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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.119
24 September 1985

ENGLISH
ORIGINAL: FRENCH

COMMITTEE ON THE EXERCISE OF THE INALIENABLE RIGHTS
OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 119th MEETING

Held at Headquarters, New York,
on Tuesday, 17 September 1985, at 10.30 a.m.


Chairman: Mr. SARRE (Senegal)


CONTENTS


Adoption of the agenda

Draft report of the Committee to the General Assembly at its fortieth session




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 11.20 a.m.


ADOPTION OF THE AGENDA

1. The agenda was adopted.

DRAFT REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AT ITS FORTIETH SESSION (A/AC.183/1985/CRP.3 and Add.1/Rev.1 and Add.2)

2. The CHAIRMAN suggested that the Committee should first hear the report of the representative of Afghanistan on the mission to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, before considering the draft report.

3. Mr. ZARIF (Afghanistan) reported to the Committee that, in the course of its visit to Moscow from 11 to 14 August 1985, the delegation had been received by the President of the Soviet of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet, Mr. Voss, and had held in-depth discussions with high-ranking officials of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It had also held a press conference organized with the assistance of the Soviet Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee. The useful suggestions and comments made testified to the Soviet support for the cause of the Palestinian people. The delegation had gone on to Kiev, where it had been received by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Mr. Kravets, and had participated in a meeting attended by representatives of all the social organizations. The delegation had described the Committee's activities and emphasized the need to hold an International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The Ukrainian authorities had reaffirmed their unswerving support for the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and had declared their readiness to do everything in their power to promote an International Peace Conference on the Middle East.

4. The CHAIRMAN thanked the representative of Afghanistan for his report and expressed the Committee's appreciation to the Ukrainian delegation for the welcome afforded the mission by the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

5. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, introducing the Committee's draft report to the General Assembly (A/AC.183/1985/CRP.3 and Add.1/Rev.1 and Add.2), called attention to amendments to document A/AC.183/1985/CRP.3/Add.1/Rev.1, some of which were the result of extensive consultations.

6. The following sentence should be added to the end of paragraph 6:

"The Committee regrets it has not so far sensed any change in the negative attitude of Israel and the United States concerning the convening of the Conference and expresses the sincere hope that a positive change will urgently be forthcoming."

7. In the last of the new paragraphs inserted before paragraph 51, the words "a permanent member" should be replaced by the words "the United States".

8. In the second paragraph inserted after paragraph 61, after the words "of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics" the remainder of the paragraph should be replaced by the following: "and it held in-depth discussions with high-ranking officials in the Foreign Ministry, and participated in a press conference and other activities organized by the Soviet Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee. The visit was extensively covered by the media."

9. In the following paragraph, the last three words should be replaced by the following phrase: "the Ukrainian Society of Friendship and Cultural Relations and the media".

10. The paragraphs to be inserted after paragraph 97 would be drafted once the relevant documents were received.

11. As for paragraph 100, the text decided upon after consultations was the one in document A/AC.183/1985/CRP.3.

12. The last amendment concerned paragraph 128, the text of which was to be replaced by the following:

"The Committee therefore annexes to the present report its recommendations and those of the International Conference on the Question of Palestine.

"The Committee stresses that its original recommendations are specifically designed to enable the Palestinian people to attain its inalienable rights, in particular the right to return and the right to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty.

"The Committee also stresses that the International Conference on the Question of Palestine, held in Geneva in 1983, contains specific guidelines for the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, of which an essential element will be the establishment of an independent Palestinian State in Palestine. These guidelines were endorsed by the General Assembly in its resolution 38/58 C and reaffirmed in resolution 39/49 D, which, inter alia, urged all Governments to make additional constructive efforts and to strengthen their political will in order to convene the Conference without delay and for the achievement of its peaceful objectives."

13. The CHAIRMAN thanked the Rapporteur for his efforts to make the spirit of co-operation prevail and expressed gratification that there was a consensus on certain paragraphs.

14. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said, with regard to the new text of paragraph 128, that the second paragraph dealt with the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, in particular the right to self-determination. Resolution ES-7/2 was more explicit when it stipulated "the right to self-determination without external interference". Similarly, "the right to establish its own independent sovereign State", which had been recognized in that resolution, was not mentioned in the paragraph.

15. In the Luanda Declaration, the Ministers had also reaffirmed that the Palestine Liberation Organization alone had the full right to represent the Palestinian people, but that element had not been included in the relevant part of the report (the new paragraphs inserted after paragraph 100). Moreover, the Ministers had decided to call for the convening of a meeting of the Security Council to consider the situation in the Middle East, including the question of Palestine, during the early part of the fortieth session of the General Assembly, and had expressed the hope that the Foreign Ministers of the non-aligned countries and their heads of delegation would participate in the meeting. That decision could also be reflected in the report.

16. Noting that the report of the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women contained only two paragraphs regarding Palestinian women, he observed that they could both be easily inserted in the Committee's report.

17. Mr. GAUCI (Malta), Rapporteur, said that the suggestions of the Observer for the Palestine Liberation Organization would be taken into account. In any case, he called his attention to the fact that the right of the Palestinian people to establish their own sovereign and independent State was already mentioned in the new text of paragraph 128, where it was specified that "an essential element will be the establishment of an independent Palestinian State in Palestine." There was no need to mention the Luanda decision to call for a meeting of the Security Council because that meeting would take place before the report was considered by the General Assembly.

18. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) emphasized there was a fundamental difference between the two expressions: "The right to establish its own independent sovereign State" had been recognized by the General Assembly as an inalienable right of the Palestinian people. He, therefore, wanted the wording used in the relevant resolution to be expressly quoted.

19. Mr. BURAYZAT (Jordan) said it was not his intention to call into question the consensus reached on the draft report to the General Assembly. However, paragraph 79 of the document was unacceptable and he wanted further consultations on it.

20. The CHAIRMAN recalled that the report was to have been submitted on
15 September and that there was no more time for consultations. The content of paragraph 79 did not reflect the official position of the Committee, which merely referred to the resolutions on Palestine adopted by international organizations.

21. Mr. BURAYZAT (Jordan) said that he objected only to the first part of paragraph 79. To say that the conference had also affirmed that resolution 242 (1967) of the Security Council could not form a sound basis for solving the problem cast a slur upon the conference and did nothing to help the cause of the Palestinian people. Furthermore, it was at the Arab summit, not at the Islamic conference, that the statement had been made. The Committee was realistic and constructive and there was no reason for it to adopt a text which was neither realistic nor constructive. He hoped that the Rapporteur would continue his efforts and that consultations on the matter would take place.

22. Mr. CABALLERO (Cuba) observed that the Committee had no more time for consultations and suggested that another solution might be for the representative of Jordan to place on record his reservations to paragraph 79. In any case, it was not for the Committee to censure the positions taken by other bodies or conferences.

23. Mr. BURAYZAT (Jordan) informed the representative of Cuba that other delegations did not have to teach him what procedure to follow. The draft report was not a mere document; it had a bearing on the fate of the Palestinian people. Jordan had a fundamental interest in the problems of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the observer of the PLO had no objection to the Rapporteur continuing his efforts as he (Mr. Burayzat) hoped he would. The delegation of Jordan considered consultations on paragraph 79 to be essential.

24. The CHAIRMAN asked the Rapporteur and the representative of Jordan to consult each other quickly to find a wording which would reflect the decision taken by the Islamic conference without distorting the meaning. The Observer of the Palestine Liberation Organization would, of course, take part in the consultations.

25. Mr. TAHINDRO (Madagascar) called attention to paragraphs 74 and 75 and proposed that the words "General Assembly" and "Assembly" should be replaced by "Conference," to avoid any confusion with the United Nations General Assembly.

26. Mr. ADHAMI (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that his delegation intended to take part in the consultations on paragraph 79, the text of which seemed quite acceptable to him. While the paragraph reflected the decisions of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, it did not raise the question of acceptance or non-acceptance of resolution 242 (1967), but indicated that the resolution could not constitute a sound basis for solving the Palestinian problem. That text was therefore not only appropriate and realistic, but necessary, because to date, for reasons well known to all, the position of the Security Council on the question was different from that of the General Assembly.

27. Mr. LAKHOUIT (Observer for Morocco) asked for the heading of paragraph 100 to be worded as follows: "Extraordinary Summit Conference of Arab States, Casablanca, 7-9 August 1985" and that the symbol of the document in which the Permanent Mission of Morocco had transmitted the final declaration of the Conference to the Secretary-General (A/40/564) should be inserted at the end of the paragraph.

28. Mr. ADHAMI (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) asked whether the report would be adopted paragraph by paragraph because his delegation had requested the deletion of paragraph 100. In a letter to the Secretary-General (A/40/584), his country had expressed reservations about circulating the final communiqué of the Extraordinary Conference because the holding of that Conference had been incompatible with the rules and practices followed in the case of conferences of that kind and that it could not by any means express an Arab consensus since five Arab countries and more than half the heads of State had not attended.

29. The CHAIRMAN noted that the discussion of the draft report had been reopened when it had been carefully considered by the working group. All the points of view were respectable and understandable, but consensus implied overall acceptance of the document even if there was not complete satisfaction on all points. Members should avoid calling into question the entire report since the Committee had other matters to consider, such as the convening of an International Peace Conference on the Middle East. The report could be adopted paragraph by paragraph but since time was short it would be preferable to adopt it as a whole.

30. Mr. TARASYUK (Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) said that he, too, favoured adoption of the report as a whole. However, since an amendment had been proposed to paragraph 128 during the meeting, that paragraph should be adopted ad referendum.

31. Mr. ADHAMI (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that he had no desire to complicate the work of the Committee, but wanted to have an opportunity to express the position of the Syrian Arab Republic on a number of paragraphs, whatever the method chosen to adopt the report.

32. Mr. WANG Xuexian (Observer for China) said that, in the sentence proposed for inclusion in paragraph 5, mention was made of UNIFIL and the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territories and other occupied Arab territories, without any apparent link between these two elements. Moreover, the sentence stated that Israel had not yet totally and unconditionally withdrawn from the Palestinian territories and other occupied Arab territories, whereas the fact of the matter was that Israel had so far not evacuated a single inch of those territories. Besides, in the new English wording of paragraph 86, mention was made of "internationally recognized borders." Unless the expression had been taken from an official document, it would perhaps be better to replace it by an expression hallowed by usage, namely "internationally recognized boundaries."

33. Mr. ABOUASSI (Observer for Lebanon) proposed an amendment to divide the sentence to be included in paragraph 5. The expression "internationally recognized borders" should be followed by the words "of Lebanon" and the rest of the sentence would constitute a second sentence.

34. Mr. TAHINDRO (Madagascar) observed that the proposed amendment did not solve the second problem raised by the delegation of China with respect to new paragraph 5.

35. The CHAIRMAN said that the expression "complete and unconditional withdrawal" was an established expression and should be read as such.

36. Mr. TAHINDRO (Madagascar) asked whether the Rapporteur could not redraft the sentence in question in order to avoid any ambiguity.

37. The CHAIRMAN proposed that the Committee should adopt the report as a whole, while taking note of the observations made by various delegations, particularly those of the delegation of the Ukrainian SSR concerning the adoption of paragraph 128 ad referendum.

38. The draft report was adopted.

39. Mr. ADHAMI (Observer for the Syrian Arab Republic) said that his delegation had strong reservations about the part of the report concerning action taken by the Committee to promote the convening of the proposed International Peace Conference on the Middle East. Those reservations related to the principle of sending delegations to selected capitals, which was not in keeping with the Committee's mandate, and more particularly to the sending of a delegation to Cairo (para. 59). The latter had been contrary not only to the General Assembly resolutions which condemned the Camp David accords and found them to be detrimental to the interests of the Palestinian people, but also to similar resolutions adopted at Arab summits. Paragraph 100 also gave rise to strong reservations on the part of his delegation, for the reasons already stated.

40. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) recalled that the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Non-Aligned Countries, who included among their number all the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Arab States, had expressed their unanimous satisfaction, during their meeting in Luanda, with the efforts made by the Committee, particularly with regard to the holding of conferences and discussions and the dispatching of missions.

41. Mr. ABOUASSI (Observer for Lebanon) expressed satisfaction at the adoption of the report and took note of the fact that his delegation's reservations with respect to paragraphs 35, 40, 47 and 50 had been reflected therein. With regard to fundamental issues his delegation wished to request that the Committee demonstrate more objectivity and fairness in its treatment of issues involving Lebanon and Lebanese-Palestinian relations. Lebanon and its people had made the greatest sacrifices of all on behalf of the Palestinian cause. It should thus be recalled that Palestinians had been in Lebanon since 1948 and that the question of their security had arisen only when their presence, which had taken on a military and often aggressive character, came to constitute a challenge to Lebanon's sovereignty. Furthermore, while the Palestinian population enjoyed rights in Lebanon, it was also subject to obligations which could not be ignored by the Committee. The rights of Palestinians could not be identical in both the occupied territories and the host countries. The violence affecting Palestinians in Lebanon was part of a broader situation which was of concern to all Lebanese and could not be analysed by the Committee in a partial, not to say unjust, manner. While it was true that the Committee had sent such and such a letter to the Secretary-General and that the Security Council had adopted such and such a resolution, it was at the same time a fact that Lebanon had officially opposed such initiatives. The position was not, as might have been inferred from paragraphs 35, 40, 47 and 50 of the report, one of victims on the one hand and of aggressors on the other, but instead something much more complex, with armed Palestinians in Lebanon involved, like others, in the cycle of violence which had affected the country for the past ten years. Those paragraphs were therefore incomplete and inaccurate and served only to divide the members of the Committee. His delegation would have preferred them not to have been included in the report.

42. Mr. TERZI (Observer, Palestine Liberation Organization) said that the Palestinians had not freely chosen their current places of residence. As to the military character of their presence in Lebanon, it had been accepted by the Lebanese Government as part of an agreement which stipulated in particular that co-ordination and co-operation should be established with the Palestine Liberation Organization, and the conferences of Arab Ministers for Foreign Affairs had reaffirmed that stipulation many times. The situation in Lebanon was certainly complex, but refugee camps in that country were the responsibility of the international community, and the Committee therefore had a duty to draw attention to what happened there. Nevertheless, the Lebanese Government was quite entitled to take a different view.

43. Mr. CABALLERO (Cuba) recalled that his delegation had always striven to contribute to the smooth functioning of the Committee and had constantly supported ?forts to find solutions to the Palestinian problem. He did not therefore understand the interpretation which Jordan placed upon his earlier statement. In any event, Cuba was a sovereign State and his delegation would continue to express its views whenever it felt that it was appropriate.

44. The CHAIRMAN said that the report which had just been adopted, despite the reservations and shades of opinion expressed by various delegations, constituted a contribution to the defence of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and to the establishment of peace and stability in the Middle East, thereby benefiting all the peoples and States of the region. The Committee had never intended to interfere in the internal affairs of any State, as that would be contrary to the principles of the Charter. Members of the Committee should seize the opportunity afforded by the fortieth anniversary of the United Nations - which, in a manner of speaking, coincided with the fortieth anniversary of the question of Palestine - by endeavouring to ensure that the various recommendations of the Committee were put into effect during the current session of the General Assembly.

The meeting rose at 12.50 p.m.


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