for a solution. Additional efforts towards the political, negotiated settlement of regional conflict are essential. The hope was expressed that the existing healthier international climate could produce tangible progress for a political solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and its core, the question of Palestine.

(i) The Seminar expressed its appreciation and support for the efforts undertaken by the Secretary-General and the Security Council of the United Nations to bring about a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and "in particular, to facilitate the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. Attention was drawn to the report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council (S/19443 of 21 January 1988), as requested by resolution 605 (1987) of 22 December 1987, describing the existing situation in the occupied territories and indicating action, that may include United Nations presence therein, to be taken by the international community to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people under occupation and to rectify the causes of the present situation through a peaceful negotiated settlement. Attention was also drawn to the report of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly (A/43/272) on the current situation regarding the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. In that context, the Seminar urged the Governments of Israel and the United States to reconsider their attitudes towards the convening of the Conference in conformity with General Assembly resoluion 38/58 C.

(j) The Seminar took note with appreciation of the efforts of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to secure universal recognition of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, and its recommendations for ensuring the exercise by the Palestinian people of those rights. The Seminar urged the international community to sustain and strengthen its support for the Committee's activities and endeavours, in particular its efforts for facilitating the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. At the same time, all countries must act and make their own contributions towards the convening of the International Peace Conference.

(k) The Seminar unanimously stressed the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. The Seminar urged that the Conference be convened before the end of 1988.

(l) The Seminar viewed the results of the recent Arab Summit held at Algiers as a significant contribution to achieving a settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the question of Palestine. The Arab States once more committed themselves to meaningful political and economic support to the Palestinian uprising. The Seminar welcomed in particular the unequivocal support of the Summit for the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

(m) The Seminar took note with great interest of the statement of 7 June 1988 by Mr. Bassam Abu Sherif, Advisor to Chairman Yasser Arafat on the prospects of a Palestinian-Israeli settlement.

(n) The Seminar expressed its serious concern over the attempts by the United States Government to close the Permanent Observer Mission of the PLO to the United Nations. The position of the General Assembly in its resolutions on that issue was unequivocally supported. The hope was expressed that that dispute between the United States and the United Nations could be resolved in accordance with the provision of the Headquarters Agreement and on the basis of the principles of international law. The Seminar expressed the hope that the United States would act in conformity with article 21 of the Headquarters Agreement as indicated by the International Court of Justice in its advisory opinion.

(o) The Seminar agreed that efforts should be continued and intensified to mobilize official and public opinion in North America especially through the use of the media and activities of national and international NGOs. The United Nations should undertake additional efforts to disseminate factual and up-to-date information on the question of Palestine, the plight of Palestinians under occupation, and the measures required to be taken for the achievement of a just solution to the question of Palestine on the basis of the attainment by the Palestinian people of its inalienable rights. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights have an important role in the dissemination of such information.

(p) It is important that the media should play a more responsive role in providing more balanced reporting on the Middle East and, in particular, on the plight of the Palestinians as well as on the efforts to convene the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. Public institutions, universities, colleges, research institutes, churches and other religious establishments, as well as national and international NGOs, have a crucial role to play in the formation of public opinion, particularly in the United States and Canada. Those institutions should be urged to give wider coverage and more balanced treatment to the question of Palestine.

ANNEX VI

Declaration adopted by the United Nations North American
Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine

(New York, 29 June-1 July 1988)

Introduction

1. The fifth North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine was held from 29 June to 1 July 1988 in accordance with General Assembly resolution 42/66 B of 2 December 1987.

2. The Symposium was attended by representatives of 47 non-governmental organizations as participants and 34 such organizations as observers from the United States and Canada. Still other NGOs from several regions attended the Symposium as well as a number of governmental and intergovernmental observers.

3. The Symposium received a message from His Excellency Mr. Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

4. His Excellency Mr. Alberto Velazco-San Jose (Cuba) opened the Symposium on behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Ms. Jeanne Butterfield, Vice-Chairperson of the North American Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (NACC) served as chairperson of the Symposium, while His Excellency Mr. Alexander Borg Olivier, the Rapporteur of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalianable Rights of the Palestinian People, presided over the closing session.

5. Two panels were established. The first considered the topic "The uprising in the occupied Palestinian territories: the urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with General Assembly resolution 38/58 C. Under that topic the following panelists presented papers:
Ms. Hanan Mihail-Ashrawi (Dean of the Arts School, Bir Zeit University);
Ms. Tikvah Parnass-Honig (Committee to Confront the "Iron Fist"); and,
Mr. Mubarak Awad (Director, Palestine Centre for the Study of Non-Violence).

6. The second panel was entitled: "Implications of the United Nations legislation affecting the promotion in the United States and the United Nations of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People". Papers on this topic were presented by the following persons: Ms. Jeanne Butterfield (Palestine Solidarity Committee, Vice-Chairperson, NACC); Mr. Hanna Halaq (Professor, Bir Zeit University); and, Mr. Ramsey dark (former United States Attorney-General).

7. Ten workshops were set up to consider the following topics, under the general theme "overcoming obstacles and organizing in North America":

(a) Congressional and parliamentary;

(b) Breakthrough in the media and beyond;

(c)
Forging links between the Palestinian and North American trade union movements;
(d) Religious communities: obstacles created by Christian conservative fundamentalists; building support for Palestinian rights;

(e) Effects of occupation on Palestinian children;

(f) Educating and mobilizing women in solidarity with Palestinian women;

(g) Violations of international and United States laws: attacks on Palestinians and the PLO in the United States;

(h) Understanding American Jewish policy and problems of organizing within the American Jewish community;

(i) The importance of the Israeli/Palestinian issue to the peace and disarmament movements;

(j) Obstacles and strategies for organizing students in support of Palestinian rights;

8. The Declaration of the Symposium was adopted unanimously and is reproduces below. The report has been published as a special bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.

Declaration


9. We, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participating in the fifth United Nations North American Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, wish to thank the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for making this Meeting possible. We are indeed honoured by the reception, and the presence of the members and observers of the distinguished United Nations body.

10. We wish also to thank the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights and are especially grateful for his enthusiastic support throughout our deliberations. We wish to thank also the Liaison Officer, the staff of the Division and the Department of Conference Services for their invaluable assistance in the preparation and execution of this Meeting.

11. We wish also to voice our appreciation to the distinguished expert panelists, workshop organizers, resource persons and facilitators who offered their invaluable insights in to the question of Palestine and the potential central role to be played by NGOs in North America. The practical suggestions and strategies developed in the workshops assisted us in formulating future collaborative efforts in North America and in linking our efforts to a broader global network.

12. We note with satisfaction the record attendance and participation in this year's Symposium, and the commitment to Palestinian rights and a just and lasting solution that such participation represents.

13. We believe this Meeting contributed to the constructive interaction between the United Nations and the North American NGO community concerned to promote the implementation of General Assembly resolution 38/58 C of
13 December 1983, a resolution whose implementation we hold to be indispensable.

14. We resolutely reaffirm the international consensus that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. We affirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination without external interference and to establish an independent Palestinian State on its own national territory under the leadership of the PLO, and the right of return, in conformity with all relevant United Nations resolutions.

15. We recognize and express our concern for the role that racism, both de facto and de jure. plays in the situation and treatment of Palestinians inside and outside the 1967 occupied territories. State actions directed against the Palestinians by the Israeli Government, coupled with the uncritical support by the United States Administration of these Israeli policies, shows clearly that racism serves as a buttress for denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

16. We express our admiration for the unity, courage, determination and self-sacrifice of the Palestinian people in the uprising. We commit ourselves to provide moral, political and material support for the intifadah. We request that the United Nations Security Council and the Secretary-General seek to arrange for an interim international peace-keeping force to replace the Israeli occupying forces in order to provide protection and ensure respect for the human and political rights of the Palestinian population of the West Bank and Gaza.

17. In doing so, we affirm our support for the goals of the intifadah as repeatedly stated in leaflets issued by its united national leadership;

(a) Refusal to deal with or give legitimacy to any Israeli-appointed civil authority (police, revenue service, department of motor vehicles, etc.), specifically, municipal council and mayors, which have usurped the rights and responsibilities of an elected national authority. The resignation of such appointed individuals and bodies is an immediate and unequivocal public demand (which has been heeded by most appointees so far);

(b) The rejection of all attempts at creating an "alternative" Palestinian leadership from the occupied territories and exposing them as attempts at undermining the unity and legitimate PLO leadership of the Palestinian people everywhere;

(c) The qualitative transformation of the intifadah into a full-fledged situation of civil disobedience (more accurately, civil disobedience/rebellion);

(d) Nullification of the emergency laws (Ottoman, British) and an immediate end to Israeli's application of them;

(e) The dismantling of Israeli detention camps and centres and the release of all Palestinian prisoners in addition to the cancellation of the Israeli programme of intimidation and terror, including the deployment of troops against civilians in populated areas;

(f) The cessation of all Israeli measures aimed at creating new geo-political and demographic facts in the occupied territories such as the confiscation of land, the erection of settlements, the expropriation of resources, the deportation of Palestinians, and the demolition of houses;

(g) The demand for the immediate end of the occupation, since Israel has been proven totally unfit to remain in charge of a civilian population whose human rights it has constantly violated in direct defiance of the Fourth Geneva Convention;

(h) Instituting free elections under the auspices of a neutral international body whereby the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza may elect their own local civil authority;

(i) Requesting international intervention in the form of an interim neutral caretakership of the West Bank and Gaza (whether United Nations or EEC or other) to safeguard Palestinian rights and to prevent Israel from creating further "facts" and from altering the demographics in the area;

(j) Urging temporary caretakership so that the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza can practice their rights, including freedom of expression, freedom of political organization, and freedom of access to Palestinians everywhere, including their legitimate PLO leadership. All of this is in preparation for the convening of the United Nations International Peace Conference as called for in General Assembly resolution 38/58 C;

(k) The launching of a concerted Palestinian peace offensive clearly expounding political strategy, objectives, and commitments.

18. The aim of this Meeting was to develop practical strategies and support projects for concerted action by North American NGOs. Our primary work was conducted in workshops. We commend their recommendations to all NGOs for their careful consideration.

19. NGOs attending the present meeting have selected a North American co-ordinating committee. During the coming year, the committee is charged by this meeting to co-ordinate the work of the North American NGOs, present in pursuing our common objectives and strategies. The NGOs present request a report from the committee at the 1989 North American symposium in order to evaluate its efforts. We urge continuing North American NGO support for the objectives stated in the present Declaration.

20. NACC wishes to continue to act as a resource for the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights, as requested. NACC requests that the United Nations continue its financial support of an NACC preparatory meeting so that NACC can fulfil its obligations in relation to the 1989 North American NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine.

21. In order to continue collaboration between the United Nations and the North American NGO community, we urge both the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights to send representatives to the major North American NGO conferences.

22. We urge the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to convey this Declaration to the General Assembly at its forty-third session as part of the Committee's report.

ANNEX VII

Declaration adopted by the United Nations European Regional
NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine

(Geneva, 29-30 August 1988)

Introduction


1. The United Nations European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, the second for the European region, was held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 29 to 30 August 1988. The Symposium was convened in pursuance of General Assembly resolutions 42/66 A and B of 2 December 1987.

2. The Symposium was attended by a total number of 159 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), 93 of whom attended as observers. It was also attended by several observers from Governments, intergovernmental organizations and United Nations bodies.

3. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation composed of H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Committee Chairman, H.E. Mr. Shah Mohammad Dost (Afghanistan), Committee Vice-Chairman, H.E. Mr. Guennadi Oudovenko (Ukrainian SSR). and Mr. Zuhdi L. Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organization).

4. The programme for the Symposium was elaborated by the Committee in consultation with the European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine. Its main theme was "The Palestinian uprising and the European commitment to the International Peace Conference". A panel of the same title was held and presentations were made by the following experts: Prof. Ziad Abu-Amr (Palestinian); Mr. Robert Garai (Hungary); Ms. Luciana Castellina (Italy); and Mr. Ernie Ross (United Kingdom).

5. Four workshops were also held on the following topics: (a) Children under occupation; (b) Mobilization for a political solution of the question of Palestine;(c) Women for Palestine; (d) Actions to improve the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.

6. The Symposium adopted a final declaration as well as action-oriented proposals emanating from the workshops. It also elected a new European Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine to co-ordinate the work of European NGOs from 1988 to 1990. The report will be published in due course as a Special Bulletin of the United Nations Division for Palestinian Rights.

Declaration


7. Me, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participating in the United Nations European Regional NGO Symposium on the Question of Palestine, thank the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this meeting and we appreciate the presence of the members and observers of that body. We thank the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights, the NGO liaison officers and staff of the Division and the Department of Conference Services, including the interpreters, for their assistance in this meeting. We express our appreciation to the distinguished experts who spoke here. We deplore the fact that one distinguished expert was prevented from attending by the Israeli Government.

8. We salute the brave people of the occupied Palestinian territories for their courage, endurance and solidarity throughout the uprising and we note how strongly they have focused the attention of the entire world on the injustices suffered by all the Palestinian people. The uprising, by rejecting the occupation and affirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, exposes the true nature of the Israeli occupation. We extend all possible support to them in this historic process. We call upon the United Nations to exercise full responsibility for the Palestinian question. The United Nations should place observer teams in the West Bank and Gaza to help protect the people there from continuing human rights violations.

9. We reaffirm very strongly the urgent need for the International Peace Conference to be convened, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 41/43 D, as the only possible means to achieve a just and peaceful settlement.

10. The historic links between the countries and peoples of Europe and those of the Middle East, and the fact that Europe is also affected by the lack of peace and justice in the Middle East, gives it a special responsibility and a key role in the search for a peaceful and just solution of the conflict in the region. Noting especially the declarations of the European Community (EEC) of February 1987 and February 1988 in support of the convening of an international conference, we call upon the Governments concerned to act to implement their declarations and to ensure the convening of the International Conference without delay.

11. We condemn the systematic destruction of the political, social and economic structure of Palestinian society and the attempts by the occupation forces to eliminate Palestinian society for the future. Even as we are meeting, the army of occupation closed down trade union headquarters and charitable institutions. These actions are wholly and specifically contrary to articles 47, 49 and 50 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and they destroy the myth of the democratic nature of Israel. We call upon all European Governments to state categorically that their bilateral relations with Israel will be affected by these breaches of the Geneva Convention which will be reconsidered if these and similar practices are not ended especially as the signatories of the Geneva Convention are responsible for its implementation.

12. We congratulate the members of the European Parliament who have opposed the ratification of the Israeli trading protocols with the EEC and uphold their example in practical action to demonstrate disapproval of Israeli actions which are wholly illegal in international law. On the same issue, we condemn the Israeli and Zionist demands addressed to the Soviet Government to establish special direct flights for emigrants to Israel.

13. We call upon all European Governments which have not yet fully recognized the PLO to do so, especially since the international consensus that the PLO is the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people is greatly strengthened by the unequivocal support for the PLO by the people of the uprising. Accordingly, we call for the PLO's participation in the International Peace Conference on the Middle Bast, on an equal footing with all other parties in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 41/43 D. We note that the Palestinians have completed the process of nation building and are now ready to have their own nation-State. Accordingly, the Palestinians' right to self-determination, in accordance with United Nations principles, must be basic to the deliberations of the Peace Conference.

14. We express our strong support for the forces of peace in Israel which favour the principle of a Palestinian State. We especially express support for those who refuse military service in occupied Palestinian and other occupied Arab territories.

15. We express our great appreciation of the work of NGOs actively involved in the Middle East, in sending missions there and in all their other activities, in support of oppressed people and in working with Palestinian NGOs. We note that NGO workers in this field are subject to physical danger and kidnapping. We give them our strong support.

16. Our primary work in this Symposium was conducted in workshops and we affirm their conclusions. We congratulate the European Co-ordinating Committee on organizing a highly-successful international symposium on 28 August on practical ways to support the Palestinian trade union movement and we also affirm its conclusions.

ANNEX VIII

Declaration adopted by the International NGO Meeting
on the Question of Palestine

(Geneva, 31 August-2 September 1988)

Introduction


1. The Fifth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine was held under the auspices of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People at the United Nations Office at Geneva from 31 August to 2 September 1988. The Meeting was convened in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 42/66 B of 2 December 1987.

2. The Meeting was attended by a total number of 278 non-governmental organizations (NGOs), of whom 138 attended as observers. It was also attended by Mr. Joseph Verner Reed, Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs and Secretariat Services, representative of the Secretary-General, and by several observers from Governments, intergovernmental organizations. United Nations bodies and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

3. The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People was represented by a delegation composed of H.E. Mrs. Absa Claude Diallo (Senegal), Committee Chairman, H.E. Mr. Mohammad Dost (Afghanistan), Committee Vice-Chairman, H.E. Mr. Guennadi Oudovenko (Ukrainian SSR), and Mr. Zuhdi Lahib Terzi (Palestine Liberation Organizations (PLO)).

4. The programme for the Meeting was elaborated by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in consultation with the International Co-ordinating Committee for NGOs on the Question of Palestine (ICCP). Its main theme was "The consequences of the uprising in the occupied Palestinian territories and the new urgency of convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 38/58 C".

5. A panel of the same title was established and presentations were made by the following eminent personalities:

H.E. Mr. Apolinar Diaz Callejas (Colombia); H.E. Mr. Paul Findley
(United States); H.E. Mr. Rikki Jaipal (India); H.E. Mr. Gerald Kaufman
(United Kingdom); H.E. Mr. Vladimir Vinogradov (USSR).

6. The following panelists presented papers on the second panel entitled "The consequences of occupation - witnesses from the occupied territories - what has happened":

Mr. Ghassan Abdelwahab El Khatib (Palestinian); Mr. Emit Habibi
(Israel); Ms. Samar Hawash (Palestinian); Dr. Allan Jarrar
(Palestinian); Dr. Jumana Odeh (Palestinian); Dr. Amnon Zichroni
(Israel).

Five workshops were also held on the following topics: (a) Protecting the human rights and security of the Palestinian people; (b) Mobilizing to meet special needs: health, education and welfare in the occupied territories;
(c) New initiatives for mobilization for a just peace; (d) Meeting the socio-economic crisis in the occupied territories; (e) Supporting women and children. A number of special interest groups were also organized by the participating MGOs.

7. The Meeting adopted a final declaration as well as action-oriented proposals emanating from the workshops and special interest groups. The report will be published in due course as a Special Bulletin of the Division for Palestinian Rights.

Declaration


8. We, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) participating in the Fifth United Nations International MGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine, are gathering at a time when the Palestinian struggle has entered a decisive stage. We admire and support the determination of the Palestinian people in the struggle for independence and the securing of its own State.

9. Last year, the Fourth United Nations International NGO Meeting on the Question of Palestine expressed its grave concern that any further delay in convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 41/43 D, would worsen conflict in the Middle East and intensify the suffering and oppression to which the Palestinian people were daily subjected. Noting that the International Conference has still not been convened in spite of our warning, we now draw attention, with all the power at our command, to the murderous intensification of the daily and continuing suffering and oppression of the Palestinian people since December 1987. We vigorously renew our call for the Conference.

10. We salute the brave people of the occupied territories for their courage, endurance and solidarity throughout the intifadah (uprising) and we note that they have done more during the months of the intifadah to focus attention on the injustices suffered by the Palestinian people than the entire world community had done in the previous 40 years.

11. We condemn all deportations and all other manifestations of the systematic destruction of Palestinian society and the attempts by the occupation forces to eliminate Palestinian society for the future. We condemn all infringements of human rights and international law such as administrative detentions, imprisonment, arbitrary arrests, collective punishments, and demolition of houses, the closing of schools and educational institutions, the confiscation of property and the killing of innocent people. We warn the international community that plans for mass expulsions and population transfer (expulsions) of Palestinians are being seriously discussed in Israel. Even as we were assembling, trade union headquarters and charitable institutions were closed down. All these actions are wholly and specifically contrary to Articles 47, 49 and 50 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. We call upon all Governments to state categorically that their bilateral relations with Israel will be affected by these breaches of the Geneva Convention and that relations will be reconsidered if these and all breaches of the Geneva Convention are not ended.

12. In accordance with the suggestions made by the United Nations Secretary-General (S/19443) of 21 January 1988, we urge the United Nations, the five permanent members of the Security Council and the entire international community to help to ensure the protection of the Palestinian people in the occupied territories. This should include physical protection, legal protection, general assistance to resist the violations of their rights and protection by publicity through the international media. We request the Secretary-General to send a fact-finding mission to the occupied territories to assess the needs of the Palestinians there.

13. We call upon the United Nations to exercise its full responsibility for the Palestine question. The United Nations should place observer teams and/or any other United Nations body in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip without delay to help protect the people there from continuing human rights violations and Israeli war crimes. We specifically request the Secretary-General to establish immediately a special commission to investigate the repeated occurrence of maltreatment, beatings, toxic gassing, torture and shooting and killing of Palestinian children by Israeli troops, prison authorities and settlers.

14. We note that the intifadah has greatly strengthened the international consensus in favour of the Peace Conference. Accordingly, we call on all Governments to support the immediate convening of the Conference under United Nations auspices, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 38/58 C and 41/43 D, with the participants including the five permanent members of the Security Council, the PLO, Israel, the Arab States party to the conflict, and other concerned States, on an equal footing and with equal rights. The object must be to reach a peaceful settlement between the Palestinian State to be established and Israel as conducive to the overall settlement in the Middle East.

15. Noting that the people of the intifadah are not just protesting against oppression but are calling for the self-determination, independence and right to return which is their right in accordance with the fundamental principles of the Charter of the United Nations, we call on all Governments to recognize that right and to uphold it. Recent events have created a new situation where there is no recognized sovereign authority over the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 except that of the Palestinian people. Therefore, we call for the immediate end of the occupation. We also call on the United Nations to assist the Palestinian people in securing the right to exercise sovereignty there, according to United Nations resolutions.

16. Reaffirming the international consensus that the PLO is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, we note that the consensus is greatly strengthened by the unequivocal support for the PLO by the people of the intifadah and by the united national leadership of the intifadah. We therefore call on all Governments fully to recognize the PLO.

17. We demand immediate Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions 425, 508 and 509. We demand the ending of the inhumane Israeli air raids and all other attacks on targets in Lebanon. We call for an end to all attempts to destabilize Lebanon and for full recognition of its unity, sovereignty and democratic development. We ask ICCP to co-ordinate the sending of delegations to Lebanon as a way to protect the Palestinian population there from the occupying authorities.

18. We condemn the introduction by Israel of nuclear weapons into the Middle East and the threat to regional and world peace which those weapons constitute. We call for the implementation of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East and for Israel to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to dismantle its nuclear and chemical weapons and open its nuclear facilities to international inspection. We especially deplore the creation of new nuclear threats in the Middle East at a time when the United States and the Soviet Union have embarked upon reductions in nuclear weapons. We demand the immediate release of Mordechai Vanunu.

19. We express our strong support for the forces of peace in Israel which favour the International Peace Conference and the establishment of a Palestinian State. We strongly condemn the closing down of newspapers and the harassment of journalists. We express support for those who refuse military service in occupied Palestinian territories and other occupied territories of Arab countries and we call upon the Israeli Government to release the imprisoned soldiers, to drop the investigation by its security services against Yesh Gvul and to recognize the right of Israelis to conscientious objection. We strongly urge the Israeli Parliament to rescind the law of August 1986 which prohibits contact between Israeli citizens and representatives of Palestinian organizations.

20. A major objective of this Meeting was to plan and co-ordinate NGO activities and much of our work was conducted in workshops and in special interest group meetings. We affirm their conclusions and suggestions for action. In so doing, we draw attention to the fact that NGO opinion has been more progressive and creative than official governmental thinking. We urge all Governments, in the interest of peace and justice, to consider seriously the options defined by NGOs.

21. It is important that NGO effectiveness be further increased. Accordingly, we call for NGO liaison offices to be established in every United Nations designated region and we urge the United Nations to convene an annual NGO regional symposium in every region. We urge the United Nations to convene an international meeting in Vienna in the first week of September 1989, the format to be decided, like the format for this present meeting, in co-operation with ICCP.

22. We call upon all our fellow NGOs to provide every material, medical and other assistance to the Palestinian people.

23. We affirm the organization and work of ICCP and its secretariat in Geneva. We call upon the United Nations to offer every possible assistance to ICCP and its secretariat.

24. We urge the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to convey this Declaration to the General Assembly at its forty-third session as part of the Committee's report. We urge that the results of this meeting be disseminated as widely as possible to NGOs unable to attend, to Governments and the media.

25. We thank the United Nations Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People for convening this meeting and we appreciate the presence of the members and observers of that body. We thank the Chief of the Division for Palestinian Rights, the NGO Liaison Officer and staff of the Division, and the Department of Conference Services, including the interpreters, for their assistance in this meeting. We express our appreciation to the distinguished experts who spoke here.


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