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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
Distr.
GENERAL
A/AC.183/SR.98
11 January 1984

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE
SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 98th MEETING
Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Monday, 9 January 1984, at 10.30 a.m.
Temporary Chairman: Mr. BUFFUM (Under-Secretary-General
for Political and General Assembly Affairs)
Chairman: Mr. SARRE (Senegal)

CONTENTS

ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

REVIEW OF THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE AT THE THIRTY-EIGHTH SESSION OF THE
GENERAL ASSEMBLY

PRELIMINARY EXCHANGE OF VIEWS ON THE PROGRAMME OF WORK OF THE COMMITTEE FOR 1984

OTHER MATTERS




This record is subject to correction.

Corrections should be submitted in one of the working languages. They should be set forth in a memorandum and also incorporated in a copy of the record. They should be sent within one week of the date of this document to the Chief, Official Records Editing Section, Department of Conference Services, room DC2-0750, 2 United Nations Plaza.

Any corrections to the record of this meeting and of other meetings will be issued in a corrigendum.


The meeting was called to order at 11.05 a.m.


ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA (A/AC.183/L.37)

1. The agenda was adopted.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS

2. Mr. GOLOB (Yugoslavia), supported by the representatives of India and Madagascar, said that Mr. Sarré (Senegal) had been extremely active in 1983 in defending the rights of the Palestinian people and proposed that he should be re-elected Chairman of the Committee for the current year.

3. THE TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee decided unanimously to re-elect Mr. Sarré (Senegal) Chairman.

4. It was so decided.

5. Mr. TAHINDRO (Madagascar) proposed that Mr. Roa-Kouri (Cuba) and Mr. Zarif (Afghanistan) should be re-elected Vice-Chairmen and that Mr. Gauci (Malta) should be re-elected Rapporteur.

6. The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN said that, if he heard no objection, he would take it that the Committee wished to re-elect the officers named by the representative of Madagascar.

7. It was so decided.

8. Mr. Sarre (Senegal) took the Chair.

9. Mr. BUFFUM (Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs), speaking on behalf of the Secretary-General, congratulated the Chairman and the other members of the Bureau on their re-election.

10. The work of the Committee had taken on new importance since it had been requested by the General Assembly to assume the additional responsibility of keeping under review the implementation of the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights adopted at the International Conference on the Question of Palestine.

11. There was an increasing need for a peaceful, just and comprehensive solution to the question of Palestine. The United Nations had made every effort to ameliorate the conditions of the Palestinian people and to assist them in every possible manner, and that effort must continue. Recent events in Lebanon had made it clear that negotiations to bring about an early solution to the problem were vital and that the continuing recourse to force only resulted in heavy casualties, without furthering the prospects of finding a solution. The United Nations provided a suitable framework for negotiations. Although the many proposals that had been advanced had not proved acceptable to all parties, the United Nations could provide a forum in which all parties, including the Palestine Liberation Organization, could reconcile their differences. There was an increasing awareness that a renewed and determined effort must be made to find a comprehensive solution. The Committee had been established as a spearhead in that effort, and he reaffirmed his personal support and that of his staff for the fulfilment of the responsibilities entrusted to the Committee by the General Assembly.

12. The CHAIRMAN said that the Secretary-General's message would encourage the members of the Committee to continue their work. He wished to thank the Committee, on behalf of the Head of State and the people of Senegal, for electing him Chairman.

13. The settlement of the question of Palestine was crucial to international peace and security, and 1983 would come to be seen as marketing a major step towards that goal.

14. It was a source of great satisfaction to him that the General Assembly had approved the convening of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and that the Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-General for Political and General Assembly Affairs attached particular importance to solving the problem of Palestine. He wished to thank the Division for Palestinian Rights, the members of the Committee and the observer delegations for their assistance over the past year. He also wished to thank the Secretary-General of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine for the work she had carried out in connection with that Conference.

15. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) endorsed the election of the officers of the Committee that had just taken place.

16. As Mr. Arafat had indicated in a recent message addressed to the Secretary-General, the United Nations had once again demonstrated how effective it was in settling conflicts. The Committee had carried out extremely useful work, and the Palestinian people had shown their appreciation for its efforts.

17. The recommendations adopted by the Committee in 1976, which had subsequently been reaffirmed by the international community and adopted at the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, were the guidelines for all peace initiatives and for the International Peace Conference on the Middle East. He welcomed the fact that in the current year the Committee was well represented on the Security Council, as well as within the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. He noted that the Secretary-General had been requested to undertake the important task of preparing for the International Peace Conference on the Middle East and was confident that he would be able to fulfil that task.

18. The Knesset was in the process of authorizing the application of Israeli legislation to the occupied Arab territories, which was the first step towards the annexation of those territories. Furthermore, Israel had stepped up its attacks on refugee camps in Lebanon. He was confident that the Committee would take the necessary steps and propose appropriate action to be taken by the Security Council.

19. Mr. MAHMOOD (Pakistan) said that he wished to reaffirm the understanding that had been in existence since 1981 concerning the election of the Chairman and Bureau of the Committee.

20. Mr. ZARIF (Afghanistan), speaking on a point of order, requested a clarification of the understanding referred to by the representative of Pakistan.

21. The CHAIRMAN suggested that the matter in question should be clarified after the meeting had risen.

22. Mr. MAUNA (Indonesia) said that the Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights were realistic documents and that every effort must be made to give effect to them. The International Peace Conference on the Middle East was also extremely important. The Committee's primary goal in 1984 should be to promote all the initiatives in question.

23. Mr. CABALLERO-RODRIGUEZ (Cuba) congratulated the members of the Bureau on their re-election. His delegation was particularly pleased that Mr. Roa-Kouri had been re-elected as a Vice-Chairman of the Committee. In that regard, he stressed the firm support of the Cuban people for the just cause of the Palestinian people.

24. Mr. ZARIF (Afghanistan) congratulated the members of the Bureau on their
re-election and pledged the continued full co-operation of his delegation in the work of the Committee.

REVIEW OF THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE AT THE THIRTY-EIGHTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

25. The CHAIRMAN said that the results of the work carried out by the Committee in 1983 were very encouraging. The adoption of General Assembly resolution 38/58 by an overwhelming majority of States reflected the success of the Committee in drawing the attention of the international community to the various aspects of the question of Palestine. In that regard, he stressed the need to work consistently for the implementation of part C of that resolution, which endorsed the call for an International Peace Conference on the Middle East. 1984 would be a decisive year in efforts to advance the cause of the Palestinian people. The Committee had an important role to play in that connection. Lastly, he expressed satisfaction at the valuable support of the non-aligned countries for the work of the Committee.

PRELIMINARY EXCHANGE OF VIEWS ON THE PROGRAMME OF WORK OF THE COMMITTEE FOR 1984

26. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that the work of the Committee in 1984 would be much different from that of 1983. Having drawn the attention of the international community to the real nature of the question of Palestine, the Committee must undertake efforts to bring about the implementation of the Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights. It should work closely with non-governmental organizations towards that end. Consideration should be given to the possibility of setting up a panel of prominent persons in 1984. A special effort should be made to secure the support of the countries of Western Europe and North and South America.

27. The letter inviting States to participate in the work of the International Peace Conference on the Middle East should solicit their views concerning the dates and venue of the Conference and should stress the need for an action-oriented approach. The schedule of international conferences to be held in 1984 and 1985 should be taken into account in order to choose the most appropriate time for holding the Conference.

28. The Committee should consider the possibility of setting up an open-ended working group or expanding the membership of the current Working Group so that it could more effectively carry out the tasks facing it. He stressed the need to work closely with the Security Council and the non-aligned countries in order to ensure the success of the International Peace Conference. The Working Group could begin drawing up a programme of work on the basis of General Assembly resolution 38/58 and the views expressed by the members of the Committee at the current meeting.

29. Mr. SHEHATA (Observer for Egypt) said that in 1984 the Committee should focus its attention on three major tasks: preparing for the International Peace Conference on the Middle East, holding a joint meeting with the specialized agencies of the United Nations system in order to co-ordinate assistance to the Palestinian people, and following up the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights, with special reference to the activities of the Department of Public Information. General Assembly resolution 38/58 C invited the Security Council to facilitate the organization of the International Peace Conference. The members of the Committee and observers who were members of the Security Council were in a very good position to co-ordinate that effort. The experience of the Committee in preparing for the International Conference on the Question of
Palestine could be quite useful in that connection. The Committee could serve as the main body for the implementation of General Assembly resolution 38/58 C.

30. His Government had taken a number of steps to oppose the measures recently enforced by the Israeli Government in the occupied territories. It had been in contact with the President of the Security Council, the United States Secretary of State, the Israeli Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Governments of a number of other countries. Consultations were also being held with the non-aligned countries which were members of the Security Council in order to decide on an appropriate response.

31. Mr. KORNEENKO (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that he agreed that the programme of work of the Committee should be based on all the relevant General Assembly resolutions, particularly General Assembly resolution 38/58. The implementation of the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights and preparations for an International Peace Conference on the Middle East were foremost among the tasks facing the Committee.

32. The Committee should continue to monitor closely the situation in the occupied territories. Israel was relentlessly pursuing its policy of settlement and annexation and was continuing to carry out acts of terrorism against the Arab inhabitants of the occupied territories and the Palestinian refugee camps. The Security Council and the United Nations as a whole must take decisive measures in order to put an end to all such acts.

33. The proposal to reorganize the Working Group should be considered very carefully. At the current stage it would be best if the Working Group continued to function as it had in the past. Lastly, he stressed the need to provide the members of the Committee with all relevant documentation at least 24 hours before all scheduled meetings.

34. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) inquired whether it would be possible to authorize the six representatives and observers on the Committee who were members of the Security Council to act as a caucus in order to co-ordinate preparatory work for the International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

35. Mr. EL-FATTAL (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said his delegation welcomed the re-election of the members of the Bureau and the practical spirit in which the previous statements had been made. However, one delegation was attempting to bring an issue before the Committee when it was not entitled to do so, since it had nothing to do with the question. He reminded the Observer for Egypt that paragraph 5 of the Geneva Declaration on Palestine involved the implementation of principles emerging from the twelfth Arab Summit Conference held at Fez, Morocco, in which Egypt had not participated. The proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East should be organized under the auspices of the United Nations, with participation by 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 States concerned, on an equal footing. One member of the Security Council that claimed to represent Arab and Palestinian Arab rights was committed to undermining that cause. Although Syria was not a member of the Committee, it felt that the Committee's activities should reflect the will of the Arab nations. It would also be useful to consult the Arab group on the issues before the Committee.

36. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization), speaking on a point of order, said that the Palestine Liberation Organization had an official representative which spoke on its own behalf.

37. Mr. EL-FATTAL (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that the Arabs were one people and that no distinctions should be drawn among them. There should be co-ordination among the Arab group, since the common enemy was Israel. It was the duty of the Committee, if it was to attain its goals, to remain in constant contact with the parties concerned. His delegation pledged its complete co-operation in seeking to promote those goals.

38. Mr. BURAYZAT (Observer for Jordan) said that his delegation agreed with Mr. Gauci's statement that a pragmatic and action-oriented approach should be taken by the Committee. His delegation needed to study the PLO's proposals before expressing its views. Jordan had full confidence in every member of the Committee, and it admired the courageous approach of Egypt in its efforts to save the Palestinian people. It had some disagreements with Egypt, but had no doubts about the validity of its final objective.

39. Mr. SHEHATA (Observer for Egypt) said that his delegation was encouraged by the positive and constructive spirit of the meeting and trusted that it would prevail throughout later meetings. Although the Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic had raised a number of questions, the Egyptian delegation was not required to answer them, since it was responsible only to its own Government. Egypt was a sovereign nation which had been elected to the Security Council by majority vote, and it would shoulder its responsibilities, especially with regard to the African Group and the Non-Aligned Movement. Egypt had participated in the drafting of the Geneva Declaration on Palestine and had voted in favour of the relevant General Assembly resolutions. His country was not the only country which had been absent from the Fez Summit Conference. In any case, his country shared a commitment to the objectives of that Conference and would co-operate with all parties to ensure the establishment of a lasting peace.

40. Mr. LOGOGLU (Turkey) said that his delegation hoped that the Committee would continue to be guided by a realistic and pragmatic approach. Concerning the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East, he said that care must be taken to avoid the pitfalls which had been encountered in preparing for the International Conference on the Question of Palestine. His delegation would do its utmost to contribute to the successful outcome of the Conference.

41. Mr. BUSCH (German Democratic Republic) said that the International Conference on the Question of Palestine and General Assembly resolution 38/58 had set up the framework for the attainment of a durable peace in the Middle East through a just solution to the problem of Palestine. It was necessary to take concrete action for the implementation of the Geneva Declaration on Palestine and the Programme of Action for the Achievement of Palestinian Rights, as well as of General Assembly resolution 38/58. He suggested that the work of the Committee would be facilitated if documents were made available well in advance of meetings.

42. Miss KUNADI (India), referring to the proposed restructuring of the Working Group, made a formal proposal that Mr. Gauci should continue as its Chairman.

43. Mr. GOLOB (Yugoslavia) stressed the importance of the role of the Secretary-General in the work of the Committee. The exchange of views on the programme of work would have been more beneficial if the Committee had been provided with the relevent documents. It was essential to have them as soon as possible, preferably by the next meeting. He wondered whether a letter from the Chairman would be in order to the President of the Security Council and the President of the General Assembly on the subject of the extension of emergency regulations in the occupied territories.

44. The CHAIRMAN said that he had already written letters on that subject and intended to despatch them shortly.

45. Mr. SOMOGYI (Hungary) pledged his delegation's full support for the pragmatic, action-oriented and principled work of the Committee.

46. The CHAIRMAN suggested that the Bureau might prepare a document summarizing the Committee's discussion of its future programme of work for circulation to all delegations. Comments and suggestions on that document could then be submitted to the Working Group, and a final decision on the matter could be taken by the entire Committee at a later stage.

OTHER MATTERS

47. The CHAIRMAN informed the Committee that he had been invited to attend, as an observer for the Committee, the fourth summit meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference to be held at Casablanca from 12 to 18 January 1984.

48. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that, in view of rapid developments in the Middle East, the monitoring section in the Division for Palestinian Rights should immediately inform the Committee of any events affecting the Committee's work not four to five weeks after they happened, when it was too late to take timely action.

49. The CHAIRMAN said that the Division had distributed, at the current meeting, an account of measures which the Knesset of Israel was planning to take. He would ask the Division to be increasingly vigilant and to keep the Committee informed of relevant developments.

The meeting rose at 1.15 p.m.

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