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A/AC.25/W/24
7 September 1949

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH


UNITED NATIONS CONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR PALESTINE
INITIAL STEPS ON THE QUESTION OF COMPENSATION
(Working paper prepared by the Secretariat)

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A. Powers of the Commission

1. Paragraph 11 of the General Assembly resolution of 11 December 1948 reads:

RESOLVES... that compensation should be paid for the property of those (refugees) choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible."1/

Furthermore, according to the second part of this paragraph, one of the mandatory functions of the Conciliation Commission is to facilitate the payment of compensation.

2. The payment of "adequate compensation" was originally advocated by the Mediator in his Progress Report of 16 September 1949 to the Secretary-General. 2/ On 3 December 1948, during the General Assembly debate prior to the adoption of paragraph 11, its proponent, the United Kingdom representative on the First Committee, explained that the term "refugees" referred to all refugees, irrespective of race or nationality, provided they had been displaced from their homes in Palestine. He also envisaged that the work of determining the details of compensation might be done under the auspices of the Commission, which would appoint a subsidiary body or technical experts to this effect, in accordance with its powers under paragraph 12 of the aforementioned resolution. These points of clarification were not contested during the debate. 3/

B. Attitude of the Parties

3. The representatives of Israel, on the one hand, and of the Arab States, on the other, in signing the Protocol of 12 May 1949, agreed to respect the rights of the refugees and the preservation of their property. Regarding the provisions of the General Assembly's resolution on the payment of compensation, the position of the parties concerned is as follows:

(a) ISRAEL
Notes

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1/ A legal interpretation of the reference to principles of international law or equity, contained in the text of this paragraph, will be the subject of a separate working paper by the Secretariat.

2/ A/648; Official Records, 3rd Session, Supplement No. 11.

3/ Official Records, 3rd Session, Part I, First Committee, pp.906-913.

4/ Mr. Sharett, on 18 March 1949, in Washington (Doc. IS/5), and in Speech delivered in the Knesseth, on 15 June 1949.

5/ De. Eytan, on 6 May 1949, in letter to the Commission (Doc.IS/13)

6/ Ibid., ibid,

7/ Mr. Sharett, on 9 February 1949 (Doc. Sr/G/1, p. 12), and Dr. Eytan, on 3 May 1949 (Notes attached to SR/LM/6, p. 3).

8/ Mr. Sharett, on 9 February 1949 (Doc. SR/G/11, p.12).

9/ Dr. Eytan, on 5 May 1949 (Notes attached to SR/LM/7) p.2).
10/ Mr. Sharett, on 9 February 1949 (Doc. AR/G/1, p.12)

11/ Dr. Eytan, on 5 May 1949 (Notes attached to SR/LM/7, p.1)

12/ Memorandum of the Arab delegations, dated 29 August 1949, in reply to the Commission's questionnaire of 15 August 1949 (Doc. AR/17).

13/ Statement submitted to the United Nations on 4 May 1949 Doc. ORG/9)

14/ Letter from M.N. Bulos, Delegation Secretary, Arab Refugee Congress, dated 13 May 1949 (Doc. ORG/13)

15/ Memorandum by Mr. E.N. Berouti, Secretary, Jaffa and District Inhabitants committee, 14 May 1949, (Doc. ORG/14)



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UNCCP - Mesures initiales d'indemnisation des réfugiés - Document de travail du secrétariat Français