Question of Palestine home
14 May 1986
Items 35 and 37 of the preliminary list*
QUESTION OF PALESTINE
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Report of the Secretary-General
1. The present report is submitted in pursuance of resolution 40/96 D on the question of the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, which was adopted by the General Assembly at its fortieth session,
on 12 December 1985. The operative part of the resolution reads as follows:
The General Assembly
Takes note with appreciation
of the reports of the Secretary-General;
its endorsement of the call for convening the International Peace Conference on the Middle East in conformity with the provisions of the resolution 38/58 C;
the urgent need for additional constructive efforts by all Governments in order to convene the Conference without further delay and for the achievement of its peaceful objectives;
that the question of Palestine is the root-cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East;
the Governments of Israel and the United States of America to reconsider their positions towards the attainment of peace in the Middle East through the convening of the Conference;
the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Security Council, to continue his efforts with a view to convening the Conference and to report thereon to the General Assembly not later than 15 March 1986;
to consider at its forty-first session the report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of the present resolution."
2. In pursuance of the request contained in paragraph 6 of the above resolution, on 21 January 1986 the Secretary-General addressed the following letter to the President of the Security Council:
"I have the honour to refer to resolution 40/96 D, which was adopted by the General Assembly at its fortieth session on 12 December 1985, concerning the question of the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East. The text of the resolution is attached.
"As you are aware, this question was first raised by the General Assembly at its thirty-eighth session when it adopted resolution 38/58 C on 13 December 1983 and subsequently at its thirty-ninth session when it adopted resolution 39/49 D of 11 December 1984.
"In pursuance of those resolutions, and after consultations with the Security Council, I reported to the General Assembly in March and September 1984 (A/39/130-S/16409 and Add.1) and in March 1985 (A/40/168-S/17014). As you will recall, the Council invited me to continue consultations on the subject, in any manner I deemed appropriate in light of the General Assembly resolution. Accordingly, I pursued my contacts and reported on them to the General Assembly and Security Council on 22 October 1985 (A/40/779-S/17581, paras. 30-42). In the concluding part of that report I stated,
, that 'In the contacts I have had with leaders of the parties concerned during the past weeks, I have gained the impression that they are fully conscious of the urgency of finding an agreed settlement of this most complex problem and of the dangers that further delay could entail for their region and beyond. I have also noted that although their respective positions on the basic issues have remained far apart, there have been some signs of flexibility as regards the negotiating process. I continue to believe that it would be possible to work out a generally acceptable procedure which would enable the parties to embark on a negotiating process if a determined effort were made by all concerned with the full support of other Governments in a position to help. I strongly feel that, despite the existing difficulties, a new and determined effort should be made to explore and to use the various possibilities of the United Nations machinery appropriately to promote progress in the peace process in the Middle East.
"At its fortieth session, the General Assembly, after considering the above-mentioned reports, adopted resolution 40/96 D in which it reaffirmed again its endorsement of the call for convening the international peace conference on the Middle East, stressed the urgent need for additional constructive efforts by all Governments in order to convene the conference without further delay and for the achievement of its peaceful objectives, called upon the Governments of Israel and the United States of America to reconsider their positions towards the attainment of peace in the Middle East through the convening of the conference, and requested the Secretary-General, in consultation with the Security Council, to continue his efforts with a view to convening the conference.
"In light of the debate of the General Assembly on the above resolution and other available information, I believe that the obstacles which have so far prevented the convening of the international peace conference on the Middle East as called for by the General Assembly still exist. However, I also believe that the observations contained in my report of 22 October 1985, which are recalled above, remain valid.
"Bearing in mind the efforts made during the past two years towards the convening of an international peace conference and the difficulties experienced and in light of paragraph 6 of General Assembly resolution 40/96 D, I feel it essential to consult the Security Council once again on this matter. I hope that the views of the Council can be conveyed to me by 1 March 1986 since I have been requested to report on this matter to the General Assembly not later than 15 March."
3. On 28 February 1986, the President of the Security Council sent the following reply:
"I have the honour to refer to your letter of 21 January 1986, concerning the question of the convening of an international peace conference on the Middle East, by which you sought to consult the Security Council on this question once again, taking into account that relevant provisions of General Assembly resolution 40/96 D of 12 December 1985.
"You recalled the efforts you have continued to make, which you described, in particular in your report of 22 October 1985 to the General Assembly and the Security Council, and the obstacles which continue to prevent the convening of the conference.
"In accordance with your desire to be informed, before 1 March 1986, of the views of the members of the Security Council on this question, I have undertaken the necessary consultations in this regard.
"Members remain concerned by the situation in the Middle East. It is clear from these consultations that almost all members are in favour of the principle of holding such a conference. The majority of these members feel that it should be convened as early as possible. Others consider that the conditions for the success of this conference do not yet exist and feel that new efforts should be made in this respect.
"In this context, members of the Council invite the Secretary-General to continue his efforts and consultations on the subject in the light of General Assembly resolution 40/96 D."
4. The Secretary-General intends to pursue his efforts in the light of General Assembly resolution 40/96 D and the views expressed by the members of the Security Council. He will keep the General Assembly and the Security Council informed of any now developments in this regard.
/ A/40/168-S/17014 and A/40/779-S/17581 and Corr.1.