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UNITED
NATIONS
E

Distr.
GENERAL
E/CN.4/2001/SR.6
22 March 2001

ENGLISH
Original: FRENCH

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

Fifty-seventh session

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 6th MEETING

Held at the Palais des Nations, Geneva,

on 22 March 2001, at 10 a.m.


Chairperson : Mr. DESPOUY (Argentina)

CONTENTS

STATEMENT BY THE VICE-MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC

STATEMENT BY THE VICE-MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF LITHUANIA

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE OF KAZAKHSTAN

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF SPAIN

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND

STATEMENT BY THE UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF POLAND

STATEMENT BY THE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC

THE RIGHT OF PEOPLES TO SELF-DETERMINATION AND ITS APPLICATION TO PEOPLES UNDER COLONIAL OR ALIEN DOMINATION OR FOREIGN OCCUPATION (continued)



The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.

[...]

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF SPAIN

15. Mr. PIQUÉ (Spain) ...

[...]

The Spanish Government was also gravely concerned at the present blockage in the peace process in the Middle East, especially in view of the serious human rights violations now taking place in the territories occupied by Israel. As in previous years, Spain and other member States of the European Union would be submitting a resolution condemning the settlement policy being conducted by Israel in the occupied territories. It appealed to all the parties to the conflict to renounce the use of force and resume the dialogue. ...

[...]

41. Mr. MEI YUNCAI (China) ...

[...]

43. China took the view that a fair and just solution to the question of Palestine that would enable the Palestinian people to exercise their fundamental rights, including their right to self-determination, was the only way to restore a lasting peace in the Middle East. Deeply concerned about the incessant violent conflict in that area, it hoped that the parties concerned would refrain from saying and doing things which were not conducive to the peace process, so as to create the necessary conditions for the renewal and acceleration of the peace negotiations.

44. Mr. SAHRAOUI (Algeria) said that the previous century had witnessed a broad movement for the emancipation of peoples, which was most fortunate, but the international community had not fully complied with its obligation to promote the right of peoples to self-determination, since some of them were still under foreign occupation. That was the case in the Middle East, where the Palestinian people were still being denied that fundamental right and for months had been suffering a violent and systematic repression. In that respect, tribute should be paid to all the martyrs of the Intifada, who would in human memory join the ranks of freedom fighters, held up by society as a model. The international community must therefore work for an urgent resumption of the peace process and of the quest for a just, comprehensive and final solution to the conflict in the Middle East. Such a solution, based on the principle of land for peace, must be conditional upon complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Arab territories occupied in 1967 and the restoration of the legitimate national rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to the creation of an independent State with its capital at Al-Quds al-Sharif. The international community must also ensure respect for international legality, and especially for the effective implementation of the decisions of the Commission on Human Rights at its special session in October 2000, and the recommendations of the commission of inquiry it had established. The continuing formation or extension of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, confirmed by the High Commissioner in her report on her visit to the occupied Palestinian territories (E/CN.4/2001/114) also prompted the conviction that an international protection force should be created to guarantee the security of the Palestinian people.

[...]

54. Mr. ATTAR (Saudi Arabia) said that the tragic events which had taken place since September 2000 in the occupied Palestinian territories showed that the right of peoples to self-determination, set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Commission, was far from being a reality, because political considerations often outweighed humanitarian needs. The inalienable rights of the Palestinian people were still being openly flouted by Israel, which was obstructing the peace process in the Middle East.

55. The Government of Saudi Arabia was gravely concerned at the deteriorating situation in the occupied Palestinian territories. It called upon the international community and the Security Council to take the requisite measures in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, including those in Chapter VII and Articles 1 and 55, so that the Palestinian people could finally exercise their right to self-determination and the establishment of their own independent State with Jerusalem as its capital. The Palestinians had opted for a just peace based on international law and United Nations resolutions. His Government therefore urged the members of the Commission to give effect to those resolutions by supporting the draft resolution to be submitted on the situation in Palestine, on purely humanitarian grounds and without taking any other factors into account.

56. Lastly, he pointed out that the right of peoples to self-determination was one of the universal and indivisible fundamental rights and that the international community must do everything possible to achieve it.

57. Mr. AKRAM (Pakistan), speaking on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC),...

[...]

58. The Palestinian people was still being deprived of its right to self-determination. As stated by the Special Rapporteur for the Sub-Commission, Mr. Gros Espiell, in his study of the right to self-determination (E/CN.4/Sub.2/405/Rev.1, para. 93), international law affirmed the legitimacy of the struggle of peoples under occupation “by every means available to them, when the possibilities of obtaining recognition of the right to self-determination by peaceful means have been exhausted”. In defiance of international legality, Israel was continuing its policy of repression of the Palestinian people and expansion of its settlements, resulting in the displacement of Palestinians. The IOC was convinced, however, that no power in the world could win when a people was resolved to achieve its freedom.

[...]

63. Ms. AL-HAJJAJI (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya) said the Arab Summit and the Summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, held in the autumn of 2000, had given a full picture of the facts about Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation. The Israeli-Palestinian negotiations could not be equated with a peace process, being merely a solution Israel was imposing by force on the Palestinians. They were the weaker party, exposed to international pressure and to pressure by the occupying Power. To speak of the spread of a culture of peace under present conditions was to mask the unjust reality of the occupation of Palestinian territory in the Syrian Golan, and in part of southern Lebanon, by a colonizing State which also had at its disposal weapons of total destruction and was obstinately refusing to sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The invitation to establish a general peace was actually an invitation to subjection, capitulation and humiliation.

64. Referring to paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (1960), she said there was no difference between legitimate violence and the struggle of peoples for the right to self-determination. She called for mutual respect among nations, founded on justice and equity. A culture fostering the right of self-determination should be instituted, and it should be defended by every possible means.

Statements in exercise of the right of reply

65. Mr. LEVI (Observer for Israel), referring to a remark by the representative of Pakistan during his statement on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, to the effect that the struggle of peoples to decide their own future was legitimate “when peaceful means have been exhausted” for achieving recognition of their right to self-determination, said that, in the Middle East, not all peaceful means had been exhausted. The peace negotiations that had begun in 1993 and had led to a series of agreements had been resumed in July 2000. After the refusal of the Palestinians to accept the proposals put to them, and the ensuring acts of violence, the two parties had resumed their places at the negotiating table and had started talks at Taba, in Egypt, which had continued until elections had been held in Israel. During those talks, Palestinian negotiators had stated that the negotiating process was not succeeding, but after the elections they nevertheless asked for it to be resumed. The indications were that proposals in their favour were about to be made. The recourse to violence did not therefore seem justified, since recent events showed that not all peaceful means had been exhausted. He therefore invited members of the Commission to support the peace process through negotiations, and to condemn those who resorted to violence to attain their ends.

66. Mr. RAMLAWI (Observer for Palestine) said that, if Israel really wanted peace, it should begin by withdrawing its forces from the occupied Palestinian territories, as the Commission and other United Nations organs had been enjoining it to do for over 30 years. The initial bilateral negotiations instituted between Israel and the neighbouring Arab countries in 1991 in Madrid had been aimed at establishing a just and lasting peace in the region, and if the region was now ablaze, that was because Israel had unleashed a criminal war against the Palestinian people. The present situation was therefore the logical outcome of the policies conducted by Israel and the United States. The peace process was dead because Israel itself had killed it.


The meeting rose at 1.15 p.m.



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