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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/48/PV.85
20 December 1993

ENGLISH

United Nations
G E N E R A L
A S S E M B L Y
FORTY-EIGHTH SESSION

Official Records
85th
PLENARY MEETING

Monday, 20 December 1993
at 3 p.m.

NEW YORK



President: Mr. INSANALLY..................... (Guyana)

__________



The meeting was called to order at 3.30 p.m.

[...]

AGENDA ITEM 35 (continued)

QUESTION OF PALESTINE

(a) REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE (A/48/35)

(b) REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL (A/48/607)

(c) DRAFT RESOLUTIONS (A/48/L.41, A/48/L.42, A/48/L.43, A/48/L.44, A/48/L.45)

(d) REPORT OF THE FIFTH COMMITTEE (A/48/787)

The PRESIDENT: Members will recall that the General Assembly concluded its debate on this agenda item at its 66th meeting on 30 November.

I call on the Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to introduce draft resolutions A/48/L.41 to A/48/L.45.

Mr. CISSE (Senegal), Chairman of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian people (interpretation from French): At the outset, I should like to announce that the following countries have become co-sponsors of some of the draft resolutions: Comoros, India, Madagascar, Pakistan and Ukraine have become co-sponsors of draft resolutions A/48/L.41 and A/48/L.42; Comoros, India, Madagascar and Pakistan have become co-sponsors of draft resolution A/48/L.43; and Comoros, India and Pakistan have become co-sponsors of draft resolution A/48/L.44.

On behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I have the honour to introduce to the Assembly draft resolutions A/48/L.41, A/48/L.42, A/48/L.43, A/48/L.44 and A/48/L.45. These texts have been drafted in the light of recent developments in the peace process, which our Committee has welcomed and supported. They seek to contribute to the building of peace in the region while remaining firm on the fundamental principles laid down by the international community.

The first three draft resolutions, A/48/L.41, A/48/L.42 and A/48/L.43, give mandates to the Committee, the Division for Palestinian Rights and the Department of Public Information to undertake a programme of work in their fields of competence in keeping with the new requirements.

In draft resolution A/48/L.41, the Assembly welcomes the signing of the "Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements" by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization on 13 September 1993, in Washington. The Assembly reaffirms the ongoing responsibility of the United Nations with respect to the question of Palestine until it is resolved in all its aspects in accordance with international legitimacy. The Assembly also considers that the Committee can make a valuable and positive contribution to international efforts to promote the effective implementation of the Declaration of Principles and to mobilize international support and assistance to the Palestinian people during the transitional period.

Further, the Assembly endorses the Committee's recommendations and requests the Committee to continue to keep under review the situation relating to the question of Palestine and to submit reports and make suggestions to the General Assembly or the Security Council, as appropriate. The Assembly also authorizes the Committee to continue to exert all efforts to promote the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to mobilize the needed support and assistance for them. The Committee is also requested to continue to adjust its programme in light of developments and to report thereon to the General Assembly at its forty-ninth session and thereafter.

The Assembly also requests the Committee to continue to extend its cooperation to non-governmental organizations and to take the necessary steps to involve additional non-governmental organizations in its work.

In draft resolution A/48/L.42, which deals specifically with the work of the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat, the General Assembly requests the Secretary-General to provide the Division with the necessary resources and to ensure that it continues to discharge the tasks detailed in previous resolutions which have mandated the organization of regional seminars and meetings of non-governmental organizations and to launch a programme of research, studies and publications. The Assembly also invites continued cooperation with the Division by the Department of Public Information and other Secretariat Units, and invites all Governments and organizations to do likewise. It also requests the continued observance each year, on 29 November, of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People by organizing, inter alia, of an exhibit on Palestinian rights.

Concerning draft resolution A/48/L.43, I should like to inform the General Assembly that the sponsors have agreed to add, at the end of sub-paragraph (b) of operative paragraph 2, the following words: "including materials concerning the recent developments in that regard". By draft resolution A/48/L.43, which concerns the role of the Department of Public Information, the General Assembly requests the Department, acting in full cooperation and coordination with the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, to continue, with the necessary flexibility as may be required by developments, its special information programme on the question of Palestine, with particular emphasis on public opinion in Europe and North America. In particular, the Assembly requests the Department to disseminate information on all the activities of the United Nations system relating to the question of Palestine; to continue to issue and update publications on the various aspects of the question of Palestine; to expand its audiovisual material on the subject; to organize and promote fact-finding news missions for journalists to the area, including the occupied territories; to organize international, regional and national encounters for journalists; and to provide assistance to the Palestinian people in the field of media development in cooperation with specialized United Nations agencies, particularly the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Draft resolution A/48/L.44 is entitled "Peaceful Settlement of the question of Palestine". The sponsors would like to request that the word "reaffirms" in operative paragraph 5, line 2 be underscored. The General Assembly expresses its support for the ongoing peace process, which began in Madrid in 1991, and the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, and expresses the hope that the process will lead to the establishment of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the region. It stresses the need for the United Nations to play a more active and expanded role in the current peace process and in the implementation of the Declaration of Principles, and urges Member States to provide economic and technical assistance to the Palestinian people.

The Assembly stresses the upcoming negotiations on the final settlement by reaffirming the following -principles to be respected for the achievement of a final settlement and a comprehensive peace, namely, the realization of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination; the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and from the other occupied Arab territories; guaranteeing arrangements for peace and security of all States in the region, including those named in resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, within secure and internationally recognized boundaries; resolving the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with General Assembly resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, and subsequent relevant resolutions; resolving the problem of the Israeli settlements, which are illegal and an obstacle to peace, in conformity with relevant United Nations resolutions; and, finally, guaranteeing freedom of access to Holy Places, religious buildings and sites.

The draft resolution requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts for the promotion of peace in the region and to submit progress reports on developments in this matter.

Concerning draft resolution in A/48/L.45, I should like to inform the General Assembly that the sponsors are not insisting that it be put to a vote.

The draft resolutions I have just introduced were formulated with a firm resolve to contribute to the peace process that is now under way, and to make real progress towards a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine. A great number of delegations have been consulted in drawing up these texts, which voice the position of the overwhelming majority of the international community at this critical moment in the lengthy history of the question of Palestine. On behalf of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, I invite delegations to reaffirm their adherence to this objective and constructive approach by voting in favour of the proposed draft resolutions.

Mr. JACOB (Israel): Israel will vote against draft resolutions A/48/L.41, A/48/L.42, A/48/L.43 and A/48/L.44.

In the course of the current session of the General Assembly, we have repeatedly made the following observation: we believe that the criteria for adopting resolutions on Middle East issues in the General Assembly should not be the content, tone or language of previous resolutions; rather, the criteria should be the reflection of the positive developments in the peace process and our hopes for a better future for our region. Regrettably, the draft resolutions before us do not meet these criteria.

In draft resolution A/48/L.41 the Assembly would endorse and authorize the work of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, while in draft resolution A/48/L.42 it would support the work of the Division for Palestinian Rights. These two bodies are highly biased and needlessly expend a great deal of time, energy and money.

Under draft resolution A/48/L.43 the Assembly would request the Department of Public Information, among other things, to disseminate information on all the activities of the United Nations system relating to the question of Palestine.

The undertakings stipulated in these draft resolutions are a waste of money that could be put to much better use. For instance, these funds could be invested in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for the benefit of the Palestinian residents living in those areas.

Draft resolution A/48/L.44, while no longer calling for the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, still contains the so-called principles for the achievement of a comprehensive peace. These principles prejudge and even predetermine the outcome of the ongoing negotiations. Thus, the draft resolution clearly contradicts itself. On the one hand, it claims to support the peace process that began in Madrid. On the other hand, it ignores the basic principle of direct negotiations without preconditions, upon which the Madrid process is based.

Israel has long advocated direct negotiations as the only framework for advancing peace in the Middle East, and recent achievements vindicate this approach. Any attempt to internationalize the issues or perpetuate the existence of bodies dedicated to internationalizing the issues will lead us nowhere. Let us remain committed to the process under way. Israel, for its part, will do everything necessary to bring this process to a successful conclusion.

Mr. SIDOROV (Russian Federation) (interpretation from Russian): Despite all the complexities of the peace process in the Middle East, a new qualitative step in its development has been taken, as has been reflected in the General Assembly's adoption of the resolutions on the Middle East peace process. It is clear that the General Assembly is called upon further to promote the necessary support for the Arab-Israeli negotiating process, in particular on its most complex and sensitive area: that concerning Palestine and Israel.

However, the Russian delegation notes with regret that the sponsors of the draft resolutions on the question of Palestine have not done everything necessary for their contents to be in step with the new political realities in the Middle East.

While draft resolution A/48/L.44, on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, also contains a reference to the positive changes in the peace process in the Middle East, it retains the entire traditional array of principles for a Middle East settlement, which are an attempt to predetermine the discussion of these problems at the Arab-Israeli bilateral negotiations and could complicate the course of these negotiations.

As for draft resolutions A/48/L.41, A/48/L.42 and A/48/L.43, concerning the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Division for Palestinian Rights and the United Nations Secretariat's Department of Public Information, they in fact continue to guide the activity of these bodies towards the implementation of old objectives, not taking into account the new realities.

In the light of all of those considerations, the delegation of the Russian Federation, as a co-sponsor of the Middle East peace process, will abstain in the voting on the draft resolutions submitted under agenda item 35.

Mr. HANSON (United States of America): The draft resolutions we are voting upon today make up the last group in a large category of unbalanced and outdated Middle East resolutions. The parties in the region have moved beyond these resolutions, and the General Assembly should do so as well.

We had hoped that all of these draft resolutions would be deferred. Indeed, we are pleased that last year's resolution in this group concerning the intifadah has been deferred. We note that the traditional draft resolution on an international peace conference has been greatly modified. Yet none of these draft resolutions reflects the new reality that exists today in the Middle East.

Three of the draft resolutions before us concern institutions, activities and related costs that should be re-examined. My Government, for its part, does not have a predetermined position on how such a review should be conducted, nor on what its conclusions should be. I can say conclusively, however, that, with this autumn's breakthroughs in the Madrid process, the General Assembly should look again at its long-standing, traditional activities.

These draft resolutions entail the expenditure of resources, both human and financial. Some of those resources are probably being spent in a worthwhile way; others are not. Let us look more closely at how these resources can best be allocated towards the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

This year's draft resolution entitled "Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine" is greatly improved over its predecessor texts that called for an international peace conference on the Middle East. This draft resolution, however, speaks conclusively to issues under direct negotiation between parties in the region. The General Assembly should support the process of those negotiations in order for all the parties to resolve their differences directly, without prejudging the outcome of the negotiations. At this important moment, we want to avoid focusing on issues or statements that divide and polarize.

The other draft resolutions introduced under this agenda item are largely unchanged from those submitted last year. My Government voted against those resolutions at that time and will do so again today. We note that two of these texts recognize the signing of the Declaration of Principles by the Government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. This breakthrough and the process that has followed from it confirm our view that these and other Middle East draft resolutions should have been deferred this year.

The PRESIDENT: The Assembly will now take a decision on draft resolutions A/48/L.41 to A/48/L.45. The report of the Fifth Committee on the programme budget implications of draft resolutions A/48/L.41, A/48/L.42 and A/48/L.43 is contained in document A/48/787.

We now turn to draft resolution A/48/L.41, entitled "Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People". A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour: Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against: Dominican Republic, Israel, United States of America

Abstaining: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Draft resolution A/48/L.41 was adopted by 106 votes to 3, with 40 abstentions (resolution 48/158 A).

The PRESIDENT: We now turn to draft resolution A/48/L.42, entitled "Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat".

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour: Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against: Israel, United States of America

Abstaining: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Draft resolution A/48/L.42 was adopted by 107 votes to 2, with 41 abstentions (resolution 48/158 B).

The PRESIDENT: We now turn to draft resolution A/48/L.43, entitled "Department of Public Information of the Secretariat".

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour: Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against: Israel, United States of America

Abstaining: Georgia, Russian Federation

Draft resolution A/48/L.43 was adopted by 147 votes to 2, with 2 abstentions (resolution 48/158 C).

The PRESIDENT: We now turn to draft resolution A/48/L.44, entitled "Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine".

A recorded vote has been requested.

A recorded vote was taken.

In favour: Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Against: Dominican Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), United States of America

Abstaining: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bulgaria, Canada, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uruguay

Draft resolution A/48/L.44 as orally revised was adopted by 92 votes to 5, with 51 abstentions (resolution 48/158 D).

The PRESIDENT: With regard to draft resolution A/48/L.45, as was indicated earlier, the sponsors have agreed not to press that draft resolution to a vote.

I shall now call on those representatives who wish to explain their votes on the resolutions just adopted. May I remind them that explanations of vote are limited to 10 minutes and should be made by delegations from their seats.

Mr. NOTREDAEME (Belgium) (interpretation from French): I am speaking on behalf of the European Union. The Union has taken note of the important adoption of the resolutions submitted this year on the item "Question of Palestine", on which the General Assembly has just voted. We wish to make a few comments of a general nature on some of them.

The political context in which the activities of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the Division for Palestinian Rights and the Department of Public Information have taken place in the past has now been deeply affected by the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement on 13 September last in Washington, D.C. As we see it, the moment has come to put the past characterized by confrontation and conflict behind us and to open the door to peaceful coexistence between the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.

In the light of the recent agreement of 13 September, the European Union feels that the mission and composition of the three organs I have just mentioned and which have been entrusted with following the question of Palestine and reporting to Member States and public opinion should be adapted without delay in order to reflect faithfully the speedy evolution of progress made in the peace process. In our opinion, the credibility of our Organization is at stake. It cannot lag behind these important events, which have aroused such hope among the peoples of the Middle East.

Mr. SKOKNIC (Chile) (interpretation from Spanish): In connection with agenda item 35, "Question of Palestine", and with draft resolution A/48/L.44 on the peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine, the Government of Chile wishes to reiterate once again its conviction that Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973) are the appropriate framework for ensuring both the right of Israel to live within secure and internationally recognized borders and the right of the Palestinian people to establish its sovereign State.

In this context, Chile considers of paramount importance the Middle East peace process begun in Madrid in 1991. We reiterate our pleasure at the historic agreement signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, D.C. last September. It represents significant progress towards the establishment of a broad, just and lasting peace in the region, and the international community should support and uphold it in every way.

The world Organization has a very important role to play in this process for the benefit of international and regional peace and security.

Mr. ABOLHASSANI SHAHREZA (Islamic Republic of Iran): My delegation voted in favour of draft resolutions A/48/L.41, L.42 and L.43. I would, however, like to express my delegations reservations concerning those parts of the draft resolutions that might be construed as any form of recognition of Israel.

My delegation did not participate in the vote on draft resolution A/48/L.44, since we believe that the recent agreements will not lead to the full restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

Mr. AMER (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) (interpretation from Arabic): My delegation's vote in favour of the resolutions just adopted by the General Assembly under agenda item 35, "Question of Palestine", is not to be construed in any way as implying recognition of those who occupy the territory of Palestine. We wish also to make it clear that our positive vote does not mean that we agree with everything contained in those resolutions.

The United Nations and other international and regional organizations have adopted numerous decisions on the question of Palestine and on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Those decisions, which have been repeatedly reaffirmed by the international community over the past 4 decades, continue to constitute the best framework for a just, comprehensive solution that would lead to the liberation of the occupied Arab territories and enable the Palestinian people to return to its homeland, to exercise self-determination and to establish its own independent State in Palestine, with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

To achieve this the international community must continue to adhere to those principles and work to implement them: that is the only guarantee of an end to the plight of the Palestinian people and of real peace in the Middle East.

The continued crimes against the Palestinian people make it imperative that the international community adopt the measures necessary to put an immediate end to those crimes. This is not merely a moral duty and a human duty; it is a clear legal obligation under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949.

The PRESIDENT: We have heard the last speaker in explanation of vote after the voting. Now, in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 3237 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974 and 43/177 of 15 December 1988, I call upon the Observer of Palestine.

Mr. AL-KIDWA (Palestine): On behalf of the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, I convey our sincere thanks and appreciation to all the Member States that expressed support for the just cause of the Palestinian people by supporting the draft resolutions just adopted by the General Assembly under agenda item 35, "Question of Palestine". I should also like to express particular appreciation to the members of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and to the Committee's Chairman and the other members of its Bureau.

The General Assembly's adoption today of the four draft resolutions, especially A/48/L.44, entitled "Peaceful settlement of the question of Palestine", is a necessary step in the fulfilment of the permanent responsibility of the United Nations with respect to the question of Palestine until that question is truly solved in all its aspects and a final settlement is genuinely achieved. In adopting the draft resolutions, the General Assembly has upheld the legal, political and moral values long held by the international community.

We regret some surprising votes, and we regret some of the explanations of vote made before the voting, which reflected positions unacceptable to the Palestinian side and which were not in line with the spirit that has prevailed throughout the forty-eighth session. This year, our delegation, in full cooperation with the Group of Arab States and other concerned Member States, made great efforts to revise the traditional set of resolutions annually adopted by the General Assembly. Those revisions were undertaken in the light of the recent important positive political developments that have taken place, while recognizing that those developments deal only with transitional arrangements and not with final settlement issues.

The outcome of our serious efforts was a set of more cohesive resolutions, fewer in number and shorter in length and reflecting the new emerging factors while retaining the positions of principle upon which the resolutions were originally based, principles solidly grounded in the Charter of the United Nations and other international legal standards and instruments.

At this time, let me stress the importance of continuity in the international community's solidarity with and support for the Palestinian people. We also stress the importance of full and effective engagement by the United Nations in the peace process and in providing assistance to our people. We look forward with great hope to the future, and we stand ready to work with others as we jointly strive for a better future and for peace in the Middle East and throughout the world.

The PRESIDENT: The Assembly has concluded the present stage of its consideration of agenda item 35.

[...]


The meeting rose at 8.15 p.m.

[...]
_____


This record is subject to correction.
Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned
within one week of the date of publication to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Section,
Room C-178, and incorporated in a copy of the record.
Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.
When the result of a recorded and/or roll-call vote is followed by an asterisk,
see the annex to the record.



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