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        General Assembly
20 April 1982


Seventh emergency special session
Agenda item 5


Letter dated 19 April 1982 from the Permanent Representative of
the United States of America to the United Nations addressed to
the President of the General Assembly

The United States wishes to state its reservations with regard to the proposal to “resume” the seventh emergency special session of the General Assembly to consider the agenda item entitled “Question of Palestine”.

The seventh emergency special session was convened on 22 July 1980. On 29 July 1980 it adopted resolution ES-7/2, operative paragraph 14 of which recites the Assembly’s decision “to adjourn the seventh emergency special session temporarily and to authorize the President of the latest regular session of the General Assembly to resume its meetings upon request from Member States”. Accordingly, the President at that time, Foreign Minister Salim, stated on 29 July 1980 that the session “is temporarily adjourned" (A/ES-7/PV.11, p.96).

It seems plain that the purpose of this “temporary” adjournment was to allow for a resumption in the same time frame if events warranted. We do not believe that Members contemplated that the session could be maintained in its state of adjournment indefinitely with the possibility of being “resumed” on request. Indeed, two regular sessions, two emergency special sessions and one special session of the General Assembly have been held since that time.

What is now proposed is that, at the request of a group of Members and notwithstanding the passage of a substantial period of time, an emergency special session should be reconvened without regard to the views of the majority of the membership of the United Nations or to developments that may have taken place. This dubious procedure of a “resumption” has the effect of undermining the provisions of the rules of procedure of the General Assembly for the convening of an emergency special session.

In the opinion of the United States, it is not possible some 21 months after adjournment to “resume” the old session. We cannot understand how the word “temporary” can be stretched to cover a gap of this duration.

I request that this note be circulated as a document of the General Assembly.

(Signed) Jeane J. KIRKPATRICK


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